So, the first leg of the Champions League game against Arsenal is over. We normally don’t do match reviews here at FCBFD, just because we don’t like being unintentionally funny, but this one should be easy-peasy. It’s just two lines really. Arsenal played a wonderful game and did everything right. FC Barcelona collectively shot themselves in their foot, coach included. Over and out. And with Pique collecting his fifth yellow and sitting out the return leg, if Puyol isn’t fine by then, Pep would probably be forced to play Bojan and Jeffren as the center backs. Which is not so bad really. Or we’d have to resort to making Abidal clones, which might be a good long-term plan anyway.
As everyone keeps saying, there is still the return leg. And we did get the away goal. Yes, we’ve been playing the last couple of games like someone substituted the water supply for a strong dosage of Children’s Benadryl (Pique, we are looking at you!), with the players vaguely aware of a game going on around them but too disinterested to participate, but surely it’s only a matter of time before this tiny rip in the fabric of the Universe is repaired and everything is restored to status quo. Right? Meanwhile, there’s a mini-crisis in Barcelona. Never before in this season has Lionel Messi played two consecutive games for the full 90 minutes and not scored in both, as ridiculous as that stat is. There’s the culprit right there if anyone is wondering why Barcelona fans are spoilt rotten.
So maybe, just this once, we will allow that considering most of our players are human and only a few hail from Krypton and other neighboring galaxies, it is quite possible that they are not at 100% day in and day out. And there was an interesting stat pointed out on twitter yesterday bv @ChurchOfSoccer. There were seven players in Barca starting XI that played 80 minutes plus in last week’s international friendlies as opposed to Arsenal’s 1. Not really an excuse, but maybe it is about time our players stopped going around hounding the coaches to let them play ALL the time in ALL the matches, darn it! “I asked to play for 90 minutes” said Leo Messi after last week’s game against Portugal. And we are sure he would ask the same thing if he were to play in Pique XI vs The Checked Shirts, except Pep would probably kill Pique and dance on his remains with hobnailed boots. The point is, that’s all very well, but if the lot of you turn up for a Champions League knock out game looking like you’ve just been run over by a tram, it isn’t very inspiring. Rant over.
So, Visca Barca, as always! Here’s hoping that the next game makes us all bright and cheery, just like the picture above.