Belfast Telegraph

A small Spanish step for Sky, another Galaxy for Geoff Shreeves

By Billy Weir

It's all change at Sky as La Liga returned at the weekend and with those pesky kids at BT Sport scampering off with the big European games, they were making a song and flamenco about it.

"It's a new season, new teams, some new faces as well, but the same stunning football is guaranteed," said new face Kate Abdo, with Scott Minto nowhere to be seen on Sunday evening as Spain's finest came out to play.

Reporter Guy Havord was sent to Spain to pay homage to La Liga, and he revealed that the "only countries you won't be able to watch it in are Mongolia and Greenland" but I have no doubt they will be aware of Sky's hype.

And it was worth the wait, the first five games of the weekend providing a bumper two goals in total as people in Ulaanbaatar and Nuuk had a quiet chortle to themselves.

Of course, Gerry Arconada-Armstrong scored a goal in Spain, but he doesn't like to talk about it, but he was back talking alongside Rob Palmer in the commentary booth, with the latter wittering on about all-conquering Barca being conquered by Athletic in the Spanish Super Cup.

"There was to be no joy of sex coupe," he said, as I half expected to see a dodgy bloke turn up in a Capri, and indeed there was some unpleasantness as Dani Alves suffered an unfortunate injury in the Basque region.

"I think it's his pride that hurts," said Palmer, although Alves didn't seem to be having much joy as he was taken off and every time the camera cut to him he was rubbing something that we didn't want to see.

And talking of nasty things, a goal finally arrived, from Luis Suarez, to open the floodgates for the weekend and by the end of the 10 La Liga games they had produced 12 goals, the most of them coming in Granada where there were four, proving you don't need a Capri to score.

But if it's lots of scoring you want then American football is clearly the answer and Sky were over the moon as LA Galaxy took on New York City, a game that had been hyped up as the battle between Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Indeed such was the excitement that Thierry Henry was drafted in alongside presenter David Jones and we couldn't have been any more excited.

Well, we could if Lampard had been playing or even been in the squad but he wasn't, but hey this was still being "billed as the most star-studded match in the history of the MLS," said Jones, not letting the facts get in the way of a script.

So big was it that Geoff Shreeves had been sent to Los Angeles to catch up with Stevie Geeeeee in the locker room of the iconic StubHub Center.

There was still room for another midfield great, with commentator Daniel Mann joined by David Prutton, who, I'm sure, knows some midfield greats, but there were plenty of stars, such as Pirlo, David Villa and Robbie Keane.

"It's an all-American show, the stardust supplied by a Scouser, a Spaniard and Lombardy's finest," said Mann. "Oh and a boy from Dublin too," he quickly added.

A damned good thrashing duly arrived, a 5-1 win for Galaxy, enough for almost an entire La Liga programme, and the only question now is how can we ensure that Shreeves stays on that side of the Atlantic?

There's no room for an ageing star of the Premiership to go to the States for cash and a holiday. Well, no more room.

Belfast Telegraph


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