Get That Motor Crankin’: Barça – Mallorca

Liga Preview: Barça – Mallorca, Saturday 2pm EST, GolTV (check local times here)

We have slightly fancier transport now...
We have slightly fancier transport now...

The surprise of the season so far, at least to me, has been Mallorca holding tightly to a UEFA cup spot. They’re in 5th now, one point above Depor and they boats the best home record in the league (5W-0D-0L, 13GF 1GA) and the solitary goal they have allowed at home was let in against Getafe when the game was already 3-0. But they’re winless on the road (0W-2D-2L, 3GF 8GA) and they also lost their away fixture at Valladolid in the Copa del Rey 2-1. That must be somewhat distressing to a team that slaughters you in Mallorca, but just can’t seem to come up with the points anywhere else.

I watched their battling 1-1 draw against Atleti in which they went down to nine men and still should have won thanks to Atleti’s inability to be anything other than total crap for most of their matches. Mallorca really impressed me with their attack, which was fairly weighted towards the counter, especially after they went down a man, but what was even more impressive was that when they went down the second man, they began to control the match. They probably won’t have that luxury against us, but they’re not going to go down without a fight.

This isn’t going to be a 6-1 thrashing, I’m positive of that, but it could turn into a Rubin-esque battle of “Who can waste fewer chances”. That wouldn’t be all that fun, now would it? They’re going to come at us with some physical play and I’m positive that the return from suspension of Ivan Ramis and Josemi (the ones sent off against Atleti) will be big bonuses for them. Perhaps it’ll be a big bonus to us as well because they’ll give up penalties like they did against Atleti…oh wait, we don’t get penalties. Hmm.

Here’s their squad list: German Lux (GK and on my fantasy team!), Dudú Aouate (GK and the actual starter), Josemi, Ramis, Nunes, Ayoze, Rubén, Mattioni, Varela, Mario, Castro, Martí, Julio, Borja, Webó, Keita, Tuni, Víctor.

I think they’ll come out with a 4-4-1-1 in the Rubin style and put Webó up top. They’re missing their top scorer, Aritz Aduriz (5 goals) and that might be a pretty big deal in the end. Webó was very wasteful against Atleti and had the match on his boots several times, but fired wide, high, or not at all. I thought he’d get a hattrick and he ended up with nothing. Weird. They’re not as good as Rubin Kazan, but we can’t underestimate them as Gregorio Manzano is a pretty wily coyote and can spring a thing or two on you if you’re not on your toes.

We don’t have a squad list yet, but everyone is healthy for the first time this season, so I imagine that we’ll use everyone who isn’t Gabi Milito and Jeffren. The reason I don’t think Jeffren gets on the list is because we’re going to have Chygrynskiy back on there and he’ll probably start, meaning we’ll have Marquez as a backup. I also want to see Dani Alves sit, not for some vindictive reasons, but because I think Abidal should get rested and I don’t really want to see Maxwell and Alves on the field at the same time against a counter-attacking team. I also imagine we’ll see Busi starting both this match and the midweek Cultural Leonesa match* because that seems to be how Guardiola is rolling, getting Busi playing time in “easier” matches.

A feast for the eyes. And soul.
A (grainy) feast for the eyes. And soul.

What’s imperative is to continue to play our style and impose our will on matches. Ramzi made a very good series of points that in Kazan it was more important to not lose than to win, going so far as to say that we earned a “golden point” in Russia. I can buy that to a certain extent and am also willing to buy that Guardiola thinks we’re playing better now than we did last year, even if that’s just some rhetoric for the media to eat up. What’s true is that we’re keeping possession and we’re generally not losing while we are playing some pretty beautiful football. I thought we should have had Henry on the field against Rubin for more than 10 minutes, but perhaps Guardiola was going with Ramzi’s concept of “don’t lose by not risking anything” and playing almost a 4-4-1-1 himself with Iniesta back in the midfield alongside Keita (who took over Xavi’s right side position for a while to keep tabs on Dominguez) while Messi dropped into the hole to be that vaunted false 9. Regardless of whether you thought that was a good tactic or not, I’m pretty sure we’ll see a more typical Barça 4-3-3 against Mallorca, whose counters aren’t going to be as lethal simply because we’ll have more juice in our not-frozen limbs.

That’s what I mean by the title: get the motor cranking and let’s get the show back on track.  That is symbolized by the sweetass old bus the team used to travel in (at top) and I hope that it means that we’ll be breaking through their bus with a bus of our own but of a different style. My lineup: Valdes, Puyol, Márquez, Chygrynskiy, Maxwell, Busi, Xavi, Keita, Henry, Ibra, Messi. I know, I know, that’s a wack-tastic lineup. I’d rather see The Yaya in there now and Busi in against Cultural, but what about Iniesta? I think Keita being a strong-arm on the wing will be good behind Henry, though not starting Iniesta sounds a bit crazy, right? Henry needs to be match fit and soon so that when he’s thrown to the wolves in his international matches where he’ll play 180 minutes regardless of whether his legs literally fall off or not. It’s the World Cup.

We’ll be pushing for that early goal, I’m sure of that and I think that this time around, we’ll be able to get it and put this game to bed, though naturally it won’t be that easy, but Aduriz being out will, in the end, I think be a very beneficial. Official prediction: 2-0. Clean sheets are fun sheets. Goals by Messi and Henry. Yeah, you read that right, boooyeeee.

*Will Guardiola start a really serious lineup against Leonesa? We have no matches between then (Nov 10) and our trip to Athletic Bilbao (Nov 21). Obviously there are internationals to consider, but hopefully we’ll come through that unscathed as well as fairly rested–I’m not sure if international managers will call up a lot of our players or not, though I imagine that Yaya will go play with the Ivory Coast, Keita with Mali, and Henry and Abidal with France. I’d be surprised if the Spain-Argentina match on Nov 14 didn’t include our Spanish and Argentine internationals since it’s at the Bernabeu, but I don’t know if del Bosque will actually take a lot of his major stars to Austria for the friendly there on Nov 18 or not. I suspect yes, but I hope that because it’s a friendly neither match is played too seriously and that del Bosque doesn’t leave any players on the field for the full 90 or 180 minutes. Brasil plays England in Doha, Qatar, but will Alves be called up? Who knows!

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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. Ramzi
    November 6, 2009

    I like th line up suggested. Though I am not sure if it will work to start Maxwell-Chigsomething and Marquez all together in one line up. The first two are still in adaptation period and the third still struggling to get back to his normal form. If we can squeeze some pique there, I will feel calmer.

    And I wouldnt mind starting Iniesta instead of Keita. Keita is still above Iniesta in the selection order IMO. But thats exactly why its better to start iniesta. We need him back as soon as possible and this is probably the easiest game we will play till santa start packing his bags. If he perform well in a game like this, it will be good for his damaged moral.

    Pst, Jason, I replied your question in the previous post.

    • nobody
      November 6, 2009

      Its not an answer to Ramzi, OK. I almost everytime nod yess to him. But Kexvin or kevin, u gotta be optimistic dude.
      I been to this forum for a quite a some time starting with offside, but always been a quite reader.
      Since it would be my 1st post in here, I would jus be saying Kevin Stop Stop criticising Messi as if no barca player has ever played bad as before. I am not saying ur taking him as bad ” BAD” but still.
      I will say our defense as exception this time becasue last yr we thought to have weak defense but we ended up winnin triplet without conceding much.
      I was not and I am not against switchin eto to Ibra, and I always thoght Ibra will be and is better for this team. But, BUT, it seemed to me more like BARCELONA as a team is trying to adjust to IBRA more often than IBRA to BARCA.
      Anyways I ll talk to u guys later…
      Thanks Kevin n everyone else for this blog that made me, finally able to feel me complaining.

      • Kxevin
        November 7, 2009

        No worries, nobody. And thanks for reading and commenting.

        But know that Messi is going to get stick when he doesn’t perform up to expectations, just like everybody else. You can be positive about the club (which I am) and still call people out for not making the grade (which I do).

        And that means everybody. So there. 😀

  2. Patrick
    November 6, 2009

    Isaiah, did i read that right, goal by titi? Niceeeee!

  3. November 6, 2009

    Am I the only one with a still bitter taste in my mouth b/c of the Rubin game? Sigh. Saturday afternoon can’t come fast enough.

    • November 6, 2009

      No, you’re not. But I’ve decided that the bitter taste is from my heavy drinking last night and not The Game That Shall Not Be Named.

      • Andrew M.
        November 7, 2009

        lets cheer up guys. remember 07/08? it was terrible. i remember pulling my barca shirt off and throwing it in the corner where i wouldnt touch it for the whle week! remember playing betis getting 2-0 up only for them to come back an d beat us? well thats definitly in the past. we are way better. if this was 07/08 now we would all be amazed at how well we are aplying.

        we have only lost one game this season. i think in team in the world would take our record. even real madrid would take it

  4. November 6, 2009

    We NEED this one to boost our morale right now. I foresee another “chances-wasted” match here, with us just being unable to score. Then Messi snatches a decisive goal right when hope is almost lost, propelling us forward into a new era of peace and domination.


    • culehastaelculo
      November 6, 2009

      it seems the morale that needs to be boosted is that of the people on this blog. i think the players and pep know they are playing good football. their morale is much better than the armchair QBs on this blog. visca barca! somos los mejores!

      • Andrew M.
        November 7, 2009

        I TOTALLY AGREE!! everyone here thinks they have some psychic understanding with the team, like they know whats going to happen.

        seriously, getting depressed BEFORE the game? WTF? you know this is football right? teams win teams lose. we are UNBEATEN in la liga and lost ONCE!! in CL. for gods sake this is nuts.

        watch us beat them 5-0 or something like that just to shut up all your guys who keep moaning. all thes epeople moaning couldnt have been watching barca very long if they are making assumptions like this ahead of a Mallorca game at HOME. yeah they beat us last season at the end, but shit, we totally didnt care. we had won everything already.

  5. Tyler
    November 6, 2009

    thank you for hectoring me haha. I agree with you though, we have been playing beautiful football and the fact we didn’t lose on wednesday, and our defense is very strong speaks to the strength and quality of our team this year. I do think we are better than last year, I just think we are tired and lacking the “finishing” touch (pun intended) right now. But that’s nothing a little Henry can’t fix! We just need to cut a little more in the box and break the bus and start making our goal differential look gaudy. I’m excited to see how we will play tomorrow, but then again, I’m always excited anytime we take the field haha.

    • November 6, 2009

      Your “(pun intended)” reminded me of Maddox’s rant about the subject, not that I’m making a value judgment about you as a person or anything. I just thought of it.

      • Tyler
        November 6, 2009

        Haha never read that before, but I can assure you I am no Dave Matthews fan. But pun or not, I stand by my statement that we have to step up when it comes to striking when we are given opportunities. cuz as we have seen, the busses are being parked on every pitch we step on.

  6. Jim
    November 6, 2009

    I have a feeling we’re going to enjoy this game.

    Still want Iniesta and Xavi in the middle though. Also, Yaya. We want the two in midfield to have unlimited supply of the ball to wreak havoc. At home with that line up it might just be a good confidence builder. I’m not seeing a whole lot wrong in these last few games. Then rest them all midweek.

    • culehastaelculo
      November 6, 2009

      i agree. we will enjoy. i personally enjoy every game. barca is the most fun team to watch on the planet, win, tie, or lose. see ya!

  7. ballbeav
    November 6, 2009

    im not sure if someone already posted this, but the FCB website had a piece on the various champs league scenarios taht would take us to the next stage:


    apparently a scenario exists where we could tie both of our matches and still go through. but i agree with earlier statements that we need to beat inter to show our merits.

    • November 6, 2009

      Yeah, we might as well go out and keep our destiny in our own hands, but it’s reassuring that there are quite a few scenarios that allow us to go through without winning (cause anything can happen).

      • Mario
        November 7, 2009

        yup it is but u know what i now realized that our group… F is only made up of Champions of their domestic league….. a feat only our group has…..

        • November 7, 2009

          Yeah–that was noted earlier by other astute commenters and they were right to warn that Rubin Kazan wasn’t going to be a pushover despite their newcomer status.

          I said in my original CL preview that ours might be the toughest group (group of death) and now we know why.

  8. Kxevin
    November 7, 2009

    culehastaelculo, I think that some of Guardiola’s “We’re playing good football” stuff is morale building. He knows what he sees, and he sees the same things that we see. Yes, they are playing good football right up to the final part of the attack. Then someone tries to dribble down an entire defense, or there’s some little stabbed ball that doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting through the thicket of legs and feet, placed there with the sole purpose of messing shit up.

    But I have said before, just as others have, that this club is better than last year’s. But to me, playing good football but not scoring goals is like making a great meal, then scraping it into the trash. There’s no payoff.

    • Andrew M.
      November 7, 2009

      Kevin, i think you are to quick to generalise about how our team is playing after a couple iof games. we had dry runs last year too. we cannot possibly play perfect football in all our 1 billion matches this year in a hundred thousand competitions.

      also, its been tough, we drew Valnecia AWAY! they often whip our ass, particularly in their stadium, remember CDR finals in 07/08?
      then we lost to Rubin, admittedly, this was a bit of a shock, but it was also unlucky. think about if yayas header went in at the end and whoever else it was also didnt hit the post, and thats rubin players long range shot hit the post for them, the game would have been totally different based on luck. plus rubin are GOOD and its our own fault for underestimating them. then again, i would much rather lose to Rubin than Alcocano!! especially 2-1 over 4-0.

      then we drew Rubin in Russia in temperatures that are f…king ridiuclous. i think like Ramzi said, we might just have been happy with the draw.

      football is not about winning every game. its baout how you bounce back from the defeats and how you strategically manage your team through the course of the season. i get the impression here that everyone wants 110% from every player every game and quite simply this is never going to happen. they are only human.

      Also, if barca won every game all the time, it would be BORING. yes its fun to win but seriously it would be boring, i enjoyed watching our tikka takka last year but there was no suspense. even in the CL final i think we all knew we had it.

      look at how worried everybody is about qualification from the CL group stages. that is what is fun about football is the anxiety and the nerves. if you never lose you never learn the joy of winning. in fact, i notice a lot of people here are just plain and simply spoiled by winning and now this year they expect exactly the same thing.

      remember that teams know who we are, they watched chelsea nearly beat us, they watched rubin. teams learn and all the time there is an opposition strategy developing that we have to keep up with. sort of like an arms race between us and our opposition. as they develop a new tactic we have to develop one to cope with what they have changed etc.

      sorry this is so long, but i am sick to death of how many people here complain. sure it sucks to lose a game, bu its part of the bigger game which is being a football fan.

      • eklavya
        November 7, 2009

        football is not about winning every game. its baout how you bounce back from the defeats and how you strategically manage your team through the course of the season.

        Well put.

        • Kxevin
          November 7, 2009

          And I think that you are quick to make presumptions about a generalization. We don’t know how this season is going to play out. So the only thing that we can discuss is how the team is playing right now. And right now, they are sometimes not capitalizing on chances that they should, plain and simple.

          The real thing is to separate observations from complaints. The latter is “They never score goals, I hate Guardiola.” The former is “In this situation, in my view, a more accurate pass would have done the trick.”

          You’re right. Complaints are worthless, because they usually don’t offer any solution to a situation, in this fantasy land in which we live.

          Observations, on the other hand, at least attempt to offer a solution. The team isn’t playing up to standard right now. No shame in admitting that, just as there is no delusion in admitting that they are going to play up to standard.

          Some people expect winning all the time, it’s true. I don’t think that’s true of most people here. I think that what people here do want is for their club to play the way that characteristic, even if that doesn’t involve winning. That is what isn’t happening.

          So I don’t make excuses for temperatures. Yes, it was cold for the Rubin Kazan match. And that made Messi and Iniesta go a dribble too far on chances that they usually convert in their sleep, exactly how?

          For me, this game isn’t about luck. A team makes its own luck. Injuries aren’t bad luck. They’re fatigue and overuse-based. “If” is, and will always continue to be one of the most over-used words in sport. It’s what makes it fun.

          But never assume that my observations about a match are anything but a viewpoint that encompasses that particular sample. We don’t know trends until a statistically significant sample presents itself.

          • SoccerMom
            November 7, 2009

            Is BallonBoy’s dad on here somewhere? Because you guys remind me of him … Ibra misses an open net or Messi tries to bust through bus parked on his boot and you all run out back and kick the plastic lawn furniture. Into each other’s yards!

            Look, I think Kxevin comes down a little too rough on the team sometimes, and I need a little Ramzi to cheer me up. But who saw Pep’s expression last week on the bench when yet another chance went asking? Rolled eyes, hands thrown up, total flabbergasty. So today I think Kx. is right. These guys earn a gazillion euros for skipping around the field like the von Trapp kids most of the week, and then go play a game on the weekends.

            So boo hoo everybody! Lighten up!

          • Andrew M.
            November 7, 2009

            “Yes, it was cold for the Rubin Kazan match. And that made Messi and Iniesta go a dribble too far on chances that they usually convert in their sleep, exactly how?”

            i have no actual evidence to back this p because i dont have time to look it up, but i played in temperatures around -10 degrees celcius in new york on occasion and i can tell you that it does affect your game. you run slower, your muscles are cold, your face stings, your brain gets cold and it seems like it doesnt work as quickly. plus, there was frost forming on the field from the half time on making the pitch very slippery. perhaps they got frost on their boots causing them to not make contact with the ball correctly thus resulting in some of those bizarre kicks where they just seemed to boot the ball to nowhere. then again, you are right, these players are professionals and should be able to cope. i am just saying that i dont think its possible that the cold had no effects at all.

            Kevin, in no way was i strictly directing all that at you, and even if i was i would not mean it to be a scathing personal attack. this is not a news blog about barcelona, where we have random readers. this is more of an online community where we all “know” each other. and i have been reading your posts since the end of the rijkaard days and i know that you are not this or that and that you right generally balanced reviews. i also agree that only doing reviews can cause you to come across in a certain light. maybe write a preview next time? then we can all see the happy pumped up side of kevin.

            my issue is that i could not help but be left feeling pessimistic after reading through the whole blog and comments today. not anybody in specific, and i just replied under yours because it made me think of something.
            perhaps it is that i feel that people havent reset their minds from last season. as in we are viewing this seasons performances through last seasons glasses. and we all know this isnt last season. but yet we expect them to play like last season. for example, with the kazan(away) review it seemed like there was disappointment because we didnt win, yet i think the objective of the game was to dominate possesion and make sure we got a draw, a win would be bonus. but a draw was a good result. do you see what i mean? when its a draw you can view it two ways, 1) yay! we didnt lose, or 2) booo! we didnt win.

            i dont know. it was just an emotional response. didnt mean to cause trouble.

  9. Boat Forever
    November 7, 2009

    Include Iniesta for Keita in the lineup & that’s because Iniesta needs to be back, back to his best against Inter… I’ll say give all the starters some rest against Leonesa except for Iniesta & Henry. That there has some selfishness added to the team needs, we’ll get to see Iniesta donning the Xavi’s role 😀

  10. Boat Forever
    November 7, 2009

    Both Sport & El Mundo says Txiki is going to have a meeting with Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Arab Al Nahyan(funny name :P)… El Mundo also says we are gonna get Masch in January(Ramzi must be dancing with joy some where!!)

    • Ramzi
      November 7, 2009

      Usually journals inject lot of wishful thinking as recommendation messages for those who are making decisions. When he does the first tackle while wearing Bara shirt, I will believe my eyes “It’s happening!”, just hope he will not get a red card after that tackle!

      May be Liverpool want to sell Mache to finance kicking Benitez out 😀 I am not saying its smart to fire the guy, but its weird that you have a coach who can do whatever he wants and you can’t kick him out because you don’t have enough money to pay his compensation.

      For all the good things UAE offered me when I was there I will promote it by break down the name for you. In the Arab Gulf its a normal way to structure names. Especially for the royal families, I think it has something to do with the sense of pride:

      Shiekh: is a title something like”prince”.

      Mansour: His first name.

      Bin Zayed: Zayed Son.

      The “Arab” word is just added there by mistake. It doesnt exist in his name.

      Al Nahyan: Nahyan Family.

      So his name is: Mansour Zayed Nahyan (If we use the normal name structure). But when you are from a royal family you can make it a Monaco-like structure:

      Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi , who is the son of Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi 😀

  11. Helge
    November 7, 2009

    Mmh… Argentina apparently only has to play a single friendly match. And the one will be against Spain (in Estadio Vicente Calderon, afaik), so Messi should not get injured (Spain is not the team to injure other players). Good news!

    I’m not a fan of international breaks either, but I gotta admit that there are some biiiig matches coming up: Brazil-England, Italy-Netherlands, Spain-Argentina, Netherlands-Paraguay, Germany-Ivory Coast.
    They are just friendlies, but will be more fun to watch than something like Germany vs San Marino in WC Qualifiers.

    • yogi
      November 7, 2009

      I think Argentina plays Nigeria on Nov 18th.

      • Andrew M.
        November 7, 2009

        yikes. they will slam messi into the ground will them super eagles!

    • Ramzi
      November 7, 2009

      And I cant understand how you plan copa del rey matches the same day when International games are taking place. Not only that, but you also book a game for your own national team.

      Crowded schedule, world cup year, or whatever the reason is, its still a Mess.

  12. fcbfan
    November 7, 2009

    someone will get a hattrick tonight. visca Barca!

    • eklavya
      November 7, 2009

      Ok, me gonna remember your name for later 🙂
      mwahahaha lol

  13. eklavya
    November 7, 2009

    That’s a suicide lineup Isaiah.

    -1st Busi will do some stupid heart attack act and lose the ball.
    -Then Chiggy will be too slow to catch up with the mallorca striker and marquez will screw something up and they get a goal!
    -OK even if Marquez doesn’t screw up, he’ll pass it to Maxwell who’ll concede a corner and then they’ll score on it. Greeat.
    -And because of that Keita will have to play more defensively and he’ll suck at that and then :
    -Xavi will be left all alone in the mid carrying all the play making weight on himself (cause there’s no Iniesta) and he’s not on form anyway so he’ll suck too meaning:
    -That our forward line won’t get any good balls meaning that:
    -Messi will be sleepwalking
    -Ibra will just stand there waiting for the ball
    -Henry, well, he’s used to not getting the ball so he won’t even complain.

    Ta-daaa 😀
    Some mood I am right now.

    • Ramzi
      November 7, 2009

      You could have added that an Anaconda will pop out of the field and swallow the 90,000 fan intending the game so you make the scenario script more “realistic”.

      • Andrew M.
        November 7, 2009

        my god people. why is every one so depressed? is it because up there in the northern reaches of the world its becoming winter?

        i am so optimistic about our team. there is no way we will win everything but i think we can take la liga at least. wouldnt that be sweet to say FU to EE when they spent all that money on players.

        then again, be happy, very very happy that we arent atleti or villareal this season. now thats crisis

        • eklavya
          November 7, 2009

          Dude chiiiill, its only a joke. I don’t think all Maxwell,Busi and Marquez should play together…yet. Last season we tried Pique and Caceres together and well, let’s not say it 🙂

      • eklavya
        November 7, 2009

        I was thinking around those lines too but then I though “Naaa, The Yaya won’t allow some stupid Anaconda to eat everyone else. The YAYA is the predator not the Anaconda 😀 😀 😛

  14. Colby
    November 7, 2009

    “Barcelona will be eliminated from the Champions League if they lose to Internazionale AND Rubin Kazan defeats Dynamo Kyiv.”

    I didn’t realize this until I was reading about it on wikipedia, but we could be out if we lose to Inter… Does that terrify anyone else?

    • eklavya
      November 7, 2009

      There^s no point thinking about all the different possibilities. I’m thinking about only one way and I’m sure the team is too:
      Win both the matches. Simple.

      • November 7, 2009

        I’m with eklavya. Let’s just win both matches, and remove all doubt.

  15. November 7, 2009

    And for everyone here, read what I write closely. And visit the archives over at the old site. You will not find a more optimistic cule than I. When almost everyone else had given up hope during the last Rijkaard year, I was still offering scenarios in which good things could happen, right up until they absolutely couldn’t.

    So lay off with the “You need to be more optimistic” stuff, because it’s nonsense. What I need to do is what I do, which is analyze each of this club’s performances in its aftermath, and present my view of what transpired. If you don’t agree, that’s cool. We won’t all the time, nor are we supposed to. If you have a favorite player and I say that in my view they sucked, that’s life. If you have a different view, state it. We’ll discuss it, probably not come to a resolution, but have fun doing it. 😀

    But never, ever think that someone is a pessimist or isn’t optimistic because of analytical statements. Especially when that person is me. A pessimistic statement is “We haven’t won every match. We’re doomed,” or “We’re going to lose to Inter and get bounced from the Champions League.”

    You will never hear those kinds of statements from me. What you will read is match analysis that you might or might not like. I’m cool with that, because I have the job here that sucks. Isaiah gets everyone pumped up with previews. Hector analyzes goals, and explains to everyone why we are every bit as cool as we think we are.

    I get the joy of saying “So and so wasn’t very good, and here’s why.” Or “So and so was very good, and here’s why,” and then taking stick for those views. It’s what I signed up for, so it’s all good. Just slag me for what’s actually on the screen, not for what you think is there, or what might be between the lines based on an interpretation of what my prospective worldview might be.

    Because yonder lies madness, since trying to interpret a crazy man will only drive you crazy. 😀

    P.S. And, if anybody wants to write an actual review of a match, let one of us know via, and we’ll go from there. We’ll run it alongside mine, or even in place of mine. Why not?

    • poipoi
      November 7, 2009

      we love you kevin!!! and your insightful reviews… but don’t trash Ininesta anymore please 😀 just kidding

    • Ramzi
      November 7, 2009

      I can only worry about your optimism when Obama formulate a law that forbids selling Chocolate for being a luxury product in a recession period.

  16. poipoi
    November 7, 2009

    For one single day that I can see the game live all I want to see is some ghostface shadowdancing!!! Of mid, wing, whatever. And some swedish goals of course 😉

    mallorca in camp nou should be hard but who knows this year.

    • poipoi
      November 7, 2009

      I meant …shouldN’T be hard…

  17. Jim
    November 7, 2009

    Don’t think I’ve seen anybody trashing Iniesta at all. The only debate seems to be wing or midfield and I suspect that once Henry is fit (and playing well) it’ll be back to mid for Andres. Question is what happens to keita? He has been playing better but he’s trying to hold down a place in the best team on the planet.

    Looking for Messi to stick a bit more to the wing tonight and get some early balls. He should also be working on going outside the fullback rather than always cutting in. He did it once ( without any great commitment on his part ) during the week and got a yard of a start as it was unexpected.

    • poipoi
      November 7, 2009

      it’s clear!!!! keita left wing 😉

      thank god there’s a little debate on who has to play… the list of players is SO short … keita-andres-xavi 3 players for the two of mid positions is ok, rotate them and off we go ¿don’t we?

  18. Corrine
    November 7, 2009

    god dammmmiiiitt i’ll be missing another barca match again!!! this time i’ll be out of town

    is there a lite version of this blog by any chance? sometimes i want to check it on my iphone while on the go but the messi background eats up all my mbs

  19. iBlau
    November 7, 2009

    Here’s a video compilation of Bojan’s career just in case anyone wants to analyze his progress:

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