FC Relic, aka “How Barça got like this”

As lots of people ask “What happened” at Barça, the answer is so obvious: fear. We can point fingers at poor decisions, institutional rot and all that stuff, but everything comes back to fear — of change, of damaging a project, of killing the golden goose. It’s the same kind of fear that has turned… Continue reading FC Relic, aka “How Barça got like this”

Barça v PSG, aka “Too many narratives to count, and … trauma”

Well, this is weird, being culer and the feeling of looking forward to a Champions League knockout match that features FC Barcelona. Because trauma. Since the delight of beating Juventus in that final during a treble season that seems like about a million years ago, subsequent Champions League campaigns have featured failure. Luis Enrique, Ernesto… Continue reading Barça v PSG, aka “Too many narratives to count, and … trauma”

Luis Suarez, right and wrong decisions and sheer spite

My cycling discipline is sprinting. Essentially, 12 seconds of all-out effort, then the nearest chair. I took part in longer races just to get some laps in and build fitness, never finishing, because why? One night, I saw someone talking to his cohorts as a 50-lap event was about to start. He laughed and said… Continue reading Luis Suarez, right and wrong decisions and sheer spite

Sevilla 2, Barça 0, aka “Outeverythinged but hey, statistics”

Gazing over the smoldering wreckage of Copa hopes and dreams in the wake of a 2-0 loss to Sevilla, there is something positive to take away: coulda been worse. This was a match to look forward to for what it represented for a Barça team that had been finding its groove, albeit against lesser opposition.… Continue reading Sevilla 2, Barça 0, aka “Outeverythinged but hey, statistics”

Betis, 2, Barça 3, aka “Whoops, they did it again!”

First things first. In a month, FC Barcelona will meet to select a new president. Whoever that person is should do any, all and everything in his power to convince Lionel Messi to stay in Catalunya. After his contract was leaked, there was a lot of focus on the numbers, but not as much focus… Continue reading Betis, 2, Barça 3, aka “Whoops, they did it again!”

Granada 3, Barça 5, aka “What the hell just happened?”

Quit is one of those weird words that is so often bandied about in sport, a quality almost as nebulous as want. We read and hear that x or y team wanted it more, which is always odd because when a match starts, want is a quality present in both teams, along with determination and… Continue reading Granada 3, Barça 5, aka “What the hell just happened?”

Barca 2, Athletic Club 3, aka “It was always going to be this”

It’s all so normal now. Griezmann scored his second goal of the match in the SuperCopa final. Everyone celebrated, but nobody relaxed, almost as if we could feel it. The equalizer came, and it felt as inevitable as Inaki Williams’ golazo match winner in extra time, right down to Barça strolling around like zombies in… Continue reading Barca 2, Athletic Club 3, aka “It was always going to be this”