How could we possibly miss this?

The Quiniela is back!

Yes, I do feel a bit rusty, but when Phil texted me suggesting to return to our old one-two routine until the end of the season I thought: “Do I have anything else better to do?”

You’re reading these lines, so you can easily imagine the answer to that not-so-rhetorical question. Continue reading “How could we possibly miss this?”

The end of the road

Preview of LaLiga’s 38th week

It’s an intriguing weekend, this one. LaLiga has organised the relevant matches in two groups that kick off at the same time: one, on Saturday at 16:15, includes the matches that will determine who plays Champions League and Europa League football next season. The second cluster, on Saturday at 20:45, groups all teams in the relegation zone – and yes, Girona still has a minimal chance of staying up, but involves such a bizarre scenario that I believe that LaLiga has scheduled matches this way out of pure good manners. The remaining matches, completely meaningless, have been thrown around the weekend to fill the gaps for China – i.e. early kickoff times. Continue reading “The end of the road”

Getafe, Sevilla or Valencia?

Preview of LaLiga’s 35th week

The story of the season, Barcelona’s title aside, has to be Getafe. We’ve made fun quite often of his reduced set of followers, half empty stadium, bizarre decision-making in hirings and firings. But the fact is that coach Bordalas has put together such a competitive side that even though you’ll hardly fall in love with their tactics, watching them play is strangely addictive. Can they beat Sevilla and Valencia, much bigger and well funded clubs, for the fourth spot? That’s the most interesting subplot in these last four matches. Continue reading “Getafe, Sevilla or Valencia?”

Pep, hero or villain?

Preview of LaLiga’s 33rd week

I can’t help it. After reading hundreds of takes about Pep Guardiola – from the “Bald Fraud” to the “Inventor of Modern Football”, and many other more reasonable pieces / threads in between – I must give mine. First, and as a disclaimer, I have to link to this, an old piece I wrote for espnfc which is now only found in this blog that copied verbatim. The short version: I am a Madridista from birth, I have seen both the Guardiola player and the Guardiola coach defeat my team quite a few times, and therefore I should hate Guardiola with all my might, but I can’t. Continue reading “Pep, hero or villain?”

Title dead, long live title

Three real derbies, a couple of teams in revival mode to avoid relegation, a legitimate competition between seven teams for the Europa League spots… This matchday brings a few interesting questions, even if what was left of the title fight finished last weekend with Atleti’s defeat at the Camp Nou. The effect of this for LaLiga may well be several rotations for Valverde’s side – yes, that Valverde – and some upsets in the shape of Barcelona not winning a few matches between now and the end of the season as they try to preserve their top talent for their Champions League title run. Continue reading “Title dead, long live title”

Must watch TV

Review of Laliga’s 31st week

The most bizarre times of LaLiga, back when it was just the Primera División, were when Ramón Mendoza, Josep Lluis Nuñez and Jesús Gil y Gil – father of Atleti’s current GM and shareholder – occupied the presidencies of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid respectively. Nothing was off the table, especially where Gil was involved. We saw him punch other clubs’ executives, present tv programmes from a bathtub surrounded by girls in bikini, vouch for his horse as the best candidate for Atleti’s bench… The other two presidents tried to look professional in Gil y Gil’s presence, but every once in a while they would fall for his provocations, which generated even more cheese and hilarity. Continue reading “Must watch TV”

The new normal

Preview of LaLiga’s 29th week

Sorry about the late post, but things are hectic at Chez Alvarez, as well as in Alvarez’s full time job. The question is not when will things go back to normal, but if. And I guess the answer is NO.

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 “The new normal”

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”