Close to Away (as a matter of Clasico, pt III)

This is not a preview, it’s a meview. If you want to read something that makes sense, I suggest you click here for Kxevin’s thoughts on the game.

camp-nou-3

(TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING!)

Zzzzzzzz

(TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING!)

Zzzzzzzz

(TRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRING!)

Huh!?! What?!? Huhyaaaaaawn…

Yo man, you up?

Wh-wh-wh-huh? What? Who is this?

It’s me man, me, that’s who!

Maaaan what the… (yawn) It’s three in the fu… (yawn) You know what time it is, you f—–g prick?

It’s CLASICO TIME!

(a loud crashing sound ensues, which is either indicative of the end of the world or of a culer falling out of his bed and generally making a mess of what once upon a time looked like a bedroom)

Still there?

What? Where? When? Clásico? Here? Now?

No, not now. Take it easy. Keep that heart attack at arm’s length from your chest. Breathe in, breathe out. The game is tomorrow.

Tomorrow? So why you calling me at three o’clock in the morning?

I can’t sleep.

Why not?

Tomorrow’s the Clasico.

Oh. Right. Why don’t you watch tv or something, get your mind off things? And let me sleep! Jeeez…

I tried that but they talk about the game on every channel.

Oh, right… Uhmmm… Hold on… Why is there a picture of the Camp Nou above this article? The game is at the Burn-the-Eeew.

Man, you’re slow!

Yeah, so? What does that got to do with it?

It’s got everything to do with it.

You’re a jerk. What do you think of the game?

Well, do you want my BFB-contributing, sangria-drinking, happy-go-lucky, rallying-the-troops and stand-behind-my-team opinion or do you want my honest opinion?

What do you really think?

Color me culer but I think we’re gonna lose. M*drid is playing like a monster right now. What do you think?

Man, you’re one pessimistic son of a bee. We’re gonna kick some whitey butt. We’re gonna run rings around Pepe until he bites his own —hole. We’re gonna make D-Lo wish that he’s Iker and Iker wish that he’s Sara sitting at home and breastfeeding the baby. We’re gonna make Ronaldo cry piss from his eyes, only they don’t call it piss they call it CR7. We’re gonna rip Bale’s nuts off and feed them to Tomás Roncero. We’re gonna fill their diapers with blaugrana doo-doo and snap the neck off of any Ancellady that tries to change ‘em.

Dude, forget I even asked. I forgot how weird you are. And Tomás Roncero would probably love to eat Bale’s private parts. Or at least nibble on ’em just a little bit.

Man, he’d gobble ’em up. And who you calling weird? Look at you, man, I mean, man, just look at you!

My point exactly. But I wish I shared your confidence. I’m also worried that Martino might have lost the team.

Lost the team? Martino? Not the Pope of the Pampas, no Sir. Gerardo knows what he’s doing. They don’t call him Tata for nothing.

Huh?

Ta-Taaaa, Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-Taaaaaaaa! Ta-ta-ta-ta-Taaaaaaaaa!

Oh, I get it. Yeah, blazing trumpets. Cute. Some say he’s not Catalan enough for this team.

Sheeeeit, by the time he’s done they will hand him the keys of the city. He’ll be trainer, mayor ‘n president and all at the same time. Every other sentence heard on the streets of Barcelona will be “Who the f— is Pep?” They will change the country’s name to Tatalunya!

Enough with the madness already. You’re making my head spin. Why can’t you be more normal, like me? I thought you’d be more chilled out half-asleep. You’re still a crazy bastard.

I am chilled out, man. What the f—.

Yeah, I guess you are not as bad as usual. Wish you wouldn’t cuss as much, though.

Awwww be honest, you love me the way I am. Show me some love, man, let’s do it!

Hey, kids might read this, man, that’s nasty.

Here we go again (sigh). Always with the kids, huh. No kidding, man, but you’re boring! Anyway where we gonna watch the game, bro?

See, I don’t know. I don’t wanna go to La Rambla cause there’s just way too many tourists out there.

Shit now who’s crazy? The Rambla. Ha! Very funny! You act as if you’re in motherf—–g Barcelona or something.

Eh, du-uh! Where have you been?

Inside your head.

Yeah, and have you ever bothered to look out of my eyeballs?

I see a computer screen. An orange wall. A fan. And three mirrors. What you got three mirrors for? Wanna be three times as ugly?

Look to the left.

Ok.

Out the window.

Uh-huh…

(waaaait for iiit…)

WHOAH!!! Oooh shit! We’re in (breathe), we’re in (breathe), we’re in (breathe), we’re in…WE’RE IN BARCELONA!!!

You mean I. In the eyes of our beholders there is no we, ’cause we are I. One person, not two. You should know that by now. This ain’t the first Clàssic preview signed by yours trulies. I, that’s who!

Yeah, whatevs b—ch. We live and direct from the city that never creeps: Mother…F—–g… Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar – Ceeeeeeeeeeeee – LONAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! BARCELONA! BARCELONA! BARÇA! VISCA EL BARÇA! BARCELONA! OMG. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! WE’RE IN BARCELONA. BARCELONA! BARCELONA! BARCELONA. OH MY MOTHERF—–G GOD! I CAN’T BREATHE. I CAN’T (breathe), I CAN’T (breathe), I CA– I CA– I CA– AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGHHH! BAAARCELONAAAA! BARCE—

Calm down, calm down. Calm down. I know how you feel, boss. Please, just trust me and calm down. Maintain focus. Stay sharp. Concentrate. Waaait for it. And inform our readers in a cool and collected manner that we will now write our articles for the best football blog in the world from the best football city in the world. The Camp Nou better be ready for us, and by the way, I really hope you’re not gonna get me banned. Enjoy el Clàssic, y’all! Visca el Barça i visca Catalunya. Over and out.

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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...

139 Comments

  1. Archie
    March 22, 2014

    “Person known as Levon is not huddled in bullet proof room in Venezuela but has (permanently) ascended to the Culer-Home?!!!!?WTF??!?!?!!!!”

    • March 23, 2014

      Yup. Established myself in BCN with a little help from my friends. Funny how life goes.

    • PrinceYuvi
      March 23, 2014

      Great

    • March 23, 2014

      That’s really good news, Lev!

    • March 23, 2014

      Errr….

      (lol)

    • Peter
      March 23, 2014

      I mean congratulations on moving to Barcelona. 😀

  2. ooga aga
    March 23, 2014

    love-on,

    madness!

    visca

    think we will see sergio ramos as DM again tomorrow? somehow i doubt it. loved it the first time ancelloti tried it, though.

    • March 23, 2014

      Xabi Alonso is fit tomorrow. I’m a bit scared of this M*drid team, actually.

    • ooga aga
      March 23, 2014

      of course, i forgot that was the reason for Ramos in DM…

      dont be scared! we got em.

  3. socrates
    March 23, 2014

    Writing reminiscient of Paco Ignacio Taibo II,(pt III). Subject matter: uncertain. Sentiment: clearly culer. Orale.

    • March 23, 2014

      Orale, guey! I don’t know that writer, but I wikipedia’d him and now I gotta get me one of his books. Any one in particular you would like to recommend?

  4. ooga aga
    March 23, 2014

    so it wasnt a dream? levon is in barcelona! woot! and the wife and chitlin is with you too?

    also, do they say “orale” and “guey” in venezuela? i thought that was a mexican thing…

    • March 23, 2014

      The best dreams are the ones you live, right?

      And yes, “orale” and “guey” are mexicanísimo!

  5. barca96
    March 23, 2014

    We must play with 3 forwards. We need to win this match thus we need to attack them from the get go. This match is about attacking not defending by tiki taka. So I really hope the rumored 4 midfielders in the line up is not true.

    • Jim
      March 23, 2014

      Sorry, Barca, can’t agree with you. First we need to establish our control, then we can rely on Messi getting enough chances to sink one or two. Attacking full out will just mean us getting caught time and time again. Could happen anyway …

    • March 23, 2014

      Not only that, the last couple of times Iniesta played on the left wing he played like a firestarter causing the defense all kinds of problems.

  6. barca96
    March 23, 2014

    You know how in the movies the actors wake up from a nightmare. Well I had one last night and you know what nightmare is about. In case you don’t, I had a horrible nightmare about us getting beat. Losing is not a big deal but I meant really beaten. I guess it’s because of the Arsenal Chelsea match giving me bad vibes lol.

    • mom4
      March 23, 2014

      We are NOT Arsenal! Thank God!

      I’ll be watching at our penya, hiding my eyes every time THEY get OUR ball until hubby tells me it’s safe to look. UGH!!!!!!

      Breathe….must remember to breathe…

  7. Dar_vincy
    March 23, 2014

    Actually, Lev, every game against EE scares the daylight outta me.
    From the guardiola era till now, the one I considered the scariest was their super-copa second leg win by 2-1.
    In the first 15 minutes, the sheer intensity and utter feriocity at which we were attacked was petrifyingly inundating.
    They created like 10 chances to which we could have conceded 6.
    I don’t ever want to witness such again! Ever!

    • Laurentiu88
      March 23, 2014

      😀 i was nervous about the game and i watch some of that game … i thought that no matter how worse it can’t get that bad.

    • Dar_vincy
      March 23, 2014

      True, Laurentiu.
      And to think we could have won the cup playing with 10 men for 80 minutes with that last gasp Messi effort would have been remarkable.

    • Laurentiu88
      March 23, 2014

      yes, i was so surprised we had some huge chances. messi, alba.

      watching some cr celebrations convinced me why i wouldnt like alves and co to do anymore dances. i am convinced ronaldo is a nice guy, but that whole bravada is so empty. i already think footballers earn way too much, but to treat scoring a goal like you just performed a brain surgery strikes me as something a little inappropriate.

      less then 2 hours before the game..what to do? what to do?

    • Dar_vincy
      March 23, 2014

      The surgery brain part really cracked me up, Laurentiu.

      Levon, the same was said in the first leg. And we were supposed to get thrashed 100-0. Our performances against big teams this season leaves me a spacious room for hope.

      Like Jim said, the speed at which they attack- break-neck to be precise- is so much spooky.

      Goodluck to us!!!

    • March 23, 2014

      Yeah those were some horrible 15 minutes. And you’re totally right, every game against EE is scary because the potential loss leaves you with such a god-awful feeling inside your chest!

    • Jim
      March 23, 2014

      For me, it’s not their ability it’s the downright speed of the breaks.

  8. bhed
    March 23, 2014

    Congrats Lev! (for some reason couldn’t reply to first post)

    I hope everything works out well. I had to cancel my April trip this year (Bilbao game got moved). Have some 1 Euro pintxos at La Tasqueta del Blai for me!

    • March 23, 2014

      That’s too bad! But when you do come to town, hit me up.

  9. Valdemar II
    March 23, 2014

    Anyone else hit the drinks yet? I won’t feel any pain this way…

    As long as we don’t play to their strengths ( high back-line vs their kick-and-run wingers) we have a good chance. Hope ‘tata’ is realistic about this one 😉 GO BARCA

    • Laurentiu88
      March 23, 2014

      kinda recovering from last night, but feels its too stressful to live the game all sober!!

      i see goal.com top 3 predictions are 255-0, 10-0, and 3-1.!! 😀

  10. psalmuel
    March 23, 2014

    Am nervous!

  11. Jim
    March 23, 2014

    Ok. Tata has chosen the right team. Now, has he given them the warning about starting slow and what’s gonna come at them? Has he sorted out a way of Pique not getting drawn wide by the long diagonal ball and then it’s an easy cross towards our midgets ?

    Dani and Alba need to stay at home for the first twenty. If we’re still all square then the glass of wine will gingerly be poured…

  12. ibbe
    March 23, 2014

    It’s official, Neymar and four mids. Now the question is will fab play as false nine or Iniesta as left winger?

  13. olbucky
    March 23, 2014

    Absolutely the wrong lineup. Should have gone with Pedro and Alexis. If Neymar doesn’t deliver and breaks up the pace like he has in games prior Tata will have a lot to answer for.

  14. georgjorge
    March 23, 2014

    Not too much surprise for M*drid in terms of team selection I guess, but given the results against ManCity (another very dangerous team on the offense) that’s not exactly required. Can’t wait!

  15. ciaran
    March 23, 2014

    Strangely both teams lined up exactly like expected so it will be interesting to see if there are any tactical surprises. Our line up at least gives us the option of Iniesta on the wing or Cesc at false 9

  16. Ryan
    March 23, 2014

    Iniestaaaa!!! 0-1!

  17. Messiah10
    March 23, 2014

    Neymar better pick his game up in this half. If not I call for Alexis at half. To many give away’s already.

  18. Messiah10
    March 23, 2014

    Jesus Christ. Neymar what are u doing. Shoot

  19. Messiah10
    March 23, 2014

    That’s what having a 5’8 Central Defender gets you. Benzema skied over him. Alexis would be covering that side Di Maria put the ball in on as well.

  20. Ryan
    March 23, 2014

    Dang, VV had a hand on that header but still couldn’t keep it in. Vamos chicos!!

  21. barca96
    March 23, 2014

    Mascherano is killing us.

  22. Ryan
    March 23, 2014

    We might want to put a stop to that Di Maria to Benzema action…

  23. BA
    March 23, 2014

    Mascherano, once again, a liability. he’s not a defender, and we’re kidding ourselves that he can consistently, competently play that position.

  24. BA
    March 23, 2014

    we’re getting absolutely annihilated down the right. Dani Alves can’t handle both di Maria and Ronaldo, and Neymar is providing him with zero help.

  25. Jim
    March 23, 2014

    We seem to have Pique and not much else in defence.

  26. ML6
    March 23, 2014

    Any good streams? Found ray hudson but its choppy 🙁

    • Laurentiu88
      March 23, 2014

      front row sports

  27. Laurentiu88
    March 23, 2014

    atletico is also in madrid, maybe we can buy a defender at the break…

    • Messiah10
      March 23, 2014

      Nice

  28. Messiah10
    March 23, 2014

    That’s the last straw for Neymar. Time to put Alexis in. I put it on Tata for playing an out of form Neymar instead of an in form Alexis. MESSSSSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIII

  29. barca96
    March 23, 2014

    I wish Neymar would try to play simple. It doesn’t always have to be tricks.

    Messi always reliable.

    • Jim
      March 23, 2014

      He’s not had a good half but he did help make that goal out of not very much.

  30. Messiah10
    March 23, 2014

    Pepe with more shenanigans. Ridiculous. Embarrassment to Madristas

    • BA
      March 23, 2014

      Pepe, is the world’s biggest c*nt.

      a horrible, horrible person.

  31. BA
    March 23, 2014

    there’s Leo. we need him more and more.

  32. Messiah10
    March 23, 2014

    Jesus. Dani & Masch are killing us. Alexis in for Ney to help Dani and Bartra in for Masch

    • BA
      March 23, 2014

      Dani is actually doing alright, he’s just been isolated (getting no help from MF/Neymar); and he’s never going to overpower Benzema in the air. we should have a center-back with the size and aerial ability right there to match him, but Pique and Mascherano stupidly haven’t switched sides even after it was obvious Madrid were looking for Benzema in the air at every opportunity.

    • Jim
      March 23, 2014

      They’re only looking for Benzema because Pique has been covering Ronaldo. He can’t be front and back post !

  33. G6O
    March 23, 2014

    Every cross is half a goal. You severely reduce your chances of winning if this is the case.

    • Jim
      March 23, 2014

      This is not new but it may help us decide finally that you need some height in your CBs. Pique is stuck with Ronaldo who has barely had a touch but as he sees the deficiencies elsewhere, especially height wise, he’s getting drawn away from that job and out of position.

    • G6O
      March 23, 2014

      We can talk about lack of height in the team overall and how this kills us on corner kicks. But it used to be that we had three physically robust defenders plus Alves and when that was the case, the corners were still a problem but at least open play crosses were dealt with better. Now we have only Pique and every time the balls gets in the air, it’s basically half a penalty for the other team. It’s just inexcusable. The Guardian liveblog summed it up well: “What’s clear is that the players in this era had several more trophies in them, but for the total lack of interest in the defence.”

  34. March 23, 2014

    We need to get Fabregas off the pitch right now. He is simply gone missing. Bring Pedro or Sanchez in his place and move Neymar to left. That will give a better balance, especially defending.

    • georgjorge
      March 23, 2014

      However, he also provided that great throughball that put Messi clear on goal which he converts ninety percent of the time. If he can do that once more…

    • BA
      March 23, 2014

      people talk about how much Neymar (and Thiago?) gives the ball away, but Cesc Fabregas has given the ball away twice as much as the Brazilian this game, and in a much less attacking position. this absurd 4-4-2 formation is supposed to be about “control”, well… do we LOOK in control?

      Alexis and Pedro are both in great form. i feel for that that they have to sit on the bench so Tata can play a hackneyed formation with a slow, defensively pointless player at the center of midfield; meanwhile the genius Iniesta is banished to the wing. Alexis has form on the left, Iniesta has form through the middle; they’ve both been dislodged to make room for Cesc Fabregas, who’s offering us precious little. it’s madness.

    • Jim
      March 23, 2014

      Actually I think we’re playing pretty well especially our passing game but we can’t keep giving goals away. I also agree that Ini needs to be beside Xavi.

    • TITO
      March 23, 2014

      Not that Cesc looked god knows how good, but i think we had bigger problems than Cesc giving the ball away.

  35. Valdemar II
    March 23, 2014

    Yeah I’m tispy but what is this? Mudrid had two half-chances and scored two goals +we should have had a penalty? Joke opponents and 3-0 wtf.

  36. georgjorge
    March 23, 2014

    I enjoyed that first half. Mascherano not doing his best today, and pity about that wasted Messi and Neymar one-on-ones at 1-0 up…but I could watch Xavi-Busquets nonchalantly passing the ball out of danger all day long.

    I STILL have no idea who is favored in this match after the first half. Chances on both sides, possession versus fast breaks…everything is possible.

  37. barca96
    March 23, 2014

    24 passes for Iniesta’s goal. Amazing.

  38. Jim
    March 23, 2014

    For me, Cesc off now for Pedro and Ini back into mid. Give Neymar another 15 then Alexis if no improvement. To be honest, if it didn’t send the wrong signal to RM I’d have Masche off as well for Bartra but it’s prob not fair to bring him on at the moment .

  39. lala10
    March 23, 2014

    Neymar needs to be taught a few things. He gives the ball up so cheaply. I undertsand a intercepted pass.

    Notheless one on one he has done pretty well. As for defensive help to Dani its nt coming. Neymar is ther to pin Marcelo back and also drag Di Maria back. Unfortunately we havent really pressurised them for this to happen.

  40. TITO
    March 23, 2014

    Few thoughts:

    Alexis for NEY who became ney this half, and a note to our fullbacks or whoever is defending out there to stand to the opponent player and not let him make a cross. I mean, how difficult is to understand that?
    Every single cross is a half chance for them, they are out jumping us (nothing new) but at least we can prevent the crossing.

  41. BA
    March 23, 2014

    all the gripes and tactical quibbles said: for the neutral, this is a *fantastic* game of association football.

    • Messiah10
      March 23, 2014

      I don’t think anyone on here is a neutral. And we all see the game from a great advantage point. That said, I’ll 2nd guess all day! 🙂

  42. barca96
    March 23, 2014

    Exactly. Piqué looks like he’s been assigned to zonal mark but I think he should be the one man marking.

    • Jim
      March 23, 2014

      He’s not zonal marking. He’s marking Ronaldo but is having to try to guess when a cross ball is coming in to see if he can get there as we’ve no height. . It’s bound to lead to Ronaldo getting a chance eventually.

  43. Jim
    March 23, 2014

    Fair dos to Masvhe. He did hold the line there and Benz was off.

  44. Jim
    March 23, 2014

    Brilliant Jordi Alba !

  45. Ryan
    March 23, 2014

    So I guess now as long as you jump into the penalty box after getting fouled that’s enough to earn a penalty…

    • Messiah10
      March 23, 2014

      To be fair we weren’t complaining weren’t complaining when DeMichaelis was carded and Messi received a penalty. I actually like the continuation foul rule. It was a penalty.

    • barca96
      March 23, 2014

      Not a penalty at all. Foul was committed outside.
      Imagine if it happens all the time, player getting fouled outside but falls inside the box. If you were the ref, would you give a penalty every single time?

  46. barca96
    March 23, 2014

    Karma is a bitch on that penalty call.

    A few weeks back we had the same call in our favour and I was one of the few who thought it was the wrong call but many Barça fans here and elsewhere tried to justify the call. So we can’t really complain now.

  47. Valdemar II
    March 23, 2014

    Honestly how delusional am I should this be 5-0 already? 2 pens vs 0, they get free kicks for NOTHING plus their goals were jokes.

  48. Messiah10
    March 23, 2014

    Thank God for Messi! The assist to Ghostface. The never die attitude for the equalizer. The brilliant pass to Neymar for the penalty and red card and the lethal finish for the penalty.

  49. Ryan
    March 23, 2014

    So close from Dani!

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