The Song of the Barça Boatmen

The boys are freezing their patatas in Moscow, but Cesc has said that, “the pitch and the cold won’t be a problem or an excuse.”

So there.

The game is less than an hour away now – 6pm CET ‘cos they’re in Russia.

To get into the mood, I’m listening to this:

 

Barça heads into the game knowing that a win will seal a place in the next Champions League round.

The track record isn’t that great in Russia and little wonder, because it’s BLOODY FREEZING and our boys don’t do cold.  Apparently, Russian players love it:

At least we can say that Barça has never lost in the Motherland.  5 draws and 1 win.  That win came in 2002/03 against Lokomotiv Moscow (1-3) and Valdés, Puyol and Xavi played in that game.  Same again, please.

Spartak has some injury issues, but who doesn’t?  You can bet that whoever plays, they’ll play hard and tough.  Just don’t knock Messi over, because your artificial turf will leave bad carpet burns and he’ll have a hard time explaining them to Antonella.

Nicolás Pareja is suspended for Spartak, and Song is one Yellow card away from missing the next game.

As well as the artificial pitch, they have fans who celebrate like this, as I whimper quietly to myself, thinking of the Camp Nou matches where we sit next to the sweet little Catalan grandpa and grandma, who tap their walking canes in time to the music as we spiritedly sing, “Tots units fem força”:

Not only has no Russian team knocked over the Blaugrana but, for all his trying, Spartak’s head coach hasn’t either, to date.

You can bet that Unai will look something like this tonight:

 

Team is: Valdés – Alves Pique Mascherano Alba – Xavi Busquets Cesc – Pedro Messi Iniesta

Bench:  Pinto, Montoya, Puyol, Song, Dos Santos, Villa, Deulofeu

Iniesta on the Left – again???  After Pep left, you said that this wasn’t going to happen, Tito!

 

The team is sporting the latest in anti-cold thermal wear tonight.  Just don’t give them any weapons because then they’ll be mistaken for bank robbers.

Shakira lets you out of the house looking like this?

 

 

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165 Comments

  1. bhed
    November 20, 2012

    Got Hectored…

    Anyway, I’m making plans for a pilgrimage in April. Which is the cooler neighborhood to stay in – Gracia or El Raval? I’m looking for a bohemian neighborhood vibe.

    Thanks BFBers!

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      Just answered in the last thread.

      Gracia is better. Raval has a seedy, underworld flavour which is fine if it’s your thing, it’s just more risky to be walking around there at night. I don’t even like going there during the day, and if I do, I stick to the main roads.

      • bhed
        November 20, 2012

        Thanks nzm! I used to prefer seedy, but in my 40’s now. Still like a bit funky though. Gracia seems to fit the bill. Now to get 2 seats for the Mallorca game that are actually next to each other (FCB website has lots of tickets, but all singletons), and try to get a reservation for Tickets, the Adria bros’ restaurant.

        • nzm
          November 20, 2012

          Look closer to the date – the Barca website ticketing system is one of the most screwed that I’ve seen. It’s as if they don’t want to sell tickets. A few weeks before the date, all the seating suddenly becomes available, and it isn’t just the seient lliure scheme kicking in.

          They have a funny seating system here in Spain.

          All odd number seats are to the left of the aisle, all even numbered seats are to the right.

          So if you get 2 tickets, for e.g., which are numbered 4&6 or 5&7, you’ll be sitting next to each other.

          If you get 3&4, you’ll be sitting across the aisle from each other!

          Good luck for Tickets!

          • bhed
            November 20, 2012

            Thanks again! If you want to meet up for a beer (or coffee, or sangria) with my wife and I the first week of April, it’s on me! Of course I realize you have a life, so don’t feel duty bound.

          • nzm
            November 20, 2012

            Sounds great, although we may be in New Zealand at that time (my mother’s 80th), but ping me at matdxb (at) freenet.de a bit closer to the date, and we’d love to meet up if we’re in town.

  2. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    Wow – Tello left out for Deulofeu.

  3. bhed
    November 20, 2012

    Is Puyol OK? Are they bringing him back slowly?

    • November 20, 2012

      He’s an old man who is certainly not match fit.

      Good choice to leave him on the bench in the freezing cold in my opinion.

  4. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    Game on!

    Lots of links at thefirstrow.eu

  5. nia
    November 20, 2012

    It’s so cold in Moscow, my stream is chivering 🙂

  6. nia
    November 20, 2012

    ha ha VV looks like the ref, was wondering why the ref was kicking the ball

  7. mom4
    November 20, 2012

    Anyone else panicking any time we give up posession?

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      Amazing! Brazilian inconsistency! 😆

  8. nia
    November 20, 2012

    See what happens when u just shoot sometimes? Goal Alves

  9. barca96
    November 20, 2012

    Been awake for nearly 24 hours. Can’t stand it.

    Hopefully nobody gets injured. The plastic pitch looks horrible. Busi and Pique shouldn’t slide on this pitch. I remember playing on an artificial pitch during the winter. We always try not to go into sliding challenges because the risk of getting injured is much higher.

    And the ball doesn’t seem to roll on this pitch.

    We need to score first.

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      Um – we’ve already scored. 🙂

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      He’s given away so many balls, but! Too casual.

      • mom4
        November 20, 2012

        I meant that tackle. But I admit, I’m not following this too closely because I told A that I’d wait to watch with him. No, you can’t tell him. So maybe I haven’t seen all the giveaways.

        • nzm
          November 20, 2012

          I’m going over to A’s FB page right now to tell him what you’re doing! 😆

          • mom4
            November 20, 2012

            Will never give you my portion of hummus, olives, guacamole, sushi, etc…if you do! 🙂

          • nzm
            November 20, 2012

            Damn – you know how to get to a girl! 🙂

    • mom4
      November 20, 2012

      Until that giveaway. Thanks, Masche.

  10. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    Masch is injured, but coming back on.

  11. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    OMG – Iniesta in the corner there!

  12. mom4
    November 20, 2012

    Unai has them playing some nice ball.

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      Spartak would have 4 by now if they had better finishing.

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      No way in hell. Legs were bent and he went over.

  13. Jim
    November 20, 2012

    I belt home dash in the door – just in time to see Pedro diving and we’re 2-0 up. What’s that about ?

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      Bit shameful really, Jim. Even Pedro had the grace to look ashamed afterwards.

    • mom4
      November 20, 2012

      What’s that about? It means you are in time for a beautious Messi goal. Cheers!

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      If Celtic draws or wins tonight, Jim, I think that they’re through too, is that right?

      • mom4
        November 20, 2012

        I sooooo want Celtic to go through. Classy club and fans.

      • Messiah10
        November 20, 2012

        If they win they are definitely through. Now that Barca SEEM(seen this before) to have the game in hand, if Celtic draw their through. Good for them. Historic club that deserves to make knock out rounds.

        • Jim
          November 20, 2012

          I’m feeling the love for Scotland tonight 🙂

      • Jim
        November 20, 2012

        Sorry, nam. I was pouring my first glass of Pinotage !

        I think that’s basically right. If Celtic win they’re def through. if they draw its almost certain.

  14. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    Messi keeps up his scoring in multiples!

  15. mom4
    November 20, 2012

    Just wow! I luvs our flea. Good heads up P!

  16. Messiah10
    November 20, 2012

    We are VERY lucky not to be down! Just as I say that Messi rounds the keeper brilliantly and slots it in! However, Spartak have had 4 great chances to score and our bad give away’s from Messi, Busi, Xavi, heck, almost everyone, have given them opportunities they didn’t capitalize on. Thank goodness. Messi! Unreal! The calmness in going round the keeper was sublime!

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      Yup – a better finishing team and this would be a different story right now.

      But it isn’t! 😆

    • Ben
      November 20, 2012

      There have definitely been some bad giveaways that have led to dangerous looking counter attacks, but I don’t really think that Spartak have had many really good chances. There was the one that was sky’ed at the beginning of the match, but I think many of the other chances would have been difficult to convert. Of course, if you get your shot on frame you at least have a shot….

  17. Ben
    November 20, 2012

    I was shocked that the ref started calling fouls at the end of the half. For most of the half, both sides seemed to be able to tackle/push/etc with impunity.

  18. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    I think the cold is inspiring Barcelona to play at a higher tempo (as if to speed time up). Sure, the risks are higher, but the rewards are already in hand.

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      If they play too slowly, they’ll freeze to the pitch.

  19. Cy
    November 20, 2012

    This is the best I’ve seen Alves played in a long long while, hope he’s back for good. Alba, Alves, Montoya, Adriano, Abidal. Barca’s full backs are to drool for.

  20. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    woohoo – VV came out to claim a ball!

  21. mom4
    November 20, 2012

    Can we get our stuff back together for this half?

  22. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Wow, most (all?) of the Spartak players are wearing long sleeves. But it looks like half of Barcelona are rocking short sleeves. Did they forget to pack their undies, or are they just too manly for woolens?

    And is that a snood I see around VV’s neck?

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      yeah – it’s a snood. Thought that they had been banned.

  23. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Cesc just slays me. The boy absolutely *hates* to move the ball backwards. How did he manage not to flunk out of the cantera?

    • mom4
      November 20, 2012

      Then again, we may be over-complicating some things.

  24. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Look at Alba getting back on defense from the penalty box. H’es unreal.

  25. Ben
    November 20, 2012

    Does Jordi Alba ever stop running? The motor on that guy is unbelievable.

  26. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    After seeing this match, my theory is that the temperature in Barcelona needs to drop by about 20degC to keep our boys moving!

  27. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Busquets is a lizard. His blood is always cooler than the ambient temperature.

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      Actually, guy fell and rolled into him!

  28. Ben
    November 20, 2012

    Terrible challenge from Spartak. Valdes down…

  29. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Spartak are really hopeless in the opponent box.

  30. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Hey Tito, how about some sub time for the youngsters? I want to see Deulofeu stepping over just for the hell of it.

  31. mom4
    November 20, 2012

    Did the subs get frozen to the bench? How ’bout resting someonefor the league game.

    • Jim
      November 20, 2012

      This is actually very comfortable. Missed the chances we gave up earlier on and will have a look later but hey this is pretty good.

    • replayed
      November 20, 2012

      Maybe he’s concerned subs won’t be able to warm up safely in the cold and might be at a higher risk of muscle injuries as a result?

        • nzm
          November 20, 2012

          Iniesta was closer – Cesc didn’t want to run that far back to VV. 😆

  32. mom4
    November 20, 2012

    Xavi only had 97 passes. Gonna be ticked off at being subbed before 100.

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      He’ll kick in a few locker doors for sure. 🙂

      • replayed
        November 20, 2012

        Nah, he’ll just stare holes through them.

  33. Jim
    November 20, 2012

    Just love Xavi and Iniesta. They are obviously great friends. When one is taken off the other will run to shake hands with them. I can just see them sipping a beer together in a bar in the Gothic quarter when they’re in their fifties looking back with nostalgia on the days when they played together and there was a blog called barcelonafootballblog which really appreciated great football 🙂

    Ok, NZM, I agree, the wine is kicking in.

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      You’re waxing lyrical, Jim – but keep drinking! 🙂

      • Jim
        November 20, 2012

        By the second half of the Celtic game I’ll doubtless be invoking my favourite Scottish poet, Norman MacCaig, ….. So I’ll apologise now !

  34. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Deulofeu! Come on, do some step overs. Pretty please.

  35. ooga aga
    November 20, 2012

    the spartak keepers name is Dikan. Is his last name Radich? Dikan Radich? just a little joke for all you root-veggie lovers out there.

  36. mom4
    November 20, 2012

    Deulofeu looks a bit the chunky monkey.

  37. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    The squirrel goes off. Good match, squirrel.

  38. replayed
    November 20, 2012

    Oh, Gerard. And you were having such a good game.

      • replayed
        November 20, 2012

        Oh yeah, good point, I had forgotten about that.

        In this case, I was moaning about Pique’s header giveaway. I don’t think Deulofeu has touched the ball yet. No step overs for me.

        • Jim
          November 20, 2012

          Not that I need o defend him – he had a great game – but where would you have directed the header. Not sure he had a lot of options.

  39. Messiah10
    November 20, 2012

    Let’s hold on for a clean sheet! It’d be nice to keep one for once!

    • Jim
      November 20, 2012

      Yeah, fed up saying that, NZM. It’s the policy of getting as many good players on at once but it shouldn’t be Ini that suffers.

      • Doug
        November 20, 2012

        How would Cesc do out on the wing?

        I guess if you’re going to play Busquets, Xavi, Cesc, and Iniesta, someone has to be out there.

    • G6O
      November 20, 2012

      Iniesta has the ball control skills to be a great winger. The problem he has neither the speed not the mentality that are also needed 🙁

      • Doug
        November 20, 2012

        Ok – so where do you play him? Where do you play Fabregas?

  40. Jim
    November 20, 2012

    Just getting geared up for the Celtic Benfica match next. In some ways I don’t mind if they lose as I’d definitely be after a ticket for the last match at home. What an atmosphere that would be !

    • nzm
      November 20, 2012

      enjoy – we get to see the Valencia match instead!

      • mom4
        November 20, 2012

        I’d rather Celtic tied. I want them to go through, but I also want us not to have to work too hard to get first place. FSC is showing Chelsea/Juve next—think I’ll go grocery shopping.

        • nzm
          November 20, 2012

          Should have watched that match – Juve won 3-0!!!

  41. nzm
    November 20, 2012

    Game over – mission accomplished!

    Not the best of games – against a better-finishing opponent it would have been a different story, but so it goes.

  42. ooga aga
    November 20, 2012

    very proud of this team to travel to russia and get a win like that. hoping for a tie between celtic and benfica! that would basically qualify us as #1 and celtic would be very close to clinching #2.

  43. bhed
    November 20, 2012

    I thought we were playing some beautiful, beautiful football in the first half, everyone was brilliant. Second half was a bit more subdued, but what the hey, it was cold and we were playing on plastic.

  44. Jim
    November 20, 2012

    Just watched the twenty minutes or so I missed.

    Not seeing where their great chances were. Even happier with the display now. ,

  45. Gogah
    November 20, 2012

    If only Alba had another three inches, I would happily accept not seeing Abidal. The dude has everything.

    And..I thought I’d seen the last of Iniesta on the front wing with Pep’s departure. Bad Tito

  46. Jim
    November 20, 2012

    Jeez, this is worse than watching Barca !

    1-1 with 62 gone but its all Benfica.

    • Jim
      November 20, 2012

      Damn. Looks like its going to the last day. 2-1.

  47. November 20, 2012

    So Chelsea may not make it out of the group stage.

    Shakhtar – 10
    Juventus – 9
    Chelsea – 7
    Nord – 1

    Juventus and Shakhtar play each other in the last match of the group.

    Let’s assume Chelsea wins. The only result that doesn’t see both Juventus and Shakhtar go through ahead of them is a Shakhtar win.

    As I understand it – Shakhtar wins the tiebreaker against Chelsea with a win and a tie, while Juventus wins the tiebreaker against Chelsea due to scoring more away goals in matches between the two teams.

    • replayed
      November 20, 2012

      Shakhtar are through no matter what. The only question is whether they’ll want to bother taking any risks in order to win the group outright. It doesn’t look good for Chelsea.

      Adriano’s first goal stands to change the way drop balls are played from now on. Ugh.

      • Messiah10
        November 21, 2012

        If only Shakhtar could of held on against Chelksi in one of their 2 legs. Chelski would be done and dusted.

  48. ooga aga
    November 20, 2012

    ok, follow up to my post in previous thread, in which i asked about getting tickets to football games in spain. a post which is now lost and nobody else will see 🙂

    i am seeing lots of places to buy tickets for matches on line. whether for barca or any other Liga team. one person in previous thread mentioned getting tickets on line for an Atleti-Barca match in the Calderon.

    How safe are these sites? are there ones which are definitely safe? are there any that are definitely bogus and should be avoided?

    again, any advice on getting tickets at home OR away matches in spain much appreciated.

    • The__K__Man
      November 20, 2012

      I did buy a few times from ticketmaster which is an official selling site meaning you get your tickets for the same price as they are on Barça’s website. (Barça’s site wasn’t working for me for technical reasons).
      Another website I used was worldticketshop. I used it to get a ticket to last year’s super cup in Monaco. Obviously these are ‘2nd hand’ tickets so you have to pay more than what the ticket normally costs but some matches as this one were only for socis so I had no choice. You can check the website if they have tickets for your away match. The weird thing was that I had to meet a guy somewhere around the stadium 2 hours before the game to collect my ticket.

    • yana
      November 20, 2012

      I’ve also used ticketmaster.es for home matches, as for some reason the Barça site couldn’t complete my transactions. I notice that ticketmaster also features tickets for Atleti and Espanyol, two of the teams you mentioned in your other post.

      I got tickets for the Sevilla away match though Sports Events 365. (Sevilla FC is also listed at ticketmaster, but the page has been empty every time I checked.) You don’t get to choose your seats, just whether you want to be on the lateral sides or the goal ends. They emailed me a pdf voucher a week before the match, and I showed that at the Sanchez Pizjuan box office, and the tickets were in an envelope with my name. As K_Man mentions, unfortunately the tickets are marked up from face value.

      The very first time I went to Barçelona, I bought match tickets through the official Barçelona Tourism agency website. Similar to the above, I didn’t get to choose my seats, but there was no markup on the tickets. (Sadly this was not an option through the Sevilla tourism site…) So you may want to check the various city tourism websites to see if it’s something they offer.

      Good luck and have a great time!

    • simple_barcafan
      November 20, 2012

      Puyol: “Blankets are for sissies..”
      \m/

  49. The funny moment of the match was the one with Captain armband and Busquets. It also shows how the club takes real pride and care in making usre the seniority and a structure is followed. It’s pretty simple isn’t it?

    Puyol>Xavi>Iniesta>Valdes>Rest

    So how come even Busquets thought about wearing that, 😉

    It also shows the kind of personalities we are blessed to have in the team. In any other team such a change could create ego issues, not in this Barca. Especially when we have guys like Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta. We are not only lucky to be able to watch some of the greatest players ever, but also lucky to watch some of the modest too.

    • November 21, 2012

      I don’t recall Busi trying to put on the armband? I saw Cesc take it and make a move towards Valdes, who must have indicated (offscreen) that he should give it to Iniesta instead to save time. (Iniesta is the 4th captain, not the 3rd, so VV should rightfully have been wearing it.)

      • replayed
        November 21, 2012

        The sequence is unclear.

        When Xavi sees his number, he takes off the armband and we see Busquets walking towards him to take the armband from him. Also in the background, we can see Pique watching all this.

        As Xavi starts to head out, Busquets takes off running, apparently towards the Barca goal. We can also see Pique drift off in the same direction. In that same shot, we see Xavi touch hands with Cesc before we cut to a wider view of Xavi jogging out (away from goal). Also in this new shot, we see Xavi touch hands goodbye with Iniesta and then greet Song as the latter steps on.

        Song jogs on towards goal, giving instructions to folks and we see him go past Cesc.

        The next shot is a bit unclear. We see Pique point Busquets away from him, apparently towards the ref (though the latter is evidently not the real target). There’s no doubt Pique’s gesture is in reference to the armband which we see in Busquets’s hand. What’s ambiguous is whether Pique actually hands the armband to Busquets or whether Pique’s hand gesture happens to swing past Busquets’s hand as the latter is still holding the armband. (If I had to make a call, I’d say it’s a case of the latter, not that it makes much of a difference.) Busquets dutifully jogs towards the camera, past the ref and hands the armband to Cesc who immediately wheels around and runs towards Iniesta who then takes the band from him and puts it on.

        The missing player in all of this is VV. We don’t actually Busquets try to give him the band, although it would be a reasonable guess that he tried to. The part that’s still a mystery to me in all this is why it ended up being Pique who instructed Busquets to give the band to Iniesta.

        • November 21, 2012

          …do you work for the police by any chance? That was quite the forensic analysis. 😛

          Pique was presumably close enough to Valdes to hear his instructions to give the armband to Iniesta & passed them on to Busi.

          • replayed
            November 21, 2012

            The trouble with that theory is that Busquets was seen *running* towards goal while Pique was still behind him, casually ambling in that direction. I have to conclude that Busquets would have been closer to Valdes at any point during which the latter could have shouted instructions.

            The theory could work though if we were to assume that Busquets is a little hard of hearing. Maybe to make up for the eyes in the back of his head.

            (I do love a good mystery.)

          • November 21, 2012

            Careful! We’ve already said to much!

            Wheels within wheels, man…

  50. stefan2k
    November 21, 2012

    Masche is so much better with the confidence Pique seems to give him… BAEM!

    At times I was screaming at Pedrito … COME ON!! TAKE ON THAT DEFENDER!! and even the commentator noticed that he never even tries :/

    Also still a little embarassed by his dive… didn’t expect that from him but otherwise very happy with the game and result.

  51. November 21, 2012

    Valdes is 3rd in captain ranking, same problems with pedro i bet tello would fancy a go at the fullbacks…good game over all and somehow i fail to see d great let offs we the opposition had…the ref must be an alien coz he’s in normal ref kits (typical).

  52. nzm
    November 21, 2012

    Di Matteo has gone.

    He did cut a rapidly-chewing-gum figure on the sidelines last night, looking as if his head was on the block.

    Working for Abramovich must be so much fun.

    • mei
      November 21, 2012

      Abramovich must be trying to snatch Pep – but as much as I ‘d love to see him back in the game I really do hope he does not go there.

      • nzm
        November 21, 2012

        Yeah – if he thought Rosell was bad, he has nothing on Abramovich.

        That’s when Pep will discover that everyone around Rosell was under the illusion that the man had power. Abramovich has it!

        His superyachts (yes – plural) have recently spent quite a bit of time in the Barcelona superyacht yards having modifications done to them.

  53. KEVINO17
    November 21, 2012

    Pep ain’t going to put his hand in the meat grinder. I reckon he’ll go to a club like Barca: Bayern.

    This is about Roman reuniting with the only man he’s ever truly loved and understood ( the yin to his yang), namely, Jose.

    • mei
      November 21, 2012

      Bayern would be crazy to sack their coach in the middle of the term – notwithstanding the fact that they don’t follow the abramovich policy , he has done a marvelous job thus far.

  54. Clouseau
    November 21, 2012

    One of the best Away performance i can remember!
    Hoping for the match against Benfica to see a competetive Team with all the former ínjured Players(Thiago,Alexis,Adriano etc.) getting some playtime.

    Enjoying my piece of “Schadenfreude” for Chelsea’s loss yesterday. I think even Florentino nor Jésus Gil y Gil we’re that simpleminded as that Oligarch..Slowly but surly outtopping them.
    Can see Pep avoiding all the phone calls,email’s and textmessages right now xD
    But i really hope he won’t join them a club with such a shortterm mentality doesn’t suit him.

    • barca96
      November 21, 2012

      When I read this page on my phone, your comment stood out because you mentioned Jesus Gil y Gil. I remember him dearly because his Atletico Madrid played Ajax in 1996 if I recall correctly whereby Dani (a Portuguese poster boy) scored 2 or 3 headers.

      Anyways, after logging back in on my lappy, only then I realize that it’s you. I remember that you are one of the regulars here who have been following football since the 90’s.

      • Clouseau
        November 21, 2012

        Can’t remember that particular Game but the Controverse it created afterwards with Gil y Gil’s stupendous statements..

        Damn how I despised that Mafiosi but at least his Team put up a Fight against EE on&off the Pitch..

        That Ajax was so special never understood why Barca let Witchge leave as he could have been the ideal successor for Laudrup…
        Now it’s sad to watch them nowadays.

  55. barca96
    November 21, 2012

    A joke from a poster on the Telegrapgh by the name of Krizman although I found the source to be unreliable *https://twitter.com/PepGuadiola/status/207592568001794048;

    It’s very funny nonetheless.

    Guardiola: “Coaching Chelsea? I don’t know how to drive a bus.”

  56. barca96
    November 21, 2012

    Was planning to post this question last week during the International break but didn’t have the time to log on.

    Where would you guys prefer to see Pep coach after he comes back?

    I would prefer him to wait a little longer until SAF finally does want to retire. Man U is the most stable club.

    My 2nd choice would be Arsenal. He could do wonders there. They just need that extra gear or two. Wenger doesn’t seem to be able to provide that for the last 6-7 years. But same problem as with Man Utd, their respective coach will be at their clubs at least a couple more seasons.

    Don’t think Pep would want to wait for so long.

    Chelsea – Could do wonders with Mata, Hazard, Oscar, but only offensively as the last two are not the type of players who are willing to track back. These players doesn’t suit Pep’s vision. And he could get fired when they have a bad run of results. Therefore it could really damage his reputation. And he would have the comparison with Mourinho. But Pep can buy all the players he needs here.

    Man City – He would have good relations with the board but I wouldn’t want to see Pep managing a club that is being run by a sugar daddy. Sugar daddy’s are impatient and trigger happy although these Sheikhs are pretty laid back so far. Pep can buy all the players he needs here.

    AC Milan – Wouldn’t mind him here for their history. Club with the best history in Italy to me. But I don’t think Pep can do a lot with these bunch of players. And there is not much money to be spent. And he has to deal with the same problem he had at Barca, Bojan.

    Inter – Moratti loves Pep and Messi but same as Milan, Pep wouldn’t be able to do much with the current set of players. Pep can buy all the players he needs here. Moratti doesn’t mind spending.

    Pep said that the stress was taking its toll in Barcelona but if he goes to England, it will be worse. So for that reason I think he would rather go to Italy.

    Of course, my wish is for him not to coach any team that could come up against Barca but I bet he has ambitions too.

    1) Man Utd
    2) Arsenal
    3) Milan

    He could damage his reputation if he goes to any other club.

    Like Brendan Rodgers said, going to Chelsea would destroy his career. I wouldn’t want that to happen to Pep.

    • samarth-culé
      November 21, 2012

      Don’t forget Bayern is there too. IMO it would be great to see Pep go there. Besides, the Bundesliga is pretty fantastic with a lot of awesome teams like Dortmund, Schalke, Leverkusen to name a few…

      So, I would edit your list as:

      1) Man Utd
      2) Bayern
      3) Arsenal

    • Jim
      November 21, 2012

      You know, I didn’t think I would feel this way but at the moment I don’t really care.

      I’m still annoyed at him for the mistakes he made last year, namely

      Playing 3 at the back in vital games
      Not realising Pique’s worth to the team
      Playing Masch in front of him
      Playing Iniesta on the wing

      then walking away from the club having failed to win the two top trophies with the best team in the world.

      I know, too harsh but that’s the way I feel.

      • replayed
        November 21, 2012

        You know, I didn’t think I would feel this way but at the moment I don’t really care.

        Here’s hoping you’re still feeling the same way in May.

    • Clouseau
      November 21, 2012

      I’ll seriously laugh at him if he joins Chelsea. Would be dissappointing seeing him coaching them.
      Hope he doesn’t join an EPL Team as i wish their purple patch to be over.
      I’ll wish him to train Bayern just for a couple of Years and win at least one CL and clear out a german 12 Year dilemma of not winning european Cuptitels. Although i despise that Club they’re the only german club capable of it. Like Milan Bayerns CEO are very inflentual, annoying and talkative but in Sammer there is a big fan of him and potential Ally ;-)..

      Milan? Don’t know if it’s that of a good Idea now that Don Berlu is back and Uncle Fester stating how in financial dire they’re in the moment.A big risk not worth it..

      So except for Bayern please no CL direct Rivals please, hehe.

  57. mom4
    November 21, 2012

    Well, Valencia, Malaga, and we are on to the knock-outs for sure. It’s been a good two days for Spanish football. Hopefully, it won’t be a perfect two days for Spanish football, but as I type Mordor is up 0-1 (did I EVER think I’d be hoping for a City win???) At least Dortmund is looking good to beat them out for top of group. Yes, I’m petty and I don’t care who knows it. 😀

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