Potato fields and a prickly Pep

Those who suggest - often quite forcibly - that LLL has absolutely no clue about anything are probably quite right.

The blog went to bed (extremely late thanks to evil Spanish TV bosses) having watched an unspectacular but perfunctory 3-0 win for Real Madrid against Espanyol. “No story here,” thought LLL. “Ten points from 12. Team still gelling but winning nonetheless. Benzema scoring. Higuaín scoring. Ronaldo scoring. And passing, too. Nothing to see. Move along, now.”

Action from the potato field (click to watch)

But the following morning all the talk on the wittering away radio stations was whether Real Madrid were exciting enough for the fans and if the coach knew what he was doing. The simple answers were "Probably not, but there’s plenty of time" and "Of course he does, you buffoons. What have you ever won, sat on your fat backsides in your ivory towers of judgement?"

As José Mourinho pointed out after the win over Espanyol, “I grew up in a country where there are 10 million coaches. Here, there are 40 million.” Everyone is throwing in their 10 cents' worth on Real Madrid’s performances so far, despite the iron-clad rule that a team isn’t supposed to be judged until 10 games into the season. (Then it’s perfectly fine, if necessary, to tap that ass of aggression.)

The headline on Wednesday’s AS grumps about “Three goals (and not much more)”. As is to be expected, Marca is a little more positive, cheering a “goalfest in a potato field” –  referencing Mourinho’s complaint that the Bernabeu turf is not what it was, whether due to a virus or (as was hinted at on the back page of Sunday’s edition) vandalism.

LLL is led to believe that there were other games on Wednesday - it actually watched one of them with its own failing eyes - with Athletic Bilbao creaking into third gear to beat Mallorca 3-0 and Osasuna managing their first goals and win of the new campaign. “There's too much emphasis put on the opening games,” said Osasuna boss José Antonio Camacho, correctly.

Although Real Sociedad took the lead in the clash in Pamplona with a strike from Raúl Tamudo, the Osasuna revival was started by one of the most beautiful events in football, a sight that always gets the blog’s juices flowing no matter its mood: Walter Pandiani crashing a header into the back of the net from a cross.

Osasuna v Sociedad - click to watch

Over in Barcelona, the press is less than impressed by the two match suspension handed out by the league for Tomás Ujfalusi’s challenge on Leo Messi in Sunday’s Calderón clash. Sport's Josep María Casanovas is disappointed not to see stoning introduced as a punishment and complains that the “(Disciplinary) Committee had a splendid chance to impose an exemplary suspension in defence of good players and the game.”

The slowly unravelling Pep Guardiola has now turned to irony, note Marca, with his complaints that the media are partly responsible for Ujfalusi’s tackle. And when Pep says media he means Marca, whose director Eduardo Inda recently called for Leo Messi to be taken out GoodFellas-style.

“It wasn’t me who said you have to stop a player through civil or criminal means,” noted the Barça boss, who shrugged that “we’ve lost the media war” and the only way to respond was to win lots of games of football. If only it were that simple.

Barcelona are taking on Sporting in their round four league clash - not that you’d notice when flicking through the city’s newspapers, with the big game of the night kicking off straight after.

That clash sees Atlético Madrid heading to Valencia to take on the league leaders, with AS pointing out that there is a big age difference between the two goalkeepers in action on the east coast, but in the process making it sound like something fishy may have happened between one keeper and the other one’s Mum 20 years ago.
“De Gea, 19, could be the son of César, 39!” gasped the paper.

In Wednesday night's other games, Almería are set to host Levante in what LLL suspects is a relegation clash whilst Hércules-hosting Zaragoza are already talking about having 35 finals left.

LLL Predictions
Barcelona v Sporting - Home win
Zaragoza v Hercules - Draw
Almería v Levante - Home win
Valencia v Atlético Madrid - Draw

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