[Note: there’s quite a bit of NSFW language in the video below, but the video itself is SFW]
[Note: there’s quite a bit of NSFW language in the video above, but the video itself is SFW]
It’s gorgeous outside. It’s like spring finally decided to come around and say hi after winter spent months dumping snow and icy winds on us. It’s supposed to rain later this week, so I’m going to spend as much time this week outside walking around and wearing only a sweatshirt. It’s freakin’ 55F here! Those of you in warm weather climates are shivering at the thought, but I’m actually considering going out without a sweatshirt.
-The opposite is true in Barcelona today, where the team trained in full winter gear as it snowed (here and here). Seydou Keita and Eric Abidal missed through their previous injuries while Dani Alves and Lionel Messi also both missed through injuries sustained during the Almería match. I don’t think either of those latter two are seriously injured, but precautions were taken, probably especially in light of the snow and slippery conditions on the field. Carles Puyol also trained separately from the group, as appears to be his usual routine these days. He’ll be ready to go for Valencia regardless of his physical situation. No legs? No problem! I’ll bite your legs off.
-The club is appealing Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s red card from the Almería match for obvious reasons: replays clearly showed that Ibra and Cisma came together in a routine defender-on-attacker bumping and that Cisma went down without having been elbowed or kicked. The red should be rescinded, but might not be to save face, as is fairly typical of RFEF. That would mean Ibra will miss the Valencia match at the very least and, if it’s a three match ban that’s upheld, the following encounters at Real Zaragoza and against Osasuna.
-The club is also appealing Pep Guardiola‘s red card from the same match. I think there’s less likelihood of his card being rescinded than Ibra’s simply because he really did break the letter of the law by leaving the coaching box (aka technical area) and talking to the assistant ref. Live I thought Pep was calmly telling the assistant he was a dimwitted jerkwad, but the ref’s match report said he was yelling at the assistant.* Make of it what you will, but I’d put my money on us going up against Valencia without Pep. Silly move by him and I don’t know what he thought he was going to get out of it.
-Even the official site has to talk about how manly some of the players are. During the aforementioned snowfest training session, Xavi, Yaya Toure, Gabi Milito, Ibra, and Dmitro Chygrynskiy all wore shorts instead of leggings or pants during the practice. This is because they are badass like Chuck Norris on speed (he kicks bullets at you faster than a gun can shoot them).
-There’s a new ball being used in La Liga starting this coming weekend. I’m not sure how that will affect the game, but these minor differences can change a lot more than you might expect. It could be better or worse for the team, but regardless, we should be able to adapt fairly quickly.
-The new Kevin Rating Synthesis is out. Abidal still gets top marks, but hasn’t played in our more recent, lower-rated matches, so excluding him, our best player has been Victor Valdes with an overall average of 7.33 and a median of 7. Only Marc Bartra got an average of 7.00 or more, but that’s hardly a fair indication of Bartra’s abilities since he only made one appearance. In the league, the also-injured Seydou Keita received a 7.57 to Valdes’ 7.52 (both with a median of 7). The low overall rating remains Bojan Krkic at 4.33 (median 4). Rafa Marquez comes in second-to-last at 4.47 (median 4). For the league, the low is Jeffren Suarez‘s 3.33 (median 4).
The overall team average rating is 6.31 (median 6) while the team league average is 6.43 (median 6). We have 16 perfect 10 ratings and 4 ratings of 1. The team’s best-rated performance was against the 2-1 home victory over Getafe at 7.92 (median 8) followed immediately by our worst, the 4.38 (median 5) showing at Atletico Madrid.
-I’ll update you guys on the league prediction and Yahoo! Fantasy stuff tomorrow as there’s still one match to be played (Valencia – Racing). I’ve moved up an entire spot to 15th with David Villa still to play. That’s pretty hotttt with like, well, I guess 4 t’s.
*Expulsado por “estando el juego detenido, para abandonar el área técnica desplazándose hasta asistente número 1 y acercando su cara a escasos centímetros de la de éste, mientras gritaba con los brazos en alto ‘lo pitan todo al revés’, ‘no te enteras de nada” [trans: Sent off “while the game was stopped, for leaving the technical area, approaching the referee’s assistant and putting his face within a few centimetres while shouting with his arms raised ‘they’re giving everything the wrong way’ and ‘you don’t understand anything'”.] Wording found here in Spanish and here in English.