As readers know, I provide a link to Phil Ball’s column nearly every week, because he is both very good and also because he provides a very useful window into la Liga, a great football league that tends to get overlooked here in the States because of the focus on the Premier League.
Two or three times a year, however, Ball’s columns are transcendent, and move from being “really good” to “almost beautiful.” This week’s column is an example of the later. Not only is it a summary of the weekend that was in Spain, but it is also a charming meditation of how football is integrated into everyone’s life in that nation; how they live and breath football just as they do their food, friends, and family. It’s a must-read.
On a more pedestrian note, Ball thinks that Ronaldinho is gone after the telling events of this week. (Reports are that the smiling Brazilian was clubbing and boozing 48 hours before his latest game.) Ball thinks Barca was the source that ratted Ronnie out to the press, a sign that he will be sold either during the winter or next summer. Interesting. Ball certainly knows what he’s talking about, but we will see what become of Ronnie’s performance over the next few weeks.
One hope by Spurs fans does need to be quashed: they won’t get Mourinho. Apparently there is a clause in Jose’s contract that states he can’t be hired by an English club for a specified period of time. I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes sense. Would Ramos from Sevilla come over to coach Spurs? Probably not mid-season. The question remains, then, of who would guide Tottenham to their traditional 5-th place finish. Although the way this season is going, it might be a more un-traditional 18th place finish…