Monday, October 22, 2007

We all lose to the yellow submarines

After a two weeks absence due to internationals Barcelona fell to earth with a bang (and without Ronaldinho) this weekend, losing 3-1 away to Villarreal and Deco for at least five weeks. At least Madrid lost too. The blaugrana are now forth, still two points behind leaders Real.
Villarreal were spectacular against Barça, completely dominating play, with old duffers Robert Pires and Marcos Senna controlling the game with ease. Even the introduction of Gio Dos Santos at the beginning of the second half for Oleguer didn't shift the balance and the yellow submarines stood firm. Deco hobbling off

Conspicuous by his absence was 'dinho, no doubt still drunk from his all-nighter with Robinho in Rio after the Brasil beat Ecuador. The story in O Globo puts him in the boot of a car at 11am the next morning to avoid being photographed leaving the club. Whether this is true I don't know but he certainly has previous and one must being to wonder if he's worth the bother. Hopelessly off the pace thus far this season and completely eclipsed by the explosive form of Leo Messi, 'dinho seems to be going down the same road Adriano, a road littered with night clubs, magnums of Cristal and XL jerseys to hide the flab.

There were few positives for Rijkaard's side but one was undoubtedly Bojan Krkic's gol, a fine finish from a deft Leo Messi pass. His first senior gol for the team, he became the youngest player ever to score for Barça. Bojan had a fabulous U-17 tournament for Espana during the summer and has looked very sharp in his first team appearances (typically limited to the last ten to fifteen minutes before Saturday's start).

The Old Firm

After their 3-0 victory over Celtic at the wknd, Gers are understandably in bullish about their chances at Ibrox. Barcelona's injury list is lengthy (Deco, Marquez, Edmilson, Toure, Eto'o, Zambrotta) and of particular concern is midfield, where either Marc Crosas or Ice Ice Baby will make their first start. Crosas is very raw and Guddy incredibly rusty given his lack of minutes. Crosas is also pretty lightweight. I think a draw would be a decent result for the blaugrana given how thin midfield is, an area that Gers, who like Barça have won their first two group games, will look to control. The game is live on Sky Sports 2 from 7:30 tomorrow evening.


Mal said...

Surely Barca, despite the injuries, are good enough to win against Rangers TQ?
Do you reckon Ronaldinho could be sold in Jan? I would imagine that Red Rom would be interested in buying him.

Thomas Kelly said...

One would have thought so but my concern is that they'll be bullied out of it in midfield which will leave the forwards isolated or having to drop deep to collect the ball which would blunt them somewhat.

Gers are playing well at the moment and they're a strong, fast team playing at home. If the Stuttgart and Villarreal games are anything to go by Barça are still quite open at the back so they'll have chances. I'd be happy with a draw and no new injuries.

I don't think 'dinho will go in Jan, neither Bojan or Gio Dos Santos is ready to step up yet and I don't know who else they'd replace him with. He'd be cup tied for the Champions League too which would complicated things. So I reckon he'll be at the Camp Nou until the summer at least.