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Sunday Snippets: Marius Stankevičius - the Lithuanian Rory Delap. And the record that lasted 45 minutes (22nd October, 2017)

Sometimes, I have thoughts and snippets that don't always deserve a full article, but also don't deserve to go into the heap.

In other words, welcome to my drafts folder.

Watch out for this type of article occasionally - on Sundays (Sunday Snippets) and Thursdays (Thursday Thoughts).

The secret to long throws, their power (up to 60 kilometers per hour), and the distance traveled (up to 38 meters), is the technique. The explosive force that makes the long throw successful comes from the the shoulders and lower back. The release angle never exceeds 20 degrees, so that the ball increases its velocity and does not dip quickly - otherwise it can be easily cleared.

They called him the catapult. No, not Morten Gamst Pedersen of Blackburn, or Rory Delap of Stoke City - even if they had the same technique.

No, they say that about Marius Stankevičius - a former Sevilla, Valencia and Córdoba defender, currently seeing out his career in amateur football in Italy with AC Crema 1908 (in the Se…
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The brains of the Blanquiverdes (Part 2): Javi Lara - back where he belongs (21st October, 2017)

Welcome back to the mini-series focusing on the technical players at Córdoba!

This is part 2...you can read yesterday's piece - part 1 - here.

Wow, two days in a row - that's a first!


24th August, 2014. It was Eibar's first ever goal in La Liga, in their first ever game in La Liga, their first La Liga Basque derby....their first of many.

And it was a hell of a goal. In their own stadium, a player who was making his La Liga debut scored a free-kick from the tightest possible angle, just a few meters from the corner flag, just before half-time. The perfect kick of the ball to kick-start Eibar's dream season.




The celebration by the 28-year-old said it all - not just the goal he had scored, but the struggle of being in that moment, in that stadium, in the top tier, in football at all, scoring a goal against a Europa league team.

Exactly, four years before that goal, Javi Lara was without a team, having been released from yet another Segunda B side. By then, he had graduated f…

The brains of the Blanquiverdes (Part 1): Carlos Caballero - Loyalty, misfortune...and a Rayo mistake (20th October, 2017)

Welcome to a new mini-series - yes, the mini-series I love to start but always struggle to finish. This time, I'll try not to.

This one focuses on the technical players at Córdoba, hence the name The brains of the Blanquiverdes. (I think that is why I do these mini-series - I like coming up with names like that.)

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it!


In a market where clubs can rarely offer more than a season-long contract, where teams desperately fill their squads with loaned players and youth hopefuls, where players can risk being unemployed for long periods of time if they don't sign whatever is on the table, a player's loyalty depends more on the club than the player themselves.

Loyalty is rare. But Carlos Caballero Pérez is a rare kind of player.

Not technically - just like many midfielders in Spain, he is a brilliant passer of the ball, creates chances out of nothing and is adept at free-kicks.

And many teams noticed him from an early age. One of them, unfortunately, was…

From Catalonia to Heybridge - the story of an eighth division club (19th October, 2017)

After spending his whole life at UDA Gramenet and a season at Europa, Guillem Ramón moved to Terrassa in the summer of 2014. It was just another Catalan player transferring between two clubs in the Catalan regional leagues - nothing extraordinary.

But it was consequential.

In March 2015, in a match against Sabadell, the full back suffered a complete meniscal rupture, and his season was over. So was his contract - and a big chunk of the 2015-16 season as well. He ended up signing for Cerdanyola, without pay (as he was recuperating), and the doctors said that January would be his return time. However, he debuted in November.

In hindsight, it was a mistake.

After two games, in a training session, on November 25th he got injured again - this time in the quadriceps in the same leg. After two months of recuperation, and still no guarantee of pay, Guillem left for new pastures in February 2016. A trial at Coplestonians FC followed; so did an opportunity at Needham Market FC, in the seventh t…

The Rayo aficionado - with Elizabeth Carr-Ellis (18th October, 2017)

When I sent Elizabeth the questions via email, she responded: "Good grief. Are you doing a PhD in Rayo fans?"


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new subtitle of the Rayo aficionado project.

She is @LizzieCarrEllis on Twitter - give her a follow!

A bit about yourself and your background

I’m a journalist living and working in south-east England, but I’m originally from Newcastle. I lived eight years in Scotland, where I supported Hibs (Hibernian), and then eight years in Madrid.

How long have you been a fan of Rayo and what made you support them in the first place?

I thought I’d be an Atléti fan at first but they never grabbed me. My husband was reading up about Rayo and we both really liked the ethos: anti-fascista, etc. and the strong sense of community. Plus the tickets were affordable - and you could get them - and one day we just really wanted to see a live football game so we went, we won and that was it.

Describe your first visit ever to Vallecas and the stadium? How would you…

La perspectiva de Fuenlabrada - with Ivan Cruz (17th October, 2017)

Ivan Cruz is a Fuenlabrada fan, and is @CampoAtras on Twitter - give him a follow!

A bit about yourself and your background

I consider myself a familiar person and lover of football (I play in the Liga municipal de fútbol 7 for Alcalá de Henares), and also of basketball.

My favorite teams in these 2 sports are C.F Fuenlabrada and Montakit Fuenlabrada.

How long have you been a fan of Fuenlabrada and what made you support them in the first place?

I have been a fan of C.F Fuenlabrada for 20 years.

Why? When I was 15, on the radio, they gave tickets to those under 18 years old to see C.F Fuenlabrada. Coupled with my unhealthy fondness for football, it led me to have great feelings and a great liking for this team.

Describe your first experience of watching Fuenlabrada play?

As I said before, my fan-hood began with those free tickets that they gave us under-18s on the local radio, and one day my friends and I, we decided to watch the team of our municipality for the first time.

When we arrive…

The Rayo Report: Reus Deportiu 0-2 Rayo Vallecano - Exemplary Embarba and a Daring Deportiu (16th October, 2017)

Edit: in the pictures below I have mixed up former Llagostera player Tito with current Llagostera player Pitu. Apologies for that.
Mixing up two (admittedly very similar) players is a first for this blog. Hopefully it will be the last too.


Míchel and Aritz López Garai both made major changes to their squad from their previous games - a 1-0 win against Almería and a 1-1 draw at Huesca respectively. This was understandable, given that for Rayo and Reus this was their third game in eight and nine days respectively.

Rayo's defense was completely reshuffled. Right to left, Baiano, Emiliano Velázquez, José Antonio Dorado and Sergio Akieme became Baiano, Antonio Amaya, Abdoulaye Ba and Álex Moreno - that's three changes. Moreover, in midfield, Francisco Cerro replaced Unai López for his first start in a Rayo shirt, or indeed in Spanish football. There was also a fifth change that Míchel was forced to make after the starting eleven was announced, just minutes before kick-off, but we wi…