Manchester City 1, Barça 2, aka “Finding the divine in the everyday”

24 February 2015

The ending was perfect. In many ways seeing Messi laying there on the Etihad pitch raging at his penalty miss, prone in the aftermath of a putback attempt, was a perfect ending to this wonderful match. Because art shouldn’t be perfect. Art, like life, should contain flaws, and Barça is life. Messy, violent, sublime life […]

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Posted in Analysis, Champions League, Messi, Thoughts59 Comments

Can there be a wrong opinion, aka “To your battle stations!”

24 February 2015

This post began life as a City Champions League preview, but got derailed by something fascinating that was overheard during an early-morning workout. So to start, here’s something to work out, kinda like a math equation: RM beat Barça Atleti beat RM Barça beat Atleti Levante beat Malaga Barça beat Levante Malaga beat Barça In […]

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Posted in Analysis, Champions League, Thoughts68 Comments

Barça 0, Malaga 1, aka “Pin the tail on the donkey”

21 February 2015

There is a children’s game that is loads of fun, if you haven’t played it. You get a donkey poster or stuffed figurine. Then you blindfold a kid, give him the donkey’s tail, which is usually a piece of cloth or something, with a pin through it. Then you spin the kid around a few […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Review70 Comments

Understanding Pedro, aka “Achievement through effort”

19 February 2015

Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma is an odd one. Few players have been so liked by his coaches, yet so reviled by so many supporters while being misunderstood by those same supporters. Some of that is because Pedro defies traditional metrics, those objective evaluators of a player’s performance. He’s the kind of player who would require the […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Supposition, Thoughts84 Comments

The art of the pass, aka “This one’s for kosby”

17 February 2015

Sometimes in a comments thread you see something that deserves to be a post. So it is with a comment from kosby: Several amazing questions – I won’t be pretending to have answers to all of them. For me, there are two kinds of passes 1. straight to the feet/head of the receiver 2. through […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts39 Comments

Barça 5, Levante 0, aka “An academic exercise.”

15 February 2015

This was such a beautiful match today. The things that made it beautiful are the same things that make long-time spouses or lovers beautiful to us: everyday beauty, day in and day out, when they aren’t at their best — flaws, unshaven, hair messy — true beauty that comes across in the simplest of ways. […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts56 Comments

This Is John’s Story: The Art of Football & Messi

13 February 2015

As people who love watching Messi, we always had one question on our mind: Why do we? For that, I decided to do a little research. Sadly, this research lead me to two other questions: Why do we love watching football to begin with? And how are these two things even related? Let me explain. […]

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Posted in Barcelona, Thoughts29 Comments

Barça 3, Villarreal 1, aka “Metal circus”

12 February 2015

Barça is metal. Past iterations of the team, like all the rest, have sung their various songs, from the classical of Cruijff’s Dream Team to the syncopated jazz of Pep Guardiola’s squads. But this team is metal — violent, impatient, in-your-face, romping, stomping and not at all interested in what an opponent does except in […]

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Posted in Analysis, Copa del Rey, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts17 Comments

Barça and the joys of the maximized collective

11 February 2015

The challenge of watching and enjoying a football team is to always focus on the team. FC Barcelona has, over its history but more so than now, makes that task particularly difficult. As Barça lines up to take on Villarreal in the first (away) leg of the Copa semi-finals, that notion is worth thinking about. […]

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Posted in Analysis, Copa del Rey, Messi, Thoughts35 Comments

Athletic Club 2, Barça 5, aka “Teamwork”

09 February 2015

There was much irony in the two goals scored by Athletic Bilbao, moments that will make history believe that they were actually, at some point, in this match. Both goals had as their genesis moments of lost midfield possession by members of a team whose detractors allege doesn’t cherish the midfield OR possession as it […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts33 Comments

Is the “black hand” at Barça wearing blaugrana?

04 February 2015

It’s the “black hand.” When in doubt, calling upon a conspiracy can be effective. Conspiracies are quite useful because they can’t be disproved. Even if nothing happened, believers can still say “Well, we just don’t know that something didn’t happen.” It’s what makes them so effective. Conspiracy theories have something for everyone, and everyone will […]

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Posted in Messi, Neymar, Supposition, Thoughts68 Comments

Barça 3, Villarreal 2, aka “Is that all you got?”

01 February 2015

What an extraordinary match of football, one that for me was most interesting in the way that it tested the mettle of this Barça side. It’s easy to scoff and say that “It’s only Villarreal,” but this was a team that today suffered only its second road loss and was unbeaten in its last 10 […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts59 Comments

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