Barça – Bayern, as a matter of comeback

Let’s not call this a preview, shall we? No matter what happens today, I am proud of my team. I love our club and no defeat, no matter how big, can change that.

Last summer I predicted we would get the league back, and we will. I also said that other team would get their decima. Ha, ha. With end of the world narrowly avoided yesterday, it is now our turn to stage a comeback. Is it possible? Do you believe? Here are ten eleven reasons why you should:

1. The Camp Nou. One hundred thousand Catalan throats will spur us on to victory.

2. Make no mistake. Our club still houses the most talented players in the world. And we’re playing for our pride. We’re gonna deixem some pell. If anyone can do it, we can. We will go at the Germans with a vengeance.

3. Look what we did to Milan

4. Speaking of which, Xavi said that his generation still owed us a remontada. I’m sorry, mr. Hernandez i Creus, since we failed to come back from semi-final losses at Stamford Bridge (2012) and at the Giuseppe Meazza (2010), you owe us two.

5. Honestly, an all-German final? You might no longer be Europe’s most hated football nation, but don’t push it. I don’t think we are quite ready for this yet.

6. Football is part skill, part condition, part strength and a big part psychological. If we get an early goal, anything is possible. If we get two, they will get nervous. If we get three, they will p their p’s. If we get four, they will crumble. If we get five, I don’t think they will come back alive. If we get si…Huh? What’s that you say, we only need five? Well, allright then!

7. For the people that doubt our defense, I have two words: Victor Valdes. Seriously, if I were the coach I would hypnotize our goalkeeper some five minutes before the game and tell him we are playing the final. That’s a fail-proof tactic, right there. Tito, call me.

8. It’s all mathematics, man! Hot-damn, have you never heard of an algorythm? We won in 2008/9. Went out in the semis in 2009/10. Won in 2010/11. Went out in the semis in 2011/12. See where I am going…?

9.  Other football clubs might have hundreds of millions of euros worth of players in their squads, when Barça come knocking on their doors they still ruin their own pitch just to slow us down. Chelsea lets the grass grow high enough to hide a herd of elephants. Milan instructs their players to eat five kilos of brown beans each the night before so they can do the nasty all over the San Siro on the morning of. And Bayern Munich decided to flood their field so badly that the water was up to our poor little midget’s knees. Don’t fret, it’s their prerogative. Our weaknesses are for us to deal with. Take it as a compliment, since these tactics are employed against no other club. Today we are playing on our own pitch.

10. Bayern Munich, please. This team has come back from cancer.

11. Lionel Andrés Messi AKA la Pulga atómica AKA la Pulga diabólica AKA Golden Ballz AKA the best player in the whole damned world, ever! Need I say more?

messi

Visca Barça!

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selfie barça Written by:

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...

223 Comments

  1. My algorithm.
    2008 – Spain wins Euro, Barca goes out in CL Semi
    2009 – Barca wins CL
    2010 – Spain wins WC, Barca goes out in CL semi
    2011 – Barca wins CL
    2012 – Spain wins Euro, Barca goes out in CL semi
    2013 – Barca ——- whats that

    I just want us to have a good win today, even if we overturn the first leg or not. Play our hearts out. We never know, we might come through.

    For all who talk about our defenders not doing the job, because of lack of pressing upfront, I am sure you all watched Hummells y’day. That is a master class from a defender..

    Visca Barca.

    • selfie barça
      May 1, 2013

      Thank you for reading. I agree that I would be happy with a win, period. To be honest I am pretty happy regardless, but let’s not beat a dead horse even deader…

      Hummels had a good game yesterday, but for the life of me I don’t understand why he tried to block Ramos’s shot the way he did… Anyone?

      • It was Subotic who turned around and stuck his back leg out, and beats me why he did that. I thought Hummels was fantastic.

    • georgjorge
      May 1, 2013

      Their whole defense was pretty good for the whole game after the opening ten minutes. Pisczek frustrated Ronaldo time after time, and pretty much every long ball into the box (and there were many of them) was won by the defense, or at least the attackers were hampered enough to make scoring very difficult.

      But since this is about today’s game – also happy with every win, regardless of the result. Just let them end all this “end of an era” talk with a dominant performance – and then use the time until the next season to make the necessary adjustments and transfers and come out stronger the next time.

  2. May 1, 2013

    You forgot number 12: Don Andres Iniesta Lujan, the man who only scores in the most important of games! If anyone can get us into the final it will be him!

  3. rocherto
    May 1, 2013

    Don’t forget that Arsenal almost pulled one out of the depths againts the germans earlier in the stage.

    All things aside it has been an awesome season if you ask me!!!

    Lets take it to ’em!!!

  4. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    I’m going with a 4-2 or 3-1 score line.

  5. lyd
    May 1, 2013

    A Dream of a Thousand Cules: (The Sandman edition)

    Message from the Dream Lord himself –

    “If enough of us dream, if a bare thousand of us dream, we can change the w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶ outcome. We can dream it anew! A world in which no c̶a̶t̶s̶ Cules suffer from the malice of h̶u̶m̶a̶n̶s̶ ̶ Germans.”

    Lets do this! ; )

  6. May 1, 2013

    “algorythm”

    You failed to complete a hat trick of posts without a typo, man. Way to go.

    • selfie barça
      May 1, 2013

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!! Don’t worry. I’m not giving up. One day I will succeed! lol

  7. Huckleberry
    May 1, 2013

    Madrid and Barça thought that they are in a universe of there own and competing for all the glory only against each other. Defeats against other teams were just mishaps. Meanwhile two German teams have very well studied both and taken the best out of both styles. They are motivated, sharp and well trained.

    But during the last one ore two years Barça had better and more important things to do than training hard and concentrated or keeping up the pace and focus. Dating starlets, getting babies, dealing with and recovering from diseases, breaking meaningles records, fielding more and more canteras…

    Now, let’s see if it’s possible to win with 5 goals more than Bayern in one game.
    I doubt that this Barça is physically, mentally and conceptually prepared for that.
    But I hope to end as a fool this evening.

    • May 1, 2013

      Damn, yeah, they should know better than to start families or get sick while there is important football to be played…

  8. El deu
    May 1, 2013

    I don’t really expect us to turn this around and I know we probably won’t but I’m Swedish and this is what happened when Sweden played Germany in the WC qualifiers last fall (in Berlin even): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktG3xXZbAcM

    It just goes to show that Germany isn’t what it used to be (also why it’s much more likable than before) and maybe not Bayern either. A bit of hope maybe. 🙂 I just hope the Camp Nou crowd will be as good as the Bernabeu crowd was yesterday. I couldn’t believe they were still cheering as much as they did at 0-0 in the 80th minute, that’s not like them (nor like the culés at Camp Nou). Visca el Barça!

  9. Srini
    May 1, 2013

    Nice piece, Levon. Just the thing that this Cule wanted to read 🙂

    My little additions:

    13) The final is at Wembley, the only place beyond Camp Nou, which Barca could call it their own, in a relative sense.

    14) Mano-a-Mano (Man to Man), Barca is still the better skilled, more talented outfit. Less powerful, less tall perhaps; but that didn’t stop Barca from being the best in the world for sometime now and that blip apart in the Allianz Arena, shouldn’t stop them at the Camp Nou.

    Go, get them, Blaugranas.

  10. nia
    May 1, 2013

    Did Montoya do something to Tito? He was the one dropped, even Dos Santos made the bench.

  11. Can they start Sanchez instead of Cesc here. Ask Sanchez to play the deep lying forward or the no.10 role with Villa ahead.

  12. no clue cule
    May 1, 2013

    No Messi, no Sanchez,…. no chance

  13. nia
    May 1, 2013

    I hope someone else beside Iniesta tries to step up in the absence of Messi. It’s frustrating to see him being the only one trying to go forward to attack.

  14. criven45
    May 1, 2013

    What is Tito trying to prove here? That we can do it without Messi. I hope this isn’t about that but abt fitness issues. I think the management have being lying abt Messi’s fitness all this while. Or maybe its a tactical change only for messi to come on as sub and score a double to make it 4 nil and send the game to extra time. Fingers crossed.

  15. replayed
    May 1, 2013

    If [Messi] had fitness issues, then who the f@ck gave him green light to play on Saturday.

    Not just Saturday, but also the first leg.

    Hamstring injuries are notoriously demanding of rest. Why not play a cautious game without Messi in Munich while allowing him the most possible rest before the return leg? Weird.

    Seriously some one in the medical team needs to be put on notice here.

    I don’t know that the ultimate responsibility is the medical team’s.

  16. criven45
    May 1, 2013

    What is Tito trying to prove here? That we can do it without Messi. I hope this isn’t about that but abt fitness issues. I think the management have being lying abt Messi’s fitness all this while. Or maybe its a tactical change only for messi to come on as sub and score a double to make it 4 nil and send the game to extra time. Fingers crossed. Visca Barca

  17. nia
    May 1, 2013

    Unfortunately, I think the road to Wembley end here. As much as I love Barca I don’t think I can bear to watch the next two hours. For my health, I think I will see you guys later. Good luck.

  18. Srini
    May 1, 2013

    Messi on the bench? Did he pick an injury during training? Or has he still not recovered from the hamstring problem? He did seem fresh and recovered in the Bilbao game, so I don’t think that the team management pushed him to play through injury.

    It must be a training issue.

    • no clue cule
      May 1, 2013

      He felt some discomfort in his leg at this morning training according to Marca

  19. Artur
    May 1, 2013

    Training issue, or not, don’t forget this is FC Barcelona and we put out our best eleven every single game. Messi was clearly not in the “best eleven” for our coach to make that decision. Based on last week’s performance it looks like he may have fitness issues.

    I like the line up, Villa and Cesc worked very hard and absolutely deserve to be in the starting eleven. This is huge motivation for them. Unlike Messi who doesn’t need to worry about his starting spot and Sanchez who has rarely impressed this season.

    Although I agree that with both Messi and Sanchez gone we lose the unpredictability since both of them can make a play happen from nothing, I believe this is a much more mature and experienced line up that will allow for a more consistent game.

    Whether we win or not, I hope our players give it their all, I’m not expecting another comeback like the one against Milan, I’m just expecting our team to come out to play and play our game.

    VISCA BARCA!

    • Artur
      May 1, 2013

      Notes: Messi not included because of fitness issues (I assume eh will be a super sub in second half anyway)

      Dante (Baeryn’s best defender) is excluded and 5 other players are on yellow cards (dante was too which is why he’s excluded) if any of these 6 players get a second yellow they will be excluded from final. Bayern will definitely play VERY carefully. We have to exploit that.

  20. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    Ok with Messi out, I think it will be 1-3 instead.

    And hopefully no matter what happens, the crowd will behave the same way they did last season during the Chelsea match.

    I’m glad I got Neville as my commentator.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      First thoughts- our defence lying a bit deep leaving a hole in front of them and I’d rather have Villa through the middle but they seem up for it.

      • barca96
        May 1, 2013

        Yeah once again he’s marshaling the back line expertly.

        Before Villa arrived here, I licked my lips at the thought if him getting the kind of service he will be getting from our midfielders, however it will translate to more goals. But so far, the service he’s been getting is poor.

  21. Srini
    May 1, 2013

    It is but clear that the Barcelona that we know and liked all over the years is not the same team that was under Pep’s tutelage. This team lacks the ability to build from the back, it can’t string a series of good passes; tries to be more direct, but is poor at it and can’t finish or create enough chances.

    Sure, Messi & Busquets, absolutely the most important players of the team are missing, but the very fact that without them, the team seems so insipid against a very superior opposition suggests that there is got to be a log of work to be done if Barca has to return back to its best period of its cycle.

  22. Jim
    May 1, 2013

    Piqué playing an absolute storm at the moment but they are pretty calm on the ball.

  23. greg
    May 1, 2013

    I want to call Cesc dire, but I’m not sure that’s fair. Instead, I’ll just say that his effect on this team is absolutely catastrophic.

  24. Srini
    May 1, 2013

    Cesc, Dani Alves and Pedro have been quite terrible this game in various facets. cesc has done nothing useful so far except for that lay in for Xavi; Alves can’t run into defenders, and his crosses have been extremely poor; and Pedro’s passing in the final three have been rather poor as well. And Villa has been invisible.

    • barca96
      May 1, 2013

      Can’t blame Villa there. The kind of service he’s been getting is really poor.

      Where is Iniesta?

      • replayed
        May 1, 2013

        Where is Iniesta?

        Under Javi Martinez’s thumb.

  25. G6O
    May 1, 2013

    This is just sad to watch. The off-the-ball movement that allowed us to compensate for out physical inferiority is just gone. They’re just standing and watching the player with the ball.

    The press isn’t what it should be. They did not even try to go for an early goal.

    And on top of all that, players like Villa and Pedro are having hard time controlling the ball…

    That’s just not how you go out if you lost the first game by four goals. Or maybe it is how you go out, if you have just given up 🙁

  26. Blau-Grenade
    May 1, 2013

    Villa has been invisible.
    Song has been everywhere.
    Everybody else has put in an amazing effort into the game. Song has been the MOTM. Amazing play from rest of the team to hold the ball up and move it forward.
    Bartra and Pique have been stellar.
    Adriano and Dani have not only held Robben and Ribery but also contributed to the attack.
    Xavi Cesc and Iniesta are doing their best to get the ball up front.
    Pedro is in defence and attack mode.

    I guess the game needs Messi instead of Villa.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      There is absolutely no service coming to Villa. He has ended up coming back out of his position just to pick up the ball. We need someone like Ini or Xavi taking the ball up to their defence and looking for one twos.

      • Blau-Grenade
        May 1, 2013

        Not sure what match you were watching. In the game I was watching there was plenty of ball movement in the front, but Villa did not have the movement, pace, heading capability, or ball shielding physicality to get involved in the game.
        Just watch how Mandzukic with his movement created all the opportunities for his team mates.

        • Jim
          May 1, 2013

          Well it certainly wasn’t the one where Dani contributed to the attack. Villa was on his own in their box with nobody able to carry the ball towards him whereas they had three or four in ours each time they attacked.

          However, Villa is a world class striker with a world class record and doesn’t need me to defend him .

  27. georgjorge
    May 1, 2013

    I was in awe over the speed and quality with which the first fifteen minutes of the game were being played on both sides. Our team had a good period of pushing them back after that, but they are just playing it extremely cleverly and very dangerously.

  28. Rivaldo
    May 1, 2013

    Well… the positives for me.

    Song has a place in our team and if I were the coach I’d tell Busquets not to slag, keep developing.

    Pique has been incredilble and leading by example. Which is why when he plays crap he deserve to be slammed!

    Bartra has balls.. kid should’ve been playing eversince.
    END.

    We need better forwards for our system to be effective. Villa should go this summer, and this isn’t a hard decision for me. I am with the board… 5 players needed to make us really sompetitive. We keep saying nothing needs to change. It happened the last 2 seasons; do the same things get same results. We win La Liga but I want more. I want to be competitive come the big games not lose 2-0 and 4-0. (Madrid, Milan , Bayern) also Chelsea being a tough place cant be an excuse any longer for me.

    We forwards who create danger, with pace movement and unpredictability and of course one who scores.. that makes it 2 forwards we need.

    All this comes from just watching this game.
    Somestimes I truly wonder. Does Cesc game really fit or does he just offer something different?

    2nd Half to go though. We can still do better. Up guys, Up!

  29. ciaran
    May 1, 2013

    has Adriano not seen Robben play before?

    • replayed
      May 1, 2013

      Man U has some CL semi-final footage they can show him.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      That is just awful positioning from Adriano. Didnt even sprint back which gave Robben time to control and look up.

  30. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    I wish they would build up patiently instead of rushing it and hoofing it up like Valdes did.

  31. ciaran
    May 1, 2013

    That goal is exactly why I wanted Cristian Tello to start.
    All Robben did, was receive the ball, make space and shoot. No build up. No fantasy football. Just control and shoot.
    I’m not saying that Tello is as good as Robben but Villa and Pedro need to much to score these days

  32. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    Tito, get up and push your players on for goodness sake!!

    • barca96
      May 1, 2013

      Let’s see, we aren’t able to control the midfield and possession and what does he do? Take the man who controls our game out. I would’ve taken Cesc or Villa out who can’t hold the ball.

      • Jim
        May 1, 2013

        Agreed. Must be carrying an injury or Tito has genuinely lost his marbles which I don’t think is the case.

  33. Rivaldo
    May 1, 2013

    Robben is actually good though guys. That quick shift he has like Messi does unsettles people, and it doesn’t matter how often they do it. Without help it wont work

  34. mom4
    May 1, 2013

    Well…Let’s go Dortmund for the final. 🙁

  35. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    I can see us going 2-0 down. Just build up patiently. Damage control for me.

  36. greg
    May 1, 2013

    Lexus scores 4. Then an own goal. Then a 96th minute penalty.

    BELIEVE

  37. ciaran
    May 1, 2013

    Whether we improve or not, it is true that we need to change things around in the summer.
    If all we want to do is win the league then we’ll have a 50-60% chance of doing it with little investment. If we want to win in Europe we are quite a bit behind.
    If we are being honest, we barely beat a bad Milan team and struggled past PSG before this hammering by Bayern

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      Our forwards haven’t carried any danger all year. As I type this Iniesta comes off. Suppose it doesn’t matter now.

      • greg
        May 1, 2013

        They really haven’t. The nicest thing anyone has had to say about Villa is that he “creates space” for Messi.

        • greg
          May 1, 2013

          And don’t even get me started on Cesc. Another guy only running on his reputation, and not on his actual performance over the past two years. I’m sure he was fantastic when he was 14. He was also great in England because, well, it’s England.

          Now? He’s not.

  38. Rivaldo
    May 1, 2013

    We are being out-Barca-ed. Bayern are really ahead of us though guys. Didn’t get to watch the semifinals last week but we look like we have no answer. Plus guys tell me it was worse last week.

  39. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    What is happening? No build up, nothing.

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      and Tello? Give the guys a chance at this stage. What is there to lose at this point? Villa has been awful. Besides Song I haven’t been impressesd with the midfield.

  40. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    And now Iniesta is out?

    Go out like a fuckin man Tito!! Not taking out your best players.

    • barca96
      May 1, 2013

      Even if I wasn’t a Barca product I would still have pride and fight to the end to save my pride and go out like a fuckin man.

    • barca96
      May 1, 2013

      That’s unacceptable to me. We’re fighting for pride here. At least don’t lose.

  41. greg
    May 1, 2013

    Instead of wasting time taking corners, we should just give the ball directly to our opponents.

  42. BA
    May 1, 2013

    comprehensively beaten by the superior team. again.

    defense looks terrible, again.

    Tito powerless to reverse the momentum, again.

    and it’s only an hour into the game.

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      Question: are you watching the game? What can Tito really do? What ever could’ve/should’ve been done should’ve been done last week.

      Serious Tito cant play as well. I’m sure they prepared: either to overturned the result, to fight and see, and to at least win and not be pulverixed again. Every human has pride unless Tito wants to be fires and said to the guys, “Let’s lose”.

      Let me know what we could’ve/ should’ve done in this match and explain it so I can agree with you an this “Tito thing” you’re attempting to start. I DARE YOU.

      • BA
        May 1, 2013

        yep. and Tito’s mistakes have cascaded throughout the period leading up to and between the legs of this tie. why play Messi at the weekend if he wasn’t fit? why play Abidal? why continue playing Pedro and Fabregas, who’ve been nothing but passengers for weeks now, in place of Sanchez (who’s been in excellent form) and Tello, who would have a point to prove and who’s pace would at least make Bayern’s flank (from which Robben scored) more cautious?

        as i type, Pique has scored an own goal. why did Tito not demand more defensive cover last summer or during January? he’s the manager. yes he battled cancer. that’s an amazing story. but i’m talking about football, and i think we’re seeing his footballing limitations right now.

        • Rivaldo
          May 1, 2013

          What are his footballing limitations? Pep had the same issues last season?

          Using players not producing and then having to play Tello in a big game, etc. Everything you pointed out I can point to examples from Pep before.

        • barca96
          May 1, 2013

          Rivaldo, as it happened in the first leg, Tito didn’t prepare the team well for the match. No tactic on how to beat Bayern.

          Now, during the match complaints. He should’ve taken Messi out last week after its obvious that Messi wasn’t fit and effective.

          This match, we go 1-0 down, instead of pushing the players on during the match to instill believe on the players, he goes and hide in the dug out!!

          Why take Xavi and Iniesta out when we need to control the midfield and keep possession? Why not take Cesc or Villa out?

          I’ve been playing football for 18 years and I and most of my team mates have always given our all no matter till the last minute.

          Ok maybe Tito is not able to control how the players think. But he is the manager. He is the leader. He should show courage instead of taking the white flag out. What message does it send to the players??

          • Rivaldo
            May 1, 2013

            So what you are saying is that his limitation is his inability to motivate?

            Because I would point you toards the first half of the season where we won through fighting for it , cubs Tito made who came on and made difference with his instructions mind you.

            Tell me we are seeing fear of failure but that has been evident since Pep’s last year in carge and the players have shown it in the previous knockout rounds first games.

            Limitations? maybe but not Tito’s

        • Jim
          May 1, 2013

          Messi’s pace for his goal at the weekend showed he was well on the way o recovery. Today he felt something at training and they decided not o risk him. A completely responsible decision in my opinion, just not the situation we all wanted.

  43. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    Look how some of the players are just jogging instead of pressuring like mad dogs. Don’t they care? Losing again? Being bossed again and now in our home court? Don’t they have pride?

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      They are hurt and demralized… Like we see here again. Own goal.

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      They are hurt and demoralized… Like we see here again. Own goal.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      We’re just being outplayed. Didn’t think I would see this happen to this side but it is.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      We’re just being outplayed. Didn’t think I would see this happen to this side but it is. The game was lost in the first leg.

  44. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    Hate it when our players don’t have the decency to stop the play when an opponent is down injured. Where’s the gamesmanship? A few months ago we conceded a goal after refusing to stop the ball. Served them right.

  45. faizal
    May 1, 2013

    There is only one word to describe “embrassing”

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      Not sure why you’re disgusted. The other team is entitled to beat us if we’re not good enough. Doesn’t mean there’s any lack of effort.

      It’s not a good enough result for us and we need to improve so let’s turn thoughts to what needs to be done rather than just insult this team that as given us so much pleasure and is on its way to regaining the league.

      • BA
        May 1, 2013

        i’m sorry, what?

        this is a team that will win the Spanish League, currently ranked #1 in Europe and well ahead of Germany. a team with, as i say below, one of the highest wage bills in Europe. filled with World and European champions and assembled at great expense through deals with the likes of Qatari emirs that violated the sacred space on the front of our shirts.

        this team is, as i type, currently losing *7-0* on aggregate. if you really believe that Bayern are 7-0 better than FC Barcelona, perhaps you’d prefer supporting another team. the problem is that our team has been let down by it’s club (through horrific, shortsighted transfer policy), it’s manager (by not providing the tactical and personnel decisions we need to compete at the highest level), and themselves (by not giving enough effort and focus to the latter stages of this competition). that’s all shameful, and for me disgusting.

        • Jim
          May 1, 2013

          Not sure why you think I’d prefer supporting another team. Sounds to me like you are more angry at them than I am. I try not to just support a team because its winning.

          When you suffer a bad defeat its easy to throw out the no effort argument but this defeat went a lot deeper. Do you want to support what you say with some stats about how they didn’t run much?

          No team lacks desire in a CL final but sometimes desire isn’t enough to overcome a better team. Our system has been shaken a little in the last three away CL ties. We need to think about that.
          Our lack of height has been cruelly exposed, we need to sort that. We have some players coming to towards the end of their careers, we need to replace them – and we have some players who are just not producing the goods. That is the real challenge.

          However, if you’d asked me at the end of last year what was my main priority it would have been putting Madrid in their place in the league every time. Which this team has done with a margin to spare.

          • BA
            May 1, 2013

            i’m certainly more angry at, and frustrated with, the team. i think we all have reason to be, and i think our anger is justified.

            i think it’s painfully clear that Bayern have shown themselves to be the better team over the course of this tie. my objection to the way in which Barça have approached the tie is that i do NOT believe we are a team that should be getting beaten 7-0 on aggregate over 2 legs by any team on the planet. put another way: that Bayern are better is no longer a matter of debate, but the DEGREE to which they were better in this semifinal highlights the under-performance of every major institution of the club (administration, management, players) over the last year and going into these 2 games.

            it’s that under-performance that i object so strong to.

      • faizal
        May 1, 2013

        Sorry Jim, maybe i watched different game, but from my viewpoint, we lacked desire and effort tonight..

  46. BA
    May 1, 2013

    the fans should be *utterly outraged* by these performances.

    we have one of the highest wage bills in Europe.

  47. faizal
    May 1, 2013

    I just wake up at 3 o’clock this morning only to get betrayed from my beloved team.. Shame on them

  48. Rivaldo
    May 1, 2013

    Sometimes I’m glad for adversity like this. It forces you to either “die” or just spend time reflecting and carving out a solution. You usually gain perspective unless you live in denial.

    Make no mistake Bayern are the better side.And if we want to be on top again we need to take a good look at this and not feed ourselves the baby food we usually do. We need to man up and make some decisions as a coaching staff (well seeing that some want Tito out… maybe a coaching change too) and Board.

    Without Messi we have not looked like a capable team and it has proven to affect us pyschologically. We haven’t had great continuity with our young “stars” and I hate that… Thiago, Bartra , Montoya should’ve all played more this season; but such is the luck of being at a big club.
    Personally our coaching staff needed this. I defend them but they are not without blame. Now sit down and have the balls to tell players the truth and make hard decisions for the benefit of FC Barca. Also become a little more flexible other than asking Cesc to play Messi’s role.

    Messi cant always get what he wants but must learn to adapt to the best for the collective team. I , for one, am tired of players playing in his shadow and then struggling to adjust their talents for him. If it was for the team yes but not ostly because Messi would be less pleased and not benefit as much.

    Make no mistake, WE ARE NOT FINISHED. Just a little tinkering needed. yes NEEDED.

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      What are his footballing limitations? Pep had the same issues last season?

      Using players not producing and then having to play Tello in a big game, etc. Everything you pointed out I can point to examples from Pep before.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      Might have known this would end up Messi’s fault

      • Rivaldo
        May 1, 2013

        Where have I said this is Messi’s fault?

        • Jim
          May 1, 2013

          Tired of players struggling to adjust their talents for him ? The reason he gets the ball is that nobody else carries any threat. That’s what we need to change. Neymar will make a difference there.

          • Rivaldo
            May 1, 2013

            But to be honest, which new players coming in to this system get to say ” Hey this is what i have, let me do it unbridled”. I believe there is honesty to what Ibra said after he left and the adaptation issue. Henry had it but stuck it out. Villa had it. Helb had it,etc.
            Ask them and see. It wasn’t like they were no good before but I felt like they had so much more to offer.

            Like we only really saw what Xavi and Deco had after Iniesta and Ronnie left. Again just using this as a point…. not saying Messi should leave.

            But get real. This issue is Real.

      • Rivaldo
        May 1, 2013

        I simply pointed out factors that need addressing.

        Never said it was his fault. He didn’t even play today. and ladt week if he wasn’t fit then the coaching should have the balls to make the hard call not to play him…which I also said.

        I guess i can’t exactly convey my feeling through my words. I dont want him to leave but if he does I’ll live.

        • Rivaldo
          May 1, 2013

          And how is this the only thing you pulled from my comment?

          • Jim
            May 1, 2013

            Because that to me was the one that implied it was somehow Messi’s fault?

  49. Jim
    May 1, 2013

    Well played to Bayern. Lets wrap up the league and then turn to what needs o be done. Clear out may be coming.

  50. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    And these players aren’t playing for free, as a hobby. This is their job. They’re being paid millions. They represent a club, a city. Show some pride!

    • HisR0yalFlyness
      May 1, 2013

      *like*
      Agreed!!! Go out with a bang not a whimper!!! Only one team fought with everything they had to make the final, and it wasn’t us by a longshot.

    • Sangoku
      May 1, 2013

      Hey you need to calm down!! I’m every bit as embarrassed as any Culé at the scoreline – but man, get a grip on yourself!

      Yes our players are paid to represent the club but so our opponents’. You talk about pride, haven’t you taken any while talking about your team’s performances for those last 5 years?

      Have you seen any team lately dazzling Europe for such a long period?
      Do you know why? Simply because football has a cycle, there comes a time when you are just exhausted, not just physically but mentally. After those 60+ matches per season, playing on all fronts for club and country, fighting for your fans and what you believe in, you just don’t have the same reflexes anymore.

      I’m actually surprised we kept quite a high standard for so long. I’m not saying you don’t have the right to criticise. Sure, lots of mistakes have been made. They have been mentioned all season long: lack of central defenders, someone to keep up when Messi is underpar by his standards, playing our ‘backup players’ more, use of alternate styles because our opponents have figured us out, etc. They are definitely legitimate issues that will need to be addressed.

      But don’t talk about these players’ pride. Because they are the reason I am proud of Barça.

  51. BA
    May 1, 2013

    the biggest European semifinal loss in 53 years.

    shocking and pathetic.

  52. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    And if Tito’s reasoning for taking out our big guns is to save for the weekend as suggested by Rivaldo, I would really like to ask Tito if he really doesn’t think that the league is wrapped up that he need to rest players while we have a Champions League semi final going on.

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      I was saying it with disdain, just everybody knows

  53. georgjorge
    May 1, 2013

    Disappointed with the result and with Tito taking out both Xavi and Iniesta instead of at least trying to win or draw this game. Disappointed with how the system doesn’t seem to be working at all without Messi (totally fit) on the pitch.
    Disappointed with the crowd at the Camp Nou, who seemed to stop chanting at all after the second goal (correct me if I’m wrong here).
    Not Disappointed with the effort the team put into this game (as so many on this blog seem to be).
    Still Grateful for the many moments of joy from this team over the last seasons.

    • Momo
      May 1, 2013

      No they kept chanting till the end from what I’ve heard on my stream. But can you blame them, I mean 7-0?

      • georgjorge
        May 1, 2013

        Then I did them wrong…on my stream the commentator mentioned that everyone but the Bayern fans stayed very very quiet from 0-2 onwards.

  54. 7-0 on aggregate. I am not sure about Vilanova as manager for the next season.
    I know people will jump at me saying that “He has beaten cancer” and so on. But he doesn’t fit the bill. Let’s see our record against big teams under Vilanova.

    • Momo
      May 1, 2013

      Agreed Tito seems like he is out of his depth on the european stage.

      • Also why we keep on thumping corners into the box when we clearly know that we are being outmatched in the box. Tito never brought any alternative plans. He actually has no idea.

  55. Momo
    May 1, 2013

    That made me very sad to watch.

    We still have La liga. But this goes to show that the team needs a clear overhall in many areas.

  56. Srini
    May 1, 2013

    Its an embarrassing tie, frankly, among Barca’s worst ties ever in European competition.

    But I still have faith in Tito Vilanova. Get him some useful personnel and I am sure he can turn this one around next season.

  57. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    If I was Rosell, I would refund the money to the Barca fans that attended the match tonight and apologize to them.

    I don’t mind losing but losing without a fight in front of 98k fans, perhaps 90k minus the Bayern fans, who came here hoping for a comeback or at least save our pride is simply unacceptable.

  58. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    We still can win La Liga ( I believe it will be much tougher next season as Madrid gave us an advantage with their bickering at the start and some luck) and go through the group stages next season but don’t expect a semi final or final with Tito at the helm. He doesn’t seem to be a great tactician.

    In La Liga he still can get away with it, perhaps because of the players (mainly Messi) carrying him buy not in Europe no.

    Credit is due though for those changes he made to win us matches in the first half of the season.

  59. Jim
    May 1, 2013

    When you’re quite a few goals behind, you’re playing a team at the top of their form while you have a bunch of injuries and are physically inferior it can look as if you aren’t trying.

    I think some of those who played tonight aren’t Barca standard but I didn’t see one that wasnt giving it his all.

    This Bayern team won’t always play as well as they have over these two legs. They are at the top of their form with a lot of momentum but tougher times will come.

  60. htMillBay
    May 1, 2013

    Rosell is finished. Saving money on color copies is apparently not enough to afford Thiago Silva and Javi Martinez?

    It is the end of an era. All things come to an end especially in the sporting world. But that doesn’t mean the end can’t be followed by a new era. Just look at what happened when Ronaldinho left.

    Starting over from a nucleus of Messi, Iniesta, Busquets and Alba would be a dream for any other team. The whole coaching staff and all other players aside from those 4 should be on the bubble. That doesn’t mean we need 14 new players but 5 new signings should be the minimum. How many new players started the Pep era? Nine?

    • BA
      May 1, 2013

      the worst part is, he’s going to go out this summer and spunk $50m on Neymar, when what we need most are some competent defenders. so he’ll compound his original error by more needless spending and more huge wages, without addressing our most basic problems.

      that’s my worry, anyway.

      • barca96
        May 1, 2013

        Yes we do need a CB but you can’t deny that we need another goal threat and creative force upfront and Neymar is the person who could improve us in that aspect.

        I really don’t know which defender can improve us. I’d rather splash out on a scorer and then get a defensive coach or rather a set piece coach. Also, the midfielders need to get back to the old days of pressuring and helping out in defense. That’s all.

        • BA
          May 1, 2013

          i’d rather buy Thiago Silva for whatever PSG are asking than buy Neymar for a similar fee.

      • G6O
        May 1, 2013

        We’ll be just as toothless as we were today without an upgrade of the attack. At this point in time, Pedro and Villa are just not at the necessary level. Neymar is in fact sorely needed.

        This does not mean we don’t need a solid CB, we absolutely do.

  61. Momo
    May 1, 2013

    The most disappointing thing about these games wasn’t even the defense which everyone knew was terrible going into it. It was the ridiculous lack of danger and penetration created. Even when we played badly before chances would always come, these two legs however showed we need an attacking overhaul just as much as a defensive one

    • mom4
      May 1, 2013

      Commented above.

      Nothing to say other than Go Dortmund! Gonna BBQ some knockwurst on the 25th and root for the team that denied RM their decima.

      We need to do some well-reasoned buying this summer.

  62. Huckleberry
    May 1, 2013

    0:7 on aggregate. Does anybody still think it’s not the end of the cycle?

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      Me, if you mean we won’t in a major trophy next season.

    • barca96
      May 1, 2013

      If you only take this game into account, I’d say no. But we didn’t look convincingly in CL at all besides the home Milan match.

  63. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    Oh boy. Tougher times for us or for Bayern?

    I understand that it’s tough to play when you can’t progress. But why not play to win or at least draw this match?
    Why not ask the players to play our game instead of this direct game that doesn’t suit us currently and playing right into their hands? We can get away with it against poor La Liga sides but not in CL and definitely not against the best team. Tito is to be blamed for this but not 100%.

    Or when we’re already down 2-0 do damage limitation?

  64. culegirl3
    May 1, 2013

    So glad I didn’t watch! Now I hope we start getting rid of dead weight in all areas this summer, starting with Rosell and Tito.

    • barca96
      May 1, 2013

      Which club other than Madrid in modern times sacked its president? We won the league after all. Rosell isn’t to be blamed for this. If Kxevin called it absurd to blame Tito and some players, I call it absurd too to blame the president who doesn’t have a hand in the running of the team.

      If you want to blame Rosell for not getting players namely defenders, Managers ask for players during transfer windows. In the event they fail to get said player, they will present a plan B. So we were priced out of Thiago Silva, where is the back up plan?

      99% of other managers have to make do with what they have, they can’t go around complaining because the board couldn’t get them 1 player. What I think happened was that Tito said it was Thiago Silva or nobody at all.

      • culegirl3
        May 1, 2013

        I’m going to get a lot of crap for this but whatever. Rosell had a hand in picking Tito as coach, and yes I’m aware it’s mostly in Zubi’s hands but Rosell took part. Tito’s an abscence had a not so great impact on this season IMO. He should have really weighed the pros and cons about hiring Tito given his health situation. I know they wanted to keep it in the family and choose one of our own but he was not and is not experienced enough to run a team like Barcelona. We could argue that Pep was inexperienced and managed to bring the team to glory, but he’s the exception not the rule. So Tito’s shortcomings are an extension of Rosell’s for giving him the most coveted and also the most difficult job in the world of footy. Also, what good is it to be president if you can’t chime in from time to time and let team management know that hey maybe we could slow our role having an 11 man midfield and invest in a few defenders and someone who can score a few goals consistently every season. But that’s just how I see it.

        • Jim
          May 1, 2013

          Strikes me that around here Rosell gets blamed for just about everything. How would folks around here have reacted if Rosell had stepped in second guessed Pep or Tito in purchases?

          Tito was beside Pep the whole time, may well have been for all we know the brains behind our successes and has shown Madrid a clean pair of heels which was his main task. We have come up short in the CL but that has been obvious from way back this season.

          Even while we were running away with the league it was obvious that we didnt carry enough danger up front and that we were unable to keep a steady CB partnership. No team can do well at the very top level without those two elements. We have carried Pedro and Sanchez all year. I’m cutting Villa a bit of slack as he is a natural goalscorer and should have been played a lot more with Messi earlier in the season but he isn’t getting any younger and wont be hanging around for next season so we need to move on. Messi is not any kind of problem. He creates chances for others every game and they don’t take them. He doesn’t stop Tello taking his man on or shooting at will so why suggest he is having an effect on Sanchez or Pedro?

          Do I think Tito made mistakes? Yes. With an unfit Messi I’d have played a more defensive lineup but even that may not have saved us. However, I also think Tito is smart enough to learn from this and grow into the CL. I’ll be really interested to see what happens in the summer but this team won’t take much to fix.

  65. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    @Rivaldo

    Yes Tito did brilliantly in the first half of the season but just as we can credit him for that, we can blame him for this.

    Just because he was successful in the handful of matches doesn’t mean he’s immune when he’s being found out in probably an equal number of CL games.

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      Read my entire coments on this page. Never said Tito and his staff are without blame. But to sack him already?

      Let’s take a look at this. Yes another coach could come in and win and produce results but this is exactly why people dont want Mourinho. We would win but it would longer be a unique Barca we be like everyone else.

      Tactically over these games (Milan, PSG, Bayern) we have been poor, heck just plain footballing-wise we have been poor (1 sht i an entire game…) and I have said as much. But the biggest factor and shame for me was the fear. That cautious, dont-want-to-lose playing. Our dominance has been trickling out of our system and for me that is worrying. We posses (the ball) for fear of defeat in a way I had never seen. The “risk” passes are no longer there and so are the “risk” runs made by players. This is what disappointed me the most. Which is why for me if you are gong to play Villa and Cesc and no Messi, Thiago and Tello with their youth and exhuberance should’ve started this match.

      • barca96
        May 1, 2013

        Oh man. I’m sleepy. When did I asked him to be sacked?

        • Jim
          May 1, 2013

          We didnt exactly have much of a choice tactically tonight and what happened showed, to me at least, that this is more than a tactical issue.

  66. lyd
    May 1, 2013

    Well played Song, Bartra, Pique, Alvez.

    Wonder why Thiago and Alexis couldn’t make it to the starting 11.

    Anyways, looking forward for the Betis game.
    Visca Barca!

  67. Nick
    May 1, 2013

    Trying to find at least something positive and I just fucking can’t. Pissed off doesn’t get close to describing what I feel right now.

  68. mangut
    May 1, 2013

    It is time to clean house and it needs to start with Tito. I’m sure he is a great person and he deserves our respect and admiration for battling his illness but when it comes to managing a club at this level there needs to be somebody to come in and rattle the cages. Guardiola did that his first year and that is what is needed now. The club will not spend like City or Chelsea and will not replace half of the squad. There is too much complacency. There is very little intensity. There have been too many poor purchases. The scouting has let this club down.There has been very little opportunity given to the youngsters.
    Sanchez, Song and Cesc are not good enough. Alba is not good enough. It is also time for Villa and Alves to go. I will not mind seeing Valdes go but I hope the team is able to find affordable talent that can fit into the system. It is not unheard of to put together a team on a budget but the scouting needs to do its job. Sad day but I considere it the ultimate exposure of all of the deficiencies that have plagued this team for the last two seasons. Now it is up to the club to respond.

    • barca96
      May 1, 2013

      Alba? Alves? Those 2 are key players. Just need Tito to give them instructions which match they can roam forward and when to stay back. Need some balance.

      • Jim
        May 1, 2013

        Agreed, although there is a growing problem with Dani’s use of the ball.

    • Helge
      May 1, 2013

      I also doubt Tito’s quality in the biggest matches. But I think Pep Guardiola would not have done a lot better with this players at his disposal.

      We need actually 2 reinforcements for the defense, I pray that the club spends big on defense and not on Neymar this summer transfer season.

      Anyway, kudos to Bayern, but I will still be rooting for BVB 🙂

      And next season will be exciting, visca el barca!

  69. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    Sangoku, I partly agree with you but I can’t go into details now
    It’s 5am. Need to get some sleep.

    One thing before I go though With reference to your 60 games a season, I’ve always said that the manager, Pep and Tito, need to rotate and rest players to keep them fresh for the business end of season.

  70. KEVINO17
    May 1, 2013

    Few Points:
    1. Our defence was actually pretty good until we tried chasing the game with a pop-gun attack and then everything came unstuck. But if we hadn’t done so badly in Munich, this defence could have kept a clean sheet.
    2. The forwards we played had every little pace. We desperately need an alternative to Messi. It’s as if the modern game has suddenly zoomed past Cesc in a couple of years.
    3. Song was magnificent. Imagine how bad it would have got with Busquets loping around the middle of the park. Bartra was also very impressive. Quite good pace for a tall player.
    3. Don’t really blame Tito for this. I think he really knew it was a lost cause and is saving his ammo for La Liga.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      Agreed on all counts 🙂

      Although, I rate Busi way higher than you seem to and although I thought Bartra did pretty well he isn’t actually that tall for a CB and I’m not sure about his pace.

    • chop
      May 1, 2013

      Cesc is a great player and thrived in the EPL which generally has pacier players. To say he’s too slow for the modern game is ridiculous.

      The problem is that he’s a midfielder not a CF.

      Barcelona bought him to be Xavi/Iniesta’s long term replacement but while those two were still playing the majority of minutes, you tried to fit him in as a utility player and lately as Messi’s direct sub.

      It was an audacious move but you can’t really fault Barca given the success they’ve had with other unconventional moves such as using DM’s as centrebacks.

      Well, the experiment is over. It’s time to realize he’s a mid now.

      Xavi is half the player he was 2 years ago so Cesc should get plenty of work in now.

      • KEVINO17
        May 1, 2013

        CESC is a great player in a situation where he can roam the field and, in that way, shake off defenders (he’s got great lungs). But he’s not so good in tight spaces in the midfield.

  71. garry
    May 1, 2013

    We don’t need to fire the coach, the president and half the squad.

    We just need a couple of new players,
    lots of rest and
    a dash of luck.
    And everything will be sunny again.

  72. xdxm
    May 1, 2013

    So I am a first time poster. Reading forums sometimes is very difficult. Because of the impulsiveness. And the emotions. But I frequent this blog over others because the conversations seems to be more intelligent. There are some incredibly talented writers here and I think some people take it for granted.

    But I am dismayed at what I am seeing now. All this nonsense about sacking Tito. Don’t forget who you are. You are a supporter of one of the most successful teams to ever grace the planet. You are a supporter of a team about to win the league by double digit points. Abidal is cancer-free. Tito is cancer-free. And yet all this crap. Because we lost to a team that is quite simply better than us. Don’t ever tell me the players don’t give it their all. Because they do. They live for it. They bleed for it. The same way we do. It is more than a club for a reason.

    Going into next season adjustments need to be made. Persone-wise and tactically. But it does not start with firing a manager who is about to win La Liga by a historic margin. Don’t forget who you are, cules. Dont forget your identity. We support this club because it means more to us than wins and losses. Don’t ruin what makes it so special.

    Som un equip. Visca!

    • Xavi6
      May 1, 2013

      I don’t want a coach who takes out Xavi and Iniesta when we are desperately seeking a goal .

      • Jim
        May 1, 2013

        I’m afraid it was long gone by then. I couldn’t work up much anger about that. It was probably a pretty cold rational decision although I didn’t like it at the time.

        • Xavi6
          May 1, 2013

          I can’t see the reason in this decision . La liga is all but wrapped up , we don’t have any important games left . and we were playing for pride . Keep the best players on .

    • BA
      May 1, 2013

      being cancer-free has fuck-all to do with football. are they inspiring stories? absolutely. are we all glad they’re safe and healthy? of course.

      but we can’t let results and inspiring stories of cancer survival get in the way of the facts of the sport. if you question that, look at Lance Armstrong.

  73. Xavi6
    May 1, 2013

    I want to point out that Alexis and Pedro were doing a lot of useful defensive work … let’s keep them and play with the same tactic .

    And we don’t need defenders , tell me what goal would have prevented if we had a different personnel in defense .

    Deadwood like JDS , Muniesa are always welcome . lets welcome new additions to them .

    #B***s***

  74. TITO
    May 1, 2013

    As during the first game, again, it was a game of Men against Kids.
    Stronger, faster, smarter, technically better, hungrier, more determined, fitter…They wanted it, we didn’t.
    Many argue who’s fault it is, and i wont. I was just disappointed that this time the scapegoat was Cesc, at least from the cules in the stadium. They started whistling every time he touched the ball from somewhere in the middle of the second half.
    Maybe they believe that our demise started the minute we bought him. Who knows.
    But he was the least of our problems. And i hate it, i really do when nobody criticizes Iniesta or Xavi or Pedro or some other darlings from our beloved academy. Especially when they do deserve to be benched.
    We were depleted this game, ok. They won the first leg 4-0, ok. Tito had cancer, ok. But absolutely nothing should prevent us from trying to win a game. We lacked intelligence, we lacked determination, we lacked technique, we lacked the right players tonight and the first leg, we lacked some coaching during both games, hell, we lacked a lot of things…but seeing RM players running and trying everything they had to overcome or at least win the game, and comparing that to “this” game tonight was embarrassing.
    Did we deserved it? Yes we did, and not just 7, but maybe 10 goals scored. That’s how good they were.
    Men against kids. That’s how i saw it.

    • ooga aga
      May 1, 2013

      really? i was at the game and didnt notice anyone whistling cesc.

        • ooga aga
          May 1, 2013

          were you at the match? the only player i heard get whistled was alexis, but that was probably just some people sitting sort of near me.

          • TITO
            May 1, 2013

            I wasn’t but i had my speakers as loud as they can be, so i know what i heard.

  75. bedhead
    May 1, 2013

    Disappointed in the postings because they sound like they are written by hysterical 16 year old girls who just got dumped by their boyfriends. Obviously you can’t win them all and you will encounter other teams who are better than you. Bayern was absolutely that team. 100%. We have a small squad, same as we had under Pep. If everyone is healthy, we are tough to beat. If we aren’t like today, we’re probably going to have our butts handed to us by a superior team. This was not our A team. We are tired, slow, hurt, hobbling around and many of our stars are just getting too old. Who was Tito going to put in? We have no one left. We can debate Cesc, Alexis, Tello, but these are not game changers. We tried. At this moment in time this was our best. It happens people. Bayern is phenomenal at the moment. They are healthy, physically superior, aggressive, fast, creative, They deserved it and thats it. Enjoy the beautiful game our Liga victory and its back to the drawing board.

  76. TITO
    May 1, 2013

    And i forgot,God, how slow we are.
    We might have the slowest midfield in the universe. This is when they need to chase a player.

    • bedhead
      May 1, 2013

      But that’s how we play. Slow buildup from the back. We circulate the ball and make our opponent chase the game. When we are playing our game, we press like a pack of wolves. We were missing Busi who makes the incisive, smart forward pass. Xavi is great, but his age is showing. Iniesta needs Messi or Alexsis to receive his passes. Personally, Villa and Pedro are hurting us up front. Villa needs to move to a less competitive team where he can shine. He has lost what it takes to carry a major team. Pedro has looked like a chicken running around the field. By the end of April, this Barca is out if gas.

  77. TITO
    May 1, 2013

    I’m talking about when we attack, but when the other team attack and when we need to chase a player who has the ball. We can’t reach him.

    • bedhead
      May 1, 2013

      We’ve never been fast, tall or physically overpowering. We’ve compensated by being technically superior. We’ve kept the ball at our feet so our shorter defense doesn’t have to try to stop as many aerial balls, We thread balls though the eye of a needle because our players don’t have foot speed. We tiki-taka the ball so that we don’t have to take on physically superior opponents. If our technical game is compromised by injuries, age, and/or exhaustion and we come across a team who can capitalize on our weakness, like Bayern did today, we are doomed. That’s our system. That’s how it works. We were man-handled by a physically superior team and we could not hold our own through skill alone.

      • replayed
        May 1, 2013

        That’s our system. That’s how it works.

        But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

        What happens when other teams adopt the philosophies behind “the system” — e.g. total football, midfield emphasis, threatening wingbacks, ball retention through skills and passing, coordinated pressing, combinations and geometric through balls in the final third, etc. — but also add new dimensions to their game that Barcelona have not been cultivating recently, dimensions such as athleticism (height, strength, speed), a disciplined, well-organized defense, fast transitions and counter-attacking efficiency, an aerial game, the double pivot?

        What happens? Bayern happens.

        At least, they can’t copy Messi.

        • bedhead
          May 1, 2013

          Bayern is fantastic, don’t get me wrong – but no one as yet successfully adopted our “philosophy” to an equal level. Our opponents have successfully implemented tactics to try to prevent us from “doing our thing”. ie parking buses, high back line, quick counter, and we can typically work through those obstacles if our A team is intact and able to be technically superior. Today we didn’t have our technically proficient team available and as you say we met up with height, strength, speed, organization and we were not enough.

          • replayed
            May 1, 2013

            But you’re kind of avoiding my point.

            The upper echelons of the CL don’t contain most opponents.

            Barcelona have shown that they’re still superior enough to blow away most teams no matter what tactics those opponents have devised. Hence the comfortable position at the top of the league.

            What Barcelona haven’t shown in a little while is that they are still superior enough to blow away the highest level opposition, opponents that have been embracing some of the things that Barca do while also incorporating many things that Barca don’t (or can’t) do.

  78. Huckleberry
    May 1, 2013

    Sell Messi! As Pep sold Ronaldinho. Not because he is bad, but because his deadly influence on the team, who can’t score a single goal against a good opponent without him.
    Passing the ball till Messi or the opponent scores, is the actual concept.

    • KEVINO17
      May 1, 2013

      It’s an interesting proposition you put. Does Messi’s presence basically just hide a multitude of problems in the team that would otherwise be sorted out. In particular, Barca carrying “legacy” players. Interesting.
      This really was a game to unleash Tello. Indeed, it was surprisingly open. I wonder if Tito really thought we had no chance with Messi out and decided to make the old guard happy?

  79. TITO
    May 1, 2013

    *I’m not*

    God, so tired and pissed of and on, so a forgive about the typos.

    • ooga aga
      May 1, 2013

      stop posting then.

      me, im very proud of everything this team has done.

      • TITO
        May 1, 2013

        Why should i stop posting? Do i make you uncomfortable with my comments or?
        You are proud of what? The game tonight? This season? The past 5 seasons?

  80. BA
    May 1, 2013

    frankly i’m shocked at how nonplussed so many people are at our team suffering one of the worst aggregate losses in Champions League history. how do we get away with not demanding more than that of this club, if we hold the club in such high regards?

    you can’t have it both ways. you either get to be a contender for “best team in the world, possibly all-time”, full of highly-paid world champions and a proud winning tradition, OR have low expectations and simply shrug when the team goes out listlessly in the biggest competition by 7 goals to nil.

  81. Whalz_pi
    May 1, 2013

    I av been following this blog 4 long, but this is my 1st time of making a comment. We struggled at d beginning of d season b’cos of tito’s poor selection thru rotation, benchin iniesta/xavi for cesc, thr was no control in d midfield, so, tht he made the right substitution to turn tie shldn’t hav come up in the first place. B’cos we whouldn’t have strugled at d beginin of the season. That said! The pep era used different dimmension & approach to different games. Take a look at his various formations 4-3-3, 3-4-3 and 3-4-2-1. While tito only make use of 4-3-3. Pep introduced young talents like tello, cuenca, bartra, montaya etc from d B team and what have tito added? noting! Tello has pace, positioning and precision. Thiago whould av been preferable to cesc and villa to pedro. The formation should av been 4-3-1-2. Thiago as an attacking midfielder while tello and villa wide players. Tito is a poor coach. Damn! why did pep walk away on us.

  82. Huckleberry
    May 1, 2013

    Real at least showed up and had good chances for a comeback. Barça were simply slaughtered like a third division team.

    And sorry Tito, injuries are part of the game. There was a competitive squad out there worth several 100 Million Euros and with certainly not less income than the Bayern players.

    There are simply no excuses. Go to work!

  83. xdxm
    May 1, 2013

    It is incredulous to me that there are people who believe this was a result of Tito’s poor tactics and decision-making. Rather than a systematic/personel problem that Tito has inherited. This is the same exact thing we experienced last year with Pep and yet people act like it’s a whole new misery.

    I hate it to go over it again and again. But in what way does the purchase of Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas benefit this team? They are fine individual players but not need-based signings. Hopefully this will be corrected. But to blame Tito for front office blunders is absurd. Give this man the tools he needs to succeed. And he will. Just like Pep.

    • KEVINO17
      May 1, 2013

      Song is actually the best holding midfielder in the world (much better than Busquets). But I agree with you on Cesc. That was not a smart move, by either party. I’ve been pretty anti-Neymar, but boy, do we need another option up front (plus a big CF)

      • xdxm
        May 1, 2013

        Song is a fantastic holding mid. I completely agree. But why pay 20 mil for someone to play junk minutes behind Busi. If that money was used for a proper CB we would have 4 reliable top-class center defenders. Pique, Puyol, Masch, and whoever else. With Masch filling in for Busi when needed. Makes much more sense to me. And that’s not even counting Abidal and Bartra. Lack of defensive depth resolved. Just like that.

        • chop
          May 1, 2013

          The team is obsessed with midfielders. Don’t forget that we also have Cesc who COULD and maybe SHOULD be playing DM. He’s certainly a lot more suited to the DM role than the striker role.

          That means Busquets already had Masch and Cesc as backups while our CB position was extremely weak.

          But please, I realized 1.5-2 years ago that Puyol and Abidal were both done in top flight football. People need to stop living in the past.

          • KEVINO17
            May 1, 2013

            Agree – Cesc is really a natural at DM, particularly with his range of passing.

      • jordi™
        May 1, 2013

        “Song is actually the best holding midfielder in the world (much better than Busquets)” .

        Wow. I don’t even know what to say really.

  84. Whalz_pi
    May 1, 2013

    Fact digest.

    Do you knw pep was already benching alves? Why? Seriously alves can’t even beat his man, has a very poor first touch and his passes are jst outrightly terrible. Prove? Try and watch both first and second leg.

    Do you knw Pep was already benching cesc, why? Alway too slow and caught up unaware and disposesed easily, lacks movement and dos’nt knw his role in the team.

    Do yot know pep was already benching pedro? Why? He runs aimlessly, can not beat his man and lacks postioning and do not make runs into the box.
    Do you know pep was already benching pique? Why? He lacks concentration and leadership with the exception of todays game.

    Do you knw that pep switches formations during games. Like 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 to 3-4-2-1. I mean pep would have done a better job this season even with this squad.
    See the humiliation.
    Pep is d brain behind our success for past four seasons. Talk about intense pressing 3plyrs to 1plyr. Environmental aweness i.e alway cheak who is around you before receiving the ball. Constant change of positions and try not lose the ball and once you loose it, get it back as as possible. All this has disapeared 4rm our game. And alba is far better than alves. Alves only thrives when no one occupies his flank. All he dose is bust forward but can’t beat one man. We need a new coach. Period. Sell alves, sell cesc, sell villa. Sanchez only knws how to turn around, he needs to work on his drimbbling skill.
    Visca barca

  85. Barka
    May 1, 2013

    It’s just a defeat. 4-0, 3-0, it’s not as if we have never suffered these kinds of beating before. Remember when we gave Real Madrid the pasillo at Bernabeu then got beaten by 1-4? That was a pathetic game by us, today’s was not. They tried their best in the first half, it was only after Robben scored that they kind of gave up. And it’s very natural, you had to score 6 to go to the final.

    Even under Pep we have always had problems against tall, strong and tatically disciplined teams. That was when we have tall and strong guys like Toure, Henry and Abidal. We don’t have them now and Messi is the only guy who knows how to score. If you want to blame anyone after today, blame Rosell for not buying any defender last summer.

    At the end of this season, we will have la Liga while our rival Madrid will have Copa del rey at most. So yeah, I think Tito has done a good job this season, better than the genius Mourinho at least.

  86. K_legit in Oz
    May 1, 2013

    Distressing and disgraceful. My two cents.

  87. Manish
    May 1, 2013

    At the start of the season..though we were winning we were winning by outscoring opponents.. This hid the fact that our defense was poor.. really poor.. remember the Deportivo match…I am sure everybody does..

    And when we have one striker scoring all the goals.. it is basic probability that at some point we are going to struggle.. and combined with the customary fatigue at the end of the season.. defeat caught us..and caught us in a really bad fashion..

    Todays match reminded of the movie Gladiator.. the last fight..where the just fights like a sissy.. that’s what we were on the pitch..it was so bad.

    But I am sure, all this happened for good..it highlighted our deficiencies.. hope we will have sensible transfers for the next season..

    Have faith.. this club has always bounced back..always..

  88. Enzo
    May 1, 2013

    “Does Messi play for Barcelona or does Barcelona play for Messi? I have asked this questions over the last year. Over the last few seasons, Messi’s goal ratio has continued to rise. I think it’s partly because Messi got better, but also because Barca as a team got worse. Again, by last season, it was apparent that the team depends far too much on Messi. But even worse, Messi’s success is now in spite of Barcelona’s lack of it.

    Messi now does not need Barca to win competitions to sweep all the individual awards because the Barca team has been set up, almost programmed, to play to Messi, to ensure Messi’s success, to the extent that when he’s not on the pitch, the others are almost clueless, even though they are all thoroughbred internationals.

    Last season, Messi was the top scorer in La Liga and the UCL, two competitions that Barca did not win (and ended up with the Ballon dor). Indeed, the only trophy we won (Copa del Rey) was the one where scoring was better distributed among Barca’s forwards.”

  89. Enzo
    May 1, 2013

    I’m quoting there its some good issues. When a player is so dominant that the success of the team is tied in with him and whose form covers the deficiencies in the rest of the team. Its so bad that when people found out Messi wasn’t playing they gave up hope. The true definition of a one man team. Predictable and thus exposed. False 9 is dead formation now like 4 4 2.

  90. May 1, 2013

    Holy crap, some insane comments on here today. Didn’t expect this on BFB.

    • Momo
      May 1, 2013

      We were owned. People aren’t used to seeing barca at the end of something like that. I fully expected this reaction.

  91. pr17
    May 1, 2013

    Cmon people.
    I actually feel with a bit of tweaking we can still be contendors again. We may not be the supreme team in europe (notwithstanding inter’s and chelsea’s CL triumphs)that everyone looks to beat but we could be like AC MIlan circa 2002-2007 which was a competitor every year.

    I dont think we should splurge on Neymar. Maybe Sergio aguero would be a better fit.

    Couple of players need to get the boot – With sadness i say Villa, Alves (Messi wold be most dejected) and maybe Alexis.

    Abidal maybe doesnt deserve a contract extension considering his shape and fitness. I am not a adriano fan too considering number of injuries he has.

    Xavi needs to reduce his playing time. He needs to assume sebastian kehl kind of role (good holdup player). Time to thrust cesc and thiago into spotlight.

    Some baffling decisions by tito but i stand by his decisions yesterday. We were jaded and were right to wave the flag.

  92. Chiu
    May 1, 2013

    – Congratulation Bayern and BVB for making it all german final!

    – So sad to see my team looked powerless and have to get eliminated with 7-0 aggregate. I dont know what’s wrong with our team. Time for level headed evaluation, some changes on tactics, personel (I mean some players, not Tito) and fitness issue probably. And we will surely come back stronger next season.

    – Last week Iniesta said there’s no bad season if we win the liga. That’s true. The expectation for this team was crazily high and even winning la liga is not enough now and felt like we’re relegated to segunda (after i read some comments above). It hurts; we felt the same pain; but the pain will slowly washed away once we seal the liga. Support your team through success and failure. That’s what the real fans all about. Especially in this particular space (BFB), I believe all people here are true cules, we are all die-hard cules. Keep united in supporting our team

    Keep the faith Cules! Visca Barca forever!

  93. BA
    May 1, 2013

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/feedarticle/10773492

    “”Barcelona’s Champions League humbling by Bayern Munich on Wednesday will not prompt wholesale changes to the squad and the 7-0 aggregate reverse would have been avoided had the team not been decimated by injury, coach Tito Vilanova said.”

    “I don’t think we need to change any players,” a subdued Vilanova told a news conference.””

    this is very disconcerting to hear. it makes me think Tito doesn’t quite grasp the scope of the problems the squad is facing. there were *7* World Cup winners on the pitch today, 2 often-starting Brazilian wing-backs, and a $23m signing. the idea that that team couldn’t possibly compete with the likes even of Bayern Munich is laughable. that they didn’t compete with them SHOULD NOT BE down simply to the likes of missing a few players through injury.

    even if you say “well, we were missing the best player in the world”; who’s fault is it that the team we played could do nothing more than meekly capitulate without him?

    • selfie barça
      May 2, 2013

      @BA
      That comment kind of worried me as well, but then I thought that the priority right now is the league.

      If we want the players focused on that, we want the coach to dismiss any talk of changes while we still have five games to go, right?

      Review’s up, guys!

  94. Barcaman
    May 2, 2013

    First time poster – but an avid follower of the blog. I was a general football fan with no affiliations or love for one club until I was captivated by Pep’s Barca in 08/09 season and since then, I’ve been in love with this club. I am no statistician nor that good at analyzing tactics and other aspects of the game but it is obvious that we’ve been on a downward trajectory for the last couple of years due to a dynamic interplay of many factors – cancer issues, adaptation of other teams on how to play us, negative effects of messidependecia, slow counter-reaction by our team to the barca antidote etc. But today, we lacked a cutting edge and incision. We’ve got huge amounts of talent – if the players really wanted it that bad then we could have seen a couple of goals, a comeback may be a stretch but a goal or two shouldn’t be too much to ask. Don’t tell me a determined Iniesta cannot create some magic that could give David Villa, Cesc or whoever a decent chance on goal. However good Javi Martinez is at marking him, Ini could daze him if he really wanted. But the collective didn’t have it in them, and for whatever reason, the team (and also the individual players) never tried hard enough.Back to the drawing board. Yes, we need change, but I don’t think firing Tito or selling players and getting rid Rosell (could we donate him to Madrid? jk)is the automatic answer.It’s not that simple. And this result hurts, but blaming this individual or that helps anything. What makes BFB unique is usually the intelligence of the conversations, usually backed up by logical reasons. But for some reason, we’re just casting stones at the management/players. Give credit where it is due, then really explain why you believe getting rid of Tito (and getting who?) is the best option for us – keep in mind all the factors that come into play (the continuity issue, keeping up with the Barca tradition, adjustment issues – being a wonderful manager for some other team doesn’t necessarily imply the same case with Barca – ask Mourinho, Villas Boaz, Benitez etc). I think Tito deserves another season to make his case – then we can judge him properly. And the way we were toothless without Messi, Neymar would be welcome, and of course we ought to shore up our defence + Gk. But come on folks, this is an embarrassing result but we’re acting too spoiled based on our reactions. At the beginning of the season, our mods were super-pessimistic, so were most of the readers, winning La Liga should be a consolation. Although we whimpered out of Europe (really painful), we can rise up and learn from this. Let us just not make clarion calls for extreme changes, so to speak. Some chill pill fellas! Kxevin, Euler, Blitzen, Levon, NZM et al …what are your thoughts on the game/semis and our weaknesses/proposed changes to this team?

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