Xavi is gone, but the stench of failure remains
Barcelona Football Blog
by Kevin Williams
3w ago
In the quarter century that FC Barcelona has held my heart, it is difficult to think of a more grossly mishandled, heartless, incomprehensibly unprofessional situation than the dismissal of Xavi as manager of the men’s first team. It sits at the pinnacle of a mountain of unpreparedness, ego, stupidity and naked ambition, amid a world in which nobody was or is prepared for the role they inhabit or used to inhabit. And at every last available opportunity on and off the pitch, both main protagonists have displayed that amateurishness. Joan Laporta isn’t a fool. But he is a proud man guided by hub ..read more
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‘Baby, please go,’ aka Reconsideration and ego
Barcelona Football Blog
by Kevin Williams
2M ago
I let you down again / What’s another harmless lie between friends / Now you can’t be disappointed / I thought I gave you just exactly what you wanted These song lyrics, from “Exactly What You Wanted” by Helmet, are so apt in thinking about the suddenly ongoing tenure of Xavi as FC Barcelona manager. When he said he was leaving, said it was all too much and that he was making this move for the love of the club, talked about expectations and entornos, about impossible situations, one thing stands out as being absent in all of that alleged self-reflection: self reflection. For a player so cerebr ..read more
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Xavi, respect and modern times in an ancient game
Barcelona Football Blog
by Kevin Williams
5M ago
Football is old, sometimes seeming timeless. Then as now, pam-pam-pam-pam, ball to boot. The leather boots of the past have been replaced by space-age microfiber things, but football is the same. Another timeless aspect of the game is hope. Supporters, even as they know their team is set for another season of … not success, gird themselves with anticipation, get ready for match after match, ignore the inevitable until it is absolutely unavoidable. When you read the reports of Xavi, the behind-the-scenes turmoil and his ultimate decision to step down, even foregoing any monies owed him after th ..read more
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The ‘Inevitable’ Xavi makes an inevitable decision
Barcelona Football Blog
by Kevin Williams
5M ago
Being a returning hero is hard. It isn’t just the burden of expectations. That in and of itself is hard enough. When a hero returns to an institution that he essentially helped raise to glory, the burden can be Sisyphean. For what seemed like eons, for club and country, Xavi was the best midfielder anyone had ever seen, exerting a control over everything, from play to pitch quality. Decision after decision was correct, a flawlessness that was inexorable. The nickname “The Inevitable Xavi” was correct. You half expected to see him out there with gardening shears and a ruler, ensuring his killin ..read more
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The Club Has Failed
Barcelona Football Blog
by Isaiah Cambron
10M ago
There is a match this weekend, against Villarreal, but it hardly seems important in the face of a lot more vital things going on in Spanish football. Yes, it is a test for the men’s team against an opponent that will (theoretically) come out to play instead of sit back and kick the crap out of attackers. That is fascinating, but it is not, in the greater scheme of things, particularly important. FC Barcelona statement https://t.co/VKxFP7GI5v pic.twitter.com/o0QWTDnBDO — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 25, 2023 Here’s the thing: This statement is a tepid bowl of water, thrown heartily in ..read more
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It Is As It Ever Was: FC Barcelona 2023-24 Season Preview (Part 2)
Barcelona Football Blog
by Isaiah Cambron
11M ago
In Part 1, I mostly wrote about who has left us, so that leaves me with who has joined us and what any of this means. To dive right in, well, we’ll start with someone who is expected to dive in (and win the ball): Oriol Romeu is 31 years old. This, in and of itself, is not particularly concerning because he is a low-cost replacement for 35-going-on-45-year old Sergio Busquets, but it’s somewhat telling that the best defensive midfielder Barcelona could get is player deemed not good enough for Southampton for something around €3.4 million. Sure, that’s absolutely a bargain compared to the €133 ..read more
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Getafe 0, Barça 0, aka ‘You get what’s coming to you’
Barcelona Football Blog
by Kevin Williams
11M ago
So. A guy tells you as you are walking home from work, “Tomorrow I’m going to kick you in the nuts.” If, while walking home from work the next day you don’t protect ya nuts, any attendant fallout is on you. When Xavi and his charges rolled into Getafe on Sunday, they knew exactly what was coming. The entire footballing world knew exactly what was coming. Xavi not only devised a “match plan” that essentially strolled toward that threatening man but walked legs akimbo, inviting that boot to the goolies. People can talk all they like about “disgrace,” “anti-football” or whatever. Bordalas makes a ..read more
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It Is As It Ever Was: FC Barcelona 2023-24 Season Preview
Barcelona Football Blog
by Isaiah Cambron
11M ago
This is Part 1 of a Season Preview. The beginning of every season is a chance to reaffirm our hopes, to convince ourselves that this year is the year, and that we are not, in fact, fools for believing yet again. Lucy will not pull the football away at the last moment this time. For someone who is a member of and closely follows a major club in Europe coming off a league-winning season, it probably sounds pretty, err, rich to fans of much smaller teams for me to be saying something along the lines of “I hope I can care about this season.” I acknowledge this, but also acknowledge that following ..read more
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Adeu, Ousmane Dembele … again (aka ‘Unrequited’)
Barcelona Football Blog
by Kevin Williams
11M ago
To begin with the part that is going to piss people off: Too many of y’all are acting like fools, hyperbolic nitwits, over Ousmane Dembele. So much nonsense has been spouted about a player who deserves precious little of the bile and rage thrown his way, but come his way it has, from the first injury to the last. It doesn’t make a damn bit of sense for a great many reasons, not least of which is the complete and utter lack of perspective present in almost all of the brickbats being hurled. “Trash player,” “flop,” “waste of money,” etc. All nonsense. It’s easy to understand why Dembele enrages ..read more
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Messi is gone … again … now move on
Barcelona Football Blog
by Kevin Williams
1y ago
Everything about FC Barcelona since the door hit Pep Guardiola in the ass, right down to re-electing Joan Laporta as president, has been about trying to re-create instead of create. Every time a person has tried to create — Vilanova, Martino, Luis Enrique — they have been branded a heretic, no matter the success that they had. This idea that all the team has to do to replicate past glories is do the right thing, play the right way, do the right thing with La Masia, etc, etc has become a burden for supporters, one almost too heavy to shoulder. So it makes perfect sense that the idea of Lionel M ..read more
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