El Centrocampista


After a busy weekend, the only game I saw was Osasuna v FCB and that wasn’t even live.  Again a weekend of weird results saw things not change too much at either end of the table, but it’s official (not officially official): Real Madrid are the 2011-2012 La Liga Champs.  Now that we’ve got that over with, the drama for this season will be the chase for fourth and who goes down.  Looks like those both could be a tale for the ages.

Everyone is giving their two cents worth about FCB losing the title after a vise like grip for the last three years.  As usual I read posts from Lee Roden at El CentrocampistaMeg Ryan at Total Barca and Kxevin Barcelona Football Blog, which looked at how things went wrong.  But don’t forget, two titles are still up for grabs and there is no reason why they cannot mount a challenge again next year.  Remember Manchester United doesn’t win over year, just two or three years in a row before rebuilding for another run.

Doctor Sid wrote the death sentence for this year’s title race. It is, in fact, over due to injuries, motivation and fatigue, plus Real keeping the pedal down and not letting up, which is exactly what FCB has done for the last three years. Now the focus shifts to the race for the drop and the race for fourth.

Speaking of Real, thought Madridista Mac had a great article examining Los Merengues’ formation against Levante.  Mourinho was able to start with Benzema, Higuain, CR7 and Ozil in a very aggressive formation that put Los Granotes under pressure.  Mac also mentioned the additional focus that will be needed win the league despite the cushion and how Mourinho is perfectly positioned to deliver that.

Phil Ball focused on the 3 M’s of recent Spanish club management—Marcelino, Manolo Preciado and Gregorio Manzano—before transitioning into Mourinho’s possible plans this summer.

Graham Hunter went against conventional wisdom in his column for soccernet by stating that Torres should go to the Euros this summer and doesn’t see what the fuss is about.  Hunter

examined how Torres is playing not necessarily the tangible results and sees a player in tune with Mata and able to help the squad.  Very interesting take considering the current climate around El Nino.

Gaizka Mendieta was on Beyond the Pitch to talk about Valencia, the tension between Real Madrid and Barcelona, and Spain’s chances at Euro 2012.

Elisa and Ravi of Forza Futbol covered a ton of La Liga ground with Eduardo Alvarez of ESPNSoccernet.com on their latest pod.  Tons of on La Liga from players to transfers to clubs.  Definitely worth a listen.

Also on Forza Futbol was a post from Allen Dodson about the release of Deloitte’s Sports Group annual “Football Money League” report.  Not much has changed, with the rich getting richer, but one of Allen’s comments really jumped out at me:

In fact, Real Madrid’s matchday revenues (no radio/TV, no sponsorship, etc.) would ALONE be enough to get them into the Top 20 of the Money League, and those revenues are larger thanValencia’s entire revenue stream!  And Barcelona’s matchday revenues are only slightly smaller thanMadrid’s.

That’s it for this week and don’t forget to welcome Javier Clemente back to La Liga as he tries to keep Gijon up for another season.


  1. FCB1899

    17 February, 2012 at 22:42

    Graham Hunter’s article made interesting reading for sure this week. I’d still take Soldado instead though…

    • Austin Long

      18 February, 2012 at 00:23

      agreed. can’t argue with Soldado’s form this year.

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