Are Osasuna about to set a new standard? They could end the season as the best awful team of all time. For much of the season, La Liga pundits have been united in their view of the relegation scrap: ” Stick a fork in it, it’s done.” Their logic is compelling: the bottom three are awful … More Osasuna’s exercise in magnificent futility
The logic is alluring. Javier Hernandez has scored 9 in 22 for Bayer Leverkusen this season, while the club that let him go have managed 24 in 20 Premier League games. So if Manchester United had held onto the Mexican they’d therefore have been a lot better off. Reality isn’t that simple though: circumstances matter … More 5 Reasons Why Javier Hernandez Might Not Have Saved Van Gaal’s Season
A penny for your thoughts Rafa. Understanding what’s going on in the now ex-Real Madrid coach’s head at the moment would be fascinating. If nothing else, Benitez has given the impression throughout his career that he knows his own mind. Often his strength of opinion has ultimately been to the detriment of his job security: … More What will Rafa Benitez’s demise at Real Madrid mean for Florentino Perez?
How a blow was struck for brave officiating this weekend. … More SWAY OF THE DAY: Spanish Referees
As I watch Levante crash to a 4-0 defeat at home to Real Sociedad, a performance described by the Revista podcast as the worst by any team in La Liga so far this season, a kid sits in front of my wearing a coat bearing the slogan “Never EVER give up.” He left before the … More Is Levante’s Pretty-Ugly Fairy Tale Finally Over?
Here’s something I wrote for Soccerlens A week after the vice–president of the LFP, the governing body which runs Spanish football’s top two divisions, claimed there is match fixing in La Liga, how appropriate that this weekend sees a rematch of perhaps last season’s most controversial match. Granada versus Real Madrid doesn’t immediately grab you … More La Liga: The spectre of match fixing looms
Here’s something I wrote for Soccerlens The Bundesliga returned last weekend, and in the process welcomed back its player of the year from two seasons ago. Nuri Sahin’s failure to flourish after leaving Germany is a surprise. Whether it says more about him or the coaching he received during his sojourn is something we may … More Can Only Klopp Unlock The Sahin Enigma?
Here’s something I wrote for Soccerlens It’s one of those expressions that work equally well in Spanish and English: “Mourinho Tira La Toalla A 22 Jornadas Del Final” – “Mourinho Throws In The Towel With 22 Games Left”. AS’s front page had put it in a nutshell: the game was up in the league. Maybe … More Spy Versus Spy as Mourinho Finds Madrid’s Not Forever
Here’s something I wrote for Soccerlens Lionel Messi hogged the headlines, of course, when he finally broke Gerd Muller’s record for most goals in a calendar year. Although the Madrid papers were delighted that Radomel Falcao gave them an excuse not to lead on this astonishing achievement: AS led on “Insatiable Falcao” and tucked Messi … More Messi makes history, but a Betis star is born
Sport’s a healthy pastime apparently, but European football’s fixture schedulers seem determined to stop us from going out and getting some exercise. It’s wall-to-wall derbies and clashes of the big teams this weekend: a lot of couches won’t be left across Europe! The Prem looks dull, though. Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid What a match! … More Welcome to the Best Weekend of the Year!
The other Catalan club’s new coach Javier Aguirre Here’s something I wrote for Soccerlens Harry Redknapp isn’t the only wily veteran to take on a dysfunctional bottom of the table side this week. Javier Aguirre is a master fire-fighter but he’s taken on a massive job at Espanyol. At least his side isn’t as far … More Javier Aguirre Takes on Espanyol’s Mission Impossible