Skip to main content

Spurs' troubles don't concern Madridista press as Real eye Clásico semi

Tuesday certainly started well enough for Spurs fans, who made this weekâÂÂs Champions League trip to the Spanish capital.

The first gaggle stumbled into MadridâÂÂs Plaza Mayor just shy of 10.30 in the morning and settled down for a drinkie or two in the shade at a terrace table. Soon, they were joined by thousands. Perhaps millions...

When the hideously overpriced cafés and bars of MadridâÂÂs main square were drunk dry - by about midday - the Tottenham hordes hauled cases of beer into the square and kicked off a very Spanish tradition. The âÂÂbotellónâ is the smelly chaos that occurs when a whole bunch of (usually young) people with neither the resources nor desire to drink in a bar bring their own booze to a spot in the town centre and spend much of the night screeching out their own versions of already awful pop songs and peeing willy nilly. Along with the vomit. Oh, the vomit.

Normally, the police move in to kick the botellón participants out, but on Tuesday the Madrid plod seemed relatively happy to have the thousands of Spurs fans in one place knowing that most would be dead through heatstroke and dehydration by five.

Some twelve hours on from those first cock-er-nee visitors kicking off the day with their late morning beer, the mood was considerably less cheery among the Tottenham posse, with Spurs having endured a disastrous evening at the Santiago Bernabeu, starting with Aaron LennonâÂÂs reported tunnel-based tummy trouble, Emmanuel Adebayor's early goal and Peter CrouchâÂÂs 15th minute sending off.

Leader of the long faces was Harry Redknapp. At MondayâÂÂs pre-match press conference, âÂÂappy âÂÂArry couldnâÂÂt have been chirpier. When asked what result he would accept, the Spurs boss replied: âÂÂitâÂÂs only a good night if they played well, otherwise itâÂÂs not a good night.âÂÂ

A day later, RedknappâÂÂs big glum face gave an indication of his shell-shocked state of mind after a four-zero thumping that left his side without the merest glimmer of hope of a comeback at White Hart Lane in a weekâÂÂs time.

But TottenhamâÂÂs problems were of no consequence to the Madrid press, who are now spared having to drum up a âÂÂwe can do it!â campaign for the second leg. âÂÂAn easy thrashing for Madrid against a poor Tottenham,â scoffed Marca who had little sympathy with SpursâÂÂs self-imposed problems.

Despite the London club not being one of the established big guns of English football, a genuine, fiery Premier League-style contest was expected in the Bernabeu - but it was not to be, with Santiago Segurola in the paperâÂÂs match report noting the âÂÂlamentable emotional state of TottenhamâÂÂ

AS are most excited indeed squealing on WednesdayâÂÂs front cover that âÂÂLa Décima is in sightâ - MadridâÂÂs very longstanding dream of a tenth European Cup title.

This may not be premature hyperbole if Pep GuardiolaâÂÂs gloomy predictions about his sideâÂÂs own quarter-final first leg clash against Shakhtar Donetsk are any indication. Aside from the pessimistic one held by Johan Cruyff, the view in Spain is that while the Ukrainian outfit will be tough opponents, the general assumption is that Barça will get through one way or another to set up a semi-final date with Madrid.

Not so, says the Dream Boys boss, who fretted in the press conference that âÂÂfor the first time in the Champions League I donâÂÂt have a good feeling.â The odd snigger that LLL has heard suggests Pep is being a little hysterical ahead of the game, but the blog suspects that this message being broadcast that Shakhtar are "a great team, a super team,â is more for the ears of the players, press but most importantly of all the fans.

Catalan daily, Sport, have jumped on board the bandwagon with the front cover reminding culés that âÂÂLadies and Gentleman, these are the quarter finals!â and to put down their bocadillos for the game and give the players a clap. âÂÂWe must take care not to disrespect a rival that can cause a serious upset if you donâÂÂt play with all five senses.âÂÂ

Mundo DeportivoâÂÂs message is a simple one - for simple writers and simple readers perhaps. The front page is filled by the word âÂÂGoalsâ and little Leo MessiâÂÂs face, referring to the difficulty Barcelona have had scoring them of late, by their admittedly lofty standards - just nine in BarçaâÂÂs last six games.

But despite PepâÂÂs butterfly tummy, Barcelona should go through against Shakhtar and set up a three week mad-zone of four Clásicos, leading to footballing chaos reigning in Spain and possibly the end of the world as we know it.