In our last Quiniela, Phil and I started to compete on our weekly predictions. It wasn’t an auspicious start by any stretch of the imagination: after a decent 2/3 in Saturday’s matches, both of us only got one result right in the remaining seven matches, ending up tied at 3/10. This weekend looks a lot easier, or at least I keep telling myself so.
Shall we? Remember, it’s ‘1’ for a home win, ‘X’ for a draw and ‘2’ for an away win.
Continue reading “Matchday 22”
Just for a change I think it might be nice to start at the other end of the football scale and leave the big boys for later on – a bit like starting Match of the Day with Watford v Burnley. That’s going to annoy somebody, but you know what I mean. Another reason is that there are no league games now for a fortnight because the next round of the King’s Cup will be played next weekend, so there’s time for pause and reflection.
Continue reading “Starting at the other end”
New Year, old socks, as my father used to say. Anything new, borrowed or blue? Well, as far as I can see from my lookout post here in the wild north of Spain, things are pretty much the same. Real Madrid are blue having been defeated by Getafe (they play in blue, in case you didn’t get the joke), and was it simply a case of no-Vinicius-no-party? Possibly, but the old socks would seem to be the tendency of Real Madrid to start every new year with some trepidation, and this year it was a player who is normally borrowed on loan (Enes Unal) but who now plays in blue who did the early damage, from which RM never recovered.
Continue reading “New Year, Old Socks”
Just finished Squid Game, and before you say ‘What took you so long?’ I have the pre-prepared retort that I prefer to let the hype settle before I tune in. I came late to Game of Thrones for the same reason, but returning to the Korean series, I wasn’t expecting that ending. I won’t deliver a spoiler, but unexpected twists are hard to deliver these days….and in football terms, you probably know where this is heading. It seems as if Spanish football is in need of ‘a Leicester’, a twist – and has been in need for some time now.
Continue reading “Squid Game”
Really tough weekend for predictions, as Covid has weakened some teams more than others. Let’s keep an eye on the absentees. The last matchday before the end of the year is usually full of upsets and shocking results, as players’ minds are usually elsewhere already.
Shall we? Remember, it’s ‘1’ for a home win, ‘X’ for a draw and ‘2’ for an away win. I’ve forfeited Celta vs Espanyol, as I delivered this after the final whistle.
Continue reading “Matchday 18”
Ancelotti’s libretto is working wonders so far
Well, that was slightly disappointing, Atleti. Some of us believed that, on the back of that miraculous classification for the knockout stages of the Champions League, the team would recover some of their swagger in their visit to the Bernabeu. It wasn’t meant to happen, though.
Continue reading “Real Madrid’s title to lose”
As Julius Caesar said – a coward dies a thousand deaths but a valiant man tastes death only once. I’ll try to be as valiant as possible here, but we do need to improve on Eduardo’s score of 3/10 last week. It’s one thing being valiant, but sometimes you need to get it right. I’ve stepped in this week because Ed (who is generally valiant in his predictions) is on a long-haul flight as I write. So let’s see if this week’s fixtures are any easier to predict.
Continue reading “Matchday 17”
As Paul Gascoigne once remarked ‘“I’ve had 14 bookings this season—eight of them were my fault, but the other seven were disputable.” What is not in dispute is Real Madrid’s current leadership of LaLiga, or the fact that they won fairly and squarely on Saturday night in Anoeta – or if you really insist, in the Reale Arena in San Sebastián. As promised last week on these very pages, I attended the game in the flesh, alongside my son who had flown down from Amsterdam to see the event. He was released from footy obligations, with the Dutch leagues below full-time pro forced back into lockdown. So you would have thought that Real Madrid could have gifted us a magical evening together, but alas, Ancelotti and company were not in the pre-Christmas spirit.
Continue reading “No dispute”
Is Carlo making the same mistakes as iin that 14/15 season?
Do you remember the 2014/15 season? If you root for Barcelona, it’s an unforgettable one: the club conquered the treble under Luis Enrique, with Messi, Neymar and Suárez firing on all cylinders. But if you’re a Real Madrid fan, it’s a huge “what if” season: what if Modric hadn’t lost half of the season injured? What if Carletto had rotated the team during the magical months of October and November, when Real Madrid were flying?
Continue reading “Matchday 16”
I’d been hoping to mark this debut round-up for the noble pages of Football España with a rant-free feeling to it, but why change the habits of a lifetime? It was actually an interesting weekend’s action, to quote that over-used English adjective, but not without its controversies. I refer of course to the hand of Piqué, as opposed to God, and to the strange antics of Mateu Lahoz, Spain’s refereeing equivalent to Boris Johnson. Like Johnson, Mateo Lahoz talks a lot but rarely makes any sense, and his talk tends to be focused on explaining away yet another crass mistake he has just made. Johnson has better hair, but Lahoz can run faster. More on his bizarre decision in the Espanyol v Real Sociedad match later.
Continue reading “Of Xavi’s flower and Mateu Lahoz’s alternative universe”