Transfer Thoughts, October 22, 2009

Now, let’s think about this for a minute: Alves was injured and we’re now apparently talking about buying Gregory van der Wiel from Ajax. Besides being several months late (at the very least it’s two days late since Alves is already injured). The expected time out for Little Dani is 3 weeks–I’m assuming that’s human weeks and not Dani Alves weeks since we all know that the closer you get to the speed of light the slower time moves, so 3 Dani Weeks would be like 8 months and that’s obviously not acceptable–so we kind of need that backup now, not in January, right?

But what’s more interesting than van der Wiel, a 21-year old Dutch international with 5 caps under his belt and 52 appearances for Ajax since 2006, is who van der Wiel plays with. There’s this other guy on Ajax named Luis Suarez who we’re also considering purchasing.

Remember that we have a penchant for buying two players from one club at a time, for whatever reason. Maxwell and Ibra, Hleb and Henry, Thuram and Zambrotta. Obviously we also buy players one at a time (Ronaldinho, Deco), but if we buy van der Wiel it seems that we’ll probably have the inside track on getting Suarez as well, though the Robinho rumors will not go away. It’s hard for me to say whether or not van der Wiel is good enough to make it in our squad because I have never seen him play (I need to catch more Ajax matches, obviously), but if he’s good enough and can be purchased for under €10million, then I think it’s probably worth it. Any more than that and we’re just buying another Caceres, who won’t get any time on the field but who will come with an ego that matches his price tag.

What are your thoughts on van der Wiel? Is he good enough to make it at Barça?

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

86 Comments

  1. Tajh
    October 22, 2009

    Do anyone know if Henry and Chygrynskiy would be fit for Sunday’s game??

    • Kxevin
      October 22, 2009

      Yes. Both. Txignasty will probably start. Henry will be in cotton wool.

  2. eklavya
    October 22, 2009

    I know this is a bit out of subject but is it Banquillo time yet? 😀

  3. jnelson
    October 22, 2009

    That video didn’t exactly instill confidence. Of the only defense it showed, (that I noticed) “Wonderwall” was being given marching orders. But hey, if we can get him AND Luis Suarez, I’m down. Maxwell-Ibra is definitely worth it, and I think Wonderwall-Suarez would be too. If nothing else, he’d match Maxwell’s role, but on the right.

  4. Miguel
    October 22, 2009

    what about robinho & zalayeta? or wilian & srna?

    • Boat Forever
      October 22, 2009

      Willian yes! but Srna hell NO!! He’ll be a starter at almost every football club in the world, except select few like Barca & Inter because they have the best in the business, and no way is he gonna accept being second fiddle to Dani Alves.
      For RB spot Micah Richards is being preferred these days, so are you sure?

      Accept every thing that Kxevin said regarding Willian… He’s sure got technique, defense, confidence to beat defenders one-on-one; but I remain skeptical about him because he hasn’t got goals to back him up though he sure got hell of a shot

      • Miguel
        October 22, 2009

        i posted this on another post a couple of minutes ago. here’s some stats on willian:

        “07-08: 28 appearances, 1 goal
        08-09: 42 ———–——-, 5 —-
        09-10: 9 ———–——-, 1 —–

        i don’t care where you’re playing, but if you average out about 3 goals a game & are top goal scorer playing as primarily a winger in a similar set up as barca, i’m guessing, you’re not much of a risk. i’m for suarez [not willian].”

        totally off barca blogosphere topic, i live about a dog leg right from my work and on my walk home i saw the motionless/lifeless body of an old man in the middle of the street. he had gotten run over by a suv while j-walking. tripped me the fuck out.

        • Boat Forever
          October 22, 2009

          Suarez is primarily playing as striker this season and not winger, he played in wings during last season. But a lot like Henry drifts into wings, so sure would theoretically be the best option to replace Henry

        • jnelson
          October 22, 2009

          Whoa thats sick. Where you live again?

          • Miguel
            October 23, 2009

            porn capitol of the universe. san fernando valley…los angeles county. go dodgers. oh…i mean los angeles anaheim orange county angels.

  5. Jose26
    October 22, 2009

    Completely off topic post alert!

    Hoping to get some guidance here on scheduling: As you all might have realized, the Inter and Real Madrid games come around U.S. Thanksgiving… in fact, the Tuesday before and Sunday after TG. This is peak traveling time for many, and likely when I’ll be traveling too. So yeah, I’ll likely be missing the Inter CL clash and the Clasico, because I’ll be on a plane.

    Now, I know that the CL tie will be at 2:45 pm ET, but when will El Clasico be? La Liga has this annoying habit of not deciding these things like the WEEK before the match, but I have to schedule those tickets now. Any idea what the most likely start time will be… I might be able to finagle my flights so I can watch the match after I land or before take off. Any help would be MUCH appreciated.

    • Miguel
      October 22, 2009

      yeah. there’s no set time for it on the website.
      *http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/english/futbol/temporada_09-10/arxiu_partits/llistat_tots_partits/tots_els_partits.html

      i’ll let you know when i know.

  6. Miguel
    October 22, 2009

    holy shit! i’ll be up & down the west coast (berkeley to up into seattle) those two weeks before thanksgiving. fuck. stupid stupid stupid. i gotta find a bar open @ like probably 10am where i can watch el clasico.

  7. RicRoc
    October 22, 2009

    While we’re a bit off topic, who’s broadcasting the Zaragosa game on Sunday? I don’t see it in the Gol TV lineup or ESPN2.

  8. Alex
    October 22, 2009

    I saw it a few days ago under ESPN2 HD on Sunday.

    • RicRoc
      October 22, 2009

      Thanks for the info. I don’t have HD, so it looks like I’ll be yelling at my computer monitor via ESPN 360 again!

      BTW – as a first time poster (semi-long time reader), I am so impressed with the level of analysis from the posters on this site. Someone should translate this site into Catalan for the benefit of the “native” Cules.

      • ballbeav
        October 22, 2009

        you dont have to be an intellectual to be a barca fan, but it helps.

        • ballbeav
          October 22, 2009

          and oh yeah, kxevin is working on the catalan bit. he already translated his name.

          • Kxevin
            October 22, 2009

            Gracies, RicRoc. Pero i sóc només aprenent Catala. Parli amb mi en un any.

  9. ballbeav
    October 22, 2009

    vamos a atropellar el tharagotha!

    a poner pelos en el pecho de nuevo!

  10. Boat Forever
    October 22, 2009

    I think going for ‘Wonderwall’ if he’s really available for 7.5-8 mill as they say is not at all a risk because we only want him to back-up Alves. He already has 5 caps for Dutch, now compare him to Maxwell for whom we payed 5mill & who has never been called up for Brazil!!!
    Coming to Suarez, he put up another match-winning performance for Ajax, earning a penalty and converting it while also providing the assist for their winning goal… There are some people who say, why risk the transfer amount on a youngster when we already have talented youth waiting in our Cantera. I agree giving chances to the youth brought us a lot of success and many clubs are now looking up to our Cantera and our philosophy of bringing many youngsters into the main team. But I have a theory, compare Suarez who’s made it big in Eredivisie to our youngsters who have the experience of Spanish Segunda Division B, sure Eredivisie is more than our Segunda. And he’s not much older than our P! or Jeffren. So if he’s available for reasonable price, then it’s for the best to snatch him!!! If you ask me to choose between Bojan on free & Suarez on 20 mill, sure I’d go for Bojan but if you ask the same between P! on free & Suarez on 20mill, I’d go for the latter… because there’s a lot of difference between the two cases. I hope I made myself clear, didn’t how to put actually 🙁

    • stowe
      October 23, 2009

      there is a huge difference between getting a cap for brazil and one for the netherlands. no disrespect for the later, but brazil has maicon and alves

      • Boat Forever
        October 23, 2009

        Andre Santos of all is playing at LB position for them! There’s also a huge difference between RB & LB 😉

  11. Kxevin
    October 22, 2009

    I see offense from Suarez, but I don’t see defense. I know that we can’t judge, just as we couldn’t judge Henry’s willingness to track back from how he didn’t do it all that often at Arsenal. Players work into the system they’re occupying, or they go to Stuttgart.

    Ultimately, we all have to trust Guardiola. As far as right backs I’d have to look around, but I’d almost rather grab someone cheap from the Liga, who understands the play, how the game is played and called. We don’t need star quality. We need someone who is good, and good enough to play well when called upon. Alves doesn’t have a replacement, unless we’re going to pony for Maicon, and even he’s had a case of the shits this season.

    World Cup years tend to do that, unfortunately.

    • Boat Forever
      October 22, 2009

      LOL @ ‘Players work into the system they’re occupying, or they go to Stuttgart.’ You could also add, they never return 😛

  12. October 23, 2009

    van der Wiel if first eleven material. You can’t buy a guy this young and have him as back-up to Dani Alves who loses like 5 games per season. It’s bad for a young player’s career.

  13. October 23, 2009

    It’s interesting to note that everyone here places immense trust in Pep and his ability to make new players adapt into more defensive roles even though their main function is to attack. However, it’s common knowledge (i think) that pep would prefer robinho on our left flank and it that is infact the case, then i hope the management don’t go out and get a Suarez or a willain just we think they are better. It essential that Pep believes in his heart that whosoever Barca bring in is worthwhile and be another Hleb in the making.

    Addtionally, our dealings in the winter window have always been questionable to put it mildly! with the exception of edgar davids, no other player who’s come in has done the job they came in for.

    Maxi Lopez, Coco etc were all shite! sure, the quality of players that we can pick up in the winter window is not as high but still our signings have been questionable.

    We question a player’s inability to adapt to our style of play and it’s commonly noticed that even the best players need a minimum of a year to settle into a groove here. Robinho, willian or suarez will struggle much more than a pedro, gai or any of our youth products. Honestly, Pedro, Bojan and Jeffren are awesome players but there is a very distinct difference in quality between xavi, iniesta and messi and the new boys coming through the ranks. Hope they come through for us though!

      • October 23, 2009

        *Won’t be another hleb in the making is what i meant to say..

        Ps. there should be an edit option!

    • ElShowDeJason
      October 23, 2009

      there is a difference in quality. But Iniesta broke into the senior team like at 22, started being our best sub at 24, starting 11 at 25, and World Class Superstar at 26.

      Pedro! is 22 and is now in the senior team. Same course as Iniesta.

      Xavi is already 29, and Messi, well, Messi is just a freak. An anomaly.

      I’m not saying it is likely, but if Pedro! turns out to be as good as Iniesta, that would be fucking great. If all he turns out to be is a Giuly-type super sub, thats still good!

      I think it’s fine if we don’t produce world class forwards. When have we? our best forwards have always been foreign. We can spend millions on the flashy attackers as long as la Masia keeps pumping out CMs and CBs like Guardiola, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Dos Santos, Puyol, Pique, Fontas, Muniesa, Botia. Thats our trade.

      • eklavya
        October 23, 2009

        Iniesta still 25 and a world superstar.

      • Boat Forever
        October 23, 2009

        Xavi has been a regular in the first team since when he was just 20 years old
        Iniesta has been a regular since 2004-05, again a 20 year old
        By that logic, I can’t see P! being there with the elite, not just now but also not any where in the future. I think he’d be a very good squad player, if the success doesn’t reach his head. But i hope he proves me wrong & gives a stiff competition to our wingers, I really do!

  14. ElShowDeJason
    October 23, 2009

    Also, World Cup Years suck. Post-winning-every-competition-years suck.

    having them coincide will truly test us. And honestly, we should have had a bigger squad this season. We really need a Right Back, a Left Forward, and general Center Mid.

    Oh, January Transfer Window. You cannot come fast enough.

  15. eklavya
    October 23, 2009

    I sure don’t want this van den wiel guy.He’ll probably be shipped to Roma or something as soon as he comes.We’ve already loaned out TWO defenders who could play in the middle OR on the side.Sure they weren’t great but I’d take them rather than some unknown guy and start all over again.
    And if we’re talking about us buying two players from a club then it should be Willian from Shaktar, right? Cause we just bought chiggy from there too.

    I don’t think any striker really goes back to defend unless they’re asked to.Messi didn’t, Henry didn’t, no one did before Pep came. Everyone does after Pep came and anyone who comes after Pep (A.P.? lol) will do so too.

    Also we say these guys haven’t been tested at high level yet Suarez already has 9 goals under his belt in 25 caps with Uruguay NT.He made his debut in 2007.Willian meanwhile hasn’t made it to international squad yet although its rather obvious he won’t make it anytime soon (even Diego isn’t a starter).

    We can talk all about Suarez vs Willian but it also depends where the player wants to go.If he says he should stay there cause he’s having a good time or because he needs that playing time then what? Or worse, he declares EE as his all time favorite best club ever.What then? We switch to the other option(s) which would have had their prices inflated to the heavens when we contact them.
    And I sure don’t wanna play 25m for either Suarez or Willian.

    • BA
      October 23, 2009

      Suarez scores goals, Willian doesn’t. personally i think the notion that Willian would feature in our starting 4-3-3 more than a bit silly. he’s clearly not to that level yet. just off the top of my head, players who have thrived in that position in the recent past have been: Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Hristo Stoichkov and Michael Laudrup. Willian might be energetic and skillful enough for the Ukrainian league, but he’s really not fit to carry around the boots of any of those players.

      • Kxevin
        October 23, 2009

        Judging from this year’s Champions League, the Ukranian league is kinda doing okay, I would say. A player’s talent transcends the league he is in. Saying that Willian isn’t Barca quality because he plays for Shakhtar is like, back in the day, dismissing some dude named Yaya because he played for a weak club in a weak league. But we signed him, and he is now considered the best pure defensive mid on the planet.

        If we are the best in the world, the fact that Willian gave us fits at both ends of the pitch makes him worthy of serious consideration. Txigrinsky also played for Shakhtar, and look at him now.

        • eklavya
          October 23, 2009

          So what we really need is a match against Ajax and then Ajax vs Shaktar to deceide finally who to buy 🙂

  16. eklavya
    October 23, 2009

    Also Suarez apparently gets tons of yellows every season.

  17. eklavya
    October 23, 2009

    And I meant PAY not PLAY of course in my last sentence.

  18. Jose26
    October 23, 2009

    I haven’t been following football long enough (actually, I’ll be closing in on my first full, four-year cycle at the end of South Africa) to know exactly, but… why are World Cup years always “so bad”? Is it simply that players are understood to progressively be more distracted by their country’s preparations than their club’s performance? Or because the schedule is slightly more compressed?

    • eklavya
      October 23, 2009

      Cause the players have to travel somewhere and they always get injured.
      Its called THE FIFA VIRUS!!!!!

    • ElShowDeJason
      October 23, 2009

      Increase in International duty and increase in intensity of those matches. (more fatigue, more injuries)

      The Distraction that comes with worrying about qualification or worrying about getting the call up for the WC. (can disrupt rhythm and form)

      • ElShowDeJason
        October 23, 2009

        Oh, and they have to start using new boots, because every WC = NEW boots. Especially the Superstars

        some don’t see this as a big deal, but having to get used to new boots isn’t fun. If i recall correctly, 15 minutes into Portugal’s first match in the 06 WC Figo went to the sideline and chnaged from his AZ Total90 Supremecies, into his AZT90 IIIs

        Wayne Rooney broke his foot when he used the Total90IIIs for the first time, and then again when he used the Total90Supremecies for the first time, and barely recovered in time for the World Cup. (i think he missed the first game)

        From what i can tell, Iniesta and Busquets have already switched to the New Nike CTR360 boot, and everyone else will probably have to switch to a new version of the shoe they currently wear.

        There was a big controversy in Germany, during the last world cup because the German internationals were forced to wear adidas shoes because of the National Team’s contract. Many of their stars however had contracts with other companies. Not only that, but again. Adapting to different boots takes time, as their strike zone varies in size from boot to boot, in addition to varying materials and weights.

        • SoccerMom
          October 23, 2009

          SoccerMama did not know this. She will no longer take any crap from SoccerPapa about investing serious family budget in Corte Inglés Fall Shoe Spectacular.

    • Jose26
      October 23, 2009

      But the qualification is done by November… after this it’s just preparatory friendlies.

      I get the other reasons though. Players are trying to get called up. More travel (although, come to think of it, they’re always traveling during international breaks… every region, except maybe CONCACAF and AFC, always has something going on).

      • ElShowDeJason
        October 23, 2009

        Yeah, the whole “getting the call-up” is crazy…

        maybe that’s why Busquets is so all over the place, he might be trying TOO hard because he want’s to secure his spain spot for the WC (although, i don’t see much competition… After Senna he is the only Spanish DM)

        Look at Milan’s strike Team. Ronaldinho, Huntelaar, Pato, Inzaghi, Boriello. I think they all want to go to the WC, but all are serious doubts. I’m sure Pato will go. Huntelaar has a good possibility. Is this why they are playing bad? I don’t know. But it could be a factor.

        Others could be playing better because of the pressure on them.

      • Boat Forever
        October 23, 2009

        During world-cup year, the league is compressed so that it finishes 2-3 weeks earlier compared to normal seasons… That along with Europe commitments and the qualifications increases the fatigue factor.
        For us it’s gonna be more because we are also involved in Club World Cup… The ACN is gonna affect us hugely because 2 games scheduled to be played in December are gonna be shifted to January when we wouldn’t have The Yaya & Keita available. First of all, to play regular fixtures with our paper-thin mid-field is itself gonna be very tough, now add 2 mid-week fixtures to that… the fatigue is gonna hurt us BIG time 🙁

  19. yogi
    October 23, 2009

    I want a established star at left. We already have too many potentials. So i will rather go for Robinho then Suarez. Maybe we can buy Suarez and groom him in a year’s time but i do not comfortable to have him come in as first option. Highly hyped players from dutch league are not exactly setting world alight anywhere so I would be bit more cautious regarding him. Ribery or Arshavin would be the best bets though none of them might be available.

    • ElShowDeJason
      October 23, 2009

      Ribery and Arshavin are definitely not comming during the summer.

      I’d love Arshavin, because Ribery is too similar to Messi. Plus, i’m a sucker for people declaring their undying love for Barca.

      In a perfect world, this summer we pick up:
      Arshavin or Ribery
      Fabregas or Cambiasso or Van Der Vaart
      a good right back.

      last season, i said i would kill for Ibrahimovic, but seriously, Inter would never be stupid enough to sell him, and now he’s here, so maybe i can dream…

      • Boat Forever
        October 23, 2009

        Forgot Hernanes or what!?
        I’d love some Diego, young & VERY talented… Iniesta donning the number ‘6’ role & Diego the number ‘8’ and I forgot to mention he’d be cheaper than Fabregas(considering their prices during last summer!)
        I still believe Van Persie would be THE BEST for our LW, a technically gifted player with the most powerful Left Foot… If not I’d be satisfied with Rooney as well
        a good right back *amen*

        • ElShowDeJason
          October 23, 2009

          I’d love Van Persie or Rooney. Especially Rooney, since i’ve seen him defend, he is very strong, has a killer shot, and finishes very well. Van Persie is also a good finisher, is VERY fast, and has great ability. But i consider these two even more “unattainable” than Arshavin and Ribery.

          Of course i would take Rooney or Van Persie over Arshavin or Ribery, but with ManU and Arsenal offloading Crynaldo and Adebayor, I’m not sure their looking to sell, especially not their best players.

          • Boat Forever
            October 23, 2009

            Advantage for Rooney over Van Persie to be our LW is that Rooney is right-footed, though RVP has got the most powerful left foot our system demands a right footed LW as far as I understood it. And he’s not as injury-prone as RVP is.
            RVP’s advantage would be he’s far more consistent than the scouser, has better technique… Moreover with the pin-point corners & free-kicks that he delivers our Piquenbauer could well win the European golden boot award, EVERY YEAR 😛 And Rooney some times is as frustrating a striker as David Villa is, sure they score some of the spectacular goals, but they also miss a LOT of sitters

          • stowe
            October 23, 2009

            Van Persie fast? Every arsenal fan i know of says he’s not fast enough. Arshavin is definitely faster. RVP would offer more height than any of the others you mentioned. But he is very fragile, and definitely more attainable than arshavin. The only player from arsenal more unattainable than arshavin is fabregas

        • Boat Forever
          October 23, 2009

          Yeah Bourne surely smoked some pot, having Ibra set so nicely into the team nobody would want to bring Van der vaart… Of course a being a reject at EE adds to that 😉

        • ElShowDeJason
          October 23, 2009

          each one on the list had their pros:

          Fabregas: Technique and understanding of our system
          Cambiasso: Yaya-esque versatility and Keita-esque athleticism
          Van Der Vaart: availability, willingness to be a sub, and possibly price.

          maybe that sheds some light on why he was on the list.

          • nic
            October 23, 2009

            come on guys,do u really think there’s any possibility of buying rooney from MANU?are you serius?or arshavin from arsenal just after a year from his transfer to arsenal?or van persie just after renewing his contract with arsenal last year?and i’m sure ribery will end up at real madrid after saying that if i leave bayern i would like to go to real madrid..

  20. Boat Forever
    October 23, 2009

    Come on nic, do you really think we believe we are going to get them!? We are just expressing our views, contributing our part to make a dream team 😛

  21. Boat Forever
    October 23, 2009

    THE ROCK STAR, THE CAVEMAN, THE TARZAN, THE CAPTAIN PUYOL HAS ACCEPTED TO RENEW HIS CONTRACT UNTIL 2013… Indeed the best cule he is, what a time to announce the good news!!!; at a time when the confidence is allegedly low; when The Saint himself had to come out and pick out on the critics; at a time when the virus has affected so much that the all-conquering Barca had to lose to a CL debutant… This is so fucking great 🙂

    • eklavya
      October 23, 2009

      BUT THAT EXCELLENT NEWS!!!!!
      😀

      • eklavya
        October 23, 2009

        link:

        *http://www.fcbarcelona.cat/web/catala/noticies/futbol/temporada09-10/10/n091023107414.html

        although its in Catalan I think

        • Boat Forever
          October 23, 2009

          El Mundo says the squad welcomed the news by giving a standing ovation to the captain, seriously what a time to announce man!!! So lifted the team-spirit 🙂
          Raul is gonna get another slap now, only this time with a football 😛
          Xavi gonna give some counseling session to the Crynaldo AGAIN!
          Casillas is again gonna whine in media saying nothing could go right for him against Barca 😀
          Pepe’s gonna beg Puyol not to jump over him and head the ball into the back of their net anymore… CAN’t WAIT 🙂

  22. stowe
    October 23, 2009

    henry and hleb weren’t bought at the same time. they were a year apart

  23. Ramzi
    October 23, 2009

    I an still as unsure about the need for a right back as before (Wait! I’ll tell you why). If we take the left back as a sample, Even though Abidal is more welling to rotate than Alves, little by little Maxwell is becoming only a bench drug that motivates Abidal to get better. We are only using the new guy when we have no other choice. Which makes me question the whole process of offloading a younger-unused Left back for a free one season loan with selling option that’s less than the initial cost and buying another one whom we are not planning to use unless if.

    At the moment and the way things are going, we will look for alternatives on the RB only when Alves is not available. Thats not enough to make a new RB a realistic need. Any right back coming to serve this situation will Hleb. No doubt.

    If we ended up having Milito, Marquez,Pique,Chygsgfvn(whatever his name is) as center backs, then we can afford having Puyol as a right back whenever needed (*). Giving one more year for our youth defenders to tell us what they can deliver. Then we can make our buying decisions accordingly(**). If We will already give up on Marquez and Milito labeling them as unreliable options, then we need another new CB as a priority over a RB. If the 25 M Ukrainian is not good enough to play beside Pique the few games that Puyol need to serve as a RB, then we are doomed. No matter how I turn it, I cant see the urgent need of a new RB beside the tendency of buying just to have all the kids around in case needed. Which lead to another question: How will we use 5 Center backs in 2 positions if we bought a new RB? Some may say we will at least sell one of Marquez and Milito at the end of the season, but what about Fontas and Muniesa? More about it in: (**).

    (*)The most important reason that makes me unexcited about a new RB is the type or RB needed. An Alves-like RB will not work. Strangely it will complicate the situation on the Left back as we will be unable to live without Abidal there. How far do you think it will work having Maxwell and Alves as fullbacks in the same selection specially that the idea of playing two Holding mids is unthinkable? Against Valencia? Rubin? The good thing about having a RB with defense qualities and focus is the balanced equation it creates (Alves-Abidal/Puyol-Maxwell). So the RB needed is a defensive oriented and capable of acting as a third CB. Why dont we add that his Name must include the following characters: O,L,P,Y,U?

    Puyol is not getting younger. Soon he will not be reliable enough as a CB specially for a team like Barcelona that plays high defense. Thats when having him as a 3rd CB from the right flank keep him as a leader of defense, motivator and director. But at the same time without being in any kind of risks if he dropped a bit of form as he will be covered by two CBs.

    (**) I think the temptation of “Easy way” is starting to blow our heads a bit. Buy defenders, buy Midfielders, buy forwards but we love our youth. Thats not valid. Within two years, Most of the targets mentioned will not be even close to the quality of the ones we have. I will take the boring role defending the need to trust our youth first rather than the luxury of creating fake galacticos (not sure if thats how you write it, as I had never been interested in it).
    Of course we will still buy players from the market, but -just as an example- I prefer Busquets over Cambiasso. Not that Busquets is better, but he will no doubt deliver more for the team in the following 5 years than Cambiasso will;. And its coming from a Cambiasso fan. But its not wierd to come from me when its already known that I will take JDS over Cesc any day.

    • Boat Forever
      October 23, 2009

      Pique is definitely set. If Chygrynskiy doesn’t, God forbid, even then we have more options in Fontas & Botia. That way we can pretty sure at least one of the 3 options is gonna click, and I have pretty high confidence in Chygrynskiy. So that leaves Muniesa at LB position… It is widely believed that Muniesa is gonna own the LB position in a few years time; he being leftie & also played there during Gamper, I take it 🙂

      • eklavya
        October 23, 2009

        Thats why I was against loaning out Henrique again.
        He’s can cover RB when needed and play CB when needed (and give competition to puyi).Note that this was before we bought Chiggy.
        Unfortunately, Henrique didn’t turn out to super exciting at the beginning so we shipped him of and bought Chignasty.
        But now we have Pique and Chiggy who are both excellent positionally but both are slow and too similar. Its like when Milito and Puyi played together…although I doubt Pique and Chiggy will do any distasters.But when we will be tested against fast opposition we’ll be in trouble.Currently Abidal is our only fast defender.Caceres and Henrique are fast but they’re not here.

        • Kxevin
          October 23, 2009

          I think we all agree in the value of youth. But I would kill for an Abidal at right back for a sub. Not in the ultimate quality, because Alves is the starter, but someone with strength, pace and positional skill. I think had Filipe Luis been an RB, he’d be in the squad right now.

          Puyol’s lost step is felt most acutely when he is at right back. Not his fault. None of us are as young as we were a year ago. That’s life. I also think that a good RB lets Guardiola platoon Alves, to get him more rest. If Maxwell were playing better, he would be platooning Abidal more. Because tired muscles become injured muscles.

          We are in great long-term shape everywhere except at striker. Thiago, Assulin, JDS, Botia and Muniesa are but a few names we will be using in the future. Keirrison is still to be determined.

          • eklavya
            October 23, 2009

            Rochina looks like a promising striker to me.Good height and physique…

    • BA
      October 23, 2009

      i def. agree with allowing our youth players to come up naturally and gradually, particularly our center-backs as we have cover in that position already. also well-taken is the point about using the transfer market with a long-term strategy in mind.

      however, it’s my belief (along with many others) that we’re going to be facing something of a personnel crisis immediately this season. we are already seriously short attacking options and will be even shorter options in midfield during the ACN when our 2 best players in a crucial position are gone; and all of this is without accounting for rotating absolutely vital players like Xavi and Messi, or Iniesta and Henry. shoehorning cantera players into what would likely be some difficult, high-pressure games has great risk with dubious rewards. buying established players during the window, if the right buys are made (notably, flexible players who can play multiple positions), could bolster the squad beyond a simple substitution or game of rest here and there, relieving pressure and fatigue on everyone. and that’s of the utmost importance if we want to continue winning trophies, especially against a very deep Madrid side who’s biggest problem is how to fit all it’s stars into 1 lineup.

      • Ramzi
        October 23, 2009

        Agreed. Thats One of the reasons that I didnt feel good when we offloaded both Gudy and Hleb. (Alright…Alright…most people feel there were just added number on the squad, I see this one differently) Its history now so lets take about present/future.

        Thats why I am ok with(and can go as far as demanding) the fact that we cant avoid buying player/s as soon as possible. But a right back still doesnt sound like a priority for me for the reasons mentioned above.

        In my opinion, We are lacking at least one Midfielder. Thats even a priority over a LW. Its more valid to use Iniesta on the flank (regardless of how we evaluate him there) than using Messi for example in midfield. Specially now that Keita started to convince more and more.

        It would have been perfect if we got Mascherano as he is a pure DM. Something our youth academy doesn’t provide normally. Busquets can develop more as a box-to-box on the long term. Getting a play maker as much as it looks tempting, will be a huge risk as he will end up fright under the quality of Iniesta and Xavi.

        That perfect scenario sounds impossible to happen now. Having mascherano, playing Yaya as a DM sometimes and sometimes as a CM plus giving more playing time for JDS. JDS will not turn to become the leader of our midfield this season, not even next season. But I believe in him to partner Xavi sometimes and sometimes Iniesta. He will learn and develop.

        We cant expect more than two quality midfielders to come through the youth academy in the following 5 years. So, signing a midfielder does not clash with focusing on youth. I prefer a QUALITY DM as that’s the position we do not usually manufacture at our youth workhouse.

        Offense wise, What we need is not a LW, but a player who can play on both flanks. Thats why Robinho is heading the list. This way his presence will not clash with the presence of the young wings as he will keep playing where they cant. Something only time can show.

        With a bit more creativity, if we secured the quality on the flanks (something like Robinho-Ibra-Henry in some games) that will give us a chance to use Messi as a “10” in case we faced crises like losing both Iniesta and Xavi together.

        The only problem regarding Robinho is one of the problem I had with Arshavine before. Is he physically fit to do defensive work without compromising his offense quality?

        I believe we always need to make sure to sign players who create more options without blocking any. A right back does not meet that criteria IMO.

        • eklavya
          October 23, 2009

          That why Ribery would have been the best.
          -He can play both sides.
          -He can even play in the mid if really needed.
          -He WILL do defensive work if asked.
          -He provides good crosses + penetration
          -Good at counters (bonus)
          -Goal scoring ratio is pretty good (bonus)

          Its the perfect combo.Neither Arshavin or Silva or Robinho gives us ALL of it.Ribery is the closest if not The Perfection.
          Besides when you look at him you can see that he would have ZERO problem playing at Barca cause he plays already like them!

          • Hilal
            October 23, 2009

            //www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2009/10/23/1579203/barcelona-launch-loan-offer-for-zenit-st-petersburg-star

            Anyone heard of this guy? Apparently he is some Portugese maestro but i’ve never heard of him….

          • Hilal
            October 23, 2009

            Yeah the only problem is that Bayern value him at over 80m Eur which is quite frankly, completely insane. Maybe they will be more reasonable now that the whole RM spending spree is over, but I dont see them letting him go for less than 60 and I wouldnt pay that much for him. I think 40 would be a stretch! I have a feeling Man City will end up getting him…

          • Boat Forever
            October 23, 2009

            His Goal scoring ratio is pretty bad, Bojan scores as many goals as him! Agree he has more number of assists to his credit, but then he takes Free-kicks, Corners & like some would argue, plays in an inferior league…
            All the points that you have mentioned would be apt for Arshavin instead, including the goal ratio 😉
            But I guess, for the present circumstances, we’d be buying a winger/striker & a mid-fielder so there’s really no need of a perfect package, you see, because such a package won’t necessarily help us during ACN when we need a DM and if we buy a DM we have The Yaya to help out when Xavi/Iniesta needs to be rested…
            I was originally inclined towards Silva(not Ribery because I feel he’s an over-rated self-obsessed cunt, look at his history and his transfer troubles with different clubs, Galatasaray fans still curse him :P) because we need some body to help out Xavi. But then, when the season started and Keita had been such an improved player compared to last year I decided fuck it, we have Keita to play CAM so when Xavi needs to be rested Iniesta would play CM… That means we can go for a player who has similar profile to Henry’s 🙂

  24. eklavya
    October 23, 2009

    Just imagine it like this:

    –Ribery—Ibra—–Messi—
    -Iniesta–The YAYA—Xavi–
    -Abidal–Puyol–Pique–Alves-

    Imagine all the possibilities:
    -Alves bombarding forwards and crossing in to Ibra who heads it in.
    -Alves combo with Messi resulting in goal.
    -Ribery penetration on the left and crossing to Ibra + The Yaya, Xavi (and Keita if playing) crashing into the box.
    -Xavi with his usual insane through ball.
    The list goes on and on…OK I’m getting a bit carried away 🙂
    But this lineup makes me drool like a pig!

  25. eklavya
    October 23, 2009

    All that Ribery stuff is all speculation of course, its never gonna happen unless Bayern get their senses back and even then I would be complicated.

    And the Portuguese guy is Danny.Yeah I know him, he was pretty good with Zenit.At least at the beginning. I think he scored a good goal in the UEFA super cup against ManU when they ended up wining 2-1….although I’m not sure which position he exactly plays…

  26. eklavya
    October 23, 2009

    Boat Forever:
    Bojan scores as much as him?What?
    If he played for us, he’d score more of course as we’re an ‘attacking club’.
    But I don’t think Arshavin has the precise passing nor the work rate of Ribery.Neither the ‘penetration’.
    I see Ribery as a savior type of guy, and someone who can turn the match around by himself.I don’t see Arshavin as that because he waits till he gets the ball in a good position or works in counters.I like Arshavin though.
    To put it simply Arshavin is more of a striker while Ribery is a winger.

    • Boat Forever
      October 23, 2009

      Yeah and I’m saying we need more of a striker than a winger & I don’t know how to write that in bold letters 😉
      Never said Ribery can’t score with us, but only meant till now his stats don’t suggest a large goal ratio.
      Ribery started 71 times and came on as substitute for 11 times at Bayern, scored 29 goals & assisted 27 times
      While our Bojan 36 times and came on as substitute for 52 times, scoring 22 goals & providing 8 assists
      His assists figure is quite large compared to our li’l Bojan, but then he takes free-kicks & corners for Bayern… So statistically speaking Ribery doesn’t offer much compared to what Bojan does. I know it sounds childish to compare such a well-established player to a player who hasn’t even crossed his 20s, but when you mentioned ‘goal ratio’ I couldn’t myself 😛

      And he’s got attitude problems man, he’s never been at a club for more than 2 years… Now that he’s forced to continue at Bayern for his 3rd year, he’s doing it for the first time!!

  27. eklavya
    October 23, 2009

    Oh and I’m really enjoying today’s dicussions! I think we covered all the players 🙂
    Look goal.com even gave us a new player to analze lol
    Thanks to Isaiah for the blog and to everyone else for make it addicting 🙂

  28. ballbeav
    October 23, 2009

    ribery is more of a playmaker, not a goal scorer — he penetrates, draws defenses, and dishes. who cares if you are scoring goals, if you are creating them left and right.

    that said i dont want ribery, or the dreamteam-ization or galatico-ization of our squad. we spent a dickload of money on ibra, and i wouldnt say we are playing better or scoring more goals (yes, yes i know there are circumstances) the point is that money cant buy you love….or something like that…

  29. Keano
    October 23, 2009

    Whats peoples opinion of Ryan Babel would he not make a long term henry replacement? Jerome Boeteng as an abidal on the right?

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