Right in the Nostalgia: Barça v Real Sociedad 12-10-2010

Well, this may seem like a blatant excuse to curb the 300+ comment monster that is the Getafe comment post but what you don’t know is

Hey look, a full match video from 2010 in English. Let’s watch.

Iniesta’s goal celebration gets me every time.

I think this – posting classic matches from the ‘vault’ – may become a running series. Actually, that depends on what y’all think.

Video courtesy of culer hero ieraHDTV . If you have a YouTube account and feel like signing in, give him/her your thanks. I’m simply the messenger

Categorized as Videos

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. A couple of things:

    The way to make something better isn’t to wash your hands of it. Everyone has opinions, and isolating yourself from them by in effect choosing not to be exposed to those opinions isn’t helping.

    This space works best when it functions as a community, which means a multiplicity of voices, discussing a situation with respect.

    — Player bashing is absurd, I don’t give a damn if it’s Song, Mascherano, Pique or whomever the current un-favored one might be. It’s also silly, because it comes from the worldview that a single individual is the root cause of what is almost invariably a systemic difficulty, be it a loss, goal or whatever.

    On Twitter, when I dared to suggest that Song is quality depth, I got some “No, he isn’t.” And I challenged that person to find me a truly bad match that Song played.

    Cricket! Cricket! Back came the usual bullshit about positioning, and he isn’t a CB, which isn’t the point.

    Our XI contains legends, and world-class players, from top to bottom. Do people understand how GOOD you have to be to even MAKE our first team, let alone play in a match? It’s easy to sit at a keyboard and say that “So and so isn’t Barça quality,” but that contention doesn’t hold water, because you know who decides whether a player is “Barça quality?”

    Our coaching and technical staff.

    Bashing is the equivalent of scapegoating. When you lay other problems at a player’s feet, such as “Dictator Xavi,” then it’s simple blame rooted in ignorance. Because we don’t know what happened.

    Even when you evaluate a player’s “lack” of performance, as in the Fabregas context, we have zero idea what his marching orders were. “Fabregas must go.” Must be news to Guardiola, Vilanova and Martino, who all found ways to get him on the pitch in match after match, because he had skills they thought were important to the side.

    Players don’t come here. So when people rip on a player for various deficiencies that exist in that poster’s mind, that player will never see it. But man, does it affect the tone of discussion here, in the “garbage in, garbage out” sense. Often, comments aren’t about the precipitating post, but about an agenda. So a post about “Hey, isn’t Thiago Messi a cute kid,” might find as a first comment, “Mascherano is short, we need to sell him for a proper CB.”

    Then off it goes from there.

    Should everything stay happy and on topic? That isn’t the point, nor the desire. Wide-ranging discussions are what make this space interesting. But you know what? None of the players on our roster are “shit,” or inadequate in the various ways that people suggest they are.

    Can those players make poor plays or have an off match? Absolutely. And every last one of our player have done that, to a man. Iniesta, Pique, Alves have all said that the COLLECTIVE has come up short at key times this season. They didn’t, as too many culers do, say “Song sucks,” or “Mascherano is short,” or “Xavi told Martino to stop trying to change the team.”

    Because it isn’t right, nor is it logical.

    I can’t tell people to stop crapping on players. It’s what supporters do when times are tough and the necessity for a scapegoat is present. I just wish that we would give some consideration to the stratospheric standard that it is necessary for a player to meet to make this first team.

    “X player made a poor pass, which led to Y or Z,” is different from “X player isn’t fit to wear the colors.” Because if you applied the SAME standard to every player on the roster, then who IS fit to wear the colors, this season?

    1. True. While everyone has a right to his/her opinion, criticism needs to be constructive and invite for debate. Venting is ok, but venting with facts would be much better.

      We need to respect our legends. We wouldn’t have those ridiculous standards we set ourselves without them. Yes, they are not above criticism but the least we can do is do it with respect.

      Like Peter pointed out above, let’s support our Club.

  2. Kxevin, I largely agree. We are part of a community that loves our team. Players deserve our respect, but not our blind allegiance. They make millions of dollars and probably don’t care that much if some around the world criticize them in a country or language that they probably don’t really know that well.

    I happened to think the way some people were ready to hang Tello for one incident in which we did not know all the facts was unfair, but respected people’s right to vent. The Xavi as dictator idea is from what I have seen on this forum largely a straw man made up by those who currently favor this player to criticize those who don’t.

    I highly respect all of the players on our team, but think the players can also be criticized by fans when think they are not playing well. If I think Thiago, Sanchez, and Fabergas were or are treated unfairly, I will say so, but respect those who have different opinions. To me, the crest and the community of fans around the world that are devoted to it come first. We make it possible for the players to make a fairly good living doing what they love. I may not favor particular players at particular times, but I will wholeheartedly root for them once they step on the pitch.

    The team is in a time of transition. A transition that is now partly necessary, I believe, because not enough people dared ask questions or were self-critical enough because their jobs were at stake or they had an irrational press down their throats. Fans don’t earn a cent for their devotion and don’t have the same pressures, so if we don’t ask the questions then no one will.

    I find the most of the dialogue on this forum opinionated but lively and informative. If we become just a Justin Beiber fan club then I think this important and unique site will be greatly diminished.

    We have a huge game today and the debating should be placed on hold for now. Everyone must pull together because we are a community that shares two things: a love of this team and a passion to see it flourish.

    1. Nobody is suggesting a “Justin Bieber fan club,” only that people understand what is going on, and refrain from lambasting someone if they don’t. Whether someone likes a player or not has nothing to do with the quality of the player’s effort for the team. That is my point.

    2. No, Inamess. How can you say “The Xavi as dictator idea is from what I have seen on this forum largely a straw man made up by those who currently favor this player to criticize those who don’t” when you defended this xavi criticism by saying, “hey Balague and Graham Hunter said it so it must be true!” In other words, you yourself are the one saying this, so how can you then say it is a strawman.

      This site was around a long time before you started posting 50 times in a thread. It is not a Justin Bieber fan club nor will it become one, and I dont know why you would suggest it,,,maybe because people disagree with your ideas for wholesale change because the team isnt as dominating as it was in 2010 when you became a fan.

    3. Thanks for the feedback. I don’t think you have fairly characterized what I have written, but look forward to hearing your views on the club and the direction it needs to take.

  3. Another banana thrown today. I say good. Let 2014 be the year that the world has finally stood up and said racism in football will no longer be tolerated.

    Those who don’t agree need to be exposed for the provincial and intolerant bigots they are.

    1. I don’t know if good is the right response but the issue is certainly being highlighted.
      The banana throwing is going to become a symbol now which is terrible but if the punishment is severe enough hopefully it will deter people.
      I don’t know how to eliminate racism from football stadiums when it exists in people’s hearts and homes

    2. i agree with ciaran. it’s never “good” that bananas are thrown. it would be better if they werent, period. if the authorities cracked down more, they wouldnt be thrown, and that would be good. it is bad that people havent yet got the message.

  4. Cesc starts, Xavi on the bench, so it’s up to him to make a difference.
    Cesc is a yellow card away from a suspension versus Atletico so hopefully he doesn’t get one

  5. I think this is Elche are looking for the draw that they were robbed of against Real. They only need one point so its going to be a fortress. Every second counts. We may need only one moment of brilliance to accomplish our mission. I say the Don does it on his birthday.

  6. Just let’s take it easy and not lose an early goal or this’ll become much harder. They’ll tire eventually.

  7. I like what I’m seeing so far, players are giving it their all and looking out for each other. Elche are no sitting ducks though and we’ll need to be more incisive in and around their box to score. Pedro seems to be having one of those days which is unfortunate :/

    1. Unfortunately, this first half of this game had all the signs of a game in which we lose points.

  8. Well, the good news so far is that we now have two Barcelona managers working to save our season!
    Celta 1- Real 0

  9. Not bad so far. No need for desperation unless Atleti score.
    Maybe a draw is OK, particularly with Real down 1-0 to Barca B+.

  10. What a rubbish yellow for Pedro. What did he do wrong? The goal keeper is the one who was in the wrong by going out of his box.

  11. Lomban, after all the undeserved playing time all those years, please repay the faith by scoring an own goal.

  12. Atleti equalized, which isn’t surprising. Hoping for a late Barca goal to keep us in the race!

  13. Whoa. Messi took the ball off dictator Xavi’s hands for the fk. How dare you Messi. Look forward to be benched next week.

    1. Malaga keeper saves our season in the last 30 seconds.

      We can’t be knocked out. Got more lives than a cat!

  14. Whew, Atleti couldn’t take advantage of the red card and ended 1-1. If we win at the Camp Nou we win la Liga! Would be a fitting time to finally beat them after so many attempts this season.

  15. I know we really need a CB but we also need a new forward, something fresh and new.

    And based from rumors, the club is indeed looking for one. I hope it’s Reus who can actually dribble on the run instead of Alexis and Pedro type of dribbling who both mostly just turn the other way around, not really a change of direction left and right to fool the marker.

  16. Wooow. That was gutrenching. I switched over to the Athletico game just in time to see Caballero make an insane save. I was sure that was in! What a crazy day.

    Well done to Celta for dumping Madrid out of the race. Luis Enrique starting his job at Barca with a bang.

    It sucks we didnt score today, but I thought we actually played quite well. Elche were playing for their La liga lives and you could see it. All in all the draw doesnt make a difference really, even if we had won this game we would still have had to win next week so I am particularly upset with the result.

    One game left to win the league. One game.

  17. I find it really funny that on two separate goal.com articles they talk about how Barcelona failed to close the gap between us and Atletico so ‘now’ need to beat Atletico on the final day. If we won our match we would still be 1 point behind Atletico and still need to beat Atletico on the final day. That’s an amazing website… I don’t know why I bother

    1. Why do you still visit it?, I stopped doing so a very long time ago.

      I recently considered restricting my news about barca only from the official website and channel on you tube, I got tired from reading junk articles and junk news, weather it’s MD, Sport, Or even barcastuff on twitter, Still haven’t made a definite decision yet, Old habits die hard i guess.

  18. what a bloody ending!!!

    my heart froze when Adrian went inside the area and fired what looked like a perfect strike!!… can’t believe we’re still in it …

    i dont know how to characterize our game to be honest; for sure i wanted us to score early and control the game, score 3 4 and have fun and so on 🙂 i didnt imagine this will be sure a hard game! for sure we had the chances…but we sure again showed a lot of weak aspects of our game. Iniesta and Messi look to far from one another, and Pedro made many mistakes…

    do you think Mascherano let us know he will be leaving too? as this is how his statement at the end of the game is seen …

    1. If he wants to go it would be hard to blame him. Every lack of performance has been greeted by the fans with a chorus of “Mascherano suckz”.

      I still hope it’s not really true, because if Barcelona finally decide to play Mascherano in his normal zone, he will be a revelation. He is the hardness that the soft Barcelona team lacks. He is no Busquets, but then again there is only one Busquets. Mascherano and Busquets playing together can make the midfield impenetrable, better even than the 2010 La Roja. Even better, moving Masche to the midfield would force the board to sign not just one but two dedicated CBs.

      I heard his words live on radio and my heart froze, because Mascherano leaving will leave a gaping hole in the team. It seems few on the pitch or off it realize how important he is for the team.

    2. damn, I was so happy when he got signed. “finally a truly worldclass DM” I thought. I mean Busi is great and all but giving him that starter spot cost as The Yaya and now Masche, I’m not quite sure if that was a good idea. of course you know what they say about hindsight.

    3. Yup.
      Masch is the tough guy of the family.
      If there are riots in the streets, he’ll be the one barricading the door and keeping first watch.
      Puyi used to do that, it’s a sad story.

    4. I don’t know why everyone says Masch is not a true CB. The two essential qualities for a Barca CB are mobility (he’s quicker than people think) and skill on the ball. He’s got both. At Barca your CBs really need to be DMs.

  19. Everybody worships Total football, Football from the heavens they say.
    This is how Holland used to press.


    The video is blurry, so it looked like 10 Mascheranos dashing about.

    Masch is labelled dirty, cynical, riskprone, rash etc etc.
    Watch this and think again.

  20. Thought Barca played quite well against a very stout defence. I know I’m not allowed to say it, but I assumed that benching Xavi was Tata’s going away present: I’m out of here anyway, so I’ll go out my way. Can’t think of any other reason.
    Certainly (I thought) Cesc gave us more mobility around the park, dropping deep and floating into the box. He may be slow, but he’s got a diesel engine.
    If Barca let Alexis go, they will be insane. He would tear up the premier league for a team like Arsenal. Must be the only footballer in the world who tries to sneak up on the player with the ball from 30metres. It looks pretty crazy, but it works because, well, it looks pretty crazy. His opponent looks around, sees nobody close, and then goes to sleep. Meanwhile, Alexis prowls towards him.

    1. From what i remember, Xavi must have been hurt because he didn’t even practice with the squad until yesterday.
      It’s dangerous to assume. ..

    2. It’s not revenge. He’s now just doing what he wants rather than what he feels pressured to do. And, of course, I may well be entirely wrong. I’m not his analyst.

  21. KEVINO17, I completely agree about Alexis and thought he had an excellent game today. I hope the team won’t sell him, but if they do for 20 million, he could be worth 50 million in 2 years for a side in EPL.

    1. I thought Barca was much better when Alexis actually played a bit wider rather than tucking in all of the time to give Dani Alves room. I think teams are very happy with the later strategy because it means Dani will get the ball out wide. He can’t dribble past his man and he fires in crosses that go nowhere. Alexis, on the other hand, always has a target and is a lot more probing.

  22. Disappointing match if Barca can’t nick one in past Elche. Pedro and Alexis offered little to nothing, unless you enjoy a simple pass back or losing the ball in the box. We no longer play to Messi – he spends most of the time trying to jump as high as he can to head crosses. Tello should realize that he’s nit on a one man team. We lost our system of play and I hope Luis Enrique is on the fastest plane back to Barcelona to bring it back.

    1. Would Neymar have given us enough fire power for this game or do we have to start thinking about also having a more traditional striker option in the squad? I don’t know how we are going to challenge the best teams in Europe unless we are more dangerous on corners and set pieces? If we get 10 a game, then it is a shame to waste them.

  23. Cules’ Choice: Who will Martino start against Atleti: Xavi or Fabergas?

    If I were to wager all my money on this one, I would go with Xavi.


    It is because the season and some of this team’s legacy is riding on a extremely difficult game at Camp Nou. If you don’t start Xavi in this game, then there was no point in having him on the team this year.

    Fabergas knows this, and I think every Barca fan does too, and this is how it should be.

    Xavi is a legend and he still has it in him to produce a game of brilliance. So why are Barca fans so vehement on the Fabergas vs. Xavi question. Why can’t they both start? Can’t we all get along?

    The answer to this question is unfortunately NO.

    The Fabergas vs. Xavi debate is one that strikes at the core of our future. Some fans look at Fabergas and see a failed experiment, so they say let’s go with our proven veteran until we can find someone better. Fabergas is a very different player than Xavi and no one knows for sure if we want to put all our chips on him for our foreseeable future. Some want to take that risk but others don’t.

    So what do we do? For those who know more about his Arsenal days, is there a way to get the most out of Fabergas so he becomes an automatic starter next season? Would another striker option like Higuain help in this regard and make us more dangerous?

    I like this player and want to believe that he can find an important role in the side next year. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we could make this work. What might a Luis Enrique do?

  24. Reus said that he is NOT leaving Dortmund next season. So folks can stop with that one.

    — Also a rumor floating around that Alves has already agreed to join PSG.

    — The Mascherano words in the presser? Ugh. If he goes, the team loses two lion hearts for me, he and Puyol.

    As for the match, Messi in the box is one of the starkest moments that sums up our season for me. Not sure what he was trying to do, but Messi of two years ago buries that chance. This year, like his teammates, there seems to be uncertainty where there used to just be ravenous instinct. But who knows?

    1. Indeed. There is clearly a strong sense of frustration in the team as a whole, which seems to express itself as this very lack of instinct: they overthink it, trying to emulate their ”prior selves”, perhaps? I completely agree with the notion of the team being ”burned out” – the vision seems be missing, barring some odd moments of inspiration (e.g. Cesc-Inistesta-crossbar).

      I might be wrong, but my feeling is that while Barca use to be an organism that often started games a bit distractedly, making some early mistakes before slowly but relentlessly finding the rhythm to wear their opponents down, they now start off with plenty of focus and energy – pure will, no doubt – only to lose it after about half an hour. The game does not ”click” and every movement seems to happen not out of inspiration, but by an immense effort wearing the players themselves down (instead of the opponents). It is painful to see this shift from ”no worries, we’ll figure this out”, to ”well, this just ain’t working out”.

      Anyone who has played the game knows what this does to your motivation and ability.

      I certainly view Messi’s inability to execute that clear cut chance in the box as an example of this vision-hampering frustration.

      (long time lurker, first time poster: you guys are doing a fantastic job with this blog – tip of the hat!)

    2. I feel that our “obssession” of sticking to Pep’s playing style is what is holding us down.

      It’s true that we used to wear opponents down with our possession but now it looks like they know exactly what to do. They don’t “park buses” to prevent manitas anymore, they do it because they know it’s very likely to grind out a result against us.

      Us playing week in week out against ultra defensive teams, always in a pocket of space has got to be mentally draining and it eventually takes its toll. Well, that’s what I think…

      And we can’t even blame most teams for playing with that attitude against us because when our players take on the pitch, it’s with the will to dominate the match throughout. Eventually they subdue and counter us.

      That’s why Martino wanted to introduce more verticality but somehow he let go of that idea. Maybe because he figured we don’t have the type of players needed for that, or maybe because our players have been so used to playing one way that they don’t feel at ease with another style? I don’t know…

      If Luis Enrique is coming, can we afford to keep playing the same way? Any players we bring in, will they really be an upgrade over who we actually have for playing against ultra defensive teams?

    3. I agree. Pep won because he defiantly broke all the rules of what it traditional takes for a team to win. This was particularly true in our iconic side of 2011 that dominated La Liga and the Champions League.

      Now that we can no longer dominate like that, we have to go back and find the best way of adding more conventional ways to score while still taking advantage of the best of what our unique style still has to offer.

    4. While I take absolute pride in our playing philosophy, I also feel that we maybe need to be a bit more conventional next season. Let opponents see that we won’t take them on all gung-ho, just so as to draw them out a bit.

      Now, that will mean less than entertaining matches. But right now, I’m not really entertained watching us trying to break a bus all the time. Of course, that is just my opinion!

      Winning this league is especially important now so that we can build next season under at least a tiny bit less media pressure. The fact that we’re expected to win everytime makes it so much more difficult to add changes to our style as it would need patience from the club and its surroundings.

    5. Yes, it is obvious that the IDEA of Pep’s Barca is haunting the team and the club at large, resisting any new strategies to be introduced. But did not Barca meet solid, low defense lines already during Rijkaard’s era? I seem to remember a Barca circulating the ball outside the box, looking for solutions in vain…

      To my mind the notion that Pep broke all the rules is not really true. As been mentioned here before, he rather refined an existing approach and added inspired and meticulous leadership to a golden generation of players, waiting for the right instructions to wreck havoc on all other teams.

      And if the team does add a more conventional touch (which might not help break any buses, after all), is the style really unique anymore? Or is it this very image of “uniqueness” that is part of the problem?

      What I like about Luis Enrique – if it will indeed be he who replaces Martino – is his no-bullshit-personality. Perhaps this – combined with his Barca background – can earn him the time, courage and authority to actually introduce some changes that, apparently, Martino was not able/allowed to do? Or perhaps the team simply needs a firmer hand… (and a CB, of course, for the love of Cruijff).

    6. Yes, we did encounter that problem during Rijkaard’s era too (although not as often as nowadays? I don’t remember that all too well, I must admit…)

      I agree that Pep did not “break rules” per se. For me, it was mostly his charisma and contagious enthusiasm combined with his and Tito’s vision which did the trick.

      Now, I really don’t want us to BE a conventional team. I love Barça because of its philosophy, win or lose. But if there was a way to play our style and sometimes alternate to a conventional one for some matches just to draw defensive lines out, then maybe there wont be buses to break every week. Or maybe I’m just dreaming, I do that a lot. 🙂

      It’s interesting when you say “Or is it this very image of “uniqueness” that is part of the problem?”. Sometimes you need to be able to “surprise” the opponent. Keep them guessing. If they already know what they’ll be facing, they prepare meticulously for that.

      I remember the CL final against Arsenal when Larsson came in and changed the physionomy of the match. Maybe what we lack are depth players who can tweak things.

    7. Doing something to change things up once in a while is really what we need. How much do we miss Pique not only for his defense but also for his ability to come up and join the attack, especially late in games.

      I know the prospect of signing Luiz scares a lot of people, but we certainly would have more “surprise moments”.

  25. Nice Chelsea imitation Elche! Bus parking at its finest and some nail biting counters.
    So a 30 week group stage and 8 weeks of knock outs, and we’re still alive; this La Liga has packed all the tension of any Champions league, I remember. I hope my finger nails grow back before the world cup.
    Xavi or Fabregas? …uh, I’m good with whatever you guys decide.

  26. I can’t remember where the comment was exactly, but this IS a blog for debating and discussing all things Barça. I think it’s more than O.K. for anyone to comment on, for example, Cesc or Xavi. I like Cesc a lot, I just don’t think he’s worked out here. The debate is a catharsis for fans, that’s all, ya esta. Let’s not take out aggression on each other.

    Anyway, that was a brutal game. Someone mentioned above that Alexis didn’t play well today?!? He had some absolutely fantastic moments! Pedro had a rough game though. It’s really a shame that we didn’t win, but it doesn’t change anything. It’s really good to see Bartra coming along. I was really down on him last year, but that was too quick of a judgment. I have a lot of faith in his future at FCB.

    Next week is going to be absolutely crazy, but we can do it! ¡Visca Barça!

  27. Quite ironic that our main opponents seem to be choking on their success in the champions league. Shows how hard it is to win everything.

  28. Interesting Point! Maybe while we were all preoccupied with our misfortune this season we missed one of the most under reported and optimistic stories of the season. Barca have a future quality CB who has grown up before our eyes. We won’t even have to pay 30 million to get him.

    1. Some players like Ronaldinho, Messi and most recently, CR7 shoot the ball under the wall in a FK so one player decided to lie on the grass to prevent the free kick taker from placing it under the wall.

    2. I think I am going to try to launch a career in La Liga as a utility player who specializes in stopping Ronaldo and Messi from doing that. My expected future lifespan should be about 3 weeks, but my family can still collect my paycheck if the team still wants to use my carcass.

  29. Despite all the optimism I believe Atletico is in a better position to win the league despite the match being held at the Camp Nou. They don’t have to win and that matters really big. They can now play their “sit back and counter” strategy to perfection.

    1. Maybe the whole game will be played in Atletico’s penalty area. Not sure that is the right attitude, even for Atletico.

    2. probably, but it could also counter productive for Atletico. If you get in the field with “play for draw” mentality, sometimes complaceny ensue and you dont get the result. Visca Barca!

    3. I didn’t say that they will play with draw in mind. They will go for a victory but on their terms. They will sit back and hit us on counter. Also watch out for that rigorous pressing from the midfield.

  30. our last 5 la liga results..LWWDD..those none-wins were against the 14th, 16th, and 17th place teams..and we still have a chance to win it all..must be fate..

    eventhough there are very few things i love more in life than fcb, i am having trouble mustering up a good feeling about this final..davour’s previous post exactly sums up how i am seeing this team in its present state…

    “The game does not ”click” and every movement seems to happen not out of inspiration, but by an immense effort wearing the players themselves down (instead of the opponents). It is painful to see this shift from ”no worries, we’ll figure this out”, to ”well, this just ain’t working out”.

    ive actually come to dread us getting the ball in the opponents third…one of the brilliant posters on this site..im really looking forward to your words of inspiration…

  31. The coach of Borussia Monchengladbach has revealed something which nobody ever predicted:

    “Ter Stegen is going to FC Barcelona” 😀

  32. Some stats from whoscored re-asserting what we know for sometime –

    1. Barca vs Elche (home game barca 4 – 0 elche)
    total passes – 705
    crosses – 10
    through balls – 10
    long balls – 33

    2. Barca vs Ajax (Barca 4 – 0 Ajax)
    total passes – 664
    crosses – 11
    through balls – 10
    long balls – 49

    3. Elche vs Barca (Elche 0 – 0 Barca)
    total passes – 595
    crosses – 34
    through balls – 1
    long balls – 46

    4. Athletico Madrid vs Barca (Athletico 1 – 1 Barca)
    total passes – 697
    crosses – 13
    through balls – 3
    long balls – 87

    Close down the box, play narrow and then doesn’t matter who your opposition is, they’ll struggle to find openings. Event the “mighty” Bayern couldn’t break the wall. Probably the next big idea in football is to find a solution and even more important – to execute it..

    1. Look at the amount of crosses. Staggering. Why? Why are we suddenly crossing so much when it’s clearly not working?

    2. That was one of things I wanted to point out…teams give no space at all in front of the goal so the ball tends to get passed wide. From here its just 2 options – pass back to midfield and repeat OR send in crosses. I noticed we had several quarter-chances (if I may use the term) that were headers in front of goal (I think Messi got on the end of a couple and headed them wide) in the last match as well. So possibly its one area that the technical staff has identified as our weakness and are trying to improve I guess ? But then again my guess is as good as yours…

    3. No one has the perfect answer to defensive fortresses and buses. But doesn’t becoming a legitimate threat to score on set pieces and corners have to become part of our solution?

  33. We had plenty of chances yesterday, but no one is taking them. Everyone has been pretty rough in front of the goal lately.

    I actually thought that game was fairly open for a while (and then I thought that if this is open what the hell have we been watching?), especially in the first 15 minutes.

    1. I wonder what Tata/Tito/Pep say to him after he does crazy things like that in the dressing room.

    2. Pinto almost looks like a crazy fan who ran on the field during play. I was almost waiting for security to jump in and intervene.

    3. Poor Victor. I can’t imagine what was going through his mind when he say that. I hope he didn’t fall down and delay his recovery.

    4. Ahaha love these Pinto moments, someone needs to make a ‘Pinto – Best dribbles and skills 2013/2014’ video 😀

  34. Pinto is better at passing outside rather than inside the penalty box. There is our answer for a tall, athletic, box-to-box midfielder right there…

  35. Conspiracy Theory: The board has stirred up the Xavi vs. Fabregas debate and made it so toxic that both players will want to leave the club at the end of the season.

    That way Zubi can then sign the club’s new prize midfielder and third “new” Xavi before the fourth and fifth are ready to be promoted from Barca B.

    1. From Barcastuff:

      Barcelona defenders Pique (hip) and Alba (thigh) will be available for the league game against Atletico Madrid on Saturday. #fcblive [sport]

      Not sure how fit Pique can be if he has only just started training again out on the pitch. Can’t really see him starting unfortunately. Mind you, if he did play we might just see a little bit of the anger we’ve been looking for when he gets near Diego Costa.

    2. I say we wear a lime green away kit in honor of Tata’s last match. If Atleti want to take out the knives, I say game on! We are the one’s who don’t have to worry about missing a match the following week!

  36. An EE fan on EEblog feels barca are undeserving of the title and it will be unfair if barca won it. What then is the yardstick of merit or unmerit? We went through every tragedy you know in life, injuries,court cases, death, resignation of our president and you name it. What did athletico and EE go through? Even that aside, we beat EE over both legs and drew athletico in their house, athletico beat EE once and drew twice against us and them, EE won neither against us nor Athletico. The league is won by the team with the most points or advantage. EE’s undoing was Sergio Ramos, when he pulled a Fabregas by saying, ‘we have 4 finals to go’. Lol

    1. Deserves ain’t got nothing to do with it, or, as Iniesta said: Whoever wins it deserves it.

  37. Stumbled upon an interesting highlight of the match from the Barca subreddit


    It’s interesting to see, not trying to put a blame on Pedro (Cesc and Alexis also not trying to get into scoring position as well), but genuinely curious what is happening here.

    Lack of sense of urgency? Or since it’s Messi, not one bothers to support him? One thing or another, there’s something different in the mentality of playing

  38. It’s ok. Euler also calls him Fabergas. So you’re not the only one inamess.

  39. In the interest of lively debate, I offer the following piece:
    Feedback welcome! Personal attacks OK too 🙂
    Our team may be down, but this blog must thrive.

    Why Deigo Simeone might be Barca’s Worst Nightmare and Perhaps its

    As Real Madrid and FC Barcelona were engaged in an escalating arms race between the two Spanish super powers, neither knew that their own worst enemy was busy cooking up his plan at the Calderon. Simeone is the ultimate jujitsu artist, a Billy Bean master of Moneyball, and a Machiavellian leader that makes Mourinho look like an amateur. Also, unfortunately for Barca, now his team are in pole position to win the league unless we play our match of the season.

    This wasn’t supposed to happen: a third powerhouse improbably rising in the Spanish league ready to take on the giant teams in Europe and possibly change the rules about how to run a successful football club. What did Simone know that others didn’t?

    Why would Simeone be a master jujitsu ? Doesn’t he seem more like street fighter? Jujitsu is the art of manipulating the opponent’s force against himself rather than confronting it head on. The Athleti manager knows that the big team’s financial war chest can also become a potential enemy. If Real don’t win the league, well then they need to try again and splash the cash. Fans of big teams want results and if they don’t come then want to know immediately that the team is doing everything in its power to win next season. What better way to do this then landing that big signing, a future Fifa Ballon d’Or winner or runner up. But as the best teams in Europe have found out: landing that big signing does not always work out as in the case of Kaka, Coentrao, Villa or Ibrahimovic. The new guy may not fit into the team or cause such disruption that he eventually becomes more of a problem than a solution, more a threat than an ally.

    Last year Simeone had to do the opposite. An immensely talented Ballon d’or contender leaves the team and they actually play better. How can this happen? Because of Atleti’s limited budget, they must sell their prize assets and then get the “right” replacements for less. Sure there is no publicity coup with their fans but fans like winning nonetheless. Furthermore, losing a player of Falcao’s quality sends a message that all merely mortal players need to hear. Superman or Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo or Bale isn’t around so if we are going to win then the only way we can do this is to believe in ourselves, play relentless, physical football as a disciplined team, and listen to this guy who is going to tell us how we can win against all odds because we have no other choice.

    Real and Barcelona, on the other hand, are multimillion dollar corporations and unfortunately have to be run as such. We must have preseason tours around the world to court current and future followers. We also have players who spend just as much time playing for their international teams, making appearances, and promoting products and events as they do practicing and playing for the teams that pay their salaries. These teams also have irrational fans who demand that what they are convinced is best for the team will be done by their boards: sometimes demanding too much change or not enough, signing this new player or not judiciously selling this other.

    Simeone also knows that fans around the world and particularly in Spain are sick of teams who dominate the smaller sides by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to sign and pay their players from the revenue they generate from lucrative TV rights, sponsorships, and a worldwide following of millions of fans.

    The crafty Atleti manager also knows that fans in Spain and around the world are sick of money’s role in football in unleveling the playing field and has used this to his advantage. He has become a new man of the people, a figure not unlike his countryman Juan Peron: A Machiavellian pragmatist who has suddenly become a populist. He is now on Twitter. He is giving interviews in which he says that all of Spain has embraced Atleti as “the people’s team”. His team is indeed inspiring. but is not also in part a Mou like move to influence those few individuals who may ultimately decide the fate of his team in La Liga and the Champions League: the refs at Camp Nou next week and the ones in Lisbon the week after who know that 80% of fans around the world watching are passionately rooting for the underdogs to win and show that ordinary folks can sometimes triumph too. Would such a ref want to impose himself and neuter this Cinderella story by significantly penalizing an often fiercely aggressive Atleti team? What about ruling against them in a controversial penalty decision?

    So will David slay our Goliath at Camp Nou. Let’s hope not. But let’s also learn from Simeone that being a football giant or “more than a club” is not always in the best interests of a football team. But if both Real and Barca do lose these pivotal matches there may be the consolation of a new perennial third contender that will make La Liga more competitive and these two giants no longer monomaniacally preoccupied with one another and get back to their original objective–playing football.

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