Friday, December 28, 2007

The Lambs of Levante

Her Majesty, the Queen, has been having a bash at Yuletide messages for over a half a century now and they are still tediously unwatchable to all but those who pen letters to the Daily Telegraph or get uppity over stories about local councils banning Christmas decorations.

However, this should give hope to Levante manager, Giani de Biasi, who attempted his own annual message of joy and inspiration to his constituents - and failed spectacularly. Unlike the Queen, he is unlikely to get fifty four more chances.

Adrift at the bottom of the table by ten points with two league wins and fourteen defeats, the Italian wanted to give a Braveheart style rallying call to Levante's fans and players, but instead waved a giant white flag of doom.

"Neither Mourinho nor Benitez could do anything with this team," complained de Biasi. "Today, I wouldn't give the side more than a three percent chance of staying up," he sniffed.

Also failing to disprove the stereotype that de Biasi and his country men are surrender monkeys with five reverse gears on their FIAT's, was Italian keeper, Marco Storari.

"There's no passion here, no nothing. There's nothing left," complained the goalie after last weekend's 0-1 home defeat to Deportivo.

Over in the orange and white half of the city, Valencia president, Juan Bautista Soler, has dragged himself away from his week long buffet-fest to speak for the first time about the recent high jinks at his club.

"I have been ill," he offered an excuse for his recent blissful media silence.

Soler later claimed that the three non-amigos of Cañizares, Angulo and Albeda have not been "sacked or separated", as most of Spain - and his own manager - seem to think. Instead the players have not called up by Koeman and nothing more sinister than that.

"I hope they can keep playing a part in the history of this club," said Soler who confessed that he was moved in a special way by Albeda's blubbing in a press conference. That and the banners by Valencia fans at the Zaragoza match calling for his gonads to be attached to firecrackers.

The Valencia president was talking a day after the club's second biggest shareholder and pretender to Soler's reinforced throne, Vicente Soriano, spoke out against the current regime.

"Koeman would last just ten seconds," he answered on what he would do if he had the top job." "Bakero would get eleven," said Soriano more affectionately about the Dutchman's number two.

Like Ronaldinho with a flapjack, Marca refuses to let go of the "Raul for Spain" story. Despite the endless tedium of the whole affair, the paper has published the supposed transcript of what was technically a private conversation between the two men at a ceremony to celebrate the paper having wasted seventy years publishing gibberish.

"I'm in great form and I'm going to Eurocopa," was what Raul reportedly said to Aragones when bumping into him. "You know more than I do," was Snowflake's fairly witty reply in a short exchange where the Real Madrid reject was probably asking Luis where the crapper was.

Make of that what you will. Marca has for about three days now.

Real Madrid have revealed the secret of their table-topping success and it's nothing to do with them being unbelievably jammy and everyone else being rubbish. Oh no, it's down to the side playing a flamenco-tinged Gyspy Kings song in the dressing room.

Giani de Biasi is already on his way down to FNAC, one can only imagine.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time Up for Christmas Turkeys

Christmas in Spain came and went like a Man Utd player on a night out and for those players unlucky / rubbish enough to be roped into the now traditional regions matches - Andalucia v Zambia, anyone? - there is a wee break until the return of footballing action on the 2nd January and the oh so thrilling Copa del Rey.

But there is no break for Spanish football's besuited wheelers and dealers with the winter transfer window about to open. January is chance for teams containing more rubbish than Madrid's metro system - now in day eleven of a cleaner's strike, TB outbreak imminent - to take out the trash.

A nifty rule in Spain means that no player who has played more than five games for one club may play for another in the same season. This means that most transfer activity is restricted to footballers being shipped out to the freezing wastelands of England or being brought in from South America on dubious shared ownership deals.

In the interests of journalistic integrity, La Liga Loca would like to make it clear from the off that it will be in no way affected by the Xmas gift of a rather spiffy bicycle from those most wonderful people at Real Madrid in today's transfer rumour round up which will begin, quite rightly, at the home of FIFA's club of the century.

Lead by visionary leader, Ramón Calderón, the current league champions, slayers of Barcelona and purveyors of fantasy football are unlikely to be bringing any players in. And why would they, when they already possess a squad of exquisite quality?

To counter those blind and ignorant fools who suggest that a proper right midfielder might be useful, it seems that the only real movement will be the possible departure of Jerzy Dudek, who needs playing minutes ahead of Euro 2008 and Robert Soldado who just needs playing minutes.

The striker has only had 31 of them, so far this season, due to the supreme dominance of the all conquering Raul and Ruud partnership and has said that he will look at any offers that come in over the next month - including an expected one from Benfica.

Nevertheless, the forward has made it clear that it has been an honour and a privilege to wear the white shirt of the nine times European Cup winners for every one of those glorious 31 minutes.

The omniscient Pedja Mijatovic has quashed any rumours by commenting that Soldado will be remaining with the glorious champions-elect. "We want him to stay with us to the end of the season," declared his Magnificence.

It is almost impossible to tell what events will transpire in the Kingdom of Cataluyna over the next few weeks. Frank Rijkaard is unlikely to be sacked, firstly as there is little pressure for it in the local press and secondly as it would involve Joan Laporta having to do some work.

The future for Ronaldinho is a little less clear. Having been booed by fans as he scuttled out of El Prat airport on the way home to Brazil, d'inho may well realise that getting out of Dodge is the best option. However, it is nearly impossible to imagine his sponsors, agent brother, club and any potential buyer agreeing a departure deal in the relatively short time allowed.

There is talk - in AS, anyway - of Giovani moving on but this is almost certainly hot air from his uber-agent, Pino Zahavi, as he tries to negotiate an improved deal for his client with Barcelona.

As some eagle-eyed readers may have noticed, Valencia have been having the footballing equivalent of an Eastenders Christmas special of late. There is no change on their decision to boot out or 'retire' Cañizares of Albeda, whose lawyers are currently trying to persuade Soler and co to break the lengthy deal with the midfielder and also close off Santi's clause (boom, and indeed tish).

Old timer, Cañizares, has attracted the interests of Chelsea, whilst Albeda is almost certainly heading to England on a loan deal - with Ipswich the current front runners - before returning to Spain. From his many suitors, Atletico Madrid are currently hitching up their footballing skirts the highest to attract his interest.

The rojiblancos are expected to make room for the soon to be ex-Valencia midfielder six months early by kicking Maniche's substantial arse into the street.

Although the portly Portuguese Man-o-Poor has been an ever present in Javier Aguirre's team, this season, a refusal from Maniche to travel to a Copa del Rey match and other off the field antics means that he is out the door. If La Liga Loca had lawyers, they would advise it to say no more on the matter.

Sevilla's Andreas Hinkel is on his way to either Borussia Dortmund or Celtic with Nancy's left back, Michael Chretien, set to come in at left back to fill the considerable talent hole left by Antonio Puerta.

Their city rivals, Betis, have been offered Lyon's Brazilian striker Fred who is no longer wanted by the French league leaders due to injury problems and 'non-footballing' reasons.

For Betis fans, his arrival seems a more terrifying prospect than the current round of Burger King commercials which features a plastic mask wearing, eternally smiling Henry VIII lookalike. Which is really, really, freaking La Liga Loca out.

Andrés d'Alessandro could well be off to River Plate on loan, although Zaragoza have said that they are 'not selling or buying anyone'.

Hala Madrid.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca 2007.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 17

Good Day


With all the fuss and bother of one Barcelona v Madrid derby buzzing in the ear, it was easy to overlook Espanyol's well deserved win against an entertainingly imploding Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon - the Disneyland of football. Although they were taking on a side down to nine men, Espanyol looked dominant even when Atletico had their full contingent out on field.

"Espanyol were better with 11, 10 and 9 Atletico players," opined Marca. We'd have preferred to have played against eleven," confessed Ernesto Valverde, quite possibly taking the pee out of their opponents.

The pericos are now in third place, just one point behind their Catalan cousins meaning a happy Christmas in one part of the city, at least.

David Silva

A cracking late effort from the Valencia striker was enough to save a point against Zaragoza, a side who were 2-0 up. The comeback mixed with the evident relief in the celebrations from the players suggests that maybe, just maybe, Koeman is on the right path. Or he is nuts. Could go either way.


With nine teams within three points of the relegation zone, Getafe's 0-2 win over Almería was a crucial one. And it owed itself to the Real Madrid connection of Granero and de la Red. Michael Laudrup must be tickled pink that the two club presidents managed to bury the hatchet - and not in each other - to allow Getafe to pick off the scraps from the Bernabeu table.

This is especially so when considering that the Coliseum boasts two of the worst strikers in the league - Kepa and Braulio, the latter of which was at his ball stumbling worst on Saturday night.


"This Sevilla was the Champions League one," said Manolo Jiménez. And hooray for that too. A cracking Saturday night's entertainment as Sevilla let fly against what had been the tightest defence in the league - although an injury to Toño blew that statistic, some time ago.

The hero for the hour for Sevilla was Chevanton, a player who looked like he was going to be booted out of the club, this winter, but may be hanging around a little longer after his free kick which was celebrated like the loon he is.


A late penalty against Levante leaves Miguel Angel Lotina's men four points off ninth. Which is insane. And which doesn't say a lot for the quality of the Primera, this season.

Carlos Vela

The Arsenal winger was the stand out player against Real Madrid, last weekend, making Sergio Ramos look a bit silly. And he showed why Arsene Wenger should be a very happy man, again, with his raking run against Mallorca to put in the pass for Osasuna's third. An odd first half of the season for the Pamplonans, but La Liga Loca expects a much better time for them in the second.


Listen. The only defender ever worth 30 million euros was Tony Mowbray in his prime. So Pepe did well shutting out a has been Brazilian and a couple of teenagers? Whoopedy do. But then again, it doesn't mean he's crap. It is possible to be very good and not worth that much.

Valladolid, Murcia, Almería

All three of the promoted clubs go into the winter break in a neat little cluster just outside of the relegation zone. All three have shown that they are capable of staying up this season. But with the relegation battle already looking tighter than a nun's foo foo, it may be a case of musical chairs that sends one, or maybe even two of them down, come the end of the season.

Andres Iniesta

Just for being so good and the only member of the Barcelona forward line to turn up on Sunday night.

Diego Milito

The Argentine's effort against Valencia was the fourth consecutive match that Milito has scored in so far this season and was his eighth of the season. About the only thing that is working in the Zaragoza camp, at the moment.

Bad Day

Sergio Agüero

It looks like someone wanted extra holidays. Agüero`s second sending off in three matches came from a punch/elbow aimed in the direction of Espanyol's tenacious Torrejón. Javier Aguirre should make his surly striker train every day of the winter break, whilst hurling Christmas cake and turkey at him. He'd probably get Maniche joining in too, before his imminent expulsion from the Calderon camp.

Joan Laporta

The half time buffets must be exceptional at Barcelona as Laporta constantly seems to be late for the start of the second half of each match.

Real Zaragoza

A truly rubbish first half of the season for Zaragoza. The side have not won in seven, have lost more leads than a dog owner with ADD (Espanyol, Betis, Valencia) and if it wasn't for the goals of Diego Milito, they'd be in all sorts of do-do. A season restart against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu suggests that the beginning of the New Year will not be much better then the end of the old one for Zaragoza.


Still yet to beat Osasuna in Pamplona.


Oh dear.

Athletic Bilbao

Still rubbish at home.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca 2007.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Valencia's Night of Long Knives

Like Sid James and Charles Hawtrey in Carry on Up the Jungle, Valencia's deadly duo of Ronald Koeman and Juan Soler, kitted out in safari suits and armed with butterfly nets and chloroform have been out capturing specimens of a brand new species of footballer - Valencianus horribilus.

And what success the pair have had in their recent expeditions! On Tuesday, the Valencia coach wheeled out his latest prizes in fridge sized jam jars and warned that there were more captures to come.

"I did it for the good of Valencia," declared the Dutchman pointing at the groggy figures of Cañizares and Albeda who peered through the inch thick glass of their new temporary homes.

"It's a strong decision but the president agrees with me," continued Koeman as he informed a stunned press pack that the two Valencia giants will never play for the club again, due to their apparent destabilising influence - something Soler should know all about.

However, the hunting expedition was not over, Angulo was told by mobile that his footballing services were no longer required and over the next few days, Zigic, Fernandes and Vicente are all expected to be told to do one, aswell. Once they can be found.

It's hard to know whether this move by Koeman is lunacy or genius, or a bit of both. The first two targets are known to be whiners and grumblers but they are Valencia through and through and it is difficult to imagine that they don't want what's best for the club - and that is to see the back of Soler. Hence the sackings.

The rest of the squad have been a little stunned by the latest goings on, with AS reporting one player as saying, "I wish they'd get rid of me so I can get away from this team and the madness."

David Villa's agent has been very quick to respond, advising that his client, "wants to be in a winning team, not one that's rebuilding."

Meanwhile in Castle Greyskull, Rámon Calderón has been a busy bigwig and gibbering away to anyone that will listen, ahead of Sunday's Classico. To counter the criticisms of him using Real Madrid has a giant presidential cookie jar, Calderón flew to Japan to the World Club Championships - just to have a nice chit chat with AC Milan's VP - before flying back to the Spanish capital, thus missing the final of the tournament.

On his return, Calderón boasted that the president of the Spanish Federation, Angel Villar - who is an idiot, by the way - called Raul, "the best player in Spain." On a roll, Calderon then proceeded to give the now famous boast that, "Kaka wouldn't get into the Real Madrid squad."

However, the absolute corker was his defence of the odious Ultras Sur. "I only have good things to say about them," beamed Calderón, praising the fact that the club has avoided being fined for any of the antics, this season. A bit like thanking a hoodie for not mugging you really.

Overlooking their recent threats to a journalist, abuse of Basque teams and charming Nazi salutes at last week's Lazio game, the Bernabeu bigwig commented that "their banners can be critical, but it's freedom of expression."

The same freedom expression that had security guards removing all anti-Calderón banners before last season's Betis Copa del Rey match perhaps?

In the Kingdom of Cataluyna, Joan Laporta has been complaining that the local Barcelona media simply aren't obsequious enough.

"I would like to get the same support in the press here, as Madrid get," finger-wagged the Camp Nou chieftain at the club's media Christmas dinner - a man who clearly hasn't picked up a copy of Marca, or indeed Mundo Deportivo recently.


Keep sending your nominations for your side's most useless player and your futile defences of Pepe - 30 million euros! - to the blog.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Worst Signings of the Season, So Far

Imagine yourself as the pumped up president of a Primera super power with 175 million euros to spend.

You could rummage around for a Ruud, maybe go for a Guiza or go flashy with a Forlan.

Or instead, you could spunk your cash up the wall on a shower of cack, like these clubs did over the summer.

La Liga Loca presents, euro for euro, pound for pound, blunder for blunder, the most injury prone, over hyped and under performing new signing side of the season so far.

Goalkeeper - Oscar Ustari, Getafe, 6 million euros

The new 'El Pato' apparently - but in the flapping, waddling and quacking department. Getafe's most expensive signing may well be out of the door with his webbed feet barely touching the ground, in January, after a serious of calamitous displays that began with two horrendous howlers on his debut against Valencia.

Centre Back - Pepe, Real Madrid, 30 million euros

Real Madrid fans may be clapping and barking like over excited seals at two decent performances against Athletic and Osasuna, but pinhead Pepe is going to have to do a lot more than that to justify his extraordinary fee. At the end of last season, the unknown Porto player was probably worth around a third of what Real forked out for him. One can only assume he learned to sh*t gold over the summer.

Centre Back - Ivan Helguera, Valencia, Free Transfer

Dear Lord. Yes, he was free, but the fact that Valencia are actually paying good money for Helguera to tart about in their back four, gets him into the side. His constant look of fear and confusion would be highly entertaining if he wasn't helping to hammer a nail into the coffin of a once great side, with his calamitous, 'this way to the goal' displays.

Left Back - Royston Drenthe, Real Madrid, 14 million euros

Clearly not a left back, despite Pedja Mijatovic's claims and clearly not going to be a Real Madrid player in January. Another, 'how much! For who!' signing from the Bernabeu basket cases (see Gago, Diarra), Drenthe's only note worthy achievement so far this season, was to drive into a police car at 4 in the morning, because his GPS instructed him to go left.

Right Back - Khalid Boulahrouz, loan

Equally as incompetent at right back, as he is at centre back, Monchi's legendary scouting prowess clearly failed him on this occasion. He merely needed to hold a photo of him up to a group of Chelsea fans to get an inkling of the uselessness of this particular Dutch disaster. Falls into the Helguera category, simply because of the extraordinary wages they must be paying to the Stamford Bridge drop out.

Left Midfield - Arjen Robben, Real Madrid, 36 million euros

One can only imagine that the half-wit doctor who gave the Dutchman the all clear at his medical, must be to sports medicine what Harold Shipman was to geriatric care. Chelsea's bosses must have peed themselves with delight when they got shot of old glass legs. And for money. 258 minutes of league football so far this season and diddly squat to show for it.

Central Midfielder - Manuel Fernandes, 24 million euros

Loathed by Ronald Koeman at Benfica and now loathed by Ronald Koeman at Valencia. Former Ché boss, Quique, wanted Van der Vaart to give a bit of a boost to his midfield, instead he got Fernandes who knew a good wage and a fancy villa when he saw it. Turned his back on a verbal agreement to join Everton and chose the good ship Valencia to park his overpaid arse on.

Central Midfield - Rio Mavuba, Villarreal, 7 million euros

Poor old Rio Mavuba must have peed in Pellegrini's paella to warrant the treatment currently being dished out by the Chilean coach. Arriving from Bordeaux with a reputation as the new Claude Makelele, his 3 substitute appearances in the league so far, suggest he has as much chance as succeeding at the Yellow Submarine as Claude Monet.

Right Midfield - José Antonio Reyes, Atletico Madrid, 12 million euros

Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine, whine. Can I have my money, please? Whine, whine, whine, whine. Having been banished to Highbury, Reyes is slowly working his way back to Sevilla. And doing so in some style. Hated by Arsenal fans for his constant complaining. Hated by Real Madrid fans for moving to Atletico and hated by Atletico fans for moving to Real after signing a deal to move to Atletico and then buying himself out of it.

Striker - Thierry Henry, Barcelona, 24 million euros

After years of pleading and prodding, Barcelona finally bagged their man - the man who was finally going to give Levante the thrashing they deserved. Oh yes. What. Were. They. Thinking?

Striker - Nikola Zigic, Valencia, 22 million euros

The stock of former Racing Santander sensation, Nikola Zigic has fallen so far that even Arizmendi gets a start ahead of the Serbian giant. Insults don't come much worse than that. He has more centimetres than minutes played, so far this season.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 16

You can catch La Liga Loca on Extra Time on Real Madrid TV (10pm Monday and repeated throughout the week, on Skychannel 446 ) or read its slating of Valencia here.

Real Betis

La Liga Loca
has a new hero - after Guti, Pablo Garcia and the Spanish Finance Minister who said people were hard up because they were tipping too much - Paco Chaparro. He may have been pulled from a day care centre, he may be 65 and in his first top job, he may make Xavi look lofty and he may noticeably model himself on Mick Jagger with his dyed black hair, but Paco has lead Betis to two, yes two victories.

The latest against Almería was possibly helped by the opposition being down to nine (most unfairly) for most of the game and Betis winning a game of 'referee Russian Roulette,' according to Marca, but six points are indeed six points.

Samuel Eto'o

"Boom Boom Eto'o!" screamed the normally reticent Sport, on Sunday. And quite right, too. It is truly great to see the barking mad battler back on a football pitch and scoring goals - the only one of the so called fantastic four doing so, at the moment.

Mundo Deportivo warned, on Saturday, that Barça would be putting the squeeze on Valencia - with a photo of a orange being squashed, to make the point even more clear for some of their more confused readers. Valencia weren't even left with their pips after a very 'unapeeling display'.

Sergio Asenjo

Another solid display from the young Real Valladolid stopper, who could have picked up three clean sheets since replacing the bad arse Butelle, but succumbed to Negredo's wonder goal, last weekend.

Real Valladolid now have problems at the other end, which wasn't an issue before, but once José Luis Mendilibar gets the balance right, the new boys should be A-Ok.


Paul from Barcelona has thawed out and he is ready to bring us his report from the 1-0 thriller against Levante.

"On a cold, wet and windy night in Barcelona, most people made the right decision to stay at home. Espanyol were missing Reira and Luis Garcia and I bet Levante thanked God for that one.

Espanyol took the lead through Jarque. After his header was saved he smashed home the rebound. 9 minutes gone and that was that. Have a good week.

Oh, you want more? Well there wasn't anything. Did i say it was cold? Did you know there's an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie?

Levante are awful. They provide as much entertainment as Jim Davidson's xmas panto.
the X-Rated stuff came from their tackles. Apart from Riga, they are dreadful all over the pitch.

I spent most of the match thinking up gags about Levante's 23, Descarga. Instead i gave him a (Bit)Torrent of abuse. He lacked Byte in the tackle.

So 12 unbeaten and Atletico next week. Goals guaranteed. The return of De la Peña and Rufete will only make us better.

The team needs (Band) Width, Alvaro is an (E) Mule. I'm here all week,thank you and goodnight."

Paul, Barcelona


Still not worth 30 million euros - but it's doubtful that Porto received even half of that - but the latest Real Madrid centre back looks to be very good indeed. But after years of expensive experimentation with the likes of Samuel and Woodgate, they had to find a good'un at some point.

A mind numbingly dull ninety minutes at the Bernabeu on Sunday night. Even the players found it tedious, "the fans were bored and so were we," confessed Ruud Van Nistelrooy who instead entertained himself with his 33rd league goal for Real Madrid in his 50th league match.

Professional idiot, Thomas Roncero, praised the side in AS, arguing that "to win the league, you have to do so in all forms possible." Precisely the same reason he and his ilk used to attack Fabio Capello.

Stefano Sorrentino, Christian Abbiati

Italian goalkeepers reigned supreme in the goalless draw between Recreativo v Atletico Madrid. The Recreativo stopper played a blinder to shut out Sergio Aguero - but he wasn't allowed to use his hand this time - whilst Atletico's stand-in has proved to be a very astute signing, especially with Leo Franco possibly out until March.

When probing an Italian expert as to why the rojiblancos have a perfectly good Italian as their reserve goalie whilst Lazio have a 50 year old man between the sticks, the answer was clear - "one earns 100,000 euros a year. The other, over a million."


Over the past few weeks, there has been an awful lot of grumbling from the Murcia camp about refereeing slights. Some of it fair. But the relegation battlers got lucky on Sunday in their 2-1 win over Racing Santander. Pablo Garcia was fortunate not to have walked after a yellow for taking out Colsa and and a fantastically blatant attack on Smolarek, missed by the ref.

The winner came from a late Baiano penalty after a Racing defender punched the ball away and looked just as confused as everyone else as to why he did it.


The Yellow Submarine celebrated Manuel Pellegrini's contract renewal with a much needed - a win that keeps them in the Champions League places. "At the beginning of the year, I didn't imagine we'd be so far up," chirped the Chilean coach after their late 3-1 win away at Getafe.

It was a classic performance from Villarreal. Iffy at the back but with enough class up front to dig them out of trouble.

Bad Day

Leo Messi

Barcelona done gone broke Leo Messi. After months and months off carrying the side on his tiny, but brilliant back, the Argentinean broke down on Saturday night and is set to be out for the next five weeks with a muscle tear. Plenty of time to work his way through Heroes, series 1.

With Thierry Henry out - but maybe returning for Sunday - and d'inho an outcast, a lot of the fighting flair has been sucked out of next weekend's classico - a match that is looking more and more like being a draw.


After ninety minutes on the bench watching Bojan and Giovani being preferred to his good self, d'inho must be finding the recent offer from Middlesbrough, very tempting indeed - especially with the excellent garlic sauce kebabs that can be found in the city.


Just no good.

Dani Güiza

Luis Aragones has put some kind of curse on the Mallorcan goal setter. Since his call up to the squad to take on Sweden and Northern Ireland, the former Pichichi now couldn't score even if he was parked up in Casa de Campo for a weekend.

With Pierre Webo now out injured it may be a barren few months for Mallorca after a bright start to the season.

Deportivo / Zaragoza

A 1-1 draw that saves both manager's booties, at least for the time being, but it does neither of them any good in the long run. Deportivo need to win home games if they are going to beat the drop and Zaragoza need to roll over desperate sides like Deportivo if they are to haul themselves back into the race for Europe, where they should be.

Lotina looks like he is resigned to getting the sack and it could well come next weekend, if his side do not grab all three points away at Levante. "I will go and understand it," confessed the downbeat Don, after his side's latest home flop.


Another failure to win away leaves Sevilla eleven points from the Champions League spots, a competition that they are doing rather well in.

Spanish Television

Spanish viewers were caught between the a rock, a hard place and a giant meat grinder, on Saturday night for the Valencia v Barcelona clash. The tv wars had lead to two channels showing the game - Telecinco and La Sexta.

If you chose Telecinco you were treated to a match where the cameras were in a different post code to the game and unable to pan to the corners of the pitch - a problem which also lead to their inability to show Etoo's second goal.

On La Sexta, the lucky viewer could enjoy the endless witterings of Andres Montes and his continuing inability to bother learning who is playing in the match.

Apparently his constant 'balón largo, largo, largo' is used when he has no idea of either who made the pass or who it is intended for.

TVE did their usual trick of throwing their expensively bought English football matches into the bin. Arsenal v Chelsea was advertised at 17.00 on TVE2, instead the channel opted to show a women's handball game and stuck the titanic London tussle on their digital channel.


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


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Frosty Weekend Preview - Round 16


Espanyol (5th) v Levante (20th)

As Levante's bungling bosses have abandoned the concept of paying their footballers the old fashioned way - with money - they came up with another crazy scheme, this week.

The club managed to round up all the finalists of this year's Miss Valencia competition and let them loose at the training ground with the aim of raising the footballers' spirits with their winning smiles and tales of charity work. A disastrously energy sapping action that can only lead to one thing. Home win.

Valencia (7th) v Barcelona (2nd)

While the rest of the watching world is trying to work out if, when and where this corker of a game will be televised, the returning Ruben Baraja just has one thing on his mind - the fans, or rather the lack of them in Mestalla.

"If I was a supporter, I would be unhappy with the team, its performances and results. But they have to back us at these crucial moments," moaned the midfielder. His Valencia side will be taking on a Barcelona team looking for only their second away win in the league, this season, without David Villa. Which means they are royally screwed. Away win.


Valladolid (16th) v Sevilla (9th)

If Sevilla's president, del Nido, is lacking Christmas cheer and looking to come over all Scrooge during this festive season of fun, then he may want to boot his legal team into the street without so much as a figgy pudding to their name.

It turns out that their so hot it hurts striker, Luis Fabiano, can be bought for a mere 10 million euros - not a bad price for a player with fifteen goals to his name, this season. The reason for this cut price calamity is that the club only own 35% of Luis - with one of those shady corporations owning the rest of his booty - a booty that will almost certainly be flogged should a Man City-esque offer come in for him. Away win.

Getafe (12th) v Villarreal (4th)

Michael Laudrup is a disarmingly friendly, funny and charming bloke in a footballing world full of Javier Clemente's. Which makes the fact that his Getafe side are the most violated and indeed, the most violent in the league, all that more peculiar.

Getafe are officially the most fouled side in the Primera, with an average of twenty cold hearted hacks a game. Getafe possess the most fouled player - Uche, who is currently top of the chart, taking up Guti's customary position.

Getafe also have the most sendings off, with an incredible eight - including two last weekend against Atletico and another in the Copa del Rey, on Wednesday night. The latest man to be given his marching orders is Cosmin Contra - the poor sap stuck in goal, last Sunday, and the poor sap who complained the following day that, "I would like more minutes as full back, than in goal." Draw.

Deportivo (19th) v Zaragoza (10th)

When the sports dailies reported that the Deportivo players were attacking Miguel Angel Lotina, they probably never considered they would have such an entertaining reaction from the messed up manager.

"Who said they have lost confidence in me?! Which one of you?! Which one is the great wise man?!" screamed Lotina at the gaping press gaggle on Tuesday. Once they had been stunned into silence and were staring at their shoes, he turned on his rebellious players.

"If some one's not happy, they have to show themselves!" he bellowed before inexplicably opining that "being gay, today, is a piece of p*ss" a comment that caused the club to issue an apology to local activist groups, soon after. Away win.

Mallorca (8th) v Athletic Bilbao (15th)

And so Mallorca's refusal to play La Liga Loca's game continues. This week, club president, Vicente Grande, gave an interview and talked in depth about building a new stadium - yawn - signing up Gregorio Manzano on a long term contract to ensure stability - YAWN! - and his ambitions for this season. "Our main objective is forty three points. After that we can enjoy ourselves." YAWN YAWN YAWN!. Home win.

Murcia (17th) v Racing Santander (6th)

Highlights of Murcia's matches are harder to come by in Spain than food that without salt, but apparently they have been royally, rogered by the referees, this season. "Often, they abuse their power," moaned Mejia, comments echoed by the returning Pablo Garcia.

"We have to play with aggression. We are too clean and the refs are killing us," said the man who the blog saw do the most blatant - and unpunished - elbow against Getafe, a few weeks back. "On Sunday, we have to go out with a war axe and win."

Pablo Garcia - La Liga Loca salutes you. Draw.

Recreativo (13th) v Atletico Madrid (3rd)

On a more serious note, Recreativo's Javi Guerrero had a bit of a scare this week. Whilst enjoying a relaxing moment in Madrid, he started to suffer from dizziness, needing a trip to hospital. Whether or not he was attempting the tricky task of breathing on Paseo Castellena during rush hour, at the time, isn't clear.

With the tests completed, the doctors gave him a clean bill of health. "I was a bit worried there, but they found nothing wrong," said the relieved Recre rampager, who is set to start against Atletico on Sunday. Home win.

Real Madrid (1st) v Osasuna (14th)

It has been the most peculiar of seasons for Guti. He has gone from being Schuster's golden boy to Schuster's golden goose. Since his tempestuous tantrum against Murcia which resulted in a red card, Guti has been cast out of the starting line up in all the subsequent matches.

"I don't feel like I'm being punished," said Guti on Schuster's U-turn.

The man who has benefited from Guti's agonising exile is Julio Baptista, who has had a remarkable reversal of fortune to become the star player of the club's recent run.

"He has set an example. He kept on training and had confidence in himself," claimed Schuster. "Unlike Guti, the big tw*t," he failed to add. Home win.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Return of Florentino Perez

There were quite a few topics of conversation pinging between the hacks shivering in the Bernabeu during the second half of the Lazio game. After all, some kind of stimulus was needed to stay awake and not succumb to the cold during a fairly pointless forty five minutes of football.

Incidentally, the fascist Ultras of Real and the fascist Ultras of Lazio entertained themselves by Nazi saluting each other throughout the match and singing lovely songs about the greatness of Paulo di Canio. Charming.

Instead, the journos pondered topics like, could even Betis beat Lazio? Is it true that there is a player revolt against Koeman at Valencia? And who is behind Marca's never ending attacks on Real Madrid?

The answers were - yes, maybe and Florentino Perez.

That's right. The dark hand of the former Real Madrid big cheese is the man orchestrating the slur fest of recent months. The latest volley in this campaign was the accusation that Rámon Calderón wanted to flog Rául when he took over the Bernabeu throne in the summer of 2006. A throne that became vacant when Perez threw his toys out of his pram and stormed off, let's not forget.

For once, La Liga Loca agrees with the current president on the Rául issue. Calderón apparently questioned his technical team on whether the club were getting good value from their enormously expensive captain - the right question to ask back in the days when Rául was rubbish.

Marca rounded up a lynch mob to attack Calderón - "it's disgraceful that the club wanted to sell him," exclaimed Roberto Carlos and the paper then went on to (incorrectly, it turns out) accuse the president of shouting at Spain's Minister of Sport in a restaurant after an incident involving Marca's editor, a cheap arse award, Paco Gento and a plastic bag.

Entertaining as all this is, jumping into the journalistic bed with Perez shatters what little credibility remained in Spanish sporting journalism. Madrid must be very short of brown envelopes, at the moment.

Speaking of lunacy, the FA's arbitration board met on Tuesday to hand out Athletic Bilbao's punishment for their fans hitting Iker Casillas on the head with a can and narrowly missing him with a penknife.

The stinging rebuke was a 600 Euro fine, although the club did write a letter of apology to the goalkeeper. So that's alright then.

The board also decided to take back Sergio Aguero's first yellow card from the Getafe match - the most obvious one - leaving him free to take on Recreativo at the weekend. They also got round to suspending Osasuna's Puñal.

The Pamplonan midfielder actually picked up his fifth yellow card - the suspension tipping point - at their home match against Sevilla last Wednesday.

However, the buffet hoovering busy bodies did not want to interrupt Thursday's public holiday and Friday's 'bridge' day by doing their job, so Puñal was free to play against Valencia, last weekend - where he picked up his sixth.

Bojan Krkic will be looking to become the youngest ever Champions League scorer, at just 11 years and 15 days. Lining up to try to stop him in this feat is the less than impressive back four of Stuttgart.

There was a whiff of excitement in the Madrid press with the news that Frank Rijkaard forced Ronaldinho into extra training on Monday, after the rest of his teammates had gone to the dressing room.

With a face like thunder, d'inho was dressed in a José Maria Aznar t-shirt and chased around the pitch by an axe wielding Oleguer.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quotes of the Week

"I don't go to the disco every night" - Although he does drive into police cars, when his GPS system tells him to. Real Madrid reject Royston Drenthe refutes his reputation as the new Patrick Kluivert.

"A lot of things happened over the summer, that you don't know about" - Mysterious Manolo Jimenez, Sevilla coach, on the reason for his side being a bit rubbish in the league, this season. And short of a session of waterboarding or del Nido giving his life story, he ain't telling.

"I get really angry during games as I hate losing" - Dangerous Dani Alves on his anger management issues, the cause of two red cards this season. He should move to Getafe.

"It's like I'm not here. It's as if I wasn't a Deportivo player" - Pablo Alvarez should be thanking his lucking stars, not complaining.

"Had I asked for a suspension, they would have said I was a mafioso" - Levante coach, de Biasi, massively overestimates Spain's organised crime definition, discussing the injury to Descarga, last weekend, at Getafe.

"I don't understand why there can't be peace" - Ronald Koeman unpacks his guitar for a chorus of Kum Ba Yah, after criticising fans for painting anti-Soler messages around Mestalla.

"My mother told me I'm the most handsome coach in the Primera. I believed her. My neighbour told me there are 15 better looking" - Deportivo coach, Miguel Angel Lotina, reveals firstly that his mother is either blind, deranged or both and secondly, that you shouldn't ever believe the papers. Possibly.

"I've done it a few times. But never in official matches" - Getafe's Contra on his twenty minute clean sheet spell in goal against Atletico. Ustari should be very worried.

"We tried it ten times on Friday. It didn't work once" - Alvaro Negredo on his incredible free kick goal from Sunday's match against Valladolid.

"I can imagine that people are not so optimistic about the Valencia or Madrid matches" - Oh dear. The proximity of Lord of Doom, Miguel Angel Lotina, has caused chirpy Frankie Rijkaard to go all introspective.

The Sack Race

Miguel Angel Lotina (Deportivo): 5-1
Victor Fernandez (Zaragoza): 6-1
Ziganda (Osasuna): 12-1
Manolo Jiminez (Sevilla): 20-1


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 15

Multi media update. You can catch the Spanish Thing's report on poor old Depor by clicking here. And you can catch it in action on this week's Extra Time on Real Madrid TV.

Good Day

Atletico Madrid

Hells Bells. To quote Iñaki Diaz Guerro in AS, "it's impossible to organise the chaos" of Sunday's 1-0 win over Getafe. It was beautiful, wonderful chaos. La Liga Loca's love affair with the Vicente Calderon continues. There may only have been one goal, but the rest of the madness more than made up for it.

On the football front, Getafe should have got the draw but blew a number of great chances. But enough of that. Sunday night saw 15 cards and six sendings off. The crowed sang 'Otra! Otra!' as the man in the middle lost the refereeing plot.

Sergio Aguero picked up two yellows for a dive and a handball. The second was harsh but probably born of his reputation. El Pato came charging out of his box, for no good reason, to pick up two yellows - "the second was fair,' he admitted.

Licht went for two yellows and Reyes walked for a tackle that the blog missed as he was too busy enjoying the sight of full back, Cosmin Contra, in the Getafe goal. Then there was the two reds for members of Atletico's training staff.

After the game, everything was a little subdued with no fisticuffs in sight. Laudrup and Aguirre looked like they had both enjoyed themselves enormously with the Atletico coach admitting that 'the match went mad.'

Samuel Eto'o

Poor old Frankie Rijkaard. He drops d'inho, plays Bojan and gets bollocked for putting too much pressure on his young stars. He playes Eto'o, d'inho and Messi together and he's branded as reckless.

There is a fair amount of criticism in the Spanish press today for Barcelona - except in Sport who drool over the fortress Camp Nou - simply because they failed to whack ten past poor old Deportivo - a side Real Madrid laboured against before winning 3-1.

The best news of the night was the return of mad Samuel Eto'o. The rough treatment dished out to him by the Depor defence suggests that he is fit as a fiddle, at last.

There is a giant season defining fortnight coming up for Barcelona. A mess up in Mestalla on Saturday and a rogering by Real Madrid at Camp Nou, in two weeks could see the Barcelona ten points behind their rivals.


The former Recreativo and current Racing Santander coach has now made himself the hottest managerial property in the league. Reports last week claimed that he will be heading back down south to take over at Sevilla, over the summer. As a parting gift he could leave Racing with the poisoned chalice of UEFA Cup football.

Racing's 3-1 win - the first time they have scored that many, this season - over Mallorca moves them into the top six. And at the expense of the Zigic possessing Valencia, too.

Real Betis

Curses. Just when La Liga Loca was gearing itself up for another fun weekend of Real Betis pee taking, they go and win. Away. With just the one shot, apparently.

The tragic situation that Betis find themselves in is that Manuel Ruis de Lopera has said that he will not 'abandon' the club while they are in trouble. But they will never be out of trouble while he is there. And if they do get out of trouble, he definitely won't leave.

Luis Fabiano

El Pais described the Brazilian's playing demeanour as 'the air of someone watching tennis at Wimbledon and eating strawberries'. All the more remarkable that he is currently the league's top scorer with ten, after a brace against poor old Murcia.

Alvaro Negredo

A belter from the former Real Madrid man, now at Almeria - a direct free kick flicked up by his teammate and wellied into the back of the net to beat Valladolid. Almería have quietly gone about their season saving business, over recent weeks. Eight points from twelve has moved the new boys into mid table with half the number needed to stay up.


A lesson to panicking presidents on what can happen if you show a little patience to your manager. A few weeks ago, Victor Muñoz was in deep do-do. Three wins from four now leaves Recreativo sitting pretty in 13th. Probably not for long, though.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy

There are still crazy English types who don't rate rampaging Ruud. His screamer against Athletic Bilbao made all the difference in a fiesty game at the San Mamés. The importance of the Dutchman to his club is reflected by the remarkable statistic that when Ruud scores, Real don't lose in the league. His 32 Primera goals for Real Madrid have contributed to 19 wins and 3 draws.

Real Zaragoza

Hard to know which section to put this lot in. 3-1 down after fourteen minutes - "when you concede three in eight minutes, it's a disadvantage," admitted Victor Fernandez - things looked very bad indeed against Espanyol.

Put then Ricardo Oliveira came off the bench grab two goals in the dying minutes of the match. Zaragoza still without a win in five.

Bad Day


Talking of Zaragoza, here's a very happy Paul from Barcelona who enjoyed the six goal thriller

"On hearing about the death of Leggy Mountbatten, The Rutles said they were "shocked and stunned" and it's exactly how Valverde and Tamudo must feel today. The great Espanyol xmas giveaway. 2 points to teams less fortunate than themselves.

After a 3 hour drive we arrived on a beautiful sunny day to discover a seriously crap ground. Think Highfield Road when it went all-seater. 1,000 fans had made the trip and were rewarded with the first gift of the day when an out of position Lacruz was out-paced by Millito who beat Kameni to open the scoring.

Then, in what was the best 10 mins I have seen Espanyol play, they destroyed Zaragoza by scoring 3 times. The first was a Tamudo classic. He was in hectares of space, cut inside a defender a curled a beauty into the top corner. Mins later Valdo (shocked and stunned, again) beat 2 players before placing, not literally, into the far corner. Espanyol were rampant. Reira beating the full back at will crossed hard and low across the face of the goal and man of the match Zabaleta buried it, again not literally.

Luis garcia missed a sitter that should have been 1-4. The second half started and Tim's fav Luccin was sent off and then tried to start a punch up with Millito. Couldn't get any better, long time Espanyol fans you know what's coming next.

Espanyol sat back and allowed Zaragoza back into the game, but Espanyol had plenty of chances to extend the lead but Zaragoza, with Ayala playing upfront, scored by using Kameni's weakness.

Crosses it low across the face of the goal, he let's it run and the forward on the back post scores. This time it was Oliveira. 2-3 only a minute left. Then walking disaster Clemente failed to do anything right. He had 8 options and chose Milito whose cross evaded Lacruz. See a pattern emerging? and saw Oliveira volley home from 6 yards.

Shocked and stunned. Stunned and shocked. Espanyol went up the other end and scored but it was disallowed for offside. Anyone see it on TV ?was it offside ?

Before the match I would have settled for a point but at the end it felt like we had lost.
1) Zaragoza fans, you got owned in your own stadium, it was Camp Nou Lite.
2) Cesar changing his kit at half time. First half: green and white. Second half :all Blue. What was that all about?
3) D'Alessandro has what can only be described as a sanitary towel in the back of his hair.
4) the pre match mag's headline "Victor Fernandez ! why don't you just go !" not exactly Morale boosting.
5) The motorway between Zaragoza and Barcelona is exactly like the track from Ridge Racer on the PlayStation
6) Aimar aka Frodo (Whoever he is) was disappointing, normally the second best player you see all season (David Villa in case you were wondering) was all over the place and lucky to stay on the pitch.

Espanyol have twice thrown away 2 goal leads away from home. This needs to be resolved, but when they up the game on Sunday they were as good as Barça(not joking) are supposed to be. Champions League is there for the taking. Zaragoza seemed disjointed,not pattern,over elaborate and lacking team spirit. Mid table at best."

Paul, Barcelona


The Yellow Submarine could have grabbed this league by the gonads now. But one point in three matches and Sunday's defeat against Betis...Betis!...blows that out the friggin footballing window. Sort it out.


The match that Levante really, really needed to win. Three points would have dragged them a bit closer to the then fourth from bottom Recreativo and a little bit closer to the nose diving Deportivo. But it wasn't to be. It's still too early to write them off, but results like Sunday's mean the quills - if people still use them - are being moistened.


Their wretched season continues. Despite having Portillo (don't laugh), Dady and Pandiani to chose from as strikers, Osasuna are desperately goal shy, this season, with just seventeen.


More precisely a bad day for fifty-three of their Ultra fans who were detained at the Osasuna match attempting to start a riot. On Monday, alarming photos were published of the knives and baseball bats the hooligans were travelling with. Luckily the local police were on the ball, when the club wasn't.

The Yomus supporter's group that the Ultras were part of had been expelled from Riazor earlier in the season, for similar reasons. Other non violent fan groups had complained to the club that they were being given tickets, alongside the thugs, at away games. These complaints fell on deaf ears and will continue to do so, no doubt.

Sections of the Athletic Bilbao support must be mentioned, too - for throwing bricks at the Real Madrid team coach and for hurling objects at the visiting players during the match. Iker Casillas was struck on the head by a can, whilst a pen knife whizzed past him. There is no talk of stadium closures in the Spanish press, today.


Anyone missed? Just click on comments for your say.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Big Weekend Preview - Round 15


Osasuna (13th) v Sevilla (12th)

Pity the poor, impoverished Valencia players. Not only do they have to suffer insults and taunts from their home fans - "they booed us from the 7th minute," complained one - but they have to do so earning a mere 20 shillings a week with a bag of oats win bonus thrown in.

"There are many players who could earn more elsewhere, like at Atletico Madrid," complained a gaunt and starving, David Albeda, alluding to Diego Forlan's decision to turn down a move to Mestalla, over the summer, and stuff his mattress with money in Madrid.

"If Valencia continue with their salary cap, he will never play there," warned the agent of long term target, Rafa Van der Vaart, a man who has very quickly changed his 'come and get me Valencia!' tune to 'I would like to go to a Spanish team!' Draw.

Athletic Bilbao (11th) v Real Madrid (1st)

AS's interview with the soon to be departing Jerzy Dudek was entertainingly predictable, this week. Amongst the hard hitting questions like, "would you like to play more?" and "isn't Raul dreamy?" was the old staple jammed in at number two - "do you like Spanish food?" - code for "do you like ham?"

Aware that Valencia's Francesco Tavano had to flee the country for confessing that he was not keen on the Spanish staple, Real's Polish stopper did the right thing. "I could live on ham," he gushed, "for breakfast, lunch and dinner." Phew, sighed a relieved nation. Draw.


Almeria (14th) v Valladolid (15th)

Does anyone else think that Valladolid sounds like a good name for some kind of rectal-related ointment? Draw.

Villarreal (3rd) v Betis (19th)

Normally, Manuel Ruis de Lopera is the kind of guy you can leave your niece with, safe in the fact that he wouldn't sell her into slavery - at least, not for a good price. So La Liga Loca was shocked to its very core on Sunday, when it read that Hector Cuper and been booted out just days after de Lopera claimed that, "I've never questioned Cuper. We are very happy with him."

If it wasn't for down to earth gents like Ramon Calderon, this blog would have lost its faith in human nature, entirely.

Levante (20th) v Recreativo (15th)

A whopper for lowly Levante on Sunday. Four points adrift at the bottom of the table, they have a chance of a lifeline with the visit of an unconvincing Recreativo side. But their chance may be ruined by the fact that their players have their minds on other things - not in the Ashley Young sense - but instead, cash. Or more precisely the fact that the club have stopped giving it to them.

"No one from the club has called me," complained Riga, "instead, only my bank has contacted me about my account." A handy hint from La Liga Loca. Shout "what! No comprendez" back, in English. Throws them off the scent for at least a fortnight. Home win.

Zaragoza (9th) v Espanyol (5th)

There are two names tied at the top of La Liga Loca's managerial sack race - the old fella at Betis and Zaragoza's Victor Fernandez. Despite the club's impressive performance, last season, and the fact that most of the back four are currently crocked, poor old Victor has been given just two weeks to save his arse from being fired. Luckily he has Roberto Ayala standing shoulder to shoulder with him, "we have to be more together than ever," he exclaimed. Home win.

Racing Santander (7th) v Mallorca (8th)

To give an example of how dull Racing Santander really are, Marca's most recent news on them is the match report from last weekend. La Liga Loca is calling upon a plague of mutant bees or an alien abduction of Ezequiel Garay to afflict the club next week. Anything will do. Home win.

Sevilla (12th) v Murcia (16th)

Sevilla managed something, this week, that they had not done before. Drawing a game. So far this season, the side has yoyo'ed between impressive poundings and hapless defeats, with as much balance as Maniche and Xavi on a see-saw.

On Wednesday night, the southerners headed to Osasuna to play their catch up game and managed an average, that'll do nicely 1-1 draw. The Spanish football press continued their assumption that everyone in the country went to medical school by trumpeting, on Friday, that Adriano does not have a 'microrrotura en los isquiotibiales.' Which is of great relief to everyone, I'm sure. Home win.

Atletico (4th) v Getafe (10th)

With both Madrid sides having headed to Denmark to play mindblowingly unimportant UEFA cup games, there was plenty of excuse for stories of how the poor, never experienced cold in their lives, players would be in Han Solo style frozen postures, within seconds of running out to the pitch.

Unfortunately, these were stories ruined by facts - "I've played in similar conditions," said Cleber Santana, "I don't like it, but it's ok." "We'll try and run around so we don't get cold," boasted Thiago Motta promising an activity he should be doing anyway, irrespective of the temperature. Draw.

Barcelona (2nd) v Deportivo (18th)

Stuck in the relegation zone, as much chance of scoring as La Liga Loca at the Supermodelo after party and officially up for sale, life probably can't get any worse for Deportivo fans. Until Sunday, that is, with a visit to the Camp Nou and the possible return of both Deco and Eto'o, armed with hammers to bang the nails into their opponents footballing coffins.

"I'm very worried," puffed club president, Lendoiro, squeezing his stress ball. It is emotion shared by doom in human form, Miguel Angel Lotina. "We have to change our attitude and fight more," he moaned. Home win.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Marca's Knee in the Knackers for Calderón

Marca's 'Schuster to England!' and 'Ramos to Milan!' stories published over recent weeks were merely the daintiest of digs aimed in Real Madrid's direction, compared to what they ran in their editorial section on Sunday.

The daily paper went for a full on kick in the gonads by suggesting that Rámon Calderón had rigged last year's presidential election and was milking the club for every penny it was worth, like a starving dairy farmer.

The writer giving the hefty boot into the Bernabeu outfit was J. Antonio Abellán, who also went on to accuse the Real Madrid bigwig of giving away club memberships to curry favours and pocketing whopping great commissions from tv deals and player purchases.

"(Real Madrid) has been good for the personal and economic promotion of Calderón and his hangers on, but bad for Real Madrid," he declared.

All untrue, replied the defendant on Spanish radio, on Monday, branding those who attack him as "mentally unbalanced".

The Real Madrid boss claimed that he took no salary from Real Madrid and just claimed expenses from "when I travel in the club's name."

Calderón said that his income came from his old law firm and his wife's decorating business. "I live like a normal, middle class person," said the down to earth man of the people.

He also denied pocketing 40 million euros in commission from the club's recent tv rights deal or anything from Pepe's purchase.

Whats more, club super jet, 'La Saeta' isn't a noisy heap of junk, according to Calderon, "the airplane makes airplane noises, nothing more," bellowed the hearing impaired bigwig on the plane that is unable to fly at night due to noise regulations.

Talking about "mentally unbalanced" people, Marca's Roberto Gomez has suggested that Pepe is the 'heir to Hierro'.

The man who has the unenviable task of having to kiss both Ramon Calderón's and Fabio Capello's arse writes that the four matches he has seen Pepe play in has convinced him that "we are before a footballer of our age".

Incidentally, in the four matches he played in, the pin-headed Pepe has helped concede five goals.

More secrets have emerged on the reasons for Raul's recent revival. As well as sleeping in an oxygen tent, it seems that the Real Madrid striker is put into cryogenic suspension after each game. Sort of.

This being cheap arsed Spain, the striker is made to stand in a pool of ice after every match - a revolutionary technique used by other clubs for decades now.

Let's hope he has plenty of time to recover before seeing Mrs Raul.

The story did give AS the excuse to publish the fantastic story that Betis once decided to conduct the kind of experiment on its players than only astronauts normally have to endure.

Last season, the club shoved six of its squad into a cold chamber and dropped the temperature down to a fatal sounding -140F.

This maybe something the new Betis manager, Paco Chaparro wants to employ on his forward line. Just to cheer himself up.

Manuel Ruis de Lopera has decided to hand his latest stooge a contract to the end of the season with "the basic task of not going into the Segunda."

And he has a very good chance of achieving this aim. Chapparo is one of the hottest young managerial talents in Spain and has been tipped for the Barcelona post, in the future.

Nor really. Poor Paco is 65 years old and has been plucked from Betis B, where the only notably thing he has achieved in his career is to get them promoted.

One of Paco's reported managerial tricks is to force his charges to read Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". Unless, there is a version with naked ladies on alternate pages, he is unlikely to have much luck with this cunning plan with his new players.

La Liga Loca suspects that de Lopera just popped down the local Dia, grabbed the nearest dribbling geriatric and stuck him in a green track suit.

A fuming Espanyol president, Daniel Sánchez Llibre, has responded to accusations from Barca's Joan Laporta that he is infantile by commenting that "at least I never been stood in my underpants at the airport." A good point.

And finally, Levante's Iñaki Descarga has talked about being knocked out during Sunday's Getafe match, an incident he has fully recovered from, by the way. "I don't remember a thing," revealed the club captain.

Reports are now coming through that the side's supporters have begun smashing themselves on the head with frozen legs of ham to try and erase the entire season from their memories.


All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday's Good Day, Bad Day - Round 14

For the Spanish Thing's take on the Catalan derby. Just click here.

Espanyol, Barcelona

Messi a great player! Barcelona deserving to win! Has Paul the Perico fallen for the cutest of culés. Or just banged his head? Let's find out.

"Derby day. Barça fans crossed the city in their 10's and did their team proud by singing heartily through a minute's silence for a policeman killed by E.T.A.

A large crowd considering it was on TV, created a fantastic atmosphere but it was Barça who dominated thanks to Messi who caused chaos every time he got the ball. Well the first time he got the ball he ran past 3 players to cross for Iniesta to score..oh dear, it doesn't look good.

It was all Barça, Gudjohnsen !!! controlling Midfield. Stringing together was a problem for us, Passes for them sentences. Barça hit the bar twice in 30 seconds and should have gone in at half time two up.

But the second half, Espanyol came out fighting, so did Puyol who was trying his hardest to get booked. Espanyol started to pass better and while not creating clear chances were causing problems.

A great run from, the up to now anonymous, Riera and the ball fell to Coro who slotted home. Cue wild celebrations especially from the bloke next to me who nearly had a heart attack.

But rather than go for the kill (hello England), Espanyol allowed Barça back into the game and it was only thanks to Kameni and crap finishing, Yes you Leo, that allowed Espanyol to hold on for a point.

Overall Barça were the better team and should have won but then again i should be going out with Jessica Alba.

1) Messi was great. Even though you know what he's going to do he does it and makes your full back look stupid
2) In line with the current mania for Bob Dylan. The forgotten line from "Blowin in the wind"
"How many fouls must Puyol commit before he is sent off the pitch ?" was very apt.
3) Luis Garcia being barged over by The manic Muppet for a penalty. Looked like a clear one from my viewpoint. was it ?
4) Yaya Toure must be know as Gulliver from now on
5) The ref was as usual quite one sided..Guess which way?
6) Bojan looks like the Mascot who stayed on the pitch
7) Barça fans...throwing flares into a family section is not big nor clever..why didn't you do this Against Rangers. That's right they would have fought back. Let's see Laporta spin this one.

So i'm happy with a point and i'm off to Zaragoza next weekend. This week Messi, next week Aimar is there no escape from Tiny argies who are really good."

Paul, Barcelona


You would have to be the most antipático of anti-madridistas not to want to give Raul a pat the back for being back on top of the Pichichi pile. Yes, he is still sulky. Yes, he keeps doing the annoying name-pointing goal celebration, but the striker seems to be back at his best.

His goalie-dummying body shape for his first strike on Saturday was exquisite and the second was Raul's first free kick since April 2000. "I'm playing closer to the area," was the simple explanation for his recent revival, which began, let's not forget under Capello.

Athletic Bilbao

Holy crap. Despite Valencia being awful these days, the fact that Athletic are not much better and had not managed a win in Mestalla for twenty years suggested that a 3-0 away win was unlikely.

Hero of the hour was Fernando Llorente who has been the boo boy of Bilbao. His relief at his two strikes was very visible. And since when has Fran Yeste had hair?

Athletic's problems this season have come at home, with the pressure of the San Mamés home support resulting in just one win, this season.

Diego Forlán

With Valencia a slow motion car crash and Sevilla stuck in the mud, the rojiblancos will never have a better opportunity to grab a top four finish - something that their summer time spending demands.

A lot of their cash was splashed on Diego Forlán. Money very well spent. The Uruguayan popped up with a penalty on Thursday and his goal against Betis was a joy. The ball from Kun, the darting run, the chest control and his final strike were the hallmarks of one of the best finishers around.

Diego Alves

The stand in 'keeper for Almería was the first Brazilian goalie to play in the Primera. And he celebrated this debut with a cracking performance to keep out the faltering force of Sevilla and helped his side grab three very important points.


Maybe, just maybe someone at Valladold is reading La Liga Loca? Maybe not. The blog was calling for the hopeless stopper, Butelle, to be dropped. And so it came to pass. And so it came to pass that the home side manage only their second clean sheet of the season.

Valladolid's new hope between the posts is Sergio Asenjo - a Spanish U19 international and someone that Chelsea have been sniffing around. They won't be the only ones, now.


A win against Deportivo after three defeats gives Osasuna a bit of breathing space. But only a bit, mind.


A job saving victory for Victor Muñoz against the side he used to manage. "I was on the brink of a heart attack, at the end," confessed the coach after the 2-1 win over Zaragoza.


A very, very close squeak indeed for Getafe who grabbed a last minute 2-1 win over lowly Levante to move them into 10th with four wins from five. An honourable mention most go to Rúben de la Red, but the hero of the day for the Coliseum conquerors was Braulio, a striker who was complaining all week, that the boss did not seem to rate him. Michael Laudrup motivational genius, anyone?

Bad Day

Real Zaragoza

The league table puts this lot in 9th. Lord knows how.

Real Betis

About this time, last year, La Liga Loca went to watch Betis in 1-1 against Getafe - a fairly unpleasant experience, as it happens. La Liga Loca thought that there was hope for Betis and that Javier Irureta was doing ok. Days later, he was sacked. Then Luis Fernandez was sacked. And now Héctor Cúper - 'un señor' said the club on its web site.

Perhaps they were all terrible appointees and deserved to go? If so, then only one man is to blame - the man who made them in the first place. Step forward Don Manuel Ruis de Lopera and Hugo the Huskie.

The Betis majority shareholder has apparently shelved plans to sell up and move out. There is now absolutely no hope for Betis. The is no light at the end of the tunnel, no dawn following the dark, no rainbow after the rain. Betis are screwed from top to bottom. And only the most insane or incompetent of managers will want to take over from Cúper at this most craziest of clubs. What is Javier Clemente up to these days?


Now, this is starting to be fun. Attendances down 20,000 from the start of the season. Out of this season's Champions League and probably next's. Three defeats in five.

Quique has his critics, but he would surely be doing better than poor old Ronald Koeman, who is on a hiding to nothing.

"Far from stopping their fall, he's accelerating it," wrote AS. "We lacked courage and aggressiveness," moaned the Dutch coach on two qualities possessed by David Albeda. The same Albeda that Koeman left on the bench.


Before the weekend, Manuel Jiménez expressed concerns that the Champions League was a distraction for Sevilla. He is right. Before the season started, many suggested that a top four would be a tall order for the UEFA cup champions. Few suspected that it would be a bottom four finish instead.

"Our reality now is not the Champions, nor the league, nor UEFA but it is moving up the table," said Vincenzo Maresca on his team, which has now lost four matches from five. The most recent was the 1-0 reverse against Almería - a reverse that left Jiménez 'pretty angry'.

Iñaki Descarga

A very bad day at the office for the Levante captain. Firstly he was nearly knocked unconscious by attempting to block a shot with his head. But the job was done minutes later when de la Red crashed into the defender, knocking him out cold and giving everyone watching a very worrying ten minutes.

Fortunately, Descarga made a recovery in hospital with the doctors advising that his life was never in any danger.


A combination of a 'flu afflicted squad combined with that squad being rubbish leaves Deportivo in the relegation zone.


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