Monday, May 02, 2011

Grown so ugly

Well this has been most unpleasant. The fourth and final clasico really can't come (and go) quickly enough. A gradual amping up of whinging, cheating, diving, fouling, fighting, name calling, shoving and play acting over the first two games went nuclear in one of the most embarrassing displays I have ever seen on a futbol pitch from both sides. Every decision contested, every contact exaggerated, milked to the fullest. I haven't seen such a display of histrionics since the Porto-Celtic UEFA Cup final in 2003, which, coincidentally, featured a Mourinho coached team doing their best to destroy the game of futbol.

I always feared it would end this way, with two teams sick of the sight of each other, with Barça being dragged down to Real's level, with the constant fouling inevitably leading to constant over-acting and waving of imaginary cards at every opportunity. I saw a quote from Xavi this evening that sums all of this shit up well; "I'd rather talk about football, all this other stuff is lamentable." Both sides are to blame, Mourinho for his vicious, negative tactics, his baiting of Guardiola and down-right ridiculous claims in the pre and post-match press conferences and Barça for their shameful haranguing of the referee and diving around like they'd been shot (Busquets, Alves and Pedro were the worst offenders) The whole thing was as depressing as it was inevitable.

As it turned out all my pre-match worries were completely unfounded as Real played like a team hoping to strangle a 0-0 draw by making almost no effort to attack bar the odd free kick or shot from distance that invariably went no where near the gol. They had nothing, nothing before the sending off of Pepe, nothing afterward. They were hopeless.

As I write this Aitor Karanka is giving the pre-match press conference and the mud slinging continues. Rather than giving it rest he's stirring it up further ahead of tmrrw night's game which I expect will be a dire affair with Madrid kicking Barça up and down the pitch. But at least that'll be the end of it for the time being. Until we have to go through this all over again at the start of next season of course with the Super Copa and another two of these fucking games and all that goes with them.

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