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Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Return of The Ego

The Return of the Ego

For three years, the Barcelona fans had the indulged in the attitude of their team. It was a team with few egos or where egos where able to co exist and one of the traits of the team was just humbleness and self-scarification of the other.

It only took three years for it to disappear; only a few months after the European cup had been won the first warning signs were there. It all started with Joan Laporta boasting that the team would win all seven titles, the exact opposite of what were the staples of the board, the coach and the team in the beginning, but I guess that is what happens when you have not won anything for five years. I choked on Laporta’s comments and thought that the Karma would come back to haunt him, to haunt us.
So far all titles (but one) have been lost.

Sevilla in the European super cup final trashed Barcelona, who had not taken off their smoking from the night before, where they received many awards in a spectacular gala. While Sevilla had been preparing for the game in all seriousness Barcelona were jetting around America in a Globetrotter fashion, believing it would be an easy match. After all they were the European Champions.

Laporta’s comments have hurt, like Rijkaard has reminded us so many times, you cannot even think such thoughts, on occasions you can rely on pure talent, but will also goes a long long way, especially if the opposites teams thoughts are elsewhere.

The warnings have been there all season, while the team has been playing poorly in all but perhaps 45 + 90 + 45 + 30 minutes this season, there have been all kinds of excuses, the world cup, the lack of pre season training, injuries, but the fact is that the team has lost all principal values: humbleness, self scarification for the other and self criticism.
The egos have taken over and for the first time there are camps in the dressing room. Those on the Brazilians side and the other ones. Those who train hard and those who hardly train at all. Those who breathe football and those who breathe life.

Over these years Deco’s ascendancy over the dressing room has been prominent, he is a magnificent player who was one of the chief reasons for Barcelona’s success, but as his influence at the time was positive, it has now turned negative. He is very clever, has an astute technical sense, but he is also very manipulative and has that charismatic leadership that can be so constructive, but also so destructive. It is called the Rise of Deco Power. He has imposed the Brazilian way of working, that proved to be successful, but like so many methods has an expiry date. It is a working method that bases itself on joy, freedom and individuality. While it lasted it worked wonders, but what should have happened is that during success the team should have worked harder on becoming even better, there were signs even then: the lack of corners scored, the difficulty in defending corners and free kicks, the lack of killing off opponents etc. The team has simply not become better, it has stagnated and that plus lack of fitness, plus lack of hunger, self criticism, over belief in one self as an individual (not as a unit) is what we are seeing this year. Why has Deco not been stopped, how come he has been allowed this immense power on the dressing room (some even say he dictates who plays and who does not), well one reason is obviously Frank Rijkaard, a man who believes in flexible authority, rather than authority through fear, and it did worked for some time. Lets not forget he had Ten Cate on his side last year, who took on the part of authority. What does Neeskens do apart from Sudokos? Perhaps when the ego rises to unbearable proportions, no method works. Once a player believes he is more important than the team, it is time to go. I sincerely hope that Rijkaard’s way is the way to go, as I always believed in self criticism, or as Xavi puts it “How do you feel when the coach comes to you and asks, looking you deeply in your eye – you did not follow my instructions”, but like so many other members of the team (board, players, coaches etc) he will have to do some serious reflection on how to affront the situation and if he has the hunger to affront another season. I am sure in the summer some players will arrive, as so far the players have sensed their position is secured however badly they play, and others have sensed that whatever they do they can’t enter the team, there will be both additions of serious threats to first team and squad members, as the group will have to be shaken up from complacency.

The situation is simple: It has no solution. It is the behaviour of a Nouveau Riche, of spoilt kids. It is such a shame as last year I felt so proud over my team, the effort everyone put in, the will of going in the same direction, the hunger in their eyes, but also the kindness in their eyes.

Like they all learnt to gain success, the transformation of losers into winners, they will now learn to digest success, the co existing of humans, rather than clash of egos each looking for their self-gain.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Mr Towers said...

Wise analysis, clever words are yousr.

Mr Ego is always there, hidden among the trees, waitnig for the first opportunity to jump over the Us, the Ours, the We.

Let's hope Franky'll be able to put some drops of self-steam into the souls of those higly skilled and rewarded boys, just enough for them to end with dignity this few weeks.

By the way, YES you can download "el Jardi", but NO, you can't listen to it while riding a bicycle ;)

Follow the yellow brick instructions...

3:04 PM  
Blogger NaN said...

Hello, corason!!

No, I'm not here to find pictures of you. :) Just to say hello and pay you a visit since my return to our virtual community.

3:29 PM  
Blogger NaN said...

Por cierto Yrsa, me diras si ha salido bien todo eso que hablamos por mail?

4:00 PM  
Blogger Yrsa Roca Fannberg said...

@mr towers
Ya lo guardare para "pasear" o mejor para estar por el jardin.
@nan
No es hasta Noviembre/Diciembre, asi que de momento no se nada, gracias por la ayuda

4:12 PM  
Blogger NaN said...

tienes razon Yrsa, no me acordaba.

aqui te dejo

4:45 PM  
Blogger NaN said...

4:46 PM  
Blogger NaN said...

no se que pasa Yrsa, intento dejarte un enlace y no me sale.
Seguro que es culpa mia.
Te lo envio al mail

4:46 PM  
Anonymous tracey said...

It's important to be humble and remember there are many other clubs with great players and even bigger histories than Barca's who also want to win.

If you want a team of hungry players who'll fight for everything always there's one coach for you - Jose Mourinho! I understand he's looking for a job....... it will take some swallowing of pride from Barca fans though.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous tracey said...

How do you know Deco has all this dressing room power by the way, guesswork?

8:41 PM  
Blogger Yrsa Roca Fannberg said...

@tracey
Jose would be in some ways ideal, however the press in Barcelona are not an easy bunch and they are kind of against him, so he would have it even more difficult at Chelsea, they are dying to get at him and yes even if he coaches Barcelona. As they saying goes, Barça's worst enemy is Barça. I think it is a shame Barça lost all humbleness, i think Rijkaard still has that quality, but it has gone out of hand.
Read my article the power of the word, some time may/april last year.

Deco, hmmm all commentators point to that, some with more knowledge as other. I can't swear by my grave, but there are some commentators with contacts who have said so.

How did you come across me, by the way?

12:39 PM  

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