La Liga Loca
There was no hot date with Sara Carbonero this week. Well, there was, but thatÃ¢ÂÂs a story for our grandkids.
Instead, itÃ¢ÂÂs a very, very, very good - nay, exquisite - day for La Liga Loca after it correctly predicted NINE out of 10 of this weekendÃ¢ÂÂs Primera matches. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs NINE out of 10.
Not only does that trigger the Ã¢ÂÂ¬1,000 bonus promised by the FourFourTwo bigwigs in the blogÃ¢ÂÂs signed-in-blood contract (Eh?! - paperwork-ruffling Ed.), but it also means that all comments under the blog this week MUST be of a suitably deferential, overawed, weÃ¢ÂÂre not worthy, toadying tone.
If you told a Xerez fan before the start of the season that after 11 games, their club would be equal on points with AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid having conceded eight fewer goals, theyÃ¢ÂÂd have been as happy as Maniche munching through a mountain of muffins.
As long as youÃ¢ÂÂd missed out the part about being second from bottom of the table and having only managed three goals.
The point gained in the 1-1 draw from Sunday evening didnÃ¢ÂÂt really do either side any good, to be fair.
But you know that any half of football that had seven minutes of stoppage time without there being a serious injury had to have been top-class adult entertainment.
And thatÃ¢ÂÂs precisely what happened in the second part of what turned into a fantastic feisty duel between these two teams with red cards, face-clutching histrionics, outrageous diving and a stack of pushing and shoving thrown in for good measure.
Ã¢ÂÂMore of the same at the Bernabeu,Ã¢ÂÂ complained SundayÃ¢ÂÂs Marca in a theme continued the next day with Roberto Palomar sighing that Ã¢ÂÂbeing the leaders doesnÃ¢ÂÂt bring happiness.Ã¢ÂÂ
SundayÃ¢ÂÂs front page of AS lambasted MadridÃ¢ÂÂs 1-0 win over Racing for being boring, while Juanma Trueba complained that Ã¢ÂÂif there is a plan, then itÃ¢ÂÂs not making itself clear. No player is playing to their talent.Ã¢ÂÂ
La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs message is for all these Madridista men to get over it and enjoy the fact that Real Madrid continue to play like dogs but are now top of the table.
Imagine what it will be like for the Castle Greyskull club when things start to click into place.
Stupid Getafe ruined La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs chance for a perfect prediction sweep with a win at Espanyol, but it meant that their previously benched midfielder got to spend Sunday in a happier mood than normal.
Casquero had been left out in the cold for much of the season by Michel, but returned to the starting line-up and opened the scoring for the Coliseum club in the 2-0 win.
With his Slash-style poodle perm flapping in the Galician wind, DeporÃ¢ÂÂs Mexican midfielder had the responsibility of putting away his sideÃ¢ÂÂs penalty in the sixth minute of injury time in SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs clash against AtlÃÂ©tico.
And he did not fail, keeping Deportivo in a remarkable fifth place.
Technically, La Liga Loca could throw Mallorca into the 'Bad Day' section for clumsily conceding ANOTHER goal at home this season - their second, in fact.
But the 3-1 win over AlmerÃÂa and two cracking strikes from right midfielder Gonzalo Castro sees the Balearic champs with six from six in the Ono Estadi and, suitably enough, in sixth place.
Ã¢ÂÂThose were three vital points for our survival,Ã¢ÂÂ droned Gregorio Manzano, failing to get as excited as La Liga Loca over MallorcaÃ¢ÂÂs Primera prowess so far this season.
Both Marca and AS spent much of their Saturday previews being all with the Harry Redknapp and banging on about SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs "stretched to breaking point", "down to the bare bones" squad.
La LigaÃ¢ÂÂs third-placed side still started with Freddie KanoutÃÂ© and Luis Fabiano backed up by Jesus Navas and Perotti, so it was hardly doom and gloom for the Andalusian side.
And so it proved with a handy 2-1 away win in Tenerife.
ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs old fogies
David Albeda and Carlos Marchena popped up out of semi-retirement on Sunday with two cracking goals in ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs 3-1 win over Osasuna.
The Mestalla men have now racked up five away wins in six, meaning that they like Sevilla are in a fine position to lap up the entrails and gulp down the placenta from next Sunday's clash between BarÃÂ§a and Madrid.
A slow start in Spain from the Brazilian striker, but VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs most expensive signing is now beginning to come good with two goals in his teamÃ¢ÂÂs 3-1 win over AlmerÃÂa.
During some of AtlÃÂ©ticoÃ¢ÂÂs recent defeats, the side really hasnÃ¢ÂÂt been trying hard enough in the ridicule stakes.
The late rally against Real Madrid never really undid the damage of waiting until the sixth minute to concede, rather than the normal first in their capital clashes.
Round nineÃ¢ÂÂs 1-0 loss to Athletic was desperately eventful and in stark comparison to the last-minute own goal that threw away two points against Mallorca the previous week.
But AtlÃÂ©tico were back with a bang on Saturday, the Rojiblancos clinging on to a point against Deportivo - before Pablo needlessly clattered into Lopo in injury time.
Ã¢ÂÂIt was unnecessary, it was mad, it was painful, but it was a penalty,Ã¢ÂÂ shrugged a beyond-caring IÃÂ±ako DÃÂaz-Guerra in AS.
AtlÃÂ©tico are now tied on points with Xerez in the relegation zone, on their worst run for 56 years and suffering their worst start since that truly terrible side of 1673.
Diego ForlÃÂ¡n, Kun Aguero
The former arrived in Madrid at 3pm on Friday after returning from Montevideo, was packed off to La CoruÃÂ±a by Quique just hours after, had to warm up for 45 minutes and was never used.
The latter had his managerÃ¢ÂÂs hand clamped to his gob after the agitated Argentinian completely lost the plot when the last-gasp penalty was given against his side.
Not even the return of RaÃÂºl Tamudo could prevent Espanyol losing in Cornella el Prat for the second time in la Liga, this season.
HereÃ¢ÂÂs a rather glum Paul from Barcelona to tell us what happened in the 2-0 defeat to Getafe.
Ã¢ÂÂDuring the week I watched Stevenage Borough vs Port Vale in a FA Cup First Round replay. It had more skill and excitement than this rubbish.
Bobby Davro's Rock With Laughter was more entertaining.
"Wigan played better today than both teams. Nothing of note to report except that Getafe's second goal in the 93 minute was well-worked.
1) 40 away fans. Hats off to the bloke who stood up and applauded during the 21st-minute tribute to Dani Jarque. A class act, sir.2) Soldado played here twice in 10 days and how he didn't get sent off twice is beyond me.3) All those Burger King puns I had don't deserve an airing, although not due to the lack of quality on my part.4) Did I mention that this match was cr*p ?Ã¢ÂÂ
Saturday night in Bilbao saw Pep in a silver shiny suit paired with a full Brian Blessed beard.
Did La Liga Loca miss the Ã¢ÂÂPep joining the Bee GeesÃ¢ÂÂ press release?
For those expecting to see Barcelona join their manager on this side of the blog, the point in San MamÃÂ©s was neither good nor bad.
La Liga Loca has a sneaky feeling that the Catalan club is about to pull off an Inter-Madrid double spanking.
There were boos galore when SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs second flew in on Saturday night.
But JosÃÂ© Luis Oltra, the under-pressure manager of 16th-placed Tenerife, was doing everything he could to keep both his fans and footballers on side with his post-match declaration that Ã¢ÂÂI give my players 10 points and the fans 11.Ã¢ÂÂ
*You can catch an impossibly smug La Liga Loca bragging about his prediction prowess on RMTV Gabfest, Extra Time, Sky Digital 446, at 19.05 UK time and repeated throughout the week.
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