It is good for Barcelona to be back to their winning ways after what was a disappointing match, for whatever reasons, against a Málaga team with an inspired Kameni. Sometimes, as fans, we worry that our team might fall of the wagon after a tough match which ended with an undesirable result. Fortunately for us, that rarely, if ever, happens with this delightful team. They are truly a treat to watch, and are still extremely dangerous. In this day and age of continual football, where the majority of players play upwards of fifty games a year, it will be hard to maintain a high level of quality for the entirety of a season. Despite how awe inspiring Barcelona is, they too struggle to always play to the heights we expect. Therefore, this victory against Celtic was of the utmost importance.
Despite what the result might show, a visit to Celtic Park is always difficult. I do not know how enjoyable it can be, as a visiting player, to play in a stadium with such terrific supporters. One would imagine that at some point it would all just become undistinguishable noise. All evidence points to it being quite difficult, as some arenas prove to be tremendously demanding to play in as visitors, despite sometimes the home team not being quite skillful, with all due respect. Barcelona came ready to play, however, and the despite the avid fan support, came away with three essential points after a complete team performance.
Irish Goat’s Three Gamboling Goleadores!
1st Goleador: Lionel Messi
One often forgets how brilliant Messi is. After nearly 75 minutes played, I caught myself thinking I was not going to choose Messi for this edition of the goleadores as he did not have a terrific match. The man had two goals and countless other opportunities! Not to mention a veritable slew of terrific passes that only he has the ability to pull off with his particular brand of magic. It just goes to show how overindulged we sometimes seem to be. Without meaning to insult anyone in this forum, I truly believe that if any one of us had a single match in which we exhibit even a whisper of the ability Messi provides time and time again, we would be exhausted. There is a limit to how bright you can shine before you burn out, and yet this little genius, this terrific player, keeps getting brighter and brighter.
Another facet of Messi that often gets criticized, through no fault of his own, is the dependence this team seems to have on him. Well…yes! Is that such a terrible thing? As if somehow, we are less as a club by relying on our most important player? It is as if there is to be great shame in being able to field the best player in the world and use him with impudence. He is a Barcelona player. He is beloved as the greatest Barcelona player. Given enough time, Barcelona would adapt to playing without Messi and we would continue to beat other teams soundly. As it stands now, our system does indeed rely on him, so for now we will continue to enjoy watching our Messi-dependent team destroy other teams, while others continue to spout trivialities in envy.
2nd Goleador: Gerard Piqué
I liked what I saw from Piqué for the second game in a row. It might be confirmation bias on my part, but I truly feel that our defense is much more effective and organized when he is playing. We shall see what happens with our defense against more demanding teams such as La Real in Anoeta, but against this Celtic team they performed admirably. Gerard continues to provide evidence of his growing maturity and his undisputed role as a starter for Barcelona.
3rd Goleador: Jordi Alba
I do not know if Jordi is really that much better than Lucas at the overlapping run, or simply if Neymar has better chemistry with him and trusts him more with the ball, but in this game Jordi seemed able to provide more attacking depth down that left flank than we have seen recently. This is something we sorely need, as our system works incredibly well when we have veritable attacking threats from both defensive backs. Hopefully Neymar passes the ball more to anybody assisting him down that left flank instead of always trying to dribble, which would open up those lanes more, and allow for a more fluid offense.
Visca Barça and see you soon for the next one.