A big pat on the back for Pennant

Well, Zippity-do-dah! Ding Dong Merrily on High! and Pah-Pah-Poker Face!

A footballer from the UK and Ireland has grown some cojones and plucked up the courage to pack his knapsack and give the Spanish game a good old go.

Late on Thursday night, Real Zaragoza made the happy announcement that they had snared bad boy midfielder, Jermaine Pennant, on a freebie for the next three years.

“I wanted to go to Spain and turned down offers from some important teams in Europe to sign for Zaragoza,” grinned the former Liverpool man as he breezed into town for his medical and a cheeky photo with his new, shiny shirt.

Zaragoza may not be the sexiest of cities to spend time in with its slogan of:

“We’re between Barcelona and Madrid! And a bit industrial. Stop by! Please? Fine! Screw you! Didn’t want you to come anyway”

... but the club is an astute choice due to their canny manager in Marcelino and fans who are already very excited indeed by the arrival of the Englishman.  

“Good God,” cries one poster on Marca’s message boards, “at last, we have a great player at our Zaragoza!”

Zaragoza? Really?

It is still too early to say whether Pennant is going to find himself in a relegation battle or a push for the Europa League next season - one of the joys of following la Liga.

But it is a breath of fresh air to see a footballer with the imagination to turn down the safer but infinitely duller moves to the likes of Bolton or Wigan to come to a pimped-up Primera.

Although the blog began Friday on a happy note, if must move to the distressing news that Atlético Madrid’s Mariano Pernia very nearly met his maker earlier in the week after a car crash that also involved his daughter and nephew.

Fortunately all are expected to make full recoveries despite his car looking like a complete write-off after the incident and ending up on its roof.

The rojiblanco defender suffered a broken collar bone, a broken vertebrae and a punctured lung.

But Marca reports that the first thing Pernia said when waking up was: w“I’ve got to go back to Spain tomorrow for training.” Another blog hero for Friday.

Xerez have finally found their man to lead the club back to the second division next season.

And it’s former Osasuna boss, Cuco Ziganda, and perhaps the scariest looking boss in the Spanish top flight.

Except maybe Atlético’s Abel Resino. However, La Liga Loca has the impression that it could outrun the rojiblanco tough guy, if need be.

Ziganda: "You really don't want to make me angry"

Despite the club having only 14 players on its books at the moment, Ziganda is claiming that Xerez would not be “signing for the sake of signing.”

In a busy week, the Andalusia-based side were also linked with a buy-out by a certain Ramón Calderón, but the former Real Madrid president denied the story saying that he “didn’t have the money to buy Xerez.”

That and being a little tied up with appearances in front of judges and drunkenly waving his firsts outside Florentino Perez’ house every night. (This last part may not be entirely true. The first definitely is).

The third of the promoted sides, Tenerife, gets its first blog “Hello!” of the summer with the news that it was forced to open its ticket office for 24 hours on Wednesday night to deal with the demands from supporters looking for their passes for the new campaign.

But to end the week, here’s yet more intrigue from the mad, mad world of Mestalla.

Marca are reporting that the rumour running around town - started by Valencia bigwig José Garcia Roig - is that the man behind the mysterious Dalport organisation that has bought a 51 percent stake in the club may well be Juan Soler.

The man who was the majority shareholder at the club until Wednesday and who is largely seen as the person responsible for getting Valencia into the mess that it finds itself in today.

Welcome to La Liga Loca Jermaine!


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