Out of gas & out of luck

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It’s over now, any hope for pursuing a back-to-back European run is now diminished. It’s sad because at times you’d see how much ambition this team had to try and achieve the impossible. But to call it a failure would be to degrade Barça’s efforts all season up until now. We gave it a shot. We’re still in the final of the cup, and we’re still leading la Liga. This time around though, the Barça machine is gravely out of gas, and out of luck.

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What’s Up, Marc-André?

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As well all know, the FIFA break always has a hyperbolic effect on the media outlets that mainly focus on club football. Suddenly, 90% of the squad of every team is either unhappy, being offered insane amounts of money to move elsewhere and, generally, every one wants a change. We get it, everybody needs to make a living, newspapers/tabloids included. But every once in a while a rumor comes along that shows up enough times in the news that you start to take it at least a little seriously.

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Match Review: The Copa final awaits!

Kaptoum

As expected, tonight’s Copa del Rey semi-final felt more like a friendly fixture. A tremendous performance by FC Barcelona a week ago at the Camp Nou rendered the tie moot, providing Luis Enrique with a rare chance to rest his key players. Gary Neville, the man fighting hard to keep his job, also saw the game as no more than a chance to rest his players as well. There was no way Valencia were ever going to comeback from a seven-goal deficit against the treble winners, and Neville’s acceptance of that reality could potentially serve him better than a useless attempt at restoring pride.

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Preview: A throw-away 90 minutes

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At the time of writing Gary Neville is still the manager of Valencia. This won’t change before his side fruitlessly attempt to salvage a seven goal disadvantage tomorrow night and won’t change regardless of the result afterwards. That sounds snarky but actually I will always stand by a strategy that gives managers time when patience in football appears abhorred. That all said, the Neville experiment continuous to explode in Peter Lim’s face – he has overseen no wins in 9 league games now, been behind in every occasion, oversaw the heaviest cup defeat since 1928 and Valencia now lie just 4 points from relegation. Mixing friends and business is renowned risky business, Mr. Lim.

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Gary gazumped, Valencia vanquished

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Post today’s game, a good friend of mine who watches football from time to time sent me the following message:

“How is the communication between the front three so good? Poor Valencia, it should be illegal for ‘MSN’ to play that well”. I think those sentiments sum up yesterday’s game, from a neutral point of view at least, quite well.

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