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    From La Liga’s duopoly to Ligue 1′s monotony, Pickles is here to guide you through the week’s football.
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Charlie Adam: a luxury Liverpool cannot afford?

I never know what I want for Christmas. Fortunately I have a girlfriend who more often than not knows what I could do with and usually comes up trumps when the wrapping paper is torn off (or prised off in this case due to an excessive amount of celotape and plasticy paper)  on Christmas Day. … Continue reading

Real tests on the horizon

There are often goals, refereeing decisions or results that are looked back upon at the end of the season and seen as turning points. Real Madrid being 1-0 down at half time away at Hercules, however, will not be one of these. And that’s the key. At the time, it looked like a big story … Continue reading

Cup blank puts Benzema back to the bench

Every silver lining has a cloud, as the old saying nearly goes. And the big cloud over the Spanish capital this week has blown up all the way from the south east coast. Murcia, to be exact, for that is the home of third-tier Real Murcia who this week halted the Real Madrid machine in … Continue reading

FIFA must lead by example

It’s been a difficult fortnight for FIFA. With allegations, counter-allegations, hidden tapes and denials surrounding the bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the much-maligned governing body is under increasing pressure to get their affairs in order. The debate over vote-selling, swapping or whatever the corrupt heads of federation are agreeing to so … Continue reading

Santander in the firing line

The Berlin Wall fell, students protested in Tiananmen Square and 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. The events may have taken place 21 years ago but they are some of the most memorable in history and have been etched forever onto the memories of the onlooking world. For Real Madrid fans … Continue reading

Madrid machine cranking up the gears

Things are starting to look up for Real Madrid. It wasn’t long ago that the club were drawing blanks with la Liga’s lesser lights, Cristiano Ronaldo was the most wasteful player in the division and whistles and jeers greeted the last blow of the referee’s whistle. But in the space of 180 minutes Jose Mourinho’s … Continue reading

The Chilean’s legacy; Malaga vs Real Madrid, 21:00 Saturday

For all the talk of Madrid’s woes so far this season, Barcelona’s troubles have not gone unnoticed.

The Madness of Massimo Moratti

Football club owners are mad. Everybody knows that. From expensive tropical fish in reception to offering mediocre players almost twice what they had hoped for during negotiations, they’re all barking. Well, those two examples were just Peter Ridsdale, but they are mad, and you know it. Simon Jordan, for instance, has come out with so … Continue reading

Brief distractions from the Ryder Cup; the Weekend Preview.

There is some football on this weekend, you know? The sporting world’s attention may be focussed on Celtic Manor but there are plenty of big games across Europe to keep you flicking between the channels. Alas, there is also Wigan vs Wolves on Saturday lunch time, but it could be a good game. Maybe. Stranger … Continue reading

Sultry Barca and Sulky Totti; the Weekend Review (part two)

So it turns out that a bit of a lacklustre midweek performance really doesn’t mean anything, then. After struggling against Sporting Gijon without Lionel Messi on Wednesday night it looked as though Barcelona would have an uphill struggle against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames, but not a bit of it. Pep Guardiola’s side were … Continue reading