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Why I Would Love It If Chelsea Can Defeat the Frauds of Barcelona

sergio busquets Why I Would Love It If Chelsea Can Defeat the Frauds of Barcelona

Today’s much anticipated match between Chelsea and Barcelona is far more than a simple soccer game between twenty two people on the pitch at Stamford Bridge. It’s much bigger than that. It represents England against Spain, the Premier League against La Liga, tiki-taka versus counter-attacking football, good versus evil, and right against wrong. This is one of those matches where there’ll be few neutrals. You either love or hate Barcelona, and hate or love Chelsea.

It’s also going to be a match that will be extremely tense. Every push, dive, tackle, shirt pull and foul will be scrutinized. The longer the game goes on without a goal, the less attractive it’ll become. A goal for either team will be the salvation that TV networks will wish for. Once one goal goes in, the tension will vanish and it’ll finally become a soccer match. Without a goal, this could turn into another ugly cage match (let us not forget the ugly scenes after Barcelona beat Chelsea on the away goals rule in May, 2009 — the one immortalized by Drogba’s f**king disgrace rant).

Barcelona’s gameplan will be no surprise today. They’ll play their typical brand of possession-based football, with a pressing game whenever they lose the ball. But there are several question marks about Chelsea. Will Roberto Di Matteo play Didier Drogba or Fernando Torres up front? But, more importantly, what type of tactics will Chelsea play under the leadership of Di Matteo? Will we see Chelsea playing an anti-football game that features tough tackling and counter-attacking football, letting Barcelona play with the ball and shutting them down anytime they get close to the Chelsea box? We’ve seen that tactic so many times before by Premier League teams and, specifically Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti. It can work, but it’s a dangerous game given Barcelona’s precision in and near the penalty box.

While I continue to be amazed by how wonderful this Barcelona football team is, there’s a lot I despise about them. And it’s the main reason why, even though I’m not a Chelsea supporter, that I would love it if Cbelsea can get a win or a draw today even though I know they’ll lose. What bothers me the most about Barcelona is the way they carry themselves. Many of their players are egotistical, manipulative play actors who have a holier-than-thou attitude and who crowd the referee and try to bend the rules in their favor. They are the masters of feigning injury, and scoring by any means necessary including hands of god, when needed.

Of course, Chelsea are no saints either. But Barcelona certainly has a lot to prove to be accepted as a team worthy of their plaudits. That’s why today’s game is so important. If Barcelona will win, more power to them — as long as they can accomplish it as true heroes, not frauds.

Today’s match between Chelsea and Barcelona may end up being more an example of psychological warfare than footballing brilliance. The world will be watching. Many of them to take out their knives, to slaughter Chelsea, England and Premier League soccer. In this battle between good and evil, I’m hoping that Chelsea will rise to the occasion and beat Barcelona — for Britain, for the underdog, for right versus wrong and, most importantly of all, to end the world’s love affair with everything Barcelona.

Editor’s note: EPL Talk will have an open thread on this site before, during and after the match today.

This entry was posted in Chelsea, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

57 Responses to Why I Would Love It If Chelsea Can Defeat the Frauds of Barcelona

  1. Dave says:

    Typical jealous anti-Barca screed. FCB being one of the greatest teams of all-time will inevitably have a lttile bit of ego, just as all the great football teams in history have had. The irony is one of the all-time greatest players of the game, Messi carries himself in a manner that is the antithesis of everything you “detest” about Barcelona. Gaffer, I think your problem is that just like many of the holier-than-thou anti-Barca pundits out there you can’t come to grips with Barcelona’s dominance. Instead you must fiind something to hate about their tiki-taka brand of football so that you justify your jealousy.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Dave, isn’t this the same Lionel Messi who scores hand of god goals? Where is the honesty in that? All of the other aspects of his game are spectacular, but I detest his cheating.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Andy says:

        Hand-S of God? Now admittedly I haven’t been following professional soccer my whole life, but I have been for the last 8 -9 years and I can only remember one instance in which Messi scored the “hand of God” goal. So if you are going to classify Messi as a cheat because of one instance then you must go ahead and do the same for Maradona. And if you are going to do that then you might as well classify at least 25% of the world’s professional players because we all know that at least that number of them have dived sometime in their careers attempting to deceive the referee, which is cheating. I really enjoy EPL Talk and the corresponding podcasts, but I think you are going down and road that is going to be hard to come back from. I’m sure that there are plenty of holes in my arguments but I just wanted to put my thoughts out there for added discussion.

      • Nonsense says:

        After swearing off this site yesterday, I am weak and unable not to post.

        Good article Gaffer hit every point –
        1- English style of play vs. “tiki-taka”
        2- BORING match until some scores and we can see some actual open play
        3- Barcelona are diving cheats (that may have been partially my own feeling).

        Dave – jealous of what? Employing some of the best actresses on the planet, classlessness like the sprinkler incident with Jose and Inter, what?

        • David says:

          A little harsh on the last point if you ask me. Drogba has been known for his diving for this squad, as has Torres. And players like Ashley Cole and John Terry are some of the most hated not only in England, but in Europe if you ask the average fan.

          Many Barca players are prima donnas, not question. But aside from apparently “employing some of the best actresses on the planet”, they also employ some of the most technically gifted players on the planet. How else do you explain them being the only team in the world that can play this style of football, and play it very well?

          My opinion is that every team has bad apples, and Barca are no different. But again, ask the average fan, and Chelsea is easily one of the most hated clubs in England from top to bottom of the organization.

          • Nonsense says:

            We aren’t too far off. Believe me I know Drogba has done his fair share of diving but my opinion is that Barcelona is just over the top with it.

            They were also showed to be very petty and claseless when they turned the sprinklers on Inter.

      • Lyle says:

        I don’t think he normally cheats. Certainly not much than others, if at all.

        Chelsea also are infamous for crowding the referee. John Terry anyone?

    • Matt says:

      It is quite possible to despise Barcelona but still admire Messi. If only everyone else in their squad took to his attitude of staying upright and working for the ball.

      And their fans are abhorrent. Next week, Chelsea will string together more than two passes. From that point on, the Barca fans will jeer and whistle, suggesting that Chelsea are time-wasting. It happens in every league game that’s competitive, and certainly every Champions League fixture. And yet when Iniesta and Xavi spend roughly 90 seconds passing the ball between each other, each touch is viewed as a masterpiece.

      Here’s to hoping for some karmic retribution today!

      • David says:

        I don’t think the jeering is to be taken as time wasting. I look at the jeering as a method from the crowd to gain an advantage for the home side and in a sort of way, egg them on to gain possession back.

      • David says:

        You hear that jeering every time Barca has the ball? Must be because they think Barca is time wasting.

        It’s a joke argument. They jeer to get possession back, nothing more.

    • MNUfan1991 says:

      I was going to write a rebuttal on how much I agree with the Gaffer’s assessment, and then it hit me…

      Why the heck does the Gaffer need to justify his opinion on HIS OWN BLOG?

  2. Frill Artist says:

    You couldn’t have expressed my mind any clearer. I hate Bastardlona with every last cell in my blood. Thanks to their deep pockets, they are not only also able to buy any player they want, they can buy the top refs. Anytime, I think of their last semi final against Chelsea, my blood boils. They are filled with great players yet they have to succumb to cheating, bribing, diving, crowding the ref and all kinds of on field antics. Just look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyIUb1dZ5QU

    I hope Chelsea beats them but I know I’m going out on a limb because thanks to their 12th man, the ref, Chelsea will either get a goal denied, a foul denied or allow Bastardlona to dive and flop around like fishes on land.

    • Clampdown says:

      Barcelona are able to buy any player they want? You mean like Chelsea, right?

      Bribing? Uh, yeah, sure. One of the three most talented teams, if not the most talented, in the world will have to bribe a ref to beat Chelsea.

      Nice to see the excuses already being made if Chelsea loses today (which I suspect they will).

    • Lyle says:

      Thanks to Man U’s deep pockets they dominate the EPL. Aww… it sucks to be less brilliant than another club. Barcelona are just from another realm.

  3. Steve says:

    Yes, because Chelsea are such innocent, honest bystanders.

  4. Dammy says:

    Many of Barcelona players would make better actors than Denzel Washington and Nocolas cage combined

    • Nonsense says:

      Agreed however when talking about good actors stick with someone like Denzel, Nicolas Cage not too sure about his acting skills anymore.

  5. Nonsense says:

    Steve do you really want to compare the antics of Barcelona vs. Chelsea? Let’s take a look at some El Clásico footage. As Drogba says “F____ Disgrace!”

    • Steve says:

      I’m not a fan of Barca’s or RM’s diving anymore than anyone else. I’m just saying that it’s amusing how the article is framed as “good vs evil” when neither team is innocent. If there are two douchebags fighting, I’m not going to get on a high horse about the less douchey of the two. They’re both still douchebags.

      • The Gaffer says:

        Steve, it’s framed as “good versus evil” for both sides. Barcelona probably thinks that Chelsea fans and players are evil. And vice-versa.

        There are few people in the middle on this one.

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

  6. Brad says:

    I don’t understand this article at all. What makes Barcelona “frauds”? You mention that they tend to crowd the referees. That is largely a byproduct of the La Liga referees still allowing that. A few years ago that was common in the EPL until the referees started to crack down on it.

    You mention diving as well. It happens on every team in every league. It will not go away until retroactive punishments using video evidence are allowed.

    Now there are definitely players on this team that drive me crazy, Busquets is the first that comes to mind. Again, however, ever team has these players. Ribery, for example is a disgrace. There is no doubt he is a good player, but yesterday against Real there were two clear cases where he wasn’t touched and went down rolling in pain and a few other cases where he was fouled and acted as though is leg was shot off.

    Bottom line, players and teams will attempt to find any advantage they can if they won’t get caught. All teams have players that are like this. The reason barca seem to do this more is because the referees in La Liga allow it. Real do the same thing all the time. I don’t watch La Liga all that often but I’m guessing it happens with other teams there too. Doesn’t make them frauds.

    Usually like the articles posted here even if I disagree, but this one is different. It is one thing to not like a team because of their style or players or whatever. It is completely different to label them as frauds simply because you don’t like them.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Brad, I disagree that diving happens on every team in every league. Every league, yes. Every team, no. I’ll include Swansea as an example of a team that doesn’t cheat or dive. There have been a few incidents this season where the Swans could have bought a penalty (a la Ashley Young) but stood up and played on.

      Barcelona are frauds because they often take dishonest actions (feigning injury, especially) to win free kicks or penalties.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Brad says:

        Gaffer,

        Regrading Swansea City:

        http://www.soccer-blogger.com/2012/01/15/swansea-vs-arsenal-3-2-goals-highlights-2012-video-graham-sinclair-dyer-van-persie-walcott/

        http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/gif-did-nathan-dyer-actually-stamp-on-aaron-ramsey-swansea-arsenal/

        Skip to around 2 minutes into the first video. The second link is a gif of the contact just before Dyer goes down. Dyer clearly goes down after he is the one that stamps on Ramsey’s leg then as he is getting up he looks towards the referee hoping for a penalty. You can reasonably say that some teams have more players that do this. To say one team doesn’t is ludicrous.

        To your second point of Barca being frauds. Does that mean Bayern are Frauds for the actions of Ribery and Robben. Does that mean that both Uruguay and Liverpool are frauds because of Suarez? What about Gerrard? I could post a 3 minute youtube clip of his diving antics. Why do you like Chelsea more even though you briefly mention their issues. Drogba dives all the time and then rolls around for hours.

        Nobody will argue that barcelona does the things you mention. The problem with your argument is that you fail to accept that every team does it.

        • The Gaffer says:

          Brad, I know the Nathan Dyer incident well. And I think it was a good call and not a dive. Ramsey cocked his leg out and tripped Dyer. I don’t think that was playacting at all. If anything, Ramsey caught Dyer’s ankle.

          Bayern are frauds, Uruguay are frauds, Liverpool are frauds, Gerrard are frauds — yes. It’s equal measure for any teams that willingly cheat which, as you said, includes most of them. It’s an unfortunate part of the game that has been accepted as the norm. And most teams, not all, do it.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • Brad says:

            Now at least you are consistent and that is an opinion I can respect. From your original article you seemed to classify Barcelona as frauds but not Chelsea even though you did briefly mention chelsea not being perfect either. I still disagree with your classification of any of these teams as frauds, unless you are just using the word differently then I would. If that is the case are argument is pointless since arguing semantics goes nowhere.

            Almost as pointless as us arguing the Dyer/ Ramsey incident. Very apparent that neither of us will change our minds on that one.

          • andy says:

            Well put Brad. Gaffer – as i wrote earlier today, you have gone down a road that is very difficult to come back from. You do realize that by calling all of the many teams you listed to be frauds, you must be prepared to condemn your own team(Swansea) to the same level of “frauds” as all of the other teams the moment that one of your players dive. Not just the one player, the WHOLE team, as you condemned all of the other teams the same. Like i said, you have gone down a road that you will find very difficult to come back from. I pray for your soul Gaffer. lol

  7. James says:

    I agree, many of Barcelona’s players are egotistical and the constant diving and ref crowding gets old. But did you see the Bayern-Madrid semi last night? Barca is not the only team guilty of this behavior. It has become all too common. That being said, you can’t argue Barca’s dominance or the beauty of their game. As far as Messi is concerned, he is a class act. 1 “hand of god” goal in over 230 goals??? Really? I guess Henry should be labeled a cheater because of what he did in WC qualifier against Ireland? Sometimes players get away with things they shouldn’t…but Messi is no cheater.
    I love EPL…I am a Fulham supporter (only a real fan would admit that) but it is obvious that the Spanish League has left EPL behind. Spain has 2 of 4 in UCL semis….3 of 4 in Europa semis…..compared to 1EPL team. Seems pretty clear.

  8. Clampdown says:

    I hope Messi scores five today.

    It’s absurd to say Barca cheats anymore than any of the other top clubs in the world (the ones in England included in that). And your minuscule sample of instances in which Messi has cheated is laughable. This guy gets fouled more than anyone I’ve ever seen and stays on his feet the vast majority of the times he’s hacked at.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I admire the way he always gets up after being hacked down, and doesn’t fight back. He’s a brilliant player, no doubt. But I don’t like the way he resorts to the hand of god goals, which are completely unnecessary. No one is perfect, but let’s hope his hand of god goals (there may be more examples) are a thing of the past.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  9. Sachin kadyan says:

    What kind of freaking biased writing is this. People like you really shouldn’t be allowed for putting this kind of biased views without any counter arguement. In any match there are bound to be some errors by ref but when the decision goes against barca no one comes out to criticise. First learn to be neutral and then start writing.

    • Fog says:

      The point of any blog is to express one’s own opinions. They don’t have to be right, wrong or indifferent to the reader. This blog is not presented as “EPL Unbiased Talk”. It’s EPL fans having a go at whatever is posted at the time. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don’t.

      For your point about there not being a counter argument…why don’t you just present one instead of complaining that you didn’t like the Gaffer’s point of view?

      • Fog says:

        Not totally my sentiments but:

        BLOG

        A recent and disturbing trend on the internet. A blog lets people easily post comments onto a webpage. While blogs have many purposes, some of which can be useful, most people seem to use blogs as a way of having an online diary. These people have such massive egos and are so narcissistic that they believe that other people would be interested in reading their pointless ramblings. Even more disturbing is the fact that many people have such boring lives that they have nothing better to do than to read these stupid online diaries. They just feed the egos of the “bloggers” and encourage them to continue posting nonsense. Hopefully, “blogging” will turn out to be just a fad that passes quickly.

        tim: Hey i just set up a blog on my website.
        joe: What have you written in it?
        tim: Oh just some random drivel.
        joe: Sounds like the typical blog.
        tim: Yeah, but plenty of people will still read it, and that will make me feel special.
        joe: That’s sad.
        tim: I know.

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=blog

      • Nonsense says:

        Like the new avatar.

        “The point of any blog is to express one’s own opinions. They don’t have to be right, wrong or indifferent to the reader. This blog is not presented as “EPL Unbiased Talk”. It’s EPL fans having a go at whatever is posted at the time. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don’t.

        For your point about there not being a counter argument…why don’t you just present one instead of complaining that you didn’t like the Gaffer’s point of view?”

        Surprisingly I actually agree with that and although your second post ‘BLOG’ may have been aimed at me I agree that most use it as a diary. However I hope unlike the source, urbandictionary, blogging doesn’t fade away. I like hearing most intelligent comments and enjoy laughing at those posting nonsense.

  10. RVPFan says:

    I love the way Barcelona play, but I despise them for their antics in the field too, Gafffer. With the amount of talent at their disposal, there’s absolutely no need in the first place, to dive, cheat and/or play act to the point of being absolutely disgraceful.

    Just wishing to watch a great thrilling match without controversy.

  11. Fog says:

    I believe that any player that dives should be made to wear a yellow Speedo the rest of the match.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xcY_EfiRzts/TwzA0IPQsaI/AAAAAAAABkQ/t6fCEN3fOmE/s1600/tumblr_lchwvgHVBt1qbo04co1_500.jpg

  12. Odin5491 says:

    Sour grapes. Boo hoo. It was Mourinho’s Chelsea who raised diving and referee intimidation to new levels in the Premier League, the practice reaching its sad, embarrassing nadir as Michael Ballack chased Tom Henning Overbo up the field. Whinging is what the club and its supporters have done best since the Abramovich era began. Maybe you should try a little less whinging and a little more long-term planning and player development.

  13. henry says:

    I think envy and insecurity are treatable by a professional.

    I am not a Barcelona Fan or Chelsea Fan. Simply an honest person.
    Some of this comments are so evident to be a reaction from big insecurity and envy.

    Barcelona has been successful since Guardiola put his feet in the club.
    Let’s face it. they have been a much better club for the past 4-5 years and a record holders in international cups x season… correct me if i am wrong… how many clubs won ALL trophies possible in 1 season? well Barcelona did few years back. So All international referees must be guilty too…?

    “Fraud” is a huge accusation and a reason to look inside yourself for the correct answers… why are we so angry? may be because your team is not performing as well as you wish… only ourself now the honest answer.

    today the best club will win this game, regardless of all the comments mentioned in this blog.

    • Frill Artist says:

      Obliviousness and denial can also be treated by a professional. Calling a team out for what they are notorious for is hardly jealousness. As a so called “honest” person, look up “barcelona cheaters divers” on youtube and tell me that they aren’t frauds.

      • Brad says:

        As I mentioned above I think many of us may be arguing over semantics. To me, calling barcelona “frauds” implies that they are only winning all these matches and trophies because of diving, cheating, and whatever else you are complaining about. That is simply not the case. They have been the best team the past few years regardless of how many of their players do or don’t dive.

        I can also do a youtube search for Steven Gerard dives and a 3 minute compilation will come up. Do I think he is a fraud? No, a great player who has stooped to the level of a lot of other players at one point. There are players that are worse like Busquets, Ribery, or Drogba (Spent about an equal amount of time this match on the ground and on his feet). Doesn’t mean that any of the players or teams they play for are frauds.

  14. Clampdown says:

    Yeah, I know he just scored, but given this post and the comments I laughed out loud when I read this on the BBC site:

    2031:

    Didier Drogba is on the ground again. There was no-one near him either as he flings himself to the turf. He’s got more chance of injuring himself in the landing than from the “foul” itself. Two minutes of added time.

  15. Earl Reed says:

    This was the most endearing match I’ve ever seen Barcelona play. There was play acting on both sides, but not nearly to the level that we’ve seen from Sergio Busquets and the others at times. It actually surprised me. I was waiting for one of the players to start arguing for a card for Raul Meireles when his wind tackled Messi at the end of the first half.

    Now hear this though: remember last year’s Arsenal/Barcelona tie. Arsenal were in the driver’s seats in the 2nd leg, 2-1 on aggregate, when the match official egregiously gave Robin van Persie a 2nd yellow for time wasting. That’s exactly what you will see Tuesday if Barcelona gets in a pickle. It happened against Inter two years ago as well, and Mourinho was able to bunker in after Busquets completely outed himself as a fraud and sham by twisting and screaming as if he’d been punched in the face. That’s how Barcelona wins in Europe, and they may just need it again.

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