Sunday, April 29, 2007

Quotes of the Week

“We’re ninth and in the semi’s of the Copa del Rey, how can this be my worse moment?” - Bernd Schuster attempts the futile task of reasoning with the Spanish football press.

“I want to win everything! “As long as it is within walking distance of my house”. Sevilla’s homesick hero, Jesus Navas, fails to add as he discusses his lofty ambitions for the season.

“Maradona scored in the World Cup quarters against England, four years after the Malvinas war. Messi was at home against Getafe” - Cañizares is joining La Liga Loca in the ever dwindling “it was a good goal, but...” camp.

“It came over. I hit it” - The loquacious Ruud van Nistelrooy talks us through his volley against Valencia.

“If Mourinho comes, the Bernabeu will continue to be the most boring ‘theatre’ in the city. The real show will be in the press room” - Grumpy Julio César Iglesias writing in El Pais. La Liga Loca is currently sacrificing hamsters to the Gods, in an attempt to bring the unhinged motor mouth to Madrid.

“It’s a shame he’s going, as he’s given so much in four years” - Beep Beep ! Ramon Calderon goes into reverse gear over David Beckham.

“We deserve it the most” - A cross armed, lip pouting Andrés Iniesta on why it’s Barcelona who should be reigning in Spain, this year.

“I want to make it clear that we did not sack him. We didn’t renew his contract” - Former Real Madrid big cheese Emilo Butregueño in full revisionist mode on why the club didn’t actually bin Vicente del Bosque, despite what everyone says.

“He’s a kid who’s head needs psychological help” - Luis Aragonés with some morale boosting words for Joaquín.

“It’s at times like this that we have to be more united than ever” - Atletico Madrid Enrique Cerezo, just days after publicly branding his side for ‘playing without any spirit’.

“De Lopera should return as president as only he can inspire Betisism” - Current fawning ‘president’, Pepe Leon with his finger on the pulse on why the fans need their penny pinching, player selling, dog dancing godfather back.

“After my mistake at Bayern, I heard a lot of crazy stuff and I made a promise to myself that I would go” - Roberto ‘thought you had left last summer’ Carlos on his summer time departure plans.

“Saviola to Madrid? It’s either a joke or a lie” - So says Zambrotta on the latest iffy transfer rumours in Spain.

“I made a mistake with Beckham” - Pedja Mijatovic finally realising something the ever brilliant and ever readable Nostradamos-like Spanish Thing pointed out on football365, back in January.

“Signing for Getafe is a step forward” - Recreativo’s departing Mario Alvarez, clearly isn’t one for looking at the league tables.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Barça's Own Pyramid Scheme

You Can’t Say Pharaoh than that

With three Spanish teams battling away in the semi-finals of the UEFA cup this week, you’d have thought that this alone would be enough to keep the proud sports papers occupied this week. But you’d be wrong. Yet again it’s Real Madrid v Barcelona dominating the pages. And it will be the same until the flippin’ title race is won.

Marca has completely given up any pretensions of neutrality (not that there were many) and informed comment (ditto) and are leaping up and down on the faltering body of the caving in Catalans. On Tuesday, the paper posted photographs of the Barcelona players looking a tad crest fallen after their Villarreal defeat, at the weekend. And they have compared them to the faces of the Real Madrid players after blowing the league on the last day in 1992, in Tenerife.

“Look at the them!”, cries Marca. “Look!”. “Surely it is a sign from the Lord himself, that Real Madrid will triumph”, the paper wanted to add. But didn't. It looks like a theme they’re to run with until the end of time. Still, it beats the “Spirit of Juanito”, that’s dragged out, whenever time Real find themselves eight goals down in a cup tie.

Meanwhile, Fabio Capello has said that he wants his squad to be “happy, not euphoric”, whilst Guti is - for once - showing some restraint by admitting that “Barcelona are still favourites”, but confessed that it would “be great to win the league on the last day.” Grumpy La Liga Loca now hopes the whole thing is over some time before that.

Barcelona took the decision to ‘disconnect’ as Johan Neeskens put it or “chase filthy lucre” as everyone else did and headed to Egypt for a friendly against Al Ahly on Tuesday night, with the mission being to replace some of the funds lost by their somewhat premature Champions League exit. “We’re available for children's parties, supermarket openings, birthdays, that kind of stuff. Deco makes a mean balloon giraffe”, said one fictional club representative.

The new Galacticos duly beat their opponents 4-0 and Sport were very excited by the debut of sixteen year striker, Bojan Krkic. But, then again, Sport writers get excited by a train ride. One notable absentee from the party was president Joan Laporta. But one person who did make it was Frank Rijkaard’s delectable daughter - not a good idea with Ronaldinho and his wandering eye around, implied Marca.

Atletico Madrid president and film production company owner, Enrique Cerezo went a little mental on a Tuesday and gave his squad a pasting, after Saturday’s defeat away at Real Sociedad. “The fans were lucky they didn’t have to buy a ticket and watch the game”, wailed Cerezo, neatly forgetting nearly every home match this season. “Nobody played with any spirit”, he moaned, “after the match it was impossible to sleep so I had to watch three films before I got off”, complained the media mogul who presumably did not stick one of his own efforts on the DVD player. That would have done the job.

On the club transfer front, a 14 million euro deal is about to be struck with Osasuna for box to box action man midfielder Raúl Garcia, whilst the Sun have linked striker Fernando Torres with a move to Liverpool, on the grounds that he wears a captain’s armband inscribed with the words “You’ll never walk alone” - unless you are an opposition defender in the Atletico Madrid box, of course.

Valencia have reportedly been offered 65 million euros by Chelsea for the services of David Villa. “The club did a great deal by signing him for 12 million, they would make a lot of money. And so would I”, his agent Jose Luis Tamargo, failed to add.

Deportivo may want to get their water supply tested for chemical additives. On Sunday night, after their 1-0 thrashing of Osasuna, Joaquín Caparros was talking up the club’s chances of qualifying for Europe. Proving that this was not just a crazed anomaly, Julian de Guzmán has done the same - “we really have to go for it”, he gibbered.



The Best League?

The league this season is awesome. It started off with Real Madrid looking as bad as they have ever looked and it finally seemed as though the powers of Don Fabio had waned. How wrong we all were. As much as I have sworn at the television and been frustrated by the scabby 1-0 wins along with the stagnant movement in midfield for most of the season – it actually looks like Capello needed a bit more time than expected to get things underway. Lets not get carried away though, El Real are certainly not the finished product. What is interesting is that they have managed to be just that and at the same time within 2 points of being leaders. Does this pose the inevitable question? Is La Liga really that good?

Well, for starters, it is competitive, one only has to look at the difference in points between Barca and Valencia, and it doesn’t stop there, Sevilla have produced quality football this season and just this weekend we saw that Villareal are not just a team that made it to the Champions League semis by mistake or only because they had the ‘great’ Riquelme.

All in all, I don’t think that then number of wins/points accumulated by ‘top’ teams defines how good a league is. For me it’s the entertainment on and off the pitch as well as the drama in the standings table – in which case, La Liga is truly unrivalled this season. I am proud to support a team from this league and I am proud of the football it produces, albeit some typically cowardly displays from the teams closer to the relegation zone bar La Real this weekend.

I do however feel like we will be witnessing the end of an era in the departure of the underappreciated Roberto Carlos and the overrated David Beckham (although he might have proved me wrong in his second half cameo) as well as Raul’s possible ‘official’ (lets face it – he’s been gone for 3 seasons or so) departure. We can however look to the new stars in the making, Miguel Torres is a good example and although its been a lot more blatant, Leo Messi. What a goal that was and that was the week that was too. HALA MADRID !

Ps: Man Utd can keep Ronaldo, id just rather we had Kaka.



All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca. 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day

Good Day

Real Sociedad

Well, blow La Liga Loca down with a feather. Real Sociedad may actually get out of this mess. And the blog never doubted that they would. Not for one second, no siree Bob. For the latest victory, La Real can thank “the miracle of Atletico Madrid" as one paper put it, the club that never stops giving. But more on them in the bad day section set aside for the rojiblancos’ ongoing adventures.

Real Madrid

Copy and Paste as I can not work out the link business.,17033,9405_2084236,00.html

Deportivo, Mallorca

Two teams who flirted with relegation for a while, but thought better of it, put their pints down and took the metro home. Both recorded fairly uninspiring 1-0 victories and both now look as lethargic and unambiguous as a Spanish civil servant, in mid table. Mallorca built their relative success on six consecutive wins at their Balearic home, the second most talked about miraculous construction in Palma, after the house that the 70,000 euro a year local president recently purchased for a cool five million.


It’s been a bit of a quiet season for the Zaragoza striker. Having racked up twelve goals last time round, after a move from the Bundesliga, the Brazilian has been in apparent sleep mode. Until Sunday that is. Goal numbers five and six for the faltering forward gave Zaragoza a handy push into the top four, having taken advantage of Valencia’s slip up. We may be witnessing this year’s Osasuna. But less violent.


Seventh !!!! A cracking 4-2 win in the supposed UEFA cup final against Racing Santander. And it was very nearly six against their defensively disastrous opponents after Recreativo hit the post twice in dying minutes. Team of the year, anyone?

Luis Fabiano

Quite rightly given a bit of stick by one blogger, this week, for a poor season, Sevilla striker, Luis Fabiano responded with two assists and a goal in their 4-1 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao. The Brazilian also found time to miss a penalty as well - watching too much Fernando Torres, perhaps. Amazingly, few people in Spain are talking up Sevilla as genuine title contenders, partly because Sunday’s victory was their first in four and partly because of their rather hectic UEFA Cup and Copa del Rey schedule. And possibly because Sevilla themselves have yet to declare an interest in the top spot, but are preferring to hang menacingly on the shoulder of the leaders, like a Spanish granny in a supermarket queue. “The league is not an obsession for us”, said Juande Ramos. A manager playing his cards very close to his chest, indeed.


An exasperating team sometimes. For much of the year the Yellow Submarines have done diddly squat. But every now again, they remember that they are the side that got to the semis of the Champions League, last year and pull their fingers from their torpedo tubes. In the space of a week, Villarreal have been thrashed 3-0 by Getafe but then stopped the league leaders in the tracks, with exactly the same kind of performance that beat Real Madrid in January. “In the second half, we got back our identity as a team”, beamed Pellegrini. About seven months two late, replied everyone at the Madrigal.


Bad Day


If La Liga Loca could produce a chicken clucking sound, it would. Only kidding Barcelona fans. The message from La Liga Loca is a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, ‘Don’t Panic’. As Sport admitted, the statistics of one away win in five months and six defeats in opposition grounds ‘do not invite optimism’. However, it was a fairly good first half from Barcelona, but with a no finishing product from a rather out of sorts Samuel Eto’o.

The title is still in Barca’s hands and the Catalan's run in is by far the easier compared to Sevilla and Real's - two teams who must play each other. The two main worries for Barcelona should be their away trip at the Calderon and the ‘Real Madrid’ affect which inspires Atletico to achieve the result which best suits their hated rivals. The other flash point is the visit of Espanyol to Camp Nou, a side that bloodied Barca’s nose earlier in the season.


Another side whose away form has let them down, this season. Six away days without a visit has left the possibility of Valencia missing out a Champions League place. And for a club that is prone to collapsing at the merest whiff of a crisis, it could be very bad news for Quique Sánchez Flores. In the post match conference, the sniffly svengali could only repeat that he was happy with his player’s performance at the Bernabeu, but blamed fatigue and injuries for Valencia’s defeat. The televised visit of Recreativo to Mestalla, next week is a must win.

Atletico Madrid

It is perhaps best to hand over to the very excellent Iñaki Diaz-Guerra, AS’ Atletico correspondent for a description of the Madrid side’s latest balls up - “it was a match so bad, the resulting spectacle was uncomfortably good fun”. Breathtaking stuff from the rojiblancos in their 2-0 defeat at Real Sociedad. Before the match, Javier Aguirre - whose hair couldn’t go any greyer - warned of over confidence from his side. Afterwards he admitted that Atletico were ‘bad in every single aspect of play’.

Departing midfielder, Gabi, fumed that “we began the match as we always do, half asleep”. It was a particularly bad day for Peter Luccin, who saw red for the second time in recent matches and for the same offence - insulting the referee. “I shouted something to myself, as motivation”, claimed the Frenchman. It clearly didn’t work. Next week, Atletico face a team in even more than a mess than them - Real Betis. Who knows what could happen.

Celta Vigo

The Hristo affect curtalled by Zaragoza. However, the loss of both Cannobio and Baiano in the first half, certainly didn’t help the Galicians cause. Still, the Bulgarian coach was in chirpy form after the match - “we had a good game. We had two or three chances to score, but that’s football and its goals that matter”. Wise words.

Athletic Bilbao

On Sunday, AS predicted Athletic would park the bus in front of the goal, against Sevilla. On Monday, they pointed out they had forgotten the driver.


Whenever La Liga Loca has seen Levante live, they haven't been that bad. After all, they beat Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. But then again, who hasn't? However, there may be something in Abel Resino's pleas that refs have got it in for the relegation threatened club this season. Especially when considering that Kapo was sent off earlier this season for shouting "Oooh", when celebrating a goal. The latest decision that nearly made Resino's brains shoot right out of his head, in anger, was a perfectly good goal from Descarga being ruled out, apparently for a push. Not even the Getafe defence were calling for the foul when the ball hit the back of the net. And that's saying something, in Spain. "We're used to things not going our way", shrugged the defender.

Espanyol and Real Betis

Hard to know where to start in this game. Take it away Paul from Barcelona who got to witness four sendings off, four goals and a host of dodgy decisions.

“When your Team is awarded a non-existent last minute penalty (Barça,Man U fans know what i mean) and sends off 3 of the opposition, you'd expect the home fans to be ecstatic. You wouldn't expect them to sing "Arbitro Que malo eres"(Ref you're Sh*t).

Quite easily the worst ref for a couple of years, the bar has been set very
high this year as well. He sends off Pandiani for copying what Betis had been doing all game. Disallows a perfectly good goal and then sends off the keeper for a foul he didn't commit, though should have booked him a minute before for play acting and 2 others for god knows what.

One of the Betis players was telling the ref to listen to the crowd. Great Stuff. The penalty was won thanks to Tamudo's tribute to Messi's other side of his game and Juanito the centre half/goalkeeper nearly saved the penalty. A great first half header for Reira was followed by two gifts to Betis from our defence, honourable mention to Kameni.

Betis' tactics consisted of neat passing football and G.B.H, so karma kicked them in the arse at the end of the match. We rested our "stars" for thursday night (European matches,Barça fans) so overall not too bad.

Footnote;my pre-match magazine "media punta"was the Real Madrid vs
Valencia edition, How? and why?

what's the difference between Messi's goal and your Mother-in-law? you'd
be a bit upset if you never saw her again

what's the difference between Messi's goal and your reflection? you've only
seen your reflection about 100 times since wednesday.”

Paul, Barcelona

Anyone missed? Just cliok on comments or email


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Great Weekend Preview


Real Sociedad (19th)_v Atletico Madrid (6th)

According to the statistics, Maxi-Rodríquez is Atletico Madrid’s third highest scorer, this season. And who could be surprised, when remembering his fine strikes in the World Cup. The problem is that Maxi has not kicked a ball in anger for the rojiblancos in six months, since knackering his knee in a friendly against Spain. And it’s an injury that Atletico Madrid have not forgotten about, either.

The club have decided to charge FIFA two million euros compensation for the organisation having forced the midfielder to play on a dog of a pitch in Murcia, back in November. While that futile legal battle rumbles on, Maxi is preparing for his comeback in two weeks time and looks forward to using his skills he picked up when recovering alongside Martin Petrov, “I learned Bulgarian!” he boasted, proudly Always useful. Away win.

Real Madrid (3rd) v Valencia (4th)

There’s a lot to like about Sergio Ramos. His cheery Andalusian disposition. His ability to pick up yellow cards. But there’s also his blind optimism. This week, AS asked Ramos to predict the final league table, by assessing all the remaining matches for the top four teams. The sunny Sevillian put Real Madrid at the top of his final chart with a whopping 78 points, followed by Barcelona with a paltry 69 and Sevilla a distant third with 67. Ramos also spoke about how is going to play on to the end of the season with a broken nose, picked up against Bayern Munich, in March. “Dis is Madrid, dot a kindergarten”, wheezed the centre back, in defiance. Hero of the week. Draw.


Espanyol (10th) v Betis (15th)

The defeat to Real Sociedad has thrown Betis into a bit of a crisis. Again. Feisty frenchman, Luis Fernández, has decided to take action by punishing the three players who he felt were most guilty for a shocker of a performance, last Saturday. The guilty parties are Doblas, Rivas, and Robert. The latter in particular did, indeed, have a mare at the Cartuja and celebrated a new three million euro deal by missing more chances that Luis Fabiano on a good day. Betis will be hoping Espanyol have one of their occasional ‘really cannot be arsed’ days, on Sunday Home win.

Levante (18th) v Getafe (9th)

Could Levante really be thinking of sacking their second manager of the season? Apparently so, according to the papers on Thursday. And not because of the side slipping into the bottom three either. On Monday morning, there was a bit of a training ground bust up between two Levante layabouts, Riga and Cavallero. The problem was, that none of the management were there to break it up. Instead, Resino and co were many miles away in Madrid, hanging out with AS in their tiresome ‘lets get pally with...’ Monday specials. And club big cheese, Villarroel, is not a happy Valencian bunny. The combination his staff going AWOL and no wins in eight, means that Levante may well be ‘doing a Celta’ for the season’s run in if they don’t pick up three points against Getafe. Home win.

Mallorca (14th) v ‘Nástic (20th)

The Spanish equivalent of Fulham v Villa. Don’t care. Home win.

Zaragoza (5th) v Celta Vigo (17th)

Another defeat and Zaragoza ’s champions league hopes will disappear faster than the singing career of Sergio - last years Spanish Popstars winner and a man wetter than a haddocks’s bathing suit. But it won’t happen. Despite the press claiming that Celta Vigo’s Hristo is the second coming, his team only managed to grind out a 1-0 win against Deportivo - a team, thrashed 3-0 yesterday by Sevilla in the Copa. Home win.

Deportivo (11th) v Osasuna (13th)

After a few years of speculation, Raul Garcia, a player ‘too ugly to play for Real Madrid’ according to Guti, has found a club that does not seem to mind his hideous disfigurements - Valencia. Negotiations are in full swing to bring the tough tackling (aka filthy) midfielder to Mestalla. “I just hope Osasuna get lots of money for me”, gurned the Navarran. About twenty odd million, according to some reports. Draw.

Recreativo (8th) v Racing Santander (13th)

The midweek Copa del Rey results have gone rather nicely for Recreativo and Racing. With Barcelona and Sevilla having killed the ties off as a contest, despite Angel Torres of Getafe claiming that - “if we win 3-0, we’re in the final”, a UEFA cup place has opened up (assuming both will make the top three). And with the top six looking fairly predictable, the chase for a magic seventh place could be a straight scrap between these two teams. Fancy that. Home win.

Sevilla (2nd) v Athletic (16th)

Well. That’s gratitude for you. Eighty seven year old Athletic striker, Ismael Urzaiz pops up with two goals on Sunday and what happens next? The board indicate that he will not have his contract renewed in the summer. Despite speculation that he will go and ply his trade in the Premiership - with clubs dying to enjoy the benefits of six goals in twenty six matches, the geriatric Basque does not want to leave - “I’m happy here”, he claimed. Meanwhile Athletic have been linked with Real Sociedad’s Garrido and Xabi Prieto - two players doing their level best to get their current club relegated. Home win.

Villarreal (12th) v Barcelona (1st)

So was Messi’s piece of mazy magic the ‘greatest goal of the century’ worthy of cheaty fat boy Maradona, as a panting Marca declared, or a lucky dribble against a dozy defence, that el Pato would have saved, had he been playing. Opinion is divided. “It was the best I’ve ever seen”, gushed Zambrotta. “Nobody put the boot in on him”, grumbled Bernd Schuster. Either way, it will give Sport enough to write about for the next couple of decades. Draw.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Quotes of the Week

More Crazy Talk

“At least two English clubs came to see me. They wouldn’t have seen much” - Getafe’s very much out of favour moaning bad boy, Dani Guiza, resigns himself to a move to Mallorca, after Portsmouth and Wigan watched a man sitting on a bench for ninety minutes. Still beats Emile Heskey on the pitch.

“I’m 31, but I feel 29” - Not the greatest of boasts from Emerson. More pussy cat than Puma.

“The gym is very nice” - admits Sylvinho, on why Barcelona’s players spend so much time in their ice cream on tap, Playboy mansion style work out room, as opposed to running around in the cold.

“At home, I was playing at being manager of Real Madrid, but in the end, they never called” - La Liga Loca knows how Bernd Schuster feels. Except, yesterday, La Liga Loca spent much of the evening trying to identify the gender of baby hamsters. A long story. (But if anyone based in Madrid wants one, just email

“We have to improve our passing, our definition and our individual work...” - Just the opening line of Javier Aguirre’s discourse titled, ‘what’s wrong with Atletico Madrid’, which is still going on in a press room, somewhere.

“I am a bit of a cry baby” - says Real Sociedad manager, Miguel Angel Lotina, reflecting on his teary moment on the Espanyol bench, last season, as the club saved their top flight status with a last minute goal. If you ever watch ET with him, you have been warned.

“Their nobleness, generosity and professionalism” - Jorge Valdano on the virtues of English footballers. A man clearly on medication.

“If he comes to Newcastle, he won’t have any problems” - Alan Shearer, on a visit to Barcelona, suggests d’inho may find peace at St James’ Park.

“Some strange things are happening this season and we’re not happy” - Pedja Mijatovic, Saturday 14th April.

“We’re furious, they beat us with two penalties, that never were” - Fabio Cannavaro, Saturday 14th April.

“Each Sunday, Real Madrid play against another team, rival fans and the referees” - Robinho, Sunday April 15th.

“Real Madrid have always supported referees” - Ramon Caldéron, Tuesday April 17th.

“I’ve never had the feeling of having complete control of the dressing room, since I’ve been here” - says Frank Rijkaard is either discussing the Camp Nou, or his own closet which may explain the yaucht club blazer he has a penchant for.

“Stability comes through winning. If you don’t win, good-bye stability” - Valencia’s Quique Sanchez Flores reveals the winner of the new club motto competition.

“If Berlesconi says so, the former head of Italy, who am I to deny it” - Ronaldinho’s agent brother not trying that hard to dispel more rumours of d’inho packing his bags for Italy.

“It doesn’t really bother me. I hope they do it when am I thirty” - Fernando Torres on why he quite likes being called ‘El Niño’. Better than ‘penalty bottler’ or ‘past sell by date’, one imagines.

“I respect everything the club representatives did” - Barça’s Joan Laporta on a rather controversial incident in Spain, where one of the club’s ‘cantera’ teams refused to line up for the Spanish national anthem, in a youth cup final.



More Good day, Bad day

Munitis is an absolute terror. Its amazing how certain players can get written off. Munitis has always been nothing but quality. When he was at Deportivo, they were a truly dangerous team.

I'm also glad you mentioned Higuain, because for a while I thought I was the only person who noticed that he doesn't really perform. He reminds me of Raphael Sorbis from Betis, he runs, has a good attitude, with not enough quality, and no goals. It kind of reminds me that I'd rather have fat man Ronaldo walk half the game yet score, rather than these guys who sweat blood with
nothing to show for it. I really don't get Capello and these sub-standard players he wants to buy and put on the pitch.

It seems to me that Diarra is better than Gago and Cassano is way better than Higuain and should be starting. Now I'm not Cassano's biggest fan and he seems like an idiot (and another fat boy). But the man has a proven track record scoring for Roma and
Italy. He's looked decent everytime he plays for Madrid. For my money its
Cassano and NistleRooy starting without question, backed up by Robinho and Reyes.
Guti, Raul, Higuain would all fall to the bench.


Sevilla's problem is Luis Fabiano. I've watched them for the past few weeks and they are playing well. Like Barcelona, without their point man Kanoute up front, they are
merely a shadow of themselves. Fabiano is all lip and no action. A forward could not have had more service as he had last weekend. The man thinks of himself too highly.

Fabiano was supposed to be Rivaldo's replacement on the Brazilian national team a few years ago. Luckily Brazil got wise and dropped him in time to play Adriano and win the Confederations Cup. Sevilla launched wave after wave of attack with Fabiano unable to capitalize, as usual.

He is sooooo getting benched the day Kanoute gets healthy. Sevilla should spend their upcoming Champions League windfall and buy Saviola from an ungrateful Barcelona.


PS. I don't know what Saviola has to do again to get Barcelona to see that they have gold in that player. They instead are going to pay silly money for some new idiot then attempt to work him into the team. Gudjohnsen was "dead on arrival" and Barcelona cannot simply rely on Eto. They need Saviola. He is worth every penny he asks for. Txiki needs to wake up and do a deal with Saviola, a class player in
every book.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Talking Out of Their AS

The Racing Santander v Real Madrid game was always going to be a bit of a win-win situation for the comedy gold mine hunting, lazy joke spouting, La Liga Loca. But it didn’t expect it to be this good.

A victory for the visitors would have lead to an inevitable avalanche of hand-wringing, head against wall thumping, ‘End of Days’, ‘how can Capello sully the good name of football and therefore Barcelona?’ bleating from the local Catalan press. Always good for a laugh.

But instead, the Racing Santander victory has awoken every nut job, raving mad, hysterical, Catalan conspiracy spouting, toys out of the pram, its not fair, loon that writes in the daily press in Spain. And there are loads of them. And it’s all very entertaining. Unless you are one particular man.

Before Saturday, Turienzo Alvarez was another typical Spanish referee. Hair parted to the side, humourless and prone to more card waving than WH Smith on stock taking day. By Sunday, according to Marca and AS, he had become the son of Satan. All this was because of his not entirely great - but not unusual in the context of La Liga - performance in the Racing v Real game.

On Monday, AS decided that it would do a bit of a number on the poor man - “if Villar does not want us to win the league, he must say it”, they moaned. They also detailed all Turienzo’s major refereeing mistakes in his career - which totalled five in a six year period. Which is roughly the number of “X is coming to Madrid” stories the paper has incorrectly predicted over the last month. In their infinite wisdom, AS also thought it would be a fine idea to publish a photo of Turienzo’s house in the paper. And with the inevitable consciences.

“I’m not afraid for my safety, but that of my family”, said the referee as he detailed the fifty death threats that has he received since the photograph was published. “We all make mistakes”, pleaded Turienzo.

In response to all the hullabaloo, the referee’s association are demanding that Real’s Pedja Mijatovic should be dragged up before a tribunal for his “there are dark hands” conspiracy comments after the Racing defeat. Especially after Quique Flores attempted the same stunt after Valencia’s loss to Athletic, last week.

Elsewhere in the league, there is the slightest hint of good news for Real Betis fans. De Lopera may be taking his stray dogs, statues, bin bags of cash and sodding off. Tuesday’s papers are reporting that the Lord of the Flies is considering two offers, one Spanish, one English, to buy out his 53% stake in the ailing club. And having criticised those who booed him at Saturday’s defeat as “ones who got in for free, anyway”, the sooner the deal is done the better.

It’s not clear whether one of those miscreants in the crowd was Man City boss, Stuart Pearce, who was in attendance and planning who to take international centre back, Juanito, away from the carnage.

It is Copa del Rey semi final week. Which delivers about as much tension as watching bread toast, on a slightly higher setting as normal. Thanks to the tie being two legged and spread over a three week period, no one in Spain really cares that much about Getafe’s visit to Camp Nou on Wednesday, nor Deportivo’s visit of workaholics Sevilla.

Especially when there is the ‘everyone involved with making this show is going to hell’ Extreme Makeover programme is there to be discussed.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day

Good Day


Now that was jammy. Just when it looked like it was going to be another, ‘to me, to you’ Chuckle Brothers weekend at the top of the table, the ball bounces of Navarro and over the line for a late Barça winner. And probably a deserved one. But one question - Valdés bringing a player down in the box for a penalty is a yellow card. But Hinkel for Sevilla and Lehmann in the CL final is a red? Mmm. And La Liga Loca doesn’t hold water with Zambrotta theory that “Valdés wasn’t the last man”.

Barcelona, still far from being any good as Rijkaard admitted, now have a handy four point window at the top due to Sevilla and Real Madrid both slipping up. And it may be useful with a curious looking away trip to the unpredictable - but too often hopeless - Villarreal, next weekend.


Nine goals now for the Racing Santander defender, all be it seven penalties - but a total that Torres would swap his Atletico sticker collection for. After handing the first goal to Raul with his fluffed clearance, the Manchester United target more than held his own - as it were - to win the game with two cracking penalties. An honourable mention must go to the supposedly ‘flu weakened Pedro Munitis who was a complete pain in the arse for the Real Madrid defence, all game.

Atletico Madrid

Champions League players now after their second consecutive win. However, it was the same old story in the sun bathed Calderon on Sunday afternoon. As AS put it “neither the children, nor their parents will forget the stupor of the first half”. The rojiblancos started at their usual, snail like pace and didn’t really move on from it. Fernando Torres’ second half stunner was the difference between the two sides, but Levante really should have equalised with both Riga and Kapo fluffed their lines in the closing stages. It was another nervy, spiritless Atletico display, but with Maxi and Petrov to return in a few weeks, anything is possible, if Javier Aguirre can keep his men close to the top four. But as rhe Mexican manager admitted after the match, that may be tricky - we’re all exhausted”, he complained. La Liga Loca is not sure how, as blood, sweat and tears are rarely in evidence at the Calderon, these days. Except in the stands.

Hristo Stoitchkov

The first win in eighteen for Celta Vigo, that lifts them out of the bottom three. But it was all down to the team says the club’s new bullish Bulgarian manager - “it was the players who changed everything”, declared a beaming manager, after the game.

Javier Portillo

Previously the butt of numerous La Liga Loca jokes, it is time to eat some humble pie and praise Javier Portillo, who has now become a free scoring genius. His late winner in ‘Nastic’s narrow victory over a flaccid Real Zaragoza was the former Real Madrid striker’s ninth of the season. Even the ‘chulo’ mullet is starting to work for him.

Francisco Casquero

Another cracker from Casquero kicked off proceedings at Getafe’s Coliseum, to give the home side a 3-0 victory over Villarreal. It was their first win in seven and helps drag the Madridileños over the forty point survival bar. And much to the relief of Bernd Schuster - “it was a very important moment. Very important” - said the Teutonic titan, as his moustached twitched in anticipation of taking on Barcelona in this week’s Copa del Rey, semi final, first leg.


The Real Sociedad defender’s first goal in eighty one matches for his side gave his team three points as they continued their unlikely Great Escape from the bottom. Defying orders from Lotina, that he was not allowed anywhere near free kicks, Garrido stepped up to curl the ball past the stranded Doblas, in the Betis goal. At six points from safety and chasing an improving Celta Vigo and Athletic, survival still looks a long way away.


Goal number eleven of the season for the Liverpool and Recreativo striker who now looks like he may be on his way to Osasuna, after talks began between the Navarrans and the Scousers. But surely the Anfield outfit could find space for a player who has racked up as many league goals as Morientes? Then again. Maybe not.

Ismael Urzaiz

Two goals, from two set pieces from the Basque battler to keep Athletic motoring along nicely. Without help from the men in the middle, either.


A nice way to get back on the Championship wagon. Unlike Maradona, let’s see if they can stay on it.

Bad Day

Truth, Justice and the American Way

Some of the more paranoid members of the Real Madrid and Barcelona don't need more encouragement that - to borrow from Kenneth Williams - ‘infamy, infamy, they’ll all got it in for me’. So Saturday night’s match with Racing Santander was enough to send the silver beanie hat wearing brigade at the Bernabeu bananas. And lead by Pedja Mijatovic - “Some strange things are happening this season, and we’re not happy”. An opinion shared by Robinho - “each Sunday, Real play against another team, opposition fans and the referees”.

So, (deep sigh), it’s time to open the Pandora’s box of the Racing game and pick away at the decisions.

Pen 1 - Diarra came across Munitis and won the ball. Clearly no penalty.
Pen 2 - Not a penalty anywhere else, but definitely in card happy Spain.
Helguera sending off - a second yellow for a high kick on Munitis. But then again, any kick is high against the 5 foot 6 Racing Santander striker. Harsh, but within the rules.
Mejia - An over excited ref. It was a yellow. Nothing more.

With eight matches left and Barcelona still looking wobbly, isn’t over yet for Real. But the Valencia home match next weeks, looks even more vital.

Gonzalo Higuaín

Neither a forward, nor a winger. But more importantly, not a goal scorer. His missed efforts over the past few months - with two more on Saturday - have proved costly. His ankle injury means that Capello can avoid the decision he needs to make with the Argentinean. Dropping him. And what has happened to Antonio Cassano?

Real Betis
Just cut and paste for more on the laughing stock of La Liga.,17033,9405_2067576,00.html


Knackered, conserving energy or just not good enough for the title. The jury is still out.


A defeat to Athletic Bilbao - always embarrassing - on Sunday, but here’s Paul from Barcelona on happier days for the UEFA cup semi-finalists, Espanyol and a prophetic, er, prophesy.

“can you believe it. What a save from Gorka, as good as Blondies against
Chelsea.We deserved it over the two legs and Penalty or What?
I think it's the end of the line though.Werder seem a class above especially after we got that hammering from Schalke last year.
A Werder -Sevilla final methinks,but we will give Bremen a good run.
Don't think we will get any points on Sunday,expect the B team to play."

Paul, Barcelona.


Anyone missed? Just click on comments or email for your say.

All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Cheeky Weekend Preview


Racing Santander (8) WDWWD v Real Madrid (3)DDWWW

You can tell when Fabio Capello isn’t a happy bunny at his press conferences as invariably he always answers every question with the word ‘Mira!’, meaning, “look you journalistic f@ckwits, leave me alone”. Last Sunday, after the win over Osasuna, the Italian began his answers with the considerably more jaunty “vamos”. Should he actually win the championship, one can only imagine that his final conference will consist of Don Fabio sitting in his chair for fifteen minutes giving everyone in the room, the finger. Away win.

Real Betis (15th) WDLDD v Real Sociedad (19th) LWDWL

When some great project goes wrong in Spain, the newspapers are of a want to pronounce the ensuing foul up as being ‘tipical (sic) Spanish’. This apparently means ill thought out and without consideration for the future. Currently, it is being used to describe Madrid’s new maze of motorway tunnels, which regularly flood and are so badly sign posted that people heading off for a day out in Toledo, often end up surfacing somewhere near Zaragoza.

Betis are ‘tipical Spanish’. Having been ordered by the Spanish bigwigs to play three home matches away from the de Lopera stadium, the Andalusians chose to ignore the ban, the first time round. For the second, they shipped themselves off to La Cartuja stadium. Despite having a good four weeks to plan the move, the organisation was so dangerously poor that the club have been hit with a 5.500 Euro fine as punishment. They should get one a billion times bigger, if they pull out yet another draw against a doomed Real Sociedad. Home win.

Atletico Madrid (6th) LWLDW v Ian Harteless Levante (17th) LLDLD

With just one point from the last twelve, Levante’s main shareholder decided, this week, to take firm action against the squad to try and buck the trend. Pedro Villarroel made everyone park their cars slightly further away from the training ground than usual. Hence the sight of a bunch of footballers in downtown Valencia staring confusedly at pedestrian crossings, like a badger contemplating a crossword. Meanwhile the Levante coach, Abel Resino has been morphing into the biggest whiner in the league by planting the fault of the club’s numerous ills at the feet of referees. “They are really tough on humble clubs like us”, complained Abel, “I hope they can make mistakes in our favour”. Probably not, considering Atletico Madrid owe two of their wins this season to a player punching a ball into the net or continuing after a man had collapsed in the penalty box. La Liga Loca is heading down to the Calderon, like a lemming, in the hope that it will be an epic encounter. And not 1-1. Home win.

Getafe (10th) DDLDL v Villarreal (12th) DWDDL

Like Ronaldo in a Top Shop changing room, Getafe are completely stuck. The side have not won since their 3-0 thrashing of Valencia and their top scorer Dani Guiza has gone into an enormous strop after it was revealed that he fancies a move to Mallorca. Still, the ever perky Nacho was on hand to claim that all was calm in the Coliseum - “the atmosphere has been magnificent”, despite the home side watching their slim UEFA cup dreams slip away faster than Ronaldinho before a cross country run.

‘Nastic (20th) WWLDL v Zaragoza (4th) WDWDW

Could it be, whilst the rest of the top clubs duke it out between them, that Real Zaragoza could sneak in and run off with the title? Just six points off the top and with a fairly easy looking match on Sunday, anything's possible. But not according to maudlin midfielder, Zapater who shuns title talk. “We cannot believe that we are more than we are”, ruminated the hard case intriguingly. Quite right. Away win.

Celta Vigo (18th) LDLLL v Deportivo (11th) LLWLL

Already this Hristo Stoichkov managing Celta business is looking like a fun concept. The Bulgarian basher took his first press conference on Wednesday and matched into the packed room wearing the club shirt with his name printed on the back. He then proceeded to explain in great detail how he expected to lead his new side out of the relegation zone. “My philosophy is to score one more goal than the opposition”, announced Stoichkov, to the sound of Fernando Vázquez kicking himself lame at not having thought of that ingenious strategy, whilst he was in charge. Home win.

Osasuna (14th) LDWDL v Recreativo (7th) WDLDW

Osasuna’s coach Ziganda is fast becoming the Dirty Harry of the Spanish game. With his steely, slightly scary stare, throw away the rule book, tell it how it is, pull no punches style, Ziganda takes no crap from no one. When he watched four of his team being sent off against Atletico, he announced that they all fully deserved it. The former Athletic Bilbao player declared that his 3-0 victory over his former club, did not pain him in the least as “there’s no time for sentimentality in football”. The day after last week’s thumping of Bayern Leverkeusen, Ziganda spent several hours yelling at his side for a poor training session. Ziganda for President. The campaign starts here. Home win.

Athletic Bilbao (16th) LDLLW v Espanyol (9th) DDDLW

If Athletic’s tannoy announcer has a sense of humour then the team should be running out to “With a little help from my friends”. after the week’s rumours. But he probably doesn’t. Unlike Real Madrid’s. During their godawful January, the half time music for two consecutive home games featured ACDC’s Highway to Hell and Thunderstruck. Genius. Home win.

Barcelona (1) LDWWL v Real Mallorca (13th) WLWDW

This week, everyone has been out to get Ronaldinho. And considering el Guacho has more money, talent and women that La Liga Loca could ever get it’s hands on in a thousand lifetimes, it is going to join in the fun. This week, it was revealed that the lazy bugger has missed 80 of the last 178 training sessions and failed to turn up for yet another one, on Wednesday. However, ninety six percent of the readers - in the loosest possible sense - of Barcelona comic, Sport, declared this week that the entire squad were a bunch of work shy fops. A cheeky home win against Mallorca should calm things down a little at the Camp Nou Home win.

Valencia (5th) WDLWL v Sevilla (2nd) WLWDD

Here’s a good one. When does a club have to pay 6 million euros for a player it already owne? When that club is Valencia. After a towering season, at the back, Valencia have realised that it is going to be difficult to replace the human bodycheck, Fernando Ayala, who has signed for Villarreal, for next season. So, the Spanish papers are reporting today, that Valencia are to buy back Ayala from the Yellow Sumarines for six million euros. There is only one person to thank for this mess, Amedeo Carboni, the director of sport who got on the centre backs goal so much during contract renewal talks that Ayala decided to take his toys and go play up the road. The whole affair is another nail in the coffin of the former Italian star. Home win.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Celta Vigo Enter the Twilight Zone

Voldemort Strikes Again

It was good news for the makers of Harry Potter - the Rehab Years on Monday. The firing of Celta Vigo coach, Fernando Vásquez, means that the gabby Galician is now free to take up the starring role in the forthcoming X-Rated adventures of the out of control wizard.

A combination of a dreadful run of results and a permanently bickering dressing room has lead to the board backtracking on their recent decision to stick with the Adrian Mole look-alike manager. On Monday night, Vásquez was shown the door. “I didn’t except this,” confessed Fernando, packing his cloak and wand into a cardboard box, “I was sure that I would save the team.”

The problem was that the fans disagreed. After Celta’s calamitous 4-2 defeat away at Recreativo, on Sunday, hundreds rounded up all the horses and carts they could find and headed to Vigo’s aerodrome, to meet the returning team. Once the rabble had got over the shock of seeing flying silver dragons for the first time, they let their feelings known towards their not so dearly departed manager.

After finishing fifth last season, Celta hve slumped into the bottom three with just two wins in the last nineteen, one victory at home all season and three consecutive defeats. However, it was still a surprise that the club’s board had taken the decision to jettison their coach, so late in the day. But what’s even more of an eyebrow raising event, is the man they have chosen as his replacement - Hristo Stoichkov.

Fresh from his role as Bulgarian team manager and a 1-1 home draw with Albania, the former Barcelona player has resigned from his Sofian sojourn, and headed for the rain in Spain. He brings with him, zero experience of managing a top flight club, a failure to qualify for the World Cup, a falling out with three star players and a record of nine points in five in his country’s Eurocopa campaign. “I hope to get over my winning character”, beamed the Bulgarian, “It is a bit of a risk”, admitted the club’s director of sport, Félix 'Snape' Carnero, on the appointment.

Along the coast in Bilbao it is conspiracy theory time - and being stirred nicely by La Liga ‘Mulder’ Loca - with further speculation that the Basques may be battling their way out of trouble with a little help from their friends. Just before Atletico's Saturday night victory with Valencia, tv cameras overheard a very cosy chat between the referee and the home side’s Etxeberria. “Good luck, I’m sure you’ll save yourselves”, says the man in the middle to the player, echoing the words of the league - and local man - president who declared, last week, that the club were “sure to stay up.”

More nonsense in the north. Alaves president, Dmitry Piterman has decided to dispense with the services of manager number four, for the season, after just five matches. The latest stooge in the Vitorian hot seat is Kike Yague, who has the role of trying to get his new club out of relegation trouble. And obeying his bosses commands at all time.

At the top of the table, a full on media war has started with the Madrid based press goading Barcelona as a team of bottlers suffering from “Madriditis”. Marca reports that a less than enthusiastic-sounding 46% of their readers who are capable of operating a phone, are convinced that the Whites will take the title, this year, despite the visits of Sevilla and Valencia on the Bernabeu calendar. And despite the fact, that they are still not that good.

What is clear is that all is not well in the Barcelona camp. Samuel Eto’o is pricklier than ever, especially in regards to his no show in Zaragoza. Ronaldinho followed his weekend war cry of “we must work more to get back to winning:”, by failing to turn up to training again, on Tuesday. Meanwhile, old sticky beak, Johan Cruyff has attacked his former club - perhaps after a sherry or two - and blamed the lack of European action as the reason for the club’s recent wobbling form - ‘they miss a routine that keeps them competitive”, says the Dutch master, completely ignoring the evidence to the contrary shown by Sevilla and Valencia.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are starting to prepare for their away say in Santander and it will be a tough one says former Madridista, Rubén. “The Sardinero is a fortress”, boated the defender - brave talk indeed from a man who once had to be hauled from a game in tears after a roasting from Reyes in his Sevilla days.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day

Good Day

Andrés d’Alessandro

It could have been Diogo, Sergio Garcia or one of the Milito's to have been picked out for this prestigious award, but it was the diminutive Argentinean - if only for his 10 year old’s haircut - that particularly stood out on Saturday night for Zaragoza. Like Dani Alves, d’Alessandro is one of the players who seems to be tackling the game as if he is on a giant sugar rush. “We were better in every aspect of the game”, fist-pumped a triumphant Víctor Fernandéz, after the match. And he was right. It took some fine saves from Valdés to keep the score-line down to a flattering 1-0 for Barcelona as Zaragoza made them look like Celta Vigo. It’s doubtful Zaragoza have got the porridge to challenge for the title itself, but they can certainly make life difficult for a wounded Sevilla or Valencia, in the final run in.

Athletic Bilbao

A very good time to play Valencia. For more on a rare good day in the Basque country...,17033,9405_2047984,00.html


La Liga Loca hands over to a less than thrilled-sounding Paul from Barcelona on the latest exploits in the UEFA cup lead blowing life of Espanyol.

"Espanyol Reserves 1 Real Sociedad 0
Basically i should have stayed on the Beach.This snore fest will not be
remembered at all,sorry what was i talking about.(the old ones are the best).
Highlights and i use the term lightly were,Comical Goalkeeping from
Kameni,comical decisions form one of the linesman and a bloke in front
of me with a haircut that was obviously to benefit Comic Relief.

It was so bad Lacruz nearly scored. The bad news for Real is that they lacked fight and passion and like a soft-core porn film,no penetration. The good news is that their fans traveled and made some noise (nearly woke me up at one point).they deserve better.

Barça lost".

Mallorca, Deportivo

A fifth straight win at San Moix for Mallorca and a soul-sapping-sounding 1-0 victory for Deportivo over Real Sociedad gives both sides three points that should give both safety in the top flight for another year. And will also mean that the two clubs will be softer touchers than a blow dried kitten, for the rest of the season.


You’d have thought that another consecutive 0-0 draw was a very bad day in planet Sevilla. But not in La Liga Loca’s world. Mainly thanks to Valencia and Barcelona fluffing their lines. Despite Sevilla regularly being touted as title-contenders, La Liga Loca is still convinced that the real target for del Nido and co is another cup and a top three finish. The club have repeatedly claimed - aside from del Nido’s random rants - that if Sevilla will only go for the top spot, if they are within striking distance with five games to go. On Sunday, Sevilla shut out the not so scary now duo of Zigic and Munitis, while it was an iffy decision from the ref which prevented the home side from grabbing all three points. Juande Ramos may not yet be in full ‘I love it when a plan comes together mode’, but he will be fairly happy. Especially with a good result at White Hart Lane on Thursday.


Still keeping the dream alive with a 4-2 win over hapless Celta Vigo. And is a new star born in Rosu who came off the bench to grab two goals in two minutes?

Real Madrid

“This time they didn’t need to win by a sending off from the opposition or a penalty in their favour”, sneered a slightly rattled Mundo Deportivo, over in Catalonia. And with good reason. Real Madrid have clawed their way onto the shoulders of the top two after a weekend when the results went the right way for those looking for a bit of spice to a title race. Not a classic performance at the Bernabeu against opposition with eight players out and still giddy from their German triumph. However, a win is a win. It was a good day in particular for both Raul and Robinho with Capello finally realising that the former should be playing as a striker and the latter should be on from the start. All the plaudits for Emerson are a little over-exaggerated, though, just because the Puma ran around a bit. More than likely, he will need a good month to recover.

Atletico Madrid

Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially if you are Atletico Madrid. Their controversial goal will be discussed for some time, but Atletico should be grateful that it was Eller, not Torres who took the header and that Diego Forlan claimed after the game that he would have done the same thing, despite there being an opposition player down in the box, playing everyone on-side. And all this happening after a very typical Atleti moment when the side's flight to Valencia was cancelled after an engine caught fire on the tarmac. They arrived seventeen hours later.

Bad Day


There definitely seems to be trouble at mill at the Camp Nou with more unanswered questions than a Tomb Raider film. Why did Rijkaard switch back to 3-4-3? “Did he think Zaragoza would not learn from their Copa del Rey mistakes”, asked El Mundo. Why did Eto’o not play? Did he have an achilles injury, or a groin injury? Or both|? Or neither? Why did Messi and d’inho disobey Rijkaard’s pre match orders, by not switching flanks? And why does Oleguer still get a game? “We lacked aggressiveness”, says Puyol. “They dominated us in all areas”, claims Valdés. “We suffered from the refereeing”, argued Marquéz unhelpful.

Quique Sanchéz Flores

La La Liga wasn’t sure, for a moment, if it had been watching a different game, when the Valencia manager came out with his post match refereeing conspiracy rants. But it looks like the sports busy bodies are going to be throwing the book at him. They’ll probably miss.

Real Betis

Really do need putting out of their misery. Six draws from the last eight means Betis will probably pick up the seven points or so needed to stay up this season, but it’s going to be a painful experience watching it. At least their fans don’t have to do it at the dilapidated de Lopera stadium for the next few weeks.

Dani Guiza

One day, Dani was the toast of the town and being touted as the next big thing in Spain. Well, Getafe. The next day, the former local hero is stuck on the bench watching the rapidly stalling Getafe ilose 20 to Mallorca. And all because his agent girlfriend decided to tell the press that her client was looking for a move to Mallorca. And so was she, no doubt. “If someone pays you three times more, it’s best to go”, said Bernd Schuster in response, as he benched his Berty Big Bollocks striker. “If they don’t want me here, I’ll go”, whined the substitute. April is now a big test for Schuster’s management skills. How does he ensure that a side he is probably leaving, does not slip into mid table obscurity, which is the direction they are heading in ar the moment. Calderon and co will definitely be watching.

‘Nastic, Real Sociedad


Celta Vigo

Nearly adios.


Anybody missed? just click on comments for your say.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Quotes of the Week

More Crazy Talk

“The possible departure of Capello does not mean that I have to go as well” - Walking oil slick, Pedja Mijatovic, handily forgetting the whole Capello business was his great idea, in the first place.

“Torres is Atletico till he dies” - Wasteful winger, Galleti, reveals the unusual clause in his captain’s club contract.

“I didn’t see the Iceland match” - Guti has better things to do with his time, than watch the national team.

“When there have been no contacts, you can’t have agreements” - Bernd Schuster fields his nine-hundredth, ‘are you going to Real Madrid’ question of the day.

“The problem with Madrid is that they haven’t found a style” - Fernando Vasquéz, a man who has given up identifying the problems at Celta and turned his attentions elsewhere.

“I couldn’t tell you the reasons why they're so bad” - Javier Clemente on Athletic Bilbao, safe in his Belgrade bunker, from the inevitable Basque backlash.

“I wish everyone had as much ambition as Maniche” - Fernando Torres having not so much a dig at his team-mates, but burying them up to their necks in their own laziness.

“It’s difficult to find a club in Portugal who can offer me the same economic conditions as Atletico” - Maniche reveals that famous ambition.

“It will be a much criticised decision, if we go down” - Celta Vigo president, Carlos Mouriño, is already regretting not firing Fernando Vasquéz, earlier in the season.

“I only ask for a bit of respect for Levante, as we are humble” - Levante boss, Abel, in full grovel mode, before receiving touchline ban for madman style ranting, in their defeat to Real Sociedad.

“Good luck at Madrid!” - Zaragoza ‘keeper, César’s cheeky message to Bernd Schuster in the Getafe tunnel. Before he legged it, Navarro style.

“I didn’t say anything to him” - the unconvincing Guti on his sending off against Celta for apparently miming insults to the referee.

“We can’t mess up anymore” - Atletico manager, Javier Aguirre, in familiar stuck record mode

“It’s hard to win when you only have two shots on goal” - Anyone get the impression that Atletico president, Enrique Cerezo, is not a happy bunny?

“You have to listen to things from the stands that it’s hard to explain to a child” - Samuel Eto’o reveals that he doesn’t want his children to take up footballing careers.

“Roy explained his footballing project. I’m grateful but I am happy here” - Ever the gent, Diego Forlan on why he turned down the chance of a move to Sunderland.

“I exaggerated my fall” - Guti - Bambi on ice, these days - on his Celta Vigo tumble.

“If you have problem, we’ll talk about it outside. Next question”, Ronaldinho gets a little testy when a journo accuses him of letting down the fans after missing an open training session.

“I’m surprised Real Madrid are only five points away, when they are playing so badly” - Deco is not alone.


All blog content, copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Good Friday Haiku


Zaragoza (5) v Barcelona (1)

When doing sod all,
at work, say you’re ‘in the gym’.
Ronaldinho does.

Athletic Bilbao (18) v Valencia (4)

Is David Silva,
Turning into a chipmonk,
With a great left foot?
Home win


Espanyol (10) v Real Sociedad

La Liga Loca
Will buy a hat to eat, if
La Real stay up.
Home win

Levante (18) v Betis (15)

Poor Real Betis,
Like the Littleest Hobo,
Without their own home

Mallorca (14) v Getafe (9)

How do people love,
Torrija? Soggy bread that
tastes a bit appley.
Home win

Deportivo (12) v ‘Nastic (20)

Poor Deportivo,
Make Higuaín look deadly,
In Comparison.
Home win.

Recreativo (8) v Celta Vigo (17)

Celta Vigo are,
A bit like Pete Doherty,
Up down up down up.
Home win.

Sevilla (2) v Racing Santander (7th)

Imagine Zigic,
del Nido in "cofradias”
Very sloped altar.

Real Madrid (3) v Osasuna (13)

Where did that come from?
A thrashing in Germany.
The same for Real?
Home win.

Villarreal (11) v Atletico Madrid (6th)

Get popcorn ready,
For big extravaganza,
Can Atleti win?
Home win.


In Defence of Carles

"Carles Puyol legging it down the pitch to catch up with his lost markee - not for the first time." - is how you describe the lead-up to the Depor goal. Barca made defensive mistakes in that game, they are not the same defensive unit that they were 12 months ago, Puyol has been out of form, but in this particular context Carlos Puyol was not at fault for the goal.

Giovani Van Bronchorst, that great left back who will soon be realising how it feels to be the team's worst player once Oleguer is sidelined, "cushioned" a header right on to Adrian's path. Barca were defending a fairly unthreatening attack from Depor and the ball fell to Gio, who was under no pressure to do anything drastic. Meanwhile, Puyol had run forward a touch assuming Barca had regained possession. Then in a moment of inspiration, Gio headed the ball right on to the path of the Depor forward and Puyol had to track back to try and salvage the situation.

Everyone seems to be talking about the Dinho, Etoo, Saviola situation in Barca and people seem to have completely overlooked the sad state of Barca fullbacks. For some reason, Zambroatta hasn't settled in completely and Belletti and Silvinho have had huge injury problems. This has meant that Barca have given a LOT of games to Oleguer and Gio. Neither is strong in possession and neither can hold the ball on the wings. Every defence in the world knows that when either of these two has the ball, they need not worry about forward runs.

Barca's 4-3-3 is heavily reliant on the wingbacks supporting the midfield and playing higher up the field. Once the wingbacks play like classic EPL - style "defence-only" wingbacks, the three-man midfield can get slaughtered. In all key matches, Barca have lost the battle due to lack of support from wingbacks. Against Chelsea, Essien stifled the midfield. Against Pool, Sisokko-Alonso did the job, against Madrid Oleguer got exposed and got himself sent off. Against Sevilla, Dani Alves ran the left-back ragged. A slightly counter-intuitive theory, but I think just strengthening the wingbacks can transform this Barca team. The man to do this - Dani Alves.

Hope they get him.


Oh What A Night

Cracking match ,great atmosphere despite 4,000 Benfica Fans making the same noise as a packed camp nou(silence,for those who don't follow this blog). Benfica were very poor first half,but second they upped the pace a couple of gears and Rui Costa made the difference.

But a win is a win and even Riera played well.Benfica look dodgy at the back and we can definely get something in Lisbon, did i say their supporters were crap. two ten second chants in 90 minutes. At times tonight it was the Esapnyol who outplayed Barça and Sevilla,but for two minutes the Esapnyol of 'Nastic away made an appearance.Also just before they scored they should have had a penalty,so overall can't complain

paul, Barcelona

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thinking the Unthinkable

Raul Gone Kid?

Back in the days of yore, under the Real regime of good king Florentino Perez, if you were a footie hack brave enough to suggest that Raul was a clapped out old has-been and ripe for the knackers yard to be turned into glue, then you were running the risk of becoming a part of one of the many construction sites littering the capital city. Or just fired.

Not any more at seems. Three years of doing bugger all, no goals since November and the notion that Raul has invented a cloaking device, such is his ability to vanish from games, has made the minions at Marca feel a little bit brave.

In Wednesday’s edition there was actual open discussions as to whether it was time to slot Cristiano Ronaldo into Raul’s less than sweat stained number seven shirt and thank the Captain for his services. All this without the paper’s editor becoming a permanent part of the city’s infamous ‘Obras’.

Although few writers had the heart to properly put the boot into a club legend - euphamisms as ‘seek a new challenge’ were in great usage - it seems that the former untouchable can now be poked by all with gay abandon. However, Raul may have seen which way the wind was blowing, some time ago.

The former Atletico player has always maintained that he would never leave Real for another club, but his press conferences recently have been littered with hints that him ending his career at the Bernabeu is by no means a dead cert.

Marca have claimed that Man Utd and Liverpool would be interested in taking the striker off their hands and it is true that Fergie has been a long time admirer. However, the more logical place for Raul to take on ‘his new challenge’ would be Spanish- Liverpool, where language would not be a great issue and where Raul could perhaps play a pivotal role in the same way as McAllister and Litmanen have done, in the past.

Ahead of Valencia’s win / draw / defeat over / with / against / to Chelsea, the Spanish press have been stirring things up nicely, as ever. On Tuesday, two Marca journos went on the Chelsea tour ‘disguised’ as real people - presumably they just had to remove their Real Madrid replica shirts. They reported back that the away dressing room was a ‘mousetrap’ compared to the plush surroundings of the home side’s palace.

The two ‘spies’ as Mourinho called them, also pointed out that the players’ tunnel had a megaphone which blasted out the songs of the Chelsea ‘hoolingans’ (sic) to motivate the players.

Incidentally, the 4.200 Spurs fans travelling to Sevilla for Thursday’s match were also referred to as ‘hooligans’, by Sport. La Liga Loca is uncertain as to whether they are interchanging the word ‘hooligans’ with ‘fans’ or whether the Spanish press are under the impression that all England supporters are bottle throwing loons. Hopefully the former.

Meanwhile, David Villa has said that all thoughts of moving to Chelsea will be out of his head for Wednesday night’s game - “there is already enough in the match to motivate me”. Which is lucky, considering Jose Mourinho squashed Villa’s hopes of a move to London, the next day - “he could play for a big club, but it won’t be Chelsea”, said ‘Mou’ as the Valencia striker gave out little sobs from the back of the press room.

Nikola Zigic is the ‘big’ talking point in the Spanish press - a good three or four months after the rest of the world noticed him, of course. But only after an oh so predictable ‘Zigic to Madrid’ story started knocking round some of the papers. “I’m only focussed on Racing”, says the big guy himself.

Bolton and Portsmouth are currently eyeing up Getafe striker Dani Guiza. “I really like English football”, said the now dancing Dani, unaware that ‘Bolton’ and ‘football’ do not necessarily go together.

Some good news for Athletic Bilbao in their current universe of doom and despair. Clown-like FEF president, Angel Maria Villar, has gone on record to say that he is ‘certain’ that the Basque club will be able to save themselves. Which does not say much for his opinion on poor old Levante. And which also opens up a giant can of worms that Madrid based fans will leap up and down on - nice mixed metaphor - should Athletic be awarded any dubious penalties over the next few months.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day

Good Day


A good, but not a great day for Barcelona. After cruising into a comfortable 2-0 lead, Barça seemed to switch off against Deportivo and contrived to allow their distinctly average opponents back into the game, in the latter stages, with a fine effort from Adrián. One which left Carles Puyol legging it down the pitch to catch up with his lost markee - not for the first time. As Bjork once sang, this wasn’t supposed to happen against a team whose only striker, Riki, had managed just one measly goal all season. “It was a warning sign,” said Frank Rijkaard after the game, “we cannot let our guard down again”.

Real Sociedad

Fair play to La Real, the side have now picked up seven points from the last nine,including three against relegation rivals, Levante, on Sunday. They are still six points from safety, but with three matches against Espanyol, Betis and Atletico coming up, there are points there to be bagged. It’s not over yet.


On his day, arguably one of the best wide men in the world. But sadly, those days are limited due to constant injury problems. Missing Morientes and with David Villa out of form, there was a concern in the Ché camp, that Valencia would slip up again at Mestalla. Although they were hanging on at the end against a decent side, Vicente - to quote David Coleman - opened his legs, earlier in the match and showed his class, with a cracking strike down the left wing.


Bernd Schuster’s men have been having a crisis of confidence of late and that certainly wasn’t helped by going 2-0 down to UEFA cup rivals, Zaragoza at the Coliseum on Sunday. However, plucky Getafe clawed their way back to 2-2, including a corking strike from Casquero. Considering, so many big clubs have dropped points in this delightful part of Madrid, this season, Zaragoza will probably be fairly satisfied with the day’s work.

Nikola Zigic

It looks like the big guns of the world football - well, Spurs - are suddenly interested in the ‘giganton’ from Serbia. Two more strikes on Sunday, means he has now clocked up ten for the season. Racing for Europe anyone? Thought not.

Real Madrid

It’s time to rethink Real Madrid. It would be easy to write, ‘another poor performance’ etc. And it would be right. But they won. Again. The side have the best away record in the league and are now unbeaten in seven. Next weekend, Real take on a weakened Osasuna at home, whilst Barcelona travel to Zaragoza - a situation that could easily see Raul and co, just two points of Barça’s shoulder. It’s time to take them seriously. At least until Sunday.


Some may see the 0-0 in Pamplona as dropped points, but La Liga Loca feels an away draw at Osasuna is just fine. Juande Ramos has been criticised for resting six starters, but as he pointed out after the game - “I played our first eleven against ‘Nastic and we lost”.

La Liga Loca

Eight out of ten correct predictions from Friday. And it would have been nine had it not been for pesky Atletico Madrid.

Bad Day


Grown up, sensible shoes wearing La Liga Loca, has sympathy for the sending off of Levante’s Riga on Sunday. Before the match, the striker was told by the referee to remove his necklace. He did so, but put it back on when the action started. When Riga was booked on an unrelated matter, the keen sighted man in black spotted the offending amulet and handed Riga his second yellow. “I always wear it!” fumed the Ghanian as justification. Boo and indeed hoo.


Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, seems to think it was a bad day and he’s the one who saw his side throw away a lead on three separate occasions in a 3-3 thriller at Betis. Well. A ground somewhere near Sevilla. “In the end we lost three points”, sighed the Chilean as he stared at the league table, with his team stuck firmly in mid table mediocrity land.


La Liga Loca would genuinely like to see Atletico Madrid grab one of the European competitions. Just for curiosity. But it isn’t going to happen, if the side keep playing like this. One of the problems, is that Javier Aguirre still hasn’t come up with a tactical solution to cover the absences of Maxi and more importantly Petrov, on the left. Instead, he had been playing former Real Madrid midfielder, Jurado, in the Bulgarian’s place.

To give kudos, to the Andalusian, he has been one of Atletico’s brightest performers on many occasions. But not when he is on the left. Jurado showed what he is capable of, with his lovely through ball to the increasingly frustrated Fernando Torres - a clear sign that he should be moved into the centre alongside Luccin - when he not suspended - with Pernia and Antonio Lopez making up the left flank. Not perfect, but better than the current crazy scheme

Maxi Lopez

Just copy and paste.,17033,9405_2033745,00.html

Athletic Bilbao

This can be spun several ways. Either, Athletic Bilbao showed incredible fighting spirit to come back from 4-2 down to give their travelling fans a lift. Or, Athletic conceded five and then blew a point by allowing Racing to snatch a late winner with yet more Keystone cop defending. La Liga Loca still thinks the Basque club, will save themselves, but it may have to revisit that idea in the very near future.


Deep, deep, deep down. This is why everyone loves Guti. A few minutes left on the clock. Defending a lead and wearing the captain’s armband. So what goes through Guti’s tiny mind? ‘I know, I’ll dive and back chat the referee to get sent off’. As AS wrote on Monday, “Guti has unforgettable days and days to forget”.


So exactly how long is Capello going to keep Robinho on the bench (two goals, in the last two games) and persevere with Raul (no goals since 26th November)?


Anyone missed? Just click on comments for venting.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007