Post Game Ranting Thread

For some reason, the comments section for the last post isn’t working. So here’s a new one to rant in. One thing I will say:

September is our January, except slightly worse. New formations, internationals, rustiness, etc. This will pass, but not before we see some more frustrating results. We don’t suddenly become Barca of December in, well, September. Things take time.

But the worse thing for me was Iniesta’s hamstring injury which will see him out for 4 weeks. We’re 2 for 2 in the games to injury to the hamstring ratio. 😥

Hope he gets better soon. Like, faster than 4 weeks soon.

Also, PUYI!!!!

It's go time from now on. YES

And Ibi came on too. We lose Alexis and Iniesta, gain Ibi and Puyol. Can’t wait until we get all of them back!

And remember, visca el Barca!

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Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


    • September 13, 2011

      That’s because Jnice is owning some mofos on Twitter. For real.


    • ViscaCalifornia
      September 13, 2011

      I can’t stand it when we just play keep away, without an ardent effort to score. It’s the tiki-taka brand of anti-football, ultimately negative – even when attractive, and begets negative results. I absolutely trust that Pep will turn it around, but we are currently playing with leads like we did at the end of the Rijkaard era, without proper intent. If we could somehow always play as though we were a goal down, like we did until we took the lead… After el Guaje curled that beautiful set piece in, we looked satisfied… then Iniesta goes out, then we just want to possess the ball for the rest of the match, leading to an unfortunate, albeit just result.

      • Jim
        September 13, 2011

        Not sure in what sense it was “just”. Still . . .

      • Puppet
        September 13, 2011

        I disagree. I don’t think we were so much satisfied with a 2-1 lead as much as held by an excellent defense. We could have done better, I suppose, but I don’t think we were just playing keep-away. The intent was there, but we couldn’t execute.

        Hope the best for Iniesta. That’s a big blow.

  1. slynn71
    September 13, 2011

    I’m still at o.O

    I’m not ready to talk about it yet. lol

  2. Whatever
    September 13, 2011

    We played like crap. What bothers me the most are those misplaced passes (even Xavi!) which are obviously a result of heavy squad rotation. There’s no telepathy like before.

    Guardiola must figure something out soon.

    And I just hope that Iniesta isn’t seriously injured. I really hope so.

  3. September 13, 2011

    Not too worried here. The Iniesta injury is distressing, but we have Puyol coming back and Fabregas/Keita to replace him temporarily.

    The result itself isn’t terrible, and I still think we win the group handily. Heading to the San Siro in our late fall form bodes well for us, I think.

  4. BarcaGirl_Indo
    September 13, 2011

    I got my prediction right..
    it’s not the result that I wanted of course, but I don’t know, I could feel it..

    we gave away the lead for two games in a row..
    you can’t be a champion with this attitude..disappointing from Barça..

    Milan defense were amazing though.. props to Allegri..

  5. messifan
    September 13, 2011

    I was a nervous wreck. Fudge!!!! Well hopefully Pique will be back soon and Abidal is ok. At least we’ll soon have a proper defense that won’t give up ridiculous goals. OMG!!! so frustrated right now 🙁 Here’s to hoping that Iniesta will be ok. Now I’m off to crying some more 🙁

  6. Whatever
    September 13, 2011

    It has been confirmed that Andrés Iniesta has a hamstring injury to his left leg. He is expected to be out of action for 4 weeks. #fcblive


  7. Xingxian
    September 13, 2011

    I read about Iniesta’s hamstring. And then I hurt my voice yelling one, loud, long f-bomb.

  8. jordi™
    September 13, 2011

    Hi fate, the results are shit enough, no need to add injuries to the mix.


  9. messifan
    September 13, 2011

    One other note: I’m not as upset about this result as I was from last week. I’m confident that we’ll progress to the next round. Last weekend’s result is annoying because RM won’t drop points that easily. I just hate our defense right now!

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      September 13, 2011

      it’s not about the result.
      it’s about the performance and the attitude that hurt culés heart.

      and the injuries, God.

  10. EvaDaniu
    September 13, 2011

    I am starting to think it’s all my fault.
    Every sportsman (or team) I support lost in this week( BARCA,Federer ,Nadal, BARCA)
    ok, then Barca haven’t lost but it’s kind felt the same.

    • EvaDaniu
      September 13, 2011

      The most hurtful was Federer’s loss though.

      • The__K__Man
        September 13, 2011

        You root for Federer AND Nadal? That’s like rooting for Barça and EE.

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          September 13, 2011

          I root for Federer AND Djokovic (second choice after Fed).

          that’s not a sin, is it?

  11. Triplo Volanti (formerly Cesc Pistol)
    September 13, 2011

    Maybe I’m just jumping the gun but this team reminds me of the 06/07 one and we all know how that ended. It’s time to start preparing yourself for the end of an era because if it isn’t this season it will be very soon. I just hope it doesn’t start before Mourinho leaves.

    Also, I think it might be my stream but that sounded like a pretty lousy atmosphere for a big European game. It seems to have gotten worse after Rosell (as if the atmosphere wasn’t bad enough during laporta..)

    • September 13, 2011

      Maybe I’m just jumping the gun but this team reminds me of the 06/07 one

      Let’s wait until January until we bring that season up…

  12. Humphrey Bogart
    September 13, 2011

    I can not believe how we come from Wembley to that, It is the last days of Rijkaard all over again. We develop more and more stuid ways to throw games away

  13. Kimcelona
    September 13, 2011

    I would say “I told you so” but I never actually said anything

    I am pissed but this should be a lesson to people predicting manitas and audatious scorelines. This Milan is one which will defend for their lives and then squeeze out goals where possible. As seen today. Once I saw Busi at CB, I knew it wouldnt end well. I trust Pep but there’s somethings I will never stop questioning with him and Busi at CB is one of them.

    On top of our poor form in the past couple matches, we’ve been hit over the head once again with more injury woes! Iniesta is out for 4 weeks.


    Well played to Milan though. They had a gameplan and they stuck to it. We should start being more ruthless, especially when we know our backline is makeshift.

    And please, I’m too angry to hear about what happened in years past. That’s years past for Christs sake! This is this year!

  14. Olufestus
    September 13, 2011

    **huh**…the football gods are angry,we need to make an atonement….LEXUS9–THEN GHOSTFACE…WHO’S NEXT ONLINE???

  15. Whatever
    September 13, 2011

    And yeah, the atmosphere at the Camp Nou seemed very “dead”. You could hear individuals shouting, Allegri yelling at his players, which is not something that happens if the crowd is up to their usual standard.


    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      September 13, 2011

      yes, and I can hear Milan’s chants very clearly..
      80.000++ culés and you can hear the coaches and milanisti chants?

      a very “dead” atmosphere.

  16. Kimcelona
    September 13, 2011

    I feel like now, in the state that we’re palying in, teams can just come play for the first 5 mins, sit back and then play again in the last 10 mins, including stoppage time and STILL get a result. WTF?


  17. Lev
    September 13, 2011

    Wow. For us to dominate and create so many opportunities against a top Italian team that basically defended with never less than 8 players you guys are very negative about our performance.

    I don’t understand why Pep insists on using Busi at CB when he could have paired Masch and Abi with Adriano as a LB and Busi at DM (although Keita played well imo).

    Xavi was awesome as was Abidal and Messi wasn’t too shabby either. Villa played horribly in the first half, less so in the 2nd.

    We are officially horrible at defending corners – I think the only two shots I counted from Milan in the 2nd half were both headers from corners.

    Hope Abidal is not injured. It was really nice to see Puyol back, although he looked quite rusty.

    Visca Barça!

    • ElJefe
      September 14, 2011

      Agreed, I just don’t get Busi at CB vs. Masherano. Perhaps Guardiola is playing against bigger players but Pato not that big and Cassano a chipmunk. I would say Busi directly responsible for parts of both goals.

      On a more positive note, I’m fairly confident Abidal could play striker and attacking midfield after watching this game. He is a legend.

  18. September 13, 2011

    Wondering what people will do and say during Hlebruary, or January where we might possibly be for real Hlebbed. Hlebageddon, anyone?

  19. September 13, 2011

    Well, anyway, this post is meant for people to rant, get their frustrations out, etc.

    Then we’ll meet back in the review to discuss reality.

  20. Dani_el
    September 13, 2011

    We entered the game with a disadvantage with the stubborness of keep playing Keita as DM in a tough match like this one. This is not about his defensive skills, that I think are more than Ok, this is about our team losing a pretty important player on the build up, Busi might be the most underrated mediatic player in Spain, and I don´t think without him Spain or Barça would have won so many titles. (The euro was won with Senna, though Spain with Busi plays much better football) And specially about putting a really slow player for centerback, if Abidal and Mascherano (he was out of position on the first goal), would have been there, maybe Pato wouldnt have had the chance to score.
    I think Pep will eventually be right about Keita, maybe he will eventually learn (still I dont think he will be as Busi). But this wasnt a match to prove that point. As Xavi said, we need to start winning again, and Pep must stop doing experiments in really tough matches. And let’s kill the game next time! it’s useless to circulate the ball without a purpose. Messi as always was MOTM I believe. And what happened to Pedro and Villa, they scored both goals, but they arent playing at their usual level. Still, in Pep we trust.

    • ElJefe
      September 14, 2011

      Agree again! Euler better help the universe make sense for me here. Busi is beautiful in the build-up and Keita kills our flow in my opinion so only favor him when we’re up a goal or playing for a draw.

  21. IamXavi6
    September 13, 2011

    No true Barca fan has a right to complain here. Guys, THIS IS FOOTBALL.

    Look at the stats for a second…We ABSOLUTELY dominated a multi CL winner….

    ok, yes, we drew…. in a GROUP stage competition…would you rather us peak now, a whopping 2 weeks into our gruelling 2012 season, or slowly build up momentum and grind out results etc.

    One thing that I never seem to come to terms with is the Cule always going from one extreme to the other in terms of elation and pesimistic doom and gloom. Even after 21 years of support this STILL gets me haha!

    Guys.. lets be real for a second.

    Also…This team has done nothing but give you all joy for upteem amount of years. Even if we win NOTHING this season, I personally couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved and done in modern times.

    By all means, demand wins, perfection and aim high. But, a little bit of reality now and then please as well.

    As you were.

    • Xingxian
      September 13, 2011

      No true Barca fan has the right to complain about the players getting injured?
      When someone defending colors close to my heart gets physically hurt (and possibly psychologically, athletes can get weird when injured), I’m not going to be nonchalant. I can be thankful it wasn’t worse while still feeling unhappiness that it happened.

      Injuries suck.

      • IamXavi6
        September 13, 2011

        Injuries suck yes, but this is football. We have been blessed in recent times with a clean bill of healh…arguably THIS is the key to winning multi leagues and CL final’s appearences.

        Complain and bemoan injuries sure, all you want. Not sure how far it will get you though.

        As you said, glad it’s a ‘minor’ one and not on the eve of say, a CL final or a Classico.

        • Ryan
          September 13, 2011

          To be fair, this is a “post game ranting thread.”

        • Xingxian
          September 13, 2011

          “Complain and bemoan injuries sure, all you want. Not sure how far it will get you though.”
          It’ll get me just as far as pretending something is not a problem with something I care about, when it is a problem and I want to express my unhappiness. Can we achieve all of our goals with an injured Iniesta? I think so. Will it be harder? I think so.

          Game utility aside, the fact is that while players come and go, right now Iniesta plays for us, I have some emotional attachment to him while this is true (and possibly when he leaves), and watching players get hurt makes me unhappy. When Valencia’s ankle got smashed in the CL last season I was unhappy. Injuries suck.

  22. Yagami
    September 13, 2011

    Few quick opinions…

    Busquets is no Yaya Toure please Pep stop playing him CB.

    Keita I love the brother but he’s not a DM, I don’t think a starter in big Champion League games.

    Like some of you have noted this game reminded me of Rijkarrd’s final days all the possession and domination with no real threat at goal.

  23. Yagami
    September 13, 2011

    And Iniesta in my opinion is just as important as Messi with his runs and is key to unlock stubborn defenses and allows Messi to push forward and not drop deep.

    One can only hope this is his only injury this season.

  24. ciaran
    September 13, 2011

    A while back, Pep attempted to play Jeffren at right back and shortly afterwards he realised that it wasn’t going to work.

    On another occasion I remember we tried playing Sergio Busquets as a centre back and it failed miserably. Oh right.

    How slow did Busquets look on that Pato goal?

    • IamXavi6
      September 13, 2011

      Yeah, he looked every bit a player out of position. As I said in the past, often this can be hidden due to the sheer amount of possession we gather and keep that can cover up these sorts of exploits.

    • jnelson
      September 13, 2011

      And what happened late in the game when Busi and Masch let Pato run right between them at Valdes? wow

  25. September 13, 2011

    Okay, couple of things:

    — Calm. Down. No, really. Calm down.

    We’re not going to start the season perfectly. Do we have problems that we have to fix? For sure. Is it all hands on deck, we’re screwed for the rest of time? Well, no.

    That the Italian Champions are celebrating a ‘heroic’ draw against us like they won the CL should be a clear indication of just how much we dominated and how big the gap is.

    — We’re out of form. That is obvious. But I also think that Pep got his lineup wrong.

    Keita wasn’t bad, but I would have started Adriano at LB with Abidal in the center. Pato was invisible for the rest of the first half and in the second half. Why? Because Abidal was covering him while being assisted by Keita. We knew Pato was fast; that’s why Abi should have been marking him from the start. But anyway, learning experience.

    — This bears repeating: Keita wasn’t that bad. In fact, I would say he was one of the best players of the second half. The beginning of the game, he looked terribly lost, but the second half? Made interventions, hassled the players, did his job well. It’s easily to put the blame on Busi not being CB, not that I don’t think he shouldn’t have started there, and Keita not being DM, but we had a bigger problem.

    — If we have something like 70% possession, 10+ corners, and 15+ shots, the defense shouldn’t be the first to be blamed. We had chances; we didn’t put them away. Credit to Milan for that.

    — Villa. Scored a great goal, but the fact that he didn’t have a good first half shouldn’t be glossed over. I’m not trying to hate on him or whatever; just saying it like it is. He’ll improve as he usually does.

    — Messi. Unlikely not to score, but really, really should have shot in the second half. He knows it too.

    — This game was a test. We haven’t played a narrow team that defends deep since Inter Milan. Have we gotten better since then? Yep. I believe we have. Some great last ditch defending, plus sloppy passes and control, helped keep us at bay.

    We got more out of this match than people realize. With this result, more people will be copying this template Milan used. We’ve got time to sort out some kinks and be ready for November 23, the return leg.

    • Barcathegreatestever
      September 13, 2011

      A couple of things I see differently. First, all the possession you speak of in the last two games has not led to that many good scoring chances. After the first 10 minutes Sociedad settled down and defended their goal courageously. In addition putting blame on Pedro and Villa is not fair as they are playing very wide and are on the finishing end of buildup play and have had a hand full of half chances at best. What I believe is true, is that any given day it can be unbelievably hard to score (look at the work Messi did on his assist) and the forward players don’t get a millionth of the credit they deserve from fans.

      Second, the last 3 goals conceded were really weak in quality. Clearly Sergio has a weak vertical air game and not the body or quickness to stand up todays forwards at centerback. No offense Busi! you are fantastic at what you do. Pep had plenty of other options and frustration is completely understandable. Clearly the shock and awe strategy against Villareal comes with a price. Conceding weak goals will kill this campaign. Defense wins campaigns not manitas.

    • Was really Busquets at fault for that first goal. The more I see, I feel it was all Mascherano’s fault. He went in and tried to lunge on Pato. Busquets was well positioned till then but with Mascherano disappearing there was too much of space and Pato is like went like a rocket. Only Abidal could have caught him at that pace. For the last two match I definitely blame Pep for the sloppy display. He is rotating too much for my liking. Football is simple and the best eleven should start constantly till they hit the top form, then once we have fully regained the rhythm we can start rotating like hell. Pedro and Villa looks lost in the first half.

      The excuse that it’s done to keep players injury free and also not tired does not sound right to me. How tired you get at the start of the season? And for the starter please do away with the false 9 stuff for the time being. Get Villa as a CF and play with Messi on the right. One thing I realise last night that our players who are in the box are too reluctant to shoot. So it’s better Villa be there, eventhough he will be shooting wide or at a player.

  26. jnelson
    September 13, 2011

    I’m not too worried. This result was nowhere near as disappointing as the loss against Sociedad (yep, these days anything less than a win is a loss-> just look how other teams celebrate their draws with us). I’m just glad I missed the first goal; it sounds TERRIBLE. One thing I noticed is that Cesc seemed lazy today. On another note, he’s definitely more Iniesta than Xavi, because he didn’t dribble much at all today, once again. I would have preferred Thiago, but I’m sure playing 11 over 4 would have caused some flack. Maybe there was a penalty in the box once, but the time Messi was beating the ground in frustration was almost surely because he knew he should have shot it instead of trying to walk it into the net.

    We made them hide like cowards. During the middle 60, they couldn’t complete a pass to someone other than their keeper. Great stuff. Also, I think it is embarrassing when a team resorts to time wasting in minute no.2 out of 90. Just sayin…

  27. Jim
    September 13, 2011

    Sorry, but after two games in a row where we score two goals and can’t hold on for a win I’m not looking at the forward line. Again, we lost two bad goals entirely down to bad defending and not lack of pressing or anything else. Busi on both, Masch on the first and Abidal didn’t cover himself in glory either.

    However, the bottom line is that neither CB would be playing there if we had our first choices available so I’m not too worried atm.

    • September 13, 2011

      True. Not saying defense shouldn’t have share of the blame, just don’t think they should be the automatic target when things don’t go as planned. Honestly, we could have put this game out of sight during that blitz after Villa’s goal. But yeah, we should be able to defend one last corner and not concede. Terrible.

      Anyway, we should have both Iniesta and Alexis back for the second leg. Looking forward to that.

      • IamXavi6
        September 13, 2011

        Also, I’ll give Milan some credit.

        They exploited what most of us already know. Barca are often a bit vunerable during the first 10 or so mins until we “settle in”, and our set piece defending WILL ALWAYS cause us issues.

        All the English teams know this and play accordingly…fair play to Milan as well for doing so..

        Still doesn’t hide the fact that the game should’ve been put to bed a long time before that happened.

  28. IamXavi6
    September 13, 2011

    I also think we need to realise being “top dog” we have to accept how other teams will play. It’s amazing teams celebrate draws or ‘narrow’ losses to us like some sort of Amazing World Cup win but that’s the benifits/and negatives of being #1.

    Also every media and other teams fans will scrutinise and scrutinise and look for ANY sign of ‘things going/gone wrong’

    Some people just WISH for us to fall over…haters gonna hate etc to cover up their own jealously that they wish their team and players could play like we do/have.

    Ok…should probably do some work now…!

  29. BarcaGirl_Indo
    September 13, 2011

    it is so obvious for the cules around the world, even for non fans, that Busquets is not the best option for CB.
    by playing Busi as CB and Keita as DM, we basically got weaken in TWO positions.

    I love you, Pep. I admire you, Pep. but for the love of Blaugrana, we have one of the best DM in the world, a World Cup winner, don’t waste Busquets’s talent.

    and why don’t we wait for the next few months before we start screaming “this is the end of an era” thing?

  30. messifan
    September 13, 2011

    The next game will be very crucial to the team. They MUST win.

  31. SoccerMom
    September 13, 2011

    I think that some of the upset may come from a lot of culés thinking that after a draw with Real Sociedad that Barcelona was somehow ‘destined’ to win this match 186-0. Everyone was going to be so psyched and so determined and play so perfectly that there was just no way — it would be illogical, it would be treasonous to think anything but — 186-0. Maybe 186-2. So we got it half-right.

    Especially after signing Alexis and Cesc. Previous signings have been, well, pretty good, like Ibi. And promotions have been pretty impressive. Like Thiago. But Alexis and Cesc haven’t just ‘fit in’. They haven’t just ‘adapted well’. They have opened up possibilities and strengthened weaknesses and made people like Messi very happy and all of a sudden instead of a starting XI we had a starting XIII or XIV or XMCILVIII (I don’t like when numbers start mixing it up with letters).

    So all of a sudden winning as much as last season wasn’t just a possiblity. Or a foregone conclusion. It became, very quickly, a moral imperative.

    That’s magical thinking. It has no basis in reality. It was always a fantasy built up to help everyone recover emotionally from the gutwrenching grind of last season’s end, the choppy preseason and watching Barcelona draw and — gasp! — Madrid win in this season’s opener. “NOW we are going to REALLY win (not like that fluke RM got). And in CHAMPIONS (not little La Liga). Against MILAN (not Dinamo).”

    If we had won, if Messi had taken that shot a half-step earlier or if Xavi had put a little more spin on it or if … if … if … Then would you have felt happy? Really happy, like “Gosh, that was a fun game, it had ups and downs and it was great to see a Champions match again”? Or would you feel just … relieved? Like “Phew, after 90 minutes I was concerned that we were going to lose and not only this match but maybe this group or this trophy and then the league too and it will be all over and Pep will quit and Xavi and Iniesta will break up and Messi will go play for Newell’s after all.”

    I didn’t see anybody giving up and just trying to kill time with keep-away at any point, really. I saw a bunch of guys trying to figure out how to break through a busload of Milan defenders since minute, oh, I guess that would be 2. That has always been Barcelona’s special challenge. The early-push-and-later-parkage is a good tactic for Barcelona opponents. I’ve stopped lamenting it, shaking my fist at it, wagging my finger at it, and embraced it. How will our guys break on through to the other side? It becomes interesting, for me, to watch the tiki-taka: here, there, anywhere, everywhere. That’s not keep-away or being satisfied. It’s trying to deal with the challenge at hand.

    And Milan did a good job. They did! They didn’t play as physically as I expected, or in any case not necessarily more than we did. Pato was always dangerous. Messi was wond’rously marked. They remained calm and alert when the front line started with those tricky little trickle passes through, rather than stare at all the little men chasing a bouncy thing around their toes the way other defense lines do.

    Alexis would have been great. Iniesta would have been a help. But they’re not there. Think they feel good about it? Think anyone is giving anyone else high-fives in the lockerroom this afternoon? Who feels worse, them or you? I mean, unless you have a pop star or top model or independently wealthy divorcée at home waiting to make you feel better. Okay, maybe they feel a little better than you.

    I don’t like love my team right or wrong, good or bad. When they play good, good and when they play bad, bad. They played pretty good. They got a pretty good result against a pretty good team in a pretty good competition. What’s the point, otherwise?

    • IamXavi6
      September 13, 2011

      In latest rumours…Messi to Newell’s has been confirmed… 😀

      imagine… 😛

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 13, 2011

      Absolutely SoccerMom. I loved the game. I loved the performance of all the Barca players, and they all played their parts beautifully. Barca had a very good game. It was a fantastic European game. But tactically Barca need one more player like Alexis who can play wide. Actually they have Messi who can play wide, but he has gotten used to playing the false 9. With Cesc in the team, hopefully he can do that. I see him do it sometimes, but he tends to drift into the middle a lot.

      Here is a short analysis of where Barca tactically played into Milan’s hands, which directly resulted in a low scoring matches.

      Villa was out on the right trying to provide width, he was hugging the right side of the field. Watch minute 4:04 of the match as an example. But then watch 5:20. Villa has pinched in, Barca became narrow on the right. He should have stayed on the right dragging a defender with him, allowing the pitch to get wider. But he let Milan keep their compact shape by pinching in.

      And on the left, Pedro was pinching in. Because if he moved further left into the open space, he would have dragged a defender with him which would have opened some space in the middle. This is where I missed Alexis Sanchez. Watch minute 4:17. Pedro is hugging the left hand side. This is what Pedro could have done better. 4:51 he receives the ball from Xavi, and instead of going wide, and taking a defender with him, he runs towards the goal into the defence – Abate. Narrowing the pitch down for Barca. He did this all match.

      This is where tactically Barca lost the game. It was not because Busquets could not match up to Pato. Those things happen in matches. Barca played into the Milan compact formation.

      Now regarding Milan, what did should one expect Milan to do without the ball. Attack? They obviously had to defend, which any reasonable team in the world would do against Barca.

      The sad part is the injury to Iniesta. Hopefully Abidal is doing well.

      • Do you really think a winger on the left would have solved the issue today. I eam AC Milan has been so well organised with a narrow two layer of four man defense. A winger would ideally looks good with a defense which could be dragged wide, I don’t think it would have worked with AC Milan. May be I am wrong.

        • ElJefe
          September 14, 2011

          I think Adriano could have added alot of value on the other wing to open up the field.

    • Kimcelona
      September 13, 2011

      I can’t speak for everybody but I wasnt pissed because I expected the team to win after the disappointing draw on Sat. I knew it would be hard because I know Milan and what they are capable of. I’m pissed at the defense selection and the way in which we drew…at the Camp Nou. The two goals were extremely fortunate for Milan and could have been prevented with better defending(in hindsight ofcourse) and the attack should have put away their chances but it wasnt to be.

      Football is unfair at times and thats why I’m pissed, as well as the fact that Don Andres is out for 4 weeks joining Alexis on the injury list 🙁

    • blitzen
      September 13, 2011

      I love you, SoMa.


    • Xingxian
      September 13, 2011

      I’m still grieving over Iniesta’s hamstring though 😛

      • Xingxian
        September 13, 2011

        That is not the intended smiley, I don’t know what happened.

    • chaospheory
      September 14, 2011

      Some good perspective there, SoccerMom.
      I realize that the main mission in professional futbol is to win, but I can’t help but feel that Pep is trying to build an overall strong team through the “sink-or-swim” method.

      Given that he’s not stupid, and sees players’ deficiencies as well as others do, his use of a “makeshift” back line, to my thinking, is consistent with the fact that NO new defenders were brought in from outside this past silly season. When are Busi, Masch and Keita going to perfect their new roles? During practice??? Would it be better if they were to learn early in the season, when our offense is more solid? Or later in the season, when the team is more fatigued? Perhaps if we adjusted our point of view of this team and thought of it as “rebuilding” rather than “resuming”.

      I saw our offense work hard, and reject the “anti footbal/keep away” label. I am reassured that, even with the injuries we have accrued this early in the season, we have players who we may confidently play in those positions. We have earned 2 draws, not losses, so it’s not the end of the world, for sure. So I’m going to be a Pollyanna and say: In Pep we trust.

  32. mom4
    September 13, 2011

    Guys, I got home from my kid’s game and watched the DVR. Yes, I know this is a rant thread, but a little perspective, please!

    Some points:

    1. We played rather well.

    2. They defended very well.

    3. Despite the fact that they defended well, we got a few great chances and 2 goals.

    4. The 1st goal was a surprise. We should never expect Busi to be able to keep up with Pato. We shut Pato down most of the rest of the match.

    5. Villa got a golazo. Half the battle with forwards is keeping their confidence high. This(+ the 2 international goals last week) is great news. Pedro scored; yet another forward gets some confidence.

    6. Posts were flying fast and furious about it being the end of an era when we lost at the Emirates last year. Let’s not jump the gun.

    7. International breaks suck. They suck especially badly for us. Some of our guys have played 360 minutes of football in less than 2 weeks.

    8. Puyi and 3m are back!

    9. At least it’s 4 weeks for Iniesta and not the 2 months that Alexis got. Had to work hard to find any positive in this particular situation.

    10. Messi was fun to watch tonight.

    11. We should spend the next 4 practices doing nothing but working on DEFENDING CORNERS!

    12. I was encouraged by the improvements made to our play tonight as compared to the Sociedad game.

    Love this team. Rag on them when they perform badly as on Saturday. But extend a little grace to them for good performances against good defenders like tonight. Still, love the team and keep the faith!

    Finally, a shameless brag. Both my kids won today, yay!

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      September 13, 2011

      yeay, congrats for your kids, mom4! 😀

      like I said before, it’s always good to have two wise moms to calm us down…

  33. Diego
    September 13, 2011

    Stop Criticizing Keita, He may not be the smoothest of Passers but He does very well. Everytime we or Granada concedes, It’s Keita to blame. We got so used to Busi in DM that we forgot that we had a YaYa DM before who was very much like Keita.

    Masch is a full time CB now, Thiago,Cesc,Iniesta,Xavi share 2 spots, Keita will be 5th Option so Pep is making him 2nd option DM. I’m Okay with that.

    What I’m not Okay with is Busi at CB, Too Slow, when we say Pique or Fontas are slow, They’re much faster than Busi, Pique keeps up with TB.

    -This Draw is summarized in 3 points :

    -Need better Finishing.
    -Better Set Piece defending.
    -No Busi at CB.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      September 13, 2011

      I don’t mind to see Keita as a DM, IF Busquets is injured or really need a rest..
      Keita’s pretty decent at it..he doesnt deserve all the blame and critics..

      but to see Busquets is on the field, not as a DM is irritating and frustating me, tbqh.. he’s an exceptional DM and we were wasting his talent..

      • Dani_el
        September 13, 2011

        “but to see Busquets is on the field, not as a DM is irritating and frustating me, tbqh.. he’s an exceptional DM and we were wasting his talent..”
        I completely agree with this!

    • Jnice
      September 13, 2011

      We got so used to Busi in DM that we forgot that we had a YaYa DM before who was very much like Keita.

      I haven’t even mentioned Keita today and thought he did well, but that’s not true at all.

      For starters, Keita is WAY more conservative than Yaya when in possession of the ball. Yaya had no problem playing an incisive ball when pressured or taking a player on when needed. I’ll leave it at that though. I don’t feel like going into more detail.

  34. BarcaGirl_Indo
    September 13, 2011

    Iniesta’s injury really suck, but that happens in football, if we looked back to the summer, people said “Cesc will rot on the bench, we don’t need him.. unless Xavi/Iniesta got injured”

    and now Iniesta is injured, this is the time for Cesc to get playing times, getting more adapted, and proof his worth.

    and let’s hope his legs can hold it. it surprises me that at least until now, Alexis got injured more than Cesc..

  35. BarcaRoja
    September 13, 2011

    Wow. Just Wow. This was not a good way to start my day. I woke up at 2:30 AM on my side of the world only to have my heart crushed. Never really got to sleep again after that.

    I need a hug. Looks like I’ll be unproductive today…

    But seriously, I wasn’t worried about the Pato goal at 24sec, i knew it would take about 10 mins for the team to get into their rhythm anyway. Now i have to worry about the last 10 mins of the game as well?! I think I’m more disappointed about how the game panned out with a lucky goal from T.Silva, because we were quite good in the middle of the match with lots of chances. I guess I don’t mind the draw (holds breath) since all 4 teams in the group have a point each, what i hate though are the injuries.


    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      September 13, 2011

      I woke up at 2:30 AM on my side of the world only to have my heart crushed.

      where are you? the game was laso at 02.45 AM in my place.
      I woke up since 02:00 AM and didn’t sleep until now, must go to work on a raining and cold morning. 😀

      • IamXavi6
        September 13, 2011

        I woke up at 4am to watch it in my part of the world. Thank goodness I’ll be living in Barcelona next year!

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          September 13, 2011

          you’ll be living in barcelona? how lucky! 😯

          for study or work or … ?

          • IamXavi6
            September 13, 2011


            Fell in love with the City when I visited way back. Now have decided to do a big sea change and move with my fiance to Barcelona to live next year…all sorted, just savings now will dictate when in 2012…more than likely July.

      • BarcaRoja
        September 13, 2011

        Hi BarcaGirl_Indo! I’m from Manila.. match was scheduled to air at 2:30am but actually started at 2:40am. Didn’t get to sleep again because I usually wake up at 4:30 to perform my motherly duties and bring my kid to school 🙂

        Now I’m a zombie at work! 🙂

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          September 13, 2011

          oh, you are a mother from Philippines!

          zombie at work? ha, tell me about it.
          the worse “zombie mode” I ever had was when we lost against Arsenal. it was one of the worst day ever for me.

          I’ll give you a big hug then.
          calm down, everything’s gonna be alright. 🙂

          at least I hope so

        • Barcaleya
          September 13, 2011

          Hi BarcaRoja! Welcome to the blog!

          I’m from Manila but living in New York. We might actually know each other 😀

          I spent many, many years watching games at 2:30am and being a zombie at work while I was still there. Crap results today but don’t worry – we’ll get better.

          • BarcaRoja
            September 14, 2011

            Thanks for he warm welcome!

            I’ve been reading BFB for quite some time, but I rarely comment. I read & sometimes comment on TB as well, but lately it’s been flooded by too much name calling, trolls & negativity. BFB has been my refuge, it has a more positive overall vibe.

            Yeah we do might actually know each other 🙂 were you from the northern or southern part of Manila?

            I know we’ll get better, still and forever keepin’ the faith!

          • Barcaleya
            September 14, 2011

            I’m from the North 😀

            Stay here. It’s a great blog with wonderful people.

            Will leave you a message soon so you can leave me a message in my blog and get in touch. We might even get to watch a game when I go home to Manila.

            Have to go to sleep. Take care! Visca Barca!

        • September 14, 2011

          Late welcome barçaroja! I just love Filipinos…my best friend is a filipina and i’ve been to the Phil couplev times. Love your country and the people.
          Now I see there were a lot of zombie culés today… I went to class with a screaming headache this mornin and was floatin for most of the day. We’re in the same time zone but I’m up north (Siberia/n.china) 🙂

          Anyway, I’m still calm. I had a nagging feeling bout that late goal last night, and it did happen. Oh well, we’ll get it right soon. Jia you!

  36. September 13, 2011

    So, here’s what happened:

    –Fabregas is cursed.
    –LeBron James dusted the club with failure dust (I warned everyone about this).

    I haven’t watched the match in-depth, so don’t be expectin’ no stinkin’ review from me, but Milan were a more difficult club for us withOUT Ibrahimovic. If he and Robinho starts, Pato probably doesn’t, right? And Serie A teams can defend. And that opening play for the goal was magnificent. Damn, Pato is fast.

    I’ll quibble with BarcaRoja and say that Silva goal wasn’t lucky. Dude skied all Puyol-like and slammed that baby home. But you can’t give people free headers and expect them to miss them. Not in European play. I’d rather have this draw than the Sociedad one. We’ll still come out of the group just fine.

    The injuries suck, but those are part of the game, as well. Hamstrings are brutal, because it’s such an important muscle, and such a difficult one to heal properly. I’d give Sanchez and Iniesta all the time they need. It does sound like Sanchez would have been the answer today. Pace and width are what you need to break bunkers. But not today. I hope noobdy’s too worried. Anybody who is, should visit The Offside and read some of the threads and posts from the two trophyless seasons for some perspective. It’s a game. We’ve been the best at it for a while now. Stuff happens.

    P.S.: What SoMa said. Times two. With special sauce.

  37. Víctor
    September 13, 2011

    Not the expected result, but then again… it was AC Milan. I think that many underestimate that team. Sure, their squad doesn’t seem that impressive (lots of veternans), but they are the champions of Italy and their coach is a good coach.

    Did Barcelona deserve to win? Yes and… no. Sure, we played better than them, but then again… you can’t just relax at the end of a game… specially against big teams like AC Milan, they don’t forgive those chances.

    Worst thing? Iniesta’s injury. Other than that, the draw isn’t so bad.

  38. September 13, 2011

    And is anybody not sorry that we didn’t buy back Botia? I was thinking about that the other day, and even more today.

    • BarcaRoja
      September 13, 2011

      I think i drank some of the bitter koolaid when in commented about the Silva header… maybe i just miss Pique (and his height) when defending from corners. It’s quite amusing to see him soar that high while most of our players lifted off at the same height. Everything was quite a blur from that moment when the ball was in transit from the corner.

      And I agree with you about Botia… I actually expected them to sign him. Because it was an obvious choice, and the best choice at that time — skills & financial wise.

  39. can_we_go_Xalvies
    September 13, 2011

    “My Rant”

    -I’ve seen Botia play last season, definitely not ready to play for Barca first team squad and starting in a CL opener? 100% NO!

    -Busi at CB and Keita at DM is not that bad, infact throughout the game Busi usually pushed up into midfield and Keita shifted back into defence while we were attacking. We didn’t really lose out in the build up but unfortunately the opening goal will always shadow that fact.

    -The idea that Abidal should of played CB may have been a better choice.

    -Some positives: Alves, our long range shooting, Milan’s GK pulled off some amazing saves. Abidal’s BOSS forward runs

    -Fabregas was really good for our ball circulation but I think we lacked those direct dribbles from Iniesta.

    -We surely miss Pique and his height.

    -We lacked cohesion and form. Probably due to the international break and the numerous players coming back from injury.

    -Villa and Pedro didn’t do much wrong, for the many fans that were complaining about Villa always being offside. He actually wasn’t offside as much as he usually has, yet there is always things fans will find what Villa lacks in.

    -Messi’s assist was amazing! really rare to see him do something like that this early in the season, he is on like king kong baby!

  40. jmiddy05
    September 13, 2011

    sorry…this may have previously been mentioned (and a little off topic too) but does anyone know of a twitter account like “barcastuff” that is now going around posting similar/frequent posts?

    thanks in advance

  41. September 13, 2011

    Some of the people comparing these two draws to the 06/07 era makes me wonder if they watched the team during that era. This is nothing close to what happened back then. First off, the decline did not happen at first, but rather towards the end. And a draw against Milan, the Italian champions. Getting a draw against them after dominating the game is bad luck. Not the end of an era. Not that it would upset me if it was 😉

    At the fear of trying to analyze the enemy, here is what i think has been going wrong.

    1) Unlucky. Not mostly with the results, but mostly with the injuries. But then again, how important does the Cesc purchase seem right now?

    2) I know i will get a bit of a back handed slap from you lot, but here goes nothing. It was a trend in these two games that the team gets into the lead and then basically try and hold on to the ball to kill the game. While there were 22 shots, they were not really clear cut opportunities or real initiative to kill the game off (more about the La Real game than the Milan game).

    I know it is probably a way to avoid putting a load off of the defense, but the with the superior players you guys have, i would suppose there should be more positive possession and less keep away possession.

    3) with Pique out, i would imagine having some defensive frailties “ok”. Imagine had Milan not had Nesta this game.

    • September 13, 2011

      As for Kxevin and the Botia issue. I would argue that aerially, he would have made a difference, but speed wise, i don’t think he is much of an upgrade on Busi. But then again, i don’t rate Botia that highly.

    • September 13, 2011

      Lord, I hope nobody’s comparing these two draws to the end of the Rijkaard era. My point is simply that …. well …. it’s been a lot worse. Fact is, a win and two draws isn’t a bad way to start a season after a very, very messy off season. Neither draw does any real damage. The only expensive part about them were the injuries sustained.

      And yes, we play defense with possession, because look what happens when we don’t, right?

      Botia’a a solid defender with height. I’d rather have him back there than Busquets, frankly. No knock against Busquets, it’s just the reason you don’t call a plumber to do electrical work.

      • September 13, 2011

        Read a little bit up, you will see the comparison. Really took me off guard.

        I think having Botia in the defense rather than Busi goes more into the fact that Busi is just that important to the way Barcelona play and for the defense. But puyol is back, so lets see how is post injury Puyol. That is something that really interests me. I suspect a lack of pace might be a problem.

        As for the possession for defense: Yes, without the ball it would be worse, but that’s not particularly what I (and Phil Ball in his latest piece) were calling for. Obviously no one expect Barcelona to just give them the ball. It is more of: Do you keep the ball to defend with it or do you keep the ball to attack with it. These two games are not an indication what so ever of the style of play that Barcelona play, as the usual is possession to attack, not possession to just kill of games. Especially very early on in the game (ala La Real game).

        Anyways, you lot lost the first game last year. And if my memory serves me right, dropped 5 points in the 6 trophy winning season. I wouldn’t pay it much attention, you are having a better start than last year 😉

  42. jordi™
    September 13, 2011

    Just watching again and wondering why Dani didnt go outside Zambrotta once? Going wide to come back narrow is bizarre.Adriano for example would have blown past Zambrotta and got in a low cross or two.Milan were really well organised but we had a hand in it, letting them get reset every time a player made a dribble and recycled the ball backwards.Sometimes you just have to get the ball in low and hope for some chaos in the box.As well as they defended, if we were at our best they wouldnt have kept up. Take nesta’s recovery tackle on Messi.If Leo shoots early then Nesta doesnt get the chance.

    The result is a strange one, normally we get caught napping away from home but its the first time in a while since it happened at home in Europe against a big team.Im thinking not since Lampard chipped Valdes from the horizontal goal line or maybe when Liverpool beat us? The early goal probably conditioned the game because the players were afraid to lose the ball and expose the back line again.

    We’ll still probably win the group but if I’m honest I’d rather be runner up with no more injuries than risk the squad racking up more because our players were in some kind of redemption campaign

    • Jnice
      September 13, 2011

      Just watching again and wondering why Dani didnt go outside Zambrotta once?

      That’s what I was saying in the LB. Zambrotta was begging for Dani to blow past him. It doesn’t make sense to me.

  43. Jnice
    September 13, 2011

    I really don’t think people understand what it is I and others are actually disappointed with. It’s not that hard to figure out. All the “a draw isn’t the end of the world” statements are true, but that’s not what it’s about. I’m sorry I can’t just say ” it’s okay we gave up a goal in the 93rd minute, we were unlucky :)” That’s not how I roll.

    When you analyze a match and realize that all your team had to do was mark the best jumper and header (on the pitch) effectively, it tends to be frustrating. Especially when it’s basically the last play of the match. Especially with your captain out there. At least for me, anyway.

    But I’ll leave it at that.

    • jordi™
      September 13, 2011

      Last minute equalizers are a kick in the teeth aren’t they? I feel like if abidal didn’t get that knock he would not have conceded the corner.Still we should be able to defend a last minute corner kick and its not even that pique wasnt there because its happened even with him.Ironically we hardly conceded from corners that year we had both ibra and pique.

      • Jnice
        September 13, 2011

        I feel like if abidal didn’t get that knock he would not have conceded the corner

        Yep, that’s what I was thinking at the time, but I guess you never know.

  44. barca96
    September 13, 2011

    I didn’t watched the Real Sociedad match but our game vs. Milan was definitely satisfying.

    Only thing lacking were the goals. You gotta thank that to Abbiati and their MOtM Nesta!

    We did everything right except not scoring enough and stopping to pressurize them after the 70min mark or so.

    But I just gotta say like what I have been saying for the past 3 seasons, EE has a better comeback power than us. We tend to throw away leads a lot like Arsenal.

    • Ryan
      September 14, 2011

      I’m not too sure about that; I think we might just remember the EE comeback wins more clearly than the Barcelona ones. And for any dramatic example that EE may have, we’ll always have the Iniestazo at Stamford Bridge. 😀

  45. barca96
    September 13, 2011

    After Sanchez got injured I straight away thought of Bassam. Although he was using Cesc but it still related to Alexis as well. It is really a need to make an expensive signing like Cesc and Alexis. And now, Iniesta is injured. Imagine if Cesc wasn’t here.

    • IamXavi6
      September 14, 2011

      Yeah…we’d have to use…gasp…Thiago.


  46. Triplo Volanti (formerly Cesc Pistol)
    September 14, 2011

    Llega la peste, llega el madridista…

    I speak only for myself, but trust this that I remember every single day of that time very clearly. This is not like after Arsenal, losing is one thing the manner in which it is done quite another. The fact that we played well is not vindication of the fact that it is not similar rather it is support for that theory. We played well, we could not kill the game. We lacked the edge, the brutality of champions to finish the opponent. This act and mentality or the lack of it, unites not just the failures of Rijkaard’s Barca but of all teams who have put their faith in the philosophy since the very first time it was witnessed, the final of 1974. See that match and in it you will not only see the decline of Rijkaard’s era but also the Sociedad game and especially yesterdays draw. The excuse of wake up calls, the piling injuries, the inability to concentrate the 90, the coach who fails to see his mistakes.

    I pray that I’m wrong, I fear that I’m not. Let’s wait and see how we recover.

    • Ryan
      September 14, 2011

      So how do the two recent manitas vs. Villarreal and Napoli play into this narrative? We also drew in the CL group game against Inter a few seasons ago, and did pretty well that season.

  47. jmiddy05
    September 14, 2011

    posting this again as i’m desperate for an answer:

    sorry…this may have previously been mentioned (and a little off topic too) but does anyone know of a twitter account like “barcastuff” that is now going around posting similar/frequent posts?

    thanks in advance

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      September 14, 2011

      @culestuff @barcastuff1 @barcastuff_new @BarcaTheOffside @fcblive

  48. culegirl3
    September 14, 2011

    I’ve watched today’s game 3’s still painful and still makes me want to burst into tears. Pato’s 30 second opener was ridiculous, it shouldn’t have happened. I’m easily inclined to point fingers at our defense but it’s so pointless when Pep could have chosen a better back line like Alves-Mash-Abidal-Adriano. Can’t have everything though 🙁

    Here’s a little something to lift up the spirits of those are down about this game. Crackovia is back(yay!)

  49. BarcaGirl_Indo
    September 14, 2011

    I read at totalbarca comment section that last season we only conceded 3 goal from corner kicks? is that true?

    this season we already conceded 4 (3 EE, 1 Milan) from corner kicks.. horrible defensive setup..

  50. Gogah
    September 14, 2011

    absolutely disappointing performance.
    i know pep said that we’re crap without the ball.
    but for a championship team, should we be soo crap?
    i mean can’t we defend one corner late in the game.
    cant we take advantage of more than 11 corners we have had.
    every time its the same fucking routine.
    I love pep, but i just cant understand why he insists on playing
    biscuits in CB. he just sucks there. period.
    every time all u guys have thought he can play there are after matches where he has had nothing to do in that position. he is slow as shit. he left pato to breeze past him and later let thiago jump over him to head the ball. he is a bloody weakling to be commanding the center of defense in european games.
    sorry, jus damn pissed off.
    to top it all off, alexis and iniesta gone!
    F*&^% this shit!

  51. Gogah
    September 14, 2011

    not to mention fabregas being a complete non existent insect

  52. htMillBay
    September 14, 2011

    Sometimes the other team plays a good game.
    Barcelona is great because they triumph over great teams. AC is the Serie A champion. They know how to defend.
    They have athletes.
    I think we have the brainiest team in football probably by far but we’re not even in the top 10 when it comes to athleticism.
    Both the Pato goal and the Silva goal were marvels of pure athleticism. Speed and jumping ability.
    I doubt whether any of our defenders would have been able to stop Pato once he was through. Same for the second goal – a perfectly placed corner kick to the highest jumping, most physically powerful man on the pitch.

    Having said that, the Barcelona virtues that are often brought to bear to overcome the athletic disadvantages were not brought to bear enough. If Iniesta had been on the field the whole game that might have been worth an extra goal. Fabregas is a terrific player and will get even better but he was far below Don Andres level tonight. Maybe he had the big game nerves. Who knows? It’s all been roses for him so far, he was due for a bad game.

    I was most disappointed in Dani Alves’ game. This game was his for the taking and he was below his best. Sometimes maybe we depend on Messi too much for magic. Dani could have been the game breaker tonight but he wasn’t.

    I don’t think this particular Barca team has ever been scored upon in 23 seconds. That first goal set the tone for the whole match. Well, now the players know from experience never to let that happen again.

  53. y2k156
    September 14, 2011

    It is disappointing result, mainly because the equalizer came in so late.

    On positive side, the team played well even though Keita and Busi are obviously not comfortable in their positions. Messi was quite good. Expectations from our team are sky high and frankly unrealistic for me. No team stream rolls their opponents all the time. Even the mighty EE of late 50’s had too many games where they survived or even lost to Barca. Milan are worthy champions of arguably 4th best league in Europe and they parked the bus. Considering their defensive pedigree, we played quite well.

    On negative side, injury to Iniesta is a blow. Conceding goal in last minute is a blow as well. Our defensive unit is being modified too many times right now but that cannot be an excuse.

    Finally, this is september and if we take a look at past few season’s, Pep’s teams never peak in Sept and this is only start of upward trend. So not to worried.

  54. ElJefe
    September 14, 2011

    To quote Brick Tamland from Anchor Man, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!!!”

    But seriously, I’m going to play the role of Positive Man here, as this was still a tremendous game for us despite the pain. Here’s the positives as I see it:

    1) Against the ‘reincarnation of Inter Milan D’ and ‘unbelievable Italian defense’ we created 7 shots on goal, 11…11 corners, and 75% posession. We could and should have won easily.

    2) Abidal may literally rise into the clouds and take a seat on the right hand of God the way he is playing now. He’s gone from solid to #2MVP to all-time legend in the course of his time at Barca.

    3) We looked lethal on free kicks. Let’s apply that to corners.

    4) The injuries…I’m going to argue its a good thing. We are a MUCH deeper team now with Fabregas, Sanchez, Adriano replacing Maxwell, Affelay, Thiago. We absolutely need room in the lineup to get these players time, and experiment with line-ups. Iniesta & Sanchez out allows that. The only downside is we have a much more difficult Liga schedule than EE on the front end…but with our line-up, it frankly shouldn’t matter.

    5) Puyol returned. Let me say that again, PUYOL RETURNED. Those who don’t grasp the magnitude of that don’t belong on this blog.

    6) I think Fabregas is playing great. Don’t agree with the criticsm, given its his 3rd or 4th game. He adds a great over-the-top passing ability which really makes us more versatile and provides alot of more balanced player-on-player numbers vs. our traditional tika-tika which can studder with 11 players in the box. And he is scoring goals which is much needed with Iniesta soft and Pedro playing poorly.

    7) Messi being Messi. The most beautiful play of the match was him keeping in the ball when he was called offsides.

    8) Pique is banging a singer-model and will be back shortly

    I’ll leave you with this:

    Now go back to the b*tch fest, this is a Rant post afterall:)

  55. can_we_go_Xalvies
    September 14, 2011

    There is nothing wrong with the players, there is no one player that is under performing and there is nothing wrong with the way we are playing. There were only small details that paved the last two results. You cannot expect our team this early in the season to step up gears and defeat teams such as real sociedad who equalized and then placed their whole team infront of their box, our team is just not ready to find answers in such difficult situations. Ac Milan defended very very narrowly and very tight, you can’t blame individuals for their lack of athleticism/creativity/heart/fitness when we can’t string up opportunities in minimal space. Its just not that easy to do period, the players need time to build that ability.

    and for those who are annoyed about our ball circulation. It would actually benefit us defensively if we did not go forward and attack vigorously. Ac milan have a very organised defence and they do not lose their shape so easily, circulating the ball forwards and backwards and side to side does two things, its stretches AC milan’s defence and tries to break their structure and it also allows us to keep the ball and not have to defend. Our players may have not looked keen to score another goal, but they are also trying hard not to give the ball away too often.

    If we had kept the ball for just a little longer at the end of the game and circulated the ball a lot more then we would never have conceded that corner that led to their equalizer.

  56. Helge
    September 14, 2011

    I think we did not only buy Cesc Fabregas, the deal also included some part of the Gunner’s curse of injuries, and that’s why we got him for a relatively cheap financial price.
    The price that we really have to pay now is our players dropping like flies, just like they did (and still do) at Arsenal over the last years :/

    • barca96
      September 14, 2011

      It’s not just the injuries, it comes together will break downs (losing the lead) :p

    • mom4
      September 14, 2011

      lol! Actually, the thought had crossed my mind that maybe hamstring injuries are contagious and Fabregas is a carrier of the disease until I remebered that we didn’t yet have Cesc when Ibi injured his, 🙂

  57. The__K__Man
    September 14, 2011

    Puyol: “People say we’ve won a lot and don’t have the will anymore. It’s not true, we have a lot of desire to keep winning.” #fcblive
    Puyol: “2 draws make people start talking. 2 weeks ago we were the best, today we’re not. We’ll keep working.” #fcblive

    I like those quotes.

  58. The__K__Man
    September 14, 2011

    AC Milan’s twitter account have made a wallpaper to celebrate yesterdays draw. Seriously! That says it all.

  59. Judas Pissed
    September 14, 2011

    A lot of people & sports reporters writing Barca off already – saying it’s the end of an era! It’ll be good to be underdogs for once!

  60. mom4
    September 14, 2011

    Seriously people, when a Madr*dista has to come online and console us, you know we’ve blown things all outta proportion.
    @ Bassam- sorry I missed you, hon. Have a cookie:

    Goal one: a very good, extremely fast striker beats our high line for a very good goal. Occupational hazard of the way we defend. Very good goal, congrats to Pato!

    Goal two: yeah, we need to work on those corner things! But remember, Abi was already limping by then.

    We played well.

    They played/defended well.

    Busi is not a bad CB, Keita is not a bad DM. They’d be able to start in those positions on most, not all teams and those teams would be grateful for them. That being said, if one has a world-class DM, one should use him occasionally in that position.

    It was a good game. If any one of Messi or Xavi’s very close shots had gone in and the result was 3-2 we’d all be gushing about what a good game it was. So really, we were a couple of centimeters away from contentment.

    I think we’re suffering from some kind of bipolar-footy-fan desease. Two weeks ago we we’re soooooo happy. Look, we can win with no defenders! And now because of two draws it’s the end of the world?

    The group is tied at 1 point/team. No biggy. The draw did not hurt us. The injury sucks though!

    It’s a game, these things happen.

    Finally, it’s just a game. No, I’m not overjoyed about the result, but there are wars, famines, disasters and injustices aplenty in this world to be truly upset over. The level of vitriol(and cursing) that a few of you (only a very few) are showing isn’t appropriate.

  61. September 14, 2011

    Isn’t it kind of funny that after everything this team has achieved in the last few years, after all the praise and plaudits heaped on it, the press and even some Barça fans are already making doomsday predictions, after TWO DRAWS. They weren’t even losses! Two games! It’s absurd, and I think it’s wrong for a culé to show this little faith in the team after everything they’ve done.

    Note I’m not talking about people who were really frustrated and angry and disappointed by this game, because I am one of them, but culés making Rijkaard comparisons, and writing us off after TWO DRAWS. Seriously folks, we need to get some perspective. Look at the beginnings of the last few seasons. There are usually hiccups and bad results. The Hercules loss, Pep losing his first match with Barça, this stuff happens. Like Kari said, September is not our best month by any stretch.

    So chill out peeps and show some faith in the club! Visca el Barça.

  62. September 14, 2011

    Wow, some Barca fans really do love to over react.

    Lets keep things in perspective shall we…

    First of all it is september, and we are NEVER great in Sept (Hercules anyone?!?). This has been the case since Pep took over so it is no great shock that we havent hit top gear yet. The players are not at their sharpest yet and that is why we are not as clinical as we usually are.

    Secondly we were playing AC Milan, not some second rate team and they got an early goal which allowed them to do what they do best, which is defend. You never want to give Italian teams something to defend and that is exactly what we gave them, within 30 seconds none the less. We still managed to get the lead back against a very well organised team and one which was playing very well.

    Third, and most important, we were playing with two holding mids as our CB’s, hardly ideal.

    We still dominated the game for long spells and with a bit more sharpness we would have scored more goals.

    So lets all take a deep breath and relax because we have a remarkable team who have never let us down in the past and I dont expect them to let us down this season either.

  63. Josep
    September 14, 2011

    why does everyone always clamor for Euler? you watch the game, you see what went wrong, you analyse for yourselves and come up with your reason.

    don’t make him do all the tactical thinking for you.

    anyways, I’m not as angry as I was when this happened. I mean we got a point against Milan, in all likelihood we’ll still win the group. On top of that, there’s nothing stopping us from getting all 3 in Milan…

    yes, we dominated, yes we let a lead slip away (so did Milan), but it’s still early in the season. I’d rather draw here than draw again on Saturday to Osasuna. This group will be easier to win than La Liga would’ve with another draw.

  64. Josep
    September 14, 2011

    I only read a few comments, I cba to read them all really, as I don’t ever expect people to read what I say anyways. but chill. this is a great learning experience.

    you think the club will forget this come the game at San Siro?

    you think Pep won’t realize, “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t play Busi/Masch versus a speedy striker…maybe, just maybe, I can have Abidal at LCB and play Adriano to get width from him down the flanks..”

    you think Keita was bad at DM? I didn’t see too many Keita mistakes, everyone was at fault for the first goal. I didn’t think he was bad today, but whenever we drop points someone has to be to blame right?

    btw, Abidal let the ball roll off his foot for a corner. if you want to talk about losing focus for one second, talk about him. he was shielding the ball and kicked it. inb4racist.

    after a couple hours, I’m not worried anymore. this isn’t a two legged tie. this was the first CL game of the season. without our two starting CBs. we’ll be fine.

    anyways, does Keita’s natural progression backwards lead him to be who should play instead of Pique as the natural BPD bringing the ball forward? He could play LCB occassionally, and swap positions with Abidal..

  65. blitzen
    September 14, 2011

    *pokes head in*

    Everyone calmed down, now? I decided to stay away until cooler heads prevailed. Seems like people have got some perspective by now. Here, have some La Liga Loca:

    This bit is hilarious:

    That path begins without José Mourinho, who is continuing to serve a UEFA touchline ban. The Madrid manager is expected to stay behind at the team hotel but his number two, Aitor Karanka, revealed that no decision had be made as to Mourinho’s location for the game. LLL suspects he’ll either be sipping brandy, sprawled in a giant leather swivel chair in an airship hovering menacingly over the ground, or lying by the side of the pitch having painted himself green.

    Because you just know Mourinho has considered it… 😆

  66. justsayin
    September 14, 2011

    Why is Pep insisting on putting Busquets as CB and Keita as DM? It has cost us that last two games. By the time Pep decides to put Busquets back in his position of DM, he’s gonna have ruined him! Pep, for the love of all that is good and holy, please stop tinkering with the lineup. One change, ok, two is still doable. But, you start putting in a new line up with people playing outside of their normal position and you can’t expect our “total football” system to work. This is a team that needs to gel well together in order to work properly, if you make too many changes, it all falls apart. This is what has happening right now. Stop it Pep!!

    • barca21farid
      September 14, 2011

      its funny how people can even come out and point their finger to Pep. it’s just 2 games into the season and Pep is simply trying few experiments which might be needed later in d season. He has bring us so so so much glory, where did u even got the nerve to question his methods?

      and when did u even started supporting barca? i watched em lose to the like Rayo Vallecano before. suffered so much before.. and i simply cant believe im living this glory years of barca. i cant thank god enough to be able to see Peps boys play.

      please, have some respect for the man. he knows what to do. he always does. have some faith. or maybe u just need to switch team, who’s winning atm.

      im sorry for being harsh, but dont ever question what Pep does.. he gave us what nobody thought was even possible. REMEMBER THAT

      • justsayin
        September 14, 2011

        Jeez, I think your comments are uncalled for, but I respect your opinion. This is a blog about post game rantings, so if I believe that the coaching should be called into question, well … that’s my prerogative. I prefer Pep doesn’t make, what I consider, silly experiments no matter when it is in the season if it means a very shaky back line when we have players ready and able to play that are sitting on the bench. (ie Mascherano). If he continues to experiment with playing Busquets as CB (which is clearly not his strength, Keita as DM (which is not his strength) and sitting Mascherano (who is more comfortable as CB or even Abidal for that matter), we’re going to have a difficult time keeping a clean sheet.

  67. September 14, 2011

    Did everyone calm down? Alright here we go…

    1) The selection was completely reasonable considering the overall situation of the squad. If anyone think the defense was fragile you should think what would have happened if we had Adriano and Alves as fullbacks instead of having Abidal on the left to back Mascherano and Busquets.

    The way the first goal was conceded, I dont think even having Puyol and Pique would have avoided it. Its not like any of them is Bolt clone. Sorry. Truth hurts. The goal was an absolute quality of a forward exposing high defense line. It happened. It happens. It will.

    As for the second goal, its mainly a set pieces setup with flaws that Milan players got advantage of. Not the first time. We mark zones instead of players in set pieces (watch the goal again), and we dont even mark posts. Just the small box. Some midgets need to block the path of the giant runners of the other teams to give advantage to zonal markers (and goalkeeper) to deal with the cross. Not doing so caused the goal. That’s a technical instruction more than being players fault. I think (and hope) we will see some changes in that setup in the coming matches. Vilanova, I’m looking at you.

    2) Anyone who makes any passive comment about Keita’s performance in the match need to watch the game again, and again, and till he changes his opinion, he should keep on re-watching. No one would have done better as a holding midfielder in that game. So please, stop it. This is getting annoying as a casual trend. My Man of the match (for Barcelona) – by far!

    3) I didnt see anything special in this game that we didnt know since before. So I’m not sure where all this “end of cycle” came from. We struggle against parked buses since years (even when we had two bulls in offense in Eto’o and Henry). Nothing new. Really. It depends more on the quality of the bus parked than our players’ performance. And Milan parked an Airbus if you ask me. This is how our team is structured. As I said before the start of the season, Pep went for excellence instead of perfection. Everyone backed him in that. No one can change his mind now after a draw. No one should.

    Our keys of excellence that can actually help breaking buses are Iniesta, Sanchez, and Messi. You watched the game and you know what happened. The rest of our players expose the destabilized defense of the opponent, they dont destabilize it themselves. Especially Villa.

    Still we created more chances than you should expect. Lame chances maybe. Not so serious. But still. For the system we have and the situation we passed thru during the match, the outcome should be understandable.

    4) You should give a credit to Milan. Some Barcelona fans are getting too …hm…lets call it confident…. so they cant see that there is actually another team we plays against. It became a given that Barcelona players should enter the field and just sweep the floor with the opponent and toying with them like feather pillows. That’s delusional. When a team plays as organized, disciplined, and dedicated as Milan – with the quality players they have- bets should always be equal and anything can happen.

    C’est la vie! If you want an ever dominating team that never lose, play football manager and cheat so you get all the best players to your squad. That’s if you think there is any joy in that.

    Finally, Pep will still have a homework to do. The main problem with the Messi-Villa-Pedro offense line is that none of Villa and Pedro is welling to take responsibility. They serve as Messi co-pilots unlike Cesc for example who make advanced runs to the opponent box even when he doesnt expect the ball. Not to the same extend that a true nine would do, but still. We bake our bread based on the flour we have.

    The problem of Pedro and Villa NOT taking responsibilities by attacking opponent’s center backs even without the ball is that when Messi plays as false nine away from the opponents Center backs, the two center backs find no one to mark and cover so they start acting like defensive depth to the midfielders in front of them (and the fullbacks) who are checking our players. Center backs job become just to create diagonal cover for their team’s defense system.

    when a player play in an advanced position compared to Messi he creates more confusion for the center backs which give more space for Messi and co. Opponents CB will no more cover but will have to track and check. This is not happening. And this needs to be fixed.

    But generally speaking – again- this is how the team rolls for years already. What we changed this year was increasing system’s fluidity to pull opponents defense line away from the keeper and lob or slice a pass behind them for the space hackers (Pedro, Villa, Cesc…). Milan read that. They didnt check players but zones. They left no space between defense line and goalkeeper and so they terminated that trick. Teams read us on weekly bases. While we play our game they customize their tactics to counter our system. That is challenging for our technical department. Now I can tell you that coming up with new picks and tricks for the players to execute is easier said than done. So have patience and hope we keep the continuous progress we showed season after another.

    • September 14, 2011

      ^This, basically. To the power of Yaya.

      It went pretty much as I expected in the preview I wrote. A 4-4-1-1, narrow, Messi the only destabilizer now that Alexis is injured…

      We’ve taken the test, passed/failed depending on your view of things, and have lots of feedback to work with for the next game.

      You should give a credit to Milan. Some Barcelona fans are getting too …hm…lets call it confident…. so they cant see that there is actually another team we plays against. It became a given that Barcelona players should enter the field and just sweep the floor with the opponent and toying with them like feather pillows. That’s delusional.

      So, so true.

  68. Barcathegreatestever
    September 14, 2011

    6 games, three titles, 18 goals repeat 18 f’n goals. This blog is constantly looking at Villa then Messi then Pedro as the scapegoats. Gimmee a break!!!!
    Barca was unusually unstable, unorganized, unsure of themselves, unwhatever and it wasn’t even one place it was the whole back third. So despite what allegiances you might have, Busi, Masch, Abidal in the Sociedad game, Keita and Xavi need to take a long look at why those two teams had great chances to win including their organization on set pieces.

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