Glasses and Brownies: Barça-La Real

Liga Preview: Barcelona-Real Sociedad, Saturday 4pm ET,

They’re talking about refs, lots of draws, and the possibility of Guardiola not renewing. None of this concerns me. None of this is remotely interesting. Real Sociedad is playing at the Camp Nou this weekend? Okay, then. We’ll focus on that for 2 hours Saturday afternoon. We’ll purchase Gareth Bale in the summer, Iniesta will recover from his injuries and score the greatest goal known to man when he jumps 50 feet in the air and doesn’t a double somersault flying chilena from his own box. Guardiola will renew. These things are written in stone.

The powers that be can’t keep a good man down. First Guardiola screams about how you can dry out the pitch all you want but Captain Caveman will swing in on his Tarzan vine and decimate your careful planning. Then he takes his kids to a basketball game. My friend CJ and I discussed it:

CJ: His son has blaugrana glasses.
Me: He’ll obviously grow up to revolutionize glasses-wearing: triangular lenses.
CJ: You know about las fallas in Valencia, right? The sculptures they burn? Well, they made one of the Mou finger in Tito’s eye scene.
So Pep Jr makes eye glasses in triangular fashion, with WM logos all over them mothers, and they protect you from eye-gouging Portugeezers. You can’t talk about revolutionary glasses without mentioning Wahin Makinaciones.
CJ: We should send that idea Pinto along with my request for pictures of the Míster in them. They’d make bank.
Me: Tag line of “look, offer, receive focus.”
CJ: And not get injured.
Me: Abidal renewed! Do we have to do a carbomb for that?
I’m thinking of making carbomb brownies or lemon bars. That would count.
Me: Why the dildo would we eat lemon bars to celebrate Abidal’s renewal?
CJ: No, I’m asking what dessert I make.
: We haven’t talked about Sociedad
What is there to say about Sociedad? Pep’s kid’s plans for glasses affect us both far more.

Ahem. I don’t know what led CJ to believe that, but she’ll figure it out soon enough. She’s a smart lemon bar. The rest of you have already figured out that Sociedad is somewhat of an afterthought for me at this point. It’s not that I don’t respect them as a team because I very much do, but there’s sensory overload going on right now. Games seem to happen every 13 minutes.

La Real is rolling with: Bravo, Ramírez, Carlos Martínez, Dani Estrada, Demidov, Mikel, Ansotegi, Iñigo Martínez, Cadamuro, Xabi Prieto, Aranburu, Markel, Ros, Pardo, Griezmann, Vela, Ifrán, Llorente, Agirretxe

Barça will respond with all the available first teamers plus Tello, JDS, and Sergi Roberto.

Offical prediction: 2-0, goals by Messi.

See, what’s to worry about? I’m also going to predict that Getafe steals a controversial point this weekend. Fun!

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. Chiu
    February 3, 2012

    – I wish to see “do or die” game for the next 18 league matches. No matter how wounded we are with all the injury and weary leg. We are competent to cut that 7 point gap. I want we push push hard for all league games, roll the best line up possible. Then play “safe” on aggregate for CDR and CL to preserve energy whenever two-leg result permitted. The injury is nothing new; we have experienced the depleted defenders last season and ended with double title. This season would prove a new challenge with reduced numbers of forward and see how many trophies we’d bag.

    – My line up for Sociedad game:

    Alves – Pique – Puyol – Abidal
    Xavi – Busi – Thiago
    Messi – Cesc – Alexis

    It’s home game, so it’s hard to imagine we don’t take 3 points. EE play a tricky match at Getafe home. A potential “slip up” match for them. Getafe always presents a hard battle for us and EE, esp. at their home. So just pray they get some points from their white neighbor. Do us favor!

      • Roberto Senyera
        February 4, 2012

        Agreed. Save Captain Tarzan’s legs for Wednesday. Let him play with his pet sheep. After all, it’s cold in Barcelona today anyhow.

  2. SoccerMom
    February 3, 2012

    CJ’s new nickname is Lemon Bar. Because she’s smart, sharp and sweet!

    Also, thank you for the preview. I’m on sinus meds right now, and all I can come up with is “yea, game tomorrow [snort] hope we win [chortlesnort] where’s that *&^$#@ stickupyernose thingie?”

    Finally, awesome falla picture. You people have GOT to get into the Fallas. It’s weeks and weeks in March. There’s these crazy dress-up parades with grown women dressed up as a cross between Marie Antoinette and Princess Leia, and men dressed up as French-artist-stereotypes with berets and smocks, and then there’s this gynormous statue of religious figures made out of flower-tosses, and then there’s blocks and blocks and blocks of the most tasteless, corny, satiric paper-maché gigantic statues stories and stories high in the air.

    But the best part is the end of the festivities, they BURN IT ALL DOWN. There’s fireworks every day in every plaza, so loud that your ears will be injured and your heart will beat in your chest. (People like to just throw firecrackers around in Valencia too, so watch your step.) Then there’s the Nit de Foc, or the Night of Fire, with a huge fireworks display at midnight (o.k., I’ve always fallen asleep before the Foc). But then the Cremá, or the burning, is spectacular. There’s mini fallas for the kids to burn, and the larger fallas for the grownups. You have to wait for the fire department to arrive before you can burn down your four-story falla, though. And it’s not for your safety, either. It’s so they can hose down the windows in the surrounding buildings so the glass does not explode. Oh, and to make sure the falla “burns well”. They might poke a few holes in it, just to get a good boom going, and not just some lame little smolder.

    Then everyone goes home and cries ’cause the fallas are over.

    Now I have to go find the stickupmenose thingie. I feel like Lloyd Bridges at the end of “Airplane”.


    • Roberto Senyera
      February 4, 2012

      Get well soon SM.

      Thanks for sharing that anecdote about the fallas.

    • Miguel
      February 4, 2012

      Awww. Just don’t jump out the air traffic control tower, SoMa! Know how ya’ feel. Hope you’re allowed to get some rest. 🙂

  3. hansh
    February 3, 2012

    Does anyone know when Iniesta is expected back? I miss el ilusionista… 🙁

    • Laurentiu88
      February 4, 2012

      new reports say he might even play against Osasuna! he was due to recover on 14 of Feb.

  4. Jafri
    February 3, 2012

    Is there any way to rest Messi? Poor guy looks absolutely knackered.

    • Chiu
      February 3, 2012

      Pep has a lot of chances to rest Messi actually. It seems Messi that don’t want to stay home or riding the bench even a single second in the match day. I don’t understand why Messi was so stubborn want to play all games 90 minutes and refuse to be rested. He must realize his limit and appreciate his body sometimes. Pep should try to call his mom to help advice her, LOL

      I just could think Messi is so passionate about the game and want to help the team whenever he could. Like the schoolboy enthusiasm that will just stop when they get sick and their mom lock him up in the room. I think Pep must “force” Messi to rest, occasionally.

      • February 4, 2012

        Schoolboys so enthusiastic their moms have to lock them up to stop them from going to school? :S

      • Jafri
        February 4, 2012


        You gotta love the little fellas commitment though.

  5. February 4, 2012

    Don’t predict good things in the Getafe game you know how it works that jinxes it. I’m sure EE wins 4-1 or something. From behind, again.

    • Roberto Senyera
      February 4, 2012

      Don’t be superstitious.

      We take care of business at home without a bother and the EE drop points today. I can smell it 😉

    • Helge
      February 4, 2012

      The coach of Getafe has never lost a home match vs Pep or Mourinho.
      Getafe has taken 16 points from 15 matches vs EE.
      This is another match where you could expect them to fail. Just like the match on Mallorca. At Valencia.
      So expect a win for EE, maybe a lucky one. Or a total demolition^^

      • Roberto Senyera
        February 4, 2012

        Your stats would seem to support my intuition. The good fortune of those Lily White Bastards (LWBs) cannot continue forever. They will hit their bump in the road … some way … somehow. Keep the faith brothers and sisters!

        I can smell it.

        I can smell something. If it’s not that then it’s some other funky aroma.

  6. Nav
    February 4, 2012

    I’m watching the game against Valencia and it can be summed up by one thing: missed chances. I feel a lot better about things now. We didn’t play horribly st all.

  7. Judas Pissed
    February 4, 2012

    We need teams to actually TRY & beat EE – something that doesn’t happen that often in La Liga anymore…

    • Helge
      February 4, 2012

      It doesn’t happen in the CdR or CL either. I am almost 100% sure we will face EE in the CL. Don’t see any other team who can compete with them (Arsenal, Chelsea – LOL(!) Milan, Bayern – they are closer than the English teams, but still way behind).

  8. Miguel
    February 4, 2012

    So has Jonathan dos Santos joined the first team? Is he the new Andreu Fontàs?

    • flyzowee
      February 4, 2012

      Hes our provisional Keita until the Malian gets back which would have been sooner if keita hadnt scored the winner in Malis final Grp game.

      At this point, any extra hands are welcome so I hope he returns sooner rather than later.

  9. kinukinu
    February 4, 2012

    We have a lot of things working against us–fatigue, injuries, pressure. But the biggest disadvantage now is BELIEF. Teams used to think it would take a modern miracle to score against Barca, let alone draw or win. Now, enough damage has been done that they BELIEVE they can win. They don’t fear Barca the way they used to–so they go at it with everything they’ve got and it’s been working.

    Last season, Barca had more than a few games where they didn’t play their best but somehow scraped by with a win. There was a perceived invincibility that caused teams to give up before the end. Now, they fight til the end, knowing they stand a chance. This season, EE are the ones that are instilling fear and hopelessness in their opponents. They are the ones who turn a game around in minutes and kill it.

    In this Barca team now, there is doubt, which is spreading like a virus and infecting the team. Our players now doubt what they used to know to be true–that often makes the difference when it’s a matter of inches. It’s the difference between hitting the post and going in. Messi missed the penalty because he had doubt.

    Puyol is the only one right now who has the strength of will to turn his back on doubt–Pep needs to find a way to infect the rest of the team with that will. It’s not impossible, but it will be tough…

    • Momo
      February 4, 2012

      Sorry to say but that’s a bunch of doodoo…

      Belief isn’t the main problem. The problem is after 3 years of pretty much owning everything in sight in la liga and the CL will you still be trying just as hard?

      • Jim
        February 4, 2012

        I’m not seeing a lack of belief at all, I don’t think the motivation is any less and I don’t think we’re playing badly either. I just think there’s an edge of energy missing that in our game throws it off more than most. We play a dangerous game if we can’t move the ball quickly and win it back before the opposition get at our defence. That’s where I feel the 3 at the back has hurt us although it is a worthwhile experiment.

        Our opponents’ belief won’t last long if we’re pinging the ball about at our usual pace. I’m optimistic about the rest of the season and every time I’ve doubted our team they have come up with the goods so I’m relaxed about our current situation. Three trophies in the bag and still challenging for everything? Can’t be bad.

        • kinukinu
          February 4, 2012

          “I just think there’s an edge of energy missing that in our game throws it off more than most.”

          This is actually more or less what I was trying to say. Fatigue is the main culprit, but psychology exacerbates it.

          What I’m referring to is a shift in confidence that creates a shred of doubt– it’s subtle, but crucial. It’s the same doubt that sometimes plagues strikers in a slump–the more times they miss, the harder it becomes to “know” the ball is going to go in the net. That doubt leads to hesitation and second-guessing. And split second hesitation can mean the difference between scoring and not scoring in a crucial moment. In recent games, we’ve had so many of those split second minutiae that have led to very uncharacteristic misses.

          Messi is exhausted and it’s clear in his performance. But he didn’t miss the penalty because he was tired, he missed because he had doubt. Things were not going his way and he psyched himself out.

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