I know it’s a week ago or so but I’d just like to open up by saying well done to UNITED (1892) on breaking the 41 year Old Trafford hoodoo. I enjoyed watching Cabaye slotting the ball home and then running off towards the travelling masses to celebrate the goal. He looked resplendent in the Brazil like away number, albeit spoilt with the W*g*a logo splashed all over it. Talking of W*n*a, I almost choked on my cornflakes the other day. I was watching Spanish TV whilst getting ready for work and what should come on my screen but an advert for W*n*a in Spanish www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSosu3vsMvs Most of you reading this will know that Spain is suffering from an enormous economic crisis and it’s no wonder that the vultures have come circling. They’ll be no coincidence in the timing of the adverts either, close to Christmas.
Staying in the EPL I see that young Spanish kid Gerard Deulofeu, who is on loan from FCB to Everton, is making waves in England. I saw him playing for the Spain U20s, in Murcia, in the summer and can confirm that he is some player. However, he’s out until mid January with a hamstring problem, which is unfortunate for the Toffees who are doing well since losing their manager to some other North-West based club in the summer.
I wrote in the last blog regarding a section of so called Betis fans who aimed racist chants at one of their own black players. The club have tried to play this down and have organised a number of anti-racism/violence days for the coming months, a move in the right direction I suppose. It amazes me that clubs like Betis and Atletico Madrid have racist followers, in the past they were always considered the working class teams of their cities and once over were always a bit left leaning. Not anymore though.
The mighty Barca came to the region of Murcia, to play their cup game against Cartagena. They won, as expected, 1 -4 and now have the formality of the second leg to play up in Cataluña. The early rounds of The Spanish Kings Cup always bore me as they are over two legs and the small clubs have no real chance of causing an upset when the ties are set up like this. Just over 13,000 watched the game in a stadium that can hold just over 15,000, I’m not certain but I suspect that the highly inflated entry prices are the reason that the stadium wasn’t full, that’s why I didn’t go anyway.
The World Cup draw has been made since the last time I wrote this and Tim Krul’s Holland will face Spain in Brazil. Chile is in that group, I also saw their youngsters in the summer, in the same tournament that Deulofeu played in, and they are no slouches. I expect them to be dark horses in their native South America. I’m finding it difficult to generate any excitement for the competition at the moment though, maybe that will change nearer the time?
If you want a World Cup shirt with a difference you can now buy Spanish Republican football shirts from a shop in Madrid, apparently they are selling like hot cakes as people are looking for an alternative to the normal Adidas number. http://www.camisetaseleccionrepublicana.es/
There are also weir woollen hats available, in Spanish Republican colours, made by Casual Connoisseur and available from the Spanish sounding shop, Casa Rebelde, in Dublin. Both products are available on-line, if your into that sort of thing.
Staying on an international theme, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has become a member of fan owned club Unionista Salamanca. I reported on them in the last blog if you remember, they haven’t played a completive game yet but expect to do so in 2014-15 season.
Staying in the lower reaches of Spanish football, my favourite place to be honest, and CAP Ciudad de Murcia have been going through a bit of a bad run recently. This run prompted the fans to do something to lift the team’s spirits. They decided to put on a spectacular pyrotechnic display, at one of the teams recent training sessions and before the home game against top of the table El Alhama. I get the feeling, from what I read, that lots of people are against this type of thing in the UK, there has been a few unsavoury incidents to be fair. But this type of thing is still very much part of fan culture out here and I think you can’t help but be impressed by what you see. Bearing in mind that this is a club playing in the fifth tear of Spanish football this story made the national sports press, featuring in MARCA. Also the youtube video has received well over 20,000 hits, which I think is quite incredible.
You have to watch all seven minutes to get what’s happening. The team thought that they were getting a kind of musical therapy session and were blindfolded and told to lie down in the centre of the pitch. Then they were played some music with background vocals describing what it meant to play for Ciudad and to represent the shirt, the overall theme is Never Surrender – Never Give Up. Then the players are told to take their blindfolds off and the show begins.
The following Sunday Ciudad played the league leaders and the pyro show seemed to work as they held a 1-0 lead for sixty minutes. Ciudad eventually lost the game 1-3, losing two goals and two players in the last five minutes. The run of bad results sees the club looking over their shoulder at the bottom as opposed to the top of the table.
As I was putting the final touches to this the news broke that the EC is looking at official links to Primera Division clubs Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, Valencia and Elche, as well as Segunda Division side Hercules, to determine whether any have received illegal government support or preferential tax treatment. If any club is found guilty they will have to pay back millions. I’ll be watching with interest to see what happens and will include more of that next time.
Well that’s it for now just to say that I’m off to Bilbao at the weekend to make a trip that I should have made in 1994. Expect to see a report of that trip in a forthcoming true faith – Geordies Here – Geordies There.
Spanish football takes a break after this weekend until the New Year so I won’t be writing another one of these until then, so have a great Christmas and New Year…thanks for reading!