Joy, Six Goals at a Time: Barça 6 – 1 Getafe

The little man is a magician. And he put on a bewitching display today against Getafe. From his defense-splitting pass for the opener to his own manita maker, Andres Iniesta was brilliant. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t point out that the defense was actually rather stellar as well, with midfield play thoroughly pulverizing what little resistance Getafe decided to put up. The lack of a clean sheet is not down to defensive error so much as an absurd moment by Alba that, even now, I can’t really understand.

Whatever your thoughts about who should be Man of the Match–and I’m open to a variety of interpretations about who had the best performance–it should be pointed out that the Getafe were a willing sacrificial lamb on the altar of the beautiful game. Iniesta had acres of space wherever he went, Thiago was often surrounded by nothing but green grass, and Song was able to shut down the Route 1 attacks they sent out about once every 30 minutes.

That is, perhaps, the biggest point about this game: Getafe were dreadful. They didn’t press, they didn’t harry, they didn’t prod, they didn’t poke. Sometimes they fouled, but mostly they just watched. Interested, as I was, in witnessing the mighty, magical midgets creating physical art. Which is somewhat weird given their ability, earlier in the season, to take on teams and beat them. They beat Real Madrid in Week 2, after all and even as recently as last week beat Deportivo 3-1. Granted, Depor is hardly a good measuring stick, but Getafe weren’t truly slouching their way into the game. Perhaps they just didn’t want to expend the energy required to not get pounded by Barça.

So, instead, they got pounded. And how.

What could have been 4-0 at halftime was 4-0 after Tello subbed on and slammed home a beautiful  shot (once again with little defensive pressure) and the game was effectively sealed. But for that looping header backwards for Jordi Alba’s second assist of the game, it was pretty much the perfect game. If you discount the possible injuries to Adriano and Puyol, of course. A neutral opponent, a full crowd, and about 18 quarts of sunscreen for Mr. Ghostface made for an exciting game, at least if you were a cule.

Despite his goal, Messi didn’t seem to be particularly interested in this game, much as he hasn’t seemed interested in the last few games. At least not in terms of a full-field, full-throttle match. He played little to no defense against Getafe, yet was kept from standing out as failing to do so by Getafe’s rather sheepish approach to, you know, attempting to score. Yes, he was bottled up by multiple defenders at points, but he did little to really pull them out of the way except dawdle back towards the center circle while Alexis darted in behind (see first goal). It was much the same for Villa’s goal and then Tello’s goal came from one of the only real “Messi runs” Lionel made all game. Once it was 3-0, it was understandable to turn the motor down to a dim idle, but before that, it was an awkward touch by Thiago that led to Messi’s only goal.

But here’s a question: would I be saying this same thing had Messi’s bicycle kick gone in? Given that the magic moments Iniesta had, even when they amounted to nothing on the scoreboard, made me drool and declare him the game’s best player, what if Messi had similar moments of skill? We know he’s got the talent, so if he turns on the jets for 5 seconds, it’s the video clip we’ll be sending to our friends, coworkers, and probably complete strangers for the next week. He scored an overhead kick, you guys. I don’t know that I really have an answer, but Messi is certainly one of those players who makes the impossible look simple; that he can do so at any moment makes him extremely watchable, but not always the best overall performer.

Watching a match live, you realize how amazing the centerbacks are. They’re everywhere and they’re nowhere. Then you watch the DM and you think, “This guy is tremendous,” what with the reading of the game and the intercepting of the passes. Then you look at the attacking mids and you’re stunned by the tempo and the vision. Then you look up front and you’re dazzled by the eel-slippery moves and the wicked bend on the ball as it curves into the net. But it started at the back with that gentle bump on the opposing forward that jarred the ball loose. On TV, the ball is always where you’re looking, but live you can look down and see Puyol’s hair flying all over the place while the ball is down on the other side of the field. You can see Song track back at a slight angle.

They say when you watch a game, you don’t see Busi, but when you see Busi, you see the game. Part of that is perspective. Literal perspective: from a couch or from the stands. Check out Song’s average positioning on this map from ESPN (you might have to select “tactical formation”). He’s literally in the middle of the field, as centered as you can get, meaning he was all over the field, both offensively and defensively. Sure, Getafe were pushed back constantly, but Song was still occupying the middle like a beast. Compare that with everyone’s average positioning against Valencia. The Getafe map is a tale of domination. Note in particular the differences between Alves and Alba’s positioning in those two matches. Even Valdes was higher up against Getafe.

And, of course, how could forget the long-toiling, long-suffering Alexis Sanchez? What a player, what a goal, what an outing by the Chilean. He’s looked extremely good for weeks now and has finally, finally gotten a goal for all his troubles. Much more on him in later posts, but I come down squarely in the Sanchez Deserves to be a Barça Player camp. It was great to see him smile a real smile, not that wry “Again?” smile he’s had while slapping his own forehead.

Scream away, you deserve it.

Image sources: 1st image 2nd image

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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. barca96
    February 10, 2013

    Vasquez was offside in that goal. Somebody should’ve shouted to Alba to let it go. If I’m not mistaken, FIFA is addressing the issue. That is of course ONLY after a controversial goal in an English related matter, in the Man U Newcastle match.

    Same like the goal line technology. Blatter only took action after England had a goal disallowed. It’s really too obvious.

  2. barca96
    February 10, 2013

    I would’ve really liked today see Singapore and Busi in the middle in the first leg vs Madrid.

    Btw, I really don’t think that this match is our best by a wide margin. There was no pressure at all on the players except Messi.

  3. nzm
    February 11, 2013

    Getafe certainly didn’t get into the game at all.

    There were moments of playing, but the space in which they allowed Barca to play was borderline ridiculous. I don’t believe that Barca created all that space for themselves.

    Getafe players looked as if they would have preferred to still be in bed.

    I’m chalking the result partially to the fact that Barca has the better mentality, match-toughness and infrastructure around the team to better-prepare for a mid-day game.

    The incentive to play well in front of a lucrative Asian TV audience would have helped too.

    Rosell had a good day yesterday. He watched the football team annihilate Getafe and then travelled to Vitoria to watch Barca Regal beat Valencia in the final of the basketball Copa del Rey.

    • Messiah10
      February 11, 2013

      Getafe’s lack of intensity could be down to non payment of player wages. It’s no secret that many of the lower tier and even upper tier clubs in Liga struggle to pay wages on a monthly basis. If I were a player and not getting paid I’d find it hard to get up for games and give an effort to a club who’s causing me to miss my rent, car, food bills, etc. You can’t live life like that and eventually the stress would catch up to you.

  4. February 11, 2013

    It could be that Getafe played a horrible game in all areas of the pitch that made the entire team look supreme. But whether that is the case or not, this was the exact lineup I wanted for the Madrid and Valencia game.
    Iniesta is such a talented player that he can play anywhere. Cesc is not quite so flexible. Everytime i’ve seen Andres play the Xavi position, he has always excelled, even adding the spectacular and flair to the metronomic role. Song, for me has also always performed well when called upon and this game is yet another validation for the qualities he possesses.
    Rotate! Rotate! Rotate please! that will be the key.
    Rotate the shit out of the team for the copa and the league, figure out the best 11 and keep them fit and fresh for CL, should be our strategy going forward.

  5. February 11, 2013

    I hope we dont get too much excited by this match. I do not know how many here watched Sweden Argentina. The first half looked like Sweden vs Barca actually and my friends called me to say, what is happening with Argentina, its really good. But it was very clear that Sweden werent pressing at all. They allowed some space, even to Messi, though Messi was playing more deeper.
    Anyways, Getafe didnt seem to be pressing anybody other than Messi. And for long periods, after a long time, Barca was allowed a lot of space in the opposition half. We saw something like this, very rarely/nil in the last two seasons.
    Its still nice that there were 6 different scorers.

  6. Artur
    February 11, 2013

    Unfortunately I didn’t see the full game, but from the highlights I just got one thing to say – Think, WTF? Playing like a first team player, so impressive! I almost fell down my seat when I saw him crash the box for the Messi goal. You need VISION and CONFIDENCE to make those plays! He’s easily one of the most criticized players on the team when he does play (unrightfully so) but he doesn’t care! He was always in the right place and his aerial ball control is probably one of the best on the team! So happy for him.

    Oh and Valdez could have easily prevented that goal had he even tried to challenge the attacker to sprint for the ball and kick it out, instead he just made 2 steps forward and spread his legs, was very disappointed, a very charismatic mistake. One of those, “Welp, I hope he Misses” moments of his.

    Want to watch the full match given all the positive comments bout Song, highlights didn’t do justice!

    • Blau-Grenade
      February 11, 2013

      Artur, You can find the full match at these links. These were posted by Barcastuff.
      Videos: Full match > Barcelona-Getafe (6-1) * (1st half) * (2nd half) #fcblive [via @spherachannel]

  7. nia
    February 11, 2013

    How the hell RM managed to change the liga clasico to March 2 is beyond me. Last yr, Barca requested a change and LFP refused. If they are gonna do it for one team, next time, they should do it for everyone. Sometimes I blame Barca, they are too passive/nice and never kick a fuss over anything. Very annoying.

  8. hammeronmessi
    February 11, 2013


    neymar neymar neymar.

    watch him play only once.against barca at the CWC.
    is he really that good, cause he didnt got the chance to show what he can because of our dominance in that particular game.

    tim vickery’s report made me think he is stagnated there.

    here is the report

    one other thing, will be at ISTANBUL @18th of this month.can anybody suggest where can i see the barca match without streaming

    • barca96
      February 11, 2013

      Saw him play at least a handful of matches now. I seriously don’t rate him that much. But then why I don’t mind him coming is because there is a darth of LW’s in the game right now and with Villa declining, why not.

      One problem though, we have 2 passengers in our first XI, Messi and Iniesta to a certain extent. With Neymar in the team, it’ll be 3 guys who hardly run and pressure. Our game which relies heavily on pressuring when without the ball will be heavily affected.

      • February 11, 2013

        The Neymar that I watched against England in that friendly has converted me to the view of Euler and a number of other folks. Why? Space.

        Vickey’s piece clearly has a point of view. Kaka has the same space deficiency. So does Ronaldo. So does Messi, for that matter. It’s always difficult for a player to do something when you get in his grille.

        The reason(s) that the Barça attack works is because of space: how it is used, how it is made, how it is used in close quarters when opponents are marking tightly. At that time, ball movement, particularly one-touch passing, is paramount. Neymar is extraordinary in that regard, almost of Barça quality already.

        Another thing worth noting in that England match is that even with a team that was marking and pressing, playing Brazil pretty much the way that our opponents play us, Neymar repeatedly found himself in open space due to his movement and reading of the match.

        Now, people say that he had a crappy performance in that match, therefore he isn’t worth the bother. They might be right. But for me, what I saw aside from his play was a football IQ that was impressive. He was also tracking back, and contributing to linkup play in a way that almost looked like a Barça audition.

        He has also picked up some muscle on those skinny bones of his.

        (Oh, Iniesta tracks back on defense. Messi is the only passenger in our attack these days.)

        Neymar, if the rumors are true and he comes, could be Robinho II, or worse. He could also be a combo platter of Henry and Iniesta, with pace, ball skills, a shot and the ability to beat defenders at pace. Could go either way.

        In terms of pure talent, he has the capabilities to be almost as good as Messi. But Vickery is right in that Brazil is killing him, which is why by all accounts the player himself has accelerated his departure. Santos wanted to keep him until the end of the 2014 season. Neymar seems to recognize that would be a year too late for him. He has to get out of Brazil now, as in this summer at the latest.

        There is also the mental side of things, but I hardly think that being a Barça player with that attendant pressure, compares to being the sporting icon of a football-mad nation. Heck, cules would be a relief compared to his countrymen. Again, maybe. It’s all maybe.

        But yes, right now the dude is a pile of questions and no real answers. But I do hope that we have the opportunity to find out for ourselves, in our colors, what the deal is.

      • Doug
        February 11, 2013

        Iniesta a passenger? Sorry – I don’t see it.

  9. Josep
    February 11, 2013

    From about December on Song has looked a completely different player, he’s really coming into it now.

    Barca-Getafe had better ratings in Spain than the Madrid-Sevilla match. Hm.

    • February 11, 2013

      Probably because they were all hoping that we would drop points. I do wonder how Spain in general feels about Barça in light of all the independence stuff. There has been an increase in Spanish flag waving, and anti-independence chants at away matches, some report.

    • nzm
      February 11, 2013

      Is that viewing ratings, Josep?

      It was televised on Gol Television which is a pay channel but one that is quite popular to buy and not as expensive as Canal+.

      It was also Carnaval weekend so it was a good op for a celebration.

      And what Kevin said about the hope! 🙂

  10. barca96
    February 11, 2013

    – I prefer earlier kick off. I may come off as biased as I live in Asia now but there are many reasons why I think it’s better.

    Ok it doesn’t have to be that early (noon kick off) but 2-4pm would be nice in the Autumn, Winter and Spring.

    Why I prefer that time?
    We can get more fans into the stadium, people of all ages most importantly the younger generation.

    I know Spanish people like to take a nap but missing it once a week should be fine.

    In Holland most of the matches are played at 2pm and I can tell you that it’s not for the Asian market 🙂

    – the main difference between EPL & La Liga is that some of the teams don’t even try. Of course I like Barca to win but I as a footballer (casual) prefer to win knowing that the opponent gave it their all.

    Anyways in the EPL all the teams will play hard for full 90 mins even though they’re losing.

    • Ryan
      February 11, 2013

      I thought it was established fact that Wigan doesn’t try to play for the first half of the season and Arsenal switch off after December. So much for the English playing 100% every game of the season! 🙂

      Also, in the warmer months it’s better for teams in Spain to have later kickoffs so they can avoid the heat. I’ll admit that it was nice having my entire Sunday free after watching Barca play at 6am though.

      • February 11, 2013

        Earlier matches are more family-friendly, for sure. No getting around that. The number of kids (via @barcastuff) increased by something like 6-7k. That’s a lot. Piling up the family for an 8 or 9 p.m. kickoff is very different than piling them up for a nooner, when you still have the whole afternoon, post-match. No school days messed up, or late dinners, etc, etc.

        And the potential for the Chinese market and all of that revenue potential is the reason teams are playing midday matches. That could mean more color copies.

  11. nia
    February 11, 2013

    On darn it!!! David Villa might not be available for the weekend match due to kidney stones. WTH!!! Does someone have a voodoo doll on our players or what?

  12. cliveee
    February 11, 2013

    The progress Alex Song is making amazed me in last match. He has adapted so comfortably and his confidence shows in every bit of his game. As he said it himself, even as a full blown player he is still able to grow in our system, and boy he is so right.

    His game reading ability has improved so much which allows him to be more calm. You know if when he fakes some passes and dribbles. Also he is able to intervene earlier now than before because he knows it’s of no use staying at the back like he used to and wait for opponents to dribble at you. That wins us a lot more balls back.

    One of the very few things Song has an edge over Busquets is that Song could dribble forward with a lot more power and speed. He did so more than once in last match and that opens up so many more options in attack. Of course, he will have to work harder on his passing too as some of them are a tad too heavy and wayward. But overall, extremely good progress he has made.

    • February 11, 2013

      Well, all the coaches said that he was adapting very well. It’s funny, because I wonder if the club has a notion of “football IQ” when players are bought. That is, if they look at more than how the player plays but how he moves on the pitch and deals with situations. That would certainly help with the adaptation phase of things.

      Without question, Barça is a difficult system to adapt to. Better players than Song have struggled more. It seems to take a certain mental flexibility to fit in. You’re right about Song going forward. The other nice thing about that task of his is that it keeps Pique/Puyol from having to do it, and potentially opening up problems in the back on fast counters.

      Defo a work in progress, but I like how things are coming along.

      • Messiah10
        February 11, 2013

        It’s amazing that some Cules expect players to come in from a completely different system and adapt in 1-3 games. Song has needed time. Adapting to a system is hard in itself. Adapting to the Catalan language, Catalan culture, new teammates & coaching staff is equally difficult. Song has the fundamentals to be an extremely important weapon for us. His pace & power are much needed in our more direct system. I think Busi is WORLD CLASS and one of, if not, the best DM in the biz, but Song’s ability to push forward more quickly and help create space for Messi & company could be just what the doctor ordered for the 2nd half of the season. I’m so happy Tito rotated this game. It’s speculation, but I have to believe he still pencils in the players on the team sheet and decides rotation. Adriano has deserved more minutes based on his 1st half of the season form. Alexis starting and scoring is exactly what he needed. I’m so relieved and I’m sure he is too. Song needed these minutes to gain valuable system experience and he did well.

      • Blau-Grenade
        February 11, 2013

        Couldnt agree more with all your points. He had a very good reading of space, attacking intend, and defending in the match.

        One more thing Song did was, just like Busi, he would at times slot between Pique and Puyol, becoming the centre back, allowing Pique and Puyol to bomb forward.

        I am just amazed by his progress.

  13. K_legit in Oz
    February 11, 2013

    Exotic injuries list we have..a kidney stone, wtf?!

  14. Peterj
    February 11, 2013

    Neymar has the potential to be almost good as messi… What The hell @kxevin

    • February 11, 2013

      Yes. Talent-wise, Neymar is a rare player. Messi got coaching, luck and has an astounding work ethic that allowed him to maximize his potential as a player. If Neymar catches those same breaks and has that same work ethic, his talent doesn’t seem to have a ceiling.

      The shame is that rather than coming up in a system that provides him with increasingly difficult challenges, he’s big fishing it in Brazil. At 21, Neymar still hasn’t consistently played against top-level European competition. Messi, meanwhile, was starting against Liga clubs before he was 18.

      Huge difference in development cycles.

  15. KEVINO17
    February 11, 2013

    A few points:

    Interesting to see people jumping on the Song bandwagon (long after it left the station). No, Song hasn’t improved. As soon as he ran onto the pitch and played his first 10 minutes for Barca he looked the goods. I think a lot of people refused to see that because of Busiephilia.

    However, I must confess that I have been criticising Villa (a lot) and have had to revise my views. I’ve seen him as a bit of a luxury player who only pops up to score goals that everyone else has created. He showed against Getafe that he does work his socks off when needed. But, most importantly, with Messi now dropping so deep into midfield we need an out-and-out goal-scoring luxury forward up front. Indeed, we obviously need two wingers spreading the defence.

    Which brings me to Alexis. He has now been free of injury for a couple of months (I think) and is starting to look super-fit. Played a full 90 minutes for Chile, during which he did some prodigious defending, and then put in a good shift against Getafe. Sometimes he seems to teleport himself to tackles. Maybe we’re about to see his full potential in a Barca shirt.

    • Kimcelona
      February 11, 2013

      Really? I don’t see it as jumping on the Song bandwagon but just giving praises where it is due.

      He has improved. You might not see it that way cause you see what you want to with regards to Song. In the early parts of the season, while he had very good moments he had many glaring deficiencies as well. Now, he has many great moments and a few deficiencies, hence why his great moments are being talked up.

      I’ve always wondered where the so called “hate” for Song was. Not this blog? Cause I’ve rarely came here and saw people calling for Song’s head. I’ve only ever seen warranted criticism.

  16. Kimcelona
    February 11, 2013

    Yesterday’s match was fun. The Camp Nou was lively and the players looked up for it. While Getafe arent world beaters, I’d say yesterday’s match was more great teamplay from Barca than just Getafe being awful.

    Iniesta was my MOTM, with honorable mentions to Thiago and Song. Was really happy all three starting forwards scored. Especially happy for Villa and Alexis! The backline was solid, exept for that little lapse of judgement from Jordi. I chalk it down to Puyi not being on the field to get under players’ asses.

    On another note, anims Villa! I really hope this kidney stone thing is his last bit of badluck for a loooooong time.

  17. Art is a blast
    February 11, 2013

    This season, it’s kind of hard to assess messi’s game. He has a poor game then scores a couple, has a good game and gets none. Don’t know what to expect from him.

    • Momo
      February 12, 2013

      Don’t think Messi ever has a poor game really, by his standards maybe slightly subdued, but poor? I don’t think so. The numbers speak for themselves really.

      • February 12, 2013

        A lot, including many online reviewers, around the world, seems to be quite spoiled by Messi. They remind me of the Argentine journalists and public, before 2012 – that he didnt dribble past the 4th guy and score – in every game.
        Messi has grown from being man marked to heavily zonal marked by more than 3, in most games and expecting him to do such unique solo stuff every match is unfair.

        • February 12, 2013

          Hooey. Messi can and does have poor games. Yes, he has a high standard. The best player in the world should have a high standard. But there are matches in which he is involved …. attacking, passing, defending, working as part of his team. But there are other matches where he is sashaying around like he’s waiting for his limo. Then he will make a few runs at 3-4 defenders, lose the ball, fall down and throw his hands up while the opponent runs the other way.

          And frankly, he shouldn’t even be trying to dribble past the fourth guy. Surely there’s a teammate open somewhere on the pitch.

          It is wrong to expect Messi to be at his best every match. But it is just as incorrect to assert that he doesn’t have bad matches.

          • ooga aga
            February 12, 2013

            Hooey. If the coaches tell him to “sashay around” and he does so, then he is doing his job, and is actually having a good game, in the sense that he is doing what is he asked.

            People who know more than I have written that Messi has been specifically told to conserve himself and not go all-out like he used to. And it has paid dividends, in that he is injured less these days.

            That said, I can remember a couple games where his passing is a bit off. And yes, he sometimes tries to dribble through too many dudes. But to summarize any of his games like you do in the last part of your first paragraph, is quite unfair.

            And to just restate what you have said, rightly— by definition, no player can have an “above average” game every time out, measured by their own standard. Statistically speaking, somewhere around half of the games anyone plays will in fact be “below average” performances. Lets not penalize Messi for his high personal standard. Even in one of Messi’s below average performances, we are blessed to have him on the pitch.

          • February 12, 2013

            It does seem that you are expecting Messi to act against instructions that he has been specifically given by the coaching staff just to satisfy your sense of what you want to see him do. If Pep, Tito, and Jordi Roura are all telling him to conserve his energy in order to maximize his performance, why should he defy them and do the opposite? Even his teammates (Masche, most recently) have mentioned that this is what he has been told to do. You really do have a blind spot where this is concerned.

          • February 12, 2013

            I think the only blind spot that I have is my non-deification of Messi. I’ll accept that. But to hone in on the “sashaying around” comment while ignoring the rest of my contention smears the argument, and shapes it toward the conclusion that you’d like to reach.

            There is an enormous difference in the play of a fully-involved Messi, and bad-match Messi. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there is, and the difference is evident to anyone who wants to see it. And that difference isn’t just evident in the times he chooses or doesn’t choose to play defense (in-ear microphone, perhaps, with the coaching staff saying “Go now!” or “Stop!” Like the “Run, Forrest run!” signs from the movie “Forrest Gump.”).

            A fully-involved Messi dominates a match, and we have all seen a fully-involved Messi, just as we have all seen a desultory, barely involved Messi. And that latter is most emphatically NOT on the instruction of the coaching staff. If seeing the different Messis means that I have a blind spot, then I do. Ya got me there.

            And when Messi is poor, we are not lucky to have him on the pitch. He should be sitting and watching in favor of another player who is more effective, on form. Otherwise the problems are too numerous, as everyone, including his teammates, wait for the magic that never comes.

          • February 12, 2013

            I never said Messi couldn’t have a poor game. Of course he can. This wasn’t one of them, though.

            And if I picked up on your “sashaying around” comment, that’s because it is the same criticism you level at Messi every time. It’s flippant and makes it seem like he is doing nothing while he is resting, when actually he is closely watching everything that is going on so he can spring into action when needed. Messi isn’t flawless by any means, but he is one of those rare players that can go from 0 to 100 almost instantly and catch defenders flat-footed. And that is a quality the team counts on from him to make the difference in games.

          • ooga aga
            February 12, 2013

            no, the “sashaying around” comment perfectly encapsulates what you are saying, you have made a point of saying it many, many times. and nobody is deifying messi. you are smearing our arguments just as well, by saying we are deifying him. you still have not addressed the fact that messi has been given orders not to play at the “fully-involved Messi” level. and yet you criticize him for it. we cant risk his getting injured. this is the long term strategy. get used to it. we cant have it both ways. in the big games, when it is most needed, he will turn it up. i really doubt there is any lack of desire on his part, he is a maniac.

        • pr17
          February 14, 2013

          even i am not onto this messi should run and defend a bit more. Because a) he is obeying orders b) i agree that pressing needs to be done but asking messi to do pedro type pressing will only tire him out a bit more. He has to be selective. c) the romantic in me thinks all this focus that attack minded players must defend has removed some elegant enganches / dribblers out of the game. How many great dribblers do we have now. Very few wingers dare to dribble.
          There is no place for a pastore or riquelme kind of players too. They might be lazy in defending but they are a delight to watch.
          Michael cox wrote a piece on playmakers being replaced by runners like ramires and michael bradley.

          I just hope all this slagging messi to not dribble, defend like a hound doesnt turn him into a Rooney who has no magic in him now.

  18. Momo
    February 12, 2013

    This is off topic, but I haven’t been this excited for a non-barca game in quite some time. I’m talking Man utd vs EE, anybody care to make a prediction?

    I’m going with at 3-1 for EE tomorrow. Have a feeling mou will have them up for it psychologically.

    • February 12, 2013

      I agree with you that I have never waited so much, for a non Barca game, in the recent past. I would really like the La liga flag fly high, at the same time I wish RM is out.
      If there is a strong referee, there is every chance that RM see a red card and MU get a small lead. I hope.
      At the same time, after the Wembley final, I really dont think SAF as an astute tactitician, might decide to attack RM, and get a counter attacking goal fest from Real.

      • February 12, 2013

        I think that RM definitely advance. Ferguson didn’t buy a midfield in the winter window, so they’re screwed. Too many weapons for RM, with Wrongaldo, Ozil, etc. Expect to see some Modric, too. Rooney is more likely to get a red than any RM player, I reckon. He does get a bit worked up in big matches.

        • Jim
          February 12, 2013

          I’m not convinced. The first leg being at the Bernebeu suits Utd. If they were up against a good midfield they might struggle but both sides bypass the mids so it comes down to defence and who finishes best. I reckon it’s wide open.

  19. February 12, 2013

    villa is out of the hospital, will rejoin the squad in training tomorrow, availability for the weekend to be determined.

  20. Jafri
    February 12, 2013

    Man that Celtic crowd is LOUD.

    Also, what on earth possessed Milan to ever sell Pirlo??

    • Jim
      February 12, 2013

      Just got back from yet another parent contact e ending at the school so missed the start but Celtic despite the early setback have looked good.

  21. ooga aga
    February 12, 2013

    god, juve playing counterattacking football against celtic. celtic! i cant even imagine how negative they will be if we play them.

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