McKuler is not impressed, aka “The summer of our discontent”


Whatevs …

Summer is here, and after years of neglect of the sporting project, transfers are being made, players coming in that people — most notably the folks whose asses are on the line — hope will improve the team. Finally!

Whatevs … not good enough.

For me, the best part of social media is the instant evaluative nature of the beast, in which some player in his mother’s womb is already not good enough to play for Barça. I was trying to think back to the last year in which transfers weren’t greeted with a McKayla-like shrug from this club’s supporters, and I can’t.

Even in the first year of Annus Guardiolus, that happy time when invincible sprites capered hither and yon, “More than 30m for a right back??!!” “Keita was a role player for Sevilla. Is he good enough for us?” Before that, Henry was “an old man who wouldn’t amount to much at Barça,” and Abidal was “good in Ligue 1, but Barça is a whole different level, you know …”

Transfer after transfer, summer after summer, which brings us to this summer and its additions. Let’s have a look at them, one by one:

Marc Andre Ter Stegen

He comes to Barça from Borussia Monchengladbach. He likes sunsets, puppies and learning foreign languages. He dislikes negativity. rain and teams from Munich. Rumor is he came because “Barça” is a lot easier to say than “Monchengladbach.” Easier to spell, too. He is one of the brightest young goalkeeper talents of recent memory, skilled with his feet and tall, with quick reflexes and ability to get up and down with ease. At 12m, many considered him the bargain of the century. McKuler is unimpressed. Not good enough. He should have been Courtois. 12m for a player in the last year of his contract who wanted to leave? My dog could have negotiated better.

Ivan Rakitic

He comes to Barça from Sevilla. He likes fireplaces, seeing both sides of an argument, churros (yay!). He dislikes gay teammates (Whoops! Sorry!), brunettes, negativity. Rumor is he came to Barça because the facility of the city’s hairdressers with blonde dye. Rakitic exploded onto the scene last season, continuing an arc that made him pretty much the most valuable player on a Sevilla side that won the Europa League title. Pace, work rate, size and strength are his calling cards. 18m is one heck of a deal for this firecracker-hot player. Still, McKuler is unimpressed. Not good enough. He should have been Gundogan. And why did those big stupids sell Thiago. They suck.

Luis Suarez

He comes to Barça from Liverpool. He likes arms and shoulders, scoring goals and appeals. He dislikes suspensions, people who don’t understand him and Patrice Evra. Rumor is that he came to Barça to escape the villagers, with their pickaxes and torches. Suarez is considered by many to be the best 9 in the game. He destroyed Premier League defenses last season, laying waste to the “best league in the world” in grand style. We need a 9 and by cracky for 81m, we sure did get one. McKuler is almost impressed, though 81m? What are we, Galacticos?

Claudio Bravo

He comes to Barça from Real Sociedad. He likes strikers who can’t shoot, World Cups and screaming. He dislikes Lionel Messi, chili (It’s CHEE-lay!) and going to the opera (“Why do they keep calling my name?”). Rumor is that he came to Barça because how hard can it be to replace a Pintocalypse? Bravo, the undisputed starter for both Chile and La Real, overcame a couple of serious injuries to become one of the Liga’s best keepers. He’s good with his feet and quick with his hands. He finished 5th in the Zamora race the year his team was relegated. Which is kinda crazy, when you think about it. He came to Barça for 12m, a seeming bargain for a top-class keeper. McKuler desperately wishes he was Keylor Navas. That would be impressive.

Jeremy Mathieu

He comes to Barça from Valencia. He likes skyscrapers, little people and things in the middle. He dislikes sneaky little people, bottle gingers and life on the wing. Rumor is he came to Barça because of the city’s higher doorjambs. This Goliath of a defender really came into his own as a centerback for Valencia, where he displayed speed, tackling ability and ability to defend set pieces. He also scored two goals against RM last season, over Varane and Ramos. He injects height into the Barça back line as well as bringing some pace to the game. He came to Barça for 20m, taking a pay cut to facilitate his transfer. McKuler can’t even … in the bedroom, screaming “Old and expensive!!!!” into a tear-stained pillow.

The club also brought the “NOT” twins back from loan, Gerard Deulofeu, who is “not” quite ready yet and Thiago Rafinha Alcantara, who is “not” Thiago … Why did they sell Thiagooooo!!! (Weep! Sniffle!)

In addition, the club has sold Cesc Fabregas, who was awful and took the second halves of seasons off, but should have gone for 60m and Alexis Sanchez, who was an overpriced bottler who turned out kinda sorta alright, who after the World Cup he had, should have sold for 100m. McKuler doesn’t even need to draft the dog. The parakeet can negotiate better.

Forever homes were also found for Isaac Cuenca, who promptly broke while practicing, Jonathan Dos Santos, Cristian Tello and Bojan Krkic. McKuler is unimpressed by the sums gleaned from the Sale of the Inadequates. Those dummies have absolutely no idea how to make money from the sales of academy players. None.

Cruijff cites “nou Galacticos” and predicts damnation. Is there any salvation for this club that, from the sounds of things in the aftermath of this summer of ineptitude, will be lucky to not be relegated next season? Good question.

It’s worth having a gander at the view of the neutral observer, where you find notions that a team fixed many of its problems, getting stronger and faster in midfield with players who will also re-enable a viable press, two top-class keepers who replace Valdes and Pinto, a fast, eraser-type defender who excelled at the CB position and has mistake-fixing pace and range and the best striker on the planet.

McKuler begs to differ. EXcellent players??!! Clearly, they are uninformed, and don’t understand that every last one of those players could have been somebody light years better.

Crazy people.

By Kxevin

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. I’m willing to give Vermaelen the benefit of the doubt right now. My biggest concern is he’s 28 & had continuous injury concerns the last few years. I know Gunner supporters were never that keen on him when he was their every day CB a few years ago. Good back up to have to Matthieu though.

  2. Two very solid keepers. Four Centrebacks ranging from solid to strong. A confident Ghostface. A three-man attack that will have many defenses trembling. I can’t wait for this season to start…

  3. A few thoughts on Vermaelen, mostly to rehash what’s already been said here… For those who are worried about another defender breaking all the time, when was the last time we had 4 + 1 cbs worth of depth? For those who wonder how a 3rd choice defender at arsenal could possibly be barca quality, are we really just sooo awesome that a 3rd choice defender (if you can really consider him that without considering injury issues) for a team with the quality to challenge for the PL title couldn’t be a 4th choice defender for us? I for one am hoping that Bartra picks up either the 1st or 2nd most minutes for us this year, although I’m sure lucho is going to give everyone their chance to impress and select a preferred pairing based on form, and for all we know Vermaelen could end up as our first choice. For me we’ve done fantastic work this summer, and are looking at our most complete squad in quite a while.

  4. Vermaelen. pah. old, slow, not even a guaranteed starter at Arsenal (which is evidently our feeder club now). a stopgap signing in a position desperately needing serious investment. a bad signing to begin with; even worse in the context of Suarez. we’ll spend €75m on another striker but not even half that on both “center-backs”. Mathieu may turn out to be a good player for us, though only for 2-3 years max. but Vermaelen, i think we’ll find, is another Song: looked good in a mediocre club like Arsenal, can’t compete on the level we require. what a waste.

    as for being “the best CB quartet in a long time” or “2 of them having pace”, i’m flabbergasted. who are you guys talking about?

    1. I tend to agree with you, but at this point I’ll get what I can. That’s two defenders we didn’t have before. They will add depth. Perhaps not quality depth, but numbers at the back nonetheless.

    2. Agree with both of you. It’s nice to read some legit dissent about the TV signing, although most people on twitter are just as underwhelmed as I am. Depth is depth though, I don’t buy the ” this is our best back 4 ” in some time whatsoever though ( who is Coffing gold btw ? I’m legit asking because I have no idea)so long as our defense doesn’t break down our mid and attack should do the job , plus Ter-Stegen is a beast.

    3. Difference for me is that Song was signed to offer cover for CB which was unfair on him as he had patently demonstrated he couldn’t do it for Arsenal whereas Ver is a CB signed to play CB. Big difference.

    4. I still struggle to believe the mess they made out of the Song signing. They signed Arsenal’s leading assistman (double digits in the league 2011-12) to play as a centreback. It was preposterous and unfair to Song. It was pathetic how they made poor Villanova look like a fool trying to sell something everyone thought was a joke.

    5. This isn’t our best back four. Far from it. But it is better than last year when we only ‘signed’ Puyol. (You remember how many times they repeated “Like a signing” when talking about Carles? It was as if they were trying to convince themselves and still couldn’t.)

      Our defense will likely break down. Vermaelen is injury prone, Mathieu will be 31, and Pique has missed important games in the last couple of seasons. Injuries will happen resulting in staff shortages. Every year since 2011 this has happened during the most important part of the season. I hope this time it’s different.

  5. So what does this mean for Alves? Is he staying? I’d be ok with his going for cheap, so long as it’s not to our regional rivals, like Rosell did with Villa last season. That was senseless. If you’re going to give him to a team like Atleti, make sure to make them pay for it.

    It would better better to keep Alves’ salary than see the team we give him to beat us in the Champions and win the League.

  6. Oh my god, is anyone watching the Reims-PSG game? It’s been absolutely crazy and it’s only a half-hour in! (It’s on bein in the US.)

  7. Not sure where all the reports of man utd and arsenal fans making fun of us is coming from, what I’ve seen is a lot of Man U fans discussing how TV would be a very sensible signing, and arsenal fans that don’t seem to be dreading his leaving, but also aren’t gleefully acting like they’ve sold a lemon… The only caveat here is that Man U currently like a real footballer at cb and seem like they need one for the system van gaal wants to play.

    1. For me, my twitter seems about 70/30-65/35 in favor of ” You take him please (United fans) ” and ” He’s past it now, enjoy thanks for your money (AFC fans)”.

      In my actual “real life” out of two dozen or so footy friends (only one a Barca fan smh) about 20 are wondering why when a class CB (Benatia) would have ” Put you/ you wankers over the top”.

      I guess it all depends on where one looks haha.

    2. Interesting, my real life footy friends are few and far between, but their reaction has been for the most part “Vermaelen? Wtf?” The responses I was referring to before were mostly from the comment sections of the various British media sources reporting on the Vermaelen rumors, so basically highest class of football punditry. Maybe it was my optimism tinted glasses, but it seemed almost like the opposite of what you described, with a 70/30 thinking it would be a good move for Man U to grab him, arsenal fans might have been a bit more like you described but still seemed generally respectful towards him as a player. Guess it does all depend where you look…

      P.S. I will make fun of you for your FIFA antics, I took the much more respectable route of doing the same thing on football manager 😉 I too was pleased with the results.

  8. Make fun of me for this if you want but, after making all the departures and arrivals on FIFA, and tinkering around here and their with the rumored formations and such, I have to say I’m really happy at what we have going into the season.

    Honestly, the better organized, more organized team with better control of the pitch usually comes out on top (just like in FIFA, honestly). If we get back to a total team defense, where everyone knows their role and sacrifices for the team then we wont need second comings of Maldini and Beckenbauer at the back, we’ll be too busy applying suffocating pressure and jumping down the throat of the opposition.
    Also, TER STEGEN WILL BE ALL WORLD SOON (imo), remember this, he’s going to be a real beast.

    Could it have been better? Yes. Am I still unsure what the future at the back looks like if our youth doesn’t really pan out? Yes. Do I think signing two CB’s with injury records is a risk? Yes.


    I’m over the moon about Suarez and Rakatic, two players whose qualities I drooled over last season. Now they’re ours, OURS. I get to see Rakatic and Iniesta, the South American connection up front! This is FIFA manager stuff of dream gentlemen and I cant wait to see it.

Comments are closed.