Super Cup sulking and Özil obstruction

On Saturday night, LLL was considering breaking a firm blog tradition by sacrificing its precious time to watch a pre-season friendly. In this case, the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup between Sevilla and Barcelona.

That was, until it discovered that Barça bigwig Sandro Rosell wasnâÂÂt bothering to travel to the Sánchez Pizjuán - apparently because he wanted to make his official debut at the Camp Nou next week, showing that the expansion of his presidential ego is progressing at a very pleasing place.

But then LLL read that not even Pep Guardiola gave a flying faff of fish about the clash either and wouldnâÂÂt be fielding his Spanish World Cup winners in the game. So the blog decided to give whole affair a miss and catch the latest goings-on in Belén EstebanâÂÂs lusty love-life over on Berlusconi trashfest channel Telecinco.

Instead, LLL tuned into the tutting (mainly Madrid-based) TV channels on Sunday as they scoffed in hindsight at PepâÂÂs decision to give the club's youngsters a bit of a go. But not in the Karim Benzema sense, of course. And when it says âÂÂin the Karim Benzema senseâ the blog is referring to the French strikerâÂÂs willingness to always give help and guidance to players from MadridâÂÂs youth system. Oh yes it is.

The 3-1 defeat to Sevilla leaves a fair amount to be done by PepâÂÂs Dream Boys next week at the Camp Nou, but no-one really seems to care that much about the game to be fair, with AS suggesting that perhaps the annual clash between the league and cup winners should be over one leg and at a neutral venue.

But being Spanish football, any such notions which could improve the running of the game and the lot of the supporters will be thrown out by its braying bosses for being heresy. Like setting kick-off times promptly. Or making the Copa del Rey a knock-out competition. Or banning Deportivo.

Atlético Madrid are another side in Spain who have a fixture that straddles the gap between those summertime games that are classed in the interest stakes by neutrals as âÂÂdonâÂÂt careâ and âÂÂIâÂÂll watch if there really, really, really isnâÂÂt anything better to do with my timeâÂÂ.

On Friday, the Europa-totin' Rojiblancos are in Monaco to play Champions League champions Inter Milan in a stadium that's probably too small to accommodate both sets of fans, as happens every single year. But that never seems to be an issue for the attending UEFA suits, who are unlikely to turn down the chance of an all-expenses-paid whizz-bang weekend in Monte Carlo.

Monaco's stadium: It's not big, but it's somewhere nice

Before that European Super Cup clash, Quique Sánchez Flores is expected to announce which player will be missing at least the start of the season due to a lack of space in the non-EU passport holding box. With two slots taken by new Uruguayan signing Diego Godín and Kun Agüero (expected to become Spanish in November), the final place is between returning striker Diego Costa and waste-of-space winger Salvio who joined in January from the Argentinian league.

Quique says he has made up his mind on the affair and it's set to be Salvio who is dropped from the squad, despite his reported â¬10 million fee with José Antonio Reyes and Simao able to fill his hole, as it were â although the blog was told by an Atleti fan not to expect too much from Reyes this season, as there is neither âÂÂa World Cup nor European Championshipsâ being held next summer to give la Liga's lazybones an all-too-rare sense of motivation ahead of the campaign to come.

Marca have been fulfilling their duty as Real Madrid minions splendidly by running stories every day calling for Mesut ÃÂzil to be released from apparent slavery in Germany and come to the Santiago Bernabeu. âÂÂBremen should not stop ÃÂzil fulfilling his dream of going to Madrid,â claimed Marca, attacking the Bundesliga outfit for daring to want high-quality, contracted players at their disposal for the season to come.

The paper was back at it on Monday with another jibe at the Bavarian â as one writer seems to think, anyway â club with the paperâÂÂs âÂÂTop Ten rankingsâ of the weekend giving the Werder Bremen sporting director Klaus Allofs zero points for turning down an official offer from the club for the midfielder. It was a foolish move, says the paper, noting that the footballer is out of contract next summer.

âÂÂIt is better to react by accepting the second offer Valdano will make,â claims the paper on a transfer saga that will have to be tied up before Wednesday when Werder Bremen play a Champions League qualifier against Sampdoria, thus tainting ÃÂzil for the year to come.

LLL would love to see how the paper would enjoy them apples if Manchester City, for example, tempted Cristiano Ronaldo back to England just before MadridâÂÂs season starts with an offer of a million pounds a week and a jacuzzi the size of Johannesburg.

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