UEFA Super Cup Liveblog

It’s so going to be on, thanks to reader Soto being the man behind the mask for today.

Remember, the game is being broadcast in the US on Fox Soccer and Fox Sports en EspaΓ±ol.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. I won’t go so far as saying Henry is losing it, but I wouldn’t like to see him play more than 30 games this year (including CL). He’s getting older and needs to be nursed, and moreover, I think Bojan is ready to step up and be a real contributor rather than a bit-player.

  2. i think we should sell messi…he isnt that great…i mean come on, that pass today was easy! and Yaya isnt very good at defending. ‘

    i think we should buy players like peter crouch and damien duff…they would add some real class and experience to our squad

  3. @messi _fan: I agree with you at some points but let me elaborate.

    Keita: was good defensively but held the long for toooooooo long at time and stymied the attack. He wasn’t BAD but he was no where near last games level.

    Xavi: lost the ball a lot, by a lot I mean like 5 times, that may sound like a little but it’s a lot for him. He did not put the right weight on the ball for like the first 70 minutes. After he seemed to finally get into the groove of things.

    Abidal: was solid defensively, when he plays LB you can trust that he will always be there to stop a counter. Bu he adds nothing offensively, and as the minutes wore on the more apparent that became.

    Henry was off.

    Messi did start slow for like 70 minutes. He did not really turne it up untill just right before the IBra substitution. He had flashes before but just flashes.

  4. Decent game

    Good defence by Shakhtar.

    Ibra will take time (remember when Henry was ‘terrible’ for Barcelona)

    Pedro is very clutch

    Iniesta is a huge key to unlocking these kind of defenses bc it takes pressure off of Messi

    Just some thoughts

  5. i dont know about you guys but this match disilusioned me in some ways. I think weve lost a very important dynamic in eto( think it is his movement), and as a consequence the attack is stilted( i see henry getting considerably fewer 1on1 s this year).

    I also think integrating Ibra will take a long time, he is so diffrent from eto, with eto the off the ball running and runs behind defense were a constant threat- Ibra timing the offside is frankly quite poor. However Im not saying ibra is a bad buy, when we do integrate him the offense will be amazing, i hope.

  6. the way i see it, (and sorry for the baseball reference), but Pep needs to give Ibra as many “at-bats” as possible.

    he sometimes seems lost in our complex system.
    thats fine, anyone would.
    should definitely have sprung Henry free.
    I see that Ibra is TOO used to playing in the hole, and must now play like a “9”.

    Looking forward to when the well-oiled machine starts firing on all cylinders.

  7. Pep on Ibra:

    “Zlatan Ibrahimovic is improving every day, he’s getting better and better. It’s a new team for him and it will take time but he can combine different styles of play and he’ll find his own place in the team. He’s such a good player that he will fit into our game. It’s no problem since his mind is open. There’s many things that need time but the squad will help him adapt as soon as possible. He needs time, training and games but step by step he’s going to do well for us.”

    I think that is all that needs to be said, really.

  8. Enjoyed the game just because it was great to see Barca on the big screen again instead of my duff internet connection laughing called broadband!

    Not a great game but pitch looked awful and our guys are still finding their way a bit. So I’d cut a bit of slack to Ibra, Henry and maybe even Keita. No worries about Messi – he seems up for it from the start and I just want time to stand still for the next 5 years when i watch Xavi.

    However, a big improvement will be needed over the next few games in the last third or else fingers will be pointed at Ibra – just because I don’t think it’s clear how he’ll fit into our system. To me he looked a little nervous last night – understandable i suppose. We can’t go into too many games with Henry and Ibra looking to find their best form. I’d be happier if iniesta were back .

  9. I think we’re victims of our own selective memories. We remember the 5-0 scorelines of last year and expect every game we play to be similar.

    But if I recall correctly, didn’t our well-oiled machine have difficulty against teams playing similarly to Shakhtar? Teams that were very compact at the back or put 10 men behind the ball?

    If we are going to make a fair comparison, we should use the game against Chelsea as a reference point. Or even the games against Shakhtar last year (granted, Messi didn’t play that much in them). We’ve always struggled against these teams before they disrupt our little one-twos. And we play into their hands by not taking many shots from distance.

    Yes Ibra was bought to help us against such teams, but realistically you’d need:

    1) Ibra to be fully fit and on the same page as his teammates (which he is not)

    2) Decent crosses into the box (which were lacking)

    I think a much better guage of this team is the game on Monday. If we struggle against a team that we blew away last year, THEN we can start to worry (but only a little bit).

  10. Thank god Abidal was there cause with his speed our defense would been squashed!!

    Ibra doesn’t run much in front of the goal.I mean when henry or messi have the ball he just stands there….lots of changes compared to Etoo…..I agree about our attack being less ‘dynamic’ now.

  11. Ibra sucked but it looks like he only needs time. The guy has great body and skill, so I guess it’s a matter of adaptation also.
    but, why did titi play? he played horrible… pedro! right now is a much better player than henry. He dribbles well with both legs, runs, thinks, passes, crosses, touches and shoots waaaay better than the french.

    The game was pure boredom probably because of multiple reasons… but the lack of a good midfielder to substitute either xavi or iniesta was to me was the most obvious one. Keita or Powerserg should play in the back and let yaya try in offensive positions if we don’t sign someone good. The kids (thiago and JDS) are not a bad option but keita doesn’t have the skill to be an offensive player, he doens’t try anything new or good at all. keita and titi playing together in the left side doing absolutely nothing make me so sick! πŸ™

    pep give pedro! minutes please πŸ˜›

  12. Messi is unbelievable. He never gives up or slows down.

    The team needs Iniesta in there. Pedro has blossomed wonderfully.

    Will Ibra fully understand what it takes to be a successful 9 at Barcelona? Let’s hope so. Or else the most potent strike force in the world will have to change their ways to suit him…Or barcelona will have to pay another $40mil to buy Villa next year

  13. By the way, great new blog Isaiah and Kevin. Hector, I believe there was a secong part of your barcelona system analysis coming up, did i miss it? Ive been ardently waiting

  14. ok, guys… keep in mind this:
    Eto played for 5 years! cinco! five! fave five years! Zlatan has only played two GAMES! dos! two! duet! deux! REEEEEELAX!

    Yes, it’s true we are missing the dynamic movement from Eto but you can’t expect a player of such high caliber to be Eto. Pep said it himself that Ibra will find himself in the game, it will take time to adapt.

    In this game, mostly everyone flopped, attacking-wise, even Messi was a lil bit out of his usual and i’d say that when he is frustrated he starts to get more selfish and it’s not that way.

  15. Anyone doubted that ibra runs less than eto’o? nobody runs more than him, but I hope Ibra’s strong points make us forget about the weak ones compared to eto’o

    btw FCB shouldn’t be a “crossing” team, we pass the ball almost until the goal line… but any goal counts anyway, barbarian vasque style ones also πŸ˜‰

  16. Thats true Kevo. But we hope Ibra gets in the grooove of things quickly. He was put in a very hot seat with no time to learn. The lateness of his purchase and His broken hand didn’t help the situation. But there is soo much at stake this season and everyone is gunning for the notoriety of bringing down the mighty Barca.


    Funny thing is, Eto’o is also suffocating from Ibra’s shadow in Inter Milan, how ironic.

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