It would be harsh to judge this season as a failure no matter how it ends, and Sevilla can still win matches based on sheer individual quality. But we've seen glimpses of what could be when the pieces are ticking together, and we've seen Sampaoli and Sevilla win with style.
It took three seasons at Anfield, but now we have a clear answer of who Adam Lallana is: a leader of pressing movements, a veteran leader in the locker room, and an example for future Liverpool midfielders.
Financial limitations and constraints bring out the best of a certain kind of manager. In that sense, Eusebio Sacristan's years developing at the Barcelona B team to one day take over a senior side worked but it was Sociedad who reap the rewards.
The MLS approach to teambuilding has become much more nuanced in the decade since David Beckham arrived. While the salary cap puts sides on an equal playing level, the how remains a vision unique to the architect.
Barcelona needs some new ideas and some new players. Europe hasn't solved Luis Enrique's side as much as they have simply declined.