Barcelona 2 – Getafe 2: Game, set and ma…

Tito

Before kick-off the Camp Nou paid a final homage to a man who, in all honesty, has simply been more culer than thou during his forty-five years on earth, Tito Vilanova. First we were shown a remembrance video in which several players bade him farewell, which was in my very personal opinion both moving and awkward. Then both teams observed a minute of silence, one that unfortunately was not respected by all attendees. Still, I think it’s safe to say that cancer has taken its (un)fair share of victims around the world, regardless of sex, skin color or supported football club, and no family has been completely spared. I can’t speak for all who were at the stadium, but I found it quite emotional and it gave me goose bumps. I even failed to notice they had kicked off already. In a classy move, Tito’s name was put on the match shirts and I for one would not mind if we did the same next season.

Spot the writer!
Spot the writer

So, are we finished then?

About the match, let’s keep it short. Barça weren’t bad without being particularly good, which on most days means that the team were a lot better than their opponent without creating all that many scoring opportunities. The problem is that we gave up three as well, from which they scored two. Heck, if you watched the game you’d be forgiven for thinking that Getafe passed the halfway line less than a handful of times and came back with two goals, which is kind of like the chorus of this year’s song. We control the match for eighty-five minutes and draw or lose it in five. Now the season is all but over and we can only hope that Atletico prevent M*drid from winning the treble, whether they do so in la Liga, in Lisbon or in both.

Taking the blame
Taking the blame

The blame game

As has become all too familiar, certain people named Martino, Dani Alves and Song get scapegoated for the loss. Dani Alves shouldn’t have given up that foul, they say. Dani Alves should have covered his flank, they write. Yes, but he gave up the foul doing the very same thing we all say our team is missing, aggressively pressing his opponents.

Martino shouldn’t have moved Busi to the defense and taken off Xavi for Song. What an idiot, is being yelled in unison. Funny how nobody lauded him for taking off Mascherano to insert Cesc, a substitution that arguably led to our taking the lead. And are the same people who blast our coach for taking off Xavi the ones who say that Xavi doesn’t have the legs to defend?

When you look at the goals, you have to feel for Tata. For Getafe’s first, Mascherano made up for a mistake with a foul that led to a free kick at which his team got caught napping at a trick play. For the second Adriano and Pinto were left to defend by themselves. I don’t think any coach makes those decisions for their players. I am not saying Martino should stay, but it’s a damn shame nevertheless, because for those first six months of the season it sure looked like we had a Barça coach.

This season nobody is to blame, along with everybody. If you really want to point your finger, I’ll give you a hint. Something flows downhill and it’s brown and smelly. If the board supported anybody else but the board, like our players and our coach for example, things might turn out different next year. As it stands, however, we can fear the worst. Our problem, apart from socis that don’t want to do anything about it, is institutional.

It's over
It’s over

Death of tiki taka

Let me get another thing straight. I am sick and tired of the term “tiki taka”. I never liked it to begin with – it sounds like a cheap Bangkok bar from which the rich and sleazy take under aged hookers with fake smiles and sad stories back to their hotel rooms. If this is the death of tiki taka, it can’t come too soon. What is it anyway, other than the evolution of a football system that uses fast and technical players that like to pass the ball a lot. Tiki taka by and of itself was never “revolutionary” to begin with. It was made so by legendary players and a very good coach. And just how it evolved from something that was already in place, the team needs to keep evolving to move forward.

There are calls for more strength and athleticism, which I agree with, especially in defense. For some reason fans want Reus, forgetting that we already have Pedro, Alexis and Neymar, don’t know what to do with Deulofeu and will hopefully find a way to develop Adama Traore into a first team player in the next couple of years. There is also a lot of noise about the need for an Arturo Vidal type player. Never mind the fact that we are stacked with some of the best midfielders in Europe, and we have Rafinha, Suarez and Samper waiting in the pipeline. As for that bite we lack, we got Mascherano being misused because we never bought adequate cover for Puyol and Abidal. If I were in charge I’d move Masche up a line, Messi back a line, and get a mobile striker who can both head the ball and make runs for through passes. But hey, I’m just another guy with an opinion.

Then there are those want the club to sell half the team and buy half the world. They draw comparisons with Pep booting out Ronaldinho and Deco. Let’s stop right there. Ronaldinho and Deco spent more time on the dance floor than on the training grounds. Today is not yesterday. Our guys, these extraordinary players, have always shown respect and dedication to our colors, up to and including this season in which we have finally stopped winning anything at all. The least we can do, as fans, is to give them the respect they deserve. Make no mistake, Barça has got to change and adapt. The team needs fresh blood and some players might have to go. However, the nucleus for another best team of the world is right there, in front of our eyes, losing the league in five minutes per game.

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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...

370 Comments

  1. Obii
    May 7, 2014

    What was that saying around these parts? “Hayyyyy Liga!!”?

    I love this game.

  2. simple_barcafan
    May 7, 2014

    Bemused at the euphoria somewhat…All was gloom and doom and then in a instant it changes, a silver lining..Pages and pages were written about how to plan for next season/new coach/new players/ new board…And for a fleeting meteoric gleam, all that stops and we gaze at the heavens, hoping for a miracle…

    Could it be?

    Time to rise and shine…

  3. ooga aga
    May 7, 2014

    well, i know life is more than football…but Tito is smiling on us right now, thank you!

  4. Tom
    May 7, 2014

    Aaahahsgfhd! Amazing. Gotta say, best part about this is not worrying about a draw handing rm the title at the camp nou, that is unless there’s more craziness still in store.

  5. justdoit94
    May 7, 2014

    I am ecstatic but i just hope that the players can actually muster some desire and not set up their fans for another major disappointment on saturday that would be quadruple of what would have been had madrid won today.
    Now, we’re all in !!

  6. Valdemar II
    May 7, 2014

    We’re still in this thing? Ahahaha amazing

  7. ibbe
    May 7, 2014

    Unbelievable. Come on barca we’re this close!! This question is relevant now: what’s the status of piques injury? Can he make the atletico game?

    #VamosBarca

  8. May 7, 2014

    The players have always had desire. Sometimes the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak, or the other team just wants it that little bit more.

    I suspect that the new lease on life will kick-start things, and I can only hope that we will see some demons for these last two matches. And the Camp Nou should be PACKED for that last match, even if they don’t beat Elche.

    Not sure what the status of Pique and Neymar are, but both of them should get their asses in gear to be ready for that finale. We will need them both. I can only imagine how energized the team must be. And Messi has his deal, so that won’t be weighing on his mind.

  9. ciaran
    May 7, 2014

    If we win our two games we are champions.
    If Atletico lose v Malaga then we can be champions with a draw/win v Atletico
    If Atletico win v Malaga then Real can’t be champions.
    If Atletico draw & we win v Elche then Real can’t be champions.

    For our chances then I would want Atletico to lose v Malaga although that would allow Real back into contention if we draw with Atletico. If Atletico get a positive result v Malaga then we have to beat them although it would be fitting if that was the only time in the season where we did beat them.
    I’m torn…

    • May 7, 2014

      I just want us to win out. The other permutations concern me not an iota.

    • Peter
      May 7, 2014

      The best result theoretically would be Atletico losing and Real drawing, while Barcelona win. In that case a draw would give Barcelona the title on goal difference.

      Very, very unlikely, but theoretically possible.

      Of course, away at Elche is a tough game. Real won on an imagined penalty. Atletico iirc won 1-0 or something.

  10. justdoit94
    May 7, 2014

    lets just not get ahead of ourselves right now.. Sunday is a big ass challenge especially since it’s away.. It wont be easy and seeing as how we struggled a lot in away games ! The players should not find it hard to find motivation in those last crucial win or die games of the season

    • simple_barcafan
      May 7, 2014

      Read somewhere that Elche have not lost their last nine home games. And if Sunday is tough, then after that we face AM, a team we haven’t been able to win all season…

      • PrinceYuvi
        May 7, 2014

        Messi missed the penalty in super cup.

  11. May 7, 2014

    Sorry but this season is just bonkers. People are saying that Atleti deserve to win it, based on some sentimental stuff. Sorry, but we have the sentiment cards trumped. We also have the best overall record against the other top two teams, and if we win out, we will have the most points. And that will be that.

    Some are saying that a Liga championship will wallpaper over the crap the board has mismanaged. Nonsense. That stuff is out there. What the Liga win would do is bring a bit of joy at the end of an extremely difficult season.

    Not saying it’s going to be easy, but believe in your club.

    • Peter
      May 7, 2014

      On the way home heard the radio’s football show mention once that Real are winning and I felt resigned. They weren’t really talking about football, going relaxed and all. Came home about ten minuted before the end of the game, turned on the stream and while it was loading I put on my Barcelona shirt – and almost missed the equalizer.

      Bloody hell. Football.

      • Gekko64
        May 7, 2014

        you shouldn’t watch a football match just to root for a team to lose imo. it’s not classy 😛

      • Nav
        May 7, 2014

        Leave the class to the gunners.

      • Peter
        May 7, 2014

        I rooted for the team to draw. 😛

      • Jim
        May 8, 2014

        Nope. I’m trying but just can’t get to grips with that viewpoint. I was up off the couch and only just resisted the lap of honour round the living room.

      • Gekko64
        May 8, 2014

        while I would most certainly do that in the last several years, I just can’t bring myself to hate them this year, they’re playing well and have some players I really like. too bad Pepe exists, but eh what you gotta do.

    • simple_barcafan
      May 7, 2014

      People saying we don’t deserve it are well..wrong. We beat RM twice and drew with AM. So we haven’t lost against those two. So we are undeserving?

      • Nav
        May 7, 2014

        Who says we aren’t deserving?

      • May 7, 2014

        I think people are simply saying Atletico may deserve it better. Especially looking at the squad and all.

    • Peter
      May 7, 2014

      Kxevin, I agree with the wallpaper assessment. With Puyol definitely going it would mean just two real CBs and Mascherano. At least one more would be needed, as well as the return of Rafinha – at the very least. The board knows it can’t delay unless it wants to face a Bastille day of its own.

      As for “deserving” La Liga…

      If there is one team which has suffered this season, it’s been Barcelona. It’s passed through hell and high water, through a sea of tears and the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

    • scribblez
      May 7, 2014

      Yes exactly.

      Also: Best goal difference in the liga and being in the top of the table for most of the season.

      If we win it it will be because we beat the other two top sides and we absofuckinlutely deserve it.

    • May 7, 2014

      Those issues can be easily shoved under the carpet if we win the league. I mean if we win the league and don’t sign the necessary reinforcements then many would be still arguing that we are still good enough. Return back to the start of the season, where many justified not signing defensive reinforcement even when we let go off Abidal and Muniesa. There were enough excuses at the time – like we were priced out, the ones we needed would never come etc. You could hear the same. Everyone here simply forget that we mostly need to sign for two seasons. That will require extreme foresight (one the management is really incapable of doing). And there is a small problem of World Cup. Look at any world cup year, the transfer prices gets hiked up like anything. So we could still hear those excuses if we win the league. And most probably if that happens many of you will be defending that saying we were simply priced out. Success gives them that option and we foolish fans will buy it. We have bought it earlier and will buy that argument again. That’s the way the world works.

      In the beginning of the season I have said that there is no justification for not signing defenders regardless of being priced out. It was simply because we let go off two guys – Abidal and Muniesa. So had to sign at that time. Now we have to sign cover for those two, then two defenders, and may be a full back if Alves leaves. Every club will wait till world cup gets over before agreeing to any deal. That’s too many players. They couldn’t buy one player last summer, do we have to expect them to buy this many? Again the strategy looks like announcing through papers about players we want. Other clubs most probably won’t have to scout, just watch who gets linked to Barca and get them.

      Do I want Barca to win the league now? Yes, especially now with the chances of we handing the league to Real Madrid with a victory is kind of taken out of equation. That will happen only if Atletico wins this week. But this Liga season has been quite crazy. I have a feeling that La Liga is a three-timing bitch and may be there could be yet another twist.

  12. KEVINO17
    May 7, 2014

    Be wonderful to see Tata win the league and give everyone a one-fingered salute on the way out.

    • simple_barcafan
      May 7, 2014

      That would be epic lol..

      But Tata is too much of a gentleman to do that. Even though he has had so much shit thrown on him.

  13. PrinceYuvi
    May 7, 2014

    Eterntito.
    Hay liga.

  14. Cule
    May 7, 2014

    Any chance Puyol plays against Atletico?

  15. Inamess
    May 7, 2014

    Tata has two games that will decide his legacy.

    Win or lose, I hope he goes out with his lime green polo shirt on!

  16. bhed
    May 7, 2014

    Not much to add as far as the Liga craziness. Mind blown. Frankly, I’m afraid to hope. I have no idea what kind of juju is needed at this point.

    On a different note, just saw that Brazil has picked Maxwell (much respect) for the WC team, but not Adriano. Not sure how you can justify that (no slight to the very classy Maxwell). Has anyone seen Maxwell play much this year? Has he been that good?

    • Gekko64
      May 7, 2014

      maybe it’s because Maxwell is a starter while Adri is not? I do rate the latter higher, but didn’t watch Maxwell this year.

      • KEVINO17
        May 7, 2014

        Maybe they think they’ve got enough attacking fullbacks and Maxwell is there in case they want to close up a game (or close down a big threat).

      • Gekko64
        May 8, 2014

        but he’s also an attacking fullback… maybe it’s because he can also play as a central midfielder if needed?

    • Inamess
      May 7, 2014

      I like Adriano a lot, but I know some of the folks on this site are not big on this player. Not sure why? Has anyone who has been following the comments know what his biggest critics say about him other than the fact that he has been very injury prone?

      • May 8, 2014

        To me it’s even more amazing he didn’t pick Felipe Luis over Maxwell, never mind Adriano.

        Either way our man of glass gets to relax his muscles this summer.

      • ooga aga
        May 8, 2014

        Good point. Felipe Luis has been massive this year. Great player.

      • Jim
        May 8, 2014

        Or just maybe Maxwell was(is) a lot better than he was ever given credit for at Barca. I’ve only watched PSG’s CL games but he is still technically excellent, a brilliant defender and as I posted a few months back even provided a couple of assists. Mind you, let’s not go there again.

  17. KEVINO17
    May 7, 2014

    Is it clear whether Tata walked or was pushed? I assume pushed.

    • Inamess
      May 7, 2014

      I have not been following the rumors on this, but my sense is that he wanted out by Valladolid vs Barcelona (1-0), which I think was middle of March.

  18. Inamess
    May 7, 2014

    On the “deserving” question, my position is this (assuming all three clubs win next week):

    Athleti “deserve” to win La Liga unless we beat them at Camp Nou:

    1) They are the “Cinderella Story” and should have to be “knocked out” by one of the giants.

    2) We have not beat them all year so to deserve the League we should certainly should have to beat them at least one time,
    especially if we are playing our last game at home, and they still have the Champions League Final in the back of their mind.

    3) Lastly, I would feel bad to see them win nothing if they lose to Real. Their season has just been too amazing and improbable.

    • May 8, 2014

      Personally I want Atleti to win their next game so that at least RM can’t win the league anymore.

      After that I will obviously be ecstatic if Barça manage to keep the crown, but it would leave a bittersweet taste in my mouth because yes, Atleti, in my mind at least, deserve it this year.

      What they have done on a budget four times less than ours is nothing short of amazing. The intensity of their play, how hard these guys have fought, the sheer improbability of that team winning the league, the bad luck, bad management and curses their fans have had to deal with over the years…

      You know what, I still want them to win the league. But if I can get a ticket for the game you bet I’ll be cheering on our team like a mad man!

  19. ooga aga
    May 8, 2014

    All I know is I’m glad we have Song, if we win the league it will be hard to toss Tata in the air (a la Pep) without some muscle.

  20. Inamess
    May 8, 2014

    Cules’ Dilemma: Another Sophie’s Choice
    You somehow have been given a choice by an omnipotent Mephistopheles figure:

    You Must Choose between Two Scenarios:

    1) Barcelona beat Atletico and win the League. We dedicate the Title to Tito and Martinez, have a Parade in which we celebrate our season and the board is celebrated for handling a difficult year.

    Atletico lose Costa in the above game, are disheartened, and then are crushed the following week in the Champions League Finals and Real Win their Decima 5-0, celebrating their victory in the streets of Madrid for 3 days.

    2) Scenario Two: Atleti win a double: La Liga and the Champions League. Their fans celebrate in the streets of Madrid for 8 days.
    The team becomes the Cinderella Story of the Century and the proceeds to become a perennial third big club in La Liga challenging Real and Barca and the best teams in Europe in the Champions League for the next decade.

  21. Inamess
    June 28, 2014

    Or maybe none of these will happen.

  22. Inamess
    June 28, 2014

    or unfortunately not 1 or 2

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