What a team, what a year. It’s almost impossible to find something that we culers could have asked for that didn’t come to pass. Even the setback of the Spanish SuperCopa turned out to be a benefit in that it helped the team understand that yes, in fact, its crap did stink.
Events and things are falling into place. At the start of the year, in acknowledgement of how short the squad seemed, the catchphrase was “Hang on til January.” At that time, reinforcements in Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan would be coming on line. And unlike the delayed arrival into the XI of Luis Suarez, Vidal and Turan have been working with the team, and should be fit and fully integrated into the side when both debut in early January.
But “hang on til January” has become something more, thanks to an extraordinary group of players. There is no culer fit to wear blaugrana who, had you told them of the injuries that would be visited upon this club, including a two-month absence for Messi, the team would roll into the break at the top of the Liga table and having smoked its Champions League group, wouldn’t have said, “Sheeeeit, you’re funny.”
Yet that is where the team finds itself after an extraordinary first half of the season in which its historic rival found a way to have a legit crisis, and the Stalker from the Capitol City slipped up on the last matchday before the holidays, like Caga Tio pooped out a boon.
Busquets is even more brilliant, Iniesta more magical. Neymar stepped up in the absence of Messi, and Barça rolled on. What’s scary is that the points lead could have been even bigger, but for some uncharacteristic errors at key points during matches.
We don’t know what is going to happen in January beyond the arrivals of Turan and Vidal, but those two additions alone add a breathtaking array of tactical variations to the already intimidating fluency that Barça possesses. From midfield to false 9 to left winger, Turan can perform almost anywhere. Vidal offers midfield, right wing or right back combinations. The team gets significantly deeper in many key positions, with the arrival of just two players.
Given that Luis Enrique teams usually take off in the second part of the season (Roma improved, Celta went crazy, as did Barça last year), it would seem that there is much to look forward to, just as there is a lot to already give thanks for.
The BFB team would be remiss if it didn’t give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who reads the posts here, who takes the time to comment and who interacts with us on Twitter, in that roiling cauldron that is Barça Twitter. And even if you don’t in fact celebrate Christmas, you all are still a gift to us. So to you all and yours, from the BFB crew, may the magic of the holidays wash over you, even if all you do is benefit from the little bit of extra happiness that comes over folks at this time of the season. And here’s looking forward to a fun 2016.