The mood of the La Liga nation – Sevilla to Zaragoza

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LLL's Tim Stannard completes his temperament-testing tour of the Spanish top flight

Mood – In the happy bunny camp of cheer

Canny Sevilla supporters already sensed their team’s ‘end of a cycle’ before last season had even started and they weren’t to be proved wrong either with what was largely a forgettable campaign saved by a late sprint for a European place akin to a dash to the loo after some iffy seafood.

Twelve months on and things are a lot perkier in the sweltering city of Seville with  Marcelino in charge of the club and at least two hate-filled derbies against Betis to look forward to.

FFT Travel Guide to Sevilla

Club president José Maria Del Nido remains out of prison, his corruption trial still ongoing. Sporting director Monchi appears to have found his magic scouting touch again with last season’s recruitment of Ivan Rakitic and this summer’s purchases of Coke (to give the side a lift), Getafe’s Manu Del Moral and former Hamburger Piotr Trochowski. Sevilla v3.0 looks like being a solid one with Marcelino claiming that a third-placed finish was quite possible for his team.

Mood – Boooooo!!!!!!!

The free transfer of Diego Castro to Getafe and departure of José Angel to Roma, with a couple of lower-league freebies coming in, isn’t what has been antagonising Sporting fans in the past week or too. Instead it was the unveiling of the club’s new first team strip, which still carried the traditional red-and-white stripes – but with the white featuring rather too dominantly for supporters who booed it at the official unveiling.

FFT Travel Guide to Sporting Gijon

The protests from the supporters in the all-powerful message boards forced the club and manufacturers Kappa to agree to work on tinkering with the design to something a little less... white. Either that or do nothing until the season has already started and it's all too late.

Valencia fans prepare to pull hankies from pockets

Mood – White hankies at the ready

The club is still avoiding bankruptcy, Juan Mata hasn't been sold – although Unai Emery hasn’t ruled the possibility out – and what’s more, a few handy footballers such as goalkeeper Diego Alves, Dani Parejo and Pablo Piatti have been signed.

However, that won’t stop some of the most notoriously grumpy supporters in Spain booing and hankie-waving during the first match of the season if things don’t go immediately well for the men from Mestalla.

FFT Travel Guide to Villarreal

The glass is always very much half-empty for Valencia fans, who prefer to focus on the negatives of their side. If it were the other way round then there are a lot of reasons to be cheerful in the season to come, with some fresh faces around the squad coming in and the departure of some grumpy old goats – such as Vicente and Miguel Brito, who has been told he can go do one.

Mood – In a holding pattern

For the moment the average Villarreal fan is reasonably content. But all that could change over the next month, with a Champions League qualifying match and the possible sales of Giuseppi Rossi (pictured) to Juventus and Santi Cazorla to Málaga, two players that would ruin a cracking team no matter what money was raised to replace them.

FFT Travel Guide to Villarreal

The €2.3m purchase of forward Javier Camuñas from Osasuna may not be a headline-grabber but Villarreal have gained a real Scrappy-Doo fighter (if less irritating) to help out a squad that occasionally lacked a bit of backbone last year. Colombian centre-back Cristián Zapata, arriving from Udinese, may turn out to be a shrewd signing too. But for the moment, it's very much wait and see in the Villarreal camp.

"Ooooooooooooooooklahoma where the wind comes sweeping' down the plain…"

Mood - acceptance of what is about to come their way

Just when LLL thought Zaragoza couldn’t sink any lower after some of the skin-saving antics the side pulled last year, the club goes into administration – giving it legal protection from automatic relegation due to the debts held to its footballers and other clubs for transfers.

FFT Travel Guide to Zaragoza

However, this hasn’t stopped the side signing the odd player or two with midfielder Juan Carlos joining from Real Madrid Castilla joining for €2.5m – a giant middle finger to other sides who are owned money by the arrogant Aragonese outfit.

The better news for supporters of truth, justice and the American way are that Ander Herrera has left for Athletic Bilbao with Gabi going to Atlético Madrid, to leave Zaragoza without two of their best players from last season.

Nevertheless, Zaragoza fans will still be hopping mad over their owner Agapito Iglesias, whose chronic mismanagement has left the club with debts of nearly €100m – but happy to still be standing and facing another year of Primera football.

The mood of the La Liga nation:
Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Betis, Espanyol
Granada, Getafe, Levante, Malaga, Mallorca
Osasuna, Racing Santander, Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad
Sevilla, Sporting, Valencia, Villarreal, Zaragoza 

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