Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hack and slash futbol

Tuesday seems like an awfully long time ago. The game at Ibrox is one I'd rather forget. Rangers, who beat Lyon 3-0 away and did a similar number on Celtic the previous weekend were awful. Masters of the long aimless punt, the needless foul and putting it out for a corner, they ofered little or nothing going forward and played, in the words of Leo Messi, "anti-football". That said, Barcelona hardly lit it up either. Plenty of possession, over 70% but absolutely no penetration, few genuine chances (a 'dinho free kick tipped over the bar, a Puyol header also saved and an Henry header that went over the bar were about the best) and a general lack of verve about their play.

That said, despite being so poor Barça still drew and one would imagine that they'll lay waste to Gers at the Camp Nou. A win would give them 10 points. Before I move onto La Liga, a word about Ronaldinho. Slow, ponderous, laboured, Robbie Keane-ing it when a simple pass would have done, he had one decent free kick, a good cross that Puyol got on the end of (Puyol was frequently Barça's most attack minded player, which says it all) and that was it. After missing the Villarreal game he needed to be showing more than this. No doubt he'll turn it on against Almeria on Sunday, doing some pointlessly showy step-over or flick and El Mundo Deportivo will be extolling his virtues again. *sigh*

Speaking of Almeria, they've done pretty well thus far. Mid-table after eight games, Cobeno is solid in gol (he did well at Sevilla when Palop was out last season) , they're unspectacular but look good to avoid relegation. I still don't give them a chance on Sunday evening. The Barça squad features Toure, Zambrotta and Rafa Marquez, all back from injury. Crosas, Thuram and poor old Santi miss out. Leo Messi, training by himself these last few days may be rested, with either Bojan or Gio stepping up. The game kicks off at 6.

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