ItÃ¢ÂÂs a little like a game of taunting tig. This time last week the Madrid press were chuckling and cheerfully waving in BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs direction after PepÃ¢ÂÂs Dream Boys dropped points to Real Sociedad.
Some seven days later and the roles are reversed after MadridÃ¢ÂÂs Levante let down. Meanwhile, neither side seems to have noticed that the mighty Valencia and Betis are currently running away with la Primera trophy.
Sarcasm certainly seems to the be current trend in the Spanish football world, after MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs claims before SundayÃ¢ÂÂs match that his teamÃ¢ÂÂs main goal this season was getting 40 points on the board - something that may be an issue if Madrid continue to struggle against sides that put it a tackle from time to time.
TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs edition of Barcelona based Sport returns the favour with a front cover begging Mourinho to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Joan Vehils writing that Ã¢ÂÂthe damage Mourinho is doing to Real Madrid is proportional to the good Guardiola is creating at Barcelona.
"If Mou goes, the only thing that can happen is that Madrid improve. Conclusion: may Mourinho stay many years and if possible with Florentino as president.Ã¢ÂÂ
Marca are preferring to avoid the whole nasty business of SundayÃ¢ÂÂs meltdown and are continuing to insist that Neymar will arrive at the Bernabeu after the 2012 Olympics, having taken a medical last Friday. The wee Brazilian international is set to cost a gargantuan Ã¢ÂÂ¬60 million, with MondayÃ¢ÂÂs edition reporting Neymar will earn Ã¢ÂÂ¬7 million a year on a six year contract. TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs Marca reveals that a clause in the contract that quite possibly doesnÃ¢ÂÂt exist will give Neymar an extra million should he win the Balon dÃ¢ÂÂOr.
Neymar himself has pointlessly protested that Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂve not signed anything with anyone,Ã¢ÂÂ and claims he was at a hospital on Friday to visit a family friend, but until Real Madrid thrash some minion side convincingly, stories about the current apple of Florentino PÃÂ©rezÃ¢ÂÂs eye are going to run and run.
The Forces of Mordor do have the chance to achieve this with a trip to take on Racing Santander on Wednesday, but before that there are three matches taking place in la Liga to kick off a rare midweek round of action.
Osasuna have only had a few days to recover from their Camp Nou pummeling and face a trip to Sevilla. Ã¢ÂÂI think we are going to react well,Ã¢ÂÂ mused manager JosÃÂ© Luis Mendilibar. Ã¢ÂÂThe good thing is that the next game is going very quickly which doesnÃ¢ÂÂt give you any time to think about the last one.Ã¢ÂÂ
Sevilla coach Marcelino is already rightfully nervy about facing a Osasuna in Pamplona, where they are traditionally strong and fairly brutal too. Ã¢ÂÂOsasuna use their strengths very well at home,Ã¢ÂÂ warned Marcelino. Ã¢ÂÂThey are a tough team and more so when they are going into the match after the huge defeat to Barcelona.Ã¢ÂÂ
Real Sociedad host Granada in a match that isnÃ¢ÂÂt all that exciting really aside from seeing whether the visitors can build on their first goal and first points in SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs win over Villarreal. And speaking of the Yellow Submarine, Villarreal are currently in all sorts of trouble having picked up just one point from nine to leave the Champions League outfit in the relegation zone.
Villarreal have a very good chance to lift themselves out of it in TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs late game which is the visit of Mallorca. Ã¢ÂÂWe can play much better as we have footballers not giving their best,Ã¢ÂÂ warned manager, Juan Carlos Garrido, ahead of the clash - a game that LLL feels will be a Barcelona style crushing of their Balearic visitors.