Atletico, Liverpool, UEFA and the Millennium Falcon
ThereÃ¢ÂÂs trouble in paradise. All is not well at La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs little lovenest.
In fact, La Liga Loca came home this afternoon to find its clothes in a suitcase on the front lawn, its dinner in the dog and its Millennium Falcon in the bin. With all bits of teabag dribble on it.
You see, boys and girls, this La Liga Loca had a bit of an argument with that La Liga Loca. Not a little loversÃ¢ÂÂ tiff, oh no. WeÃ¢ÂÂd already worked through that leaving the seat up business. This was a proper blazing row, a lock yourself in the bog and scream Ã¢ÂÂIhateyou-Ihateyou-Ihateyou-Ihateyou!Ã¢ÂÂ sort of row. The kind that really pisses off the neighbours.
And itÃ¢ÂÂs all because that La Liga Loca said UEFA were right to close AtleticoÃ¢ÂÂs stadium for three games, starting from now.
Now, this La Liga Loca agrees with that La Liga Loca that AtlÃÂ©tico are a bunch of incompetent monkeys who make the league and the Federation Ã¢ÂÂ yes, this league and Federation - look almost organised.
It agrees that they utterly failed to do any of the things on that great big long list of things to do that UEFA gave them. Even the simple ones. In fact, it hears that they didnÃ¢ÂÂt even have anyone who speaks English in the security meeting with UEFA that day. The same UEFA who, er, work in English.
It agrees that as an institution they deserve UEFA to throw the book at them. In fact, someone should chuck an entire sodding library their way. Very hard.
It agrees that while Atletico have some of the best fans around, they also have some of the worst Ã¢ÂÂ a bunch of bloody meat-headed right-wing racist nutters. It agrees that they acted like a bunch of Neanderthals against Bolton. And against Madrid. And Sevilla.
Oh, and Aberdeen.
Clobber! Thwack! Thud! Oof!
It definitely agrees that the reaction from the Spanish press, football people and even the government has been the typical act of blaming those nasty Frenchies rather than actually asking if maybe, perhaps, you know, like, possibly, there is a teensy little chance that there may be a bit of a problem. (Still, at least itÃ¢ÂÂs not Perfidious AlbionÃ¢ÂÂs fault this time.)
And it doesnÃ¢ÂÂt mind that the La Liga Loca in-laws extended their stay for another flipping week. Honestly. Well, not much.
It even agrees that Atletico deserve it. Just not now. Not for the reasons they said. Because against Olympique Marseilles, itÃ¢ÂÂs not sure it heard the racist abuse. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not saying there definitely wasnÃ¢ÂÂt any; itÃ¢ÂÂs just not saying there definitely was.
Marseille have a number of black players but only one received much abuse - the Nigerian full-back Taye Taiwo. He was singled out after a dreadful challenge on Sergio Aguero.
And amidst the din in the stadium it was hard to judge where the boos ended and the ooh-ooh-oohs began. In fact, this La Liga Loca is not sure if indeed they even did. End and begin, it means.
It also canÃ¢ÂÂt help wondering if UEFAÃ¢ÂÂs men with notebooks and hurt French players and officials were fooled by the war cry of the AtlÃÂ©tico fans. AgueroÃ¢ÂÂs nickname is El Kun, his every touch greeted with guttural, almost simian chants of Ã¢ÂÂKun! Kun! Kun!Ã¢ÂÂ
ItÃ¢ÂÂs just a thought.
Remember the name?
After all, La Liga Loca, practised in the art of hearing the ooh-ooh-oohs and a regular visitor to the crumbling heap of crap that is the CalderÃÂ³n, wasnÃ¢ÂÂt really sure.
And even if they did go for the racist option Ã¢ÂÂ and this La Liga Loca ainÃ¢ÂÂt saying they didnÃ¢ÂÂt Ã¢ÂÂ¦ In fact, letÃ¢ÂÂs face it, past evidence suggests they probably did, past evidence like all the other lots and lots and lots of times they did it, or the bananas thrown at Carlos KameniÃ¢ÂÂ¦ But even if they did go for the racist option, thatÃ¢ÂÂs not really the point.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a point, but not the point. Not this time. Because even if the decision is right, the timing is wrong. And so are the ones really paying for it.
Sod Atletico: what about us, La Liga Loca? We were going to go to the game. Together. Our special night out. A little quality time. Just you and me. (And a few thousand Scousers.)
DonÃ¢ÂÂt you care about us any more? And donÃ¢ÂÂt you care about the Scousers? The ones who all have hotels, flights and tickets already booked?
DonÃ¢ÂÂt you care that them having to go somewhere else Ã¢ÂÂ the same somewhere else, on the same journey to somewhere else, as the Atletico fans Ã¢ÂÂ is a recipe for disaster? Imagine the flights and the buses and the trains and the service stations. ArenÃ¢ÂÂt UEFA just creating more problems?
This La Liga Loca agrees that UEFA might be right to punish Atletico, but why punish everyone else? And why now? And why in this way? AndÃ¢ÂÂ¦ oh, hang on, news just in: itÃ¢ÂÂs back onÃ¢ÂÂ¦ The question is, other La Liga Loca, are we?
Here, IÃ¢ÂÂve bought you some flowers from a geezer at the traffic lightsÃ¢ÂÂ¦