Harassment, haranguing and ham

La Liga Loca had always wondered why footballers had such a love of wearing oversized headphones for their Kindlepadplayerthingymejigs. It had assumed it was because they were idiots. But now the blog has a new theory. At least for Spain anyway.

LLL senses that headphones with ear pieces the size of Maniche’s bra cup are the only way to drown out the potty-mouthed abuse the under-fire footballers of La Liga are currently suffering. 

In the last ramble, the blog brought news of Zaragoza striker, Florent Sinama Pongolle, receiving the suggestion from the home crowd that he should kill himself after he made a ‘sush’ gesture to la Romareda after his first goal of Saturday’s draw with Sporting.

It’s something that his Primera buddy, José Antonio Reyes knows all about. A good year ago, death was also the recommendation for the player, this time from the Vicente Calderón crowd who were less than impressed over his rather apathetic Primera displays and his Madridista background. However a few decent games in Europe, last season, put the Rojiblanco ravers in his camp again.

“They made me stronger,” claimed Reyes. So strong in fact that the winger has extended his contract with Atleti until 2014 ensuring a solid four years of absolutely nothing on the pitch - peppered with the odd red card - from the incomprehensible Andalusian.

Messi-slayer, Tomás Ujfalusi, was barracked with chants of “killer!” from the Sevilla crowd in their match against Atlético, on Sunday. Whilst the defender himself didn’t seem to mind too much despite noting that “I don’t think I’ll be able to get rid of this image,” the Spanish FA certainly did by fining Sevilla the grand total of €602  for failing to control the behaviour of the Sánchez Pizjuán supporters.

The amount stands in interesting contrast with the €3000 handed to Espanyol’s José Callejón for lifting his shirt to show an image of Dani Jarque when celebrating a goal (he doesn’t get to do it, too often) - a punishment that was later appealed and reversed.

Over in Zaragoza-land and José Aurelio Gay is still in charge of the side. Although the owner, president, pretty much everything at the club, Agapito Iglesias, called a press conference on Tuesday, it was to give his manager a vote of confidence rather than the boot despite Zaragoza being second-from-bottom of the table. “I’ve never doubted Gay, we have confidence in him until the end of the season,” claimed Iglesias.

As it stands today, that’s exactly how long Pep Guardiola has at the Camp Nou because of his fairly wise desire of only signing one year rolling contracts at the club. Twelve months ago, stories began to circulate over when the Barça boss would be committing himself to more hair loss treatment in the Catalan capital before he finally caved in and said he would stay until the summer of 2011. And now, it’s deja-vu all over again. 

However Sport is all with the bold prediction of the inevitable soap opera to come by claiming that “Pep’s (contract) renovation won’t be a soap opera.” “Pep knows that he can call Rosell’s office whenever he wants to get an appointment with the president and talk about his future,” claims the inside pages giving the interesting mental image of Pep sitting in a waiting room flicking through Hola! magazine before being ushered in to see El Presidente. 

Marca are continuing their long, long, long...long, long long slide into complete idiocy with Thursday’s edition noting that David Villa has ten individual sponsors - the particular favourite of the blog being for hair gel with a TV spot that sees the topless Spanish striker looking as pleased as punch surrounded by a posse of smoldering, sexy lady types.

The paper then muses whether Villa switching to Barcelona might have been a bit of bad business for his brands. “Being at Valencia also had advantages. The first is that it didn’t cause any rejection,” says Marca suggesting that Real Madrid supporters could boycott any company that has links with Villa - companies including Mahou (the most popular beer in Spain), Nestlé, McDonald’s, and Adidas, sponsors of Real Madrid’s kit, as it happens.

AS are on much safer territory in their preview of Spain’s clash against Lithuania on Saturday night. The Baltic opposition are now at their hotel base in Salamanca and the paper has given its readers an all important ham update.

Apparently the squad made the mistake of ordering ordinary ‘Jamón York’ - which is grim, admittedly - and have now fallen in love with the local variety. “It has won them over,” sighs AS contentedly which says that the ham is now very scarce indeed at the Lithuanian breakfast and lunch table.

Whether they will be making a pig’s ear of Saturday’s Spain game remains to be seen.