Spanish football, like its economy in general, in mired in difficult financial times, which, apart from one or two well-funded clubs, has restricted the budgetary scope of a large number of teams. I had hoped all summer to hear we were on the case but it wasn’t until the final day of the window that solid opportunities materialised.
Marseille-born Tunisian international Lassad Nouioui is a complete unknown to all of us but his profile, earned at Deportivo La Coruna, fits the bill. He scored a handful of goals as Deportivo finished 18th and dropped out of La Liga in season 2010-11 but hit the heights last season as they secured promotion. It would be practically impossible for Celtic to sign a striker with the equivalent profile in English football, despite the apparent gap in standards between La Liga and the English Premier. I’m also delighted to hear Levante, who finished 6th in La Liga last season, were so keen to capture him.
There is also something I like about the port-town mentality the people of Marseille have. It’s very Glaswegian. Lassad should flourish here.
I’m not sure what Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s reaction was when The Sun called asking for an interview about his new book, which details the mainstream media’s failure to report the demise of Rangers. “Are you joking?” may have been appropriate. I had no prior notice they were running an interview yesterday and couldn’t believe the promotion they gave to a book detailing the failure of their industry.
This was not without consequences, of course, and The Sun got themselves into an incredible mess, today trying their best to backpedal, which is pretty much what the theme of the book predicts (irony #1). Meanwhile there is a book publisher in Glasgow who cannot believe his luck. Thousands of unwitting critics and a leading newspaper have ensured Mac Giolla Bhain, who would struggle for a platform without the anger of others, has a bestseller on his hands (irony #2).