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. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Oier giving me a heart attack. Stop that!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    four minutes? really?

    • Mila
      April 2, 2011

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

      • Miguel
        April 2, 2011

        mila! i’m having a pepsi!

  5. Jose
    April 2, 2011

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

  6. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

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

  7. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

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

  8. Jose
    April 2, 2011

    HAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAH FT

  9. hammeronmessi
    April 2, 2011

    yes.they did it.now villareal time.

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

  10. Para
    April 2, 2011

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

  11. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    WHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

  12. Ryan
    April 2, 2011

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

  13. Nav
    April 2, 2011

    Home Record what?

  14. vicsoc
    April 2, 2011

    BOTIA!!!!!

    • Ryan
      April 2, 2011

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

  15. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    poor mourinho.

    i <3 preciado.

  16. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    God bless Preciado. 😀

  17. Mila
    April 2, 2011

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

  18. Jnice
    April 2, 2011

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

  19. 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. 😀

      • Miguel
        April 2, 2011

        yay!

      • 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.

  20. 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 😀

  21. 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?

  22. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    Teams like Sporting hands Barcelona La Liga.

    SO TRUE 😀

  23. 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.

  24. jordi™
    April 2, 2011

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

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

    😀 😀 😀 😀

  25. Extreme barca fan
    April 2, 2011

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

  26. 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.

  27. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

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

  28. hammeronmessi
    April 2, 2011

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

  29. April 2, 2011

    So.

    Where is the thank you, people?! 😀

    • Jose
      April 2, 2011

      GRACIAAAAAS!

      MARCA Headline: Preciado ends La Liga and Mou’s record

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      i <3 kari.

    • Extreme barca fan
      April 2, 2011

      Thank you Kari

      • Extreme barca fan
        April 2, 2011

        by the way is there a Live Blog today Kari?

      • April 2, 2011

        Yep. And it looks like I’ll be running it.

      • Extreme barca fan
        April 2, 2011

        Me like, Thanks

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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. 😀

  33. Diego
    April 2, 2011

    We should definitely get him after Pep leaves us. 🙁

  34. Diego
    April 2, 2011

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

  35. 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!!!

  36. 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.

    • Para
      April 2, 2011

      erm, ‘man,’ that is. Not main.

    • 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.

  37. 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

      They fixed it pretty quickly…

      • Nav
        April 2, 2011

        Did you screen grab that shit man?

      • Mila
        April 2, 2011

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

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

      • blaunero
        April 2, 2011

        Cool. Hopefully we win.

    • 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.

  40. April 2, 2011

    Quick! Give me your best Iker face pictures!

  41. Vj
    April 2, 2011

    *In Tears*

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

    Sporting puts the icing on the cake..

  42. Blow-Grenade
    April 2, 2011

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

  43. 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. 😀

  44. 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.

  45. Artur
    April 2, 2011

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

    • Ryan
      April 2, 2011

      Thiago and Ibi starting? Yes please!

  46. 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..

      • Diego
        April 2, 2011

        Cassano on the bench.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

      • April 2, 2011

        Danke for all of those! LiveBlog post is up by the way

  49. blaunero
    April 2, 2011

    How did Eto’o miss that?!

Comments are closed.