During a rewatch of the Inter Milan sludgefest, my annoyance at Ousmane Dembele tilting at yet another bank of Inter players and losing the ball was like something fresh, even as the outcome was already decided. The match progressed, and Xavi changed everything about the team and how it was playing that vexed him. Static… Continue reading What if it’s us, not Dembele?
Barça is too slow. Barça is too slow to play modern football. Barça is too slow to play football against a team of even decent quality. We can repeat these things like a mantra, but they aren’t going away, even as devotees worship at that ancient religion of 48 passes leading to a perfect goal.… Continue reading Inter Milan 1, Barça 0, aka ‘The slows lose … again’
How can you do nothing? How can you say nothing? In the face of the barrage of racist abuse suffered by Vinicius Jr., for something that in America would be called “dancing while Black,” how can Spanish football do nothing? In MLS, which is that American football that isn’t handegg but that most Europeans don’t… Continue reading Vinicius Jr. and the shame of Spanish football
During the Bayern match, Isaiah and I were on WhatsApp, as per our usual recent practice, and we were discussing the Sane goal. My take was, “He waltzed through the midfield, outran everybody and knocked it home. Yikes.” Isaiah’s take was more tactical, looking at what Bayern did to set up, create and execute so… Continue reading Bayern/Barça redux, aka ‘You’re right. No, you’re right’
Matches are about deficiencies and a team being able to take advantage of them. The winning team does, the losing team doesn’t. Matches are about chances taken, and chances not taken. Winning matches are about moments, and either being up to them or not. One key moment found Pedri essentially in a 1v1 against Manuel… Continue reading Bayern Munich 2, Barça 0, aka ‘A good loss?’
It is (pick your own word here) how Bayern Munich always comes along at a key time in the life of the FC Barcelona first team. They ushered out one era with a resounding beatdown in Champions League. They ushered in another one with the Luis Enrique side’s dismantling of the Pep Guardiola side. They… Continue reading Bayern v Barça, aka ‘GULP?’
Trying something new with a halftime recap. In a word, abysmal. If Barça has two quality Xis to call upon, the other one must be missing. This group hasn’t played together? Sure, if you buy that, or don’t have eyes. They’re terrible. The only good thing about the half has been Alejandro Balde, who continues… Continue reading Halftime: Cadiz 0, Barça 0, aka ‘Abysmal’
I first encountered Jorge Gonzalez when I was in college, studying in Central America. It was 5 years after he retired and 13 years after he left Spain, which means it was a long time ago. If I had bothered to look it up on the then new Wikipedia, I wouldn’t have found an entry… Continue reading Magic in Cadiz
Frenkie De Jong is entering his fourth season at FC Barcelona, and it seems rather odd that he still doesn’t have a place, hasn’t carped him some diem, hasn’t made a clear argument for his being in the XI. When he was (allegedly) on the block over the summer transfer window, it was quite clear… Continue reading Whither thou goest, Frenkie De Jong?
In a footballing world where the notion of a super league stalks the halls like someone ready to ruin a party, it’s fair to ask if one already exists. Viktoria Plzen, Czech League champions, were essentially demolished by a vastly superior FC Barcelona team that didn’t even play all that well. It was a match… Continue reading Barça 5, Viktoria Plzen 1, aka ‘Fun, with caveats’