Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Making Sense of it All.. Trying to, at least.

Barca taught us a lesson on how to be the Best Team in the World as Messi taught Ronaldo how to be the best player in the world
.
.
It's hard to describe the emotions one feels after a painful loss like last Saturday night's to Barca. It's the same kind of feeling as getting eliminated by Lyon from the Champions League or even last season's 2-6. The emotions within you steer so strongly that it results in the state I'm partly-in (and struggling so hard to snap out of) right now: an emotionally and mentally constipated zombie: devoid of thought and emotion. I gasping into thing air at the moment figuring out a way to feel something... because at this moment, I feel nothing. Not even hurt or an adequate sense of sadness. With no emotion, I feel like a black hole: empty and numb. So I guess that I'm here writing this blog entry in the hopes of snapping myself out of it.
.
Barcelona's win against us at the Bernabeu puts them in the driver's seat to retain the La Liga title and puts us in a position to face the horrifying and seemingly-inevitable prospect of going for a second straight season without a title. They will need to catch a very, very bad / unlucky streak of poor results to allow Real Madrid to catch up to them: a scenario that is highly unlikely despite the fact that they still have aspirations for the Champions League. This is a Barca team that is luck-proof. With that, what worries me now is the possibility of this season ending in a similar fashion as the previous one: with a losing streak. I fear very deeply that an out of focus, unmotivated Real Madrid with their considerable point advantage over the third placers would sleepwalk towards the end of the season especially with the World Cup so close. Real Madrid and its fans deserved better from the team last season in the way they played and I certainly hope that this season, despite the now-poor odds for the possibility of a La Liga title, that the team can still maintain the right concentration and that fighting spirit to play for 3 well-won points in the remaining  7 matches of the season.
.
Barcelona's win against us will also count as yet another example of our inability to win matches against top level sides:  a disturbing sign of the team's lack of character; or worse, a symptom of the kind of arrogant complacency we saw with the Galacticos v1.0 that ended in infamy. 
.
I for one don't think we played bad at all. "Actually, Madrid played better, they created more, they just didn't take their chances..." said a friend of mine (who doesn't watch football regularly) who watched the match at my place. It was a very astute observation. We closed their spaces down and used our pace to run at them to create our chances. We had them on the backfoot for good parts of the game as evidenced on their inability camp out on our side of the pitch the way they did against Arsenal. The 'Theo Walcott lesson' learned in the Arsenal Champions League ties was clearly picked up on as well with the pacy Marcelo and Cristiano getting clear chances to run at Barca's defense... sadly however, we too had picked up on the Gunners' failures: the lack of confidence and decisiveness near the Barca goal and most of all, the lack of the killer instinct to take precise shots to test the keeper when the fates gave us our chances. I'm not talking about being in cotnrol of the game from the possession point of view: I'm merely referring what we had achieved in terms of not allowing them to squeeze and crush us into our own half and blitz our goal.
.
Regardless of what happened however, it was still clear that Barcelona were the better team over the course of 90 minutes and deserved all of the 3 points they walked out with from the Bernabeu.
.
There are those who have questioned Manuel Pellegrini's choice of players particularly the selection of Gago in the midfield: a choice that I understand. This is given Lass' poor form as of late (as well as his alleged bitch-fits). Diarra V1.0 on the other hand, despite playing well against Racing Santander doesn't have enough games yet under his belt. Ditto for Granero who has clearly not taken advantage of the opportunities given to him by Pellegrini. I also support the decision to field Marcelo as a midfielder: he offered exactly what we had hoped for: pace to make his darting runs forward with the ball (he was my Real Madrid Man-of-the Match). We didn't have much of a choice with regards to Rafa Van Der Vaart due to Kaka's injury. The striking combination of Ronaldo-Higuain was of course a no-brainier given the duo's impressive scoring record this season.
.
Finally, let me state a very painful yet obvious fact... a fact that, the sooner we accept it fully in our hearts, the easier it will be to move on... and the more effective we will be in undoing this fact: At this very moment, Barcelona, or rather, THIS Barcelona is better than Real Madrid. There... I said it. There is no shame in calling a spade a spade or in making this statement that I consider to be a fact (for now). After all, Barcelona are the Club Best Football Team in the world at the moment. They have weaknesses for sure and they can be beaten for sure as well, just like every great team has. They are now on their way to their 2nd consecutive La Liga title and their 2nd consecutive Champions League Title. Their team is anchored on a batch of young players who will all likely remain in the club for the next 5 years, nevermind for the rest of their careers: Messi, Iniesta, Pique... with more in the pipeline (Pedrito, Bojan, etc.). Let us also be honest with ourselves on the inevitability of Cesc Fabregas' arrival at Barcelona. Our pre-recording session for last week's podcast had The Own Goal Network's Kevin Walker state the horrific possibility that with Cesc at Barca to combine with their current young core, they stand to have the chance to dominate World Football in the next several years. It drew a stunned silence from me and Adam Bader and surely a sinister smile for our Cule-panelist Isaiah Cambron. Such a scenario could actually possibly replicate the type of European dominance that Di Stefano and Co. achieved in decades past (with Messi quite possibly becoming Barca's Di Stefano). Oh the horror...
.
In any case, enough blabber for now.... I feel miserable enough as it is.

1 comment:

  1. Lighten up, Mac, I don't think it's that bad (though I had to run for cover for a while after the game...).

    Barcelona did not run over us, they won, and that's it. They are not miles ahead of us, neither in style or efficiency. They're better, that's out of the question by now, but not MUCH better. Next year, we'll see.

    I have a lot to think about Pellegrini, Florentino, Valdano and in & outs for next year. I'm not completely sure of my thoughts, but I feel that we don't need no revolution, just a little tuning here and there. But, is Pellegrini the right man for the job? Not even myself (and I don't call the shots here) can make my mind up, let alone Mr. Perez.

    I hope they fight until the end.

    ReplyDelete