Tim Stannard continues his preview of the coming La Liga season. Today it's the turn of Mallorca, Osasuna, Racing Santander, Real Madrid and Real Sociedad...
The return of Michael Laudrup, who has taken over at Mallorca (LLL gives panty but still very manly sigh and flaps its fan) sees the Spanish league lining up the Premier LeagueÃ¢ÂÂs bloated booty in its sights and kicking it repeatedly in the hunk stakes. Oh yes.
Sadly, it is the other way round when it comes to football.
If an Eastern Promises, Viggo Mortensen naked man-wrestle in a sauna were arranged between the two leagues then the English game would be offering up Carlo Ancelotti, Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy Hodgson and Steve Bruce as their contestants in the homoerotic ho-down.
As well as the Great Dane of Mallorca, la LigaÃ¢ÂÂs contingent of man-crush making managers would include Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, MÃÂchel, Unai Emery (who is a little bug-eyed, to be fair) and Quique SÃÂ¡nchez Flores - the first three being the prime Primera performers in the nudey stakes according to LLLÃ¢ÂÂs correspondent on lady things.
So, itÃ¢ÂÂs a comfortable 5-0 win for the la Liga.
But back to football and the sorry subject of Mallorca. Basically, the Balearic club are in voluntary administration, have lost their best players, coach Gregorio Manzano and are still moaning about not being allowed into this yearÃ¢ÂÂs Europa League. But LLL still has faith that Laudrup can keep Mallorca afloat, this season. But nothing more.
LLL Prediction - 13th
An Osasuna-supporting acquaintance of LLL predicted that it would be a fine campaign to come for his club, with his burped declaration that Ã¢ÂÂwe have Pandiani...and...er...erÃ¢ÂÂ. But if OsasunaÃ¢ÂÂs cunning plan is to continue hacking long balls up to the 34-year-old Uruguayan forward, then the Pamplonan side could be in trouble.
However, it seems that manager, JosÃÂ© Antonio Camacho, has a plan B with the intriguing summer signing of Dejan Lekic from Red Star Belgrade. And if things go completely t*ts up then thereÃ¢ÂÂs always the utterly hopeless but always enthusiastic Carlos Aranda - 29 league appearances, five goals last season - who has made the bold declaration that he hopes that Ã¢ÂÂthis year, I score more goals and play even betterÃ¢ÂÂ.
With Osasuna one of the blogÃ¢ÂÂs favourite teams, LLL hopes ArandaÃ¢ÂÂs statement of intent comes to pass.
LLL Prediction - 17th
ItÃ¢ÂÂs rare in la Liga for all three promoted clubs to go straight back down - LLL is far too lazy to find out the last time it happened - as there is always one coffin-dodging club on borrowed time that slips through the trap door into la Segunda. In the past two seasons, Betis and Valladolid played this role beautifully.
This year, step forward the immensely doomed Racing Santander.
The only candle flicker of hope in the Cantabrian team's world was put out with a ton of cow dung with the transfer of Sergio Canales to Real Madrid and the decision of the Capital City club not to return the forward to El Sardinero in a loan deal. Racing are now left relying on Mohammed TchitÃÂ© and Pedro Munitis for goals. And thatÃ¢ÂÂs not good.
Racing face Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Getafe and Villarreal in their first six games in the new season - a run that will leave the club with a very, very tiny number of points and in a relegation battle from the off. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a battle they are going to lose. And thatÃ¢ÂÂs a shame as RacingÃ¢ÂÂs obsession with all things cow-related is quite endearing.
LLL Prediction - 18th
The biggest fun to be had this season certainly wonÃ¢ÂÂt come through watching the Real Madrid players grinding out MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs shutting-up-shop-at-one-nil-game-plan for the next nine months, but the way that the clubÃ¢ÂÂs chief cheerleader, Marca, are going to have to spin the notion that those heretical fans who will inevitably be booing the tactic are wrong in their opinions and should be hounded out of the Santiago Bernabeu.
Throughout the summer the paper that has a direct line to Florentino PÃÂ©rez has gasped and moistened its panties at every single thing the Portuguese coach has done from the way he moved training to start a half-an-hour earlier to how he enjoys yelling abuse at Karim Benzema in front of the rest of the squad on a regular basis.
The latest stroke of genius from Mourinho - and something that Manuel Pellegrini did, incidentally, until the whining and stropping from his players became intolerable - is to insist that his squad stay together in a hotel the night before home games.
It was a move that prompted a full two pages of praise from MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs director Eduardo Inda - a genuine Kent Brockman Ã¢ÂÂI welcome our insect overlordsÃ¢ÂÂ character if ever there was one - and a glowing editorial in the paperÃ¢ÂÂs back pages.
Ã¢ÂÂThe Special One has achieved the unity of the group towards one common goal. The validity of his methods are unquestionable.Ã¢ÂÂ
A new trick that Marca are going to have to learn is how to make second seem like first to its readers.
LLL Prediction - 2nd
LLL is currently clapping like a happy bunny on a mountain of carrots and lady bunnies at the thought of La Real back in the top flight after a couple years away in the badlands of the second division.
The club see utilising their youth system as the way forward, with 16 members of their currently listed first team squad being raised in the Real Sociedad ranks. One of those who is returning home after an eight season absence is Joseba Llorente who joined from Villarreal and is one of the shrewdest signings of the summer in the blogÃ¢ÂÂs highly-qualified opinion.
Fully fit, the forward (who would definitely have a strong Devon accent and a tractor obsession were he born in England) is good for at least 12 goals this season - and that should be enough to keep la Real safe and sound.
LLL Prediction - 12th
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