Archive for September, 2011
A preview of last week’s Barcelona Sociedad game which hinted at the defensive issues Barca would show is here, while a report on Madrid’s ding-dong 4-2 win over Getafe is here. A preview and then report on Málaga’s impressive 4-0 win against Getafe at La Rosaleda followed on Monday. Then there were match reports on Barca 2 – Milan 2 and Dinamo Zagreb 0 – Madrid 1.
Possibly the most interesting tie this week in Spain though is Atlético Madrid hosting Celtic in a match which has brought back memories of the team’s previous meeting in the 1974 European Cup semi-final. My preview of 2011′s Europa League group game for Sport 360 is here, while I also did a piece for the Football Ramble looking at how the Scottish and Spanish media have taken contrasting approaches to recalling the 1974 tie which saw three Atléti players sent off and left a lot of bitterness in Glasgow.
Last week also saw some off-the-field debates in Spain, with some of La Liga’s other 18 clubs looking to challenge the TV rights arrangment which gives Barcelona and Madrid the lion’s share of the revenues. Sevilla’s president comparing the situation to the French Revolution is here and coverage of the meeting where 12 clubs discussed the issues is here.
The international break also saw, well international football, with Spain ensuring they would be in Poland and Ukraine next summer to defend their European Championship crown. For Sport 360 I did a preview and a report on their easy 6-0 qualifying victory over Liechtenstein. For the Ramble, there was a more in-depth look at Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque’s defensive problems in the run up to the tournament.
Moving a bit further south from Spain, I had the pleasure of reviewing for When Saturday Comes a new documentary film called Soka Afrika, which looks at the hard time many teenage African footballers have when the come to Europe to try to make a career from the game, and uncovers some pretty shady practices by agents and clubs exploiting these youngsters’ dreams. The film’s website is here , but I can’t link to the article as you’ll have to go and buy the magazine.
La Liga did kick off, eventually, and I was busy enough on opening weekend writing pieces for the Sport 360 paper, including some previews of the first weekend’s action, a match report of Madrid’s easy opening day and then some exciting transfer news stories as the window slammed shut.
The blogs on the Football Ramble site allow for a more light hearted / in depth look at what’s going on in La Liga – and the last few couple have examined the battle of personalities between Jose Mourinho and Iker Casillas at Real Madrid, and how Sevilla still seem to be on the slide.
With the Rugby World Cup coming up I also co-wrote a profile of Irish boss Declan Kidney for the Sunday Business Post. It says that what was once seen as Kidney’s strength – his preference for man-management over tactical wizardry – might now be holding him and his players back and you can read it by clicking here.
If you fancy keeping an eye on what’s happening in La Liga and Irish sport you can follow me on Twitter for more links and updates.