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 Post subject: La Liga Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:35 am 
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Manolo Preciado, yesterday named as the new coach of Villarreal, has died of a heart attack today. Very sad news.

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:37 am 
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:no: that's terrible.

RIP Manolo Preciado

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 Post subject: La Liga 2012/13 thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:58 pm 
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Back to business in La Liga
Posted by Graham Hunter


What a summer! Spain made history, Barca and Real Madrid rivalries were well and truly set aside in the best interests of La Roja and now La Liga is back in all its glory. We face threats, opportunities, fun, confusion, skill and -- above all -- dramatic entertainment. It's good to be back.

So, as is traditional before the season kicks off, let's look at five things to pay attention to in the short, mid and long term of Spain's La Liga season.



1. How will the contest between wily old Jose Mourinho and debutant Tito Vilanova play out as Real Madrid and Barca go head to head again?

Even those of us who are waiting with relish for the resumption of battle between the two clubs will have to admit it's been an odd, odd "Clasico" summer. Although this will change soon, it's remarkable that at the time of writing Spain's big two clubs have made one signing between them -- that of Jordi Alba, repatriated by his original club Barcelona from Valencia for a bargain-basement price.

Partly that's a reflection of the economy, partly it's an indication that their squads are so bursting at the seams with existing talents and budding youth that they can afford to sign sparingly and partly it's the case that it is becoming interestingly complex to beat petro-dollar-funded Chelsea, Paris St. Germain and Manchester City if a truly world-class talent becomes available.

Barca wanted Thiago Silva, Real Madrid wanted Lucas Moura and PSG beat them both. Oscar dos Santos, who joined Chelsea, was another who attracted the decision-makers at the Camp Nou and Bernabéu.

Just as intriguingly there has been a shifting of the plates in managerial relations between Barca and Real Madrid.

No need to introduce Jose "I-used-to-be-known-as-the-'Special One'-but-I-should-now-be-known-as-the-'Only One'-because-nobody-has-won-the-title-in Spain-England-and-Italy-except-me" Mourinho. What a baptism service his must have been.

But Tito "The Marquis" Vilanova will be relatively new to most of you. Inheritor of Pep Guardiola's office at Barca, he is a tall, elegant, often quiet-spoken guy who shares only some of his predecessor's traits -- hopefully, for Barca, the right ones.

A footballer of talent who nonetheless only managed a moderate career, his "Marquis" nickname dates from his younger days when he was a stickler for things being perfect. Prepare well, play elegantly, always seek to have the best playing surface, laces done up tightly, the football properly inflated and, then, dress with elegance off the pitch.

So he's the long, languid figure you always used to see next to Pep in the technical area at games and it's important what you used to see him doing.

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The Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry takes a new twist now that Tito Vilanova is in charge at Camp Nou.

Vilanova was no cipher. His is a creative, constant and interesting football brain. The Marquis was always channeling ideas and constructive criticism to Guardiola over the past five years; one, with his friend in charge of Barca; and, two -- and most important -- the ideas were almost always put into practice by his friend and boss.

You also know Vilanova from that outrageous incident a year ago when Mourinho jabbed his finger into the Catalan's eye during a meleé at the end of the Spanish Supercup as Barca won an epic match against Madrid 5-4.

So, the schadenfreude about them meeting head to head next week in the first leg of the same competition was running at fever pitch over the past few weeks -- until some common sense broke out.

Vilanova bared his teeth and snarled at local reporters when it became a "scandal" that both Mourinho and he had their Spanish Football Federation bans wiped out as a grace and a favor by Federation president Angel Maria Villar.

"We will be forever punished by the television images of what we both did that day, the ban is lifted and I can't understand why you are still talking about an incident which was a year ago," the new Barcelona boss argued. "It's time to move on."

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Call him the Only One: Jose Mourinho has the strongest squad, position for position, in football. And he knows it.

Good start.

Then, miracle of miracles was that Mourinho "mea culpa" issued from the North American preseason training camp which has been so successful and so tightly run by Los Blancos.

"I obviously should not have done what I did, obviously not," admitted the Only One. "But I am not an idiot who does something without a story behind it that led me to lose control a bit.

"I work a lot with my players on exactly that, on controlling emotions, on concentrating on playing and playing well. But there I failed and I am not looking for excuses. If I failed, I failed."

Admission of error and humility may be part of the "private" Jose Mourinho but we don't see them often when he has his football body armor on. For the moment, at least, it sets a tone.

You see, in Mourinho's normal lexicon Vilanova is the seal pup and he's the killer whale. Vilanova is a little exposed -- the past four years have been astonishing, Guardiola leaves a huge imprint and his departure will destabilize some. It's Vilanova's first experience of sole control at this level at a time when there are the first seeds of doubts planted about the squad's competitiveness since mid 2008. He has a sizable task.

You'd have expected Mourinho to go for the throat and put Vilanova under pressure, attempt to get a flying start psychologically in as many areas as possible -- but certainly in the media battle.

Partially it may be an indication that Mourinho is uber-confident about his robust, talented, slightly younger squad, which was a winning machine last season. Partially it may also be that it impacted the Portuguese, just like the rest of the football world, when Vilanova needed a five-hour operation to remove a tumour from behind his saliva gland last November.

Whatever.

For their part, Barcelona appear to be adopting something of a "fingers crossed" approach to what they can expect from key players like David Villa (whose broken leg has cost him more months than originally expected), Carles Puyol (who had his second knee operation in as many summers), Eric Abidal (who wants to return to action in December after his liver transplant) and Xavi (who will be an absolute key player but who does suffer from a chronic Achilles problem).

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In a quiet transfer window (so far) for Real and Barca, the biggest move was Jordi Alba's arrival at Camp Nou.

If all the pieces fall in place for Barca then they not only, still, possess the best XI in the world, they'll win either La Liga or the Champions League again.

If not then they may be overstretched.

Thus Madrid probably deserve to start as narrow domestic favorites because there is so much about the Camp Nou season which remains either unknown or at least open to doubt.

I made it clear last season that Madrid played intelligent, athletic, remorseless and often very entertaining football. It's unlikely that they will do anything other than take a further step forward again this season. Truly, it shapes as an epic season.

What is pleasant, thus far, is that the looming battle hasn't needed a war of words, simmering resentment and tit-for-tat insults between the two managers. It all promises to be both intriguing and great fun.

2. A grim summer for Athletic

Because this has been an Olympic summer, we've had to grow more used than normal to people drumming out the message that second is nowhere.

Loserville.

"I only wanted gold." "Silver means nothing." You know the script.

But the color range in triumph is wider than it is in the simple win-loss equation.

No one can tell me there wasn't merit in Italy's second place in the European Championship. Nothing about the defeat to Spain in the final could eradicate the attacking flair with which Cesare Prandelli's squad lit up the tournament.

There was a similar golden hue about Athletic Bilbao's bridesmaid status in the Copa del Rey and Europa League last season. They didn't win either competition but played with such verve, dismissing Manchester United from Europe in five-star style, that they dramatically heightened their profile and won major tranches of new fans.

But to convert silver to gold meant that the Basque club needed to kick on this season -- take at least one scalp from four meetings with Barcelona and Real Madrid, qualify for the Champions League, win the Europa League or the Copa. Make incremental progress.

On which basis the time from Marcelo Bielsa mumbling his downbeat, self-recriminatory answers to us in the Copa Del Rey final news conference in the Calderon late on May 26 until now has been ill-spent.

From the delay in re-sculpting the club's Lezama training ground, to the president's admission that it was an "institutional disaster" that they couldn't find a way to make Fernando Llorente renew his contract, it has been an epic and fractious summer and the worst way to prepare for a renewed assault on the club's first senior trophy since 1984.

Back in May, Bielsa blamed himself for not getting his tactics right, for believing he could inculcate his tired squad to play a particular way but not achieving it while also admitting his disappointment that his players hadn't implemented his game plan.

He patently wasn't sure whether or not he had the appetite to stay.

But commit he did. However, by July, he was physically assaulting the lead foreman on the remodeling of Athletic's Lezama training ground -- their lush, verdant training facility in the hills above Bilbao, close to the city airport.

In a tense and bizarre news conference he pointed out that the work, which was badly behind schedule, had been done so willfully badly that, in his words, it amounted to "fraud, theft and deception."

He confessed that he had completely lost his temper and been abusive to the boss of the works -- and partially blamed the club for showing laxity in project management.

This is a man whose attention to detail is not only legendary but makes Pep Guardiola look easy-come-easy-go about preparation. Imagine his fury when the facilities looked like they were being mismanaged and wouldn't be prepared for the preseason work.

The club, however, didn't appreciate him blaming them in public and hit right back. For a time the relationship between the volatile, eccentric Argentinian coach and the popular club president, Josu Urrutia, was so bad that it looked like Bielsa would get his marching papers. Or indeed that he would stomp out the door of his own accord.

But an uneasy peace broke out, Bielsa was retained despite something between the two men, in my opinion, becoming irrevocably fractured.

In the background there was being played out Barcelona's very obvious overtures to Javi Martinez, a player who has an extended contract and a ¬40M buyout clause. However that issue was about to be trumped.

Llorente and Urrutia found it impossible to reach agreement over terms for a contract renewal and, with Juventus, amongst others, buzzing around the striker, the club made it clear that, with only one year left on his deal, the doomsday scenario of Llorente playing for a year with fans turning against him and then leaving for free was a distinct possibility.

And should the club and the player accept Bayern Munich's aggressive (record) offer for Martinez then the Rojiblancos will have seen their two key assets either sold or disenchanted with the club within a matter of days.

Athletic are adored, or at very least highly respected, by many outside of their fan base for their proud policy of only recruiting Basque players, who want to play their entire careers there. A couple of years ago Spain international winger Joseba Etxeberria insisted on offering a final year of service to the club without any wage as a gesture of love and loyalty to Athletic.

But the rest of the squad will be watching hawkishly for how the issues with Bielsa, Martinez and Llorente are handled -- particularly with the often traumatic move from old stadium to new scheduled to happen from the beginning of next season.

Next week begins the crucial process of eliminating HJK from the Europa League and reaching the group stage. It's well within their range but it isn't simply for financial reasons that Athletic need to punch their weight.

Institutional and sporting confidence took a buffeting during their 6-0 aggregate Cup finals defeats back in May. Nothing since then has done anything to assuage that pain. It's time for Los Leones to fight back, it's time for the Lions to start roaring again.

3. Malaga -- Disintegration of a Dream?

Normally you can bet on the question which will most bug a football reporter during every summer and the month of January.

"Is my club signing Messi?"

"When will Ronaldo declare his undying love for Stoke City and move here?"

Or the new Twitter favorite: "What do your hear about Sahin? Modric? Tello?"

But this summer broke the mould. It has all been about Malaga.

Why are they selling Santi Cazorla? What the heck is the owner playing at? Do they actually have any money? Can my club jump in and pinch Isco?

These are the most often asked questions I've had to face this summer.

For those of us who yearn to see increased pluralism in La Liga, the deflating of the Malaga bubble is a despondent sight.

Behind the scenes it started months ago with late payments to other clubs from whom players had been bought -- Osasuna for Nacho Monreal is just one example. Late or complete non-payment of wages followed. Late or non-payment of tax to the Spanish government was the culmination of what, at the time, was simply an idiosyncratic approach to concepts of time, honor, promises and good housekeeping by Malaga's relatively new owners.

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani liked to filibuster to the last moments on administration but was, generally, able to swoop in (or give the green light to underlings) to get things sorted. But then, sadly, his extremely popular and able inside man on the board, Jose Carlos Perez, died suddenly at 63. That was in January and within a couple of months the legendary former Spain and Real Madrid libero, Fernando Hierro, who had previously been Vicente Del Bosque's technical director for the Spanish Federation at the South African World Cup before assuming the same role at Malaga, quit the post at his hometown club which, over the last few months, he'd held with grace and intelligence.

Hierro is a pure football man -- tough of mind and word if you cross him; smart, thoughtful and straight if you just work for the good of the game. He quit Malaga full of sadness but he couldn't stay at a club where he was uncomfortable about how things were being handled.

Two key men were gone -- Al-Thani was in the huff and an absentee owner -- and the rot set in. A dearth of information and decisions suddenly became more than a power vacuum -- more like a potentially fatal downward spiral.

Debts everywhere, players (Cazorla, Mathijson and Rondon) began to use the football authorities to formally pursue unpaid wages and three specific threats hung over the club -- expulsion from La Liga, expulsion from the Champions League and, or, a transfer ban.

Cazorla was sold so that the taxman could be paid, and there remains a severe doubt over whether the owner either wants, or wants to fund, the continued services of the quite excellent coach Manuel Pellegrini. Rondon has gone, reinvestment in players was temporarily banned until the tax debt was reduced and Malaga's ability to retain the sparkling young Isco remains in doubt.

At the time of writing it's not quite total implosion but any hope that there might be a consolidation and forward movement, a la Paris St. Germain or Manchester City, has been utterly dashed.

By his own admission one of the things which has stripped the shiny, sparkly feel of owning a top Spanish club away from Al-Thani is the realisation that buying Malaga and funding the initial splurge on transfers won't be met with the kind of revenue boost which will make the club anything like self-sustaining.

Meeting UEFA's Financial Fair Play targets is vital for a club with UEFA aspirations (Europa League or Champions League) and that implies that the said club needs more than a sugar daddy -- it needs balanced and firm revenue streams to give equilibrium to expenditure.

One revenue stream is, obviously, TV rights -- but that cash cow is already divided up with the big two teams in Spain getting all the prime cuts. Clubs like Malaga are left with the tail and the hooves. They might make soup but there's no a la carte dining.

If Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to make 10 times more money than the rest from the televising of live football then their competition won't simply diminish, it will melt away like snow on the side of the road on a sunny March day.

Al-Thani's actions (or at least those of his club) this summer have been ill-mannered, damaging and crude. However his frustration at the iniquity of Spanish football finances is something shared widely around this peninsula which is so rich in natural footballing resources but, now, a bit strapped for actual cash.

4. Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

OK, let's breathe deeply for just a moment and pretend the world is not under assault from financial crisis after financial crisis, that football in Spain is not under threat from fan and owner dissatisfaction and that La Liga isn't beginning to suffer a brain drain to the EPL.

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Athletic's Iker Muniain is one player who promises thrills this season.

Let's reach out for the positives. This is the season, I hope, of us thrilling to Jonas (Valencia), Iker Muniain (Athletic), Isco (Malaga), Varane (Madrid), Canales (Valencia), Paco Alcacer (Valencia), Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), Beñat Etxeberria (Betis), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Alvaro Vazquez (Espanyol), Jese Rodriguez (Madrid), Deulofeu (Barcelona), Ramalho (Athletic) and Juanmi (Malaga).

They are a mixed bag: 18 at the youngest, 28 at the oldest -- a clutch of players who I hope to see beginning to punch their way into senior football, or consolidating after a breakthrough season and, in the case of Jonas, demonstrating that he has become a truly class act, capable of dominating Valencia's season.

Without analyzing every single one (they are names for you to follow) let's handpick a couple.

Canales is an absolute class act, a Rolls Royce footballer who has had axle and suspension problems. His injuries at Valencia have been horrific and I don't expect to see him back in full developmental spate for some months. But it's to his benefit that he's signed for Los Che, it's to his benefit that he's finally injury free and it's now time to make up for lost ground by learning, showing maturity, winning friends in the fervent Valencia support and enjoying better fortune with injuries. Top player, this one.

Beñat is a slightly different kettle of fish. He's a slightly late bloomer in that last season was easily his best yet he has already turned 25. So important was his ball-winning and ball-using capacity at Real Betis that Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque very nearly included him in his European Championship squad. Likable, energetic and busy he's the Spanish Rino Gattuso but with slightly less pit bull and slightly more football in him. He'll be fun again this season.

So, follow the kids. The reason I identify most of them is that they are iconic of the current Spanish era. Quick, technically gifted, full of natural flair and well trained.

But just before leaving the subject allow me an indulgence. Welcome back to Spanish football to the mighty, the funny and the much missed Joan Capdevila. European Championship winner, World Cup winner and new signing at Espanyol (his hometown club) this is one of the great character of modern times in La Liga. Larger than life and now slightly larger, too, it's a sheer joy to have him back. Benvingut a casa, Joan (Welcome home!).

5. La Roja -- What next?

I spent the vast part of the summer having predictions borne out and working with that legendary group of men run by Vicente Del Bosque as they won their third straight continental and world title to make history.

Spain not only took on all comers, they put all problems aside (tiredness, injury absences, packed defenses, occasionally badly strained relationships between Real Madrid and Barca players) and they simply muscled their way to the title.

Already they have been sent on their travels to Puerto Rico on one of these money spinning friendly trips which enrage the clubs, tire the players and which, to me, seem like a bad joke.

After the last tournament victory Spain went on a little tailspin in friendly matches but were ruthless in qualifying. Can they eradicate the former while maintaining the latter? Can they subsume and assimilate the lessons from the cataclysmically bad performance of the Olympic squad so that conclusions are applied positively?

And above all, with new talent bursting through and the potential return to form and fitness of David Villa and Fernando Torres, can Spain start a march forward from October when they play their old enemies France toward winning a second consecutive World Cup in Brazil?

It's not impossible and the evidence will start compiling itself within a matter of weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2012/13 thread
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:21 pm 
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15 minutes into the new season Barca 3-1 up & Messi has got 2.

This is just getting silly now.


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2012/13 thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:56 am 
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:lol: You gotta admire him atleast he is not getting bored of it ala ronaldinho.Real held to a draw :hmm:

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2012/13 thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:27 am 
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Great to see David Villa back as well


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:18 pm 
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I was just looking at last seasons table. 3rd place Valencia finished 20 points clear of relegation and 30 points behind 2nd place Barca.

The gap in the league is ridiculous!!

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:36 pm 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
I was just looking at last seasons table. 3rd place Valencia finished 20 points clear of relegation and 30 points behind 2nd place Barca.

The gap in the league is ridiculous!!


With Malaga's owners turning off the tap and all the other clubs feeling the squeeze of a recession it's not going to get any better.

Until the clubs have the balls to stand up to Barca/Real over TV money nothing will change. They threaten to do it every year but Barca/Real know that these clubs will back down come the opening day of the season because they need the gate receipts to pay the summer bills.

It needs UEFA to step in and make a ruling all TV deals need to be packaged and the proceeds split evenly in that league. Once FFP kicks in I can see the likes of Bayern, Utd, Arsenal etc questioning the TV revenue of Barca/Real as it's not really fair play.


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:41 pm 
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I'm shocked it's been allowed to go on as long as it has. Can almost guarantee if it was the other way around and say United and Liverpool had the same monopoly over the TV money here, UEFA would have stepped in a while ago.

I don't really see what all the other teams have to lose by standing up to them. Madrid and Barca are hardly going to form a breakaway league when they're probably the only two that are in favour of the current deal. I can't see how it will affect the rest of the clubs' gate receipts.

Until it changes that league is always going be a completely uneven playing field.

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Serbinator wrote:
I'm shocked it's been allowed to go on as long as it has. Can almost guarantee if it was the other way around and say United and Liverpool had the same monopoly over the TV money here, UEFA would have stepped in a while ago.

I don't really see what all the other teams have to lose by standing up to them. Madrid and Barca are hardly going to form a breakaway league when they're probably the only two that are in favour of the current deal. I can't see how it will affect the rest of the clubs' gate receipts.

Until it changes that league is always going be a completely uneven playing field.


I don't think you can say that most other leagues have now caught up to the idea of a shared deal being better for everyone in the long term. La Liga have a problem that arguably the two biggest club in the world play in the same league and have been allowed to build such a power base that they have a duopoly same as Celtic & Rangers had in Scotland.

I think this attitude to UEFA being anti English is all wrong FFP was created at the request of top clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal & Liverpool because they were sh*t scared of Chelsea crashing there party.

If they don't play games they don't bring in any money and as all clubs operate on a hand to mouth basis ie the money comes in and almost goes straight out to pay bills they can't afford to strike and stop the league because the banks will shut them down. Barca/Real Madrid know this if the league shut down for a month they'd be alright but I'd say every other team would be forced into bankruptcy as apart from merchandise sales they'd have no income. So every time they say they'll strike Barca/Real basically say go ahead and do it they'll just arrange some friendly matches to fill gaps in the calender and bring in some cash while everyone else puts themselves out of business.

Unless UEFA step in nothing will change


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:19 pm 
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JSP wrote:
I don't think you can say that most other leagues have now caught up to the idea of a shared deal being better for everyone in the long term. La Liga have a problem that arguably the two biggest club in the world play in the same league and have been allowed to build such a power base that they have a duopoly same as Celtic & Rangers had in Scotland.

I think this attitude to UEFA being anti English is all wrong FFP was created at the request of top clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal & Liverpool because they were sh*t scared of Chelsea crashing there party.

FFP was created at the request of the top clubs including the English sides, but that's not all UEFA is about. Platini has come out with plenty of comments about English football to fuel the feeling that they favour La Liga over the Premiership for whatever reason.

JSP wrote:
If they don't play games they don't bring in any money and as all clubs operate on a hand to mouth basis ie the money comes in and almost goes straight out to pay bills they can't afford to strike and stop the league because the banks will shut them down. Barca/Real Madrid know this if the league shut down for a month they'd be alright but I'd say every other team would be forced into bankruptcy as apart from merchandise sales they'd have no income. So every time they say they'll strike Barca/Real basically say go ahead and do it they'll just arrange some friendly matches to fill gaps in the calender and bring in some cash while everyone else puts themselves out of business.

Unless UEFA step in nothing will change

They need the Spanish FA to actually sort themselves out and do something for once, but the problem is they're an absolute joke, they're completely useless (we think the English FA are bad, could be ten times worse!). They shouldn't have to wait for UEFA to step in, it should be their responsibility to take a vote on how they want to do things in future in a way that most clubs are happy with and is the fairest.

The other clubs really need to take a stand in a way that won't result in having to strike.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:53 pm 
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Serbinator wrote:
FFP was created at the request of the top clubs including the English sides, but that's not all UEFA is about. Platini has come out with plenty of comments about English football to fuel the feeling that they favour La Liga over the Premiership for whatever reason.

They need the Spanish FA to actually sort themselves out and do something for once, but the problem is they're an absolute joke, they're completely useless (we think the English FA are bad, could be ten times worse!). They shouldn't have to wait for UEFA to step in, it should be their responsibility to take a vote on how they want to do things in future in a way that most clubs are happy with and is the fairest.

The other clubs really need to take a stand in a way that won't result in having to strike.


Platini has been having digs at everyone who spends money but now PSG are doing it he's shut his mouth as he can't be seen to slag off a French club. I don't think he's anti english he's just cautious of how the English clubs do there business.

You say the Spanish FA is a joke but they've created a system that has seen arguably the greatest ever international football team come through thanks to some long term planning. Yes they had a bit of a golden generation come through Barcelona but all clubs in Spain are now producing incredibly gifted players for the national team. They might have a problem with the way the money is being split but they've got the youth development thing nailed down. The only reason the Premier League deal is the way it is was because the top clubs broke away from the FA to form the Premier League in the early 90's as far as I'm aware this hasn't happened in Spain.

They do take a vote every year and because the small clubs need the money they back down and agree to play so the FA is powerless to step in and mediate on the issue. Until the other league clubs are prepared to unite against the top 2 like they did in Scotland when Rangers finally showed weakness things will never change. The only way it will is if UEFA intervene which they wont because they don't really want to go sticking there nose where it doesn't belong.


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:18 am 
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I don't think the golden generation is anything to do with the Spanish FA whatsoever, it's 100% down to Barca and the odd player from other clubs.

The Spanish FA are known to be a bunch of useless clowns.

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:41 am 
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Still the best league in world.

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pakrooney wrote:

So true mate ...he is consistently inconsistent throughout his united career ..but what if he turns consistent ..he will get around 40 goals...ATM im waiting for that time as his age is 24/25 :wait: ... :|
on Rooney ,Jan 16th, ..and as they rest is history


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 Post subject: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:19 am 
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pakrooney wrote:
Still the best league in world.

Is it? Do you watch Real Betis vs Heracles? (Absolutely no idea if both are still in la liga) Or Deportivo vs Athletic? Because only watching Real Madrid vs A.N. Other team would certainly have the wool on it's way over your eyes. Watching only the big two would blind you to it...

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:00 am 
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Did you watch bilbao ripping us into pieces ? Same team that got beaten by madrid or barca heavily. Its joy to watch rather than hoofing long balls and as physical as rugby.

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pakrooney wrote:

So true mate ...he is consistently inconsistent throughout his united career ..but what if he turns consistent ..he will get around 40 goals...ATM im waiting for that time as his age is 24/25 :wait: ... :|
on Rooney ,Jan 16th, ..and as they rest is history


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:02 am 
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As physical as rugby? :lol:

The same Bilbao team that rested many of it's key players throughout La Liga and quickly started plummeting places? The same Bilbao team that is losing Martinez and Llorente because they need to just to survive?

And the Bilbao results against Barca were 2-2 0-2 not exactly the batterings you described.

And any league that 3rd place is closer on points to the team that finishes bottom than the team that finishes top surely has no claim to being the best league in the world?

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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:47 am 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
As physical as rugby? :lol:

The same Bilbao team that rested many of it's key players throughout La Liga and quickly started plummeting places? The same Bilbao team that is losing Martinez and Llorente because they need to just to survive?

And the Bilbao results against Barca were 2-2 0-2 not exactly the batterings you described.

And any league that 3rd place is closer on points to the team that finishes bottom than the team that finishes top surely has no claim to being the best league in the world?

You've summed up most of my feelings. The supposed 'physicality' of the PL is replicated across Northern Europe. Whenever a Scandinavian or German ref is on a CL game I'm loads happier than namby pamby Spainiards, Portugeezers or Italians!

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True, it is marginally better... I miss my childhood days where trainers were velrcoed.


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:17 pm 
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In terms of quality of pure football ie the skill and technique of player La Liga is miles ahead imo do i watch games between mid table teams no I don't.

You can make a case for the Premier League being a two horse race very rarely have we had a genuine 3 horse race for the title it's nearly always been Utd + 1 other going for the title since the mid 90's. Blackburn, Newcastle, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool (1 season) & now City.

Bilbao were a joy to watch but like TNNE said they sacrificed potential ECL football to try and win the Europa League and as a result they dropped like a stone in the league. I sometimes with the English clubs would do the same and try and win the Europa League. It was different for Utd & City they were going for the title but teams like Stoke just quit half way through the competition so they could try and finish 10th.

Serbinator wrote:
I don't think the golden generation is anything to do with the Spanish FA whatsoever, it's 100% down to Barca and the odd player from other clubs.

The Spanish FA are known to be a bunch of useless clowns.


I strongly disagree with this the Spanish FA are the ones who encouraged coaches to take the A licenses and adopt the passing game. Yes they've benefited from the Barca academy producing a solid back bone but over half that squad isn't from the Barca setup but have the skills to play the Barca way. They also massively benefitted from a few of the lads coming over to England and toughening up Pique, Alonso, Arbeloa, Cesc & Torres all benefited by combining the physical side of the English game with the technical side of the Spanish game.

Cassilas, Arbeloa, Alonso, Silva, Torres, Villa, Navas, Carzola etc came through that Spanish system at other clubs but they area all wonderful technical players. Is that a fluke? Or does that suggest that the puppet master in control of the whole thing has all the clubs pulling in one direction?

They might be a bunch of clowns when it comes to dealing with racism but when it comes to dealing with creating a production line of top quality players from all over Spain they appear to have it pretty nailed.


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 Post subject: Re: La Liga 2011/12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Not just racism, anything to do with organising the league they're absolutely useless.

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