Tidbits From A World at Rest: News in an International Break

Here’s something you don’t see every day:

Given that 45 yards is pretty far to head a ball, I’ll give him credit for getting it on target, but damn, that was a Valdes-at-his-worst (Zambrotta-at-his-best?) move by the keeper that would have had the lot of us screaming bloody murder. Note the Velez fans at the end looking stunned…what a brave bunch they are, traveling to La Bombonera.

Whatever, Barça, after the jump:

Top of the league with a victory over Almeria and then a classic in the Sanchez Pizjuan sends Madrid to their first defeat. While we labored a bit with a double man-mark in our midfield (Xavi and Iniesta), we were able to rely on a really solid performance in the back; Madrid met the sword I expected them to meet, though they put up a fight towards the end when Sevilla went all jittery and let them dictate play for a while. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Barça are a team, Madrid are a collection of individuals. They aren’t really dangerous yet because they aren’t cohesive. We’re always dangerous. Also, my prediction was true that Sevilla would win because they have a strike force capable of putting the ball in the back of the net. They’re no Xerez (who finally scored!) and they’re no Tenerife (who lost at home), so they put up a real fight. Interestingly enough, no strikers scored, though. And Casillas reaffirmed his place at the top of the goalkeeping pyramid, but that’s no surprise to anyone, is it? Phil Ball has some thoughts on the whole thing. He points out, again, that he’s not an RM man, but rather a Sociedad man. Respect.

In the NFL, most quarterbacks give their offensive line big Christmas presents (amazing dinners at fancy restaurants, cars, watches, etc), but in this football, do defenders give their goalies big presents? You’d think Casillas would be worth it, but I’m not sure Marcelo has the foresight. And Sergio Ramos is too busy eating cheeseburgers and (allegedly) banging hookers to care. But you’d think Albiol would be aware enough. I’m sure Puyol slaughters plenty of lambs/goats/cattle/kangaroos for Valdes and Pique probably gives Vic a couple of “Get Out of Being Pantsed Free” cards he can redeem anytime.

It’s International Break if you hadn’t noticed and that means several key members of the squad are headed to World Cup qualifiers. Here’s who:

Spain: Puyol, Pique, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta
France: Abidal, Henry
Sweden: Ibra
Argentina: Messi
Brasil: Alves
Ivory Coast: The Yaya (1 match)
Mali: Keita (1 match)
Mexico: Marquez

The teams that need wins are France, Sweden, and Argentina; Mali could use about 11 points from their match because Ghana is beating the pants off of them in their group, unfortunately for Keita. France take on the Faeroe Islands and Austria, both at home, while Sweden are at Denmark and then host Albania. Argentina face Peru and Uruguay in Argentina, which should make winning easier, but they’ve still got Maradona as their coach, so perhaps not.

Brazil has already qualified, so Alves should have an easy time of it, though I’m positive that if he gets playing time he’ll be running around at a million miles an hour anyway. Spain are qualified too, so I’m just praying for no injuries. Knock on wood, pray to [insert favorite deity here], whatever works. Mexico just need to beat El Salvador or Trinidad & Tobago and they’re qualified. You bet your bottom dollar I’ll be watching and cheering against them, of course.

We’ve got Valencia after the break in the Mestalla, so we need to not only return healthy, but do so in form and ready to hand a boot stomping over to Los Che (sorry Cesar!). David Villa went off injured against Racing and could miss the match, but you never know, what with the recuperative powers of some of these players these days…

Joshua Angoy Cruyff. Learn that name, if only because you already know his mother’s name. He’s The Johan’s grandson and he just joined Barça’s Juvenile B, playing the last 10 minutes of a 3-0 win. If he’s half the player his grandfather was, we’ll be seeing him in the first team soon. Of course, if he’s half the player his uncle was…we’ll be seeing him in the Tercera.

Take it easy and be prepared for statistical analysis to come rolling out throughout the week.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

121 Comments

    • eklavya
      October 5, 2009

      Hmm, nice article Shek thanks for sharing it…although I disagree with some parts it a pretty good read.

      • Kxevin
        October 5, 2009

        It doesn’t advance the debate, however. I wish that it did. They’re doing good work over there, by the by.

  1. Khairallah
    October 5, 2009

    I was cheering “new post, new post” as i opened the blog, and here it is 🙂

  2. yogi
    October 5, 2009

    As a argentina fan, maradona gives me the creeps. just hope that messi has grown enough to understand that if they dont make it, it is not his fault. why is maradona still there is something that i do not understand. but then, it is just one more thing in the already large wft collection.

  3. Helge
    October 5, 2009

    Correction:
    Argentina faces Uruguay in Montevideo which makes this game a LOT tougher. And the pressure of winning the first match in Buenos Aires against Peru, bottom of the table, will be high as hell, especially with respect to the away game against Uruguay. They just have to win against Peru, and better in a convincing way. But how, without Cambiasso, Samuel, Demichelis (is he still injured?)… and with Schiavi and Palermo?
    I will pray for both, no injuries and Argentina (at least I can watch the qualifiers live on TV, something which isn’t true for La Liga in this country).

    • October 5, 2009

      That sounded too good to be true but maybe I misread the official site. 3 of the last 4 at home would have been sweet. Thanks for the correction.

      I’ll see if I can’t liveblog some of these WCQs though it’ll prob have to be a European one. Maybe Sweden will be on or Portugal can lose.

      • Miguel
        October 5, 2009

        cheering against mexico o_0? you a u.s. fan?

        if you are here’s a nytimes article on the honduras game:
        //http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/sports/soccer/05soccer.html?ref=todayspaper

        • October 5, 2009

          Am a US fan insofar as I want us to improve by playing good soccer, rather than the terrible crap we usually come up with under Bob Bradley. We have good players, but we generally play like we expect to give up 6 goals if we venture outside our own half with more than 2 players.

          And I’m fairly anti-Tri as far as it goes simply because I like me a good rivalry and, having lived in Mexico for a bit, I have friends I can talk shit with.

    • October 5, 2009

      This is where I got the info from, by the way: “[Argentina] have two games at home against Peru and Uruguay to put their campaign back on course.”

      Silly official site.

      • Helge
        October 6, 2009

        Well, at least it’s not the official site of the AFA 🙂

        If Maradona ran the official site, it would be possible…

  4. Hawk
    October 5, 2009

    I live in Armenia so Im going to the Armenia vs Spain game. Ill get to see Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Puyol and Busi yaaaaay
    hope no one gets injured. armenia usually doesnt play rough though

  5. ooga aga
    October 5, 2009

    god, if xavi and iniesta (pr pique or puyol for that matter) play ill be pisssssed. theyve already clinched the friggin group.

    • Blow-Granite
      October 5, 2009

      I think they will all play, but they will take it easy – since they have all qualified. Anyway if Xavi Iniesta Puyol and Pique all play they will make short change of who they are playing against.

  6. drew
    October 5, 2009

    the spanish press say villa is pretty much out for the barcelona game…good news

    • Blow-Granite
      October 5, 2009

      I think the Valencia game is too far away. We should re-evaluate the situation close to 18th.

  7. Lumi
    October 5, 2009

    Just digressing a little. It Hurts me to my Groins when teams hack us down simply because we will not retaliate but i think one of the ways to come out strong come May next yr is return every tackle 4 one back simple TOOTH FOR TOOTH and BLOOD FOR BLOOD especially when we are pinned on the wall like Chelsea last season We have to use a Game plan per game to me that is how we will be UNPREDICTABLE.

    • SoccerMom
      October 6, 2009

      O.K. but you’re playing Referee Roulette. Who do you think will get the calls? It’s all in the cards!

  8. Jnice
    October 5, 2009

    LOL, when Guti and Casillas were having their little spat during a corner, Guti ended the argument by telling Iker to “shut up.” Basically, Iker told Guti he wasn’t doing anything or marking anyone.

    • Boat Forever
      October 5, 2009

      I knew these things would start sooner or later. I expected them to be started either by CR9-Kaka clashes or Benzema-Higuain clashes but never in my wildest imaginations thought that Guti after having endured all that humiliation in summer would dare do this to the best player of Madrid… Good going guys 🙂

    • SoccerMom
      October 6, 2009

      I said to d.h. other day ‘I can’t tell when RM is playing crappy or just playing normal and losing’ and d.h. said, ‘Look at Casillas. If he is o.k., they are playing normal but if he starts spitting ‘puta madre’ it’s because they’re playing crappy’.

  9. Eduard
    October 5, 2009

    Is the Spain-Armenia game going to be broadcasted?

    I know not everyone in here is a Spain fan, but I’m a huge(5’5″) fan.

    • Boat Forever
      October 5, 2009

      You better be Argentina fan for that height LOL

      • Eduard
        October 5, 2009

        No Messi genes, Full on Catalan. My girlfriend says I look just like Xavi(I’ll take it)

        • Miguel
          October 5, 2009

          what does ray ray call xavi? “chameleon eyes?” ;^)

        • eklavya
          October 5, 2009

          Dayuum man if I had a gf who told me I look like The YAYA I’d marry her straight away lol 😛

  10. Keano
    October 5, 2009

    Quote ‘If he’s half the player his grandfather was, we’ll be seeing him in the first team soon. Of course, if he’s half the player his uncle was…we’ll be seeing him in the Tercera’ haha lol brilliant isaiah but poor jordi

  11. Miguel
    October 5, 2009

    5th place argentina(22pts) does have something going for them this weekend in that 4th place ecuador(23 pts) play 6th place uruguay(21 pts); although it’ll be a home game for la tri.

    if argentina win & uruguay beats or draws to ecuador maradona’s third string argentina hop to 4th place.

  12. Lumi
    October 5, 2009

    “Yesterday’s performance was great, and if we continue like this then we can even beat Barcelona” says Adriano from Sevilla on Goal.com. he been allowed a step forward by The EE now he wants a Mile from Us. They shall definitely get what they deserve.

    • eklavya
      October 5, 2009

      Well currently Sevilla are playing at the better collective level than us. We still have to glue up together…

      • Eduard
        October 5, 2009

        We better be together against Valencia, or will find a similar response.

        Although Valencia will (prob) be without Villa, Attack is part of the Che philosophy. We cannot make mistakes.

        • PM
          October 5, 2009

          I don’t think an attacking team like Valencia will give us any problem. They are conceding goals like cupcakes.

          • BA
            October 5, 2009

            i dunno about you, but i don’t concede my cupcakes easily.

    • SoccerMom
      October 6, 2009

      I want to see a team come out to play. Better if it’s a good team. I’d rather see a cracking loss than another ho-hum scrape-by, or even junior league blowout.

  13. PM
    October 5, 2009

    Watching Man city vs A villa… so far it looks like couple of headless chickens running into each other for no apparent reason 🙁

    • Hilal
      October 5, 2009

      HAHA….thats EPL football for you!

        • skyislm
          October 6, 2009

          I am not sure if I will be scorned upon, but I watched the ‘gers vs celtic and it looked no different than what PM said above!

  14. October 5, 2009

    EDUARD, the Spain match is on Fox Sports en Español live at noon EST (9am pacific) on Saturday.

  15. Kxevin
    October 5, 2009

    Looks like Villa and Joaquin will be out against us. Villa is 3 weeks, Joaquin is 20 days. But as we all know, top-level players heal quickly. Just look at BANGS and his ankle.

    Here’s the thing, though: People are saying that Sevilla would have beaten even us yesterday. To that I say, who knows? Both sides were allowed an amount of freedom to play the ball that, frankly, being used to the way that we play, I’m not used to seeing. Can anyone imagine Navas just being allowed to advance the ball up the pitch, without any kind of a challenge, or attempt to slow him down?

    Now, Navas was, from what I saw, spectacular yesterday. But he would have been facing off against Abidal, whose pace and strength would have given me great comfort. The other thing is that they were advancing the ball at full gallop. That’s damn hard to stop. And what was with the guys running around in the middle of the pitch, unchecked?

    I think that our style of pressuring the ball forces errors and allows us more leeway in the quality of our play. In the Rijkaard years, we gave clubs too much space, which exposed our back line and keeper. If you shut down and contest the midfield, it compressed the pitch and allows our back line players to play more like sweepers, as the sole option becomes going over the top with the long ball.

    Obviously, we’ll see in a month or so, but I’m confident against any club in the world right now, even playing off song as we are. I think that the side seems to elevate its game for certain opponents. Witness the Atletico match. But you can see them saying “The season is long, why kill ourselves to beat Malaga or Almeria?”

    Mind you, that kind of attitude could come back to bite us in the ass, as I’m not sure that you can just turn it on and off. But World Cup years are always messy, because of the constant demands, and the pressure of those demands. Messi and an injured Henry will be feeling immense pressure. Spain less so, because they’re in.

    –And what about the Cruijff comments that Messi’s contract duration is too long? You know, I kind of agree with him. He cites the unfortunate reality of a long contract possibly sapping a player’s motivation to improve and keep working like a dog. Again, and I’m sure it will be an unpopular view, but I agree. Security, by its very nature, makes us a bit more complacent. Yes, the long contract gives us many options regarding him, up to and including selling an under-contract player, which is a lot easier than selling one who isn’t, right?

    No, I’m not saying that Messi is going to start slacking off, now that he’s under contract until 2016. Too much pride, too much talent. But I do think that Cruijff is right to raise the question.

    • Boat Forever
      October 5, 2009

      Jesus Navas wouldn’t have had so much freedom, but what about Diego Perotti against Alves!? I’m sure he’d have enjoyed those minutes when Alves is caught high up the pitch, which happens more than occasionally 😉
      P.S. Is it me or Marquez does look like Vincent Chase from ‘The Entourage’!?

      • Kxevin
        October 5, 2009

        I think Alves would have been playing a little tighter and not roaming so far. And I think that our midfield pressure would have starved him of the service he was receiving.

        Which is the beauty of Fantasy Football, right? 😀

      • October 5, 2009

        But the point is to get that kind of time on the ball you have to have the ball.

        I too noticed the absurd amount of space in midfield, as if both teams were playing a 4-1-5. Sevilla was playing a counter-attack game, which was smart, but only because RM wasn’t really looking to possess the ball, but instead, oddly, counter. So they just kicked the ball long and raced after it and Sevilla would then counter.

        It was weird, but entertaining. “end-to-end” stuff, but sorta without a midfield…so like “end and end” stuff.

      • Miguel
        October 5, 2009

        gerardo torrado looks like johnny drama

        • ElShowDeJason
          October 5, 2009

          i dont think he looks like him at all…

          • Miguel
            October 5, 2009

            //http://www.terra.com/addon/img/deportes/4d8b99gtorradoper-artp.jpg

    • UAI
      October 5, 2009

      To me, R.Madrid’s back line is their weakest link. It’s just not good enough for their stated ambitions. So I doubt Sevilla and the likes of Adriano, Navas , Capel, etc. will have an easy time with our Abidal, Pique, Puyol etc. AND they will have fewer opportunities to burst forward with Barca’s possession game choking them

      • Boat Forever
        October 5, 2009

        True… But they can make us suffer with their counter-attacks. They have got quite some wealth in their wings. Having the perfect finisher of a counter-attack move in Fabiano also helps.

      • poipoi
        October 5, 2009

        Plus, xabi doesn’t defend that well for a def mid. And gago… just… lol. They don’t pressure as much as we supposedly do. I feel they depend a little on lass to steal some balls in the midfield.

  16. jordi
    October 5, 2009

    Well as long as abidal and not maxwell plays, we should combat their counterattacks decntly.If maxwell plays, we’ll be raped, to put it bluntly.

  17. ElShowDeJason
    October 5, 2009

    🙂

    *http://soccernet.espn.go.com/tables?league=esp.1&cc=5901

    FC Barcelona are in 1st place in La Liga with 18 points
    FC Barcelona have the most goals scored with 17 Goals in favor
    -(this translates to 2.83 goals scored per game)
    FC Barcelona have the least goals allowed with 3 goals against.
    -(this translates to 0.50 goals allowed per game)
    FC Barcelona have the best goals difference: 14

    Life is good at the moment.

  18. lovelymofo
    October 5, 2009

    I enjoyed the Sevilla/EE match, but realized during the match how much Barça’s style of play has skewed my perception of how the game should be played. I kept thinking to myself that there was way too much open space in the middle and kept saying “why aren’t Sevilla pressuring the ball?”

    While I thought Sevilla played brilliantly and that they will probably give us a game at their stadium, I still think Barça has the players and hopefully the cohesiveness to beat them. I think the team will beat Valencia in a few weeks time, I’m just worried about conceding. I’d really like Valdes to get a couple of clean sheets.

    • iBlau
      October 5, 2009

      Truth. It happens with every game. I guess I’m spoiled by our beautiful & effective style of play.

      • skyislm
        October 6, 2009

        my comments about the rangers/celtic game a few lines above, can be attributed to this beauty, which has spoiled all of us cules! 🙂

    • eklavya
      October 6, 2009

      Its our barcelona.theoffside.com is it?

    • eklavya
      October 6, 2009

      *Its not our barcelona.theoffside.com is it?

  19. BA
    October 5, 2009

    “Argentina coach Diego Maradona called up midfielder Rodrigo Brana of South American champions Estudiantes on Monday as cover for captain Javier Mascherano who has muscle fatigue.”

    30-year-old with ZERO caps called up; Cambiasso stays in Milan. lol.

    • Helge
      October 6, 2009

      Oh my God… that is beyond words. Is Mascherano out for sure?

  20. Miguel
    October 6, 2009

    i just downloaded & watched the arsenal v blackburn game. my god. fabregas assisted on three and scored one. he started off on the right but, after the half, wound up playing iniesta’s role. i’m just saying. i know a lot of dudes think xavi & fabregas are mutually exclusive but after watching this game…

    • ElShowDeJason
      October 6, 2009

      wow, your ellipsis says a lot.

      and i’d usually disagree, but i caught some of that game. He was impressive.

      I’d sure like to see the upcoming Spain Games. I want to see Xavi, Iniesta, and Cesc all playing together.

      • Boat Forever
        October 6, 2009

        Out of his 4 goals & 8 assists tally, his best performances were against a struggling Everton & mediocre Blackburn with 2G & 2A and 1G & 4A against them respectively. That leaves him with 1G & 2A. I don’t know man I don’t know.
        P.S. An interesting fact about Fab. When Hughes was still manager at Blackburn & Blackburn parked bus all over against Arsenal… Cesc went to him and asked if he really played for Barca. The reply was ‘yeah, why?’ For that Cesc said ‘I don’t quite get it if you really played for them because it’s not their way at all to park buses!’

      • Miguel
        October 6, 2009

        @ el show
        you disagree?

        @ Stowe
        rojadirecta. don’t have an exact link. just look under “partidos en descarga/full matches”

    • Stowe
      October 6, 2009

      where did you download the game? any links you want to share?

    • Eduard
      October 6, 2009

      lol…Is there conflict in the dressing room?

  21. Ramzi
    October 6, 2009

    – Argentina is a painfull topic. “Coaching for defeat”.

    – Villa will be a big loss for Valencia. Joaquim is not. Pablo is a better player and he is over Joaquim in the selection order.

    – Sevilla was a horse I put a bet on at the begining of the season. I mentioned it in Isaiah article at the beginning of the season about Liga predictions. They may not win the title, but they have the resources to be the spice of the season. And I still put some hopes that Valencia will bounce back as well. I just hope it won’t happen so soon.

    – Navas is technically gifted, but physically fragile. If abidal should him some triceps and Abdominals at the beginning of the game, Navas will only hope to finish the game with all his bones in place. The one-on-one battles in football is 50 % a mental game. Against RM Navas enjoyed the rare opportunity of being the tough guy, with Marcelo dancing for him softly.

  22. Cule
    October 6, 2009

    Hey guys did u check out the offside forum? Pretty dead, apparently Iggy is not cut out for the job and they are looking for replacements.

  23. Boat Forever
    October 6, 2009

    //http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2009/10/06/1544073/karim-benzema-outburst-causes-real-madrid-rift-report

    jajajaja

    • Hector
      October 6, 2009

      …and so it begins.

      Nah! Its goal.com quoting a Sport “exclusive” i.e. a blatantly fabricated piece of wishful thinking BS. Yeah, I HOPE its true but it most likely is not.

  24. Hector
    October 6, 2009

    I am not sure how I feel about a Cesc signing. Yeah, he would give us insane depth at center-mid where we could rotate Xavi and Iniesta without missing a significant beat. However, when a CL knockout game or El Clasico comes around, who will be the first choice? Somebody’s ego WILL get hurt. I don’t like Iniesta at left wing with Cesc next to Xavi because its too many maestros and not enough finishers or directness. When Iniesta plays left wing we have Keita or Yaya to provide the directness and when he plays CM we have Henry to provide the finishing. The Cesc, Iniesta, Xavi at the same time dream is going overboard with the tiki taka obsession. I honestly would rather get a guy like Luis Suarez to replace Henry or somebody like Suarez or Mascherano for that type of money.

    • Boat Forever
      October 6, 2009

      Yeah even with Masch we’d have Yaya up-front to bombard the opponent’s goal, with Iniesta playing in wings. But Cesc is not a poor finisher either.

    • Blow-Granite
      October 6, 2009

      Hector, Imagine if one of Xavi or Iniesta got injured. Would you like to have Cesc in the team then?

    • Blow-Granite
      October 6, 2009

      The second thing is, a lot of people here dont like Busquets, and he would be offloaded once Cesc comes to Barca. He will have the same role that Busquets has in our team.

      • OhYes
        October 6, 2009

        I doubt a lot of people here dislike Busquets. He’s getting a lot of criticism, yes, but he deserves it. Last season, he was one of the more popular players because he is a canterano and he was doing very well.

        • Blow-Granite
          October 6, 2009

          Reagan, I like Busquets, and the way he plays a lot. But if you think logically, upon the arrival of Cesc there has to be player he replaces. And who would that be? I cant think of anybody else except Busquets.
          Consider the last match against Almeria. Xavi and Iniesta drifted wide and we needed a central play maker. Messi drifted into the middle to do the playmaker role, and Busquets was starting most of the plays from the middle just behind him. Imagine Cesc instead of Busquets there would make sense to me in such cases where the opponents park their bus to prevent Barca from playing. That way Messi can stay forward and torment the defense just outside the box.

  25. Lumi
    October 6, 2009

    True talk Hector even though cesc looks Barca like too much creativity can kill the food honestly. I think Suarez should do the trick come summer

    • Boat Forever
      October 6, 2009

      You meant January I guess 😉

  26. Lumi
    October 6, 2009

    Concerning conceding Goals i would much prefer a 4-1 or 5-1 Victory against Valencia than a 2-0 or 1-0 scoreline

  27. Lumi
    October 6, 2009

    I prefer a 4-1 or 5-1 Victory against Valencia than a 2-0 or 1-0 scoreline. Think scoring lots of Goals is better than a clean Sheet

  28. Hector
    October 6, 2009

    Cesc would add depth no doubt. My point is that playing Cesc, Iniesta, and Xavi at the same time does not seem optimal in my humble opinion (too many maestros but not enough finishing). We will be making a RM like mistake. “Just take the most creative players you can find and dump them all in together.” You need workers and finishers, not just maestros. We need tactical balance and that would not be a balanced formation.

    If Cesc can be humble enough to assume the role of super sub often then I may be for it although then you come to the cost/benefit question of whether paying 40 million for what is essentially a super sub is a good investment. However, it seems to me that when he gets left on the bench in favor of Iniesta in El Clasico some locker room issues will most likely arise.

    • Boat Forever
      October 6, 2009

      Cesc was unhappy the last time he played for Spain because he was not started even though Iniesta was unavailable… If at all Cesc is brought that should be only after Xavi becomes too old to be starter, when he’s content getting few minutes as a sub and would be happy to be just a rotation player. It would be an epic failure if Cesc’s brought prior to that happening and would be just an example of Galactico-signing

  29. Ramzi
    October 6, 2009

    Now imagine signing Cesc and then Iniesta and xavi decide not to get injured anymore. Opps! 😀

    • Blow-Granite
      October 6, 2009

      Ramzi, in the last few years that I have been watch barca play, Iniesta has always picked up injuries. I have seen him miss at least a couple of months every year. Do you recollect the dip in form beginning of the year at Barca – and Real Madrid were catching up. Iniesta was injured then.
      Xavi is 29. I believe this is his last year that he can play at the level he is playing, twice a week. I believe he needs rest.

      • Ramzi
        October 6, 2009

        Blow-Granite, Iniesta was not available last season in december. Thats the period where we were crushing our opponents for fun. Opponents including, Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, and villareal. So last season dip in form had nothing to do with Iniesta.

        Teams sign players to create depth, understandable. But teams must not sign a player who will be needed if a player got injured, while in this case if two players got injured at the same time.

        Depth and crise-signing may sound the same. But they are completely different. Creating depth means having players to rotate and players to warm up the bench Gudjhonsen-way till they are needed. Cesc is a good player, but to pay the price he will cost just because he will be needed IF…

        I dont know about that.

        Beside, I prefer to make him an example for the youth I have:”thats what happens when you are in a hurry. And dont expect us to pay all our savings to get you back if your new team didnt meet your expectations!” Rather than feeling the youth wondering why dont they leave earlier and try somewhere else, and if they didnt like it, barcelona will be there to pay and get them back. We must have only one door in such cases: “EXIT”. Harsh, but looking in the eyes of our canteras, they worth the sacrifice. Thats if it exists in the first place.

        And trust me, till Xavi start declining, we will have many new-Xavis running out of the Masiah to the camp nou.

        Read this remark and what hides behind, as we will hear lot of Galactico promices in the comming months:

        I PREFER THE CURRENT MODEL!

        • Blow-Granite
          October 6, 2009

          I like the current model too!!!

  30. Lumi
    October 6, 2009

    I still feel if Cesc leaves Arsenal one of the main reasons if will be changing clubs will be to win the Champions League if not i think he also is buying into Wenger’s idea and the more he stays the more his form ticks away

  31. Lumi
    October 6, 2009

    I think our Leaders at FCB have now known that they should always think thrice before selling an home grown talent

    • Hector
      October 6, 2009

      We didn’t sell him. He abandoned us becuase he was impatient and wanted a professional contract that only Brit teams can offer by law. Another case of English poaching. That’s what Ramzi meant by setting an example for the cantera. If you are patient then you will be rewarded.

      • eklavya
        October 6, 2009

        Apparently we’ve sold another 17 year old dude to Arsenal.

        • Boat Forever
          October 6, 2009

          He’s gonna suffer… At least Cesc became quite a star and there’s all this speculation surrounding him. But that ‘dude’ is not gonna find any minutes at Arsenal ahead of Ramsey & Wilshere who play in the same position. I don’t understand his point of going from Barca Athletic to Arsenal, then going on loan to Real Sociedad to play in segunda division. Had he stayed & played under Guardiola, I bet you he’d have been integrated to the main team already. But now he lost the chance of getting into Barca as well as Arsenal. Heard Ath.Madrid is interested in him. Let’s how far that’s gonna be fruitful for him.
          Fab led a disgusting path for our ‘B’ players to follow. The ‘dude’ wanted to be a hero and went that way. And he’s more or less gonna regret the move. Now if Cesc also is shown the closed door for ever, I doubt there’s gonna be more players who’d want to get away without showing some patience & loyalty to the La Masia.

  32. Miguel
    October 6, 2009

    i don’t think the triumvirate of iniesta, xavi, & fabregas is optimal/too efficient either. all i said was that i don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. i’d rather have suarez too.

    as for making an example out of cesc, i’m not that big a fan. he’s an anomaly not the rule. i say let the kids do what they want. if a canterano wants to prover himself in greener pastures i say, “do it.” you can wind up like gio dos santos.

    • Miguel
      October 6, 2009

      i should add i also think its not fair that english law gives minors the right to contract @ the age of 16 and in spain a kid can’t til he’s 18. uefa should go by whatever the european union states a minor can do & enforce it. give them an ultimatum: if england is too cool to be part of europe then it shouldn’t be in the champions league.

  33. Kari
    October 6, 2009

    My .02 in the “Cesc to Barca Debate”, is just look at Iniesta. If I’m not mistaken he was always coming off the bench to replace (mostly) Ronaldinho . He didn’t get his big break until Xavi was injured in the 2005-2006 season and by then, he was already 22!

    Cantera don’t all have to be Messis and explode at 18. I bet you there are some really talented players in the Masia that are just going under the radar.

    Inista was patient, and is now reaping the rewards. Just look at all the EPL fan boy saying “Barca didn’t kill ManUtd and Chelsea, it was Xavi/Iniesta!” or “Messi is overated! Iniesta is where it’s at”

  34. Boat Forever
    October 6, 2009

    Make Iniesta the main CM after Xavi retires or gets too old to be the main starter. Now I know many would come with the point that Iniesta is a CAM. Iniesta started out as a CDM just like Pep, Xavi & Cesc. He played CM most of the time during 2005-06 when Xavi was out injured & had quite a successful season, if I’m right that was his break-through year!! Stop entertaining Fabregas for that insanely large amounts of transfer fee & don’t even know the whereabouts of the ‘dude’ This would serve two purposes, we have a player who can be the successor of Xavi without parting with those 45million or whatever Arsenal would demand to get back Fab( he’s a bit over-rated by the english media IMO) & this would be like a huge lesson to the ‘dudes’

  35. Hector
    October 6, 2009

    Not to mention the decent probability that one of JDS and Thiago actually turn out to be the real deal. If one of them is the Truth then we have our long term sucessor right here for a $0 transfer fee. That said, we need to start integrating those two into the first team next season at the latest to find out before Xavi starts declining.

  36. Hilal
    October 6, 2009

    Lets not forget that sometimes it is beneficial for players to get experience in another league before breaking into the first team. Take Pique for example; would he be the player he is today had he not spent a few years at Utd playing in a much more physically aggressive league? I guess we will never know, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t be quite as strong a defender as he is today.

    Regarding Cesc, a lot of people would argue that had he stayed at Barca he would not have had the opportunities to evolve as a player the way he has at Arsenal. Remember he has been pretty much a starter since the age of 17/18, whereas he still wouldn’t be a starter for us today so we have no idea how he might have developed had he stayed with us. I still think he has a lot to learn to be put in the same bracket as Xavi or Iniesta. I think though, that next summer might be the right time. Yes he will have to rotate and he wont be an automatic starter but he will get plenty of minutes and if he even comes close to becoming the next Xavi then he would be worth every penny. Lets be honest, there is not a player in the world who comes close to doing what Xavi does for Barca. At the moment the only player who looks like they could potentially take on that role with the same potency is Cesc. Iniesta is a different kind of player, the kind of player who should be complementing a Xavi/Cesc, not replacing them. He is definitely capable, but i would rather see him working with Xavi/Cesc.

    Personally i think its only a matter of time, plus i have a bit of an inside man. I know somebody here in London who works very closely with Cesc’s agent and he has been telling me that if its not this summer then definitely the one after. It depends on how Arsenal do this year, but if they dont win either the EPL or the CL Cesc is gone. In fact he told me how close it was to happening this summer, but Cesc decided to give it one more year…

    • Boat Forever
      October 6, 2009

      Don’t know if that’s a good news or bad. Definitely good if he comes for some where around 25 like Diego cost for Juventus. Any thing more than that is definitely a bad news because we are not only paying way too inflated price for an over-rated player(imo), but also leaving a very bad example for the youth like Ramzi opined

  37. Lumi
    October 6, 2009

    True Hilal but judging by what you said Pique was a defender and the EPL lay more emphasis than on attacking that was why PIQUE is let me say of benefit but if He went to the Serie A he would have still won a place in our team because that is also quite a defensive oriented league

    • Boat Forever
      October 6, 2009

      Pique had more appearances for Zaragoza than ManUtd… I believe it’s his loan spell in Spain that made his integration easier

  38. Lumi
    October 6, 2009

    I suggest an Opinion poll on the blog on whom we want come Next year Suarez or Cesc

    • Blow-Granite
      October 6, 2009

      Exactly!! Opinion pole needed!!
      1. Should Fab be bought.
      2. If so who should he replace in the current setup, or which position should he be used in.
      3. Should Suarez be bought.
      4. If so who should he replace in the current setup, or which position should he be used in.

  39. Kxevin
    October 6, 2009

    I wouldn’t get my bloomers in a bunch about Arsenal’s signing, kids. He’s a former B player who was released by us, and was playing with Cornella, a Tercera side. This situation is so far from another Fabregas as to boggle the mind. Arsenal is taking a risk, and a big one.

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