Fans, not footballers, at fault say Atlético bosses

From La Liga Loca’s lofty perch in Atlético Madrid’s Vicente Calderón stadium, the blog is lucky enough to be able to gaze upon snow-capped mountains and the city’s royal palace. It can also enjoy the site of building works and a stinky, stagnant river. And this is a rather handy and massively contrived metaphor / simile  / comparison to the rojiblanco club. The two sides to La Liga Loca came to rare agreement on Sunday that anarchic Atleti could be a brilliant, brilliant, best-in-Spain club, thanks to its handily-located near la Latina home and their die-hard fans love of Mike Oldfield megahit ‘Moonlight Shadow’ - “na na na na na na na na, na na na na, te quiero Atleti!”Instead, it’s a bit rubbish thanks to the idiot twins of Enrique Cerezo and Miguel Angel Gil - a president and director general who barely speak and see the club as a battleground for their childish spats. Now, Atlético Madrid fans have a deserved reputation for actively enjoying a good wallow in the moat of misery. But during Sunday’s 2-4 home defeat to Osasuna, the atmosphere in the crowd felt very different to the normal world-weary despair over the side’s hapless defence.

"Well it's not my fault" 

When Walter Pandiani headed home after just eight minutes, the goal was met by complete indifference from the stands. Total silence. Masoud’s super strike for Osasuna’s fourth saw standing ovations and cheers that veered between sarcasm and genuine appreciation of a fine effort. After the game, La Liga Loca got Osasuna centre-back Sergio to admit that Sunday’s opponents for the Pamplonan club have a bit of a reputation for being superb up front but a soft touch at the back, especially vulnerable to long balls. However, Atleti sporting director, Jesus Garcia Pitarch is blaming the home support for the weekend’s defeat, noting that at 1-0 the fans were “spreading nervousness to our players and this stopped them playing at their best.” And it’s an opinion shared by Enrique Cerezo. “You can’t ask the team to win if the fans are against them from the third minute of the match,” complained the club president. A poll in Marca has Atlético fans in despondent mood over the club’s chances with 92 percent of supporters saying their team will fail to finish in the top four.

However, as one eagle-eyed blog reader pointed out, the accompanying pie chart in the paper reports that 92 percent felt that Champions League qualification would be achieved. From the depths of despair, La Liga Loca now moves to the heights of happiness with Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, a game that it is set to be the club’s fourth sell-out event of the season.

People are coming... honest 

And to make sure the packed culé crowd won’t regret missing out on any televisual treats at home, cheery songs are to be sung and images of great Barcelona triumphs will be played on the stadium screens to rouse the crowd from their normal state of complete stupor to something resembling consciousness. Sport are doing their best by wheeling out a Catalan headline - something only done when the stakes are very high. “Tots som Barca!” yells the paper reporting that there is panic in the Bayern camp over tonight’s game. All right-thinking readers of the blog would have been pleased that the spangly, dangly version of Villarreal was on display against Arsenal in Tuesday’s Champions League clash and not the half-arsed, can’t be bothered side of the club. And to celebrate this joyous event, Spanish TV channel Antena 3 even managed a couple of minutes of commentary on the footballing affair in between begging its viewers to watch the double-bill offering of 2Fast 2Furious and useless Mel Gibson ‘Lorks! they killed my wife!’ Braveheart rehash, The Patriot.

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