Two games, 11 goals and one mighty familiar looking league table. A player's strike denied the Spanish league its opening round of games and put everything back by seven days, turning Week Two into Week One, but it only delayed the inevitable. And the inevitable still arrived with indecent haste, not even hanging on for a fortnight or two. When it did, it brought with it laments and arguments.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- On a glorious summer day not long ago, Sporting Kansas City president Robb Heineman stopped the tour he was giving me of his jaw-dropping new soccer stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park, and picked up his handheld radio.
Already the vultures are hovering. Porto will be back in the Champions League next season, but the problem is that it is unlikely to be this Porto, the side that has dropped just four points in the league all season, and swept all before it in Europe.
"Talent contest." Normally, it's one of television's biggest lies. Whispers suggest that most of the time, the producers have already decided who is going to win. And as for talent -- real talent -- sadly, it's often conspicuous by its absence. But this time was different. This time was an exception, even if it took a while for us to realize as much; even if it was not until his fifth club and his sixth season that it became apparent just how talented he is.
Desperation makes for strange bedfellows. And no, we're not talking about David Cameron and Nick Clegg coming together to find the keys for No. 10 Downing Street after a British general election that left a hung parliament and no outright winner -- although there is certainly plenty of politics involved.