Un-magic Bus


Yeah, well, this sucks. I sucked. We all sucked, man. Major suck-o. God. No one wants autographs today, huh. No pictures with Mr. Number here, hey. Now we all have to get on the bus to go home. I hate the bus. It sucks. I’m a millionaire. How many millionaires you know ride the bus to work. Sandro so damn cheap he makes us punch a ticket every ride too. Damn, that sucks.

I hope I don’t have to sit next to Dan on the bus. Don’t get me wrong, Dan’s o.k. Sometimes we wonder about him, you know, the tattoos and funny hats. At least he got rid of the fuzzy wristbands. But he always has to listen to those big-ass headphones on the bus. They cover, like, half his head. And they’re loud. I don’t really feel like listening to Carib-o-Brazil-o-rap-hop or whatever the hell noise that is right now. Sometimes a guy just wants to sit and be quiet for an hour and not get a migraine. Why not just get the iDiamonds like a normal person. Match his earDiamonds.

I don’t even know what I’m gonna do when I get home. Take a walk around the subdivision? Big whoop. I remember how cool it was the first time going through the big gates of  Ciudad Diagonal and walking up to my big ol’ front door with the gold knocker and the big DING DONG when the guys came by, Andrés and Gerry and Dan, knocked me out. I got it all set up with the Bose sound and the built-in megaplasma over the remote fireplace and all that shit. View of the sea from the john, man. Now it’s like, ugh. Whatm’I gonna watch, anyway. Geez, I hope I get home in time for “Punto Pelota”. Don’t wanna miss that episode.

Maybe I’ll just go for a drive. Audi gave us all cars a season or two ago, but I really don’t feel like the guys seeing me, so I won’t take the A1. I wonder if Paco’s got the Spider tuned up like he said he would. Or else there’s the Mas. I don’t want Cesc to see me go out of the garage though. Did you see what that mofo did to his Mercedes? I mean, some guys treat their cars like they’re goddamn toys. Shit can hurt someone. Maybe I’ll just drive all night. I’ll drive right into Madrid and double-park in front of Cristiano’s ride. God, that guy sucks.

I wonder if my girlfriend’s home. She’s hot. She gets mad when I say that. The guys’ll go, Hey, how’s Carla or Merche or or whoever and I’m like, She’s hot. And she gets that look on her face. Then she craps about how I’m only about her looks and I’m like no, babe, you’re real cute too but apparently that’s not good enough. I’m supposed to appreciate something else, like her sense of humor or something. I go, Carla or Merche or whoever, you don’t get on the cover of ¡Hola! in a bikini ‘cause you say such funny shit in it. If she weren’t so hot wouldn’t I get rid of those puffy poof-pillows she leaves on the couch? Shit is Armani, man. Godamn Grembo set me back, that’s for sure.

Oh well. At least there’s the baby. He likes me. Or she, I forget. Carla says it’s hard to tell until there’s enough hair for a bow and I say, Merche, I am a swarthy Mediterranean man and my offspring are gonna have themselves some hair. And that shit stays until we’re old enough to ink up the guns. She says, Why don’t you spend some time with the baby and I say I just got the Mas interiorized. It’s calfskin and smells don’t come out, s’why I don’t let you smoke those stinky Ducados in there. I can walk, I guess. The guys all go for walks with the babies, that’s pretty man these days. Wags dig it.

I just wish … I just wish I could talk to someone. Dude who understands my pain, you know? Someone who’s bummed out too, but not too bummed out, like these sad sacks on the bus who’ll just get me downer. Just someone to listen, you know? Well, he’s probably home. I’ll try him. Got’em on speed dial from World Cup back when.

So, hey … Iker?








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SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. Momo
    April 23, 2013

    Hahah, that was great, especially the last line, you’re writing is so clever. Are you a writer by trade?

  2. KEVINO17
    April 23, 2013

    Very funny. Thanks for reminding us that sport isn’t really important (except when you win).

  3. KEVINO17
    April 23, 2013

    A couple of further points on the game:
    1. I think those who criticise Valdes are right in the sense that Barca do need a tall keeper who is excellent at stopping an aerial threat. Top priority.
    2. I wonder if this game might make Messi a little less arrogant in insisting that he must play.

  4. Chiu
    April 23, 2013

    What a shocking morning to wake up. I didnt watch the match, just checked the news we were beaten so hard, 4-0. Kind of humiliation, scoreline wise

    Now it’s almost impossible to come back. I just hope we play the return leg in Camp Nou with the erased memory that last night game never happened. Just put effort to win the game without thinking the aggregate. Then see what the final score would be. Again, two or three early goals in the first half would be crucial to shed tiny hope for Wembley.

    Congratulation for Bayern, what a great night for them in Allianz Arena!

    Visca Barca! La Liga almost wrapped up! Cheers 🙂

  5. dean
    April 23, 2013

    I enjoy reading articles on this space,but often times when post game reviews are written after poor games, they trivialize the issues that opposing fans have no qualms pointing out.(not referring to this thread)
    Lets call a spade a spade, and to that end , yes we are no longer the best team in Europe. Whatever era began in 08/09 when we fittingly beat Bayern 4-0,this 0-4 result today clearly illustrates that we are declining or evolving but we are not the best anyomore.
    We still have an elite Top 3 team and when everything is clicking there is nothing that can compete with us, but these moments are few and far between. It’s easy to point to La Liga and say we dominated the league or to Messi’s injury to explain the lackluster performance of late or whatever but we no longer inspire fear like we did. This season we have improved at breaking down buses while regressing everywhere else.
    I’m still praying for a miracle and I’m sure if Arsenal can manage 3, whose to say we can’t do better. Sometimes a harsh loss can be a really good thing, viewed in the right light. We saw that with Milan so let’s hope that desire strikes again after-all the final will be at “home”.

  6. rocherto
    April 23, 2013

    LOL!!! Thank you so much for that soccermom 😉
    I needed that. Wasn’t able to watch it live today so had to ignor all the tv’s and internet ect.
    Finally got to a pub to watch to watch the replay aaaaaand well you know. Tough loss but thank you for the laugh. I went to the blog after the final wistle blew and just started cracking up. All my buddies were like “dude your team just got beat. How can you be so happy?”
    Well again thank you 🙂
    Cheers next round is on me!!

  7. barca96
    April 23, 2013

    Finally a soccermom post that I understand at least 50% of it. Now where is Mom4 to add more smile and peace to this space? 🙂

  8. KEVINO17
    April 23, 2013

    Gonna be fascinating at the Nou Camp when Messi is still not fit and says he wants to play!!!.

  9. barca96
    April 23, 2013

    Just because the players looked dejected at the end of the match doesn’t mean that they were up to it 100%. They were motivated and wanted to win obviously but they were not giving it 100%.

    When you’re outrun, outhustled and didn’t pressure much, clearly there is something wrong mentally (can’t say out muscled as it’s not their fault that they’re smaller). We all know how these set of players can play.

    This season, too many times they go out without giving it theirs all. I’ve sometimes been on a losing side but I’ll at least hustle.

    • KEVINO17
      April 23, 2013

      They played the game with only nine players: Messis wasn’t fit (subtract one) and he kept coughing up the ball (subtract another).
      He should (seriously) apologise to his team-mates for playing.

      • Momo
        April 23, 2013

        Depends on who’s decision it was to play him. You’re speculating it was him who insisted on playing. If that was the case then yes he needs to apologize for doing so. If not, which i think its the case and this was a coaching decision then its even more worrying that they cant trust multi million dollar players like fabregas and villa to fill in for a half fit messi.

      • Nav
        April 23, 2013

        No, because that’s crazy talk. Team selection is solely the responsibility of Tito.

      • April 24, 2013

        Sure Messi was not fit. But tell me one moment in the game, when any other players alone or together pressed well and managed to get the ball back in Bayern half. And even with the ball we had in their half, tell me two instances when we passed the ball to create any chances of danger like we normally do. Whatever we did y’day, it looked half hearted and Bayern had extra heart and they were ready for anything. And it was the Barca C game that turned in yesterday and we were C grade in all aspects – defending, mf and attack.

        There physicality and energy together with staggering precision in the way they played the transition stunned us. The rest was due to our lack of knowledge in defending set peices.

        I am shocked by the response of many fans that Messi is responsible. The whole team was poor. Didnt Xavi looked too tired to play such a high level game. They pressed Busquests cleverly, and we just lose the sheath of our midfield play, which was absolutely poor. How many balls did our midfield gave to our forwards for any kind of probable attack, at least.
        Messi played because we are depending too much on him these days and are still using the found out (by big teams) false nine tactic (by the coaching staff). It is our tactical error that at least early in the second half, we didnt place Alexis or Villa ahead of Messi and tried something else than what we were unsuccessfully trying.
        And even if we didnt had a good shot on target, if we knew to defend well, may be this match would have been only 1-0, and we could have had better hope in Camp Nou, were the ground was not flooded.

  10. Let’s get some things straight.

    Why did Messi started? Everyone know the answer and everyone pretends that it was puzzling. He started because we saw how a Messi less side play against top teams even at Camp Nou. So Messi started. How many of you wanted Cesc to start and show the same spirit he showed against PSG? Get a grip guys. Messi started because we all wanted him to. Only thing we forgot that it was a hamstring injury, so he would never put too much strain into him. With an injury he came limping into Camp Nou against PSG and changed the match. If it wasn’t for him there would have been no semi-final.

    Why are we struggling this season. It is not the lack of interest or complacency. To have that we didn’t have a all conquering season last time. If I remember correctly we lost both La Liga and Champions League titles last season. So lack of motivation is not a factor. There is a fundamental flow with the team this season. We are not pressing at all.

    So why are we not pressing at all this season. The reason is not the lack of intent. The reason is we simply cannot. For some reason we are seeing too much space between the midfield and the attack and also between midfield and defense. I don’t know why this is happening. I have a feeling that good teams are pressing Busquets well this season and he is dropping deep taking the midfield away from the front three. How we will solve this?

    We actually solved it against Milan. In that match we almost played a 3-3-4 formation. What it did was to place Alves, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro and Messi close to each other. And Villa was also occupying his slot and effectively pressing. We saw the result. We scared the hell out of Milan. Even in that match when we decided to defend the 3-0 scoreline we struggled as there was too much space for players to press.

    This is something the coach has to look into. I don’t think Tito is capable of correcting that. If we don’t press properly then we are susceptible to counter attacks. Last night almost all of their attack resulted in corners. Any team which concede that many corners against a team like Bayern will concede goals. Juventus did , then what about a team of midgets. Once the first goal came from corner we were shaken and we were defending corners with more fear after that.

    I thought Tito made a mistake by not starting with Villa. Villa should have started and should have played in front of Messi. Alexis did brilliantly in tracking back and defending but there was a fundamental flow with that approach. If we actually wanted to attack Bayern then we had to push their defense a bit further. With Alexis constantly dropping in that was not going to happen. It was exactly like the match at San Siro. If you remember the first La Liga clasico of last season at Bernebeu – Ped did something similar. When Ronaldo and Marcelo was attacking us like hell from their left, Pep smartly did one thing – no it was not asking Alexis to drop and defend on the right channel, but was to push Alves further up in order to pin Marcelo back. It looked crazy to me at that tie but it was a tactical master class. Football tactics is something like chess. If you want to attack the opponent and defend better you have to pin them back and isolate them, especially with our defense.

    People here have this concept that Villa does not press or defend. He actually does. But he does not do like a Sanchez do. He press very effectively within the zone he occupy. That was what Barca’s pressing style was all about. keep the zones close to each other and press the opponents inside those zone. That’s why we never used to see till this season our players frantically running chasing the ball. They move to the ball as a collective pack. This season we can see individual players running across the field and tiring themselves. That’s the reason in every match we are seeing we tire more than our opponents – something which was unthinkable a season ago.

    So what now? I would say line-up exactly like we did against Milan with a back three of Puyol/Adriano, Pique and Abidal.







    With that line-up and pressing we can win the return leg. Will that be enough? I don’t know. But what is important now is to give Bayern an almighty scare. They could be a bit complacent. I am pretty sure that they may not start with Schweinsteiger and maybe even Martinez. They are both on a yellow and will miss the final if gets booked. So we will have a better time. If we can’t get past them tehn we should give them a thorough wake-up call so that they will be up agaisnt Mardid in final.

    • KEVINO17
      April 24, 2013

      Actually, I didn’t want him to start if he wasn’t fit and was gong to look like he needed a zimmer frame – and I don’t want him to start at the Camp Nou. I really was quite shocked at how restricted Messi was. He wasn’t unfit, he was seriously unwell. The burden that put on the other forwards was immense. There was a point where Alexis had to chase the ball from one corner flag to the other and I thought “whoh, this ain’t sustainable.” The player who spent most time shutting down the keeper was Xavi! If Messi clocked up 4kms for the whole game, I would be surprised.

      • We made the mistake by starting with him. He should have been better as a second half substitute. But then can’t blame him. It all happened because of the second leg against PSG at home.

    • Momo
      April 24, 2013

      Very well said. Pressing has been strange in the big matches this season. That Pep philosophy of compressing the pitch when our opponents have the ball was a contributing factor to our success.

      • KEVINO17
        April 24, 2013

        Pressing is the mother’s milk for a small technical team like Barca. We didn’t press, we gave away corners, we lost. End of story.
        That’s why having Messi almost exclusively as an offensive weapon has a big downside (though in this match, he wasn’t even exclusively that).

  11. Chiu
    April 24, 2013

    – If Messi didnt 100% fit, he shouldn’t start the match. I agree that he perhaps could come just as subs in 2nd half. We screwed the away leg vs milan. Now we screwed the away vs Bayern too. Have we learned some lesson from that Milan game? how to play a crucial two-leg CL KO stages? Or was it Bayern just too good? I dont know. This is a two-leg tie, I hope we can learn how to play “safe” and control the tempo, esp if its semifinal of CL, where every goal conceded is very expensive; and considering our deficiency in defense dept and Messi was not fit and the quality of opponent like Bayern. I dont know how to do it tactically, but our coach must know how to play some pragmatic game, for the sake of playing CL final

    – am confident we will win in Camp Nou. my head say it’s almost impossible to win with 4 goals margin to push for extra time at least, but my heart still keep a tiny hope for a miracle that would need a perfect tactic,performance and execution from this Tito’s Barca. Hope lady luck would be on our side too next week

    Visca Barca! Cheers cules 🙂

  12. psalmuel
    April 24, 2013

    End of an era! Every golden era in football always comes to an end cos, 1. The players begin to age (xavi,puyol) 2. The philosophy becomes predictable and curbable. 3. Nothing lasts forever. We were always going to stop being the best team in the world at one point (take the galactico for a example). Pep saw this and ran for his life. No blaming of player X or player Y. If this team is to be the best again,we need to improve on the so called philosophy (sometimes I wonder if its the philosophy that has been winning us trophies or its actually messi course,whenever he doesnt show up in the games that matter,barca doesnt show up). Mou has led the way in the discovery that if you mark messi out of the game,90 if not 99% of the work is done cos he is the only one who scores. Some of our misfortune is our own doing. We have a team comprising majorly of midgets who easily get bullied in corner kicks and aerial balls. We need a complete overhaul. My suggestions. 1. Bring in ‘proper’ CBs (with height and pace). 2. Sign falcao. He carries an aerial threat and has an amazing skill set. 3. Xavi’s reign is over and the sooner we stop building the team around him the better. 4. Change or atleast modification of the philosophy. I remember last year when I was playing fifa11 video game with my room mate. Initially I use to whoop him 5-0s,6-0s left,right and center but I never thought of modifying and I soon became predictable. The table turned and the last time we played I received a whooping of 8-0. Same applies to the real world,you can’t keep on doing the same thing everytime and expect results. To be honest the multiple series of el classicos did us no good as it gave mou time to experiment and finally find a cure for us. I hope these guys proof me wrong at camp nou but as far as am concerned. I’d be routing for bayern in the final vs madrid

  13. ElJefe
    April 24, 2013

    Sure we can talk injuries, we can talk momentum, but this is really a squad that would beat us 6-8 times out of 10 with full line-ups, really the first time Barca will truly have to re-evaluate just as every other team on the planet has had to do in response to us the last chunk of a decade:

    1) We all knew our size and set piece weakness would catch up to us in the Champion’s League. Well, might as well get it all over with in one match.
    2) Perfect counter-attack squad with Ribery AND Robben. We have no answer to it other than possess 100%
    3) A true number 9 who can cut through any non-Puyol/Abidal defender liker butter. Ibra also looked very dangerous against us.
    4) A slasher in Muller who can stretch the defense across the box, yet score from anywhere.
    5) Arguably the best goaltender in the world right now
    6) Dual threat mids who rival our own in Lamm and SSteiger
    7) BIG back line

    This team was designed to beat us, and did as planned. We need a legitimate 2nd threat and a UCL sized back-line if we want to be on top in 2014. I continue to ask why Tello is not playing as he’s the only one with the eye of the tiger on the team right now. The good news (on paper), Neymar will be coming.

    I love our Cules. I feel no pain. We will respond. Let’s get to work.

  14. K_legit in Oz
    April 24, 2013

    Naah I still wanna rant and rave a bit..Maybe I’ll be in the mood for some humor in a while. Not today though, not today.

    • mom4
      April 24, 2013

      I don’t need to rant, but I can’t do humor now either. I’m not sure bringing down our players home life like that was appropriate, anyway.

      • Nav
        April 24, 2013

        I agree with you. We’re all here because we love and are passionate about football. To turn around and say “meh well they are millionaires anyway and it’s just a sport” seems to miss the point entirely. If you don’t care about losses, then why do you even bother?

  15. KEVINO17
    April 24, 2013

    The answer for next season: two words – Mario Gomez. Even in a game like this we had tremendous opportunities to cross into the box and there was nobody there. You can’t tell me that players like Alexis, Pedro, Xavi, etc etc, can’t hit a target like him. And imagine how many lose balls our smaller players could pounce on.
    And don’t start telling me what a huge advantage he would be on set-pieces (at both ends).
    Gomez would not destroy tiki-taki, he would save it.

    • ElJefe
      April 24, 2013

      Wasn’t the same said of Ibra? Not disagreeing, but debating.

      • KEVINO17
        April 24, 2013

        Ibra played like a small player (despite his size). But times change and its important not to learn the wrong lessons from the ibra saga.
        It just seems to me there is a consensus that Barca needs a CF to play in front of Messi. But at the moment we have little makeshift winger-strikers (Alexis, Villa, etc etc) filling the role. Why not have a big unit who can cause havoc, particularly in the air.
        In a rather strange way, Gomez would be perfect for Barca (and vice versa) because he wouldn’t even need to run much. We are not a counter-attacking team. We are a team that presses high and tries to play in the opposition half. He would spend long periods of the game just shuttling between the edge of the pen area and the near post gobbling up chances.

        • Villa is the perfect striker to play in front of Messi. The only problem is that everyone here want him to play like a winger.

        • Also Gomez will be a disaster as his link up play is not good. The role of CF at Barca is not only to pin defense back but link up in front of Messi to unleash him.

  16. ooga aga
    April 24, 2013

    silver lining? no second term for ro$ell?

  17. barca96
    April 24, 2013

    We also lack a leader on the pitch. This is especially needed when our coach isn’t pushing the players on.

    • April 24, 2013

      I was also baffled by the lack of ‘something’ from the sidelines. Tito looked blunt, as if this is inevitable, but of course, I dont want to blame him too.
      Within the first 5 minutes I knew we were going to lose it and mentioned to my wife, it looks over. Such was the energy and precision displayed by Bayern.
      ZM says – It was a fine technical display from Bayern, but was primarily based around the (only?) three tactical weaknesses that have been obvious in Barcelona over the past five years – Bayern were physical, they took advantage of extra height at set-pieces, and then they counter-attacked with wide players when Barcelona had men high up the pitch – I found this completely agreeable.
      We didnt turn up with our A game and played against the best we can face.

      I am surprised many are blaming here for our forward pressing(lack of. Most of the time the ball was in our own half. Where do we press. The way Bayern kept all their players compact – with absolutely no space for anything to do in between – in their half when we had the ball is going to be a future strategy for all the la liga teams to play us.

      Congrats to Bayern. As a fan I am hoping for a miracle on Wed.
      If not, it is allright. So many factors were against us this season and our Achilles heels – physical play, set peice and counter attack – did it for us.

      If Bayern go through, they are going to be the ideal winners of the CL.

      I have only one request to the club – for the next season, we need a good defence who is confident against set peices.

  18. TITO
    April 24, 2013

    As for heights and jumping, there was this moment when Busi got out-jumped by Robben. I was like…what the fuck!?!?!?!?

  19. lala10
    April 24, 2013

    I think the biggest letdown in this game was Tito. He was shown up tactically; he prepared shoddily and could not react sufficiently enough during the game. The most recurring theme of Guardiola’s time was how he obsessed on game interpretation of the day. How effective he was at rectifying wrongs, urging and cajoling the players from the sidelines.

    How feeble Tito has been. Raise your hand if like me you have not really recognised this Barca team even when winning? That great first half run masked a lot of Tito’s deficiencies. Like Xavi said the results are the ultimate impostor; as long as we won it was ok and the team was doing great. Alas we have been found out cruelly.

    It saddens me to say this but as an honest fan Tito is not good enough for that team. The harder question is who is. I go back to the initial appointment and the skepticism that is now somehow justified. Do you think Tito has the guts to give the team a dress down.

    So as we go into the summer and make a rethink let the board reexamine the Tito appointment. After all its not too late to heed the calls from the father to whom we cules owe our greatest success in the club’s history

  20. SoccerMom
    April 24, 2013

    To misquote Shaw: “Life does not cease to be funny when it is serious any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”

    I know that we are all bummed, but … it’s a game, fellas. It’s supposed to be fun.

    And for all the people today who are hiding under their blankies writhing in pain over their beloved team getting nothing more than a good ol’ fashioned whupping by a team that was stronger, smarter and faster — not just “on a good day”, not just “when [he/who] is off-song”, not just when “we’re too stretched” — but all season, I think it’s well to keep in mind that the “home life” I poke fun at above isn’t all fictional.

    These are guys who get paid millions of euros to kick a ball around a park and then go home in their luxury boy-toy cars to a bevy of lovelies and mammas with whom they are proud to be paparazzi’d in this or that exclusive club or holding this or that plump little being in a Barça jersey between jet-setting from Old World to New in presidential suites and every few days go kick a ball around a park.

    I love it, it’s fun and I’m a fan … but you know, gimme a break.

  21. Ivan Milicevic
    April 25, 2013

    Felt the same after 5 May 2005 CL final. I still can’t shake off those thoughts and feelings.

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