Were Spain excellent...or just average?
La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂLadeez of Battlestar GalacticaÃ¢ÂÂ calendar - Cylon Boomer is next monthÃ¢ÂÂs model, yay! - says that July is almost upon us.
And that means the blog has been watching and droning on about football non-stop for some eleven months now. This might explain why LLL has even less of a clue than usual on what in jumping JosephineÃ¢ÂÂs longjohns is going on in the wide, wide world of sport.
The blog thought that SpainÃ¢ÂÂs footballing efforts against Switzerland and Honduras were quite good, whilst the performances against Chile and most recently of all, Portugal were a little like an average episode of CSI: it passes the time and entertains you in snatches with the occasional cool shot of a bullet going very slowly through a shoulder blade (ah, so that's what happened to Joan Capdevilla last night - ed.).
LLL senses that the good people of Madrid may agree. During Euro 2008, the singing/car horn tooting after each victory went on for days. On Tuesday night, it had all but stopped half-an-hour after the 1-0 win over Portugal, aside from the odd tool who decided to celebrate at 4.30 in the morning.
However, the sporting press donÃ¢ÂÂt seem to follow this more modest vibe. The TV broadcasters of the Portugal clash spent 90 minutes shouting Ã¢ÂÂExcellent Puyol! Excellent Busquets! Excellent Torres!Ã¢ÂÂ Every. Time. They. Did. Anything.
This is especially deluded in the case of the Liverpool striker who will surely be sent back to England forthwith branded with a big Ã¢ÂÂdamaged goodsÃ¢ÂÂ mark on his Fuenlabradan forehead, especially after Fernando LlorenteÃ¢ÂÂs fairly bright cameo appearance.
Marca have gone most nuts with the headline of Ã¢ÂÂThis is my Spain!Ã¢ÂÂ. Ã¢ÂÂThe reds get their rhythm and touch back that made them the best in the world!....The triumph of the masters!Ã¢ÂÂ continues the paper before declaring victory on Saturday in their editorial.
Ã¢ÂÂSpain has everything. A beatable opponent but one weÃ¢ÂÂll have to be careful of in Paraguay and on top of everything else, a group of wonderful footballers capable of amazing the whole world.Ã¢ÂÂ
AS are just as nuts in their assessment of the 1-0 win against a team that barely bothered to attack with the paper happily going into stereotype mode with the headline Ã¢ÂÂBullfighters!Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂA good match, a good win and a good rival for the quarters,Ã¢ÂÂ smugs the paperÃ¢ÂÂs editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o who puts Spain straight into a possible semi-final clash against Germany or Argentina where LLL expects La SelecciÃÂ³n to get their a**es handed to them unless they improve across the board over the next week.
Deeper inside the paper the wonderfully mad TomÃÂ¡s Roncero, who has been let loose in South Africa, writes that Spain has got back Ã¢ÂÂits lyrics, its music, its prose, its verse, its tiki, its taka, its possession, its obsession...Ã¢ÂÂ
Even Luis AragonÃÂ©s, who has been poking away at his former charges from the beginning of the tournament - as is his right Mr Marca Director, Eduardo Inda, who wrote a nasty, little editorial suggesting that the Euro 2008 winner Ã¢ÂÂshuts upÃ¢ÂÂ - is a little chipper and notes that Ã¢ÂÂthe Spain we want to see was in the second half.
Ã¢ÂÂHow to deal with Cristiano RonaldoÃ¢ÂÂs - ahem - display in the Spain clash has left both Madridista papers in a bit of quandary. AS are less bent over Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs spanking knee and so are happy to award the pouty-one zero points from three for his footballing stylings and snigger that he was Ã¢ÂÂback to failing in a decisive game.Ã¢ÂÂ
Marca give him one point but did opine that the brave little Madrid soldier Ã¢ÂÂwalked alone with his eyes glazed and fury in his face.Ã¢ÂÂ
RonaldoÃ¢ÂÂs general hopelessness in the tournament gave Barcelona-based Sport a chance for a chuckle with Josep Maria Casanovas noting that the culÃÂ©-for-life, product of La Masia and Ã¢ÂÂgreat Barcelona signing, David Villa, had the Madrid star for breakfast in a spectacular manner before the eyes of the football world.Ã¢ÂÂ
But all the praise being thrown in SpainÃ¢ÂÂs direction has got the blog genuinely thinking that it has lost the plot and has squashed its footballing compass.
Is it getting too old for this kind of (cough), as they say in Lethal Weapon?
Maybe La Furia Roja were back to their best? Maybe a final berth is in the bag?
Or maybe there are other voices in the wilderness who feel the same grumpy way as La Liga Loca?