News of the Day: February 18, 2010

Badass has a new name.

With only two days to go before our next match (Racing  at the Camp Nou), there’s a lot to discuss. I can’t wait for our next match and might just start on the preview immediately after publishing this post simply because, well, I’m an obsessive fool. While you’re reading this, consider sending in a picture to our background design. If you haven’t done so, please do so as soon as possible.

News after the jump.

-Both Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Yaya Toure returned to full practice today, signalling their potential inclusions in the squad for Racing and the latter’s definite inclusion in the Champions League squad. This is fantastic news, especially coupled with the returns of Gerard Pique and Rafa Marquez, both of whom return from suspension. I would suspect that one of either Dima or Rafa will be held out of Saturday’s squad list so as to ensure maximum recovery and availability for Tuesday’s match. That Dima is cup-tied and can’t participate  in the Stuttgart match probably swings the decision in his favor, assuming he’s 100% come Saturday.

-Because Dani Alves is still injured, I expect our starting back line to be Carles Puyol as RB, Pique and Gabi Milito as CBs, and Maxwell as LB. This provides us with cover on our right side that Jeffren and Marc Bartra were unable to fully provide–though Bartra was a revelation nonetheless–and gives our midfield at least some protection if they make the same mistakes they made against Atletico last Sunday. The difference is, of course, that the Camp Nou field is in perfect condition and allows for beautiful passing. The state of Stuttgart’s pitch is important for next week’s CL match and their away match to Cologne might help us mightily in that regard.

Sport led off their main page today with a list of transfer targets: César Azpilicueta (RB Osasuna), John O’Shea (Defender Manchester United), Juan Mata (LW Valencia) and Franck Ribéry (LW Bayern Munich). My quick thoughts: if he’s good, bring on Azpilicueta. He’s 20 and already has over 80 appearances for Osasuna. If he’s got the ball skills, let’s grab him on the cheap as a backup, but if he’s any more expensive than, say, €3m, then let’s stick with Bartra since he’s already 19 and has proven himself worthy of at least getting a shot as Alves’ backup. As for O’Shea: no. Mata or Ribéry, I would welcome, but I still believe in Jeffren as a legitimate LW option for the future and I don’t want to spend upwards of €20m, though that price maximum would eliminate at least Ribéry and probably Mata. It is also not a price maximum that anyone at Barça will pay any attention to. Ah well.

Xavi has revealed in an interview that he has thought about leaving Barça on at least a couple of occasions, but that, in the end, the club gave him ample opportunities and allowed him to grow. When he first arrived in the first team, Xavi was confronted by the very real possibility of Pep Guardiola stealing all of his time by being, really, Pep Friggin Guardiola. He says he was trouble later in his career, especially during the last years of the Frank Rijkaard era, by thoughts that the club was looking to sell him. I’m supremely happy that none of that came about and that we kept our maestro and made him the focal point of our entire team.

-In that same interview, Andres Iniesta admitted that he had always been pursued by Real Madrid, but that Barça had “given me everything” and so it was impossible to leave the club because of how much support and love he received from teammates and fans. That, folks, is why we must love our cantera and not talk dirty about them. They will become the next superstars if we’re just patient enough.

-Racing are missing Pedro Munitis, Gonzalo Colsa, Mohammed Tchité, Jose Angel Crespo, and Luis García, which, if we’re going to be missing some serious firepower on our end, at least evens things up a little bit. Our own on-loan defender Henrique will be back for the match after missing their previous match because he just became a father and was at his wife’s side for the birth. Congratulations and way to keep your priorities straight. And here’s hoping that Ibra can get another headed goal against you!

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


    • Patrick
      February 18, 2010

      True fact: By submitting pictures for the background now, you will be less lazy than Isaiah!

      Seriously folks, keep them coming! I’m excited to see if this can come together.

  1. Blow-Granite
    February 18, 2010

    Oh yeah baby!!! The Big Yaya will smoke em all!!! Bring em on!!! Good to see him back!!!!

  2. February 18, 2010

    the yaya pic awesome…. when are we going we going to see him in action…seems like ages…

    • BA
      February 18, 2010

      that Yaya picture is sick. i still want to know when Dani is projected to come back, though?

  3. majatt
    February 18, 2010

    Any new on the B team? I know they beat their group leaders 2-1 and soriano scored both taking it to 15 goals for the season. Any word on him getting a promotion?

    Saw this article

    but the tranlation through google is awful and I don’t speak spanish.

    • February 18, 2010

      Good question about Barça Atletic. I’ll plan a post on their current situation for some time next week (probably Thursday, after the CL).

      As for that article, it mentions that Soriano does indeed have 15 goals this season, which equals his best ever season (2004/05 with Espanyol B); Luis Enrique claims he’s worthy of a first division spot, but doesn’t necessarily mean at Barcelona.

      Soriano is probably quite good, but whether or not that puts him in a position to be a part of our first team squad is another question entirely and one I don’t feel comfortable answering, having only seen him play once for 8 minutes in the Copa del Rey.

      • majatt
        February 18, 2010


        On another topic…how are some of you getting comment pics? Did I miss an announcement?

        • Kxevin
          February 18, 2010

          Go to and get set up. Then it will follow the e-mail that you register. Easy peasy.

        • eklavya
          February 18, 2010

          Choose your pic wisely, you can’t change it apparently.

          • cliveee
            February 19, 2010

            you actually can change it 😉

          • eklavya
            February 19, 2010

            Well, I did change it but it isn’t showing up in this site….it does in the others though.

  4. Timecrisis
    February 18, 2010

    Thank God Yaya is back hopefully he gets back his position which is rightfully his. Barca won’t win nothing with Busquets

  5. Soto
    February 18, 2010

    I am curious about how Guardiola organizes the midfield. With Xavi and Keita is out, how do you fill out the three mids? Clearly you have Iniesta. Then either Busquets or Yaya play the defensive mid role. But how is your third? Bojan? Pedro!? Someone else?

    It’s going to be interesting to see how we handle the injuries over the next few crowded weeks.

    • Soto
      February 18, 2010

      Thiago! I forgot about Thiago. I wonder if we will be seeing some of him on Saturday.

      • Jnice
        February 18, 2010

        I think we will see either Thiago or JDS from the beginning. I mean, JDS started against Villareal, didn’t he?

        • eklavya
          February 18, 2010

          I’m pretty sure we’ll see JDS.

  6. CLUEless(john)
    February 18, 2010

    Why not start Titi in the middle, Ibra out right and Pedro out left. That freed Messi up to play in the Inesta role and Ghostface can move over into the Xavi role. And let Yaya play at DM. DONE….

    • Jnice
      February 18, 2010

      Don’t think Messi is disciplined enough (yet) for that.

    • February 18, 2010

      Any reason why you’d do all that shuffling rather than just start Pedro at right and then move Messi?

  7. Miguel
    February 18, 2010

    toure looks like a bouncer at a strip club. “you tipped the dj for 11 dances but you only got me for ten. pay up.”

  8. Tajh
    February 18, 2010

    Like hardly any1 is online nowadays….it feels like Friday 2 me.

      • Tajh
        February 19, 2010

        Isaiah i live in the Bensonhurst area aka Brooklyn’s “Little Italy” but I’m looking to move out NY pretty soon.

  9. amal
    February 18, 2010

    in the Nundo cover today, it talks about a possible replacement between toure and cesc. TOTALLY STUPID AND I HATE IT WHEN READ THOSES KINDA STUFF

  10. barca96
    February 18, 2010

    i didn’t see any one getting excited that chiggy is back.LOL

  11. February 18, 2010

    Because titi needs to score and his best position is through the middle, plus if ibra is as versitile as we all think he is, there is no reason he cant adjust to the wing. Fianny, it would be fun as hell to see that!!!!!

  12. February 18, 2010

    i would also love to see this thiago character lol, he seems to have some serious flair. of course 5 year old kids have tons of flair on youtube when edited properly lol.

  13. Tutomate
    February 19, 2010

    Hey guys my prediction is the Isaiah predicted line up. Plus and mid-field of YAYA jDS and Iniestazo, we will also see the return of el TITI.

  14. barca96
    February 19, 2010

    i’d rather we rest Yaya properly so that he will be 100% against Stuttgart. busi can handle it on his own. let jds or thiago play

  15. Hauns
    February 19, 2010

    Yaya also said in an interview that he shut his agents mouth. Legend.

  16. Barcamaniac
    February 19, 2010

    I’d like to see Titi. Come on, Pep. Relent.

  17. Kxevin
    February 19, 2010

    Laporta says in an interview that we are NOT going to bid on Fabregas.

    Mosr excellent, even if the truth factor is dubious.

    • Boat Forever
      February 19, 2010

      Also he didn’t rule out trying for Rooney… once upon a time my dream 😀

      How sweet would it be when Arsenal are eliminated from CL because of those ‘school boy’ errors again, lose out on the league and Cesc desperately wants to return, then we show him the boot!!! And instead we go for Rooney, not need this one though… just to say ‘in your face’ to Cesc haha

  18. Bebop
    February 19, 2010

    In the “slow news day” category, EE is apparently in talks w/ Mourinho, and Mou calls it BS.
    thats what you get when there is no midweek match.., or maybe after you lost in midweek 😉

  19. February 19, 2010

    Hearing some rumors about Nadir Belhadj. Pros: he really is very good. Cons: he plays for Portsmouth. Comments?

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