It’s the News, Copa Edition

That's right. I make these stripes good good, baby!
That's right. I make these stripes good good, baby!

Yes, it’s early days, but our very own BANGS, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is co-pichichi with Valencia’s David Villa. Each are on 7 goals. But did you also know that he was 4 of 4 with his shots vs Zaragoza, every last one of ’em being on target? This is very different from our performance against Rubin Kazan, in which some might have been buoyed by the fact that we had more than 20 shots, but I think you’ll find that their keeper will say that he had an easy night of it.

Which means what?

That our big Swede is making a liar out of some people.

When he arrived, the knocks were two-fold. “Yeah, he scores goals, but he doesn’t score them at important times.” That one remains to be seen, but the other, “He won’t score as many goals as Eto’o,” appears to be in dire threat. I’m not a big fan of statistics, and it should be noted that Eto’o had 10 goals in the same stretch of matches last year (2 were penalties). So the deal was a failure, right? 😀

What excites me more about the Ibrahimovic presence is the assists. Why? Because great players make everyone around them great. Michael Jordan wasn’t great because he dropped 60 points on people. He didn’t become great until he started passing the damn ball. Thierry Henry isn’t just good because he scores goals. His crosses and passes are excellent. Xavi is a deity because of his selfless devotion to everyone else’s excellence. Lionel Messi’s best matches of the season feature him as an attacker and distributor of the ball. No, I don’t think it’s news to anyone that Ibrahimovic is good. I think that the news is in how he’s been good. If it continues, we could be in for one hell of a ride this season, folks.

Oh, and Ibrahimovic credits Sinisa Mihajlovic, who he worked on free kicks with at Inter, for his prowess in taking them. Let’s hope for more of that.

–Nothing makes by blood boil like arrogant BritPress rags. What we’re getting now are Carles Puyol headlines such as the one in the Daily Mail, “Puyol hints mega Manchester City offer almost tempted him to leave the Nou Camp.” First of all, it’s Camp Nou, unless it’s also Trafford Old. Now here’s the derivation of their foolishness: Captain Caveman said to Sport “Barca’s offer was very good from day one. The club has always been very good to me but I would be earning more if I had left.”

So one of their ink-stained wretches says “See? Who wouldn’t be tempted by money, and the majesty of the Premiership.” And voila, the absurd story. Because the truth exists in the words “During the whole process I never imagined I would leave.”

–In a bit of mirth-inducing blather, Thong Boy has said that even if he could, he wouldn’t sign any players from our squad to the Evil Empire. Now, we all know why he said it, but does anyone else find that as funny as I do? Yes? Good.

–And for those who might have missed it, the Liga awards were handed out earlier this week and no surprise, we won every one of ’em except for best goalkeeper, and I would argue that we should have won that one, as well, particularly if you base the award on sustained excellence rather than “Kept his club from being even further down the standings.” We nattered about it in some comments, but here it is, for the record:

Best Player and Striker: Messi
Best Coach: Guardiola
Best Defender: Alves (I demand a recount!)
Best Midfielder: Xavi
Best Attacking Mid: Iniesta (They ginned this one up by awarding Messi Best Striker as well as Player.)
Best Breakthrough Player: Busquets

–PM Jose Luis Zapatero will not be able to travel to see his favorite club, Barcelona, after all, due to “meetings and scheduling committments.” Does anyone else smell politics? As Cesc Pistol noted in the Cultural preview, the Prime Minister was geeked about the chance to see Barca play in person, from a nice seat in the wee Cultural Leonesa stadium. But this isn’t to be. Oh. His favorite player is said to be Iniesta.

Thierry Henry is back, and will be given the medical okay to play against Osasuna on the weekend. It goes without saying that the timing of this is perfect, since I fully believe that had a fit Henry been in the side, we wouldn’t have lost to Rubin Kazan. Now he has the chance to prove my theory, as we roll into the return encounter with them after facing off against Osasuna.

–Finally, what would the day be without silly transfer rumors. Despite Citeh supremo Mark Hughes’ best efforts, the Robinho stuff will not go away. And look for David Villa natterings to resume, now that a Valencia boss has admitted that barring anything unforeseen, it will be difficult for them to hang on to their big two (Villa, Silva) again during the upcoming transfer windows. And Christian Poulsen? No. Just. No.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. eklavya
    October 28, 2009

    Poulsen? Againg? Damn!

    I feel like I’ve barely seen Henry at all! I hope he ends his drought soon and gets back in form!

  2. miz
    October 28, 2009

    we need back up when keita and yaya join their national team for african cup..we need midfielder..can someone rate poulsen? is he damn good and suit with our game play? y don’t we tempted essein..absolutely perfect replacement..:P

  3. Carles P
    October 28, 2009

    No to Poulsen… just not technical enough to play in our squad. His defence is usually fouling around the box, because he tends to get beaten OFTEN.

    I say go young for DM, because although Busi is not my favorite option, he can handle some of the duties.

  4. Helge
    October 28, 2009

    Marca computed the value and experience of the side that faced AD Alcorcon, our beloved new hero team from 3rd divisin:
    “The 14 players that appeared in the match have played 465 international games between them for their respective countries and won no less than 95 major trophies. That side cost Madrid €150.5 million with only Raul and Guti arriving for free.”

    How much did we pay for the players in the CL final last season? I guess it was about half as much! LOL 😀

    • Carles P
      October 28, 2009

      I just have to say that I LOVE that the EE has lost to a 3rd division side… 4-0… and I cannot stop saying it!

      • Miguel
        October 28, 2009

        it was like watching the “shaolin” team vs the “evil” team in the movie: shaolin soccer.

        • October 28, 2009

          Best. Movie. Ever. I need to reference that more often and I think that Ibra’s ninja-esque moves will aid me in doing so.

          • Miguel
            October 28, 2009

            a chick came up to me @ my old work and referenced that movie. she said yings & yangs were coming out of my keyboard. i was like, “marry me.”

  5. Hawk
    October 28, 2009

    Off topic
    I personally believe that when The Yaya shoots he moves the planet the direction of the ball instead of kicking the ball itself. Because if The Yaya shot the ball and had a lapse of concentration and didn’t restrain himself (I know, I know, “Hah!” but IF he did…) the stands behind the goal would have been disintegrated. Just thought I’d share my theory…

    • eklavya
      October 28, 2009

      sure! Its the same thing when he scores! He is so awesome that our petty eyes cant handle this awesomeness, therefore we get sort of binded and we see him all dark and stuff. Do you guys REALLY think all the universe is dark? Nah its that our pupils connot support the awesomeness.The maximum we can manage are those north light auroras which are only of course the reflection The almighty YAYA’s shadows.
      The real Yaya’s true colors are red and blue of course, like the Blaugrana 😀

      • October 28, 2009

        On a different, yet similar note, any own goal that an opposing side scores should not be marked as OG. It should just be credited to the YAYA for his mind control.

        • eklavya
          October 28, 2009

          The Yaya uses his mind power to turn his awesomeness into SHEER energy which makes the ball go into the opposition’s net without anyone touching it,by pure force of will.
          Such is the greatness of The YAYA.

  6. Carles P
    October 28, 2009

    Essien would be GREAT, but Chelski would not let him go, and he has the same issue as he is also a participant in the ACN.

    I say go to Ajax and get the young DM that we inquired about in the summer.

  7. Hilal
    October 28, 2009

    Hmmm, im not sure we need a holding mid tbh. Between Busquetz, Marquez and Chryginsky we have the role covered. I would challenge enybody to find a better replacement who is available in Jan and dont say Mascherano cos he is def not available. I would take any of the above over Poulson. Even if there was somebody available, anybody half decent is going to cost a lot, just to fill in for a month? Not worth it. Keita will hopefully not be gone for too long anyways since Mali are not realistically going to get very far. Yes, we will miss them both, but we have enough to cover. There are two much more important positions to cover for and those are LW and another attack minded midfielder to help alleviate the pressure on Xavi/Iniesta.

    • Miguel
      October 28, 2009

      has anybody ever seen chygnasty play in midfield? i’m just wondering. in the cl or something? any stats on how many games he’s started there? we definitely have cover for that spot but, aside from the left wing, it is the position most likely to be reinforced come january; and probably on the cheap.

      • eklavya
        October 28, 2009

        I don’t think he can. Besides it won’t help us cause he can’t play in the CL anyway and if does play there in the league it means we’ll see more marquez in defense and I’d rather have Marquez at DM than CB at the moment.

  8. Soto
    October 28, 2009

    I am hoping that Laporta and Barcelona are allowing the Robinho rumors to continue in order to cover up the real left winger that they want during the transfer season. I am holding out hope that when January arrives there will be a transfer of such brilliance and surprise that we will all be thinking, “Damn. That’s perfect. Why didn’t I think of that!”

    Of course, I have been accused of being a romantic fool at times.

  9. yogi
    October 28, 2009

    For left wing, we should definitely consider Zarate. He might cost around 25 million but will be worth it.

  10. Alex
    October 28, 2009


    You Xbox live peeps with Fifa 10, post gamertags please.

    Mine is: Hondeboyman

    • Jnice
      October 28, 2009


      Hopefully there are good, clear streams for the match today.

  11. Vj
    October 28, 2009

    What does “Estamos jodidos, pero a muerte con el míster” mean? Is ‘Death to Mister’ some kind of phrase? Sounds funny..

    • October 28, 2009

      “We’re fucked, but we stick by our coach until the (bitter) end.”

      • October 28, 2009

        Also fucked may be too strong a word there–maybe “we’re screwed” or “we’re in a right bad spot” would be more like what the Spaniards mean. I only speak Mexican and Nicaraguan Spanish so “joder” is a much more forceful word in my mind than it may be.

    • poipoi
      October 28, 2009

      It means “we’re fucked, but we’ll be with our mister until the death”

      “a muerte” – I’m not sure but it feels like “straight up” or something like that but with the word death in it.

    • Vj
      October 28, 2009

      Thanks Isaiah and Poipoi..

      From what I gathered from Google translate, I thought it meant “We’re screwed, but death to mister”..

  12. Eduard
    October 28, 2009

    David Silva thru and thru.

    I think this blog should have a section for gamer tags.

  13. Blow-Granite
    October 28, 2009

    Thong Boy comments always amaze me!!! I think he must be the stupidest person alive after George Bush and Britney Sphears.

  14. Carles P
    October 28, 2009

    Two good articles at Guardian Website:

    Sid Lowe on EE loss:*

    J Wilson on false 9 revolution: *

  15. October 28, 2009

    Carles Puyol is a saint for staying with this club despite the hefty salary he would have made. Though we refuse to admit it, many of us would go where the money is, so kudos to him for that.

    It’s good to see Crynaldo actually learning how to talk to the media and not being so selfish. With the comment about Messi deserving “The Prize” over him and not selling out his teammates, it looks like he’s becoming the tiniest bit less moronic.

  16. Andrew M.
    October 28, 2009

    i got hectored! so i repost:

    i am rying to understand this false number 9 thing. (1) is a player like ronaldinho a false 9? (2) but ibra is a true 9? (3) but when our CF swaps with messi and messi plays in the middle, he is a false 9? (4) is that because he doesnt hang around the defensive line of the opposition waiting for the ball like ibra sometimes does? (5) because he is always tracking back to get the ball, start the play and then finish it too. (6) was keita a false 9 against zaragoza?

    sorry for all the questions, i numbered them for convenience.

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