Flamenco and farce in La Liga Loca

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No country for music lovers

The judge on the far left of the three-person jury muttered under his breath, rubbed his forehead with one hand and jabbed away with the other at the ‘reject’ button. It had been a very long day.

The stressed-out TV star had spent much of the week in Seville working as a judge in the audition stage of Cuatro’s scarily entertaining show You Have Talent.

And being in Seville, he had spent an inordinate and wholly inappropriate amount of time listening to thousands of the city’s citizens – young and old, large and small – clapping their hands, stomping their feet and wailing like cats in attempt to be the next superstar of flamenco.

When it’s good, flamenco is barely tolerable. When it’s bad, you want Javier Bardem to pop his scary wig on and blast your brains out with his bolt gun.

Our poor judge had listened to another precocious brat with another pushy parent shriek her way through another flamenco standard – the 387th of the day – and enough was enough.

“I’m in hell”, he must of thought. But he would have been wrong, because hell was just a few miles away, at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

That’s according Sevilla’s president, José Maria del Nido, who prepared for his side’s crucial Champions League clash with Fenerbahce on Tuesday night, by launching a campaign called 'Do you know what hell is?'

“Yes, having to spend more than two minutes listening to you”, thought the scowling hacks at Sunday’s event.

Sevilla are looking to overturn a 3-2 deficit against the Turkish visitors by firing up what is an already feisty crowd. And they should be fairly confident of passing through to the quarter-final stages, as should Barcelona whose home city is currently hosting 15,000-odd Celtic fans with only 5,000 of them holding tickets for the match, according to Mundo Deportivo who reports a “fantastic atmosphere in the streets”.

The eight-second coach

The Champions League is the last thing on the minds of Real Zaragoza who have lost what little grasp of the plot they may have had by appointing their fourth coach of the current campaign.

This was due to Monday’s resignation of Jabo Irureta, who took over from Ander Garitano, who took over from
Victor Fernandez.

“After the past four games, I thought that perhaps my message wasn’t getting through. Perhaps a change would be better,” he admitted to the press as he reflected on the four-match losing streak which ended with defeat at lowly Levante on Sunday afternoon.

Jabo’s reign lasted just six matches with only one of those resulting in three points. Zaragoza have appointed Manolo Villanova as their new coach, having given the matter a good eight seconds thought.

Villanova was managing Segunda B side, Huesca, but at 65 has been around the managerial block a bit. However he may be heading straight back to the lower leagues with his new team only out of the relegation zone thanks to goal difference.

Bernd by the press

As predicted, there is still a lot of grumbling going on after Bernd Schuster walked out on what appeared to be an ambush rather than a press conference, last Saturday, in Huelva.

“You say that managing a club like this was a dream, but it seems to be a torment for you,” stormed Carmen Colino in AS, accusing Schuster of destroying the club’s reputation.

La Liga Loca would suggest that the day the police were called to the Bernabeu to investigate the last presidential election was when the club’s reputation disappeared down the footballing plug hole.

“Boo sucks to you,” was the reply from the Bernabeu with Bernd Schuster himself saying, “I left because they didn’t want to talk about football.”

Judge's ruling: nada

David Albeda will be spending the rest of the week licking his legal wounds, after the judge presiding over his case against Valencia decided to take firm action by doing diddly-squat.

The midfielder will not have the 60,000 million euro pay off he demanded, nor the cancellation of his contract to leave him a free agent. Instead he will have to continue training, as normal.

“It ’s a great day because of the decision,” admitted Juan Bautista Soler mopping his not insignificant brow with his hankie. “But we must open the doors and come to an agreement.”

However the very real possibility – according to Albeda’s lawyer – of making claims against Soler himself and coach Ronald Koeman still hangs in the air like a cloud of Spanish smog.

You don't have to put on the red light

Off the pitch, Ever Banega found himself in yet another sticky situation – this time with the Old Bill. The midfielder had been returning home from dinner with friends, at 3.30 on Monday morning, but was stopped by the police having driven through a red light.

After an alcohol test, they found the footballer – whose car is almost certainly an automatic – was two times over the legal limit.

“I had a little bit to drink, but not too much,” hiccupped Banega a day later.