A Return, A New Beginning: Let’s Dance

I started a journey almost 2 years ago. It has been the most rewarding experience of my life to date and it is far from over. Parenthood happened and now my little girl is walking, talking, and occasionally chanting Visca el Barça. I think my work there is done, so it’s time to start writing again. I have never really strayed very far from BFB during my—let’s call it a sabbatical, shall we?—sabbatical and I’ve kept in fairly regular contact with Kevin as well.

The writers who contributed their time, energy, and brilliance to BFB before and during my hiatus are worthy not just of mention, but of praise: Kari, Blitzen, Levon, SoMa, Euler, NZM, Luke all carried the torch at one time or another. Some of them no longer write here, but they did not go unnoticed.

But let’s consider this for a moment: for 2 years, I changed diapers, wiped up an incredible variety of spills and unidentifiable liquid, went to music classes, slept about 4 hours total, and have definitely eaten standing up holding a stuffed penguin under my arm while using my feet to keep a raging mini-person from breaking into a kitchen cabinet filled with dangerous objects. Kevin, on the other hand, has been posting 4,000 word pieces on Barcelona and football in general almost every day for both of those years. I’m not sure who had the harder job. Mine, at least, eventually came with smiles of recognition and no server errors. For that, for his effort, for everything he’s done and all the times he hasn’t quit, I’m grateful. He kept this space going, kept the lights on. My hat is off to him.

Not that that means he can stop now. He’s not allowed. Definitely not now.

Now is when we turn our attentions to the next season, the season that awaits us, the future of this club. There are elections, extensions, signings, and tax fraud to discuss. I plan on discussing all of them throughout this summer and into next season. Will we see The (Cava-Fueled) Return of the (Catalan) King (Joan) or a triumph for He Who Has Never Been Elected? Beyond politics but still off the field, how does our club function as a member of a greater society, a larger footballing community, and as a member-driven entity? Let’s talk about shirt sales, shirt sponsors, stadium naming rights, transfer fees, to-loan-or-not-to-loan, foreign membership, and the Depor-FCB match fixing controversy. Hell, let’s do a Banquillo or two, shall we?

Let’s not go overboard, but let’s be happy and energetic. We won a triplete and we’ve got ourselves another 2 years (at least) of Dani Alves’ eyewear collection. I’m excited!

If you have any suggestions for topics throughout this summer, let’s hear them in the comments.

Categorized as Thoughts

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


    1. Now that i’ve regained my voice…

      Glad that you’re now fully back.
      Glad that the humongous editorial burden on Kexvin, Levon and co has now been lessened.
      Glad they didn’t throw in the sponge; thumbs up, guys.
      Glad our treble truimph came as a soothing balm at an accurate time when personal challenges have threatened to permit immense depression.
      Glad for what God for FCB this season.
      Glad for everything.

  1. “He who Has Never Been Elected”. That caught my eye Isaah. I’m a new member in this BFB community and as you can guess, I have never read any of your previous articles. I would really love to see a post from you dedicated on Messi’s improvement in the past two years that has culminated into this all-round, master schemer and destroyer of opponents.

  2. It will be great if we have posts about the candidates and their project.Also is there any chance for foreign socis to vote from internet?I dont understand why the club dont give us that opportunity.Many socis dont have the financial power to travel to Barcelona.Keep the good work:-)

  3. True… Kevin and Levon predominantly kept this space ticking. No words to appreciate their work. Reading BFB posts and its Comments has/is a breath of fresh air amidst my the hyper suffocating work. Was bit sad for 1. that this season is over 2. No more pre/post match Kevin’s brilliance.

  4. The biggest, heartiest, WELCOME BACK” that I can muster is all that I can say. For those who don’t know, Isaiah is the reason that I am here. He asked me to start being more than a commenter at The Offside (way back when), and I moved over to this space with him.

    He’s the BFB father, and it’s absolutely wonderful news that he is back among us.

    1. Enjoyed reading the article. Really well written. Took me back through the entire length of the match with a lot more insight..

  5. I can vote absentee for President of the United States.
    I can submit my soci census, notarized, to the club.
    Catalans can vote absentee for independence.
    I can renew my membership via a secure site on the club site.

    And yet, members have to travel to the Camp Nou to vote in person. It’s an incumbent privilege that needs to end.

  6. Am really hoping this match fixing allegation wont get serious and our Liga wont be taken away.
    What happens in Spain is unbelievable. There is this case of no Barca player being chosen the Player of Month in the last two seasons, and now a stupid allegation like this. Didnt we had a good goal ruled out, was that also planned?

  7. Welcome back from the wilderness. 2 years can make a massive difference in the world.
    I’m looking forward to many more years of this blog. It has been part of my daily routine for such a long time now that I’d consider some of you friends.

  8. Hi! Long-time reader since the offside days, I’m unfortunately too busy to be much of an active commenter but needless to say I check in frequently and very much appreciate the writers, the intelligent conversation, and the space as a whole.

    One of my favorite writers from years past – although not taking anything away from the others – was Euler, because of his in-depth, lucid, and frankly brilliant tactical analyses of the later Guardiola years. I know he is on Twitter posting his thoughts on matches in 140 character form, but I would love nothing more than a guest post from him where he delves into this season from a tactical / systems perspective (as he would call it). Can he be pinged to contribute a guest piece to BFB?

    1. In the “full honesty” program, it’s the same reason I stopped doing reviews. Few people care all that much. A new post is pretty much an excuse to start harping on about whatever new thing. So it’s (maybe):

      Nice post. Now, what about x or y transfer rumor? This is what I think.

      It pretty much sucks when you spend hours on a post, and it seems like nobody pays attention to it. If all new posts are is a new space for comments about this or that, we can just put up a Barça cake, as barcastuff does on Twitter.

      That isn’t a knock on anyone or any commenter, nor is it any effort at policing in any way how people comment. It’s just that the sorts of posts he used to generate take a LOT of work. And it’s discouraging to have them mostly discarded.

      On a different level, Euler’s life has also changed, just as mine and the other mods have. It’s precisely why, pain in the ass though it is, mine has been the only voice here, something that I dislike just as much as everyone else does. So it’s gratifying to have Isaiah return.

      There was a time when we had Isaiah, me, Kari, blitzen, nzm, SoccerMom, Euler, Levon all contributing regularly to this space. Life and time commitments intrude on best intentions. I used to not mind if a piece took more than an hour to write. These days, it had better not take much more than 40 minutes or so, because that’s all that I have time for. It’s the same with the others.

      Nobody is being paid a cent to do anything for this space, which is a labor of love. We all do it because we love Barça, and really enjoy having a forum such as this to provide news and information. But that gratis nature of the service means that people are going to come and go, because it’s really hard to find time when you don’t have any, to devote to something as in-depth as what Euler used to do.

      Sorry for the length, but I hope that answers your question.

    2. Of course, I understand that fully; for very similar reasons, I’m not an active commenter. I will say that there is a readership of this blog beyond those that comment and use the space to chat about the latest Barca news. I know of at least a few other folks that read this blog that don’t comment, and I’ve even discussed blog posts contributed to this space with them. So, the comments are not the sole indicator of how much attention folks pay to the actual posts, although it is of course the most tangible one.

      But, my question wasn’t why he (or others) don’t contribute anymore, but just a humble request for a guest submission. Believe me, people will appreciate it, even if their appreciation doesn’t necessarily culminate in a comment =)

  9. Looking at the Copa America squads it looks impossible that Argentina don’t take home the trophy.

    Brazil’s squad, bar Neymar, has no experience, no match winners and little talent. Only 5 of their players have more than 20 caps even with Alves added to the lineup following Danilo’s injury and an amazing 12 of 23 have less than 10 caps. Worryingly for them, Dani Alves with 6 goals is the third highest scorer in their squad with 6 goals behind Robinho & obviously Neymar.

    Colombia have some great forwards but little to no depth at any other position although they have quite a bit of experience.

    Chile have some very good players but again an issue of depth beyond a strong enough XI. They have a lot of experience however with only 3 of their 23 man squad having less than 10 caps.

    Uruguay have to do without Luis Suarez who is their big game changer. Cavani is a good forward but no where near the same calibre. They are an incredibly tough team to break down and should go far but with only Cavani in the squad with double digits goals scored at international level they will have issues at the other end.

    Mexico are really competitive but for varied reasons are lacking real threats up front and the likes of the dos Santos brothers, Chicharito and Carlos Vela are obvious exclusions stripping them of quality.

    That leaves Argentina. Boasting only 4 players with less than 10 caps, 5 players in double digits goals scored and only 2 players under the age of 25, this is an Argentina squad who really look like world beaters. They are filled with world class players.
    Their possible first team is a who’s who of the biggest names in world football with possibly Romero in goal, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Garay & Rojo across the back four; Masch in behind Banega & Di Maria in midfield and Messi in behind Aguero & Higuain up top. They would then be able to call upon the likes Pastore, Lavezzi, Tevez & Lamela to change matches and rotate as well as having backups like Lucas Biglia, Roberto Pereyra & Fernando Gago for midfield and Demichelis.
    All that with little mention of Messi. The Copa America is surely an incredibly important title to Leo who has but an Olympic medal at international level to add to his seemingly endless stash of individual and team trophies.

    This is going to be quite the tournament.

    1. And that’s not mentioning that neither Pele nor Maradona won the Copa America, so Messi winning it would really be something!

  10. Yeah, i was going through some very old BFB post and i came across this Levon post, after reading it i was like; damn, why isnt he writing anymore. very savvy and humorus post.
    But then, i guess Time is the culprit here again..
    Same Time that made the incredible Xavi credible, same Time that made Dani Beast Alves just an okay RB now, same Time that retired Hardy Puyol despite his bravest efforts, and same Time that really gives me the chill when i think about what it would Eventually do to the magical Messi- now i gets really scared on that one. some of Xavi fans way back who watched him and thought he was the best player, who thought he would always be there or probably wasnt paying much attention that Time was doing its dirty work on him..Until it happened, and alas el maestro Xavi is human, he’s eventually aged…

    Thats why i really think this time we’ve got to see Messi play we should just enjoy and cherish it, cause however we may not like to admit it, he’s human…Soon time would just roll by and we’d be like; Wasnt it just yersterday When Messi was 20 ? No way, he’s still got it in him, he can still run dozens of metres past players, he can still do this and do that, but by then that would probably be untrue, we ended up saying that about Xavi, didnt we ?
    I guess the same Time is responsible for writers not writing anymore here
    I used to think, i wish we could purchase time; i could buy your time from you- say an hour, if you really not using it to do anything… But i guess thats for the sci-fi movies

    I’ve always thought that the Argentine squad was really impressive, thought so during the WC
    But apparently, people were more concerned with The Germany’s, Netherland, Brazil- and talking about Brazil, right from day one, i thought they had a limp squad, their opening game against Croatia, just confirmed that.. and i suppose it took the malleting from Germany for people to realise that, too late
    As for Germany, yeah they had quality, but nothing that exceptional
    It was the Argentine squad and international players generally i thought was the real deal, Messi being part of that team just
    took their ratings higher

    Tevez after a good season wasnt even in that squad,
    Some of my friends who werent familar with the nation, when they saw Havier pastore on their bench, were like; Woa, is pastore is an argentine..
    I was seriously convinced Argentina would win the WC, yeah, people thought there were favorites, but that was mostly because of the name; ARGENTINA… They were hardly really looking at the players in the squad
    Wasnt suprised when they got the to final, too bad they couldnt win it

    And knowing they lost it to IMO a less talented Germany side- who would end up getting more hyped, made it even more difficult for me to stomach
    And thats the thing, they lost the WC final with good players and a good coach, why couldnt the same thing end up happening in the Copa america ?
    I’m not holding out much expectation, just being quite optimistic

    1. “I used to think, i wish we could purchase time; i could buy your time from you- say an hour, if you really not using it to do anything… But i guess thats for the sci-fi movies”

      No way…that leads to very unpleasant things, like grey men running around smoking cigars, people not visiting their old grandmas anymore and time stopping forever.

    1. Why do you say that? The bromance between Casillas and Xavi was the only thing that kept the Clasicos during the Mourinho years from being all out war!

    2. Can you delve a bit further when you make bold accusations? I’m guessing it’s the treatment Pique got from the crowd but I’m just guessing. Better to come straight from the horse’s mouth.

  11. What about “Fc Barcelona in 5-10 years”?
    I know it’s plain silly but it’s interesting too knowing that it will be a transition period from old school legends to the newbies. Just incase if it interest you Isaiah.

    Thankyou for all the food for thoughts.

  12. Welcome back, Isaiah! Your frenetic postings right before a Clasico were always a lot of fun. 🙂

  13. Any chance this barca could have beaten Mourinho’s Inter? What Pep’s team lacked was that ruthlessness,that ability to score by different ways, that nastiness, that ‘ugliness’ that has characterized this team’s plan B, Pep’s barca was too pretty and attacked no matter the result (reason why we couldn’t get pass Chelsea to the finals in 2012; at 2-0 we were still playing 3 at the back which let us open and Chelsea utilized their chance) however this is in no way a discredit to the tremendous work Pep did I still find time to rewatch the 5-0 clasico win

    1. When i look back at the match..the only issue we had was the poor finishing.. i am more than sure we would have beaten them then…and even with the current team..

    2. Not for me. The issue was a three at the back with the middle defender going AWOL to attack Lampard in midfield and leaving us wide open just after we had got back into it.

  14. That’s exactly my point, this team doesn’t really waste chances when it matters. We score way more than we miss

    1. This is true. By having three players who can create their own chances, it makes it very hard to prevent Barca from scoring. Pep’s team could create chances against a good defensive teams but all were difficult shots against packed defenses while we would concede two excellent chances to the other team on counters. This team is much better at managing turnovers instead of dominating possession. Only successful counters I can think of were Real Madrid 3-1, Celta Vigo 0-1, Real Madrid 1-1 in Camp Nou and Sevilla 2-2.

  15. 1) Is RM going to make any big signings? For me, I think they aren’t as Danillo and De Gea will make them a better team and they are unlikely to sell Ronaldo or Bale. The only big signing out there that would make their fans happy is Pogba but they just don’t need him. I think their fan base feels they are good enough to compete without any more big signings.

    2) What happened to RMs potential transfer ban? Did FIFA’s problems put an end to the threat? Very possibly. I think we were unlucky in that FIFA came after us during a time when we were most vulnerable (the Neymar affair) and thus were no longer the squeaky clean darlings of the football world.

    3) Why was Aleix Vidal bought this summer? He seems like a promising player but it seems unlikely that he would have been bought now had we knew Danny was staying. As it is, it lets us and Barto have a new signing for the summer but I am not sure it accomplishes anything in the end. With him on the team Montoya will certainly leave this summer and Adriano becomes almost irrelevant to the club once Vidal can play in January.

    4) Will the new EPL money cause the greatest inflation in transfer fees and salaries in the history of football? Some players that may move for big bucks could include: Pogba, Vidal, Hummels, Reus, Gundogan, Sterling, Otamendi, Cavani. It also means that some of our B-team stars will be more attracted to the instant fame and fortune bestowed upon EPL players. Who wouldn’t want to be a star in the “greatest league in the world”?

  16. Am I the only one with a serious problem over the goal of the season nominees from Uefa?
    Neymar’s goal vs PSG following Iniesta’s run has to be at least in the top 3 along with Messi’s vs Bayern and Ramsey’s rocket.
    The beauty of Iniesta’s balance, control, dribbling and pass to Neymar was absolutely exquisite and then matched by Neymar’s instant control in behind the defender and then past the goalkeeper leaving him free to slot into an empty net.
    When Iniesta gets that ball he is only 30-35 yards from his own goal with 8 PSG players between him and the goal. Neymar’s finish was so simple as to not detract from Iniesta’s brilliance but make the whole PSG team passengers in a game played by two exceptional players. It was simply a work of art and in my opinion goal of the season.

    1. Thing is with the goal you’d like to see included, who do you award it to? They’d need to change the structure of the award so that it can go to two or more players who participated in the goal.

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