Barça 0 – Bayern 7, as the aggregate score speaks volumes

Horror at the Camp Nou
Horror at the Camp Nou


So we’re out of the Champion’s League. And there are probably a myriad of ways of looking at this result.

I’m certainly more angry at, and frustrated with, the team. We lacked desire and effort tonight. Today’s match reminded me of the movie Gladiator.. the last fight…where he just fights like a sissy…Distressing and disgraceful. These players aren’t playing for free, as a hobby. We have one of the highest wage bills in Europe – I just woke up at 3 o’clock this morning only to find out I got betrayed by my beloved team. Only one team fought with everything they had to make the final, and it wasn’t us by a long shot. Seeing RM players running and trying everything they had to overcome or at least win the game, and comparing that to “this” game tonight was embarrassing. Pissed off doesn’t come close to describe what I’m feel right now.

Now I hope we start getting rid of dead weight in all areas this summer. It is time to clean house and it needs to start with Tito. Let’s see our record against big teams under Vilanova. Tito seems like he is out of his depth on the European stage. He actually has no idea. I don’t want a coach who takes out Xavi and Iniesta when we are desperately seeking a goal. Being cancer-free has fuck-all to do with football.

Sanchez, Song and Cesc are not good enough. In what way does the purchase of Cesc Fabregas benefit this team? Alway too slow and caught up unaware and disposessed easily. Pedro has looked like a chicken running around the field. There is a growing problem with Alves’ use of the ball. Xavi is half the player he was 2 years ago. We might have the slowest midfield in the universe. I hate it, I really do, when nobody criticizes Iniesta. Sell Messi!


Stop me if you recognize yourself. Of course, there are a myriad ways of feeling about this result.

I feel disappointed because I really hate to see us lose. I feel embarrassed because we did not manage to score a single goal.

I also feel proud. When the sun rose this morning I wrote that I love our club, because it is the most beautiful club in the world. This is as true now as it was then. We have a coach who played in Barça’s youth teams, which was possibly before any of us became culé. He was Pep’s assistant when they led our B-team to promotion and he was there during the most successful four years of our club’s history.

We all loved Tito when he led our team to its best league start ever. We all praised him for his tactical acumen. We respected the humble yet confident manner in which he handles himself in the press conferences. His game-changing substitions made us all wonder how come Pep didn’t listen to him more in the previous four years. Before his relapse occurred he had won 85% of his games. For months he observed training sessions through a webcam. And we are still winning a league in which we are up against the most expensive collection of soccer players in the history of the game.

So pride, disappointment and embarrassment. The only thing I did not feel was surprise. Up until Robben’s goal I believed a comeback was possible, but we all knew it would take just one goal to kill that hope. Piqué saved us three or four times with last ditch tackles in the first half. Nobody should be surprised that we lost again. We did so in Munich. And in Milan. And against M*drid, three times this season.

And every time we lost, what came out of the Barça camp was, “you know, we had one bad game but we are still a great team”. Well, you can’t hide behind a 7-0 ass-whupping over two legs, regardless of the opponent. As a matter of fact, we should be happy, because this aggregate score forces the club, technical staff and players to take a long, hard look in the mirror. 


When a great team like this F.C. Barcelona does lose 7-0 on aggregate, it becomes a merely very good team. And its fans go wild.

 And then there is also this:

So I am a first time poster. Reading forums sometimes is very difficult. Because of the impulsiveness. And the emotions. But I frequent this blog over others because the conversations seems to be more intelligent. 

But I am dismayed at what I am seeing now. All this nonsense about sacking Tito. Don’t forget who you are. You are a supporter of one of the most successful teams to ever grace the planet. You are a supporter of a team about to win the league by double digit points. Abidal is cancer-free. Tito is cancer-free. And yet all this crap. Because we lost to a team that is quite simply better than us. Don’t ever tell me the players don’t give it their all. Because they do. They live for it. They bleed for it. The same way we do. It is more than a club for a reason.

Going into next season adjustments need to be made. Personel-wise and tactically. But it does not start with firing a manager who is about to win La Liga by a historic margin. Don’t forget who you are, cules. Dont forget your identity. We support this club because it means more to us than wins and losses. Don’t ruin what makes it so special.

Som un equip. Visca!


Thank you, xdsm, for your beautiful comment, and welcome to our family, so to speak. You weren’t the only one but today you were the most eloquent. That does not mean we all have to agree with you, of course. Big lossess bring out big emotions, and everybody is welcome to express their opinions. Thank all of you who have provided me with my opening paragraphs. Keep reading, keep commenting. I am as much a BfB fan as a contributor and you, commenters, are a big part of what makes this space so special. I am very much looking forward to our future discussions about the changes that need to be made this summer. But let’s look forward to winning the league first. Congratulations to Bayern Munich, and Visca Barça!


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...


  1. May 3, 2013

    Just throwing some names (other than Hummels and Silva) in the hat for CB options – Jerome Boateng (Bayern), Kompany (City), Inigo Martinez (La Real) and Varane (…)

    Although I thought Bartra showed over the two legs that he’s definitely capable of stepping up, given the chance. He has decent height (6ft), and the bulk can be gained. Under the tutelage of Pique, Puyol and whoever comes in, he could develop into a great player.

    • May 3, 2013

      Bartra looked good and he got some heart for fight also. But the management cannot treat him like the way they did this season. he has to get regular playing time.

    • May 3, 2013

      Yes. It is strange that the minutes for Montoya and Bartra in particular really dried up. But as was pointed out earlier, in Tito’s absence, we basically just rolled out our best XI on most days. I expect that to change next season.

  2. Gogah
    May 3, 2013

    My ideal signings : GK, CB, FB/CB, ST
    GK : Guaita / Ter Stegen / Willy (but he’s old)
    CB : Hummels / Inigo Martinez + another defender who can play full back or in the center.
    If Neymar comes, fine. But If Villa goes, we should sign a forward like Lewandowski. Highly unlikely we’ll get BVB’s 2 best players after losing Gotze, but if Ro$ell can pull it off, Bayern & Pep, be very scared.

  3. May 3, 2013

    Just to remind everybody at this point, we have Cuenca, Fontas and Affellay returning from loan. What do we think about Fontas? He hasn’t really had too much playing time at Mallorca as far as I know, which says he’s probably not good enough.

    • Chiu
      May 3, 2013

      they are all to be sold this summer. md reported (via barcastuff tweet) that all loaned players wouldnt make it to first squad next season.

    • May 3, 2013

      Cuenca has asked for another year on loan at Ajax. Don’t think it will be an actual sale.

  4. Srini
    May 3, 2013

    * First of all, many congrats to “Blau Granade” for accurately predicting that Bayern will be superior to Barca over the two legs. The poster’s views were pooh-poohed then, but everything that the poster read turned out to be true.

    * One must realise that it was merely a personnel related loss for Barca, but a system related one. Except that the system related loss was due to its best practitioners coming up really short – Xavi, Cesc, Villa, Alves, (and Messi and Busquets out due to injury). In other words, Barca’s normal game was well adjusted to by Bayern, which specifically prepared its squad for it, while Barca didn’t even play its normal game, because its normal practitioners were either out of form, too old, injured or had perhaps run their course.

    * Poster “Ramzi” had in the beginning of the season pointed out that the reliance on the false nine 4-3-3 was beginning to yield diminishing returns. For, even though, it didn’t Barca that bad in the Liga, the better teams and the stronger ones adjusted to this system far better, leaving Barca unable to impose a truly Plan B without sufficient alternates systemically and personnel-wise. Could they have prospered better if Messi had a target man in front of him, someone with pace, ball holding ability, physicality and finishing abilities? (Villa, Sanchez, Pedro, Tello only offered a few of those characteristics and came up short). Ramzi turned out to be right as well.

    * In many ways therefore, Barca has got to go through change and transformation. But that change has to be “organic” and not for the sake of it. Barca’s greatest attribute has been the team’s ability to impose a philosophy and work on it contextually. I do feel that the philosophy – attacking football based on possession, rapid ball circulation, pressing defense, quick silver finishing, and sturdy goal keeping – has to be intact. What it needs is a steel refurbishing, a dose of physicality, a mending at the edges and some tightening of personnel.

    * Therefore, if Barca must progress from here and challenge Bayern next season, they have to get more physical, a little bit more taller and more flexible in the final third.

    * That means, they have to replace David Villa with a strong centre forward – Radamel Falcao like. I am not sure Neymar will solve the woes created by teams playing narrow and packing the defense. Perhaps he will take on defenders better and open up space for Messi and that should warrant his selection, but Messi definitely needs a target man in front. And dont be surprised when I say that Gonzalo Higuain could fit that bill if he is indeed available for the cheap.

    * As for the defense, the use of “zonal marking” by Barca to the extreme to tide over its “height challenge” has been a bane against teams like Bayern. Two full backs who are very similar – very aggressive going forward, but defensively fragile and challenged by height -put too much pressure on the CB front. By all means, Barca needs to find a replacement for Puyol (and perhaps Abidal). The quest for someone like Thiago Silva is therefore an ideal one.

    * Barca must be aggressive in the transfer market to recoup enough money for their other purchases. I would recommend that they jettison David Villa, Dani Alves (Montoya and Adriano are more than capable replacements), Jonathan Dos Santos, the loanees (Krkic, Cuenca, Fontas, Romeu, Afellay) and perhaps even some from the B team such as Rafinha.

    * In return if they get a combination of Thiago Silva, (a healthy and returned Abidal), Neymar (who seems fait accompli now) and someone like Higuain/Lewandowski(?) to provide for the plan B in attack, they can definitely challenge Bayern next season with the rest of the personnel intact. And by rest of the personnel, the Barca brains trust should actually give more responsibility to Montoya, Bartra, Thiago and Sergi Roberto over the course of the next season.

    * Barca have been presented with a new challenge, just as Bayern did to Cruyff’s Total Football team. Remains to be seen, how they tackle it.

    * Lastly, Barca must jettison one more thing – the “emotional/ nationalist purity” agenda driven by its current president Sandro Rosell and his obsession with fielding an all-Catalan outfit/ all La-Masia outfit. As Graham Hunter points out, let that be the cherry on the cake and not be the cake itself.

    • May 3, 2013

      I am very excited about Higuain too, if this can happen. Higuain is much better for Argentina than he is for RM. One reason is because he has to adjust for CR, who takes up the most important position on the box always, inspite of not being the Cf. He doesnt have that problem with Messi for Argentina and they are building a nice understanding between them. Higuain also will be eager to show a finger to RM for all the ill treating they have done to him.
      But I doubt if RM will sell him to us. If rumours are true, they are even blocking Garay’s move to us, so no way for Higuain.

    • Chiu
      May 3, 2013

      – Higuain deserve some credit and respect that he dont get in RM. He is a common scapegoat if RM get bad result. lots of madridista dislike him as well. He score a lot for Argie and link well with messi, kun or di maria. But not in the club. The reason you mentioned above are somewhat valid too. He is not played in his best position perhaps

      – I never heard we were interested in Garay? Besides, Higuain are not on the bracket of RM wannabe legend (raul,iker, hiero) so i think the chance is still open to get him if Rm want to negotiate. So it wont hurt madridista too much if he change blaugrana, imo.

    • May 3, 2013

      Garay – I read that on barcastuff.
      Apparently, RM has some clause or something that prevents Garay move to Barca.

    • Blau-Grenade
      May 3, 2013

      Thanks for the mention Srini. It is amazing that there are readers in this blog who read everybody’s posts and know their handle names.

      Your post is very well written, and I agree with all your points.

      I only want to mention that the striker at the current moment that I would want for Barca is Jackson Martinez. Its not so much that I like him because of his youtube video’s. It is more his technique, his balance on his feet, his finishing with both left and right feet, his heading capabilities, and his physical presence to hold the ball up. His name has been mentioned by Barcastuff in relation to his transfer to Barca, and by his agent that Barca were interested in him. I certainly hope so.

      Yes, to be competitive next year in champions league, Barca will need a mobile(interchange positions with Messi) central striker and a target man like Jackson Martinez. Barca will need not one, but two of these. Like Mandzukic/Muller pair, or a Rooney/Van Persie pair. I hope they learnt from the Messi injury. Barca need to be able to give somebody like Jackson Martinez a break from playing two games a week, and have a plan B in case the striker is injured.

      Barca will also need one more forward lying player who can take on defenders like Messi. And that would be Neymar.

      Some of the responsibility of the current squad should be shared by the Board as mentioned by you, and the coaching staff has to take responsibility for the Bayern debacle. I hope they learn from it. The summer transfer window will tell if they learnt something from the semi-final exit of the competition.

      Barca will have to invest in somebody like Thiago Silva for the backline. But Bartra’s performance has given me hope. His performance against Bayern at Camp Nou was at a very high level. He almost scored a 10 out of 10, but for the number of goals conceded. So he gets a 9 out of 10. None of the goals were his fault. For the first goal Adriano got turned inside out, the other two were on Pique.

    • Blau-Grenade
      May 3, 2013

      On a brighter note, I am a fan of football, the beautiful game, and it does not matter who plays beautiful and winning football, I appreciate it. Bayern played great football. That is all there is to it. They have a fantastic backline, an unbelievable midfield of Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, Kroos, Gustavo….; and a very enviable front line of Ribery, Robben, Mandzukic, Muller, Pizarro.

      Here is a video of Jackson Martinez. *
      Watch him take his penalties… he takes them with his right foot. But watch most of his goals…. they are scored by his left foot. I defend based on the foot that will take the shot. It is almost impossible for me to defend this guy, and I believe every defender will feel this way not knowing which foot he will turn on and take the shot. At 4:30 seconds, watch as Jackson climbs in the air, holds steadies himself, and punches the ball with his head in the air. That is balance and technique. None of the Barca players have that at the current moment. Barca need to incorporate that into their play and add to the tiki-taka style that they have. After minute 6:30 watch how he turns his defenders and takes the ball towards the goal. This skill is missing in all the forwards that Barca have at the current moment, besides Messi of course. I am a very big fan of this guy. No matter which club he is at, I will try to find some time to watch the games he is involved with. Watching him gives me the same kind of excitement Ronaldinho’s play used to give me.

  5. Chiu
    May 3, 2013

    – We shouldnt count on Abidal and Puyol any longer for CB position. Abidal could take role on club managerial level (Barca ambassador or kind of). Puyol is just too old now, but could stay for mentoring reason. One or two seasons before he fully retired would be good for younger players. So two world class CB to company Pique and Masche througout the season is compulsory, imo. Its become a “habit” now for the last 5-6 years, we were short of defenders approaching end of season (kinda weird). I would pick Thiago Silva as priority, next in line if budget allowed, we could hunt Hummels or Vidic.

    – Valdes seems certain will be sold. Valencia GK (Guaita) or De Gea are rumoured as replacement. A good young keepers that if adapting well with Barca system, could provide continuity in that post for years to go.

    – Our midfield doesnt need new signing. We are so damngood with Ini and Busi as a sure starters and selective game from Xavi. Thiago, cesc and Song are all quality bench. And please dont sell Song. Bayern game showed what a quality player he is. Wiht limited play time, he’s more than ready to feature on big european game. Am not worried at all to rest Busi as long as Song is available.

    – Neymar and a true nine to add physicality and a spacemaker for Messi is priority as well. Not sure who’s striker available with our color tone budget. Some folks here suggest Lewandowski or Gomez, but i just think they both are not suit with our style. South american style strikers should be potentially better bet perhaps.

    – So, two CB, two FW and a GK for this summer shopping list. And we are ready to compete for CL. And Tito deserve another full season in charge to show his managerial and tactical ability. We are no different to Chelsea if we sacked Tito, instant success is very rare if you dont hv petrol money. And this season is not even close to be labelled failed season, too. Tito is certainly my coach for next season

  6. TITO
    May 3, 2013

    I wouldn’t mind getting Dzeko from City. Same attributes like Lewandovski just cheaper.

  7. KEVINO17
    May 3, 2013

    Higuan is just another little guy, like Villa, like Sanchez, like, yawn. Barca needs a big guy who can really throw his weight around in the middle of the penalty area – a big target man. Like I said, Mr Easter Island Statue. The little guys will deliver, and he will clobber anyone in his way and score. Time Barca stopped getting outmuscled in the penalty area and started imposing itself. As for the claim he’s slow, the slower the better. We just need bulk, not mobility. We are not a counter-attacking side. We conduct seige warfare against packed defences. That’s why we need a big battering ram.

  8. Chiu
    May 3, 2013

    – Re Iniesta-centric idea, I think we could try to use 4-3-1-2 formation ala Italian club to maximise Iniesta contribution. Iniesta in playmaker positiion with Messi and aanother striker. Busi, Xavi and Thiago/Cesc behind him. More or less like:

    Alves – Pique – Masche – Alba
    Busi- Xavi – Cesc/Thiago
    Messi – another striker.

    iniesta would have more control on the game. most of the attack would flow through him. He is alone will invite markers, free up some space for the two forwards If am not mistaken, Zidane play this role in Juventus. Kaka play this role in AC milan. Why not try Iniesta?

    – Another alternative, we could imitate 4-2-3-1 ala Del Bosque spain or current Bayern formation.

    Alves – Pique – Masch – Alba
    Busi – Song
    Messi – Iniesta – Neymar
    New striker

    This could be another option to play without Xavi. And most of the spanish international have expereience to play like this and won major trophy using this.

    • sujat
      May 3, 2013

      why not we use macherano as a destroyer against more counter attacking side…..he has been absolutely monster with that position in Argentina……so if we face a side like byern in away matches we place a 3-5-2 with midfield of mache-song-busi-xavi-iniesta and in upfront messi and and a true number 9

  9. May 3, 2013

    Two things:

    1. You guys do know that to buy two forwards and two central defenders, we actually need money, don’t you? Not exactly saying we are poor, but still.

    Also, for those thinking about two world-class backs: world-class backs like to play football, occasionally.

    2. About formations and all…

    Barça have been playing 4-3-3 since Cruijff came back.
    It is the formation in which all our academy players learn to play, one that is based on forming triangles on the pitch.

    This philosphy has netted us four Champions Leagues with three different teams and has given us an identity of attacking football based on quick passing and clever positioning. NO OTHER CLUB has been as successful in Europe since Wembley 92.

    Y’all wanna throw that away? Because after an unprecedented period of world domination we are no longer on top?

    We must tweek and improve, and address our weaknesses. We don’t need to overhaul our system and abandon our identity.

    • flyzowee
      May 3, 2013


      I don’t think anyone here is saying that we should throw the 4-3-3 away. Personally, i just think that we should be more open to adjusting our tactics to cater for what the opposition is bringing to the table.

      Look at all the teams that have given us hell this season
      1. Malaga
      2. Real Madrid
      3. AC Milan
      4. PSG
      5. Bayern Munich…etc

      What do these teams have in common?
      A 4-2-3-1 formation. Each team has its own version but the common attributes they all possess are pace, power, athleticism and in some cases extremely good technical ability.

      Now from a layman’s perspective the number 1 reason why we look so vulnerable against 4-2-3-1 set-ups is because sergio busquets is being numerically overwhelmed by the 3 attacking midfielders deployed by the opposition.

      Take Ronaldo-Ozil-Di Maria for example.
      This line of AMs features two inverted wingers who drive right into the space that Busquets is supposed to be covering. Now this normally wouldnt be a problem but mesut ozil, being the extremely mobile player that he is drags busquets all over the pitch from flank to flank given the other fowards direct access to our defence with acres of space to exploit.

      This very same situation that I have described above occured in our game against PSG with Lucas doing the dragging this time and also (albeit to a lessar extent) against Bayern with Ribery-Kroos-Robben creating chaos.

      These observations I have made are not ground-breaking revelations and are things even an untrained eye like mine can spot. It therefore baffles me why our technical team seem reluctant to provide more defensive stability.

      This very same problem (of overloading the area in front of our back four) has been a question that opposition teams have asked of us time and time again this season and they will continue to do so next season.

      The way I see it there are 2 obvious ways to deal with this. We either:
      1. Form our very own variation of the 4-2-3-1 which will provide the double pivot that many have suggested we attempt or

      2. Diversify the skillset of our current midfield three to include a player with box to box abilities to support busquets in covering space during counters. Something that an aging xavi can no longer consistently provide.

      Maintaining our identity is fine but we must also open our minds to all possibilities IMO. Remember, we do not play football in isolation. We have to account for what the opposition are bringing to the table as well.

    • G6O
      May 3, 2013

      4-2-3-1 is just another version of 4-3-3. The distinction between 3-line systems and 4-line systems really exists only between the flat 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1. We have actually been playing anything among these 4-1-2-3, 4-3-1-2, 4-1-2-1-2, 3-2-3-2, and many others. And it worked against, and most of the time it worked against 4-2-3-1 systems as that’s what everybody has been playing for the last almost a decade. It’s not the system that’s the problem, it’s the personnel and execution

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 3, 2013

      Exactly. Well said. Especially regarding our philosophy.

      We don’t have the money for two world class CBs. Get one world class CB & if we are lucky get a younger one that’s not too costly (like Inigo Martinez or Marquinhos).

    • bhed
      May 3, 2013

      Good read. Thanks for the link!

      I’d venture to say that this … denial(?) on the part of the club is the cause of much of the consternation we’re seeing here and elsewhere.

      A few posts back I put out a possible squad list for next year, that didn’t call for a wholesale house cleaning, but did look at a tall and fast CB, a tall defensive minded RB to complement the more attack minded Alba, and a more direct forward (don’t sell Tello!). Also much more squad rotation during the season (fresh legs and the ability to press), including for Messi, and a bit more tactical variation (NOT a change in philosophy).

      It’s nice to see people who know a lot more than me also see it this way.

  10. providence
    May 3, 2013

    Mundo Deportivo has already sold Valdez, Alexis and Villa,….

    Marca has already sold Di Maria, Contrao, Pepe, Higuian and Kaka

    • Momo
      May 3, 2013

      As much as I dislike him, Di maria would fit in very nicely at Barca. His pace, physicality, and vision would be perfect for the right wing.

    • TITO
      May 3, 2013

      Don’t forget his diving ability. He will surely find some friends among our players.

    • May 3, 2013

      “physicality”??? The man gets blown over by a feather.

  11. Nick
    May 3, 2013

    Too much Cesc hate here. Is Thiago capable of playing all matches? He’s only 22 but it’s football and injuries do happen (God forbid).

    In general, as some have pointed out, we are too slow now.

    • Momo
      May 3, 2013

      Selling Cesc would be a huge mistake. He’s being played out of position all too often. Give him his CM spot back, now that xavi is slowing down and give him some positional consistency and watch how well he’ll do. Remember Xavi wasn’t the xavi we know at 25.

    • May 3, 2013

      In my view, Cesc’s worst matches have been when he plays in CM.

      That said, he is here to stay (at least for the next couple of years). It’s essential the team finds a way to get the best out of him. The big hurdle is that his best position (where he excelled for Arsenal) is currently played by Messi.

      Cesc is one of the reasons Pep tried the much maligned 3-4-3. In this formation Cesc could play at the tip of the triangle (his best position) and interact with Messi more often. His best matches for Barca have come in this formation

    • bhed
      May 3, 2013

      Could the 3-4-3 work better with a more solid CB and a tall fast RB holding down the fort? What would be the trade-offs?

    • May 3, 2013

      The trade-offs are that without playing with wing-backs (a 3-5-2) the 3 man defense is very easily unsettled by opposition wingers – we saw that again and again during ’11-’12.

      But if we play with a 3-5-2 we have negated the advantage of trying to play with another midfielder (there is no space for the special Cesc, tip of the diamond position).

      Ultimately I think our best formation will be a return to something similar to the 4-3-3 with one marauding wing back and one defense full back. It’s not worth altering our whole formation just to accommodate Cesc.

    • barca96
      May 3, 2013

      It’s true that he hasn’t looked that good yet but he never had a constant run of games in that position. It is not possible for him to master it.

      We should gradually give either Iniesta or Cesc into Xavi’s position or basically leaving Xavi out more to give Iniesta, Cesc and Thiago playing time so that we can see who can run the team.

  12. barca96
    May 3, 2013

    Stop being asses and support your club…who in the hell do people think was a big part of that all-conquering side..Add a healthy Messi, Puyol, Busquets and Xavi to that lineup and tell me it loses, much less 7-0. Hell no

    Criticizing the team doesn’t equal abandoning the club.

    Yes, Tito was the coach of that all conquering side if you are referring to the 1st half of the season but during that period, there were no crunch matches, yet such as CL KO.

    Why do we need to use that as an excuse? Every other team has injury problems as well. There is a reason why there are >20 players in each team.

    Once again, criticizing the performance doesn’t mean we are not fans. We criticize because we love the club and we know the potential.

  13. barca96
    May 3, 2013

    I find Cuenca being not ambitious enough. If he wants to prove himself on the big stage, the Eredivisie is not the place. I understand that Ajax shares the same style and all but it is not a place where he can progress. Look at our past players who went there; Oleguer, Gabri. They disappeared from the map after that.

    If Cuenca really wants to progress, he should come back and fight for a place or go to a bigger league such as Bundesliga, EPL, Ligue 1 or Seria A.

  14. barca96
    May 3, 2013

    I notice that a lot of people on the Guardian like Thomas Muller but I still haven’t noticed what’s so great about him. He does seem to score quite a lot but I don’t really understand what he does before scoring that makes him an exciting player.

    Now Reus, that is an exciting player. I was heavily impressed by him in the 1st leg and although he wasn’t as good in the Bernabeu, he’s still good enough for me to want to replace him with Pedro/Alexis.

    • barca96
      May 3, 2013

      And I find him annoying to boot. I guess he is our Busi to the non Barca fans 🙂

  15. barca96
    May 3, 2013

    On Hummels, he would definitely improve our defense, you can’t deny that he would add height, good reading of the game, physicality and good tackles, he is not fast. We need both height and pace.

    Unfortunately Hummels doesn’t meet the last criteria.

    • May 3, 2013

      Question No.1: how many are there which matches the two criteria. There is no perfect defender.

  16. barca96
    May 3, 2013

    I don’t understand why we are still linked with T. Silva. He just joined them last summer. That is still possible. Even if a player just renewed a contract a year ago would be possible but he joined a buying club, the new kids on the block team. It doesn’t make sense for them to sell him now.

    I would really like to apply for the scout position for Barca. I’ll take minimum salary 🙂

    Where is nzm btw? Kinda worrying that she’s been missing for so long.

    • mom4
      May 3, 2013

      Fret not about nzm. She is recovering from a long, fun trip to half way ’round the world.

  17. barca96
    May 3, 2013

    Oh ya, I find it strange that an ex-player like Neville kept on saying how he finds it weird that Messi could play last Saturday but not against Munchen. There are 3-4 days in between in which they have training sessions. There is always a chance for a player to get injured during training.

    • ooga aga
      May 4, 2013

      this has been in the news a bit and im surprised no one has mentioned it, unless i missed it in this epic thread…messi felt discomfort at the end of the match in Bilbao, and there was fear of an injury relapse, and even the day of the Bayern match he still felt uncomfortable, so they didnt risk it. tito said hewould have only risked it if we were very close to overcoming the deficit and we just needed a bit of messi. well, as soon as Bayern got the first goal, that idea went out the window.

      visca barca! love this team.

  18. Cule
    May 3, 2013

    I say, let’s stuff in 30 million and buy Cavani, we need a complete striker, who, most importantly, can head the ball. I’m amazed this guy is not being chased by big clubs, he is IMO in the top 5 forwards, behind only falcao (maybe not even).

    • May 3, 2013

      I like Cavani, too. Unfortunately he has been linked with M*drid for quite some time, now.

    • G6O
      May 3, 2013

      The problem with buying any striker of the Cavani type is that this means Messi moving either back to the wing or to a classic number 10 position. I think either one would be a good idea, but how it could happen in practice is not clear

    • Ryan
      May 3, 2013

      That was wonderful. 🙂 And poor turtle/Barcelona!

  19. TITO
    May 3, 2013

    The Special Five being Special:

    From the Guardian:

    “It is my fault: I have won so, so, so much that it is hard to live up to those expectations. But the points record in the league is mine and no one can take that away. Madrid had gone 20 years without a Copa del Rey success and we won that, so maybe it’s not so easy. No one can take that away. We also reached three semi-finals. That does not satisfy me and I am not happy to ‘nearly’ do it, but it is not easy either,” he added, unfolding a piece of paper and reading a list of former Madrid managers.

    “John Toshack, Di Stéfano, Antic, Beenhakker, Floro, Arsenio, Capello, Heynckes, Hiddink, Del Bosque, Queiroz, Camacho, García Remón, López Caro, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Capello again, Ramos, Schuster, Pellegrini …” he read. “Eighteen coaches in 21 years, five semi-finals. Meanwhile, that rubbish Mourinho [got to] three in three years. Three in three after five in 21 years? That shows that it is not easy. I repeat: I don’t want to ‘nearly’ get there, nearly is nothing to me. But that league record is mine.”

    😀 😀 😀

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 3, 2013

      An icon of humility. He should demand a statue of himself outside the Bernebeu. Especially for that rather meaningless La Liga points record (100). A record we could tie, by the way, if we run the table. Not that that’s important. It’s more important for a club like ours to play cantera players after the league is officially won than to get a rather meaningless points record.

  20. lyd
    May 3, 2013

    Martin Demichelis:

    Age: 32 (Younger than Puyol and Abidal)
    Height: 6ft. (Improves average Barca height)
    Position: CB (converted from DM by Ottmar Hitzfeld in 07/08)
    Market value: 3.5M (Real-cheap compared to T.Silva, M.Hummels)
    Contract until: 30.06.2013 (!)
    Last injury: 06.08.2009 – 05.10.2009. Torn Ankle Joint Ligament.
    Last international game: 11.11.2011. (Immune to Fifa Virus)

    He already played 42 matches this season. 3584 minutes and running. Picked up 14 yellow and 1 red.


    //stats via

    • Momo
      May 3, 2013

      If you think pique has been terrible these past couple of weeks you havent seen demichelles play. I cringe everytime he attempts to positions himself. Theres a reason he doesnt play for his national team. Even song would be a better option at cb.

    • Jim
      May 3, 2013

      Do we think Piqué has been terrible?

    • lyd
      May 3, 2013

      Lets say Pique has not been in his majestic self without Puyol and Abidal by his side. This season, some of his weaknesses were exposed, due to collective defensive failure.

      He’ll surely come back stronger. Brilliant player! And because class is permanent.

    • lyd
      May 3, 2013

      I only watched Demi vs Barca+Dortmund this season. Felt he did a decent job in almost all the games. At times I was impressive with how he dealt with Messi.

      Momo, you are right to question his positional sense. I too have doubts in that aspect of his game plus the occasional lapses in concentration. Pace has slowed down over time.

      However, the positives are there. Otherwise a tactician like Pellegrini wouldn’t play him consistently.

      I doubt we can convince players like Hummels, T.Silva and other promising CBs (not many out there that fits Barca) to arrive here. Either clubs wont be willing to sell, or players would be expensive and demand more playing time.

      That’s why I’m looking for a short term, low budget fix.

    • G6O
      May 3, 2013


    • Roberto Senyera
      May 3, 2013

      He was discarded years ago by Bayern Munich. He’s definitely not what we need at the moment, IMO. Old and slow.

  21. TITO
    May 3, 2013

    Just as a back up, nowhere near the first line-up.

  22. htMillBay
    May 3, 2013

    Alves or Alba?
    If one buys into the notion that having two all-out attacking fullbacks leave us too vulnerable and we need more height, we can’t have both Alves and Alba as automatic starters. I think neither one can be a bench player and we’ve all seen how Abidal’s absence has subtly but effectively weakened our defense.
    Either one would bring good money in a sale to use for the essential signings that we have to do in the summer.
    Alba is younger and we have Montoya as a potential RB heir apparent. Though it worries me that Montoya hardly got any burn this season which implies he may not be that good after all.

  23. KEVINO17
    May 3, 2013

    Oh, yes, and another reason why Barca should get Gomez: when teams press high against Barca it’s usually when the ball has gone back to the keeper. Then Valdes often pumps it forward to … no-one. Why not have the Easter Island Statue, Mr Brick-with-Eyes, upfield to knock the ball down to the on-rushing little guys, and launch the counter from only thirty metres out.
    Teams will think twice about pressing high with Gomez as an upfield target.
    None of the little guys you talk about as striker offer any of that. They certainly don’t offer anything for when Barca conduct siege warfare against a parked bus. Just more little guys getting outmuscled.

    • Ryan
      May 3, 2013

      Gomez is only 2 inches taller than Higuain (6’2 vs 6’0), and we’ve already seen how much el Pipita scores with Messi for Argentina.

    • KEVINO17
      May 3, 2013

      Gomez is two inches taller (which is a lot) and nine kilos heavier (which is vital in any aerial contest). Higuan goesn’t play against parked buses for Argentina (not the South American style). Though I note that Real has played a lot against packed defences this year and higuan hasn’t been scoring much at all.

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      Frankenstein would be perfect for Stoke City or West Ham United. Not for Barcelona, ever. Especially this FCB with Messi as a false nine. I don’t envision our team changing philosophy, start playing the 4-4-2, and hiring Sam Allardyce or Tony Pulis (and bringing in a couple of specialty long throw-in players) any time soon.

      And Frank Gomez couldn’t finish his dinner.

    • KEVINO17
      May 4, 2013

      Who said we will play like stoke? We often play with a traditional CF now (Villa and Sanchez alternating standing next to the CBs) – because the era of the false nine is dead and buried. So why not do it with someone who can outmuscle the CBs and provide our wingers with a decent target? Gomez wouldn’t destroy Barca’s philosophy. In fact, he just might save it, because, right now it doesn’t have much of a future because we can’t man up in the most important part of the pitch (just in front of goal) and are getting crushed as a result.
      Further, Gomez would be wonderful at the other end defending set pieces, etc etc.
      The Barca players said that Bayern outmuscled them. You saying nothing should be done about it?

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      The out muscling statements are beside the point and an excuse from the players. A red herring. The team needs a top class CB that is fast and strong in the air. With that new CB, Piqué, and Busquets we should have enough height to deal with set pieces. We don’t need the German guy with the Spanish name slowing our game down. Isn’t that what Zlatan did? And Frankenstein can’t polish Zlatan’s boots. Did you see Gomez in last season’s UCL final against Chelsea or the Euros last summer? The man can’t finish his dinner.

      I’d rather have forwards to complement Messi in the form of ones we’ve had in the past. Guys that had pace, could finish, and could take players on. Guys like Eto’o, Henry, and Ronnie. We had some fierce front threes back then.

      I also don’t think we need a tall stay at home RB or LB. I like the fact that both backs are overlapping wingbacks with great motors. I just don’t like it when they both go up at the same time. They have to have the discipline to know that if one breaks the other stays at home for that foray. It shouldn’t be hard. But that should be rule #1 for both.

      Just my opinion.

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      False 9 dead and buried? Whenever Messi played this season that’s the position he played. And after the past few seasons with all the goals and ballon d’Ors, I cannot see the staff putting him back on the wing or Messi wanting to do so.

      When guys like Villa and Alexis were occupying the CBs they were just tucking in from wide positions. That’s the way I saw it. Messi was still playing as a false 9.

      I think the system is fine. It’s some of the parts that need replacing because they’re either old or defective.

    • KEVINO17
      May 4, 2013

      When Messi plays with Villa or Alexis in front of him (as he usually does) he is not playing as a false nine. Indeed, Messi has said he has more space with Villa in front of him. Ergo, era of the false nine is over.
      P.S. Zlatan and Gomez are totally different players.

  24. May 3, 2013

    Something that no one seems to be mentioning in all of this is how awful Bayern Munich’s season ended last year. They lost out on the league for the second year in a row by a pretty big margin, were beaten by BVB in every game they played (including a 5-2 slaughter in the DFB-Pokal final), and ended up losing to a far inferior team in the UCL final on penalties. It was an awful, painful, humiliating season, and they ended it without a single trophy.

    And this season, they’ve come back stronger and better than ever. They have done so without firing their coach and without transferring a dozen players. That at least should show people that we are not finished and that this is not mission impossible.

    • Momo
      May 4, 2013

      Very good points!

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      Exactly. We just need a couple of targeted buys this summer and proper rotation next year.

      Funny how Bayern locked up Pep before Christmas. Bayern could win the first treble in the history of German football. Their best season ever. Why do they really need Pep? They wanted to bring in Pep to vanquish BVB and get them over the last hurdle in Europe. That could very well occur a lot sooner than anyone at Bayern could ever imagine.

      I wonder how Heynkes really feels about all this? It doesn’t look like he was treated with the upmost class by Bayern. Those Germans were very ruthless wrt him. Jupp shouldn’t retire. I think he’s got a lot more to offer the game and he’s far classier than that other elder statesman coach over at Manchester United.

      I also wonder how Pep, deep down inside, cannot be rooting for anything other than a BVB victory at Wembley (or, less so and dependent on the UCL final result, Stuttgart in the German Cup Final). I cannot see Pep ever outdoing this season at Bayern if they end up winning the treble. No matter how good a manager he is. And Pep will always be judged at Bayern against this season’s Bayern.

      Pep thought his timing was perfect. It may be the exact opposite. Time will tell.

      Jupp may have the last laugh. Yep.

    • htMillBay
      May 4, 2013

      How about Jupp as FCB coach then? He already said he knew Barca better than he knew his own team. Was he subtly positioning himself for a job interview?

  25. Roberto Senyera
    May 3, 2013

    Did you fine folks notice that we travel to play Bayern Munich in a friendly on, or about, July 23 during our preseason? I hope they’re friendlier than last time 😉

  26. May 4, 2013

    Demichelis? Is it April Fools? Mario Gomez? Was no one around during the Ibra season? Yikes…

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      Either some of us hit the booze hard, had their calendars back about a month (as you suggest), or they were wearing that Halloween mask in the picture from the top of the page. Scary stuff 🙁

      An ass whupping can do that. The sky is falling and throw the baby out with the bath water type of reactions.

      The good thing with this ass whupping versus going out narrowly is that it will force the board to act this summer. No papering over the cracks with half measure buys (like bringing in Song to play as a DM/CB since we missed out on Thiago Silva). I still don’t understand that purchase. He’s a decent player and he’s here now. But he should never have been bought in the first place. I’ll think of him as a replacement for Keita.

      That ass whupping will serve the same purpose that Arsenal not getting a top four spot in England will do. It will signal, even to the most myopic, that real long term changes need to be implemented. Not just papering over the cracks.

    • Nick
      May 4, 2013

      I always thought of Song as Yaya’s replacement.

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      Maybe. But Yaya actually could play CB with power and pace. He’s also proven to be a fierce force going forward in the EPL. Along with the Ibra for Eto’o + €40M losing Yaya was another mistake Pep made. Obviously, Pep didn’t make many. Man, I really miss Yaya. How we could use him now.

    • ilie
      May 4, 2013

      He wanted more money and a larger role which he wouldn’t have got with this team.

      He also likes playing the attacking midfielder role, he wouldn’t have been happy playing CB more than the odd finals game

  27. May 4, 2013

    first of all i think its great that we can move on from the bashing.
    i see a lot more constructive comments and actually some ideas on how fc barca can recover from midweek.

    with the liga pretty much sealed im very interested as to how the youngsters will be treated in the remaining games, the transfer window, and next year.
    tito, hasnt really been utilizing our youngsters very well this season. bartra went from barely getting any first team minutes to playing two semi final legs against a great in form german side.
    why does dani alves need to play every single game? montoya has been pretty consistentt when given the chance. if theyre not good enough for the first team then sell them. but dont keep them around for a whole year and hardly give them playing time.
    also, when last year ended, i thought this was going to be thiagos season to shine. turns out hes played less minutes than last season.
    now we have cuenca coming back from loan. fontas also. then we have some b teamers knocking on the first team door. tito has a massive project on his hands.

    Question: Who do you think will be loaned, sold, or kept next season.
    I hope we keep bartra, tello, and thiago
    sell dos santos, fontas, valdes, afellay, pedro (wont happen tho)

    • Nick
      May 4, 2013

      Pedro no longer creates any danger and this has been true for quite some time now. His regress reminds me that of Bojan’s. Pedro will stay though. He holds a club record for goals scored in all competitions after all.

      I’d also like to see Alba go but Rossell’s nationalistic mood will not allow this to happen. I appreciate that he was probably our best signing last year but Alba’s behaviour does not fit the club’s values.

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      You’d get rid of Alba because of his yellow card from the first leg/second leg suspension? Or is there more regarding his behaviour?

      Personally, I’d keep both Pedro and Alba and cannot see the club offloading them.

      Montoya should have played far more La Liga matches in the second half of the season (Thiago too). Alves was out of petrol against Bayern and it showed.

      Thiago and Cesc should have been rotated far more often for Xavi and Casper (the friendly ghost). I hope we do so next year and have learnt from this one.

    • stefan2k
      May 4, 2013

      Just because he gave Robben what he deserved and kisses Messi a bit too much?? 🙂

      Seriously… come on Alba is one hell of a left back

  28. Roberto Senyera
    May 4, 2013

    Thinking outside the box. If we are to get two forwards in this window then the second (economical) forward which should be considered is Benteke from Aston Villa. He’s strong, has pace, can finish, and has a nice touch. He could even be a plan B type CF when/if needed. He could play on the left cutting inside (much like, I think, Cavani could do for us). He’d be a lot more affordable than Cavani too.

    One problem with this is that LW is where Neymar would play and that looks like a done deal.

    Maybe Cavani and/or Benteke can play RW?


  29. PrinceYuvi
    May 4, 2013

    Ter stegen,
    Inigo Martinez,
    Kun aguero.

    For a cheek, get torres, for couple millions.

  30. Roberto Senyera
    May 4, 2013

    The front of EMD has us getting Pepe Reina as a two year stop gap measure. If that’s true then this board will never learn. That’s exactly the wrong thing to do at this point. In my bones I know they’re gonna do it though. He’s Catalan. He’ll come in. Bloody hell. It’s as predictable as rain in England.

    Get a real long term GK this summer using proceeds from a VV sale. It’s not rocket science.

    How do you say, “howler” in Catalan??

    • jordi™
      May 4, 2013

      But Reina isn’t Catalan, only an ex canterano.

  31. TITO
    May 4, 2013

    Sport is indicating that we have agreed Hummels for 25 mill.

  32. stefan2k
    May 4, 2013

    Barcastuff frightens me at the moment! Everybody and everything seems to be sold/bought … it’s getting RM’ish here

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 4, 2013

      Silly season has started early and with increased vigor.

    • BA
      May 4, 2013

      “silly season” is actually an invaluable time of the year for us, with greater importance this year than most. we’d all do well to follow it more closely this year than last summer, when we signed Jordi Alba and Alex Song and thought our squad was complete.

      that said, i have almost zero confidence in this administration’s ability to get us the players the squad needs to compete. Rosell is too busy trying to compete with Joan Laporta’s ghost to sign flashy players (Neymar) but not wanting to pay for less flashy but far more vital ones (Silva, Martinez).

    • barca96
      May 4, 2013

      BA, what do you consider a flashy signing?

      Want over need?

      Martinez wasn’t needed as wr would never use 2 DM’s and he was costly too. German record transfer remember.

      T. Silva was probably the player who could’ve imporved us the most but he was costly too. In hindsight we should’ve splashed the cash for him.

      But you gotta remember, it didn’t matter how much we offered Milan because PSG was his only decision. So we can’t blame everyone’s punching bag Rosell for this one 🙂

      Neymar is the best scoring winger atm. He ticks all the boxes for the monent.

    • BA
      May 4, 2013

      Martinez is a powerful holding midfielder who can also play at center-back. the kind of player we bought Alex Song to be, but actually good enough to challenge for a start at DM and highly useful at center-back.

      we offered half what Bayern did, and didn’t push the issue when his agent gave us the option to counter. i think we could have gotten him for 35m-ish, which is what we spent on the thus-far-underwhelming Fabregas in a position where we actually have depth.

      but those 3 players aren’t the whole story. no attempt was made last summer to strengthen the center-back position; it was simply assumed we could get by with Song and a few random kids. that assumption was wildly out of touch with reality, and we’ve paid for it.

  33. May 4, 2013

    KEVINO17 – do you think Barca should buy Gomez? I can’t tell…

    • KEVINO17
      May 4, 2013

      Yup, I seriously do, because:
      1. We need a big unit forward who can dominate the penalty area. Pace is much less importantcthan size and height, because we are not a counterattacking side. We usually spend most games breaking down parked buses. So Gomez is really made for a side like Barca. His presence alone should open up space for players like Messi.
      2. We’re started playing with a CF anyway, so why not make him a proper one rather than a makeshft one.
      3 Big CF would help at set pieces at BOTH ends.
      4. Give Barca a big target upfield when playing long ball out of defence.
      The way i see it, the little guys play the Barca system until it’s time for Gomez to put the ball in the back on the net.
      Or of course, we could go out and buy some more little guys to join the other little guys. Why bother.

    • Momo
      May 4, 2013

      Gomez sounds amazing in theory. But so did Zlatan, alexis, and Cesc and they’ve been very meh compared to what was expected.

      Would Messi have to play as a 10? Would he move back to the wing? If so do we have to play a double pivot?

    • KEVINO17
      May 4, 2013

      Neymar sounds amazing in theory too! Come to think of it, if we play with Neymar (who won’t defend) and Messi (who doesn’t defend much these days) we will probably have to play a double pivot next year. I think Song is going to get a lot of games.

    • May 4, 2013

      1. The CF we buy absolutely needs to be mobile. One of the problems with our front line is that the positions are too static – we need to regain some fluency. The CF needs to be always moving the CBs around to make space, moving to the wing to take advantage of space there, and have the ability to get in behind if teams start to play a higher block. Gomez does none of those things.
      2. We haven’t started to play with a CF, not yet.
      3. You don’t buy a forward based on their ability to contribute on defensive set pieces. And to score offensive corners it takes more than one big guy.
      4. I shudder to think we will be choosing a forward that will allow us to play boom ball. That’s not my Barca.

    • KEVINO17
      May 4, 2013

      But we do play with a CF although the role is often divided between Alexis/Villa sliding across and playing back to goal. Gomez in the middle should occupy two CBs and actually create more space for everyone else.
      Messi is really playing as a 10 right now.
      Valdes plays boom ball at the moment when under pressure, except now we always lose the ball because we have such little guys upfield.
      Its a bit obtuse to say that, at set pieces there will only be one Gomez. He will give us another big option, making everybody harder to defend.
      I see Gomez as rescuIng the Barca system, not destroying it.
      I dont see why Zlatan’s name keeps getting raised as a bogeyman everytime there is talk about getting a big player. Different time and completely different player. Zlatan, dspite his height really played like a small guy.
      Gomez would probably take us further away from a douBle pivot because we would have to maintain the creativity on the rest of the park.

    • chop
      May 5, 2013

      I think your reasoning is good.

      We aren’t a counterattacking team. We move the ball up slowly and play against bunkers 90% of the time.

      Also, the new GK will most likely play even more long balls than Valdes since there really aren’t any GK’s that are as good with the ball at their feet as Valdes and they’ll be new at this.

      A third tall player is huge in set piece defense. You really only need 3 tbh.

      Ibra wasn’t as bad as people say. 75% of it was due to personality conflict. Gomez is definitely a team player.

      Everyone expected Messi to move to a #10 position eventually and I suspect he’ll be less goal hungry next year since he’s done about all he can there and won’t care to lead the line so much.

  34. barca96
    May 4, 2013

    Any chance of Chris Paul joining the Lakers?

    Kxevin, or anyone who is an avid NBA follower. Why doesn’t Michael Jordan ever joins a game as a pundit? A lot of ex greats and good players do. Magic Johnson, Shaq, etc. I would love to hear the GOAT’s opinion.

  35. Rivaldo
    May 4, 2013

    It seems we are linked to “everyone and their grandmother”. I really hope that we make the right decisions however tough they maybe.

    Can you tell me why i would be hearing about 2 goal keepers if we already extended Pinto’s contract. And why would Ter Stegen’s price be too high but according to [MD] we are considering Reina and then signing a new young promising goal keeper for 2014 when Pinto’s contract is up. To me makes no sense. Why not just buy the young top goalie who has had some of the best scouting reports [again according to MD] let him play, acclimatize and promote one of those many young ones.


    My opinion of what we need (I’ll put some names where I can. I really cant say who yet, have to do some serious research):

    – of course a goalie (Ter Stegen possibly)

    – 2 CBs (top quality with height and pace; robust) and ( I like Inigo Martinez)… this means Puyi retires and Masch would not be and auto matic CB but would alternate between CB and CDM… Also why the hell did we sell Caceres (RB,CB,LB… pace and agression; can leap…I’m venting here)…

    Note: If we purchase only one CB (top quality with height and pace and a strong tackle)my option is for Abidal, if able, to play that Puyol/experience role.. pace, height, calmness, i dont know if I can still add strength to this list.

    – No midfielders. (play Thiago more… has anybody considered thst JDS plays the most like Xavi… this is based on whenever I’ve seen him play; simplicity and good movement, offering and outlet always; he also has a powerful shot… used to think him and Thiago were the new Iniesta and Xavi).

    – I am suggesting 2 forwards: a goal scorer/poacher/getter/whatever as long as he is a consistent scorer and it seems Neymar is coming…so him as well.

    There are my 4-5 signings.

    Of course this is my my perfect world. …. to be continued

    • Rivaldo
      May 4, 2013

      Oh.. I like Inigo Martinez for his versatility he’s not a neccessity for me.

    • KEVINO17
      May 4, 2013

      I would play Song at CM, just in front of Busquets, in the Keita role.

  36. Rivaldo
    May 4, 2013

    I also want to pose a question:

    Which players should go? and please give a reason why…. this isn’t going to be one of those “Pep feelings” things.
    Thus also name your squad of 22-23 players including your 4-5 buys.

    I’ll finish up my list and post it later.

  37. KEVINO17
    May 4, 2013

    Perhaps the most interesting question will be what they do with Alexis. If I was him, I would want to go and be a playmaker in another team. Barca might also want to ship him out because he’s definitely worth something. But on the other hand he ticks so many boxes (I really don’t think Barca would find better in his role), and if he goes, who’s going to defend up front, except Pedro?
    My guess is that if someone offers 20 mill, he’s gone.

    • Momo
      May 4, 2013

      I would take 20 mill in a heartbeat for alexis, he’s pretty much an advanced full back in our system. No real threat at all. Trouble with him is as soon as he joins another team and gets positional freedom he’ll be that player that we thought we were getting from udinese and we’ll regret selling him. Unfortunately he will probably never reach his potential in this limited role he has in our system.

    • May 5, 2013

      If the club takes 20m for Sanchez, it will be because people have been feeding drugs into the board room’s ventilation system. He apparently just bought a big, fancy, expensive apartment in a glitzy area of Barcelona. Not really the action of a player who believes that there is uncertainty in his future.

      Sanchez is most useful with another scorer around. Expecting him to score goals is a fool’s errand. Expecting him to account for goals with movement and passing, and helping to prevent them with defense is more like reality.

      If there is anything to the rumors, I would be very interested in seeing a front line of Sanchez/Neymar/Messi.

  38. KEVINO17
    May 4, 2013

    agree. I would definitely pay 20 mill for him. But are there many players out there who can play his limited but important role as well? Have my doubts. Still, I would rather see him get to express himself in another team.

  39. Nick
    May 5, 2013

    It is astounding how most of our latest signings have been misused. Why get them in the first place?

  40. May 5, 2013

    Regarding transfer rumors, trust nothing, nobody, nowhere. @barcastuff isn’t what it used to be, even as it is a very effective and useful aggregator for information. The account simply distributes information/rumors. It’s up to people to evaluate them. My usual transfer rumor policy is until the player is in the Camp Nou doing the song and dance and kissing the crest, believe nothing.

    As for the immense list of signings here, the biggest signing I would like to make is Luck. I have no idea what her transfer fee is, but I would gladly pay it to keep the number of injuries to key players that have been happening, from happening. Then we’d start from there.

    I like the chatter, but people are assigning people and dollar amounts in an attempt to fix a problem that isn’t really player-related. I mean it is in that they are broken, and theoretically not used to the best of their ability, but let’s not forget that a healthy team ran away and hid in the Liga standings from its nearest rivals. Look at this starting XI, fit and healthy:

    Alves Pique Puyol Alba
    Busquets Xavi Iniesta
    Sanchez Messi Villa

    Who wouldn’t go to war with that team? But what happened this year? Villa took forever to get back to his old self, and now his head is somewhere else. Sanchez is erratic, Xavi is hobbled, Messi is hobbled, Busquets is hobbled, Puyol has a knee injury as does the player most like him, Mascherano. Alba is a mental mess right now, while Pique needs EVERYONE functioning to be of his best. He isn’t your Stopper, or best defender. He’s the augmentation and height in a fully functioning back line.

    Instead there are names flying about as the solution. X player or Y player. I want to sign Lady Luck. I know that the competition for her services is fierce, but if we go from no color copies to no copies at all, we should just be able to swing it.

    Are there positional needs that the club has, based on how it wants to play and the physical changes happening to certain players? Yep. The club isn’t signing a CB because it thinks that our current ones suck. It’s signing one because finally, someone in the board room recognizes that Puyol isn’t magic, that he can’t be our lion forever.

    We’re signing an attacker because we NEED one in the context of how Vilanova wants to attack the game, and the changes in how teams are defending us. People continue to insist that Neymar is useless, or a luxury purchase. I would contend that he is the kind of player who is every bit as important as a CB or keeper.

    We’re buying a keeper because Valdes is leaving, and his No. 2 is closer to 40 than 30. Simple.

    Vilanova is right in that the club doesn’t need an overhaul. I would rather imagine when he looks in the mirror, he asks himself what might have happened had he committed to real rotation, but as noted previously, winning makes you tight, and you roll the dice. You look down the bench when making that starting XI, and there’s Xavi. Who wouldn’t choose him over Thiago? Sitting in Vilanova’s seat, I wager that none of us would. Hell, even Guardiola the Saint got a really, really short lineup and eschewed rotation. Recall how we all bellowed about that when it was happening.

    Let’s look at what the club actually has right now:

    Keepers: Valdes, Pinto
    Defenders: Alves, Alba, Abidal, Mascherano, Pique, Puyol, Adriano, Montoya, Bartra
    Midfielders: Thiago, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Song, Dos Santos (counting him because he is on the roster)
    Attackers: Villa, Tello, Messi, Sanchez, Pedro

    If anything I would suggest that we need more attacking diversity and rotation more than anything else, including back line additions. Only Puyol and Abidal are on their way out, and both should be excellent in limited roles next season.

    So I am going to suggest calm assessment of what we really have, and what really happened. What really happened can’t be fixed with any signings, unless there is a signing that could have kept Puyol, Mascherano, Messi AND Busquets from being injured at the same time, that could have staved off the mental fatigue and pressure of having been the best club in world football for 5 years, an absurd run of form.

    The defender names come out: Varane, Thiago Silva, Javi Martinez, etc, etc. Anyone who thinks that any of them would have been any different as part of a “oh, shit here they come!” two-man back line is kidding themselves.

    So we have what we have right now, and will make intelligent additions in the summer. Who? Who knows. All sorts of names are out there. One of the more interesting that came from a writer with good sources is Gary Caldwell, currently playing at Wigan. But again, it’s just another rumor/bit of twaddle, until it becomes reality.

    • Jim
      May 5, 2013

      Don’t have a huge opinion on most of the names, Kxevin, although I can’t believe the negativity from some surrounding Neymar. He could turn a team’s fortunes on his own, never mind being exactly what we have lacked in attack this year; someone with attacking instincts who can pass really well, beat a man and more importantly give us 20+ a season.

      But trust me , as a Scot, that the nearest Caldwell should get to the pitch of he Camp Nou is on his holidays on a stadium tour.

    • 86ed
      May 5, 2013

      Yes but Kevin no team can rely on luck. You sign the players you need and you rotate more intelligently. I think many here were saying maybe Villanova should have tried Bartra in more games in the first half of the season. Villanova said he wasn’t ready, which was fine, as he knows best. But then to just throw Bartra against the best team in the world and expect results when he has hardly played all season seemed to me irrational and not the mark of a capable coach. Is that unfair? Martinez and T. Silva were available this summer. Instead the club goes for Alex Song, and I can only assume it does so with Villanova’s blessing. He did say before the season begun that Song would surprise a lot of people. The signal I got from that move is that Barcelona would rather spend $25m on a player they have no confidence to start key games, rather than spend $40m on a player who would have been perfect, like Martinez.

      I think the sun has set on their Barca time for 6 of those players in your starting XI; maybe even on Pique. Probably even for the coach, who doesn’t seem, to me, capable to take the needed measures. Barcelona in its current shape and even with most of its crew fit and healthy simply doesn’t scare the big opponents anymore. The number of games drawn and lost in big games this year tells us that. Therefore the only way forward is a massive purge of starting personnel. Unfortunately too many resources were wasted in 2011 and 2012, so that’s impossible.

      Also we need to abandon the dogma of the 4-3-3

    • May 5, 2013

      @Jim: That’s funny about Caldwell. Some crazy behind-the-scenes stuff going on, apparently. Schisms between board/staff/etc. Sighhh ….

      @86ed: You don’t rely on luck, but you need it to succeed at the highest levels. Unavoidable. And I repeat: If Javi Martinez is part of a two-man back line, goals would have been conceded and people would have been snarking about how stupid it was to spend 40m on a CB, and still give up goals. The player you don’t have is always the player that you need. It’s the life of a fan.

    • 86ed
      May 5, 2013

      I would have signed Martinez and used him alongside Busquests in a 4-2-3-1, not in defense. Two holding midfielders and two central defenders. It would have meant sacrificing Xavi and Iniesta. Song was signed but to my recollection he was never used like that.
      Look at what Bayern did. They signed Martinez and Dante. The result? Zero goals against the best team in Italy and the best team ever. Morale? Sort our your defense by signing capable players and important things will happen.
      I realize I’m pinning my argument on something that never happened, and you’re right to say it’s the life of the fan. But what else can I do? It’s frustrating to see this team treated like this at the end of its best years.

    • Rivaldo
      May 5, 2013

      I am one that really doesn’t believe in this thing called luck. Where I’m from it’s either God’s blessings and you work hard to achieve what it is you want; or both.

      Yes the players we already have are great but do not be fooled we need to make chances. We needed the chances last year and the year before that.

      I really hope that coaching staff has the balls to do so. Why are we so dependent on Puyol at this stage of his career (without him the defense isn’t the same… that being said with him it still idn’t great)? Did Alves really have to play all those successive games? I was really impressed with Montoya’s poise (likewise Bartra)… and other such questions can be asked.

      Should Xavi be still playing on injury (or not fully fit)? No. This is partly one of the reasons we heard for buying Cesc when many said he was not needed…. and then there’s Thiago.

      Should this side look so dismal without Messi? (that PSG home tie left a bad taste in my mouth… I’m a Barca fan not a player fan; we should be more competent)

      Add to all this, I still don’t think 100% fit players would’ve gotten us through this Bayern tie because our players haven’t shown for awhile 100% form, and this wasn’t just down to fitness ( a few of our players aren’t the same… meaning they have diminished). Bayern were great and deserved their victory. I think we should quash this thing about the “best in the world” and seek to come alive again; evolve.

      P.S. I also think Alexis should stay. If we want to get rid of a player not scoring and dimishing in return (over the same time period as Alexis) then Pedro should go… deal with it. I’m not Catalan but I’m Barca.
      Bring on Neymar. they might not be scared of him yet in eroupe but we’ve seen the destabalizing effect fast tricky players have in Eroupe on defenses. Let him dribble his man twice in quick succession and 2 different dribbles and the Camp Nou (Nou Camp) will remember their Ronnie and fear will develop.

  41. Huckleberry
    May 5, 2013

    But remember: expensive are the mediocre players, not the best.

Comments are closed.