Thursday, March 13, 2008

And that's the ball game


Two weeks Barça were but two points behind the fascistas of Real Madrid, playing something like their best and looking like a team that might win La Liga. Now, after two losses on the bounce (to the teams in fourth and third), the loss of their best player (that's Messi folks, not Xavi) for at least six-weeks, we're ever closer to the finish line and it's just not gonna happen. Not without Leo, not with Thuram in defense (the loss of Puyol to suspension against Villarreal was probably a bigger factor than that of Messi's injury), not with Sammy missing more than he scores, not without the ability to put games away, to sweep past weaker teams and to step up against the tougher ones.

It's taken me all week to write this post, having started on Monday evening. I've been pretty busy with work, with other stuff but really I've just got nothing more to say. Barça simply aren't good enough. They've been on the slide since midway through last season and despite occasional blips where they play some out of this world futbol and remind you what it was like a few years back it's been a hard slog and that ain't gonna change between now and early May. Injuries, the age of some of the players (too old and slow in Thuram's case, Bojan and Giovani Dos Santos
too young and inexperienced), poor fitness and poor tactical decisions on the part of Frank Rijkaard keep happening, will keep happening. Henry is no addition, he's crocked and ala Viera, Arsene Wenger let him go at the right time. Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta, Messi and Valdes, all from la Masia, have kept this particular rudderless ship from hitting the rocks. Deco and Guddy have made contributions, as have Bojan and Milito but everyone else needs to take a long hard look at themselves.

Onward and downward

Sunday night will see me in front of the television for the Almeria game. The squad has been announced and Deco and Toure are both out. Oleguer, currently suffering from a broken spirit, is back. Almeria are decent and I can see Barça fucking this up in ridiculous fashion.

Anyway, enough gloom and doom for now. The Champions League draw is on tomorrow at noon and I'll have my fingers crossed for either Schalke or Fener. Should Barcelona draw Liverpool, Utd or Arsenal then I think it'll be time to put all the blaugrana eggs into the Copa Del Rey basket. More on that early pm. Bona nit for now.

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