–You see that face? The locks? Like it? Good, because bet cash money you’re going to be seeing it tonite, as the Gamper could turn into Kid Time. Gai Assulin 31 has been called up, as well as Thiago (yay!) 34, centerback Marc Bartra 26 and right back Martin Montoya 29. This is, of course, in addition to Johnny DS, Fontas, Muniesa and Jeffren, who should also see some time. The bold-face number beside each kid’s name is so that ye will know them by the shirt when they come on.
–Abidal and Henry are continuing their treatment, so look for that to be a match-time decision as to whether they see any time. Guardiola’s mood makes it abundantly clear that this is a pre-season match for the club, with the real emphasis being on the UEFA Super Cup that looms. Look for him to use players accordingly.
–“I am Mr. Rourke, your host. Welcome to Fannnntasy Island!” EMD says that we have struck a deal with Arsenal for Fabregas. They’re listing the story in the “top secret” file, as in “This crap is made up, but if we keep saying it, it might come true.” If Arsenal get knocked out by Celtic next Champions League match day, something about as likely as me sprouting wings and flying to Camp Nou for tonight’s match, Fabregas comes this summer. Otherwise he comes next year, for a number between 30 and 35 million.
Sport doesn’t have a crazy-ass “Top Secret” file, so they’re just saying that we’re still working at matters Spendy Catalan Canterian.
Two weeks to go in transfer season, and it just don’t stop!
–Cygrynskiy and Mata are still on the wish list. No. Really. We swear, says EMD. The fact that it’s not in the “top secret” files means that there might be a shard of truth, even though we already know that the former is Cup-tied, while the latter is officially marked Not For Sale by Valencia, a club whose heart doesn’t exactly spark with joy at the mention of FC Barcelona, right? Courtesy of l’affaire Villa.
–Even EMD is wondering about “the real Hleb,” still treating him as if he is in fact a player on loan, instead of a whiny little douchebag whom we will never see in the colors again. Kxevin says: Look at the competition. If he could do that against real clubs, he’d still be at Arsenal, never mind still being in Barcelona.
–Remember Victor Vasquez? Yes you do. He’s being haunted by the ghost of Milito, unfortunately. He’s been in recovery from his knee injury for 7 months now. He can shoot, but running causes pain. And you kinda need to do a little of that in footyland. Bummer. The kid’s a talent, for sure.
–Alex Song was offered to us? Sure, why not, right? Sport says that we’re still considering it, though you have to imagine that if a shrewd operator such as Wenger is offering a player, it’s for a reason.
–A grownup news/information site, ESPN Soccernet, has comments from the agent of Vidic, who was all but on a plane to us if you believe some media. “Massive, festering bollocks. Apparently, crack is still a problem in Catalunya.” Hmph. Okay. Maybe not. But, instead of “It would be a dream for Nemanja to play for Barcelona. He would be delighted to join them, as he wants to play in La Liga,” the real translation was “Nemanja is happy in Manchester. If Barcelona do make an offer for him then it is up to United to make a decision.” Said agent, Paolo Fabbri, adds “I never said those things,” regarding his above comment. He later added “And if Mr. Eto’o wouldn’t mind returning the jock that he faked my client out of in Rome, that would be most helpful.”
–The Gamper match has a start time of 22:00 Barcelona time, an hour that I recall with much joy….not! Baby Kxevin needs his rest, and trust me, the post-match race for a taxi to scurry over to La Rambla to find something, anything to eat is not a joy. But expect at least 20 minutes of pre-match hoohah, featuring adorable Catalan young’uns, gymnasts and confetti and stuff. Still no word on U.S. television, which means that we’ll all be perched in front of our computer screens, as we were for the SuperCopa match.
–Finally, something to whet appetites for this evening/afternoon/morning (depending on where you are in the world):