The Spanish Round Up
Richard Mawdsley begins his marginally competent Spanish round ups. Image from Well Offside.
Spanish football. La Liga. We all love it these days, don’t we? Where would the bellend in the local (who’s never been to a game anywhere) be without his endless bloody banter about Barcelona? Or Barca, as he calls them. You can just about put up with him until he starts pronouncing the teams and players’ names in some kind of bizarre Manuel from Fawlty Towers accent. “Oh yes, Heehon and Santander are Racing certainties for el dropo this season – Racing certainties, are you having that? San Miguel please John.” That’s Trevor, who has never kissed a girl, in his box fresh shirt complete with badges on the sleeve and Villa on the back. Or Davvid Beelya, as he calls him. The twat.
However, much as Sky’s coverage of La Liga and the rising star of Spanish teams in European competitions has its down sides, it is also rather good to watch. So despite those swarthy foreign types stealing the coolest player and manager from our league, ruining my last two trips to European Cup finals and generally being a bit too pleased with themselves, I reckon it’s alright. And it is only fair to acknowledge the strides made in stylish Iberian recruitment since the days of cockney midgets, jug eared simpletons and permed Welshmen.
Much to the consternation of Trevor at the bar, it’s looking like Real Madrid have got over a bit of a wobble (well, a couple of draws in March) and are back to twatting teams all over the place, usually scoring 5 goals in the process. The victims this time were Osasuna, who beat Barcelona and Athletic at home recently. If I may employ the logic of the schoolyard (or Scotland fan) for a moment, then beating the best side in the world (Barcelona must be, everybody says it) and then the team who just smashed England’s finest all over the place made Osasuna the new world champions. Which, in turn, means Real are now the best side ever. Or something. Either way, this goal is a cracker – He’s No Darron Gibson. Not quite van Basten, but not bad. Anybody who saw this goal and described it as a “worldie”, however, can just fuck off. That’s 100 goals for Mourinho’s mob in 30 league games, by the way. Yes, his teams certainly do play some dull stuff.
Champions Barcelona are still in with a shout, mind. They took advantage of Athletic leaving some of their more brilliant players on the bench after administering yet another European away drubbing, this time taking care of another bunch of last season’s European Cup semi finalists. Credit to Schalke fans for this, however – Banner of the season. If you read it in the voice of a presenter on Channel 9 on the Fast Show, it’s even better. Chris Waddle. Much as Athletic were fantastic against United, a small, childish part of me thinks of their rip off tickets and smiles when they lose. A fairly routine 2-0 win leaves Pep’s posse, as nobody calls them, 6 points behind Franco’s boys, with El Clasico yet to come later this month. I’m sure it’s not just me who enjoys those games as much for the fantastic levels of cheating and general snidery as the actual football. They remind me of United v Liverpool in the 80s, minus the hooliganism and the hardmen, but with much better groomed players with nicely developed brands. With the exception of amateur child scarer Mesut Ozil, of course. So if the fearsome Boixos Nois end up celebrating another win at the expense of the half dozen away fans in Camp Nou in a few weeks, it will be squeaky bum time alright. Not to mention a possible European Cup Final meeting looming in May.
Just (well, miles) beneath the top two though, there’s a decent tussle going on for the remaining Champions League places. As we all know, finishing fourth in the league is far more of an achievement than actually winning something these days anyway. Right, Arsene? Valencia and Levante’s 1-1 draw at the Mestalla leaves Malaga still in with a decent chance of achieving a lovely romantic fairytale of millions and millions of euros ensuring a modicum of footballing success.
Sorry if you were expecting an actual in depth look at La Liga – it’s really more for people who like to think there is a man out there somewhere in Spain called Ray Vallecano, who drives a Granada has a mate called Bill Bow. I’d much rather go for a drink with them than Trevor.
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