Support systems and Barça, aka “Accounting for your granddad”

At present, despite being loaded with talent and a deep bench, FC Barcelona is kinda screwed. The team is trapped between necessity and romance. Also, its three most essential players: Pique, Messi and Busquets are all entering their dotage and as such, need support systems to ensure that they can give of their best in… Continue reading Support systems and Barça, aka “Accounting for your granddad”

Real Sociedad 1, Barça 2, aka “What Anoeta curse?”

Ah, the cursed international break and a match that filled many culers hearts and minds with trepidation: a trip to Anoeta to face a resurgent La Real, right after the break. Messi and Pique didn’t travel to be with their teams but pretty much everyone else did. And Messi always says that he is a… Continue reading Real Sociedad 1, Barça 2, aka “What Anoeta curse?”

The art of the pass and an uncertain future

Barça is headed for a difficult future. There was a Busquets v Chelsea compilation floating around Twitter after the match, and people spent a lot of time commenting on things from various bulwarks of perception. But what really struck the eye, particularly in that match as Chelsea was working and pressing so hard, was the… Continue reading The art of the pass and an uncertain future

Chelsea 1, Barça 1, aka “What a cruel thing football is”

Again it was Stamford Bridge, again it was chaos, again it was Andres Iniesta to make order of that seeming chaos. Football is an unspeakably cruel game, particularly if you are Chelsea and its coach, Antonio Conte. They got it 99 percent right. The tactics were spot on, the execution verging on flawless. It was… Continue reading Chelsea 1, Barça 1, aka “What a cruel thing football is”

Eibar 0, Barça 2, aka “Illusion and calm”

Appreciating this Barça team is to appreciate a certain kind of luxury, an ease that makes it necessary to see, not just watch. Barça visited Eibar, a cabbage patch with chunks of turf missing, a quite actual ground that was only watered when a downpour visited. Eibar, seventh in the Liga table and not patsy… Continue reading Eibar 0, Barça 2, aka “Illusion and calm”

Paulinho sucks

The season has reached midpoint, which makes this as good a time as any to have a look at one of the club’s most controversial signings in the past decade, Paulinho. There was an interesting discussion on social media involving him, his flaws and how they relate to what people want the team to do,… Continue reading Paulinho sucks

Barça 4, Granada 0, aka “Time to give Lucho some”

Today, Sergi Roberto was MOTM against Granada, with a performance that embodies everything about the player and his coach. Look at these stats: 92 touches 78 passes (92% accuracy) 5 for 5 in long balls 7 of 7 in tackles 10 balls recovered 3 chances created Before Luis Enrique came to Barça, Sergi Roberto was… Continue reading Barça 4, Granada 0, aka “Time to give Lucho some”

Anatomy of a beatdown, aka “Hey ya big dummy, that’s wrong!”

If we really, really think about the Athletic Bilbao thrashing of Barça the other day, it’s something that would have been as obvious as the day is long. — Sevilla, the other team who flew halfway ’round the world, on that midnite plane to Georgia (oh, shut up … you wouldn’t be able to resist,… Continue reading Anatomy of a beatdown, aka “Hey ya big dummy, that’s wrong!”