It hurts to find out what my heart has become. It hurts to see the pundits say that the standings will finish this way, hurts to understand that unless something drastic changes, they are probably right. It hurts to see the look on Messi’s face as the fact of Valencia set in, hurts to realize we had the exact same look on our faces, the confusion and hurt of wondering how things got to this place. So much about this bar strikes right now, from how badly it is being run to just how much cules appear to detest each other as we fragment into hostile encampments, purists vs “resultadistas.”
Legends are wonderful. The error comes when we wish to recreate memories rather than reliving them.
The perfect way to relive those remarkable Guardiola years is to see complete match highlights on YouTube, or hit your hard disk for all those games you’ve hoarded. Supporters should do that, that board should do that, everyone involved with the club must do so, instead of what’s happening, which is an attempt at diversion. The “right way” of playing, “where is the midfield,” is a byproduct of a period that’s never going to come again, even the lingering enmity toward a mentor who had the audacity to win a treble by going about it all wrong.
The amazing thing about the past ten years of FC Barcelona, on the other hand, is that the group has enjoyed an array of once-in-a-lifetime individuals and characters, who defined the match for club and country. They’re also talents that are unique in their composition and strategy to the sport, people for which there is not any analog. His match was really astounding, and the longer we go without him, the more astonishing it’s. Iniesta was promise and beauty, Puyol hairy-chested grandeur. Alves was indefatigable majesty, and prime Busquets defined a game unlike any DM in history.
“We want a 9.” Who? Even as you are able to debate the value of what he can, or more accurately can no longer perform and how that plays into what the club needs, you can not assert he is an exceptional anachronism, a throwback who should be made to play black boots. We care about him, diss him scream when he misses sitters, but he is still the best pure 9 from the match, using a skill set that only now do we realize makes everybody around him better. Messi has appeared like a motherless child since the large Uruguayan went down, and the attack has stagnated.
In the midfield, without Xaviniesta, players whose abilities were so linked and harmonious we came to consider them as that name, everything is different. Players are talked about, they materialize and we adopt the hope. Arthur came in as a control. Some even charged him as the”next Xavi.” You hear Iniesta sometimes when folks talk about Puig. Coaches are assessed for their philosophical purity, and the arrival of Quique Setien was lauded to some level that people have forgotten that he had been the board’s third option. Third.
Many got excited, said, “Now, here’s a trainer who will do what the team needs.” It is worth going back to watch those Guardiola teams, notably the treble winner, and just how much work that team needed to do, how amazing the movement was, how telepathic the bond. Even if you could get a coach who could find the buy-in required to make the players want to work that hard, examine the roster and inform me that can in that XI. The couple can be neglected by individuals who can’t.
But we cling to faded memories since digital technology makes them look so fresh. Hope and love make us hang because reality is too grim to take into account. Frenkie De Jong comes and is lauded as the next something, the missing bit required for the team playing the ideal way. He comes and receives a mentor in Ernesto Valverde who’s not interested in playing the ideal way, perhaps since the ultimate pragmatist, he knew the futility of that job with the pieces he had and chose another path. We detested him for this, for the dour method of playing that won consecutive Ligas and, admit it or not, came within one away goal (double ) of supreme glory, a gloomy, constrained, dour man who came nearer than we liked to successive trebles. What would that achievement has done to our understanding of his heritage? Could he have been an immortal or a fool who had been blessed enough to have Messi?
Since he failed, it was simple to diminish his achievements, since we seek higher things, we seek the return of magic. We want to be entertained, we need glitter bombs. We’ll swear up and down we do not need it to be 2009 again, we understand a return to the past is impossible. But everything that we discuss speaks to a craving for those characteristics. If playing the ideal way was as simple as we make it look, the B group would not be huffing off in Segunda B, Guardiola would not have changed his strategy. If it was that simple, Guardiola would do exactly the same thing in Manchester City and trading off trebles with Barça as two teams capered and siphoned off tens of tens of thousands of moves per match.
Nevertheless, the group most likely to win a treble is Liverpool and its heavy metal soccer, a group that huffs and puffs and runs and crosses, that’s driven by fullback bombs and pressing along with the magic of hard, hard work. To get a numerical advantage at both ends of the pitch constantly only seems like witchcraft. It is hard work. Barça did not worry about numerical advantage since it had the ball, had the runners, had the passing angles, had the centre-backs that played DMs. That group had everything. We took it for granted, because everything seemed too easy. It is only now, we know how impossible it is to recreate, we start to know something of the miracle of legends.
Soccer has moved on, but we have not. And on social networking, on Barça Twitter, we bicker and squabble, more concerned about being right than what any of it means for your group. It is needing Valverde to lose so he could be fired to ensure a new, more proper trainer could be hired. It is harassing players on societal media and turning every article by the official club accounts or any club official into a shit trench of bile. What we are not stopping to admit, perhaps, just maybe, is that it will not be again until we know what’s possible today, what the game needs from its champions in the here and now.
Setien has been set up and in three games, the group has looked woeful. It should have dropped to Granada, should have dropped to Ibiza, did shed to Valencia. Next up are two”simple” games at home, but time will tell how simple they are, and all eyes will be on the team and its fresh, third-choice manager.
We can admit that this board is crap in doing all the things that it should do to make certain that its staff is healthy. However, the Camp Nou gets loads of butts in the seats, lots of tops are offered, such prices are paid, revenues continue to climb, improved by not having to pony up for player bonuses as recompense for one more round of unprecedented success. The human cost of this is an older team that can not even do what nostalgia needs it to do, never mind what the contemporary game needs of it, run by yet another compliant trainer who does not possess the capability to do what has to be done, to do what Guardiola did. “You play with my way, or you don’t play.” We get halfway dross, something which we think needs time rather than what it actually needs, which is an overhaul of the squad and our expectations.
If you fall a 50-year-old crystal vase and it shatters, that is it. There is no replacing it. Nostalgia? In looking at that vase daily and cursing it for not being the old standby, nothing is assisted. It’s time we give up that vase. There isn’t any playing the ideal way, no next Xavi, no Iniesta replacement. Ter Stegen is not another Valdes. He is just Ter Stegen. We are in love with an old team disappointed from its board, that is going to need to discover a way to creak and wheeze to sufficient results to make us unhappily joyful as we half-assedly celebrate another trophy that we desperately want was another trophy.
Romance is pure and lovely, and it fuels the ancient connection. Following a decade of marriage, you are still in love but the connection has changed, reality sets in. You are not leaving the room to fart any longer, you are having some of the very same discussions as if by reflex. The happiest couples know the fact of change, what the passing of time does, the compromises we must make to sustain the malleability of magical. Loving someone as they’re rather than as we need them to be is hard, but a part of a connection. We love Barça, and are a part of a committed relationship, albeit one that’s struggling at the moment. How powerful it depends upon us, clear eyes and open hearts, even if these hearts are now somewhat hard. It does not mean accepting things as they are, but it does mean understanding them as they are and knowing what we want might not be possible, and what now?