Neymar has arrived, and the train is still running

13 January 2015

Appreciation is an odd thing, as are assessments. Neglected it seems in all of the Barça circus this season is Neymar and his emergence. We all know the details of his signing, even the legal ones: late-night negotiations in Brazil, mystery payments divulged in the club accounts, Jordi Cases, etc, etc. Neymar almost has as […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Neymar, Thoughts10 Comments

Space. The final frontier

12 January 2015

The post-mortems have started coming in about the best Barça performance that anyone has seen in a very long time. I have watched it three times now, and I keep coming back to a very simple thing, summed up in one word: space. The key to the excellence of Atleti has always been the way […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Tactics, Thoughts18 Comments

Barça 3, Atleti 1, aka “It’s family, and it’s personal”

11 January 2015

In retrospect, we all should have seen this coming. The vileness, infighting, backbiting, rumors, nastiness and savagery, a fanbase turned on itself in seeking something or other all conspired to create something extraordinary, something that to repeat, we honestly should have seen coming. In a post from earlier today, I wondered which team would show […]

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Posted in La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts42 Comments

Everything to play for

11 January 2015

To say that today’s match against Atleti is huge would be an understatement. Is it even bigger than the last time Barça faced them at the Camp Nou, with the Liga title at stake? Quite possibly, because there is more at risk than a championship here as you get the feeling that the club is […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Tactics, Team News, Thoughts40 Comments

Illusion 09

10 January 2015

History Lesson In the year 2009, Pep’s Barcelona won six trophies in one year. In 2010, Barcelona ended the season with only one league defeat and almost reached the Champions League final. In 2011, Barcelona had a very dominant team that won both the league and the Champions League. On the other side of the […]

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Posted in Barcelona, La Liga, Statistics, Thoughts12 Comments

Citizens, to the ramparts!

09 January 2015

I did a recent Barça roundtable discussion and one of the participants, Nando Vilar, likened Barça’s fundamentally self-inflicted turmoil to citizens taking a very active role in their government. Following that, a commenter here, AllasFCB, Tweeted this: How funny is that a fan/club member of Barca (Jordi Cases) took down Rosell and a player (Messi) […]

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Posted in Elections, History/Culture, Messi, Team News, Thoughts11 Comments

Rest In Peace, Coach Sam

08 January 2015

For the first time in my life I’m playing football and it’s not in the streets. I’m in an actual football field and I’m overwhelmed by what is going on around me. My team gets a penalty and someone from outside yells: “You, kid, take it!” The other players hear him and back away from […]

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Posted in Barcelona40 Comments

Elections and a return to normalcy

07 January 2015

Ahhh, that’s more like it. For longtime culers, a happy, consistently victorious Barça was kind of weird. So it’s in many ways reassuring to find that the team and the club have returned to its old, infighting, backbiting self. — Factions within the board? (Check) — A superstar unhappy with the manager? (Check) — An […]

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Posted in Analysis, Messi, Team News, Thoughts9 Comments

Then as now, aka “Respect my authority!”

07 January 2015

“Luis Enrique will do a better job than I did.” — Pep Guardiola History is most interesting when we forget it. In using the “where there’s smoke …” adage, it’s doubtful that anyone continues to use “alleged” when discussing the alleged rift between Messi and Enrique. Is there something in fact going on? Again, we […]

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Posted in Analysis, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts48 Comments

Vocational training, aka “Be a reporter”

05 January 2015

These are worrying times for our football club, when the din is threatening to shut everything out. The people who want Enrique gone are screaming the loudest right now, and people who might be considering a different view retreat in the face of vehemence. People who say the wrong things are being attacked, and it’s […]

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Posted in Analysis, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts52 Comments

The first shoe drops, aka “Don’t be fooled”

05 January 2015

I was watching a TV show called “Fool Us,” featuring the magic duo of Penn & Teller. The premise is that magicians come out to do their thing in an effort to find a trick slick enough to fool two of the best magicians ever. It’s pretty hard to fool Penn & Teller. The question […]

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Posted in Analysis, Soap Box, Supposition, Team News, Thoughts33 Comments

Real Sociedad 1, Barça 0, aka “Choosing your path”

04 January 2015

The match between La Real and Barça today was one of the strangest I have seen in some time, for a number of reasons. Most noteworthy for me is that this was the match that assembled every last dysfunction that this club has, and dumped it into a cauldron. We can talk about mitigating circumstances, […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Tactics, Thoughts47 Comments

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