Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Quick La Liga musings and Barca reactions

Quick La Liga musings

In between attempts by the Big Three (TM) to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, the next few rounds will see the big guns of La Liga take each other on.

Round 23: Valencia v Barca (could be decisive in whether Valencia stays in the title race), Sevilla v Atletico (do Atletico have what it takes? Are Sevilla out of steam?)
(Champions League Round of 16 first leg: Barca v Liverpool, Inter v Valencia, Real v Bayern)
Round 24: Atletico v Real (Can Atletico finally win a Madrid derby?)
(Champions League Round of 16 second leg)
Round 25: Sevilla v Barca (potential title decider, if both sides are still in it by then)
Round 26: El Gran Clasico (always a big game, no matter what the occasion, and also a potential title decider this time)

Barca fall-out from the match against Racing

Welcome back, Leo. Looks like Giuly will put up a real fight for that wide-right position, though.

Welcome back, Ronnie (again). Please consider staying for, say, the rest of the season this time.

Att: Samuel Eto'o - stop it. I adore you as a player and am willing to defend you almost all the time, but this is not the time to sulk. You're nowhere near fit, unlike Messi, and although we all know your tendency to throw fits at crucial moments - and luckily for everyone there have been few consequences so far - this is really, really not the time. Pull yourself together.

(Lucky Liverpool, they're having a blast resting in Portugal. Barca on the other hand have to play Valencia next week, and Rafa knows all about how tricky that one is.)

By the way, Laporta's statement on the matter particularly amused me. He pretty much tried to sound understanding of Eto'o and then went 'there you go, Frankie, you fix the mess - isn't dealing with this crap your specialty?'


Greg G said...

What can I say, Linda? It was once again pure joy to watch Barça play against Racing at Nou camp. Ronnie was on fire, and that pk save by Valdés was one of a kind.

Like you though, I'm still going to wait and see if the blaugrana can maintain this level of effort for at least a month. Not talking about results, so much as effort.

But, I will say this: thanks, Barça, for another great performance. Keep it up!

Mal said...

Surely you must fancy your chances against Valencia given that they were beaten by Getafe at the weekend?

linda said...

Greg: You're right, I'm being a bit harsh. 3 points clear ain't bad, although we'll have to see how the next couple of rounds pan out.

Good to have a sense of optimism again, though.

Mal: Valencia are exactly the type of team Barca hate playing. This is what their coach has to say about how they beat Atletico: 'We decided to give them the ball,' he explained. 'Then when they ran out of ideas, we pounced'.

And plus, they were missing quite a few key players against Getafe. Baraja, Vicente and Villa - 3 of their best players, really, and although Vicente won't be able to play against Barca, Villa will be, and he's their best player.

Mal said...

I'm a big fan of young Villa. I backed him for top scorer in the world cup and he would have been a good bet if he wasn't rested for Spains third group match. Would love to see LFC sign him in the summer but I doubt Rafa would spend the £20m+ that he would cost, even with the new investment money. Rafa tried to sign him from Zaragosa before he went to Los Che.

Mal said...

I've heard that Deco is having problems with Frank and Laporta. Do you know anything of this?

Z said...

I just wish the whole Eto'o business will get resolved soon but by the looks of it, this is not going to go away for sometime.

Great to see Ronnie back though.

Thomas said...

Hi Linda. What do you reckon will happen at the Mestalla in light of the goings on at Barça this week? I think it could go either of two ways. The game could be a damp squib, a dour draw with the blaugrana playing poorly or they'll wipe the floor with Valencia and win 3-0 or 3-1, with all that's gone down drawing them closer together and looking to prove that it hasn't affected the team at all. I'm going for the latter as I think Los Che have quite a soft underbelly, as demonstrated against Getafe last weekend.

linda said...

Mal: Villa would have been top scorer if that idiot Aragones had played him in his proper position. He deserves to be in the central striker role so much more than Torres. I think he would be an excellent buy, but Valencia aren't likely to sell when they're so dependent on him.

As for Deco, he's just a prickly guy. I think the Lampard swap rumours really bother him - and let's face it, that's fair enough. I'd be bothered if I were him. Frank Lampard, for god's sake. (Can you tell I don't rate him?) Deco's vital to Barca, and while it's true that Deco seems to be cosy with Laporta's arch enemy (former vice president) Rossell, I don't think either side want a separation right now.

Z: I expected it to drag on, but have been pleasantly surprised. Same applies to Ronnie, actually. He was great against Racing.

Thomas: I think you're spot on. A lot depends on mentality at a tought ground like the Mestalla. Barca were good last week, but it remains to be seen how all the fuss has affected everyone. Like you said, could go either way, although with Villa back Valencia will be a lot more dangerous than they were last week.