You can keep Fabregas, we’ll take Busquets, and other news

So good I have to kiss myself!

We have a few things to discuss, as per some of the very interesting points raised in the aftermath of our rather lackluster victory against Racing, including the qualities of one Sergi Busquets.

But first, some news:

–Aleksandr Hleb says that a resurgent Stuttgart have a “10 percent” shot against us in our upcoming Champions League match. The good thing for us is that we start the tie at their house, which means that if we can steal an away goal or two, we’re sitting pretty for the home leg.

There is, of course, bad news ….

–Though Xavi and Alves traveled to Stuttgart with the team, neither are expected to play, joining Abidal and Keiteeee! on the sidelines. Almost certain to join them is Ibrahmovic, who is still recovering from a possibly infected cut on his ankle that he took in the Atletico loss. Some of the kids such as Dos Santos and Bartra are playing with the first team, but I wouldn’t expect the hyper-conservative Guardiola to risk young’uns on the big stage. Arthur Boka will be out for Stuttgart, which robs us of seeing some of the worst hair in professional football in the person of the Cote d’Ivoirean defender. 😀

–In the “hope Fabregas goes this way,” Benik Afobe has been signed to a long-term deal by Arsenal. We were buzzing around this talented kid like flies around honey, but Arsenal locked him up. Let’s hope that they do us the same favor with Fabregas.

–Robinho says that he rejected us, rather than the other way ’round. The pouty Brazilian, now playing for Santos, says that there was an offer on the table from us, but that it was ultimately for a loan, and he didn’t want to have to move his family, blah, blah, blah, for 6 months only to possibly have to move them again. Whatever, dude. Have fun in Brazil.

–BritPress are speculating that The Yaya’s bags are all but packed for a summer departure from us. Citeh is looking to be the most likely suitor, as they can offer him a pigpile of cash and the locker next to his brother, Kolo. But Chelsea and Aresnal are also said to be watching the situation, which brings me to my first talking point.

Sergi Busquets should chain himself to The Yaya’s leg, like those Greenpeace folks do to giant redwoods, and never, ever let him leave the side. When The Yaya is in the side, Busquets usually has a storming match, because he can focus his attentions fully frontward, without having to worry about what might happen if one of his bits of ambition goes awry.

For my money, Busquets is not an defensive midfielder, but rather an advanced playmaking midfielder. The more that I watch him, the more I am convinced that we don’t have a player like him on the roster. Keita is close, but he isn’t as much a playmaker as a hell-raiser and facilitator, in that he just keeps the ball moving.

Busquets, on the other hand, can help our possession game, crash the box, battle for possession in the midfield, break up attacks and pass with the best of them, as long as he remembers to keep it simple, stupid. He’s been in a rich vein of form of late, and it’s no coincidence that such form has come as he has advanced up the pitch. Against Racing he was, in effect, playing the Iniesta role while the latter played the Xavi role. And it was a success, as Busquets attacked, crashed the box and made a series of lovely link-up passes that made us look about as dangerous as we ever did.

But, we already have a Xavi and Iniesta, right, so what is his ideal role, and does his emergence have any implications for Keita and/or The Yaya?

In my opinion, it shouldn’t. All three are very different. Yes, all three and play DM, and The Yaya can play as an advanced playmaker, like Busquets. But if you look at their skill sets, you could almost make a case for all three of them being on the pitch, particularly in the case of an Iniesta absence. The lineup would look something like:

The Yaya–Xavi–Keita

Obviously, Messi and Ibrahimovic would drift around as they usually do, leaving Busquets in that Iniestaesque playmaker/hellraiser role. Obviously if Ghostface is fit, he’s the man. But as an experiment, in the woeful event that some defender commits Iniestacide, that might be a fun possibility.

Most importantly, I think that Busquets makes Fabregas irrelevant, allowing us to spend our 50 million on something a lot more fun, like a new team jet and a defender or two. Because what Fabregas does, Iniesta and Busquets can already do. Yes, the beauty of Fabregas is that he embodies some of Xavi and some of Iniesta. But so do Thiago and Dos Santos, who won’t cost us 50m. And if we are to see Fabregas on the pitch with Xavi and Iniesta, his role would most likely very similar to that of Busquets. Now, for my money, I want Busquets, just because I just don’t see Fabregas playing a lot of defense, or covering ground the way that our Colt Unbound does.

Of Bojan Krkic, Pep Guardiola said, “The thing is that he came up too quickly and he is still learning.”

This is a very interesting quote, because it’s one of the first times that Guardiola has directly addressed the CT Complexity. When Rijkaard brought him up, it was to address a great many complexities, not least of which was to stave off the vultures that were hovering around him in the form of other teams. Bringing him up means that he is ours and happy. But it also means that once he’s up, it’s difficult for him to go back.

Now, when you’re a new coach coming in, you have this issue of this Wunderkind who really isn’t ready yet, but he’s in the team. So you have to play him. Whether he’s ready or not. And play him you do, every now and again, in the hope that he will return the investment of time and a roster position. And he does, just often enough to make people say “See, he is ready.” Even though you know that he isn’t.

I think that the above quote was the first real admission from Guardiola that Krkic isn’t ready. And I’m sure that in his heart of hearts, he wishes that he could send him back to the B team, for more seasoning and learning how to play the game.

And so do I.

Finally, there has been a chorus after Saturday’s match of “Boy, we sure did move better without that lazy-ass Zlatan Ibrahimovic out there,” a sentiment that I think is misguided for a number of reasons:

–At times, we were striker-less, as Henry drifted to the left and Krkic to the right, leaving a desultory Messi as our false 9. This is one reason for the dearth of good chances that presented themselves in the match. Ibrahimovic, with his movement in and out of the box, size, control and strength, acts as another advanced playmaker. Sometimes, playing a pass to him and having him pillow it back to Xavi or Iniesta, opens up a lane for another attacker. The effects are beneficial.

–His runs are improving. He was threatening as hell against ATM, making the kinds of diagonal runs that need to happen in our offense. He is still learning to play as a part of our system, and deserves the time to get the hang of it before people start to write him off as a waste of a lot of money. In my estimation, he’s the best striker in the world, and one of the few who can also function as a playmaker from that advanced role. But just as he has to learn to adapt to us, we have to learn to adapt to him. And no, this doesn’t mean bombing a long ball in the hopes that he will run under it, control it and work some magic. It also means understanding the kind of player that he is, and learning to work within those boundaries.

–He’s isn’t lazy. He is a different kind of player than Eto’o, and doesn’t move about as much or with as much alacrity, but he is also possessed of the kind of skill set that makes him not have to move around as much. When was the last time we had a player who can bomb into the box and take root, controlling the pass with a defender or two on his back, and who is still able to make a play. Eto’o created space with movement and pace, while Ibrahimovic creates space sometimes with movement, sometimes with control/passing, other times with strength and power. It’s an important difference.

Yes, he needs to get back onside faster, but we also need to start getting him the ball in situations where he can do something with it with more regularity. Inter got to be very good at that, and might have reached their zenith with that particular quality last season, when Ibrahimovic led the league and scored some remarkable goals. We will never, ever play the kind of offense that Inter played, where he is the lone point man and focal point of our offense. But when he in integrated into the offense in a meaningful way, he will not only score goals, but create them.

Interestingly, he kicked off his tenure with us doing precisely that, not only popping in goals but assisting others. He and Messi were well on the way to learning how to make beautiful music together. Then for whatever reason, they went off the boil, and are playing like strangers again. The possibilities of an attacking trident of Henry/Ibrahimovic/Messi should be sufficient to drive opposing defenses mad, but we have to learn how to utilize it. This doesn’t mean playing the way that we always have, and wondering why in the hell that big Swede won’t get with the program.

But that’s enough from me, what say ye?

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Written by:

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. February 22, 2010

    Is there really any pride in being first if all you say is “first”. I would be much happier if I posted a meaningful statement that sparked discussion between fellow blog readers, and maybe at the very end of the post I would write ‘first’ 😉 But hey, to each his own. Mehh.

      • Bill
        February 22, 2010

        Lmao @ Isaiah, this one had me cracking up!

      • February 22, 2010

        If it sounded like I was coming down in that post, that was not my intention at all. I think my statement was meaningful, I had a point and I got it across. I did not just write a word. But like I said, it’s no big deal, and I could really care less, I was just sharing my feelings dude.

        • Miguel
          February 22, 2010

          “i was just sharing my feelings dude.” i love that.

          since whan did we ever have to have any “meaningful statements” on this blog, isaiah?

  2. Blow-Grenade
    February 22, 2010

    I love Busi. His positional sense, one touch passing, and read of the game are very good.

    • adal
      February 22, 2010

      He did play as a forward before, right?

      • Jnice
        February 22, 2010

        Yeah, I think he used to be a striker.

  3. adal
    February 22, 2010

    Agree with all the points made about Zlatan. I think lots of ppl still hang on to the Barca of last season and can not let go. A change is a must and I think this Barca is probably Guardiola’s original one.

    Any preview of tomorrow’s match coming up soon?

    • stephen
      February 22, 2010

      I have to agree, Guardiola worked well with last season’s team but it wasnt fully HIS, he brought Zlatan in, I don’t think he has had a LOT of chance in shaping the team to use Zlatan in the way he wants (injuries, Henry failing, Bojan sucking, etc etc).

  4. Barcamaniac
    February 22, 2010

    Guess Pep says that about Bojan comparing him to Pedro.

  5. February 22, 2010

    Busquets is better than Cesc. Here I say it, again. Taking Barcelona’s long term needs in consideration, Cesc + 20 M for Busquets, and I will think before rejecting the offer.

    The Busquets-Yaya midfield has some similarities with Henry-Ibra partnership in front. Lot of potentials to create perfect combination if both in the right form and if they create high level of understanding.

    When does Ibra have to move out of position (deep or flank) and when not to do so? and when is it right for Henry to move to the box and when he must not do so. Thats a case which is still pending. We so much need this synchronization between the two players to be established.

    Back to Yaya and Busquets, obviously I share Pep the belief that Busquets is a quality player for the holding midfielder position. Between his Agility and stamina and Yaya’s strength and defensive discipline the case is closer than the obvious. Yet, both are not exactly the natural defensive midfielders, and that’s why Both performed better in that position when they had Keita assisting them. And if they can reach a level of understanding where both can change roles more frequently serving as Holding midfielders and Box to box midfielders in a synchronized manner, the midfield will turn to be impossible to contain. Still a long way to reach there, but with Keita being injured, this will be a good opportunity to go for it.

  6. stephen
    February 22, 2010

    I think Guardiola WANTS fabregas, he has a plan for him, and I think he will make it work, maybe Yaya might leave, I doubt it though.
    I do have to agree with the Ibrah comments, I think he HAVE to learn to utilize him, it seemed that it was happening before with him and Messi until teams decided to pick on Ibrah because of his size, and making him commit fouls and catch him offsides, but once those two things are controlled I think we will have a Trident like we did before with Eto’o, except with pretty futbol.

    We NEED defenders ! Although Bartra did excellent in his “official” debut, I think we need experience, we cannot rely on Alves’ super powers of recovery. And we cannot depend on Maxwell, he means well…

  7. February 22, 2010

    Kevin —
    Do you think that some of things that Busi does at DM that you don’t like (boneheaded passes, ect) he does less when in plays in a more advanced role? In other words, do you think the position raises his level of performance?


    Do you think that he still does these things, but the nature of the position makes them either more desirable or less likely to cause trouble when they go wrong?

    I guess this goes back to Henry (and to a greater extent, how I treat Clint Dempsey on the USMNT). When I see a player I know is gifted playing in a way that plays consistently below their standard, I start to question whether or not he is being played in the proper role, or given the proper freedoms or restrictions. Dempsey for Fullham is great, but looks far different for the US. Henry is such a clinical finisher, but his lack of goals this season (esp compared to last) makes me wonder if we have changed tactically to the point where Henry’s effective contribution (at least in terms of goals, I respect your views on other contributions) is diminished.

    Anyways, I love to hear your thoughts, or anyone’s thoughts.

    • Barcamaniac
      February 22, 2010

      I reckon that Henry’s not getting younger doesn’t help. Age is probably more important for the attacking line than anywhere else. Also, P! didn’t “steal” Titi’s playing time when he had 100 goals with Eto’o and Messi. After all, practice is everything, almost in every matter.

    • Kxevin
      February 22, 2010

      Both, Patrick. We’ve seen him lay turd after turd in an advanced role, as well. He’s just playing really, really well of late. I think that player comfort has a lot to do with performance, and knowing that if you screw up, you have a brick wall behind you means that risk-rooted uncertainty becomes aggressive ambition. So a pass that you wouldn’t try because you aren’t comfortable, you give a shot to. Then it happens, and you look brilliant.

      I think that there is also less to go wrong when he’s in an advanced position. All of our attackers try passes that don’t quite make it, or that go awry. Notice how The Yaya plays the ball: simple, direct passes that rarely have to do much more than laser across the ground. He also plays one-touch, because he understands the value of keeping the ball moving (the more time you give a defense to set up, the easier they can stop you).

      Busquets plays in back as he plays in the front, with a seeming lack of comprehension of risk.

      Ultimately, Busquets is Busquets. But in front, his risk has much more reward, and he’s more comfortable going forward.

      • February 22, 2010

        exactly, the risk of a dm losing a ball is far greater than a CM or any other positions higher up the pitch.that’s why i prefer busi playing CM.

  8. BlaugranaDOOM
    February 22, 2010

    Overall, some interesting talking points.

    I think Cesc is superfluous to our needs. Especially, with our team how it is. I always say that patience is a virtue, but its hard with a team like Barca. We need to let players come back into form (thinking Busi, Ibra, Henry, Maxwell, Marquez, Bojan, Keita, Abidal, etc.). Then, they do, and briliant. Every player we have is top class. It’s just about getting them fluent and performing at the level they can. If we can get everyone healthy (or most) then we are still the best team in the world. If you look at the chances created, it is unreal.

    Relax. Enjoy. There is a lot of football to come.

  9. JMo
    February 22, 2010

    I get paranoid when watching our Busi run around the pitch with his gangly legs flailing about. But the truth is, when he feels comforted by the likes of Yaya or Keita, he’s a darn good footballer.

    I get caught up in my preconditions about Pep having favorites an getting frustrated about Yaya’s seeming inevitable departure, but I do think we could have a world XI player in Busi if he comes to grips with his potential.

    I hate admitting that, but I’m saying it. I’ve been very slow to admit any liking to Busi, sort of like cheering for Gudjohnsen when he’d actually do something good.

    Anyway, I just think Yaya is exponentially better in EVERY aspect, except maybe long ground passes. But outside of that, Yaya deserves a spot in every legitimate starting lineup

  10. adal
    February 22, 2010

    Off the topic, looks like Jeffren is training to be our right back. I though his last game against Racing was better, although it was hard to tell since the game was pretty much done when he came in. Will he have the potential or he just is a temp solution?

  11. J
    February 22, 2010

    Why would we ever get rid of Yaya? Of all the versitle midfielders we have he is by far the most versitle DEFENSIVELY. He gives us muscle, ball winning, defense against corners in the air, plus he can play as a central defender as he showed against no less then Chelsea and ManU in the CL. We sure could have used him back there against ATM. Busi might have playmaker in him and some DM in him, but he is not as good as our best attack midfielders, nor as good as a DM as Yaya. Plus he makes mistakes that lead to goals and gets pushed off the ball in the air.

  12. Bill
    February 22, 2010

    On Busquets, agreed. On the offensive part of the field, his antics are fearless, adventurous and daring. As a DM, they are simply reckless and gambling. He can back-up Yaya when he is injured, but never in place of him. But his ability to dribble his way out of jams and make defense splitting passes, plus the fact that he never resists sticking a leg in is priceless upfront in place of Iniesta or Xavi. We really dont need a midfielder. Just a back up for Alves and a striker.

    Speaking of which, we traded in a ferari for a rolls royce, but we keep on saying if the road stops winding soo much, the rolls can go just as fast. I read how some bloggers are blaming Messi for being selfish, or how the midfield duo of Iniesta and Xavi are not giving Ibra the passes he should get, and it surprises me. If it worked soo well last year, and its not working this year, why are we blaming those guys? They are doing what they did last year, not much has changed. The only difference is that Ibra is now the point man upfront instead of Eto’o. I think it’s some form of denial.

    • Hilal
      February 22, 2010

      I think you are simplifying things waaay too much. Football is a very complex game and saying the only difference is that Eto’o has been swapped for Ibra is completely misguided. They are not like for like players so you cannot play the same way with Eto’o than you can with Ibra. The team has to adapt to him as much as he has to adapt to the team and it is their responsibility as much as it is his to see him succeed. Eto’o didnt stroll into Barca and become the striker he was overnight, it took time to adapt to his particular style of play as it will take time to adapt to Ibra’s. Be patient and realise that football is a team sport, the success of a striker depends a lot on the quality of the service he receives as well as the understanding he has with the supporting players. I have seen Ibra make many fantastic runs where he was simply ignored by Xavi, Iniesta or Messi. However I have also seen Ibra stray offside when he should stay onside. The whole team is at fault, not just Ibra. These are things that take time and mutual understanding to build. Thats not even taking into account the huge impact that Henry had last season, one which is lacking this season. Do not underestimate the importance of having an on form Henry bombing down the left last year, creating space and opportunity for Eto’o. Who knows how Eto’o would be doing this season. He hasnt exactly lit Italy on fire.

      It worked so well last year because the team had over 5 years experience of playing with Eto. Are you really expecting the same thing with Ibra in less than one year?

      • Jim
        February 22, 2010

        Sorry, and I know this goes against a lot of views here, but I’m still looking for signs that it can work. The EE have put 5 or 6 new players together and are starting to play better within one season. Though I hate his guts, Ronaldo has barely broken stride in adapting to his new surroundings. Ibra has walked into the world champions who play the best passing game in the world and were creating chances for fun last year and all of a sudden it’s not happening. That’s an exaggeration, I suppose, but the fluidity just isn’t there for me.

        We have basically one new player and we played better at the start of the year than now. If Henry has been starved of the ball and Ibra has been starved of the ball what on earth have we been doing with it ???? I’m not necessarily blaming Ibra but whatever is causing it we can’t deny we have an issue there at the moment. I hope he comes onto a game but I’m not about to blame the rest of the team and say they have to change the way they play. I like the way we play and it brought us 6 trophies. All I’m saying is we need more than the occasional cameo from our number 9. A great player should be able to fit into a great team. We also need him to perform because we don’t have a lot of options although I’d still like to see how Henry would do there.

        • Hilal
          February 22, 2010

          First of all, I think its actually easier to walk into a team that has no set style of play, no real footballing philisophy and succeed, than it is to try and integrate yourself into a team that has a footballing system which is set in stone. Madrid have no real system yet, they are still trying to figure it out and the majority of Ronaldo’s goals have been individualistic goals, not great team play. Ronaldo has a lot more freedom to express himself than Ibra does, because he is not trying to fit into a rigid system or style of play. For example, Ibra has a crazy longshot, it is no coincidence that he doesnt smack the ball more from outside of the box, its just not how we do things. I bet if he shot more from outside the box he would have quite a few more goals to his name, which would probably make him a lot more popular. We are never going to change our style of play, but we have to adapt our style of play to suit the attributes of our no 9. Lets be fair, Eto and Ibra are polar opposites when it comes to their style of play. The core of our team has been playing with an Eto’o type striker for the last 5 years, so adapting to a completely different striker is going to take time. As I said before, the team has to adapt to him as much as he has to adapt to the team and its hard to change what you know so well.

          Then of course you have to look at the type of teams they played for previously. There are a lot of similarities in the way MAdrid and UTd play, they both love to counter attack, which suits Ronaldo given his pace. Inter on the other hand are completely different to Barca, so while Ronaldo is pretty much just doing more of the same at another club, Ibra has to change a lot of things in his game to fit in. You think if Ronaldo came to Barca he would fit in straight away? I doubt it. It took Keita a while, Henry a while, Abidal a while, even the Yaya. Alves is the only player who walked into the team and adapted straight away, but Alves is Alves.

          This adaptation that the team is undergoing is why we are lacking that fluidity that we had last season. The brilliance of last year was a culmination of years of work, work that Pep was able to utilise and perfect. We aren’t starting from scratch or anything but we are replacing a very important cog in a finely tuned machine. Retuning will take some time…

        • jordi™
          February 22, 2010

          Why not compare him to Kaka then? Or Benzema ?Just because one of their 6 billion buys has adapted doesnt mean its the norm, and the Barca “9” along with “4” and CB are just about as difficult as it gets in terms of adaptation in football,Even the goalkeeping position.

          Lets not forget how long it took Henry to adapt and the difference between his 1st and second season was stratospheric.We should keep in mind he hasnt had the benefit of a preseason with us, and he arrived injured yet we couldnt ease him in the lineup because there were trophies to be won :D.I remember when henry came he said since there were so many matchwinners and world class players, he didnt feel pressed to perform, as in if he scores or not, the game is still won, but now last year he said he felt more needed.As Henry carried Arsenal like Ibra carried inter, perhaps hes still coming to terms with not being “the man”.I guess i some ways we need him to be more selfish,but being the new guy he doesnt want to step on any toes at the moment, I believe next year we will see more of him Demanding the ball, taking on players etc.Its about confidence.

          Check what tito had to say on the matter :


          it’s not true that he isn’t scoring. He’s scored 12 and he’s among the top scorers in the league. Infact theres no other No.9 in the world like Ibra. He’s in position to score 23 or 24 and that is a lot. You’ve also got to take into account that there isn’t another center forward that gives as many assists. They’re usually more selfish. They’re near the goal and want to shoot themselves. He’s very generous. He helps us because he understands that we need to keep the ball. He knows how to hold the ball and it gives us time to get into position.

          Last season, Etoo played very few games on the left maybe because Leo plays more on the inside. Ibra gives us distinct options when he plays more towards the center of the pitch. We almost play without a central forward and it lets us vary our tactics. He’s also a player that has no problem drifting out wide when Leo moves into the middle.

          I just think we should be patient with the guy, its all we can do really.

    • eklavya
      February 22, 2010

      That was one hell of a comparison! 🙂

    • Jnice
      February 22, 2010

      I agree with Hilal, you can’t just say the only thing that has changed is Ibra for Eto’o. What about the tactics other teams are employing? What about the fact that we have rarely played the same lineup for more than one game in a row all season? Ibra has to adapt and Barça has to adapt to Eto’o.

      Since I know you are very fond of Eto’o, lets look at Eto’o. He has 8 goals in 20 games in the league, with better service than Ibra had last season, but Milito has about 14. Is Eto’o better than Milito? Most would say yes. If so, why is he playing better than Eto’o? Oh wait, it might have something to do with the fact that Eto’o hasnt adapted to the Italian league yet, something that takes time. Same applies to Ibra.

      Don’t understand how you can simplify things to that degree without taking into account all the factors involved, but to each his own, right?

  13. Kxevin
    February 22, 2010

    Well, I think that Bill is fonder of the 48 zilliion goals that Eto’o popped in last season. And I think we all are. It’s funny, because some say “They sold Eto’o, and now look. Their lead in the league isn’t as big, and they haven’t scored as many goals in the league.”

    What I think is that we’re conceding fewer goals, and still winning matches. To me, whether we win by 6-1 or 1-0 is immaterial, particularly in the way that we have controlled almost all of our matches this season. At this same point last season we had more goals, but also more losses, right?

    I think that with any arrangement, new players need time. Abidal needed time to become our best defender, match in and match out. Henry needed time to become the force that he was last season. His first full season with us, Eto’o knocked in 24 goals in 37 matches. The next season, 26 in 35. In an injury-plauged following season, 11 in 17, then 16 in 18, leading up to his next completely healthy season, and 34 in 30 matches.

    In Ibrahimovic’s first full big-time season, he went 16 goals in 31 matches, then 7 in 28, then 15 in 25, 17 in 22, then the 25 in 35 of last season.

    On paper, Eto’o is a better striker, right? But, given the single-striker setup that Juve and Inter were playing, with Ibrahimovic as the sole option, that he got as many goals as he did is impressive. What we were thinking, and are right to think, is that if he did those kinds of numbers in the defense-minded Serie A, what the hell is he going to do with Messi, Iniesta and Henry running around, taking feeds from Xavi?

    Well, we don’t know yet. We know that he has 12 goals in 16 matches, which puts him right on pace with Eto’o’s first-season totals of 24 in 37.

    As much as I hate statistics, sometimes numbers can at least give a little picture of how a striker is doing. That’s 12 goals in 16 matches, with the first part of the season injured, and having picked up various knocks along the way that have kept him out of matches.

    I do think that there’s some Henry-itis at issue here, in that many are saying “He did this at Inter, where’s ours,” just as Henry was (unfairly, in my estimation) judged by the cream of his Arsenal years when we bought him.

    I’m not too worried about Ibrahimovic and whether he was a sound buy. Nor am I worried about the egocentrism that might lead some to think that we are saying “Here’s how we play. Fit in.” Guardiola is too good a coach for that, and it will only be a matter of time. Just think of how good things are going to be with a full off-season with the club.

    Yes, I’m excited.

    • Miguel
      February 22, 2010

      ibra was teamed up w/trezeguet all the time @ juve.

  14. Viet
    February 22, 2010

    Busquets, I think, with our midfield makeup at the present will have it hard in the future.As a DM He isn’t as fast as Toure, he can’t defend,tackle, cover the ground as much as him. As a CM, he doesn’t have the vision nor the ability to control the tempo of the match like Xavi. With his lanky legs he can’t dribble past several players without getting tripped(himself or by others) like Iniesta. He doesn’t really excel at anything in our current 3 man midfield who are all specialists. At best, I think he will be our future Keita.

    Several sites claimed that Guardiola dropped Thiago out of the Stuttgart line up as a punishment for his celebration with Thiago the other day. I hope it’s not too serious and Thiago will continue to improve.

    TBH I don’t know why Guardiola keeps calling Jonathan while not letting him play for Athletic. This day you get a cold and you lost your place. That’s how awesome our cantera is.

    • February 22, 2010

      maybe we should start comparing busi to keita and not busi-yaya or especially not busi-xaviniesta

    • jordi™
      February 22, 2010

      ////i think Thiago didnt travel as he is called up for the under 19’s

  15. February 22, 2010

    i think it’s quite early to say that we don’t need cesc guys. we played a poor side so it’s not really a good match to see his potential. it’s only when we play the big teams and performing regularly like he did that we can say that we don’t need cesc but rather stick with busi. at the moment, busi is nowhere near cesc’s level. not hating on busi though

  16. arsenal 4ever
    July 25, 2010

    no way you cunts will get any brillant youth players from us. how do you fukkers think you are? our new whrighty will destroy your bunch of gay fukkers.

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