Category: La Liga

September 18, 2009 / / La Liga

La Liga Preview: Barça – Atletico Madrid; 4pm GolTV

AtletiBarca1
This is what playing Atleti is like.

When two sides with extraordinary talent meet, anything can happen. When Atletico Madrid and Barcelona meet, goals happen. There hasn’t been a scoreless encounter between the two in lord knows how many seasons, and I don’t expect this to be any different. There have been 0-6 and 6-0 lambastings as well as 4-3 goalfests like the last time the teams met in the Vicente Calderon. The Copa del Rey last year was a 1-3 and 2-1, both for Barça.

September 13, 2009 / / La Liga

ibragetafe

Get used to seeing this picture, folks. Because the best football club in the world, by sending a player and a significant pile of dosh to Inter Milan–a move that had everybody on the planet questioning the logic of our Powers that Be–is now significantly better.

Yes, we took care of Getafe, at about half-speed as guys worked out cobwebs from Internationals, etc. Yes, they could have been up 3-0 before halftime. But that isn’t how it’s supposed to go, and so it doesn’t. When Messi tries a bicycle, it’s with the conviction that the shot has a chance. When a Getafe player tries it, it’s a “Well, let’s have a go” kind of mentality that isn’t as sharp as it should be. So one player’s slides inside the post, the other player’s bounces off it.

It’s just that simple. Luck? I don’t buy it. Skill and conviction decide matches, and aside from their zeal in committing fouls, Getafe didn’t play with the confidence that matched their advance, “We can beat these guys, blah, blah, blah” nattering. And so they didn’t. Because they didn’t really believe it.

September 12, 2009 / / La Liga

Here is your brilliant liveblog, led by me. Getafe – Barca liveblog

September 11, 2009 / / La Liga

calmlake

Breath. In, pause, now out. Just let the air enter and leave smoothly, no hurries, no worries. Find your cave, don’t think about Marla.

Why the zen master approach? Because the league is back, baby, and it’s time to get into the season’s groove, but it’s too early for cardiac arrest. It is, however, time to do those breathing exercises and get ready to let loose on the world, one game at a time, at our miraculously high-decible level. This, of course, is what we’ve been waiting for. This is, naturally, what makes us so obsessive: Barça! Barça! Baaaarça! Hell yeah.

I do not subscribe to the idea that the past is dead, that we are obligated to win, that we deserve to win. We aren’t and we don’t. But we are obligated to play well, to play our brand of the truly beautiful game. In the process we will score goals and win games and that, of course, is the point, but it is also a fun bonus for us cules, who, day-in-day-out dream of tight passing triangles and one-two combinations more often than is healthy. I walk down hallways and play imaginary passes to imaginary teammates around coworkers who have no idea how badly they were just schooled. It’s thrilling. And not the least bit lame. You do it, too.

September 1, 2009 / / Injuries

ibragoal

Yes the picture is big, but not as big as the moment. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, our big-ass Swede, got off the mark by scoring the first of what should be many, many goals for Barca. It came off (yet another) exquisite Dani Alves cross that was deflected by Gregory, the omnipresent Gijon defender.

Watching the play develop, BANGS broke away from his defender into the space left on the uncovered back post and headed the ball in. Pretty easy goal, right?

August 31, 2009 / / La Liga

Sporting v Barca liveblog

August 27, 2009 / / Champions League

chiggy

Here he is, making it verrrry clear how he prefers to have his name spelled, folks. It’s the latest addition to our back line, Dmytro Chygrynskiy or, as he prefers the back of the shirt to say, Chygrynskyy.

But let’s just agree to call him Chygnasty, and be done with it, shall we?

His transfer will be announced on Saturday, after he makes an appearance at the christening of a new stadium, as we agreed with Shakhtar’s boss. So welcome (almost) Chygnasty.

More on the long-tressed defender. He’s 22 years old, from Iziaslav, Ukraine. He’s 6’3″ tall, or 1.9m for you metric-sized folks. His strengths, as have already been laid out in videos here and here, are positioning, height, long passing, attack starting and heading ability. And having watched those videos again, I must say that I love his defensive positioning. Keep in mind that highlight videos never show the clunkers, but he reminds me so much of Piquenbauer, but….

August 25, 2009 / / Barcelona

So we’ve read quite a lot about how Barca’s play is like the music of the late, great jazz legend Thelonious Monk. Spare a couple of minutes for this video, then we’ll begin.

Here’s what I meant when I initially raised the analogy, borne out by yesterday’s thrashing of an under-manned Bilbao side.

Monk raised the game of jazz by being brave, unconventional and yes, a little crazy. He had a very different bag of tricks to work with, one that made the traditional structure of jazz suddenly insufficient.

August 18, 2009 / / Gamper Trophy

mes shirt

As promised, here’s a news update from the club we all love sooooooo (damn, that’s a lotta o’s) much.

Pep Guardiola, sez Sport, wants no more signings if they can’t be Barca quality. Apparently his top two targets are still Fabregas and Chygrynskiy. If they can’t come, he’s willing to stick with what we have. No shame in that, right? Know that the latter is cup-tied, and the former is common sense-tied, as in Wenger would be out of his mind to sell him.

–With this is mind, the kids practiced with the big boys for the Gamper match. Names worth noting from the list, as in people we are certainly going to see this season in Camp Nou, are Fontas, Muniesa, Jeffren, Dos Santos, Thiago and Assulin.