Monday, May 2, 2011

El Clasico woes

I don’t really like to give opinions or comments on controversial issues on football and my opinion probably doesn’t mean much as I’m not an expert but as a fan, but I’m very disappointed on how things progressed with the whole Barca-Real conflict.  It has reached a point where the focus is no longer about the game.  If you win, then be a humble winner, if you lost, be a gracious loser. 

Tempers were probably a little frayed as they were halfway thru the el clasico series.  We can all assume that both teams were already feeling the pressure to win.  Mourinho fired the 1st shot as he criticized Pep Guardiola as a coach said prior to the 3rd el clasico (click here to read what Mourinho said).  The Barca coach who was usually diplomatic respond to Mourinho’s “statements” had responded with expletives (click here to read Guardiola’s response), Guardiola shouldn’t have lost his cool (although this article suggests that it was actually “a cool, calculated and carefully planned strategy – a premeditated message: “We won’t be bullied any longer.””)

Then there were allegations from Real Madrid on unsporting behavior/diving of certain Barca players and the infamous Pepe red card.  I can’t really tell most of the time if a player dived or not but to claim that it was only Barca who is guilty of it?  What about Di Maria and CRonaldo? How many free kicks were given from Di Maria’s “fall”? And if Barca is notorious for diving and play acting more than any other team normally does, shouldn’t they also have a history of finishing matches with opponents having 10 men left? (correct me if I’m wrong as I haven’t been following football that much until this year and I haven’t really researched this much).

And did Dani Alves really “dive”?  I don’t really know.  Here’s a video of the tackle, you decide:

But some are claiming that Pepe never really touched Alves at all, here’s a video that from a certain angle, shows that there wasn’t any actual contact between the Alves and Pepe (of course, Barca fans are questioning its authenticity):

Whether there was contact or not, isn’t there a FIFA rule about tackles with studs up and off the ground (plus Alves touched the ball 1st) are considered a serious foul play?  And if you look closely at the video, wouldn’t be very difficult for Alves’ leg to go on one direction (kicking the ball forward) to suddenly change course to the other direction and continue doing so until his whole body rotates/flips 360 degrees and land on the ground and all with only one foot on the ground as balance?  The force that made Alves flip/turn 360 degrees is very difficult to do with just one foot on the ground, there has to be some other force (like a kick from Pepe) that made him turn/flip before landing on the ground.  Just sayin’.  And the fact that Real Madrid (and Mourinho) seemed to have a bit of “history” of ending matches with only 10 men says a lot about how they play (click here to read an article listing Morunho’s experiences of ending a match with 10 men).  In this particular match, Pepe was already warned a couple of times prior to the red card.  And his tackle in the Copa del Rey? Some are saying it should have been a red card. My point is Pepe has “history” with bad tackles, maybe this is one of those instances?  And while I was trying to find the video of the Pepe-Alves tackle, I found this instead: 

skip to 0:38
I know, I know, this has nothing to do with the match and trying to use this as “proof” that Pepe does bad tackles is a stretch, but this is just one crazy ass video that I just had to share.  Pepe’s scary!  But he’s kinda hot in bad-ass kind of way… hihihihi :P

Going back to the topic now…. And lastly, Mourinho’s post game rant was way out of line, especially when he said (click here to read all what he said):

"[Wednesday] once again showed that you don't stand a chance against Barcelona. Uefa doesn't allow any team to really do something against them. I really don't know what's behind all this. Maybe it's their ties with Unicef or maybe it's because they just find Barcelona a sympathetic club. I've been wondering about this all my life and I'll get an answer one day."

He should really need to think before saying anything.  If he makes claims, he should be able to back them up.  To imply that Barca and Pep Guardiola have only achieved what they have on an alleged connection with UEFA or Unicef and alleged referee favors without offering any proof, it seems like he just wants to make trouble.  You cannot deny that Barca is a great team.  They could not have won 32 domestic games (losing only two) if you’re not a great team.  If they are as bad as Mourinho claimed, other coaches and teams should have complained by now.  If you want to prove you’re the better team and the better coach, then show it on the field, not off it.  And even former Chelsea Manager, Guus Hiddink, called out Mourinho on his post-game rant (read the whole article here).  He said:

“Before I knew it, he [Mourinho] got me involved. Jose compared the Real - Barca game with the Chelsea – Barca semi-final in 2009 when I was manager at Stamford Bridge. We missed out on the final, too.  But the big difference is that we did not moan about conspiracies. I don’t agree with Mourinho at all on this. It is right that Chelsea was badly disadvantaged then, especially with the handball penalty we were denied in injury time. That was a clear mistake from the referee.  A couple of days later, when all the emotions had gone, we realised we had been robbed of a Champions League final. But never, ever, did anybody at Chelsea claim there was a conspiracy. You just don’t say things like that. The thought would not even enter my mind.”

I found an interesting article that states that Mourinho could be guilty of what he is accusing Guardiola of (click here to read it).  And oh yeah, apparently, this isn’t the first time that Mourinho was involved in a controversy, click here for the list of controversies he has involved himself in, he really needs to think before he speaks.

I tried to be very objective in this post (I really did), as obviously I’m a Barca fan.  I tried to find articles listing Guardiola’s past misbehaviors but I just couldn’t find any (if you find one, please share it).  At this point, what I can says is, what happened to Real Madrid?  I used to like this team (especially during their pre-galacticos era where it they had Fernando Morientes, Raul, Roberto Carlos, Fernando Hierro and a young Iker Casillas).  I’m still a big fan of Casillas and I think Ozil is pretty great, too.  I don’t really care much for Kaka and I think CRonaldo is an ass.  But Mourinho is something else.  No question he’s a great coach in terms of winning trophies, but he should prove it only on the pitch and keep his mouth shut.  Let the awards and wins speak for itself.

Here’s what others have to say about this:

Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho will not speak ahead of Barcelona clash (he should’ve have done this in the first place)
Real Madrid's Iker Casillas: We can only bite our tongues and keep quiet (Mourinho should’ve have taken his cue from the Real Madrid skipper)
Lionel Messi’s father criticises Jose Mourinho’s comments after Real Madrid’s defeat to Barcelona (I love, love, love Leo… but I wish his dad would’ve just kept quiet)
Mourinho lets "images do the talking" (now he says this?  A little too late don’t you think?)

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