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Barcelona vs. Villareal

We just sucked ass.

First of all, I think everyone was really surprised by the starting line-up. Instead of resting some of the key first-stringers who played in Wednesday's grueling Clasico against Madrid, particularly those who were in bad form then (I'm looking at YOU, Cesc and Pique), Pep had all of them start. Instead of putting on some of the promising junior players, particularly strikers like Cuenca, he asked midfielders and even defenders to play as forwards.

So the only real forward to start was Messi, and he was clearly having another of his "quiet" days in which he mostly walked or even stood still on the pitch unless the ball came directly his way. Xavi, on whom everyone relies to orchestrate attacks, may have been feeling his newly achieved 32 years because he failed to coordinate much of anything and in fact was subbed out for Thiago (and not a moment too soon) in the second half. Iniesta was home with an injury, Cesc had the absolute worst game I've ever seen (and that includes Wednesday's), forward Alexis came on for defender Pique even though he was still recovering from a shoulder injury, and... yeah.

It was awful. We were sloppy with our passes, we just managed a few shots, all of which were botched or easily caught by their keeper, and we only managed to crawl to a 0-0 draw against one of the lowest ranked teams in the league because Eric Abidal and Victor Valdes are fucking bosses at defense. Unlike in our games against Madrid (which we won anyway btw), there were no blatant attempts to injure us, no obvious dives, no uncalled penalty shots. We were just uncoordinated and sluggish.

I love this team. I love what they are capable of. But with multiple first stringers out due to long-term injuries or other leagues, the remaining senior players exhausted, and Real Madrid undefeated except by us, we need to focus on our priorities. We can't win La Liga, and we shouldn't kill ourselves trying. We should allow our best players recover to do us proud in the Champions League, and if we pick up the Copa del Rey along the way, that would be a bonus. There have been years when we could win everything. This is not one of them.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 29th, 2012 09:06 am (UTC)
That's the bad thing of being a soccer fan, your team's suckotage. At least you're not a masochist like me (we won the Serie A a grand total of TWO times, last one in 1969).
PS I didn't know about the political slant of supporters in Spain until you mentioned it. Kind of stupid since I'm well aware of this happening inItaly. If you ever want toexpand a bit in a post, I would enjoy reading it.
Jan. 29th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's not that I need them to win. It just hurts to see them playing badly.

The political aspect of Barcelona vs Real Madrid is really interesting. I'll definitely put a post together about it at some point!
Jan. 29th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
As someone who has spent many years among baseball fans, people describing their team as "we" never ceases to amuse me. But I'm sorry your team isn't doing well. Where do you watch it?
Jan. 29th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
Hee, I referred to the team as "we" to indicate my support/solidarity even as I proceeded to trash the performance of the players. If you look back to my posts celebrating their victories, I didn't use "we" - they got all the credit ;).

Edited to add: I lied. I did say that "we" had qualified for the Copa semifinals after beating Real Madrid in the aggregate. Yikes. Am I becoming one of those people??

I watch some games on ESPN online and hunt for livestreams for the rest. I was trying to order satellite service, but the tree across the street is in the way!

Edited at 2012-01-29 08:19 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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