Around La Liga is a weekly exploration of the Spanish League as seen through multiple prisms and multiple viewpoints in many opinion pieces throughout the web, all friends and all sites just like ours. Check them out.
Forza Futbol: Gareth Nunn has a piece for Forza Futbol that explores the depths to which Valencia CF has fallen since Rafa Benitez walked off the pitch after showing off the UEFA Cup he had won for the adoring Mestalla fans. The coach and club had just won the league as well. 11 years later the club have fallen into a deep money pit. It’s a dire situation for Los Che, the club have been essentially taken over by the regional government who also have a hand in Alicante clubs like Elche and Hercules, not to mention Villarreal through the failed sponsorship deal they have from building the non-operational Castellon airport. It’s sad, a corrupt bit of business, but frankly the reason why the Spanish economy as a whole is in the tank let alone the footballing one.
Real Madrid Football Blog: Kaushik writes a very neat little post about a mythical set of All-Star Games that pit players from different regions against each other. First he sets Europe against South Americans, then an Inter-League round-robin with La Liha, EPL and Rest of Europe pitted against each other. Finally he pits Catalunya vergsus Spain which in my book has the most morbo behind it, and may have the best players playing against each other. In my opinion also, Europe wins against South America and La Liga beats the EPL.
Inside Spanish Football: Heath over at Inside Spanish Football writes an expose about Financial Fair Play and how Spanish clubs are already preparing for the hit that UEFA will impose on them after FFP hits and that the measures proposed may be implemented as soon as next season. I’d like to think that the institutions will meet and all parties involved will make concessions but I am not at all hopeful. I know UEFA is serious, and the clubs are as well but Spanish politicians and bureacrats are another thing entirely.
Madrid Atleticos: one of my favorite weekly blogs is the post match analysis, this time bu Joakim at MA, and as usual it is always clear and concise with good analysis of a player’s current form, statistics, and assessments. I’m not a big fan of the sabermetric navel-gazing that sometimes masquerades itself as football match analysis but this is right up my alley. It’s an honest assessment at why Atleti’s away form has been so dour.
Barcelona: The Offside: I really love to pimp the Barcelona Offside guys. I feel for them. They are practically the only bloggers still left on a once vibrant and interactive La Liga Offside section. I should know, I wrote for the Espanyol Offside for close to three years there, but it seems they are still going strong. This time I don’t even feel bad to mention them even though most of their readers used to tee mee off during derby days. The article they have on the “Victor Valdez is leaving” thread is priceless: comedy gold.
La Liga Blog: Tom Wellman at the La Liga Blog has an article that says what I’ve been thinking for months. The Llorente sale was an albatross that had kept Athletic from reaching the potential they had shown last year. We had yet to dee the best from los leones, and as soon as we saw that Juventus had finalized the deal they woke up. This club under Bielsa isn’t dependent on a classic English center-forward. They have every chance to climb back and approximate their dream season of last year before this one is over now.
Football-Espana: from the creators of Football Italia comes their Spanish counterpart site. I’d love to say that most of what they write about is current, topical, useful or original like the Italian site, but that’s alright I found this article about Neymar who is still not sure where he’ll land in Europe. The scuttlebutt is that Sandro Rosell has used his influence in Brazil to secure his signature (or at least a promise to sign) but the fact that there is still no confirmation leads one to believe that rather than a Barcelona having an inside track on the player, he and his agent are still shopping him around even if they have a poison-pen on that contract where any other buyer might need to buy Barcelona out for that 40 million euro clause. Either way I have no qualms in shopping my wares. Football Espana? Call me…