Shinpads and Ferocity: Barça – Malaga

Dear Malaga,

Welcome to my home. You’re a thousand kilometers from your own warm and wonderful home, so please make yourselves as comfortable as possible here in the Ciudad Condal. I know you’re used to beaches and sun, but perhaps you’ll be able to enjoy yourself at our humble waterfront or in one of our many delectable dining venues throughout the Gothic quarter. Perhaps you will partake in a little bit of the nightlife later off Las Ramblas? Regardless of your personal tastes, there’s certainly something for you here. I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.

Wait, why are you angry? What have I don’t to disturb you? I apologize for whatever it was. I’m sorry to have offended you. Please calm down. Good, sir, I must protest! This is uncalled for. Please calm down. Let me just dribble through here real fast and we’ll get back to–why did you just do that? This is outrageous and now, sir, my friend, compatriot of the league, you must die. Release the BANGS!

We know you’re in 12th and battling to stay far enough out of the relegation zone to make the end of your season less stressful, but you know what, I’m so going to cut you. Come at me like that again. I dare you. See what happens. Try me, tio. Joder, I swear, you are going to get it now. Say hello to my little friend!

This is the sort of match where I throw stats out the window and focus only on the the absurd emotions that are about to boil over for me as a spectator. Sure, we’re undefeated at home, they’re fairly bad on the road, we score a lot, they score sometimes and concede just as often. They’ll approach it like a gang of hardmen, just like last time and they’re certainly good enough to give us fits until we get into a groove.

We’ve re-signed Gerard Pique until 2015 (with an absurd buyout clause of €200m), but that basically ensures he’ll have a crap next match, but he might be on the bench anyway if Dani Alves is actually back and fit. That would mean a back line of Alves, Puyol, Milito, and Maxwell, which would be awesome to see after having our captain deputize on the right. It would also free up Xavi and Messi a bit more on the right, which will help us to look more like Barça, so to speak. That would, in turn, give us more width on the left and coupled with the actually wider field at the Camp Nou, it would allow us to play a midfield of Yaya, Xavi, Iniesta and a forward line of Henry, Ibra, Messi.

That is exactly what I think we’ll see regardless of who is at RB, but with Alves we get the little engine that could, did, and will continue to do. Not that Puyol is a monster, but he’s certainly better when slamming mofos into the ground as a CB and saving our stupid butts time and again with last-second Tarzan moves. Another thing: Alves is a hyper-active hummingbird of a man-child who can do nothing but run throughout the day so that he is capable of not disturbing others during their nightly, all-too-human “sleep” ritual. Also, I believe he thinks he’s playing Calvinball.

So, then, I’m talking about putting our best team out there to demolish these fools. I do not care about them or their situations, our injuries, or anything else you can say. There is no pressure here, really, other than to destroykillmangle. We must make them suffer like children forced to watch made-for-TV movies in school for the fourth straight day because their teacher is out sick with the a case of the “flu” which we know is actually something related to his drinking session during the holiday party and subsequent “cab ride to drop off” the librarian. Ahem.

Predicted Lineup: Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Milito, Maxwell, Yaya, Xavi, Iniesta, Henry, Ibra, Messi
Official Prediction: 4-0. Goals by Messi (2), Ibra, and Henry. Total annihilation.

TV: In the US, the match wil be on ESPN Deportes/ESPN360.
: 10pm local/Barcelona, 4pmEST/New York, check your local time.
Weather: ~52F (11C), clear skies (0% chance of rain).

I’ll be at Nevada Smiths tomorrow if you’d like to join me. Come one, come all, I say!

And remember, this is Enemy Number One:

By Isaiah

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


  1. I expect the attitude to be very ‘HULK SMASH!’

    Also, nice reference to Calvinball. Way cooler than LOTR or Magic references.

    1. no dungeons & dragons references please. not to be a party pooper or anything. i’m asking for the sake of the blog and everyone and everything associated with it. thank you.

      oh, & you can’t have two headbangers rockin it in the backline(puyol & milito). you need somebody to bring the ball out, otherwise you get a major bangover.

    2. urban dictionary defines bangover as:

      1) sore neck as a result of headbanging at a metal concert.

      2)the condition experienced the morning after enthusiastic crowd participation at a metal/punk/hardcore show. characterized by the usual symptoms of a hangover combined with scrapes, bruises, aches and pains from being tossed about, slammed into and occasionally stomped on. general usage indicates tinitis and/or a sore neck from banging one’s head while brutal handing (i.e. giving the claw).

    3. I promise: no actual D&D references. Maybe offhand fake ones, but the thing is I’ve never played D&D and I don’t know the first thing about it.

      So there’s that.

    4. i agree and i think we would all agree that puyol and milito don’t work well together in the middle

  2. My preferred lineup:

    Alves – Pique – Milito – Maxwell
    Xavi – Yaya – Iniesta
    Bojan – Ibra – Henry

    I want to see the Pique – Milito connection. Messi needs a rest eventually, and Bojan gets the start because he maintains width a tiny bit better than Pedro.

  3. I’m sure half of you will have seen this on, but I was surprised to find that Captain Caveman’s pre-game ritual was to listen to such a slow song.


    I was under the impression that he listened to The Ramones and Napalm Death before matches. I guess you learn something new everyday.

    1. That would be shawarma – an Arabic wrap, whereas the singer is Shuarma (Wikipedia: el nombre artístico de Juan Manuel Álvarez Puig, músico español nacido en Barcelona). Great song, by the way.

  4. Man I was so close to finally adding espn deportes! I got direct tv to add it for a nominal fee, and it was all good! Until they informed me I needed to pay $150 to install another satellite just to pick up the feed. Which I would have paid if I didn’t need to move in two months. Alas, it looks like it’ll be the ole Internet feed for me tomorrow.

    P.S. F@&k WELIGTON!!!

  5. I have a question as a rather new Barca fan. Why do they play at 10pm local time? Just out of curiosity cause it works out as being great timing in my Eastern US time zone.

    1. i think its a cultural thing. in spain, everything is done late. dinner is usually at least at 10pm.

      as an interesting sidenote, aparently the reason that EPL is so popular is because of the times that they play their matches, ie: roughly midday to evening GMT. this allows everyone from africa to asia to america to watch the games. its convenient for everyone, and thus they have more fans, whereas to watch barca in asia you often have to be up at 4am or other crazy times.

    2. Speaking of timezones, the “check your time here” link isn’t correct; you set it for 4pm Barcelona time, not 4pm EST. I was really excited when I thought I could watch at 11pm instead of 5am…sigh. Yeah, watching matches from Southeast Asia is a real pain. Anyway, wanted to let you all know so you don’t miss anything. I have this feeling that Ibra is going to stay up all night watching Chuck Norris videos and come out karate-kicking everything in sight.

    3. Hahaha I can imagine 😀 poor you, these sorts of false hopes are very annoying. I get these before every class when the teacher is 5 mins late. 🙂

  6. WELIGTON! this years Brandao.

    How did this site find a picture of me btw? what is this blog linked to that it would have a pic of me in its database?

  7. There are just a few things I want to address before this match.

    1- Henry needs to start, not just for his confidence, but also for the space we’re going to need if Ibra is going to produce.

    2- Messi needs to start, so he can shove a hat-trick into Wellington’s face.

    3- Our squad needs to clear it quickly out of the back.

    Malaga presents a tricky situation. They’re physical play can cause some seriously problems for us if we’re not good stewards of our possession, and so, this is why I feel tomorrow, it’s so crucial for us to understand that we’re going to dominate possession no matter what and that it’s ok to just get the ball the heck out of dodge.

    Beauty is only beneficial when it’s not threatening to the overall goal, not conceding!

  8. Isaiah, can’t manage today but like Eduard I have no idea what i need or what it involves to host the liveblog. Any chance of a quick post regarding requirements etc.? Also, how much work is needed once the match starts. I get pretty nervous and couldn’t guarantee full attention to it at all times 🙂

  9. isaiah, you did not mention about the FOUR youth players being called up. Carlos Planas and Ilie Sanncez (17) being the unfamiliar ones and Oriol Romeu and Dalmau being the familiar ones.

  10. Those who are free to run the LiveBlog should run it because Isaiah or Kxevin will probably send you a email with all the instructions and all. No worries, everyone started out like that.

    Talking about LiveBlogs where’s our n°1 Omnipresent-LiveBlog-Backup Corrine?

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