La Liga’s Good Day, Bad Day - Round 29

GOOD DAY

Armchair fans

On Friday, a doom-mongering La Liga Loca feared a gaggle of match blackouts due to the increasingly petulant Great TV War. Instead, the complete opposite happened with almost every game being up for freebie grabs to Spain’s lucky viewers who were able to consume up to six matches from their starting-to-smell sofas.

The latest spat in the long-running saga began with the ‘G30’ clubs - there are only 22 of them, mind - refusing entry to AVS, their match broadcasters, in revenge for what they claim to be unpaid debts.

Instead, the likes of Valladolid stuck their fingers up at their sugar daddies by allowing free-rein broadcasting to rival TV company Mediapro.

“A fiesta for fans,” screamed Marca. “A war where football loses,” grumbled AS. Guess which papers are owned by which media groupings?

Barcelona and Real Madrid

Of course, the downside to Saturday’s football free-fest was that the encounters of these two table-topping teams were broadcast. A couple of fairly dull 1-0 affairs where the eventual outcomes were never in any real doubt.

Barcelona will offer up this week’s Champions League clash with Bayern as an excuse for their slackness, while Madrid will grumble about missing a number of starters through injury.

Juande Ramos

Despite taking one for the team and ploughing through the likes of Marca on a daily basis, La Liga Loca is still baffled by the batty world of the Spanish sports media. And why so few people seem to be recommending... er... Juande Ramos as the Real Madrid boss next season.

Since taking over from Bernd Schuster, the former Sevilla man has played 15, won 13 and lost just one – his first match, against Barcelona in the Camp Nou, only lost by an ant’s picnic basket.

The Champions League debacle against Liverpool is Ramos’ only real blemish, although the blog may perhaps be overly charitable in its opinion that there was probably little that the Madrid manager could have done to prevent it.

While the likes of Wenger, Ancelotti and Pellegrini are being bandied around as Ramos’s replacement, why aren’t people looking a little closer to home? (Continues to scratch head. Possibly because of lice.)

"What's a guy gotta do?"

Athletic Bilbao

Over the past two months, Athletic Bilbao’s players were either preparing for their Copa del Rey semi-final clash, drunk from winning it or being bitch-slapped by La Liga’s big four.

For these many and varied reasons, the Basque club had not mustered a victory in seven attempts. But this rather rubbish run ended on Saturday night with a slightly spawny 2-1 win over Mallorca which owed a great deal to an early spot-kick awarded harshly for a ball-to-hand incident – something that even Athletic manager Joaquín Caparrós owned up to.

Freddie Kanouté

Now the equal highest foreign goalscorer for Sevilla with 90 strikes. The same as Davor Suker. The blog man-love for Steady Freddie continues.

Espanyol

For once, the blog doesn’t have to patronisingly put Espanyol in the Good Day section after a plucky draw or a defeat where they did their very, very best. Sunday’s 3-1 win over Deportivo gives the Pericos a glimmer of hope of survival that will surely be snuffed out by the water pistol of reality. Here’s a potty Paul from Barcelona who saw a monumental match in Montjuic...

“I'm still in shock. First home win since 1994 (well, it feels like it). Totally deserved against, it must be said, a very very poor Depor. The first bit of luck for ages came when De la Peña played a pass for Ivan Alonso and the keeper allowed it to bounce off his chest and Alonso put it in from a tight angle. 1-0.

Then, just before half time, De la Peña beat two defenders on the edge of the area before passing the ball into the corner of the net à la Steven Gerrard. A fantastic goal. But this being Espanyol, we allowed Depor to score about two minutes later.

Second half was very poor and Espanyol had two cleared off the line and could have had a penalty for handball. Rufete ran clear in injury time to score a third which gave a truer reflection of the play.

Espanyol have played much better and lost – but we won't be playing teams as bad as Depor every week.

Stray cat count 0, but one in the car park.”

Paul, Barcelona

Masoud Shojaei

On the few occasions that La Liga Loca has caught the Iranian winger in action, the blog had a feeling in its waters that it was he was a bit special. Either that, or the old prostate's playing up again.

It was Masoud the Magnificent on Sunday afternoon in the 4-2 win over Atlético Madrid in the child-filled Vicente Calderón. The cherry on the trifle of a fine performance was his solo effort in the second half which had half the Atleti defence on their backsides and mentally ringing their agents for a way out.

Valencia

“We owe a debt to our fans,” admitted Unai Emery before Valencia’s Sunday’s 4-1 win over Getafe and adding to the club’s ever-expanding list of creditors.

Alvaro Negredo

His salmon-leaping header in the 3-0 win over Villarreal was the Almería striker’s 17th league goal of the season.

Negredo: "Let's play Twister, let's play Risk"

BAD DAY

Atlético Madrid

Now, La Liga Loca can occasionally be prone to exaggeration and, well, making stuff up. So readers may have justified doubts when today’s update claims that Atlético Madrid were so bad that even those who apparently could not walk rose miraculously from their seats and left the stadium.

During the first half, La Liga Loca spotted an Atlético fan in a wheelchair repeatedly raise himself to his feet to berate his idiot players. The same fan abandoned his chair at half-time and never returned.

But there’s more. Atlético Madrid were so blooming awful that one supporter changed his footballing allegiances halfway through the second half. Off came his rojiblanco top to be replaced by a Juventus shirt.

“You don’t normally begin building a house with a roof,” sighed Marca, lamenting the home side’s fantastic front four and naff-all else. "As always with Atlético, you know how the film is going to end after 10 minutes,” wrote AS.

In Sunday’s case it was eight minutes – the time it took for Osasuna to have a goal disallowed, hit the post and score the opener.

Guti, Maniche

And so both midfielders' careers swish even further down the U-bend of despair.

Guti was left unused and unwanted on the bench after warming up for much of the game against Málaga. Aside from the final five minutes, that is, when he was recorded by TV cameras refusing to get up from his seat after being told by the club’s trainer to go and run around a bit.

Maniche was left out of the rojiblanco squad, once again. The portly Portuguese player has not played a single minute for Abel Resino since informing the Atlético coach that he got his tactics all wrong against Porto in the Champions League second leg goalless draw.

Maniche and Resino: "Tell him I hate him"

Santi Cazorla

Villarreal’s 3-0 collapse against Almería was fairly predictable - although not for La Liga Loca on Friday - but what did come as a huge shock was poor Santi Cazorla breaking his ankle.

The magic midfielder is now out for at least four months and his absence severely scuppers Villarreal’s chances against Arsenal in the upcoming Champions League clash.

Ricardo

Comedy gold in the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera and “the perfect example of what Betis has become in recent years,” write Marca.

With just seconds on the clock, it looked as if Betis had been let out of jail with a penalty from Ricardo Oliveira putting them into a 3-2 lead.

But that was before a long ball was hoofed into the Betis box and a red-carded Ricardo came flying off his line to take out Numancia forward, Aranda. The inevitable penalty gave Numancia the chance to finish the game 3-3.

“He took their forward out, but these things happen,” shrugged a so-close-to-being-sacked Paco Chaparro.

Getafe

Muñoz Out! Muñoz Out! Muñoz Out! 

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