Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shorter Barca news and comments

I don't think I need to write a match report - it was the same old problems, after all. That's the depressing part, although I'd argue that it's far from crisis time just yet. The team are in an awkward position right now with a string of tough matches coming up that they have to get results in, but if they can't rise to the challenge then they don't deserve to compete for any silverware anyway.

Frank Rijkaard
's critics had predicted that he wouldn't dare use the two new wonderkids Bojan and Giovani in a proper game, and he surprised them yet again. However, he was somewhat forced into the decision by the injuries to Messi and Eto'o, and the state of affairs that led to Giuly leaving. No doubt Ronaldinho's poor showing - which led to his substitution on 65 minutes - also influenced the decision. But congratulations to Giovani - and to Gaby Milito - who started their first match for Barca, and to Bojan, who made his official debut for the club. The 17-year-old striker broke Messi's record for the youngest player to start a league match for Barca, and it's too bad that the occasion did not come with a win.

By the way, the Catalan press would do well to lay off Rijkaard - any problems that Barca have are deep-rooted and mostly not of his making. I can't even say how frustrated I am with certain players right now. More on which later, I'm sure. In the mean time, I mostly agree with Deco, although it's hard not to be sceptical about some of his claims.

The good news ahead of the daunting Champions League clash against Lyon to come is that Messi is back in training, although Thuram seems to have picked up a knock.

As for the match itself, and indeed the weekend in general, I direct you to Phil Ball, who as usual is wise and fair. His comments on the Spanish NT are great too, although my opinion of Aragones is, shall we say, somewhat lower than his.

Also good to see the English-speaking press (the always astute Kevin McCarra, in this case) taking more notice of the phenomenon that is Sevilla. I hope they have a wonderful Champions League campaign this season.


pdp_risingson said...

Hello Linda

How are you? Hope everything is fine...

My friend sent me this, as we're both pretty fascinated with what goes on beyond the pitch.

Thought you might find it a little eye-opening as well.


Greg G said...

Yes, it's frustrating to see Barça at such a 'low' level at the start of the season. I've commented on much of this in my own blog, but I have to agree there's something more to it than Rijkaard's tactical theories.

I swear the Galacticos culture appears to be hanging over the Blaugrana now. So sad, but likely true. I don't think it arose under the same circumstances as Real Madrid's, but the end product is apparent. I've heard that Eto'o has been a disruptive element given his emotional nature, and his being injured to such long stretches only exacerbates this nature.

I'm not sure Ronaldinho can be entirely faulted though--and I've always been quick to draw his name in the blame-game. He never really had a chance to take time off last season with the World Cup on, and given the unbelievable schedule top flight clubs have these days, fatigue can really build quickly. Having a poor changing room atmosphere just adds to the malaise as well.

Linda said...

pdp_risingson: Hello! I've been incredibly busy with uni. Hope things are well with you also.

I've heard a bit about that series. Will definitely check it out, thanks!

Greg: I think the whole Galacticos debate can be a bit misleading, since our problems are very complicated in nature. You're right that the circumstances are not absolutely comparable to Real's.

Eto'o I think has been assigned too much blame for what's happened. Prior to this season, he was a lonely figure in the dressing room, and I think the factionism (the South Americans, the Catalans and, um, Eto'o) was more of a problem, particularly the behaviour of Ronaldinho and Deco, leading the South American group.

I'm so frustrated with Ronnie - he had a nice long holiday this time, is apparently finally bothering to train, but on the pitch, his attitude has been lacking.

Soccer Mania said...


so good news all-around for Argentina and Barca...
Messi is on fire in Barcelona..
Hope he keeps going ..

did u catch up with the game against Australia down under?

Linda said...

Yeah, I even wrote a post about it. Wish I could have been there, but the timing was not there.