Three days after VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs rather rapid relegation from la Primera, LLL suspects there are still sobbing supporters sitting in the stands in el Madrigal, their mouths opening and closing like goldfish. In the space of just three minutes the club suffered the divisional descent of both their first side and Ã¢ÂÂBÃ¢ÂÂ team, the latter to make way for the Yellow Submarine seniors in la Segunda next season.
The gentleman largely responsible for this, Miguel Angel Lotina, left his coaching post on Wednesday having chalked up an impressive third relegation with a Primera club thanks to a record of three wins, five draws and three defeats in his 11 match tenure. Ã¢ÂÂI felt like a manager again,Ã¢ÂÂ said Lotina, thanking the club for the chance to continue his reign as the one and only Lord of Doom.
However, Villarreal president Fernando Roig has other things on his mind, quite aside from his team not being much good / motivated / bothered. As well as hints of Ã¢ÂÂworryingÃ¢ÂÂ goings-on in la Primera, as alluded to by Lotina over the past three or four years, Roig has added to the pot by claiming that by doing things by the book and following the rules in la Primera, Villarreal have been at an unfair disadvantage against most other teams in la Liga Ã¢ÂÂ a not completely outrageous suggestion as it turns out.
Ã¢ÂÂ[We have been] competing with sides that donÃ¢ÂÂt pay their taxes, social security or their players...these clubs can sign and sign players then not pay for them.Ã¢ÂÂ Parts of this description fit Zaragoza, who stayed up at VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs expense, and AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid, the team who sent them down with a 1-0 win in the last match.
The last couple of days have also brought up some curious goings-on in Vallecas in the final few minutes of RayoÃ¢ÂÂs game with Granada, with the Madrid team desperately needing a goal against their rivals at the time in order to make sure that it was Villarreal Ã¢ÂÂ losing to AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid Ã¢ÂÂ and not themselves getting relegated.
It seems that some of the Rayo players were telling their counterparts that Villarreal were in fact losing by a couple of goals rather than the one Ã¢ÂÂ a scoreline that would see the visitors safe Ã¢ÂÂ and that it would be really nice if they could let Rayo score to allow both clubs to celebrate. Ã¢ÂÂThey told us it was 0-2 but we said Ã¢ÂÂNo, we donÃ¢ÂÂt know anything,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted GranadaÃ¢ÂÂs IÃÂ±igo LÃÂ³pez.
Ã¢ÂÂWe need to win or we are dead,Ã¢ÂÂ are the words that Rayo boss JosÃÂ© RamÃÂ³n Sandoval revealed that he shouted to his counterpart, Abel Resino, on the touchline shortly before Rayo got their winner that keeps the clubÃ¢ÂÂs place in la Primera.
All this is of only partial interest to AS and Mundo Deportivo, who are having a spat that involves the Copa del Rey, Florentino PÃÂ©rez and some toilets.
Some readers will remember that Real Madrid withdrew the Santiago Bernabeu as a possible venue for the Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona due to repair works planned for the time of the game. Ã¢ÂÂNonsense,Ã¢ÂÂ was the response from the Catalan press, suspecting that Madrid were being meanie-heads and not wanting to see Barcelona celebrate a possible win in their stadium.
WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs edition of Mundo Deportivo published a photograph on the front cover of some very pleasant-looking toilets at MadridÃ¢ÂÂs home, claiming that word of works was a sham. AS countered with photos of missing seats in the stadium, reporting that 14,000 seats were being replaced and 240 bathrooms being repaired.
All in all, itÃ¢ÂÂs a nice bit of Spanish silly-season symmetry: the papers are in the toilets as VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs world goes down the bog.
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