Get Your Ta Tas Out, Vol. 3: Compare & Contrast


The Managers:

 peppers  martino  papa  jojo
Current club

Bayern München

FC Barcelona


Chelsea FC

Once and future king of 

FC Barcelona

Newell’s Old Boys


FC Porto

FC Barcelona connection 

Player (90-01),

Coach (08-12)





Assistant coach


Coaching style

Tiki to the

power of taka

Tiki taka +

counter attacka

Barça Basic,

w/dash of EPL

Magic bus

Career highlight


Semis ’08-09

World Cup

Quarters  ’10

World Cup

Final ’10


Semis ’09-10

Signature look

Narrow suiting

Pistachio polo

Cashmere lip sweater

Permanent scowl

Sings in the shower 

“More than

a Feeling”


Normal Guy”

“I’ve Got the

World on a String”

“I’m Special”

Who’s yer Daddy?

Johan Cruyff

Marcelo Bielsa

I’m your Daddy


Lil’ Buddy

Franck Ribéry

Neymar Jr

Jesús Navas

Wesley Sneijder

Big Gun

Arjen Robben

Lionel Messi

Diego Costa

Frank Lampard

Debt of thanks owed to 

Lionel Messi

Jorge Messi

Andrés Iniesta

Cristiano Ronaldo



Public tiff with 

Sandro Rosell

Culer purists

Luis Aragonés

Iker Casillas

Tito connection









#firstintheworld problem 

Bayern v Barça

Pedro v Alexis

World Cup v Euro

Chelsea v Inter



Doncha wish you were … like me


of the Year


South American

Coach of the Year


1st Marquis

of Del Bosque


Rockstar del año

“Rolling Stone (español)”


Categorized as Barcelona

By SoccerMom

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


  1. Cute! You sure do have a way with words, SoMa. Speaking of public tiffs, the long knives are out for Tata after the loss to Ajax. Here is a piece from El Pais that definitely doesn’t pull any punches (Spanish):

    “The team moves further away every day from the practice field and its ideology. The deterioration is progressive. It is losing things along the way that it will not recover.”

    “Barcelona has lost its identity. It has renounced aspects of the game that determined its uniqueness, most of which are inspired by the culture of Ajax, such as positional play, symbolized in the rondo.”

    1. The long knives have been out since the beginning of the season. People have just been waiting for a reason to throw them.

    2. But this is El Pais, a proper newspaper, not the local Barcelona media. They are not known for having an agenda like Sport or MD. It does make a difference.

    3. Being “a proper newspaper” in Spain doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an agenda 😉

      El Pais is based in Madrid and belongs to the same group that owns “Diario AS”, home of The Roncero, and Cadena SER(Superior). AS is actually a sister paper of El Pais.

      You will need more than one hand to count the articles about Barcelona being taught a lesson, Barcelona being sucky and lost – the result of the single match against Ajax. They will be milking it for all its worth for as long as possible. Expect to see future articles about Barcelona delivering only against small teams and the match against Ajax being chief witness.

    4. P.S. Personally, that article shows the unmistakable signs of an author on a fiber-rich diet, who’s also suffering from a severe constipation.

    5. The author of the article is Ramon Besa, who is Catalan. His ideas and statements resemble those that Marti Perarnau expressed in his review of the game in Amsterdam. These are the 2 articles that made me a bit sad and worried yesterday.

      Also, everyone is putting an enormous pressure on Martino and the team in regard to the Bilbao game. Athletic have not lost a game at home this season. I don’t even want to imagine what will happen if we fail to secure the 3 points…

  2. Visca SoMa!

    This whole thing was genius and put a very big smile on my face after a snow-filled commute. Gracies!

    Vincent of the Forest’s Barca connection: Poacher. 😆

    Gold, I say. Gold. Especially the VdB and Mou columns.

  3. Whats this reported tiff between Ramos and EE? And what’s with the way EE treats their captains? I can’t imagine such a thing happening with Barca. First, Raul, then Casillas and now Ramos.

    The question is Would I buy him? Well.. I have always hated the guy similar to the hate that is reserved for EE and people like Mourinho. I wanted him shot especially after his behavior in the 5-0 Clasico.

    BUT leaving emotions aside, given our CB woes, and looking from a pure sporting perspective, he might be the right guy to replace Puyol and his fiery mentality. Although, I would ONLY buy him or consider buying him if he says he wants to play for Barca and is available for <25M. But again, this is NEVER going to happen. So why am I talking about it?

    1. Apparently the figures quoted are actually closer to €50m.
      He’s one of the best defenders in the world though. He is a very tough player and good with the ball. Look, if he wasn’t a Real Madrid player everyone would be jumping at the chance.
      For me, if it was possible I’d say sign him. I’d fancy a back four of Ramos / Bartra / Pique / Alba for both Barca and Spain. It would be awesome.

      If it was football manager what would you do?

    2. My thoughts too, we will have an excellent defender, who can be both a cb and a wing back. All the more, three out of four of barca defenders will be a threat, during set peices and corners.

      Dont think this will happen though.

    3. Nothing pisses me off more than people treating real human beings like characters in a video game. There are many reasons that Ramos would not be a good fit for Barça—his enormous penchant for getting sent off, for example (17 red cards in his time at RM). The fact that he doesn’t get along with Pique (yes, they play well together with the NT, but that’s different from sharing a dressing room every day. A happy dressing room is absolutely vital to this team.). His terrible record over the last few seasons at marking his man on free kicks & corners (not like we need any improvement in that area, right?). His horrible fashion choices, which if worn in the vicinity of Alex Song and Dani Alves will surely combine and collapse into a black hole of sartorial despair.

      Just say NO to The Ramos

    4. Pique and Ramos have both come out and said that it isn’t the case.
      Ramos definitely scores more goals on set pieces than he is responsible for conceding.
      In terms of his red cards, he has been sent off 9 times compared to Pique’s 7 in the past 6 seasons. It’s not as bad as you’d think.

      I asked what you’d do if it was a video game in order for people to think in footballing terms. In terms of ability there are very few better defenders than Ramos.
      I’m not saying that he’ll be should be signed but just responding to Ultracule’s post

    5. Not that I would take Ramos but if he would really come (fantasy talk), I really don’t mind Piqué getting benched in favor of Ramos. Ramos is simply a better CB than Piqué.

      Ramos has an attitude problem. Not really a person you would want in the locker room. And I find it so disgusting the way he and a few others at Madrid does this, foul and then pretending to be innocent but on top of that accuse the victim of play acting. That’s horrible. Such a cheat!

  4. Ramos=hell no.

    — The long knives were always going to be out for Martino at the first sign of anything approaching a negative result. Duh. That they weren’t unsheathed for 21 matches is probably noteworthy, for sane people.

    And here’s a bit of blasphemy: If you put Sant Guardiola in the same situation with the same team, I would find it difficult to wonder if results would be much different. It’s refreshing that sensible analysts, rather than once again sharpening their pickaxes on Song’s neck, are saying “Man, the way Montoya, Xavi and Iniesta defended, dude actually did better than expected.”

    A result is never the consequence of one thing, but a series of things, short and long-term. Short term, the team was pancake flat and disinterested, and lost a match. Yup.

    But long-term, moves should have been made, changes should have been made that weren’t. The result is that Martino has a team that in more than a few cases, he probably doesn’t want. With that team, he has to try to fashion results suitable to satisfy people looking at the past with rose-colored glasses and finding the present wanting.

    Barça doesn’t have any “essence,” or pure thing that can be lost. Barça, like any team, plays to the players that it has. The impediment is the players that comprise the essence of the past, frankly. If Xavi and Iniesta could press worth a damn, if Fabregas’ feet and brain were as quick as his mouth in pressers, the midfield wouldn’t have been overrun, and the team could have actually played in the way those blinkered purists demand.

    Instead they look a patched-together, tinkered result, an old car that needs a tune-up, and blame the man holding the wheel, rather than the keys. Because that’s easy. It’s also misguided.

    The Treble team pressed like demons because it had a full pitch-committed Messi, atop Henry and Eto’o. Xavi and Iniesta were picking off balls from scrambling players, rather than being the point of the press. Huge difference. Teams are also playing Barça very differently, flooding the midfield with runners and attacking physically.

    So Martino is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. With the players of the “essence pure,” he has to try to cobble together something resembling a press. To adapt the squad in a way that sets it up to deal with the way it is being attacked in the here and now, a way that caught Guardiola out as well, adaptation has to come, venerated icons will have to leave/sit and new faces will have to arrive.

    To do that, you need a board who will do what it should have already done, which is empower a coach to build a team that he knows he needs to perform the task at hand. That didn’t happen, and probably won’t happen.

    And that is unfortunate.

    It’s why I don’t place a bit of weight in any blather from any sporting press outlet. Because like willow trees in a breeze, they will be calling Martino a genius if the club pulls out a positive result or wins some significant silver.

    1. That’s a very good point about the pressing. Xavi himself has said many times his biggest regret as a player is how slow he always has been. Iniesta is not much faster.

      It was always amazing how well we pressed given that you generally need fast players to press well, but we did with the slowest midfield of any big club for the last probably two decades. But that was because the front three pressed like crazy, and because of a truly amazing level of coordination between players in closing down passing lanes and players. Once the level of each of these things dropped, the press was gone.

      Also, regarding buying players, I really don’t know what they’re thinking, but the simple reality is that every season we do not make the needed purchases only adds to the cost we will have to eventually pay. Because we will be in a situation in which we will be desperate to buy (which will inflate prices), will have to by a lot of players at once, and will have a lot of players with little resale value ourselves.

  5. Who do you guys think is the mole at Bayern? Poor Pep…

    I really don’t understand why a player would want to leak vital information to the press. Wouldn’t that hurt his team’s chances of winning. It’s as if that x player doesn’t give a damn.

    But what really puzzles me is, what’s the benefit? Money? I doubt that the journalist can afford to bribe a multi millionaire footballer. What is it?

    1. That’s the Bayern coach. He should have known what he was getting into when he left Barça. Every club has leaks. On transfers, strategy, why X or Y player isn’t getting more minutes. It’s part of the game.

      It’s hard for me to be too bummed about the coach of a rival big club, when our own coach is getting the same stuff, and few say “poor Martino.” Rumors about this player or that player, essence being lost, alleged pressure from the board to give a Masia player more minutes … it’s all ridiculous, but has been and will be forever thus.

  6. Maybe I’m prejudiced, maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I don’t think the team is in that bad shape.
    Going in Amsterdam, these are the players that were missing from the team:
    Dos Santos,
    Cuenca and
    who count towards the first team’s 25 players. If you’re still with us, that’s eleven players, including six undisputed starters, players who are among the very best in the world. Not even Arsenal has to face opponents with so many injuries to their starters. Consider this as well:

    Neymar had just come back from an overseas international “friendly” matches against Honduras and Chile;
    Xavi had just recovered from an injury;
    Iniesta, Pedro and Fabregas had come from the African “friendlies”, traveling thousands of kilometers in the process.
    Montoya, a right back, had to play on the left, whereas Puyol, an aging CB who most recently played on the left when he had to play out of position, played as right back. As a result the overlapping runs of Alba/Adriano and/or Dani Alves weren’t available. Neither were their habitual presence in midfield, nor the combining with the wingers. Consequently the midfield was overrun and the forwards cut off, while the defense had to endure an opponent that was playing its heart out.

    One last thing of note: The average age of the Barcelona starting eleven was 28 years and 4.5 months, and that was because of the youngsters Montoya and Neymar.

    It was almost inevitable that under such conditions a loss would’ve happened. However, while it would’ve been awesome if a point had been secured, that point could be secured against Celtic, at Camp Nou. And of course, that point is needed only if Milan manage to beat Ajax – if they draw or lose, Barcelona will still end first.
    Yes, each victory is worth more than a million euro, but in the tight race that is La Liga in this moment an away match at the new San Mames is arguably more important.

    And Busquets will be present for that one. So will Adriano, Alves, Bartra and Alexis.

    So could you kindly put down the knife?

    1. Sorry, but that’s Engrish. And the Spanish it must’ve been translated from makes it sound as the rant of the average beered-up football fan.

      Everything good is a result of Guardiola and the previous “generation”. Everything bad, from Thiago to Sanabria to children being required to get a ticket(free of charge, mind you) is somehow Rosell’s fault.

      That’s the problem with the majority of the critics of the current board: they heap together the sane and the insane accusations, with a shrill screaming voice that leaves them an object of ridicule.

    2. Agree with blitzen. It’s pretty clear. The original was a complex thing for me, because while I disagree with his notions about our style of play and their roots, I find much agreement in his management indictments as a litany of grievances.

      But it is definitely an opinion piece, one that we an disagree with or not. For me, the overall link was complex, so I reduced it to a “Yay!” and “Nay!” approach.

    3. It’s understandable all right, but the truth is that it has too many literally translated phrases that would confuse someone whose first language isn’t English, unless that person is Spanish/Catalan, in which case it would be much easier. Even so, eloquence is important if you want to be taken seriously. Personally, this rant would be fitting in the studio of “Punto Pelota”.

      Specific points: The fact that the author puts the current board and the Barcelona critics in the same “bag”, with the etiquette “they”. Who are they? The faceless monsters who’ve come to take away the possession, the catalan identity of the club?

      Is a certain Argentinian gentleman who dared disturb the triangles and the beautiful short passing of the beloved little men part of “them”? Counter-attacking against ten-men Granada! And Scoring!! AT CAMP NOU!!! Blasphemy!!!

      You need to hear the exultation of the commentators when in three passes Barcelona pass two thirds of the field and have multiple players rushing in the opponent’s box. You have to hear them when a pinpoint long diagonal pass unerringly finds a winger. And then they’d comment on the icketscr of Camp Nou, the audience that watches silently displays of brilliance, which would have the EPL supporters give a standing ovation.

      I dislike the notion that the deal with Neymar must be displayed publicly and that some kind of public scrutiny needs to take place. For me something else is much more important: the club got a marketing goldmine and a splendid young footballer. Two for the price of 2/3 if current transfer prices are taken into account. And yet it’s the November of the Culerpurists’ discontent.

      Children in the stadium: There’s a law that says “One person, one ticket, one seat”. It may not be dangerous to break the law, but it’s breaking of the law. Besides, the club has offered free seats for children. The program functions well. But here’s one problem – there are, IIRC 83 000 season ticket holders. If a ticket holder doesn’t go to the stadium why doesn’t he offer it to the family of a neighbouring cule? Because it’s more profitable to resell it to a tourist on the street of back to the club and then complain about no children allowed in the stadium and the damned tourists and sheiks who spoil the atmosphere. Welcome to Kvetching 101, Catalan style.

      One last thing, but very, very important: A lot has been said about the sacred cows in the team. What about the sacred cows in the stands? The sacred cows who enjoy the cheapest season tickets of any of the greatest football clubs? The ones who are for all intents and purposes the 1%, except they’re more like the 0.1% The ones who have the luxury to boo or not applaud and see the team play in front of their eyes. The ones who got to go to Roma, Paris, Wembley, Stamford Bridge and watch the making of legends. They, who don’t have to watch the commercials that pay for the fabulous salaries. They, who don’t have to pay for cable subscriptions to watch the best and most underappreciated team in the world play. On TV, mind you, not live. They, who don’t have to sacrifice their sleep because the match starts at midnight, at oh dark hundred or six a.m. in the morning. They, who get to buy tickets, shirts, souvenirs first, at discount that the rest can only dream about. They, who don’t have to pay prices for a single ticket that are half of the price for a full season ticket. They, who have the choice “to go watch the match” or “not to go”(and resell it for profit). They, who don’t go to vote, but they scream bloody murder about dictatorship and oppression.

      What about them? Are they taking us for idiots?

    4. Whatever about the preceding points, Peter, the final point about ‘sacred cows in the stands’ is ludicrous. How can you compare the owners of one of the biggest clubs in the world with season ticket-holders inside their stadium?!
      You call the season-card holders ‘the 1%’? I presume this is some kind of beleaguered analogy to the 99%/1% popularized by the Occupy movement. This is even more ludicrous.’Are they taking us for idiots?’ Maybe you. I think most people would agree that FC Barcelona should set a standard for season-ticket holders in terms of price, at least among the big clubs. And why shouldn’t local, loyal and life-long supporters get good seats at good prices? By your way of thinking — to make profit — the best seats should be turned into corporate boxes where the most powerful corporations can entertain their clients, right? I can picture you there already in your own private box with Sandro Rosell. The 0.01%

    5. Socrates, I’m not trying to be confrontational, so I’ll ask you to read again what I’ve written, because your conclusions are incorrect. If you believe, after reading again, that I have the desire or the capability to occupy an exec box next to my buddy Sandro Rosell, then we can talk.

    6. Point taken, Peter. I enjoy your posts in general, even if I disagree with your perspective. The profit motive refers to a couple of your previous posts. You and Sandro Rosell snug in a corporate box was just a facetious aside, like your attack on season ticket holders. All good.

    7. My point is that the tickets for the season-ticket holders are very, very low, whereas for the general public they are times higher. For example: a normal complete(all possible matches)* season ticket costs from about 400 Euro(depending on team performance it means up to ). If a ticket holder decides to free up his seat, he gets 50% of the profit if his ticket is sold, and that’s if he decides to use the club system. If he sells it on the street or to an agency he’d get a much higher price and get to keep more of the profit.

      The match against Milan was category A, meaning that if a freed ticket from the lateral side is sold to a member of the general public(through the club), it would advance the bank account of the season ticket holder by up to 70 euros. And that’s why against Milan there were 15 000 empty seats. It’s Barcelona vs Milan, it’s not Barcelona against some 2nd division team. And there were 15 000 empty seats!

      * There are up to 29 matches at Camp Nou, excluding friendlies and Joan Gamper. Season ticket holders also either get free access to games of the other sections(Barcelona B, Basketball, Futsal, Handball, Hockey, etc) or they pay a symbolic price. You do the math.

      For the record, I wish there was a chance to have more executive boxes and/or premium seating installed(as long as the total number of seats isn’t lowered). Maybe then the average price for a normal ticket(not a season ticket) could stop being one of the highest in Europe. And maybe the club would stop being so dependent on the exclusive TV contracts.

  7. Winning is what matters. Not the style of play.

    I admire Barcelona’s play as much as the next guy but winning above all. Pep’s team just found the balance between winning and playing beautiful and by the end of his tenure his team was found out and defeated. Under Martino, I like this direct, cutthroat, going for the goal style. No blind adherence to a style, just winning. I have no problem whatsoever with the reduced possession or the perceived loss of identity.

    You know what matters to me? Top of the league-undefeated, top of the group in the CL needing a point to finish top. And that’s what should matter to you. Winning goddammit! Winning!

    1. Well… for every other team in the world yes but for Barca no.
      As a fan, yes I want Barca to win every match but if Barca sat back and defended with 10 men against Madrid, hit them on the break and won 1-0 with 25% possession would I be happy? Not really.

      In the history books two things will be written down. The results will certainly be recorded but a dynasty like we have had for the past decade will also be there.

      I don’t disagree that winning is the most important thing but it doesn’t excuse a change of style.

      I believe an evolution of our style is necessary, and in my opinion so did Pep.

      The problem if we don’t evolve is that we’ll never have players with the same skillset and quality as we do currently so we’ll be playing the same style with worse skills so we’ll have worse results.

      As we do evolve, I imagine a number of things will change…
      4-3-3 is set in stone but Messi could drop into the midfield, the 4 defenders could be defenders, a second midfielder could be more defensive etc, etc.

    2. The problem if we don’t evolve is that we’ll never have players with the same skillset and quality as we do currently so we’ll be playing the same style with worse skills so we’ll have worse results.

      Spot on. One rumor was that Guardiola left because he didn’t have the heart to do what he would have needed to do to that squad to keep it at the top. Who knows?

      Fact of the matter is that Martino is winning with tape and baling wire with a squad that is quality, but not the right squad for the way opponents are playing it, OR the way he would like to approach the game.

    3. I don’t think Martino has taken away from the style that much.

      If one has started following the club (and football in general) around 2008-2009, such thinking could be understandable. But it’s not as if the club built its identity when Guardiola took over. It started 25 years ago, and for most of that time we have been playing a much more direct style than we are playing even now. And during that period of time, the world has been talking about the identity of the Barca and how it brings us success every time the club was successful. The Dream Team, when Van Gaal was coach, even during the Rijkard years (when we were most dependent on individual brilliance to win). The core philosophy did not change during that time but the details of the way we played did, according to what players we had and what the tactical environment was in general. The Dream Team did not have 75% possession of the ball – it had more possession than the opponent but it was more like 60-40. And that was with Cruyff himself in charge. Keep that in mind.

      It’s just that Guardiola took the core principles and took the style to an extreme as he had the players to carry it out and it was the right thing to do given how other teams played. But that does not mean we should expect to play in exactly the same way from now on forever. That would be the dumbest thing we could do.

      I did not have a chance to watch the Ajax game so I don’t know how bad exactly we played. But we did not win all our games with Guardiola in charge – in fact we probably lost more as a percentage than we have so far with Tata – and there were quite a few in which we did not play very well. And in this one we dominated possession – if I remember correctly, it was 64-36 in our favor. And we still dominate it in most games, to a higher extent than we ever did before Guardiola. The three games in which it was around 50-50 we won 4-0 or 4-1. I don’t see any reason to declare emergency and decry the demise of the Barca way of playing the game.

    1. I watched that whole match and he was the most dangerous player on the pitch. He took on and beat players. He scored one really nice goal after playing one-twos with both Pienaar and Barry then he set up the next two goals although Oviedo’s long range goal isn’t really an assist. He could have had more too.
      Really impressed with his first start in the premiership.

      He looks a safer bet for the first team than Tello for next season if they both continue in the same pattern.

    2. But I think it would be wiser for him to play another season under Martinez… His game is improving a lot and he would be getting more minutes on the pitch than what he would get here (comparing to the situation Tello is in now)…

    1. Well, he was playing in Cristiano’s position (whom the whole team usually plays for) and all three goals were empty-net tap-ins that anyone would have scored. So I would not be quick to jump to such conclusions

      We need to focus on our own game tomorrow and the 3 points we need to get, and if we do that, everything will be fine

  8. Alves left training with his calf injury. He won’t be in the squad for tomorrow. Adriano seems to be okay, though, so probably him on the left and Montoya on the right.

  9. anyone knows what is actually going on with Cuenca? can’t find much article about his omission from the squad

    1. In Tata’s words: “Getting the medical clearance doesn’t immediately mean getting the football all-clear.”

    2. Martino says he needs more training time. Zubi says Cuenca and his agent “know what the club wants”. Pretty sure he will be sold in January. I suspect Rosell doesn’t want to give him a chance with the first team because he was one of Guardiola’s special projects. Rather get rid of him. Not like he would get much playing time anyway.

      I’m sad about it. I really liked Cuenca and thought he had a future with the team, before his first injury. I actually think he brings more to the table than Tello, who hasn’t been impressive lately. Cuenca did rather well with Ajax before he got injured again. It would be great if he could go back there.

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