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”

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Messi steals the show

Summary of the weekend in LaLiga

Plenty of narratives could have become the centre of this article in an eventful weekend of Spanish football, but I wisely chose to start writing after the end of the last match. Barcelona were due at Betis in the Sunday evening Partidazo, and after Setien’s team win in the Camp Nou a few months ago, it was easy to expect a serious, determined perhaps vengeful performance by Messi & co. If Barcelona needed some extra motivation, on Saturday Atletico had lost in Bilbao, which meant that a victory of the Azulgrana in Sevilla could also give them a 10-point advantage with 10 matches left. Continue reading “Messi steals the show”

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”

The Horny Zombies of Getafe

There are some nice images from this weekend’s action in Spain.  I particularly like the one of Alaves’ Takashi Inui  (‘Taka’ to his friends) being hugged at the end of the game by his ex-team-mates from Eibar, even though he’d just scored against them and celebrated the goal,  breaking the unspoken Spanish law which states: ‘Thou shalt not celebrate a goal against thy ex-team-mates unless thou hast not played for said team for some time and/or thou hast left in a cloud of pissed-offness’.  Inui, polite to a fault as the Japanese tend to be, begged for forgiveness after the game but decided not to commit suicide on his ceremonial sword – possibly because the result was 1-1 but also because his departure from Eibar to Betis at the end of last season was conducted in perfectly amicable circumstances. In fact Inui failed miserably at Betis, despite the fact that his style of play suited theirs, clearly one of the reasons  why Quique Setién fancied him, only to subsequently leave him rotting on the bench. Continue reading “The Horny Zombies of Getafe”

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”

All you need is hope and love

There’s plenty to talk about this weekend, although many columns have already been filled regarding the ‘clásico week’.  The problem, however, with too much focus on the terrible twins is that it can detract from other worthy stuff in Spain, of which there was plenty at the weekend. Continue reading “All you need is hope and love”

Conclusions from two clásico defeats

With yet another defeat to Barcelona in the Santiago Bernabeu – the fifth in six matches –, it’s the first time that Real Madrid have lost three consecutive home matches since 2004. Let’s finish the brutal statistics intro with the most hurting one for Real Madrid fans: after 87 years, Barcelona lead the head-to-head stats with 96 wins vs 95 for Real Madrid.

That said, let’s draw conclusions from these two clásicos and ponder what awaits Solari and his players for the rest of the season: Continue reading “Conclusions from two clásico defeats”