April 29, 2010
"Més que un club" is the motto of FC Barcelona, the self-appointed guardians of that rather tiresome cliche "the beautiful game". Roughly translated as "more than a club", the phrase is described by the club's official website as being "open-ended in meaning".
It goes on thus: "It is perhaps this flexibility that makes it so appropriate for defining the complexities of FC Barcelona’s identity, a club that competes in a sporting sense on the field of play."
Yet Wednesday night's exit at the hands of Inter Milan showed that they lose just like any old modern football team - very badly indeed. And, while Jose Mourinho is a manager accused of seeking victory by any means necessary, Barcelona were the team whose Machiavellian methods drew the most truck and looked somewhat lacking in "a sporting sense".
April 18, 2010
Red Bulls sing of tossed salads and lacks of skill © Getty Images
As a result of the extended global terrorism being carried out by the country who brought you Einar from the Sugarcubes, Eggert Magnusson and Jon Pall Sigmarsson, I am enjoying an extended stay on the eastern seaboard of the United States. As a result of that unpronounceable volcano, I largely missed out on a momentous weekend of Premier League action, and was sometimes even forced to follow matters on Soccernet...
So, a sporting fix was required, and notwithstanding an abortive attempt to visit the new Yankees stadium that collapsed after being quoted the type of price that may well have given Uncle Malc Glazer his lead, it seemed right and proper to check out soccer played US-style. So began a trip to Harrison, New Jersey and Red Bull Arena, the spanking new home to the New York Red Bulls.