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Barca: the 70’s rockband
Barcelona are like a 70’s rock band who used to be amazing, but have had so many lineup changes that only the egomaniac singer and the blindly loyal rhythm guitarist remain, the rest having either died or been replaced by inferior (but pliable) sidemen. A Jefferson Starship, or a Whitesnake. Or even Guns ‘n’ Roses.
You go to their gig, it’s all a bit rubbish to the point of you feeling sorry for them… And then they blast out Smoke on the Water like it’s 1973 and you suddenly come over all funny again.
They huff, they puff, they keep the ball without doing anything of note, Paulinho looks EXACTLY like a failed Tottenham player (the Buckethead to Neymar’s Slash, if you will), they go a goal down… And then, one little (admittedly stupid) cock-up, and suddenly the passing triangles are released and the ball is in the net before you can blink. And naturally, it’s LionAxl Messi who finishes the job.
I’ve never liked them that much, but when they’re good, they’re pretty sodding great.
Aravind is clearly that typical arrogant “Premiership is best” type of fan.After drawing 1-1 at home to Barcelona he says they should hold no fear for English clubs.That was the second goal Barca have conceded in this seasons competition yet after 1 game they are instantly dismissed as no hopers.Forget the fact they topped their group,they drew 1-1 away in the first leg-a game they dominated-they are nothing to fear & English teams have no excuses.
That’s as idiotic as saying that because the run away league leaders in England lost the night before to a League 1 side it shows how poor the Premier League is.Does the fact that City have a bigger cushion in the Premier League then PSG do in France show how pathetic the Premier League is?Pundits scoff at how poor the French League is yet wax lyrical about the Premiership.
Can we also put to bed the fact Premiership teams do too much over Xmas & need a mid season break? Since the first week of Jan because of the Copa Del Rey Barca have had to play 2 times a week whereas Utd,Liverpool,Everton & WBA(to name a few)have all enjoyed jaunts abroad & had breaks between games.
Liverpool had 9 days off before playing City so went to Dubai,then had 8 days off before playing Swansea & since playing Porto last Wednesday have been to Spain as they had 10 days till their next games.Spanish players got 5 days off at Christmas..5.Chelsea also played last Friday night whereas Barca played Saturday so Chelsea had an extra days rest so stop whining that the foreign Associations help their teams in Europe more then the FA do.
I particularly enjoyed his assertion that Spurs would beat Barca easily,the same Spurs who are through to the next round after drawing 2-2 away from home to Juve…yet Barca are a poor team after drawing 1-1 away from home to Chelsea…Work that one out please!
Chelsea forced them to play that way
To everyone bitching about boring Barcelona, they played that way because Chelsea made them. Barcelona don’t actually play like last night very often any more, because most teams give them the space to be more incisive by attacking more than Chelsea. Chelsea didn’t give them the opportunities or the space for incisive quick football. Chelsea only attacked at the right moments, and did so incredibly well, which is all credit to Conte and the players. I quite dislike Chelsea, but they did a great job preventing Barcelona from playing they way they’d actually like to, by being so disciplined and well drilled tactically. Conte made Barcelona resort to the slow tiki-taka which we all know can be stopped, because Conte knew he could stop them (well…) and most importantly, he made sure they had no other choice but to play that way, by blocking off all angles of attack through the middle, and letting them have the ball until they reached the most dangerous areas.
I will say though, that Coutinho could have made a difference…Iniesta is a fantastic player, but no longer has the acceleration to glide through players the way he used to, and Coutinho has that ability, as well as his tendency to shoot all the bloody time, which means he has to be closed down by a defender as soon as he’s dribbled past a midfielder.
Anyway, sorry for the long mail, second leg should be fantastic!
Henry, Köln (the angry American)
More from Planet Sport: Johnny Nic on tennis’ lonely world, mental health and player wellness (Tennis365)
I’m sorry to be that guy, but I think the fawning over Chelsea’s performance has gone way too far (Willian excluded).
Barcelona did not play well. They looked like an ageing, slow and defensively suspect team. Even Messi was having a rare off day. Chelsea should have gone for the jugular but they were too scared too and it has probably cost them the tie.
I feel quite confident that had Barca played like that at the Etihad, Anfield and probably Wembley, they would have gone home with their tail between their legs and a fairly steep deficit to overcome in the return leg.
This brings me on to the inferiority complex in England. Why is it that our esteemed football journalists and pundits are so quick to remind us of the quality and spending power of the Premier league, yet when the (high spending) champions of England come up against a team like Barca they are treated like stoic minnows who have no choice but to concede 76% possession and keep 10 men behind the ball?
I’m not saying Chelsea are as big as Barcelona but this is not David vs Goliath. Its more like Goliath vs a slightly smaller (and possibly a bit younger and quicker) giant, with a home advantage, who is backed by some of the best coaching and training facilities money can buy.
It’s time we started raising the expectations of our mega spending league and realise that Barcelona are just a very good team, as Chelsea should be, rather than a team of footballing deities, certainly in their current form.
Love for Willian
I only half-watched the Chelsea game last night so I only have one comment to make: I bloody love Willian. He is brilliant, both a hard worker and a fantastic footballer, and I wish he played for us. I’m glad he got his goal because his performance definitely merited it.
In reply to Mick,Dubai In defence of James McClean, James hasnt played well this season Mick. As an Irish West Brom fan can clearly see this. He’s hardly played. He gave away free kicks against Watford and Newcastle which led to equalising goals and dropped points. I’m not blaming him for the dropped points, but its his recklessness that spoils his game. He can track back without fouling players.
When, not if, we get relegated I think he’ll be a big player in the championship so from Richards email yesterday, I don’t see how getting rid of McClean would help. Phillips needs to go first, he’s looked like a passenger all season. Evans, Krychowiak, Rondon, Gibbs will all leave. I can see Rdon leaving to bigger things too, contrary to what some supporters think of him.
Regarding the Pulis issue, Pulis is gone. He’s been gone for some months now so how anyone can blame him and absolve Pardew of some blame is beyond me.
Darragh (Wolves and Villa promoted with WBA relegated, a baggies worst nightmare) WBA
In response to Dave’s fair question about alternative words to “pass” when it is really an intentional effort on goal, how about these?
Soft “pass” into the back of the net: Eases
Medium strength “pass” into the back of the net: Slides
Hard “pass” into the back of the net: Slots
Yes. I know. Nothing we haven’t heard from commentators before.
(Why is it always the back of the net and not the front of the net anyway? Maybe it just sounds cooler?)
MK (LFC) Philippines
Dave, Manchester, the word you’re looking for is placed.
The Proud Shepherd of this Herd of Sharks
@David, Manchester, how about “placed” or “guided”? That somehow doesn’t capture it though does it…
Henry, Köln (the angry American)
Worst CL winners
I hate to slate anyone unduly, but it always amazes me how people go on about Djimi Traore winning the Champions’ League, yet fail to realise that Igor Biscan was also a winner that year.
Igor made Djimi look like Luis!
I don’t know if this would be of any interest to the guys who work for the website or the readers but this link takes you back to what the site looked like as far back as 1998!
Back on my birthday on 4 Oct 2007. The headline for the mailbox was ‘Will Nani turn from c*ck to hero?’
If you love a bit of nostalgia then it’s a great waste of time at work.