The problem with Ousmane Dembele

Mercurial. Erratic. Enigmatic. Wasted transfer. Sloppy. A great many adjectives are attached to the player that is Ousmane Dembele, who arrived at FC Barcelona with a massive price tag and even greater expectations, coming as he did right after the departure of Neymar, and one of two purchases with that windfall, the other being Philippe… Continue reading The problem with Ousmane Dembele

Luis Suarez, right and wrong decisions and sheer spite

My cycling discipline is sprinting. Essentially, 12 seconds of all-out effort, then the nearest chair. I took part in longer races just to get some laps in and build fitness, never finishing, because why? One night, I saw someone talking to his cohorts as a 50-lap event was about to start. He laughed and said… Continue reading Luis Suarez, right and wrong decisions and sheer spite

Is Antoine Griezmann the world’s most expensive head of lettuce?

Maybe it’s because I’m a glutton, but every analogy that I can come up with for Antoine Griezmann involves food. — He’s like lettuce in that he’s everywhere, goes with everything, but doesn’t really DO anything. — He’s like tiramisu because you hear a lot about it, finally try it and are like, “Uh, this… Continue reading Is Antoine Griezmann the world’s most expensive head of lettuce?

Benvingut, Serginho Dest, now for the hard part

Dest is here! After one of the longest airplane trips in history and sending 21 million the way of Ajax in a series of payments, Sergino Dest, capped USMNT footballer, fullback(ish) and newest salvation, has arrived in Barcelona. And only the churlish minds recall the scene in the film “The Right Stuff,” when Gordo Cooper… Continue reading Benvingut, Serginho Dest, now for the hard part

Suarez and Rakitic, symbols of a failed project and no plan

The promised “revolution” at FC Barcelona is more like a rearranging of a few chairs. Arturo Vidal has left, along with Ivan Rakitic and most recently, Luis Suarez. These last two, and the differences in their movements, is interesting. Both left two years too late. Both had to stay two years too long because of… Continue reading Suarez and Rakitic, symbols of a failed project and no plan

Martin Braithwaite and the necessity of his failure

When FC Barcelona was granted the emergency signing of a player in the wake of the catastrophic injury to Ousmane Dembele, it’s a pretty safe bet that Martin Braithwaite wasn’t the player anyone envisioned. There is nothing about him, nothing about his stats that cry out for his inclusion in the Barça squad. Yes, his… Continue reading Martin Braithwaite and the necessity of his failure

Barça 0, Slavia Prague 0, aka “Change has to come. Now.”

This can’t be allowed to continue. A board is tasked with the stewardship of the business that it runs and make no mistake, to this board, the FC Barcelona football club is a business. There are revenue targets, sponsorship targets, every kind of target except the one that really matters: the play, the team. Slavia… Continue reading Barça 0, Slavia Prague 0, aka “Change has to come. Now.”

Barça 2, Villarreal 1, aka “Battle between new and old”

You won’t see a weirder, or more thought-provoking match than the midweek encounter against Villarreal. In the mirth-filled world of Barça Twitter, the #valverdeout hashtag is trending again, because Don Quixote tilting at yet another windmill is quite inspirational. It will have the same effect that it has always had. But recent quotes have been… Continue reading Barça 2, Villarreal 1, aka “Battle between new and old”

Adeu, Sergi Samper

What have you wanted so much you could barely think straight? Did you get it? What kept you from getting it? Midfielder Sergi Samper, at age 24, is finished at FC Barcelona before he even started, in one of, if not the hardest luck story in first-team lore. Even Rafinha shakes his head at this… Continue reading Adeu, Sergi Samper

Coach seduction, Valverde and perception

During the pre-Girona press conference, Ernesto Valverde revealed that he didn’t talk to the club’s newest expensive signing, Frenkie De Jong, and some seem troubled by this. Some say it’s a sign that he won’t be returning to the club next season. Others say it’s a failing for other reasons. From this chair, both takes… Continue reading Coach seduction, Valverde and perception