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There is a children’s game that is loads of fun, if you haven’t played it. You get a donkey poster or stuffed figurine. Then you blindfold a kid, give him the donkey’s tail, which is usually a piece of cloth or something, with a pin through it. Then you spin the kid around a few times, then turn him loose to pin the tail on the donkey.
That game is a lot like what the culer fan base resembles after a loss, as everyone seeks reasons for what happened, almost as if the most obvious ones are too obvious to consider.
It can’t be as easy as Malaga played really well and Barça played poorly, because the necessity for the mental palliatives that serve as supporter placebos is a constant. But let’s get right down to it.
Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha (pant, pant!) bwahahahahahahahaha!
Whew! Now that I am composed, Barça put the hammer down on Cordoba 5-0, to roll into the holiday break with a bang. This was a match was either wasn’t very interesting or fascinating as can be, depending on what you were looking for.
Prima facie Barça did what it was supposed to do in stomping a relegation side in Cordoba. 5-0. So what. Couldn’t they score any more? They put eight past Huesca. Do these guys suck, or what?
What was interesting for me was that Cordoba had 8, sometimes 9 in the box, determined to prevent Barça from scoring. Once Pedro stamped that first notion with a giant FAIL, their plan B was to stay close and maybe nick one on the counter. Luis Suarez’s soft shoe nutmeg put paid to that, and the rest was history.
The rain, the pitch, no penalty, Enrique sucks, Alves …
The quest for blame in the wake of a negative result scatters thoughts like dandelion spores in a hurricane, a fascinating search that often finds them landing in odd places and pollinating certain ideas.
But today’s draw vs Getafe was a great many things all at once, too many to lay at the feet of an individual unless that individual is the Getafe team, which played like lions today. Want to blame someone? Curse them and their moving, aggressive, systematic defense that took full advantage of a Barça team coming off of a very difficult mid-week match against a strong European opponent.
Full credit to a brave opponent, who were it not for a couple of Claudio Bravo saves, could have caused a much bigger upset than the absence of full points for Barça.
Rather than playing the blame game, let’s assess something of what happened today, and whether there are any solutions at hand.
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When people snark and caterwaul about the Liga talent gap, today’s Catalan derby serves as an excellent illustration.
More than a tale of two halves, it was as stark a depiction of haves vs have nots as you will ever see.
It’s a fairly easy thing to summarize this match, and the truth lies in that summation: Espanyol played a perfect half of football, while Barça was far from perfect. In the second half Barça raised its level, rendering what Espanyol did irrelevant. 5-1. Done.
Is it really as simple as it seems from that stark paragraph? Well, yes.
FC Barcelona won a match off a set piece. Ball by Messi, from the right. In the 94th minute. Off a header rebound and a put back by … Sergio Busquets, that goalscoring machine.
If you wanted to draw up a more bizarre ending to a more bizarre day, I would challenge anyone to take that task.
It is facile to say that “Matches such as this one win championships.” What is not at all easy to say is that Barça showed something today. Luis Enrique said they didn’t quit, but it was more than that. For me, there is poetry in artists sometimes tripping over the easel, sending the canvas sprawling and landing in their own paint.
And today’s match was the equivalent of that artist rolling over on the canvas, and the smeared paint creating a work that a patron buys. Because sometimes, success ain’t pretty.
Tito Before kick-off the Camp Nou paid a final homage to a man who, in…