Pepe and Iniesta fill media void with a school-yard scrap
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a bit pathetic, petty and ever-so-slightly-childish. So quite naturally, the hard-hitting, dirt-digging La Liga Loca is all over the spat between Pepe and AndrÃÂ©s Iniesta currently being fought out through the pleased-as-punch press, who are glad to finally have something decent to chew on.
Everyone being immensely nice to each other in the wake of Sunday's ClÃÂ¡sico left a bit of a vacuum in the Spanish football media, what with everybody agreeing the result was fair and that both Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were both jolly good players.
Ahead of September's international break, a certain Real Madrid man admitted that he felt a bit sad, which kept the presses printing and television tongues a-wagging for a good week or so. This time around, the only post-ClÃÂ¡sico scraps have been PepeÃ¢ÂÂs suggestion that AndrÃÂ©s Iniesta is a bit of a diver and Tito Vilanova's retort that the Portuguese defender likes to boot people about.
Evidence of recent years could support both cases, however the two parties involved have decided to pull each otherÃ¢ÂÂs pig tails via the press in order to keep the story rumbling on. Iniesta responded on Tuesday by saying that Ã¢ÂÂwhat Pepe said was offensive, but we all know him,Ã¢ÂÂ something bordering on a red-faced rant from the usually mild-mannered Clarke Kent of la Liga. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm not a cheat and nor are my team-mates,Ã¢ÂÂ huffed the BarÃÂ§a man, handedly ignoring the recent FA report over Gary MedelÃ¢ÂÂs sending off which suggested quite the opposite about a certain Cesc Fabregas...
AS were Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs heroes on Wednesday, revealing that over the past three years Pepe has been Ã¢ÂÂfouleeÃ¢ÂÂ more than he has been 'fouler' by the margin of 1.3 to 0.9 - ergo Tito Vilanova is a big stupid head. All in all, itÃ¢ÂÂs rather unedifying from AS, who should perhaps be giving more covering the fact that as of Wednesday morning no TV company in Spain could afford to televise WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs World Cup qualifier in Belarus.
As with Javier Casquero a few seasons back, Pepe wasnÃ¢ÂÂt going to let the matter quietly lay to rest. Ã¢ÂÂIf someone was offended, itÃ¢ÂÂs because the truth hurts,Ã¢ÂÂ nah-nahÃ¢ÂÂed Pepe from the safety of the Portugal camp.
ThereÃ¢ÂÂs still a very long way to go until proper league football is back - or at least until TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs dust-up with France - so LLL is panting and pawing at the idea of the Catalan press picking up on Jordi AlbaÃ¢ÂÂs as yet unmade throwaway comment that Real Madrid pongs of poo-poo and a stout response from AS whose scientific tests prove that nothing but perfume oozes from the Santiago Bernabeu and that Ã¢ÂÂtis the Catalan club that whiffs of wee-wee.
After all, whenever you think that things have hit rock bottom in la Liga, thereÃ¢ÂÂs always someone out there willing to starting digging. With a big, blooming drill.