May 11, 2015 / / Thoughts

Pep Guardiola doesn’t care about you.

Lionel Messi doesn’t care about you.

The people and players whom you revere, who consume so much of your waking moments and cause you to argue and take after complete strangers, don’t care about you.

If Bayern Munich score a goal against Barca tomorrow, Guardiola isn’t going to weep into a Barça binky. He is going to do what any opposition coach would do, which is exult and cheer with his players, then resume the task of trying to rip culer hearts out.

On Twitter, someone called me “stupid” because I said that I don’t care about Guardiola. That reaction made me think about the cult of personality, what it does and how often it impedes being able to see the game clearly. Last week, there was an excellent Miguel Delaney piece that had Mourinho praising Messi, and saying a number of things that verged on fanboying. He said in effect what culers and Messi fans say: “Messi changes everything.”

In some parts of the culerverse those statements were interpreted as a dig at Guardiola, that Mourinho was saying that any team with Messi can win, then blew his own horn by saying that he was able to stop Messi. What a vile, mean-spirited little man.
Read MoreDon’t kill your idols, but don’t let them blind you either

May 8, 2015 / / Analysis
May 6, 2015 / / Champions League
May 6, 2015 / / Champions League
May 2, 2015 / / Analysis
May 1, 2015 / / Analysis
April 30, 2015 / / Thoughts
April 29, 2015 / / Champions League
April 25, 2015 / / Analysis
April 22, 2015 / / Champions League


In contemplation of the remainder of this Champions League, the only available word is … drama.

Draw Juventus, and there’s drama about the bus. Draw RM and there’s drama about more Classics (even though the CL encounters aren’t Classics, but that’s another matter). Draw Bayern and the world implodes on its axis.

In anticipation of this last possibility, people are already staking out space, ground high and low, moral and more moral, real fan vs non-real fan, donning psychic armor for the battles to come. And this is before the draw. It’s like the football Crusades as supporters hoist shields and spears aloft, rushing to ideological battle. Over what?

We love this sport. Football is passion. It’s life. But it’s also supposed to be joy, fun. I see a number 10 Ronaldinho shirt and still remember the wonder of his time at Barça, not for the goals but for the fun. The game was fun, life was fun as joy was a single booty pass away. Today, in the quests for records, piles and piles of goals and conquest, it all seems a lot less fun as the team that we love prepares to face off against the best clubs in Europe. Exciting times lay ahead, whatever the outcome.
Read MoreThe Crusades of football opinion