Everyone, no LiveBlog for this one, sorry. Your humble admins are, admittedly, being derelict in…
Barcelona Football Blog Posts
—Cha-ching! Lionel Messi has warmed hearts and minds by saying that “I want to spend all my career here, in Barcelona.” Which, admittedly, is the right thing to say after a club has just decided to give you something around 12m per annum for kicking a football around better than anyone else on the planet. We’ve all applauded the new deal, and it would be the height of churlishness to even question whether it’s deserved right?
La Liga Preview: Barça – Atletico Madrid; 4pm GolTV
This is what playing Atleti is like.
When two sides with extraordinary talent meet, anything can happen. When Atletico Madrid and Barcelona meet, goals happen. There hasn’t been a scoreless encounter between the two in lord knows how many seasons, and I don’t expect this to be any different. There have been 0-6 and 6-0 lambastings as well as 4-3 goalfests like the last time the teams met in the Vicente Calderon. The Copa del Rey last year was a 1-3 and 2-1, both for Barça.
It’s been busy these past few days, and we wanted to let everyone grok the fullness of the Champions League run-in. But it’s back to business, and here we go:
–If anybody is broke Leo Messi is the guy to hit up for a loan. No numbers are available as of yet, but he’s signed a new contract that will keep him with us until 2016. The buyout clause is (are you sitting down?) 250 million Euros. Citeh will probably still try to pay it. 😀
The deal guarantees that he will be the highest-paid player at the club which, in the aftermath of the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, was temporarily not the case.
–As expected, the Puyol business is getting a prominent spot in the news again. Pep Guardiola has said, without fear of equivocation, “My wish is that he stays,” our coach said to Sport. But he also told his captain that his continued stay at Barcelona is “up to him.”
Put it a different way: 11-1.
Those numbers are, of course, from a very small sample, but would you take those numbers as a ratio for the entire season? I would because I know that the first one is Ibrahimovic’s current scoring rate (5 appearances, 2 goals) and the second goal is our total goals scored to goals allowed. Feel free to extrapolate that to how many goals would be scored in an entire year: 16 goals for Ibra if he makes 40 appearances, 113.67-10.33 in a 62-game season.
My point is, of course, that we need to take a moment to look at the overall picture, the picture that keeps in mind not the price paid for a particular player, but the value of that player within the greater framework of our club and our club’s future. Yes, we’ve had some “funky” displays over the last few games, but during those “funky” displays, we’ve successfully won five out of six matches and we drew the other one. We’ve allowed one goal. We’ve scored 11 from six different players. We’ve incorporated a major new piece of the total footballing puzzle and have been attempting to change our tactical approach in every match. This is not a momentary effort, a light switch that goes from off to on.
No pressure or anything…
I’m a little irritated right now, so pardon me if a bit of it seeps into this review of a match in which only one team came to really play football. And that’s fine. We should expect that. Why, oh why would any side in its right mind come out to play against us? All that awaits is death. So Inter took the same route as Chelsea, and Deportivo, and every other inferior side.
Keep 9 or 10 behind the ball, and stick your legs out.
Inter Vs Barcelona (CL)
Champions League Preview: Inter – Barça, 2:45pmEST Wednesday, Fox Sports en Español (FSE).
I flew into Milan on a bright and beautiful morning in November 2006, having left Berlin early enough to catch the sun’s raise hitting the streets for what looked like the first time that day. As we swooped into Malpensa Airport, I was met by the panorama of a city that is know world-wide for being cosmopolitan, for being the nexus of fashion, design, and, lately, aging footballers. It looks stunningly gorgeous, as Italian as it gets, and certainly a welcoming destination. I never did see the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza, though, because I quickly boarded another plane to head to Florence for a week of unadulterated sight-seeing and Tuscan sun basking. On my way back, thanks to an unrelenting bank of fog that closed the Florence airport, I was taken by bus by Alitalia through twisting mountain roads and tunnels and finally back to the airport late at night for a then-delayed flight to Berlin.
None of this was Milan’s fault, of course, but I was left, after my 14-hour travel day that should have been 5 hours long, semi cursing the city for having the temerity to be in my plans on a fairly obliterated day. That I still didn’t get to see the monumental stadium that is the San Siro was merely an added bonus in a long list of pejoratives that I used to describe all things northern Italian for a day or two, when I was able to refocus my distaste for transit authorities and metropolitan areas on the MTA, who, as luck would have it, delayed me a few hours in getting home because of random track work in New Jersey between Newark and Penn Station.
The Champions League makes a glorious return, this time on Fox Soccer (Mssrs Derrek Rae…
–The Cecs Fabregas and Javi Mascherano rumors will not die, probably because Hector keeps SMSing Txiki B. “Dood. Masch=$$$$! Bet!” Txiki B. says that the signing of either member of the midfield tandem of joy is “something the club has left for later.” He said that fiscally, it just didn’t make sense to try nabbing them in the climate set up by some Evil Empire tossing Euro banknotes about like confetti. Hmph.
Benitez still says that Mascherano isn’t for sale, and Arsene Wenger is said to be working up a “right smart” Gallic snit, before he comments further. Personally, I think that all the club has to do is send him the above picture from his Barca past, with a note: “Still winning, you could be here.”
While we wait for today’s news, individual highlights from the Getafe game of three of our players have come out on the youtubes. My personal favorites were Chygnasty’s crossfield passes and Zlatan’s long pass to Pedro which I somehow totally missed during the game. What about you? Enjoy: