It felt a bit rich on Friday when Guardiola told us fans that we should have more faith in the team. “Yeah right” we wanted to say, “Because we are the ones predicting doom and gloom before every game!”. But one cannot deny that the week leading up to the game against Mallorca has been a bit tense. We’ve said it so many times that it has almost become a mini-mantra, but “No Alves, No Xavi, No Puyol, Valdes or Jeffren, With just Bojan and Gabi, Is our season all undone? Tiddly-tum-tiddly-tum” was the (rather bad) song running in everyone’s head. Thankfully, not anymore. You can make up your own bad (but happy) Messi-Villa-Pedro song and replace that with it. And with Abidal, Keite, Adriano, Pinto and Maxwell rising spectacularly to the occassion, supported by the usually brilliant Iniesta, Busi and Pique (okay, that’s stretching it a bit, but what the heck!), it’s time to move on and worry about Valencia now!
So, on this joyous occassion, marked by the realization that we can carry a thin squad, lose half our regular starters and still win resoundingly, we are hoping some of our optimism would rub off on Pep Guardiola, and he would stop going around telling his children that he might get fired any minute now and making them very nervous. In that defining moment when Villa was onside and ran around the goalkeeper with the goal wide open in front of him, and we were thinking “Good God, please let it not be the goalpost this time!”, even Pep must have admitted to Tito Vilanova that it’s quite possible that good things can happen to this team. Valencia might very well be the dangerous match that Pep will surely claim it is. Especially with Villa apparently embarking on a mini Spain tour on the same day thanks to some ex-agent who wouldn’t mind having some of Villa’s money and is dragging him to court over it. Xavi says he will be ready, but with Xavi and Messi, you know how it is!
But at least Alves will be back for sure (knock on wood, we’re not trying to tempt fate). And the end of February signals our defense to suddenly turns strong and tight overnight, as was evident in the game against Mallorca, and Barca begins to resemble Barca and not it’s distant (not-so-talented) cousin, irrespective of who is playing and who is not. In the upcoming crazy two weeks, in our quest to win a lot of shiny pots, with just Mallorca down, we have Valencia, Zaragoza, Arsenal and Sevilla to go. Good luck to us. If any of you have an extra four leaf clover, be sure and send it to Barcelona with postage paid. We leave you with a video (from 101greatgoals) of Pep trying in vain to substitute Leo Messi, only to be presumably told that getting subbed out in the 70th minute can cause Leo to be kidnapped by little Saturn men. We’d love to get our hands on the diary of excuses that Leo uses to convince all coaches to play him for every minute of every game against their better judgement.