So, what have we learned this pre-season, aka “Patience, Cules”
Fantasy Winners are Champions of Our Hearts
Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.
You had to include a Neymar option, didn’t you? 😉
Sure! I voted Neymar!
But can he play as a DM?
Of course. Would you expect anything less?
Yay – another mid-fielder. Let’s all sing a Song of Joy.
But then, maybe Tito wants to develop him into a CB. 🙂
Mascherano occasionally lacks the patience to play CB or finds himself out of position. Song playing there scares me.
I’d only caution against (as Euler did) drawing Song conclusions based on how he played in Arsenal’s system. It’s like when everybody thought Mascherano was going to be a card magnet, or Abidal’s crazy-ass performances at CB for Les Bleus, vs his club side.
Song has been, even when he was playing DM several years ago, a better attacker than defender. His coach from the national team recently said as much as well.
Think back to Barcelona at Arsenal several years ago. Song was playing in the back line I believe and got pulled upfield out of position several times and Barcelona exploited that space excellently.
Even when he was playing higher up the field last season it was obvious that he lacked the appreciation of spacing on the pitch that Keita had and never gets credit for.
I’m not saying our system is the same, or he won’t be able to learn, but if we can’t form conclusions on a player based on watching him play in a different system, how can we ever form conclusions on any player outside of Barcelona?
Agger from Liverpool was quoted as saying, “It’d be hard to say no to Barceloona”. He would make a great partnership with Pique for our future. I don’t think he’d come cheap though. Liverpool reportedly want $30 mil for him.
At this point my first choice for reminformcements to the central defensive axis would be Etienne Capoue. He’s a wonderful player. And I think he would just fit in so well with us.
He’s extremely composed on the ball and in his defending. Toulouse plays a very defensively oriented system where he plays very deep even as a DM. He also has experience as a CB. In ternms of his spacing and positioning on the pitch – I think he could make that shift for FCB especially given how high our back line positions itself.
Yesterday’s France-Uruguay match highlighed Capoue’s diverse skill set-technically & physical-very well. His cross at minute 50, midfield turn at min 55 and the way he started a fast transition in midfield at min 57, dispossesion and control of the ball at min 73 are all good examples of what he can do. He didn’t start but when he entered the match at the beginning of min 45 he added signficiant fluidity to a FRA side that was playing a 2 man midfield. At the same time he provided a strong presence defensively in midfield. This was his first international senior cap as well. He’ll get better as he acclimates to the France template.
All that said-there’s a logic to Song’s acquisition and I understand what the club’s interest is. Song has a very rich skill set-particularly his passing. He’s not as tall as I’d like but otherwise diversifies the teams physical skill sets in needed ways.
Song will however need to got through a transition period of learning the FCB system-particularly positioning. Can he make this transition? Thta’s an open question. I’d guess the club feels that he can do that.
I do think that he has a great deal of potential & could get much better when surrounded by FCB players. One thing I do really like about how he defends is that he tends to stay on his feet from what I’ve seen. He defends by screening and positioning rather than aggressive tackling alone. Things like this form a foundation to build on with work.
Given the CB market it was always more likely that we were going to wind up investing in a DM to convert in positioning. Risk associated with making positional adjustment was going to be part of our business this sumer. With Song it will just be a greater transition than it would be with other possiblities such as Javi Martinez or Capoue.
HERE like an EAR…
Downloading the second half of France-Uruguay as I type.
Thank you for the analysis , Euler .
I wanted Capoue since the summer we signed Mascherano so I may come off as biased here, but that’s pretty much the only guy I wanted in this summer as well.
Just finished watching the second half of the match & although he had a few raw moments (1 or 2), he showed good composure, his distribution was great, and he had a solid physical presence. He was probably the most consistent player in the second half. Impressive.
I would warn against judging Song on his performances when we played Arsenal, cause we made Arsenal look like a 3rd division Hawaiinese side 🙂
Having said that, I don’t see why we would get Song… or when he is going to get his minutes. With Jordi Alba in the side we will pretty much always play with 4 “defenders” (thank God). Starting in the midfield are Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets. We need to find playing time for Cesc and Thiago. Where exactly does Song fit in?
Javi Martinez would have been great because he covers both the DM and CB position. Song, however, does not.
I voted Neymar btw :p
They are likely going to expand Song’s role and transition him to playing both DM & ultimately CB.
If Song already could definitively do that like Javi could after last season – Song would cost much, much more.
That’s the wager FCB is making. We can acquire a multi-skilled player and fit him into our constrained budget by “teaching” him to play deeper on the pitch than he did last season.
The price SPORT is quoting is 23M…Worth it, in your opinion?
No. Not 23M. Don’t think the club will pay that. I also read the report Sport links to in the English press-wasn’t definitive that Arsenal had to have 23 M.
As I said above-I’d prefer to buy Etienne Capoue who will be significantly less expensive but the club has prioritized Song.
Looks like the Nay(mar)s have it by quite a large margin!
still don’t know why we’re talking about Alex Song, when we still have a buy-back option on Oriol Romeu. younger, better player and raised in the system; he does everything Song does but with more panache (and can play as a center-back). he’s also got the kind of “i’m just gonna walk in here and *do* this” attitude that helps Busquets and Thiago fit into the first team so well.
like Daniel Agger as a player, his distribution is excellent but he doesn’t fit our high line; he’s super slow on the turn.
The buy back on Romeu is very unclear. Seems that Chel will have to agree to sell him before we can buy him. It’s not FCB’s unilateral right.
Also-Romeu while a quality player also lacks pace. Don’t think playing in a high back line would suit him very well – particularly next to pique.
“still don’t know why we’re talking about Alex Song, when we still have a buy-back option on Oriol Romeu. ”
“and raised in the system;”
“he does everything Song does but with more panache (and can play as a center-back).”
“he’s also got the kind of “i’m just gonna walk in here and *do* this” attitude that helps Busquets and Thiago fit into the first team so well.”
Okay, I don’t even understand this.
i wasn’t aware of the structure of the buy-back clause (all of our clauses with these different teams for cantera players being different), so thanks for the clarification.
Romeu does, i think, tick most of the boxes of what we’re looking for in a center-back:
x versatile, can play at DM
x good in the air
x great distribution out of the back
x knows or can soon learn the Barça system
? quick on the break
i just can’t think of a player in Europe who fits that description (Thiago Silva? out of the picture). certainly i don’t think Song is worth the kind of figures being tossed around. buy back Yaya Toure?
I voted NO!!! I don’t get this Song rumor because there’s no urgent need for a DM at the moment.
-We usually look for players in La Liga first, then it seems to other well known leagues like the EPL or Serie A. I’m annoyed that we pay scouts to look for potential players, and still keep on hearing well known players’ names. I can look for those types of players sitting at home. What’s the point of having scouts.
-If we buy Song to replace Keita, it doesn’t make any sense financially (ignore resale value for a second). Keita wanted a raise because of tax issue. So at most, we would pay him a million or more extra per year. That is a lot less than buying Song for say 18mil + 2 or 3mil net annual salary or 4 or 5 gross. He may have resale value, but having him also means potentially letting B players like Ilie Sanchez or others go. Song is 24, he is another player that will block La Masia players, and that has a cost to it.
-And my skin is too thin to deal with the North London hate brigade :/
Oh trust me, it’s already started. I just spent some time on espnfc.com It’s their new footie site. There’s a blog by a Gunner supporter ripping into RVP. The comments are pretty much focused on RVP, but a few Cule trolls decided to get into the mix with Song. It does seem that we use Arsenal as a feeder club. That said, I really like their acquisitions this summer and think they’ll have a great year. Their on ESPN this Sat. and FSC next Sun. so it will be a good time to see how Song(if still there), Carzola, Poldolski, & Giroud are playing.
“And my skin is too thin to deal with the North London hate brigade :/ ” To be honest I would start hating a club also if they bought one of our players every summer
this is my first time posting….always visit this site, love the articles/discussions you guys post up eventhough i don’t get to all of them, ugh! much props to the staff and peeps who post! now, i’m on the fence with Song…i like the fact of adding a big…perhaps they’ll try Song and or Busi at CB? assuming this is true…guess we’ll wait and see
also, this week i noticed golTV was replaced with BeIN sport channel (with GolTV moving to 627) (direcTV), and ol’ ray-ray and phil were announcing the chile vs. ecuador game! don’t know what i would’ve done without hearing some Ray-ray!
Welcome to BFB, CaliOdds!
How was the Chile game? Losing 3-0 with Alexis on the field sounds a bit crazy.
I said yes , because the following question came to my mind
What if Busquets was injured or suspended ?? , who will play his role with the squad we have now ??
Also , I learned that Song was a CB in his earlier years + Arsenal plays a passing game , and that will help song fit in more easily .
18-19M is a fair price IMO
‘No, but he’d be nice to have’
haha what a cop-out option!
Since I am pretty Ramzied, I voted no, but nice to have. In fact, very damn nice to have.
His purchase fulfill more than just defensive reinforcement, but also attacking reinforcement. Song could very well become a very powerful Keita upgrade.
Euler pointed out the adaptation part, which I agree, but sometimes transfer don’t just come in to adapt. Cesc voiced out his struggle under Pep, yet, he wasn’t too bad for his first homecoming season. The new Keita upgrade will allow a powerful box to box fighter to do the dirty work. His experience in the EPL allow him to play more incisive passes or make direct runs, or even shoot.
Shooting and physique are really two things Busquets is lacking, Song can compete with these two. (not to say Song is a brilliant shooter, but my guess is, he is better than Busquets who hardly shoot).
I am wrong. If Im pretty Ramzied, I’d have voted NEYMAR!
I don’t think we need him, barca owes it to the young players coming through .
Song will be the card magnet and is an egotistical clown (his fights with eto are well documented)
He is a good player at arsenal, will only upset things at barca.
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