La Liga Loca had a bit of an epiphany on Saturday. During the five minutes it caught of a dire-looking pre-season friendly between Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal, it realised something quite extraordinary. The blog doesn't like the Yellow Submarine. In fact, it half-wishes relegation on them this year, just for the fun of it. In a perfect world, La Liga Loca should be composing sonnets and holding bake sales in Villarreal's honour. After all, the club possesses all the qualities the blog often praises in a side when it is feeling particularly sanctimonious - pretty play, modesty and professionalism pouring from where the sun doesn't shine.
They are also run by a president who doesn't appear to be insane or a sociopath. But that's the trouble. Villarreal are just so... worthy. They're like a perfectly-coiffeured neighbour who recycles, has a power-generating windmill on their roof and also boasts an impressive investment portfolio. Villarreal are like a gurning David Cameron on a particularly smug day.
Villarreal, like Cameron, too nice for their own good
Whilst other clubs live in a state of perpetual chaos, Villarreal swan along in their annoying prissy way qualifying for stuff, not sacking managers and finishing their homework before anyone else. To be fair to the Yellow Submarine, they achieved something ever so slightly inspiring on Friday night. They took part in a splendid evening of fisticuffs and knee-shattering tackling. In a pre-season friendly against Sevilla, Villarreal had two players sent off - as did their opponents, but that's not an uncommon occurrence for them.
Eguren and Viera were the naughty boys for Villarreal and the side were lucky not to lose Senna, too, after a horrendous challenge on Diego Capel - a player who will be fortunate to complete the season with his feet still attached to his ankles, the way things are going. The Spanish footie press have found space amongst the Rafa Nadal worshipping to cover Sunday night's Super Cup dustup between Real Madrid and Valencia. "It's raining medals!" screams AS on Spain's three measly efforts on Sunday. And that's exactly the number of medals currently being won by the Brits in the time it takes to read this sentence.
Nadal: The sum of Spain's efforts at Beijing Olympics... almost
"The match sealed a glorious day for Spanish sport," sighed Marca - a paper who got their umpteenth story of the summer completely wrong with their bold and wholly inaccurate claim that Robinho would refuse to travel to Valencia for the first leg tie. Apparently the striker decided to board the coach after a short chat with Pedja Mijatovic - a chat which may or may not have involved the bolshy Brazilian being held out of a fifth-story window by his ankles. Sunday's Marca noted sulkily that the player sat on his own on the plane listening to his Ipod - a sure sign of a want-away footballer if ever there was one. The game itself was family-friendly entertaining fare although the still-not-completely-focussed-on-football La Liga Loca was distracted by the bizarre sight of Hannah from S Club 7 being chased around a shopping centre by a dinosaur on Cuatro and two goths identifying brands of dog food by touch on Telemadrid. The big surprise of the evening was the exclusion of Sergio Ramos from the starting line-up. "He's not focussed," claimed Carmen Colino in AS, who writes that the full-back is still in full-on Euro 2008 party mode. La Liga Loca suspects that Ramos may be the drunken urchin who has been kicking its dustbin around the street at three in the morning.
Ramos: Still on cloud nine after Euro 2008 triumph
Normally, a friendly between AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid and Sporting would barely register on the blog's interest-o-meter. But Monday night's match is set to feature the return of Maniche to the starting line-up. The club have yet to find a buyer for this heavyweight talent and are getting their head around the idea that the Portugeuse plumpster will be staying for the season. However, Mundo Deportivo's English translation gadget suggests that the evil rojiblancos have a very different plan in mind for Maniche. "The club's intention is to discard the remains of the footballer," writers the paper in an action that is surely going to need the hiring of a dumper truck.
And be a little bit too illegal. Even for Atleti.