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SHARES
19 September 2008
Friday afternoons, eh? Don't you just love them?
SHARES
19 September 2008
I’ve watched Barca twice this week at the Camp Nou, first in the 1-1 draw against Racing Santander (who, trivia buffs, count singer Paul Heaton as a fan) when Thierry Henry didn’t even make the bench and also in Tuesday’s 3-1 win against Sporting Lisbon when he started.
SHARES
19 September 2008
Curse these European midweeks!
SHARES
19 September 2008
Fan Nick Judd doesn't look forward to many away days in League One... for all manner of reasons  
SHARES
19 September 2008
SaturdayAtlético Madrid vs RecreativoDue to a joint-gesticulating rojiblanco fan smoking a jazz cigarette the size of Belgium, La Liga Loca - along with the surrounding eight rows - only has fuzzy memories of last season’s Recreativo clash in the Calderón.However, one musty, fusty recollection the blog does have is those delightful Ultra scamps making monkey chants to the then Recreativo striker, Sinama-Pongolle. On Saturday, the deplorable dark underbelly of the home support is going to have to do a Dixie Chicks and be ready to make nice with their new striker due to the month long injury to Diego Forlán and the possible complete exhaustion of wunderkid, Kun Agüero. LLL Prediction - Home win. Espanyol vs GetafeThe latest footballer to do the "me? think of leaving? moi? never!” routine is Espanyol striker, Luis García. Despite batting his eyes in Benfica’s direction for much of the summer and admitting that he would follow Quique Sánchez Flores to the ends of the earth - and who wouldn’t? - García has claimed that he always intended to continue his moaning, moochy presence in the Montjuic. “I never wanted to go, but the club needed to sell,” shrugged García after the closure of the transfer window. His two goals in two games have lead the Montjuic board to put down the ham for a moment or two to begin talks to tie the forward to a contract extension to 2012 - the next time Espanyol will lead the table, again, most probably. LLL Prediction - Draw. SundayAlmería vs MalagaWith Citizen Oleguer now flying the red flag of freedom and giving power to the people in the Dutch league, his arch-nemesis Salva Ballesta has had little to rant about. But on Thursday the fighter pilot, king-and-country-loving, true Spanish patriot decided to turn on his misfiring Malaga team-mates who have had a sluggish start to the season - in the, not having scored a goal yet, sense. “A good image won’t get us any points,” growled the currently crocked striker. “Points are the most important thing and after that it’s looking good.” On Sunday, they are unlikely to manage either.LLL Prediction - Home win. Athletic vs ValladolidWith Valladolid coach José Lluis Mendilibar being banished to the San Mamés stands for making naughty gestures towards the referee in last week’s Atlético clash, assistant coach Angel Felix has stepped into the footballing spotlight. And it’s likely that a music-hall style umbrella hook will be needed to get him out of it. Felix chose his press conference this week to have a pop at, Sunday’s opposition number, Joaquín “didn’t you used to be Batman?” Caparrós and accused him of employing skulduggery during games. “He’s someone who tries to get his players to waste time and uses underhand tricks. And the referees allow it,” claimed fearsome Felix.Considering an Athletic groundsman was caught by the opposition trying to make the San Mamés pitch narrower shortly before the kick-off in a cup game against Espanyol last season, La Liga Loca thinks that Felix may have a fair point. LLL Prediction - Home win. Betis vs SevillaSince the death of Antonio Puerta, the truce between these two most childish of clubs has held, despite Betis being hammered in both the matches last season. And Darth de Lopera’s right-hand man - or giant finger puppet, depending on your point of view - Pepe Leon hopes that the hostilities continue to be held off on Sunday. “We all want it to be a new derby of togetherness,” grinned the daisy-carrying, de la Soul loving Betis club president. Sevilla are more concerned by a claim that is reportedly being made against the club by the parents of Puerta. Marca write that the couple are demanding 240,000 euros from the club as a ‘reconciliation payment’ for the defender’s death. The paper writes that if the sum is not agreed upon then a demand could be made for full compensation. LLL Prediction - Away win. Numancia vs VillarrealIn these days of purse-tightening and scraps-saving, Villarreal have done every club in La Liga a favour by saving them the trouble of funding costly scouting trips to South America. That’s because they’ve already bought everyone there. “We sent Miñambres (sporting director) to Brazil with a list of the 20 best young players in the country,” recalled Pepe Mel, Rayo Vallecano manager, this week. “When he had seen eight he called us and said that six of them had been signed by Villarreal and loaned out.(” And it’s not just in Brazil that the club’s tentacles have been travelling. The Yellow Submarine also own 50% of the rights on seven River Plate players and five other footballers currently being loaned out to other Primera and Segunda division clubs. LLL Prediction - Away win. Deportivo vs MallorcaThis weeks News from Sweden delves into the attempts being made by Swedish towns to make their abodes sound a little more than a sauna-with-an-elk-museum one bar dumps, by giving zany, attention-grabbing slogans to their homes. West coast town Stenungsund has plumped for the thrilling-sounding “The pleasant coastal community with belief in the future and development” but it is likely to miss out on the all important tourist dollar, having been trumped by Malung who boast “42 square kilometres with development.” LLL Prediction - DrawValencia vs OsasunaHaving been at Mestalla for a good few months and avoided being sacked, Unai Emery has had time to discover what makes Valencia so... different. “The club is like a table with four legs,” explains Emery. “One leg is the players, another is the executives, another is the fans and the other is the media. If one falls the structure staggers, but if more fail, then it collapses.” Unai has clearly never shopped at Ikea when a flower pot is enough to bring the whole flimsy piece of furniture crashing.LLL Prediction - Home win. Racing Santander vs Real MadridLa Liga Loca decided to watch the action-packed Madrid vs BATE Champions League game, sitting in its comfortable chair of judgement atop an ivory tower by suggesting to one of the players that he and his team-mates should have racked up a century against a side that couldn’t even kick-off properly.Pish and tiffle, says said a steely-staring Royston Drenthe, when confronted with this accusation by the blog after the game.“It’s always like this in these kind of games... they know that they are the underdog, so we have to push out,” explained the somewhat despondent Dutchman. “It’s only 2-0, but everyone is going to talk now and say  ‘they only scored two goals.’ It was difficult as they were defending with everybody.”
SHARES
19 September 2008
The cappuccini are tasting a lot sweeter this morning after all four Italian clubs produced fine wins in the UEFA Cup on Thursday evening.
SHARES
18 September 2008
It's not every day you get an e-mail from the widow of arguably England's greatest ever footballer saying she's looking forward to doing some digging with you. The lady in question was Stephanie Moore, as in Mrs Bobby, and she got in touch after hearing that FourFourTwo would be joining her in a remote South African village in November to help build a classroom and football pitch for some underprivileged kids.
SHARES
18 September 2008
Lord almighty, I feel my temperature rising!Alopecic midfielder and old-timer Elvis fan Paulo Baier set the Brazilian championship alight last Saturday by leading Goiás to a 2-1 away victory at leaders Grêmio.Baier’s superb performance, which included a goal from a corner – or Olympic Goal, as we call it in Brazil – prevented the Porto Alegre squad from building a nine-point advantage over Palmeiras.And it got worse for Grêmio. The next day, they saw their lead cut to just three points when Palmeiras beat Cruzeiro in a crucial clash between the second and third placed teams at the Mineirão Stadium. Diego Souza netted a class winner to shift the momentum in favour of Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s Boys in Green.As the manicured gaffer predicted, the championship has turned on its head since the closure of the transfer window. Flamengo, who topped the table for most of the first half of the tournament, lost a handful of key players and are on the slide in 7th. Now, they would be more than happy bagging a Copa Libertadores spot (the top four qualify).
SHARES
17 September 2008
In 2008, a hapless Kent football club was sent to League Two for football crimes they actually did commit.

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