What a strange weekend it was in La Liga.
Barcelona lost 3-1 to Levante. Real Madrid played out a turgid 0-0 draw with Real Betis. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla drew 1-1, meaning Diego Simeone’s side have just one win in their last six league games. Surprise packages Granada lost to Real Sociedad.
So none of the teams in the top five at the start of the weekend won, and it seems like basically nobody is really satisfied with how things are going. And that usually means plenty of movement ahead, manager-wise, with axes sharpening and contacts books well-thumbed as club presidents consider the changes that could be made.
Not this time though, as Alvaro Romeo explained on Tuesday’s edition of the Totally Football Show.
“Barcelona lost 3-1 to Levante, but they are still top of the table,” he said. “Which tells you that, at the moment, La Liga doesn’t have any team that is definitely shining, or collecting a lot of points. It’s not how bad you are, but how bad you are in relation to the rest of your rivals.
“Real are not doing well, neither are Atletico, neither are Barcelona, but since none of them are running away with the title yet, every club seems to have some patience.
“Even though Ernesto Valverde has a lot of critics, Diego Simeone has mustered only two wins in the last couple of months, and Real can’t score. They didn’t score against Real Betis, and they seem incapable of producing big scorelines.
“According to Opta stats, Real Madrid have scored 24 goals from 209 shots this season, which is their worst average of the decade – followed by last season’s average. So basically after Cristiano Ronaldo left, their scoring ability has gone down, really badly.”
Might Real seek to rectify this lack of scoring by making a big move for Raheem Sterling, with Sky Sports reporting on Monday that they were preparing an offer of £70million plus Gareth Bale for the England forward?
Those reports weren’t echoed in Spain, with nary a peep of the story in the usual places like AS and Marca, but does that mean it’s all nonsense?
“Not necessarily,” said Alvaro. “Real Madrid will offload a couple of players, two of them being Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez at some point.
“Everyone has their price. But I really don’t think [it will happen] – Bale doesn’t have a reliability record, as he’s missed plenty of games over the last few years.”
Real’s next big test is in the Champions League, where they face Galatasaray on Wednesday evening.
Alvaro said: “Galatasaray are having their worst start to a season under Fatih Terim, but Real need to win because they only have four points from three games, so if they have seven going into the game against PSG, they will look at the game with a different attitude.”
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