Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Leeds won very comfortably last night, it might have worried some of you (ok, me too) when Carlisle equalised just before the break, as the visitors should, once again, have been three or four up at that stage. However, they came out of the dressing room fired up and put the game to bed within five minutes of the restart. Leeds now have their destiny back in their own hands and will surely take care of business this time round.

That made four really nice winners in a row on the blog and I have found two very strong bets for today and am considering posting one or both on here, but am undecided about plans at the moment.

Elsewhere, the Bees drew with a desperate Southend side 2-2 and that is eight games unbeaten for the Bees, who are playing without pressure, although several are hoping for new contracts. We can expect another summer of "wheelin and dealin" at Griffin Park (The Theatre of Sleepless Nights), which has been the case for the last two seasons, plenty of coming and goings and once the dust has settled, the squad will be a little stronger.

That is the way of modern day lower league football, loyalty, on both sides, is a thing of the past and the loan deal is king . For an actual transfer fee to be paid for anyone outside the EPL , is a major surprise, you only need to look at deadline day business to see that, when only a handful of the dozens of deals done, were of the permanent variety.

At this stage, I would normally wander off down memory lane, but will resist the temptation just this once.

Like the rest of the footballing world I watched El Clásico at the weekend, of course, if the truth be told I watch everything and was actually viewing that, the Masters and PSG-Bordeaux at the same time ! Ronaldo again failed to show up in a big game and it is getting harder to refute the claims that he is a flat track bully who only shows his best against weaker opponents. He was not the only culprit, few of this very expensively assembled squad showed up and I had to keep reminded myself that Gonzalo Higuain was actually on the pitch.

These are the two best sides in Spain by a country mile of course, a quick look at the table will tell you that they are a point and a half per round (!) better than half of La Liga, that is both stunning and shocking. The overall standard has fallen like a lead balloon, Barcelona are the best club side in the world and Real are doing all they can to cling on to their coattails, but the rest are struggling. This is all to do with money, the big two have it all, they negotiate their own television deals separate from the rest, who have to live off the remaining scraps.

This basically means that Barce and Real receive about 2.5 times more from broadcasting rights than the EPL clubs and puts them right at the top of the footballing food chain. No other Spanish club is close to the top 20 of earnings, which ensures that third place is all they are ever going to be playing for, at least until someone in power realises how bad this is for the game, which is unlikely. I know we are in a similar position in the EPL, but at least the television money is shared more evenly, although too little finds it's way down the league ladder.

Watch some Spanish football objectively, the standard is very poor and for the forseeable future the league is likely to be decided solely by two "derby" games per season and that is not good enough. People call La Liga the strongest league in world football, believe me, that is no longer the case. Long term, there will be no winners, including the big two, from this situation.

Good Luck.

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