So, here is our list of the knocked, or potentially knocked: Ibrahimovic, Puyol (sorta), Abidal, Keita, Txigrinski (sorta). This kind of sucks, given that two giNORMOUS matches loom in the coming week.
So what can we do to top that? I know, let’s add some H1N1 to the party. Why not? Abidal has been diagnosed with the mis-nomered “swine flu,” and The Yaya is suspected to have also contracted it. Now, “la gripe” is no biggie if properly treated, but you can rest assured that part of the medical plan for getting over it is not “Go play a crucial football match.”
In other news:
—Jonathan Dos Santos is getting the call-up for the Bilbao match, since everybody and their mamas is either injured or afflicted. Here’s the 18-man squad list for Bilbao, so get those hypothetical lineups ready: Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Txigrinski, Marquez, Maxwell, Xavi, Keita, Busquets, Iniesta, dos Santos, Messi, Henry, Bojan, Pedro and Jeffren.
–Yes, you saw Thierry Henry on that squad list. Our own Meadowlark Lemon is already recovered from his exertions on behalf of France, which included a full match and all of extra time. After some individual exercises yesterday, he is ready to join the squad in training.
Speaking of Henry, he has actually joined the list of those calling for a replay of the France/Ireland match, saying that such a move would be “the fairest solution.” He said, in an interview with Sky Sports:
“I have said at the time and I will say again that, yes, I handled the ball,” he said, according to Sky Sports News. “I am not a cheat and never have been. It was an instinctive reaction to a ball that was coming extremely fast in a crowded penalty area.
“As a footballer you do not have the luxury of the television to slow the pace of the ball down 100 times to be able make a conscious decision. People are viewing slow motion version of what happened and not what I or any other footballer faces in the game.”
Some will say that now that FIFA has ruled out the possibility of a replay, Henry’s statements are simply the natterings of a hypocrite. Whatevah.
–Everybody, repeat after me: “Awwwwww!” Samuel Eto’o said in an interview with RAC1 that he “misses the Camp Nou.”
“I do not know if there will be a tribute, but the homage of the partners of Barca and I did. It is I who must be very grateful for wearing this shirt,” the Barca legend (yes, I said legend) said.
The striker isn’t thinking of revenge, adding that “I left Barcelona with a clear conscience and I have no grudge.” Word is that if he scores against us he will not celebrate. In a final comment, Eto’o added “My sources have told me that some man from the United States intends to boo me until he faints. I hope that the Camp Nou medical personnel will do everything in their power to ensure that such people can finish the match.” 😀
–Man, dude ain’t even fully back yet, and already Gabi Milito is being nosed around, at least by Zaragoza, who have made tentative inquiries about his services. Of course, Zaragoza would be a homecoming for the centerback, who was purchased from there by us in 2007.
–The date and time have been set for El Clasico: 29 November, 7 p.m. Barcelona time. This is good, because Baby Kxevin needs his beauty sleep. He also needs to not have to make some half-cocked dash to find a late-night joint to get some food. And unless I’m crazy, that means it’s airing at noon CT. Yikes!
—Thong Boy will not be playing against Racing or (most likely) in the Champions League match. I reckon they want him all daisy-fresh for his visit to our cauldron. At least his ass will be all fresh-smelling for when we get all up in it.
–In a bit of bummer but not surprising news, our beloved Camp Nou is one the worst stadium in Europe for disabled access. The Facebook group “Camp Nou Accessible Per A Tothom” is raising some eyebrows with its (just, in my estimation) cause. Not surprisingly, the Camp Nou is getting right on that matter. Very cool.
—David Beckham has said that Thierry Henry is not a cheat. In a follow-up, a man not hedging his bets, FC Barcelona Regal (basketball) coach Agusti Julbe has said “Well, we would have to look seriously at such a talent if and when he wanted to move on from the world of professional football.”** 😀
**No, he didn’t. That last bit is made up. I swear.