CL Preview: FC Barcelona at Panathinaikos F.C.

Through 4 games in the 2010-11 Champions League campaign Barcelona has been moving along in a rather up-and-down fashion, roughly the equivalent of a season of “Mad Men”: never terrible, occasionally missing its stride, but brilliant the rest of the time. Simply, unequivocally, brilliant. In our first foray into continental competitions this year, the boys brutally decimated Panathinaikos 5-1. Then a trot of 1-1 at Kazan, 2-0 to Copenhagen, and 1-1 to Copenhagen leaving us top of the group with 8 points and holding tiebreakers over second-place Copenhagen, who sit on 7 points. A win here and we are one step closer to qualifying in 1st for the Round of 16. So without further adieu, let’s Preview.

By way of full disclosure, I am doing your preview today as Isaiah has been on one hell of a bender lately and was at one point declared legally dead this weekend after 4 zombie jager bombs, a drink we recently invented that involves jager, Red Bull, and tequila. It attained the name “zombie” because it actually kills the drinker for a short time before resurrection. Nice week for you to go down Isaiah, nice. Seriously though, these will not be as long as normal because my finals have sucked the life out of me, so I hope you can fend for yourselves for the time being.

Anyway, this Panathinaikos game is a pickle to predict because of the team’s historical impotency in CL road games under Pep and the Greecian’s historical steeliness at home. Yet, the boys are hitting on all cylinders right now and Messi has decided that playing god was not enough so he had to become the creator of all things and destroy all in his path (including the Brazilians). The team also seems to be bucking some trends recently. As has been noted, Barรงa rarely scores much at Almeria, then again, we decided that 8 goals were just enough to salt the earth on the way back home. Combine this with Pana’s complete lack of offensive prowess in the CL (they have scored exactly 1 goal this year in Europe, on a keeper punt and poor defense to open up against us in September), and we have ourselves sort of a conundrum.

This is just his normal look.
Until we look deeper. Look, I am wrong about a great many things, but our boys are playing their best right now. After grinding out one against Valencia 2-1, we’ve rolled off scores of 2-0, 5-0, 3-1, 3-1, and 8-0 in all competitions. That’s over a month of solid play with our offense finally getting the goals it needs and capitalizing on chances. Villa has found his touch and has 6 goals, Messi we have already discussed, even Bojan has gotten in on it of late, and Pedro has come on as well. This combined with the apparent regeneration of Xavi’s achilles and Alves doing everything on the field at once means the boys are more formidable across the board and are getting solid contributions from as many spots as possible, and others are continuing to learn and grow before our eyes (I’m looking at your Biscuits and Pique). In short: we need to put this one away early, hold the lead, and continue the stellar play before that other game on Monday.

Of course the team is not carrying its full compliment of players. Pep is bringing 20 guys to Greece including Valdes, Mino, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Maxwell, Abidal, Adriano, Fontas, Xavi, Iniesta, Thiago, Mascherano, Biscuits, Keita, Villa, Bojan, Messi, Jeffren, and Pedro. Good to see Fontas and Thiago getting more burn with the big boys. Missing from this list are Milito, injured, and Pinto, whistling. Not crushing blows, but hopefully we wouldn’t need them anyway. Tactically we should be looking at doing the exact same things we always do, though Pep may decide to rest a couple of guys looking ahead, even though it is not his normal style. I’d like to see Fontas and Thiago start, but I doubt that happens either.

We will see if any huge changes are made to the starters. As much as Pep and everyone in the club really wants to say that no one is looking ahead, that’s a load of crap. Real Madrid is looking like the biggest game of the year by far now that both teams are in stride and an injury to any player, even a role player, would be harmful to the efforts. This has to come into effect when Pep is determining starters. Then again, this is Pep, so we may have Valdes playing DM, Puyol in goal, and Messi at right back, weaving his way up the pitch. I am going to predict a strong lineup to go out and stomp this one out early and then early subs for Xavi, Iniesta, and Villa. We will know how Copenhagen fared by game time since they play early in Russia. With a loss or a draw there and a win for us we will clinch 1st in the group.

Predicted Lineup: Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Maxwell, Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi, Villa, Messi, Bojan

Final Score: 4-0, goals by Villa (2), Messi, and Busquets (why not right?)

Game time: 2:45 EST. Right now, the only TV I see showing up in America is a replay at 5:00 EST on FSC, but I may be missing something on one of Direct TV’s 3,000 channels.

Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.

277 comments

  1. Nice to watch that 5-1 highlight again… because that was indeed the most ridiculous game we’d played so far this season. Look at all the goals we scored… I mean, from build up to finish, we had them in our hand and we decided how to slaughter them nice and slow.

    We won’t be playing our first team, for sure. But you will see Messi playing 90 minutes. Xavi to play 45, Villa 60-70.

    my predicted lineup:

    VV
    Alves Fontas Pique Adriano
    Busquets
    Iniesta Xavi
    Messi Villa Bojan

    Puyol has been playing all games and deserves a rest before the big match next monday. Both Maxwell and Abidal played last game and especially Abidal is a little injured, Maxwell needs rest too. Busquets rested last game and should feature to get the match fitness back. It’s a little risky to play Bojan again as we might see him go back to slump after a confidence boost last time, but it can absolutely go otherwise, and lets hope so.

    4-0? after a 8-0 victory? Let’s just be a little more generous about the goals we allow their fans to watch. 6-0! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Good preview, Luke! You really think Bojan will start over Pedro?

    What do we all think of Panathinaikos’ new coach, Jesualdo Ferreira, who was recently at Malaga?

    I doubt if Thiago will get any playing time unless we are at least 3 up by halftime.

    Prediction: 4-1, Messi (2), Villa, Piquenbauer.

  3. Has anyone else noticed in the CL games that the one FSC guy can’t EVER bring himself to say anything positive about Alves?

    1. YES!

      It really is pathetic, somo. He unnecessarily picks on Alves all game long for silly things that aren’t that bad. And then when Alves does something well he is silent. Truly awful commentary. One time he suggested Alves usually is the weak link in the Barรงa starting 11. Seriously?!

  4. I actually don’t see this game on FSC, FSD, or the regular FS (wishful thinking anyways, since it’s the only one I get in HD), all day.

  5. If rubin beat copenhagen with a win we are top of the group.The same if rubin and copenhagen draw.My prediction depends in how pep will decide to play the game.I say 2-0 win with goals by pedro and iniesta.

  6. We’re in great form, but I still see us drawing in the end. Players will want to impress their new manager, the fans will be very loud like they always are in Athens, and our players might subconsciously be playing not to get injured.

    You know when Messi plays on reserve mode at times? I think this might be one of those matches.

    By the time we kick off, we’ll know the result of the Rubin-Copenhagen match, so maybe that will alter our approach somewhat.

    1. You might be right about Messi, but I have been expecting that for about 2 weeks now and it still hasn’t come. Maybe he got past that?

    2. Yeah yeah, you predicted low scored for the last few matches as well and look how they turned out ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. I agree. A draw seems more likely.

      We could give Jeffren, Adriano, Bojan a run before the Classico. Just in case.

  7. I agree with Jnice about this one. I think they’ll all have el derbi in the back of their mind, and play somewhat ‘reserved’. I know they should focus on Pana first & foremost, but it’s very difficult not to think about Monday, especially considering that EE will not only get an extra day’s rest, but they’re already through, so they won’t play many of their top guns.

    I’m not sure we’ll trash ’em, but I do think we’ll win this time out.

    And BTW, I checked Fox Deportes’ schedule, and they say they’re showing the game live tomorrow at 2:30/2:45 EST. I know a lot of you use Livesoccertv.com, but sometimes they can be pretty unreliable.

  8. Oh man I forgot all about that Xavi pass to setup the first goal. Look at that pass!
    JNice, me and you both agreed the Villareal match had us nervous and we predicted I think 2-1 wins over Almeria. We’re off. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I see a 2-0 or maybe a 3-0. I said last post that it should be Fontas and Pique. Puyol needs the rest, and Pique hasn’t played in two matches. Abidal should see the bench and maybe, Thiago should start.

    Cuddly bear will probably start on the wing with Villa and Messi.

    Valdes
    Alves-Fontas-Pique-Maxwell
    -Biscuits-
    Thiago-Iniesta
    Messi-Villa-Bojan

    Or if Pep wants to prove a point that he isn’t thinking about el clasico, he’ll roll out the first team. I still see Bojan starting though.

  9. These are the games I really hope players like Iniesta are benched. I’d actually love to see Iniesta, Xavi and possibly Puyol on the bench, due to injuries, with Messi anchoring the midfield with any combination of keita, Mascherano and busquets. Then, depending on how things are going after 60mins, take out 3 more veterans (messi, Villa, Alves) or add the 3 from the bench.

    My line-up would be:

    Valdez
    Alves,Fontas,Pique,Maxwell
    Mascherano, Busqueta
    Messi
    Pedro,Bojan,Villa

    1. Well, not if messi’s role will primarily be in anchoring the midfield then crushing the box when opportunity arises

  10. 1. Pique HAS to play this because he needs match practice pre-Clasico.

    2. I look forward to see some Adriano and Fontas again with Puyol and Alves getting a rest/half.

    3 If Masche starts as I think he will..we’ll see him in a bench role against Madrid which makes me kinda sad as I want to see him get under Crynaldo’s greasy skin/synthetic mousse.

    4. Is anyone as psyched as i am for this Clasico. The prospect of Mou Mou and Daddy Flo eating crwo (again) is making me dizzy.

    5. I remember over at the old offside blog there used to be this regular contributor called Genis- this professorial type who I believe Kxevin met. What happened to him?

    End.

    1. Good question, K. Genis just dropped off the face of the earth, kinda like Hector. E-mails and texts are returned and ultimately, who knows? Genis was awesome people, and it was so cool to meet him in person, particularly when I was working on a story about Barcelona. He informed and altered the direction of that story in a very good way.

      My wife has his wife’s e-mail. I should have her reach out, because I am definitely curious.

  11. Greece Barca lives in Athens, right? So, how are Pana playing right now? Hopefully they are experiencing a loss of form right now….

    – Agree with K and anyone else who says sMasch will start. This is a good game for him to play and he’s definitely not starting in el Clasico unless Busi gets a mysterious injury.

    – Xavi also doesn’t start this match IMO. So that leaves Iniesta all by his lonesome, meaning Messi moves back closer to the mid. to help him out.

    – As for the defense: I’m the least sure on this one. I agree that Pique needs to start, but I want Puyol to get some rest as well. Abidal is reportedly coming back from injury (against England. WTF?!) so I’d want him to come on as a sub at most.
    So I’m going for:

    Pinto Valdes
    Alves – Pique – Puyol* – Maxwell
    Messi – Mascherano – Iniesta*
    Pedro! – Bojan – Villa

    Depending on how the match goes: subs *Fontas for Puyol, Thiago for Iniesta (don’t wanna see Ghostface get injured, since they seem to kick him a lot).

    I’m gonna miss the first half, but I hope to see a lead.

    1. I live in athens too.

      Panathinaikos is actually in a bad shape.

      Last game they were two neil down on their home ground vs a considerable weak team , but they scored 4 after that.
      They had a caretaker coach in charge , but after that game they signed the former coach of porto and malaga(i think) named fereira.

      Its his first match in charge and he said to the press that the match against barcelona is an excellent start for him since he can watch his team perform in the toughest challenge available.

      He seems to take an extra interest in defence in training.

      Panathinaikos is not really in a good shape recently since he has had a couple of bad results , he fired the coach that won them a double last year after quite a few years of having won nothing and govou is being considered an outcast by the directors of the club for not performing up to standards and having a nasty reputation of not living the life of an athlete outside of the sporting obligations.

      However they will be looking to bounce back and make a good impression on their newly signed coach.
      Theres also the rumour amongst the fans that barcelona squad will not be fully focused after the big away win of last game and with the clasico coming up next.

    2. Do it. Do it and try not to get arrested. <– I am totally not making any assumptions as to what you'll try to do. Just honest advice, Really.

    3. Didn’t they like just hire a new coach or something?

      Yeah: Jesualdo Ferreira the ex-Maulaga guy.

      Mind you the first few games under a new coach generally result in victories and such what with the players wanting to prove themselves to the new guy etc..

      And Pep will as usual mindf**k us all and teleport Gudjohnsen to Greece and play him in midfield ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Oh, and we are apparently going to make another offer to Alves. The club is trying to find “innovative solutions” to the problem of the club’s austerity program, coupled with the need to keep Alves happy and in the colors. And so it goes. Talks are ongoing, the player and his agent are reportedly calm and still optimistic.

    1. I thought we stopped all negotiations with all players (including Busquets,Pique, and Bojan) till after the classico. Strange…

  13. I think we will attack from the get go, especially if Ruben draw or beat Copenhagen, because then we need to a win to settle the 1st place issue.
    Most probably the boys will have the EE game in the back of their minds but pep will kick that out of them. so after all clears up i think we are too good for pana so my prediction is barca winning 3:1
    by the by Isiah get well soon, and i wanna have what you are having

  14. You know, when I’m thinking about our starting XI when looking for players to take out/rest, I’m glad we got Afellay. I could take P! or Iniesta out and put Afellay in.

    Oh, and this is for Kxevin: /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcRPtTVTtkM&feature=related

    It’s an interview with Pedro! with Revista de la Liga on SkySports, where he says where he’s improved the most. WC really did do him a world of good (pun semi-intended). There’s also some discussion on Afellay at the beginning of the video.

  15. 1) Draw is not an option. Barcelona need to win, or else they will end up second in the group.

    2) Busquets didnt start against Almeria, so I think he will play in this match.

    3) Abidal is not fully fit yet, so his inclusion is not certain.

    4) There is no need to start Iniesta, unless if Keita is not fit. Either him or Xavi need to rest.

    Here you go, I briefed my preview ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Keita… mayhaveslippedmymindsoIforgotabouthimanddidn’tincludehim(shhh!).

      So that’s what I think about point 4.

    1. I’d prefer one of them to start from the bench. that way messi can start in midfield and give it more fluidity and possession valve release in case of trouble. Like I said, if we are 2 or 3 up by the 60th, then Thiago, keita and Adriano can come on for messi, Alves and Villa.

  16. “this is Pep, so we may have Valdes playing DM, Puyol in goal, and Messi at right back, weaving his way up the pitch”

    I lol’d. But somehow, knowing Pep, this would probably work.

  17. Is it just me or does this board seem to have a specialist for every league?

    Greece Barca knows the Greek league, I forget who but someone tells us a lot about the Eredevisie, anyone with a TV knows about the EPL, I probably watch the most MLS.

    Its kind of cool to see how broad the horizons are of these fans and how we all have valid input towards everything.

    Also Spartak are dominating OM and find themselves down 0-1 at half. Every French team is insane. One day you’re in 3rd, and two straight losses wil drop you into the relegation zone.

    1. I am an expert in Caribbean national teams… that must count for something, right?

      Oh, and I can tell you guys about Real Salt Lake when we meet them in the Club World Cup on December 2011.

    2. I can do the A-League (Australia)!!!

      Huge Perth Glory fan (That’s where Robbie Fowler now plays by the way).

      Not that it will have any effect on our players or their fixtures (highly unlikely to see a game in my lifetime between an A leaguer and Barca…

  18. From sport.es:
    “No estamos clasificados todavรญa y queremos clasificarnos y ser primeros de grupo, asรญ que pondremos al mejor equipo posible”, manifestรณ Guardiola en su rueda de prensa de este martes en Atenas.

    So tomorrow we will know which is the best possible line-up according to Pep ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Pana is not a danger team.They created little chances against kazan and copenhagen at home.Their leader karagounis will not play.No fear my friends.An easy win.Their defense is tragic.

  20. What a blast by Loic Remy! Two posts and in, similar to Messi’s.. I mean Pedro’s goal except it stayed in.
    OM get another somehow. Wow.

    I adjust my lineup.
    Valdes
    Alves Pique Fontas Maxwell
    sMasch Biscuits
    Keita
    Messi Villa Iniesta

    Xavi gets a rest but can come on if needed. Puyol needs it a rest. P! Can come on if we need to secure the result. Thiago can come on if the result is secured. I want to see Thiago more, and maybe chosing Fontas is wrong..but theres a lot of season left. Pep wants to get a result, if el Clasico wasn’t Monday we’d see Thiago more. This is one of those games where you get the W, don’t worry about blooding anyone in.

    Besides if we can clinch here Thiago will play 90 in the final match day.

  21. I’m probably going to watch the Braga v Arsenal game and scout the enemy on the side (that’s EE btw) since both games are on my TV, I might as well.

    I hope EE do semi well against Ajax so they lower their guard, come in overconfident, and we kick their asses. But what will most likely happen is Ajax play well, miss chances and then get punished by Higuain.

    Suarez should at least bite someone. Perferably an EE player. That looks like he has the mother of all wedgies at times before he takes a free-kick.

    1. “That looks like he has the mother of all wedgies at times before he takes a free-kick.”

      Too true.

  22. I put on the biters vs. divers match and literally the first thing I see is a stepover to nowhere and CR7 go down in the box. in his defense it was close, but with the extra official RIGHT THERE. Literally, he couldn’t have been closer, not awarding it. It looked close, but he was right there he had to get it right. of course CR7 thought he was wrong.

    And theres CR7 blasting one from 30 yards out nowhere near goal.

    When discussing his goals we should count how many are earned from dives then FKs, and dives then PKs, by him or his teammates. The PK for ramos was quite soft the other day.

  23. The only interest I have in the EE game today is seeing if Gregory VDW gets a shot at Greg Louganis, and if so, can he handle him?

  24. Wow, what a dive by Pedro Leon. Doesn’t get touched, and the Ajax player gets booked. And what happens.

    A GOAL FROM THE FREE KICK.

    1. Okay, so a defender climbs CR7 to make a header..CR7 heads it off and goes down clutching his eye..
      It doesn’t look like he got touched at all this is getting bad!

  25. I’m watching Braga v Arsenal and my poor little mind can’t handle the fact that Braga looks so much like Arsenal in their red kits. So confusing!

    1. Ajax are sh*t. No really. Like Almeria sh*t. They can’t even string simple 10 yard passes together. Johan Cryuff is shaking his head in shame.

      Pedro Leon is diving -insert explicative here-. He didn’t even make the “most of it” like Busi/Alves do. There. was. no. contact. Ajax player gets a yellow, and from the resultant free-kick, EE score an admittedly nice goal. Back heel from Ozil to Benzema who put the ball into the top corner.

      All in all, I’d say same as usual.

    1. I live nearby, but I’ve yet to check out the Washington DC Penya. With luck I’ll be able to catch the next big game there. (gonna be on a plane during this game tho, bah. Who puts el Clasic on a Monday?)

  26. Really…REaly?!?!? CR7 is such a bitch. Just watched him act as if he was smashed in the face and his eye is swollen. He went over to the sidelines and got tended to as if he fucked his eye up. Well the replay came, he was touched no where near his eye…can’t explain my disgust for a player like that. and honestly been watching the game, EE blows. sorry. they really do. they wont get anywhere near the ball, their work ethic sucks. the ball movement sucks. all they have is counter attack, and sorry, that really isnt that great either. they havent played a difficult team all year. and watching Ajax control the ball with ease at times, and have no difficulty defending them, even though it is now 2-0. two bad lapses on defense that wouldnt be seen by us. we dont ball watch near our goal, or even ever. we attack attack attack. and they wont be able to handle it. can;t wait to see our dismantling of them.

    1. Yeah, I saw that and posted about it. And throws up his hands in disgust at no call. How can people defend this type of player??

      Madrid have looked eh. They’ve controller possession, but it seems every Ajax attack gets called offsides or for a foul. That shot by I think it was di Maria was insane, but it took a wicked deflection.

      What we must be wary about is Marcelo. With Alves roaming down the wings, Marcelo will get his time to get forward. And I think he’s a great talent, he can dribble very well and his link up play isn’t too bad.

      Benzema is channeling his inner-CR7 and is becoming quite the whiner too.

    2. ^ This may be slightly biased ๐Ÿ˜€

      I don’t wanna be overconfident coming into El Clasico; that’s an EE-thing. We’re vulnerable to counter-attacks, so it’s definitely not a good thing that they’re that kind of team.

      That being said, Thong Boy is selfish. All forwards are, but this will come in handy. They were a better team last year IMO. Kaka was a better player THEN than Ozil is right now. If they couldn’t score last year, this year will be even more difficult.

      I’m obviously going for a Barca win, but really, it could go either way.

    3. *shugs* Meh. I’d like to be diplomatic. As much as I hate EE with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, I admit they are a pretty strong team. Not stronger than ours, but strong nonetheless.

      And either way is true, because if Itturalde Gonzalez (the ref of El Clasico) has a momentary lapse in judgement and falls for one of Thong Boy’s dives, we’re suddenly down a goal.

    4. yeah I get what you mean.

      Blind optimism however is a stimulating drug..

      You should try it sometime ๐Ÿ˜€

      For example: I know Crynaldo is going to spontaneously combust in his bathroom tomorrow.
      It makes me happy!

    5. Oh, I’m definitely gonna get into the Morbo spirit–I’m got my (other) .gifs and YouTube videos ready–but because we still have another, pretty important match to play, I’m gonna put it off until after it.

      As for (blind) optimism, just ask Jnice how optimistic I am/can be ๐Ÿ˜€

    6. Her optimism is off the charts! Wish I could be more like Kari. I’m like the complete opposite ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. LaLigaLoca Special offer! Free with “Ronaldo’s Top 100 Penalty Claims” it’s “50 great face clutches” if you order before 5 Dec. Get dialing!

    Hahaha.

    1. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very True

      The Pedro Leon dive pissed me off too. Couple of minutes later, He elbows a player. That just makes me more relaxed. With all the diving lessons Marcelo and Pedro Leon receive from Cr. It’ll come back to haunt them at some point.

  28. My god I hate every Real Madrid player so much..I am literally shaking with rage..

    Is it alright if you wish for some greasy haired kitten huffer to get shredded in a wood chipper? Should I seek professional help?

  29. Seems like you people just need to stop watch Madrid. It’s making y’all too angry lol.

    Revista De La Liga 11-23-10

    *http://hotfile.com/dl/84514919/958456d/Revista_De_La_Liga_-_23-11-10.avi.html

    or

    *http://www.fileserve.com/file/aEgw8d6/Revista De La Liga – 23-11-10.avi

    Courtesy of Pakman at fbtz.com

    1. Ah, the Freudian tonic to solve your anger problems: displacement of it to another source a.k.a Guillem Balague.

      Muchas gracias as usual, Jnice.

  30. What has become of the once so great and proud Ajax ๐Ÿ™

    Another bad match from Real, resulting in a comfortable victory.

    I do share your hate towards them, and I don’t know what will happen if we lose to them on Monday. I couldn’t bear it!!! They are so bad actually, we just have to beat them ^^

    1. I hope they defeat Ajax with a big score, and Us winning by 1-0.

      They come to us extra-mega-ultra-super-very- confident.

  31. I want to stop watching EE. I just can’t !! If there’s anyone going to be bitten by Suarez, It’s gonna be the ref.

    1. I’ve got a turkish feed I think.
      That was a brilliant move by CR7 though. He played the defenders momentum perfectly and was through on goal, but it was saved.

      See, I can respect when he does great things like that, no diving needed. He did whine a lot when he didn’t finish, but I think it was directed at himself.

    2. He was saying things like :

      “Yes He is a very good player, but Messi is the best, He doesn’t whine, He doesn’t dive, He doesn’t ask for free kicks, He doesn’t Argue with the referee”

      “The defender was nowhere near him, yet he falls and asks for a free kick”

      “Probably he’s mad at Arbeloa, saying “Why couldn’t my freekick be like that?”

      Among Others.

  32. Random: Nicknames I hate, no–despise:

    LM10, CR7/9, PR17, another initial/number combo.

    They aren’t cars for freakin’ sake.

    1. I’ve never seen LM10, don’t know about PR17.

      I prefer CR7 to be called Cronaldo.

      My friend was wearing his C.Ronaldo United jersey and some drunk guy waiting for the train yelled “HEY CRONALDO” and it stuck.

    2. I like Cryfuckface which I read in this space some time ago..

      What especially annoys me is that Gooners take this for granted so they have TV5, NB52 and the like

    3. Agree, when someone here says CR7 its like we are greeting/glorifying that bastard, i say lets leave that to the EE fans, however its easier than writing the whole name

    4. I refer to him as CR7 mostly because its easy. I don’t feel right calling him thongboy or Cristina. its just eh, don’t like those.

    5. You can call him what you like, Josep (even think of a new nickname, wink-wink, nudge-nudge). Just know I despise that nickname.

    1. I see some flashes of goodness such as athleticism or pace from him, but not sure if his potential is really there to grow as a brighter star in the future.

  33. It is unreal how much help those ***** get from the refs. It seems its not just in Spain either. That dive from Pedro Leon that led to a goal was absolutely disgraceful. I just really hope the clasico doesnt come down to a ridiculous decision.

    1. i hear you.
      they dive all the time and the ref just call it like they are partnering on the field.

      “fall down now! i will call”
      “whistle”

  34. Braga just scored a magnificent goal against Arsenal. Arsenal really need to strengthen their defense, don’t they? I mean, they are b team, but still…

  35. Oh and I have a new hated (even more than usual) player on EE: Pedro Leon.

    He’s -insert not nice word(s) here- diver. And he’s not even -insert preferred stereotype here-. (I was thinking Italian).

  36. LOL, looking at the comments, we seem kind of whiny. (Just a tad)

    THIS IS WHY I DON’T WATCH MADRID MATCHES ANYMORE PEOPLE!

    1. Yeah I felt the same way, but madridista helped justify it. Look at that quality post.

      @Madridista,
      I’m being honest. What were your thoughts on the first goal, from the Pedro Leon goal? We can admit when our players dive, and its bad. We get on them about it. But what do you think?

      Also what do you think about CastorOil Ronaldo’s constant diving? Surely, he’s getting fouled every single time he goes to ground right?? He wouldn’t think to dive, and should’ve had 3-4 penalties tonight!

  37. WAAAAH WAAAAHH WAAAAH MADRID SUCK WAAAAH WAAAH Wahhh THEY GET Help from the refs WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH …………WHAT AM I CRYING ABOUT ..UH O YEA WAAAAAH WAAAH MADRID SUCKS THEY NEVER DESERVE TO WIN , THEY ALSO WIN BECAUSE THE OPPONENT SUCKS OR BECAUSE THE REFS HELPS THEM WAAHH

    GROW UP PEOPLE

    1. You have been beaten nay bitchslapped 4 games in a row by us..If I were you I’d have a bit more grace before I start mouthing off yeah?!

    2. Don’t reply, K. It’s not worth it. You’re just going down to their level.

      Thanks for coming by, madridista. Please come back when you have something useful to say.

    3. well Leon took a dive , a shameful one ( no one denies that ) and the ref fell for it it happens Barca players dive too and get away with it many time these are part of the game
      if you went to the Madrid blog you would see that we too complain about the fact that some of our players love to dive but the diving claims arent the one that i find ridiculous here , it is the constant ” Madrid played like crap ( when they didnt , Ajax for example never had a chance to win ) that i laugh at , its not everyone here though but the li

    4. Lets count Madrid’s goals.

      1. Dive and FK leads to goal.
      2. EXTREMELY fortunate bounce for a goal.
      3. The defense gifted possession to madrid, twice.
      4. A penalty. It was soft, but was a penalty.

      Now to say Ajax would capitalize is incorrect, they were never in the match but it definitely could’ve finished 1-0 or 0-0.

    5. what does those result have to do with what i have said ? just because Barca won the last 4 clasicos ( you won win them forever so you should follow your own advice ) doesnt mean i cant point out how much of a delusional bunch some of you are

    6. Madrid fans bring up the past more with their Europeon championships from the 50s when only a handful of teams played. I mean, if you want to talk about “delusional”

    7. who is talking about the past ?
      anyways arent records kept so they could be talked about in the future , why couldnt your team win when there were only an handful of teams playing for the european cup ? anyways that is another topic for another day
      you’re kidding yourselves if you think that this current Madrid team has no merit and are only winning because of refs or crap opponents

    8. Hey Madridista….

      6.

      Thats right

      6.

      In one season…

      Pep’s first season no less…

      Come back when you do that…

      I guess we wont see you for a while.

      Oh and PS they have no merit. They are a gang of mercenaries working for the mercenary king. There is no honour, no reality about R*** M*****, it’s just a kid with his playstation going ‘if I buy him, him and her (Cristina) I’ll win for sure!’

      This is why we are Mes Que Un Club

  38. Ajax took an enormous financial gamble by deciding to not sell players and instead to try draw revenue from qualifying for and advancing in the CL.

    The situation is a mess at Ajax. They are in very serious financial trouble. And on top of that, they just aren’t a very good team.

    They are a particularly poor defensive club and that’s a particular problem because they have to defend as a team with their system.

    They are unlikely to even qualify for CL football next season. They are going to be under significant pressure to sell off a large number of players.

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