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Snooping Around Barcelona Blogs

Snooping Around Barcelona Blogs

By Sammy The Snake

Snooping Around has gone international!

We’ve been setting up the international desk at Snooping Around headquarters, and I’m pleased to say we are now live across the universe. In the few minutes that we have operated internationally, we have managed to bring chaos/democracy (still wondering which one) to Tunisia and Egypt, and are currently working to start the fire in Algeria, Yemen and Libya. Next on the list is financial stability for Greece, Portugal and Spain. We are also working on mortgage meltdown in the U.S., but the results so far are less than satisfactory!

Another international event on our calendar was to make the entire Snooping Around staff sit through “Africa United”, a football movie about some kids trying to reach the World cup in South Africa. The unlikely hero of the movie is a delightful young boy wearing an Arsenal shirt with “Fabregas 4” on his back. His idol is Henry, and he keeps saying “What would Wenger do?” whenever he puts his friends in trouble, which he manages to do frequently. A pleasant movie with a gentle touch of Arsenal, watch it if you get the chance.

With our egos bursting with pride of all our achievements, we move on the next item our To-Do list; Snooping around Barcelona blogs. Having duly collected all 3 points from our game on Saturday, I assume all our hearts are beating for the Wednesday’s game with the Barca Boys…

The Catalan giants are the most successful club in Spain with 20 La Liga titles, a record 25 Spanish Cups, 9 Spanish Super Cups, and 2 League Cups. Barca is one of most successful clubs in European football, having won ten UEFA competitions, and the only European club to have played continental football every season since 1955. In 2009, Barcelona became the first club in Spain to win the treble, and in the same year, it also became the first football club ever to win six out of six competitions in a single year.

Why am I telling you all this? Just to wake you up to the fact that we are facing a giant at the peak of its abilities, the best it has been throughout its glorious history. The young Pep Guardiola has turned a great bunch of players into a superhero football team. And we’ve invited them for dinner to the Emirates on Wednesday night.

Barca confirmed on the 9th of Feb that their coach has renewed his contract for another year till June 2012. Yes, just a one year extension! His contract will expire in 16 months! And that’s really suspicious to me. Why would such a successful coach (6 trophies in a single season) with such a vast array of talent at his disposal (Messy, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, do I need to continue?) choose not to commit his long term future to the club that trusted him with such riches of football talent? Quite odd, if you ask me.

All About FC Barcelona can’t stop drooling about Barca’s win against Atletico, which was a new record for the most consecutive victories. They’re specially joyful as it’s Real’s record they have smashed. Anyway, the blog is full of backslapping for their great performances, as well as a slap on Real’s face whenever they get the chance. They are erupting with pride with Barca’s every move. This blog is all news with little opinion, but the latest match report interests me a lot. A picture of Barca players hanging their heads in disappointment with the title reading “Sporting 1, Barca 1”:

“FC Barcelona’s consecutive winning run came to an end at the most unlikeliest place… Sporting Gijon made life hell for our boys… the biggest point to be seen is how our players get over this small blip when facing Arsenal…”

On another article, the blog speculates that Qatar’s been whispering sweet nothings into Pep’s ears, and hence he has only renewed for a year. I wouldn’t be surprised… Qatar buys the World Cup, sponsors Barca, then if they buy ManU, they can politely (or not) ask SAF to retire to install Pep as the top man. Or am I reading too much in to this?

Barcelona The Offside is just full of praise for Barca, all they can do is talk about “making history” while previewing games. They are a bit embarrassed with Saturday’s draw, which is normal. I see a ray of light when reading their Atletico match report:

“Well, I’ll admit I was nervous. Pretty damn panicky just before the match started, in fact.”

Oh, wow! They get nervous too. Barca fans get the butterflies before games, just like us. That’s a good sign for our game against them, right?

Barcelona FC Blog is another news dominated page, no opinions, no discussions. They are overly concerned with the “Messi vs. Ronaldo” statistics, making it look like they are Messi fans club. No talk of Arsenal in any shape or form, at least for now.

Barcelona Daily News carries an article “Defensive worries for Barca” and I start dreaming… Jack, Samir, RVP, Cesc & Co toying with their defense on Wednesday night! I have a dream…

Not surprisingly, all Barca blogs are all full of praise for the team, and I guess they have little to b!tch about for now. I really hope we give them something to moan about come Thursday morning. Yes, we can! (Copyright Barack Obama)

To my surprise, their blogs aren’t discussing Arsenal at all. Are they taking their CL game as a foregone conclusion? Or hasn’t their radar picked up on the game just yet? Discounting the Arsenal may work to our advantage, but the draw on Saturday will wake them up for any complacency, which is unfortunate for us.

I guess the Arsenal chatter in Barcelona blogs will start going in the next day or two, and I will keep checking on these blogs and keep reporting their thoughts in the comments section, so stay tuned!

Wenger thinks the Gunners are now ready to face “the best team in the world”, while adding “we are not favourites, but we can do it”. C’mon Gunners, make us proud.

Sammy The Snake

Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Untold Arsenal on Facebook here

A different wilde side, just as odd though

Next summer’s transfers – the most likely prospects

Untold Arsenal and the match fixing scandal

Making the Arsenal – always good for a break from the action

36 comments to Snooping Around Barcelona Blogs

  • ArthurTheGooner

    Great article STS

    Barca fans think they are untouchable, I remember how Inter made them look very avarage at the time. Jose imposed very good tactics against them and didn’t allow them to play their passing game. This is what we need to aquire in order to stop them from passing the ball. I don’t think they are the team who like their own medicine thrown at them as well but I think our main weapon in this one will be Theo and Van Persie. Theo will be able to break down the right flank Van Persie can finish as we all know.

    Come on you Riproaring Never Boring REDS!

  • Nikko

    Just a little note; when you mention other blogs/sites, please link to them in your text. Standard practice for any written piece on the web.

  • Nikko – I don’t think Untold has ever knowingly engaged in standard practice.

  • nkunda

    JUST BEAT THEM ITS ALL WE WANT

  • Simon Bailey

    surely its also standard blog practice to belittle our own team and manager.
    As for Barca, If we can keep a clean sheet at home then we can go through, but if they give us a McCarthy spanking in the first leg its gonna be real tricky to come back from.

    The blog reports are dead interesting, My mate is a Feyenoord fanatic and he has shown me round quite a few of their blogs (using google translate).

    From what i can gather from this set of articles, most clubs don’t have such a large internet presence as Arsenal do, but i would suggest that Feyenoord is well worth writing about in this series (even if we’re not playing them). RYO-DINHO seems to be a popular phrase.

  • walter

    Simon, About Feyenoord I could try to have a look at them and translate them properly in English.

    Another great read Sammy.

  • RedGooner

    Sammy hopefuly we give them food for thought Wednesday night.
    Its ok they dont rate us, They will see the difference in Arsenals depleted squad last season and our first 11 this season.
    I think we will win this.

  • JohnW

    At least I know we will give them a great game this time round. Should we come away with a win, any win (be it 1-0), then even if they later go through, it will have given us a bit of momentum to take us through the season. I remember last season we lost some thing in our game after that spanking. And i think the improvement this season is due to the fact that we were able to compare ourselves with the best team in the world then and came up really short. I hope we score first, force them to chase the game a bit and see how they react with our methodical counter attacks.

  • gooner80

    This barca team is special but if teams can raise their game against us I cant see why we cant do the same to barca, every single arsenal player is going to be up for this one.

    factors that might affect barca:
    most of their players had a long world cup
    they are going to underestimate us
    no silvestre
    we are playing them earlier this year than last so they havent peaked
    carlos puyol is missing the first leg
    RVP and cesc fully fit

    on paper we lose even at home, even if they beat us we have nothing to lose.if they beat us fair and square I dont mind as long as sky dont keep showing it when advertising their sports packages. everything went wrong for us last time but I cant see that happening again

  • Paul C.

    I agree with JohnW and Gooner80. Beating Barcelona over two legs is not important. It is a Cup competition and the best sides do not always win a Cup competition. The Champions League is no different from the FA Cup and League Cup in that respect, it is just more prestigious and richer.

    What is important is giving a good account of ourselves. Last year against Barca we could have been 6-0 down after fifteen minutes such was their dominance. Our 2-2 draw at home was one of the more ridiculous results I have seen in my years of supporting Arsenal. And our team to face Barca at their place was weak, missing so many crucial players. We never stood a chance.

    This year can be different. I really dont care what the score is. I would love a win but I wont even mind losing if we play well and compete on a level field to Barca. They are the best team in the world and have been for the past three seasons, without question (no matter what Inter fans may say). If we play well it will do wonders for our confidence for the rest of the domestic season, no matter whether we win or lose the overall tie.

  • Further amazing proof of the spread of Untold Arsenal’s power and reach – I’ve just done an interview on Catalunya Ràdio about Arsenal and Herbert Chapman.

    I may have made an unfortunate reference to their failure to pay their players last June, but I think I got away with it.

    Seriously I must thank Pat McLachlan of Just Arsenal http://justarsenal.com/ for passing the contact on to me. Very kind Pat – I owe you one.

    Tony

  • FinnGooner

    Great article Sammy. I really love these.

    As for result as long as we play well I will be happy and proud. Winning and knocking Barca out would be a dream but as long as we play well there is no shame losing for most successful team (I’m not able to say they are better than us as I think Arsenal is the best ;)).
    Maybe one reason Barca blogs don’t write about us is not just they are really sure thy can beat us but they can’t even think of possibility of losing. And this year I believe it’s bigger chance than last year. As for us what we care more is how our team plays than winning (as most of us have pointed out).

    If we win there will be many midweek-weekend matches for rest of the season, dropping out would give couple more days off for our squad. Then again I think we have proven that we can do that so no worries about going and getting all those 4 trophies.

    Tony well done. do you know if there is site where we could hear the interview? That would be interesting.

  • walter

    Just tell them Tony, just rub in their face. 😉
    I hope you have told them we still have Cesc Fabregas also.

  • walter

    Now you have to change the title again… 🙂

    As seen on the BBC football website
    And as heard on Catalunya Ràdio

  • critic

    you are giving too much respect to brothelona. Yes they are good but that’s because they are allowed to be good. Refs protect them. The moment messi was tackled down(i don’t remember against which team), press attacked refs for not protecting the best player of the year!!! If we get that kind of protection we will also win everything. Secondly, they play in la-la liga where half of the teams are financially crippled. Physical pain and mental exhaustion that arsenal go through in EPL can’t be experienced by brothelona. La-la liga is a soft league, technically superior to EPL but physically and financially crippled.

  • critic

    and of course brothelona is classless off the pitch.

  • critic

    one more thing, they have a legend in johan cryuff(see what i did) who cries that there should be minimal involvement of foreigners in club football. He ignores the basic fact that farca don’t play in dutch league. It is ok for him if he goes to foreign country to earn respect and money but it’s not ok for current players to do so.

    Great footballer though, but off the pitch same old same old farca dna.

  • gooner80

    critic

    what you say is true but that barca team can play,its no coincidence that they have 3 finalists of the ballondor. They are one of the best sides ever, its not their fault their league is not competitive but regardless of this fact they have been the benchmark in world football these past 3 years.

    barca are known for their attacking but their pressing game is impressive.

    Arsenal are capable of beating anyone and at the moment the edge is with barca especially over two legs this is more a test of how far we have come and how we measure up, the bookies have all the money on barca so if you like a flutter and think we can win you can clean up

  • critic

    bcomment of the day that i heard on espn(actually made in the sky studio) “charity can win the title for arsenal”. never heard such a pathetic, disrespectful comment in my whole life.
    Can we sue that cunt for being disrespectful towards arsenal?? Are we not men enough to win the title?? Son of a B****.

  • critic

    @g80
    That’s because their players are well protected. I am not saying they are not good but certainly they are not best. Messi in EPL will be different than messi in SPL, oops! i mean la-la liga. People like shawcross will get away after tackling him with press saying,”he is not that kind of cunt”!!

    And all this image of ‘more than a football club’, lolz. Yes they are more than a just football club, they are a fc who don’t pay their players on time. lolz

    You may pay millions for crap but gunners never pay over the odds for anything.

  • gooner80

    @critic

    I know what your saying but ronaldo was impressive in this country so I think messi would be as long as he was with UTD and not arsenal.

    in some ways being more protected has allowed them to develop more faster than if say they were in england. Van basten was the last world class player I want to see taken out of the game thats why players want to leave for spain to get more protection it is our league that is wrong.

    we can do barca at the ems but over two legs is a tough ask, the more barca are praised means all the pressure is on them so I prefer to praise them, I want arsenal out of the spot light I prefer them not to see us coming. barca will play in front of our defense and wont play high balls,I have been waiting for this tie for ages

    I too heard ray wilkins saying his load of garbage chelsea are in a state and I would say they are going to hand the lge to UTD

  • sammy…i just like the flow of ur words….loool…..

    our players are motivated…and we gotta do it now…

    what do you about the “HANDS OFF CESC FABREGAS” campaign guys?? we gonna chant huh…..

  • The Blaze

    I have confidence. We’ve been on a scoring rampage and aside from the disgrace at Newcastle, we’ve been defensively sharp thanks to Koscielny and Djourou. Of course, Barcelona is from another level offensively, but our outstanding attack can hurt their defence as well. Walcott and Arshavin [assuming Nasri isn’t playing] can easily destroy their backs, who aren’t strong 1 on 1. I am excited for this game and let’s hope for the best for our team, a convincing win that will finally get us the respect that we deserve.

  • The Blaze

    By the way, when i said disgrace, i was referring to the horrible refeering, just to be clear.

  • Paul C.

    Critic – I think you are seriously doing Barca a disservice. They are a mature, technically brilliant side that is without a doubt the best in the world at the moment. They have a core of world-class players at their absolute peak. They have the best player in the world, perhaps the best two best (Messi and Xavi). Are they unbeatable? Of course not. No side is unbeatable. At our best we can beat them, no question. But the thing with a side like Barca is that you have to be at your best to beat them. That is the mark of all great sides. If you are not at your best, as we were last season, they will crucify you.

    We all know the recipe for beating Barca. It is the same recipe as for beating any great side. Pressure them and knock them out of their rhythm, control midfield and take your chances when they come. But the fact remains that if Barca are at their absolute best they may win no matter what. That isnt taking anything away from our side. We have the talent, but very few of our players are at what you would call their peak. Barca are where we hope to be in a few years.

  • FinnGooner

    Critic your post about EPL being better than La Liga reminded me of conversation I had with this one guy couple years ago. He actually had completely opposite point of view, meaning La Liga is good and quality football and EPL is NOT. He actually said:” there is no good players in EPL, if player plays there he isn’t that good”. Well I disagreed with him completely (mentioning Cesc and how his favorite team wanted him, oh this was before last summer).
    I think what best league is depends on what you think is good. (technical football, players being protected by referee, financial status, more teams competing for title, refs allowing leg-breaking etc.)

  • Jerom J.

    Man, I am just really excited about tomorrow’s match! I feel I can’t sleep tonight! I have to agree with what most people are commenting though, it’ll be a totally different match compared to last season, with fabregas, van persie, walcott firing on all cylinders, and having the possibility of Nasri coming back, though I have to say Arshavin looks to be getting back to form. I reckon we’re several folds more prepared to face them than last season. Not to mention the fact that our defence is also several folds more stable. Go Arsenal!

  • C4

    I think we are one of the few teams that they genuinely fear. Few other teams can carve open a defense like Arsenal, and Barca is one of those few. We are a constant offensive threat.
    They got off the hook last time when they met our injury depleted squad, but this time it’s different. It’s up to our players to really believe in themselves. If they can do that, we can teach them a lesson. I’m of the opinion that they would rather play Real Mad than us. Such is our potency.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Just an update:

    The Barca part of theoffside.com is carrying a review of the game called “CL Ars vs. Bar: I am more sexy than you” (err… isn’t it sexier? Anyways…):

    “One of the most difficult topics to write about is the game between Arsenal and Barcelona…This is more a football carnival than a Champions league night.

    “Yet we have to admit, the vibes changed since last time the two teams met. The continuous transfer tales of TOWANEM (A.K.A. The One We Are Not Even Mentioning!), fake interviews, temper fans, beside childish miscalculated behavior of some Barcelona players added to TOWANEM interest –for mysterious reasons?- to keep buying every perfume the most powerful players in Barca’s dressing room like to smell, spoiled an originally good relation between the two clubs.”

    Interesting, so say the least.

    Go Gunners, Go!

  • critic

    @paul c.
    i am not saying they are not good. What i am saying is they absolutely can’t maintain such level of play throughout the season if they play in epl. That’s my main point when i say – “they are good because they are allowed to”.

    @g80
    i kinda disagree with you on ronaldo and messi. Ronaldo’s game is fast paced, running, dribbling whereas messi’s is more kind of a player of close control. The problem with close control for long period is that ppl like showcunt(because they don’t know the art of tackling) would put a tackle that may bruise messi or end his season. That thing won’t happen in la-la liga because players are well protected their.
    But i agree with u on special case ‘if messi plays for united’.

    @fin
    la-la liga will be a much better league if fa acknowledges the problem of financial disparity and if it’s well marketed. It will certainly be better than epl.

  • critic

    @g80
    plus if you are good in epl, there’s a good chance you will be better in la-la liga. But if you are good in la-la liga then it’s not necessary you will be good in epl. eg. diego forlan.

  • goonergerry

    Personally I don’t sign up to the Barcelona fan club- yes they are the best passers and movers on the planet- but they are also a bunch of divers in the face of genuine fair challenges.
    Their fans nationalism goes way beyond support for a football club, their lack of respect for the English and this club last summer does not justify such respect. It sickens me. Their clubs attitude towards Fabregas is just staggering hypocrisy.
    We don’t have to out play Barcelona- we just have to beat them- and prove to ourselves that we can. Personally, I don’t care how as long as we play fairly.

  • gooner80

    @critic

    forlan is of the same ilk as reyes and vela good players just not suited to the prem.

    about ronaldo and messi what I mean is IMO messi and ronaldo are the top two players in terms of match winners even though I hate ronaldo. Messi is strong I have seen players tryto hatchet him and the guy is strong it was all those growth hormones he took as a boy because he was so weak. my point is great players can play anywhere, messi would devastate the prem.

    if it wasnt for financial doping the prem wouldnt be competitive and generally speaking it is only a two horse race as with most leagues. No one can say aston villa, spurs,liverpool would win la liga if they played over there I agree the lesser teams our inferior to our lesser teams but their top 4 is not bad and would give most prem teams a good game(if there wasnt biased refs)

    im glad there isnt the same expectation this time and I am going to enjoy the game I LOVE ARSENAL with all my heart but my head knows how good that barca team is

  • critic

    @g80
    hypothetically you sound sound. ‘best players can play anywhere in the world’. you sound like an average english pundit ‘arsenal can’t win title because they are soft touch’.
    There are masses that will agree with you. I agree too, not fully though. ‘class remains class’. But if he plays for arsenal, ref would not wince for once to stop his growth as a player. Fact. Pundits will say usual ‘if you don’t get in his face he will destroy you’ and blah blah.

  • critic

    @gg
    i mentioned what u mentioned in a compact way.
    They are classless off the pitch.

  • gooner80

    @critic did you actually read my comments I believe arsenal can win the league and to call me ” an average english pundit” is so insulting you havent got a clue about me and how much I know about football through playing and research