Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yes, Rubin. I don't want to talk about it.

The table is crazy though. Three teams are tied at the top of the table with four points after three games, and none of them are called "Inter Milan". Hilarious.

Elsewhere, Liverpool have given themselves a lot to do, and Sevilla continue to roll. Do not -- I repeat do not -- sleep on Sevilla this year. They ran the Galacticos v 2.0 ragged two weeks ago, and they've swept their CL group so far.

Tomorrow is the Milan-Real game. Come on, Ronnie. Pretend it's 2005 again.


Anonymous said...

more than sevilla, i think lyon might be this years dark horses...i only saw the last twenty minutes or so, but they were impressive nonetheless...apparently theyve spent about 70 million euro's on players this season, third in europe behind madrid and man city...watch this space...

Ali K. said...

^ While Lyon may have spent 70m I'd argue Sevilla is marginally the better side going forward. There is very little to choose between the two sides. Both have enough quality to go toe to toe with any team in the world.

P.S Liverpool and Rafa are in some deep shit.

Ali said...

Omg, barca lost to this Rubin bloke..

zeyd said...

Rubin Fucking Kazan.

Hilarious. Wonder what the whinging will be about - 'No fair, they hit us on the counter, we dominated. No fair.'

Arsenal Fan said...

Haha .. what a round!..

I've stopped getting amused by Liverpools failure though .. I am worried for Torres and Benayoun ... whats the use ..Tsk Tsk

Being an Arsenal fan .. I'm happy they managed a draw .. they looked a lil scrappy .. scoring with their first proper attack .. but nonetheless Arsenal were away

Rubin Kazan .. every dog has his day ... but not against Barcelona .. ha-ha. Beautiful ...

Milan - Real ...can't wait !!!

Ahsan said...

Anon1046 and Ali K:

Sevilla are far better than Lyon. It's not even close.


My, my, someone's still bitter.

Anonymous said...

About Lyon and Sevilla, i beg to differ...while Lyon may be weak at the back, they're good going forward. Lisandro in particular is a fantastic player i think. In midfield, Zokora is a Spurs reject while Duscher is average at best. COmpare that to Toulalan, a regular for France, and Kallstrom...its not even close who the better oairing is.
I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree

Ali said...

Goood job DIDA.. u are great:)

Ahsan said...

Dida's an idiot. Bloody fool.

Ali said...

dodo perhaps.

Ahsan said...

Hahaha stupid Real. This almost makes yesterday's Rubin result worth it. Almost.

Nabeel said...

Easy to say it after the event, I know, but I wasn't very confident of victory before the game. I watched Rubin all but dominate Inter a few weeks ago and Barcelona have been anything but fluent this season - moments of brilliance, but not the masters they were last year. not yet...and rust cannot be an excuse.

the unfortunate reality - as i see it - is that both valencia and rubin kazan outplayed barcelona in this past week. valencia in particular. rubin absorbed attack after attack and russian power substituted for technical class at times, but they just played well, period. even in the second half they put together some good moves, and both goals were anything but scrappy. valencia is possibly the only team in the world right now that ACTUALLY ATTACKED BARCELONA FOR 90 MINUTES and did not get ripped apart. a few months ago, just before the 6-2 at the Bernabeu, they held us to a 2-2 draw at the Mestalla, and they repeated their feat against an admittedly weaker Barca side this weekend.

however, as milan's victory over real madrid shows, cules need not get too concerned about la liga...not yet at least.

I don't know about Lyon this year, but Sevilla is one of the teams that consistently plays good attacking football. It's a very solid unit that I kind of thought would suffer when Ramos left for Chelea, but continued to impress.

Check out group A by the way - Bordeaux top of the table over Juventus and Munich! Ahsan, watch a Yoann Gourcuff highlight video if you get the chance. easily one of the most talented and underrated footballers in europe.

Ahsan said...


As always, great comment. In order...

1. I agree that Barca haven't been at their best all season. But guess what? If by "best" you mean last season, it won't happen. Ever again. As fans, we need to learn to live with it. Teams will adjust, and Barca themselves will suffer from injuries, suspensions etc. Think about the fact that last year, none of Messi, Xavi, Yaya, and Eto'o had serious injuries. Then the Iniestas of the world were out only a couple of weeks when they did pick up knocks. Bottom line, last season won't be repeated.

2. Valencia played brilliant football, no doubt, but I think you're overstating the case. In my view, they had the better first half, FCB the better second. And keep in mind this was at the Mestalla, where they have an excellent record against FCB. Rubin played well, but come on man. Two shots hit either the post or the crossbar (one from Ibra, other from Yaya), half our team had bad games. I'm not making excuses, mind, just saying that FCB will lose. It happens!

3. You're right, Real are quite shit. They've had two tests all year -- away to Sevilla, home to Meeeeeelan -- and lost both. I hope FCB wins La Liga and Sevilla finishes second. I can't wait to see Perez's face if it turns out they spend the GDP of small Eastern European countries for a third place team. That'll be awesome.

4. The names that Sevilla have lost in the last few years is crazy. You mention Ramos, but there's tons more (including two that Barca picked up, in Alves and Keita). But they're an excellent team, I'm telling you. They have a real shot this year if one of the big two slip up or suffer injuries. And in the CL, anything can happen.

5. If you take out Spain, no team has as much creative talent at multiple positions as France. It's a truly scary team, IF you give it a real coach. And Gourcuff is right up there.

Nabeel said...

hmm.weird.i had replied to this through gmail (which works for my blog) but the comment didn't get posted here.


I agree in that it's childish to expect a repeat of last season, but the team just isn't clicking right now, and it needs to, because the squad is nowhere as deep as it should be. the defence, thank god, is playing really well - pique hasn't had a run of bad form yet, and valdes has performed brilliantly. bojan's injury came at a bad time,because he played really well right before getting hurt. keita's improving steadily. iniesta is really off.

luck chipped in at important moments last season, and so far this season, it hasn't really come to the party - but then i guess it's a good thing, for the law of averages dictates that if not now, then later we'll have goals instead of crossbars and posts.

i was trying to point out that teams HAVE learnt a way to outplay Barca - and it's not JUST parking the bus. It's the bus mixed with some very physical, aggressive, determined play. teams that can counterattack well will hurt us unless we adapt too.

I don't know what to predict where Real Madrid is concerned...for all the fuss, it seems like a repeat of last year so far...great attack, shit defense...i'm hoping lassana diarra suddenly develops a dislike for white shirts.

yeah, i had forgotten about the hits Sevilla has taken (and Ramos went to Spurs, not Chelsea :P)...but they seem to have an unlimited supply of fantastic young wingers...

Ahsan said...

For my mind, only one team has tried to play Barca this year and gotten away with it, and that was Valencia. At home. After an international break. When half the team was either injured or tired as shit. Take from that what you will.

I will tell you what worries me the most this year: Busquets. He's REALLY regressed. Last year he could reliably be counted upon to spell both the Yaya/Keita types as well as the Xavi/Iniesta types. This year, not a chance. And midfield is where FCB is lightest. People on other sites keep talking about left-wingers and what not (conveniently forgetting that Bojan, as you mention, got hurt at the worst possible time for both him and the team). But CMF is where Barca is weakest this year. Pray tell what happens if two out of Xavi, Iniesta, Keita and Yaya get injured? And what happens when Keita and Yaya go away for the ACN? I don't even want to imagine it.

Nabeel said...


I was never too impressed with Busquets to begin with. I always thought Keita was a more intelligent and hardworking footballer - probably because he's more experienced. Busquets has been getting caught in possession since he started off, and his main talent was harrying the opposition.

Squad depth is what will keep this team from being truly great. Our starting XI is all-time-great level. That's about it. We don't have enough cover in the midfield and attack. We need someone like David Silva urgently - a versatile midfield player who can attack. And Guardiola needs to be flexible with his formation. We have to be able to play 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 if need be. A long term (more than three weeks) Xavi injury would be disastrous.

Nabeel said...

By the way - Chygrinskiy seems like a brilliant transfer now. Marquez, if he regains form, can play DM, as can (possibly) Pique if need be. Combine that with the probable return of Gaby Milito in January. We'll be covered in both the defensive and DM positions. But in January we will miss having a player who can link the midfield and attack - Xavi, Messi, and Inesta are just about the only options. Or one of the canteranos will have to come up soon.

Ahsan said...

I've always thought that with the departure of Eto'o and the arrival of a true CF like Ibra, Barca should switch to a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-4-1-1 with Messi playing behind Ibra. Henry at this stage -- on the basis of his falling over repeatedly even when fit -- is a sub. The midfield is constantly under too much pressure because teams are pressuring Barca in the center of the park and Dani Alves is off in Siberia. I would play Puyol and Pique at CBs, Dani at RB, Abidal at LB, Yaya as DMF, Xavi and Keita as CMF, Iniesta as AMF, Messi in the hole and Ibra up front. But that's not going to happen.

You're right about Chygryinski. I always thought the strength of that transfer was not in defense but in DMF, lessening the pressure on Yaya.

I've heard a lot about this Gai Assulin chap, but Pep doesn't like playing youngsters in important games or even semi-important games (unlike Rijkaard, who played Messi and Bojan regularly when both were 16).

Nabeel said...

well,it WOULD be tad unlikely that gai assulin should turn out to be as good as messi or even bojan, who is a prodigy himself.

but oh well. today was highly satisfying. although there were a few defensive lapses, iniesta showed that he's close to his best, messi finally scored, and ibra and xavi were the bomb. then there's the small matter of keita kicking ass :D