What do I think about this hoohaw? I think it’s over and I think we should stop letting the hackjob journalists of the world get under our skin with their pithy paragraphs about “es un club”—Ha! Did you see that? See, I took mes que un club and I cut out the m and the que and I got a different Spanish statement!—and we should focus on the brilliance and the magnificence of not just our little Argentine powder keg, but of the whole team.
I watched the game fairly riveted, as you would expect from a soci, and I’ll admit I enjoyed it. I’m not so sure I understand why people are up in arms so intensely. Other than they want to peg Barça back a little because we’re becoming (already are?) a dynasty. And I understand that. As a general rule I dislike dynasties and Barça is inching closer and closer to being that club. You know, the one that waltzes into a competition all “Hey guys, what’s up [aside, to door man, “hey Clyde, how’s the family? Give my best to Gwen], sorry I’m late [mane toss, removes sunglasses].” Eye candy hanging on the arm, “What’s going on here, fellas?” Casual-like. Eye candy all Chesty Laroue, everyone coming over to say hello. “Oh a tournament? Yeah, I suppose I can play, yeah, I can do that.” There’s space in the cabinet, after all, but only because an addition was added to the house.
That kinda thing. That kind of annoying “Oh god, they keep winning with their Xavi and their Messi and their ability.” Ugh. Except more like Yay(a) because I’m a member and we’re living perhaps the greatest time in the club’s history. Certainly in my experience following the game. We’re the Bulls, the Lakers. We have our brilliant coach with his adherence to a style and zen master approach (very Phil Jackson) and our superstar (MJ, Kobe) and our brilliant, unmatched role players (Kukoc, Fisher). And lots of people love us and lots of people hate us. And I wouldn’t trade it because this is what we aspire to, but it’s still a dynasty and it feels a little icky sometimes when we go through these death matches and suddenly everyone is rolling out the trope of “I thought you were above this”.
Let’s analyze, for a moment: If you don’t kick me, I won’t fall down clutching anything. Shame on Pedro and Busi for clutching their faces, but what about Arbeloa? Marcelo? Shame on them. And before you go trotting out the “well that goes without saying” crapola, have a dose of common sense and say it. Shame on Adebayor for punching Busi in the face. Shame on Sergio Ramos for trying to drive a forearm through Messi. If you’re going to call out the actors, call out the gladiators. If you’re going to call out Dani Alves for flopping, damn straight call out Pepe for going in studs up. And call out di Maria.
But it’s all hoohaw. And it’s el puto jefe of the press conferences that’s driving this narrative. It’s Mourinho winning off the field again. But it’s us winning where it matters and doing so without fear, without going out on the field in front of our own fans and whimpering. Dynasty or not, I like that we have a style we will give up for no one and nothing. And we’ll prove that on Tuesday when we play exactly the same way as we always have under Pep: attacking.