Man of the Match, Barca v Osasuna

Sure it was a draw. But MOTM doesn’t have to be.

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Categorized as Barcelona

By Kxevin

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. i said it in the live blog, i’ll say it now…puyol. he provided the assist, got up and down like a champ, and was a monster in defense. not only that but we need this from him while alves is out.

    1. i take it back, i tried to say that in the liveblog, but i was never accepted into the exclusive liveblog club, so i was just talking to myself. anyway.


    2. My apologies, ballbeav. I was approving as fast as I could, but for some reason, it just wouldn’t kick in for some folks. It took 4 tries for eklavya, who then had to go and jinx us by leaving. Then look what happened.

      Everyone is blaming Marquez, but I’m blaming eklavya. 😀

    3. I was trying to get it and just when you approved me I submitted a comment which refreshed the page and so you and I had to start all over again…but don’t blame me, the score was 0-0 when I first came but as I entered ”Gooooal” happended.
      😀 though I agree:
      I went to eat dinner and just before I typed to say im back a lot of F-words came on my screen lol

    4. ” jinx us BY LEAVING” whoops i misunderstood that part.
      But don’t worry Kxevin, your still better than some ‘Henry’ guy who did the Liveblog once and I was trying to get in but never did. I watched the whole match reading others say stuff and not me 🙁

  2. EMD has a poll of “who would you rather have? robinho or luis suarez?”
    mostly votes for suarez.
    i think we should do something like that with more insight. i know alot of people have already talked about it here but it would be interesting to see what the likes of everyone thinks about that topic. like:who suits us better?whats better for us long term?if robinho, just a loan or a purchase etc.

    1. i forgot to answer my own question.
      i think suarez has more question marks than robinho. suarez has good quickness but not great speed, which i think is important for a winger/left forward for tracking back and counterattacks. but hes deadly in the box which is great for ibra to lay the ball off to and he’s a fighter who doesnt mind getting dirty. and although the dutch league isnt anything special, he does very well internationally.
      as for robinho, his only question mark is work ethic and professionalism. if pep could get the best out of him, in our system and with that/our talent, he could be the best left sided player in the world. but that is a big question mark…

    2. Robinho is not a team player & he is another version of Iniesta, in that, he doesn’t take shots as frequently as any other striker would do… Plus the things you have mentioned

  3. Luis Suarez, hands down. I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t want some lazy, bickering, selfish douchebag on my team. What about other possible buys? Mascherano, Tymoschuk (sp?), Kacar, Hernanes, Viera, Van der Wiel, Filipe, Rafinha, Cicinho…

    1. Out of the listed players, I would surely consider Tymoschuk, Kacar, Hernanes, Wonderwall & Filipe. I’d also consider Lee Cattermole, though young, his contribution in Sunderland’s shocking improvement this season clearly shows. Also as soon he’s got injured they seem to have lost that cutting edge!!!
      I understand when people dream of seeing Silva in Bluered jersey, but I also wonder why they don’t consider Arda Turan, when the latter being a right-footed is more suitable for our LW! Also under Rjikaard he seems to have improved a LOT. Was indeed inquired about by the board during summer… IMO the only aspect where he scores less than Suarez is the number of goals he scores. Of course that’s because Arda plays CAM as well as at wings for Galatasaray(just like our Iniesta though comparing him with Iniesta is a bit far-stretched!!) Though scores less, seems to cancel it out with his creativity! He scored 5 goals & provided 16 assists in 16 appearances this season, is the present number ’10’ & captain of Galatasaray. Chips in goals for his NT as well 🙂

  4. Is Robinho lazy? or does he just have a bad reputation? i don’t know, I’m not saying it is one or the other, but I believe anyone wanting a ticket to South Africa this summer is going to bust his ass to be considered.

    And I’ve said all this before, but…

    Robinho has won Championships (Real Madrid), he has made assloads of cash (Man City), and he might be at the point in his career, where he wants to be remembered for being a good, important player, instead of an immature kid with a bagful of cheesy parlor tricks. He probably wants to win a Champion’s League. He has the medals and the money, and if he wants to work hard to step his game to the highest of his potential, then Barcelona is the place.

    Ok, all of that we can only speculate about.

    Here is what we know.

    He is a damned good soccer player. Fast, inventive, great ball control and passing. very versatile in that he can play either wing or Striker, maybe even in an attacking mid position in dire straights. And all of this he has done at the highest level of La Liga.

    What does that mean? Yes it’s a gamble with his attitude. But unlike ANY player on ANYONE’s wishlist, his quality is NOT a question. He has been tested, and has played very well at the stage that we play.

    1. Im with Jason on this. Robinho for me. Its simple really; with Suarez we are not sure how he will perform outside the dutch league, so the risk is in his quality as a player, something that cannot be fixed overnight. There are no question marks regarding Robinho’s quality, he has proven himself in Spain and he and Casillas pretty much won their last title between them. The risk with Robinho is his attitude but with Pep in charge I dont see that as a risk really, certainly much less of a risk than Suarez. Pep will get the best out of Robinho the same way he got the best out of Henry (who never tracked back at Arsenal) and is getting the best out of Ibra. Potentially he could be the best left winger in the world playing for us. Dont think you can say the same about Suarez.

  5. I don’t know if any body else noticed it & felt the same way as I did… But in the 39th minute of second half I felt so pissed at Messi!!! Little bugger he had all the time in the world to pass it to Ibra who was just kissing the offside line and would have rushed onto goalie had he received the pass & no Messi didn’t make the pass because he had to do it all by himself!! And in the end when he was surrounded by many defenders and he couldn’t do anything else he passed it to Iniesta!! I KNOW Messi does that some times but I don’t know man, at that moment I was angered… If you guys have observed even Ibra looked so! Now this is where I’m totally scared!! In the 43rd min of the second half; Ibra was through with the ball, was being surrounded with 2 defenders and he could have passed the ball to Messi who was all open! But he didn’t, which he generally does!! Instead he took shot!! May be I’m thinking too much but such things are not good for the team man 🙁

    1. I did notice, but bringing up such things is baaaad mojo.

      My hope is that Guardiola also noticed and said to both, “Let’s nip this shit in the bud right now, ladies.”

      Last season, there was joy when anyone scored. We have to get back to that. But as I said, everyone is mentally tired, and are playing like it right now. This is particularly true of Messi. Something has to happen to break this awful duck.

      At present, as I noted in the review, we are playing like a club that has already arrived. We see this in passes that don’t have a chance in hell of getting through, or unnecessarily showy plays that lead to bad things (Marquez, Busquets, Pique), rather than the fundamentally sound play.

      This will change. They watch film, they see things and tendencies. The ones they don’t see, Guardiola will point out to them.

    2. You made me feel sorry for bringing that up lol. Well, appreciate the way you try to keep us kids’ spirits high all the time… May be you should change your name to some thing like Kpepvin or Kgevin 😛

  6. Late but probably teasing enough to try:

    Regarding Mascherano Vs Yaya thing. For this one I will join the massive majority of all the none Barcelona Fans who I believe consider Mascherano as the best DM in the world at the moment. For Barcelona fans, no wonder that they see it differently, its their own giant after all. I won’t let my heart rule my head though.

    Now tell me its not teasing 😀

    1. Ah, but there is a groundswell of pronouncements in the press and by match commentators that The Yaya is the best DM in the world.

      But he and Mascherano are different. Yaya is more defensive, while Mascherano is more offensive. But The Yaya can be every bit as good offensively, when called upon. I don’t think that Mascherano can be the pacey, physical, dominating force in the middle that The Yaya can. And that isn’t simple provincialism talking. I think that we all watch as much as we can of other clubs, partcularly when they feature players linked to us, in rumor or reality. And in my Liverpool viewings, I haven’t seen anything from Mascherano that makes me envious of Liverpool.

    2. “Yaya is more defensive, while Mascherano is more offensive.”

      Well Kxevin, that explains it all. I am certain that if you watch Liverpool as much as you watch Barcelona, you wouldnt come up to this conclusion. If you would have said it the other way, it would have been a bit closer to the truth the way I see it at least.

    3. Well, I can’t watch Liverpool as much as I watch Barca, thanks for Fox Soccer Channel. But they have been on the past few weekends, and of course I have watched them in Champions League.

      But to further clarify. I don’t see Mascherano creating a brick wall in front of Liverpool’s back four, and in the times I’ve watched them, I have never seen him run down an attacker from behind, and take the ball …. or just roll over to a guy with ball and say with his eyes, “Give me that,” and have the guy hand the ball over.

      Yes, Mascherano is a defensive DM. But my view of him is more firestarter than extinguisher. Some of that is the way that Benitez deploys his troops, to be sure.

      But I just don’t believe that any other DM in the world combines the abilities that we have in our incumbent, of size, pace, strength, passing ability, ball control and adaptability.

      And as I’ve said, that isn’t just Barca myopia talking.

    4. i don’t find masch offensive at all, at least not more than the yaya! he does all the dirty work like breaking up the play, clearing up loose balls and winning challenges but when it comes to offense he needs another deep lying creative player to link up with (ie: alonso!) masch hasn’t looked too good this season without him, but he was superb the first half against chelsea if you wanna see the best of his current form

    5. if i’m not mistaken, mascherano is shorter than yaya. That is a very important thing for our midfield of iniesta and xavi. I’ve also heard talk that Masch is suited for the double pivot role. Yaya can also play in the back very effectively. Only thing that yaya has against him in the ACN

  7. *
    Take it you filthy english bitches…
    But I think that this will only deteriorate the relations between Wenger & us… Don’t how would that affect the supposedly Bound-To_happen Cesc transfer deal 😛 Hopefully I’ll get to realize my dream of seeing Iniesta retiring Xavi, we can have a new type of CM after Pep & Xavi 🙂

  8. Btw been reading in a few different sources here in the UK that claim City and Utd are both going to battle it out for Suarez and that Ajaz want 40 million EUR for him!!!! Please tell me nobody here thinks he is worth that kind of money…

    1. Well Utd don’t need a player of Suarez’s profile(they need a play-maker more urgently & possibly a traditional winger, so Silva is their perfect recruit as I see it), so that might be a baseless rumor… Moreover Hunter being their legend was sold for 20mill(roughly) to arguably the biggest sellers! I doubt they value Suarez to that! And most recently they sold their captain(Vermaelen) for mere 10mill!!

    2. they don’t need a traditional winger they’ve already got Valencia, whos been doing great for them. Also Nani sucks now.

    3. Yeah Valencia seems to have struck form off-late… But Nani as usual sucks!! They do need a LW who can wip in crosses to take full advantage of Berbatov! After all Berbatov, just imo, is poor man’s Ibra, who has excellent control on the ball for a striker!! With the 4-4-2 formation Fergi prefers in the EPl, they only need a winger like Ashley Young not some one like Suarez! Of course Fergi plays 4-5-1 in Cl, but there too he prefers the wingers to wip in crosses instead of them playing the role of a second striker as in our system!! I seriously doubt he’d consider Suarez in his system, because he already has Valencia, Nani, Tosic(who’s the best among them IMO), Anderson(who’s actually good at playing CAM) & Obertan to pick for the wingers. And he always has Giggs(I wonder why he’s still getting chances ahead of the kids!!)
      Even with 4-5-1 formation I guess he sees front 3 of Rooney-Berba-Valencia as the ideal combo!! So I seriously doubt that rumor

  9. //

    holy shit! alves has the green light already! dude is not human.

    1. Great, great, great news!!! So maybe we see Puyol back at CB along with Pique and no friggin Marquez!!!

  10. Kind of off topic, but- here’s a story on G Rossi (the American that got away) by S Lowe: *

  11. Here’s something interesting that Nike is producing for our VERY cold game on Wed:

    “As soon as Barcelona knew that they will have to travel to Russia and Ukraine for their Champions League first round matches, they requested that Nike provide for them a range of kits that allow players to withstand the low temperatures expected at these venues, reports Catalan paper Sport.

    Nike solved the problem with a product that is both comfortable to wear and is able to cope with fifteen degrees below zero temperatures. This undergarment will be part of the player’s kit for this Wednesday’s match against Rubin Kazan.

    Called ‘Pro Combat’, it features the latest technological advances in comfort and thermal insulation. Nike will prepare three sets of the kit for each player so they can start using them tomorrow during the first training session in Kazan. Each elastic body-fitting kit consist an under-shirt, knee-length trousers and gloves.”


    1. I don’t consider this off topic. I’ve been concerned about the cold myself, and figured something like this would be done about it, but I was still curious about what it is exactly. Anyway, thanks

  12. The reason why Mascherano rarely seen tracking an opponent from behind is his exceptional positioning sense that keeps him facing rather than tracing. Just an example, but never mind.

    The Nike kits is a good news but it sounds more a promotion. If its that easy it would have been made before. Will it be long sleeves and pants by the way? Just saying…

    1. The same reason Argentina fails to score even if they have Messi. Denmark in return scores and make Tomasson a better player.

      Such kind of evaluations usually gets people confused.

    2. I think it will be long sleeves and pants.

      Here’s the rest of the article:

      “The lightweight three-piece suit is made from a special textile that prevents moisture loss and is lighter and more flexible than any other product on the market. It also has layers of foam to prevent abrasion and shock. The ‘dry fit’ material also lets the user maintain body heat, avoid perspiration and prevent the cold from permeating with the player’s body.

      For their part, Rubin players usually utilise less sophisticated home-made remedy to ‘combat’ the cold war. One of the common method used, mostly by the Brazilians, is to put a type of cream on their toes to prevent frostbite. A kind of Vaseline cream is also used to warm their legs while some also resort to wrapping them with plastic wrappers to prevent heat and humidity loss. Those most sensitive to the cold will also resort to a warm broth before they enter the pitch. As goalkeepers exert very little energy in a match, thus creating little body heat, most of them also wear woollen ear muffs to prevent heat loss.”


    3. Masch, though, is a very good DM & is a great shield ahead of their back4, he commits too many fouls to my liking!! Sure just the thought of having some one like Masch ahead of our Pique & Dima would assure me we are not gonna concede many goals but I don’t wish to have a prick like that mentoring our Busi or Rueda!! I know you’d come up with the excellent analysis to back your arguments but it’s my hatred against the ‘professional fouling’ that is speaking against Masch here… The same reason I hate Vidic & prefer Pique to him, though he’s widely regarded the best CB right now!!

  13. Apparently we made last minute bid for Dominic Adiyiah… Don’t know how far that’s true!!!

  14. brrrr. dont you think the pitch will be hard as a rock? and that messi will be slammed against it several times?

    txiki: “we’re fine as long as the pitch is in good condition.”

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