Morbo Minute–La Liga is Rubbish

The big La Liga talking point during the International Break was the TV contract and the state of the league.  Sevilla President Del Nido held a summit of the other 18 top flight teams, with attendance being mixed.  Forza Futbol put together a roll call on their website.  Barca and Real Madrid have made some concessions but there is a sense that more is needed if the league as a whole to improve.  Every sight I visited gave some sort of opinion about the current state of the league, what they think of the non-powerful clubs and what might happen in the future.

Barcelona Football Blog commented that on the current TV $ brouhaha.  The author concedes that Del Nido is on to something and that the financing and competitiveness of the league needs to improve so that all benefit, even the Big Two.

Doctor Sid took a couple of views over the last 7 to 10 days.  Early in the International Week he looked at the possible crossroads ahead for the league and the Big Two.  It may come to point where a breakaway league may be the only option.

After all the hubbub of Round 2 and the possible mirage that the league isn’t just the Big Two, he tried to put things in perspective.

However, Phil Ball at Soccernet took a rather contrarian view to the shouts of equality.  He even criticized Barcelona’s playing style.  HERETIC!!!

As for the games . . .

Real Sociedad v FCB

Going into the weekend, Lee Roden at EL CENTROCAMPISTA wondered if FCB would use 3-4-3 again.    I watched a replay of the match knowing the result (2-2) but had to see it for myself.  FCB got two early goals, which were well constructed, but these papered over the cracks of turnovers, especially out of the back, and a lack of sharpness. Last season they did not step on the throat of their opponents, and this happened again, with the Blaugrana taking the foot off gas after getting off to the fast start.

In the second half, a great effort and intense pressure from Real Sociedad created the first goal, then a brainfart by Villa led to second.  From then on, Real Sociedad believed and gave Barcelona everything they could handle.  Even the introduction of Messi could not save the Blaugrana.  Strange game like the end of last year.  Barca in control up 1-0, then goal, then PK, down 2-1 and first loss in over 30 league games.  Very odd game.

@BarcaTheOffside posted shortly after the game: Barça have only won 7 of their last 22 Liga matches after international break. (via @2010MisterChip)  Ouch.

Just a quick note on Real Sociedad, didn’t see much of Griezmann but thought Xabi Prieto was lively.  Took players on and set up first goal.

Bassam at Real Madrid Football Blog wrote about the third striker Los Merengues still hasn’t been signed.  Doesn’t look like it matters as they recovered from a brief scare from Getafe to win 4-2.

I also watched the Valencia v Atletico Madrid replay.  I felt Valencia was grinding, not spectacular but solid.  Los Che had some moments with decent interplay and really getting the fullbacks involved, but it seems as if Soldado spurns a lot of chances to get his goals.

As for Atleti, they have a good base going forward.  They could use a little more width, but Adrian looked like quality. Los Colchoneros had few chances but the ones they had were quite dangerous.

Overall, a decent match with end to end action.  Thought the two sets of defenders were less than convincing.

Some odds and ends . . .

The gang at Forza Futbol broke down La Liga transfers in several ways.  Very interesting to see in the information graphically, plus who was doing most of the spending.

Sam Hughes at EL CENTROCAMPISTA shed some light on the legacy of Fred Pentland.  Great little history lesson.


So this week is European action.  Check out my extensive and in-depth preview if you haven’t already.  Looking forward to matches this weekend, which I will again miss because I say yes instead of no.

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