Bojan Krkic, aka “The Sad Story of a Boy Wonder Gone … Less Wonder, More Boy”

In the “everybody gets a turn” tradition of BFB, Kari made a very eloquent, impassioned comment about our own Bojan Krkic that deserves to live in its own post. So here we go.

Bojan Krkic has some of the worst luck I’ve seen in a young player.

Last season, he had scored the goal against Inter that would have sent us into that historic final and would have made him a hero; a goal possibly bigger than the Iniestazo. But then it was disallowed. And we were eliminated. And sprinklers were turned on and, for a time, everything went to hell.

Bummer.

Although he had picked himself up and scored huge goals for us (which I believe people are not including in their arguments enough, because without them, I honestly believe that we wouldn’t have won La Liga.), I also believe he was the one who had the most goals disallowed (although someone might need to check that, I’m going from memory).

I’ve said once that he strikes me as a confidence player. I’m not so sure on that now. If you noticed last season, Bojan scored braces -– goals in pairs -– often. I think he’s a classic striker in he lives on goals. The longer this [current] goal drought goes on, the more he starts to think, and we all know how bad that is to even great players (see one David Villa).

He’s caught in two minds: he knows that he should relax and that the chances will come his way again (see the casual jog when he loses the ball), but he also feels apprehensive and he needs to do somethingrightnowitcan’twaitNOWNOWNOW to alleviate the pressure from himself and fans’ expectations (see Messiesque dribbles that untimely fail, shots that are too early, passes when he should shoot, shots when he should pass). I’m sure everyone’s had that feeling of nervousness; you know you shouldn’t be and that if you are, you’ll mess up, so you tell yourself constantly that you aren’t, but you can’t help it. You work and work in preparation, only for your muscles to stiffen and your mind to race when you get there.

If we’re going to talk about age, let’s not forget that Iniesta didn’t really get a look with us until Xavi got that injury in the 05/06 season; he was 23, turning 24. Xavi wasn’t a world beater at 23 either; gifted, brimming with soon-to-be-unleashed awesomeness, but playing farther back than he is now. And he had more defensive duties -– until Pep came and released him from those duties. Messi doesn’t count because he’s special and considered in the contention of All-Time Great for a reason.

Bojan’s problem isn’t that he isn’t good enough -– he is and he’s shown that in spurts, and that is his problem. He needs more consistency and he needs to learn to not bring himself down and put more pressure on himself, in short -– he needs to relax, really relax. Not this half assed, “I think I can, I thinkknow I can, I know I can do it, I know I ca…OMG, I NEED TO SCORE,” mentality. All the misgivings other commenters have expressed I’m sure goes double for Bojan. He knows better than anyone else that he’s needed and that he needs to improve. He’s also not helping himself by heaping unnecssary pressure on himself. Bojan thinks he can handle it, knows that at this point, he should be able handle it.

I think he needs to mature. And he is, bit by bit. These experiences are necessary for all young players. It’s frustrating and annoying, but that’s what learning looks like sometimes. Like when a math teacher has to sit down and explain the lesson to that one kid that doesn’t get it. But when they finally do…LOOK OUT!

In conclusion, I believe Bojan will improve once he matures, and learns to relax under pressure. Only when he achieves this state of Messi-like Zen, will he be able to unleash his full potential.

Thanks, Kari.

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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.

110 Comments

  1. Enano
    November 10, 2010

    Iniesta was 21 when he got his chance during that season. He’s born in 1984.

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