All This And More: My Final Reaction Thoughts

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.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

153 Comments

  1. Gogah
    April 29, 2011

    its sad that who talks the loudest gets heard. i still cant articulate how infuriating it is to see mo’s post match comments. “pep has never won a CL title cleanly?”. now i am sure of the truth in the saying “you condemn most in others what you fear most in yourself”.
    I hope the madridistas quickly see the rotten-ness of their coach, who only cares about bettering his own record and gives two shits about the club. Lot of people are talking only about the barca dives, but i tell them, We came in to the match looking to play football, we weren’t sure if the other team wanted to, so we left nothing to chance. thats that.
    that aside, i am sure pep will berate biscuit and pedrito for the embarrassing play acting.

  2. tutomate
    April 29, 2011

    Hell yes Jnice,
    Hell yes Ramzi
    And ooohhh Hell to the YES Isaiah!

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 29, 2011

      Hell yes Eklavya…
      Hell yes tutomate…
      Hell yes BFB…

      Oooooooooohhh!! Moc moc!!

      We wooooonnn the 1st leg, 2-0!! woo hoo!!

      YEEEEEEAAAAAAAYYYY!!! 😀

  3. Eklavya
    April 29, 2011

    Remember what Euler said after we won?

    “There will be a wave of nonsense after this match. Just ignore it.”

  4. Vj
    April 29, 2011

    Mouron is a hypocrite hypocrite hypocrite
    Mouron is a hypocrite hypocrite hypocrite
    and EE are sore losers! (Played to the tune of ‘I drink from a sippy cup’ #duh #winning)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cAJYAfcMgI&feature=player_embedded Vi(v)a Allas!

    I wouldn’t personally believe any of the EE’s rags’ claims. They have a long history of bad photoshopping.

    And this:
    //http://twitpic.com/4qo0k5
    You can clearly see the impact. If some people still believe Punto Pelota and their nonsense, good for them if it helps them sleep at night.

    Sorry, but Bassam, Corey and co. are incapable of controlling that mob over at the EE offside page. The level of Ad hominem attacks is really disgusting. Try to comment sanely, and you get an equivalent of ‘You are Cules, so eff off’. No wonder they had to shut down commenting so many times. The level of discussion is pathetic. Many of them actually believe Mou’s BS. Good for them. Not really worth the endeavour crossing over to the other side..

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 29, 2011

      oh my God… that video is amazing…

      and disgusting at the same time…

  5. April 29, 2011

    a new video about the video manipulation by punto pelota..
    its about 5 mins and it shows step by step how they did the manipulation by doing the manipulation live on video editor!
    SHAME ON THEM!!!

  6. footballfan
    April 29, 2011

    I really hope that Mourinho leaves Madrid. Soon. He is destroying football everywhere he goes. I used to think that his character, all the mind games, is interesting but it’s just plain irritating. Madrid deserves a better coach than him.

    • Xingxian
      April 29, 2011

      I know there are many, MANY reasons why this would never happen, but… how do you think people on this board, the socis, fans worldwide, people EVERYWHERE would react if after Guardiola left us, we wound up with Mourinho as coach and then KEPT WINNING?

      If we kept winning under him through Crujff-inspired short passes I’d be snickering. I’m not sure who or what I’d be snickering at, but I’d be snickering. If he changed the style and we kept winning, I’d be dismayed. Wins are wins, but if we started to win through off-the-ball tactics and violent play, it wouldn’t feel the same.

    • ak
      April 29, 2011

      Not gonna happen anytime soon. He has a four year contract that’s worth a LOT of money. Even though it’s madrid they are unlikely to waste so much money. And anyway, they consider him a good choice.

  7. Jnice
    April 29, 2011

    According to Edu Polo, Pep has included Gerard Deulofeu in the squad to face Real Sociedad. Great news!

    • Goo
      April 29, 2011

      Wow.

      Not gonna happen, but it would be great to see him play. The future is here.

    • Para
      April 29, 2011

      More exciting to me is the prospect that Fontas might get to play. I know it’s wishful thinking, considering he didn’t play last week, but I hope!

      • blitzen
        April 29, 2011

        I suspect Fontas will play, since Puyol won’t be there.

  8. Eklavya
    April 29, 2011

    FULL SQUAD:

    Valdes, Pinto, Alves,
    MONTOYA, Pique, Milito, Fontas, Busquets, Mascherano, Xavi, Keita, SERGI ROBERTO, Thiago, Afellay, Pedro, Messi, Villa, Jeffren, DEULOFEU

  9. Eklavya
    April 29, 2011

    My XI for the next match, whoever we are playing against:

    VV
    Alves Fontas Milito Maxwell
    Thiago Mascherano Afellay
    Jeffren Deulofeu Villa

  10. Eklavya
    April 29, 2011

    Pep wanted to call up Jonathan ‘Scoriano’ Soriano from Barça B,but couldn’t (age restriction) so he called up Deulofeu. (via @ EduPolo)

    • Jnice
      April 29, 2011

      Pep said all of our left backs our hurt so he didn’t want to risk him.

  11. Eklavya
    April 29, 2011

    BarcaTheOffside: Pep says that he has asked the players to make
    even more of an effort this weekend, and that he didn’t want to make Puyol play as he is.

    Im just copy-pasting…

  12. Nav
    April 29, 2011

    Jesus Christ we really are limping with a bruised lip and bloody eye to the finishing line aren’t we.

  13. outerspacedout
    April 29, 2011

    Carlo Garganese I don’t generally like much cos of his rather blind bias towards Calcio even when Serie A is quite awful now, and his windvane-like hyperbolic statements that keep on changing across a season, but for this YES YES YES.

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/04/29/2463454/scholes-2004-abidal-2009-milito-2010-jose-mourinho-is-a

    Also, he did say that Ronaldo is a world-class player and the only players in the world definitely better were the Barcelona trio of Iniesta, Xavi and Messi.

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Mourinho didn’t win his Champions League trophies just with “hard word, pride, effort and sweat” – he also received some favourable refereeing decisions (and fortune) along the way. In the 2003-04 edition, his Porto side were on the verge of elimination during their second round tie with Manchester United. Ahead 1-0 in the second-leg at Old Trafford, the dominant English champions had a Paul Scholes goal scandalously disallowed for a non-existent offside decision…

      In the 1-0 semi-final victory over Deportivo, Jose also benefited from outrageous refereeing. In the first-leg in Portugal, which finished 0-0, one of Depor’s star players Jorge Andrade was sent off for playfully kicking at former team-mate Deco. The pair unsuccessfully remonstrated with referee Markus Merk that they were just fooling around, Andrade repeating the words: “He’s my friend, he‘s my friend”. The red card had a huge bearing on the tie. Without their rock in defence, Deportivo lost the return 1-0 at home, and Mourinho’s Porto proceeded to the final where they beat Monaco 3-0.

      As for Guardiola’s supposedly “embarrassing” Champions League successes, the 2009 semi-final second-leg at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Barca is in danger of turning into a mythical old wives’ tale with Barcelona as the evil baddie. The truth is that of the five penalty claims that were turned down by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, only one was a penalty – the clear handball by Gerard Pique. Dani Alves’ obstruction on Florent Malouda may have been inside the area, but obstruction is only a penalty offence when really serious, and this was not. The same can be said for Eric Abidal’s slight pull of Didier Drogba’s shirt before half-time, which preceded a one-second delay before the Ivorian catapulted himself onto the floor like he’d caught the plague.

      In the episode involving Drogba and Yaya Toure on 56 minutes, both were wrestling each other, and even if Kolo’s younger brother did draw back the Chelsea hitman, it was well outside the area. Finally, regarding Michael Ballack’s last-gasp appeal against Samuel Eto’o, the Cameroonian may have had his arm higher than usual, but it was clearly ball-to-hand (the very top of his arm and back), while he also had his back turned. FIFA’s ‘Laws of the Game’ at the time were crystal clear on this.

      • outerspacedout
        April 29, 2011

        That thing about the red for Andrade seems far more disgraceful than any red Pepe got.

        • chop
          April 29, 2011

          The red against Abidal was far more disgraceful too. That was ridiculous. I don’t remember Pep throwing a fit and giving up.

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      It is amusing that Mourinho conveniently overlooked the fact that Abidal was wrongly red-carded on 65 minutes for a ‘professional foul’ when Anelka had tripped over his own feet. This forced Barcelona to chase the last 25 minutes of the game with just 10 men. As a result the space opened up for Chelsea on the counter-attack, and it was only after this dismissal that the stonewall Pique penalty incident occurred.

      It is also peculiar how Mourinho discarded the performance of referee Wolfgang Stark (Yes, the same WOLFGANG STARK from Real Madid vs. Barcelona) in the first-leg at Camp Nou. During that game, Stark waved away an excellent Thierry Henry penalty shout, failed to send off Ballack, and also harshly booked Carles Puyol, forcing Barcelona to start a left-back at centre-back, and a centre midfielder at left-back in the second-leg.

      • Eklavya
        April 29, 2011

        Yes, we can read by clicking on the link thanks 🙂

  14. Víctor
    April 29, 2011

    @Isaiah:

    No one in here is denying that Madrid was dirty as well. They were. They were even dirtier in the Copa Match and got a free pass.

    Mourinho complains about always ending up with 10 players against Barcelona. I think he should be grateful for that… in reality he deserved to end up with 9 (or perhaps 8) players on the pitch. Specially in the Copa Match.

    And for that, that’s why I don’t feel bad or “ashamed” for our players pressing the ref. We can’t let them get their way on cheating… sorry, but we can’t.

    However, that does not mean that we should cheat and play act, as well. That’s really bad. There’s a difference between pressing the ref to make him realize that Madrid is playing dirty and between just plain acting and diving.

    Other than that. No real thing to feel “ashamed” about.

    The tactics employed by Pep worked wonders. We were attacking, but not with many men as we always do. Madrid didn’t expect that. Mourinho didn’t either. So, they got outplayed even tactically.

    Besides, Puyol is back. Villa, while having scoring issues, is being constant with his runs and creating space. Messi is just Messi. Víctor Valdés is showing that he is a great keeper. Piqué is getting on-form, etc…

    And Afellay is doing better as of late. Not bad for a lad that recently joined.

    P.D. Yup, there’s lots of non-sense. With lots of evidence showed, seems that Pepe’s contact on Alves was not that “minimal” and that Madrid supporters go as far to shop videos and whatnot.

    They are even trying to accuse Busquets of being racist. Holy cow!

    Maybe we (or I) should stop listening to their complaints and whines. Yes, a shame that Pedro, Busquets and Alves acted. However, their team acted as well and played dirty. And they are even going as far as shopping images and editing videos to prove their point. Guess that I’ll take Barça’s side and tell them… you have no credibility whatsoever.

  15. Lou
    April 29, 2011

    And for the record I agree with Bassam that Barcelona should not have filed a complaint with UEFA.

    UEFA is already looking into Mourinho’s comments, so what does Barca gain by filing a complaint? It just makes both clubs look petty.

    What Mourinho said was awful, but no one in their right mind would believe his UNICEF/UEFA conspiracy theory. Saying that all of Pep’s achievements are tainted is despicable, but this is the way he operates. I’m sure he has said equally awful things about other rivals (Benitez, Wenger). It just shows that he is a poor loser. It’s not nearly as serious as the COPE doping allegations in my opinion.

    Pep already answered Mourinho. At the press conference before the match, by winning the tactical battle on the pitch, with a substitution that was a clear middle finger to the opposing coach, and with resounding silence after the match. The club should have just let Pep’s actions be their response to Mourinho’s rant.

    I feel like this is just Rosell’s way to make sure that he is involved in the dispute.

    • Jnice
      April 29, 2011

      Before UEFA announced they were looking into his comments, Barcelona had already announced they were thinking about filing a complaint on the official site.

      • Lou
        April 29, 2011

        Yes, but there was no way that UEFA wasn’t going to investigate him after those comments.

        If Drogba’s comments warranted an investigation in 2009, then UEFA would clearly look into Mourinho’s direct accusations of UEFA corruption.

        I still think it was so that the board could feel better about themselves by making some noise. Pep already gave the response required. The board should have left it at that.

        • Jnice
          April 29, 2011

          I disagree. Swift and accurate response in my opinion. And you already know that’s how this board works.

          • Lou
            April 29, 2011

            That’s fine, I respect your opinion.

            But this isn’t the same as the doping allegations, or the English media making up interviews. There getting lawyers involved was justified, since that was the only way those media outlets would stop publishing that garbage.

            But will sending the lawyers after Mourinho stop him from making veiled comments that Barcelona only wins because of help from the authorities? Of course not. So what is the point of the complaint, especially when UEFA is already looking into the incident?

            They should have just let Mourinho’s own statements condemn him.

        • April 29, 2011

          I commented about this in the previous post. In brief, Barcelona had no choice but to report it to UEFA.

          Barcelona’s board do their job, regardless of UEFA’s administration decisions. Mou’s rant after his mental breakdown left no choice for us but to respond, legally.

    • Nav
      April 29, 2011

      There were several great responses as to exactly why Barcelona’s response was required.

  16. outerspacedout
    April 29, 2011

    I won’t know for sure whether Madridistas edited the video to make it seem Pepe made no contact, or whether Barcelona fans made up ‘proof’ videos to make it seem like it was edited. I’ll only believe one side when someone who has a copy of the ACTUAL MATCH slows it down and looks carefully and tells me which it was, whether there was or wasn’t contact.

    I do hope, however, that that video WAS actually faked and there actually WAS contact, and I also hope that that edited bit IS in Madrid’s compilation of our dives, and that that gets found out when they present that video, and that that becomes very very humiliating for them.

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Ps. This is indirectly asking anyone who has the whole match to actually slow it down and look and tell me lol.

      • Eklavya
        April 29, 2011

        Well, my own (swiss) TV showed the replay right after the end of the match, you know when the show thr goals + highlights, and it did seem as if there was no contact.

        • nzm
          April 29, 2011

          Yes – same here in Spain on GOL Television. They slowed it down, and there was no direct contact between Alves and Pepe. The contact actually happens on the ball. Pepe hits the ball from one side – this causes the ball to cannon into Alves’ foot on the other side of the ball – this causes Alves to spin around. That’s where the momentum for Alves’ pirouette came from. Still a studs-up tackle though, but not directly on Alves.

          • outerspacedout
            April 29, 2011

            Ah thanks. That’s what it looked like to me too, from the actual footage bits, that Pepe’s studs hit the ball on one side and Alves was on the other side of the ball. Alves definitely did make a meal of it yes, but it also definitely was dangerous play.

          • chop
            April 29, 2011

            You can hear the sound from it too. Sounded like the ball.

        • soccermomof4
          April 29, 2011

          I tried slowing it down. I couldn’t reallly see the exact moment of the impact (or non-impact). The thing for me is the physics of it all. Alves is going forward with a certain amount of momentum. I don’t see he he could have changed direction that split-second fast without some outside force. Which is I guess a way of saying I’ll give him SOME benefit of the doubt.

          The commentators here in the US from FOX seemed to think that regardless, it was a “red card in the modern game”, coming in straight legged with the studs up. So that pretty much renders the question of diving/ embellishing academic.

          • chop
            April 29, 2011

            He’s going forward with only one foot which isn’t completely planted on the ground. No way could he have changed direction like that and no way did he have the leverage to do so.

            The meal of it was the stretcher part. That’s pretty standard with all players because unlike diving it’s impossible to determine how much pain a player is in and how he should react to it. This is a major problem.

            Diving, faking injures to the face can easily be dealt with though. UEFA has no excuse for that.

    • Vj
      April 29, 2011

      AAAHHHH I CAN’T BELIEVE PEOPLE ARE STILL DEBATING THIS!!!! /end Artur Boruc

      Seriously! Look at this: http://twitpic.com/4qo0k5 Crystal-clear contact – Look at Alves’s thigh..

      Besides that, its almost physically impossible to do a pirouette like that as nzm said without proper contact. Also, check out Alves’s shriek just as it happened. Definitely genuine contact..

      • soccermomof4
        April 29, 2011

        Oops, I should refresh before commenting as you said pretty much the same thing as I.

      • nzm
        April 29, 2011

        From that angle, it does look like contact. From another camera angle, from the side of the pitch, which is what I saw on GOL Televion, there was no contact – except for on the ball which was between the 2 players’ feet. As I explained above, Pepe hit the ball – the ball hit Alves’ foot – this gave him the momentum for the spin. It happens so quickly that without the slowing down of the clip, you can’t see it. Pepe hits the ball with his studs which is dangerous play, but no excuse for Alves’ theatrics!

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Yeah, with that, Garganese’s article above, and one by Bairner saying that Pep’s presser was a calculated tactic and that Mourinho lost at his own game (as in, mind games). They also called out his poor tactics and whining.

      Contrast that with Soccernet. You’d think they were the site we were referring to when we say BS.com.

      • chop
        April 29, 2011

        Mourinho is so obviously partisan and full of backhanded compliments and insults to ever opponent and neutral (refs). It’s amazing that people support him despite of this. If he was ever hired to coach my club I’d still hate him.

        • outerspacedout
          April 29, 2011

          One of the reasons why, even though I don’t root for them in any competition and find their collapses really funny, I can’t help but have a bit of a soft spot for Arsenal- they’re the one other side that would never hire scum like Mourinho, on principle.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 29, 2011

      yes, I haven’t read any editorial news from BS.com for sooo long…

      this time I did it, and it turned out to be very good… 😀

  17. vicsoc
    April 29, 2011

    I haven’t spoken about the tackle yet, but I feel sort of obliged.

    Look at the video, even the one claiming there is no contact. You can see Alves’ leg recoil in a way that can only happen from contact with another force. It looks to me like a physical impossibility for Alves’ to completely reverse his leg’s direction in the fraction of a second. If you watch his leg though you can see the recoil.

    On another note – it is a straight red for me, without any doubt, and no one will ever be able to convince me otherwise. I will admit I’m biased – I broke my leg in a challenge that was almost a carbon copy of that one, the only difference was my leg was planted and bearing my weight will Dani’s was in the air. So red for me, all day and all night.

    • nzm
      April 29, 2011

      Yes – having watched the video in extreme slo-mo, there is contact on the ball between the players.

      As I explained above, Pepe’s foot slammed studs-first into the ball on one side. The ball then cannons into Alves’ foot on the other side of the ball. The force of the ball hitting Alves’ foot is enough to send him spinning – especially since his other foot is not planted on the ground, he’s on his toes. Plus, there’s also an automatic recoil to get out of Pepe’s way as his body follows through. Alves then makes the most of it. 🙂

      Still a dangerous tackle though, with studs showing.

      • nzm
        April 29, 2011

        This is the point that people are missing – the contact happens on the ball, way before Pepe comes thundering through afterwards. People are looking for the contact on Alves – not on the ball in the split second before.

      • vicsoc
        April 29, 2011

        After watching the video several times I see obvious recoil from Alves’ leg long after this contact through the ball you see. I just don’t see how it is possible in a world where physics exists for his leg to make that motion at that time without contact.

        • nzm
          April 29, 2011

          The hard contact from the ball was enough to start the momentum. Alves had the presence of mind to capitalise on it. That’s why there’s a split second between the contact and then the OTT reaction – it took Alves’ brain that time to process what to do next.

          Look at how a ballerina performs a pirouette. The driving force comes from the leg on the ground. Alves spun on his left leg to exaggerate the movement.

          There’s also a ballet movement called the Piqué, but that’s another story! 🙂

          • outerspacedout
            April 29, 2011

            I call dibs on Purrque too.

          • vicsoc
            April 29, 2011

            I just has to disagree, I see recoil in the leg and a wrenching movement at the knee long after the ball contact you are mentioning. These are things that can only be caused by contact, and not by contact that occurred several seconds earlier.

            I’m not arguing that Alves didn’t sell it, but I jus don’t see how it is physically possible for the ball contact or Alves own actions to move his leg like it does, at the time it happens.

          • soccermomof4
            April 29, 2011

            So we all(or most) agree that there was some force (ball or follow through) that changed Alves’ momentum and a reason for him to go to ground, but no reason to roll around as if he had just lost a limb (except maybe to call attention to that fact that he could have, under other circumstance, i.e. planted foot, lost said limb).

            Isn’t one of the regular posters a physicist? Can’t he analyze Alves’ angular momentun frame by frame on the replay, and calculate the force the was applied to Alves’ leg and….obviously jk guys 🙂 although it would be interesting…or maybe not.

          • soccermomof4
            April 29, 2011

            But you’d think that with today’s technology, there’d be conclusive video evidence. If they can send a man to the moon…

  18. Eklavya
    April 29, 2011

    Another funny stat (about Ozil): 1 – Mesut Özil has managed only one shot on target in
    four matches against Barcelona this season. Lost. [via Opta]

    How come no one’s shouting “big match player”?

  19. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 29, 2011

    outer, you’re right… soccernet is soccercrap.com now…

    But it is not in any way an insult towards Guardiola. I am certain that Mourinho has a lot of respect for his nemesis, just as he had for Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. He has a knack of winding people up, but again I cannot see the problem here. For Barcelona to ask for charges against Mourinho smacks of a lack of grace in victory.

    But first of all, apart from having their usual massive percentage of possession, Barcelona weren’t very good at all before Pepe was sent off. And secondly, if the best team should always win, shouldn’t we just abolish all competitions and give all the cups to Barcelona from now on? They may be the best squad in the world, but surely that shouldn’t imply another squad should be forbidden to try to stop them.

    for complete article :

    =http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/913218/in-defence-of-jose-mourinho?cc=4716=

  20. April 29, 2011

    Now forget about Moudrid, and take this one for a laugh. I dont know why Inter fans believe there is a chance Pep will leave Barcelona to Inter this summer. Mind you, they are already setting the rules. After the match last night, MAD – Inter’s page administrator on the offside wrote the following:

    “I wouldn’t give Pep a whole week. If his team is a reflection of his personality than he can stay in Spain, for all I care.” 🙂

    Poor Pep, will have his heart broken if he read that…

    • Jnice
      April 29, 2011

      MAD…. one of the biggest jokers on the offside.

      • Eklavya
        April 29, 2011

        I usually don’t mention other blogs because I know it’s tough to handle it but the Inter offside is just filled with pure hate. That Johanna person modifies every ‘outsider’ comment and pardon me while I state the obvious but:

        MAD is mad.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 29, 2011

      I really miss the world where the media/journalists are talking about football… 🙁

      diving, fouling, stomping, kicking legs, acting, red card, video editing, referee, UEFA conspiracy, racism… ugh…

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        April 29, 2011

        this post shouldn’t be right here, it’s not a reply for you, Ramzi… *facepalm*

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      This is a really really fascinating article.

  21. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 29, 2011

    =http://www.livejournal.com/poll/?id=1735352=

    What is the source of Barça’s “unlimited power”?
    UEFA
    0 (0.0%)

    The Referees
    3 (3.3%)

    “UNICEF”
    18 (19.8%)

    Bojan Krkic
    70 (76.9%)

    How did we pay off the referees?

    UEFA
    3 (3.3%)

    The Referees
    2 (2.2%)

    “UNICEF”
    10 (11.0%)

    Bojan Krkic
    76 (83.5%)

  22. vicsoc
    April 29, 2011

    Interesting, a poll from Marca shows almost 70% of it’s readers think it should have been a red card.

  23. nzm
    April 29, 2011

    And I hate to bring this up guys – but there’s going to be at least 3 El Clasicos next season, with the 2 La Liga games and the Spanish Super Cup which is played between the La Liga winner and the La Copa del Rey winner.

    That’s if Barca wins the league!! Teehee. 🙂

    • Helge
      April 29, 2011

      4, Supercup has home- and away-match…

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Even if they win the league, it’ll be between the league winner and the Copa runner-up. Remember when we won the treble we played Bilbao in the Supercopa?

      • nzm
        April 29, 2011

        Yup – what a game that was! A stadium full of Basques and Catalans – and the King! lol

      • outerspacedout
        April 29, 2011

        Sadly I couldn’t watch it. TV didn’t show Copa matches. Still don’t, they just made an exception for this final cos it was a Clasico.

        • nzm
          April 29, 2011

          That’s one of the advantages of living in Spain – we get to see them all!

  24. Helge
    April 29, 2011

    Wow, I think the statistic that I saw on UEFA.com is a negative record for eternity!

    Total distance covered by team:
    -Real Madrid: 64755m
    -Barça: 70050

    That’s ridiculous! The average of Barça is about 110km, and Real covers a little less, 107km.

    Real Madrid ran more than 40km less than usual! Even if you add the amount that Pepe would have covered in the last 30min of the game, they wouldn’t have surpassed 67km.
    And Mourinho now explained that Lass and Alonso won’t play la Liga because they are exhausted from playing with one man down 😀
    This guy is an effing maniac, sorry. He has lost all sanity.

    And here’s a great article about Mou, the hypocrite on BS.com:
    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/04/29/2463454/scholes-2004-abidal-2009-milito-2010-jose-mourinho-is-a

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Yeah I posted that earlier on this thread too. And enormous excerpts hahahaha. Go Garganese!

      Btw, we really should rename Soccernet BS.com. Yes Goal is full of BS generally, but Soccernet has been worse the past couple months or so atleast. Not just about Barcelona too, I mean.

  25. blitzen
    April 29, 2011

    Hleb continues his “Get me the heck out of Birmingham!!!” campaign:

    Hleb: “I’d like to return to Stuttgart. But I can’t decide that alone, I still have a contract with Barcelona until 2012.” [bild]

    This is getting sad, really.

    • Eklavya
      April 29, 2011

      What the hell is wrong with that guy? Why did he push the Stuttgart staff dude then? And why the hell haven’t we rescinded his contract already?

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      We can give Hleb to UEFA this year instead of the usual big wad of cash hahahaha.

      Then again, that’ll probably see us get knocked out in the first round…

  26. vicsoc
    April 29, 2011

    Here’s some cool news – Gerard Deulofeu is in the squad list for tomorrow!

  27. Barka
    April 29, 2011

    Looks like Gerard Deulofeu is included in our squad list for Sociedad. I’m glad for him!

  28. Great post Isaiah.

    I won’t lie that I’m a bit disappointed in people’s gut reactions. The “mono” thing was the last straw. There was nothing there. Nothing. I’ve watched it at least 10 times.

    As for the courtcase, we have every right. Slander, defamation, accusations of corruption — who in there right mind wouldn’t take them to court? Think rationally for a second. That Real Madrid, and yes I said Real Madrid, a gentleman’s club has backed a sociopath, is just embarrassing IMO. When the dust settles, there are going to be very embarrassed Madridistas.

    The nonsense has taken over, and I’ll admit I’m tired of it all. When people talk, y’know, actual football, I’ll join in.

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      What mono thing?

      And yeah I feel so too. A historically great institution like Madrid that prides itself on being a gentlemanly club that follows attractive football at all costs, as much as I hate them as rivals, are still too good for scum like Mourinho.

      • outerspacedout
        April 29, 2011

        Yeah I can’t really judge at all looking at it. I mean its like how when you hear a bit of static and you don’t see anything in it, but someone says ‘listen, it sounds like hello!’ then you listen and it DOES sound like hello- I’d read that it was supposed to be mono, so that’s what I’d be looking for. That said it did seem like there was an ‘a’ sound there.

        I’d think Marcelo would have said so though if that was so, esp considering that Madrid are having to respond to chants against Alves in the same game.

  29. vicsoc
    April 29, 2011

    On another note, after watching the Porto – Villareal I think our striker signing this summer should be Hulk.

    He is big, strong, young, and I doubt he would be against playing a rotation role.

    • blitzen
      April 29, 2011

      Did you also see his blatant dive in the box for which he received a card? Do we need another diver?

    • April 29, 2011

      Hulk’s performance against Benfica early this season was one of the more impressive matches I’ve seen a striker play this season.

      He absolutely destroyed David Luiz. Just turned the evening into a nightmare for the entire Benfica backline.

      Hulk is a good striker. Not sure if he has the touch to play in compressed spaces though. That’s just an open question that’s difficult to answer. Also- he’s not actually that tall. He’s not short – 180cm or so. But he’s not particularly tall either.

      • outerspacedout
        April 29, 2011

        Incredible Hulk > John McEnroe > Brazilian Hulk

  30. blitzen
    April 29, 2011

    According to Graham Poll:

    Real Madrid always present their referee with a beautiful watch after every game — a memento with a discreet Real Madrid crest on it, so you remember where it came from. The Spanish federation do the same after an international game, where a lady waits for the officials to change before making the presentation.

    I wonder if Wolfgang Stark got his? 😛

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1381729/Graham-Poll-reveals-secrets-footballs-dark-arts.html

  31. Lev
    April 29, 2011

    EXCELLENT post Isaiah. Sums up my feelings so perfectly I don’t have any comment to add.

  32. outerspacedout
    April 29, 2011

    Ana Ivanovic
    Had a very good practice this morning. It feels good to be back in tournament mode. Lots going on off the court here in Madrid too, but I’m just looking forward to my first match…

    Is she referring to the Clasico ugliness by any chance I wonder.

  33. outerspacedout
    April 29, 2011

    The Clasico ugliness is reaching insane levels.

    I have always felt the ‘rivalry’ hatred for Madrid before, and huge dislike for Mourinho, but from Mourinho’s press conference on through that ugly game and the aftermath I felt deep-in-my-guts as-much-hatred-as-you’ve-ever-felt-even-in-personal-life hatred towards Madrid for the first time, that day. And even more so for Mourinho. The sheer hatred for Madrid has lessened veeery slightly now, but that for Mourinho has gotten stronger and stronger.

    He seems so determined to discredit everything we achieve. Assuming we go through and win… Let them whine and complain. In the long run, we’ll be the ones remembered in history as a legendary side, and Madrid 10/11 will be forgotten except as a sidenote as being on the receiving end of a tell-your-grandchildren-brilliant performance in the 5-0 and a goal for the ages in a CL semi.

    For right now though, for just the short-term- which doesn’t matter anyway- a smashing victory at Camp Nou should shut the majority up. Winning 3-0 or 4-0 playing them off the pitch at Camp Nou. We’re capable of that, and doing so without the diving as well- after all, two of the three Mega Thugs of Mordor (Pepe, Ramos and Arbeloa) will be missing, we’ll be playing at home with 98500 fans- as much as the population of my whole city- behind us, and they’ll be forced to attack.

    • Lev
      April 29, 2011

      Be careful what you wish for. Deep in my heart I want us to humiliate them in the Camp Nou, but I respect Madrid as a formidable enemy and they are capable of pulling an upset. Over 90 minutes (or 120) anything can happen.

      • outerspacedout
        April 29, 2011

        Yeah I know… they could still score two goals, as unlikely as I think it is, with nothing to lose and talent like Ronaldo, Oezil, Kaka, Higuain and Benzema in their ranks. Though I don’t really believe they will.

        I’ve decided that from tomorrow on I’ll start taking the route of caution- ‘Madrid have very dangerous players, they could still get two somehow, should be humble before karma bites the way it often has a nasty habit of doing’. Pointedly think and be so, to avoid any possible Hubris-Karma.

    • April 29, 2011

      Your problem is that you give lot of value to what Mourinho or his Moudrid say (or anyone else). May be he is the special one for some and he is no doubt a good coach and influential football figure. But when you put him in the face of a club like FC Barcelona with all its history and greatness, he is just another kid playing in the backyard. He need to be taught how to behave, the board is taking legal options, and we toy with his fan boys for fun. But it is not him who judge this club or decide its worth.

      I dont care what outsiders say about my club. If they dont like it, they are not forced to be fans of the club, if our matched annoys them, they can simply stop watching. If it is just envy and frustration, thats for them to treat, I am busy watching my team’s performance week in week out, with lot of joy.

      • outerspacedout
        April 29, 2011

        I said: [Assuming we go through] Let them whine and complain. In the long run, we’ll be the ones remembered in history as a legendary side, and Madrid 10/11 will be forgotten except as a sidenote as being on the receiving end of a tell-your-grandchildren-brilliant performance in the 5-0 and a goal for the ages in a CL semi.

        It’s not that I care too much what they say. I hate him trying to discredit what we achieved, in the repeat a lie enough times and some people will start believing it sense, even though I know that that would be in the short run and not in how history would remember us- but I was saying that anyway history is going to remember the winners (assuming we go through) and how spectacular this Barcelona side was (whether or not we go through), and not the accusations, but that ‘in the short term- which doesn’t matter anyway’ smashing them at home would shut up many people hating on us as undeserved right now.

  34. April 29, 2011

    “If you’re going to call out the actors, call out the gladiators.”

    Tremendous point. I was highly disappointed when Rio Ferdinand went onto Twitter and blasted Pedro and Alves. He called them out for diving but didn’t say anything about the cynical nature of Madrid.

    • April 29, 2011

      Rio knows what will his him if Alves and Pedro reach the final. I think he was caught off guard in that remark in a moment of panic attack and terrifying frustration.

      Lets be kind enough and understand his situation…

    • Lev
      April 29, 2011

      He also called them out because we might play each other in the final. Any pressure to have us seen as perenial divers can only be in their advantage, right?

    • ak
      April 29, 2011

      That’s actually pretty rich of him to say so, since i don’t remember any such comments against Ronaldo or Nani.

  35. soccermomof4
    April 29, 2011

    What we need right now ladies and gentlemen, is to start discussing the Sociedad game. We’re travelling to Basque country with a what’s left standing/limping of our squad (seeing the pics, Leo’s left leg had some type of compression sleeve on it, yikes) and some B teamers and a youth player (wouldn’t it be fun to see some of them out there!). It’s time to talk football. How ’bout them Basques!?!

    More importantly:
    barcastuff:
    Guardiola: “Abidal has started with ball exercises but I won’t let him play until the doctors assure me there’s 0% risk.” #animsabidal
    Would it not be so totally, completely (as long as it’s safe) cool if he’s able to come back for Wembley!

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Yes good let’s talk about that. I literally feel dirty and unclean still from the pre, during, post and aftermath of that game, the whole past two days.

  36. outerspacedout
    April 29, 2011

    Okay. So what line-up do you want to see in Anoeta?

    • beeeef
      April 29, 2011

      Rest what players we can, and hopefully give Deulofeu a run out!

    • soccermomof4
      April 29, 2011

      VV,
      Alves, Fontas, Milito, Montoya
      Xavi, Masche, Thiago
      3M, Messi (because hoping he’ll be rested is futile), Jeffren
      sub in Deulofeu for a few minutes of fun if we can
      1-2 (Messi, 3M)

    • blitzen
      April 29, 2011

      My lineup:

      Valdes
      Alves-Fontas-Milito-Montoya
      Xavi-Mascherano-Thiago
      Afellay-Villa-Jeffren

      No Messi unless strictly necessary!
      Subs: Sergi Roberto & Gerard Deulofeu.

      • soccermomof4
        April 29, 2011

        So you and ‘spaced’ still hold onto some hope that Messi will get rested? Last Saturday was an anomaly, unlikely to be repeated. Besides, I’m started to agree that what’s good for Messi is what makes him happy, not what normal people think is good for him. He’ll play. If he doesn’t, I’ll start calling myself…no that caused too much confusion the first time, Isaiah’s already used the queen thing, and I can’t even type the mod formerly known as Kari’s new nick so no new nicks for me.

        • outerspacedout
          April 29, 2011

          Isaiah used what Queen thing?

          • soccermomof4
            April 29, 2011

            He went by Queen Elizabeth (or something like that) for about a month after something happened. Can’t remember clearly; was just a lurker at the time.

        • blitzen
          April 29, 2011

          According to barcastuff, Messi’s own father said he is unlikely to play on Saturday. So…who knows?

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Pinto
      Alves,Fontas,Milito,Montoya
      Xavi,Keita,Thiago
      Afellay,Villa,Pedro

      Pinto cos I don’t want to risk Valdes getting any in-match injury ahead of the second leg with Pinto suspended. Hope he doesn’t pick up any knocks in training or the like.

      Montoya cos who else do we have on the left side of defense?

      Pedro cos he needs to regain his exclamation marks form with time.

      Messi comes on as a sub on 60 mins for Villa.

      I’d like to see them both but I’m sure Pep won’t play both Fontas and Milito together as a CB pairing, it’ll be one of the two and a more established defender, probably Pique. Fontas’ inexperience and Milito’s lack of pace/form, especially coupled with Alves’ attacking instincts and Montoya being new, probably not the most secure defense. We don’t want to lose this game.

      Deulofeu on for Pedro or Afellay, or one of the midfielders with Afellay dropping into a midfield position, late on in the game.

  37. Humphrey Bogart
    April 29, 2011

    Ah, only the thought of our up coming match against La Real can keep my growing frustration and irritation with MouDrid in check. Even at the Guardian comment section thouse hypocrite Ingelanders act as if diving is something total unknown on their isle. Steven Gerrard, Istanbul, hello anybody? But enough of this crap.

    I really get jittery to think of the match, to see a lot of youngsters, maybe George and Leo together. I do not even care if we win, I just want to see a lot of our young guns.

  38. April 29, 2011

    Let Messi play, and score enough to guarantee the Pichichi. This way Ronaldo will paunch Mourinho on the nose for keeping him out of the squad, claiming that he would have scored 10 goals in that match!

    • soccermomof4
      April 29, 2011

      TB’s out of the squad against Zara? Really?

      • blitzen
        April 29, 2011

        Yup. Seems Mou is punishing him for his comments after Wednesday’s match. Not that he will admit it, he just says it is “my choice”.

        • outerspacedout
          April 29, 2011

          I just love seeing them crack. Mourinho seems to have lost it after the game and now the possibility of infighting between the star and the manager makes things even better/worse. In a poisonous, unpleasant way.

        • soccermomof4
          April 29, 2011

          Dangit, now I’m feeling sorry for the guy again(a very, very, very little bit).

        • Jim
          April 29, 2011

          Might he not be keeping him fresh for midweek if he is planning an attacking formation?

        • ak
          April 29, 2011

          I think he’s resting him for the return leg.

    • lovelymofo
      April 29, 2011

      I agree with this.

      And if Pep does play Fontas, I think he’ll play Pique alongside him. Not sure Milito + one of the kids would work out.

    • outerspacedout
      April 29, 2011

      Like the idea Ramzi.

      Yeah S04 he’s out of the squad. Dunno whether to buy into BS.com that it’s Mourinho not being too happy with Ronaldo’s comments post-game- apparently he mentioned that Lass and I think Alonso were out of the squad cos they were too tired from chasing the game, but said nothing about Ronaldo, and saying that Ronaldo hasn’t missed a single other game except the second leg in the Copa against Levante when they had an 8-0 lead and he was a bit sick anyway- or the more likely alternative that Ronaldo is just being rested for the return leg.

      Either way, if there is any possibility of friction there, might as well increase it haha.

      • soccermomof4
        April 29, 2011

        I miss a lot of news having placed myself on a restricted diet of Barca-only sites for a while.

      • outerspacedout
        April 29, 2011

        Ps. My sentence was really confusing, but the part about ‘saying Ronaldo hasn’t missed a single other game except… bit sick anyway’ was me saying what Goal.com had written, not what Mourinho said. The part about what Mourinho said was ‘apparently he mentioned that Lass and I think Alonso were out of the squad cos they were too tired from chasing the game, but said nothing about Ronaldo’.

  39. Jackieboy
    April 29, 2011

    Isaiah, I love your last paragraph (well I love the whole post, but the last paragraph is just magnificent). We won. Who cares about the rest.

    I do wonder though, what kind of thoughts do people like Pep, Mourinho or Messi have in their heads when Messi does what he did. Is Leo like “Gee, those Madrid defenders, they’re really weaksauce”? Is Mourinho all “That is so unfair!” in his head? I bet Busi’s thought was “Cool, I assisted the best goal ever”.

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