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The Last Word on Jose, Barcelona and Conspiracy Theories?


Dorset

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“Barsa are not without their own blemishes - Busquets, Pedro and Alves really are shameless and the constant surrounding and harrassment of the referee is nauseating -- but the Madrid conspiracy bullsh*t is right up there with crazy USA tea partiers and Donald Trump on Obama's birth certificate.â€

So drivels on an internet comment from ‘soccerdad’ on the subject of the ever-growing confrontation between the two clubs and Uefa officialdom. I could have picked any one of loads written with similar bray abandonment, but this serves a useful purpose because it encapsulates all that is wrong with the general gist of comments from within a group that, for simplicities sake, I’ll call the Old Dismissive Detractors (ODD), just to be in keeping with the level of witticism witnessed above. Oh, and also apologies in advance for the length of this piece, but it does, of necessity, contain the nub of the matter [Jose’s post match critique] in its full glory, otherwise any further appraisal would merely become an exercise in sniping indiscriminately and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

So, once upon a time, after [what Jose hoped would be] the headline-grabbing 'I would like Josep Guardiola to win this competition properly' we were invited to revisit certain CL semi-final games involving Barcelona and question, as he has done with growing incredulity over the years, some of the crucial decisions made as a whole, rather than in isolation. This is what he said…

"If I tell UEFA what I really think and feel, my career would end now. Instead I will just ask a question to which I hope one day to get a response: Why? Why? Why Ovrebo? Why Busacca? Why De Bleeckere? Why Stark? Why? Because every semi-final the same things happen. We are talking about an absolutely fantastic football team, so why do they need that? Why? Why does a team as good as they are need something [extra] that is so obvious that everyone sees it?

Why Ovrebo [two] years ago [when the Norwegian referee did not give Chelsea a series of penalties against Barcelona]? Why couldn't Chelsea go to the final? Last year it was a miracle that Inter got there playing with 10 men for so long. A miracle. Why weren't there four penalties against Chelsea [in 2009]? Why send off [Arsenal's Robin] Van Persie [in the last 16]? Where does their power come from? It could have been 0-0 tonight, but then suddenly we are down to 10 men and they have a free path to find solutions that they could not find before then: we could have played for three hours and they would not have scored. But today we have seen that it is not difficult - it is impossible.

The question is why? I don't know if it is the UNICEF sponsorship or if it is because they are nice guys. I don't understand. Congratulations to Barcelona on being a great team and congratulations for all the other stuff you have which must be very hard to achieve. They have power and we have no chance. Chelsea had bans for Drogba and Bosingwa; Wenger and Nasri were banned for Arsenal; me today. I don't know why. All I can do is leave that question here in the air and hope that one day I will get the response. They have to get to the final, and they'll get there, full stop.â€

Naturally, those of us who will forever wonder about these selfsame games (supporters of the opposing teams) choose to handle the situation in various ways, outright anger, shrugging shoulders, cheery back-again-next-year acceptance, but, almost to a man, the neutral and media response has so far been one of accusation, of bias, sour grapes and, of course, of being conspiracy theorists who [as they are always portrayed] clutch at straws. Surprising though it may be to those without allegiance, fans always clutch at individual straws, much like you do a crumb of comfort, but that doesn’t make them conspiracy theorists anymore than it makes the a perceived benefactor [barca in this weird series of coincidences] the luckiest team in CL history. As Jose is quick to point out, they are an absolutely fantastic football team, so he just leaves it for the individual to make up his own mind…after reconsideration.

Fair enough [pun intended], we all know what Jose’s understanding of the situation is, he makes it abundantly clear, but I can’t say that I’ve heard many people contradict what he has said in each specific instance highlighted, or, if they do, it all too often takes the same derogatory route as the opening remark, or is couched along the lines of ’how about letting it go’ or ’your team wasn’t good enough anyway’ or ’what do you expect if you defend all the time’ or, yes you’ve guessed it ’you’re just a conspiracy theorist’. What makes these putdowns even more irritating is that they are seldom made as anything other than a one-liner rebuttal. For example, where’s the counterclaim evidence that we weren’t better than Barca in that semi-final? - that we weren’t the more attacking team over the two legs? - that, almost by definition, we must have recourse to ‘theory’ when the damning ’practice’ is already there for all too see and the brush-off mention of ‘conspiracy’ is so readily used only for hollow-laugh effect?

Indeed, it is the honest objectivity found in Mourinho’s remarks that always set them apart from the comparative absurdity inherent in Ferguson’s Mind Games. Whereas the United boss gives us a stark, delusional and unsubstantiated ’We’re not going to get the decisions in these big games’, Jose always provides specific instance intertwined in his insinuation. Both can be defined as ‘take it, or leave it’ condemnations of certain situations, but at least the Special One puts some meat on the bones of his contentions, thereby giving his supporters [or detractors] something of substance to gnaw away at.

Yet strangely, regardless of similarity and intent, as Ferguson rushes headlong into another confrontation with our governing body, nobody ever accuses him of being a conspiracy theorist. Why is this? Well, the reason is simple - his statements are dismissible in equal measure as either lovably potty or clever tactically, whilst Jose’s might, just might, have an uncomfortable ring of truth that necessitates them being lidded like a Pandora’s Box, before they escape into the realms of serious discussion and gain real credence.

Just as an example, Jose has never, as far as I am aware, suggested that Barca are in cahoots with Uefa over their CL success, nor, I would contend, do the vast majority of people who genuinely believe in something ODD or one-sided going on, but still ‘conspiracy’ is the word trotted out to instantly create a sense of secret plotting. Shock, horror, his type of dual connivance does not exist, so please, I beg the detractors, by all means put everything down to luck if you will, but don’t plot your own copybook.

Instead, give Jose’s piece a chance, because if Uefa favour Barcelona in any way, shape or form, it’s not done by conspiratorial means - why would it when the much easier practice of controlling what you can, in terms of officials, is readily available, pretty much risk free and [mercifully] now Frisk-free? Somewhat unsurprisingly, this whistle-blaster from the past brings me full circle to Uefa’s posture regarding a certain Sergio Busquets. I’m always reminded of the incident when one of Mourinho’s Why’s (Frank de Bleekere) brandished his red card at Inter’s Thiago Motta after his [non-existent] foul on the Barcelona midfielder, as it encapsulates Uefa’s position so precisely - crouched on the ground, writhing in a mixture of agony and effrontery, but still sufficiently self-aware to peek through fingers and gauge the effect of actions. Don’t worry, Michel, the cat wasn’t out of the bag on that one, but the [diving] lives of the pet are mounting up, nearing nine, and will no doubt soon be counting heavily against United at Wembley.

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That isn't how things are run around here Blueskies I'm afraid. If you can't be arsed to read some intelligent posts and make it known within the thread, its best you go find another forum or indulge yourself in the 3 word game in non-football.

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tl;dr

Lovely, nice to see some appreciation for a very well written piece. If you arent interested in it then dont post about it.

As you say Dorset, everyone commenting on what Jose said only condemns Jose himself and any idea of a conspiracy, no-one actually retues what any of the points he made.

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tl;dr

U tool!

anyway....

Excellent read again Dorset, and there's points in there that also apply to other so called conspiricy theorys. When does coincidence become meaningless. I think that FIFA and uefa are definately bent, the voting for the world cup just shows the integrity of the governing bodies, everyones vote has a price unfortunately.

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That isn't how things are run around here Blueskies I'm afraid. If you can't be arsed to read some intelligent posts and make it known within the thread, its best you go find another forum or indulge yourself in the 3 word game in non-football.

Excuse me! There were some passably intellectual contributions to the 3 word game! (which in case you hadn't noticed, died a long time ago, Mod) I will happily resurrect it in the off-season should you so desire, but I think fresh woods and pastures new would be preferable.

Another excellent piece of writing from Dorset, with his usual delightful turns of phrases, like "bray abandonment" and "the cat wasn't out of the bag, but the (diving) lives of the pet are mounting up!"

The only comment I would make (which is not a football related one, so please don;t shoot me) is that Jose never says or does anything unintentionally.

P.S. Unitl I read Mod's comment I was racking my brains wondering what tl tr meant!

Oh, and Mod, isn't that bloke's avatar against the "no nipples" rule???????

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I actually had to look up what "tl;dr" meant :blush:

This is what it said:

Too Long; Didn't Read

Literally translates to: That was too long to read.

Really translates to: I'm too lazy to read the entirety of what you said, but I still want to say something.

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Fantastic post Dorest and something Ive noticed regarding the easy castaways from the detractors. What I cant get is that EUFA has to be regulated by some larger organization (above FIFA even) so why isnt somebody acting on this?

Sure EUFA might not be "pulling the strings" directly, by they are knowling putting incompetent refs on the job if that is the case!

All so frustrating it just makes me lose interest in the CL full stop.

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Sorry to sound like a thicko,but what is a three word game??.If you want to know about stich-ups in sport, look no further than the play offs for the last world cup finals.It was supposed to be a free for all,but at the last moment,they decided to seed the teams and we all know what happened in Paris against the Irish!.

Big sport attracts big sponsers and they don't care about right & wrongs,it's the way of a modern corperate world.

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@Blueskies: If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything.

On-topic: The thing about Jose, is, unlike Blueskies, he always has SOMETHING relevant to say. I agree with Dorset that unlike Fergie, Jose's comments usually have a specific reference accompanying them. A circus he may bring, but there are more truths to his words then most other managers in todays game.

Its quite sickening to see the kind of bias shown towards Barca by officials, but the more pressing question I feel, is how long will this last? Until Messi retires? Until Platini resigns? We may have to deal with this for a VERY long time.

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and then to see that bias regurgetated by the media afterward....Its as if they were watching a different game and where we saw Barca players falling over/crowing the ref, they see magicle dribbling andnear impossible passes.... its almost too much to bear while trying to remain sane.

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What a great read.

Part of me wishes Barcelona lose the final against United... But also the biggest part of me wants Barcelona to dive and lie their way through the match and not just this final, I hope they keep it up next season, and next, and next, just to finally mak the world realize what a bunch of twats they all are.

What is worse is, they have the talent to win games without having to dive, pretend to be punched in the face, cornering the ref and waving imaginary cards, etc.

I truly hope everyone realizes it, and what a better chance than getting Fergie into it.

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two points I would like to raise here;

1. Are we of a better moral standing for not lowering ourselves to Barca's ''theatrics'' or is the joke on us for not catching on? &

2. Speaking of their 'dirty, cheating ways' let us remind ourselves of how Porto played in the UEFA Cup vs Celtic all those years back, and also the way in which we also profited from Jose's tactics at times.

On the subject of Barca's help from upstairs, well, if Jose wanted nothing more than to help raise global awareness of it, then he has certainly succeeded. The ref from last nights game did his utmost to ensure that no Madrid player was sent off at any time in order to avoid adding further weight to his case. UEFA know exactly what they are doing.

Edited by Elliott
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two points I would like to raise here;

1. Are we of a better moral standing for not lowering ourselves to Barca's ''theatrics'' or is the joke on us for not catching on? &

2. Speaking of their 'dirty, cheating ways' let us remind ourselves of how Porto played in the UEFA Cup vs Celtic all those years back, and also the way in which we also profited from Jose's tactics at times.

On the subject of Barca's help from upstairs, well, if Jose wanted nothing more than to help raise global awareness of it, then he has certainly succeeded. The ref from last nights game did his utmost to ensure that no Madrid player was sent off at any time in order to avoid adding further weight to his case. UEFA know exactly what they are doing.

I noticed this, the ref went out of his way to avoid sending anyone off and some the RM players seemed to be asking for it. Whether this was a victory for Jose or an attempt by UEFA to discredit his accusations remains to be seen.

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Elliot, 1 I'd like to think that we are of a better moral standing, there's no place for cheating in sport, and there's a big difference in players going over too easy and falling over without any contact. I'd rather us play with integrity.

2, that Porto team did have players like deco who, was another diving little prick, (slightly forgiven). But I don't think it is something that mourinho brings to his team, he didn't being it here nor to inter, di maria and ronaldo can play act with the best of them.

I just don't think that it's the same mentality in England, supporters like to see bravery, as much as skill. On the continant, it's more of a soap opera sort of attitude, and if a player dives to gain an advantage, it's just seems to be part and parcel of the game.

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To critisize the actions of the Barca players is all well and good,to be fair they deserve no less for their diving and card waving at the referee,but what about all the pre match mind games from Jose?.

Having seen jose in the tunnel before our match against Inter a couple of years ago,with him greeting all his ex players with a warm handshake,can anyone,irrespective of how you feel about him as our ex manager,honestly say that he cares as much for the clubs he once managed as much as he cares about himself?.Give old red nose Ferguson his due & I guess Dalglish at the dippers,they both belive in the ideals/identity of a club.

Jose only cares about the club he's managing at the time,which i suppose is all well & good but as a fan,for us,it's a life comitment,it would be great if the manager belived the same wouldn't it?.

Mind games,gamesmanship,call it what you want, when it comes down to it on the field did he as a manager give his team the chance to give their best on the pitch?,did he free them from the shackles of doubt and fear of failling?,all this has nothing to do with the match officials it's about giving your best,because when all is said & done,giving it your best is all any manager/official/fan can ask of their team.

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The spotlight should be directed to Mourinho's tactics not some alleged UNICEF conspiracy theory. For me his tactics were unacceptable - Barca must be allowed the ball in their own half and as soon as Xavi, Messi or Iniesta get the ball they must be surrounded, tripped, roughed up and closed down etc etc etc.

I'm surprised Mourinho's roughhouse tactics are ignored by so many. They were provocative and destructive. Alfred Di Stefano the Real Madrid legend and honorary club president slammed Mourinho's tactics. As a matter of fact one of Mourinho's players, Cristiano Ronaldo, is quoted as follows" I don't like to play like that at all, but I have to adapt to what the team asks me" A reference obviously directed at Mourinho.

Omar Hitzfeld the former coach of Bayern Munich and Swiss national team called Mourinho's tactics "really shameful" Quote " Luckily Mourinho's destructive tactics, aimed solely at provoking and destroying the opponents' game plan did not work in the first leg. It's really shameful for Real Madrid. It harms the good name and image of the legendary club"

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The spotlight should be directed to Mourinho's tactics not some alleged UNICEF conspiracy theory. For me his tactics were unacceptable - Barca must be allowed the ball in their own half and as soon as Xavi, Messi or Iniesta get the ball they must be surrounded, tripped, roughed up and closed down etc etc etc.

I'm surprised Mourinho's roughhouse tactics are ignored by so many. They were provocative and destructive. Alfred Di Stefano the Real Madrid legend and honorary club president slammed Mourinho's tactics. As a matter of fact one of Mourinho's players, Cristiano Ronaldo, is quoted as follows" I don't like to play like that at all, but I have to adapt to what the team asks me" A reference obviously directed at Mourinho.

Omar Hitzfeld the former coach of Bayern Munich and Swiss national team called Mourinho's tactics "really shameful" Quote " Luckily Mourinho's destructive tactics, aimed solely at provoking and destroying the opponents' game plan did not work in the first leg. It's really shameful for Real Madrid. It harms the good name and image of the legendary club"

But if a ref does his job, Jose tactics will be nullified.....Barcas tactics are to not allow the ref to do their job! or atleast not fairly...

Again I think a lot of the hate for Barca (atleast mine) is not just thir tactics, but that the media/refs/eufa ignore them..... and that Barca preaches about how they are the true game etc etc and then spew those performances!

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For me his tactics were unacceptable - Barca must be allowed the ball in their own half and as soon as Xavi, Messi or Iniesta get the ball they must be surrounded, tripped, roughed up and closed down etc etc etc.

Fixed it for you.

Tell me, what do you think of Barca's tactics when they surround and press opposing players in the other half so as to get the ball back?

mmmmmmm.

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Randy, you seem happy to point out Madrids failings yet ignore Barcelona`s. I get that your obviously a massive Barca fan, but they were as bad if not worse than Madrid over both leagues when it came to cheating, diving, fouling etc. Jose`s tactics were bang on though, its how to play them. Let them have the ball as much as they want as they play littler pretty useless passes for minutes on end, passes that dont cause any trouble. Once they get about 30 yards out then start hassling them, harassing them, kicking them if need be (Barca also do plenty of kicking, they have a lovely little trick of bringing a player down as a team breaks, whether they have the ball or not). If Pepe hadnt wrongly been brought down then theres every chance that game would have finished 0-0 and job done. Taking that away to Barcelona would have been a great result and meant Madrid had the upper hand.

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