Having decided that the league title is beyond the reach of FC Barcelona this season, the Catalan sports papers have done what they always do in times of crisis: make wholesale changes on behalf of the club and sign every single player they can google in a bid to lift the spirits of their readership.
Since Barcelona's draw with Sevilla four days ago, both Sport and El Mundo Deportivo, have taken it upon themselves to sign Garay, Diego, Drogba, Cesc Fabregas and Modric for their ailing club. MD have even managed to assign Barcelona a new manager by plastering a picture of Arsene Wenger across their front page this morning. At least they didn't go as far as Sport who have decided that photoshopping Cesc Fabregas's head onto Xavi's body is the way to convince your readers that your razor sharp reporters know something that the rest of the world doesn't.
Both the Barcelona sports papers point out, however, that should Rijkaard win the Champions League this season, then none of the above will happen and all will be well in sunny Barcelona.
Aside from the fact that it is extremely comforting to know that these people will never actually run a football club, it is somewhat reassuring that some of the higher quality papers are still capable of offering a more measured response to every minor rise and fall in Barcelona's fortunes.
As Charly Rexach pointed out in La Vanguardia yesterday, the same papers that were full of doom on monday morning would do well to remember that only seven days previously they were unanimously predicting that Barcelona would overtake Madrid in the race for the title. As Rexach reminds everybody, Barcelona's draw at Sevilla reduced the gap between Madrid and Barcelona from nine to eight points; and this after a difficult away fixture that many predicted Barcelona would lose.
Another former Barcelona Manager, Johan Cruyff, argues in his weekly column that not only are these fantasy signings and kneejerk reactions damaging to the club, they are also hugely disrespectful to all involved - not just at Barcelona but to the players linked with the club and their current employers. And besides, as Cruyff points out, do any of these players actually offer anything to Barcelona that the club does not already have within its ranks. A sense of perspective is what is required.
Someone far cleverer than I once wrote something about treating the twin imposters of victory and defeat as one and the same; there was never anything in those words that suggested what should happen following a draw. A pity, for those responsible for the sports papers in Barcelona would do well to get a grip.