Barça 2, Valencia 2, aka “Is a chef only as good as his ingredients?”

Every manager sucks, until they don’t. If you think about it, managers are like chefs. Some you turn loose in a kitchen and they can whip up something fabulous with whatever you have around. Others can take the best ingredients and somehow … “Hash? Again?” If you were to give Ronald Koeman ice cream, whipped… Continue reading Barça 2, Valencia 2, aka “Is a chef only as good as his ingredients?”

Barça 2, La Real 1, aka “With a clang and a whimper”

This was it. All that work, all those missed chances, and this was it. Alexander Isak bore down on Ter Stegen, who was bracing to make himself big, and facing a quandary. Charge Isak, and maybe get dribbled down. Or chipped. Barça was hanging on to a 2-1 lead against a resurgent, rampant La Real,… Continue reading Barça 2, La Real 1, aka “With a clang and a whimper”

Cadiz 2, Barça 1, aka “Same stuff, different day”

Last week Carles Tusquets, the man in charge of turning the lights on and off at FC Barcelona until a new president is picked, also became the man in charge of pissing people off. That he was also the man who might be speaking uncomfortable truths only served to make people even angrier. He said,… Continue reading Cadiz 2, Barça 1, aka “Same stuff, different day”

Dynamo Kyiv 0, Barça 4, aka “The kids take over the holiday party”

In the spirit of the holidays, Barça gave us a match that was like a holiday party. You know the kind, where everybody has a great time because the bosses haven’t been invited, the kids in the mailroom take over the DJ booth and the place goes up for grabs. It’s messy, everybody’s lit and… Continue reading Dynamo Kyiv 0, Barça 4, aka “The kids take over the holiday party”

Why do we need failure?

Samuel Umtiti is working his way back into the Barça squad for what seems like about the umpteenth time. His trajectory is an odd one, going from being on the list of everyone’s Top 5 centerbacks in the game to an injury-wracked shadow of himself. In posting a brief video of him in his prime… Continue reading Why do we need failure?

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Atleti 1, Barça 0, aka “We’ve been here before”

Given the different tenures of the Barça fanbase, it’s difficult to know how many were around for the last year of the Frank Rijkaard tenure, when everything bad that could happen, did. This feels like that, but worse, because that team had a deep well of talent, laid low by psychological malaise and circumstance. This… Continue reading Atleti 1, Barça 0, aka “We’ve been here before”

Barça 5, Betis 2, aka “The art of deception”

Barça put five past Betis, Messi scored twice, Dembele looked like the player everyone has been waiting for and all is right in the world just before the team scurries off for the international break. Happy times. Nah. Let’s start with the crap news. The tackle that earned the penalty that Griezmann wasted also injured… Continue reading Barça 5, Betis 2, aka “The art of deception”

Alaves 1, Barça 1, aka “Don’t even start with the hashtags.”

This is shaping up to be one of those seasons for Barça, with another crazy match in the books against Alaves, defined by a moment that defines how messy this team is right now, tactically and psychologically. Alaves scored their goal off a contraption of errors, as Lenglet bats it to Pique who bats it… Continue reading Alaves 1, Barça 1, aka “Don’t even start with the hashtags.”