“I’m not the man I once was.” Once a man gets to a certain age, this universal truth stomps the terra like a mastodon, banging a gong marked “Truth.” Second to second, minute to minute, the brutality of the passage of time and its effects on performance are part of life. Athletes are particularly aware… Continue reading Busquets, hopes, dreams and affirmation
The late, great Nina Simone, when asked what freedom meant to her, had a simple answer: “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me. No fear.” And for the first and probably last time that the iconic singer’s words have a football parallel, it’s impossible not to have those thoughts come to mind in the… Continue reading Barça 3, Levante 0, aka “Freedom means no fear”
From 1991 to 1998, the Chicago Bulls won six championships, in two blocks of three, a span interrupted by the time that Michael Jordan was away from the team. Jordan left the Bulls after that last championship in 1998, and the Bulls have been varying degrees of janky ever since. Last season, Lionel Messi produced… Continue reading Without Messi, what is there?
Back when everyone was raving about Quique Setien after his Betis side got a result against Barça, I had a TV show appearance in which that question came up. My answer was, “I don’t want him anywhere near the Camp Nou, because his teams still make the same mistakes, even after all of his time… Continue reading The problem with Koeman
Here is what a new manager at FC Barcelona will have to look forward to: –A brilliant collection of young talent, all nurtured in a hothouse that pretty much ignores modern football–A nucleus in the person of four captains, all of who are past it and psychologically about as strong as a house of cards–Placing… Continue reading When Koeman goes …
Imagine if, during election campaign season, Laporta said, “The summer is going to be a salary dump. I will probably have to move Messi on, and a bunch of other players. Bear with me, though, as we get through all of this together.” He still would probably have won, but eyes would have been open.… Continue reading Barça’s transfer window, aka ‘Boulevard of broken dreams’
Emerson Royal, delighted to be a player for FC Barcelona, complete with presentation and giddy signing ceremony, was shipped off to Tottenham in the next-to-last day of the transfer window. His career at his dream club lasted some training sessions, two matches and most of a transfer window. Clubs demand loyalty and set themselves up… Continue reading Ain’t no love when it comes to money. It’s just … money
For a club that has been a complete and utter shitshow for too long, there was no other way for its greatest player to leave — reluctantly at a teary solo presser. For a club that has been a complete and utter shitshow for too long, that it loses its greatest player to its bitterest… Continue reading It’s official. Messi is gone. Now is our chance to be like Messi and move on.
Money. Everything in football now is about money. It’s also about greed, and ugliness and animus but mostly it’s about money. Lionel Messi is moving to Paris St. Germain. Whether he had to is ultimately for people with vastly more knowledge to sort. What we know is that he is going to the only club… Continue reading And just like that, a legend is gone, aka “Money changes everything”
My wife is weird. At her last full-time job, every year she would decline her annual pay rise in favor of another week of vacation. She had 10 or 12 weeks by the time she left. Most of us would do no such thing. We would take every raise, and look for ways in which… Continue reading Don’t hate the playa, hate the game
Sometimes you sit down to write and the words just flow. Other times you try and try and try. Pedri is confounding that way. Maybe one way to go at it is to think of something you have, something you use every day, that is just right. No, not perfect. Just right. Like you imagine… Continue reading Pedri, aka “We CAN have nice things”
When Barça Femeni got tonked in the 2020 Champions League final by Lyon, it didn’t leave a scar, it started a fire. Sport is fond of the idea of want, which is rather a nebulous thing. You can’t define it, have no idea how to quantify it even as it’s one of those words that… Continue reading Barça rehab, because mentality matters