The Fed Up With Winter Predictions: Round 22


Real Madrid (2nd) vs Racing (10th)

This week, Fabio Capello decided to pin a plug to his nose, remove his brain and subject himself to a thorough probing by Marca – a probing that involved a thousand questions on the brilliance of Raúl. And the England manager opted for playing the grovelling game with much bowing, scraping and forelock-tugging towards the greatest human that ever lived.

However, the former Bernabeu boss was less complimentary over Ramón Calderón. When asked if he felt that the Pachá-loving president was the worst in the club’s history, Capello replied that “He definitely wasn’t the best.”

The Italian then went onto to recall the title-winning party held to celebrate the club’s success and plan his sacking back in the summer of 2007. “At the Bernabeu, I listened to some of the biggest lies that I’ve ever been told,” remembered Capello fondly.

The interview gave Marca’s Roberto Gómez the chance to drool by writing a column all about his friendship with the England manager. But the daily droner was merely a perfunctory part of the lunacy produced by the paper this week, with JG Matallanes writing that Calderón is considering running for the Madrid presidency this summer.

This was topped off on Friday with the paper’s director Eduardo Inda writing – with no apparent evidence – that the city’s mayor is planning to have the Bernabeu demolished and replaced with an arts centre.

La Liga Loca wonders why he will bother when the site already has a magnificent amphitheatre where thousands gather to sit in complete silence watching tragedies and farces.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Sevilla (3rd) vs  Betis (16th)

La Liga Loca must confess that it failed in its footballing duties and did not get around to catching Sevilla’s cup clash with Athletic, on Wednesday night. Instead, it subjected itself to 120 minutes of uninterrupted Scouse derby torture. 

But according to Manolo Jiménez himself, the blog did not miss too much. “I was hoping there would be even more rain so the game would be postponed,” admitted the Sevilla manager on his team’s first half performance.

Saturday’s derby with Betis will be another test to see of whether the truce between the two clubs that was imposed after the death of Antonio Puerta will hold.

La Liga Loca suspects that both club bigwigs are desperate to revert to happier times when bottle-throwing, VIP fisticuffs and directors pushing each other down the stairs was de rigeur at this particular derby dustup.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Derby victim Juande Ramos: WHY, God, WHY???!!!


Málaga (8th) vs Almería (14th)

In a story completely unrelated to Málaga’s fine football club and upstanding owner Lorenzo Sanz, La Liga Loca can bring you the news that Spain’s Sport Minister Jaime Lissavetsky has decided that his government will draw up plans to modify the penal code to allow the “prevention, prosecution and punishment of fraud in professional sport.”

And that can only lead the blog to the logical conclusion that off-the-field naughtiness and boardroom bawdiness has been perfectly acceptable behaviour up to now. Which would explain a lot.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Valladolid (11th) vs Athletic Bilbao (8th)

During the post-match press conference at last week’s Atlético vs Valladolid match, there was a very uncomfortable moment. And it wasn’t when the blog complained to a Japanese reporter that it had lost the feeling in its little finger due to the cold and would have to have it amputated, only to hear the reply that La Liga Loca would then be banned for entering her country on suspicion of being a member of the mafia.

Instead it was when Valladolid coach José Luis Mendilibar sat down to take questions from the gathered media. The trouble was that everyone was more interested in knowing whether Javier Aguirre had been blasted into space by his bosses and couldn’t give a flying fig about his team.

“Any questions?” said the press officer as Mendilibar stared intently at the gaggle of hacks. Silence followed for several seconds before someone took one for the team and stuck up his hand. “Are you happy with the win?”

LLL Prediction - Home win

Recreativo (18th) vs Atlético (7th)

For the second time, this year, the Madrid-based press have run stories of how a new capital-city coach was making their footballers work even harder in training sessions “where the ball played an important part.”

This week, the new and oh-so-temporary Atlético boss Abel Resino began his tiny tenure at the Vicente Calderón. And Marca have revealed that his main footballing innovation will be to move his defence 10 yards up the pitch, presumably to keep penalty-loving Johnny Heitinga well away from his own box.

But La Liga Loca feels that it was a 40-minute lecture from Enrique Cerezo that got the rojiblanco players’ juices flowing. “I told them they had to fight,” revealed the club president, feeling very pleased with himself indeed.

LLL Prediction - Draw

Getafe (13th) vs Espanyol (19th)

Sunday’s match features two gentlemen who are still settling into their topsy-turvy lives. Perico boss Pochettino has yet to recover from the shock of being the main man at the Montjuic and responded to the question about his first fortnight by asking “It’s been just two weeks? Seems like a lifetime since I arrived."

Someone else still going through a change curve, but at the Coliseum, is tough-tackling midfielder Eugen Polanski. However, the Polish uber-performer’s main concern was over his internet connection. “I called Telefonica and they told me they’d come to my house in two days. They turned up five weeks later.”

The blog suspects Ever Banega did not have such problems.LLL Prediction - Home win

"Heh heh – mine's working fine, lad"

Villarreal (5th) vs Numancia (17th)

La Liga Loca is still very much in a sulky pace with Villarreal – the biggest disappointment of the season so far.

LLL Prediction - Home win (whatever)

Mallorca (20th) vs Deportivo (6th)

As so to this week’s main event in La Liga – the battle of the big guns, the clash of the keepers – Munua against Aouate. In their first bust-up in their Deportivo days, it was the former who famously came out on top after giving his team-mate a shiner in what was a proper pounding for the Israeli international.

But now, it’s payback time with a rumble in the jungle and a Balearic battle with Aouate now having the dubious honour of guarding Mallorca’s goal.

However, the sad news for fight fans is that Munua says that he has moved on from last year’s footballing fisticuffs which ended with a day in court.

“I don’t have any problems with anyone,” sniffed the Deportivo goalie, somewhat ignoring his previous form.

LLL Prediction - Home win

Barcelona (1st) vs Sporting (12th)

For the nicest of nanoseconds, last year, La Liga Loca actually understood what the long-lasting and ridiculously complex Spanish football TV war was all about. But then, that magic moment of clarity disappeared forever.

And this is why. There are two companies who have the rights to show league football in Spain: Mediapro and AVS. Last weekend, Real Madrid played Numancia, two teams whose match rights are owned by AVS. But AVS’s cameras were locked out of the ground by Numancia, who then allowed Mediapro to show the game on terrestrial TV, through la Sexta.

The Copa del Rey seems to be even more of a farcical free-for-all. Thursday night’s 2-0 win for Barcelona for Mallorca was shown by a nationwide channel called Telecinco – except in Cataluyna, whose viewers may have been blacked out from the game because of a financial dispute between Barcelona and local channel TV3.

And this is why the Premier League will continue to lord it over la Liga for many years to come.

LLL Prediction - Home win

"This ghetto blaster's rubbish"

Osasuna (18th) vs Valencia (4th)

One of the biggest surprises during the winter transfer window – aside from the arrival of Julien Faubert – was the fact that Valencia managed to hang on to their main men.

And while this was a laudable act, considering their need to qualify for next year’s Champions League, the blog is pondering over how wise this lack of flogging was.

The Mestalla club has been in the news this week over their potential inability to pay players in February. Despite a number of assurances, the 15 million Euros owed to the footballers has yet to appear. The club’s vice-president Miguel Zorío was reported in AS as confirming that “they’ll be paid in the first half of February.”

Even more worryingly for the fourth-placed club is that fact there is still no news over the 300m Euro sale of the land under the old Mestalla. And every day that club president Vicente Soriano stalls and splutters over the deal, is one step nearer the return of the Soler clan to take over the club.

LLL Prediction - Draw

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