Well Done, Sid; Random Notes

Piqué says Mourinho is ruining Spanish soccer. As if there has never been tension in the clásico before. Or pig’s heads thrown or anything. What’s really ruining it is Madrid and Barcelona. Not so much because of episodes like last night but because of their stranglehold on the game — their economic and political power and their continued failure to contemplate the consequences of their actions.

(Via)

  • Barcelona’s quotes after Clásicos have always struck me as a bit strange; either they’re all involved in an elaborate, ironic joke just to troll the entire world, or they genuinely don’t realize that they are also always involved in the fights, sniping, and general ugliness. And while in general I wish Sid Lowe would spend more time talking about the other 18 teams in La Liga (admittedly, he does more of this than probably anyone), I loved this quote from his Supercopa wrap-up. “Ruining”. Exactly.
  • I thought the biggest story in the press conference in which Del Nido said Gio is definitely not coming wasn’t that we’re not looking to sign the Tottenham forward, but rather that we’ve been in contact for two weeks now with some other club for some other player that no one in the press has mentioned. I’m obviously not sure who that team or player is, and I doubt this story is based on any super concrete facts, but the possibility of Afellay coming on a loan is a very interesting one indeed–he’s a fantastic attacking player, we obviously tried very hard to sign him last year, and he’s nearly guaranteed to spend endless hours on the bench watching Pedro and Alexis fight it out for the spot he was most likely to occupy for Barcelona. Will this be the year Afellay becomes Barcelona’s Canales? It’s an interesting idea for Sevilla; we’ll see.
  • Finally, just wanted to point out what you’ve probably already realized: with the planned early September international break, the LFP strike for the first two weeks of the season actually pushes back the first game of the season a third week, to September 11. When we take on Villarreal…hopefully by then we’ll have our roster finalized and ready to go!