Why Schuster’s sacking surprised everyone... nearly

Over the years, La Liga Loca has found a number of varied uses for the likes of Marca and AS. Lining the bottom of hamster cages and clearing up sick of contrasting consistencies have been two handy household applications.

But they more than serve their purpose at football games, too. A weekend edition of Marca does a fine job of soaking up the rain water from the seats at the Vicente Calderón, whilst using AS to form some kind eye-covering hood is the perfect way to watch Deportivo.

The one function where the pair are as much use as Guti on Mastermind is telling you what’s going on in the wonderful world of Spanish football.

On Tuesday, both papers carried Raúl’s rousing comments on how it was possible to get the better of Barcelona. Not a whiff or a sniff of the drama that was about to unfold.

(Incidentally, the blog would like to congratulate the Madrid No.7 on his promotion from sporting director to president. Not that the freaky fact that his agent is also Juande Ramos’s Mr 10% has anything to do with the former Sevilla man’s appointment, of course.)

"Gottle of geer... Raúl speaking... appoint Ramos, Señor Mijatovic..."

The nearest anyone got to suggesting that something sensational would be happening at Castle Greyskull is when Roberto Gómez wrote that a press conference would be called on Tuesday where the president of the club’s second team, Castilla, would be announcing his resignation.

Considering no one knew – nor cared, come to think of it – that the second side even had a president, it was no great journalistic shakes.

But on Wednesday morning, it's Juande all the way after Real Madrid not only jumped the Happy Days shark (that was done with Fabio Capello’s sacking) but also did a Bouncer’s Dream – the moment when Neighbours began its steady mid-90s decline.

Of the two Madridista organs, Marca was the most scathing of the decision to dismiss Bernado, with its editorial tutting about “a club in institutional crisis for too long.”

Whilst the sacking of Schuster was supported – it's fairly hard to debate, considering the German’s scowling sulks of recent months – the paper noted that over the summer he “asked for Cristiano Ronaldo, Villa, Luis Fabiano, Dani Alves and Cazorla. They brought him nothing.”

Mijatovic: Castle Greyskull's master of the dark arts 

But whilst most of the paper’s writers are standing firm with arms folded at Pedja Mijatovic’s latest survival trick, the grovelling Gómez uses his column to welcome “the best Spanish manager at the moment. No doubt” – a suggestion that would make Rafa Benitez spit out his corn flakes.

Let's give a hearty slap on the back to Marca’s man-in-the-know, who, despite claiming to be BFF of both Ramón Calderón and Juande Ramos, completely failed to sniff out the scoop. Still not as impressive as his “Ronaldo will be here on the 7th of July” boast, mind.

El Pais gave a more detailed analysis on the Schuster sacking, noting the squad had grown tired of the “prolonged silences” when his footballing plan wasn’t coming together.

Over in Catalunya, the reaction is surprisingly muted, with some of the wiser heads of the papers perhaps remembering that it was Barça who went through the sporting spin-dryer a few months ago and that it would only be a matter of time before it was their turn for the international airing of the club’s dirty laundry.

The front page is the faintly disturbing boast that Real Madrid “are scared!” with a cartoon depiction of what could be Ever Banega’s family net-surfing one night and finding more than they bargained for.

“The German is not a saint, nor is he the only guilty one,” notes Josep Maria Casanovas in one of the paper’s editorials.

The lesson to be learned about the week’s events is one that is known to all followers of Spanish footie. If you're looking to get your hands on a non-stick Atlético Madrid toaster, some official Real Madrid Pedja hair gel, or a snug Pep Guardiola duvet cover, then Marca and AS are the papers for you.

But if you're looking to learn something, then stick to reading tea leaves or ringing those dodgy old Tarot-reading grannies found on local TV.

Or even better, just log onto your daily lump of La Liga Loca – the all-seeing blog that predicted Juande Ramos’ appointment and subsequent sacking a full month ago...

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