Moany Mourinho, amazing Arizmendi

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Saturday 2 a.m in the departure lounge of Vitoria airport and José Mourinho was spouting off to a gaggle of excited, thrusting press types.

Had he persuaded the Israelis to suspend settlement building after a 27 hour negotiating session? Was the Special One’s charisma saucy enough to coax the Iranians into giving up their nuclear ambitions?

No. The Real Madrid manager was talking about his non-existent answer to a non-existent job offer.

The whole tornado in a thimble began last Thursday when some old geezers from the Portuguese FA came to Madrid to talk to Mourinho and his agent - and have a fine lunch in the process, of course - with the possibility of dearest Mou taking over the somewhat struggling national side for two European Championship qualifiers in October featuring somewhere on the agenda.

Mourinho had apparently made approving noises to his would be suitors, but admitted a day later that “the Madridista family would see me (having two jobs) in a negative way.” “If it was up to me, I’d go to Portugal for nothing,” he added.

After Saturday night’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad, the Madrid manager spoke to a Portuguese TV crew and complained that there had not even been talks between Madrid and his country’s FA about the idea of filling in for a bit. “I’m going to be in Madrid for 10 days of holidays,” claimed Mourinho, suggesting that the prospect of spending a week and a half of personal time on the training pitches with Esteban Granero was less than taxing. 

Mourinho was then forced to further clarify his previous comments before boarding the plane to Madrid with pretty much everyone confused as to what had or hadn’t been said and what on earth it all meant.

However, Sara Carbonero certainly wasn’t in any doubt when she claimed during an interview on Spanish TV on Monday that “the manager is upset, above all because there was no meeting between Real Madrid and Portugal.”

But the other juicy whopper dropped by Iker’s amour was her claim that Cristiano Ronaldo “has always been egotistical and individualistic on the pitch,” which probably caused some tension around the team’s hotel breakfast table this morning (a breakfast table where all the condiments are no doubt down Ronaldo’s end considering his lack of enthusiasm for passing anything to anyone else), as Madrid prepare for the visit of Espanyol.

Despite the third round of games in La Primera only finishing on Monday night, the fourth round is set to start on Tuesday.

The final clash of the last ‘jornada’ produced a dreadful first half and wonderfully anarchic second between Deportivo and Getafe in a 2-2 draw that saw two penalties for Depor and and an absolute screamer of a strike for the now free-scoring Javier Arizmendi that left the Spanish TV commentary team as stunned as LLL.

When Arizmendi failed to celebrate his equalizing effort, the blog assumed that it was because the striker had forgotten how to. But then he revealed after the game that it was in respect to the fans he used to play in front of at Depor, despite those supporters probably having forgotten all about his amazing spell that saw seven goals in 50 matches.

Although Mourinho had a bit of a whine and a moan about the barbarity of having to play Ajax on a Wednesday and Real Sociedad on a Saturday, it is Espanyol who are being made to lie in the scheduling wet patch on Tuesday, as their previous game against Almería took place on Sunday, giving their competitors one extra day’s preparation ahead of the Castle Greyskull clash.

Real Madrid’s match kicks off at the family friendly time of 10 with two games being played at 8. The first of those sees Athletic Bilbao hosting Mallorca, a club - not team, or set of fans - that LLL is really starting to dislike.

Mallorca have done nothing but sulk since being thrown out of the Europa League by UEFA for failing to pay their debts to other clubs, thus giving them an unfair advantage in la Liga.

One of those sides on the wrong end of Mallorca’s mismanagement are Athletic Bilbao who, according to Marca, are still owed nearly €2 million on the 2008 sale of Aritz Aduriz, a striker who has since been moved on to Valencia for €4 million with Mallorca keeping the cash for themselves. This is why the relations between the two clubs have been frosty to say the least in the past couple of years.

Mallorca are also trying to take Villarreal’s European privileges in this season’s Copa del Rey draw, due to be held on Wednesday. In order to make the competition as uninteresting and pointless as possible, those clubs that are involved in European competition are handed ties against Segunda B or third division teams - not that this has been of much help to Real Madrid of late.

The Balearic outfit have petitioned the Spanish FA that this ‘bye’ should be theirs, despite Villarreal’s participation in this season’s Europa League.

Lastly, LLL has always been enemy number one of superfluous, self-serving, egotistical ‘minute’s silence’ before the start of football games. Mallorca infringed the blog’s low tolerance on such matters on Saturday with a lengthy pause to remember the death of the mother of the club’s VP Lorenzo Serra Ferrer, the head of the consortium which bought out the club over the summer.

(Blog takes deep breath)

Tuesday’s other 8 o’clock kick-off has Real Sociedad visiting Osasuna, a team that have yet to score a goal this season. “We need to get back our character, aggressiveness, our style and everyone needs to get back their self respect,” ranted club captain Francisco Puñal.

LLL Predictions

Real Madrid v Espanyol - Home win
Athletic v Mallorca - Home win
Osasuna v Real Sociedad - Home win 

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