The problem with Ousmane Dembele

Mercurial. Erratic. Enigmatic. Wasted transfer. Sloppy. A great many adjectives are attached to the player that is Ousmane Dembele, who arrived at FC Barcelona with a massive price tag and even greater expectations, coming as he did right after the departure of Neymar, and one of two purchases with that windfall, the other being Philippe… Continue reading The problem with Ousmane Dembele

Messi, the Best and the biggest way Barça failed him

On Tuesday, Lionel Messi won a ginned-up FIFA bauble called The Best, which should really be called The Messi. Think of it this way: If every year, football decides to reward the best player in the game, how do you decide that, what parsing goes into the decision? Further, how does that penalize a player… Continue reading Messi, the Best and the biggest way Barça failed him

Messi, interviews and bombs, aka “Pero … “

“Esta es mi casa y no quiero irme, pero quiero ganar.” “Pero” — but — four letters, a wee word that is sending shockwaves from the cover of Sport right up through the expensive leather soles of the people occupying the boardroom at FC Barcelona. Four letters that form a word uttered by Lionel Messi… Continue reading Messi, interviews and bombs, aka “Pero … “

FC Barcelona and O.P.P.

When you buy a house, it comes with the stuff that other people decided was worth something — remodels, projects, landscaping. Maybe some of it bothers you enough to do something about, maybe some of it doesn’t. Either way, you have to make do with a home that isn’t quite your ideal, unless you decide… Continue reading FC Barcelona and O.P.P.

Betis 0, Barça 5, aka “Businesslike savagery”

In thinking about this Barça team and why it works so well, dogs came to mind. Or more correctly, the movie “Kindergarten Cop.” You know it. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an undercover cop, posing as a teacher. He takes a chaotic class of kindergarteners and turns them into a well-oiled group by giving them all something… Continue reading Betis 0, Barça 5, aka “Businesslike savagery”

Messi 2021, as expected, aka “FC Dramalona”

We all have a friend to whom everything happens. Lost wallets, flooded apartments, car crashes, alien abductions. We get a cold, they get the Plague. With that friend, we listen to them on the telephone, we read their emails, we help and we sigh, thankful that we aren’t that person. Which makes it unfathomable why… Continue reading Messi 2021, as expected, aka “FC Dramalona”

The bright sides of the Neymar transfer

Clutch

You shouldn’t be interested in Neymar revisionism or any sorts of nonsense. To be clear, his leaving sucks. Bad. He is an irreplaceable player whose signature moment in the colors was as architect of a Champions League comeback that had us all gibbering like loons in between weeping big, fat tears of joy. When a… Continue reading The bright sides of the Neymar transfer

It’s business

Most supporters view the game through the eyes of an anachronism, something that modern players such as Neymar remind us of periodically. In our passion, we think of players as our players, warriors who, once they don the blaugrana, are here for life. Part of why we think that is the miracle of an extraordinary… Continue reading It’s business