Atleti 2, Barça 3 (agg. 2-4), aka “The Shoe Olympics”

28 January 2015

Do you know how mad you have to be to throw a shoe at someone? Think about it. You’re at work, and something happens. Let’s say someone or thing has been vexing you for most of a workday. What does it take to finally, finally get you to snap and … off comes the shoe. […]

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Posted in Analysis, Copa del Rey, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts38 Comments

Team vs club, aka “A chicken in every pot”

27 January 2015

Well, this is weird. Somehow, FC Barcelona has gone from a team that was a clueless, rambling mess that didn’t stand a chance against the Liga champions Atletico de Madrid, to being a goal up (should have been more) and with a leg in the semifinals. At the same time, an administration is flailing during […]

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Posted in Copa del Rey, Elections, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts, Transfers/Transfer Rumors67 Comments

Attempting to understand what individual brilliance means

25 January 2015

Throughout the season, I came across the same phrase multiple times. The phrase is “individual brilliance”. Knowing that I don’t have enough knowledge about football and mainly my own team, Barcelona, I decided to ask people about the correct definition of individual brilliance in football. Apparently, individual brilliance is an uncommon case in football in […]

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Posted in Barcelona38 Comments

Elx 0, Barça 6, aka “The elf power edition”

24 January 2015

Credit is a weird thing, because even when it would seem clear to someone where it’s due, worldview can affect a lot. In this vein, a comment in the Atleti post was fascinating and inspiring, so here it is to get things started: Kxevin, its quite unfortunate that you are hell bent on crediting every […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts42 Comments

Barça 1, Atleti 0, aka “Growth program”

23 January 2015

You can learn a lot from a simple match of football. For example, you have to be really, really smart to be dissatisfied with the way that Barça played yesterday as regards the esoteric minutiae of today’s hyper-enlightened fan. Positioning, formations, heat maps … ordinary dullards struggle with looking that deeply, preferring to marvel at […]

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Posted in Analysis, Copa del Rey, Messi, Neymar, Thoughts24 Comments

The Busquets file, aka “Moving forward without losing the Reference”

20 January 2015

The reference. Yesterday’s Depor post didn’t deal with Sergio Busquets because he warrants a much deeper look than could be afforded by a paragraph. When many think of Busquets, it is this way: the reference. The player who embodies the way that Barça should play, and would like to play. Some of that is because […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Tactics, Thoughts66 Comments

Depor 0, Barça 4, aka “The revolution continues”

19 January 2015

Depor is no longer Super Depor. In a trip to an opponent wallowing around the bottom of the table near the relegation places, the visit to La Coruna wasn’t really on anybody’s list of important fixtures, even as it was a huge one for many reasons. Barça’s home form has been formidable and away form […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Messi, Neymar, Tactics, Thoughts14 Comments

Elx 0, Barça 4 (9-0 agg), aka “Is that something visible taking shape?”

16 January 2015

This is weird. Yesterday’s fascinating Copa match came in the wake of a recent conversation that in the here and now of 140-character blasts, self-curated football knowledge bases and the YouTube immediacy of the modern game, a patient, long view is not only unrewarded but unwanted. (As an aside, this piece by Seb Stafford-Bloor on […]

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Posted in Analysis, La Liga, Tactics, Thoughts36 Comments

Strange days, aka “Legends goin’ cheap. Get yours today.”

14 January 2015

These days, the State of Messi is absurd. It is the worst part of the entorno as a player becomes, depending on who the person blabbing: — Someone headed to England, just you wait … — Like a bauble nobody deserves, so everyone worries about losing it — An avatar for the Revolution — A […]

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Posted in La Liga, Messi, Thoughts, Transfers/Transfer Rumors65 Comments

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

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