All Kinds of Shipshape: Villarreal – Barça

Liga Preview: Villarreal – Barcelona, Saturday 4pmEST, GolTV

Time: 22:00 hours, local.

Latitude: 39°56′16″N

Longitude: 0°6′5″W

A captain stands on the bridge with his first mate. They look at the sonar, focusing on a particular blip in the morass of other greenish blips. Being familiar with such highly sophisticated technology, neither the captain nor the first mate were distracted by anything other than the location and movement of their target.

Captain Guardiola: Take us to periscope depth, First Mate Tito.

First Mate Tito: Aye aye, Captain.

Guardiola: This does not take long, does it?

Tito: No sir, we’re already there. Ballast technology has been redesigned recently and takes but a moment.

Guardiola: Up periscope! [a screen in the front of the bridge turns on and he can see the lay of the land…er water.]*

Tito: They’re dead ahead sir.

Guardiola: I can’t really see anything.

Tito: Villarreal isn’t a port city, sir.

Guardiola: Really?

Tito: Yeah, it’s a bit inland. It has a port and everything, but it’s technically not in Villarreal.

Guardiola: So why…

Tito: They’re yellow. It’s a Beatles joke or something.

Guardiola: [looking around] This was a pretty absurd expense now that I think about it.

Tito: Yes, sir. And painting it blaugrana doesn’t really conceal it either. Stealth, sir, is the purpose of—

Guardiola: Yeah, I got it.

Tito: Right, sir.

Guardiola: I guess we should return to Barcelona?

Tito: The city’s been quarantined, sir.

Guardiola: What? Why?

Tito: A severe outbreak of the FIFA virus has been detected.

Guardiola: That’s worse than Legionnaires, you know.

Tito: Uh, well that might not be exactly true—

Guardiola: It is known as “Ebola of the Alps”.

Tito: No, sir, I don’t believe—

Guardiola: It is!

Tito: Yes. Yes it is.

Guardiola: Can we zoom in on this place?

Tito: No, sir. It’s a periscope, not a telescope.

Guardiola: Fine. Fire some torpedoes, engage the caterpillar drive. Do something with this thing.

Tito: Yes, sir. [turning to the crew] Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, ramming speed, dive dive dive!

Crewman: Should we take lunch now?

Guardiola: [slumping in his chair] Yes, that’s probably a good idea.

—–

*I know nothing of nautical terms or situations and apparently I think submarines are the Starship Enterprise. Forgive this landlubber, all you sea dogs.

—-

So here we are, with a monstrous test of our abilities and it’s right after we return from another FIFA break in which Messi played 90 minutes in New York, got lightly injured, and while he should make the game tomorrow, isn’t 100%. Oh and Xavi played like 360 minutes or something over 2 games. That is how intense he is. And Bojan got injured with the U-21 team. Puyol’s fitness is still a major concern and he won’t make the match and probably not the first leg of the Shakhtar tie at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Le sigh.

Fortunately we have some quality substitutes in Afellay and Jeffren (assuming he’s healthy) along with Thiago and Fontas. They may be young, but that just makes them hungrier or whatever the reigning conventional wisdom is. Perhaps they’re simply, you know, good? Whatever the reason, if they have to play this weekend they’d better be on top of their game.

All that despite Villarreal haven’t been at their best recently, having won their last match, tied their previous, and lost the one before that. Before that, they’d gone 4 matches without a win against Levante (0-1), Depor (1-0), Malaga (1-1), and Racing (2-2). At home they’ve lost just once (that 0-1 defeat to Levante), though they’ve yet to host Real Madrid and, obviously, Barça.

Thing is, though, Barça isn’t firing on all cylinders either. The gaudy stats that characterized the first half of the season (an 0-8, 4 manitas, and 2 4-goal games) have largely receded and only twice in the last 5 matches have Barça scored more than 1 goal. Granted, they’re still scoring (and have failed to score just once), but the wins aren’t as convincing as they once were. If the team is primed to explode, perhaps now is the time to push down on that detonator. It’s only the 3rd placed team in the league with a brutal month ahead, after all.

I like Gnarls Barkley quite a bit, I have to admit, perhaps mostly for this Puma ad, so now I’m humming along and thinking of Danger Mouse instead of Danger Men. Nevermind: Giuseppe Rossi has been on fire for Villarreal. He’s got 15 goals this year and can easily notch some more against us given our CB depth problems. Or do we really have CB depth problems? I doubt Fontas will start since Milito will probably get the call and that’s fine with me. Get some steel all up in their backside, says I, and Gabi is the best one for that.

Not that I’m actually advocating violence in this game between them purty ones because first I hate violence and second, it would probably just get Gabi sent off. Especially if he takes “steel” more like someone from the 18 century and actually attacks with a sword. That is, I think, an automatic yellow.

So this one is a bit short because 1) it’s Friday, Friday and this decision about which seat to take is freakin’ killing me. Hey, you kids started it in the comments. And 2) I wrote this using Google Motion and it’s a bit time-consuming since I don’t know all of the commands yet. Gnarls Barkley was the hardest one, I can assure you.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

231 Comments

  1. Miguel
    April 1, 2011

    you’re a genius, isaiah.

    am i the only person here who reads “shakira” every time the name “shakhtar” is in an article?

    since you omitted a prediction i’ll go out on a limb here and give a 2-1 victory to barca. goals from messi(of course), villa(since he’ll still be on a high from breaking raúl’s record. neener neener.), and a consolation goal from neymar nilmar.

  2. Diego
    April 1, 2011

    Valdes
    Avles-Pique-Busi-Maxwell
    ——-Masch——–
    –Iniesta—Keita—
    Villa-Messi-Bojan

    The Most likely to happen me thinks.

  3. blitzen
    April 1, 2011

    I may be the only person on the planet who still hasn’t heard that Friday song. Awesome!

    the wins aren’t as convincing as they once were.

    Have we collectively forgotten that we were saying exactly the same thing in the first half of the first half of the season? Then we became awesome.

  4. Lev
    April 1, 2011

    “the Ebola of the Alps” LMAO!

    @Miguel if we play Shakira do you think Pique will let Messi score?

    • Miguel
      April 1, 2011

      pique seems like the jealous type. messi’d have a better shot at one of her co-workers or something.

  5. OSBAG
    April 1, 2011

    “have largely receded and only twice in the last 5 matches have Barça scored more than one goal. Granted, they’re still scoring (and have failed to score just once),”
    I really can’t remember which of our last five matches w didnt score in. Anyone?

    on lineup I see milito playing cos pep wouldn’t want to risk both busquets and smashe picking up yeLlows. Also milito doesn’t seem to have done his reputatIon much harm from his performances for his NT.
    Miefield certainly is iniesta busquets and keitee (remember that mallorca pass?)

    • Jnice
      April 1, 2011

      on lineup I see milito playing cos pep wouldn’t want to risk both busquets and smashe picking up yeLlows.

      We play Almeria after Villarreal. Surely Keita can fill in at DM or maybe Pep might test JDS in that spot. We can’t afford to sit our best players against Villarreal.

      Also milito doesn’t seem to have done his reputatIon much harm from his performances for his NT.

      Most of the comments I’ve read about Argentina’s friendlies seem to suggest otherwise. People don’t think he can cut it anymore and I agree.

      • OSBAG
        April 1, 2011

        suggesting keita or jds at Dm seems like we are underating almeria sure we have beaten them 16-0 but they drew EE.

        Are you sure milito is that bad? I saw a part of the US match and he seem ok

        • Jnice
          April 1, 2011

          We’re playing at home… Keita is not so bad at DM that we wouldn’t be able to win. He’s played in that position in the Champions League in 08/09 (think it was against Sporting CP).

          He was decent against US… how much did the US really test them? But I wasn’t watching him closely. I just know that Argentina fans weren’t really happy with him after the two matches.

          • OSBAG
            April 1, 2011

            So whom do you suggest play.
            Your lineup?

          • Jnice
            April 1, 2011

            Against Villarreal?

            Alves-Pique-Busi-Adriano

            Iniesta-Masch-Keita

            Afellay-Messi-Villa

  6. OSBAG
    April 1, 2011

    - On December 16, 2001, Xavi Hernández was shown a second yellow card for protesting at El Madrigal and was sent off for the first time in his career. Rexach’s 10-man side managed to hold on against the Villarreal onslaught and won 1-0. via official site

    http://www.fcbarcelona.cat/web/english/noticies/futbol/temporada10-11/04/01/n110401116639.html

    protestations seems to be an old habit with this dude. Imagine this season he’s got five yellow: four for protesting (one of which was from the bench!) and another for wasting time hqving managed only four or five actual fouls.!
    What does he actually say to peeve the referees?

  7. Jnice
    April 1, 2011

    My (optimistic) prediction for this match: 2-2

    • OSBAG
      April 1, 2011

      I don’t see us conceeding two goals but frankly I don’t see us scoring two either. Messi and bojan are coming off knocks though villa miGht caRry on with his current NT form. If Xavi were not out of contention, I would think iniesta would be played upfront

      • Jnice
        April 1, 2011

        I say two goals simply because if we can concede one against Getafe, a team that rarely threatened our goal, we can definitely concede against Villarreal.

    • soccermomof4
      April 1, 2011

      I was unaware that you “do” optimistic, Jnice 😀 -jk

      Messi scores most of his goals in away games, Villa got over that whole beating Raul milestone thing, Iniesta is due for a goal (isn’t the Miniesta expected soon?), Busi and Pique got this defense thing down(hope Pep reviewed the whole defending corners thing with Busi) and if Abi is travelling with them, they don’t dare mess up. We got this 1-3. I hope.

      Fouling scenarios—correct me if I’m wrong.
      1. Busi picks up a yellow, is suspended for Almeria, is available for clasico. Mascherano plays against Almeria.
      2. Mascherano picks up yellow, misses Almeria, Busi is still rested against Almeria, both are available for clasico but Kieta, JDS, or Fontas(I believe he’s done that position) plays DM against Almeria.
      3. Both pick up yellows, the situation remains the same as scenario 2.
      4. Neither pick up a yellow, Busi is rested against Almeria, Mascherano plays , Busi is at least available for clasico.
      5. VV and Leo MUST be on their best behavior for the rest of the season (although if Messi has a family member with a birthday, and he needs a rest, this would be the game for him to pick up a yellow as well.
      I prefer scenario 1 and then Masch’s card happens at the next opportune time.

    • Helge
      April 2, 2011

      That’s prtty much the same optimism as mine for this match… 🙁

      • soccermomof4
        April 2, 2011

        Cheer up, Helge. We’re the best team in the world minus 1, or 2, or 3, or OK 4 key really really really important players. We can do this. And even if we don’t win, we’re still the best team in the world, who play the prettiest football in the world. So you and Jnice are not allowed to get depressed NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS! Enjoy the ride, the result will be what it’s gonna be. 🙂

  8. OSBAG
    April 1, 2011

    Captain guardiola (kudos to Isaiah here) seems to be making some pretty disturbing comments about moving on afteer next season. I guss the man needs a new challenge as beating EE year in year out could turn out to be a bore

  9. blitzen
    April 1, 2011

    OFFTOPIC:

    Gutted that Toronto FC’s captain and best player Dwayne De Rosario has been traded to NY Red Bulls.

    I know it is what he wanted (well if that Celtic thing didn’t work out). But OHHHHHH my heart hurts.

    My fave three MLS players are all with NY now, should I become a fan? 🙁

    • Blow-Grenade
      April 2, 2011

      12 of us from work are going for TFC vs LA Galaxy on Apr 13. Better catch some matches now before Rosario disappears.

    • Helge
      April 2, 2011

      And I have bet 40 € on Schalke, would have won 50 € but the bet has been cancelled due to the incident. I was 2 min. away from a guaranteed 50 € – which I then would have placed on Villarreal ^^

      • Eklavya
        April 2, 2011

        You lost your bet when you said that TB would be top scorer last season. Served you right! 😛

        • Helge
          April 2, 2011

          Yeah, but that was Champions League. And since Messi won, I was still happy 😀

    • vicsoc
      April 2, 2011

      Absolutely appalling. This is a serious waste of beer.

  10. soccermomof4
    April 1, 2011

    Tito: No, sir, I don’t believe—

    Guardiola: It is!

    Tito: Yes. Yes it is.

    Awesome! Now we know why Dani would jump off the 3rd tier of Camp Nou if Pep told him to. You just don’t say no to the man!

    No prediction, no problem. I got me an Isaiah scene on a Friday night and tomorrow our team’s back in action. Hooray!

  11. Extreme barca fan
    April 2, 2011

    Finally a la liga preview, i thought this day would never come, sadly it comes when we have injuries to Puyol, Abi and Pedro, Xavi is suspended and its right after the international break, where we usually play poorly.
    This might be our toughest game all season, not because Pep says so, but due to the aforementioned reasons, if we get a draw ill be very happy.

  12. Olufestus
    April 2, 2011

    At times,i cant help laughing at some of we barca fans,they seems to have forgotten we tends to peak when the ODDS ARE AGAINST US! Lets wait and see,you doubting thomas’ will come back and ask if we had played agains VILLAREAL or RACING SANTANDER??

  13. barca96
    April 2, 2011

    I know I’m seriously late to the party but I really didn’t like Pep’s comments, not even one bit. I know a lot of fans are saying poor Pep and all but not me. I want him to have a legacy as long as Wenger’s. SAF is just too much but we just can’t find any other person who is so perfect for this job. Perhaps Puyol one day.

    Like Lev said, he won’t be at a better club, have better players at his disposal. He will regret it.

  14. April 2, 2011

    Commenting on previous discussions:

    – Pep had some ambitions long ago to become a board member at Barcelona. He was planning an election campaign with one of his closest friends (Sport figure-forgot the name) few years ago and I think it is still on his to do list. He’ll have a stronger position going there with pure success as a coach than with wins and upsets.

    – Pep signings are: Caceres, Hleb, Ibra, Chegrensky, Mascherano, and Maxwell. Generally speaking he was more successful so far in promoting than shopping. Mainly because he is not the best dealing with tricky personalities (That’s the main advantage Mou has over him).

    * Keita’s deal was already taking place before Pep’s arrival (we paid his buyout clause 14 M). Generally speaking Pep didnt have lot to say in the transfer market during his first summer with the club (kind of underdog) – beside demanding Adebayor.

    – Eric is Abidalisticaly amazing.

    • Jim
      April 2, 2011

      Pep wanted Adebayor????? I missed that. Wow !

      • barca96
        April 2, 2011

        Yeah he did.
        It was in the English papers quite a number of times.
        Quite surprised how you missed that.
        It was the season after where he was strong.
        I never liked the idea of buying him but I thought he could be a Kluivert like striker for us.

        Im glad Pep didn’t get his wish in the end.
        I for one, am quite shocked to hear the names of players that he is interested in.

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      You forgot Villa, Adriano, and Afellay.

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      told y’all dani was a txiki b. signing.

  15. 145culegirl
    April 2, 2011

    Hey did you know that today is Afellay’s birthday!!!.So hope he gets a place in starting XI.
    Why would Pep quit a team which is one of the best in the world and are considered favourites for every tournament they play in?.He repotedly said that the players are getting tired of him.Why would players get tired of him when he gave them every medal existing in football?.Or maybe Pep himself is tired because he’s won everything and there are no challenges left?.I seriously want his comments to be an April fools joke but I doubt it.I hope he under stands that fans dont want him to leave.But it all rests with his wishes and if he wants to leave,he’ll leave and we as fans should respect that decision.
    I hope the dressing room is not rattled with this news and play their best in El Madrigal.

  16. outerspacedout
    April 2, 2011

    United impress me a lot. I opened the TV to see they’re losing 2-0 to West Ham some minutes into the second half and I was like ‘I just know United will end up winning’. Then Rooney stepped up over a free-kick and I was like ‘he WILL score this one’ and he did. Nice goal too. And now they ARE winning 3-2 with a Rooney hat-trick at 82 minutes so far.

    EDIT: I stepped away for a glass of water and Hernandez has scored to make it 4-2. Did I mention I love Hernandez? If I could sign any striker in the world I would get him now. In the sense that he’s both happy to sit on the bench for stretches and ALWAYS, ALWAYS scores. It’s uncanny, even. He ALWAYS scores.

    • Eklavya
      April 2, 2011

      Who’s watching football? The Cricket WC Final is on aaand a player got out a 0 runs. Fudge.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 2, 2011

      United impress me a lot. I opened the TV to see they’re losing 2-0 to West Ham some minutes into the second half and I was like ‘I just know United will end up winning’.

      very true. Fergie as a tactician and MU’s mentality do impress me.
      I always said when they seemed to lose a game, MU always finds a way.
      well, I know, not always, but almost always… 😛

      and Eklavya, I am watching football, no local channel broadcasting Cricket in my TV…

  17. hammeronmessi
    April 2, 2011

    as always tendulkar fails.always fails in the big matches.he is the best batsman no doubt about that,but he rarely scores when it really matters.he scored 99 hundreds,but more than half of those india lost.

    but as a cricketer he is the best gentleman out there and along with lara he was the best for the last 2 decades.

  18. Eklavya
    April 2, 2011

    Sachin Tendulkar who was having such a good match so far is out at 18 runs.

    F.M.L. My day is turning into a I dunno what.

  19. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    I’m watching the big Stoke vs Chelsea match. Tied at 1-1 at the mo.

    Oh look, Drogba is complaining about something! 😛

    • Nav
      April 2, 2011

      I tried watching it Blitzen, but it’s long ball after long ball. Then I started watching Liverpool vs West Brom and it was the same thing. So I turned them both off :/

      • blitzen
        April 2, 2011

        I’m only watching because I am fascinated by Suarez’ hair, and Liverpool is boring the pants off me.

        • Nav
          April 2, 2011

          Look at funny picture of cats, much more worthwhile activity.

        • blitzen
          April 2, 2011

          I meant Luiz, of course, not Suarez.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        April 2, 2011

        well, it’s long ball after long ball, but MU game was interesting for me…

        they were down 2-0 in West Ham’s stadium,
        eventhough I knew they gonna turn around the score,
        I wanna see how that happpens… and it did happen…

        and now Chelsea is trying to win at Stoke…
        this is also interesting… 😀

  20. April 2, 2011

    Just watched the last NED/HUN match, and I’m not sure what to think. Afellay was truly impressive. If we didn’t already have him, people who watched that match would be wondering who we would have to kill to get him.

    But we do have him, so he is “unconvincing,” “stiff,” or other words that don’t acknowledge what a talent Afellay is now, and will be years from now with the right care and feeding.

    He made the right move in coming to us, and worrisome cules aside, I really do hope that we keep and develop him. I know that our system uses backs as wingers, but Afellay on the left wing for Holland, does whar Henry did for us his good year:: stretch the pitch, and make smart crosses, in addition to being a real scoring threat.

    I do wonder what it is about players we already have that makes them not good enough, but that other player, the one we don’t have, would be so much better.

    Yes, it’s a footy fan affliction, but cules seem to have a particularly virulent strain.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 2, 2011

      If we didn’t already have him, people who watched that match would be wondering who we would have to kill to get him.

      exactly. If we can’t get the best from 3M and sell him someday because he fail to shine in Barça, very sadden.

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      but then that means having to sit out one of pedrito or villa. he’s a bit of a hleb in terms of his polyvalence(is that the right word? probably not) but he’s not really better than any of barca’s forwards or midfielders.

    • poipoi
      April 2, 2011

      Anybody said henry? And good years? May, just kidding… I’m on therapy now 😉
      Ibi is great I like him a lot, people complain about him already? He should play more IMO

  21. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    bayern boreussia sucked despite a nice robben finish.

    is the barca b game at the same time as arsenal blackburn? given the b-team’s absences i’m not too sure what game i’d rather watch.

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      B Boys play at noon Eastern, Arsenal at 12:30.

      • Miguel
        April 2, 2011

        i guess i’ll watch some sergi roberto for a half hour. see how it goes. 🙂

  22. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 2, 2011

    Stoke almost score again, twice…
    amazing save by Cech…

    can FC Barcelona win in a cold night at the Britannia?
    because Chelsea seems to struggle here… 😛

    I don’t have much to do other than commenting EPL games…
    I’m trying to forget the tension of derby della Madonnina and a tough game in El Madrigal… :/

  23. April 2, 2011

    Kxevin,

    I watched the Netherlands-Hungary second leg earlier this week and my reaction was much the same as yours. Just unbelievably impressed by afellay. He was by far the best player on the pitch.

    And it wasn’t just his brilliant play on the ball – it was his defense as well. In a match were NET backline was getting torn apart he repeatedly dropped very deep to defend much like Pedro does. He dispossessed the ball and hen using his pace and technical skills started long runs by himself to create counter opportunities at speed.

    He’s an extremely well rounded footballer. Not perfect – but he does so many things so well.

    Just look at the quality of his left foot crosses from the wing. That’s not even his natural foot.

    Barca must find a way to get him on the pitch.

    What did concern me about watching him against Hungary was how at ease he looked and how he wasn’t thinking but playing. That concerned me because in contrast with barca at time he looks like he just doesn’t want to make a mistake. And he comes in very late in games where the only priority is to keep possession- not make dangerous plays.

    No Xavier today and no Pedro against a team that pressures the ball up the pitch. Today’s game is exactly why they got afellay for. He needs to start. But I doubt he will. The entire team played poorly against sporting gijon but once afellay got subbed after starting pep seems to have buried him on the bench.

    And I think getting pulled from that game is part of why he seems so focused on not making mistakes rather than letting his natural skills flow. It’s why he looked so different playing against Hungary.

    He needs to play today. And next season I really want Pep to give him a real opportunity to play LB opposite Dani. I think he could do it in the barca system given how the FB are supposed to play.

    He’s too talented just to have on the bench until the 85th minute. He adds real dimensions the team is otherwise lacking – pace and direct play on particular.

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      like a winger in a 3-5-2 or something? may-may-maybe. reminds me too much of jeffren playing right-back. no thanks. it’d be worth trying out, though.

      • April 2, 2011

        Afellay doesn’t remind me of jeffren at all. He’s a much stronger, larger more physical player. Jeffren is a pace winger. He’s a specialist kind of player (though that’s just a guess – who can say what jeffren is given that he’s always hurt). Afellay is a much more muti-dimensional player.

        I highly suggest you watch the Net-Hungary leg 2 match. Watch the defensive play afellay makes at minute 20-20:16 or so. Look at the goals he set up and how he defended to set them up.

        Adriano is now barca’s starting LB. Is he a natural defender. No. He’s a wing player who learned to play LB. That’s not uncommon. Afellay is much more talented than adriano. So much of defending is intelligence, work rate and effort.

        Dani is hardly a conventional RB. Pep’s system doesn’t really want conventional FB.

        We are only seeing a very thin slice of what afellay is capable so far in the barca shirt. A very small glimpse.

        • Miguel
          April 2, 2011

          i watched it. i know the point you’re trying to make. i just don’t think he’s got dani or adriano’s speed to get back in position on a counter or something. like i said, it’d be worth trying out.

      • vicsoc
        April 2, 2011

        I think what Euler is getting at is that Afellay is a very well rounded player, which gives the impression that he could successfully play at many different positions on the pitch. Not only are his technical skills good enough, but he sees and understands the game well enough that he would be able to change his mentality for a new position. Add in the fact that he has already retrained to a new position in his career, and when I think of him as a left back I don’t think he would necessarily be an all out attack option.

        There is some precedence for this – van Bronckhorst converted to left back upon joining the club and was quite successful there.

    • Jim
      April 2, 2011

      I’m not seeing a lot of comments saying he’s not going to be a great player for us, Euler / Kxevin. For me, he hasn’t done much when he has been on the pitch for us so far but I’m heartened to hear he played so well for the Dutch. It may be we’ll have to pitch him in at some point in the run in but I think he’d be better learning the system quietly beforehand as there will inevitably be judgements when he does start. 

  24. poipoi
    April 2, 2011

    Great preview! I’m nervous about this garrido dude and no xavi, anything can happen…
    Ibi could play por favor

  25. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Villareal B scores already. That was shamefully preventable.

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      you’re kidding? i knew i shouldn’t have responded to euler. 🙁

  26. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Higuain is on the bench for RM. We might see him in El Clasico after all!

  27. Jnice
    April 2, 2011

    Barça B have already blown two 1v1s.

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      Yeah, Nolito’s first touch is terrible.

      And they are only playing 3 at the back?

  28. ak
    April 2, 2011

    need some help here

    i have been new to this blog and wordpress in general and i don’t know how it works, but i’m unable to login anywhere else using this wordpress account(ak). i am neither able to set a gravatar nor login into the totalbarca site

    is this account specific to BFB or is it because maybe i’ve only 2 characters in my account name(on the gravatar site they said to enter at least 4 characters when i tried creating a new account, but other users here like Vj have perfectly good gravatars).

    am i missing something here? any help would be much appreciated.

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      did you use the same email to register on the gravatar site as you used to register with wordpress?

  29. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    Barcelona B line-up (vs Villarreal B): Oier – EduOriol Bartra Muniesa Abraham – Carmona Ilie VictorVazquez – Tello Soriano Nolito

  30. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Muniesa and Bartra are working very hard, but the midfield looks clueless without Thiago or JDS. Any chance Rafinha is on the bench? Where is Sergi Roberto?

    • Jnice
      April 2, 2011

      For the second goal, though, Muniesa took way too long to get back into his position.

      I don’t think Rafinha is on the bench, but Sergi Roberto is. We’ll most likely see him in the second half.

      Thiago and JDS would have taken advantage of the runs Villarreal B is allowing Barça B’s forwards to make. Right now, the timing is off and they’ve been offside so many times.

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      The moorat one is back up. smaller video but better quality + commentary,.

      • Miguel
        April 2, 2011

        worst feeds ever. do you see the golf ball sized lump on nasri’s head?

    • Jnice
      April 2, 2011

      With the shot that went wide? Yeah. He’s been way too casual in front of goal today.

  31. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Sergio Ramos gets a yellow card. Quelle surprise!

  32. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    That’s a good look for Nasri. 😛

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      he looked like the elephant man without the bandage. it was gnarly looking.

      • blitzen
        April 2, 2011

        I had a lump like that once. Got it in a mosh pit. It actually looked worse a few days later when the bruising came up and sort of “seeped” all the way down one side of my face. LOL.

        • Miguel
          April 2, 2011

          yuck. i broke my ankle in a mosh pit. 300lb dude thought it’d be a great idea to jump on my back. snapped both bones clean through. good times.

    • Ryan
      April 2, 2011

      He may be God’s gift to England, but he sure needs to work on scoring!

      • poipoi
        April 2, 2011

        I’ve seen little but he looks like something to me

  33. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    was that sergi roberto i just saw come on? thanks for that stream, jnice.

  34. April 2, 2011

    EE-Heehon still 0-0. Do I dare to hope? Do I dare to dream?

    I’m getting the fudge out.

  35. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Sergi comes on and they look like a whole new team!

  36. Eklavya
    April 2, 2011

    INDIA WINS THE WC!!! CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooo we came back from the jaws of DEATH!!!!!!!!!!

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      Congrats! I may head over to Little India later and check out the celebrations. 😀

    • Jose
      April 2, 2011

      HUZZAH! I watched some part of it today but the stream fell through. Tense. As. Hell.

    • Nav
      April 2, 2011

      Not only that, but EE are a goal down AT HOME

      OMG

    • Blow-Grenade
      April 2, 2011

      Congrats to India for winning the Cric world cup.

      • Eklavya
        April 2, 2011

        Haha, I think your team holds the record for the fastest all out. (Thats a bad thing) 😛

  37. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    what does saul think he’s doing not sucking?

    2-3 fcbbs.

  38. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    gooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllll!!!!!

    sporting!

      • Ryan
        April 2, 2011

        Wait, weren’t we supposed to break Mourinho’s home record??

        • Nav
          April 2, 2011

          Wait what, they’re playing at the SB???

        • Miguel
          April 2, 2011

          it’s funnier this way. don’t count your chickens, though.

      • blitzen
        April 2, 2011

        I love me some Iker Face. 😛

        Hold on, HeeHaw!!!! You can do it!!!

  39. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Oier giving me a heart attack. Stop that!

  40. Jose
    April 2, 2011

    Sporting is up… AND AT THE BERNABEU?

    😀

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      It’s…it’s so beautiful. *sniff*

    • vicsoc
      April 2, 2011

      If sporting pulls this off I vote we send them a nice thank you note along with a 2 million check for Botia. We should even throw in first choice on any youngsters we are looking to loan or sell (with a buyback clause of course) this summer.

      • Para
        April 2, 2011

        Forget thank you note. That cheque is going in a fruit basket.

  41. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Just waiting for Di Maria to go down and demand a penalty. You know it’s gonna happen.

    • Para
      April 2, 2011

      Di Maria’s not on! He’s been subbed off. 🙂

      • Ryan
        April 2, 2011

        Higuain is on though… the kid saves EE way too often for my liking!

    • Mila
      April 2, 2011

      Well, at least Mou Mou will not have to complain latter about not enough minutes added 🙂

  42. Jose
    April 2, 2011

    Iker took a throw-in at almost the half line, jajajaja 😛

  43. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    wow. how close was adebayor. communicate, damn it!

  44. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    wow. how close was adebayor? communicate, damn it!

  45. hammeronmessi
    April 2, 2011

    yes.they did it.now villareal time.

    Btw,the SB pitch is horrible.kindda like a mud field.

  46. Para
    April 2, 2011

    Holy mother of chickens. I don’t think I breathed for the last four minutes.

  47. Ryan
    April 2, 2011

    Whew, we have some breathing room against the yellow submarines now.

    • Ryan
      April 2, 2011

      Buy back Botia! He had a goal-line clearance at the death of the game. 😀

  48. Mila
    April 2, 2011

    YAY! Now, boys, make us all proud and make the Bernabeu just an afterthought!!!

  49. Jnice
    April 2, 2011

    😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  50. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    is 10:55am too early for a celebratory beer?

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      It’s a special day, Migs. Go ahead. 😀

        • blitzen
          April 2, 2011

          I’d join you, but I have to go grocery shopping before the Barcelona game.

    • Nav
      April 2, 2011

      Hell no. It’s 6:17am and I think I’m gonna go have myself a Macs Great White.

  51. Mila
    April 2, 2011

    The headline at AS: SPORTING KILLS LA LIGA!!!

    😀

    Sure thing, dead and buried La Liga is, buried in Barcelona Trophy Room 😀

  52. mardia
    April 2, 2011

    Well, THIS certainly cheers me up after hearing about the Liverpool loss. Damn. I was too afraid to look up a stream, does anybody know wtf happened at the Bernabeu? I’m thrilled for Sporting Gijon (and for us, obviously) but seriously, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

  53. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    Teams like Sporting hands Barcelona La Liga.

    SO TRUE 😀

  54. Nav
    April 2, 2011

    India wins.

    Barcelona B wins.

    Real Madrid loses. At home.

    One more triumph needed to complete today.

    • mei
      April 2, 2011

      Well if barcelona wins and arsenal loses , it will be like the perfect day.

      • Nav
        April 2, 2011

        I don’t mind Arsenal in the EPL, at least they can play.

        But yes if Barca wins today I’m not sure what I’ll do.

  55. jordi™
    April 2, 2011

    Had to check my date to make sure this wasnt an April fools joke

    FECK YES!!!!!!!!!!!

    😀 😀 😀 😀

  56. Extreme barca fan
    April 2, 2011

    Hala Gijon, and Mila welcome back, where were you hiding??

  57. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    The Minute I turn on the match Gijon scores.

    There were acres of space in the Madrid defence, and the goal was good, Iker could’ve done nothing about it.

  58. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    how fitting is it that preciado gave moumou his first home defeat? you couldn’t write this shit.

  59. hammeronmessi
    April 2, 2011

    now i think we will win by 4 2.cause now we have no pressure.

  60. Nav
    April 2, 2011

    Wait didn’t Mourinho have a go at Gijon’s coach about giving the game to Barca?

    • mardia
      April 2, 2011

      He did! Preciado was really pissed about it too, and apparently he retorted to one of RM’s assistant coaches that he hoped Barcelona would “put five past” Real Madrid. Right before the “manita” Clasico.

    • Ryan
      April 2, 2011

      And Preciado even headed the out of bounds ball to an EE player, rather than what most coaches would’ve done and time wasted. The guy’s pretty classy, eh?

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      yeah.

      In a lesson that everything eventually returns to bite you on the backside one day, there is no little tension between the managers of these two clubs after José Mourinho suggested Sporting weren’t trying in a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Camp Nou earlier this season. Unfortunately there was no response from his counterpart Manuel Preciado after Madrid’s slightly less impressive 5-0 botty-smacking submission on the same ground.
      The Sporting boss had originally responded to Mourinho’s claims by calling the Madrid manager a scumbag and suggesting he should be sent to the stands to sit among the rowdy locals for their clash in Gijón in November. Tempers flared after Madrid’s 1-0 victory, with accusations of childish finger gesturing and bottle throwing meaning that had a request from Mordor come through for a fixture rejig, it may have been a very terse reply back. With some added swear words if the potty-mouthed Preciado was delivering it himself.

      http://fourfourtwo.com/blogs/laligaloca/archive/2011/04/01/the-goodwill-lacking-fight-stopping-weekend-primera-predictions.aspx

  61. culeZim
    April 2, 2011

    for a moment I thought they had extended April fools day. pple were not even commenting on the EE match until Heehaw scored.

  62. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    I’m so happy for Preciado. He should have given the “Peace sign” with his hand meaning that they’ll end second. 😀

    Of all people to end Mou’s record .. Football is too AWESOME. 😀

  63. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    We should definitely get him after Pep leaves us. 🙁

  64. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    This would be the perfect day if Arsenal loses and Argentina wins the world cup.

  65. mega_tajh
    April 2, 2011

    Ok I am officially banning myself from watching Madrid games.Third time I missed their game(due to cricket) and they drop points!!!! YAY Kinda sad Pep wasn’t the one to break Mou’s records but Hey!!!!! THEY DROPPED POINTS @ HOME!!!

  66. Para
    April 2, 2011

    Sid Lowe: Mourinho went to Sporting dressing room to congratulate them.
    (twitter)

    I know I complain enough about the main,b ut credit where credit is due- that was a pretty classy thing to do.

    • Jim
      April 2, 2011

      Yeah, but he didn’t seem to make much attempt to shake hands on the pitch at the end – at least not on Sky.

  67. Mila
    April 2, 2011

    Right now on Marca.com they are listing the Villareal – Barcelona game as 1:0….

    Man the lows that Marca hits sometimes are unbelievable 🙂

        • Mila
          April 2, 2011

          Nope, I was so happy that they lost, I mostly just laughed at Marca 🙂

  68. Eklavya
    April 2, 2011

    Barca B won, EE lost and BEST OF ALL INDIA WON THE WC AFTER 28 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy!!!!!

    • PhepheSa
      April 2, 2011

      Congrats Eklavya on winning the world cup. I’m so mad i missed it had important stuff i had to attend to. Was hoping S. Lanka would win it. Feel really bad for them, losing two finals in a row must be devastating. The only thing that makes me feel better about the India win is that it makes you very happy and a happy cule is… well i don’t know.

      Can’t believe EE lost i’m still in shock!

      • Eklavya
        April 2, 2011

        Thanks! I really thought we were going to lose after Sehwag got out at only his second ball! Sri Lanka played really well, especially that crazy haircut bowler, Mangli. But we did an epic comeback! 😀 😀

        • Nik
          April 2, 2011

          Dhoni = Boss. ‘Nuff said.

          (Oh, and Gambhir too.)

          • Eklavya
            April 2, 2011

            I thought he deserved MOTM but whatever.

          • PhepheSa
            April 2, 2011

            I don’t like Dhoni. Sorry guys i know he’s a rock star in India but i don’t know, i just don’t feel him. Love Tendulkar though.

  69. blaunero
    April 2, 2011

    Me, I’ll wait until this afternoon’s game at the Madrigal is over before I can exhale a sigh of relief. There’s still a lot of games to go and cannot afford to get as complacent as our President.

    • Diego
      April 2, 2011

      Afternoon ? The match is 10pm where I live.

      • blaunero
        April 2, 2011

        I live in Vancouver, so the game will be at 1PM pacific time. I should have specified.

        • Diego
          April 2, 2011

          I understood you, I’m just telling you as a slightly funny thing nothing more.

    • Nav
      April 2, 2011

      This is what sports is about man, it’s entertainment. Yeah, if we lose it will suck, but for now it’s frigging awesome. 🙂

      • blaunero
        April 2, 2011

        I liked the game a lot. It’s times like these that I’m glad to be a footy fan. But I don’t want to get me hopes up.

  70. Vj
    April 2, 2011

    *In Tears*

    WOOOOOOHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sporting puts the icing on the cake..

  71. Blow-Grenade
    April 2, 2011

    Is there an elaborate April fools conspiracy going on here, or, has the Evil Empire really collapsed.

  72. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    Here’s a fun fact.

    EE after International break : 88.3% Win

    EE normally : 75.5% Win

    • Ryan
      April 2, 2011

      They finally get a whiff of the Fifa Virus: they actually had more players playing for Spain than Barcelona did!

      • blitzen
        April 2, 2011

        You mean “the Ebola of the Alps”. genius. 😀

  73. Artur
    April 2, 2011

    Watching Milan vs Inter … where is Ibra? Nowhere to be foudn in the squad

    • Para
      April 2, 2011

      He’s on a 2 match ban for punching a Bari player in the ribs.

      • Artur
        April 2, 2011

        Oh Thanks Para, that sounds something like Zlatan would do

        • PhepheSa
          April 2, 2011

          I know Zlats is crazy but my God this season he’s just angry. Hope the Barca move didn’t mess him up badly because he’s a very talented player all thing considered.

    • Artur
      April 2, 2011

      Pato scored first minute -.- these are thw 2 best Italian teams?

      • blaunero
        April 2, 2011

        I think Udinese is the best Italian team this year. They are truly fantastic.

  74. Artur
    April 2, 2011

    Barcastuff: Barcelona line-up (unofficial): Valdes – Alves Pique Busquets Adriano – Keita Mascherano Thiago – Iniesta Villa Afellay #fcblive [cat radio]

  75. blaunero
    April 2, 2011

    My beloved Milan have actually scored first vs the hated Inter. Let’s hope we thrash them.

    • Vj
      April 2, 2011

      *Regains Senses*

      Milan are a different beast with MvB and Cassano..

  76. mega_tajh
    April 2, 2011

    Man is it just me or is Milan playing so much better without Ibra? Inter looks so shocked, can’t even get a couple of passes together.

    • Diego
      April 2, 2011

      EE without TB and Milan without Ibra play as teams, Not the usual give the ball to him because He’ll do something with it.

  77. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Pique Busquets Adriano – Keita Mascherano Thiago – Iniesta Villa Afellay

    • Diego
      April 2, 2011

      Is Guardiola still on medication ?

      Weirdest line-up, YET.

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