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"It is what it is" as Cádiz deepen Barcelona's slump


I don’t think I’m mistaken in saying the expression “it is what it is (esto es lo que hay)” originated in Cádiz, or at least that its use is most extensive there. It was there that I heard it for the first time, from the mouth of Manuel Irigoyen, the seasoned president of Cádiz CF, in reference precisely to the ability of his squad after the first game of a pre-season. Esto es lo que hay is the resigned expression of the poor man who knows that to get by he’ll have to punch in every day because life has decided to deal him a bum hand. That is the way it is every year at Cádiz, anthropologically poor and forced to make do with what they’ve got. And even so, using what they have at their disposal, Cádiz managed to take a point off Barcelona.

What is striking is that a Barcelona side also has been put together on the basis of “it is what it is,” but if the expression has made the journey north from Cádiz to Catalonia, it is because the perfect storm has been created for it to do so: economic ruin and a flood of injuries. Memphis Depay stands out among veteran veterans and very novice novices. Against Cádiz two of the latter played, Gavi and Demir, two kids with style but who lack the bravery Ansu Fati displayed when he exploded onto the scene. How Barcelona miss him! Genuinely, I think that given what he has Ronald Koeman is doing the best he can, while from within the club all effort is being made to discredit him, which only makes matters worse.

Barcelona's two De Jongs

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Koeman has not been without fault either though, as when he laid out on Tuesday before the game certain truisms that only added to the discord. Still, with a poor Cádiz and an impoverished Barça played out a dull first half and a slightly more animated second. When Barça looked to be warming to the task they lost the good De Jong to a second yellow card that seemed excessive. Then the game descended into a mad scramble with good chances at both ends. The best Barça managed to produce was wasted by Memphis, from a great pass from the not-very good De Jong, which pretty much sums things up. But it was Marc-André ter Stegen who had the final scare.