Category:

Analysis

January 29, 2014 / / Analysis
January 20, 2014 / / Analysis
Image via fcbarcelona.cat
Image via fcbarcelona.cat

So here we go, people. The fun begins. At a press conference today, one that for me was akin to a medicine show from days of yore, we were being sold some tonic by a quartet of salesmen.

For anyone interested in a blow-by-blow, I liveTweeted the press conference, via @kevvwill on Twitter. This piece isn’t that, though it will deal with the gist of what is being offered up, along with my views and interpretation of what was offered up. The “medicine show” quip probably gave you a clue of what that view is but truth to tell, I am torn on the matter, as the culer and soci in me are having a fight.
Read MoreA sorta Nou Nou, aka “Charging forward into an uncertain future”

January 9, 2014 / / Analysis

getmessi

So. Lionel Messi has returned, after 59 days away from the lineup of FC Barcelona. He scored two goals, capered about like a colt unbound, and many people had similar reactions to the spectacle, to the tune of:

“I had forgotten how good he was in the time he was gone.”

For me, however, it was easy to forget because it’s been a long time since he HAS been that good.
Read More“Welcome back,” aka “Been longer than we know since we have seen That Messi”

December 28, 2013 / / Analysis
December 27, 2013 / / Analysis
December 25, 2013 / / Analysis

messhurt

It isn’t the exact midway point of the season, but it’s close enough where we can start to examine some things, look forward and look back with anger, sadness, happiness and any other emotion you can think of.

Healing Messi

Obviously, the most dominant thing this season has been Broken Messi. He first picked up the injury against Paris St.-Germain on their potato field last season, re-aggravated it, then re-re aggravated it. Finally, it tweaked a good one, and Messi took 8 weeks off to rehab a hamstring that didn’t take 8 weeks to heal. So what the hell?
Read MoreBarça at halfway, aka “Making sense of seeming craziness”

November 25, 2013 / / Analysis
November 14, 2013 / / Analysis

messhurt

Injuries are part of athletics. The capriciousness of the human body, ergonomics, a way of movement that is just fine a million times but is NOT fine a million and one times … it’s all part of the deal. There’s never a good time for them, particularly when they involve the best player alive, Lionel Messi. But essentially, stuff happens.

And as people natter, speculate and finger point about what might or might not have been, why a great player is suddenly being let down by a stupid body part, it’s hard not to wonder, once again, what is going on with Lionel Messi.

He hasn’t really been right since pulling up lame on a Paris cow pasture, but it has always been “two weeks.” Two weeks here, two weeks there and pretty soon you’re not only talking about real time, but unavoidably, you start to wonder … what if it should be more than two weeks? And then you don’t wonder, because what supporter, what devotee of the Beautiful Game isn’t selfish? Messi does the absurd. All the time. Goals that would make a mortal player pose, rip off his shirt and retire from the game, Messi knocks off, points to the sky to say “That’s another one for you, Grandma,” and gets set to do it again.

Who doesn’t want to see that? Who doesn’t want to still the thought that maybe, just maybe, people are conspiring to kill the golden goose. Ssssh! Just give No. 10 the ball and let him play when he wants.
Read MoreYes, Messi’s broke, aka “The rush to blame shouldn’t bypass a mirror”

October 30, 2013 / / Analysis

ibra

Because she doesn’t have a mod’s login any longer, I have to publish this under my name. But this is an absolutely fascinating piece on the psychology of Ibrahimovic, and why he didn’t fit it at Barça, by Kari. It’s lovely to have her voice in these parts again, and let’s hope this isn’t a one-off.

A man sits on a barcalounger, hands folded in his lap as gazes out the window. His therapist listens attentively as he says, “My life right now is really good. I have a wife and two kids, live in a sunny, dream destination town, my co-workers are nice, upstanding guys, the workplace environment is very healthy, and I’m doing really well at my dream job where I make an obscene amount of money.”

The man pauses, scrubs at his face. “But I feel so…empty inside. My confidence is at an all time low, and I don’t feel like myself at all. I’m in this funk, you know, feel really depressed all the time, and I don’t – I don’t understand.”

So an interesting thing happened the other day. We won a Clasico and I was exiled out of the house because people couldn’t stand seeing my smiling mug derping all over the place. Okay, not actually true – I decided to go out myself, but at any rate I ended up going to a local bookstore (complete with comfy chairs and a Starbucks) because that’s what I do for fun.
Read MoreOf Ibra, Identity and the Differing Attitudes towards Sports Stars

October 22, 2013 / / Analysis

iniestaneymar

Yikes. It isn’t often that an opinion piece sparks a post outta me, but this one has done it. But it hasn’t done it out of sheer boneheadedness, which I think the post has in spades. It’s also a question of right questions, wrong conclusions that have their roots in devotion to a player, rather than to a club. It is still FC Barcelona, rather than FC Messi, something a lot of culers, including the abovementioned piece’s author, forget.

But let’s get to it. We have a lot of ground to cover.

The author asks the question, what if the team’s biggest problem is the decline of Iniesta? Good question, and one that I agree with in parts, even as I don’t think the question is framed properly. For me, the question is a more difficult one:

Is Andres Iniesta in his present state, fully compatible with Barça any longer?
Read MoreEvolution and our beloved football club, aka “Martino is going to need a hug … soon!”

October 1, 2013 / / Analysis

celtic

Another day, another moving target for our wee ones.

Levante wasn’t fit to be in the Liga. Wait til Malaga.
Malaga was down on its luck. Wait til Rayo.
Rayo had more possession, we got lucky. Wait til La Real.
Yeah, whatever. La Real are playing like crap. Wait to see what happens against Celtic. And without Messi!
We won, but now Celtic isn’t good enough. So we’ll see who’s next.

This was a very interesting match, because it isn’t often that you get to see a new coach against the same European opponent. And boy, was today fascinating.
Read MoreCeltic 0, Barça 1, aka “Another day, another test”

September 8, 2013 / / Analysis