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First things first. It was “only” Depor.
That is a phrase that vexes me for so many reasons, not least of which is that it dismisses an opponent that earned its way into the Liga, even as it is most surely doomed to the drop. This is, despite the absences of a couple of players, the SAME Depor that we needed 5 goals to beat in their house.
But most importantly, people forget how much opponents (particularly keepers, sigh ….) are inspired to play when they come into the Camp Nou. So squash that “it’s only Depor” nonsense right now, and start looking for portents, for there were many today.
Was the way that Barça played today good enough to get past Milan? No. But Barça wasn’t playing Milan. It was playing Depor in a match that was something of a hassle for both teams. Depor didn’t want to drop 3 more points, and Barça didn’t want any injuries or fatigue to key players. Continue Reading
Today has been an interesting day in club news, and not because of anything on the pitch. Reports came out today from Catalunya Radio, that were expanded upon by ARA.cat, linking club president Sandro Rosell with a released 2010 document that alleges to be evidence of a pact between the club and various supporters’ groups, prior to his election. This is video from 2010 of Rosell categorically denying that any such thing existed, when the rumors first popped up:
Those skeptical of such denials wonder about the powerful voting bloc presented by the support of strong groups of club supporters, many of whom are also socis, and what that could mean to someone running for president.
For years, Barça has had all the answers, for pretty much every question. But now, after having lost three of its last four matches, we are left with more questions than answers.
Feels kinda weird, doesn’t it?
I didn’t care whether we won or lost this match, and even predicted a 2-1 loss. But I most emphatically cared how we played it. For what it does to the standings, the loss is no biggie at all. For what it does to the psychology of a damaged team, the loss is immense for the simple reason that the wounds are self-inflicted. Continue Reading
The Chicago area, and the county in which I live, is having a winter storm. And I’m pretty sure that it’s Jordi Roura’s fault. Almost positive.
I ordered some cycling shorts, and the order is delayed. I can guaranTEE that is Roura’s fault.
And now that the humor is out of the way, let’s get down to some assessing here, shall we? We have time, after all …. just a bit, before we have to line up against this same team again, the same team spoiling for a fight, thinking they kicked the crap out of us in our house, eliminating us from the Copa del Rey.
Whatever, dude. I just don’t see it that way. For me, this was a match of inches before it became feet, which turned into something that, when our sprites went to the well of magic, they found no solutions for. Continue Reading
There is something funny in the reality that the two Liga giants both went into Saturday’s match day as a favorite, only to go down a goal, then rally for a narrow, one-goal victory. Could both colossi have had the same thing on the brain? Maybe, just maybe. And it must have been contagious, because the weekend’s opponent, Sevilla, also had Copa on the brain, as both us and them have decisive matches this week against sides from the capitol city.
And yet, there are differences, as Sevilla’s Copa hopes embody the only silver that it has a shot at. Barça, on the other hand, sincerely hopes that this year isn’t like the last, in which the Copa is its only silverware. Say what you want about the two teams, imbalance of Liga power, etc, but there was the weekend’s reality.
As a consequence, both teams decided to hold key players back, with the likes of Negredo watching from the bench for Sevilla, while Xavi and Puyol rested on the home side of the benches.
Further complicating things is that Barça is coming off of an armageddon of a match, a 0-2 Champions League loss to AC Milan, a match that had so many pundits, cules and assorted hangers-on predicting everything from a loss in the return leg to the return of the Plague.
So clearly, one team had quite a bit more to prove than the other, which leads to all sorts of questions, most notably …. Continue Reading
The club couldn’t have planned it this way, but on a day after Barça lost a Champions League match and the planet stopped spinning, came news sufficient to warm any cule’s heart:
Eric Abidal has received medical clearance
Let that sink in for a moment.
His last match for the side was in February 2012, a month that many of us have come to think of as Hlebruary, because all the bad stuff that is going to happen to the team, usually happens then. So I guess it shouldn’t be at all surprising, this bit of information. He had transplant surgery that same April, and ever since then, has been fighting. Speculation was rife: he would never play for the club again, he was going to make some sort of a ceremonial return and then retire, he’s never going to be at the level that he was before he left, etc, etc. But here’s something for all of those people and speculators: