Morbo Minute–Part 2 (Articles and Pods)

Here’s some stuff I came across during the last week or so.

Eduardo Alvarez went undercover to the Vicente Calderon to watch Atleti v Rayo, a game that saw Simeone’s razor sharp squad almost throw it away in the waning moments of the match.  Plus he commented on the trouble across town as Mourinho’s men slumped to defeat.

Speaking of Los Colchoneros, Tim Stannard examined how Falcao remained at Atleti despite setting La Liga and the Europa League alight last season.  He made the case that as an out and out striker, several teams would have to spend big time money to reinvent the squad in order to accommodate the Colombian.

Last week, I saw posts on twitter that Malaga and Atletico Madrid were not going to receive their prize money from UEFA due to outstanding debts.  I haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of that but several journos and the Swiss Ramble were trading tweets about that and other things, which made me realize I had not read his blog in a while.  Skimming recent posts, I came across his analysis of Atleti’s current finances.

For the last 15 months at least, La Liga fans have been made aware of the huge discrepancies between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in terms of TV money.  Barca and Real each received 140 Euros in 2011/12 from TV, while Los Coloconeros only picked up 46 million Euros, which was fourth in the league but only 1/3 of what the Big Two picked up a piece and only 16% of the total amount they received.  Ouch.  Year after year of this creates a chasm that is now creating a player drain from the country as footballers look to other countries for better compensation.

European success has hidden the fact that Atleti are in trouble financially.  Not only can any improvement they make in media, match day revenue and sponsorship not compete with the big boys, but they are trying to overcome massive tax debt and several years of poor purchases.  Now that anyone still reading has fallen asleep, I will just say, read the Swiss Ramble for the details.  I don’t pretend to understand it all but I know enough to know that it is not a rosy picture.

SlickR was not happy with Valencia’s performance against Celta Vigo.  (2-1 win.)  The team was missing a couple of key players due to injury and the FIFA Virus, but Los Che allowed the visitors too much time and made the game harder than it needed to be.  Sounds like Feghuoli had a solid match.  Have never been impressed by him, but his early goal was quite nice.

I found the website Barca Central in my wanderings around the interwebs and Nic looked at the season after three rounds, focusing on how Tito has maintained the same tactics and shape as Pep (while making small tweaks); the signings of Song and Alba, who have added solid depth to the squad; and the form of Cesc, which has been a source of tension in the camp.

A recent post by NZM on Barcelona Football Blog is another I reason I enjoy the blog so much.  She broke down the Blaugrana’s activity in the recent transfer window and used it as a launching off point for how the club deals with young players and their progress from La Masia to the first team.  There is definitely a conflict between the club’s philosophy of promoting from within and the financial and squad realities.  The rubber hits the road when a thin squad is stretched as FCB were last spring in the Chelsea/Real Madrid/Chelsea sequence that asked too much of the players.  Great post and definitely food for thought.

Finally, have to mention the Inside Spanish Football pod.  Not only did it look back on the talking points of Round Four, but I made my podcast debut.  Many thanks to Ben for having me on, and to Jonathon and Michael for the insightful commentary.  Give it a listen!!

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