Copa Clasico 2nd Leg Match Comments Thread

Madrid

 

It’s that time again: another clasico. Will any of us survive? Let’s find out…

Lineups:

US: Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi

THEM: Diego López, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Di María, Özil, Cristiano, Higuaín.

Please keep it civil in the comments, folks.

Also this:

Diving Cristiano Ronaldo

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

208 Comments

  1. February 26, 2013

    Of course, I will survive. There’s another clasico to live for 😛

    Thanks for the new thread 🙂

  2. Jafri
    February 26, 2013

    Would have loved to see the MVP…

  3. olbucky
    February 26, 2013

    Somebody please give me a good trouble free stream of Ray and Phil.

    • nzm
      February 26, 2013

      I don’t think that they cover the CdR matches.

    • nzm
      February 26, 2013

      You don’t do that with Undiano as ref.

  4. chop
    February 26, 2013

    Barcelona has the worst defense in La Liga.

  5. samarth-culé
    February 26, 2013

    Anybody with a good stream, please share

  6. pr17
    February 26, 2013

    why is roura going with iniesta on left. villa was so much better. Cesc and xavi are non factors in middle

    • G6O
      February 26, 2013

      That should have been a second yellow

  7. February 26, 2013

    Half time Barca 0-1 RM.

    I like it. Not a bad game. We had some chances. A penalty appeal to boot. Their goal was an error in judgement by the ref, in my opinion.

    And now I can resume breathing 🙂

    • mom4
      February 26, 2013

      Sorry, I think it was a penalty.

      And now for the second half I’m stuck at work. It’s better that way as I have too many nerves right now.

  8. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    Barca are very uninspired these days

  9. KEVINO17
    February 26, 2013

    RM playing a very high line but Pedro is the only player who can make runs for the ball over the top. Game made for Alexis and his great runs.
    Tello soon.

  10. Artur
    February 26, 2013

    Very stupid penalty by Pique. No reason to lounge inside the penalty box 1on1 at all.

    Puyol’s yellow, on the other hand, was fully milked by TB.

    We started with intense tempo and a number of chances, penalty unfortunately killed our morale. If we start and finish the second half the way we started first one I can smell at least three goals.

    Great line up, and it’s very effective, so stop whining about it. We had 3-5 chances in the first 8 minutes. Our players are lethal and can create a dangerous moment out of nothing. Buckle down and cheer for your team till we win.

    • Jim
      February 26, 2013

      Not sure. Ronaldo was clean away even if he was heading to the beeline. However, I would say that Pique was probably at fault not stepping up before the through ball to him.

  11. HisR0yalFlyness
    February 26, 2013

    Alba needs to stop the faking. Its disgraceful.

  12. chop
    February 26, 2013

    What happened to the website flashsportsstreams.tv? Since it went down it’s been more hassle than it’s worth to find a decent stream.

  13. Jim
    February 26, 2013

    Crowd’s had enough. Chants of Villa. 🙂

  14. nia
    February 26, 2013

    Barca deserves this. TOOTHLESS!!!! Surely we can’t be that crapy in defending.

  15. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    And that’s that. Hope we don’t see both Cesc and Iniesta in the starting lineup ever again

  16. chop
    February 26, 2013

    This is what happens when the best counterattacking team plays against the worst counterattacking defense. LOL.

  17. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    If this is not yet another lesson for the Milan game, we’ll be out of the CL too soon enough

  18. KEVINO17
    February 26, 2013

    For a side against whom the main threat is the counter-attack, we are dreadfully slow at the back.

  19. pr17
    February 26, 2013

    roura. idiot of the highest order. just in the last game we saw our best lineup and he goes back to same lineup which choked in milan.

      • pr17
        February 26, 2013

        i think it is just desserts for same absolutely cruel treatment to villa. he was on form and scored against sevilla and valladolid and tito plays sanchez in next match. he again does well in copa del rey by scoring twice and tito drops him again. No place in first liga clasico. And now again when he did well, tito / roura drop him from starting line up.

    • samarth-culé
      February 26, 2013

      I used to be proud of it but times like these force me to ponder… What’s the use of this >65% possession when u have just <25% shot accuracy?!

  20. chop
    February 26, 2013

    Roura is so dumb. Puyol-Pique-Busquets is such a slow defense and then you send the two fast guys Alves and Alba bombing up constantly. Then you have your CAM who is old and doesn’t want to run anymore. LOL.

  21. jordi™
    February 26, 2013

    We have the most stubborn management of all time. losing 2-1 on aggregate? Why sub? Losing 2-0 in milan ? Why sub?

  22. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    Please take out Pedro for Tello pleaseeeeee

  23. samarth-culé
    February 26, 2013

    2-0 right in our own backyard… Just placing the best players in the starting XI doesn’t make the team click. And it has been quite a number of times this season that we have seen this same line-up bring no useful results. WTF!

    • jordi™
      February 26, 2013

      It has not worked since january but why change it right?

  24. chop
    February 26, 2013

    Well, it’s been coming for awhile. Barca has been awful defensively for so long and predictable offensively.

    Roura will go after this.

    • Messiah10
      February 26, 2013

      R u serious? “Roura will go after this.” ??? WHY? Because he’s implemented a line up that Tito has undoubtedly counseled him on? Is it because we were beat by a better team at the moment? Because truth be told, we haven’t exactly played scintillating football for a couple of months now. Messi hasn’t been 100% at his sharpest, neither has Xavi. How is that Roura’s fault? Incredible.

      • chop
        February 26, 2013

        How about resting Messi in meaningless games for a start?

        Xavi is over the hill and Thiago should have started. He’s just so bad defensively now and we can’t afford that with Puyol basically done 2 YEARS AGO. Last year we got lucky cause Masch was defending great. This year Puyol as bad as he is is better than him. Pique is nothing great. We’re done.

  25. jordi™
    February 26, 2013

    Because a rested lineup wouldnt have seen the same result….

    Varane 3-0

    At least we will never see iniesta pedro as a forward line again.

    • samarth-culé
      February 26, 2013

      You never know, after the management being so stubborn this season…

    • mangut
      February 26, 2013

      You will see the same starting XI against Milan. Count on it.

      • Even I feel the same. Titi vilanova is an idiot. He starts Cesc in all important match andto accomodate cesc’s lack of defensive play iniesta has to cover the midfield too. What does this bastard have against Villa? There was 3-4 times alba broke from the left and send in a decent cross info the middle only to find that there are only white shirts there.

    • samarth-culé
      February 26, 2013

      And to add to that, the woes of Villa not getting enough play time

  26. Judas Pissed
    February 26, 2013

    Plan B? Plan B please? Plan B anyone? ANYONE!?

  27. nia
    February 26, 2013

    I had a dream a few weeks ago the we were gonna lose 0-4 in some cup. I guess this is it.

  28. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    Hope we’ll get Pep to coach the Milan return leg

  29. samarth-culé
    February 26, 2013

    3-0 to them and Hlebruary has taken it’s toll… One of the worst times of this generation.

  30. chop
    February 26, 2013

    Now with Thiago on this shoudl have been the starting line up.

    Holy crap, Busquets.

  31. mangut
    February 26, 2013

    It is all coming home to roost. How can it be that after getting trounced by counter attacks the team cannot organize better to prevent these situations? There is not a counter by an opponent, be it Granada, Milan or Madrid, that does not pose the ultimate threat.

  32. Jafri
    February 26, 2013

    I don’t get it… Messi has no help up front, and there’s no one defending at the back. WHERE THE HECK IS THE REST OF THE TEAM??

      • KEVINO17
        February 26, 2013

        Yup, too many players running into each other, sharing space, in the middle.

  33. nia
    February 26, 2013

    I don’t know whether to cry or laugh. EE of all clubs. At least get a goal to save face.

      • mohit
        February 26, 2013

        I am not sugar coating it. It was evident that the players were not motivated enough to put in the best efforts.

  34. elacule
    February 26, 2013

    i don’t care much about the copa, but i care a lot about having our culés handed to us on a plate.

    the hard thing about winning *almost* all the time is that when you lose big, it is stunning.

  35. Messiah10
    February 26, 2013

    It’s not Roura’s fault! The players aren’t playing to their capabilities. Period! It’s been going on for a while and we have been skating by because even a 70% Barca is better than most teams. However, a 70% Barca isn’t better than a 90-100% EE and that’s what we are seeing. Players need to be rotated. I’m not sure why Cesc started this game. Iniesta needs to be in the midfield, not on the front left. Period! That’s where he’s been a Ballon d’Or finalist for us for 3 years. Xavi looked so sharp at the beginning of the season. I’m not sure what’s happened, but he’s looked a shell of himself for a month now. Maybe longer. He has played some great games this year, so it’s either an injury/niggle, or pure exhaustion.

    • ilie
      February 26, 2013

      It’s not Roura’s fault per se, as in doing something wrong, but I would think things would be a little bit better with Tito on the bench

    • nzm
      February 26, 2013

      An attacking mid-field would be nice. 🙂

      Hell – a defending mid-field would be good too!

    • chop
      February 26, 2013

      This is the year when Xavi got suddenly old. I feel sorry for Puyol. He wasn’t even meant to be starting these type of matches anymore but we have nobody else since Masch’s form has tanked. Our defensive talent is just so bad right now.

      Offensively, it’s Roura’s fault. We found out Iniesta made a poor winger 4 years ago. It never has worked.

      • ilie
        February 26, 2013

        I don’t think he gets to choose the starting lineups

    • jordi™
      February 26, 2013

      Jordi Roura should work on Variations and stop criticizing referees in press conferences.

  36. jordi™
    February 26, 2013

    We will next sign neymar instead of a defender this summer because defenders that aren’t converted midfielders is too straight forward.

  37. BA
    February 26, 2013

    another truly pathetic performance. no heart, no intensity. outplayed by a better team twice in a row for the first time since 07-08. we’re deservedly out of both of our Cup competitions by March, which is unacceptable.

    – shoehorning Cesc into our starting 11 is a massive mistake. it makes us slow, predictable and narrow and as an added bonus does much to nullify our 2nd best player this season, Iniesta.

    – we. need. a real. center-back. Puyol is 34, Mascherano is a converted midfielder who’s merely adequate at the role. Alex Song apparently isn’t up to the role (which makes one wonder why he was bought at all?) and Busquets is needed in his current position. why this was not addressed over the previous 3-4 transfer windows continues to stupefy me.

    • chop
      February 26, 2013

      Agree completely.

      Our problems on offense started when we tried to cram Cesc in there. We have too many damn midfielders especially considering Messi plays sort of like one. Iniesta is not a winger. This was learned YEARS ago.

      Defensively, it’s just a personnel problem. We got lucky last year with Masch playing great and Puyol putting in a few last heroic performances. But when Abidal went down, who could fill in as a CB, and Puyol aged 2 years ago it was clear we needed a CB.

      • KEVINO17
        February 26, 2013

        And because Iniesta is really a midfielder we don’t have a winger like Alexis zeroing in on the ball the moment it is one. RM had too much time to just launch the ball over our midfield.
        Adriano for CB. At least he’s got lots of pace.

  38. February 26, 2013

    You gotta hand it to them, they had a game plan and they executed it to perfection. We are far too predictable in both defense and attack. We still have A LOT to play for this year, starting with Milan in 11 days. The management better figure this stuff out.

    • chop
      February 26, 2013

      Meh, I don’t get the feeling they played that well really. We give up goals against every single team. To be honest we could have had this type of 3-1 result in recent El Clasico matches.

  39. samarth-culé
    February 26, 2013

    I used to be proud of but but times like these force me to ponder… What’s the ues of >65% possession when you have <25% shot accuracy?! :/

  40. nia
    February 26, 2013

    Deserved lose I’m afraid. VISCA BARCA!!!!

  41. KEVINO17
    February 26, 2013

    Finally, a through ball over the top. Finally, someone in the box. The problem hasn’t been that we were too aggressive, but we weren’t aggressive enough. Barca’s style needs two aggressive ball-winning wingers who cut-off the counter-attack (Pedro and Alexis). But there are too many players now who aren’t aggressive enough in the forward press: Cesc, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta et al. The symptom manifests itself downfield. But the problem is upfield.

    • samarth-culé
      February 26, 2013

      Too many of playmakers… Too less of goalscorers…

  42. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    I’m not sure any CB in the world would help us when we play with both Alba and Alves up the pitch

    • chop
      February 26, 2013

      Have Alves defend the 1st half and Alba the 2nd. It’s crazy to have them both. We were so much better with Abidal. And as another poster mentioned — with Montoya.

  43. caosanping
    February 26, 2013

    It’s totally wrong to have four midfielders but only two attackers up front. When Pep did this, we have one less dedicated defenders and the midfielders inserted to the front line from time to time. Now we have everybody packed in the midfield. The line-up is fixed, but the players are mobile. This is what a good coach does, telling the players how to play and how to react on the field. I really miss Vilanova, even more so for Pep.

  44. chop
    February 26, 2013

    Problem is defense.

    Masch needs to start next match. He can’t be possibly as bad as Puyol. Additionally, Alves AND Alba need to be told to sit back the first half unless we desperately need goals, send one up. Our defense against counters is just too creaky.We can play with real wingers instead — Tello.

    Next, Xavi should not start against Milan.

  45. samarth-culé
    February 26, 2013

    Farewell Copa! The old King (of cups) is dead!

  46. nia
    February 26, 2013

    It looked like EE peaked at the right time tbh. Barca still in pre-season mode. Pep saw this coming I think. So he got going. End of an era, maybe but, they are still the best team EVER!!! Congrats to them, I’m not going to be a bitter cule. Better team won. We move on to the next game… oh darn!!!!

  47. Choba
    February 26, 2013

    Definitely a tactical (the coach problem) problem, you cannot go with same players and the same play and expect a different result.
    The player tried, it’s not like they don’t want to win or they don’t care, no they want really to win, but the the manager doesn’t give them the right option in front at least.

  48. samarth-culé
    February 26, 2013

    Please sign a defender… PLEASE!!

    • Choba
      February 26, 2013

      Not gonna solve our problem if we are going to circulate the ball and wait for the other team to give us a freeway to their goal.

      • samarth-culé
        February 26, 2013

        Certainly not in that respect but we do need someone who is faster, taller and more technically sound than Puyi… Not taking anything away from Capita (he’s my favourite player), but he can do better with more amount of rest.

  49. pr17
    February 26, 2013

    i still have a feeling we will thump milan in return leg. so that one match is all there is to play for. I just pray that we select villa and tello. and ask iniesta and maybe thiago (instead of xavi) to play a few risky balls even if it doesnt reach intended target.

    Bit of revamp, more pressing should work.

  50. KEVINO17
    February 26, 2013

    RM played with an incredibly high line for most of the game, but at no point did RM ever fear the ball over the top. Pedro was the only one who even feinted at going behind. Sorry, complain all you like about Alexis, but at least he makes teams like RM worry about the ball over the top. We had too many midfielders and not enough forwards pushing back their high line.

  51. KEVINO17
    February 26, 2013

    As if poor old Tito doesn’t have enough shit to worry about.

  52. February 26, 2013

    Not a snowball’s chance in hell of this happening, but I do feel that, on form, both Puyol and Xavi should not start against Milan. Thiago and Masch for me (and Villa for Cesc).

    • chop
      February 26, 2013

      Why is it so hard to believe Masch will start over Puyol? He was our first choice CB all last season. Puyol has only gotten worse. He looked so old when Di Maria dribbled him for the 2nd goal.

  53. mohit
    February 26, 2013

    How important is it to not have Tito coaching by the sidelines? The players ran out of ideas.

    • caosanping
      February 26, 2013

      It is very important. Players need a brain on the sideline to tell them what to do in difficult time like this. Even shouting would help. Pep and Vilanova don’t get paid millions for nothing. They do things fans can’t see or won’t notice.

  54. TITO
    February 26, 2013

    The months is nearing the end, so probably that’s some sort of a sign that bad things will be far behind us.
    As for the game itself, we played a little better than Milan or Sevilla for that matter, but far from we can show as a football game.
    Was/is it a system failure or several players need to be dropped, i don’t know, but… as someone already mentioned in some other posts, this SHOULD be the best team in the world. Well, this was one of THOSE games where you turn up and show the world that you ARE the best in the world. We haven’t done that in a while.
    No need to go player by player, cause most of them are living by their past glory.

  55. caosanping
    February 26, 2013

    The problem is not merely defense. When we play attacking football, we know there is a risk of getting killed by counterattack. But why weren’t we so shady in previous seasons? Because everybody participates in defending (except Messi). This season, I have seen many times the ball passed through Barca’s midfield very quickly and we can’t recover the ball in several minutes, even in games against bottom teams in the league. I couldn’t even image this happen in Pep’s era. We did lose games to Chelsea, inter, etc. But I have never seen Barca being so fragile and won many games with just pure luck (we lacked luck in last season). From the start of the season, I have seen Barca won’t win CL and will have problems in important games, not because our defenders are bad, but because our midfielders and attackers don’t participate in defending and attacking as they did before. Total football, we have forgot how to play it.

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      Totally agree. That’s why I find it funny when everybody criticises Alexis, despite him being the best defensive forward in the world, always zeroing in on the ball-winner, always tracking-back when needed. There is no statistic to show how many counter-attacks he stops, so nobody cares.
      A couple of times Pedro tracked back and stopped shooting opportunities. Would RM have scored if he had help from Alexis on the other side?
      I would play him at CF at the Bernabeu (for his defense and pace), with Tello out left and Danny bombing forward on the right.
      As said above there are too many play-makers in midfield who can strike magical balls and not enough players up front they can pass them too.

  56. February 26, 2013

    Awful management of the team, again. If any management at all! If you know a team like MAdrid are going to press so high, and we all knew that would be their tactic, then you dont play with 1 player who can run in behind defences when you have 3 sitting on the bench! Its pathetic really that they didnt learn from either Milan or Sevilla. Im not sure if its Tito or Roura but tactically they keep getting it completely wrong over and over.

    • layibiyi
      February 26, 2013

      It can’t be to difficult to figure this out. If you arrange a lineup of the greatest players and play them without a coach versus a team as coached and organized(with a specific plan) as you can get, I’ll reluctantly side with the organized team to win MORE games. Now imagine the organized team having players with significant talent, I’ll be fully bought.

      Luckily, it was ‘just’ the copa. We have another chance to challenge that theory.

  57. samarth-culé
    February 26, 2013

    Till the time Tito was present with the team, he kept of tinkering bit by bit to refine the play. But during his break, the team has remained static and stagnant. The management needs to step up if we really need the optimum results.

    Lets hope that the due lessons are learned and we return with our best against Milan to keep the Wembly dream alive.

    Visca Barça! Visca Catalunya!

    • samarth-culé
      February 26, 2013

      Good night/Good day to all!

  58. jordi™
    February 26, 2013

    Our team is ridiculously flawed.We have Pedro behind Alves cleaning up for him so that when he can actually get in the box he is tired and over thinks things. Work rate still didnt stop us getting destroyed on the counter. People say you cant start Villa on the right because it will expose alves defensively. Those acres of space still happened. My lasting memory of this tie is Pedro through on goal at the Bernabeu and trying to chip Lopez from close range even though what makes him great is those early shots along the ground. Once upon a time Pep will tell Alves to stay back all game if were playing Madrid, especially when Abidal was out. We have now Alba and Dani racing forward and only Pedro covering on one side. It makes zero sense.

  59. HisR0yalFlyness
    February 26, 2013

    All I can do is laugh at how bad we were in this match. Really don’t know what the coaching staff were expecting sending out the same lineup that hasn’t been working for a couple games now. So much talent in this team yet somehow we seem to be unable to make the changes we need to.

    If this wasn’t the wake up call needed……at least on current form we should be able to see out la liga and still end the season with silverware.

    Really hope the powers that be are taking note and realizing enough is enough.

    Win, Lose, Draw…Visca el Barca!!!

  60. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    I would sell Alves and try to get Micah Richards from City

  61. rand
    February 26, 2013

    Well, look on the bright side. This ‘Cesc Fabregas’ project that our ex-manager started is coming together nicely. We should buy a few more Spanish midfielders we don’t need.

  62. Atleast by now everyone undestood that a possession based team cannot and should not play direct football. Everyone used to say that Tito’s Barcelona is more exciting than Guadiola’s! Yup, that was right. If we have to replace Tito whom should we go for?
    Poor Roura, probably started a line-up which Tito ordered him to and now he will be killed.

    • mohit
      February 26, 2013

      We’re still a possession-based team. It’s just that our possession wasn’t effective enough. Hasn’t been for the past month. We’ve not lost trying to play direct.

  63. KEVINO17
    February 26, 2013

    Oh, does anyone want to tell me that Busquets is better than Song, that he never coughs up the ball?

  64. TITO
    February 26, 2013

    Why is everyone point out at Cesc? What a hell was his fault for the entire team failure?
    If you wanna point at someone, do that on Xavi or Iniesta, or Alba or Busi or Puyol. They have all been crap the past month or so, with some moments of brilliance from Iniesta, and that’s it.
    I didn’t see a single comment on Xavi’s poor performance. He should be benched for high tempo games. Period.

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      Cesc wasn’t worse than Xavi. Indeed, if I had a choice, I’d play him instead of Xavi. But I would only play one of them.
      Totally agree with you that Xavi is not the man you want when you’re chasing a game.

    • What is point of having Cesc in the team? You said that iniesta snd xavi weren’t playing great, what is cesc doing. They are atleast trying, cesc makes the numbers now.

      • TITO
        February 26, 2013

        Xavi tried in doing what? Making a 100 passes game?

    • chop
      February 26, 2013

      Everyone’s been saying Xavi has been poor lately.

      Puyol is old as hell and should be only around for morale boosts.

      Iniesta is being played out of position to accommodate Cesc. It’s not that Fabregas has played so poorly but his inclusion throws off our balance.

    • jordi™
      February 26, 2013

      People think if Cesc plays we can do nothing about the rest of the attack. Everyone ignores that Pedro is always part of the fabled once de gala and forgets we might sometimes play Alexis or Villa there. Or why does Xavi have to start every game right after injury instead of easing him back into fitness. It is painful watching him lose the ball to players that would not get close to him when he is match fit.He also does not run back defensively in this current sate.Think of the defensive Job he did to Pirlo in Euros final. He cant do that when clearly struggling. We have Cesc and Thiago we can replace him with but the club and everyone involved are stubborn.Which is why Xavi and Leo decide when they want to rest poor Villa is always the one you have to be “careful” with.

    • Jim
      February 26, 2013

      Iniesta has had an amazing month imo.

      • bhed
        February 26, 2013

        Iniesta has had an amazing season, unfortunately, that’s not enough to compensate for so many tactical problems.

  65. Judas Pissed
    February 26, 2013

    I’ve been a Barca fan since 1996. This defeat is just that – a defeat. We can’t win em all…

    • mohit
      February 26, 2013

      Can we have a ‘recommend’ button?

    • rand
      February 26, 2013

      Yes. We should be sending out this line-up more often. Spanish NT + Messi. Who cares if we win trophies or not. The most important thing is to keep the Spanish players happy.

    • Choba
      February 26, 2013

      I don’t like that we lose a game like that, and no problem with not winning all.

  66. Jim
    February 26, 2013

    Not feeling great at the moment but it is just the Copa I suppose. Some initial thoughts.

    We knew they would hit us on the counter so how did they manage a 1 on 1 so often ? On the first Piqué should have held the line in the half way line. In general our defence played too deep. That creates a space between them and our mids which makes life hard in general . Thought Iniesta played quite well but there was something wrong with Xavi. There is just a wooliness about our midfield for me when Cesc is around there which is a crazy thing to say as he is a superb player. It doesn’t suit our passing game though. Up front Villa needs to start. He didnt do a lot tonight but his movement around the box is first class. Just a shame our heads were down by the time he came on. Problem was, unlike the first half we had no midfield control at all at that point. Felt Messi despite the marking could have done a bit more. Tello would be worth a start. He read Ini’s through ball well and it was a good strike.

    The main thing I will take away was how much more physically strong and quick they were than us. We’ll never match them in that area so the ball needs to move as quickly as we can manage.

  67. Jim
    February 26, 2013

    Final thought. Defeat for them tonight was end of the world. For us we still have the chance to make it a season to remember.

    • socrates
      February 26, 2013

      One down, two more to go. To go down in that is.

  68. Every team who faces us is worried about how to stop Messi. We are actually making it easy by making him the only focal point of attack .

  69. G6O
    February 26, 2013

    This has been coming for a long time – in the last few games we played against them, their finishing was very poor, but they did have plenty of chances, and if they had converted them, it would not have been pretty. Well, today they did not have plenty of chances but converted all of the ones they had, and this is the result.

    It was going to happen sooner or later – those of us who have been fans of the team for decades, remember even worse and always knew that the Guardiola-era dominance over Madrid was not going to last forever and there eventually was going to be a game like this one. Today it happened.

    Let’s see what we do on Saturday…

    • February 26, 2013

      I suspect a repeat of today if they don’t change the bloody lineup, which I am sure they wont!

  70. KEVINO17
    February 26, 2013

    One of the most disappointing aspects of the game was how few players we got into the box when we did threaten. Several times players got in a good position to cross and nobody was bursting in from mid-field. That is almost criminal. Messi looked totally frustrated at the end.

    • G6O
      February 26, 2013

      Equally disappointing was how few players were back in defense when we had to defend. I never saw a replay of the second goal that showed the whole field, but in the box it was 3-on-3 with Alba on the goal line trying to prevent the goal, and Cristiano completely alone. That’s something you just can’t allow

    • February 26, 2013

      Yep, I noticed this so many times and why is that? Because MOST of the players on the pitch are midfielders and their instincts are not to be in the box but around the box. I really hate this obsession with playing so many midfielders, especially when Messi seems to basically be playing as a midfielder now too. So who is going to crash the box when somebody finally makes a run down the wing and puts the ball in? The most frustrating thing to me is that on Sat they made some changes which had an almost immediate impact and instead of learning from it they just regressed.

      • KEVINO17
        February 26, 2013

        I think this game proved that, against the top teams, you can only play one of Alba and Danny. But Barca tried to use them both as faux wingers (with only Pedro as a true winger) and that just unbalanced the side. When they try to overlap, the opposition has too much time to track their runs and adjust (because they come from so deep). When they defend in a forward position, they always have to worry about getting back to do their other job (because they know everybody will ask where they were when the goal was scored).

      • Rivaldo
        February 26, 2013

        Honestly, you would think with so many creative and killer ass midfielders Messi could just concentrate on scoring instead of being a midfielder too.

  71. ian_percival
    February 26, 2013

    THANK YOU JORDI ALBA FOR GETTING ATLEAST A CONSOLATION TO SAVE OUR FACE.the tactics was from tito,reliable source confirmed that.The thing is that we wont get to have our revenge on Gay anymore cos he’ll be leaving at the end of the season,NEYMAR is not our solution now,he’s not a ruthless footballer,we need wingers capable of cutting in and out of full backs,messi is the only natural left footer in the squad,why not buy a di maria-type of winger,and goetze instead of neymar,pique is just a disgrace,buy us a fast defender,they’re everywhere in the market,i still regret us not getting vertoghen from ajax,BUT WHY ARE WE NOT GIVING BATRA GAMES! Just look at how good varane has become.since pep left promotion have slowed down at barça B,delofeu,maria dongu,rafinha,where are they,laporta saw this coming,though he was not so good as president but he handled football matters well,tito should seek advice from del bosque on parked bus.WE SHOULD REALLY BE EYEING MICHEAL LAUDRUP,WINGERS AND DEFENDERS WE PLEAD FOR!! Visca el barça

    • G6O
      February 26, 2013

      Neymar would actually help a lot in games like that – he will be the second threat we desperately need that will open up some space for Messi in games against organized defenses. It is true that Neymar himself has not fared well when he has played against such defenses but that’s in large part because he faces the same problem. The question, as we have discussed at length, is whether he can track back and press, I think he can and he will, but obviously it remains to be seen how it will work out.

      What is beyond doubt is that we just can’t play 4 midfielders, Messi playing more of a 10 than a 9, and Pedro who is only a threat when clear on goal against packed defenses and expect to score goals.

      It is absolutely true that we need proper defenders, but players who are both strong and fast enough and sufficiently intelligent and skilled on the ball to play in our system are not exactly abundant or cheap. And that’s the other major issue, not the only major issue

      • KEVINO17
        February 26, 2013

        I actually think Neymar will be a disaster because he’s just another good technical player (Barca has lots) but he won’t defend, so the forward press will be even leakier than at present.

    • mohit
      February 26, 2013

      Come on, we’re still winning the league. Arsenal hasn’t won in a lot of years! They will always be the Barcelona-lite! 😛

  72. Wind170
    February 26, 2013

    Better look for an interim manager now.
    Take care of one’s health 1st
    the assistant has huge responsilibility, not just the players
    same formation, ~ tactics, lack of guts,
    same prob, lack of width, Alba lacks help on the left,
    the left side looks almost dead,
    The shape of a team can be constantly changing, L/R, with the help of special sounds/signs from coach/certain players, make things more efficient & Bal attack & defense.
    To counter-counter attack where speed is the problem, utilize those players with obvious attributes. You almost know some of the balls is going to by-pass the midfield quickly. Happened so frequently. What are the players on the bench for? Different oppo/more importantly the style should be used for different match& strag. Put the mid-man in the mid & push the other in an more advanced position, sacrifice a defender(when t goes, then the physical strength is a consideration).
    The mids(esp)DM, ws players have to help the defense quite a lot when you anticipate the counter. The best individual players doesn’t mean the best group of players in a single match. Even (however) good players will also age,their attributes change…, it doesn’t mean kick them all out, but use them differently, sometimes you have to Sub them quickly when the situation doesn’t look good…/even bench them when diff oppo/strag comes along(applies to everyone, change the strag when necessary, just wait & observe!
    One cannot find more similarity than the times when Van BronHost/Deco/Belletti & Rkjarrd in his final year

    Perhaps some national managers will be good to act as interim.
    Play the youngsters the next one, a not so important match, give them a match experience. Confidence will not be lost in such not so important match. The other players will be much benefit by having {closed} training sessions somewhere…

    Not crowding the MF all the times, the final 3rd , the key area…unless long shots are easier than shorter range shots.
    The center is easier for shots, but try more diagonally from the sides, else too one-dimensional.

    Also, when having meals and think about it’s the gut who digest the food. Without the gut, it’s hard to digest… Do they move in one direction only and left most of the ‘paste’ undigested and gone, if he don’t understand, better find a national manager as an interim. there is a huge difference of tactics when the man is undergoing therapies

    A strong, mobile yet technical defender is needed.

  73. TITO
    February 26, 2013

    It’s becoming ridiculous how fragile we are in defending. Teams are more and more certain that even if they attack with 1, 2 or mostly 3 players, and regardless if we have 8 players in the back, they have quite a chance to score a goal.
    The panic in the back is like of a kindergarten team.

    • mohit
      February 26, 2013

      Our attack isn’t scoring enough. Our defense is conceding a lot. And our midfield is neither attacking nor defending!

  74. February 26, 2013

    Watching that game I almost feel like the players didnt really want it so bad. Which, if I am being completely fair, I cannot really blame them because im not too bothered about the cup. Let Madrid have it, if its all they win this season and we win the league then ill be happy. We forget how many times these players have won and how much they have won, and how hard it is to play at this level week in week out and press the way they do and have the imagination and prowess that they do. They are human, the motivation to do that endlessly wanes. Just look at Madrid in the league, they only won it once and it had the same effect on them. The team is having a collective dip, it happens, in fact it has happened in exactly ALL of the last 4 seasons at pretty much the same time. It just so happens that this season the timing falls right with all the big games. It doesnt help that the manager is missing either.

    Not a happy night, but not the end of the world, even if we get knocked out of the CL we will still end the season with the league and that is more than most fans around the world can say.

    My only hope is that when we face Milan we show more of a fight and I think we will.

    Also great on the fans to keep supporting the team all the way to the end! You dont get that in Madrid!

  75. rand
    February 26, 2013

    Worst players on the pitch – Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc. We deserved the ass whupping.

    But, forget that. Let’s blame it on Sanchez or Mascherano. Oh, that is right. How about Song? F*ck , he didn’t start either?

    Why do the current manager insist on sending the same line-up regardless of the opponent? He does know that this is not an international competition, right? Is it arrogance or stupidity?

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      Hah, hah. Glad to see you have rounded up the usual suspects and put them against a wall. They have a lot to answer for. At least this means Song, Alexis and Masch will probably play in Madrid (and be playing for a game against Milan)

    • Doug
      February 26, 2013

      Oh come on. Iniesta one of the worst players on the pitch? We must not have been watching the same match today.

  76. bedhead
    February 26, 2013

    A talented bunch of players and yet so mismanaged. Tito cannot be making good decisions if he’s not at practices assessing and getting a sense of where each player is physically/mentally. He can’t experiment and watch results on a daily basis and make informed choices including the correct lineup.
    We’re plaing with 5 mildfielders and one true forward, Pedro. We’re stagnant in midfield with no one upfront to make runs, create space. No one to be a target threat so we have somewhere to go when we get past midfield. Messi plays deep in the big games because he tries to bring a few defenders with him but its for naught cause no one is filling that space.
    We need to regroup and tweak our tactics as it seems we’ve been figured out. It was bound to happen. The change will have to be in allowing our fowards to act like forwards. Therefore, Iniesta goes back to mid! Cesc and xavi will have to share time. Villa plays striker role in front of Messi. Alexis and Pedro should be allowed to make more threatening runs. Tello should be rotated into the game more regularly to get more playing time as he will be key to our attack.
    Most importantly our defenders can NOT be asked to be our greatest offensive force and also defend!!! Alba and Alves cannot act as our offense, as the streak by our entire team of midfielders and then asked to run right back on a counter and defend. Freakin ridiculous. Not surprising that our goal came from our defender.
    Please don’t bring me Neymar because everything I like about him will be beaten out of him. He’ll be asked to hug the touchline to create width. Think about trying to get past a defender. See Xavi or Iniesta to his side and play the short back pass. Yeah, yeah. I’ve watched it all year with Villa, Pedro, Alexis and its not rocket science. Talented players asked to sacrafice their entire skill set so they can put the ball back into circulation so that it may end up at Messis feet. Tired. Of. It.

  77. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    – When I saw that Alexis was left completely out before I went to bed, I already feared the worst.

    To me, our main job is to protect a goal instead of going all out in the first half. And for this we need as many players who can defend; Alexis included. We need both him and Pedro for this.

    – I used to say that we have 2 passengers in the team in Messi and Iniesta but for the past few weeks, Xavi because one too.

    – This is just like Rijkaard’s last days. Just put out the same line up, the one that looks best, ONLY on paper that is, not on form.

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      Totally agree. And imagine what the team will be like next year if they bring in Neymar (who can’t defend to save his life) and ship out Alexis.
      I would have played Tiago too. At least he can defend.
      Maybe it is time for the double-pivot. Even against Milan.

      • Jim
        February 26, 2013

        Not sure how anyone could have stopped them getting at our defence on the first two goals. The ball was moved very quickly. The point is more that we can’t afford to lose goals regularly to a quick hoof up the park.

  78. Already can predict the line-up for Milan match. There will be one change – Sanchez in for Pedro. He was bought as a forward, now has become a defensivd forward. So Messi will be allcmped up and we will est atleast two goals against an average Milan.

  79. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    One thing I would change next season is the fitness. Instead of peaking in November and April, make it November and February because it seems that we have a hard time in the KO stages of cup competitions. It’s not a given any more for us to reach the SF.

    It would be very arrogant if they think that we should peak in April next season when we can’t even get to that point this season.

  80. DumbOx
    February 26, 2013

    All cules are smarting right now and I commiserate with you, my fellow cules. It was a cruel blow, given that it was EE beating us at Camp Nou; but let’s take things into perspective: At the beginning of the season, none of our mods predicted we’ll take any silverware. The Liga is almost in the bag and we still have the second leg of the Champions League for the team to redeem itself.
    It does seem alarming to see the team I love for its tiki taka and beautiful and dynamic football play flat, static, and out of creative ideas for the past few games. I hope this is just a temporary “virus” waiting to be nipped.

  81. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    A few comments above that I strongly disagree with.

    Puyol was great last season too.
    Alves has been back to his best for the past few months.
    And Pique a disgrace?! He has been back to his best too!

  82. barcastuff @barcastuff

    Roura (assistant): “All decisions are made together with Tito, I don’t need more autonomy, I’m the assistant.” #fcblive

    That’s clearly says the guy who chose the starting line-up is in New York.

  83. Artur
    February 26, 2013

    I think I’ll take a break from BFB for a few days, came here to catch a conversation and thoughts about the match .. found fans bashing their own club and players after a defeat.

    Yes we lost, yes it sucks. Now relax. We don’t need to sell half of our squad or buy a new player for every position. Not a single player on our team today had a bad game. Yes, I said it. Everybody put in their all and if the second goal wasn’t so goddamn demoralizing (we had to score 3 to win after second) last 30 minutes wouldn’t have been so painful to watch.

    P.S. Pinto IMO is better than Valdez. That dribble and shot of Di Maria would’ve went right through Valdez. Not to mention 2-3 other insane saves he had. What a rock.

    • barca96
      February 26, 2013

      I haven’t read anyone suggesting that.

      I think it is perfectly fine for fans to be disappointed although some tend to go overboard. But it’s fine to me too. We all want perfection. Although we can’t directly change things (with the team) but at least we are a bunch of fans who strive for something better.

      I am disappointed because I know this team can do so much better than this. Compare this team to the team that had “2 world class player in each position” of Van Gaal’s era and tell me which is better.

    • sd
      February 26, 2013

      AND dont forget Pinto’s insane dribble well out of his area past a few players. I was kind of hoping he would just keep going, pass to Messi, keep going and recieve again from Messi for a goal!

  84. TITO
    February 26, 2013

    Of course we are going to bash our team or our players, just like we glorify them when they win. That’s how things go.
    Most of us if not all are agreed that there is a need in a shape of the team, more precisely the way that we approach certain games.
    You cannot have the same approach to every single opponent.

  85. sd
    February 26, 2013

    Lets try and work with what we have instead of what we can get.
    Need to tweak the system. Any suggestions?

    I ll start it off.

    3-5-2

    Pique Mascherano Puyol
    Busquets Thiago
    Pedro Iniesta Tello
    Messi Villa

    or 5-3-2

    Pique Mascherano Puyol
    Alves Busquets Adriano
    Thiago Iniesta
    Messi Villa

    I feel like Cuenca is a huge miss.

  86. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    Pretending everything is great when it’s clearly not doesn’t solve our problems.

    Some of them are tactical and can be solved (hopefully), some of them are due to motivation (same) and some are related to personnel and hopefully will be addressed in the summer.

  87. February 26, 2013

    I haven’t been keeping up with Barca for the past few months, so I had no idea the team looked this slow, tired and flat. RM was faster, stronger; they were the better team today. So congrats to them.

    On the tactical side, I can’t write much about decisions made by the coach. But on the personal side, I just want to say – chemotherapy is incredibly exhausting. It weakens a patient’s body and mind. You get weaker and weaker for every round of chemo you receive. Sometimes, it feels like your bones are melting and you can’t think straight. Tito has to juggle between recovering from his illness and managing this team from a far. Maybe we shouldn’t be too harsh on Tito here.

    • ilie
      February 26, 2013

      This we can all agree with, he’s going through a lot. It’s just an unfortunate situation for everybody

  88. Blau-Grenade
    February 26, 2013

    Sell RoSELL. Buy a coach. Tito is undergoing chemo at the moment. Not a good time for him to be coaching from New York.

    Bench Xavi. Play a striker like Villa or Tello for him. Xavi was a fantastic player during his time. I have a lot of respect for him. Not sure if he is still injured or what, but he seems to be the bottleneck at the moment.

  89. February 26, 2013

    “Everybody put in their all and if the second goal wasn’t so goddamn demoralizing (we had to score 3 to win after second) last 30 minutes wouldn’t have been so painful to watch.”

    I’m gonna agree with Artur here. I understand that people are upset. So am I. But we did not play badly, and until the second goal we were, by far, the better team.

    And even if we weren’t…

    VISCA BARÇA!

    • G6O
      February 26, 2013

      Which brings up the importance of the first game – we were up by 1 and the better team, but instead of killing them, we allowed an equalizer. Had it been 0-1 coming into this game, it’s a completely different situation.

      The same thing happened with the Supercopa – cheap goals and a loss in the end.

  90. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    Just like last season, we lost 2 crucial ties in within a short time-span.

    Chelsea-Real Madrid
    Milan-Real Madrid

    Like I said many times before, I don’t give a hoot about he manita’s, the 4/5/6/7/8-1 results. What matters is winning and then keeping players fresh so that they will be fresh during the more meaningful matches.

    ps. I only used one goal against as we always seem to concede at least one goal a match.

  91. mom4
    February 26, 2013

    Sometimes it’s a blessing to have to miss a game due to work.

    • bhed
      February 26, 2013

      What does the trucker hat say? “The worst day fishing is better than the best day at work”, so that’s saying something.

  92. HisR0yalFlyness
    February 26, 2013

    If this was our “all” then we are in a truly in a sad state.

    We need an active coach who is able to give the team his full concentration, before, during and after matches. To make the changes necessary to keep winning.

    Tito needs to focus on his recovery full time and forget about the team. There’s more to life than football.

    Roura is only an assistant and it shows. Barca management may have a hard decision ahead. The current setup is not working.

  93. Rivaldo
    February 26, 2013

    Didn’t get to see most of the game; saw like 10-15mins in the later part of the first half.

    Let’s just say that some players are not doing the job they used to, maybe they’re not physically capable.

    This hurts and not just because it’s Madrid but because of the year we’ve had (2013) … off the back of poor and poorer performances (and for me they are not allowed to have them).

    Don’t try to feed me that ” we’ve had worse days/years” stuff. I’ve been a Barca fan for quite awhile, even before it was “popular” and yes I’ve seen some bad days but that doesn’t mean I want to be a permanent acquaintance of “failure”. Similarly I dont live off of past glory, gotta create new moments.

    We’ve got to make some changes because stuff that happened in Pep’s last year we have not learnt from; seemingly (I’m not just talking about today). Some changes will be made or some will remain fools.

    If I’m rambling it’s because I’m hurt.

  94. Manish
    February 26, 2013

    At the end of it all.. Great teams are built on great defense…we have lost that…

  95. nia
    February 26, 2013

    Sum Barca up in one word…PREDICTABLE. We have used the same line-up so many times this year and it worked almost perfectly up until now. Everyone has now figured how to shut them down and yet, we start the same line up again. Milan, RSD, EEx2. Why has intensity dropped? It’s like they don’t care, maybe they are tired. It’s seems like we are out of ideas. Yes, the Barca way works 95% of the times but, sometimes they need to adjust. I cant remember who it is but, a player from Juve said Barca didn’t adjust during the loss to Celtic. That’s a problem we are seeing now, failure to adjust.

    Unfortunately, our players are getting older. Xavi has been quiet lately, Puyi is all heart no legs, Messi just seems tired and is always surrounded by 6 million defenders. Jordi is still young and inexperienced. For all the work Pedro does, he’s really not helping. I just need to see that the team is learning from their mistakes but, from the last few games, it doesn’t look like it at all. Hopefully they can bounce back coz, WE ARE BARCAAAA!!!

    This season is almost an exact replica of last yr. We won super copa and beat EE in the del rey semi’s. EE has done that this yr too. Only difference is the larger lead in the liga as well as the poor result in the CL.

    Also don’t think it’s fare for Tito to work while sick. I know the players didn’t want an interim manager but, the poor results say otherwise. Players need to step up and that’s everyone maybe except Iniesta. I wonder if there is any consequences to the players for playing bad.

  96. Tembe
    February 26, 2013

    What a day to register for this site.. I’ve been reading BFB every day for the past 15 months and really like to read views from my fellow cules around the globe.. So thank you all for this great site!!

    Didn’t see the game because I was working, but I did listen it from the Radio Barca.. well.. I’m disappointed. Not for my team though. No, I’m disappointed for some cules around this site.. Blaming and bashing our players. Some of you sound like a bunch of pussies. Seriously. It’s easy to win but hard to lose. But you can still be a MAN (( I’m not talking about any female on this site. HELL NO! You seem to have bigger balls than us, supposedly males.. )) and accept the reality, we lose to a better TEAM!!! Last time I checked football was about teamwork.

    Let me tell you something about my country, Finland. This is a cold and shitty place to be in winter. No, we don’t have any polar bears here and some of us aren’t always drunk.. Eight months of darkness and misery. (( Well maybe not the whole time but you get the point.. )) But then comes spring. That fresh smell of dog poo when snow melts away. Nothing beats that!! Nothing beats shit!! Barca is on that spring time now. All that beautiful snow is melting and underneath of it is a big pile of dog shit. But we still have chance against Milan if we are a better TEAM. We always have a chance but YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT, NOT YOUR WHINING!!

    Another story from my country.. and this is a sad one..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT-q65Qjy1M

    It is year 1997. Our 1998 world cup campaign almost earned play-offs to us. Last match against Hungary. We led the game 1–0 and game goes to injury time. We score an own goal, and once again the dreams of qualification were over. That is still a dark day for us. NOW THAT WAS UNFAIR!!!

    Anyway, I lost my point and in the meantime, we, as a whole, have a cancer to beat. I’m not talking about Ronaldo, although he is a good-looking tumor.

    What an odd first post. My apologies, I will now shut up.

  97. Momo
    February 26, 2013

    Glad I had a midterm test and missed the game…

    Don’t understand why we don’t play busi and song at the same time when both our full backs bomb up. Busi at CM and song at CDM is exactly what we need to get our defense back in sorts.

    Busi on his own in the middle isn’t enough with two attacking fullbacks.

    • February 26, 2013

      not convinced song is the solution. we are missing abidal’s speed and physicality. Song has the latter but lacks the former. Also Puyol getting on in years doesn’t help.

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      I totally agree with you. Barca has got carried away with using the fullbacks as wingers to provide width (and not make hard decisions about overmanning in the midfield. But they will never be as effective as true wingers standing on the last shoulder of the defence, ready to run in behind, or dart in the moment Barca has lost the ball.
      Absolutely love to see Song at Central Midfield. Pedro, Alexis up front and Song in CM would really stiffen our forward press and hopefully kill off a lot of counter-attacks.
      We also need pace at the back. Masc and, particularly, Adriano must play.

  98. Anonymous_69
    February 26, 2013

    My short thoughts…

    It’s disheartening that with what is supposedly our best lineup, at home to a full stadium, actually playing better than we have in recent weeks, we were dismantled by Madrid. They were comfortable.

    And yet, our players are better than theirs. Ronaldo is crazy efficient, and Ozil is only improving, but almost across the entire field, we’re better. It’s SO obvious that our problems are not quality-based, but system-based. Even if we had Thiago Silva and Varane as our starting CBs, we would have all the same problems.

    That’s one of the reasons I find it so strange that people see Neymar (yes this post is about Reymar!) as the player who can alleviate all of Barca’s issues. If lack of quality obviously isn’t a problem, why are we trying to “fix” the team through another upgrade in quality that wouldn’t actually change the template? I don’t mind Neymar, but it worries me what people are expecting of him.

    Neymar is obviously a big talent. And if everything goes well, he can be world class. In another few years. He is not, IMO, one of the best players in the world already. Fans I’ve talked to seem to think that, after a few months of adaptation, he would be ready to kick ass and take up the Ronaldinho mantle. That’s simply unfair towards Neymar. Even if we buy him and his progression goes well, I don’t expect him to play at the level everyone is expecting of him. At least not for a few years. He’s a kid.

    And even if he does become amazing instantaneously, then what? We’ll still have the same huge problems of managing two attacking fullbacks with the cover of only one deep midfielder. We’ll still suffer from the lack of a 9 in front of Messi to create space and open up team’s defenses. I think it is a misconception that having a high quality player there would force teams to focus less on Messi. The new attacker would literally have to be as good as Leo himself for that to happen. If Iniesta on the wing can’t open up space for Messi, Neymar can’t.

    It looks likely we’ll get him this summer. Especially if we are eliminated from the CL this early. I just hope the coaches don’t forget to address some of the other glaring issues that face this team. Even if we never buy another 9 (why in the hell, Messi obviously DOES approve), we should at least try to fix the team’s defending, buy someone like Der Stegen, maybe buy a young talented CB, and try to keep all our fullbacks 😉 .

    PS: Luis Alberto and Araujo are good. Promote one of them this summer. Not Rafinha or Deulofeu – yet. Sergi Roberto… no space in the midfield, but he’s ready. It’s complicated. I hope we can find a team for him to develop in for a year or two.

    • Anonymous_69
      February 26, 2013

      “I think it is a misconception that having a high quality player there would force teams to focus less on Messi.” When I say “there” I mean the wing.

  99. February 26, 2013

    Match thoughts are up. 59 minutes this time, so I can’t even lay claim to the “Hour Special” review. But I was still amped up from shoveling, so there you go.

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