Tough-talking needed in la Liga

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High-trousered dream-shredder, Simon Cowell, is a lily-livered wimp of a man compared to his infinitely nastier and hard-bitten counterpart on Spanish television, Risto Mejide.

For a number of years now the the world-weary judge on Spain’s version of Pop Idol has hidden behind a pair of dark glasses and merrily ripped to shreds an endless roll-call of self-loving but hyena-esque hairdos.

Just last week, Risto asked one tone-deaf song-slayer how many shows were left in the series.

When advised that there were four, he snapped back that “I’m told you’re the favourite. If that’s true and you sing like that, then I’m warning everyone to watch Antena 3 (a rival channel) for the rest of the season.”

Cowell: Not a patch on moody Mejide 

Risto is cool, cruel but extremely effective in telling people to give up and get out of his sight. And this is someone that a number of clubs in la Liga could do with right now.

Signing footballers is easy-peasy, as most clubs will tell you. Even Valencia have done it, breaking all known laws of economics in the process.

But getting rid of those money-wasting winos is the really tough part.

Atlético Madrid, for one, were relatively successful in getting rid of the likes of Georgios Seitaridis and Maniche, but have not had the same luck with tossing the rest of their footballing bycatch overboard.

Currently on the rojiblanco books and blocking up the club’s transfer chimney are José Jurado, José Antonio Reyes, Cleber Santana and Maxi Rodríquez - four players that are either struggling to find new stables or are unwilling to leave the Vicente Calderón.

Sevilla have managed to offload Aquivaldo Mosquera to Mexico’s Club America and the whiny Enzo Maresca to Olympiakos, but are still stuck in the middle with the eternally dithering Luis Fabiano who can barely decide what colour socks to wear in the morning, never mind whether he wants to stay with Sevilla or go to Manchester City or Milan.

Barcelona seem to have no idea whatsoever over what is going on with Samuel Eto’o - possibly because he is not answering their calls - but have poked both Catalan sports papers into calling for the Cameroon striker to leave.

But the real log-jam in la Liga is up at Castle Greyskull, where Director General Jorge Valdano is having a tough time shifting the vast amount of Ramon Calderón’s clutter from the side’s overstuffed attic.

Although Javier Saviola was sold to Benfica for five million euro, Barcelona daily Sport comment that this is roughly how much that Madrid had to pay to the Argentine striker for the remaining two years of his contract.

Karim Benzema was presented to the masses last week, but without a squad number as the club are hoping to hand the French striker the number 10 or 11 shirts.

Unfortunately, these belong to Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben respectively, and neither are in a hurry to leave anytime soon.

Especially as the latter would probably injury himself in the process.

Indeed, Manuel Pellegrini has gone against the prevailing grain in Madrid by telling the press that “it’s not true that all the Dutch players are going to leave” and saying that “Sneijder is a very good player for the Real Madrid squad.”

The Chilean coach even went as far as naming Ruud van Nistelrooy in his list of strikers for the new campaign, showing that he is a very smart cookie indeed.

Pellegrini: "I love the Dutch, me" 

Despite Valdano baiting a giant mantrap with weed and mucky mags in a desperate attempt to lure the Dutch contingent away, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is leading a fightback by reportedly refusing to accept an offer for a move to Stuttgart.

But his back-up plan of threatening to read every one of his insufferable articles written for Marca to the Dutch forward may have more success in forcing him to skidaddle.

If all else fails, there is always the option of Spanish TV’s Mr Nasty to tell a few home truths to the Whites' collection of unwanted.

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