By Paul Frederickson
One of the most beautiful things about loving football is that there is always a football game to look forward to somewhere in the world. Last weekend's super Sunday in the EPL was no exception. Whilst the hype is normally better than the game themselves, the weekend's games did not disappoint supporters and neutral observers. In yesterday's games Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur via a 95th minute penalty, eventually winning 3-2 and Manchester United prevailing over a gallant Arsenal team 2-1, with the winner coming in the last ten minutes. Bring on more super Sundays like that please! Now to this weekend's Good the Bad and the downright Ugly!
His team lost over the weekend but Gareth Bale's star continues to rise. Tottenham are by no means a small club but like most teams cannot match the seemingly endless reserves of Manchester City. To try and prevent Bale being poached by Europe's big spending clubs Tottenham have placed a £150 million pound on the sale of their young star. A fee that may even be out of the reach of Manchester City owner's treasure chest. Now that would be financial fair play!
HONORABLE MENTION: Australia's national women's competition has two amazing semi-finals over the weekend culminating in a controversial semi between Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC yesterday. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-20/w-league-round-12-highlights---brisbane-roar-v/3785408
Melbourne Victory signed young gun Marco Rojas, snared grand final winner Jean Carlos Solorzano and arguably the biggest signing in Australian football history, Harry Kewell before the current season began. Along with existing stars Archie Thompson and Carlos Hernandez the new signings raised expectations of their fans and media pundits alike. With a third of the season remaining the Victory are a staggering 21 points from the league leaders the Central Coast Mariners and are currently three points outside of the top 6. A loss to bitter rivals, Sydney FC on Australia day would see the Australian footballing heavyweights 6 points adrift of finals contention. After Sunday's 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Perth Glory the new manager, Jim Magilton, may be checking his contract for early release clauses.
THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY
A competition featuring two of the world's great players should not feature in the downright ugly section of this column, yet the La Liga does. This is primarily due to the uncompetitive nature of the competition. Less than half-way through the current season the team in third, Valencia, is already 9 points behind second place and a massive 14 points of the league leaders, Real Madrid. To put this in perspective they are almost as close to relegation (17 points) as they are to the lead (14 points). The unevenness of the competition is largely down to the disparity in television rights distribution tween the teams. Barcelona and Real Madrid share 34% of the total revenue and the rest of the competition share the remaining 66% . The scary thing is that Barcelona and Real Madrid argued for more than 40%. For a warning of what may happen to La Liga the league need look no further than the Scottish Premier League, a league that is falling into relative obscurity due to the duopoly of the Glasgow giants.
What do you think? What were your weekend's the Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly?