For a quick review of the season, I thought I might as well copy the format used in The Observer, which asked a fan from each Premier League club to submit a report. So, here goes...
Real Betis: 1/10
Personally, I think it all started to go wrong from the second game of the season. After a very encouraging kick-off at the Bernabeu, where Pepe Mel's Betis gave Real Madrid a real fright before losing 2-1 to a late Isco goal, in the first half of the Benito Villamarín opener we absolutely battered Celta de Vigo but, without Rubén Castro on the pitch, couldn't convert the chances. The visitors scored twice in the second half and suddenly it was zero points out of a possible six - without having played badly at all. That seemed to shake the confidence of the side going forward, and with Rubén unavailable throughout the autumn, Betis were rarely creating enough chances to win games.
Then Pepe Mel was sacked at the start of December (by, we have found out subsequently, the autocratic court-appointed administrator José Antonio Bosch, who'd spent the summer denying the technical department money to secure decent players), a charisma-free guy-in-a-tracksuit replaced him and things went from bad to worse. Every player in the squad appeared to lose their form, we were being hammered by any side in the top half of the table and watching Betis was, suddenly and most unusually, no fun at all.
The arrival of Betis playing legend Gaby Calderón (and perhaps more importantly Antonio Adán and Alfred N'Diaye) stemmed the bleeding somewhat and if, as I pointed out yesterday, the team had managed to hold on to leads against Sevilla in the Europa League quarter-final and Málaga in the league, perhaps some pride might have been rescued. But both games ended in defeat and a whole bunch more losses followed. It has all been, let's face it, excruciating.
The stars: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Nice one. OK, let's give credit to the aforementioned Adán and N'Diaye for arriving in the transfer window and consistently giving performances of no little character and skill. Two fine professionals, and the the good news is that the former at least should be staying. Player of the Year, though - if we accept that only being here half a season disqualifies you - has to be Lolo Reyes. The 22-year-old Chilean midfielder never hid, never gave up and never stopped running, which in itself marked him out from some of his colleagues. Given that he was apparently the worst-paid player in the team, he deserves a ton of acclaim - and, obviously, a vastly improved contract.
The flops: Joan Verdú, clearly - as mentioned here time and time again. But the squad was full of disappointing players: both the goalkeepers that joined in the summer, Paulao, Figueras, Dídac, Vadillo, Matilla, Chuli, Braian, etc, etc, etc. I also want to single out Nosa, in whom I once had a lot of faith. He clearly has talent but never made the effort to learn Spanish, was injured for large parts of the season and didn't appear to be too bothered for the rest of the time. The word is that he's going to be in the Nigeria World Cup squad and he could still be a nice buy for a Nottingham Forest or a Leeds United, but he's been a disaster for Betis.
Transfer targets: Not so important as promoting the best young players already at the club: Carlos García, Caro, perhaps Sergio Rodríguez, Alex Martínez (who spent the season on loan at Murcia when he was already better than most of the left-backs that actually played for Betis), etc.
Best and worst away fans: This is the same every season. The best were the Sevillistas, who are the only ones who seem to "get" what supporting your team is all about. The worst are the supporters of Real Madrid and Barcelona, who just sit in silence until their teams score.
And a couple of my own categories...
Best visiting player: I've honestly never seen a football travel as fast as when Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring at the Benito Villamarín, but I'm afraid the one time I thought, "Blimey, he's good - who's that?" and made the effort to check the guy's identity after the game was for Sevilla's Marko Marin (who, I've just discovered, is officially on loan from Chelsea).
Best Betis goal: You know what? My mind's a complete blank. Juanfran's 35-yarder the other day was pretty spectacular but probably a fluke, and I remember a perfect Verdú free-kick from way back, but he's not getting it. I'm left with Leo Baptistao's diving header in the Sánchez-Pizjuán, which was sweeter than it was great, but any other suggestions?