Barça season grades — coach and attackers

School’s out for summer. For some as regards the Blaugrana, to cite Alice Cooper, school’s out forever. We know how the season went as regards results, and it was fantastic. In August, as we surveyed the wreckage left by a Neymar departure and then Real Madrid laying waste to things in the Spanish SuperCopa, nobody… Continue reading Barça season grades — coach and attackers

Barca 3, Sporting Gijon 1, aka “Today, we wanted it. Bad.”

We have an assistant at work. Her name is Rosemary. And like that same type of person in roughly the same support position in so many offices, she is indispensable. She has all the answers, even for things that she isn’t supposed to have the answers for. She does so much, and is always there.… Continue reading Barca 3, Sporting Gijon 1, aka “Today, we wanted it. Bad.”

Atletico XXXXXX 1, Barca 2, aka “Moments of genius, with an assist”

Goalkeepers are like kickers in American football. The other players do their thing all day long, battling like gladiators. Then, when they are done, or have done all that they can, a little guy comes out, not even wearing a full set of pads, to decide the match. Or, a guy who doesn’t run, doesn’t… Continue reading Atletico XXXXXX 1, Barca 2, aka “Moments of genius, with an assist”

Barca 5, Valencia 1: Unlucky 13?, aka “A display of strength, kinda sorta.”

This was a weird one, in which positions were reversed. Usually, it’s us rolling into a match having only days before played a mid-weeker against a tough opponent. This time it was Valencia wearing our shoes, coming to Fortress Nou without Ever Banega who, in the “We can’t make this shit up,” file, has a… Continue reading Barca 5, Valencia 1: Unlucky 13?, aka “A display of strength, kinda sorta.”

Santos 0, Barca 4, aka “Purity in the service of beauty,” aka “Why buy Neymar? We already own him!”

This was the face. Messi has, of late, undergone a degree of scrutiny that might make many believe he just stands around, waiting for the ball before he springs into action. But if you want to see how much this club wanted this title, just look at this image. Better yet, watch this glorious, glorious… Continue reading Santos 0, Barca 4, aka “Purity in the service of beauty,” aka “Why buy Neymar? We already own him!”

Barca 5, Levante 0, aka “Are we ready now, coach?”

Though I confess to being entertained by Ray Ray, I don’t often agree with his stone table pronouncements about The Way Things Are. But today, as the match began, his observations about our side and its shape were spot on. He eschewed any real designations for the formation(s) that we play, instead calling it “amoeba.”… Continue reading Barca 5, Levante 0, aka “Are we ready now, coach?”

Barca 4, Saragossa 0, aka “What FIFA flu,” aka “Broken ducks.”

My oh my, how we’ve grown to hate Internationals. The players travel hither and yon, sometimes not returning in the best of condition, usually to an opponent who has had everyone sitting around at home, watching our boys get tired via the telly. And we look lackluster, drop some points and everyone grumbles. But we… Continue reading Barca 4, Saragossa 0, aka “What FIFA flu,” aka “Broken ducks.”

Barca 5, Mallorca 0, aka “Let’s not go handing out woof tickets just yet.”

The most enduring image from this match for me came late, when they showed a rear view of Isaac Cuenca, whose No. 39 shirt was pristine. Then they showed Mallorca’s Alvaro Gimenez, and his No. 30 shirt was bedraggled, with the 0 just hanging on by a bit of adhesive, the rest of shirt all… Continue reading Barca 5, Mallorca 0, aka “Let’s not go handing out woof tickets just yet.”

Granada 0, Barca 1, aka “My eyes! My eyes!”

Um, wait a minute …. I like being right, but not about this. I kept blathering about a team malaise, wanting our players to prove me wrong, to have everything click into place in glorious fashion as they gave some deserving club the hiding that they didn’t deserve, but hey, there they were. Not today.… Continue reading Granada 0, Barca 1, aka “My eyes! My eyes!”