Sunday, March 16, 2008

False hope pt. 2

I just don't know anymore. I really don't. How many chances do they need? Despite the fact that Madrid have lost four of their last seven in La Liga, Barcelona are still somehow seven points back, closer to Villarreal in third than they are to the leaders. Tonights game away to Almeria was nothing short of a disaster. To twice take the lead only to throw it away, to concede two such sloppy, lazy gols, the second a mere five minutes from time was shocking. The blaugrana are seemingly incapable of closing out games or defending a narrow lead. The difference last season between Real and Barcelona was that while Capello's side won games in the last ten minutes, Rijkaard's team blew them. And so it continues.

With just ten games remaining I can't see how this can have a happy ending. With a laundry list of players out injured (Messi, Marquez, Toure, Ronaldinho, Ezquerro, Deco, Jorquera, Giovani and now Gudjohnsen), with Milito now suspended for the Copa game on Thursday (don't get me started on the idiotic challenge that earned him a second yellow card), they're going to struggle to put eleven fit players out in the next two games let alone win either of them (there were three Bar
ça B players on the bench tonight).

There were some positives from this evening's debacle, Bojan's gol, Rijkaard's attacking substitution of Henry for Edmilson turned the game in Barcelona's favour (before Uche turned it back again) and erm, that's it really. It was grim viewing.

Before I close the mac, a quick word about the blaugrana's opponents in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, German bottlers Schalke 04. Nine points off leaders Bayern and languishing in fifth place, the Gelsenkirchen side are, along with Fener, the weakest side left in the last eight and considering Barcelona's current run of form, the best possible draw they could have gotten. My sole experience of Schalke this year was the half-hour of extra time they played against FC Porto and their golkeeper, Michael Neuer aside, I can't say I was all that impressed. Now of course this thirty minutes of futbol is hardly a basis for judging them but it's all I've got so bear with me, I'll post something more comprehensive later in the week. For now I'll say this, Barcelona will probably squeak through only to get turned over by Utd. in the semis. And that sadly is about the best we can hope for.

Anyway... it's over yo.


Mal said...

Did you hear Sid Lowe saying that Dos Santos could be sold this summer? What do you reckon? Pini Zahavi's involvment isn't a good sign.

Thomas Kelly said...

I heard that alright. I've seen quite a bit of Dos Santos this season and been impressed. He sometimes makes stupid decisions and gets caught in possession but he's young and will learn. He's also unselfish on the pitch and tries to set up team mates rather than do a Robbie Keane and beat four or five players.

Zahavi's involvement is indeed a bad sign and it all but assures his departure in the summer.

That said, if there's one thing that Barcelona have an abundance of it's forwards and while I'd rather not lose him, especially to Chelsea, his leaving wouldn't be the end of he world. He's not Eto'o or Messi. In fact he's not even Bojan.

nessa said...

hey does anybody know when does the Barça train? and whether fans can see them?

Thomas Kelly said...

FCB train at the mini Nou, the stadium used for Barça B games. It's right beside the main stadium. Training is open to the press most days but I don't know about fans.