Welcome to Barcelona Football Blog

Hey everyone and welcome to my latest creation: Barcelona Football Blog. Kevin and I are both moving over from TheOffside, but we’re going to maintain our typical standard of content (I think I heard some of you sighing there) along with a little greater output. I’m excited to be a part of a project that, while not containing any new contributing writers (as of now), looks to dedicate an entire site to FC Barcelona. Behind-the-scenes is our IT man, Tarun, who will be aiding us in a variety of different ways. You’ll see his work every day, but you’ll never really notice it. Our other new contributor is Hector, a regular commenter on our old site who has made the shift to become our tactical liaison. We’re excited to have both of these superstars on our team.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be setting a few ads around the site in order to obtain a level of revenue sufficient for us to provide donations to charities. We’re talking about chump change in a lot of ways, but with every visit and every click, we’ll be able to provide better services for those around the world who are in need — this is what, to me, FC Barcelona stands for in many ways and it is an honor and a privilege to be involved in anything that attempts to make our world stronger while also providing scintillating football and good commentary.

Another goal for this site is to provide a space for culés to gather and discuss the club in as erudite and interesting ways as possible. As on TheOffside, we ask everyone to remain civil in discussions, both with fellow culés as well as with anyone from other teams that comes around. Any negative comments will, of course, be deleted and the commenters will be banned for any repeated violations.  Please bear with us as we work to correct any spam-related problems we have in the coming weeks as the site begins to work out the minor kinks in the WordPress system.

At the moment, you can follow me on Twitter (do it!) where I’ll be posting the titles of our latest posts, some thoughts on games as I watch them, and random inanities that cross my mind. You know you want tweeted by me. Am I using those verbs correctly? I don’t know cause I’m new at this whole technology thing.

Also starting up this week is the Yahoo Fantasy league. It is a salary cap league. Please join the group by creating a team and then joining the Barcelona Football Blog group here. The password is the incredibly impossible to guess “barcelona”. PS, don’t call your team The Yaya because we’ll have problems if you do. I’ll make a few dedicated posts to the league throughout the year, including one a bout a week before the official kickoff of the league (when you’ll need to have your teams all picked out) where I’ll provide a few tips picked up from previous years of experience in this league.

Throughout the coming days we’ll be updating this site with a myriad of new content, including more subpages (Contact, Stats, etc) so that the experience here will be far easier for those interested mainly in things FCB. There should also be a Facebook page going up soon that you can join, so look forward to that! Sit back and relax, folks, it’s time to party like it’s 2009.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. ElShowDeJason
    August 14, 2009

    in an ideal world, Cesc would never renew his contract, complete it, and return to us on a free.

    in an ideal world Bojan has a long successfull career with us, playing on the left.

    we can’t have our cake and eat it too…

  2. eklavya
    August 14, 2009

    OK so how long have you guys been working on this and keeping it secret from your readers? 😕

  3. Randal
    August 14, 2009

    MY FIRST POST… Please excuse me if I’m wrong 🙂

    Suppose the deal does go through, us getting Fab for Bojan + cash, I’m pretty confident we ll be nearer to the benefit end both in the short term as well as long term. BUT Bojan is gonna SUFFER. Arshavin would be the regular starter for 3-4 years to come at LW for them & there’s plenty of young talent at Arsenal up-front. Don’t think Wenger would give much playing-time to Bojan at CF position with Van Persie, Eduardo, & Bendtner there. With Arshavin & Vela at LW as well he’s not gonna get many chances. He could displace Walcott at RW though. I agree Bojan is better than both Walcott, Bendtner & Vela but Wenger sort of loves them, so I think Bojan would take much longer time to develop there than being with us 🙁

    So I think one sufferer from the deal would be the little Bojan 🙁

  4. Eduard
    August 14, 2009

    I don’t see what everyone’s fascination is with
    Fabregas besides him being a cantero. Let him wait a few years, he will be better in the future. I do like the idea of Bojan leaving Barcelona for a bit, for developement purposes but I doubt Pep would let him go.

  5. jake
    August 14, 2009

    Welcome Randal, and you get the trophy of the first newcomer to the community 🙂

    I’m really not sure where Bojan would develop, but I’m leaning towards your logic. Bojan will make it big as a winger, and Arsenal just have too many of those. So do we though, so take that as a positive or a negative, depending on your thoughts of the very unlikely transfer. I have no doubts that Pep would pull the plug on any deal involving Bojan, but never say never I guess.

    Jason, I completely agree with you that selling Canteranos isn’t evil, but I think that we need to repay the faith Bojan showed us when he refused Arsenal the first time (a few years back I think). He could’ve got playing time a lot earlier, but chose to stick with us, and he needs to be rewarded for it. It would also be a great example for the whole academy.

    As much as I would love Fabregas in the colours again, I agree with Cesc Pistol. Bojan has plenty of time to develop. Messi may have hit the big time at a freakishly young age, but thats all it was, freakish. Most strikers don’t peak till mid-late 20’s.

    I would love to see us move for Gourcuff, but I dont think it will happen, and I don’t even know if it could be possible this season, as he’s already been signed by Bordeaux.

  6. Hilal
    August 14, 2009

    Congrats guys, its like moving out of an apartment block into a detached house with a pool. Can’t wait for the juicy posts to start rolling in. Only thing that is missing are the completely inaccurate flags 🙂

    Bojan for Cesc? Nah, not worth it. We will get Cesc, i have no doubt in my mind, maybe next summer or the summer after, but we will get him eventually. My feeling is that it will be next year because of the elections. Swapping Bojan now for a player who might spend a lot of time on the bench is pointless, especially if it is likely we will get him in the future, when we actually need him. Right now we dont need Cesc, we need a bench player, somebody who is good enough to fill in but is also not going to kick up too much of a fuss sitting on the bench. Also what message does it send to swap a loyal cule who is willing to work hard, be patient and prove himself with a cule who jumped ship at the first opportunity,

    Btw what do you guys think about these Eboue rumours….

  7. jake
    August 14, 2009

    Eboue? No way do in hell do I want him in our colors. He’s just not good enough. He was close to Fiorentina, let him go there. And exactly what I was trying to say about Cesc, Hilal 🙂

  8. eklavya
    August 14, 2009

    Its not just about giving up Bojan but also that we will lose another striker.And Keirrison is in Benfica.We’ll have only Ibra at that place and if he gets injured then put Henry there and move Iniesta to the left and make a hole in the midfield.And if that happens during the ACN….

  9. JeffP
    August 14, 2009

    Wow. This is gonna be great. Good show, Isaiah and Kevin, on directing all proceeds to Barca-sponsored non profits.

    I think we need Corrine to start making cool t shirts with proceeds going to charity as well.

    Also, is anyone having trouble joining the fantasy league? I created my team but then it’s asking me for our ID.

  10. JeffP
    August 14, 2009

    Also, I kinda liked The Offsides’ ‘recent 25 comments’ feature. Scrolling through a couple hundred post you’ve already read to get to the new material can be laborsome.

  11. Randal
    August 14, 2009

    Thank You jake

    It seems Jeffren is very close to signing a deal with Racing. That means we are indeed for a Winger/Striker like Mata and Suarez or a AMF/Winger. I would surely love the second option though. That way Pep could give Xavi, Iniesta & Messi an occasional rest without compromising much on the quality you know. I would want to keep Henrique, sign 1 of Kompany/Vertonghen & 1 of Modric/Afellay/Turan. I am not concerned about the development of JDS & Thiago, they can wait to get into the first team. All I want is Busquee to get more playing time in the attacking area, the lad sure has got some creativity. Was really impressed with his performances during Confed. Cup and most recently in our pre-season. I want him to be the NEXT Xavi 🙂

  12. August 14, 2009

    Welcome home, guys!

    Looks like the transition is definitely going well so far. I am so excited and honored that Isaiah and Kevin asked me to help them out that its not even funny. I get to post even longer rants and actually use pictures, diagrams, and videos. I hope you guys enjoy it and have fun. Also, I really hope that the likes of all you knowledgeable folks (especially you, Ramzi and CP) stick around to correct me and call me out when necessary 😀 . Suffice to say, I’ll be developing tactics-ish posts and the first one should be up next week. I’m trying to do my best to complement Kevin and Isaiah since they have the synergy thing going. Think of it this way, if this site is Lethal Weapon (American buddy movie reference) then Kevin and Isaiah are Mel Gibson and Danny Glover which would make me more of a Joe Pesci, I guess 😀 .

    Regarding Bojan and Cesc:

    Like El Show (LOL, Jason) mentioned, I have a thing against not playing what in my closed mind is a true #9. Either way, like Ramzi has said countless times in the past, Cesc is used to being an undisputed starter (he’s the captain even). Its not how many games he starts but who plays in the important ones. If Iniesta and Xavi are healthy, you know its them and the Yaya who will play a final or a clasico. He wont be happy with that. Not to mention the moral hazard of telling canteranos, “leave for the English money, and if you are good, we’ll buy you back for dozens of millions euros”.

    I say we wait till his contract either expires or is about to expire and grab him then when Arsenal is desperate to sell. By then Xavi would be retired. Although who knows? Maybe a JDS or a Thiago will end up developing and eventually surpassing all of them? We don’t know. The “4” position at Barca (which on other teams is a CB but here its in reference to Gaurdiola’s number so its the playmaker and tempo setter) is like a dynasty. First Gaurdiola, then De la Peña who did not unfortunately work out, Xavi, and then hopefully Iniesta. It keeps evolving. Its about time to start breaking in the next in line though. Keep an eye on JDS (I know Jason would love that) and Thiago. They’re going to get a serious first team shot within two seasons.

  13. Cesc Pistol
    August 14, 2009

    @Jason: I think I know about which canteros we do and do not sell. I’ve been watching Athletic the past two years and know about most our canteranos since the last five.

    And we do not sell those who have the ability to make it. Specially not when they’re less than 20, played very well in one season and was an important member of the copa winning squad.

    Hilal and Eklavya more or less summed up the rest so I won’t bother with that.

    BTW who said anything being evil, we have a policy and a way of thinking, they have theirs. What we must not do is betray our system when it has given us so much. Bojan exchange for Cesc is betraying our own system.

  14. Flippy
    August 14, 2009

    This is too weird. White and Grey?
    But congrats anyways and hopefully you become successful and you will have given so much to the world.
    On topic, I’d rather not have Cesc at all, especially if it meant Bojan leaving. Cesc left, because Xavi and Iniesta were too good for him and he will never ever be a suitable replacement for them. I think JDS, Crosas (we can buy him back next year for 2m), and Thiago will end up much better than Cesc. It is just that everyone hears Cesc succeeding at Arsenal and then think he’s good for us, but IMO Cesc succeeds at Arsenal, because he learned what everyone else learned at La Masia, passing skills and combine that with Arsenal – who like to pass – you have a good player. It may be that in England a playmaker like Cesc can succeed more than in Spain, because in England everything tends to be slower and there aren’t many skilled playmakers there? At the 2nd Clasico the pace was British and Xavi ended up giving 4 assists.

  15. August 14, 2009

    Good points, everybody.

    Vincent Kompany has actually impressed me every time I’ve seen him play. I actually liked him more as a d-mid than CB but I remember watching, I think it was Belgium-Spain when Iniesta scored one of the sickest goals you’ll ever see (look it up on youtube), and thinking he was the best player for a very talented but very young Belgium squad.

    Yeah, right now we need a reliable back-up and bench player, not a starter. Sometimes its harder finding the former than the latter.

    I am I the only one scared shitless about the upcoming elections? I’ve seen the political strife at this club blow up very good things in the past and am NOT happy that the politicians are about to take over at this point in time. Hopefully we can ignore it and worry about it when the time comes but oh so much can go wrong.

  16. jake
    August 14, 2009

    Hector, trust me, your not alone. The presidential elections have the potential to screw up everything Laporta and co. have achieved. Especially if that moron Rosell is elected. Word around town is that Laporta wants to get Cesc because Rosell will promise him. So, if we get him, whoever Laporta wants to succeed him from his own board has a much better shot at gaining presidency.

  17. Unkown
    August 14, 2009

    I have a question to kevin and isaiah, and im very sorry for writing this offtopic comment on your blog

    I am planning on applying to write for barca offside. When you guys applied, how long did it take to get a response back?

  18. fabian4barça
    August 14, 2009

    Although I do not fully understand the reasons for this move, I’m going to keep following you – of course! I love the match reviews, the special humor, the intellectual touch.

    Good luck, keep up the fantastic work.

  19. RUV
    August 14, 2009

    Nice site, fellas! Very sharp.

    My 2cents– I want Cesc back but not at the price of Bojan.

  20. August 14, 2009

    Hey folks, thanks for all the kind words, questioning remarks, and general discussion. We’re going to be working out the bugs over the coming days as we move rapidly from off-season hullabaloo to actual competitive hullabaloo.

    So excited.

    As best as I can tell, the group ID for the Yahoo fantasy thing is 1037. It’d have been way “cooler” if it had been 1337, but whatever. Here is another link to the page. If you’re signed in, it should take straight to the group page.

  21. Achraf
    August 14, 2009

    Hey guys,
    Congratulations on the new site, im sure none of us will find any problemmaking this move here permanent.

    2 recommendations:

    The YAYA on the photo
    and change the white and grey.

    Also im interested in knowing who is on the current photograph.0 is it one of you guys.
    Oh ya also this new Turan guy is he gonna be posting or exclusively taking care of the site related issues.

  22. Cesc Pistol
    August 14, 2009

    I guess if it wasn’t clear the first time i’d say it again: I didn’t really find a place on the net where the day to day discussions were on a high enough level before I found this place. So in all respects, I hope you do brilliantly!

    @ Hector & Jake: The elections are both a source of worry and excitement. That we have big reasons to be worried means at the least that the current management is doing very well and we cannot be but satisfied with that.

    Further, as Jake said and hopefully I’ve pointed this out before, that the Cesc move is at least in it’s timing of being now, in this highly inflated sellers market, rather than in a year when we should expect more stable prices, is largely political. Basically Rosell’s future campaign seems to be based around bringing Cesc back an Laporta has yet to make a big-name non-replacement signing for the club to sign off his era.

    To talk more on the election issue may be a bit premature as we are yet to hear something concrete. At least one thing is clear: Rosell is very strongly anti-Cruyff. Cruyff ws the key person behind the suggestions of Rijkaard and Pep. With whom he has discussed issues in quite some detail. Rosell split with Laporta because Laporta listened to Cruyff alot regarding club policies and image buiilding that Barca undertake. I think we can say without a shadow of doubt that the performance of the management in those areas has been near flawless.

    It brings in to question how Rosell differed and where his policies might have led and more importantly if they remain same then aren’t they at odds with something that has worked so wonderfully?

  23. August 14, 2009

    Achraf, no it’s none of us in the banner. It’s just a fun picture that might be changing when we design a full banner. I look more like Andres Iniesta,

    Tarun will probably not be posting, just doing site maintenance and changing things. If it’s necessary/important, we’ll do a post of all the changes so everyone knows about it and maybe Tarun will handle that so it makes sense from a technical point-of-view (I’m technologically retarded).

  24. Charlie
    August 14, 2009

    Great new site! It’s in my bookmarks now 🙂

  25. yogi
    August 14, 2009

    Nice to see you guys again. Do agree with all comments that site can look bit more barcelonaish:). Best of luck!

  26. eklavya
    August 14, 2009

    This is stupid.I though Pep wanted a “bigger” squad this season!Then why are pushing out Henrique/Jeffren when we already have done so with Caceres,Hleb and Keirrison?! We’re buying players then selling them as if FCB is a main train station stop through which every player has to go through ❗


  27. gv
    August 14, 2009

    one question. will cover it live still be available during games? 🙂

    and great workl with the schedules and scores. it’s much easier to catch up with the games.

  28. eklavya
    August 14, 2009

    And don’t give me the “bigger-squad-meaning-more-quality-not-quantity” sh*t (i dont wanna be the one to say a not-so-nice word in this new blog).
    We’ve got TONS of games this season….

    P.S. all the smilies not have a square between them! OMG! They’re all so square-y now haha.

  29. Colin
    August 14, 2009

    Congrats on the new site gentlemen, good luck!

  30. ballbeav
    August 14, 2009

    break out the bubbly, ballbeav is in dee haus…

    arranging the knick-knacks on my bedside table here in my new digs…got the framed pic of iniesta up already…let’s roll.

    btw hector i became FCB fan at the same time. those were good days, but i suppose these are even better…

    …though my love for rivaldo has never waned…

  31. Randal
    August 14, 2009

    Wenger gave a statement in press-conference that he’s not gonna sell his best player 2 days before the start of championship.
    Man that was close! I was so afraid we were gonna over-pay or heck lose out on Bojan!! Now I hope Txiki has been silently working on the required reinforcements for this season amidst all this speculation.

    @Wenger who said “I believe that in life you are committed to clubs with contracts and in no contract is the colour of your blood described.”

    Yeah Wenger! You are damn right. But lets see, Barca wins few more silverware in the coming years, you guys end up with nothing judging by the way you are handling the transfers at your club, then we shall see if the “colour of blood” creeps into his contract or not. Until then, all the best to you guys to stay in the ‘TOP 4’ and to TRY to be ahead of Man City.

  32. OhYes
    August 14, 2009

    I don’t like that they are thinking about sending Jeffren out on loan. And I don’t think it would be a smooth move if we then went out and bought another winger to back up Messi. It’s a waste of money. There’s already a winger that’s young, skillful, and talented. Why ruin that?

  33. Kxevin
    August 14, 2009

    I hear you, Cesc Pistol. But here’s my view:

    Krkic isn’t going to grow, which means that he is always going to be pushed off the ball, etc, etc. He can become an exeptional winger, but I think that Jeffren has more potential in that regard.

    I admit, it’s pretty bloodless. I love me some Krkic, and I think that he is immensely talented. But all the time, clubs make decisions that fans don’t like (Eto’o is the most recent example) for a risk that could improve the entity.

    Wenger’s statement has put paid to that supposition. But the question is worth asking. We are chockablock with young talent. A Krkic devotee might suggest that by the time Xavi is ready to move aside, Iniesta will be ready to be the next Xavi. So Johnny Two-Time will be ready, and that Krkic and his second striker (eventual) role will have more value.

    And that’s a valid argument, as well, as I counter-argue against myself. 😀

  34. MoSSi
    August 14, 2009

    Hey you guys!

    Congrats with the new website, it’s gonna take a while to get used to it tough..


  35. August 14, 2009

    The question about liveblogging was asked earlier. With the possible exception of this coming game on Sunday, we should have a standard liveblog, if freakin’ GolTV ever shows any of the games and stops showing stupid ass Coppa Italia matches.

  36. Bashir
    August 14, 2009

    I was actually wondering to my self, when you guys would creat your own place, …. knowin how well the blog on offside was, to me this seems like a logical stepforward.. So congrats…

    Just like barca this year i wish you all a great 2009/2010

  37. ballbeav
    August 14, 2009


    in this article on the official site, it says that iniesta and ibra are certainly not going to play sunday, while messi and henry are doubts. it mentions four players who will make up an attacking threesome “poco habitual”


    im thinking that jeffren will be the one not starting. we have seen guddy as an attacker plenty this preseason, and pedro played 90 minutes against chivas. bojan has played and scored alot in the tours of england and the US. the main question is between jeffren and guddy. other than that…

    another question, will we see keita, busquets, or both? i think Yaya will play more offensively and, of course, there’s xavi…

  38. JeffP
    August 14, 2009

    That’s cold Kevin.

    I enjoyed it immensely.

  39. Kxevin
    August 14, 2009

    Good question, ballbeav. I think that The Yaya will push up more. I could see:

    ————————–The Yaya——————————-

    The back line is solid, which will keep us from conceding, and if we are capable enough to knock in a goal or two, so much the better.

    eklavya, believe it or not this all came together very quickly. Isaiah had the idea. I figured he was kidding, and said “Sure,” because I’m a kind-hearted soul.

    Then suddenly he had a design, and the name, and the site, and then it was live.

    So I guess he wasn’t kidding. 😀

    Short answer: “Not long.”

  40. August 14, 2009

    Athletic must be happy with the developments in terms of who is going to play. Our best 2 attackers (Ibra has never played with us, so he’s still an unknown quality in our side) are out along with our second best midfielder…hmm…Athletic better hope they come out HUGE against us in this game because we’re going to go at them with all guns blazing on the 23rd.

  41. August 14, 2009

    The idea had been there for a while, actually, floating around in my brain trying to get the decision-making parts all lined up. My head is very much like Congress: slow-moving until critical mass is reached and then bang a 1,000 page memorandum on where I’d like to go for dinner.

    All of this came together in the last month and a half, but really, it came together in the last 2 weeks. Critical mass was reached some time last week and then it hit newsstands last night.

    I’ve got some things in the works to entertain us all during breaks and whatnot, so don’t worry, this site will be rockin’.

  42. ElShowDeJason
    August 14, 2009

    I was working on my Yahoo! Fantasy Team, and while browsing for Defenders i was saddened to see Dani Jarque still listed.

    anyways, this is looking to be my line-up this season:

    German Lux
    Alberto Botia – Cristoph Metzelder – Cosmin Contra
    Andres Iniesta – THE YAYA – Sergio Busquets – Miguel de las Cuevas
    Lionel Messi – Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Pedro! Rodriguez

    obviously some descisionis were made based off of the rediculous point awarding system, some where made for financial reasons, and obviously alot were made cause i love some of those players.

    i’ll try to finish the team and then join/sign up in Isaiah’s group

  43. Helge
    August 14, 2009

    “You cannot stop people from having a lot of creative imagination during their sleepless nights, but that does not mean we will do it.”

    I like that comment from Arsène Wenger. And I am actually happy that Cesc stays at Arsenal, at least for one more season. He can join us in 2 or maybe 3 years.

  44. ElShowDeJason
    August 14, 2009

    Ah Kxevin, you will never give up hope on your 4-2-4 will you?

  45. August 14, 2009

    Jason, you get to choose every week, you know. I’ll be writing a post about some of the things I’ve learned from playing in that league in the past. Hasn’t helped me too much, but you never know.

  46. August 14, 2009

    Also, Jason, what’s up with that Metzelder fella in your lineup?

  47. ElShowDeJason
    August 14, 2009

    jaja, Isaiah.

    well he was the financial desicion, i had >4 mil to spend on a defender. I thought about Henrique, but i’m not sure he will be in the squad this season. And out of all the available players, he and contra were the highest scoring last year.

    plus, Pepe isn’t gonna play the first couple of jornadas 😉 so i’m guessing Metzelder starts.

    believe me i didn’t want any EE players, well, i have a soft spot for Casillas and Ramos, but i wasnt gonna spend big on GK or DEF.

    OH, i didn’t know that you chose every week. This is my very first Yahoo! fantasy spccer league, so i’m still not 100% on the rules, any advice you throw my way would be appreciated.

    i had done ESPN’s CL one, and in that one, the squad you chose is pretty much the squad you keep.

    by the way FCBlaugranaSanDiego has joined FC Barcelona Blog’s league

  48. Anna
    August 14, 2009

    This is great!! Congrats on the new site!
    Excited to see some more of the great posts The Offside Barca has gotten me used to 🙂

  49. ElShowDeJason
    August 14, 2009

    oops… i meant <4

Comments are closed.