Shall We Have A Mini Crisis? Granada – Barça

Liga Preview: Granada – Barcelona, 2pm ET (ESPNDeportes and GolTV*)

If you’re a minnow and you beat Villarreal, you can feel pretty good about yourself. Maybe the season won’t be quite so long after all. But if you’re Granada, you realize that it’s your only win of the season and Villarreal is in 16th place in the table. They themselves only have 1 win and it was against Mallorca. Then you consider that your only 2 other points of the season have come at home against Osasuna and Atleti; at least the first match had some goals in it. But goals aren’t really your thing: in 8 matches, you’ve scored just those aforementioned 2 goals , the fewest in the league.

So perhaps you really are in trouble.

And then along comes a ticked off Pep Guardiola. Make no mistake about it, whatever he says in press conferences, which might as well be him staring at a wall for all the information he really gives us, Pep Guardiola is pissed about not winning against Sevilla. So it’s Granada-on-the-rebound time and it’s kind of the perfect match to get your feet back under you and really kick some prostate. If it goes pear shaped here, however, alarm bells will start blazing at unbelievable volume. What if Messi fails to score again? What if Granada doesn’t succumb to a manita like they’re supposed to?

Well then I guess we’re all doomed. I have my bottle of Trauma Reliever right here ready and waiting for the slightest sign that we’re not going to win every single remaining point.

You know what the craziest part of all this is, though? Granada isn’t last in the table! 2 goals for, 10 allowed, and they’re in 18th somehow. Sporting and Racing are somehow worse, though Sporting did just get off the snide and beat, well, yeah, Granada. It was, however, just the 2nd match in which Granada has allowed multiple goals, so I guess that’s something. Here’s another something: the guy who scored the winner against Villarreal was none other than Ikechukwu Uche, the man Granada got on loan from the Yellow Submarine this past summer. Totally rad.

In that match against Villarreal, Granada managed 7 yellow cards (7!), but has only 21 for the whole year, putting them midtable in one category, at least. They also have 0 red cards, putting them with Barça, Atleti, and Levante as the only teams without rojas this year. Barça has 13 yellows, just for comparison.

But they also only have 5 points on the road. 3 matches and no losses but also just 5 goals to 4 allowed. Granada may think they can nip a point by playing the way Sevilla did and perhaps they’re right, but again, Guardiola is going to lay some smackdown in training and in the locker room before sending his boys out. The engine should be powered up, regardless of whether or not it’s purring wonderfully.

The squad: Valdés, Pinto, Dani Alves, Cesc, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Messi, Thiago, Mascherano, Keita, Sergio, Pedro, Maxwell, Adriano, Abidal, Fontàs, Montoya, Isaac Cuenca.

Will we get to see Fontàs or will Maxwell start on the left to give Adriano a bit of a breather? With no Puyol or Pique, it strikes me as likely that we’ll see Alves-Mascherano-Abidal-Maxwell. Pique did practice with everyone else while Puyol and Alexis worked out all alone nearby (embedded below), but none of them are fit enough to play so we’ll be a bit scrambly-wambly on defense unless Busi has a monster game, which I expect needs to happen.

What I mean about Busi is that I thought we failed to get ahold of Sevilla because our midfield wasn’t quite running at optimal speed. I don’t care much for Iniesta up front, I have to admit, but I care even less for Keita at DM. It not only means Keita isn’t playing his shutdown roll against any winger silly enough to sally forth from his defensive end, it means that he’s doing the one thing he’s not super totally rad at: creating off the dribble. Yes, Keita is a fantastic midfielder, but he doesn’t facilite Xavi’s maestro thing quite like Busi does. Which is also funny because I really like that Keita is willing to step up and shoot from distance, which Busi simply doesn’t do.

Lineup: Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Abidal, Maxwell, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Villa, Messi.

I like Pedro a lot and think he should start, but they still won’t let us play with 12, so I guess he’s going to have to sit until it’s time to sub on and get all crazy out there.

Official Prediction: 0-2, goals by Messi and Cesc. Why bet on anyone other than Messi to get goals? What would be the point?

Drink of choice: Anything with granadadine in it, obviously.

Note: I’ll update this post soon with TV information for here in the US, but feel free to post it in the comments for your location and time.

*Update: the top has been updated with the information, but while the onlines says that both ESPN Deportes and GolTV will show the game, my TV box says only ESPN Deportes will show it. So, I’m not totally sure.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. October 24, 2011


    Way to disparage your own club –

    Yaya Toure (Man City): “At this moment, Barcelona have no competition, they are the big favourites to win the Champions League.” [rac1 via @barcastuff]

    • October 24, 2011

      Whoops wrong quote..

      “The win against United is as if Espanyol would beat Barça 1-6 at the Camp Nou.” [rac1]

  2. October 24, 2011

    Toure Yaya (Man City): “Silva could play at Barça easily. If the club asked me, I would say yes a hundred percent, and [it] would be fantastic to see him at Barça”.

    Don’t do this to me, Yaya…

    (This should be a form of torture. I’m still hurting from the Hleb instead of Silva deal from 2008…)

    • October 24, 2011

      Well, there was nothing more we could do about it. Valencia needed him more back then, wouldn’t let go. Besides, how ‘better’ would we’ve been had we bought Silva instead of youknowwho? 7 titles? 😛

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      October 24, 2011

      madre mia, Yaya…

      sííí sííí, por favor?

  3. Miguel
    October 24, 2011

    10:55am Pacific Standard. ESPNDeportes. Set your DVRs, homies.

  4. The__K__Man
    October 24, 2011

    Alexis Sanchez will join the group in training tomorrow and will get the medical green light in 10 days. #fcblive [sport]

    O God, please make that happen!

    p.s. Arsenal (fan) accounts on Twitter have come late to the party and are making a lot of accusations against Cesc after again some lip reading sessions. #GodHelpUsAll

    • October 24, 2011

      Just had an interesting discussion over on Twitter with folks about this matter, all based on this video:

      Some native Spanish speakers say with absolute, 100% certainty that they can lip-read Fabregas saying “Puto negro de mierda.” Admittedly I am not a native Spanish speaker, but no way can I make that out, in any way, shape or form.

      But people will believe what they want to believe, and our club will again be tarred. If there were definitive evidence, I’d be the first to be screaming from the ramparts (a fact that will surprise no one 😀 ). But I just don’t see it.

      The portion in question, claim the folks who “know,” is between 2:10 and 2:20. I can barely make out “Puto,” and as someone suggested, perhaps the rest was a slur that questioned Kanoute’s sexual orientation, a topic that is the other elephant in the room that is our beautiful game.

      That’s three in a week. Terry is alleged to have slurred a QPR player, Suarez slurred Evra and now Fabregas. If all are true, things are coming off the rails. If all aren’t true, things are still coming off the rails.

      • nia
        October 24, 2011

        What bothers me is that people dislike Barca so much these days that they are willing to attack them at any given moment for anything that they do. El Clasico #4 is when all this started when they were accused of all sorts led by their leader Mou. Funny thing is no one makes a big deal if any other team does something on feld. Most of these stories are actually coming out of Madrid papers and journalists and knowingly or not, it’s gonna starting affecting Barca players sooner or later. Of course things are said every week on every field across the world but of late Barca games have come under more scrutiny. EE mauls us everytime they play and yet no one besides Barca fans and press says anything, instead the world press blames both teams. How the hell does that tackle on Cesc was blamed on us is beyond me.

        In the heat of the moment pple do say things that they don’t mean, hey, even i do it just to get the other wound up. I believe Cesc when he said he didn’t say that (Busi not so much). All i hope is for EE not to win anything this yr and for Mou to leave at seasons end coz la liga now is becoming dirty coz of his antics.

        • October 24, 2011


          So in general, this is all because of Real Madrid?

          Here are the facts my friend. This has happened twice in the premier league this season, with a lot of attention given to it. The ref in the Man utd Liv game even included it in his report. Another fact of the matter is that this is not the first time this has happened. Evra himself has been involved in 2 incidents in the past of the same manner at Man utd. There was also the France scandal over a similar manner. All these were before the Clasico incident and before Mourinho ever came to Real Madrid.

          Madrid newspapers are going to run stories against Barcelona and Barcelona newspapers will run stories against Real Madrid. That’s how it works. MD and Sport are no better than Marca and AS. Only difference is that more Barcelona supporters read Marca than Real Madrid supporters read Sport or MD.

          It seems like a lot of stuff is said on the pitch. And i guess that is normal. Insults and winding ups have become part of the game, but never should they be intermingled with racial abuse.

          As much as you would like to believe that Cesc only said “Hey man that wasn’t cool” to Kanoute, it’s not what happened. He went there and said something that insulted Kanoute. He could have said anything, but I don’t know what that is. Neither am i going to sit down and start guessing what it is. For me, it’s just an insult. Unless Kanoute comes out and says that the insult was racial, then its not. But to blame all this on Real Madrid, thats just silly. And this is coming from someone that really hated the way Real Madrid dealt with the Busi issue last year (more than the way Barcelona dealt with it by a lot).

          • Dani_el
            October 25, 2011

            I believe the big difference between Barcelona’s newspapers and “Madrid’s” is that Marca and As are available nationally, and have more exposure and are way more influential than Barcelona’s newspapers, and they used this exposure to be EE’s ministry of propaganda, and keep telling themselves and others, that they are objective.

          • October 25, 2011

            But that is in no way Real Madrid’s fault. Marca claims to be Real Madrid’s mouth piece, but it’s clearly not. Similar with how Sport and MD would like to think they speak for Barcelona, which they don’t. It’s your judgement as a reader to believe what they say or not.

          • BarcaGirl_Indo
            October 25, 2011

            ^ what Stephen said… 😆 /jk

          • nzm
            October 25, 2011

            The real issue is that these newspapers are deemed to the official mouthpieces of the clubs because neither clubs (FCB nor RM), are clamping down on what is reported, and the papers are free to write what they want.

            So, unless the clubs actually step forward and tell the papers to knock it off, by way of inaction and non-reaction they are sanctioning whatever is written.

            And at the end of the food-chain is Johnny Gullible Public – lapping up all that is written as if it is gospel.

            The papers’ reports are fuelling fires. The only fires I’d like to see them fuelling are the ones upon which I’d toss those tabloids. 😉

      • Dani_el
        October 24, 2011

        I’ve seen the video a few times, and being a native spanish speaker I don’t see anything related to a racial slur, I see however Cesc reminding Kanoute of his mother with offending words, but without trying to excuse those words, it is something I see everyday in football.

        • SoccerMom
          October 25, 2011

          Oh Kanouté is a sly old fox.

          Was it a penalty on Iniesta? Yes, it was. Contact in the box, and all that.

          Did Villa appreciate Iniesta’s draw? Yes, he did. “Eres el más grande”, he says. Best at what? Falling on his tummy?

          Did Cáceres know just who to run to? Sure, he did. Not Iniesta. Not the ref. To the linesman.

          Did the linesman know what had happened? Sure, he did. “I didn’t whistle anything,” he says. Not “I’m not in charge” or “Well, that’s the call”.

          Did Kanouté happen to misstep the ball out of place? Sure, he did. Gangly legs and all.

          Did Fabregas call Kanouté out on messing with his Messiness? Sure, he did. That’s his little buddy out there.

          Did Kanouté decide to decide the match? Sure, he did. What’s that you say, Frankie? Cesc could have said that Kanouté’s mother was an exemplar among women and Freddie a joy to know, and he would have eaten grass.

          Did it work?

          Sure, it did!

          • Miguel
            October 25, 2011

            Yeah, but he’s looking less like the genius I was making him out to be after his Sevilla just barely rescued a point v Racing today. They could of used his lanky ass out there.

  5. October 24, 2011

    On a lighter note, I’d like to lobby for a new number for Sanchez upon his return. #9curse

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      October 25, 2011

      12? 18? 23?

      no.9 should be a “retired” number, like 3 or 6 in Milan..

    • nzm
      October 25, 2011

      Maybe give the 9 to Pedro – a “friendly warning” to shape up! 😀

      • Gogah
        October 25, 2011

        thats brilliant.
        it’d be a great way to convert our adversities, like the 9curse to our advantage.
        pedro is really starting to become pedrito once again.

  6. Judas Pissed
    October 25, 2011

    It seems to be an increasing occurence lately – a black player verbally abuses or physically attacks a white player on the field, and then condones it by claiming the white player made racist remarks. All of a sudden the white player is the bad guy, tarred & feathered without proper trial or evidence. When no evidence, charge or fine materialises, the black player shrugs his shoulders & gets on with it – but the white player (Busquets, Suarez, Fabregas, Terry etc..) is forever tainted with the slur.

    • ooga aga
      October 25, 2011

      just stop right there. you are just confused and i dont even know where to start with you.

        • October 25, 2011

          Wow. That is just about the dumbest thing I have read in a newspaper in a loooong time. “It isn’t as bad as if was, so shut up.”


          –Judas Pissed. Consider that when a slur is uttered, only one player is “tarred forever”: the player who, because of who he is, has to deal with conditions that people think gives them the right to denigrate him simply because of the color of his skin.

          When a false accusation of a slur is uttered, or misconstrued by outsiders as a slur, that is an equally reprehensible situation, because the accused player can only say “I didn’t do it,” and hope the evidence supports him. Eventually, the furor dies down for the accused. It happens.

          The real question is what about justice? If Evra, Ferdinand or Kanoute were slurred, what does the game do about it? When a player’s sexual orientation is mocked, what dies the game do about THAT?

          This sin’t about black and white. It’s about humanity.

      • blitzen
        October 25, 2011

        ^ What ooga said to the power of Yaya.

        And just so we are all perfectly clear on this: Kanoute at no time ever claimed that Cesc or any other player made a racial slur. He mentioned an insult, that is all. Any and all allegations of racism were made up by the forces of the internet and perpetuated by irresponsible media, whether madridista or otherwise.

        Can we all move on now?

  7. Gogah
    October 25, 2011

    On a completely unrelated note, i recently discovered this andfound it to be extremely poetic.

    how fitting it is that Xavi wears #6 for barcelona and #8 for spain, and Iniesta wears #8 for Barca and #6 for spain.
    They wear each other’s numbers. They are part of the same yet so different.

    • Eklavya
      October 25, 2011

      I think Kari has jersey with XavIniesta on it’s back with the number 86 (or 68, can’t remember).

      • mom4
        October 25, 2011

        I bet that if she has any numbered jersey it’s Messi’s. From my recollection, Messi is the midget of her heart.

        • SoccerMom
          October 25, 2011

          Shhh! Don’t tell David Silva!

  8. mom4
    October 25, 2011

    2 days “rest” between Plzen and Sevilla.
    2 days “rest” between Sevilla and Granada.
    A whole 3 days between Granada and Mallorca. What a luxury!

    Alves, Masch, Abi, Maxwell (because Adriano looked clueless last game)
    Xaviniesta, Busi (please Pep!)
    MV, Cesc
    0-something other than 0
    For his confidence’s sake, I’m hoping Messi scores. Hoping against all odds that he gets a hattrick in the first half so Pep can sit his butt for a while( it’s probably statistically more likely for him (being…well…him) to get a hattrick in one half than for Pep to sit him).

  9. ak
    October 25, 2011

    Who do you guys think is better off this midweek, EE or us in terms of relative fitness between our respective opponents and our respected selves.

    I mean, our players must be dead tired, but on the plus, we face a tired granada. EE on the other hand will undoubtedly be feeling fresher, but hopefully, so will Villareal(and determined to prove something).

  10. October 25, 2011

    So The Yaya has joined the “Guardiola didn’t speak to me” chorus.

    • blitzen
      October 25, 2011

      Why do I have the feeling it is rather the “Guardiola didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear” chorus?

      • Xingxian
        October 25, 2011

        Guardiola was talking about in a filmed dialogue (it was him and a director) and he was talking about getting into the player’s heads and getting the most out of them, and how that involved treating some players very differently than others and talking to players very differently than others and being more/less intimate with some and so forth. IF what The Yaya and BANGS have said is true I figure Guardiola must have given them a long, hard look and decided ‘this is a person who will react destructively if I give honest feedback, better to let this explode on its own’.
        Either way I’ve made that judgment call before (“THIS particular person is a lost cause, there is no way to get them to see what I want them to see and if I try it will make things explode more than they inevitably will”) but I don’t know how many IF ANY times I was right to make that decision. I hope that if Guardiola made that call then he was right to do so. Of course this is all hearsay/assumption I don’t actually know Guardiola/Yaya/BANGS firsthand and even if I did I shouldn’t judge blahblahblahcaveat.

  11. jordi™
    October 25, 2011

    So I was scanning the Ballon d’Or list and noticed no busi.There’s a Khedira(!), but no busquets. If they are scared of the Barca number being high,I’d happily cut Fabregas and/or Puyol from that list if it meant Sergio got in.

    • mom4
      October 25, 2011

      This is a good thing (albeit disappointing and sooooo not fair). It means our secret weapon is still secret.

      “Keep it secret. Keep it safe.”

    • mom4
      October 25, 2011

      FCBarcelona_cat FC Barcelona
      #FCBlive El Barça jugarà d’inici amb Valdés, Alves, Mascherano, Abidal, Maxwell, Sergio, Xavi, Cesc, Cuenca, Messi i Pedro

      Hey y’all, we have IMPACT SUBS. Iniesta, Thiago, and David Villa. Not too shabby.

  12. mega_tajh
    October 25, 2011

    Was hoping maybe Fontas could have gotten some minutes and Xavi rested…..In Pep We Trust.

  13. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Woah. Why no Iniesta ? He’s had more rest than Xavi?

    It’s ok. I know the answer – but still. . . .

  14. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Have to say I’d like a look at Cuenca though.

  15. BarcaOwl
    October 25, 2011

    Messi’s looking cheerful in the tunnel.

  16. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Yeah. Good to see. 3 goals first half and get Xavi out I say.

  17. BarcaOwl
    October 25, 2011

    Masche down! Uche gets a yellow.

  18. Dani_el
    October 25, 2011

    Pedro misses a clear oportunity. Nice shots from Messi, Cuenca and Xavi in that order. Cesc is playing as “interior”.

  19. Xingxian
    October 25, 2011


  20. Jackieboy
    October 25, 2011

    GOLAZO XAVI! Beautiful free kick!

  21. Helge
    October 25, 2011

    Somebody please explain to me how on earth Iniesta, Villa and Thiago get a rest, but Messi not ?!? *argh*

    My internet is sucking today, but from what I’ve seen, Messi is completely out of shape. Is there any better moment to rest him? :/

    • October 25, 2011

      Seconded. Iniesta looks sharp actually. I hope Messi scores a double and then gets a red card on 60 minutes so he misses games. How’re you doing?

    • October 25, 2011

      And I wish Fontas started games like this. Say Fontas in CB and Abidal as LB instead of Abidal CB Maxwell LB.

  22. Dani_el
    October 25, 2011

    I think Cuenca started better than he finished.
    Messi is trying to pass more than before, but Alves and Pedro are having an off day. I liked Busquets, Xavi and Mascherano.
    We need to be more dynamic, move better on the final 30 meters, to open spaces for that final between the lines pass.

    • mom4
      October 25, 2011

      Busi, Xavi, Masche on fire. Abi in lock-down mode. Messi looking OK. Alves and Cesc both need haircuts.

      • Dani_el
        October 25, 2011

        Yees, Abi is doing a great game!

  23. Huckleberry
    October 25, 2011

    Can anyone tell me what Maxwell still doing in that team?

    • Ryan
      October 25, 2011

      Although his back passes are frustrating, I like that he’s accurate with his headers.

    • mom4
      October 25, 2011

      um…playing better than Dani right now?

  24. Ryan
    October 25, 2011

    First half didn’t see enough movement, and some of the one touch passing was off. More of Alves running in from deep, please! Hopefully they show a little more energy early in the second half and put this game to bed.

  25. October 25, 2011

    They just showed a five-minute special on the history of the pasillo in the Spanish game during half-time. Showed all the various pasillos through the nineties and 2000s, and ended up with that pasillo. I wish we storm the league this season and secure the title at least by the end of week 34. I want a pasillo at Camp Nou on 21 April 2012.

  26. October 25, 2011

    Is it just me or does Messi seem sharper so far this half than last? His balls seem much harder and crisper than they were last half. Clearly he’s not any less tired, maybe he just went a bit more on serious mode or something.

  27. Jackieboy
    October 25, 2011

    Second yellow – red for Jaime.

  28. Ryan
    October 25, 2011

    What the? Granada player kicks Maxwell’s face and the commentator complains that Busi wants the card?

    • Dani_el
      October 25, 2011

      Some guys are just haters. Jaime almost injured Maxwell!

      • Ryan
        October 25, 2011

        They’re still complaining about it, yikes.

  29. Dani_el
    October 25, 2011

    Jaime from Granada has been sent off!! Double yellow card. Good call from the referee.

  30. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    To me Cesc is the one needing to step up a bit. He’s fresh and yet I’m not seeing the runs. Not sure we need 4 at the back and it’d be a chance to bring Iniesta on to free Cesc for box runs.

  31. Jackieboy
    October 25, 2011

    Pedro’s down and it’s looking kinda serious :/

  32. Dani_el
    October 25, 2011

    It seems Pedro was the one injured by Jaime. He’s being substituted by Iniesta.

  33. Jackieboy
    October 25, 2011

    Villa on for Pedro. That looked really painful :/

  34. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Need more quick switches to the left and Pep to tell Maxwell to make the runs. He’s playing too conservatively for playing against 10 men.

  35. jordi™
    October 25, 2011

    superman in a granada shirt robs messi of a goal.

  36. Dani_el
    October 25, 2011

    Dani Benites made a hard entry to Busquets. Yellow card. Busi’s knee is bleeding.

  37. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Crowd chants for Iniesta. Have to say I agree. Pep what are you waiting for?

  38. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Never a corner. Ref’s having a mare.

  39. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    On for Cesc. Hasn’t had a good game but wouldn’t have been my shout. That’s quite defensive.

  40. Judas Pissed
    October 25, 2011

    This is a TRULY awful Barca performance…

  41. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    It hasn’t been great, has it? That wasn’t even offside for them.

  42. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Good news re Pedro. No break and no torn ligaments.

  43. Ryan
    October 25, 2011

    Messi is losing quite a few balls this half, his touch is really heavy for some reason.

  44. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    He’s dog tired by the looks of him but who do we bring on?

  45. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Great running from Alves to get back there.

  46. Dani_el
    October 25, 2011

    Messi has lost the last 5 balls that came to his way. It’s the worst game I’ve seen him play in a while. I read that maybe, the training is getting more physical to gain fitness for late november-decembre, for the clasico and the world cup.

  47. October 25, 2011

    I want both Pique and Puyol back. We are still insanely talented but aside from form etc we need that swagger back too. The bit of arrogance that every ruthlessly winning team has which is like a complete confidence that they will inevitably find a way to win which drains the heck out of opposition seeing it. Somehow with Pique’s big grin and Beckenbauer runs we seem to have a lot more swagger which intimidates people coming up against us. And I don’t even need to talk about Puyol scaring the daylights out of the opposition.

  48. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    And that lost possession is why we need Xavi on the park for 90.

  49. Ryan
    October 25, 2011

    Hmmm, Villa isn’t impressing at all.

  50. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Well this hasn’t been the most pleasant night I’ve spent in a long time. Our worst performance of the season by a mile.

  51. Ryan
    October 25, 2011

    So silly from Granada – why are teams going bonkers against us in added time?

  52. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Just as well. Masch was about 70 yards out of position tackling their keeper 🙂

  53. Jim
    October 25, 2011

    Yeah. We’re going to have to grind a few out. Ballague says 8 games in 24 days?

  54. Jackieboy
    October 25, 2011

    Messi lost like 15 balls, geez, give that boy some rest please!

  55. October 25, 2011

    Agree with Jim, one of our worst games in a long time. Granada were very spirited and stubborn, but they are still a team that has only scored two goals all season and are 18th in the table and were playing with ten men.

    Thank God we got the crucial three points, so ultimately how terrible a performance this was means nothing.

    • October 25, 2011

      They showed videos of the various pasillos including that pasillo during half-time so I’m gonna have to disagree. I’m not even upset at all. We got three points. Eh.

  56. Nav
    October 25, 2011

    Messi needs to rest he looks shattered.

  57. October 25, 2011

    Re-reading the original post is kinda funny now. The title and first few paragraphs are funny in hindsight though at the time I thought more like ‘well of course we are gonna smack down’.

  58. mega_tajh
    October 25, 2011

    Is it just me or is Alves having a bit of the funk lately. This probably came from the team looking so tired but his side isn’t as dominant as it used to be.

  59. October 25, 2011

    I can’t even count the number of

    1. First touches were heavy
    2. Passes that were wayward
    3. Times Messi lost the ball (runs/passes)
    4. Players that are tired
    5. Offsides called against Granada that weren’t
    6. Players carded by ‘Jellyhead’
    7. Times when VV was called to action
    8. Times we looked like we’d score only to be let down by poor finishing

    This isn’t good. We don’t usually lose our focus in October. But we haven’t scored from open play in a while. Thankfully VV keeping the ball out of hs net for so long has saved us from a string of poor results. But against quality attacks, *shudders*

    Hopefully, someone will slap our team back into action. In Pep We Trust. Visca!

  60. October 25, 2011

    Thank God for Xavi huh. Who, as we should mention, was having his league appearance record setting game today.

  61. footballfan
    October 25, 2011

    The article talks about football players peaking at different age, using Michael Owen as an example of one who peaks early.

    Now we’ve been saying that Messi (who is 24) hasn’t reached his ‘peak’ yet, which normally would be about late 20s to early 30s. I’m really worried that if he keeps playing every game full-time he will burn out much faster than that.

    I’m not comparing Messi to Owen. On the contrary, I don’t want him to be like Owen. I think Pep must be brave enough to bench him once in a while to get him rest. I know Messi can switch to gear one mode in any game to conserve energy but that is still different than having a proper rest IMO.

    About the match, one of the worst matches of the season, if not the worst. All the players, especially the offensive ones look really tired. Let’s hope we can keep winning. Visca Barca!

  62. just listenin
    October 25, 2011

    wow! holy cr@p… speechless for the moment. That was the Granada match, right?? Need another watch.

  63. Kimcelona
    October 25, 2011

    So looking back at the title of this preview I just have to laugh. No doubt people may start screaming mini-crisis. Didnt catch the entire game but saw the last 20 mins and we were woeful, to say the least. Yeah, yeah credit to Granada and such but if this were an onform Barca we would have created more chances and maybe finished this in the first half at least. Messi looks dead. It REALLY showed in the little I saw of this match.

    I know, I know we got the three points but the performance seemed one of the worst we’ve had in a LONG while.

    Will people stop predictiing that we’ll beat up on the next team after everytime we drop points?! Its not set in stone and its not to be expected that we’ll just punish the next team we face, after evey dropped points or bad performance. If the team is going having a rough patch we should stay behind them and cheer them until they regain form not pressure them to try to score a manita on the next team, no matter whom it may be.

  64. October 25, 2011

    I thought this game was tomorrow. Whoops. (Not that I could have Liveblogged, but I would have asked someone to do it).

    From the looks of it, it doesn’t sound like a classic, does it? I’ll catch the replay later, but methinks that there are more problems than the tired!Messi one.

    Sad about Pedro because injuries are never pleasant — Club’s official Twitter says he’s out for 10-15 days — but he’s really been stinking up the place. The last injury he got is what made him regress from Pedro!! to just Pedro borderline Pedrito. Hopefully after this one, it’ll have the reverse effect.

    Good thing Alexis is almost back.

    • October 25, 2011

      You saved us one half’s worth of negativity..

      • Ryan
        October 25, 2011

        For sure, this was a game where you accept the 3 points and move quickly to thinking about the next game.

  65. nzm
    October 25, 2011

    Should we be worried when:
    – we’re playing Granada
    – they’re down to 10 men, and
    – the only goal that Barca gets is not from open play?

    Hell yeah.

    There’s something going on here that doesn’t stack up. The whole team is so static that it looks as if they’ve been planted in the pitch.

    – Messi simply can’t string a pass together
    – Dani is simply off
    – Pedro should never have had his teeth fixed because he’s been bad ever since
    – Villa is playing 2 seconds ahead of the rest of the team because the others are too slow to release the ball to him
    – Cuenca plays instead of Thiago?
    – the only ones playing their normal game are the backline guys and VV
    – no passing triangles to be seen

    Something smells.

    • justsayin
      October 25, 2011

      Completely agree and equally perplexed. Barca looked like an average team in the league. If they took off their blaugrana jerseys and played in a let’s say Burger King sponsored jersey – it would take me a long while to realize they weren’t Getafe today.
      The missed place passes, the slow build up, the walking around the field, no tiki-taka, miscommunication … it’s as if the team has completely lost their mojo. Everything that made them spectacular to watch is no longer. Where are Messi’s amazing runs taking on 5 defenders? Where did Cesc’s passion and telepathic interplay with Messi disappear to? What happened to Pedro? Why is Pep messing with the line up? All questions, no answers.

    • just listenin
      October 25, 2011

      ^ This
      I agree something is not right. I simply don’t get the level of tweaking. Really odd. I have been having the same “something rotten in Denmark” (or Barcelona) kind of reaction to what’s going on… I don’t buy that the opponents have us so figured out. I can’t put a finger on it, but something doesn’t sit right.

    • Blau-Grenade
      October 25, 2011

      Just watched the second half not the first.

      The players looked very tired, especially Messi. They all looked to be playing with just adrenaline and no energy.
      There was very little off the ball movement which characterizes Barcelona play.
      I think Pep should have a talk with the physio’s to figure out something such that the players are not so tired.
      With the number of matches they are playing the players look very tired.

      Cuenca was playing to give width on the left. Who else does Pep have to give width on the left?

  66. y2k156
    October 25, 2011

    Well, i was at the match and it was not that great in person either and not that granada played any great.

    Granada again defended well in two banks of 4. We again seemed to find it very difficult to find a way through them.

    About Messi, he played very well in first half, hardly remember him losing any balls but he was visibly tired after around 70 minutes. I called out on Kevin on his bias last time so will also praise him for other stuff he wrote about Messi and tiredness. On other hand, he created maximum danger for us. No one else was even near him in terms of creating.

    Our entire team looked kind of off. It did not help that Granada were pretty disciplined in their play.

    Overall not worth the entry money (which was thrice the normal price:() but wth, it was nice stadium to watch match in, though cold!

  67. The__K__Man
    October 25, 2011

    Messi was a ghost today. Not just any ghost. He was the ghost of Bojan at his worst Barça period. I could swear he didn’t make 1 good pass or run in the entire 2nd half. Everything he tried he failed at. He needs to get rested asap but on the other hand we don’t have anyone upfront now except for Villa.. Hmmmm

  68. nzm
    October 25, 2011

    Currently watching Sevilla v Racing. With 14 mins to go, Racing is leading 1-2.

    I have not seen a Sevilla 10 man defence in this game at all.

  69. jordi™
    October 25, 2011

    Heh,Sevilla raised their game to get that point now they’re losing to racing at home. Sevilla 1 from 6 points, Barca 4 from 6 8)

    • Kimcelona
      October 25, 2011

      Correction Jordi: Sevilla 2 from 6 hahahahha

      They are one LUCKY team this week. I really wanted Racing to hold on 🙁

  70. Dave
    October 25, 2011

    This is what a shitty pre-season does. Players are both physically and mentally tired

    • Dave
      October 25, 2011

      The one thing that stood out against Sevilla is the lack of fast diagonal passes to unbalance their defenders

  71. Helge
    October 25, 2011

    You tempted fate with your headline, Isaiah.

    Thanks to you, we DO have a mini crisis now (and Messi has a big one) 🙁

  72. Eklavya
    October 25, 2011

    This game sucked. It was boring. No movement at all. Iniesta seemed lively though.

  73. BarcaGirl_Indo
    October 25, 2011

    God, that was painful to watch, not that I’m surprised about it..
    when Bassam said it’ll be goals galore against Granada, I didnt believe it..

    playing against 10 men Granada, the only goal we could have is from Xavi’s free kick..

    is this gonna be a long and painful season for us?
    usually this time around (October – Desember) is the time we play like a beast..
    this team looks like Hlebbuary team, and it’s not even Hlebbuary yet…

    • jordi™
      October 25, 2011

      It was early october in the 08-09 seasonm but since then its been early november, probably because 3 months of good form is just unsustainable with a club world cup to navigate. You can compare the fixtures:




      Results so far havent been so bad in comparison, just up and down like any other season, we’re just waiting for a string of good results+ top performances.


      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        October 25, 2011

        the result yes, it wasn’t so bad..
        in Liga : 6W 3D 0L
        in UCL : 2W 1D 0L

        but our concern obviously is the way we played, and how the team looks already tired mentally and physically during October..

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      October 25, 2011

      it was like watching The Invasion movie, which tells the story of a mysterious epidemic that alters the behavior of human beings.

      “My husband is not my husband,” a quote from the movie…

      I said ”my team is not my team.”

      this is a mini crisis, and I can only see it getting bigger..
      Messi is dead tired, people.. and we don’t have Alexis, Ibi, or Pedro.. dammit!

      • SoccerMom
        October 25, 2011

        Reminds me of an old story about the Spaniard in London.

        He goes to a pub, comes out later and cannot find his car. So he flags down a bobby.

        “My car is here,” the Spaniard says, pointing to the empty space in the street. “My car is not here.”

        The bobby peers at him. The Spaniard waves his arms about.

        “Where is my car?!?”

  74. Miguel
    October 25, 2011

    I just watched the first half, which was the second half for me since I watched each ’45 out of order, and I was pretty impressed by Cuenca’s, Julien Donkey Boy, performance. And he played the full ’90! That’s what I got out of this match. And three points. Three points!!

  75. mom4
    October 25, 2011

    I have a plan!!!
    I am brilliant!!!

    Juanjo Brau kidnaps Messo before practice tomorrow. Tells him that he has been singled out for some Special High Intensity Training.
    He takes him to
    for the weekend. Messi gets some rest. Comes back refreshed and ready for the rest of the season.
    For the game on Saturday we replace Messi with…aw crap!

    I fail at brilliance 🙁

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      October 25, 2011


      Messi having some fun at Legoland, Xavi with his mushrooms, Pedro gets his old teeth, Alves doing hula hula at Hawaii, Cesc stop using his hair as Halloween costume, that’s all that I want right now…

  76. BarcaGirl_Indo
    October 25, 2011

    remind me why did we promote Fontas?
    he couldn’t even get any minutes against Granada, smh..

    hope he is patient enough to wait for his chances.. if that chances even exist *sigh*

    because I don’t want him to be another “El Mister didn’t talk to me for a year” guy

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