Cinematic London

[I wrote a preview of sorts here, that you can read when you’re done with this little bit of fun/nonsense.]

Scene: Overcast London in the rain. The team is wandering around the sights.

Pep Guardiola: I’m not sure this makes sense. How can it really be overcast if it’s also raining?

Tito Vilanova: We’ll have to possess the ball more to understand it.

Pep: It is the only way.

Isaac Cuenca: Boy, hurr, this town is the bee’s knees, chaps!

Xavi: Please be quiet, you’re making us all look bad.

Cuenca: I sure am sorry, Mr. Xavi, it’s just that I’m quite pipped to maybe be playing in Stamford Bridge.

Lionel Messi: What’s that?

Cuenca: Pipped means to be all rambunctious in the gourd…chap!

Xavi: No, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

Messi: I meant the other part.

Cuenca: Stamford Bridge?

Messi: Yeah. Is that where the queen lives?

Cuenca: Uh, no, I—it’s where we’re playing tomorrow?

Messi: Oh. Never heard of it.

Cuenca: But you’ve played there before.

Messi: Doubt it. Don’t recall it. Strumford Widget, you called it?

Sergio Busquets: Strumford Widget! Hey everyone, Messi just called it Strumford Widget!

Cuenca: Stamford Bridge. You’ve played there 3 times. It’s where Iniesta scored the goal in 2009 to get the team to the final. Asier del Horno up-ended you there and Mourinho called you a diver.

Messi: I just texted my mom, she says she’s never heard of it either.

Cuenca: I’m simply bemuddlefudded, chaps. Mr. Xavi, what’s going on?

Xavi: He hasn’t scored there, so he can’t remember it.

Cuenca: Oh.

Messi: Are we talking about Wembley? That’s in London. Wembley is a nice place. It’s got this goal on one end that I remember well. It was all thwap and stuff. That was nice. Good game.

Pep: Okay, gang, listen up! We have a big game tomorrow, so tonight we’re going to get to sleep early. Isaac, you can stay with Leo and Andres while they watch the Muppets instead of the grownup movie everyone else is going to watch.

Cuenca: Yay!

Puyol: What’s the movie you’ve chosen for the rest of us? I hope it’s the Queca documentary March of the Sheep.

Pedro: No! Let’s watch Goodfellas with Al Pacino, that is my favorite movie.

Wahin Makinaciones: Whoa, that is just plain wrong, little homey. Also, yo, take this awesomesauce sticker.

Javier Mascherano: Mister, might I recommend El Amor y el Espanto?

Pedro: What about Evita? Do you like that, too?

Mascherano: I will punch in the throat. While you sleep.

Wahin Makinaciones: Man, you are just all over the map wack, today, P! Take these swag sunglasses.

Dani Alves: There are some topical movies we could watch.

Pique: The Jerky Boys?

Cesc: Wenger used to make us watch Jean Cocteau films. They were decent, I guess.

Busquets: Let’s watch a movie about Strumford Widget! Haaaaaa.

Tito: I really identify with the seagulls in Finding Nemo. Only about soccer balls and not fish.

Pep: Sigh, all right, we’re going to watch Valdes doing more impressions of you guys.

Abidal: Hey guys, can I come?

Everyone: Abiiiiii!!!!!

Valdes: LOL, that was just me doing an impersonation.

Mascherano: Definitely going to punch you in the throat.

Pep: Great, I’ll see you in the viewing room at 8. Anyone else have anything to say?

Puyol: I ride unicorns!

Wahin Makinaciones: Get it, son!

Tito: More possession!

Pep: I’m leaving.

Pedro: Oh, maybe we should watch Mary Poppins, that takes place in England. And it’s a documentary like Xavi likes!

By Isaiah

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. Thanks for the piece, Isaiah!

    Oddly, I’m not as nervous as I was for the Milan games, but this calmness will probably change tomorrow.

    OT: Everyone’s favorite journalist, Jonathan Wilson, wrote this piece about Pep’s innovation and the upcoming clasico. It’s a piece that we, BFBers, know more of thanks to Euler and other tactically astute posters.

  2. Watched the Bayern-Real match. Gomez should have scored atleast one more.

    Alonso really looked tired for most part of the game and also the whole team too.. There wasn’t much pressing from the top either.

  3. Maybe they hit the heights too early…

    but I still think they will easily win with 2 goals advantage UNLESS Bayern shows the same attitude, mentality, power of will or however you wanna call it as they did yesterday. Even Robbéry defended quite well. The difference yesterday was ‘want’. Bayern has a real chance to beat Real if they can keep up the intensity over the 90 min.

    On another note, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos and Fabio Coentrao are just one yellow away from missing the possible final.
    In particular the first two would be a huge loss. (Pipita is also on 2 yellows, but I don’t count him as a loss at all – Benz will play anyway)

    1. No doubt, Bayern will show the similiar determination in Bernabeu. They’re very close to play final in their backyard. Heycness doesn’t need to talk anything to motivate his team.

      I think it’s still 50:50 after the first leg. EE would certainly score, but who could guarantee Bayern wouldn’t score too.

      If Bayern score first,I think the pressure on EE would be immense and the probability they get eliminated would increase.

      If Bayern make more than 1 goal in Bernabeu, then that could mean a goodbye kiss for EE.

    2. I remember two seasons ago, Bayern had the identical situation in CL quarter final against Man Utd. They won 2-1 at home with late goal by Ivica Olic.

      Then in the return leg in Old Trafford, they trailed 3-1 at HT. Then Robben scored in the 75th min to make it 3-2 and they qualified. The German “panzer and staying power” spirit is not just a nonsense

    3. There is serious weakness in defense on the left side of Real Madrid. Bayern had the perfect players to expolit that in Robben and Lahm. So I think it won’t be that easy for Real at Bernebeu.

  4. looks like Mourinho is loosing it again… somehow his statements and behavior of late does not look like a strategically planned mind game – smells more of fear and desperation.

    what a joke di Maria is 🙂 some reviews called his game as having the movements of a ‘headless chicken’ =))

  5. Speaking of Queca, did you know she is on Twitter?

    The Official, Crackovia & Puyol-endorsed account:


    She tweets in Catalan, of course. 🙂

  6. I got Hectored. 🙁

    Was saying this on Twitter:

    It seems like the general consensus is Barca will play a “conservative” lineup tomorrow. It’s expected actually, but I wonder what conservative really means when talking about this Barca squad.

    Given the mainstream usage of the word in football, conservative is synonymous with defensive. But if you go by the definition of the word it roughly means: “staying true to traditional values or approaches.”

    Now here’s the thing: Barca never changes its approach*, only the way it’s implemented.

    *Since Pep has come in, the defensive and offensive approaches have been the same. Against Getafe, as noted by psqd in the review, much was made of flexibility of squad given injuries + suspension but though the lineup/formation differed, core tenet(s) never changed.

    The defensive approach: 1) pressure defense, 2) high back line, 3) numerical advantage at the back (i.e. 1 more FCB defender than opposition attack).

    The offensive one: 1) dominate possession, 2) numerical superiority in midfield, 3) tactical width -> create space for Messi.

    These haven’t changed since the start of Pep’s reign; what has changed is the different ways he’s gone about. No matter who on the squad plays, Barca will always be conservative.

    Now given this, the stigma surrounding Seydou Keita is pretty curious. To some, playing him suggests Barca are playing conservatively, ie. defensive, and become impotent offensively as a result. I don’t agree with this for a couple of reasons:

    1) While Keita does add some much needed physicality, steel, and composure in the midfield, his late runs into the box are not unlike the ones Fabregas makes (and is so lauded for).

    2) If a team decreases its efficiency at the offensive end, you have to look at players whose job it is to create and score — for Barca, that’s 5+ players (depends on what you define ‘creative’ as).

    3)It all depends on how Pep implements the game plan (and how effective it is). Methinks we’ll see something new.

  7. “We’ll have to possess the ball more to understand it.”

    Hahahaha thanks for the light read Isaiah.

    Probably been said hundreds of times already, but how great was Ribery yesterday? I’ve seen a few Bayern games this year but I was left quite impressed with his dribbling against EE. Far more effective than a certain CR. It was a monumental game and Ribery took it by the horns. That’s what big players do in big games. CR had his usual stage fright and muffed the easiest of chances.

    Bayern a bit unlucky not to have scored a goal or two more. If they play a similar game in Madrid, and are not awed by the Bernabeau (they shouldn’t be, Bayern are a massive club in their own right), they can definitely knock EE out.

    1. And has there ever been an EE goal against where Iker hasn’t yelled at one of his mates?

      Valdes just gives the squinty “Okay kudos but be damn sure that won’t happen again” look.

  8. An Isaiah skit! We haven’t had one of those in a long time. Isaiah skits always make me happy.

    Bayern looked tentative in the very beginning. Then something clicked like a -hey these guys are human let’s just play our game- kinda moment happened and there was belief. That belief will still be there in the return leg because the RM mystique and awe has faded a bit for them. Bayern have a chance.

    I’m still calm about today’s game. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

    “He hasn’t scored there, so he can’t remember it.” 😆

  9. ‘I just texted my mother, she’s never heard of it either.’ – hilarious!

    just two days ago i was thinking that it’s been a while since Isaiah posted on BFB…

  10. According to, Barcelona did a trial run without Cesc and Pique yesterday. The front three were Alexis, Messi and Pedro.

    1. Good article. Drogba will certainly be vital for Chelsea if they are to somehow win this. I for one will be full of fear on every set piece and long-ball sent in his direction. He may be “past it” but he is still very skilled and strong, not to mention he wants revenge for “THAT FK!@# DISGRACE!!!”

      Also love how your article drove some fan to become a supporter of EE. Hah.

  11. Yes, I was really impressed with Ribery. He showed up. Simple as that. He is the star of that team, yet he was one of the most hardworking. He tracked back, defended, put a boot in when he needed to, provided support to midfield and attack, dribbled well with Iniesta like control but outmuscled defenders…basically Bayern’s Alexi Sanchez. Great work from him. Phillip Lahm too

    Was Ronaldo playing?….Just saying….

  12. Mou Mou tactical failure version 249.

    Is strong wing plays of Bayern Muenich really that hard to see? Starting Arbeloa and Coentrao to contain Robbery? He either overestimated his defenders or underestimated the opposition, which in either case, unacceptable.

    You just pay, can’t add more, you just pay.

    But seeing how retarded Mou was coaching their expensive team is more than a joy. Even if we were not to go thru, I still want Bayern beat EE.

    1. You mean ESPECIALLY if we don’t go through, you want Bayern to beat EE. If EE go through and so do we, at least then we can take care of business ourselves.

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