February 25, 2011
He didn't invent it, but he sure took advantage of its existence. He was the man of the manita: clad in the sublime, gorgeous, and all-around brilliance of the blaugrana blue and red, he achieved greatness with a 5-0 thrashing that team; a season later, dressed this time in their drab and unconvincing "royal" garb, he achieved infamy with a 5-0 defeat of the Catalans he had represented just a few months before. From one end of the spectrum to the other in such a short time. Why, my cule hero, would you besmirch your legacy so?
February 24, 2011
Children are a fickle bunch. They'll high five you one moment and bamboozle religious figures the next. Also, there's a 4-month old living in the apartment beneath me and he or she has a 6:15am morning ritual screamfest. Perfect alarm clock. So yeah, children are a blessing and a curse, even when they're not yours. And Barça has a lot of them and they come and go depending on a lot of factors, including whether or not they've got offers from other places that are more immediately lucrative than the one offered by their "parent" club. And no, we're not talking about Cesc Fabregas. We're talking instead about Jon Miquel Toral Harper. That he is being "taken" by Arsenal is merely a coincidence that caused this to become something of a story in the press.
February 18, 2011
We lost a match. I know this because I watched it and the final score read Arsenal 2 Barcelona 1. I also know this because the sound of wailing and gnashing of teeth is rending the air. The ref screwed us. Everyone is putting it how Didier Drogba put it. Nevermind that Xavi and Guardiola were vaguely happy with the performance, or at least were content with the process of the match. Open, attacking, and full of movement and verve. What’s not to enjoy?
A lot, sure. As a fan first and a writer second, I’m depressed about the result. But the writer part of me, the one that thinks about what it all means—so much angst, so little time—is much more interested in the reasons we even bother to watch these matches. Tactical discussions and perspectives on substitutions are quite interesting and certainly worth having, but for now I’m going to focus on the general reactions.
February 16, 2011
The Champions League is back with us and there are, as usual, a dozen stories worth discussing, but, also as usual, I only have time for one of them. There's Dani Alves vs Arsenal's right wing coupled with the Brazilian's current contract negotiations; Iniesta should feature against Arsenal this time around, which will make it more a game of skill and wizardry than Keita and his lung-busting style would; Arsenal's defence vs Barça's attack and Barça's defence vs Arsenal's attack; Puyol is missing, but Abidal has been a solid replacement and Busquets could fill in too.
But none of those have the same ring to them that focusing on a single player and his capabilities does. This one is lightning fast, has amazing control, and his tactical positioning routinely puts him in position for easy combination play and tap ins. Naturally I'm talking about Pedro. In a line-up including Villa, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, and Pique, it's easy for Pedro to be forgotten, despite the recent number of articles talking about how he's forgotten.