I haven’t had my Barça fix in two full weekends. I haven’t had the blaugrana flashing around on screen since they beat 4-0. That was 18 days ago. Eighteen days. I feel like it’s the height of summer and I have nothing left in the tank, no more ability to aguantar this insanity. But it’s coming, this tide of fury and passion. And, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to experience it with me as I’m looking to head to a new bar here in Brooklyn to test out the waters. It’s called Woodwork and perhaps it will become my stomping grounds for when Nevada Smiths is too far or the subway is messed up.
Regardless, there is news afoot and it must be discussed.
-Because of Carles Puyol’s impending suspension for accumulation of yellow cards and Eric Abidal’s and Dani Alves’ respective injuries, we will probably see a very uncharacteristic back four against Getafe on Saturday (2pmEST, 8pm local). Normally when Alves is out, we rotate Puyol to the RB position, but that is obviously not possible this time around, so canteranos Marc Muniesa and Albert Dalmau have been called up to first team training this week. Muniesa, if you remember, is a promising youngster whose first official appearance for the squad was against Osasuna last year and ended with a straight red, though he is still considered to be one of the better prospects to emerge from the cantera in quite a while and he’s still only 17. Muniesa did not train with the squad today, but Dalmau, who is also 17, did.
Dalmau is mostly a straight up RB, but with that attacking flair we’ve all come to love from Alves. Obviously he’s not Alves, but he appears to be solid, having been given the green light by Guardiola to jump over the Barça Atlètic squad and straight to first team training. That’s pretty cool, but it does leave us with some questions on the back line. Will we start Dalma-Pique-Milito-Maxwell? Abidal is training partially with the first team and we might see him starting if he makes another miracle recovery like he’s been known to do. Alves is far less likely to play, as he has yet to train with the squad, but never put it past our little Brazilian hummingbird. You can read the official site’s take on it here.
–Dmitri Chygrynskiy doesn’t give a crap about your whistles. According to both Sport and EMD, Chygnasty’s latest press conference was full of him telling us all that he’s “going to triumph” in Barcelona. Damn right. Positive attitude goes a long way, but so does the fact that he’s apparently working absurdly hard on his Spanish–something the newspapers never fail to mention–and which sits in direct contrast from He Who Shall Not Be Named (but who we shall see on Feb 28).
-In case you missed it, the Champions League final against Manchester United last May broke a record. After years of being dominated by the annual title game of American football, the Super Bowl, the CL Final finally surpassed its North American opponent and became the most-watched annual sporting event. We’ll have to wait and see if this year’s version does the same, not simply because the NFL has cobbled together what should be an amazing game (Colts-Saints), but because there’s always the possibility of a dismal final being played (another Chelsea-ManU would be a similar horror show of a match, while Barça-RM would attract quintillions of people, I would imagine).
-It looks like tomorrow, Friday, FCB is going to host a game for ex-players, socis, penyas, and the like at the Sant Joan Despi sports complex in order to raise some more money for the Haiti disaster relief. The place is still a mess and they still need money–and some objective help, it would seem. Donations are still welcome, no doubt, but before you do donate, please read this intelligent, thoughtful article about the dangers of giving strictly to one particular disaster relief campaign instead of to a particular organization.
-I miss Barça so much! Fin.