August 15, 2010 / / Review
For sale. Lightly used, high maintenance. Will deal.

Lordy, what the hell happened? First of all, I’d like to give a big, giant thank-you to Comcast, who have added TVE to their lineup, which enabled me to watch this match in full, big-screen, DVRed glory.

I’m only sorry that things weren’t better. Man, did they start out well, but here is the bottom line: Depth is going to be a problem this season, but we all knew that. When ALL of your starting XI are, for one reason or another, called away from the team with a match that you’d like to win coming up, it’s no surprise that when facing a fit, rested opponent’s first-choice side, things aren’t going to go all that well.

So what happened?
Read MoreSevilla 3, Barca 1, aka “This is no time for panic” UPDATED w/ratings

August 14, 2010 / / Match comments post
August 13, 2010 / / Preview

Oh me oh my, gotta shake off the cobwebs and figure out how I do a preview again. This is going to be rough, not only because I just flew in from Mexico (and boy are my arms tired), but I’ve only been given a few weeks off since I won the World Cup in a blaze of glory. Okay, yeah I didn’t do anything–I didn’t even go to Mexico–but I did watch the World Cup from the comfort of my home and I did think the summer was a bit too short.

There were the obligatory transfer rumors that I didn’t really cover (though I came up with some Banquillo names just in case) and the preseason matches that got my blood pumping and my lady shaking her head far too early in the season. I can’t help it if I scream goal at 8 in the morning while watching the blaugranitos imitating the blaugranotes. And then, of course, there’re the new arrivals to swoon over even as I categorically reject newer arrivals: Villa is going to be wonderful, but let’s bet on the cantera. No to Mascherano, Özil, and Cesc! It’s easy to just accept what’s already been done and just as easy to posture as a cantera-lover for future arrivals. You can always claim you weren’t in favor of so-and-so, look how they failed, I told you so. Or “I’ve grown to love such-and-such, though, he’s really accepted the colors.”

Read MoreUn Canto Para la Cantera: Sevilla – Barça [Updated]

August 7, 2010 / / SuperCopa
Pep Morato/El Mundo Deportivo

Hmmm….wonder what these two are talking about? I’d rather imagine that it isn’t the price of xocolata in Barcelona.

For anybody who’s been living under a rock the past few days, it’s international friendly time, and we have been gutted. The list of players who have been called to serve their countries is a big’un: Ibrahimovic, Alves, Xavi, Busquets, Pique, Puyol, Valdes, Pedro!, Messi and Villa. Yes, that’s 9 of our starting XI. But we also have, in a week’s time, leg one of the Spanish Super Copa against a Sevilla side that will be looking to do what it did against us in the Copa del Rey last season.

So now what?
Read MoreHeigh ho, Silver, a.k.a. “Looking ahead to the first trophy”

July 26, 2010 / / SuperCopa

FC Barcelona are about to embark on the 2010-11 pre-season, so it’s probably appropriate to clue all of you in to what the plans are. Norway and South Korea. That’s it. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m obviously kidding with the lack of detail:

Friendly: Thursday, July 29: Valerenga – Barça in Oslo, Norway. Kicks off at 7pm local time (7pm Barcelona, 1pm NYC).

Friendly: Wednesday, August 4: K-League All Stars – Barça. Kicks off at 7pm local time (noon Barcelona, 6am NYC).

Friendly: Sunday, August 8: Guoan – Barça. Kicks off at 8pm local time (1pm Barcelona, 7am NYC).

SuperCopa de España: Saturday, August 14: Sevilla – Barça. Kicks off 10pm local/Barcelona time (4pm NYC).

Supercopa de España: Saturday, August 21: Barça – Sevilla. Kick off TBA.

Gamper Match: Wednesday, August 24: Barça – AC Milan. Kickoff TBA.

Read MoreBarça’s 2010-11 Pre-Season Schedule

August 24, 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.

Read MoreBarca 3, Athletic Bilbao 0, a.k.a. “One down, five to go.”

August 22, 2009 / / Preview

Don’t forget to read the most recent posts: Kevin’s news review, my discussion of the fantasy football league, and Hector’s breakdown of the Gamper goal.

Hopefully this is the final time I have to write this during the 09-10 season: This game will not be broadcast in the US on TV. Ugh. We’ll have to webstream it like usual, though it should be on La Sexta, so try to stream it there, but don’t worry, you can always tune in here for the liveblog.

Because this is the second leg, Barcelona enters this match 2-1 to the good, with those 2 goals being very valuable away goals. Not that that changes the fundamental approach for Barça, who will always look to win every match. A draw, any draw, is good enough, but Guardiola will not want to leave it to chance, to the odd bounce to pick up a small piece of silverware for the cabinet. Read MoreSuperCopa Preview: Barça – Athletic Bilbao; Sunday 4pmEST

August 22, 2009 / / SuperCopa


Well, you probably won’t be seeing this scene again, according to Pep Guardiola, who believes that repeating that magical triplete is impossible. He’s probably right. Magical seasons are magical for a reason.

That said, he definitely wants to gobble up every bit of silver that he can, and has convened “the best” players for the Sunday Spanish SuperCopa finale at home against Athletic Bilbao.

“Athletic will press,” said Guardiola. “That’s why we have to go out and attack with discretion.” In other words, look for a tight match, because “I want the SuperCup,” said Guardiola.

–The infamous “feeling” that Guardiola had about Samuel Eto’o that led to his transfer, was clarified in yesterday’s press conference. “The decision to dispense with Eto’o was not a question of ‘feeling,'” said Guardiola. “Footballing there was no problem with Sammy, and I could work very well with him at a personal level. What I meant is that my ‘feeling’ after the success we achieved last year was that it was time for a change.”

Read MoreSaturday’s News: Guardiola on the Eto’o “feeling,” and more

August 16, 2009 / / Liveblog
August 15, 2009 / / Preview

First things first: it appears that there will be no TV coverage in the US of this match. Which is about as absurd as you get. I thought all the TV rights stuff had been resolved. It’s just that, well, no one expects a Spanish Inquisition. At best, we’ll be able to watch the game via a rojadirecta stream. I do not know if it is GolTV’s fault that they’re showing a Coppa Italia game between Napoli and Salernitana or if they’re doing so because they can’t show the Spanish Super Copa. Either way, I’m pissed.

Furthermore, it looks like Messi is set to miss the match, meaning our starting lineup will be missing at least two of its typical three starters (despite his never having played a match, I think that Ibrahimovic can be listed as a typical starter based on the fact that he’ll be starting the majority of the games when he his healthy). If you believe EMD, Henry is set to play, but I hope that he isn’t forced into the match as a desperation move. This is a two-legged affair and we should have all of our starters back for the second match (with the possible exception of Iniesta), meaning that we can afford to get them healthy for the season now. Read MoreSuper Copa Preview: Athletic Bilbao – Barcelona; Sunday 4pm EST