The Normal People Are Back

Sorry, not the review, but that’s Euler territory anyway. And you can’t rush greatness.

Anyway, I was working on the Barca alphabet [which I give a teaser of below] and I was planning to use the video below to show how irresistible the call to wilderness is for Puyol, but as I was watching it, I almost forgot all about the potential comedic effect. [Though, I definitely lol’d every time I saw Puyi standing alone in the forest and field]. It made me feel so many things. So many happy things. The only depressing part was them constantly showing the fourth cousins together, in their Masia days. And Xavi and Messi’s injuries. 🙁

Note: at the beginning of the video BarcaTV uses Pep’s comments to refer to the whole team, as a good lead in to the video, but in that specific presser he was talking about Iniesta. He says, and I’m paraphrasing, that Iniesta is an example to the younger generation, the Masia players. He doesn’t dye his hair, doesn’t wear earrings and hasn’t got any tattoos. He never complains and not only does he play for the team, but he always plays well (in general) at that. People like him are priceless.

I agree.


And now for the teaser:

C is for Captain Carles

The vine swinging central defending artisan,

Who I am sure role plays as a Catalan Tarzan.

He has heart, he has luscious curly locks,

but most of all, he’s a master at those timely blocks.

At 34, some wonder how long he’s last for,

Which I ruefully shake me head at, senor.

Because he’ll be our Maldini forevermore,

Until he can resist the call to wilderness no more,

In which case he’ll be inducted into Barca forklore.

The indomitable Puyi,

El Capitia of yore.

Categorized as Videos

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. So many emotions. Some conflicting ones too; like sadness at Messi’s injury which is directly followed by immense amusement at Puyi walking alone in the middle of nowhere.

    In emoticons:

    🙂 –> 😥 –> 😆 –> 😀 –> 👿 –> 😛 –> 🙁 –> 😀 –> 😈 –> 😀

  2. Via barcastuff:

    Only one Real Madrid player (X.Alonso, 34) completed yesterday more passes than Barcelona goalkeeper Pinto’s 25

  3. Hokay, here are your promised blitzen awards. Please don’t hector me. 🙁

    Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee Award: If the butterfly was turbo-charged, that is! Puyol has knocked in some great headers in his time, but this one was absolutely magnificent. He came out of nowhere like a heat-seeking missile and rocketed that ball into the net with all the force of his giant cule heart. Beautiful.

    Abidalthazar Award: Seriously, they are going to have to rename this tournament the Copa del Rey Abidal if he keeps on scoring in it. Even if it is only once a season, King Abi makes sure to score at the most crucial time possible. MOTM.

    Sprockets Memorial Cup: Abidal and Dani Alves. Because this is the time in Barça when we dance.

    To Sir With Love Award: Pep, of course, as the team gifted him a Clasico win for his birthday. Do you think they sang Happy Birthday to him after the game?

    I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means Award: Carvalho, for his post-match comment that Pepe “always plays fair.” Fair? Perhaps he meant “Fair” as in “Circus” as in “Like a Clown”? Yes. Yes, that must be it.

    ROUS Award: So I have decided that my new nickname for Pepe is ROUS (Rodent Of Unusual Size). Because that’s pretty much exactly what he is. And speaking of new nicknames:

    Tiny Dancer Award: Iniesta. ‘Nuff Said.

    Stolen Our Hearts Award: Alexis Sanchez, who has joined Pep’s niñita club and has apparently endeared himself to the entire dressing room. All together now: “Awwww!!!!”

    Iker Face Award: Xabi Alonso, who has now perfected his tremendous open-mouthed beseeching the heavens “WHY can’t we beat them?” expression. If he keeps this up I may have to rename it the Alonso Face Award.

    Trollhattan Memorial Award For Continuing Trollish Excellence: Pinto, sorry I mean, Wahin Makinaciones. Who has been stalking his teammates and technical staff and tagging them with #WMswaggaSunglasses before subjecting them to embarrassing pics posted on the Tweeter. #WMelimperio

    Forgotten Man Award: According to the LigaBBVa Comparador, Esteban Granero has played a grand total of 22 minutes in the league this season. This doesn’t include appearances in CdR games, such as his full 10 minutes in yesterday’s game. Granero, if you don’t know, started playing in RM’s cantera at the age of eight. He is a typical product of their youth system, having been loaned, then sold, to Getafe with a buyback option. They did buy him back, then benched him. Pretty much permanently. Another young talent wasted by Madrid.


    1. If Granero is the Forgotten Man, then surely Higuain was the Invisible Man last game; I completely forgot he was on the field!

    2. When they substituted him, my reaction was “What the hell? How is it possible that he was playing and I didn’t even notice”. I tuned in around the 4th minute so I didn’t see the lineups at all

    3. If he keeps this up I may have to rename it the Alonso Face Award.

      Yep. I’ve been trying to think of a good one for a while now. Like, during his time at Man Utd, Diego Forlan was known as Diego Forlorn. Too bad Xabi Alonso is hard to work with… Forever Alone so…? I’ll just stop now.

    4. Alonso.. Forever Alone.. aahh, that works.. 😆

      I love Blitzen Awards! Thanks, Blitz! <3

    5. – I guess before Puyol did that rocket header, his Tarzan hair already blocking Pepe sight. Too bad for you bald ROUS.

      – I re-watched some recent classicos, that Xabi face after we scoring always similar + his hopeless face palm. Iker face + Alonso face = oh priceless 🙂

      – I have no idea why Mou never play Granero. I watch some EE matches, and his talent is very promising and working very hard on the field. He deserved more than that 22 tiny minutes.

    6. Great awards, especially the ones for Captain Tarzan, the King of the King’s cup and the Mister 🙂

      btw any word on whether the turd also known as ROUS is going to have any action taken against him for what he did?

    7. Allow me to sing this: like cartman (ahem ahem…)

      *Iker voice*

      Cant read my, cant read my..
      No cules can read my iker face…
      Cause i got buses parked in front me..

      *Cule choir*

      Yikes! Yikes! Its Iker face..
      Its that Iker face.. mum mum mum ma…
      Oh yes! that iker face..
      And that pooper face…
      ….. na na na na

      *Iker voice- reloaded*

      Cant read my, cant read my..
      No cules can read my iker face…
      Cause shabby face just took over me…

      *Choir repeat*

      …Thanks for listening ; )

    8. Well, if the poor kid (“Barn” alias “Granero”) wasn’t so EE-minded and bound, I would have thought he would have been a good fit for Barca B :). A nice passer of the ball and someone who understands the concept of space – both qualities that Mourinho thinks that are not required in his scheme of things atleast against Barca.

    9. Blitzen awards! And they are things of beauty. Definitely worth the wait. Thanks a bunch, blitzen! 🙂

  4. i literally dont remember higuain being involved in any play last night..i really dont think the camera ever zoomed in on him..

    1. Salgado’s a legend..i fucking despised the guy when he was playing for madrid but it was out of how good he was at his job..
      Also, there is no way he can defend the ROUS (thanks blitzen) as Salgado himself was a 100% hatchet man!


    Tito’s work is so essential to the club its incredible!
    This article says that just before the second half started, Puyol discussed the corner setpiece delivery and positioning with Tito and together they made some changes and communicated them to Xavi..3 minutes into the 2nd half they executed the new play to perfection!

    1. remember Pique’s goal against Villareal?
      If I remember correctly, Pep was pointing Tito after the goal, like, “you were right, Tito! your plan worked, we scored from a CK!”

  6. Ok Classico fever over, now time to turn focus on our hellish difficult away game against Malage on Sunday. Hope the boys can carry this fire into that away game as well similar to what they did in the CWC. We certainly need it.

    1. And hopefully somehow the defeat against Barca would affect EE game and dropping some points against Bilbao.

    1. Wasn’t the third kit supposed to be the away kit from the previous season? This one is indeed horrible.

      The away jersey is nice, the home one is indeed bad – the stripe simply shouldn’t be blending like that…

    2. More importantly, doesn’t Nike have better resources on their creative team? I have interns that can do better renderings than that

  7. Next week’s Live Blog is shaping up to be one for the ages. Abidal & Puyol…you couldn’t have drawn that up any better. Sanchez with a goal in the re-match, calling it now. He looked lethal today.

    And no one seems to care that its Pinto vs. Casillas. I like Pinto but basically a .5 goal advantage for EE. Xavi Alonso and Ozil may have to be sit out this next game just to preserve any sense of self confidence.

    The season comeback starts now. Visca!

  8. Another big question.

    Should Barca complain officially against Referee Muniz? He allows too much vilence against our players especially and Barca shoul consider complaining against his so he don’t manage any more Classic.

    1. Also I don’t like this decision of not reporting Pepe to the League. He deserved to be given a lengthy suspension. If we don’t oursue this he will emerge victorious from all these.

  9. Arrrrgh !! I missed this match too. I will now put on the dunce’s cap and go sit in the corner. I suppose this is how somebody who manages to hibernate through an astroid hitting Earth feels like. * Yaaawn… Whoa! What the friggin fraggin frooogin hell happenend here? *

    Thankfully, I saw those messi photos of Puyol on Kari’s article. Mwahahahahaha!

  10. Everyone is discussing Pepe, well I have something else to discuss.

    Carvalho ! His foul in the dying minutes is just awful and it’s a shame that Muniz didn’t send him off, He directly hit Messi in the knee while he was running at full speed, then raised his hands like he did nothing.

    If he wanted to stop the attack he could have pulled Messi’s shirt till he stopped, He could have put his foot between his legs to make Messi fall, He could have done many things, but He choose to take a full swing at the Knee, Muniz was meters behind and only used a Yellow.

    We can say that Muniz didn’t see Pepe (and he really didn’t) but He absolutely saw Carvalho.

    1. Thats what pEpE, marcelo brings to the game. They are actually dedicated team players if you look it from a different angle! : Por que? Look, the whole team plays ugly under mourinho. That has been a redundant string of events and hence proven by example. Ugliness usually boils to a saturation point and somebody feels the urge to do something to overshadow all those cheap tricks, near the end of a game. Hence pEpE stomps one for the team. Marcelo scissor tackles. ramos attempts to break Messi’s leg, -stabs- shoves Puyol to the ground and then -slaps- pushes Xavi all in one go. mou pokes. ramos breaks trophy. etc etc. That is why you hear hypocritical statements from carvalho, “Shabby SoAlone”, iker and especially mou, justifying pEpE’s acts. Since they know deep down and not so deep down, that they all somehow had a role to play in those extreme, nasty incidents.

      And i know Muniz cuda, shuda and on some other day wuda sent carvalho off. But that would open up his floodgate of excuses in shape of conspiracy theories. I think its better to win with 22+1 on the pitch. u know what im saying? refs will be refs!

    2. He has no excuse for not seeing Pepe it was right in front of him, even if he was showing a yellow at that moment.

      But you are right about the Carvalho foul – Pepe stomping on Messi’s hand is nasty and dangerous but unlikely to cause a serious injury that will keep him sidelined; Carvalho’s foul on the other hand could have caused a serious injury…

  11. Hopefully We’ll see a lot of Ikonso Face next Wednesday.

    (See what I did there ? Huh ? Huh ?)

    1. Alonso’s tackling was pretty horrendous too..
      I remember one incident where he just lashed out on Alexis after the foul had been called..

  12. ‘And while I’m the last person to say “someone please think of the children” — well, someone please do. Kids all over the world are watching these Clasicos. I know several of them myself, both little Culés and madridistas. What sort of an example does this give them?’ — albicelesteblaugrana, Guardian comments

    ^This. Eye poking, hand stomping, legs kicking.
    we’re adult enough to understand it’s violence, but kids?

  13. After absorbing everything that has been said and written about the past couple of days, I just feel like bringing up this point.

    1. Enough has been said about the polarity, the battle between good and evil. How the one has evolved and reaping the fruits of years of adhering to tradition and philosophy and the other has regressed, throwing away years of tradition for a game. People are criticizing mou for basically putting out a reactive team rather than a proactive one, how he basically designed a midfield to only stop barcelona, and how he has built defensive sides before, but he’d never built an outfit for sheer aggression.

    2. let me say one thing. whether madrid realizes this or not, all this behavior is only adding to the myth and legend of barcelona. People can only make sense of something when the opposite is so visible / measurable. If madrid weren’t so bad, barca wouldn’t look so good either.
    We have to thank them, mou especially for making us look soo noble and other wordly. In a few years time, Barca will be remembered for how they stood upto a billion dollar team of thugs and cheeky bandits, managed by a bigger one. Imagine If madrid played even half decently (like under pellegrini), this barca team would have been perceived as another great team fading away. the fact that we are shining so bright now is partly thanks to madrid’s antics and style of play.

    3. having said that, this kind of play is not all good for barcelona as we will feel the pain, when someone gets hurt. for real. to avoid that, if pep doesn’t want to do it, rosell should step up and voice his concerns for his players when they take the field against madrid. he absolutely must. Still i think Pep must say something. It doesn’t take much words from him for people to really reflect, all he has to say is a word or two. It is incredibly obvious that Mou has a major influence on the way madrid sets themselves up against us. agression is a tactic and one need not be a sherlock holmes to figure that out.

    4. btw, i thought madrid stood by the mantra of “its a man’s game”.
    Didn’t see much of ‘man’ in the way pepe the clown rolled around in agony clutching a body part which was miles from a place where there might have been some contact.

    5. What does it take for the world to realize that mou’s tactical prowess is severely over rated and for madrid to sack him? How the hell was he nominated as best coach? lets look at his accomplishments for the year, shall we?
    Make enemies out of all his colleagues / coaches? check.
    whining incessantly about referees? check.
    conjured up conspiracy theories?
    accused uefa and unicef in scandals? check.
    thats alright mou, you are still one of the best coaches around.

    this whole football governing bodies are a bloody joke. Its not worth the fans getting stressed over officiating and disciplining procedures. it just will never happen. pepe will continue to be this way and so will mou. let us be happy that they are only adding to the incredible legend of this team.

    1. I have to disagree with your point #2.

      Whereas I personally also see EE as the defintive culprit of all the dirty scenes in and around the last Clasicos, the (international) media blames us, too.
      I don’t think the way how EE acts in the Clasicos promotes our reputation.
      Indeed, the international media pays more attention to the CL than la Liga anyway, and it’s especially in the CL finals against ManUtd that this team has built its own legend.
      It means a lot more if Barca dominates against the 2nd-best team over the last decade (ManUtd) in two finals, if the coach of the inferior team confesses that his team has ‘never seen such a beating’ etc.

      And after each Clasico, people talk about the controversy and aggressions between our clubs a lot more than about the wonderful football that our team also showcases against EE. I would go as far as saying that Mourinho’s tactic against us allows him to discredit our genius, by simply distracting from it – and focussing on the ugliness of rude fouls and other blatant forms of gamesmanship.

      Completely agree with point #3. Just want to add it’s a mere miracle that EE has not yet succeeded in injuring any player of us seriously over the last 9 Clasicos!

    2. Yeah, it’s only a matter of time until someone and it’s most likely Messi, which is the worst part, gets hurt seriously. The Sergio Ramos’ foul in the 5-0 game, Pepe’s foul against Alves, Carvalho’s foul the other day, etc., etc. – those are all the type of fouls that in other situations have lead to broken legs and torn ligaments, and we were lucky that nothing serious happened in those situations.

      It is useful to remember that t 80s were a very bad period for the club with Madrid dominating, but it could have been very very different had Maradona been healthy. It wasn’t to be though, and a major reason for that was the injury he suffered against Bilbao caused by a truly criminal tackle of precisely that kind. We should be very thankful that Messi is so durable and hasn’t had a serious injury in the last 4 seasons (knocks on wood)

    3. I agree that every story needs a good villain, and Mourinho’s set himself up as one of the very best. I just think it’s sad that he’s destroyed Madrid’s traditions, their style of football, the promotion of their youth and their identity. He tries to get immediate results and doesn’t care about the future at all.

      None of the teams he builds are sustaining. He leaves such a trail of destruction in his wake; gets results for two years, leaves and goes somewhere else while the team he managed collapses. Inter’s a prime example, and even Chelsea stagnated after he left. Only Porto managed to keep going. I wonder if Madrid will be in a position similar to Inter a couple of years from now.

    1. Yes i did it!! XD

      I totally kicked him it!

      Thanks to BFB and especially Kari to let me perform this act. I am so full of joy now that i want to do it again..


  14. Did u guys just hear pepe bull of an apology? very sad to hear madridistas stating that messi would not get injured by pepe actions so it shd be left alone, what absurdity. I am getting worried messi might get seriously injured due to all this carvalho and pepe brutality. hope we will hit back for ronaldo to feel the same things.

    1. I really hope we won’t. It’s not the Barca way. Just gotta endure and keep on winning.

    2. Your last sentence is absolutely bollocks I am sorry to say. That is exactly the kind of mentality we should never ever have…

    3. Second it heartily. Stupid to do an EE against the EE. a) It is poor sportmanship that goes against the club’s professed values, b) It will bring in a different kind of backlash that Barca are better off without.

      Best is to leave it to public opinion to force the impotent and inept RFEF to take appropriate action – something that seems not to happen because of its crass ineptness.

    4. completely disagree with your last sentence.

      if we do that, that’ll make us as low and disgusting as them.

    5. No way. There’s no room in our squad for degenerates who injure opposition players on purpose.

  15. So Pepe will be out for 2 weeks, allegedly due to a hamstring injury from the Copa.

    Do you think that is the truth or is it Real’s way of punishing him?

    1. Can we all just start calling that creature as ROUS as blitzen suggested?

      And I don’t care if he’s out or not..he’s a nasty, nasty piece of work that makes me think hateful things

    2. I think they missed an opportunity to pretend to punish him actually. If they’d been smart, they would have said he’s suspended for two weeks instead of saying he was injured – that would have stopped the media blasting Madrid for not taking any action against him, and he would have missed that time cause of his hamstring anyway.

  16. The yet another brave Clasico win apart, I can’t shake off my anxiety for this year’s Barca season.

    I am keen now on Barcelona reaching that level of consistency they were at last year. The Malaga tie will reveal a few answers if Barca can build upon the Clasico triumph.

    Love Pep and his boys for all they have done so far, but anxious about the short squad, the piling injuries and the 5 point trail.

    Still feel the Zubizarreta should get into the action and find a stopgap inside forward. Getting someone with quality will be difficult, but not impossible. I am not sure if we have a solid backup for all those positions in the final third. Ruling out any transfers in the window seems to be an imprudent move, in my opinion.

    1. yes, totally.
      I’m completely nervous about Malaga match.
      it’s already half season and our away form against any team other than EE are still depressing.

    2. If nothing else Pep can always call up Dongou. Kid’s got talent ^_^

      We need to stop being complacent. And not have teams parking the bus and playing for a draw, but that’s perhaps too much to ask. There’s not much else that needs major fixing.

    3. I also don’t see a problem that needs a major fixing, but we really need to perform better in away games.

  17. I read that if the referee didn’t make a note of it in his match report, the RFEF isn’t going to investigate Pepe’s hand stamping. This was from Isaiah’s article over on the soccernet blog I believe.

    That’s ridiculous. The whole world saw it, it was replayed over and over. Everyone knows what happened, yet just because the referee missed it, he might be allowed to get away with it? What is this, the WWE??

    1. Not exactly. The Competition Commission can still pick up things for enquiry even if it is not mentioned in the referee’s report.

      Apparently thats how Mourinho’s eye-poke got him a 2 match ban in the Supercopas, which however was a piss-poor verdict from the impotent RFEF’s Competition Commission (which gave Tito a one match ban for retaliation as well !)

      There is some historic precedent for the CC’s involvement in much heavier punishment, but this version of the RFEF seems to be too comfortable in remaining inert and inactive – a characteristic that seems to be unfortunately the case with most of Spain’s administrators, which is why so many of Spain’s youth are part of the “Indignado” movement.

    2. Don’t you know that rule?

      It’s a given in any constitutional state: You can shoot a guy or bomb a house, as long as the judge doesn’t see you, you will not be accused of anything… 😛

    3. I find the rules in the Spanish FA or any other really of stone age.
      1) The referee obviously can’t see everything and if he didn’t see it in the 1st place, how can he include it in his report.
      2) Barcelona is obviously don’t want to be un-gentlemanlike and lodge a complaint. If they would, it would look awkward.

      We are in the 21st century, why can’t FIFA make use of the technology.
      I’m not even talking about video technology.
      I’m just talking about simple things such as the incident with Pepe.
      It is obvious for everyone to see. Hundreds of millions saw the incident.
      Why can’t they take action?

      FIFA needs to take a look at the American sports and learn something from it. Im not talking about the continuous breaks but Im talking about the rules and regulations and the use of video technology.

      So sick of seeing fouls go un punished, goals being disallowed, imaginary offsides etc.
      The human errors or the unintentional error cost millions!
      It’s time to stop it!

  18. well said then. no need to retaliate but then they will continue knowing dat we will not retaliate and the powers dat be will let it go. but have to admit am glad my team did not do as I think. as Marca said only providence stops the classico from turning into a bloodbath.

  19. Now I would do it again! (Since the admin is yet to object to my previous violent act)


    ^ is for that horRendOUS attempt on Dani, last season.

  20. just seems, after pepe did that to casquero, if the league wasnt beholden to EE, it would put the animal pEpE on watch. but hes walking around with impunity. doing the same things.

    is franco still pulling the strings here or what?

  21. Log entry:
    subject ROUS:


    The devil emoticon- 3 : }
    Pepe-dophile’s jersey number – 3

    Any connection?


    pEpE – EE embedded in name.
    Evil Empire – EE for short.

    Just a co-incidence? Is he it a son product of the current system, i.e EE?

    3. Mirror inversion gives us:


    A 33! aha!:P

    One 3 from the devil’s horn and the other his jersey no (refers to point 1)?

    Its a “widely accepted fact” that RM sold their soul to the devil, when they hired mou. Does points 1,2 and 3 gives us Cules more clues about the involvement of dark forces? Is mou a mere pawn? pepe just a scape-pegoat? Who knows!

    1. That orange jersey would be pretty sweet if it was a solid orange, the top color.

      I would buy it.

  22. worst ever design…really don’t like at all…come can do it better..(ADIDAS will laugh at you guys)

  23. Barcelona will buy back Sporting centre back Alberto Botia (22) for 2.4M this summer. Atletico Madrid are interested in signing him.

    Are we buying him back to just sell him off for a higher price or actually gonna use him.

    1. @barcastuff tweeted it, but they were quoting one of the papers. There is nothing official on this.

  24. Hi folks, popped in to make a rare comment. If my two cents matters, having to login to comment has been quite the deterrent for me.

    I felt obliged to comment, however, on Alexis Sanchez. What a performance from him against EE! Euler talked about him against EE last month as the player to provide horizontal width–dragging the defenders from left to right to create space for others. Man, did he ever do that in this match. He ran EE absolutely ragged, and ran himself into the ground in the process, all match long. Best match in the colors by a country mile.

    1. you can set it up to remember you on the computer you use the most. Otherwise, it must be a mental block, as it takes ~2 seconds.

  25. Pele again trying to hog limelight. This is all the proof needed to know that Messi is now surely at the highest table. Funny to read the quotes though. What a sad old man.

  26. Interesting notes from the “overall minutes” stat category:

    1. Thiago has played 4 more minutes than Fabregas so far, and ~180 more minutes than Iniesta.

    2. It’s great that Abidal has renewed, he has played the 4th most minutes on the team (less than only Messi, Valdes, and Alves).

  27. Dear Nike,how hard can it be to get vertical stripes right? Hooray you’ve proved you can be creative, unfortunately that airbrush blending is not Barca.It actually looks like when your are trying to mix colors in paint.At this rate we’ll get tie dye patterns for 2013 -_-‘

    1. Agreed. None of this blending nonsense. Give me some good solid stripes on the main kit, more stripes are generally better.

      Give me a solid bright orange second kit.

      Do your nonsense on the third kit, we’ll never wear it anyways

    2. Yea its weird, they haven’t touched inter’s stripes at all yet ours these last years have be fair game.I can only assume its because we’ve decided to accept more money for whatever ‘innovative’ design they can vomit out.

  28. “Marcelo Bielsa’s side are unbeaten in their last six away league games (W2 D4), their best run since March 1997.”

    So excited about this weekend! This is the worst time for EE to play the dangerous Bilbao 🙂

    1. so, is this the best run of Bilbao since 97 or of a team coached by Bielsa???

      I guess RM will run riot, win all the other games except of when they meet us. Pretty much just like the season has gone so far.

    2. Bilbao.

      Dont be a buzz killer, Helge! 😛
      Believe in probability. Madrid is likely to slip up now. Mallorca almost made them.

      And watch out for Muniain. Lorrente is in a fine form too!

  29. I’m just leaving this rant here so we can talk about ONLY the football on the review thread.

    As you all know, false equivalence drives me crazy but two other things really bother me:

    1) the illusion of objectivity


    2) straw men arguments*.

    *For those who don’t remember, straw mens are when you change someone’s argument into something it isn’t so it’s easier to refute.

    It’s everywhere. Stuff like: “I’m not a fan of either, but Barcelona’s constant diving and cheating is despicable.” Or, “What Pepe and co are doing is not good, but what’s often overlooked is that Barcelona are no angels either. ”

    Two things: 1) You’re not neutral, so stop trying to appear so. and 2) That’s actually brought up at every given moment.

    Then of course is the notion yhat gamesmanship is equal to (or worse in some people’s eyes) than trying to injure someone. I’ve never a face-clutch end a career, unseemly as it is.

    The funny thing about Pepe is that when he played in the Copa final and CL semis of last season, he was widely praised by a lot of, ahem, ‘neutrals’. Finally, there was a player that could ‘stop’ Messi! He’s a real hardman!

    Now they all turn on him, even though he’s always been like this. Carvalho gets off basically scott free for that Sergio Ramos in the Manita-esque hack on Messi at the death; Coentrao’s head shove when Messi’s getting up? Nothing.

    One last thing [that I ranted on in the Guardian comment pages for some inexplicable reason]:

    The most remarkable thing I found was how Mourinho was already making excuses before a ball was kicked. Read the paragraph Isaiah translated in the preview.

    The guy who wants to be remembered as the greatest coach in football history, the man who has consolidated total power at the richest club in the world, that Jose Mourinho is basically admitting that no matter what he does, he’ll probably end up losing to Barca.

    I’ve heard a lot of people, Madridistas mostly, who believe that their problem vs us is psychological. I agree to a point; Mourinho and EE are suffering from something called:

    in-fe-ri-or-i-ty com-plex (n)

    A persistent sense of inadequacy or a tendency to self-diminishment, sometimes resulting in excessive aggressiveness through overcompensation

    And it’s because of Barca. They never really respected him, forever The Translator to Sir Bobby Robson, and he knew he’d probably never coach them [though he was close once after Rijkaard was dismissed] So he has an obsession to beat them, like a scorned lover wants revenge on their ex.

    But he can’t beat them. No matter what he does. He’s done the dirty, the nasty, the pretty pressing — none worked. That paranoid rant after the first leg CL last season was him desperately trying to discredit Barca because they are the greatest threat to his football immortality. After all, what’s special isn’t the tactics — what he does is nothing coaches of Betis and Getafe haven’t done — the biggest asset is his mouth, which he uses to his advantage and to great effect [like big up his achievement in press, put down other teams/coaches/players and/or influence referees] to give him a bigger image in football than he actually should have IMO.

    Barcelona have almost completely crushed the spirit of one of the most arrogant, cocky media personalities around and the greatest club of the 20th century (according to FIFA) and forced them to develop a serious inferiority complex.

    This pleases me greatly.

    On the other hand, that just means the current tactic (if you can call it that) of allowing Pepe, Marcelo, Carvalho, Arbeloa and now Coentrao (new signing, new job) to violently ‘tackle’ them, coupled with Alonso’s terrible tacking and Diarra’s tactical fouling (how do those two constantly avoid yellow cards? Is it the magic of having EPL experience?) will only continue until a Barca player gets seriously injured.

    This frightens me. Greatly.

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