Discussion in 'Sports Talk' started by Carras Dad, Feb 26, 2013.
If you hate it already, to hell with politeness!
Fair enough. But Barcelona were a club with all the "moral high ground", as it were - a team of the people, the alternative to Franco's Madrid, representing the bohemian city of Gaudi and the region of Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. Hell, I can remember a time quite recently when, unless you had a reason to dislike Barcelona (such as coming from Madrid), then you almost automatically liked and admired them, and accepted them as your second or third team.
But not now.
Partly the success, I guess, but also partly the arrogance which has accompanied that success. Maybe that's just human nature for you - even the nicest, pleasantest of underdogs will become a bit of an arrogant bully when given the power? That's putting it a bit harshly, perhaps - not sure I could ever bring myself to really support Madrid against Barcelona, it would just feel so wrong.
same sentiment here.
Compared to Man U, Man City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Liverpool, any Italian team or PSG, Barca are likeable, but they're not that interesting to watch, and the insistence that their gamestyle is the only way to play is just annoying.
That simplifies history a bit, methinks.
- Atletico Madrid, having merged with the Air Force team to become Atletico Aviación ca. 1940 and get access to the first division (which they immediately won) would have been the original team of the regime;
- Real Madrid was actually severely depleted immediately after the war. They had become associated with communism and left leaning sympathisers before the war (their stadium had been used in communist and republican rallyes);
- FC Barcelona, for all the perceived repression they were victims of, actually lived its original golden age (before the current cycle of success superseded it) during the peak of Franquism (40s and 50s). Indeed it collaborated in state sponsored propaganda films featuring football and Barça's players (especially its hungarian stars) in a fight against global communism...
Finally, let's not forget the fascist Boixos Nois group of supporters, who are now making a return and apparently were responsible for firing that flare inside the stadium last week, mentioned in a previous post.
When you things are going great, everything and everyone seems nice, everyone jumps on the bandwagon, and the press writes hagiographic accounts for the catechisation of all the unbelievers.
It starts to become annoying after a while, especially when it degenerates to exclusivist sanctimony, and caricaturing the opponents as moral degenerates and evil people. Not that everyone is/was like that of course, but an irritatingly vocal group of people are/were, including some players (for example, Xavi, Alves, Busquets, Jordi Alba).
For sure, MCDread, things are always a bit more complex. But as someone born in the UK in the 60s, my feelings about Madrid and Barcelona were never likely to be coloured by the history of the clubs in the 40s and 50s. And the point of the post was not to give a detailed analysis of different clubs, but to show that Barcelona used to be everybody's darlings (and the emotional touchpoints which would lead you to that feeling) .
To be totally honest, I do know that George Orwell was not inspired by watching the Barcelona team play - he went to the region for quite different reasons. If he had gone with his original title of "Home match in Catalonia" then I admit it might all have been different
And that's one of the worst puns ever to have occurred to me in the middle of typing a post...
Gareth Bale the Maestro > Ronaldo
Bold statement there.
Bale is in an unbelievable run of form right now, but RVP has sustained his ridiculous run of form across one and a half seasons.
Still, Messi > all.
So your thoughts about Nani's red card? The sending off altered the balance of the match without a doubt. Also, why bench Rooney?
Well he nearly studded a guy in the face so I'm not too surprised at the colour of the card. Very dangerous play - lucky the other guy was jumping tbh or it could have been even more painful.
Sent from a phone, apols for any mistakes.
It did, but it was slightly self inflicted. I hate it when teams who had been controlling the game and the opponent well with 11 players, panic and start defending 20 meters deeper with 10. Man Utd did the same against Bayern 3 years ago and paid the exact same price. It's a handicap of course, but no need to make it bigger than what it actually is, especially against a team, a stellar team granted, but a team who's been struggling for a year against well organised defensive teams and isn't the best at linking midfield and attack in a game of slow possession. Real Madrid isn't Barça: if they're given the chance to have comfortable possession and numbers at the edge of the box, they'll score.
Showing that playing with 10 isn't necessarily a fatality, after going 2-1 down Man Utd then came back and was unlucky not to score.
The best part came at the end though: the apologetic and humble Mourinho saying his team was crap and the best team lost. *
*Which is an indication he really wants to be the man at Old Trafford when Ferguson retires.
DC United lost their opener a few days ago, thanks to an own goal and one by Houston.
United lost, and I just went 0-2-1 in FIFA 13 as AC Milan.
i think united fans are a bit too used to refs decisions going their way, that does look dangerous enough to warrant a red card, cant go kicking people in the chest like that
As I predicted, referee intervention decided the Real v. Man Utd game. Wondering what the stats are on red cards in English teams versus Real/Barcelona in post-group stage match-ups? The English teams seem always to get red cards, most of them controversial. It's very strange because England usually finishes near the top of UEFA fair play leagues. I guess they are extra stupid and extra clumsy when they play these big games.
I know this is getting conspiratorial but I do think there is some pressure or bias for certain teams to go through and thats reflected in highly debatable referring decisions. I think a look at the Chelsea-Barca games over the past 10 years in the Champions League backs me up on this, Barcalona a part of the old crew of European Powers vs a relatively newcomer - it is like Old Money fighting New Money. Although amongst the English teams Manchester United doesn't get too many decisions against it..
Its all so plausible, remember they are still investigating betting scams involving thrown champions league matches over the past few years! Take the Bayern-Arsenal game - for Poldolski's goal - Neur had ran out of his net into no mans land; "mistakes" like that can easily change matches and make some gangsters a lot of money...
@Quackers, several things have to be noted here:
*UEFA and esp. FIFA are non-transparent; they really can say whatever they like about their internal working arrangements and its impossible to dispute
*Football 'journalists' are mediocre almost universally
*Referees have careers to build, and are appointed at the discretion of more powerful officials and their agents in the UEFA/FIFA hierarchy; performing well is not enough to be successful if you piss off your Real Madrids and Bayern Munichs
*The UEFA hierarchy are career politicians who have to balance various sources of pressure (big footballing clubs, sponsors, appearing to uphold rules, etc), as well as pursue their own personal interests, promotion, financial enrichment, and so on (bribery is part of the culture of FIFA). These people are not free to ignore power politics, but indeed are the product of it.
It's not conspiracy theory to suggest they find ways of getting the results they want through referees; it's just good naturalism. Some clubs will be advantaged, some will be disadvantaged (e.g. referee intervention through erroneous decisions managed to stop Chelsea winning the Champions League in their initial years of big spending).
When you watch an European/international football match, you're watching 22 players try to beat each other. But at least as importantly, you're witnessing the surface features of an obscure but vast underbelly of arcane power interest politics. The 22 players are important, but when they are evenly matched the most important person by far is the opinionated, self-interested, careerist referee. He determines the outcome if he wants to.
You also have to be aware about the potential of 'prevailing sentiment' at work too. The English have a general disadvantage, namely being widely loathed in the officialdom world for their money and standoffishness/arrogance (and, previously, fan behaviour too). You should expect to see decisions go against you for years to come (how often have England been undone at tournaments by the 'mistaken' referee intervention?).
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