I was watching a TV show called “Fool Us,” featuring the magic duo of Penn & Teller. The premise is that magicians come out to do their thing in an effort to find a trick slick enough to fool two of the best magicians ever.
It’s pretty hard to fool Penn & Teller. The question will be, now that the magic trick of getting rid of Andoni Zubizarreta has been performed, whether this board will be able to fool us.
I hope not.
ZubiZa is out. As the man who so many have blamed for the woes of the team, he’s a lovely target and a fat one. When the team isn’t performing on the pitch you sack the sporting director, right? And the coach shouldn’t buy any green bananas. And whatever nomenclature is used, ZubiZa was sacked.
Buzz on the streets is that Carles Puyol will be taking over that role and hey, why not? The club can’t do ANY transfers until winter of 2016 so this is a perfect time for a newbie to learn on the job. Carles Puyol has left the club, via Facebook note to his fans. Hmmm, wonder if they expected that one?
Any new sporting director, from Monchi to a Magic Man, is just a boondoggle to placate the increasingly restless natives. And it shouldn’t be allowed to work. I wouldn’t care if they brought back Abidal, had him and Puyol beat Caga Tio upside the dome until Marco Reus came out of its ass, it’s still a PR boondoggle that doesn’t solve the problems at the club. When asked about the transfer ban, ZubiZa correctly pointed out that Bartomeu was the man with the plan at that time. He later said that wasn’t what he meant, even as the meaning was clear. “Get rid of me, but you aren’t solving the problem.”
ZubiZa is the fall guy for a board that didn’t allow anyone to make proper transfers, let the core of a once-great team slide into increasing ineffectiveness and has been too busy messing with its giant bauble to give two shits about the human side of things, the players who need to know that their bosses have their backs. It’s like firing the electrician because your builder screwed up the home’s foundation. You made a move, but it wasn’t the right one. So keep sliding those deck chairs around, but it’s the stewards moving the chairs who are the main problem.
I don’t like this board. Never have, never will. That much is clear, as are the reasons I would like them gone even as I acknowledge that they have done some good things during their tenure. At least when Rosell was president, it could be argued that the man in charge had a mandate to destroy the club he was purporting to save. Now that he has scuttled down the ratlines, his successor duly appointed by club bylaw, the man in charge doesn’t have a mandate, irrespective of what the rules say. The proper thing for him to do would have been to accept the baton from Rosell, then use his earliest opportunity to call for elections.
Instead he dug in his heels and began a series of applications of neon to a building that needs serious work. “Look! Transfers! Shiny things!” “Look! A new coach. And he’s Barça!”
Might those transfers eventually be found wanting, or work out to be brilliant? Who knows, because the team is still suffering from the neglect of the sporting project. Two new tires when the other two tires are almost down to the wear indicators means the car still won’t have the traction it needs.
It should make you angry, if it doesn’t. I don’t care that the team lost to La Real on the weekend. I care about HOW it lost. I can’t get mad about a match being lost when the club is in danger. In my previous post, I laid out the dysfunction that this match laid bare, and speculated about the causes. Other writers in similar pieces have made many of the same observations. I don’t believe in the “Enrique doesn’t have a clue” stuff. I don’t believe that he isn’t the right coach for this team. I just don’t know yet. But I think that the decline has been subtle but noticeable to anyone who wanted to look. Bad luck, injury stuff, etc, allowed us all to say, to hope that things were still the same even as it was clear that they were not, and are not the same.
So don’t shine a light in our eyes and claim that it’s the sun.
There will be an extraordinary meeting of the board on Wednesday, topic unknown. This meeting will be preceded by a Bartomeu presser, which should be interesting. At the open training at the MiniEstadi this week there weren’t the same numbers of spectators, and apparently some spectators were hurling invective at ZubiZa, Bartomeu and others. Rumors abound about Messi being angry with Enrique, and then when Messi missed open training, the rumor mill started. People are screaming in social media, and everything is nasty right now. It’s hard to separate rumor from reality, and lies from truth, even as we know what is happening because it’s clear to see.
This is Barça. The happy years were a brief interregnum in the internal history of a club defined by strife. In many ways I feel sorry for newer culers who must be sitting in the corner, blinking in bewilderment and wondering what happened. The focus has always been on the team, even as people have said that it ain’t just the team. Now that it’s clear that it isn’t just the team, a different kind of bandwagon is filling up, and its license plate reads GET OUT.
This is what should be next. Get out. And even if they don’t leave, at least give the socis, the people who are charged with voting for the men who run the club that we allegedly are members of and “own,” the opportunity to choose. Laporta, Benedito, that giant, inflatable Barça mascot that waves its arms at Gol Sud of the Camp Nou.
You want Enrique fired? Okay but don’t be blinded by the neon. Bring Guardiola back, and pretty much the same stuff will happen. Men who are in power want to keep that power. I would wager that there will be more sacrificial lambs, quite possibly even Enrique, who does have his own problems. Board members resigning? Possible. None of it matters.
Don’t be fooled.