News of the day – November 1, 2009

We’re on the warpath yet again, ladies and gentleman, with another news roundup for your perusal.

Hopefully it's not quite like this
Hopefully it's not quite like this

-The biggest news, in my esteemed opinion, is that Dani Alves has been given medical clearance and should be fit to play against Rubin Kazan. Whether or not he’s fully recovered is not something I’m capable of saying, of course, but if he’s able to play without risk of further injury, I suggest putting him on the field at right back. Just a thought, of course, a tactical wrinkle I’ve developed completely on my own. I’m sure that he recovered faster than was originally considered possibly by playing all four parts in this video at once while sleeping.

-Speaking of the match that’s coming up on Wednesday, it turns out that Barça is going to wear super Nike stretchy goodness under their kits, making them impervious to the expected below-zero temperatures in Kazan. Sport has the story, complete with a random picture of someone wearing what appears to be football pads on his legs. I say give those to Messi to keep his precious legs away from injury. There’s the possibility of snow for Wednesday (currently 30% according to Weather Underground), which means the potential for a huge snowball that only The Yaya will be able to kick.

-While we’re on the subject of that giant behemoth of a gigantic giant, I saw this picture of The Yaya in Marca and felt, for the tiniest fraction of a moment, sorry for Rubin Kazan, who have to face him. The article itself just talks about how FCB is going to take “Mediterranean food” to Russia as well as lots of warm clothing. Nice. But do you really think The Yaya will need to wear all that fancy anti-cold gear? Won’t he just breath a bit of fire on to his skin and go about his business? Also, Puyol has probably been sleeping in his freezer for a few weeks now in preparation so he won’t need that nonsense either.

-The ref for the match will be Konrad Plautz, an Austrian. I don’t actually know anything about Plautz, so I looked him up on Wikipedia and found that he’s not only a ridiculously physically fit ref, he’s apparently also involved in a local theater group. Alves and Busi take note: he knows what acting looks like so stay on your friggin’ feet. It doesn’t appear that he’s ever reffed a Barça before, but I can’t be positive about that. He was the ref for the 4-1 Spanish demolition of Russia in the group stage of Euro2008, so you can go back and review his performance there if you’d like. He should be able to keep up with the match and make sure that everyone gets a fair shake throughout (his neutrality seems to be fairly good).

-Barça’s flight to Kazan was delayed 2 hours at El Prat, meaning they’ll be arriving late tonight (10pm local time) instead of mid-evening, which isn’t the best way to start the journey, which is five and a half hours each way by plane, but hopefully everything goes smoothly from hereon out.

Johan Cruyff was chosen as the head coach of Catalunya’s “autonomous” team and should be choosing players from Barça’s academy soon, though for what matches, I don’t know. They’ve played six times in the last three years, so it’s not exactly a massive organization…I guess you get a lot of preparation time, so being tactically out-foxed is probably not a good thing. Here’s hoping that the Catalan team will help to blood some of the younger Catalan players and allow them to move up to the full national team faster, rather than serving as a roadblock to their international futures. Oleguer will be thrilled about all of this, no doubt.

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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.

105 Comments

  1. ballbeav
    November 2, 2009

    BTW that pic is very funny, i cant believe an actual competitive match would take place in conditions like that. like, have they ever heard of a snow plow?

  2. Carles P
    November 2, 2009

    Alves being fit is AWESOME news!

  3. Boat Forever
    November 2, 2009

    Puyol has probably been sleeping in his freezer for a few weeks now in preparation so he won’t need that nonsense… Hilarious 😀

  4. Cesc Blanc
    November 2, 2009

    Konrad Plautz once said in a tv interview, and please excuse me using this word but I have to be as correct as possible, that he doesn’t like “negro music”. He is also member of the conservative party, so overall, he is quite a miserable person but tends to give advantage to big teams and call almost every contact, which might come to our benefit.
    still, he is pathetic..
    http://worldreferee.com/site/copy.php?linkID=491&linkType=referee&contextType=dyk

  5. Vj
    November 2, 2009

    That video is the shit..

    It feels good that I’d atleast be able to watch this spectacle live.. It really didn’t look that bad when Inter visited there..

  6. OhYes
    November 2, 2009

    DAMN! Even us Chicagoans go indoors for soccer. These Russians are tough cookies.

  7. Tyler
    November 2, 2009

    man, just following this season is exhausting! I can’t imagine what it’s like to actually have to perform at the level the players do with all the matches, traveling, time zone shifts, and weather conditions. here’s hoping that we can score in the snow!

  8. Andrew M.
    November 2, 2009

    “Also, Puyol has probably been sleeping in his freezer for a few weeks now in preparation so he won’t need that nonsense either”

    brilliant…

    p.s. sorry everyone for the liveblog fail. i was let down by our shitty and unreliable internet connection here in south africa.

    • Kxevin
      November 2, 2009

      No worries, Andrew. We made it happen. It’s still eklavya’s fault. He came, we scored. He left, we conceded. Simple, really. 😀

      • eklavya
        November 2, 2009

        Exactly the same thing happened last season when we lost 4-3 to athleti. I came, guddy scored.
        I guess if I don’t make it for wednesday’s liveblog I’ll be banned from here. 😀

  9. Tutomate
    November 2, 2009

    I demand a retraction Isaiah, everyone knows that the YaYa does not have to breathe fire on to his skin but rather his pores are capeable of producing their own fire and therefore the snow in which he walks on melts within 2 yards of his presence.

    • November 2, 2009

      That is a good point. I’ll get the Retraction Department on this stat, though they’ll obviously have to conduct field tests that could take some time.

      • inNYC
        November 2, 2009

        The Yaya will have to stay away from Banjo then, cause he’s planning to make some really neato snow angels during warmups.

  10. Kevo
    November 2, 2009

    This is an exert from elpais.com sport’s section.

    “[…] Chigrinski todavía no se ha integrado -“le perdujicó la lesión, pero es impresionante cómo ha entendido el juego y cómo habla castellano!”, afirma Guardiola-”

    This is what Guardiola said about Chignasty after the game “the injury has slowed his progress but it’s impressive how quickly he has understood the game and how he can speak SPANISH!” At least that’s a good sign of motivation and dedication.

  11. Blow-Granite
    November 2, 2009

    That “Here It Goes” video is awesome!!!

    • Kxevin
      November 2, 2009

      After all this time, it still holds up as a work of genius.

  12. Alex
    November 2, 2009

    So… what time is this game on, it seems that Fox Sports in Espanol has it on at 9:30 AM?????????????? That sucks. 9:30 AM is a bit early for a lunch break.

    • Carles P
      November 2, 2009

      I think it is on at 9:30. I’m sure Isaiah will confirm in his preview to the game.

        • BlaugranaDOOM
          November 3, 2009

          So sorry for all of you who live on the west coast, but for once in the 5 years that I have lived in Asia, I get to watch the game at the reasonable hour of 1:30 in the morning. Maybe the only good thing about FCB having to play in the middle of Russia in November.

  13. Blow-Granite
    November 2, 2009

    It seems that they have a “Motomatic Grass Pitch”. What exactly is this Motomatic grass pitch. Will it keep the pitch warm and not frozen even if the temperature is sub zero. If it is a grass pitch and the temperature is below 0, the pitch will be frozen. I am not sure the Barca players are up for something like that.

    • Kxevin
      November 2, 2009

      Yep. Drainage, irrigation for feeding the grass and a heating system. Not sure how efficient it is at crazy-ass temperatures, but I rather imagine that around freezing and without snow, it will be all good.

  14. yogi
    November 2, 2009

    And we still have to go to Kiev. I really hope that we collect three points this week. Alves back is great though.

    • Blow-Granite
      November 2, 2009

      Ive noticed that both Messi and Ibra suffer because of lack of Alves.

        • Blow-Granite
          November 2, 2009

          Like how they suffered in the last match against Osasuna.

        • Blow-Granite
          November 2, 2009

          That 6-1 was Keiteeeeeee! Magic!!!

  15. Corrine
    November 3, 2009

    here’s this week’s crackovia for osasuna vs barca

    lol it’s hilarious

    made me feel better about the result

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGNQhjCWXkg

  16. Boat Forever
    November 3, 2009

    ______________________VV
    Puyi__________Pique________Abidal_______Maxwell
    _____________________Yaya
    __________Xavi___________________Keita
    Messi___________________________________Iniesta
    _____________________Ibra

    This would be my ideal line-up for tomorrow(because Henry hasn’t yet played a single minute returning from injury), but I seriously doubt would happen!! Pep might play Marquez instead of Maxwell

    Subs:

    Henry for Iniesta(as much as I love Iniesta, he hasn’t struck form yet & Keita is in the form of his life… Also his robust runs would be more beneficial than Iniesta’s dribbles if the Rubin defenses are as organized as they were last time around!!) But if Xavi is marked effectively I’d like to have Iniesta on the pitch

    Alves for Maxwell(again this would depend on the circumstances… If Maxwell is ineffective, then we’ll have to risk Alves because remember this is our Do or Die match)

    Pedro for Keita(If we are unable to break their defenses, I’ll rely on our supposedly SuperSub-In-Making & play 4-4-2)

    • Boat Forever
      November 3, 2009

      I’m against the idea of playing Iniesta in wings, but watching the first leg I felt that their RB gave lots of space for our Pedro! which of course he was not able to utilize… So if they repeat its good; even if not, Iniesta be would drawing defenders away from Ibra & Messi which is also good 🙂 Know it’s not that simple, but that’s the way I see it

      • Kxevin
        November 3, 2009

        I think they gave space to P! as part of a calculated risk. Pedro! isn’t going to beat you. Xavi, Messi and Ibra can kill you. The risk paid off, and explains the value of having someone on that left wing who can kill you. For that reason, I’d wager that Henry starts, in the hope of getting a match-defining early goal.

        Oh. No, Iniesta cannot kill you on the left wing, either. Apologies to all the Ghostface devotees.

        I think we will see:

        VV
        Puyol/Marquez/Pique/Abidal
        The Yaya/Xavi/Keita
        Messi/Ibra/Henry

        Keita, Puyol and Abidal are playing too well to be out of the lineup right now. And there has to be a reason that Guardiola hasn’t used Abidal at CB.

        For a surprise front line, I would swap Pedro! for Messi, leaving La Pulga Bionica as the first sub. We will probably see some Alves, too, if we need goals. But I just don’t think that we will. The only reason we didn’t win 1-0 at home were two lapses and a wonder shot. The odds of the same mistakes occurring again are exactly zero. I like our chances here.

        • Boat Forever
          November 3, 2009

          With the kind of space P! was allowed I have hopes on Iniesta can make one killer pass at least!! Even if not he’s sure to draw more than 1 defender which can only ease off some pressure on Ibra & Messi… Would sure like Henry starting but he hasn’t played a minute yet, so think that would be kinda risky

  17. utility73
    November 3, 2009

    Konrad Plautz? Oh noes. I know this referee from our Austrian We-Don’t-Know-What-To-Do-With-The-Ball-So-Lets_Just_Kick-The-Players Bundesliga and this guy is horrible. He has a tendency to favour teams and it shows big time when he does. I have no idea why he has such a high reputation within the UEFA. Anyway, let’s just hope he is not an EE fan.

  18. November 3, 2009

    This is going to be played 2 hours earlier right ? I’m gonna watch it if that’s the case.

    Hope the pitch will be playable, think it will be an exciting game. It’s been sometime since the last time Barcelona was with their back on the wall.

  19. Tajh
    November 3, 2009

    Have anyone heard of the rumors linking Kuranyi to us.

    • Tajh
      November 3, 2009

      these Benik Afobe rumours are also getting stronger.They say we have invited him to see the training facilities.

  20. November 3, 2009

    There’s all kinds of bullshit flying around about us. My favorite rumor of the day:

    –Citeh is planning to throw big money at us for The Yaya, and we are going to listen to them, because we have our eyes on Mascherano (which will make Ramzi happy 😀 ).

    • November 3, 2009

      The fans and journalists won’t even go outside? It’s like 30F there, not -3235! Good christ, it’s not that cold.

      • ballbeav
        November 3, 2009

        yeah its like 23 degrees F. or 25. not bad. mmm also it looks like they cancelled training cos they were jet lagged too. so whatever.

        the FCB website is a bit much too, they go on and on about how cold it is. like they need something to write about. one of the pieces was: ‘team arrives 90 minutes late to rubin.’ next we’ll be reading about what time messi took a shit at, how big it was, etc.

  21. Soto
    November 3, 2009

    Here’s something slightly off-topic but that I hope Hector might pick up in the future: The Guardian’s “The Question” column has an interesting article on the value of using a false nine and some thoughts on why so few teams use it. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2009/oct/27/the-question-false-nines-jonathan-wilson .

    The column specifically addresses the change from Eto’o to Ibrahimovic and what that means tactically for Barcelona. I am curious how these ideas fit with the overall tactically philosophy of Guardiola.

    It’s an interesting read, something to fill the time before the Rubin Kazan game.

    • Hector
      November 3, 2009

      I love Jonathan Wilson articles but I happen to disagree on some of the points he makes in this one. Its addressed in my long delayed next article.

      • Miguel
        November 3, 2009

        yeah. you know he goes into what happens when 4-4-2 meets 4-3-3, but not what happens when 4-2-3-1 meets 4-3-3 which is what we’ve been clashing w/recently(valencia, zaragoza, and kazan). and i thought roma had been playing totti up top for a while now; atleast certainly before united tried it.

  22. yogi
    November 3, 2009

    Things are not good weather wise in Kazan. Its expected that temp’s will be around -3 which is challenging.

    I agree with Kevin that P! was given way too much space as calculated risk. We need someone deadly on left wing as well and hence i think Pep will start Henry. This is a key match for us and one that we pretty much have to win. If we start P! instead of Messi, Kazan will just follow their policy from first match.

    I like Iniesta. One of the best players in the world playing from middle third. Not in the final third though.

    I like Masch as well but Yaya suites us better then Masch. As some one said earlier, Masch is better in double pivot and if left alone, can struggle at times. Our top priority has to be someone for left wing though.

  23. Blow-Granite
    November 3, 2009

    This from the Barca website: Looks like the stadium is heated:

    “Although there was a chance to train at the Kazin facilities this morning, the decision was taken, especially given the delay in yesterday’s flight, to just relax in the hotel and wait till this afternoon for training at the Centralniy stadium, whose heating should ensure a perfect surface for tomorrow’s game despite the cold. “

  24. bill
    November 3, 2009

    So, I was listening to the radio today, and apparently Yaya is out of favor at Barcelona, and he now wants to move.

    • Blow-Granite
      November 3, 2009

      What radio were you listening to?

      • Boat Forever
        November 3, 2009

        And it seems he’s worth just 14mill euros!!! The Yaya is gonna give a lazor look at Citeh if they put that bid 😛

        • Kxevin
          November 3, 2009

          Craziness. But radio folks make shit up just like print journalists. It is simply impossible for The Yaya to be out of favor with us. What would be his transgression? Being the best DM on the planet? Bastard! Sell him!

          Remember that with his new deal, we slapped a 100m valuation on him. Citeh might indeed be willing to meet that, given all the money that they have to splash, but I doubt it.

  25. Jnice
    November 3, 2009

    Pep all bundled up:

    *http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20091103/capt.6b08f65cb4e6484dab0708f024a8b248.russia_champions_league_soccer_xsp104.jpg

    Puyol doesn’t even wear gloves:

    *http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/a8/fullj.be5261b705e9c2ab0ca1d1f5765667db/be5261b705e9c2ab0ca1d1f5765667db-getty-fbl-c1-eur-rubin-barcelona.jpg

    *http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/7c/fullj.eb12a68cfc5420536b00b5753a6d04a4/eb12a68cfc5420536b00b5753a6d04a4-getty-fbl-c1-eur-rubin-barcelona.jpg

    • Boat Forever
      November 3, 2009

      Would they wear those masks even during the match!?
      Well the BANGS would then be apt for the Zlat… Still can’t get over the way they said “Zlat’s the way to do it!” on Revista De La Liga 🙂

    • poipoi
      November 3, 2009

      look at puyol’s legs specially when compared to marquez’s in the 1st pic. omfg

    • Miguel
      November 3, 2009

      cool ninjas!

      doesn’t look like we’ll be the only ones having trouble travelling abroad this week. i love la liga loca…

      “And speaking of ridiculous but entertaining follies, Real Madrid are heading to Italian shores – where things never normally go well – to a stadium where they have played 12 competitive games and lost 10 of them. (The other two were draws).
      AC Milan are looking to extend this impressive record from the Spanish side with a victory in San Siro…

      If there’s one thing that will surely unite the bickering fans of Madrid’s Big Two on Wednesday morning, it’s the fact that they are all going to be big, fat Champions League losers. Oh yes.”

      • poipoi
        November 3, 2009

        Anyodoby knows how many games has FCB won in San Siro vs Milan?

    • Blow-Granite
      November 3, 2009

      Isiah was right, Puyol has been sleeping in his freezer for the last one month to prepare for this match.

      • Miguel
        November 3, 2009

        puyol is “encino man” and bouquets is paulie shore.

  26. poipoi
    November 3, 2009

    I just love the CL, November in Russia!! I fell it’s gonna be fun.

    As a Ghostface devotee I have to agree he’s not a winger but can play there and even in the right if needed since he’s such a complete player bla bla 😉 I didn’t watch the game at Reyno de Navarra, I don’t know how he really played but I always like to watch the videos this guy puts on youtube, a higlight of Iniesta match.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0fVBlpuwWY

    Oh man, look at the skill the guy has… How good can a spanish player be?

    • Helge
      November 3, 2009

      18:30, which equals 20:30 local time.

  27. Miguel
    November 3, 2009

    livesoccertv.com has the chelsea v patetico game listed as being on right now. anybody confirm or deny that? somebody? anybody?

    • poipoi
      November 3, 2009

      no… it should start in half and hour like all the rest I guess.

  28. ElShowDeJason
    November 3, 2009

    Dida gifts another goal to Madrid!

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 3, 2009

      Dinho buries it… a rocket of a shot!

  29. ElShowDeJason
    November 3, 2009

    PATO SCORES!!!!

    WTF?!?!?! no goal?!?!?

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 3, 2009

      replay shows NO OFFSIDES, NO FOUL, nothing, nothing but shit defending and a valid goal…

      screw you ref!

  30. OhYes
    November 3, 2009

    GOD DAMN!! That Pato goal was effing sweet. Didn’t count, but it should have. Game just got good.

  31. Ramzi
    November 3, 2009

    We can’t prevent anyone from writting anything. But Yaya is here to stay.

    And Kevin, that was a mean remark 😀

    For the record, and those who have a strong memory remember it, at the beginning of last season when Yay move was a certain fact even for Barcelona fans when he didn’t play the first few games in the league, and again when there were complications while renewing his contract, I was almost alone insuring that Yaya will stay and will renew. It comes from my belief in his qualities that goes to an extend that I don’t doubt his survival 😉

    I want Mascherano WITH Yaya and not instead of him. Mascherano is better as a pure defensive midfielder or as Rinus Michels call it “Vapor cleaner”, Yaya is a more versatile player who can contribute offense wise while doing his defensive duties as well. He is also a great box-to-box midfielder when he catch the tempo of the game. Each player fits a specific tactical recipe (within Barcelona standard tactics) and meets different challenges in different games.

  32. Vj
    November 3, 2009

    A lot of kicking and shoving going on.. Pato’s was a clean goal but the penalty is ‘debatable’..

  33. ElShowDeJason
    November 3, 2009

    Half Time Update

    Bayern 0 – 1 Bordeaux
    Haifa 0 – 1 Juventus
    Besiktas 0 – 1 Wolsburg
    ManUtd 1 – 2 CSKA Moscow
    Milan 1 – 1 Madrid
    Marseille 2 – 1 Zruich
    Nicosia 0 – 0 Porto
    Atleti 0 – 0 Chelsea

      • ElShowDeJason
        November 3, 2009

        I’m rooting for Wolfsburg. to get out of the group. And my wishful thinking also wants to see Man U out early (along with all other Prem teams!)

  34. ElShowDeJason
    November 3, 2009

    Poor Pato. He is playing his heart out and school biatches but the ref is totally all up on his nut and cracking it!

  35. ElShowDeJason
    November 3, 2009

    Uh-Oh, Kaka does his best Ronaldo Impression, but ref didn’t buy it

    He should have gotten a yellow.

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 3, 2009

      Kaka keeps throwing himself on the ground, ref keeps telling him to get up, but won’t caution him.

  36. November 3, 2009

    Can I interrupt this discussion to point out to you people that Roman Abramovich spent $47,000 at a NYC restaurant?

    **http://fiverupees.blogspot.com/2009/11/receipt-of-day.html

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 3, 2009

      yeah, he is rich.

      but whata hell costs $47,000???

      • November 3, 2009

        On my blog, I’ve put up an image of the receipt. Check how much booze these 6 idiots had at 2:30 in the afternoon.

  37. OhYes
    November 3, 2009

    Nice try Kaka but you gotta get up pretty early in the morning for that one

  38. ElShowDeJason
    November 3, 2009

    Ronnie turning on the classic Majic…

    with tricks that actually are pulled off, and are effective (not just showy)…

    Me Likes

  39. OhYes
    November 3, 2009

    lmao Dinho and Seedorf and a 2nd Milan goal feels inevitable but you never know with RM

  40. OhYes
    November 3, 2009

    Damn Pato is having a terrific game, he is constantly taking on 2+ and winning……if Milan gives up another easy header this is gonna end badly

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 3, 2009

      Pato, Dinho, and Seedorf have been ON this game. in that order.

      Kaka has been reduced to hopeful long ranged shots, hopeful throughballs that never make it to the runner, and diving. That said, he is playing WAY better than he did last game.

      • OhYes
        November 3, 2009

        Yea they played very well. Dinho had his swagger back and even did a few very wonderful things. Should’ve had an assist or two!

        That was a fun game. Thankfully I am a supporter of neither team because that was frustrating for both ends. RM fans got to watch another game were their team gets tossed like dough and Milan fans got to see their team undeservedly tie.

  41. OhYes
    November 3, 2009

    What’s up with CRon i thought he was only out for a week??

    And RM players keep diving. If they were gonna takethis route they could have just spent 5m on a team of diving instructors

  42. anon
    November 3, 2009

    Manchester United FC 1-3 PFC CSKA Moskva

  43. anon
    November 3, 2009

    FC Bayern München 0-2 FC Girondins de Bordeaux
    Maccabi Haifa FC 0-1 Juventus
    Manchester United FC 3-3 PFC CSKA Moskva
    Beşiktaş JK 0-3 VfL Wolfsburg
    AC Milan 1-1 Real Madrid CF
    Olympique de Marseille 6-1 FC Zürich
    APOEL FC 0-1 FC Porto
    Club Atlético de Madrid 2-2 Chelsea FC

  44. ballbeav
    November 3, 2009

    bordeaux is gonna knock out bayern munchen

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