Sunday, January 14, 2007

well, that sucked

Espanyol 3-1 Barcelona

Congratulations to Espanyol on a famous victory, and Saviola for a cracking goal, despite everything else. A disgraceful result from Barca's point of view. Our lack of cutting edge up front is a big problem, obviously. It's simply not good enough for a team like ours to dominate possession without actual end product, especially when it's allied to bad defending. (Rijkaard wasn't too pleased about that part. I predict a tongue-lashing.)

Can't say much else right now, really.

But hey, Liverpool supporters? You're not the only ones who are wobbling right now. So no worries about that Champions League clash.

Edit: Frank's post-match comments. Measured as always, although you can tell he's none too happy about the performance. I thought Puyol's words were pretty fair too. I guess my one consolation is that even when we don't give a good impression on the pitch and get beaten, our guys are classy in defeat.


Derek said...

It was quite embarrassing, wasn't it? I'm still in shock. The Gudjohnsen pass to Saviola for the goal was very nice, and the earlier Ronaldinho free kick that almost was . . . was spectacular (nice fingertip save from Espanyol's Kameni). But most everything else was abysmal.

I suspect this may be a turning point for the team, though. The glass is half-full! Eto'o (and Messi?) will be back soon and we'll turn this lackadaisical start of the new year around. Finally.

linda said...

Oh man. I'm just not going to think about it for a bit. How the team respond to this embarrassment is going to be key. You're right, it could be the turning point - either things will pick up quickly or I fear they may fall apart.

If Sammy was watching on TV, I bet he was mad as hell. Oh how we miss him.

Angard said...


I mean, I like this blog and more strange I want to comment about it...
Despite not sharing some of ur points of view or ways to see some football things I really enjoy reading ur articles. Usually I am not very modest when talking about football (because I'm always right ¿?, hahaha =P), but it is nice for me to found somebody that thinks different and got me interest in keep on reading, and more amazing, can spoke well his(her) mind.

Now talking about the match (and making a proper comment corresponding to the post), I'm not very surprised about the victory of Espanyol because it was posible, of course. I was really surprised about how bad Barcelona played. Without entering in the obvius (and for that i mean the abscences of Eto'o and the key man Deco), where was that hungry spirit wich they used to show not so long time ago...

Mal O'Brien said...

What is the latest word on Messi and Eto'o? When are they due back? Will they be match fit in time for the champions league match in Camp Nou?
Linda, what do you think of the Mascherano and Tevez situation? I think that Mascherano will sign for us and there has been some quiet whispers of Tevez too. Do you think that these players can adapt to England? How highly do you rate them?

linda said...

Angard: I think debating a difference of opinion (in a friendly manner, of course) is the most fun way to talk about football, so disagreements are not always bad.

I agree with you about the match. Because it's not in my nature to pile on I will not be too scathing, but in truth Barca need to improve now if they don't want their season to go crashing downhill. There's no excuse - Rijkaard himself said that he wasn't going to blame the injuries because nobody mentioned those when we were winning, did they?

Mal: Eto'o is back in training tomorrow, and fingers crossed if nothing bad happens he'll start playing again on the 24th. So according to schedule he'll definitely be back for the CL.

Messi is a bit trickier. He's coming back from Argentina on the 1st of February, by which time he's supposed to be ready to return to training, but he's notoriously fragile and I live in fear of a setback. I have my doubts about whether he'll be ready to start when the CL game comes around, especially since it's a metatarsal injury.

I do hope Mascherano goes to Liverpool. Sure, he might not play that many games, but things have got to be better than what they are at West Ham. That transfer looks very likely if FIFA will bend their rules. He's the best holding midfielder Argentina have at the moment, and he's only 22. Very composed, a good passer and unafraid to get stuck in. With time, he will adapt to the English game. In my opinion, he hasn't been given that time yet. But he will come good.

Tevez I think may stay at West Ham. He's been looking better for them, because he's had the adaption time that Mascherano hasn't. He could do well in the Premiership, as long as managers resist the urge to play him out of position on the wing (looking at you, Alan Pardew).

By the way, good luck against Chelsea. I'm sure Anfield will be magnificent as always.

Lynda said...

Glad to see the post-match comments from Rijkaard and Puyol. Barca's grace in losing matches is always refreshing--I find the poor sportsmanship of teams who seem to blame everything except their own performance discouraging--as though they ought to win simply by virtue of just showing up.

A pretty ghastly day for us Barca fans all the same.

Greg G said...

I didn't watch the match, which was fortunate since I hate to watch Barça lose. The fire looks to have gone out of the squad from the looks of it. I'm not sure why, since they are Barcelona, they have Rijkaard as their coach, and they play a great game when they want to. Spoilt, possibly? They can't be any more tired than anyone else by this point. Does winning it all do this? That could be part of it. I just wish Eto'o was back in it now. He's a man continually on fire--for the goal.

linda said...

lynda: I think grace in both defeat and victory is my favourite thing about Rijkaard, other than his pasta-swirl hair and that whole 'Frankie' thing of course.

Joking aside, us Cules aren't having a good time, are we? Hopefully we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. (And his name is Samuel Eto'o.)

Greg: I hate watching Barca lose too - although I actually found watching El Clasico (which we lost) less painful than watching the match against Chelsea in the Camp Nou this season (which we didn't). But losing to Espanyol just stings.

I think tiredness is a factor, actually, as well as injuries. We've not be able to play a consistent back-line (including the defensive midfielder) for ages. Still, you're right. We can always count on Eto'o at least to have the right attitude.