The big news of yesterday came direct from the horse’s mouth, as ZubiZa said that Martin Montoya, Marc Bartra, Jonathan Dos Santos and Marc Muniesa will all be promoted to the first team next season, “according to their contracts.”
Now as usual, I’m going to do some reading between the lines here, particularly as it pertains to the quoted portion of what ZubiZa said.
Many players who renew with a club’s lower-tier side will include a “promote mah ass” clause in the new contract, aka the “play me or trade me” clause. When that clause comes due, the club then has two options (more, but let’s just say it’s two): promote the player, or sell him.
The only player on that list who I think is ready to make a significant, consistent first-team contribution is Montoya. Dos Santos is with the first team already, so he will just stay put. But he’s reached a complex phase of his development.
We all know Muniesa as the super-fast red card, about 9 seconds after his first-team debut. Bartra has talent galore, which has yet to be realized.
All of which means what? Loans, baby …. loans! Look for a couple of these folks to be sent off for some seasoning, to clubs where they can play a lot, and really get a feel for what first-team footy is like. We can also watch their development, and see whether we want them to come back.
Speaking of …. Despite what various media and agents are crabbling on about, ZubiZa (a rather talkative lad of late, isn’t he?) has said that we have no plans to bring back Oriol Romeu. In specific, “We have a first option on Oriol Romeu, but at this moment we don’t plan to re-sign him.” So Chelsea can relax, as well as its fans. Or is there such a thing as reverse tapping-up, or the old double Magilla, where we say we aren’t going to sign him, then turn around and do precisely that.
I ask, because …. Bartomeu said the other day, regarding Robin van Persie, that “Nothing exists with Robin van Persie,” said Bartomeu after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad. “They are rumours that appear in the newspapers. We have not contacted Arsenal, nor his agent.” And yet, his name keeps coming up. Further, EE is rumored to be considering a bid for him, just because we are, even though we aren’t. Crikey! I know we aren’t supposed to need Hector Pills during the season, but I’m not going to have my bottle far from my side.
Stupid is as Liga does We’ve made the Plat del Reig final against Athletic Bilbao (is anyone else quaking in their boots about this matchup?). A meeting will be held on Monday to decide where the final is going to be played. Now, I don’t mean to seem like I’m slagging the brains that run La Liga, as that would be wrong. I mean, we all know what a bastion of intelligence and quality management our league is, right? They schedule matches far in advance, crack down with alacrity on miscreant players and are constantly taking steps to make sure that the pub …. crap, I confused Liga with the Prem. Sorry ’bout that.
Our jackasses will be meeting to decide where the Plat final will be played. Athletic Bilbao want to play it at the Lair of Evil, and we’re down with that program, as well. Which means it will be probably be played at El Molinon, out Hee Hon way. Is there another league that still, not very long before the match, hasn’t a clue where its Cup final will be played?
Whenever one begins to think that the Liga, with its quality of play and dogfight below the big two, can make steps toward actually being considered the best league in the world, you realize that its stone-age management will always, always preclude that possibility. And onward.
The pain …. oh, the pain Team sources say that Pedro will get the green light before the weekend’s match against Osasuna, but probably not Busquets, which means that the sick bay includes: 3M, Pepe Le Pew, That’s My Seat and My Face! My Face!. Not bad, given that just a few weeks ago, we were grabbing Camp Nou vendors to complete a training roster.
I know, I know Where the hell is the Valencia review? Euler is working up some magic. And as any good conjurer will tell you, true magic just can’t be whipped up, or pulled out of thin air.
Speaking of signings I would like to lobby for no signings this summer. I know. I’m crazy, right? Particularly since we are probably going to lose Keiteeee, maybe Villa (yes, I do think so), 3M and another surprise name or two. Why? When I think of the quality that our club has, the depth and quality of its B side and the intense difficulty required to break into the nucleus of our starting XI, I wonder about wasting money. This is what I mean:
Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Messi, Fabregas, Sanchez
In looking at that XI, a player to work his way in will cost a lotta lotta dosh. Meanwhile, we also have Cuenca, Tello, Pedro, Mascherano, Montoya (who will stay), Fontas, Adriano, Dos Santos (will also stay), Thiago and a breakout Killer B or two, means that we still look a great side for next season.
Names such as Thiago Silva (overrated) are being bandied about, and I wonder if anyone here would rather have Silva in our back line over Mascherano? I wouldn’t, not from what I’ve seen from Milan matches this season. And certainly not for the price. Llorente might be hitting the market this summer? Tempting, right? But where does he play, and when? Messi isn’t sitting. All that money for a Plan B? Really?
Greatness is a complex thing, meaning that it’s hard to bump up that formula. Look at Ibrahimovic. If anyone has been watching Milan this season, when he isn’t being an ass, he has been pretty spectacular for them as far as overall integration into their play. He was our last mega-signing (no, I don’t think Villa or Fabregas were mega-signings), and absurdly expensive. He had the quality to work in the side, but not the mentality. This team needs a spectacular player who doesn’t mind fitting into the system and taking his chances where they come.
Usually, that doesn’t come as part of the M.O. of a spectacular player who is at the youth and quality level necessary to make a significant expenditure worthwhile.
Then we can also go back to making color copies at the Camp Nou. Yep.
And that’s what I know, kinda sorta.