Reading arch-rival Sid Lowe's column today, and already I'm aware this is going to be an uphill climb. You see, El Sid not only wrote an almost indecipherable name-drop-y main article about Zlatan and his agent (do we really need to write about their agents now?), but he also included a few bullet-pointed extras at the bottom about the other goings on of opening weekend. The one advantage is that he writes like he looks: a very excited ten year-old who still collects Panini stickers during the World Cup (eg. "Deportivo in 0-0 draw shock. Bet you never saw that one coming, did you? Eh? Oh.")
Not that I did much better this weekend. My La Liga debut was ruined when I found out that Gol TV was not on the list of available cable stations at a friend's place in the country, so after all that hype I was reduced to watching grainy highlights, which disappointingly resembled the La Liga highlights of the last couple of seasons, that is, Barcelona win by a three goal (or higher) margin while Real Madrid endures a disappointing draw.
So be it. I'm already drawn to Hercules because of the name and because they've been out of it so long. They lost to Bilbao, which is a team I've never liked so my sympathy card has been played early. And we already have two nil nils and a pair of one nils, so we already know this is a sophistimicated league for all them coffee and grappa drinkers. I might even start talking about formations, but I will probably need a lot more than grappa in my coffee before that can happen.
The main thing is my hatred for Barca grows ever stronger as David Villa joins the crew. They're looking more like an X-Box team, the result of your little cousin coming over and tweaking the player options while saving it on your memory card. The dramatic arc is clearly whether and how they can be stopped.