Hungover

It’s one of those weekends that doesn’t bode well and which promises a hangover – in the collective national sense because only one of Spain’s teams is in the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals.  Let’s overlook the fact that a decent wedge of Barça’s supporters are in favour of their own Republic and just underline the fact that the 28th week of LaLiga will be played out in the shadow of the unfortunate and unusual reality of a slim presence in Europe, and that maybe only Barcelona will begin their game (at Betis) with a smile. The two V’s (Valencia and Villarreal) continue in the Europa League, but even in that context there was Spanish tragedy, with Sevilla knocked out in extra-time in Prague. Continue reading “Hungover”

Job (in)security

Preview of LaLiga’s 27th week

Up to four coaches could be packing their bags after this LaLiga weekend is over. The poor performances of Valladolid, Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano and… oh well, Real Madrid, could easily result in four dismissals, as club management will feel they’d be more than justified after their respective sequences of results, and all four squads look as though they could do with an injection of morale from a new manager. Continue reading “Job (in)security”

Late to the party

(Late) Preview of LaLiga’s 26th Week

With embarrassing delay due to reasons beyond this scribe’s control, this Quiniela is published when the first match of the weekend has already been played and the second is about to start. In any case, I was taught that when one is late, explanations rarely help, so let’s just get to it.

Shall we? Let’s start. Remember, it’s ‘1’ for a home win, ‘X’ for a draw and ‘2’ for an away win. Continue reading “Late to the party”

To be or not to be… a derbi

“derbi”:

From the English word Derby, name of a famous horse race, created by the Count of Derby.

  1. m. Horse race, especially the famed one celebrated annually in which three-year-old specimens participate.
  2. m. Sporting confrontation, usually playing the sport of football, between two sides followed by fans who maintain a rivalry, often due to regional reasons.

Continue reading “To be or not to be… a derbi”

Quiniela: Week 24

OMG it’s Friday! Must be time for the quiniela,  I remember when my dad won 50 pounds on the English football pools, back in about 1968.  He bought his first car with it, a second-hand Standard 8.

The first day he decided to take it to work, it wouldn’t start.  It didn’t start much for the next year either, which just goes to show that the pleasure in predicting football results is all about getting more predictions right than your mate, or than those other anonymous individuals who place their bets on Liga Fever. It’s not about the money, since we can only offer you international prestige.  Last week Eduardo scored a spanking 7, and called some difficult ones in the process.  Maybe it’s getting easier….who knows?  I’ll try my best. Continue reading “Quiniela: Week 24”

Peaking at the right time

Just over a month ago, I thought this season was pretty much over, at least in terms of title race and Champions League spots. But a few things have changed: Real Madrid have regrouped, Atletico are still consistent and Valencia finally look like they did last season, while Barcelona and Sevilla somehow play less convincingly and could drop points when least expected. Does that mean that we have a title race? No, not yet. But if, like many of us, you thought this season would end with Barcelona, Atletico, Real and Sevilla in that order, it’s now becoming quite possible that it won’t. Continue reading “Peaking at the right time”

A cup to mess it all

Review of LaLiga’s 22nd week

This weekly column is, by design, LaLiga centric. The Copa del Rey features only occasionally, en passant, whenever one of its midweek matches may have an impact on the upcoming weekend. However, the results of Friday’s draw have taken that potential impact to unprecedented heights, at least in recent memory: Barcelona and Real Madrid will play for a spot in the final, the two legs of their semifinal round happening at extremely inconvenient moments of the season.

Continue reading “A cup to mess it all”