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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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. faizal
    May 1, 2013

    There is only one word to describe “embrassing”

  5. BA
    May 1, 2013

    and a third. disgusted.

    • 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.

    • georgjorge
      May 1, 2013

      Absolutely agree with Jim here.

    • 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.

    • ooga aga
      May 1, 2013

      jim >> BA

    • 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.

    • Xavi6
      May 1, 2013

      Agree

    • faizal
      May 1, 2013

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

  6. BA
    May 1, 2013

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

    we have one of the highest wage bills in Europe.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

    • Rivaldo
      May 1, 2013

      Ugh.. this is not for this comment.

    • 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

    • faizal
      May 1, 2013

      100% agreed,

    • 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.

  11. BA
    May 1, 2013

    the biggest European semifinal loss in 53 years.

    shocking and pathetic.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. May 1, 2013

    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.

    • May 1, 2013

      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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    • garry
      May 1, 2013

      ^THIS.

      Visca Barca.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. barca96
    May 1, 2013

    Mom4 where art thou?

    • 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.

  23. 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.

    • Jim
      May 1, 2013

      *win

    • 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

    • ooga aga
      May 1, 2013

      go run some laps around the block

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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 .

    • ooga aga
      May 1, 2013

      jims right, game was over.

    • 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.

  34. 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***

  35. 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.

    • TITO
      May 1, 2013

      I did, dozens of times.

    • 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.

    • TITO
      May 1, 2013

      Download the game and watch it.

    • ooga aga
      May 2, 2013

      i call BS. you dont know.

  36. 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.

    • ooga aga
      May 1, 2013

      thank you, 100% spot on.

  37. 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.

  38. TITO
    May 1, 2013

    *may*

    • 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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?

    • Nav
      May 1, 2013

      This makes no sense. At all.

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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!

  45. 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.

  46. 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

  47. 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.

  48. K_legit in Oz
    May 1, 2013

    Distressing and disgraceful. My two cents.

  49. 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..

  50. 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.”

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