Live MBM: Getafe – Barça

Goood morafterevenight my dear global followers, and welcome to our live minute by minute report today’s matchup. Since the last MBM covered a game I wouldn’t have cared about had I watched it from the stadium with Shakira on my lap, I am certainly hoping for a bit more participation than the previous MBMs. This time round, so that you won’t have to juggle pages, you can write your comments in the comment section below, from where I will delete them and paste them into the reports. Also,  now that I am imagining the situation more clearly, Shakira on my lap would render any interest in a football match void, especially if she does that thing with her hips, but that’s neither here nor there. Where we are is:

getafe vs barca


Yes, dear culers and culerettes, today we are visiting the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum, place where our title hopes are either buried or kept alive, depending on the result we get there. Whenever we win at the home of Real M*drid affiliates Getafe Club de Fútbol, we win the title. And not to get your knickers in a twist or even your panties in a bunch, whenever we lose, we don’t. What does this mean? That we have a whole lot riding on a game in which we are missing la Pulga, O Ney, Victorian Secret and Professor X. Will be back with the line-up shortly.

Still waiting for the official line-up. Like I said, we are missing some seriously big guns out there today. The good news, however, is that this guy is back:

dani alves
And back in style, beeeyotch!

So if things were up to me? Pinto, Dani Alves, Piqué, Bartra, Alba, Busquets, Iniesta, Fàbregas, Pedro, Alexis, Tello.

Last season we visited Getafe on the 4th Jornada of the season. If memory serves me correctly, Messi started on the bench after traveling to South America for two WC-qualifiers. We won 4-1

And the first comment of the minute-by-minute day award goes to… PrinceYuvi!

“Thanks for the Hardwork you’re putting into this. Hail the great Lev !”

Just what the world needs, someone to feed by all-encompassing arrogance. Thank you for your kindness, dear Sir. Let’s just hope our team respects the hard work and compensates us with a win!

Forty minutes to go. The official line-up has been announced: Pinto – Alves – Piqué – Mascherano – Alba – Sergi Robert0 – Iniesta – Pedro – Cesc – Alexis. I would have preferred to see Bartra instead of the Little Boss and even the laziest readers will know my preference for keeping Fàbregas as far away from the false nine position as possible. Then again, they pay Gerardo Martino to run the best football club in the world, whereas they don’t pay me to write for the best football blog in the world. Life sucks like that.

Life also sucks for the best footballer of the world, Leo Messi. Sidelined in Argentina, watching the club he loves struggle, being accused in the media for avoiding taxes, laundering drug money, asking for pay raises every twelve hours and murdering Buenos Aires street children in order to sell their organs (okay, I made the last one up) a video has surged to wish him a speedy recovery. Featuring Maradona, Fábregas, Lavezzi, Falcao, Rijkaard, Martino, Neymar and many more, let’s all join and say “te queremos, Leo”

Wow! La Liga (mediapro) has blocked the 2012 Getafe – Barça highlights from our website but have left it on youtube where people can watch it freely. Unbelievable.

Peter chimes in with some much needed tactical insights:

I hope Busquets knows what’s expected of him. Of course, if he doesn’t get a yellow he should be rested next time vs Elche.

I’m glad I’m right(I think) about the Pedro-Alba combination. Hopefully we’ll see some major stretching of the Getafe right and (hopefully) diminished activity by Pedro Leon on the Getafe right wing.
Even though I’m surprised by Mascherano’s appearance(Bartra for me has better presence in the air, which will be useful for corners and set pieces, both defensively and offensively), Alves’s addition to the starting eleven is a good sign. Tata seems to be going for controlled chaos and stretching the flanks.

Hopefully that will ease the task of Cesc and Sergi Roberto.”

Very good point about Pedro-Alba, the Canarian’s defensive workrate will hopefully be compensated by the Catalan’s forward urges. Your mention of Pedro Leon does make me a little bit nervous about the Alba-Alves combination, though, as those two often leave holes in the back that even the most ignorant opponent coaches can exploit with the quick and cunny long ball forward. One point you make I must almost disagree with is the idea of Bartra having a presence in the air, as he often gets beat in this area of the game (the latest example of which cost us a goal courtesy of Villareal). Then again, you are comparing him to Mascherano, who couldn’t win a header in the pigmy juvenile league if you put lead in the boots of his opponents.

“Why on earth doesn’t Martino start with Bartra? Jeeez. He’s been our best defender this season imo”, yells emiljorgensen.

Just like I understand your feelings, I think Tata is too busy understanding his players’ feelings.

According to Peter:

“To add to the list of terrible things that “este senyor” has done over the years:

Scoring too much;
Making world-class footballers seem average;
Stealing a lollipop from a child(he must have!)
Winning a staring contest with Pep over the usage of carbonated beverages in front of witnesses;
Getting a tattoo which will mean he’s not able to donate blood;
Not being tall enough;
Swearing in Public While Under The Influence;
Kicking a ball at full force at innocent visitors who reminded him of his lack of height, his mother’s past jobs and questioned the parentage of Thiago Messi;
Being a false idol;
Representing an icon for drug users and drug dealers due to his wide-known “hormone treatment”.

Are you talking about Bojan Krkic?

Five minutes to the game. Time for a quick bathroom break, where I will, score, a hattrick.

My loving girflriend, showing a complete and utter unawareness of what it means to be a culé in these modern days and times, just told me to enjoy the match. Doesn’t she know that that depends completely on whether or not we score more goals than them?

minute 0 Barça, kick off in their senyera kits and immediately lose the ball. Getafe on the attack, Pinto intercepts the cross.

minute 1 Barça is under pressure as we lose the ball again and Pinto saves a low and hard long range shot. We play the ball forward, where Pedro (I think) gets De Jong’ed. Alexis steps up to cross in the free kick…

minute 2 … from which the ball somehow finds its way to Pique who shoots straight up against the keeper from three yards!

minute 3 That’s two yellow cards Getafe should have received by now, as they make their attention clear by kicking lumps out of Don Andrés. This game is not lacking in intensity so far.

minute 6 Barcelona smartly play the ball out of defense instead of hoofing the ball upfield.

minute 7 Getafe awaits Barcelona in their own half and lure for the counter.

minute 8 Piqué gives up the first corner of the match. Squeezy buttocks time.

minute 9 ¡GOOOL! In oceans of space Sergio Escudero dribbles his way up the left flank after receiving a smart backheel and cannons the ball past Pinto from up close. This game is going to be a tough one!

minute 12 We play the ball forward a lot, where we lose possession and give space to Getafe to counter. Our attack lacks a clear focal point. Why doesn’t Tata jerk his knee a bit and move Alexis to the center of the attack in a similar role he plays for Chile? In the meantime Piqué is forced to give up another corner.

“We don’t look promising, do we? If we do lose this one, I will not be terribly surprised. If fact, this staying 1-0 may be a good bet, unfortunately…” says Raj, who I hope hasn’t actually put any money on the table, because…

minute 13 ¡GOOOL! Lisandro Lopez goes completely unchallenged and heads in the corner kick. Getafe leads 2-0 after less than 15 minutes.

minute 16 This is terrible stuff from Barcelona, who look as Godawful on the ball as off the ball. Sergi Roberto needlessly gives up possession with a wayward pass.

minute 19 ¿Gooo…Noooo! Of course in games like this we will have legit goals called offside. Excellent pass by S. Roberto and finish by Pedro.

“Please delete any comments of mine that have appeared so far in the live MBM. 🙁 “, laments Peter. No can do, my friend. ÇHaving a hard enough time typing out this MBM report as it is without going back and deleting stuff. Should have read the instructions in the beginning.

minute 21 Barcelona is starting to attack with a bit more authority. We have 70 minutes left to turn this game around.

“Wake up for the Barca game to see us down 2-0. It seems like Barca is equally groggy…”, writes Ryan. Do you smell the coffee?

Ibbe acts as if there isn’t any live MBM report being written and tells us that a “Legitimate goal for Pedro ruled out for offside”

minute 25 Oh dear. Sergi Roberto makes an absolute shambles off of a simple Alves cross played to him in the middle of the opponents’ penalty area. I blame the senyera kit. We have only won one game wearing these colors so far.

minute 27 Again a terrible loss of the ball by young S. Roberto, who is having a bit of a stinker so far, unfortunately.

minute 28 A chance for Alexis comes to nought as he chooses to head Cesc’s excellent cross back across instead of at the goal

minute 29 Getafe breaks out on a dangerous counter. Three on three, Pedro Leon provokes Dani Alves to foul him, who gets carded for his effort.

minute 30 The free kick gets pushed out to a corner, the first of which Pinto punches out of bounds and the second gets worked into safety. Temporary respite for Barça.

“Martino looks uncomfortable.. I wonder if it has anything to do with his decisions..” comments Raj. Can you imagine the press he will have to face if we don’t turn this game around?

minute 34 ¡GOOOOOL! Cesc and Pedro offer a lifeline, as Fab Four slips in a through ball which the Canarian works into the goal. ¡Hay partido!

 “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLAAAAAAAAAAZOOOOOOOOOOO Pedro on fire!”, writes Stefan2k. Yes, thank you for that. Where would we be without you?

minute 37 Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Sergio Roberto had the equalizer on his foot but blasted over from up close.

“Allowing people to comment instead of email is helping you get the juice you asked for Lev, yes?” asks Raj. Yes, but I should have taken some of that juice myself in order to better keep up with y’all! That’s okay, though, keep it flowing.

minute 39 Riveting stuff as Barcelona heaps up the pressure looking for the equalizer. Let’s hope we get it.

minute 40 ¡GOOOOLAZO! Pedro, with acres of space on the left flank, cuts to the right and blasts an unstoppable ball into the top right corner. I haven’t seen him score goals like that since the days he was known as P!

minute 42 ¡GOOL! With my hands still sore from clapping to his last effort, Pedrito scores his first from up close. Barcelona is up 3 to 2 in el Coliseo Alfonso Perez!

This is truly lifesaving stuff from the world’s most famous Canarian. And to think I would have played Tello instead of him!

minute 44 Busquets is left squirming on the pitch after a truly despicable challenge from Getafe’s number 24. Mallenco only gives a yellow card where he should have drawn red. Let’s hope Sergio recovers to play the second half.

“Sergi Roberto has to step up. Good to see barca waking up now”, writes Ibbe. He has not been having a good game, so far, imo.

“Sell Messi and Ney in wholesale, we have Pedrooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllll”, according to Raj. Let’s not give him Zubizaretta’s job just yet.

“WHAT THE …. PEDRO!!!! GOOOOLOOOOOLOOOOOOOL“, cheers stefan2k, and “PEDRO, TE QUIERROOOOO!!!!“, screams Peter from the top of his lungs. He just might hear you, Pete.

“Wow!  I still kept the faith even though we weren’t playing great.  0-2 heading into the 35th mintue. 3-2 in the 43rd! PEDRO! with the exclamation mark definitely back.  All 3 quality finishes!” writes Messiah10. You’re a bigger man than I am, Messiah, my heart is still pounding with disbelief. What a game so far!

“That must’ve been one of the fastest hattricks in the history of the league. 8 mins! Pedro is such a badass!”, says Ibbe. Yes, sir. It is like having a prettier and faster version of Danny Trejo in attack. He just macheted the shit out of Getafe. Let’s hope we can take control of the game in the second half.

“It’s up there with the quickest.  Neymar had a fast one not to long ago.  I think it was 15 minutes”, answers Messiah10. Yes, but that was with a fifteen minute break in between. I wonder what is the fastest hattrick ever scored, though.

“Long time follower/troller/stalker; first comment on BfB !! I was having a nervous breakdown with us down 2-NIL. Phew, I can breathe now !! P.S. I cannot thank you guys enough for your insights and all the hard work that you do. I can only say that the first website I open everyday on my office computer is BfB :)” Thank you for your comment, rk206. Hold your breath for another 45 minutes, because it ain’t over until the bastard in black whistles.

minute 46 Speaking of which, the bastard in black is wearing grey today, and he just whistled for Getafe to kick off the second half.

minute 47 Castro takes the first shot of the second half, which mercifully goes far wide. Getafe is pressuring us so far.

“According to wiki: “Fastest hat-trick in La Liga: David Villa for Valencia FC, completed in 5 minutes (82′, 84′, 87′) against Athletic Bilbao in 2005–06” There’s that then. Thank you, Peter.

minute 49 Aaargh! Barça escapeds the equalizer. A more attentive striker would have tapped that ball in. At the other end Alexis tries from far. Not very effective, but we can’t blame him for trying.

minute 52 Barça playing a bit too vertically for my liking. I wouldn’t mind Xavi to bring us some well needed calm in our game… Oh, what? Never mind. Fully expect Song to come on Sergio Roberto at some point, though.

minute 53 Piqué gets a yellow card for leaning on his opponent to win the header. The resulting free kick leads to nothing. Pinto hoofs the gaol kick upfield.

minute 55 Masche gives up a corner under pressure. I am not liking this half, so far. Very similar to the first one

minute 57 Barça string more than ten passes together for what feels like the first time this game. It leads to Fabregas getting muscled off the ball, but Getafe no longer knows what to do with it and lose possession immediately.

“Alba’s been beat on his side a few times today. I’m not a fan of he & Dani playing together. This game calls for Adriano. I hope he’s an early sub by Tata”, writes Messiah10. To be fair, Dani Alves side has looked more vulnerable today. Still, I don’t like to see them together, either.

minute 59 Barça escape!!! The Piqué-led defense fell asleep there, and offered Getafe an excellent opportunity to draw. The shot blows wide, though.

“I’m still trying to figure out if Pedro is left or right footed. The goals resolved nothing”, comments Bill. It all depends whether you watch the game from the right or the left side of the pitch!

minute 63 In the meantime, a tightly marked Fàbregas heads the ball well over. That was a difficult cross to get to.

minutes 64 The space opens up a bit and Alexis shoots over from just outside the box. I’ll be honest and say a fourth goal would calm my nerves somewhat.

“Has anyone mentioned how bad this pitch is? I think this could be the worst we’ve played on all season! Hell, we played a 3rd division team in the Copa whose pitch was better than this. Getafe should be ashamed of themselves”, bristles  Messiah10. I’ve played on worse…

“Barça lost the intensity. I’m scared”, says Huckleberry. You mean that 8-minute intensity during which Pedro scored his hattrick?

minute 67 ¡GOOOOOL! Just when Getafe gets tired, Lexus chips a cross to Fàbregas who volleys the ball assuredly into the net. One, two, breeeeeathe.

“Wow. Cesc took that SO well! What a ball floated in there though! Beautiful. Love seeing Busi lead the break.”, notes Messiah10. Yes, that was a good goal it was.

minute 68 We almost get a fifth there. A wide-open Pedro lofts the ball over the keeper and the cross bar. Also, I think Fàbregas was slightly offside for his goal. Oh well, that compensates for the earlier S.Roberto/Pedro combo in the first half.

“OMG a kick to the back! Don’t mess with Pedro”, comments stefan2k. Yup, according to my girlfriend they almost killed him there.  It takes a Mallenco to not send any Getafe player off today.

minute 70 Penalty! MOTM Pedro can only be stopped with feet and claws. Cesc lines up…

minute 71 and coolly slots the ball into the net! GOL! Getafe 2 – Barça 5.

minute 76 The game has slowed down considerably, as both teams have lost their intensity. Barça is playing the ball around the park.

minute 78 Cristian Tello is getting ready to come on. Corner Getafe.

minute 79 Pedro comes off to cheers, boos and whistles. He sure looked like a mighty mouse out there today. Tello gets 10 minutes to prove his worth. Gavilán comes on for Laftin for our opponents.

minute 82 Alex Song getting ready there. He could have come on sooner, in my opinion. The Beardy Borja Fernandez sees yellow for kicking Busquets.

minute 84 Another yellow card, as Alexis Ruano takes down Alexis Sanchez from behind. Fàbregas comes off for fellow ex-Gunner Song.

minute 85 Busquets gets a yellow, I think for talking. Could it be to serve a suspension against Elche and have his availability all but assured against Atletico?

minute 88 Busquets off, Bartra on.

minute 89 Just as I am getting ready to wrap up this report, people are leaving the stadium. The match is petering out. What a comeback!

minute 90 Alexis receives the ball deep and aims the ball just left off the post. That would have been a cracking goal. Three minutes of extra time are given. Barça looking comfortable here.

minute 90+3 The bastard in grey blows the whistle. Barça win with a 5-2 that was a lot harder than the final scoreline would have you believe. False hope lived in the hearts and minds of three different sets of madrileños. Until Cesc scored the fourth goal after Pedrito’s hattrick, that is. FC Barcelona will lead the league into 2014, where hopefully we will have Messi and VV back in the squad. Signing off with the last MBM report of 2013, I thank you all for your comments and I hope you enjoyed it.

By Levon

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...


  1. And unless I’m mistaken, Busquets accomplished his second goal for the afternoon by picking a yellow – which will free him up against Atletico. Song will probably start vs Elche.

  2. “False hope lived in the hearts and minds of three different sets of madrileños”

    🙂 Thank you Sir

  3. I was following the comment stream on reddit and strange how the theme changed from Barça bashing to a Barça circlejerk in exactly 9 minutes. Ahh football.
    Visca Barça and all that.

  4. Scared to death after 2-0. Found my vocal chords too late, I guess.
    Thanks again, lev:)
    This Live MBM thingy is a Gem !

    1. And the fact that we did it in this fashion without our best goal scorers makes it that much special. Awesome game!

  5. Thanks Lev for the MBM. I hope you find the time to do more of those in the future.

    Whenever barca loses a game, I end up failing in an exam. In 9 days I have a very important final exam and I gotta say, I was scared for a while there lol. This comeback by the team will surely lift my mood for the rest of the night.

    Visca el Barca!

  6. Thank you for your comments, the last of which came in just over 90 minutes ago. Y’all do realize that when I finished the liveblog I stopped deleting your entries in the comment section, right? lol, it is open to all.

  7. Atletico have announced that due to the coinciding construction works at their training pitch, the team will do their training at Vicente Calderon. Unfortunately the maintenance crew of the pitch will go on a planned strike starting tomorrow. Due to the busy schedule of the president and the socios, the first meeting with the striking employees has been pushed back a couple of times and will take place on Monday, January 13th.

    As Atletico’s Diego Simeone stated while sharpening a 43-piece knife set, “It’s an unfortunate coincidence with regrettable complications for the upcoming matches at Vicente Calderon, but the Directive expects to be able to finish the negotiations by January 14th.”

    1. Is this real or I am missing the intended irony?

      If it’s true, it means we can expected ankle-high grass when we play them…

    2. I knew I should’ve written it “Diego Simeone stated while sharpening a 43-piece knife set in his soundproof chapel/chamber/tool shop”, dammit! 🙁

      But to be completely honest, after the painted-greed-bare-ground at Betis, the “patadal” at Granada and the half-frozen cabbage field of Getafe I’m suspecting a terrible ground. Even though there will be 23 days before the match is played at the boiling/frozen Calderon(the word/surname translates as “cauldron”), and even though every team would use the time to try repair their pitch, the Barcelona scare seems to be too much.

  8. It surprises me somehow the rapidity with which some folks get down on this club. In the social media environment, so many people were already saying this would be a loss, a horrorshow of an event or something.

    I was thinking, “Get one back before halftime, then turn the trick in the second half.” They got three.

    Anyone wondering why Sergi Roberto doesn’t get more playing time? Watch today’s match. He has talent, and might eventually develop into something special. Right now, he is still learning the game. Alves left a very late wakeup call, as well.

    Fabregas is a fantasy football stats geek’s dream. He just puts up great numbers, irrespective of his overall play. Two goals and an assist? Hellz yeah!

    Sanchez is a demon. Any time he loses the ball, he works like crazy until he gets it back. I love to watch it.

    What can we say about Pedro? Give him space, and he will kill you. In many ways, this leaderless Barça was more difficult to defend. Yes, you can wonder what might have been had Getafe not made a hash of that break they had, which promised a 3-0 lead, but that’s life and football.

    Pique needs some competition. He is always the first one to say that we don’t need to sign a CB, but you can surely believe he is saying that because he doesn’t really want the competition. He and Mascherano are in a trough right now.

    1. If you someone is to meaningfully substitute for Xavi and Iniesta, he has to be able to do at least one of these two things at a world-class level (and do the other quite well):

      1) dribble his way out of difficult situations with ease
      2) produce those X-ray-vision defense-splitting through balls that lead to goals

      This is in addition to being able to keep the ball circulating.

      The only one who had those qualities was Thiago (and even he had yet to learn a lot of subtleties necessary for the job)

      Sergi Roberto is a useful player when there is space, he keeps the ball circulating as a true La Masia graduate, but I have never seen him do either of those two things I listed even once. I know it’s a lot to ask from a player, after all even Fabregas can only do #2, and he was a superstar when he bought him. But that’s the bar that’s been set. Pedro scored the goals, but Iniesta today produced some unbelievable moments of ball retention through dribbling that were at the level of what Zidane was doing in the 2006 WC. Majestic stuff.

    2. i agree, iniesta looked good today. i am also happy with dani and jordi’s performances considering they have been out injured.

  9. !que pedrote!

    3 golazos, una asistencia, y tambien provoco el penal que transformo fabregas. que partidazo.

    i love what pedro is giving us this year. and our game suits him more.

  10. The first 15 minutes weren’t due to a systemic issue, But an individual one, Our players lost too many 1vs1 duels, and in an amateurish way one can add, Pique got owned before the 1st goal, Alba got owned and led to the corner, Busquets lost the player he was supposed to be marking, the team lacked the concentration, And were relaxing when they shouldn’t have, And the evidence for this is how our team completely transformed after getafe’s 2nd goal, , It was the slap that woke them up from their slumber.

    And in regard to sergio roberto, We shouldn’t expect anything special from him this season, The first team is an entirely different world for any youngster, He’ll need time to chew up and swallow all of the new information and experience he’s getting during training, Bartra is a good example of this, Last season on his first team debut, He was very average on the pitch, Nothing particularly special about him, In fact me and many others doubted if he was even good enough for barca, And to watch him now on the pitch, It’s hard to believe he’s the same player, Almost unrecognizable, Bartra was hailed and encouraged by puyol, And sergi has been hailed by pep, tito, tata and xavi, And that is not to be taken lightly, So let’s give him time.

    1. Let me clarify, I wasn’t saying “get rid of him”, I was just pointing the quality gap that currently exists between Xavi and Iniesta and everyone else we have to replace them and what is needed to fill it.

    2. The first goal may have been an individual one but I’m struggling to see what on earth it had to do with Pique. He came out to close his man down, can’t go through the back of him, and the ball was passed on to a runner who had nothing to do with Pique. Pique’s man played no further part in the goal. If we’re going to name players let’s at least get the right ones – and that might involve asking Dani what on earth he was doing at the time. Given my history with Masche I’m not even going near asking why he didn’t come across. Alba was in perfect position to come in and cover for him yet he gave the guy a clear run on goal. However, at least you could argue that was a decision to be made. Dani just didn’t do the running.

  11. Midfield is the hardest position to excel in, because it requires the most thinking and prompt decision making. And it’s a slow and gradual process because that can only come through experience.

    Iniesta had an early start, but Xavi wasn’t an acknowledged world class midfielder until well into his mid twenties. The fact that Sergi Roberto is doing as good as he is so far is cause for great encouragement, but it would be pretty unreasonable to expect him to show their level of skill in the next few years.

  12. Was quite busy with some health issues of my father, and got just in time to not miss this match, and I consider me very lucky. For me, this was our best under Tata. We played excellent football from about 25 minutes.
    Loved Pedro’s first goal
    I expected Alexis to turn a star with this match, but it was Pedros….
    Sergi Roberto is definitely a future Barca legend

  13. Does masche’s injury made our defence better ?
    Or absence of Valdes made it suckier.
    I miss VV yelling at defence and setting them straight. Pinto hardly squeaks.
    Valdes, Messi, Xavi out, lack of leadership [I think busi took that job yesterday].
    Still we won, Scary that.
    Guess we scored around 150 goals in the calender year.
    A balanced attack, a bunch of midfield options, a pair each at every defensive position.
    Not a bad time to call it a christmas.
    Happy holidays everyone.
    Now back to transfer rumours.

    1. FWIW, I thought Busi was absolutely immense yesterday, both in front of the defence and going forward. (Except for the second goal, perhaps !)

    2. Took a bouncing ball from Pique . Pretended to turn one way then turned the other and the attacker just ran past him. Then he dropped his shoulder and did the same to another within two yards of the original . Then casually flicked a cross field ball as if nothing had happened.

  14. MD says 17 different lineups in 17 Liga matches. So much for predictability, eh?

    Borussia coach Favre on Ter Stegen and his future with that club: “The hope is that he stays with us, but when a team like Barcelona calls, ​​you can already imagine … We have to be realistic, while maintaining hope.”

    1. Different lineups is nice, but when you have Bartra and Montoya playing 900 minutes to Pique’s 1800, Song at 850 and Sergi Roberto at 350 compared to the main four averaging 1700, and just 350 minutes for Tello compared to 1800 (Neymar), 1400 (Alexis), and 1300 (Pedro), it kinda makes you worried that the unestablished players will get irritated at the lack of playing time and the established ones will get burnt out as the season progresses.

    2. Tello isn’t earning more minutes, so he doesn’t get them. Same for Sergi Roberto. Toward the end of Guardiola and Vilanova, people complained about lineup predictability, and player burnout. Rotation was minimal, and the team was tired.

      Even at the low end, 350 minutes is still three less matches on someone’s legs, in the case of Sergi Roberto.

      Martino is managing his team for the long haul. As for unestablished players, they are that way for a reason, right now. Anyone who wants to get irritated at a lack of playing time, can leave, for me. You earn the time you get, take it and use it to earn more time. It’s as simple as that.

      To me, playing time isn’t a gift, or a divine right. You kick butt in training, and that earns you time.

      For me, 17 different lineups in 17 matches means rotation, and a coach trying to work out notions of certain players in certain situations. I like that. It can only stand us well as the season progresses.

  15. In the following article, , Guardian is slyly sowing seeds of hatred – especially against Bayern.

    Brilliance is just not enough.
    Too much winning is a bad thing.
    I dont understand this logic.

    There’s one thorny road ahead for bayern, where anything they do is just not good enough.
    Dortmund are crumbling.
    Perez is publishing seedy stories, because buying superstars is not working at all.
    Whereas, 340 Millions fans strong Barca is steadily moving ahead.

    1. Let me just also say that I am not in accord with the whole list, but the top 10(except Gareth Bale- I would have chosen Deigo Costa instead) is ok for me.
      Otherways, seeing Koke in 90 and De Maria in 72 and above all our Busquets only at 27 is quite disappointing. There are many such ranks and absentees (like Alves) which I found strange.

  16. Yea, I probably won’t be back on till Boxing Day so best wishes to all here for an enjoyable and peaceful time over Christmas.

  17. Graham Hunter apparently said on Revista La Liga that he didn’t think Martino would be coaching Barça next season, to be replaced by Scolari.

    Speculation, but this is the second “Martino out” rumor that has floated around. The first had him being replaced with Guus Hiddink, which is a non-starter. Rosell wouldn’t invite a Dutchman into the club. Ha!

    1. REVISION: Hunter said on Twitter that what he said was misrepresented. Waiting for clarification. Didn’t make sense to me, so not surprising.

    2. Okay. Essentially, Hunter speculated that he believes Rosell still has Brazil lust, and would like to appoint Scolari. Further, that without big-time silver Martino will be under threat this summer.

      He also said that he rates Martino as a success so far.

    3. There’s no doubt that he rates Martino, I mean everybody who gets football knows that Martino has done a fantastic job so far. However, what he thinks and what he said is that if Tata doesn’t win silverware this season, it’s a good possibility that he’s going and would be replaced with Scolari because Rosell has that connection with Brazilians and think that it would be good if he wins the world cup and then comes to Barca. It’s not a fact and it’s not gonna happen for sure, but it’s probable.

    4. Well, he said “I suspect,” which just means that he speculates, given what he knows and thinks, based on what he might know and his sources, that Rosell seems to crave FC Brazicelona.

      On the other hand, both Rosell and Bartomeu as well as ZubiZa have said that Martino is our man.

      So, as with everything, we wait to see what will in fact happen.

    5. You know rumors, false information feeding and general ridiculousness have reached epic proportions when a journalist goes to twitter to state he was “misinterpreted”.

      Anyway, I won’t be around until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest, so Merry Christmas to y’all 🙂

      P.S. One last joke:

      The Hare Krishnas decided to squash the rumors of their rejection of everything non-Krishna with a massive carol singing at Times Square. So they gathered with their drums and cymbals and started singing:

      Merry Christmas, Merry Christmass,
      Christmas Christmas, Merry Merry.
      Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas,
      Christmas Christmas, Merry Merry.

  18. Ok..
    sorry i couldn’t participate in this mbm lev, watched this game under severe (in a good way) circumstances.
    Watching Pedro be an absolute havoc, I was overjoyed to see him reclaiming back his ! in emphatic fashion and stepping up big time to render the absences of two superstars, a non factor. One wonders whether its the presence of these personas (messi and now..neymar) on the field that actually inhibits / compromises the uniqueness of the pedrexclamation. While the ‘!’ was still visible from his work ethic, the ! that marked his ruthlessly effective shooting got subdued.
    anyways happy to see everyone scoring. Will be interesting to see what happens when Leo returns.

    1. At last, Kx’s thoughts about messi start to make sense.
      Still think others get just a little lazy when messi is around.

      Classico was a pleasant suprise where everybody soaked the pitch with sweat and our non-messi forwards scored one each.
      But cant play with that much intensity in every other match.

      It’s good to have Leo, makes the proceedings easier, Plus the Aesthetic effect.

    2. At last, Kx’s thoughts about messi start to make sense.

      And that is MY Christmas miracle (hee, hee!)

      In all seriousness, though, I think that this team has been brilliant. If you look at the goal scoring tallies, they are very balanced. That Messi is still top scorer, even after having been out for two months, says something about his quality.

      But the scoring charts are, for me, if that balance and consistency can be maintained throughout the season, as pure an argument for this team’s possibility of winning big silver as anything I can see. Because it means that everybody is a danger.

      If you look at Getafe, we adapted the False 9 to the No 9, and still we put up 5 goals. Without Neymar or Messi or Xavi. Yow.

      In my ideal world, Messi comes back and becomes part of the team, rather than coming back and having everyone say “Whew! Business and usual, and resume the task of passing the ball to number 10 and stepping aside. This is particularly true of Neymar and Pedro, who reminds me of the guy with the glasses in “Dodgeball,” the movie. “We need you to get mad,” his team tells him. He does, and kicks the crap out of everybody.

      Pedro meant business on Sunday. The way, after that first goal, he just ran, took the ball out of the net and dropped it, was clear: Let’s GO. We have more goals to get.

      And the team isn’t even peaking, or firing on all cylinders. If everyone can stay healthy and really start to build consistency and rapport, I truly believe this team can win two of three trophies this season.

    3. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We don’t want to tempt the wrath of whatever atop the thing. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s still more than half a race to go, and it will be the harder half.

      True, Copa del Rey is not against Real or Atletico at least until the final, but it won’t be a cake in the park either.

      Second, Now comes the time of the really tough matches in the Champions league. Remember what culers were saying, “sure, we won 7-0 vs Levante, but just wait until the really tough teams come out to play”. There won’t be any Celtic at Camp Nou, it will be City, which as of now is the most-scoring team in Europe and is also apparently the highest-paid team in the world. It seems also that there are no real dark horses in that one. The teams that go through to the quarterfinals will be the toughest, hardest and luckiest teams in Europe. After drawing City I’m not sure that last one applies to Barcelona.

      In La Liga it’s true that Barcelona lead, and have been leading for 54 weeks, thereby setting a new La Liga record, but what’s also true is that the team is leading the table by virtue of goal difference and two more scored goals. I think this hasn’t been seen until before Pep Guardiola – and Barcelona are playing away against that team on the last day of the half-season. What I’m trying to say is that the race could be much longer than last year.

      So, let’s not tempt faith. This is Barcelona, not Bayern with the Bundesliga where they’re seven points clear with a match in hand after seventeen matches.

      So let’s not tempt fate. Let’s leave it to the media and the other clubs. You know, those saying that Barcelona is just a shadow of itself. The ones saying Barcelona is scared and timid.

Comments are closed.