Nothing Personal

Act I: Da Meetin’

[The front office at the Bernabeu Stadium. Spring, 2010.]

José a.k.a. “Joe Moe” Mourinho: Don Fiorentino, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your office. And may your first signing of the season be a masculine, handsome, crack signing.

Fiorentino a.k.a. “Fifi” Pérez: You are welcome to my office, Senhor Mourinho. Please, tell me what I can do for you.

Joe Moe: Bom, Don Fiorentino. I need a man who has powerful friends. I need a million in cash.

Fifi: But cash you have, Senhor Mourinho. Signor Moratti is always very generous with his friends, and you are a friend of Signor Moratti.

Joe Moe: This is true, Don Fiorentino. But Don Fiorentino, I need all of those superstars that you carry around in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes. These Signor Moratti does not have, and you do.

Fifi: It is my understanding, Senhor Mourinho, that you are still under contract to Signor Moratti.

Joe Moe: Should it be agreeable to you, Don Fiorentino, Signor Moratti may be persuaded to set that contract aside, with a signed release and a certified check for 1000 euros.

Fifi: You mean I should make him an offer that he can’t refuse.

Joe Moe: It’s nothing personal, Don Fiorentino. It’s purely business.

Fifi: There are negotiations being made that are going to solve all of your problems, Senhor Mourinho. That’s all I can tell you right now. [Clears his throat as Joe Moe turns to leave.] … By the way, I admire your trophies very much. But your business is a little dangerous.

Act II: Da Odder Meetin’

[Scene I: The Camp Nou lockerroom. August, 2011. A television is tuned to ‘Deporte Noche’ in the background. Iker Casillas tells a reporter: “My míster is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.”]

Josep a.k.a. “Joey Pep”, a.k.a. “Joey Guardioli” Guardiola: [Jabs a finger into the chest of Gerard a.k.a. “Pickpocket”, a.k.a. “Picky” Piqué.] Only don’t tell me that you’re innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and it makes me very angry.

Víctor a.k.a. “Big Vic” Valdés: What did he say?

Picky: Badda-beep, badda-boop, badda-boop, badda-beep!

Carles a.k.a. “Charlie the Captain” Puyol: [Jostles Picky.] Moc moc!

Joey Pep: [Shrugs, looks heavenward.] I have a sentimental weakness for my players and I spoil them. They talk when they should listen. [Boxes Picky on the ear.] Whatsa matter with you? I think your brain is going soft with all that comedy you are playing with that young girl. Never tweet anyone outside the Club what you are thinking again.

Big Vic: [Shakes his head.] In Spain, women are more dangerous than toros.

Charlie the Captain: Don Guardioli, Joe Moe’s people chisle my territory and hack at my men and we do nothing about it.

Joey Pep: Try and be patient.

Charlie the Captain: Just take off the handcuffs, please, Coach.

Joey Pep: Be patient, Carles.

Charlie the Captain: We gotta protect ourselves, Coach. [Raises voice as Joey Pep leaves.] At least give me the chance to recruit some new men! A DM, for instance. Why another CB?

[Scene II:  Sandro a.k.a. “Boss Sandro” Rosell’s office. Boss Sandro sits behind a large oak desk, twirling a pencil. Joey Pep paces, waving his arms passionately]

Joey Pep: I went to the referrees, Boss, like a good sportsman. These boys were brought up before La Liga. The judge sentenced them to three games suspension, and then suspended the suspension. Suspended suspension!

Boss Sandro: What’s the matter with you? Is this what you’ve become, a Pinocchio who cries like a woman? “Oh, what do I do? What do I do?” What is that nonsense? Ridiculous!

Joey Pep: Boss, wait a minute. I’m not talking about Juande, or Mickey Pelligrini. I’m talking about a coach that’s mixed up in bad business. I’m talking about a – a – a dishonest coach – a crooked coach who got mixed up in low whacks and false rumors and oughta get what’s coming to him. That’s a terrific story. And we have media people on our side, don’t we, Boss? Can’t we get that story out? And maybe it’ll give the Frenchman time to cool off.

[Joey Pep clicks on the television.  The two men watch as Arsene Wenger holds a press conference: “You don’t understand. Frankie Fab never makes that move. That position is perfect for him. It’ll make him a big star. I’m gonna keep him out of the Camp Nou. And let me tell you why. Frankie was one of my most valuable proteges. Since 2003 I’ve had him under contract. I spent hundreds of thousands of pounds. I was gonna make him a big star. He was sweet, he was innocent, he was the greatest captain Arsenal’s ever had, and they’ve had them from all over the world. And then Joey Pep comes along with his olive oil voice and Catalan charm and Frankie runs off. He threw the EPL away just to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous. And you tell that Gamper that if he wants to try any rough stuff that I ain’t no Moratti. Yeah, I heard that story.” Joey Pep clicks the television off.]

Boss Sandro: [Sighs.] All right, Joey. Let Frankie leave the Gunners. Take the CB. And call El País.

Act III: Da odder odder meetin’.

[Scene I: The front office at the Bernabeu. August, 2011. Fifi watches a television tuned to ‘Deporte Noche’. Joey Pep is shaking the hand of Frankie Fab, who beams in his new blaugrana jersey. The Catalan press is shouting and taking pictures: “Frankie, come here!” “Let me look at you!” “You’re beautiful, beautiful, just beautiful!”]

Fifi: [On the phone.] Look, Rocky, I know it’s been rough, but you’ve got some labor trouble coming up. My captain, he’s a trusted man. He can help you make that trouble disappear …

Joe Moe: [Storms in, slams his fist on Fifi’s desk. Fifi jumps.] You goddamn owners, you really make me laugh. I do you a favor and take this job in when you’re having a bad time, and now you’re gonna try and push me out!

Fifi: [Hangs up, stands up.] This club took you in because I bankrolled your big gamble, and the Moratti Family on the Boot guaranteed your success. Now we’re talking business, let’s talk business. Where’s my goddamn trophy? And I don’t mean that busted piece of tin in the hallway!

Joe Moe: Fiorentino, Fiorentino, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? Haven’t I been devoted to you? To the Club? And yet Vanny Valdano still badmouths me to the press.  And you say nothin’!

Fifi: Your father Félix wouldn’t want to hear this, Joey. Football is business, it’s not personal.

Joe Moe: Well then, business is going to have to suffer. And please, do me a favor, Fiorentino. No more advice on how to patch things up. Just help me win, please? [Stomps to the door.] Goddamn owners don’t respect nothin’. [Slams door.]

[Scene II:  The Camp Nou, Real Madrid bench. August, 2011. The final minutes of the La Liga “Supercopa” match.]

Joe Moe: [Points at Képler “Pepe Batters” Laveran Lima Ferreira and Marcelo “Machine Gun” Vieira.] Listen, I want somebody good – and I mean very good – to make that tackle.  I want you to take care of that sonofabitch right away. I want you to make that first thing on your list, understand?

Aitor a.k.a. “Kranky” Karanka: But Senhor, while Frankie’s being guardiola like this he is invulnerable. It would be disastrous. All the other Liga teams would turn against you. The Club would be outcast. Even the old man’s protection would run for cover. So, do me a favor, take this into consideration.

Joe Moe: [Ignores him.] Come on, kids, don’t fool around. Just let your foot drop to your side and the cleat slip out. Everyone will think you’ve got the ball. They’re gonna be staring at your big hair, Machine. Afterwards you walk away real fast, but you don’t run. Don’t look nobody directly in the eye, hut don’t look away either. They’re gonna be watching me, believe me, so don’t you worry about nothing. You wait until I give you the signal [makes “Disco Roll” arm motion] and go from there.

Pepe Batters: What the hell is that?

Machine Gun: It’s a message. It means … Frankie Fab rolls with the hedgehogs.

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SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.

113 Comments

  1. Whatever
    August 23, 2011

    Nasri officially in Man City. They have a good team, indeed.

    • outerspacedout
      August 23, 2011

      Whoa, really? Wow, they’re going to be really good! Their attack has actually seemed rather gelled in the first couple games so far at least, if they can play as a unit this could be a really dangerous side!

      On the flip side. SPEND SOME OF THAT DOUGH ARSENE!!!

      • ElJefe
        August 23, 2011

        Have we not learned our lesson from EE? This is a Galaticos strategy. Man U will prevail again, with Chelsea competing with City for #2. Mark my words now.

  2. outerspacedout
    August 23, 2011

    Oh my God I LOVE this movie! Reservoir Dogs is the BEST!

    • outerspacedout
      August 23, 2011

      Kidding. I know this is from THE the movie.

  3. Lev
    August 23, 2011

    SoccerMom you are awesome!!!

    (one question though, did you change “finocchio” to Pinocchio on purpose? “a Pinocchio who cries like a woman” – I don’t get it)

    • SoccerMom
      August 23, 2011

      Yeah ’cause I thought it went better with ‘Pep’ and ‘little boy’ and sidestepped the slur.

      You watch too many movies.

      • Lev
        August 23, 2011

        aaaah ok i get it now.

        love the movie, and the book is just as if not more brilliant, cannot recommend it enough in case you haven’t read it yet.

        anyway thanks for the post, it is magnificent how you applied the quotes to barça and madrid.

  4. August 23, 2011

    Has anyone been following “Mou Mou Gate?” Apparently Canal+ somehow got hold of some text messages, alleged from Mou Mou, that said he was out as coach. His spokesman (yes, Special Ones have spokesmen) said that the press had been duped, that it was from an old mobile phone that He didn’t use any longer.

    On the breaking news front, sanctions about to be handed down to he and Vilanova for the “Hey Moe, Hey Moe” business. Hopefully the Liga will hit this one hard, because this crap has to stop. Now. And I fully expect that during the next Clasic, refereeing will be tight as a drum. This crap is bringing disrepute to the Liga, and both clubs.

    Speaking of the Liga, HALF of the clubs don’t have shirt sponsors yet? Wish we were one of them ….

    • blitzen
      August 23, 2011

      Yes, I quite liked the “dog ate my mobile” excuse. 😛

      And as for the bans, would they apply to league games or just Supercup ones? The Villa/Ozil/Marcelo bans only apply to Supercup games. The RFEF is the one considering disciplinary action here, not the LFP.

  5. blitzen
    August 23, 2011

    I didn’t get the joke because I’ve never seen the movie. 🙁

    Can you do one based on Shakespeare? I’m thinking Henry V. Intrigue, treachery, grand battles and epic speeches galore! I’m seeing Wenger as the dying Falstaff…

  6. Lev
    August 23, 2011

    “…..because I’ve never seen the movie.”

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH
    BLASPHEMY!

    As for Moe Moe gate all I can say is that the Madridistas I know must be reeeeeeally frustrated with Barça’s superiority since incredibly a lot of them keep defending Mourinho and his henchmen.

    Would have no problems if all clasico’s from now on are refereed to the bone. This would very much be in our advantage, never mind the fact that for the last 6 games (CL aside) I have been more worried about whether or not Messi will survive the onslaught than the actual result. Another idea would be for red cards to effect the next clasico rather than the next match, but obviously this is too out-of-the-box to implement.

    • blitzen
      August 23, 2011

      Meh. I never saw Pulp Fiction or Natural Born Killers either. Does that make me a bad person? 🙂

      • mom4
        August 23, 2011

        I’ve never seen most of the things people on this site have seen, I’ve never heard half the music, therefore I understand less than half of what is going on at any given time.
        I think that using Shakespeare would be a good base to work with, too. In particular, I think Mou is quite insane enough to be pictured talking to poor Yorick’s skull and Rosell lamenting his lost ducats works, too.
        Maybe we’re too old, Blitz 🙂

      • outerspacedout
        August 23, 2011

        I didn’t see Natural Born Killers either. But The Godfather! *GASP*

        Sticking with the theme of everyone-has-seen movies. You did see Lion King, right?

        • mom4
          August 23, 2011

          “You did see Lion King, right?”

          I have kids. I’ve seen just ’bout every kids movie made in the last 20 years 🙂

          • outerspacedout
            August 23, 2011

            I meant Blitzen, but it was meant for you too. Good to know you’ve seen Lion King atleast hahahs!

      • nzm
        August 23, 2011

        Blitzen, I’ve never seen any of these movies, either. 🙂

        • SoccerMom
          August 23, 2011

          @ Lev: You’d probably like Puzo’s source, too: “The Valacchi Papers”.

          @ Blitz: I come from a bit of a ‘neighborhood’, so I get a kick out of it.

          Shakespeare is too hard for me to play with! But I would cast Mourinho as Iago.

    • outerspacedout
      August 23, 2011

      Hahaha Lev I was about to say the same but you beat me to it!

  7. Josep
    August 23, 2011

    I love you SoccerMom.

    This was brilliant, best one yet. I may be biased because it’s my favorite movie, but still. So now that I can finally feel these pieces, does anyone else put the person in the place of the movie character during each scene in their head? Great stuff.

  8. Dani_el
    August 23, 2011

    “José a.k.a. “Joe Moe” Mourinho: Don Fiorentino, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your office. And may your first signing of the season be a masculine, handsome, crack signing.”

    Just great!

  9. K_legit
    August 23, 2011

    LMFAO @ Mourinho’s ‘apology’..Apologise to the guy whose eye you gouged ya cretin

  10. outerspacedout
    August 23, 2011

    Mourinho statement to RM official site, in response to rumors he was going to quit (via BS.com, but if they’re quoting the EE official site it must be genuine):

    “Only those who don’t know me can dream, make up or believe I may leave Real Madrid at this stage.

    “I believe many people were surprised by the quality football showcased by Real Madrid during pre-season and it would be surprising news to them if I left the club now. Impossible!

    “I have a fantastic president, who is very intelligent and with whom I have a great friendship. I also have a director general who works for the club 24 hours a day, so my motivation is enormous and my Madridismo is even greater than that of some pseudo-Madridistas…

    “There is no way I’m leaving. No way!

    “I also wish to apologise to Madridistas, and only to them, for my attitude in our last game.

    “Some people are better adapted to the hypocrisy in football than I am, and they hide their faces and speak in whispers deep inside tunnels.

    “I’m not learning to be a hypocrite, and I don’t want to.

    “Best wishes to all. We’ll see each other tomorrow at the Santiago Bernabeu.”

    I’m starting to find this whole thing funny, because the whole false bravado with all the exclamation marks and I am as Madridismo as all you fans talk seems so… like a floundering politician, you know what I mean? How they talk all fake-cheerful, wink at the camera, big exclamation marks and I feel just as strongly as you the people don’t you worry?

    It’s kinda.. funny? sad? amusing? how Mourinho signed off from Inter hailed by a lot of the media as the greatest coach of recent times, people saying he would be known as the greatest coach of all time by the end of his career, with a media reputation for being charismatic and unflappable- even I found him a generally funny and interesting character during his time at Chelsea with quotes like the supermarket eggs stuff and how he seemed to be so overconfident in his own abilities that he just laughed at everyone else- and a near-mythical invincible figure among certain circles of the media and fanbase that seemed to think he could do practically anything- and now not that much later and his stock is dropping, he’s gone from seeming unflappable to very much having lost his thread over various occasions starting from the 5-0 up to now, he seems less charismatic and more crazy, less calculated and more bitter and manipulative. I can’t see the future so who knows if Madrid might win La Decima this year or something even- I don’t expect it- but if things keep on following their current trends the Mourinho myth seems to be pretty much well and truly smashed and stomped on lately. And considering what a complete and despicable asshole he’s been over the past year or so, I can’t feel sorry for him, I can only enjoy how we’re picking his reputation and legend apart bit by bit.

  11. August 23, 2011

    Eto’o to Russia is official, announced by a spokesman for the Russian club. Wow. “You all can stop throwing me bananas, I can afford to buy my own.”

    I know that players are businessmen, but if he thinks that the racism in Spain was abhorrent, I don’t know how he’s going to deal with what he has to deal with in Russia.

    • outerspacedout
      August 23, 2011

      As for the money, I know if I was a mega-talented footballer and there was THAT MUCH more money on offer I’d definitely take it. I mean, 140k at PSG instead of 110k at United or a trade-off like that I can see choosing the club where you can get trophies, but when it’s making 20 MILLION in a year- especially when you’ve already won pretty much everything there is to win- it’s so so so so so much money. It’s easy to dismiss it because footballers already make so much, but imagine any other career like I don’t know real estate or something and if you were in it and could make either 80 million over four years or 50 million over four years, both may be enormous amounts but of course us normal people from a normal job would still all go for the 80 million, so why should we hold footballers any different right.

      Sorry for going on too long but it’s just mind-boggling, Eto’o is going to be making a bit under a hundred million Euros over the duration of his contract isn’t he? That’s just WHOAAAA. I mean you think Yaya has a huge salary at City making 220k a week but even that’s just around 11.4mil a year, Eto’o is gonna make twice that. Wow. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. Even if I get what is considered a good starting salary back home that’d be 7000 euros a year. Make one-fortieth of how much Eto’o makes in a week. Per year. TF

      • Bill
        August 23, 2011

        It’s true! As much as we may want a talent like him in the big leagues, that amout of money being thrown around throws all logic out the window. It’s an offer only Messi can refuse. For someone like him, I don’t see any front office future or a coaching gig, so he needs to earn as much as he can now. Good luck to him.

        The owner of Anzhi bought Roberto Carlos a Bugatti Veyron for his Bday, and flew all his players to wembley for champions league finals, to show them what level they need to be at. Unbelievable.

    • August 23, 2011

      All the more bizarre for the extreme poverty in Dagastan. The amount he will be making will dwarf populations of people. He will have to live life in a complete security bubble there.

      But as has been talked about for a while – he wanted that one last huge contract. I’d guess he was hoping it would come from city but was ok that it came from someone.

      Inter and italian football look to be in for some real difficulties with financial fair play. Well then again, if UEFA doesn’t crack down on that Man City Eitihad sponsorship deal then I guess all bets are off.

      • blitzen
        August 23, 2011

        Apparently the Anzhi players live and train in Moscow and fly into Dagestan only for home matches. So he will be filthy rich in Moscow, most of the time. Not too bad, if you can afford to fly in decent food. Which he can.

  12. August 23, 2011

    Very much in line with SoMa terrific post – seems like things aren’t going to well for mou mou right now.

    From Graham Hunter:

    #Mourinho Some already knew that JM has NOT felt backed by RM since eye gouge incident. JM expects 110% backing. Today been charged

    BumperGraham Graham Hunter
    # Mourinho Thus far not a peep from RM President. Mourinho’s offence, if found guilty, is rated in range of 4-12 games ban by RFEF.
    3 hours ago

    That’s great. He hasn’t felt backed for gauging the eye of another person.

    And this whole text message situation is comical. Coming on the heels of the eye gauging it’s just hard to get over.

    The cost of employing him are very high – and it’s not just the cash.

    Fli Fli has been very quiet…

    • outerspacedout
      August 23, 2011

      RM official site just released a statement addressing the text messages as being false, having a good relationship with Florentino, etc in form of an open letter by Mou Mou himself, according to Goal.com. The text as shown above a couple comments before this one.

    • Megster
      August 23, 2011

      According to Graham Hunter: Mourinho’s offence, if found guilty, is rated in range of 4-12 games ban by RFEF.Tito Vilanova charged with offence which, for guilty, carries up to four game ban or €600 fine.

      • FalseNine
        August 23, 2011

        Is Tito’s offense pushing Mourinho away after he was attacked? Or did he do something else?

        • blitzen
          August 23, 2011

          He didn’t just push him, he slapped him in the head. I guess they think it was an overreaction.

          • FalseNine
            August 23, 2011

            Oh I see. I guess the slap wasn’t visible in the video I saw.

            In that case, I’m glad they’re at least investigating Tito. Their job is to be impartial and look at everything. If just Mourinho was named, it would be one more opportunity for the Mou/RM persecution complex to kick in. Let them give Tito one game, and Mourinho ten.

  13. blitzen
    August 23, 2011

    From Tim Stannard of La Liga Loca:

    club president Sandro Rosell claiming Tito Vilanova wanted to forget the whole thing and that the club wanted to “end this atmosphere of antagonism.” LLL wonders if Real Madrid would have taken the same path had Pep Guardiola sauntered over from his bench to kick Aitor Karanka in the nuts…

    😈

  14. mom4
    August 23, 2011

    Dudes,
    I just felt my first earthquake. Scary!

    • Eklavya
      August 23, 2011

      First earthquake as in first earthquake ever ever? I just saw it on twitter too. Big? Small?

      • mom4
        August 23, 2011

        Yes the first ever. I’m sitting on the sofa with a kid and the sofa starts shaking. 6.0 quake centered in Virginia from what they’re saying. VERY rare for the east coast of the US.

      • blitzen
        August 23, 2011

        We felt it here in Toronto, too, but it was quite small. No one here even believed me at first when I pointed it out.

        • mom4
          August 23, 2011

          Felt like one of the larger teenage kids was kicking the sofa. Can’t believe you felt it all the way in Toronto. Very unnerving and now I’m trying to reach hubby. Cell phones are useless right now but e-mail is good.

          • SoccerMom
            August 23, 2011

            I just logged in so I could send you safe wishes! Be well!

          • mom4
            August 23, 2011

            Thanks, SoMa.
            All is well with my family. People on the west coast and elsewhere in the world probably think we’re silly to react to a 5.8, but most of us had never felt an earthquake before. Unnerving! Hope everyone else is OK.

  15. Eklavya
    August 23, 2011

    Which movie are we talking about? The Godfather?

  16. Megster
    August 23, 2011

    According to Sports.es, RM released a statement blaming Rosell for inflaming the situation by complaining to RFEF five days after the match.

    • blitzen
      August 23, 2011

      Is the statement on the official RM site? I don’t want to go look. You go.

    • blitzen
      August 23, 2011

      Soon after, however, Paramés complained that the mobile from which the text message was sent was a pay-as-you-go phone that he had bought soon after Mourinho joined Madrid, but which he had stopped using. He said he had left the phone in a drawer and that someone must have used the number and pretended to be Mourinho’s spokesman.The question now is what was behind this bizarre series of events. Had Paramés, not for the first time, spoken out of turn and then been forced to into a desperate act of damage limitation? Was this a clever ploy to force Madrid’s hand, sow the idea that he is not happy, and seek to provoke the fans’ support at Wednesday night’s Santiago Bernabéu trophy?

      Or had someone really taken Paramés’s mobile from his house, pretended to be Mourinho’s official spokesman and exchanged text messages with Canal Plus?

      • htMillBay
        August 23, 2011

        Interesting times in Madrid. Like any man of power, Florentino is probably recalculating the cost/benefit ratio of the special one. Imagine if you will the RM heroes of the Spanish NT: Casillas, Alonso, Ramos and the old guard of RM: Valdano, del Bosque, di Stefano, etc. on one side; and on the opposite side: the Portugese mercenary, his agent, his agent’s player clients.
        Guess which side will prevail if there is a political battle for the soul of RM?

        It’s too bad that RM won the CDR last year and they had the opportunity to parade the cup in EE streets. If not for that, Mou would have had nothing to show on the asset side aside from 7-1 wins over Guangzhou, and scoring records for Cristiano (who may not even be on the Mou camp).

        It will be interesting to see where ZZ stands.

        • blitzen
          August 23, 2011

          Zidane has been awfully quiet, hasn’t he? Not that it is part of his job to make public statements (although it might be, they didn’t really specify his duties when they hired him), but I have a hard time believing that he is entirely comfortable with the way things are going. Then again, if anyone knows how to apologize without actually apologizing, it’s Zizou. #headbutt 😛

  17. August 23, 2011

    On the up side, Casillas wants to have dinner with the captains to clear the air, and try to end this crap before someone actually gets hurt. Fabregas could have easily been Eduardo, and I think that players are finally starting to realize that when things get out of hand, who knows where they can go. That they are out of hand is beyond question.

    • blitzen
      August 23, 2011

      This is a very encouraging sign. If the captains can exert some authority over their teams, they can calm things down. If Casillas is half as respected in his dressing room as Puyol is in Barça’s, this should go a long way to help things.

      On the other hand, I wonder whether Mourinho will see this as an act of rebellion?

      • mom4
        August 23, 2011

        That should indeed go a long way. That and I did like that Ramos seemed to be talking it out with Pinto after the game. It’s especially comforting to those of us who like to follow the Spanish NT.

        Btw, will there be a European Supercup game if the strike doesn’t end?

    • August 23, 2011

      Fabregas could have been Eduardo. His career could have been over. And the situation is definitely out of control.

      But if one can’t frankly identify the causes for why they are out of control and address them proportionately, then it’s really difficult to fix any complex problem.

      Casillas apologizing for his statements help but they don’t fix the real problem.

      And that problem is violence.

    • nzm
      August 23, 2011

      Reading the article makes me wonder if Rosell already knew about the RFEF investigation when he made his “we’ll take a back seat and let justice run its course” statements.

  18. nzm
    August 23, 2011

    Effectively, in his letter on RM’s website, Mourinho has branded all the RM fans, who think negatively about Madrid’s recent actions, as “pseudo-Madridistas”.

    He’s totally on a divide and conquer mission, and I seriously hope that this time, he’s bitten off a lot more than he can chew, and it chokes him.

    • August 23, 2011

      His communication strategy comes straight out of politics.

      Never ever admit you are wrong.

      Take one of your worst characteristics (e.g. hypocrisy) and then use it to label your opponent.

      Delegitimize anyone who disagrees with you or criticizes you as inauthentic and not a true member of the cause (e.g. anti-madrista).

      He’s got all of the modern day, cynical PR strategies from politics down cold.

      • blitzen
        August 23, 2011

        Did you say “modern day”?

        Hence it is to be remarked that, in seizing a state, the usurper ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat them daily; and thus by not unsettling men he will be able to reassure them, and win them to himself by benefits. He who does otherwise, either from timidity or evil advice, is always compelled to keep the knife in his hand; neither can he rely on his subjects, nor can they attach themselves to him, owing to their continued and repeated wrongs. For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer.

        And above all things, a prince ought to live amongst his people in such a way that no unexpected circumstances, whether of good or evil, shall make him change; because if the necessity for this comes in troubled times, you are too late for harsh measures; and mild ones will not help you, for they will be considered as forced from you, and no one will be under any obligation to you for them.

        From Machiavelli’s The Prince

        • nzm
          August 23, 2011

          I think that Mourinho has a First Edition copy of this. 🙂

          • blitzen
            August 23, 2011

            I forgot this bit:

            Nevertheless our experience has been that those princes who have done great things have held good faith of little account, and have known how to circumvent the intellect of men by craft, and in the end have overcome those who have relied on their word. You must know there are two ways of contesting, the one by the law, the other by force; the first method is proper to men, the second to beasts; but because the first is frequently not sufficient, it is necessary to have recourse to the second.

        • August 23, 2011

          Yes. Modern day. Strategically the principles have been around for quite some time. But the way they are tactically implemented through media is different. And very modern.

          Mourinho did not give an interview. He didn’t even bother with a press release. He posted a letter on the web so that it completely circumvents the “press filter.”

          Media manipulation of various kinds to amplify his ridiculous messaging is at the heart of what he does.

      • nzm
        August 23, 2011

        Agreed.

        The battle will be fought as in politics – within the party and out in public.

        Internally for his strategy to work, he does need Perez on his side, in which case, Perez becomes Mourinho’s puppet. In fact, for it to work successfully, Mourinho needs to be top dog at Real Madrid – even higher than Perez, so that he is beyond reproach.

        Publicly, to win over the fans, he needs to win trophies. Trophies and winning will make the fans forget about everything else.

        He tried to get the public fanbase on his side last season, but failed because of his lack of major wins, so this season he’s had to reinvent his strategy. Getting rid of Valdano is part of it.

        His Achilles’ Heel, if there is one, will be the team. If they decide that they’ve had enough, Mou can kiss it all goodbye.

        Blitzen wrote that Casillas is wanting to meet the Barca captains. One wonders if this is a step towards team mutiny, or whether it is just another part of Mourinho’s gameplan.

        • nzm
          August 23, 2011

          Sorry – it was Kxevin who wrote that about Casillas.

        • nzm
          August 23, 2011

          Just had a thought on the team – maybe this is why he has weighted it with all the player clients of his agent?

          He is a devious Mou, for sure.

      • just listenin
        August 23, 2011

        I wonder who would win a war between Machiavelli and Sun Tzu?
        I’d take 5:3 odds on Sun Tzu.

        From the art of war;
        “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”
        “A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.”
        “It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus doubled agents are recruited and used.”
        – Hope that dinner goes well…

        According to the headlines today Rosell is practicing the ancient Catalan concept of Seny http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seny

        You gotta love it, futbol = life

  19. nzm
    August 23, 2011

    So sorry that your post has been hijacked by all this latest news, SoccerMom.

    I love your parody – truly brilliant!

    • SoccerMom
      August 23, 2011

      Oh, nzm, I was fretting that my late post would only drag up more dregs. But you can always count on Joey Moe to help a girl out!

  20. blitzen
    August 23, 2011

    Barcastuff reporting that Pique got injured in training and will miss the European Supercopa game.

    Aaargh!

    • Mila
      August 23, 2011

      Was just about to post this – POR QUE? POR QUE?

      This is Mou’s evil curse on Pique for not keeping his mouth shut?

    • blitzen
      August 23, 2011

      Pique has a muscle injury in his left calf and will be out for around 3 weeks #fcblive [@fcbarcelona_cat]

      • Whatever
        August 23, 2011

        Now we’ll see a Alves – Mascherano – Abidal – Adriano backline. Solid nevertheless.

        • ElJefe
          August 23, 2011

          I can sleep well at night with that.

          I do miss the Capitan Corazon, however. What is his fitness prognosis.

          • mom4
            August 23, 2011

            Captain Caveman due back in three weeks, thank goodness!

  21. August 23, 2011

    Alves-Mascherano-Abidal-Adriano is a strong backline. However, the issue that arises is that this puts significant stress at the DM position (and secondarily at the RB spot as the only backup RB they have now is Montoya).

    At DM all they have is Busquets as a starter and Keita as a backup in learning.

    If Busquets gets injured it’s going to be a test.

    • blitzen
      August 23, 2011

      Keita played DM against Napoli and was MOTM. So I would say he has improved rapidly. Xavi can also play there, or Cesc if necessary. Fontas also played DM regularly for the B team.

      • Jnice
        August 23, 2011

        Keita played well against Napoli, but that wasn’t a true competitive match. His MOTM was more for his goal than any of his defensive contributions.

        He played well, but I’m still a long way from being comfortable with Keita at DM for serious matches.

    • August 23, 2011

      Heh. Just said the same thing on Twitter. My thoughts exactly.

      Fontas also has the ability to play DM, but it’s doubtful that he will play there. He’s the back-up to a back-up back-up LB. 😛 (Back up to Maxwell…)

  22. Miguel
    August 23, 2011

    I’ve never seen The Godfather either. There, I said it. Don’t judge me. I keep missing screenings of it.

    In other news, it looks like Rossi is getting Villarreal to the Champions League.

    • nzm
      August 23, 2011

      Miguel! That’s you, me and Blitzen!

      • August 23, 2011

        Well, now you should watch it not only because it is one of the best movies ever made, but to understand SoccerMom’s hilarious post. 🙂

        • SoccerMom
          August 23, 2011

          Miguel, you must have one of them fancy cable packages with the HBO and the SHO. It’s on AMC *all the time*. Actually, for a girl that likes Kubrick and “Henry V”, it’s probably right up your alley, Blitzen. Just don’t watch it with boys because they say all the dialogue over the movie.

          • blitzen
            August 23, 2011

            I’m just not into the whole mobsters thing! Unless it’s Bugsy Malone, of course. 😀

          • Miguel
            August 23, 2011

            I can’t afford Showtime, too, with all these stupid soccer channels. I get Skinimax free. I’ve been avoiding watching The Godfather on the tv to catch it on the big screen, but I guess I can’t anymore. I’ll revisit this post then.

  23. August 23, 2011

    Over 😀 Four La Liga teams in the Champions League this season

    • August 23, 2011

      Well done Villarreal! Good thing we didn’t get Rossi, eh? 😉

  24. August 23, 2011

    Lies in Madrid announcement according to @agencianews

    Lie no 1
    Madrid claims to be surprised that the RFEF committee decided to open investigation 5 days after the game.
    This is a lie because it is a fact that RFEF committee for disciplinary actions gathers every Tuesday!

    Lie no 2
    Madrid claims that after the end of the match there were agressions and insults in the tunnels.

    ITs a lie well simply because everybody stuff+players were out on the field celebrating!

    Seriously they have become so PATHETIC they’re probably going to loose against Pathetico (Atletico) this year!

  25. Xingxian
    August 23, 2011

    On the comparison of the Marcelo tackle on Fabregas to ‘Eduardo’:
    I briefly tried using google and wikipedia for FC Barcelona and ‘Eduardo’. Who are we talking about exactly?

    • jordi™
      August 23, 2011

      Eduardo da Silva when he was at arsenal.Its a terrible break though so be warned.

      • Dani_el
        August 23, 2011

        I’ve seen it, that’s just awful, I don’t have words to describe it, I remembered Ujfalusi hitting Messi, if he would have put his weight in that anckle, well…

        I hope the RFFE finds harder ways to punish and discourage this kinds of fouls.

  26. Whatever
    August 23, 2011

    Draw on Friday. Can’t wait to see who we draw.

    • August 23, 2011

      Hopefully Udinense. Because, uh, northern Italy is beatiful in the fall.

      Yeah, that’s why.

  27. messifan
    August 23, 2011

    Pique is out for three weeks!!! I’m secretly wishing for the strike to continue. Hopefully, Pep will play Fontas; he needs some more playing experience.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      August 23, 2011

      yes, horrible news.
      and dr. Cugat also said Puyi will be back in 3 weeks.

      now let’s hope no more injury in our backline.

  28. Dani_el
    August 23, 2011

    I read this from Marti Perarnau’s blog, an excellent catalan journalist;
    Cesc: “En el Arsenal me movía con total libertad; aquí hay mucha más disciplina táctica y todas las posiciones tienen especificados los movimientos que deben hacer. Debo aprender todo esto para no correr como un pollo sin cabeza. Sobre todo, debo mejorar la concentración para no cometer errores defensivos”.
    “In arsenal I moved with total freedom; here there’s much more tactical discipline and all positions have specific movements that have to be done. I must learn all of this to keep me from running as a headless chicken. Above all, I must improve my concentration to keep me from making defensive mistakes”. (sorry for any mistakes translating)

    It looks like Cesc has been reading some of Kxevin’s reviews. He really seems comfortable with the concepts.

  29. Miguel
    January 5, 2012

    I watched it last night. I get it now.

    Wow.

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