Tag Archives: Barcelona

Champions League Final: Initial Thoughts

MIKE CUMMINGS: So Barcelona is the best team ever. But we already knew that didn’t we? Continue reading

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Diego Forlan: Player of the Year?

HOWARD MEGDAL: The votes are in for 2010′s player of the year. And the winner is… not Diego Forlan. Not according to World Soccer Magazine, not according to FIFA… no one had Forlan at or close to the top. This strikes me as a strange oversight.

MIKE CUMMINGS: I agree with all of this, but what I think we have here is a case of the Heisman Trophy voters rubbing off on their world soccer counterparts. In other words, the award went to the best player on the best team. Continue reading

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January Transfer Window Expectations

KAREN PATEL: I remember last season when Sir Alex Ferguson was quoted as saying that the transfer market is poor, which is why he doesn’t make any more flagship signings. Many interpreted this as simply a lack of funds provided by the owners (they are in an awful lot of debt after all) but, for the first time in my life, I have to agree with Mr Ferguson.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Karen is right: the transfer window does allow for price-gouging, and little else. But for a number of teams within clear striking distance, adding that one extra piece could be the difference. Continue reading

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El Clasico: What It Means

MIKE CUMMINGS: So Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5-0 on Monday, and footie commentators the world over are falling over themselves to anoint Barca The Best of All Time. The Spoiler went for the phrase “looked like one of the truly great football teams,” and included a couple of current players in the club’s all-time best squad. Meanwhile Tom Adams claimed Barca currently has three all-time greats on its squad (though that includes only one of the two The Spoiler plumped for), and the Spanish press hailed a historic win for the “Azulgrana.” Me? For once I’ll side with Jose Mourinho: We will let time judge what this team has done.

KIYAN SOBHANI: As a Madridista, you can imagine how I felt in the bar on Monday – I could only sit there while Barca fans all around me enjoyed one of the most memorable nights in their club’s history. Continue reading

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Breaking Down Atletico Madrid/Barcelona

KIYAN SOBHANI: Barcelona came out of the Vicente Calderon with a much needed win on Sunday night after defeating the Rojiblanco 2-1. Atletico is well known these days as being Barca’s ‘bogey team’. They’ve been one of the few teams in La Liga who’ve been able to cause problems in Barca’s defence over the past few seasons. It wasn’t the prettiest match but Barcelona were very impressive at the back. The back-line of Alves, Puyol, Pique, and Maxwell were able to neutralize Atletico’s deadly strike partnership of Aguero and Forlan.

HOWARD MEGDAL: A few points, still-relevant fortunately after Messi’s injury scare, on why Barcelona displayed skill that will translate well over the remainder of the season. The answer came in a pair of opportunities, one for each team, over the span of a minute. Continue reading

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Transfer Window Winners/Losers

KAREN PATEL: a recent article in Goal.com claimed that Tottenham Hotspur were the big losers of this transfer window, but I couldn’t disagree more. Harry Redknapp now has a wealth of striking talent at his disposal – potentially more potent attacking options than most of the teams around him, and that includes the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. Rafael Van Der Vaart is the latest addition to Spurs’ healthy-looking attack and it will be interesting to see how the manager copes.

MIKE CUMMINGS: I’m glad you brought up Arsenal, because I’m convinced they’ll end up being one of the biggest losers of this transfer market — once the season plays out. Arsene Wenger strengthened his squad in a few important spots — defense, forwards — but, once again, completely ignored the 800-pound gorilla in North London. Arsenal are still without a top-class goalkeeper, and as long as that’s true, it’s going to be almost impossible for them to win the title. Continue reading

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Barcelona’s Future

KIYAN SOBHANI: It’s far too early to judge any team, especially in La Liga which starts a little later than other leagues, with teams not nearly as prepared as they are in the EPL or Bundesliga by this time. People criticized Barcelona’s preseason loss against Sevilla in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey but it’s quite clear that Barca’s full team wasn’t there, while Sevilla’s was. Barcelona’s entire team was in the World Cup (fatigue?), and pretty much their whole team (The Spanish National Team) was away in Mexico City playing a meaningless friendly. The team that lost in Seville is one that won’t be seen again by Pep now that the starters are back.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Kiyan is right that the immediate future is bright at Barcelona, given the astounding amount of talent on hand. But permit me to sound a note of caution, given what we learned this summer about the extraordinary debt Barcelona is carrying. Continue reading

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Mascherano Leaves Liverpool

AIDAN KELLY: So will Liverpool supporters shed many tears following Javier Mascherano’s departure?
Don’t count on it. While Xabi Alonso was a huge loss in midfield, from which the Reds are still trying to recover, Mascherano’s Barcelona move is unlikely to have the same detrimental effect on the team.

KAREN PATEL: For Liverpool, Mascherano leaving is extremely poignant. It shows just how far the club have fallen under their current ownership when the midfield now consists of an ageing Christian Poulsen, a young Lucas and unknown Raul Meireles. Continue reading

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In Briefs: UEFA Champions League Draw

HOWARD MEGDAL: HERE WE GO! Oh, how do I get the Champions League anthem played whenever I enter, say, the kitchen?

MIKE CUMMINGS: I think you can download that on iTunes, Howard. Just put it on repeat. What I want to know is, if UEFA is going to insist on having this thing in English, why does it seem like the hosts/hostesses are struggling a bit with the language? Continue reading

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Thierry Henry’s MLS Debut

KAREN PATEL: This year has not been Thierry Henry’s best. He fell out of favor in the Barcelona team thanks to the emergence of Pedro and he managed to appear in just 15 league games. There was the handball controversy when he was playing for France against Ireland in the World Cup qualifying playoff in November 2009. That resulted in worldwide scrutiny of the striker and is a definite blot on the copybook of one of Europe’s greatest attackers.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Astonishingly, I actually read someone criticize Thierry Henry on Twitter earlier today. (Well, maybe not astonishingly- that appears to be what Twitter is for.)

But while there were some frustrations in the Red Bulls’ 2-2 tie against Houston, the indicators from Henry were extremely positive. Continue reading

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