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Michelle Ackermann

Michelle Ackermann

Born in South Africa, soccer has always been a part of my life, and was pretty much ingrained in my genes. Journalism is my second love in life, and what better way to combine my two favorite things in life than to write about the one thing I am most passionate about. I follow the New York Red Bulls religiously, but have a deep passion for La Liga. This passion is part of the reason why I have moved to Barcelona to pursue my dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.


TANGENTS

Barcelona Empire Shaken To The Core

Written by on February 3, 2012 | 8 Comments »
Posted in Barcelona, General, La Liga, Real Madrid, Valencia

It has certainly been a trying week for Pep Guardiola.  He has had to defend himself relentlessly against the Spanish press, who have declared that the La Liga race is over and that Real Madrid will certainly go on to win the title.

The headlines on the news stands in Barcelona had headlines ranging from “Fans losing hope under the Guardiola Era”, to “Liga Race is over.”

This came after Real Madrid continued to run circles around opponents while FC Barcelona again came up short. The gap between the two teams is now 7-points and although many fans declare their undying faith in Pep, for FC Barcelona to close the gap, it requires Real Madrid to lose more than the equivalent of two games and FC Barcelona to win all their remaining games this season.

Possible….perhaps yes, but when one looks at the stats from the season so far, it maybe that the title is already on its way to the capital.

Guardiola spent the week defending himself and the team; on Tuesday night, Guardiola sat down for a press conference that lasted 47 minutes making sure to take every question; Guardiola insisted that the race is not over, and that FC Barcelona is known as a team that never gives up.

Furthermore, Guardiola stated that it would be unfair to call Real Madrid the Champions, since FC Barcelona has beaten them four times this season. True to form, Mourinho avoided making any comments that could be misconstrued, but did state that Real Madrid was fully aware that the race is far from over despite the fact that most people tend to believe that the 7-point gap is one that seems nearly impossible on closing.

Copa Del Rey

Considering the history between FC Barcelona and Valencia in the Copa Del Rey,a win for Barcelona was anything but a foregone conclusion. But watching the faces of the FCB fans during the match, one could certainly tell that the outcome was not what they wanted or expected.

The two teams have met 18 times during the C.D.R, and FCB has won 11 times. They have met five times during the semifinal, with Barcelona winning three times and Valencia twice. It is also worth noting that the team that won each of the semi-finals went on to win the title.

The first leg of this season’s semifinal match-up was played on Wednesday and ended in a 1-1 draw.

Valencia opened the scoring in the 27th minute leaving FCB to chase an equalizer. Less than 10 minutes they got the goal from a Puyol header.

They even had a chance to win the game but were frustrated when Messi missed a penalty kick in the 56th. He may be considered the best player in the world, but perhaps not the player who should be taking penalty kicks for FC Barcelona.

Despite all the uncertainty that surrounds FC Barcelona in the Liga race, it was a big week for youngster, Isaac Cuenca, who was signed to the A-squad. The contract runs through the end of 2015, and his designated number is 23.

FC Barcelona’s next match is tomorrow, February 4th against Real Sociedad.

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8 responses to “Barcelona Empire Shaken To The Core”

  1. I just spoke to Michelle via skype. It is very cold in Barcelona and she completed this article in an apartment with a malfunctioning
    heating system.
    What a trooper!

    Note – the two additional icons you can see above the comments box gives you a proof-reading option and also the ability to input using a fill screen.

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    Does anyone with any insight into the game really think Barca would not win La Liga if they really cared?

    I’ll even go one better and say that should Barca meet Bilbao in the cup final…. Pep will not lose any sleep if he loses to Bielsa who Pep greatly admires and admits as being a great influence on his coaching career.

    Barca’s only concern is the CL final to cement their greatness in world football… the rest is bells and whistles… this year at least.

  3. Ed Gomes says:

    Bobby, you have clearly run tired of trying to decifer my comments. LOL.

    There’s still a lot of football left to play. Even with Real’s incredible +51 goal differential they still have road matches left with Barca, Bilbao and even Atletico might be able to give them a run. Valencia and Sevilla also have dates left at the Bernabeu. Points could still be dropped.

    Barca was hit with the injury bug but even with players back, Pep has continued to fiddle with lineups and formations. Barca wasn’t necessarly exposed vs Real, since the tactic used to defeat them is always the same. It’s a lot easier said than done, but they could be had. They also resorted to the tactics that people are afraid to mention when speaking of Barca. They flopped and stalled badly, and also went at the ref. Nevermind that ball boys were nowhere to be found. All of a sudden there’s also talk of bad refereeing coming from Barca.
    The fact is that Barca is favorite to win the CL and Coppa. not too shabby for a “shaken” club.
    Real/Mourinho could win the league and CL and there will be plenty of people, even Madridistas, that will say they couldn’t beat Barca.

  4. There is also a view that Real have put so much into the first half of the season that the tank will be empty come trophy time in the spring.

  5. Ed Gomes says:

    I disagree Bobby. Real is full of young and maybe more important, hungry players. They also have enough lightweights where rest will be possible. If fatigue is used as an excuse, it will be just that, an excuse. A poor one at that.

    As for Barca, if the recent perceived troubles weren’t enough, the jersey has now become a problem.
    The new jersey purposed for the next campaign has come under fire. The problem is that none of the them have stripes, which has generated a wave of protests among fans. The colors just blend into each other, instead of having the traditional vertical lines. All the complaining has more to do with the main jersey.

    link for jersey pics (If there’s issue Bobby you can delete link. I have no affiliation with site)
    http://www.abola.pt/nnh/ver.aspx?id=311205

  6. H. Cane says:

    Awesome article, as usual.

    Guardiola stated that “It would be unfair to call Real Madrid the Champions, since FC Barcelona has beaten them four times this season”

    … Oh shut up, Pep. Last time I read, the team at the top of the list is champion. Trying to disavow or cheapen the championship is petty.

    It may be unfair that Pep’s under fire, but it can be seen as proof that Mourinho’s RM is starting to chip away at FCB’s foundation. I actually think it’s caused by Pep and the fans… the pressure is mounting.

  7. hector says:

    “Possible….perhaps yes.”

    Redundant, just like every article writing off Barca’s chances in La Liga.

  8. xavi gran baixista says:

    Great chronicle! barça and their supporters never give up!! I think that if we keep this difference about R. Madrid until the mach againts them, we can change this situation because they have more difficult calendar in the final phase of the “liga” and also if we reach the final of “la copa de rey” will give us extra motivation!!

    Regards!

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