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Sorry Test cricket. We know we said we liked you, but it turns out we’re just not that into you.
And judo. We gave you a bit of attention lately, but you’re just a crap brawl with the addition of rules that make it even duller.
The football is back and the hassle of distracting ourselves with other things can come to an end. Sure, Song Dae-Nam, we’ll totally see you in Bahia later this year for the World Championships. We wouldn’t dream of missing your killer harai-goshi.
This week, we’ve got not one, but two slices of footballing awesome news. First up, four time Premier League winner, Gary Pallister looks ahead to the new season in the best league in the world. If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also had a chat with Graham Hunter about the start of the other best league in the world, La Liga.
The former Manchester United defender is feeling a lot more confident now that Sir Alex Ferguson has wooed Robin van Persie all the way to Old Trafford.
Van Persie brings more imagination to the team. That’s something we have lacked. He’s got a great attitude about him too. He’s got a bit of nastiness which I like to see in a footballer sometimes. It’s not just the goals he brings, it’s the assists he’ll create and other players he’ll bring into the game. He’s an immense talent and a fantastic signing for United.
The new arrivals have given Manchester United’s hope of regaining the Premier League title a real boost and Pally reckons there’s nothing to choose between the two Manchester clubs.
The signings have brought the title race closer. City would have been my favourites, but I’d have it down as just about 50-50 now. City have only brought in Jack Rodwell and he’s one for the future rather than right now. A lot of people will look at the van Persie signing and think it’s going to add goals to United. At the other end, they’ve also got Nemanja Vidic back and he’s going to give them more defensive strength when he gets to match speed.
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It looks like being a two way battle in England with Chelsea possibly getting into the frame after a summer of big spending, but there’s little chance of anyone challenging Real Madrid and Barcelona’s La Liga dominance. Despite saying goodbye to Pep Guardiola at the end of last season, Graham Hunter reckons Barca made a good decision in appointing Tito Vilanova as his replacement and they’ve got a great chance of winning back their La Liga title from their El Clasico rivals.
It’s like when we sat in maths and those of us who weren’t very good were really surprised when the teacher said ‘you got the sum wrong, but you’re figuring was right all the way through so you’re going to get a mark.’ Barcelona get a mark for their figuring because they’ve created a system. They’ve created a brand of football and Tito Vilanova has been appointed based on the fact the system isn’t broken. They’ve identified they don’t need wholesale change and gone for someone from within the system who the players know and respect. You never know until you see the decision-making in action, but yes, I approve of the appointment.
You can read more from Graham in his preview of the La Liga season for the Paddy Power Blog.
- Padcast host Ciaran O Raghallaigh on Twitter
- The brilliant Graham Hunter on Twitter
- Padcast host Graham Hunter on Twitter
- Betting: London 2012 Olympics
- Betting: Premier League 2012/13
- La Liga Betting
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