The first game of the season saw the boys in red facing Bar Hermanos Arribas at the CES film school grounds, looking to confirm the good sensations from the easy win on the friendly a week before.
Majid’s men lined up with Portuguese debutant José wearing the gloves, and an experienced back four with Dorus, Omar, Rama and Ed. Macca owning the centre circle in his newly appointed position as centre mid, giving more freedom to Calum and flanked by Joe and Ish, with Gareth Bale lookalike Lewis and Venezuelan intellectual Luigi up top.
If you know the result already, don’t worry. I won’t bore you with details of every pass, run and finish. Basically, because I don’t remember them.
What I can tell you is that on a pitch as narrow as a bowling alley it was difficult for the Brits to play comfortably, and the preseason stiffness didn’t make the game any more enjoyable to watch. The home team tried to put long balls between midfield and defence, but other than some horribly mistimed clearing attempts by yours truly, the danger was kept away.
Slowly the Brits began to create chances and soon the difference between the squads started to show on the scoreboard with a 4-0 advantage before half an hour had elapsed. A succession of rebounds and poor challenges resulted in a penalty for the home team, which couldn’t be stopped by José despite a very good effort. Rami, as you can imagine, was raging.
The rest of the game maintained the same tone. Brits dominating and scoring and the opposition trying their best to get another goal. Soon Michael, Wouter and Jose (not José, Jose) jumped on the pitch for Rama, Macca and Dorus.
After some good minutes, the lack of a challenge saw FCB distracted, apathetic and moody and allowed the Bar people to score another consolation goal shortly before the final whistle.
So, in the end, the score was 10-2 thanks to goals by Luigi, Calum (2) Ish (3) and Lewis (4).
There are still a lot of things to improve, but the result, some moments of good football and the fact that everyone got quite a few minutes on the pitch are the positive aspects of this game.
However, if FCB want to aim for the title this year they must maintain concentration throughout the 90 minutes, as stronger rivals can make them suffer a lot more than they did last game.
Man of the match: Calum Cant
Goal of the match: Lewis Jones