Sunday, October 22, 2006

Raul Madrid

Absolutely fucking useless. From Valdes fumbling at the back to Gudjohnsen's complete ineptitude upfront (Christ almighty but will someone teach this moron the offside rule. He was caught at least five times) Deco was dreadful. The rest of the midfield toothless. 'dinho. World player of the year my arse. Zambrotta taken apart by Robinho. After the capitulation against Chelsea five days ago Barça needed to step up tonight and instead they took an enormous step down. Messi aside, every player on the blaugrana side was rubbish. Should Guddy start the next game I may burst into tears. Awful to a degree not usually seen outside the League of Ireland for a full sixty-five minutes until he was replaced by Saviola (who immediately sent Messi through on gol with a sharp pass and had one shot himself that was narrowly pulled wide), I can barely begin to describe the open gol he missed after Messi squared the ball to him in the box. It was one of those "surely it would have been easier to score" moments that defined his contribution, or lack thereof, to this evenings game.

Misplaced passes a-go-go, over-elaborate fancy dannery, aimless corners and freekicks, constantly losing the ball in midfield... I could go on. Against a Real team who didn't play all that well (Raul was completely unmarked for his gol in the third minute and Ruud's breakaway finish was a farce from start (losing the ball cheaply in midfield) to finish (Valdes failing to collect Robinho's cross). Real though, ran out easy winners. FCB, for the second game running, did not look like scoring. Messi, their best player by miles, kicked out of it (by Emerson in particular who should have been sent off), was the only one to exhibit any verve or energy.

This performance is hard to stomach. It's like in the space to two games we're back to the bad old days where Barça played like they couldn't give a fuck. Guddy should be booted to Barça B and Ronaldinho, I really don't know... The blaugrana's next two games are against Badalona in the Copa Del Rey (Badalona are a Catalan side who play in Segunda Division B) and Huelva. Huelva are ninth in La Liga and who knows where Badalona are. After that comes Chelsea at home in the Champions League. If they continue to play the way they have; sloppy, lazy futbol, if Rijkaard continues to field Gudjohnsen and 'dinho ahead of Saviola and Giuly, if he persists with his rotation policy in defence, if nothing changes between then and now, the Blues are going to steamroller Barcelona.

Two losses in five days. Three conceeded and none scored. Barça were absolutely dire tonight. Real could have beaten them five-nil without breaking a sweat.

5 comments:

linda said...

I don't think we were that awful. Sure, Gudjohnsen was dreadful, Ronnie needs to have set pieces taken away from him and given to Xavi or the billion other people in the squad who are good at them, and Deco's form just keeps getting worse, but Iniesta did well and Messi was just amazing despite having to play most of the game with a freaking twisted ankle. Thanks, Emerson. He should have been sent off, no question.

Saviola needs to play more. It's obvious how good his understanding with Ronnie and Xavi in particular is, as opposed to Guddy's, which is non-existent. (Oh how we miss you, Henrik.)

That said, it's big of Rijkaard to take all the responsibility for the problems on to himself (I think it's more certain players letting him down), and hopefully with his whole 'getting back to basics' thing, performances will improve. Otherwise there's no way we'd beat Chelsea.

Katherine said...

Sure it was lashing. Those Spanish lads wouldn't be used to that.

Thomas said...

Yeah, they probably weren't as bad as I may have made out. I was pretty annoyed when I posted that entry. Watching Guddy huff and puff was painful.

I completely agree with you about 'dinho and free kicks, he needs to hand the responsiblity to someone else. Iniesta did do well for a while but he wasn't the physical presence they needed in the midfield. I'd much rather have seen Motta come on a kick Emerson and Diarra a bit.

linda said...

I 100% agree about Motta. If there's one thing he does consistently well, it's kicking lumps out of the opposition.

Poor Motta, he gets so much flack from the fans. He is young, though. Having finally come to his senses about his hair, maybe his tackling will improve this season too. I'm an eternal optimist, see.

Thomas said...

I really like Motta. He's forever stepping on rakes and slipping on banana skins but when fit he's quite the addition to the Barça midfield. He's strong, takes a good free kick and can head a ball (FCB are such a small team that they offer a limited conventional threat from corners and wide set pieces)