Nic at the Barcelona Blog writes:
After two league games and an annoying break for international games, Barçelona now face the big test of seven games in three weeks after which we should have a much clearer idea of how things are going to be this season. The first game is this Sunday at 9pm against Osasuna in the Reyno de Navarra stadium.
Barçelona then face three games at home starting with the Champions League clash with Lyon on Wednesday 19th. Sevilla then visit Camp Nou the following weekend, the day and kick off time have yet to be confirmed. The following week sees a mid-week league game when Zaragoza are the visitors.
Barçelona have an away game against Levante the weekend of 29/30 September, and then on Tuesday 2nd October travel to Germany for the Champions League match against Stuttgart. Then on the 6/7th October Barça play hosts to Atletico Madrid.
Two things have annoyed me while writing this. First, why are Barçelona playing this weekend at 9pm on a Sunday when they have a Champions League match on Wednesday? All the English clubs in this season’s Champions League are playing on Saturday this weekend. When will the Spanish FA get together with the TV companies to organize this in a manner that is more supportive of Spanish clubs playing in Europe?
Secondly, why are the dates and times of Spanish La Liga games not confirmed earlier? If you want to plan ahead, this makes it extremely difficult if you don’t know on which day your team is playing. In England, once more, the kick off times have already been agreed on and fixed right up to the end of November. So, while I can see that West Ham play Tottenham on Sunday November 25th and kick off is at 1.30pm, I cannot tell you the kick off time for Barçelona’s next home league match. Resolving this problem can only be beneficial to the clubs and the supporters alike.
Real Madrid fish for Ballack
The Germans want Ballack back in Germany (but apparently no one can pay his wages) and now Real Madrid have thrown their proverbial hat in the ring by saying that they’d welcome Ballack with open arms, although his wages would ‘smash Real Madrid’s wage structure’.
I find the whole thing quite amusing. While there’s no real need for Real Madrid to sign a central midfielder, they’re still going after a player with obvious star appeal and the power to sell a lot of shirts. Also, this flies smack into the face of the popular theory that players in Spain and Italy get paid on the same scale as players in England. Yesterday’s piece on Serie A salaries (with yummy models in the associated picture) shows that top stars don’t necessarily earn the equivalent of Premier League wages.
It’s one thing to answer questions, it’s another to comment knowingly that your answers will add fuel to an already raging but unnecessary fire. If the media can’t show some sense, surely Schuster can?
But then again, it’s Real Madrid, and there is no sense to a desire to be the greatest in the world.