Much has been made of Barcelona's loss at the hands of a tempestuous Sevilla opponent at home at the Camp Nou on Tuesday. Football personalities and pundits, as well as amateur fans and junkies have all weighed in with what seems to be a virtually endless onslaught of opinion on how the blaugrana and their glorious run are now tragically over.
It would do one well to remember that good teams-even Barcelona during their twelve month run-lose matches. The simple fact is that good teams play a great deal of football.
This leads to inevitable lulls in play caused by everything from unavailability due to injury or international responsibilities to overwhelming fatigue. It is the price one pays for greatness. It is the ironic reward for success. Great teams play in tournaments all year long that most teams don't.
The Big Picture: Barcelona—and its fans, hopefully—see the season as a marathon through which one must pace oneself in order to make it to the finish line standing. Sevilla were the better team Tuesday, and that's OK.
The goal is to be consistently great all year long and there is no evidence to support the idea that one loss is an indication that Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Ibra and company are any less talented or capable than they have been for some time.
How quickly we forget hard fought victories that brought trophies and bragging rights with them. Overtime goals to win World Cups and beautiful crosses to set up scores in the Classico were not too terribly long ago.
Guardiola: It is nothing less than amazing to see a manager make questionable personnel decisions all year long and have not one word uttered about them so long as the side sees results. One loss and the crosses are burning. Not every move works, but making moves for the interest of the team—the long term interest—is a manager's job. Perhaps Pep is the only one with his eye actually on the ball right now.
This team is built to win. This team is special because of its composition and character, and that includes its manager. Surely it will bear out here as in all things in life that a weekend win will right the ship in the minds of many disconcerted fans. Have faith los cules, for it is truly a long season.