benched

24 sep 2011 – after puyi’s return to the starting 11 and pique’s medical green light, i woke up at the crack of dawn eagerly awaiting the mocmoc reunion that’s taken months to happen.  sadly, it was not to be.  pep (as usual) had other plans for the game.  i had my doubts about the formation, especially with the much-lauded falcao, but hey — once again pep served all his second-guessers a bright and shiny manita.

fontas looking mighty fine!

prior to kickoff, our defenders quietly contemplated their career options; pep apparently had no need for cbs against manzano’s squad.  capita xavi walked onto the pitch with VV, busi, masch, dani alves, abidal, thiago, cesc, and our MVP.  congratulations to this guy capping his 300th league game with a clean sheet –

had a few close calls, but had a great game🙂

VV had very little to worry about though, because masch essentially shut down any possibility of falcao getting the ball.  can i just put on record that i love masch? he’s superb as a player and as a person, kind of my argentine equivalent to puyi.  throughout his stay with us so far, his performance has been impeccable — and more importantly, his humility has been unmatched.  i’ve been very impressed with the answers he gives during interviews, and the obviously strong bonds he has formed with the rest of the squad.  “I will always be grateful to messi for telling me to join barcelona” — awww, masch! i’m grateful to messi as well🙂

here’s pep, teaching masch how to do the animated hand gestures —

masch getting his daily dose of brainwashing from pep

and here’s puyi, yelling at the defense from the bench (while pique and fontas look bored out of their minds) —

when pique got subbed in, i felt for sure that pep would let puyi play too… not wise tactics, but just for mocmoc reasons.  but then he subbed in keita…then maxwell… and at that point i thought, damn, no shirtless puyi tonight😦 maybe it was just a safety precaution on pep’s part, as we really can’t tell what chaos can ensue once those three get back together on the pitch :)  seriously though, pep’s tactics were right on the money for that game; our boys totally closed down atletico and they looked very comfortable doing so.  good job there, mister!

our coach -- slim suit, skinny tie, slippery when wet

anyway, here are the goals

gee, another hat trick ball, just what i've always wanted...

so now we are 2nd on the league table, behind betis🙂 slowly but surely!

***

injury update:

anims, ibi!!

ibi is now under the care of dr cugat (puyi’s surgeon).  there’s still no update on the status of his left anterior cruciate ligament, but the initial estimate was 6months.  ouch!  but ibi has been remarkably mature and positive throughout all this, and it warms my heart so much to see how he has handled things.

ibi in good spirits while chatting with rosell, zubi and bartomeu (nice tan there, ibi!)

in case you haven’t seen it, here’s the fcb video in support of afellay –

his barça teammates — puyi, pique, cesc, etc — have all expressed their support on twitter, as have his dutch NT teammates.

these two guys are on the long road to recovery as well -- alexis has 6 weeks, and iniesta has 3 weeks to go... sorry guys, no anims video for you🙂

till next time! my next post will be about the champions league🙂

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