October 8, 2009 / / Team News


There’s news, of course, and then there’s news that FCB is putting up our players in Abu Dhabi’s Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri (pictured above) during the World Cup of Clubs. You can check out the accommodations at their website, here. It looks swanktastic. I hope we got a discount on what appears to a thousand euro a night kind of place. It’d be nice to know that my soci membership fee went for more than just the pillow mints on this trip…

I got an email this morning concerning the presidential elections coming up next summer and then I surfed my way over to El Mundo Deportivo and found out that the elections are on their minds as well. So, naturally, I’ll start off today’s news segment with a look at the presidential election: Read MoreNews of the Day, October 8, 2009

October 7, 2009 / / Thoughts

While you’re reviewing this video of just another armchair fan, which I somehow missed in January, I’d like to address the idea of how the final table is laid out by the LFP.

Basically, what happened in 2006-07 is still on the books and that’s my problem. I had been unaware of this little detail until Real Madrid came in and took the title from us (were given it by us?), but it turns out that head-to-head is the determining factor in La Liga when two teams are tied on points (read what I wrote at the time here). That means that, at the moment, Sevilla are above Real Madrid in the standings because they’ve got a 2-1 advantage over them on aggregate. In 06-07, RM beat us 2-0 at the Bernabeu and drew with us 3-3 at the Camp Nou (thanks to a spectacular Messi hat trick that really announced his arrival on the world stage), meaning they had a 2 goal advantage over us when it came time to gather points. Read MoreThe Way a Table Should Be

October 7, 2009 / / Team News
October 6, 2009 / / State of the Liga

Lies, damned lies, and pie charts.
Lies, damned lies, and pie charts.

Everyone has their own point-of-view on things. Mine is usually that pie is a solid breakfast. Also, I like statistics mixed with a heavy dose of perspective. I’m a fan of numbers because they sound fancy and you can bend them to your will fairly easily, yet I can claim to not understand them.

Today’s statistical analysis is merely an overview of what has transpired so far this season, focusing mostly on Barça’s current achievements and personnel, for obvious this-is-a-Barça-site reasons. Read MoreState of the Liga: 6 Down, 32 To Go

October 6, 2009 / / Barcelona

Xavi and Chico

 Xavi: Chico, you do know that the game ended two days ago, right?                                                                                                                                                         

Chico: Chill, Xavi. Just let me finish going wee wee and I’ll leave. 

There has been a worried reaction in the culé world about Chico’s now famous man marking job on Xavi during last weekend’s Almeria game. A bronze statue replica of the comic strip above is now being built and will be installed in front of Almeria’s stadium.  Hugo essentially said: “haha! I made you traded Xavi for Chico! That’s a net win for me all day long”. False, Hugo.  False.

That strategy works against teams that are extremely reliant on a single player for creative inspiration. Maradona’s Napoli and Argentina being examples 1(a) and 1(b) of this and notice how it did not stop him from becoming in the eyes of many, [ARGUABLY lest I invoke outrage] the best player in history. We are not Napoli or Argentina. Either one of Iniesta, Yaya, Messi, or Zlatan has more creativity than the whole teams of Almeria or Malaga combined. So, what do we do?

  Read MoreMan Marking and You

October 6, 2009 / / Thoughts

I’ve harped on this before, but apparently it bears repeating. Sport is reporting that Peruvian national team midfielder Ranier Torres, a 29-year old who plays for Universitario in Peru, is promising to put the boot in hard against Messi. Specifically he has claimed that he wants to imitate Luis Reyna’s 1985 Peru-Argentina man-marking of, probably not coincidentally, Diego Maradona. For his part, Maradona remembers the game for being kicked, rather than for being shut down. Read MoreLegs and Yellow Cards: Why These Things Matter

October 5, 2009 / / Team News

Here’s something you don’t see every day:

Given that 45 yards is pretty far to head a ball, I’ll give him credit for getting it on target, but damn, that was a Valdes-at-his-worst (Zambrotta-at-his-best?) move by the keeper that would have had the lot of us screaming bloody murder. Note the Velez fans at the end looking stunned…what a brave bunch they are, traveling to La Bombonera.

Whatever, Barça, after the jump: Read MoreTidbits From A World at Rest: News in an International Break

October 3, 2009 / / La Liga
So. Happy. Right. Now!
So. Happy. Right. Now!

Wow. What a golazo! That it was the only goal wasn’t really surprising when you watched the match for more than 10 minutes, as Hugo Sanchez unveiled a new formation, the 0-10-0, in an effort to keep us from scoring, shamefully playing for a draw at the Camp Nou.

Thankfully, the footy gods brought us the new, calm Pedro!, who spun and smoked a shot into the far upper 90, that was astonishing. Maxwell will get credit for the assist, but it’s a gift because that goal was all P!.
Read MoreBarca 1, Almeria 0, a.k.a. “Wallowing in it.”

October 3, 2009 / / La Liga
October 3, 2009 / / Thoughts
Get me some more players! Now!
Get me some more players! Now!

As Gordon Gekko said in the movie “Wall Street,” “Greed is good.”

But is it? And what kind of greed are we talking about here?

We all know that the Big Two Liga clubs, Barcelona and the Evil Empire, have started the season perfect. Both clubs have also won pretty easily (if you look at the scorelines), while not at their best. Players are still learning each other, there are various injuries to contend with, etc, etc. Some matches they’ve been sleepwalking, others have been at half-speed.

And yet, 5-0 for the both of ’em. Is this good?
Read MoreAre we good for La Liga?