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!

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

144 comments

    1. 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.

    2. 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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..

  4. 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 🙁

  5. 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

    DAMN!

  6. 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!

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

      and the injuries, God.

  7. 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.

  8. 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..)

    1. 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…

  9. 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

  10. I would say “I told you so” but I never actually said anything here..lol

    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!

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

  12. 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.

    Weird.

    1. 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.

  13. 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?

    :/

  14. 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!

    1. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. “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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

    1. 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.

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

  22. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  23. 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…

  24. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  25. 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…!

  26. 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?

  27. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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 🙁

    4. 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.

  28. 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!

    1. yeay, congrats for your kids, mom4! 😀

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

  29. 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.

    1. 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..

    2. “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!

    3. 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.

  30. 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..

  31. 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.

    Woosaaaahhhhh……

    1. 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. 😀

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

    3. For..ever…!

      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.

    4. 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! 🙂

    5. 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

    6. 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.

    7. 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!

    8. 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!

    9. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

    1. 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.

  34. “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!

  35. 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

  36. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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 😉

  37. 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

    1. 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.

  38. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  39. 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.

    1. 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. 😀

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

    1. 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.

  42. 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

  43. I’ve watched today’s game 3 times..it’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!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHocpvrFMJ0&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fCJwhWsniQ&feature=related

  44. 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..

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