Morbo Minute–Back to the Clubs

I came across a ton of great stuff between the Transfer Deadline Day, the International Break and days leading up to Round 2 (or 3 or whatever La Liga is calling it).   

Eduardo Alvarez (@EdAlvarezSpain) wrote a piece on soccernet.com regarding the relationships within the Spanish National Team after all of the conflicts of the el Clasicos.  Obviously relationships are strained between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.  Jose’s arrival has sparked a different dynamic in the el Clasicos, with excessive fouling, harassing the ref, and animosity being created between the two squads.  Alvarez used the word antagonism in the article, but it sounds like Casillas is trying to bring the national team together by meeting with Puyol and Xavi.  Seems like the problem in Spanish Super Cup was that a Brazilian started it the fracas and then a Portugese aggravated it.  At least they all fought together against Chile on Friday.  Based on the replay I saw, everything was fine until Arbeloa and Busquets got involved.  Ahh, Busi, always in the middle of things.

Colin at http://elcentrocampista.com/ wrote an article on one of Barca’s all time greats, Ladislao Kubala.  In summarizing his journey to Les Corts, the author mentioned that due to a family illness Kubala declined to travel on the plane that killed the great Torino team of the 40’s.  Also, Kubala basically signed for FCB because they would sign his brother in law as coach and Real Madrid wouldn’t.  Amazing how history can be altered.

Sid Lowe on Beyond The Pitch

Doctor Sid packed a lot of info into 35 minutes.  He talked about how Real Zaragoza are in trouble on and off the pitch.  They have lost Ander and Gabi from their squad and are in a real financial crisis, using the system to continue while they should be against the wall.  Sid also talked about how FCB is changing the way the game is played, based on a philosophy of movement and passing.  His example of how Iniesta plays the game—taking chances, drawing defenders—was fascinating.  Atletico Madridwere also mentioned, with the source of transfer financing (read Falcao) being a concern.  He also gave his thoughts on Project Malaga, and based on his visit, he’s convinced.

Finally Sid spent a several minutes talking about the future of La Liga, in particular two components—money and players.  There are several teams in administration, which does not have same penalties as elsewhere.  Obviously there is imbalance in TV money, plus the TV company that shows games, Media Pro is struggling financially.  If they go under, several clubs could collapse.  Then there are the players.  Players are faced with a quandary.  When they reach a certain level they can either go FCB (David Villa) or Real Madrid (Sergio Ramos) who stockpile players or they have to leave the country (Aguero).  This hurts the league in several ways.  One, if players leave, then the gap between the Big Two and the rest grows due to depleting talent.  Two, if players go the Big Two and don’t make an immediate impact, their growth is stymied (example Sergio Canales).  He proposed possible solutions.  Balance the TV contract so that the chasm between the Big Two and the rest of the league is closed.  Implement some sort of quota system to spread the player wealth.  Finally, advertise the LEAGUE instead of just the Big Two.  Problem is that FCB and Real Madrid want none of those options.

Which leads into Tim Stannard’s (@laligaloca) post on football365.com.  With the LFP and the Big Two doing very little to solve the current issues, it’s possible that the rest of the league could break away instead of waiting to die.  It’s a great revolutionary thought but don’t see it happening.  If they think they get a pittance in TV money now, imagine if you have a 18 to 20 team top division without FCB or Real Madrid.  What kind of TV contract do you would get then?  Maybe 5 Euros per team?

Note:  Looks like the 18 clubs are having a summit to discuss things.  Should be interesting.

I found another piece (from @differnentliga) praising the Villarreal Club for their transfer policy as well their season ticket sales.

Finally @iCentrocampista tweeted something Monday morning re:  a site for Spanish stadiums.  I took a quick look, especially at the Camp Nou.  Site seems pretty indepth and has a lot of resources about the history of each club.

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