Real Sociedad vs. Barça: Can you hear the drums? They beat for thee

RealSociedadVsBarcelona

On January 20th each year, the beautiful city of San Sebastián (think of a small Paris by the sea) in the Basque Country celebrates the festival known as La Tamborrada.  It begins in the evening of January 19th and continues for 24 hours.  It’s loud, because the main instrument is the drum.

Drums beaten for 24 hours sounds like my idea of a personal hell.  Add some bagpipes to that and you’d have me whimpering in a pathetic, drooling heap in the corner, crying, “make it stop, make it stop.”  Luckily bagpipes are the Galicians’ and Asturians’ instrument of torture and didn’t make it as far as the Basque Country.  So, only drums it is in El País Vasco.

La Tamborrada is a highly organised event.  Groups of drummers, dressed as chefs and soldiers, march through the streets beating out the rhythms and singing songs that have been composed especially for the event.  The kids even get into the act with their schools organising drumming corps for the children’s marches which happen during the morning of the festival.

How does this fit in football?  Thanks for asking.

 

Kicking off La Tamborrada
Into the second half of the season, and tonight’s game starts early at 6pm CET.  Before the game, Real Sociedad has organised a demonstration of 2 drumming corps that will march around the athletic track, supplying the warm-up beats for the players and entertaining the crowd.  The drummers will also beat out the Sociedad anthem “Txuri Urdin” (White & Blue) as the players emerge from the tunnel before kick-off.

If we’re not deaf by then, what can we expect?

 

Anoeta Stadium
Nestled in a little gully overlooked by the city’s Velodrome and Bullring, Real Sociedad’s pretty little 32,000+ capacity stadium also occasionally serves as a rugby pitch for French Club Biarritz Olympique.

Barça’s last 2 visits there have yielded a loss for the Blaugrana (2010/11) and a draw (2011/12) after they were leading 0-2, went to sleep and then let Sociedad catch up.  In fact, Barça hasn’t won away against Sociedad since 2007, but the Basque team did play 3 seasons in the Liga Adelante since then.

Tomorrow’s crowd could be a good one given that it’s the start of La Tamborrada, although it may also be affected by the festival because those who are drumming may have to be elsewhere.  (As for the weather – see below.)

 

Real Sociedad’s Form – Rather Erratic
This season, Sociedad’s record at home is 5W  2L  3D.  Those 2 losses were 0-1 affairs to Atlético de Madrid and Espanyol.  Their away form has been less successful:  2W  5L  2D for a season’s result of 7W  7L  5D thus far.  They’ve beaten notable in-form teams such as Rayo and Málaga, as well as Sevilla and Valencia.

A couple of weeks ago, they participated in a controversial game away to Real Madrid (where Mourinho selected Adan ahead of Casillas, but the reserve keeper lasted about 10 mins before being red-carded, so Casillas had to play after all), and narrowly missed winning by 4 goals to 3 when, perhaps with a little more pressing, they could have won or at least drawn the match.  (But then our guys didn’t do any better when they allowed a 10-man Málaga to come back to level 2-2 last Wednesday night.)

With 29 points, Real Sociedad sits 9th on the Liga Table – 4 points behind Valencia in 7th and Levante in 8th.

 

Players to Watch
Coach Phillipe Montanier (his French accent when speaking Castellano is so cute!) has a full squad for selection with no players injured and 3 players (Iñigo Martínez, Dani Estrada and Mikel González) back from serving a 1 match suspension from Yellow card accumulations.  Hmmm… do you think that their last cards (awarded in the Madrid game) were deliberate so that they were not suspended for this match?

The squad is:
GKs: Bravo, Zubikarai.
Defence:  Carlos Martínez, Dani Estrada, Mikel, Iñigo, De la Bella, José Ángel.
Mid-fielders:  Pardo, Illarra, Markel, Elustondo.
Forwards:  Xabi Prieto, Vela, Ifrán, Agirretxe, Chory Castro, Griezmann.

Real Sociedad used to follow the same system as Athletic Bilbao of only using Basque-born players, but the club abandoned that practice in 1989.  The team is now a mix of Basque (who have progressed through the Sociedad youth teams to the Senior level), and International players.

Notable local players are:
~ Captain Xabi Prieto has played at the club since he was 5 years old.  He scored his first hat-trick 2 weeks ago in the 4-3 loss to Real Madrid.  Lying second on the goal-scoring table, his tally stands at 4 for the season, with 3 assists.
~ 21yo CB Iñigo Martínez is gaining a lot of attention from overseas clubs, and it won’t be long before Real Sociedad is presented with an irresistible offer for him.  Although he’s a promising player, Iñigo was part of the disappointing Olympic Team and suffered the ignominy of being sent off (for a last-man tackle) in the first game against Japan.
~ 20yo Mid-fielder Rubén Pardo has 2 goals and 2 assists for his 743 minutes played.  In 2011, he was part of the successful Spanish U-19 team to win the UEFA U-19 Football Championship in Romania.
~ Forward Imanol Agirretxe is a threat in front of goal, especially when linking up with his captain.  The 6’1″ striker is often used as an impact player and has 3 goals and 1 assist.

The squad also has a few Internationals, some of whom are also members of their countries’ National Teams.
~ GK Claudio Bravo is the captain of Chile and has been with Sociedad since 2006.  When he makes a good save, you can shout “Bravo!” and really mean it.
~ 21yo French player Antoine Griezmann is no slug on the left wing.  Our Right defence is going to have to be on their toes to contain this guy, who can also play as a striker.  With 3 goals and 2 assists for Sociedad, Griezmann also plays for the French U-21 team.
~ Uruguayan “Chori” Castro made the move from Mallorca to Sociedad this season.  The winger, still feeling his way into the team, is mainly being used as a sub, but still has 2 goals and 1 assist for his 639 Liga minutes.
~ In August 2012, Mexican Carlos Vela signed permanently to Real Sociedad after being on-loan to the club last season from Arsenal.  Signed by the Gunners in 2005, Vela has spent most seasons out on loan because of UK work permit restrictions for non-EU citizens.  The 23yo Striker leads the goal table with 8 netted and 3 assists.  He has also accumulated 6 cards – the second-highest total in the club for the season. Vela has been a member of the Mexico squad since 2007.

 

Qatar Strikes Again
For some inexplicable reason, but most likely for healthy monetary compensation, the home team’s camisetas will bear a new sponsor for this game – and this game only.  The name of Qatari firm Al Gosaibi Capital (with a really bad website – don’t click on it if you are at work because the music is loud) will be splayed across the chiseled abs of the Sociedad players.

 

Weather Forecast
Unfortunately, it’s not great.  Rain, sometimes heavy, is forecast for Saturday and it could also be quite windy.  And cold.  This will not suit our boys.  Shades of the conditions at San Mamés last season, but hopefully the pitch won’t be as water-logged.

 

Who’s Tito gonna play?
Because of the early game time, the Barça team travelled to San Sebastián on Friday night.

Once again, Jonathan dos Santos was left behind to mop the floors and turn off the lights, and David Villa still has an injured thigh and also didn’t travel.  Abidal, Cuenca and Muniesa, although training again with the main group, have not received medical clearance and won’t be going anywhere until they do.

The squad is:  Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Montoya, Piqué, Bartra, Puyol, Mascherano, Alba, Adriano, Xavi, Thiago, Busquets, Iniesta, Cesc, Pedro, Alexis, Messi and Tello.

Alex Song travelled with the group but has already been ruled out with a minor injury that has seen him training in the gym since the Málaga CdR game.

Anyone else think that Tito is going to have selection headaches when the whole squad is back in business?

I anticipate a no-nonsense-let’s-get-the-job-done team although, with the expected weather conditions, he may decide to rest a couple of key players to save them for the return CdR match against Málaga next Thursday.

 

The game kicks off tonight, Saturday 19th January at 6:00pm CET

Click here to convert the match time to your timezone: Real Sociedad vs. FC Barcelona

Streams for the match are usually found on First Row, Roja Directa and Bar TV.

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

211 Comments

  1. Judas Pissed
    January 19, 2013

    Could be worse – you could all support Oldham Athletic as well like me!

  2. BA
    January 19, 2013

    We. need. a. real. center-back.

    don’t know how many times i’m going to have to say that. maybe if i staple a note to a pig’s head and throw it on Tito’s bed Godfather style?

    • bhed
      January 19, 2013

      Couldn’t agree more. Masch is a phenomenal tackler, but the evidence is mounting that last season’s solidity at CB was a fluke. I think many here are in denial. CB’s WILL get cards, we need defensive depth. On that note, despite better crossing this game, Alves is a defensive liability.

      • Momo
        January 19, 2013

        Yes bhed, Masch has managed to fluke his way at CB at one of the best teams in the world for…. wait for it…. an ENTIRE season..

        This blog is a hilarious read whenever barca drops points.

      • bhed
        January 19, 2013

        Sure, if you put it like that…

        All I’m saying is that last season, Masch was a revelation in central defense, beyond most people’s expectations. Possibly a real successor to Puyol. This season, he has not been. Not sure what’s so crazy about that.

  3. nia
    January 19, 2013

    Just found out that Barca haven’t won at sociedad for the last yrs. Surprised they struggle that much over there.

    • nia
      January 19, 2013

      ^3

    • nzm
      January 19, 2013

      You would have found out sooner if you had read my preview. 😀

  4. Humphrey Bogart
    January 19, 2013

    okay, 4 hours ago, after the match ended, i was really angry about our performance, about the way we feebley accpted our fate. then i did go out with friends for dinner, we had faboulous food, a lot of red wine and a good time, but in my belly there was still this gnarling feeling.
    There is one thing i really deteste in life and that is waste, and that is what we are doing now: wasting. one week ago, we had the world at our feed: unbeaten in the league, the copa and CL well within in reach, within one one week everything has chnanged. After our pitty performance we are as good as out of the copa (after a 2:2 at HOME the chance of going through is about 20%) and the way we performed Malaga could send its B-team and it would be enough to send us out. One can say that wednesday was an off day, alright, that can happen, but then come back STRONGER, to show everybody that you are still top dog, instead we come back like anxious babys, taking a lead and THEN getting beaten (do not give me the 10 men crap, malaga were down to 10 and they did get a draw at camp now). We showed neither sill, nor passion, nor fight, or any kind of interet or care. Do not make the mistake to thing we are too far ahead, the way we played everybody can beat us with us and more important we showed ourselve as weak, us soft belly, we showed ourselves us Arsenal, lot of fancy dapping but now steal of fight when it counts, that is just what madrid needs: us showing weakness and they will pounce, the way we played we are easy prey even for a side weakened as Milan.
    One week ago everythng seemmed possible, now we must hold on to win the league, everything else is good as out of reach now

    • Ryan
      January 19, 2013

      Judging by the sheer pessimism of this post, I’d say lay off the wine next time!

    • Momo
      January 19, 2013

      LOL…. Oh Humphrey, we can always count on your level headed, calm, optimistic posts. I think we found a new mod!

      (Sarcasm)

    • replayed
      January 19, 2013

      Perspective much?

  5. January 19, 2013

    Why in the world is anyone even bringing up Mascherano? This loss wasn’t related to him in any major way.

    The problem today outside of Pique’s card was transition defense – by the team as a whole- but particularly from the attacking players.

    And if you really want to “blame” a CB for this other than Pique well then it’s Puyol for his mispositioning/mismarking on the first goal.

    But as usual there really is no point in blaming any one individual for today outside of Pique’s lack of thinking. It’s completely off the mark. Defensive issues were related to the team as an entire system.

    The team has been wildly successful this season. Past anyone’s expectations. But when anything suboptimal happens people look to blame the “usual suspects.” Mascherano being one of them. Funny how that blame seems to be recurrently focused on players who are so often seen as “new” or “not from La Masia” etc somehow.

    The team didn’t perform well as a unit. If you want to understand why then you need to think about the unit as a whole. Not pin it on the player who came in after Pique rashly got sent off (and then made excuses for it after on twitter).

    • Humphrey Bogart
      January 19, 2013

      i agree with a lot you said, but not with one point; “the team has been widly successfull”. i agree not with that. Have we win any trophies yet? No. Have we played to full potential in last games? No. We did throw the EE a life line and be sure they will take it, they will roll over Valencia tommorrow like a Porsche Cayenne and as we did show weaknesses in last games they will hunt us down. CdR? for me finished. Malaga need ony a draw and we are out, no problem. CL? well one thought Milan would be an easy draw but at the look of things El Shaarawy will make mince pie out of our (non existing) defence

      • January 19, 2013

        i agree with a lot you said, but not with one point; “the team has been widly successfull”. i agree not with that. Have we win any trophies yet?

        Given that it’s impossible for them to have won any trophies this year by January this is a completely peripheral issue.

        Yes-going undefeated the first half of the league season & having an large lead over the sides in 2nd & 3rd while winning one own group in the CL is wildly successful given where we are in the season.

        What will happen? Who knows.

        But the notion that the team’s first league loss – a loss after which they will be no worse than 8/15 pts ahead- is just- is a cataclysmic event is not rational. It’s a panic response.

        We go through this every year in the winter. The team has a dip in form. This dip happens because of the periodization schedule. The team is designed to physically peak in time for the semis/finals of the CL.

        This happens every single year.

        Based on your comments in this thread-you are wildly over reacting.

      • Jim
        January 19, 2013

        Why on earth would anyone think we aren’t still favourites to go through in the Copa? We are talking about the best team in the world and the only variable for me is whether or not we are up for it midweek. I would think Malaga are in for a pretty torrid time.

        Personally, I’m not too fond of the more direct approach we seem to adopt at times as it tends to de emphasise Xavi who I think is our biggest asset ( apart from the obvious one). It becomes more of a lottery but even so if we take our chances nobody can live with us.

        Who in Europe would you rather be than us at the moment?

    • mic
      January 19, 2013

      It seemed to me that system was not working even before we had to defend. We were loosing unusually many balls in midfield, even Busquets! We were unable to form effective triangles, which forced individual dribbles which were bound to fail, like most of the Iniesta’s attempts.

    • Momo
      January 19, 2013

      Agreed on all fronts Euler.

    • Jim
      January 19, 2013

      Just had a look at Pique’s Twitter page. He has a point that he has been harshly dealt with this season but can’t have any excuse for today. That first yellow was inexcusable. The second can happen to a defender at times but you don’t make that tackle on a yellow.

      . The whole team seemed a little tetchy today though.

      • replayed
        January 19, 2013

        The whole team seemed a little tetchy today though.

        Yeah, it was like everyone got up on the wrong side of the bed.

        I remember there was a theory last season that traveling the day before Liga matches did not seem to agree with the team.

    • bhed
      January 19, 2013

      Definitely not down to Masch for the loss. The question though, is if he is a viable starting center back for the best team in the world. I don’t really know at this point. I was originally responding to a call for more depth at CB.

  6. nzm
    January 19, 2013

    Sociedad was clever tonight with the way in which they used angled runs to cut through the Barca midfield and defence.

    This left the Barca defence unsettled and out of position as players came out to try and block the ball carrier instead of holding the defensive line. Puyol was caught out a few times doing this – trying to do too much.

    Barca simply isn’t used to having to set a sliding defensive line which goes from side to side, much like the players on the rods of a table football game. If you watch Dortmund, they do this extremely well and effectively.

    Sociedad wanted the win tonight and they got it. Kudos to them. The impact substitution in Agirretxe was extremely effective for that last goal with his fresh long legs managing to poke the ball into the net.

  7. January 19, 2013

    How goes the wailing and rending of garments? Just checking after a loooong day on an airplane. I swear they were moving Chicago away from us. Anyhow, sampled the match, a match that, as with Malaga, should have been over in the first half, yet wasn’t. Wasteful, and it came back to bite us. Again.

    RSO played a hell of a match, taking advantage of weaknesses and, who didn’t know that silly Pique yellow was going to come back to haunt?

    A loss is good for the side. Now that the undefeated crap is over with, let’s play some football.

  8. alpinegroove
    January 19, 2013

    As for fatigue, luckily the CDR match is on Thursday. 5 days of rest is not that bad even after a difficult match today.
    Plus, my assumption is that Tito is not planning to start the same team on Thursday.
    I have a feeling we might see Iniesta in midfield and Alexis upfront.

  9. January 19, 2013

    On another note, people …. LISTEN to yourselves. A few days ago, this team was shitting daisies and lilac blossoms. Now Mascherano is a problem somehow, the team isn’t defensive-minded (thank the stars for that!), and some people see Armageddon lurking. Folks are taking after Humphrey Bogart for the usually ridiculously pessimistic posts on offer under that screen name, but the train was rolling.

    BA notes that we need a real CB, but Puyol has been a deity for such a long time. Isn’t he a real CB? Mascherano would need to still be playing to catch up to Puyol in the hose-off sweepstakes today. Messi left a couple on the table today that bit us in the butt, just like Sanchez did against Sociedad.

    Team win, team loss. Is it any one player’s fault? Absolutely not. Something to keep in mind next time the long knives come out for Sanchez, Song or Thiago. This was one of those matches. Two, actually. In both cases, the damage is very repairable. Still an 8/15 point lead in Liga if ATM and RM win tomorrow. Win at Malaga and the Copa issue is fixed. Voila.

    But this team losing a match isn’t the end of the world. Better it happened now with a huge cushion than at some other time. And now they understand: No games off, no easy days. Every opponent will be looking to bring the mighty Barça down a peg. Foot on the gas, foot stays on the gas until the beast is slain.

    • mom4
      January 19, 2013

      Wait…you mean the world didn’t end today?

    • BA
      January 20, 2013

      our problem at CB is not that “Mascherano isn’t good enough to play there” because he’s shown that most of the time he is. it’s that we lack options at center-back; we all know that Puyol-Mascherano isn’t a very strong pairing, but we had no other senior player on the bench to bring on for that position. Pique is assured of his starting place when fit in part because of that fact, and perhaps that contributes to his complacency/attitude.

      forget about this one result, the idea that we’re going to endure the kind of challenge on 3 fronts our play lately has deserved with a mere 2 real center-backs, one of whom is 34 years old, plus assorted converted midfielders while maintaining our standard of play is hopeful to the point of naivete. Abidal is wonderful, but he hasn’t played at all this season, his inclusion in the squad isn’t a guarantee and he’s still recovering from cancer. apart from he, who else do we have that’s a natural defender? we have kids, and midfielders, and i think we can see that it’s just not adequate.

      so my point is this: in order to maintain our quality of play throughout the season *and* in order to promote competitiveness, we need more natural options for what is currently our most crucial position. i don’t think that’s unreasonable OR a kneejerk reaction, since many of us have been saying that for the last 12 months. this game was merely a very illustrative example of why we need to invest in at least one natural, professional CB.

  10. barca96
    January 19, 2013

    Remember I complained about Messi for taking a cheap shot by kicking the balls to a player at a free kick?? Right. Karma is a bitch.

    I fail to see how sMasch can be blamed. The only way I could blame him is the way he stood for that own goal and the water he moved as the ball hit him. He moved inwards which in turn guided the ball towards goal instead of away from goal.

    Puyol on the other hand should’ve cleared the ball for the 1st goal and shouldn’t have needlessly kicked the ball out for the 3rd goalie. He had so much time and space.

  11. barca96
    January 19, 2013

    Alves could be blamed for the 1st goal but he was covering Puyol who was covering Pique who unnecessarily went too far out attacking the ball.

    • Jim
      January 20, 2013

      Agree with most of that assessment. I’m not sure Piqué had a choice whether to go for the ball or not. You can’t let a ball bounce uncontested just outside your area. However, having gone for it I’d rather he’d won it ! Puyol was the main issue here although again he was dragged away from marking his man by the thought of winning the second ball – but again he didn’t. I’m not blaming Alves.

      With regard to Masch, no way was he the cause of our defeat. Uncharacteristic loss of possession all over. I would argue we were wobbling even before half time and just didnt sort it. I was assuming Tito would opt for a slightly less expansive game in the second half, get control and hope for a third.

      back to Masch, I thought He played pretty well last weekend. I would say, however, that a defender should never turn away from a cross/ shot as it leaves you open to this happening. Bit like Nasri in the wall a few weeks ago but these things can happen. The final goal I would say he could have done better. He was holding a decent high line with Puyol which kept them out of our area then just before the ball was played he dashed back a few yards giving their guy the space to get a run on VV and stay onside. Not good defending.

      However, as Kxevin says, at least that’s the undefeated monkey off our back and this’ll be hurting. Look forward to the next game.

      • barca96
        January 20, 2013

        Hi Jim. I decided to watch the 3rd goal again on my DVR and put it on slow motion after reading your comment this morning.

        I noticed that he did hesitate whether to play him offside but I think he noticed that Alba was playing all of them onside. Alba was right at the sideline. I didn’t notice on which side of the pitch the linesman was and I can’t check it anymore as I’ve deleted the match. But in any case, it wouldn’t have been a successful offside trap.

        I’m not good in positioning in defending. I’m horrible actually. That’s probably the only position I haven’t played regularly. The last time I tried was when I got an earful that it still rings in my ear till this day for making the exact same mistake as sMasch by letting the striker sneak behind me at a cross.

        But I’m not convinced that that is the right way because if the attacker is in front of me, defender, how am I going to get to the ball first? I didn’t argue with the captain and have never asked him about it but what do you think is that correct way?

        Do you think that sMasch could’ve prevented the own goal if he didn’t move his body sideways and in turn directed the ball to the goal?

        Yes. It’s much better that it happens now than later say in March or April.

        On another note, I’m speaking for myself here. When I criticize a player like Thiago the other day, it wasn’t me saying that he had a bad match. He made an error. One error doesn’t equal to whole performance for me. Just because I thought that Thiago made a mistake it doesn’t mean that I thought he had a bad match or even a bad player.

        But some people here think that if me or anyone else comment on an error commited by a player, it equals to a bashing on the player. It happens on this blog and others as well.

      • replayed
        January 20, 2013

        But some people here think that if me or anyone else comment on an error commited by a player, it equals to a bashing on the player.

        Don’t sweat it.

        I call it the Only-*I*-Am-Allowed-to-Criticize-A-Player Syndrome, a common affliction in these parts.

        And some hard cases additionally suffer from the more exotic (and hilarious) Only-*I*-Am-Allowed-to-Praise-A-Player Syndrome.

        Just learn to recognize the symptoms of OIAACAPS and OIAAPAPS, and you’ll feel a lot better about letting that kind of possessiveness roll off your back.

      • Jim
        January 20, 2013

        Barca 96, I only ever played at the back in an emergency so I’m not really any kind of expert on defending. Having watched the goal again you’re right to some extent. Alba does come back but isnt actually playing him on at the vital moment. – they’re close to level at one point but that gives the guy a couple of yards to get speed up on Masch who had a couple of yards to move out.

        However, having watched it a number of times what I’m struck by is the quality of the ball in, which was bending away from Masch. It’s maybe one of those occasions where you just have to say too good and accept it was quality. Masch could / should have tried to stop it getting across him but it could well have resulted in an own goal. I did think Busi and Alba should have stopped it coming across between them but on re watching, the passer got a couple of lucky bounces which helped him.

        As a rule you’ll get most flack as a defender if you let the attacker come across (in front of ) you. There is an argument that says Dani should have closed in as Masch can’t watch the run and the ball (you can see the guy cleverly waiting till Masch has had his look then setting off immediately). However, having suffered when he did that first half I suppose you couldn’t blame Dani for keeping a bit of space to cover the man behind him. Linesman was right beside play but only looked across as the ball was being played by which time the guy was level with Masch who was just on the point of coming out again so was caught off balance.

        With regard to turning his body that was always something we were taught – there is nothing worse than a midfielder or an attacker tying to defend then either turning their back or sticking a leg out to divert something. Puyol and Piqué are great at taking the hit but our other defenders all try to preserve their good looks

  12. Barka
    January 20, 2013

    It’s just one of those matches where with a little luck on our side, for example Messi or Pedro hitting the inside of the post), and we would have won this match comfortably. I don’t think you can blame the loss on anyone today except for may be Pique.

    I actually am happy that our first losss in la liga 12/13 happened in 2013 when we are 18 points in front of Real Madrid. You can’t ask for more from the team.

  13. fiazhamsath
    January 20, 2013

    Oh Lord, the chaos we see after Barça lose a match is so damn funny. First Loss in 20 Game weeks after going 2-0 up, hitting the post twice, playing 30+ mins down to 10 men, in an away stadium Barça haven’t won since 2007, but still will surely have a healthy #A8 & #A15 after this week?

    Someone offered this situation Barça are in at GW20 to me at start of the Season, I’d have taken it gladly.

    Marca’s One Heading last night says it all – “Barça are Human”, as if we didn’t know, or did we?

  14. barca96
    January 20, 2013

    Pique needs to look at himself first, in reference to the red card incident and Mourinho.

    I still think it is very childish on the RSO player for kicking the ball to Pique on purpose just like Messi. I find it a cowardly and cheap act.

    And can’t the referee see that the ball actually wasn’t going anywhere? That it was kicked purposely to get the player booked. If Pique was in between 2 RSO players then yes but he wasn’t just like the incident with Messi.

    • mei
      January 20, 2013

      No way , really. The team that commits the infraction is the one penalised and obliged to walk away from the ball and organize their defend as soon as possible .
      The offensive team does not have to wait and it should not. Pique did such a stupid mistake stading there , and he did another after the match by posting the ratio of fouls/cards/dismissals he has this season.
      He should be looking at this stat and realizing that he has been doing something stupid and stop it. Like not messing with officials or with other players while the ball is not in play.

      On another note, we lost a match. Yeah so what?

  15. bhed
    January 20, 2013

    At the risk of unleashing the wrath of the OIAACAP brigade, I would like to start a real discussion on whether Mascherano is a viable starting CB for the best team in the world. That is really the question that needs to be answered before we make a decision about buying a CB. Does anyone really believe that Puyol will have no injury/fatigue/card issues the rest of the season if we’re lucky enough to keep playing twice a week? Yes, Barca defends with the ball, but does that mean we don’t need depth at CB? If Bartra is ready ady, why hasn’t he been rotated in more?

    Now before the snide attacks start, know that I have great respect and affection for all these players, but if we can’t have these discussions on BFB, where can we have them? Have you seen the inane/hostile comments on other sites?

    • barca96
      January 20, 2013

      SMasch is the 3rd best CB we have atm and better than a whole lot of other CB’s in La Liga. He would be perfect if he got his positioning right.

      We haven’t seen much of Bartra but he certainly got at least 2 more seasons to prove himself. No pressure. I don’t expect him to be ready. CB’s take more time to be a starter. I would say that it has a lot to do with maturity. And experience. But with experience you need playing time therefore I think it’s best if he goes on loan. I wouldn’t chose him over sMasch.

      • bhed
        January 20, 2013

        So how good of a positional sense does our 3rd best CB need? Can he be as good as he was last season again? Puyi is still our starter when he’s healthy, but how much can we expect of him at this stage?

  16. bhed
    January 20, 2013

    Also, people should realize that this site is the ONLY place where many of us can voice our concerns/frustrations with people who know what we’re even talking about.

  17. January 20, 2013

    Hi all! Haven’t read your comments but I will do so later. Review’s up.

Comments are closed.