blitzen awards, now in their own post!

You asked for it. You begged for it. You got it! blitzen awards in their own sexy post! I’m sorry it couldn’t be longer, but I’ve had a very busy day. Do feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

That’s Zamora Award: “When the ball hits your eye like a big pizza pie…” Victor Valdes is still on track for his fifth Zamora, but the three goals conceded last night didn’t do his coefficient any good. It has gone up from 0.70 to 0.79 (although Marca still hasn’t updated their stats, seemingly). Saving penalties is the one area where Victor is inferior to Casillas, and he should practice them more, especially if we are going to give away silly ones like that.

MOTMOTM Award: Who says the Man Of The Match has to be the best player? I’m giving this one to Dani Alves, who singlehandedly (see what I did there?) changed the momentum of the game and gave Granada a glimmer of hope that they could get a result. I can actually give Dani a bit of a pass for the second penalty—it was dumb, but it was also a totally reflexive brain-fart moment that could happen to anyone and probably will. The foul that led to the first penalty, though, was completely moronic. What on earth was he thinking?!? Ridiculous. Props to the Granada player who led him into it, mind you. Great gamesmanship.

Look Behind You! Award: I can’t be the only one who saw the t-shirts the Barcelona players were wearing in honour of Fabrice Muamba and had flashbacks to Panto season? (The shirts said “Fabrice!!!! We are behind you!” in English.) Expressions of support, or creepy stalkers?

Reduce. Reuse. Regift. Award: And speaking of shirts, I asked about this on twitter but no one answered me—what do they do with all those supportive t-shirts after the game? Surely the players don’t keep them to wear again. Are they recycled? Donated? Are there little kids in Africa running around with “Anims Abi!!!” shirts?

Movin’ On Up Award: Xavi started his senior career at Barça as a defensive midfielder, coming in to replace an injured Guardiola. Later his coaches moved him further up on the pitch to a more attacking role. Pep in particular has encouraged Xavi to move forward into a scoring position more often.  Now Xavi seems to believe he is a central forward, and scores like one! He has 10 league goals already this season, more than either Fabregas (9) or Alexis (8). Como un jefe.

Rosell-Cruyff Award For Running Your Mouth: Keita! After receiving a ludicrous yellow card for a foul that wasn’t, he not only presented the ref with his patented “Who, me?” face, but went so far as to put his arm around him in a “This must be a joke!” gesture. Good effort for a first-time winner in this category.

Stolen Thunder Award: Poor Cuenca. He had a brilliant match, the best we have seen him since he crashed awkwardly into the spotlight last summer. He used the left wing to great advantage, outmanoeuvred his opponents and sent lots of great crosses into the box, two of which resulted in goals. Then Tello comes on and scores another goal and he’s the bright young thing once again. It’s OK, though. I noticed that everyone, and especially captain Puyol, went out of their way to congratulate Cuenca on his assists, so they know how good he was. Suck it, Tello. (I kid! Tello is awesome.)

It Rains But it Pours Award: Adriano. Injury. ‘Nuff Said. At this rate we will be calling on the Cadete B players. Anyone know what position Tito Vilanova’s son Adria plays? 😀

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Written by:

Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.

174 Comments

  1. messifan
    March 21, 2012

    There’s no holiday in Madrid tomorrow or tomorrow after, right?

    I love watching them implode 🙂

    Seriously, if they want to win, they should behave better. The ending drama was like the super copa stuff minus eye-poking.

    Who wants to bet that this ref will never officiate RM matches again?

  2. nzm
    March 21, 2012

    Madrid walked out of the stadium straight onto their bus after refusing to attend the after-match press conference.

  3. mega_tajh
    March 21, 2012

    The Lotina effect is strong!!!

    Villarreal played so well in the first half, had many scoring chances but they tired in the 2nd.

    And imagine he had only around 3 days to prepare his team.

    • mega_tajh
      March 21, 2012

      To note they have also drawn the big 2 of La Liga at their home. Don’t think any other Spanish side has done that feat in a while.

  4. mom4
    March 21, 2012

    For those with acsess to GOLTV, they are showing a replay of the Villareal v EE right now. It’s in the 34th.

  5. March 21, 2012

    RM developing the petulant victim mentality. Their star player saying, “robbery, robbery?” Shameful. Could be very costly in the future.

    Let this whole snafu be a warning to those cules who want Pep and Barcelona to play the ref game: this is the result.

    Sure you’ll get favourable calls for a season or two, but at what cost? Complete capitation at all levels. Conceded an equalizer; coach and two players sent off. What kind of response is that?

    No, I didn’t watch the match; no, I can’t say I feel any sort of pity for RM; but I sure am glad we didn’t buy heavily into this ref stuff. Whatever if the fans do it; club should be bigger. And I’ve said the same for Barca if you remember.

    Frankly, it’s embarrassing. Typical of Mourinho and RM under him as we all know but so freaking embarrassing.

    Six points is all well and good, but we’ve got our share of problems too. Away to Mallorca without Alves, Adriano, Abidal… We can’t afford to drop points. It’ll be tough. The gap is much closer but Liga is still RM’s to lose. Not to be a Debbie Downer or contrarian to the mood or anything – just saying.

    We’ll still awesome however. 8)

    • blitzen
      March 21, 2012

      Iniesta for left back!

    • March 22, 2012

      I think Rijkaard once used him as a left back. But against Mallorca I would prefer Keita rather than Iniesta.

    • mega_tajh
      March 21, 2012

      We shall win La liga once we get our jobs done in every game. I never gave up and i expect another draw from madrid come sat. Over-confident? No but I believe in my team and the signs are all for us.

    • Puppet
      March 22, 2012

      I agree, six points is great, but we have too many hard matches ahead of us to get overly excited. Barca has what it takes, definitely, so let’s just see what we can do with this opportunity.

      Also, the officiating was ridiculously awful, but Real had it coming. The mixture of their hot-headedness, the constant pressure they put on the ref, and Mourinho’s reputation made something like this inevitable. That said, the ref had better be able to defend his decision to book Ozil and the general lack of control he had with the game, or he’s gone from the Primera Division.

  6. Srini
    March 21, 2012

    Karma comes to hurt back like a Butch for Madrid.

    If RFEF lets the red cards stay (yeah it will come down to this), then EE would be facing Sociedad in a couple of days from now without Ramos, Pepe(need confirmation), Oezil and Lassana Diarra (for getting to 5 yellow cards so far, if I am not wrong). They still have Di Maria injured. And possibly Mourinho will not be at the sidelines as well along with Redder than anyone else, Rui Faria.

    It is going to a tough one for them, even if they are going to face Real at home. Sociedad has flattered to deceive generally this season – with a combination of bad luck and ineffectiveness – but they have the talent to scrap out a draw at least. Very unlikely than likely, but odds have improved a tad little because of the suspensions.

    Still a Long March for Barcelona being behind 6 points. But if Barca keep doing their end of the bargain – not dropping points, who knows?

    All said and done, this has been a tremendous slugfest of a season.

  7. March 21, 2012

    Just properly dawned on me that Ozil got sent off. How the heck did that happen? Ghost of Villa b*tch slap him?

    • Ryan
      March 21, 2012

      He must’ve said something bad to the referee, because he was booked soon after Ramos’ dismissal. Not sure why he would complain – Ramos smashed Nilmar to the ground, and he was already on a yellow!

  8. nzm
    March 21, 2012

    Wow, that ref – José Luis Paradas Romero‎ – in the Villarreal-RM match sure is card-happy.

    Look at how many he’s dished out: http://es.soccerway.com/referees/jos-paradas-romero/63238/

    Hit the “Anterior” link to view his entire history.

    He given out 330 cards over 55 games in which he has refereed on the pitch – an average of 6 per match!

    The most that he’s given out in one match has been 14: once on 11/11/09 Espanyol vs Getafe (14 Yellows) and again on 21/12/11 Levante vs Deportivo (12 Yellows and 2 Reds).

    Incredible!

  9. March 21, 2012

    After some initial delight I won’t say a word until the Mallorca game. Much as I love the club when it comes to football I’m superstitious about karma and stuff and I refuse to be optimistic until/unless we have played Mallorca and hopefully- I hope though I’m super nervous about it I really hope- won. I have this theory that whenever fans start getting cocky they then get heartbroken in the most unpleasant ways (read: City and Spurs this season alone) so I completely absolutely refuse to even consider the possibility of overhauling the gap yet YET.

    I still think they’re huge favorites. I’m optimistic of winning at Camp Nou and if we get past Mallorca unscathed- and ONLY THEN- I will dare to dream. After their next game at Sociedad Madrid go to Pamplona, entertain Valencia, go to the Calderon (where much as I like Atletico I am sure their curse will continue, sadly), play a relegation-battling Gijon at home, play at the Camp Nou, and then host Sevilla. Their last two games are a safe Granada and Mallorca which I won’t bank on, but if the gap doesn’t increase after the next matchday I will have some hope.

    Either way we need to start being perfect.

    Also I really really hope Villareal stay up, they’re arguably the most universally likable club in all Europe. I literally don’t know anyone who hates or even dislikes them. And of course they’re a model of how to run a club well, build steadily, and play lovely football. La Liga, Europe and football will be worse without them.

    • Ryan
      March 21, 2012

      You’re forgetting that they have to go away to play Bielsa’s Bilbao. I know they’ve had a string of losses after their fantastic result vs. United, but I have high hopes that they’ll trouble EE.

    • Puppet
      March 22, 2012

      Didn’t RM win 1-4 at San Mames? I think they have yet to host Athletic though, hopefully the Lions can get them there.

    • Laurentiu88
      March 22, 2012

      the 4-1 was at Bernabeu.

    • Puppet
      March 22, 2012

      Well that’s good! Athletic have been inconsistent, but i think when they’re playing a great team, they are extra focused and motivated and find a higher gear (like against us and Man Utd).

  10. March 21, 2012

    Excuse my utterly bitter and totally cynical/disillusioned cule self but you guys do realize that this just means against Sociedad at home, it’s likely they’ll get a million penalties, no red cards and the like because of media storm, right? According to Hunter, some referees watch Punto Pelota.

    Let me repeat that.

    Punto. Freakin. Pelota.

    That’s hilarious.

    I’m so cynical; it’s pretty sad.

    • mega_tajh
      March 21, 2012

      We shall see. Remember they play in the CL on Tuesday. I don’t believe in this ref business so for me I only see a weaken Madrid team vs a Sociedad team who will be smelling blood. Anything can and will happen. Same for us also against Mallorca.

    • March 21, 2012

      The non bitter, cynical, disillusioned self (i.e. the majority) believes the above.

      Really, I saw the Valencia – Zaragoza game today; the refereeing in that game was just depressing. Even when the usual Liga standard is taken into account. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a player get a penalty after they handballed it…

    • March 21, 2012

      it’s likely they’ll get a million penalties, no red cards and the like because of media storm, right?

      eh, my utterly bitter and totally cynical/disillusioned cule self believe that too.. 😛

  11. blitzen
    March 21, 2012

    I am so confused! Exactly how many RM players will be sitting out their next game and for what reasons (cards, injuries)? Summary please!

    • mega_tajh
      March 21, 2012

      Lass 5 yellow cards. Ramos 2 yellows, as with Pepe( got 1 after the game) and a straight red for Ozil.

    • Ryan
      March 21, 2012

      It also looked like Altintop injured himself, so he’s probably a doubt for the game.

    • kinukinu
      March 21, 2012

      Also, Higuain is on his 4th yellow, thanks to the one he got after the game for mouthing off.

  12. Ryan
    March 21, 2012

    It looks like Cazorla’s the best free kick taker among the top leagues this season. But Xavi’s number three, having scored 2 out of just 10 attempts. Please no more Dani FKs!

    http://i.imgur.com/CTPWF.jpg

    • March 21, 2012

      TB highlighted at the bottom. 😆

      Awesome Xavi! Wonder if Iniesta is any good at FKs… (possible Dani replacements)

    • Ryan
      March 21, 2012

      Yes, the TB part was my favorite. 😀 And yet prior to any FK he takes the commentators love to praise his FK taking ability.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen Iniesta take a FK. He does alright with long range shots, why not have a go at a FK eh?

    • G6O
      March 22, 2012

      And one has to point out that Messi hit the post at least 3 times from FKs so he was really unlucky not to have more than 1 goal.

  13. Dani_el
    March 21, 2012

    Cr7 as usual with him went out of the stadium implying “robbery” with his hands. Pepe said “some robbery, you son of a b****” to the ref, I expect the comission to do something about it. Mou and his whole technical staff walked out the press conference, he hides like he’s used to in tough times. The sad part, is that this is most usual with Madrid’s culture right now. That is why is disgraceful to lose this way.

  14. Megster
    March 21, 2012

    I am just happy as everyone else Madrid drawing with Sevilla, but we also have crucial games that will decide our Liga’s chances. If we lose to Mallorca or any of our games, I think it’s really over for our Liga hopes.

    But again, I am HAPPY they drew and all the circumstances around it. Like Nelson Muntz would say: Ha-ha!

  15. March 21, 2012

    Comment on Soccernet-

    GoTPLATANOS
    How ignorant and irresponsible are Mourinho and his agent Eladio Paramés? “El fútbol murió de ‘Paradas’ cardiacas” which translates to “football died of a cardiac arrest” with a play on word of the referee’s last name, Paradas.
    Fabrice Muamba not even a week ago had a heart attack on the pitch and almost died. For this idiot to say something like this is inexcusable. I know he’s not referring to Muamba but to use “cardiac arrest” and “football” to complain about a phantom robbery done by the referee last night is both childish and out of line…

    That’s really not cool at all. There’s no way he doesn’t know about Muamba and all of course considering Real (as well as Barca, Sevilla etc) were giving messages of support and it was big news too.

    • culegirl3
      March 22, 2012

      Coincidental? maybe but its still suspicious.

      In bad taste? Definitely…but look who we’re talking about here, its JM..that in itself is self-explanatory.

    • March 22, 2012

      I highly doubt that was a coincidence. RM players had lots of signs of support for Muamba on their shirts in the previous game if I recall correctly and the whole footballing world knows about it, there is no chance in hell that Mourinho didn’t know about Muamba’s heart attack. It just seems like a jerkwad comment which really does not surprise me.

  16. Srini
    March 22, 2012

    The funniest part was Pepe getting carded for diving when he really took a good hit on his face. As I said earlier, Karma coming to bite back badly. It was hilarious watching the thug indignantly showing his swollen lip around the stadium. Even more funny was that he got him yellow carded again *after* the game. There is justice after all in this world, I suppose.

    Just to say it again. EE is going to miss the following players the next game – Lass Diarra (gets his fifth yellow in the fifth minute of the game), Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Oezil (all for red cards) apart from Mourinho and his designated fall guy Rui Faria who has been assigned duties of taking the hit for Mourinho’s constant berating of the referees this season. Faria has got his fourth (need to confirm) Red Card this season, can you imagine? That is how much pressure Mourinho’s staff is heaping upon the referees.

    All said, 6 points is still a large gap with 10 very tough games and a heavy schedule to go through. But it is heartening to see that the wheel is turning toward justice and that the footballing gods are taking notice (this from an atheist). No way in a fair world, does Mourinho’s evil behavior deserve any honors this season – as much as one must admire the way that so many of EE players have played so well all along.

  17. K_legit in Oz
    March 22, 2012

    Madrid se quema, se quema Madrid,
    Madrid se quema, se quema Madrid!

  18. yassir (Formerly Extreme barca fan)
    March 22, 2012

    I dont watch EE matches, but a friend told me that while on the field, Pepe shook the ref hands and was all proffessional, then in the tunnel he verbally attacked him, class all over.

    • Nik
      March 22, 2012

      It was definitely a strange (even unnerving) sight to see Pepe shake the ref’s hands and shepherd his teammates away from the ref when they arrived to give him a piece of their mind. The universe returned to normalacy after he stepped off the pitch it seems.

    • kinukinu
      March 22, 2012

      I don’t think he was being a sportsman when he shook hands with the ref–his posture was exaggerated–he sort of bowed to the ref as he did it in feigned reverence, as if it was a sarcastic gesture.

    • nzm
      March 22, 2012

      Agreed. He was milking it and it was all a farcical act which he couldn’t maintain after he entered the tunnel.

    • kinukinu
      March 22, 2012

      He should have stuck with the first tactic–it would have been hard to get a second yellow for sarcasm. But he can’t help it. It’s in his nature.

    • Nik
      March 22, 2012

      Agreed.

  19. Sam M
    March 22, 2012

    A few weeks ago I remember hearing Ruud Gullit enthuse about Messi during some post-match commentary on television. The rest of the commentators (Gary Lineker, et al.) were talking about how Messi’s mental discipline, confidence, vision, and mind-spinning creative and technical abilities combine into a lethal package. They were especially impressed by how Messi never loses his cool even when he’s being hacked and fouled. Gullit chuckled and basically said, “That’s because he’s in control.” The sub-text of Gullit’s remark seemed to be about how few teams and players actually attain control over themselves.

    I’ve been thinking about this issue of control with regard to Real Madrid especially after today’s FREAK OUT AT THE REFS Part XXIII against Villareal. As we know, after conceding the goal the entire team melted down with Mourinho leading the pack. Ramos kicking out for his second yellow, the coach expulsions, Ozil sent off for dissent, Ronaldo’s petulant “we wuz robbed” gesture, Pepe yelling at the ref in the tunnel, post-match accusations of referee conspiracies, all point to the fact that this team is not in control.* It’s certainly not in control of its temper and may not be in control of its destiny in La Liga. As long as Barcelona continues to play well, the six-point advantage Madrid currently holds certainly looks well within grasp.

    One final point on the issue of control. Despite occasional flashes of brilliant football like today’s first goal against Villareal, the Real Madrid of the Mourinho era looks to me like a very fast, hyperactive, and possibly rabid dog racing around a yard. The pace of their game is usually frenetic and even when it’s not there’s an impatience to their style of play. For me, the hallmark of the Guardiola era (aside from the ecstatic and elegant football on display) is an overall discipline that manifests in mental toughness, possession of the ball, intelligent passing and movement, and utter authority over the pace of a match. When everything is clicking and we are in control we are almost impossible to beat.

    * For the sake of contrast, remember how Puyol roused his teammates after conceding to Madrid in the first 30 seconds of the first Clásico?

    • Ryan
      March 22, 2012

      You can also contrast how we acted when our game vs. Villarreal ended in a draw. We certainly didn’t lash out at the Yellow Submarine, refs, et al.

    • March 22, 2012

      Great comment! Agreed on all fronts. Was thinking something similar yesterday.

  20. Dani_el
    March 22, 2012

    Jorge Valdano, en la Cadena Ser, fue explícito: ‘Si alguien puede quejarse por el árbitro, es el Villarreal, por el penalti no pitado por agarrón a Nilmar en el primer tiempo’.
    Jorge Valdano was pretty clear to Cadena ser: “If someone needs to complaint about the referee, is Villareal, because of the uncall penalty to Nilmar in the first half”.
    In another matter, I read this from another source but now, Sid Lowe confirms it:
    “Messi’s three took him past César Rodríguez as Barcelona’s all-time top scorer. Some question the validity of the record, because Paulino Alcántara – the man they called Romperredes, the net buster – got more. The problem is that Alcántara’s goals, scored in competitions like the Catalan Championship between 1912 and 1927, are not classed as official; the solution is that Messi will probably end up breaking his 364-goal tally anyway.”
    I read Paulino Alcántara was originally from the Philippines and a catalan journalist called him the best player to ever leave asia. So yay! another record for Messi! Pep will be pretty excited!

    • Srini
      March 22, 2012

      Valdano getting a chance to get at Mourinho, IMHO.

      The Cesar/ Alcantara record breaking suggests that Messi is not just an once in a generation player, but once in a century player or even more. Puts our luck to be born in the same era in perspective.

    • Chiu
      March 22, 2012

      As much as Valdano personally dislike Mou, he wouldn’t say something bad about his beloved club. I think he just couldn’t resist to “defend” the situation which EE not even legit to complain.

      Agree, that might hint right that Messi is once in a century talent.

    • Srini
      March 22, 2012

      Indeed.

      Some info on the upcoming schedule in the La Liga –

      Both Barca and Madrid have 5 home games and 5 away games.

      Barca has a relatively easier away schedule as compared to Madrid and vice versa.

      Average pts garnered by teams that Barca faces in away games – about 33.8, and for Madrid – 40.2. (Average opponent positions – 12 and 9 respectively). Home games though see Madrid facing teams with 34.6 pts and 12th position on average, and Barca – 42.7 and 8 respectively.

      But it is going to be game by game and factors that would matter would include schedule which contains Champions League games (and Europa) as well. Considering all three squads from the Europa also face EE and Barca, it is going to be one intriguing end to the season.

      Taking a step backwards and looking at the Liga – without ref controversies etc – this has been as advertised, a terrific duopoly in a strong footballing league. Spain should be proud of its football.

    • Chiu
      March 22, 2012

      – A well-managed rotation of key players would be one of crucial aspect to cruise this stormy schedule unscathed. Couldn’t think anything more complex than two games vs. Milan and potential two games vs. Chelsea sandwiched between every decisive league matches. Maybe only last season 4 classico series can be put on par. We better concentrate on the very next game at a time. Must win in Mallorca!

      – I am quoting nice statement from Thiago yesterday “Hoping is the last thing you lose”. So keep hope Cules!

  21. Chiu
    March 22, 2012

    Some words:

    – Finally, blitzen award make its first appereance as BFB official post. Always love the casual views on your award. Thanks you Blitz!

    – On the subject of Xavi to move closer to goal, I think the beneficial aspect would be his exceptional positioning when he’s around the box. I recalled some Xavi goals from open play came when he place himself just right and set to shoot. He doesn’t possess kind of ability to dribble past defenders ala Iniesta, but he is proficient in making himself accessible to create goal-scoring threats.

    – We are trailing by 6 points now. 4 points was cut back within two matches span. I feel EE give away their lead cushion quite quick and early than many Cules could wish. It could be a mix of minor complacency, fatigue (they don’t rotate regularly) and the pressure Barca put by keep winning the 3 points lately. Hopefully their downward tendency would continue for a moment, at least until we’re within points range (read: less than 3 points) to topple them if we win the Camp Nou classico.

    – EE still have much better prospect to win this league. But I dare to say too, that our probability has been improved from hair thin chance to 20%. 6 points is still a comfy lead in any major league. But the race is far from over for the 2nd place car, too. The chequered flag is still many laps to go and whatever thing can change the final order. With 10 games remaining, probably it’s a last favorable momentum for Barca title hope and wouldn’t come twice if we allow the gap widen again. I trust this team will respond accordingly. One game focus at a time and WIN in Mallorca.

    – Thank you Marcos Senna. Your beautifully taken free kick provides Cules with a glimpse of hope. We wish your team will still stay in the Primera Division next season.

    – EE was showered with red cards and Ramos’ foul deserved a second yellow. Their defense line would be seriously tested without Ramos, Pepe and Lass against Sociedad. And Mou have effectively set a brand new sore losers standard by escaping the official press conference. I never seen this disrespectful attitude from any top coach. I suppose with many key absences; Sociedad could potentially present a tough clash for EE. A draw wouldn’t appear unattainable. Cazorla and Senna have shown they could beat Casillas from free kick. I hope Griezman of Sociedad could give a try too. GO SOCIEDAD!

  22. Gogah
    March 22, 2012

    After our win against Granada, I said that if Villarreal could get a point or three, the league race is back on.
    I am not superstitious at all, yet when it comes to Barcelona, I’m not strong enough to fight it and so, I completely ignored the madrid match. Didn’t check the scores, nothing, and i woke up to one of the most pleasant mornings.

    6 points.

    Now is when we cant get all excited and blow it. now concentration is more important than ever and We cannot drop another point. And its going to be tough, considering the competition we have drawn for the champions league and piling up injuries.

    But now there is hope and i admit to being one of the people who ‘knew’ the league was over. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t or maybe at some level i was also playing the pep mind game with myself (assume the worst and something better is most likely to follow).

    But now i’m really hoping Simeone of atletico and Bielsa of Athletic will get some points off ee.

    Visca Barca!
    p.s – what about pedro at left back.

    • Chiu
      March 22, 2012

      – Agree! We must not overly excited. We must remain composed and concentrate on the next game. Just think about the next 3 points and don’t ease any pressure from EE shoulders. They still have the upper hand.

      – Disagree about Pedro on left back. I doubt his defensive capability and would be an extreme gamble at this phase. I sometimes think Keita could play LB. Remember the CL final vs. United in 2009; Abidal was suspended and option of Keita playing LB came to surface. I think Keita is the most balance player in the context of defensive and offensive skill set. He could do both averagely proper.

  23. TITO
    March 22, 2012

    Couple of things:
    I think the demise of their run of victories came after we won our away games – tough ones recently, and RM was hoping that we will continue to drop points as we did all season long.
    That had effect on them and the wining mentality and they started dropping points and they will continue so. Their opponents smelled blood and fear and will take full advantage of it.
    While we started to peak and show some displays which were our trademark during the wining seasons, and you could see disappointments in the faces of our opponents when they face us.
    I’m sure with Mallorca will be the same, not overconfident but almost certain that we will take the 3 points there, just a hunch.
    And the most important thing: The latest 4-5 games we are playing ahead of RM which is crucial in putting pressure on them after they see our results. On saturday is going to be the same.

  24. G6O
    March 22, 2012

    We shouldn’t get too carried away with this – it is still 6 points and they need to either lose a game (all hopes on Bilbao) or draw twice for us to be in control. And we need to win all our remaining games which is far from guaranteed. But still, finally some reasons to be hopeful 🙂

  25. Chiu
    March 22, 2012

    Anyone think that tommorow Pep would say in pre-match conference that “We will not win la liga” ? 🙂

    Keep saying it Pep, it works to jinx EE. jk/

  26. Laurentiu88
    March 22, 2012

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2012/03/22/2983353/real-madrid-all-at-sea-as-self-destruction-and-stubborn

    stupid goal.com editorial: the game was highly controversial, the referee incompetent. he lost the game, he could not control the game.

    are these people limited? the whole tone of the article is that RM was a victim of a bad referee.

    “The players, partly stung by their own inability to carefully close out the contest, mirrored the indiscipline offered by their mentor. Instead of maintaining an air of calm, they embraced the opportunity for rebellion. Sergio Ramos’ head-high challenge on Nilmar, following through with his elbow, saw him collect a second yellow. Mesut Ozil quickly followed for his protestations. Romero, who had also failed to acknowledge a blatant tug on Nilmar in the first half which should have resulted in a penalty for the hosts, had lost complete control by this point, brandishing bookings like a get-out-of jail-free card against the crime of his own incompetence”

    but the only arg for this is that he did not see a penalty against RM!! then he blames the referee for loosing the control of the game! what? he lost control of the game because he showed cards? Oh, i guess he didn’t use his special powers and chose instead to show cards!! What an idiot! So RM couch and co. protest and put pressure and it is because you show cards that you loose the game! No mention that having that physio as an attack dog is a strategy – 4 sending offs? – can any reasonable person assume that any one acts there without direct orders? Does he even try to assess the facts? Were RM right to protest? (my Portuguese commentators were right in observing that Altintop’s tackle was dangerous, coming in with raised foot).

    “but Romero’s only saving grace lies in the impartiality of his ineptness. Both sides were burned by his decision-making, yet Madrid were the ones that took it personally.”

    can he point to the times where RM were ‘burned’? before they ‘took it personally’?

    The conclusion seems to be that RM were a victim of a bad referee and that the only difference with Villareal is that the later ‘did not take it personally’.

  27. just listenin
    March 22, 2012

    Incompetent ref in the RM game last night?…I must live in bizarro world where up is down and down is up. I thought he was one of the first competent refs with respect to tone of the match I’ve seen all year. Sane man appears crazy in an insane situation syndrome I guess. Sure, blown call or two (those consistently violent, brazen and dangerous challenging backs still not conceding a penalty), but he held a line and said, “no, not tonight, we’re not playing like this” and they ran his stop sign, and he carded them, and then they compained and hie said, “I’ve made myself clear, you’re carded too”. If that’s incompetence, bring it on. He sent a clear message to the bench early to quit their harassment, sent off the least influential of the peanut gallery as a warning, and they kept pushing. Spoiled, bullying, entitlement mentality, the epitome of brat-dom, if I might invent a word. One big problem with refereeing in la Liga is that this hasn’t been happening all season on a regular basis to EE because their style of play warrants it.

    Doesn’t matter if it has an impact on the title in the end, but I must say I take no greater joy than watching a bunch of spoiled brats not get their way and imploding like a 3 year old temper tantrum, lying on their bellies kicking their feet, pounding their fists and holding their breath. EE hissy fits and Iker face always make me smile regardless the impact.

  28. J.Clouseau
    March 22, 2012

    Abel Resino is interested in loaning of at least one of three Barça B Midfielders (Riverola,Sergi Roberto and Jonathan Dos Santos) till the end of the Season.

    I think for either Riverola or Sergi R. that short term lone would be a useful experience since they won’t be promoted. For Barça B on the other hand…

  29. BarcaOwl
    March 22, 2012

    Thanks a lot, blitzen. Fun awards! Here’s hoping the boys will keep breathing down EE’s neck.

  30. nzm
    March 22, 2012

    So it turns out that Pepe did not get a second yellow in the tunnel, but his outburst was recorded in the ref’s report and there may be a hearing into his actions. Well, it’s the RFEF so don’t hold your breath about that one.

    Looking at the match stats for the game, the ref was quite equal in his cards given to both teams: http://www.soccerway.com/matches/2012/03/21/spain/primera-division/villarreal-club-de-futbol/real-madrid-club-de-futbol/1140923/

    It was Real Madrid’s lack of composure and discipline that did them in and turned 1st yellows into 2nd ones and then reds, and in Oezil’s case a straight red. Villarreal’s players who received yellows didn’t make second serious offences.

    Referee Paradas is known to be card-happy. Any team’s management, worth its salt, will do homework on the referee and advise the players on how to behave accordingly with certain match officials.

    • Chiu
      March 22, 2012

      Not much to expect from rfef. If they let stomping hand and eye poking last unpunished, how would they take action for the less violect act: bashing at referree.

  31. blitzen
    March 22, 2012

    So at least two Spanish media are reporting that after the game yesterday some Real Madrid players entered the Villarreal dressing room, rebuked them for celebrating the draw too loudly, and even challenged them to fight. They say their source is Diego Garcia from Villarreal, who phoned up various media to denounce the “deplorable conduct” of the RM players and staff. If this is true, it is absolutely appalling! Shameful. As Xavi says, RM don’t know how to lose. And they didn’t even lose!!!

    http://www.elperiodico.cat/ca/noticias/esports/jugadors-del-madrid-van-entrar-vestidor-del-vila-real-per-amenacar-els-seus-jugadors-1574468

    • Nav
      March 22, 2012

      I must say, even though we are not likely to win the title, seeing EE descend into behaving like 13 year old spoilt princesses causes me much amusement. Thank you Villareal!

    • Chiu
      March 22, 2012

      EE is keep lowering their street thuggery signature. Mind boggling for a team as huge as EE to fall into self destruction circle since Mou arrived. Nobody can calm the team??? Do they need to call raul,zidane, hierro or morientes back?

  32. Laurentiu88
    March 22, 2012

    YOU know… they might win this league it does not even matter that much. After this behavior winning seems less important. Remember the episode from G Hunter’s book when after the CDR final our players were made to stay on the pitch and congratulate RM.

    Winning is not only about only about being better than your opponent, but doing it in the spirit of the GAME! As an affirmation of the virtues the sport (ever since the Olympics when wars were stopping. Of course that lapses from such norms may happen as emotions and tensions run high. But such a general degradation is hard to accept, especially when directed at the other players.

    What is the purpose of winning anymore if it’s done like this? The value of winning comes from the way the victory is achieved too. At the end of the game players congratulate themselves, it is a nice image that usually reminds me that in sports there are no losers.

    Maybe our players are guilty too, but there is some control from the coach. There is nothing like that quite the opposite from RM and JM. This has made the recent games between us something quite toxic: notice friends from national team hitting each other, stepping on each other… notice the finger in eye, stepping on the hand, such free aggression… Can we wonder then that Marca had to close the commentary section on the news with Abidal due to the nature of comments? If this is how much they want to win, I could’t care less if they did…

  33. blitzen
    March 22, 2012

    What has been lost in the discussion about the refereeing is this crucial point that Sid Lowe makes in his Guardian article:

    Madrid had conceded an equaliser against Villarreal. But rather than use the 10 minutes remaining to chase the winner, rather than thinking that their lead at the top of the table, while shortened, remained a hugely significant six points, rather than contemplating the fact that Barcelona dropped points there too, or recalling that they dropped points two games in a row earlier this season and still pulled away from Barcelona, there was a kind of implosion.

    And this is exactly it. There is something deeply wrong with the mentality of this Real Madrid team. Sure, we joke about it, but for a team to melt down this spectacularly at the slightest hint that a decision has gone against them is indicative of a very warped mindset. And what were they complaining about, anyway? They didn’t think a foul should have been given. A foul. Not a card, not a penalty, not an allowed/disallowed goal. A simple foul that led to a free kick. Villarreal wasn’t gifted a goal, they still had to score it. The defense could have prevented it, maybe. Casillas could have saved it, maybe. And even when they did score, RM had another 10 minutes to rectify the situation. Did they attack their opponent relentlessly, looking for an opening, working their butts off for a goal? No, they didn’t. They attacked the ref, threw a tantrum, and took their ball and went home. It’s madness. Literally. I cannot understand it.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/mar/22/madrid-la-liga

    • nzm
      March 22, 2012

      Their onfield behaviour was a reflection of what they are learning from the bench.

      With Mourinho and Faria off, Karanka didn’t have the necessary skills to rally the team, control them and put them back on track.

      Sanity gave way to emotions. Unprofessionalism won over reason.

    • Megster
      March 22, 2012

      Really shameful. But what’s shameful, these behaviour will go unpunished. If they will be punished, it’ll be like a slap in the wrist. Then life goes on…

    • kinukinu
      March 22, 2012

      More importantly, with their coach and leader setting the example for immature and unhinged behavior, how can they be expected to do any different? Discipline and composure need to be imposed and rewarded from above.

      As I said elsewhere, under normal circumstances, a player receiving a red would be admonished by the coach (for example, see coaching staff’s reaction to Pique’s outburst after his red card vs Gijon) Can’t exactly do that when the coaching staff is leading the effort in getting sent off left and right.

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