October 11, 2009 / / Injuries
Aw, man! Not again!
Aw, man! Not again!

I can’t sleep, so rather than vexing my damsel with my tossing and turning, why not bang out a news report, in the wake of a busy day of World Cup qualifiers.

And guess who got whacked in the Spain/Armenia match? You guessed it; Andres Iniesta, the guy who must have gotten Gabi Milito’s injury luck. He took a whack to the exact same area that was already injured thrice over, and recovering very nicely, until Del Bosque decided “Hey, let’s see if I can totally hose over Barcelona’s chances for a successful season. If I can get their guys hurt, they’ll be available for training camp and stuff, all nice and early. Bet.”
Read MoreThe Morning News, wakey-wakey edition

October 10, 2009 / / Match comments post
October 9, 2009 / / Barcelona

It’s been a slow day of news today in terms of quantity but thankfully not quality; especially when quality is defined as this Cristiano Ronaldo Superstar video. What do you think, ladies? Is Crynaldo the new Julio Iglesias (who ironically was once actually a Real Madrid cantera goal keeper)? Meanwhile the guys can just enjoy Sara Carbonero, the awesome sports anchor with excellent taste in men who broke Iker Casillas’ heart by totally blowing him off according to the gossip magazines that I never ever read. She is obviously saving herself for Iniesta in the vain hope that he dumps his girlfriend.

Seriously, I could just post this video and call it a day but I won’t. More after the jump.

Read MoreNews of the Day (October 9) Crynaldo Superstar Edition

October 9, 2009 / / Copa del Rey
October 8, 2009 / / Kevin Rating Synthesis

MushroomKingdomNeedsBodyguards

As most of you are aware, there’s this guy named Kevin that does the reviews for this here website. And some of you smart readers are even aware that during those reviews, he rates the players in each match. What you probably aren’t aware of is that there’s a bookish nerdboy collecting those ratings and putting them through the ringer and come up with averages, medians, and some analysis. That Peter Parker-esque science geek is, of course, me.

Each week I feed the numbers into my number crunching machine, carefully calibrated to understand exactly the emotions involved in these integers. The machine is, of course Excel. And it does fairly simple mathematical operations. Read MoreKevin Rating Synthesis

October 8, 2009 / / Team News

ShangriLa

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