October 25, 2009 / / La Liga
Because it's just like that. That's why.
Because it's just like that. That's why.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our Man of the Match, Seydou Keita, whom we all affectionately call Keiteee! He was absolutely, spot-on brilliant tonight in a crucial match for the side, against an opponent who was perfect.

Because they were about as threatening as a puppy, and we knew that going in. But more importantly, we went in rested. This team would have given Rubin Kazan the hiding that Isaiah predicted in his preview. The movement was sharper, the passing crisper and the energy was much, much higher. Tonight, this club would have beaten pretty much any club in the world, because for the first time this season, it played as a full-on team. Not individuals working toward a collective goal, but a team. The difference was crucial.
Read MoreBarca 6, Zaragoza 1, a.k.a “Just what the doctor ordered,” a.k.a “Keeiteeeee!”

October 25, 2009 / / La Liga
October 24, 2009 / / La Liga

La Liga Preview: Barça – Real Zaragoza, Sunday 4pmEST ESNP2HD

The last time they were in town...
The last time they were in town...

There things you don’t do in life: take candy from children, start land wars in Asia, piss off The Yaya. Iniesta and Xavi have spent the last week fending off ridiculous questions about whether or not Barça is in crisis. What? We lose one match and suddenly there’s even the remote possibility that we’re in crisis? Villarreal is in crisis mode, not Barça. Forget that nonsense if you’re an FCB fan, it’s absurd. If you’re a player, I’m sure that it will galvanize you, make you mad, and make you clinical. Crisis? I doubt Real Zaragoza thinks we’re in crisis right now.

And I doubt that we’ll be very kind to the blanquillos when they come visiting on Sunday (check your local time here) not through any real fault of their own, but because the media has made this a match that will define more than just the days around it, but a lot of the season. A match against Real Zaragoza has gone from being a match against the 13th ranked team in the league to being a match that will decide whether or not Barça is having a disastrous season. Now do you see why it’s so absurd? Read MoreIce In The Veins: Barça – Zaragoza

October 23, 2009 / / Nonsense
October 23, 2009 / / Team News

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–In the “great news!” category, Carles Puyol has reached an agreement in principle for a renewal until 2013. Final details are yet to be hammered out but as you can imagine, his negotiating position was immensely enhanced by Marquez’ performance against Rubin Kazan.

But even before that, this dude deserves to retire with the club. He started here, he grew up here, and any notions that he would be happy anywhere else, or that any self-respecting cule would be happy seeing him somewhere else are the purest insanity.

Everybody and their mamas gave our Capitan a standing ovation at word of the news, as do I.
Read MoreNews of the day, Oct. 23, 2009

October 22, 2009 / / Transfers/Transfer Rumors
October 22, 2009 / / Polls
October 21, 2009 / / Champions League
If only I had bent the ball ....
If only I had bent the ball .... if only ....

I’m not customarily one of those “I told you so folks,” but when everyone was predicting destruction for Rubin Kazan, a few folks were cautious. Last year, when we were sweeping all before us, that prediction would have been easy. We would have wiped the floor with them. This year, in the wake of iffy team displays that have been bailed out by individual brilliance, we were ripe for the picking.

What did it take? A resolute team with absolutely nothing to lose, poor finishing on our part and two plays, both facilitated by a defender who has a contract on the table, but shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

This picture of Pedro! says it all. He was the beneficiary of our absolute best chance of the second half, a half filled with hope until it was cruelly snatched away by a casual stab at the ball by Bojan Krkic, who did a Busquets, directly into the path of an attacking Kazan player. The Yaya tried a sliding tackle ….
Read MoreBarca 1, Rubin Kazan 2, a.k.a. “I saw it coming.”

October 20, 2009 / / Champions League
October 20, 2009 / / Team News

In the wake of a series of fascinating recent matches in which opponents have essentially tried to kick us off the pitch, it’s interesting that we can look to the rough-and-tumble Premiership, to show us how it’s done:

–In Spurs v Portsmouth, Jermain Defoe steps on a downed defender who had just given him a hard challenge. Straight red, no debate, no argument.

–In the Liverpool/Villa match, the ref who allowed the “beach ball” goal, Mike Jones, will be officiating in the Championship next match weekend. Yes, refs can be relegated for poor decision-making, and frankly, should be.

Contrast that with the stiff-lipped gits who run the Liga, who decided that the dimwit who let Weligton kick, swing at and stomp his way though that Maulaga match, is all good in the hood. It was a shameful display then and it’s even more shameful now, in light of what I think any Liga devotee would say was a “no blood, no foul” league, cracking down on behavior that might injure a player, while also making sure that bad officiating does indeed get its just desserts.

Not that the aforementioned two decisions will do anything at all to make the Liga stop being run like a local indoor league, that doesn’t care if anyone shoves their way into the 127-person capacity gym to watch the matches.

That “hee haw” sound you hear is jackasses, braying en Espanol.
Read MoreMatch day news, Barca edition

October 19, 2009 / / Champions League

CL Preview: Barça – Rubin Kazan, Tuesday 2:45pmEST, Fox Sports en Español

He is out there. Waiting, watching, listening to metal.
He is out there. Waiting, watching, listening to metal.

There’s a man standing in the beautiful wilds of an untamed jungle. He is forty feet in the air, balanced easily on a branch, surveying the scene. His blond locks shimmer and dance in the spotted light seeping through the canopy top. Both camouflaged and elegantly obvious, the man is one with his surroundings: poisonous and beautiful, stealthy and skilled. He has been here for a thousand years, you would imagine, motionless and watchful. There’s movement nearby and his eyes swing to the side, his head never moving, his muscles tensing ever so slightly.

There are words to describe the flurry of movement, the screech of pain, and the scene of horror, but those words are lost in the fear that ripples through you as watch a master hunter at work. He has taken another scalp for his bountiful collection. There is murder in his eyes as he turns his gaze upon his next victim. Be wary, traveler, for there is a killer on the loose and he is approaching another milestone in a career of milestones: Read MoreNever Let Your Guard Down: Barça – Rubin Kazan