The first 90 minutes

Preview of LaLiga’s 14th week

As Bobby Robson said, ‘The first 90 minutes are the most important’.  That’s what we’ll be basing the quiniela on this weekend, give or take a few stoppage-time accidents and the fatigue/morale of the teams who were involved in European ties and even the Copa del Rey (Athletic and Huesca).  I’m taking my turn to do the predictions this time around due to a quick hop over to Africa at the weekend, which will prevent me from seeing most of the LaLiga games, so Eduardo will do the round-up. Continue reading “The first 90 minutes”

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Seville thrill, Madrid skid

Ave Princeps! We have a new leader! Step up to the podium Sevilla FC, who have already been there twice this season, but who had to wait quite a while before that – since the 2006-7 season to be precise, under the currently unemployed Juande Ramos.   They took over the top spot from Barcelona, (who drew in the last gasp at the Willy Wanda) by defeating Valladolid 1-0 in slightly controversial circumstances, the visitors having had two goals disallowed.

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Andre Silva sends ’em wild in Seville

Continue reading “Seville thrill, Madrid skid”

Biases and Soft Spots

Preview of LaLiga’s 13th week

Two weeks ago, this scribe wrote “If Betis can take the ball away from Barcelona and get a result at the Camp Nou, I’ll believe in Setien”. Well, I’ll now have to believe in the wizard from Santander, leaving aside my obvious reluctance for his patronizing way of describing how the other teams play and his habit of throwing his own players under the bus after a poor performance. Wait, did I just write that? Continue reading “Biases and Soft Spots”

That was the weekend that was

Well shiver me timbers – what an awesome three days of matches in Spain! Just when you were thinking that it couldn’t remain so interesting and competitive, and that things were gradually reverting to the old hierarchies, LaLiga comes up with a cracker whose glow will warm the Spanish firesides for the next fortnight.   The teams that won can spend the international break all smiley and positive in training, whilst the victims can search in the rubble for the positives and just keep on working, as the clichés go. Continue reading “That was the weekend that was”

Greed is good

Preview of LaLiga’s 12th week

Many of you probably don’t like LaLiga’s president Javier Tebas, and you may very well have a perfectly good reason for it. To Barcelona fans, his support of Real Madrid makes him a representative of the enemy in a terrible position to have one. To the most irrational Real Madrid supporters, he’s someone who believes that Lionel Messi is the best player ever. To the rest of the teams, he’s the responsible party for the current inequality in the revenue distribution among LaLiga clubs, and thus the man who is still perpetuating the gap between the top two and the struggling followers. He’s also guilty of La Liga having become LaLiga (nospace). Adding insult to injury, he wants to take a LaLiga match to the USofA, not really giving a s*it about local fans missing that one in their home stadium. In short, he’s indeed no saint, and to the more or less objective reasons mentioned in this paragraph, you may throw on top that he’s just not a very likeable person at all. Continue reading “Greed is good”

Home sweet home?

What do Valencia and Real Sociedad have in common, apart from the obvious fact that they both have football teams?  Well, neither of them has won at home yet, and Valencia’s only (away) win this season to date was at….yes, you’ve guessed it, Real Sociedad.  Huesca and Rayo have also failed to win at home, but maybe that’s not so newsworthy.  Bottom-placed Huesca almost made it on Sunday but visitors Getafe pooped their party by equalising in the 91st minute, and Rayo were looking as though they might break their hoodoo against the unlikely presence of Barcelona, but the Catalans have a tendency to break local hearts in the final minutes, and thus it proved, a 2-1 turning suddenly into a 2-3 in the final ten minutes of the game.  Another member of the homeless club is Villarreal, which is something of a surprise – with a mere three goals scored in six games. Continue reading “Home sweet home?”

Underperformers

Preview of LaLiga’s 11th week

The not totally surprising La Liga immolation of a certain team from the capital has hidden the disappointing beginning to the season of another three talented, high-ish budget teams that, so far, have failed to impress. I’m talking about Betis, currently in the 13th spot of the standings, Valencia in the 14th and Villarreal in 17th. Continue reading “Underperformers”