The Pep talk that aroused a nation
Should the great leaders at FourFourTwo ever grow tired of LLLÃ¢ÂÂs showbiz demands and cut the blog loose, starvation and playing the accordion badly in the Madrid metro awaits. LLL certainly isnÃ¢ÂÂt going to find work in the Spanish media, as it doesnÃ¢ÂÂt seem to quite get how it works.
The blog was just a few metres away from Pep Guardiola on Sunday night in the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n press room when the BarÃÂ§a boss admitted that Ã¢ÂÂwe arenÃ¢ÂÂt going to win the league. We will compete until the end, we arenÃ¢ÂÂt going to give up, nor we will stop being who we are on the pitch, but I donÃ¢ÂÂt think we will win the league.Ã¢ÂÂ
"Refreshingly honest and sensible," thought a very British blog on the BarÃÂ§a boss accepting that the 10-point gap probably wonÃ¢ÂÂt be closed because of MadridÃ¢ÂÂs canny ability to pick up points due to the sideÃ¢ÂÂs indomitable spirit and determination (or constant help from the referees in a giant global conspiracy, depending on your affiliation).
Apparently LLL got the wrong end of PepÃ¢ÂÂs stick completely. According to the BarÃÂ§a media, Guardiola was being ironic, joking, conducting a savage attack on refereeing bias and boosting his teamÃ¢ÂÂs morale, all at the same time. It's nothing whatsoever to do with the Barcelona manager going nuts and actually saying what he actually thinks.
"What have I said now?"
Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs seen things that he doesnÃ¢ÂÂt like in this championship, above all the inertia that surrounds Madrid: penalties, sendings off, goals incorrectly ruled out for their rivals, goals given to Madrid that shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have been. This makes him think that MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs men will win the title almost by Ã¢ÂÂdecreeÃ¢ÂÂ,Ã¢ÂÂ claimed MondayÃ¢ÂÂs edition of Sport.
Mundo Deportivo reckons that GuardiolaÃ¢ÂÂs confession was too-many-spoons, not-enough-knives ironic, a theory discussed by one of the clubÃ¢ÂÂs directors on Monday. For Carles VilarrubÃÂ, Pep was displaying Ã¢ÂÂintelligent irony. He was saying that our footballers have to play excellently because the Liga BBVA is not giving objective nor normal conditions so that the best team can win.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂI donÃ¢ÂÂt want to say that we are complaining about referees,Ã¢ÂÂ added the Barcelona VP.
LLL is therefore assuming that VilarrubÃÂ is arguing that those meanie-heads Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao, Getafe, Espanyol, Villarreal and Osasuna are the ones to blame for the lack of Ã¢ÂÂobjective and normal conditionsÃ¢ÂÂ in la Liga by not allowing Barcelona to trot off with three points in their clashes with the Catalan club this season.
AS editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o fumes in an editorial on Tuesday that "I really like Guardiola's manner much more [than Mourinho] but quite frankly I'd appreciate knowing, if he wants to say something, that he is really saying it. At least in this sense, Mourinho has an advantage over Guardiola."
With football punditry in Spain now largely consisting of propaganda, spin, Kremlinology, interpretation, reinterpretation, misinterpretation, making stuff up and mad ranting, itÃ¢ÂÂs quite possibly another reason why Guardiola is taking such a long time to consider whether or not he can face another season of this madness when one simple comment is torn apart and reconstructed a billion different ways.