Barca v Mallorca LiveBlog

Vicsoc8 in the house. Play nice, and positive. Go team!

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

70 Comments

  1. vicsoc8
    October 3, 2010

    As for what the deal is with JDS and Thiago… I don’t think JDS has done anything wrong that is keeping him from getting the call up. I just think Thiago is forcing his way into the team. He has been phenomenal with the Spanish youth team recently. Pep played him against Athletic, in their home. Despite the fact that we were leading 2-0 when he came on it shows a lot of faith in the youngster to use him in that situation. For his own part, Thiago looks confident on the field and doesn’t appear in over his head.

    It is actually quite amazing, as our midfield looks very busy these days with Busquets, Keita, Xavi, Iniesta all looking good, and Mascherano showing signs of adapting quickly. This is a further testament to Thiago, as he keeps playing with the first team despite the fact that our midfield looks to have the most depth since Guardiola took over.

    While I think Thiago is forcing his way into the team, I’d like to see if he could play on the wing. He is creative and bold, so I think it could work out in an Iniesta-on-the-wing way. I know Enrique has used him on the wing at least once. If Thiago could show some versatility he will get more time and will be more useful to the squad.

    Don’t fear about JDS, he will still have his chance to break into the team. I just think Thiago is more ready and is forcing Pep to continue calling him up.

  2. GREECE BARCA
    October 3, 2010

    i have to say something because kxevin answer to my comment about brazilians transfers like i was attacking to all of our transfers.no i spoke only about 2 players who are on loan for a second season.that is the prove that pep don.t want them.so is for me a stupid move to bring players that coach don.t want.we must spend our money with the best way.txiki made good things but as we critisize our players we must critisize and the rest.am i wrong?

    • vicsoc8
      October 3, 2010

      Keirrison and Henrique were sketchy transfers at best due to the dubious relationship some members of the board had with Traffic, who owned a percentage of each of the players.

      Honestly, what young Brazilian player (Keirrison) actively writes in his contract that he will only cost $15 million if sold to a specific club (Barcelona)? Both of these transfers strike me as of questionable moral fiber.

  3. vicsoc8
    October 3, 2010

    Official:

    Valdes
    Alves Pique Milito Abidal
    Iniesta Mascherano Keita
    Pedro Messi Bojan

    • Kari
      October 3, 2010

      Beat me to the punch.

      I like the lineup–even though it’s the most obvious, minus the Busi exclusion of course

      • vicsoc8
        October 3, 2010

        I personally would be much happier to see Busquets over Keita, as I think the lineup doesn’t have enough creativity behind the mini-forwards, and I don’t think the forwards have shown that they are capable of compensating for that with their own link up play and movement – this season of course.

  4. Kari
    October 3, 2010

    Line-up (official) from Pep:

    Valdes –

    Alves Pique Milito-Abidal

    Iniesta Mascherano Keita –

    Pedro Messi Bojan

    (No Busi!)

  5. GREECE BARCA
    October 3, 2010

    yeah we are gonna kill them!by the way liverpool lost at home..maybe fernando is closer to us for the winter..and our youngs are 2 goals down to cordoba.

    • Helge
      October 3, 2010

      Torres got injured in the 10th min.

      No Busquets, Puyol and Maxwell, Pep surprised me again – or is anyone of them injured?

  6. vicsoc8
    October 3, 2010

    Bench: Pinto, Puyol, Maxwell, Busquets, Thiago, Jeffren, Nolito

    Scary how few choices we have to really change the game from our front three.

    • Ryan
      October 3, 2010

      Puyol comes off the bench to move Pique up as a forward! (fingers crossed)

  7. Jnice
    October 3, 2010

    At halftime, I called a draw or a loss. Ridiculous. Everyone was saying we would score? Why? We can’t put the ball in the back of net in the 1st, we weren’t going to in the 2nd.

    I can’t stand this team sometimes.

    I don’t care if y’all call me a pessimist. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost to Valencia.

    And that’s the damn truth.

    • Stephen
      October 3, 2010

      we had hope. that was terrible, and you’re right, we could lose to Valencia playing like this….

    • jordi(TM)
      October 3, 2010

      Well its not surprising, now when should be working out deficiencies, theres another international break.It doesnt help that all our players even the young ones are internationals at some level.The price of success.

    • Kari
      October 3, 2010

      AHHHHHHH! The pessimism!

      “Don’t stop believing!”

  8. jordi(TM)
    October 3, 2010

    So.. next training sessions should be sharpness in both attack and defense.

  9. Roz
    October 3, 2010

    We looked hopeless awful terrible. Inter Milan all over again. I dont know bout el Classico…

    • Kari
      October 3, 2010

      Aww. I won’t go that far, Roz. It’s post-game, so I’ll give you a pass, but it ain’t the end of the world.

      Had that Pique slider, Abidal header, Bojan post hit, all gone in, I doubt you;d be saying that.

      Upwards and onwards! We’ll win and score goals as well.

  10. GREECE BARCA
    October 3, 2010

    so the team is good only when winning?i know that this is not a good start of season but we must be calm and patient.

    • Roz
      October 3, 2010

      Umm yes I think its the whole point of the game. To win. But I agree we have to be patient

  11. iBlau
    October 3, 2010

    EE 1-0 Depor (Ronaldo 4′)

    insult to injury.

  12. Kari
    October 3, 2010

    Well, it’s another draw. I’m not all that pissed (annoyed because we should have put this game to bed in the first half). The goals’ll come eventually. I like how we’re winning all our difficult away games, but we need to start getting our home form in order (and that’ll come with the goals IMO).

    Team looks good, it’s just the finishing. When a “bad” result happens (i.e. we don’t win by a million goals), people start over analyzing. It’s the joys(?) of being a Cule, but we do need to keep it in moderation (don’t think that’ll happen)

    Bojan had a solid game, I’m happy about that.

    sMasch was MOTM imo; I like how he’s proving me wrong. He’s adapting really well, still gets “stuck in” a bit, but he’s learning.

    THIAGOOOOO!

    We’ll come out firing against Valencia, although there’s the possibility Villa might go all “emo” on us. This match also starts a run of 3 (now 2) games in a row at home. That’s good. We can sort out a lot of stuff

    • vicsoc8
      October 3, 2010

      With the condition of the pitch, I’d almost rather play away.

      • Kari
        October 3, 2010

        Ha.

        Pitch was bad, but if we’re on, it won’t really matter.

        • vicsoc8
          October 3, 2010

          True, but look at Pedro’s injury – he takes a huge chunk out of the pitch and I think that’s how he got injured.

          It’s just terrible, something needs to be done, including canceling the Rugby games they are supposed to play on the pitch.

          • Kari
            October 3, 2010

            Agreed that something should be done; my feed was pretty crappy, so I didn’t get a good look at the pitch, but I don’t want to hear it become an excuse for the loss draw like I’m reading elsewhere.

            We have some deficiencies and it’s not the pitch. However, the pitch really isn’t helping…

          • vicsoc8
            October 3, 2010

            Can’t disagree with you there. Not trying to make it an excuse, I just since we are struggling elsewhere we need to do everything possible to give ourselves the best foundation to play from.

      • Stephen
        October 3, 2010

        Like at Bilbao where we did just fine with a miserable flood? yeah…

        • Kari
          October 3, 2010

          We lost control of the match after Villa got sent off; missed chances wasn’t due to the pitch. I’m not saying a bad pitch doesn’t affect our game, it just shouldn’t be the focus. We have bigger issues that aren’t related to that.

  13. vicsoc8
    October 3, 2010

    Said it two years ago, and I said it last year, but a team just can’t continue on the level we were playing at forever. Pointing out deficits the team has is one thing, being pissed at the team is another. I have, and will support the team through thick and thin. Here’s to hoping we start to improve, and fast.

    On a positive note – Mascherano looked good today, very good. Bojan also had a better game than he has been having. He’s still not burning down houses, but he played more at the level I expect him to.

    • Kari
      October 3, 2010

      I’m totally bookmarking some of these comments, so that when we start kicking ass, I’ll repost them all. One by one.

      Muhahahahaha

    • Stephen
      October 3, 2010

      Agree Vic, he did good and did his usual terrible, but he had good times when he “improved” where he had been bad in other games. Still don’t think he’s first team material, I saw Thiago could’ve done better with more time in, instead of Bojan.

  14. October 3, 2010

    This weekend has been utter crap. Valencia win, Madrid (will) win and we drop points at home. It basically cancels out the great results at Atleti and Bilbao.

  15. majatt
    October 3, 2010

    Great game going forward and unlucky to concede, the fabregas witch hunt can hopefully stop and we can look for a proper centre forward.

  16. Stephen
    October 3, 2010

    Kxevin’s going to have a hoot with this review… 🙂

  17. jordi(TM)
    October 3, 2010

    Camp nou hasnt been so shit since like 2003.With all the money we saved[sic] this summer i find it unacceptable.It injured P! FFS.Whatever plans there are to bring rugby games there they should cancel them and relay the grass.

  18. Tyler
    October 3, 2010

    we were playing a 4-3-3 with only one striker. Bojan and Pedro have to at least pretend they can score. we waste possession and shots on goal and then rely on Messi to save our collective asses. well once they realize pedro and bojan are not going to score its just a simple game of triple team messi. we could have used Villa today, but honestly we could have used any forward who can score.

    *also note, that bojan and pedro are amazing players and have scored loads of goals in the past. im just commenting that right NOW they are sucking it up bad.

  19. Archie_V
    October 3, 2010

    1. I would have liked to have seen Nolito for longer.
    2. Thiago impressed me yet again (are we absolutely sure that Cesc Fàbregas is Xavi’s natural successor?)
    3. Mascherano has “got it”, and it hasn’t taken him that long at all. He played better today that Touré in any match last year. An excellent buy.
    4. Milito really is the new Márquez – excellent distribution but woefully off the pace in one-on-one defending.
    5. Good to see Abidal back with what looked like a lot of enthusiasm.
    6. Alves should remember that when you’re playing with a forward line of guys as short as he is instead of a BSL (big strong lad) up front, banging in crosses without looking is unlikely to have the desired result. If there’s no way into the area, just play it back to Iniesta or Thiago instead, eh, Dani.
    7. If the second goal had come, we’d be talking about what a work of art the first one was. Instead, we’re left with a rather bitter taste in our mouths.

    • Stephen
      October 3, 2010

      Thank you for point out the Thiago work. He’s done great. People even give Dos Santos more credit than they give Thiago.
      Great #7 there… bad playing does always give us that feeling. It was magical playing up to that goal, after that we were just miserable.

      • Jnice
        October 3, 2010

        I always give Thiago credit. I called for him to start. He’s fucking nice. Period. That’s the only plus I took out of this match. I don’t care about how anyone else did. They all annoy me, except him.

  20. Roz
    October 3, 2010

    I Shudder to think what would happen if Messi was out. Whats up with Pedro is he O.K?

  21. Helge
    October 3, 2010

    We have to get rid of Bojan, seriously…

    Another unnecessary draw. Next matches will be Valencia(h), Zaragoza(a) and Sevilla(h). If we continue playing like this, we will be about 6 points behind Real Madrid and maybe even more behind first place after these matches :/

  22. Hilal
    October 3, 2010

    What a waste of 2 points, especially with Valencia winning AGAIN and Madrid blatantly going to win as well. Where does that leave us? Chasing 2 teams!

    Who still thinks getting rid of Ibra was a good thing? God knows we could have used him today with all the crosses flying into the box getting nowhere. If teams like Mallorca can frustrate us just imagine what a Chelsea will do..

    Bojan is a waste of space. All he does is lose the ball and then when he gets a half decent chance he cocks it up, either with a shit touch or a crap finish. I cannot fathom how anybody thought his boy was going to be anywhere close to a replacement for Ibra.

    We need a proper striker guys or we are screwed. At the moment we are relying purely on Messi for goals and that will never work..

    Madrid are 3-0 up vs Depor. Showing what good finishing is..

    Some of the wastefulness today was just ridiculous.

  23. vincent
    October 3, 2010

    madrid is up 3 0. 35 minutes played.

    i agree that we need to finish off the chances. but i believe it’s still early in the season, there’s no reason to be so pessimistic.

  24. Ethan
    October 3, 2010

    I am honestly impressed with how our team has been playing these past few weeks. Yes we haven’t been finishing chances, but we are at least moving really well and creating loads of chances we never used to. I know our defense is letting us down on the few opportunites we are allowing, but that is something that Pep im sure will work on. We have NEVER been good at set piece defending, its just something we always need to be conscious about. The movement from the new guys with the team is looking great as well, thiago, nolito, very promising. Obviously dont really need to add anything to my feelings on CT. Kid has loads of talent, just doesnt know how to use it. He needs someone in his ear yelling, DIG DIG, put some tenacity behind those shooting skills you have and work your ass off and you will see the rewards. Until he has that, just dont see anything changing with him. Kids not a dribbler, he moves well, just needs to dig in, fight, and pull off those first time shots that we all know he can blast into the net. Just kills me seeing all this potential wasted with him. Like kevin has noted, he has loads more talent than pedro, he’s just not using his head and not working his ass off for better positioning when being bullied. Made some great runs today though. Team really does look good. I know we have been spoiled in recent years, but to be honest i like what i am seeing out there right now, even more so than last year. we will pick it up, every game we are showing what we are capable of. we really need another striker, but to be honest, we should be able to make do with what we have. my main concern at the moment is our horrific pitch which is scaring the crap out of me. really hope Rosell figures that out, and that Pep puts a lot of pressure on the board. Our carpet like turf, and wide pitch are what made playing our game at home unstoppable and such an advantage. Not saying that would change what happened today, but the fluidity that brings to our game is undeniable, and we wouldnt have resulting injuries like the one to pedro today. and my last note, Masch is playing awesome. really fitting into the colors well, his last two games have been great. Really underestimated what he could bring to our side.

  25. Kari
    October 3, 2010

    Sigh. I’ll just come back later.

    Way too much pessimism.

  26. Diego S.
    October 3, 2010

    Our defense is worse than last year. We concede too many goals. Also, We lost the little “physicality” we had by selling most of our tall/big players “Henry, Ibra, Chygy, Marquez, Yaya”. Our corners are useless and people will keep pushing us around.

    **Does anyone have Dani’s number ? I want to text him “STOP CROSSING”.

    • Helge
      October 3, 2010

      Lack of height could indeed be a serious problems. Especially against sides like Chelsea.

      I shouldn’t have watched today’s match, cuz I gotta learn for an oral exam tomorrow morning, but now I’m f***ing depressed and demotivated 🙁

    • vicsoc8
      October 3, 2010

      Just wondering how you post this when you haven’t seen the match

  27. Eklavya
    October 3, 2010

    I missed the match…again.

    FAIL.

    • Jnice
      October 3, 2010

      Nah, you didn’t fail. You succeeded. Don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t find it fun or entertaining to watch a team miss all of their chances and give up goals after dominating a match. I wish I hadn’t watched the match and just watched a Thiago vs. Mallorca clip instead.

      • Diego S.
        October 3, 2010

        Awesome ! I didn’t see the match as well, I’ll wait for that clip. But Messi’s goal was a beauty.

    • Ryan
      October 3, 2010

      I dunno, I think as a Barca fan you ought to watch the fail matches as much as the successful ones. There was even one play where Bojan held up the ball like a grownup!

      You’ll get pretty frustrated after about the 60th minute though. Seems like nobody wanted to shoot unless it was outside the box or right in line with the goal posts.

    • Jose
      October 3, 2010

      We really could’ve used your peanuts today…

  28. GREECE BARCA
    October 3, 2010

    i have a question:do we want a strong liga or to win every game easy?that.s life.ask bayern,united,lyon,arsenal,juventus e.t.c

    • Nik
      October 3, 2010

      You can have a strong liga and still play well. Jnice is annoyed at the fact that we played poorly.

      • Nik
        October 3, 2010

        Ok, that didn’t read too clearly. My point is that if we play well, then it’s not as frustrating when we don’t win. Losing/drawing is one thing, but doing it while shooting yourself in the foot by playing poorly is the worst.

        The other teams in the league don’t need to suck for us to improve our play.

    • Hilal
      October 3, 2010

      Its not about winning games easily, its about putting away your chances. This is going to be a very competitive league this year, Madrid will get better and better each game they play. Yes it is still very early and yes there r plenty of points left to play for but have no doubt those were 2 points squandered. We should have won that game in the first 30 mins, let alone the first half. We cannot afford to give away points like that, not with Mourinho in charge of Madrid. He will win game after game playing like crap!

      What worries me the most is that this is not the first game that this has happened, this has been happening since the first game of the season. Chance after chance missed. So far, missed chances have cost us 5 points. Villa, Bojan, Pedro, all of them culprits. Today, even our defenders were missing good chances!! Pique had 2 he should have put away and Abidal had one he could have scored or made an easy pass for a goal, instead he headers it back to the keeper. I almost threw something at the tv!!

      If we play shit and drop points I can take it. You cant always play well, but when you play as well as we did today and walk away with a draw, at home no less, it makes me wana hit somebody!!

  29. Jim
    October 3, 2010

    I actually thought the team played pretty well tonight – the first twenty was heaven but gradually I thought we slowed down to their pace and losing a goal to them seemed to give them extra strength and willpower

    I thought Bojan was okay again but he’s going to need more than that to save him after this season I fear. He needs to go on a goalscoring run, which i’m sure he’s capable of but if he doesn’t step up he may be the one to suffer most. I thought he worked well with Abidal on the left until I realised that he’s probably our best bet to get on the end of Abidal’s crosses so shouldn’t be wide. I don’t think it’s fair to have a go at Pedro’s lack of goals. The amazing thing was how many he scored last year. Second season syndrome is fairly common.

    The pitch, although not an excuse, is something we’ll need to look at. We rely on quick movement and sharp turns. If nobody can do that it’s a leveller. I wonder if part of the problem isn’t over watering to make the surface too slick although that’s no reason for so many divots I suppose.

    The worry for me is that too many of the team don’t seem to realise that we need to get our decisive players ( in this case Messi and Iniesta) on the ball more often. Can’t say I was as impressed as some seem to be with the youngsters who came on but I’m certainly not passing judgement at this stage.

    Still annoyed every time I saw Villa sitting in the stand. Also felt sorry at the sight of Xavi’s face as the game progressed.

  30. Helge
    October 3, 2010

    Oh yeah, Real winning 6-1, two goals by Crynaldo, this makes my mood rise even higher.
    What a wonderful time for an international break, so I won’t be able to forget about this match soonly. And great to know that Valencia is up after the break, given our usual off-matches after internationals *ARGH*

    • Stephen
      October 3, 2010

      Not looking forward to that. Thankfully though Xavi isnt playing with Spain, and neither is Pedro.

  31. Jim
    October 3, 2010

    Btw, what’s going on. Now I hear as well as probably Pedro, Torres won’t be playing against Scotland either. Who’s left?

    I have a nightmare lurking at the back of my mind where Scotland win and I have to listen to my friends tell me its because Spanish football is boring and we can teach them how to play the game.

    • romario
      October 3, 2010

      Sergio B. will also not participate (as well as Mata and J.Martinéz) against Scotland and Lithuania because of his participation for the upcoming youth relegation match agains Croatia..

      Spain got some serious problems..Cesc Fabregas as well as Raul Albiol can’t play either.

  32. cliveee
    October 3, 2010

    enough of Bojan already… totally not up to the standard. It’s true, other players including messi also blew up some chances, but Bojan looked totally hopeless up front. Failed to control the exquisite ball from midfield for an one-on-one chance was huge. When Abidal was wide-open up left, he chose to shoot the ball to stands, I can’t see him anymore.

    Reinforcement in January is unavoidable, and we should loan Bojan out at the end of the season. no more excuse.

  33. Dave
    October 3, 2010

    This was an absolute disaster- don’t care if people shout pessimist or hater. Its better to be a realist than someone that seems jumped up on Prozac.
    1 Chances- all that huffing and poncing and 1 measly goal to show for it. Barca should of been 3 up at half time. They weren’t which gave Laudrup his chance to regroup and re organize at half time.Killer instinct non existent. People will say Villa, Xavi etc but the bottom line is they got chances and did not go for the jugular.

    2 Bench/Squad depth- major issue- someone above did the maths and saw we lost a lot of players this summer who weren’t sufficiently replaced and instead said oh the youth will do… absolute tosh
    Nolito no disrespect but hes no Larson.

    3 The lack of ideas/Plan B/ leadership
    We consistently saw in the second half the same again and again worn out old moves. If we put away chances in first half, our players can rest instead of burning valuable energy sources.
    The failure to sign effectively is going to lead to Messi getting a) injured or b) burnt out ala Ronny from an over reliance.

    4 January- its common knowledge that you get the shite end of the stick in January transfers- and if this form continues teams will prey on our desperation and rip off a club that has limited funds as it is.
    It may be too late by January anyway

    5)Not hating on Bojan, want to succeed at Barca but if hes our back-up plan to Villa its a fairly damning comment on the state of the squad

    6 Height- well discussed before. We need a bully of a CF. No frills, I don’t care how many stepovers he can do as long as he put the ball in the net. some will say he has to be able to create-nonsense, thats what the others do.

    • Dave
      October 3, 2010

      This Bojan’s make or break year. He’ll be given his chance as his new number suggests, but there is no hiding with the number.

      Message to the higher ups- open the wallet. If Bojan is Barca material he’ll rise to the top regardless of new transfers.
      Xavi cover essential

  34. Nick
    October 3, 2010

    If Bojan gets more than -5 in the review, I’ll be sad.

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