A Tour of Spain
"We´re angry as it´s not normal for a side to let in two goals in the first twenty minutes", grumbled a non-plussed Javier Aguirre, reflecting on the foul up. The Mexican may also have mentioned that it was not normal to concede nine goals against Barcelona and Celta Vigo at home - the two defeats that resulted in their Intertoto inspired Romanian rumble.
"In the first half we were dead", admitted Peter Luccin, who picked up his traditional yellow card for a lazy tackle, although the gobbing off at the ref red, did not follow, for once.
Martin Petrov has been punished for the defeat by being shipped off to Manchester City, whilst the club´s whopping debt just got that little bit bigger with the purchase of Simao, from Benfica.
In order to ensure that Atletico pass through to the heady heights of the UEFA Cup qualifying rounds, Diego Forlán and Sergio Aguero have had their holidays postponed and both will be in action against Gloria Bistrita on Saturday night. A failure to win and the first managerial casuality of the new season would not be a great shock.
Members of the Real Madrid badge wearing press that are still lingering in the city, have begun to haul themselves into the upper levels of Bernd Schuster´s arse, where they can expect to remain camped until the German is fired and replaced by Hugo Sanchéz, some time in February.
In a nifty bit of revisionist history, that even Stalin would consider a little tacky, the writers have gasped at the amazing one touch football Schuster plans to use, to dominate the world. And, with it, a brand new formation, called 4-4-2. "Schuster will use two strikers!", gasped AS, handily overlooking the Ruud, Raul, Robinho and Higuaín formation, the supposedly dour Capello often threw out onto the pitch.
Still, the players are happy in their Austrian mountain hide out, with trotting around golf courses on 6km runs and warm up matches against Stoke City to keep them occupied.
Iker Casillas has even found time amongst the strenous work, to have a pop at Barcelona. "Their side reminds me of Real Madrid four years ago", opined the stopper, "they have the names, but Real Madrid have the team". And of course, Guti had to have his say, "Barcelona have the names, we are a team", said the midfielder, reading from his specially prepared cue card.
The still fractious-looking Barcelona have spent the week being photographed with kilt wearing "Scotch" people, as Sport put it, up in St. Andrews and will be hoping and praying - probably pointlessly - that Dundee United won´t be in a mood to boot them around the pitch, during Thursday night´s friendly.
But it is a match that Thierry Henry is set to play in, "I´m not nervous about my debut, but emotional", admitted the French forward.
The player who has been kicked out of the starting line up to make room for the Henry, Etoo and ´dinho trio, is the depressed-looking Deco. And this has kicked off a furious round of rumours that he will heading off to pastures new, sometime soon. "I imagine they are counting on me", shrugged the pint-sized Portuguese.
One man who has been enjoying the traditionally lazy-arsed Catalan training camp, is Eric Abidal, who is enjoying the experience of being spared pesky runs to go on. "Here, we touch the ball from day one", he beamed, sipping his mojito.
The good ship Sevilla has sailed into choppy waters with Juande Ramos yet to sign a new contract deal and complaining that the his team is still "a selling club". An injury to Ernesto Chevantón, has left the team a little short up front and Ramos has been calling for the purchase of a replacement.
"The make up of the squad is soley the responsibiliy of the sporting director", barked José Maria del Nido, who then admitted that "there was nothing new", with the Ramos talks. "It will be difficult to come to an agreement", said the potty president on someone who has foolishly become more important to the club, than himself.
Sevilla´s bad week began with the news that Jesus Navas´ nervous condition continues and the midfielder will not be joining the club on the US tour. And defender and captain, Javi Navarro is set to miss out for two months.
The Andalusian side are going to have to pull themselves together very soon as they move into an August that sees them play a two legged Super Cup match with Real Madrid, a European Super Cup with AC Milan and a Champions League qualifier. And that´s before the proper season starts.
Villarreal are pondering whether to fill their Diego Forlán-sized hole with either Julio Baptista or even serial sulker, Nicolas Anelka, from Bolton.
Getafe are set to flog Dani Guiza to Russian side, Rubin Gazan, for 4.2 million euros, just days after the striker apologised for his end of season strops, that saw him threatening to leave for Mallorca, "a bigger club". "I´m taking this pre season more seriously than the last. And I´ve learned to shut my mouth," confessed the Siberia bound forward a little tardily.
Valencia have had a strangely quiet summer, since the depature of Amedeo Carboni and are celebrating Chelsea´s new tight wad ways, which has enabled them to hang on to David Villa, "I never thought about leaving" and bring in Ivan Helguera from Real Madrid.
Some of the Primera´s finest have been warming up by taking on what appears to be sides made up of nuns and toddlers. Real Murcia banged ten passed Ben Carló, Levante thwacked Naveleno 16-0, Mallorca thrashed Mithesill 10-1 and Villarreal tonked Navata 13-0.
Down in the second division, dirty-tackling Diego Rivas, has been making a great impression on new Real Sociedad boss, Chris Coleman. "I don´t have to prove anything to anyone", boasted Rivas, last week. "Only my wife and my family are important to me".
A stance that didn´t go down well at all with the new Welsh wizard, at the helm. His midfielder was forced to train on his own on a day off. Coleman added that, "I also have a wife and children and I also have an obligation to the club and fans".
And the superbly named Hercules have added to the ever lengthening list of unfortunate advertising campaigns. Their latest campaign features freshly dug graves scattered around their pitch. "Each rival has its own spot at the Rico Perez". Oh dear.
Your Questions Answered!
Do you think we will gradually see the death of the sports newspaper industry in Spain due to the internet? Mundo Deportivo, Marca etc are generally so far behind with gossip in comparison to the 'red', I for one have stopped buying them. (not that they have ever been particularly favourable or informative for Espanyol fans anyway, especially the Esporc)
There will always be a place in Spain for these kind of papers. They just serve the purpose of writing what their fans want to hear, "Barça are great, Real are rubbish, Barça are rubbish, Real are great, etc". In fact, if you believe their blurb, sales appear to be rising, no matter what tosh they print.
All blog content copyright of La Liga Loca, 2007