When Real Sociedad started the new La Liga campaign with two consecutive draws, it seemed the San Sebastian-based side was about to witness another average season. But after making some quality additions to the side in the summer, including former Manchester City midfield maestro David Silva, forward strides made in the last two campaigns were expected to continue.
Eight games in, the team is now making a statement. And Silva is proving key to that progress. The Whites and Blues currently occupy top spot on the league table after securing straight wins in the last four league fixtures. The wins have also been commanding. 3-0 victories against Getafe and Real Betis have been followed by 4-1 demolitions of Huesca and Celta Vigo.
Silva grabbed two assists in the encounter with Huesca before registering his first goal for his new side against Celta Vigo. He has so far started six league games. In a league that is dominated by giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, its still too early to start dreaming of ending a title drought dating back to 1983.
Topling the top dogs is still a huge task despite Barcelona’s struggles. Even in the event of beating the dominat two in the race, there is still Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to contend with. So Imanol Alguacil should be content with Champions League qualification. That will represent a step forward having qualified for the Europa League last term.
But qualification for Europe will only be possible if the side remains consistent. Quality and experience will be required. A side boasting of players like Mikel Oyarzabal (who was linked with a move to Man City as replacement for Leroy Sane), attacking midfielder Portu, former Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal, former Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj, and Silva should be able to ride the waves at crucial times.
So far, these players alongside several others have done quite well. Having experienced heads like Silva and Monreal in the dressing room will be valuable and could make the difference at the end of the campaign. But until then, the team can enjoy the new-found privilege of rubbing shoulders with the big boys at the summit of La Liga.
David Silva has been central to that progress, proving he still has much in the tank even at age 34. It makes one wonder. Could he have given City another year of top performance and also had another crack at the Champions League in pursuit of the one trophy that has remained elusive for both parties?