News, Saturday edition

Hey, slick! Guardian says you're coach of the year!
Hey, slick! Guardian says you're coach of the year!

–Coach of the Year. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? UK paper (and a darned respectable one) Guardian says that our very own Pep Guardiola is their coach of the year. He has, and I quote, “The young Barcelona coach has quietly turned a team of underachievers into world-beaters.”

And so he has.

But of course, there’s some humor with the Guardian piece. An EPL supporter suggests that Spurs would be a better example of the “underachievers into world-beaters” comment. 😀

That’s rich, yo.

This is my favorite bit from the piece: There’s a piece of nonsense one has to put up with every now and again from small footballing minds in England: that Barcelona may be excellent with the ball, but they are “suspect” in defence. The truth is they are excellent in defence too. Not only do Guardiola’s Barcelona keep possession of the ball longer, unfailingly, than any team they play against, they recover possession faster than anyone too. The team has the quality of a perfectly co-ordinated living organism, all the parts moving with one purpose, seemingly organised by a single controlling mind. In possession, they fan out in all directions, offering each other clear and varied passing options; lacking possession, they pursue the ball like a swarm of very determined bees.

–As the presidential elections draw near, I would suggest some Hector Pills and hip waders to get through all of the bullshit that is going to come flowing down the mountain. Already, candidate Agusto Benedito is talking crap about Laporta. In a natter with El Mundo Deportivo, the businessman said “The main thing is ethics. There can be errors in any management, but ethics are essential.

“There are things that he wasn’t able to do, and things that he didn’t want to do. He was in a unique position to establish an irreversible change, but he left the path, lost control.”

Now Laporta is a lame duck, right? Riiiiight. But you can still drag his people through the mud, to taint by association. It’s going to get nasty, is all I’m saying. Sandro Rosell is reportedly looking to spend about 2 million on his campaign for the presidency.

Sport says that Pedro! could be a surprise inclusion in Spain’s World Cup squad, if he keeps banging in goals as he is. I find it difficult to believe, personally, given the exceptionally high quality of wing talent that La Furia Roja boast, but what do I know? The home publication has to thump its chest about something, right?

Johann Cruijff got a new job, and already cool stuff is in the works. The newly appointed coach of the Catalunya National Team might have a match against Argentina in his looming future. For those who might not know, the Barca “total football” icon was appointed coach on Nov. 9.

We know, we know …. Catalunya is an “autonomous region,” not a country. It won’t play in the World Cup in my lifetime, either, and isn’t really recognized by FIFA. And of course, given the politically charged nature of the Catalunya debate, a firestorm of controversy is potentially stirred up every time someone agrees to a match against the Catalans, as if playing the side is tantamount to siding with it in the independence debate.

What we do know is that this job is a nice, low-stress way for Cruijff to keep his hand in coaching, and the side instantly gains a lot more notoriety.

–If you think that your life is hard, imagine being Luis Enrique, who had to appeal to the Spanish Football Federation to postpone a match against Alicante, because he only had 9 players at his disposal. Between internationals, injuries and U-21 duty, his cupboard was bare. The request was granted, obviously.

–In the Internationals update, The Yaya kicked ass and took names in the (as predicted by me …. just saying) 3-0 defeat of Guinea in a meaningless World Cup qualifier. Henry and Abidal looked good and horrifying, respectively, as France defeated Ireland by the (as predicted by me …. just saying) score of 1-0. I was going to try finding a YouTube clip of the Eric Abidal giveaway toward the end of a very tight and hotly contested match, but there are rules against putting disaster porn up on the Web. Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Puyol and Busquets all featured in the Spain v Argentina friendly, which ended in an (as not predicted by me) 2-1 win for Spain. Some looked better than others, but Iniesta was pretty spectacular. Mini Vampire might be back, which doesn’t augur well for the Liga and the rest of the world, but it sure does for us. Txignasty didn’t play in the 0-0 (yes, I missed that one, too) Greece/Ukraine World Cup playoff for reasons unspecified, since he’s healthy as far as anyone knows. Finally, Dani Alves looked lively and dangerous in Brazil’s 1-0 defeat of England, a match that was almost painful to watch.

–Robinho is still not coming, and The Yaya’s agent is still an ass. I know. Neither one is news, but they’re just nice to say.

Categorized as Thoughts

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. Busi the starter for Spain ahead of cesc… So sweet to keep repeating that haha! Although he’s being only played as DM, I still am happy for him & wanted Messi to kick some ass after Cesc came on for Xavi and prove once and for all that Cesc is not what we need but I guess that bugger wants his friend to play aside him… I understand that Pique & Messi, but just don’t keep going public that you want him here. Or does Pique do that frequently just to spite the Gooners!? After all he was once a Devil right!? LOL

  2. I’m personally not a surporter of Cesc going to Barcelona in the near future, but I think it’s funny he always goofs off with fcb players.

    Anyone else impressed with D.Silva? I prefer him over Villa any day of the week(maybe 6 of the 7). He fits our style sooo much more.

  3. Does anybody think that if Villa was for sale for 30m that we would buy him? How would these choices look?
    Titi/Villa/P!/Bojan – Ibra/Villa/Titi/Messi/Bojan/P! – Messi/Villa/P!

    Honestly, I don’t think we will sign anyone during the winter transfer window, other than possibly a veteran CDM out of favor with his current team: Poulsen, Viera, and so on. How often in our past have we dealt in the winter window? How many star players? I think that if (And I think due to the elections we WILL) we are to sign the likes of Robinho *gasp*, Masch, Cesc, Suarez, etc… it will be in the summer. Signing players in the winter window is always risky. All the big names right now are cup-tied and new players need time to adjust and fit in. An extra body in case of injury or Busi’s colt syndrome is the only way i see a signing. But of course, a steal like Filipe Luis for free or David Villa would be too good to pass up…

    1. And don’t rule out us selling Yaya. Since we have such a LARGE squad ripe with intergalactic atom-smashing CDMs. If we were to somehow sell someone after adding reinforcements, look for whoever it is to go to Inter. In all the crap that is transfer rumors, Laporta hinted that he could do future business with Moratti. Seeing as Laporta is lame-duck, that would mean January if ever. Maybe Inter owe us for H E whowilL notBe named

    2. HAHA! I’ve been to a lamest speculation; Barca willing to offer The Yaya for… Wait for it… Balotelli!! 😀

      LOL @ H E whowilL notBe named

    3. And actually had he decided to indeed go to them, they wouldn’t have bought Sneijdor who has been so good for them till now… 3 Goals, 5 assists, 3 MOTM performances!! That’s like having 3 Hlebs 😀

    4. I wonder if the reason Marquez has been kept in the mix is so that he could be used as a backup Defensive mid, should anything happen to Busi/Xavi/Yaya

    5. Do you really think Pep would be willing to gamble by having just 3 mid fielders plus 2 in Marquez & JDS for a whole 40 days!? We’d be playing 8 matches including the 2 CDR fixtures during that period!!

    6. Perhaps not. But I don’t think it’s completely crazy. Can Maxwell slot into midfield? and dare I say it… Piquenbauer livin up to the name we gave him and doin serious DM time?

    1. Nothing will ever make me feel sorry for Dumbenech. That guy could screw up a wet dream. Even when all logic dictated that an on-form Coupet was the choice, because of his superiority on set pieces and size, which would have been just the thing against Italy, who really weren’t going to score any other way against France, he played that blithering little monkey Barthez, who stood there and looked at the ball that Materazzi headed home.

      Between that and a host of other stupid choices, you could see why the fans so lustily booed his ass at that tournament. And the players laughing at the spectacle should have been a very eloquent statement to the FFF that this guy needs to go. Now. Nevertheless, they persist in their devotion to an idiot.

      Hey, that’s enough bile for a Sunday morning, right?

    1. I’m surprised you didn’t hear me screaming from Chicago, eklavya. I can’t explain why he is so effective on the wing, but turns into a prat whenever he’s in the center of defense.

      And I have to find one of those bad-ass shirts Les Bleus were rocking, while I’m still fit enough to pull it off. 😀

    2. I pulled the plug about a half-hour after the Spain match was over, I thought. But admittedly I woke up, grabbed the smartphone and did it from there. Hope I didn’t screw anything up.

      I watched the France match on extreme DVR delay, about 4 hours after it actually happened.

    1. leave poor Liverpool alone. taking Mascherano from them would be like taking an amputee’s arm; they’ve only got 3 left as it is!

    1. He was whacked by one of the Spanish players in his face, accidentally of course. This was towards the end of the first half. He acted worked up after that.

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