Players come, and players go — the cycle of life

Players come and go. It’s one of the game’s certainties.

There’s also supporter uncertainty about why players migrate. Rare are the times when we know the real reason for a transfer, much of which explains the varying levels of supporter distress. The game is passionate and emotional.

This Barça summer of ire has included elections and migratory Masia gems in Deulofeu, Adama Traore and Martin Montoya. After all the tizzy generated by those first two, a new It couple is ramping up the rage machine: Alejandro Grimaldo and Sergi Samper, because rumors.

Transfer rumors meet a need. If people need to think that the board is a collection of reprehensible gits, then “They want to sell Messi!” and culers go mad. If the mood is different, “Busquets to United” is scoffed at. It’s the genius of transfer rumors, which work like a crop being sowed. Tend them right and a harvest of clicks and reads results.

“Pogba is coming, for 90m.” “Well, okay. He’s young, brilliant, he’s the future!” “Grimaldo is leaving in January.” “Rage! Snarl! Stupid Enrique! Grrr!”

He is our player (weep! Weep!)

Supporters think that their club is the best. Culers are no different. When a player wants to leave, it’s “Why would he do that?” Add a famed academy that is all the rage, sprinkle in a once-in-a-lifetime graduating class, a bit of incomplete knowledge and Masia Mania is born. A rumor popped up that Samper will be leaving the club in January, or would leave if the right offer came along, or that he is close to a deal with a “Champions League club.”

ANY player will leave for the right situation. Alexis Sanchez discarded his “dreams” and “dream club” when Arsenal came calling. Pedro to Chelsea? “Do I get to start, Don Jose?” Why would Samper or Grimaldo be any different, and what reason is there except the romance of supporters that suggests they are different. “We raised him, put so much into developing him. Stupid board!”

Usually someone at the club is blamed for doing something wrong, for allowing things to get to a state where the player wants to leave. A great many players have come and gone from Barça in recent years. The two that bothered me were Sanchez and Thiago Alcantara, because both would have been very useful. But only one really generated a row in the culerverse because of the circumstances (unfavored board and sporting director) and the player’s status as La Masia jewel. Yet both players wanted to leave Barça for the same reason: playing time. Sanchez was tired of being stuck in that phone booth on the right side and passing to Messi, while Thiago saw a future where he could walk into a big club’s midfield and took it.

It’s rarely a question of money when it comes to the big clubs. Usually players leave because their “better” job involves more playing time or status. Thiago and Sanchez would have been out of their minds to stay at Barça given their ambitions, and there was nothing reasonable that the club could have done to keep either of them. Moving on has worked out beautifully for both.

Coaches want competition but players don’t, no matter what they say about relishing the chance to fight for a place. You want to come to work every day and know that your job is secure, whether you are a center back or accountant.

Players at lower levels want first-team football, and they aren’t as wedded to the idea of staying at the club as getting that first-team football. That’s Samper, Grimaldo and any other body toiling away at Barça B right now, or ever. Makes perfect sense. For an academy, bringing talent along at the right pace – for player and first team – is crucial. Sometimes the player is more impatient than he should be. Other times the club agrees to a contract clause that it shouldn’t have, and players leave before their “time.”

When that happens, it sucks. But it can also be argued that rarely does a youth player leave before his time. Before Thiago, who was the last youth player to leave the club who had culers rending garments and tearing hair in the way that Thiago, and now Samper have? What you as a supporter have to hope is that there is a plan, a path to the first team that has been laid out for the player, even as club and coach owe us exactly zero when it comes to explaining what might be going on. This makes supporters, based on who is managing the club, see the worst. But sometimes bad timing can also lead to a youth transfer.

Players come and go

Grimaldo and Samper are toiling away for Barça B, a side trying to hack its way out of the Segunda B thicket. Grimaldo and Samper are also very talented and rumored to be on the move, Grimaldo on a free and Samper to Arsenal, because that club serves the bogeyman need. “They always take our youth players!” Both were rumored for first team football this season, and neither one was promoted. Now what?

Lots of people are stupid, at all levels of the club, so many assert. The club is losing another jewel, Enrique won’t give them a chance, the board wants to monetize youth players, there is no long-term planning, etc, etc. Should rumor come to pass, it will be nothing more than an employee wanting a better job.

A youth player at the Barça B level isn’t a babe in the woods He’s a professional, with agents and advisers and an entourage. For me, what made the Thiago transfer vexing was less that he was a talent the club developed, and more that a kick-ass player left, even as his leaving made perfect sense for him. Passion shouldn’t preclude logic. Samper and/or Grimaldo would be foolish to stay at Barça if they think they can get a better job. And that is nobody’s fault except the breaks of the game, and building a team to meet the insatiable demands that a board and supporters have for silverware.

Barça isn’t unique in its necessity for balancing youth development with the necessities of first-team success. Denis Suarez came to Barça because he was impatient at City. Things don’t always work out as they should for player and club, even as supporters try to find explanations why things aren’t happening as so many believe they should.

“Enrique likes big, physical midfielders and that’s why he doesn’t like Samper,” is a favorite. Reckon he’s chomping at the bit to replace Iniesta with Matuidi, Rakitic with some Premiership bruiser. Lord knows why he countenanced the purchase of Arda Turan, who Toure Yaya can wear as an amulet. Passion and fervor need to find a reason why Samper isn’t in the first team. Quality can’t be the reason, even as supporters are ill-equipped to judge talent in the way that coaches are. Yes, coaches make mistakes, or a player can be talented enough but have a more talented player blocking his path. Breaks of the game.

Que sera, sera

This is easy to type for someone who isn’t really all that interested in players as entities, but players come and go, and that’s okay. Rare is the player that a big club wants to keep and can by taking a reasonable action, who is allowed to leave. Grimaldo and Samper are caught up in a brutal first team environment. Remember how stupid coach after coach was for not playing Montoya? Vilanova, Martino, Enrique, all stupid. #freemontoya! He was loaned to Inter Milan, where another coach’s name can be added to the stupid pile.

It wasn’t that long ago that players such as Gio Dos Santos, Gai Assulin and Andreu Fontas were moved along without that much of a collective peep from the culerverse. Dos Santos even had a hat trick in his final Barça match. The ire at the potential loss of a youth talent is easy to understand because emotion aside, talent is expensive in the open market.

Logic argues that if Samper goes anywhere it will be on a loan or, as is the new club policy, sale with buyback. Because starting next season he will need lots of first-team football to develop, more than Barça could possibly offer and more than Arsenal could possibly offer. The biggest necessity for youth players is patience, for everyone involved.

As fond as we all are of the cradle-to-retirement nature of the club and that La Masia turns out these talented, hard-hearted gems with ball skills and an insatiable desire for beautiful goals, Masia roots aren’t the be all and end all, right? We know this because of the excitement that comes from rumors about transfers from other clubs, excitement that often doesn’t think a whole lot about what the transfer might mean for potential Masia graduates. And that’s fine, because the quality of the player as related to first team needs, should be paramount. Nobody wants an all-Masia XI that is playing in Europa League. So people get swoony over the potential of Paul Pogba without fully considering what paying 90m for a 22-year-old midfielder would be saying to the other attacking mids who are almost ready to graduate.

And that leads to more transfer rumors, more buzz about this player or that player leaving. But those comings and goings are logical, just part of the business that is football.

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. Yes, the everlasting dilemma, which is emphasised by a mythologized youth system: educate new players, value the home-grown, balance their inclusion in squad, allow room for development while at the same remaining top 3 clubs in the world… it is a treacherous game, this, bringing in superstars to boost the team, without losing the La Masia/Catalan identity. And this has become even more difficult as our expectations of the youth system are inflated due to some very anomalous years that will not return in a hundred years, if ever…

    Consider when Iniesta disappears, Messi fades, Piqué, Busquets… they carry the “heritage” as of now. Will it be, say, Neymar, Pogba, Coutinho, Reus and Halilovic (hardly home grown…), after this? Let’s hope Deloufeu, Samper and Munir will bloom…

  2. Hopefully completely off topic here, Kxevin, but ESPN are reporting that Messi is still going to stand trial at the insistence of the State prosecutor. Begins ( or continues to ) look like a witch hunt which is not going to play well in Catalunya, methinks.

    With regard to the article, I’m not clear what your view is on Samper other than to let it all play out. I’d have no complaints if Samper were given a couple of games to see how he does with Iniesta and if it doesn’t work fair enough. Sanchez was given a fair crack of the whip and found a little wanting, as far as Barca was concerned, whereas he can shine at Arsenal. Thiago probably hadn’t had enough time in he firsts and anyway the player who can sit Busi, Iniesta or Xavi in their prime doesn’t exist so I could see the sense in him going although the manner of it didn’t endear him to me at all.

    However, Samper hasn’t had this and in a midfield I think we can all agree is really struggling. Not sure I believe the Arsenal rumour but if it proves correct are we really saying that someone who is wanted by a (decent?) CL team , already full of decent midfielders, isn’t worth a tryout first ? I do think LE’s preference is for a more physical team. Maybe Turan was bought as an Iniesta sub or maybe Rakitic’s place is in a bit more jeopardy.

    With you completely on the waste that would be Pogba at 90m.

  3. For me, La Masia isn’t there to supply us with a squad of 25 players. It’s there to hopefully supply the backbone of the first XI and supplement the rest of the squad with players of adequate quality so as to not require purchases of ‘squad players’.
    My ideal situation would be to have something like 5-6 starters from La Masia along with the best in the world around them, and another 5-6 in the squad with other players making up for what isn’t available in the youth system.
    This isn’t far from what we have only that the non La Masia squad players that we currently have are not up to standard.

    If someone isn’t good enough for the first team then they really shouldn’t be in the squad regardless of whether they came through the system.

    I often get very attached to Barca players and tend to follow their careers even after they leave. Players like Icardi, Sanabria and Bellerin who never made the forest team or even close I still hope that they come back, like Pique, when they are of adequate quality.
    Thiago had no interest in staying as soon as another team offered him more game time and, while I understand his decision, I believe that he abused a clause to force his exit so I don’t have any interest in his career.

  4. For me, its a question of balance. However much it might be a fantasy for some, a team of 11 Xavis is probably not going to be that good a team (a team of Messis might just be the exception here). One of the things LE did last season was to balance the team between what I call “skill” players and “physical” players. And I’m not at all suggesting physical players aren’t skillful, but I’d classify Iniesta as a skillful player and someone like Mascherano as a physical player. Since Xavi was replaced, the reduction in creativity was balanced out by Messi dropping deeper. So the players in a team can be bucketed into various categories. The problem is, unless there is room in that category, its going to be hard for someone to break into it. Maybe, in Samper’s case, his profile doesn’t exactly match what LE feels in lacking in this team. Maybe according to LE, the team already has enough players that match Samper’s profile.

  5. Arda Turan is such a quality player.I can see playing a midfield of 5 men.Busi-Raki,Iniesta-Messi-Turan.Against top teams that can work in a 3-5-2.

  6. I cant find the logic when someone say that 90m for Pogba is crazy money but 53m for Laporte is fair.I believe that a club like Barca must spend crazy money only for attacking players.We are not Chelsea or PSG.We were,we are and we always will be an attacking team so we can have players like Macherano,Bartra or Mathieu in our squad and not to spend mad money on CBs.Pogba is not a 90m player now but he will be the best midfielder in the world.If we spend 50m for a CB then we will buy some young talented MF but we already have a bunch of those.We need the machine of Paul in our midfield.

  7. And people must never forget that last 15 years we never spend crazy money for CBs.Marquez,Thuram,Chigrinsky,e.t.c never were top class or expensive signings.The solution for me is to have better squouting for 18-19y old CBs and save the money for the best attackers or attacking mids as we did with Ney Suarez Sanchez e.t.c.

    1. That sounds worryingly like the not-so-successful “Zidanes y Pavones” strategy that a certain other Spanish club attempted a few years back!

      FCB aren’t a defensive team, but balance is crucial and only Bartra (and maybe Pique?) has another 5 years of top-level football – Verm turns 30 next month, Mascherano and Mathieu are already past that point and can’t be expected to contribute at the same level in the coming seasons…

  8. Great picture of Pedro! He was the perfect example of a player with talent desire and play for Barca mentality. I never got that from Alexis or Thiago or Delafeu. I do believe Sergi Roberto and Munir have it. Fabregas? Obviously he had great desire and talent in open play, but against the packed defense, Rakatic much better even though he gets tons of criticism. I bet Fabregas would shine on the team right now. I don’t know anything about Samper but if he leaves it’s because of his own personal goals or because he can’t help us right now and is not developing on the squad he’s on. If Barca are behind it there’s no reason to believe that the move will be both for his best interests and Barcas future interests. Hallovic is higher up the power ratings right so he would be first in line to be brought in. One of the reasons I love Barca is that they value their players so much more than peons on a quest. Their success because their players devotion is so high they play as a team better than others top player to bottom. Their payroll the highest out there and up against the cap. Players all leave at some point, I never read a bad word, mostly “those were the best days”

  9. Trying not to misunderstand this article, but if its exactly what i think its to be, then i pointedly Disagree, wholeheartedly.
    If you feel, if Samper should leave to Arsenal its no big deal, its one of those things, its happens, then i think its sad.
    If you feel that way, then you probably shoudnt have had any qualms about Thiago leaving
    He isnt good enough to be given atleast a try out in the liga, yet you conveniently forget the case of Gumbau and lately Camara. As it is he can leave, its nobody’s fault, no one did nothing to cause that, players can leave for the right conditions.
    And for that last point i’m really suprised, we both know Samper case is nothing about leaving because of Right Conditions- an example of some suprising points i find in these argument

    I personally dont think there’s any argument about this, there’s nothing to argue about IMO.

    I get the hints of a pro -LE stance and tone here- sorry thats how i see it
    So samper is the guy who is propping the B team up, the main guy there, the one who even given one cameo in the UCl, the B team would be doomed for relegation( dont ask me if the B team has got games on UCL night) and yet he’s supposedly inferior to Halilovic, right? Good thinking
    He supposedly dont fit LE’s players profile, and i ask whats the definition of his players profile?? He’s so bad that he cant even be given a cameo- even in a tired midfield, one desperately in need of fresh-blood. Nope he aint good enough.
    And some people would always comfortably and confidently back those logic. Again i’m suprised
    Not attacking any comments here, just taking note of some of the points used to back LE, and expressing my Candid Suprise at them

    I’m personally tired of this arguments, of continually holding brief for LE. If yo think Samper can leave, that it fine, it happens, no problem let all fold our hands, put our legs up, and watch him leave, and while you are at that, throw in Halilovic, Suarez, grimaldo in that list too. They can all leave.
    And maybe in the future God can bless us with another LE-esque coach, who’d also go on to let the best prodigy’s from the B team waltz outta the club.
    Lets all just watch on and quit the arguments atleast, they can all leave, aint no big deal. We could always get a pogba for 90m right??

    1. Not being funny cyclops but how many times have you scouted Samper? How many times have you seen him train? Spoke to him? Seen him interact with his teammates?
      I’m guessing that Lucho knows more about Samper than me so I’m guessing that there’s a reason that he isn’t in the squad.
      Could Lucho be wrong? Of course but he is certainly in a better position than any of us to make that decision.

      For that matter, who’s to say that Samper will end up a better footballer than Gumbau? There were plenty more talented players than Puyol who never made it.

    2. So he may go to Arsenal? That’s great news better would be An attacking La Liga side but a solid choice for sure. His development will be so much faster than at Barca B right now plus a few odd minutes with the first team. Watching Gumbau for bits of 2 games I don’t think a quality side would take him at this level

  10. Why we forget that Thiago coach at Barca B was Lucho??I believe that Lucho is not that he dont trust young players.But that he maybe is not the coach who can develope them and have the knowledge to make them first team material.That is not so tragic.Mourinio,Ancellotti and other managers have the same problem.And there other coaches who are great for youngsters but they cant deal with star players.LuisVanGaal or Pep with Ibra.It s obvious that Lucho is a pragmatist who wants win in every game.Is he selfish??Offcourse that s his job.Because he is coaching Barca not Ajax.I am sure that he would be happy to play Grimaldo Samper and others in a Liga game.But if points were dropped,he know what could happen to him and the boys.I understand the critics against him but the people must not be hypocrites.They want LaMasia players but they also want wins every game and also amazing football….he is no god.Nobody is.

    1. Gotta say LE is developing Sergi Roberto, Rafinha and Munir brilliantly! Now he wants Nolito so he can finish that project!

  11. Was Frank Rajkard a genius?As we saw after Barca he did not do nothing special.But he was the coach that bring Leo to first team.He trusted Iniesta.Maybe then we had better coaches in b team and youth teams that helped the kids to develop and be ready for first team.Maybe Eusebio was a big mistake and he did not help the kids to develop.I just believe people are unfair to Lucho.He have 3 stars in the team and he can have them happy.Thats not easy and i am not sure that Pep would make them happy too.Every coach have the positives and the negatives.

    1. Don’t forget that Barca B getting relegated along with FIFA ban has really complicated everything for players coaches and management. It’ may set them back a few years but I trust that their philosophy will stay the same and they’ll become just as strong as when Lucho and those before him were in charge.

  12. Well, nope i never scouted Samper, just as none of us ever scouted Gumbau when he got a first team call up, and i think its quite out of line to ask that, (potentially good) players dont need to be scouted by fans to get a call up now, do they?

    And we shouldnt mix things up here, this is not about whether Samper is better than Gumbau or camara or not.
    I personally bring those two into my arguments just to make a point. The argument here is Why Samper isnt getting any call ups. Gumbau only comes into this, bcause i’m trying to wrap my head around how Gumbau could be ready for first team football and Samper not ready

    So nope, i particularly i’m not saying Samper would end up better than Gumbau or that he’d end up a worldclass player. All i’m saying is he’s got the potentials apparently, so just give him one chance lets all see what he’s got. Thats all. He’s not good enough, and we- i particularly, would keep my mouth shut. But just give him that chance atleast- which judging from the current state of our squad isnt such an impossibility
    I wonder why and how this is turning into a big deal..

    1. I suppose the point is that surely Lucho has a better understanding of both the teams needs and his players’ abilities. I doubt that it’s a personality clash a la Van Gaal & Valdes.
      I also believe that slow and steady is much more beneficial than throwing a youngster in at the deep end for their progression. Leo has changed everyone’s perception about a youngster being ready for the first team but at Samper’s age there are very few footballers that were playing at first team level at a team of the level of Barca.

    2. That is to say, with Cyclops’ arguments (not so easy to get it with the formatting here).

  13. Barça B full-back Alejandro Grimaldo did not hold back when asked to explain his relationship with first team boss Luis Enrique.
    After the B team’s win over Alcoyano on Sunday, the defender passed through the mixed zone, where he spoke to RAC1, saying his relationship with Enrique is non-existent.
    “He has never said anything to me, I have not had any contact with him,” he said.
    Grimaldo didn’t bite his tongue, adding: “I don’t have anything to speak to him about, either.”
    The 20-year-old, who has not had any ivolvement with the first team as injuries have set in, therefore, is focused on doing a job for the second team.
    “I work with my manager [Gerard Lopez]. I got on well with him, he helps me with everything and he helps me be better.
    “Let him higher up [in the first team] be with his players and let me be with my team.”
    It seems evident that Alejandro Grimaldo is a little disappointed to have not been needed by the first team.
    Luis Enrique has used other players, as is the case with Camara, who plays on the left wing and has been spending time with the Asturian and the first team.

  14. So according to Grimaldo Barca and Barca B are two teams that belongs to different clubs???

  15. Some names:Oriol Romeu,Marc Muniesa,Giovanni Dos Santos,Jonathan Dos Santos,Mauro Icardi,Ruben Rochina,Gai Assulin,Martin Riverola,Carles Planas,Ilie Sanchez,Fontas,Sergio Gomez e.t.c.Players of B team when Guardiola was the coach.Where are they now?Away.Did they had the chances to prove themselves for the first team?Nope.But you will not read their names in youncules account or other accounts.

    1. You should open a Twitter account. Then you can rant at YoungCules or whoever that has a different opinion as yours. What is the point of ranting here where people have no clue where it came from.

      Now that we’re on the topic, this displays another problem with his man management skills. Not even giving the B team captain and one of the best performer last season a look in and not even talking to him??

      What is the B team there for? To provide the first team the best players Not promoting players to know them better. So what message does it send to the other players? The deserving ones won’t get chances, the unknown ones will.

  16. We lost in 2008 maybe the best talent after Leo from youth teams.Giovanni Dos Santos.If u ask a Pep Fanboy he will tell u that Giovanni was a bad character and stuff like that.And we sold him for peanuts.We lost in 2011 Mauro Icardi.Imagine that if we would hap keep them how much money we would had save from expensive transfers.If u want just go back and look Barca B squad of 2009-10 season.And then look last season or current season.La Masia is in danger is the biggest joke.

  17. I prefer Barca B in segunda b or tercera with 17-18-19y old players from La Masia than finished 3d in Segunda with veterans and transfers.Btw the fack that Juvenil A won the Champions League in 2014 was a fact that La Masia is in danger??The antiBarto agenda must have the fair reasons and not stupid reasons that Grimaldo is a whiny boy.

  18. And something last:How many youth players use Lucho and how many Pep at Bayern?Tell me one player Pep promoted and make him a starter at Bayern.One.There is not.But people will say that if Pep was here Samper and Grimaldo would blah blah blah.If Samper go to Arsenal or Grimaldo to Benfica good luck boys but forget about CL glory.Ask Thiago,he knows;-)

  19. Friend, numerous B team players had their debut under Pep, if you comfortably forgot their names, here’s a couple; Sergi roberto, Deulofuo, Tello, Ceunca, Dos santos, Affelay, The much talked about (maligned?) Thaigo, and a host of others.
    And its not suprising that you deliberately forgot that, at all. As regards the names yo mentioned, i’m gonna use one of the lines from a comments here: Pep’s no God, you really dont expect him to field all the dozens of players in the la masia,,, what do we have a first team for again please?

    Even if you are convinced LE is a genius, i think admitting that he got this one(atleast) wrong wont make much difference, wont mean you think he’s a bad coach
    As the Grimaldo case just clearly proves, LE is losing the plot. This is not just about Samper, its about the Academy players in general
    Dont its beat your imaginations, how a coach supposedly offered Adraino a new contract- without much ado, yet to do the same for a far better Dani alves wasn an issue.
    And so you gave Adraino a new contract, yet when Alba is out of the squad, you slot in Mathieu to cover for him, and whenever Adraino even gets to play he’s nothing short of miserable- meanwhile mathieu himself isnt much better, now how do you explain that ????

    And that has turned out to be one of the major catalyst of the drubbing the team has recieved in recent times. Yet the coach’s not moved. Give a player a contract extension yet you dont play him, and when you do, he’s better not even being on the pitch. And there’s a certain Grimaldo who we can all agree is far better than Adraino or Mathieu, yet he dosnt evenas much as look in his direction.
    And i’m wondering what arguments you’d come up for LE this time; that Grimaldo’s not good enough, unfortunately that one wont hold this time. or maybe he dosnt fit the Coach player profiles?

    Deulofuo was sent packing, i had problems with that, but some claimed he isnt developed enough, and i wonder if players development isnt part of LE’s vocabulary,,, Adama, was also shipped off, they also said he isnt good enough, never mind the fact that bayern wanted him,,
    and for those going on and on about Halilovic, dont let the loan deal decieve you, its dosnt gurantee nothing, the coach might as well end up treating him as he’d treated others…
    No one said Samper should be made a first teamer over night, we’re saying give him cameos here and there, let him know he’s being noticed, thats he’s future is secured to an extent.. But no, the whole thing keeps being twisted up, and now the damning statement from Grimaldo just says it all… Still waiting for the argument that’d be put up for LE there

    All in all, the way LE has handled the Academy players has left much to be desired.
    It suggest anything but having an interest in those players. And simply admitting that, wouldnt hurt anybody…

  20. ….and just to add, in one of the liga games Pep fielded an entire XI of B teamers and they comprehensively overrun their opponents, so chill guy, thats not the point here, dont let us go there..

  21. my question will be ‘what kind of profile is Enrique looking for in his mieldfield that doesn’t match samper or grimaldo profile?. Give them chance and let’s judge them ourselves. beside will always be a player in the team who will be least talented your team can’t be made up of 11 genius .

  22. I don’t normally agree with Cyclop’s general narrative but I think he/she is on point here. I am a bit perplexed as to Adriano starting over a young Masia trained prospect. Adriano has been poor for a few years now, noticeably poor, and Mathieu, while perhaps only having a moment of poor form at CB has never showed much promise at the LB role (although I think that was a reasonable strategy employed by LE at first).

    I do respect that we fans really don’t know what’s going on, but Cyclops is right, you can still respect LE has a coach and reasonably be perplexed/disagree with the lack of youth utilization whilst in the midst of a transfer ban and an inordinate amount of injuries to starters, specifically I think with Grimaldo. That being said, any narrative about LE not giving youth players a shot falls short. Raf and SR, along with Munir and Sandro have gotten playing time.

  23. It has gotten to a weird stage in culerville, if you appreciate anything that Pep did you hate Lucho and if you agree with anything done by Lucho, he’s better than Pep and Pep is overrated.

    You can’t seem to say anything about either coach without everything being compared to the other. Lucho has his flaws, as did Pep. Both were great for Barca for different reasons and neither would have been likely to succeed in the other coaches time in charge.
    Both brought some young players up and both made the most out of some players that shouldn’t have been up to scratch.

    Both wasted youngsters with great potential and had personality clashes with players to varying degrees.

    Can we just have an opinion on a subject without having to justify it in regards to the other manager.

    1. See I’m not seeing that, Ciaran. It has been turned into that by Luis’ comments continually berating critics by saying that Pep was just as bad. Don’t see why it has to follow that line. If we had to compare them, to me, Pep had the better team but LE has by far the better forward line to work with but I don’t see things in just that way. Pep is gone and the issues LE faces are not those which Pep faced. My concerns are how he is handling these.

      Two other quick thoughts. Thiago is starting to look good judging by the Spanish game last night. Happy for him because of his injuries but the goodwill ends there.

      Second is that Petr Cech is giving a masterclass in how to play as a sweeper keeper in the Holland vs Czech Rep game. His position is constantly changing changing backwards and forwards but he is only ever exposed at the edge of his area when a through ball is played. Czech Rep down to 10 but 3-1 up. Good game to watch. If you miss it be sure to catch up with RVP’s on goal. It’s a cracker.

  24. Lesson:I remember the crowd:Buy Cuardarado,buy Cuadrado!Stupid board it s only 40m!!Thank God we did not buy him!Oh and Argentina without Leo will not be in WC 2018.

  25. Lolness, Deerwithwings, its a ‘HE’ *phew*
    You dont agree with my general narrative; thats a line that kinda sounds cool, ‘cept that i’m the subject here, but its fine.We’re probably on different grounds,so i really dont expect you to agree with my me

    Regarding LE supposedly developing Munir and Sandro, i deliberately skipped that, cause i just didnt felt like going there
    But consider this; lots of the arguments put forward by many against Samper is he isnt good enough, and in fact he’d flop in his liga debut, yet Sandro and Munir have gotten about a dozen games for the senior team, and pray; have they impressed?The answer to that is a blatant NO. yet weirdly, the coach dosnt seem to mind. despite some suggesting that its cause of such he isnt giving Samper a chance, it dosnt seems to apply to Munir and Sandro

    While i dont have any doubt that Munir is a talented player, he just hasnt proved anything yet, and really that should give a coach the freehand to try out other talents- who are probably even better than him. Not saying he should be cast aside, but you’d think its when a player is doing exceptionally well that he prevents other players from taking his spot. In this case he isnt doing too well, and oddly whenever the senior team is short on players, he always goes back to Munir and sandro

    Now most coaches, even if Munir and Sandro were playing well, to be fair, they’d give a couple more B teamers a tryout, and let they show what they’ve got. How much more when they aint even playing well?
    At the beggining of the season, LE suggested he’d be looking to the B team for players, yet i can assure you that he’s hardly looked past Munir and Sandro-players that are hardly B teamers.
    I’d say he’s doing a great job looking to the B team for players.

    So whenever the team’s in need of players nd its suggested he goes to the B team for players, he always runs to his safe haven; Munir and Sandro. Makes you wonder if its really about players development or just a way of avoiding certain B teamers he dosnt want to pick. Thats just in the forward, to balance that, he got Gumbau for the Midfield, and BAM, he now has an excuse in Gumbau to avoid picking any Mids from the B team he dosnt want to pick. nd yeah, Adraino is the excuse for not picking a B team leftback *coughs* grimaldo*coughs*. thats laughable tho’, i suppose he couldnt find a LB in the B team that suit his purpose
    You think its farfetch? i’d like you to answer how much Munir and Sandro has advance since LE supposedly took to developing them?
    Yet oddly he aint got no problem with that. Infact, there both doing just fine, so he dosnt need to look past them for other options

    Admittedly (sadly) this may sound quite ludricrous, but the general point is; taking a critical look at the guys people alway scream that he’s developing; Munir nd Sandro nd lately Gumbau,- while keeping the B team in Mind, this all smells like anything you can possibly think of but never about Players Development…

  26. …Meanwhile a certain Barca B director “explained” the reason for LE action as regard Samper. According to his brilliant explanation, LE called up Gumbau so he could know everything about him, as he’d supposedly already known everything about Samper, hence he didnt needed to be given a call up, as it was the turn of some other player, to get familliar with the gaffer

    Now, how lame a reasoning is that people??!?!!
    That fellow should go back home already, and start reading Mundo deportivo, or more like Marca- its fit nicely with his level of reasoning

    As for the Dutch hoofing the ball, ha ha ha, you havn’t seen nothing. The day barca started blasting the ball outta their defence, and had like atleast a total of Four hoofed ball throughout the match, Total football officially got murdered

    Meanwhile, Isnt Arda Turan aka terror to referees a genuis???? Man, the dude is doing all manner of illegal stuff at the Euros, sensational
    Damn, these scientist havn’t quite cracked that dodgy code of Time Travel yet, what a perfect time to Time Travel to January…

  27. Suarez, Rakitić, Vermaelen, Mathieu, Arda.
    Lucho seems to want immediate impact and despise long term project.
    Anyway he is right as he knows he will be sack within 5 yrs, given the high expectations from the fans as well as the board.

  28. am freakingly tired of all these arguments about lucho don’t want to give samper and grimaldo a shot. I wish if enrique is seeing the amount of critics he is receiving from social media for not picking them and try to justify his stance( at least to prove us wrong), as someone mentioned earlier it the emergence of messi really changed the perspectives of the young team players. Any hot prospect from the B team is considered a success, which is naïve if you don’t mind my saying! I really like lucho’s don’t give a damn personality, he simply don’t care about our whining and bashing because he has a footballing project to achieve before his time is up , if he see’s that those set of players doesn’t fit his profile then fine, we should bear with it and wait for a coach who we think we percieved same thoughts and idea’s on how to manage young prospects! Pep?
    Am not trying to evince that lucho is quite right for not opting for samper or grimaldo but am trying to hint out the logic behind his stance! Its a matter of perspectives if pep see’s that he can build his team with young players and let them integrates slowly into the first team then lucho see’s it differently from his own point of view. Its quite healthy to doubt or criticise your coach when you think he is not doing his job rightly, but its quite ridiculous and imprudent to acquire it as a habit and lash out critics on him whenever something unpleasant happens, sometimes I finds that tiring to be alwys nit picking lucho’s line up’s, squad selections, substitutions, game tactics and B team inclusion, in twitter some folks even blames lucho for injuries and tons of missed chances which profoundly comical, at least we should give the man a breath to draw,
    These situation riminieced last season critics, culers were pessimistic and lacking logic and confidence to trust lucho(especially this site) some called for lucho’s head, and I still remember some who admitted that lucho inspires zero confidence in them and he is not the coach barcelona should hire, some opted for klop ,velverde, and even some wanted mourinho which I found appalling, but at the end enrique walked over all these and proved many people wrong and handed us the treble, but despite that some still didn’t gave him the credit he deserved and began to solely give the credit of our triumph to MSN ! Wat our defence? Our non-existent mid?the boldness and steel character of our coach??? We should always give credit where its due,

    Back to samper and grimaldo, they are a magnificent set of players we desperately need at the moment in our own point of view, but lucho knows what he wants , if he think that both of them are not ready yet for the team then its quite unacceptable considering the inclusion of Gumbau and camara to the first team which makes me cringe and have butterflies in my stomach, samper and grimaldo are far better than those two who undeservely earned thier call up, but am quite sure there must be a method in lucho’s madness, he is not blind to fail to see all the huge potential talents in those two Gems, but it seems they are not in his plans for this season and the more logic perception to justify his stance is may be he wants them to focus more in the B Team at least for this year to help them get back to 2nd division, hence there are no any hot prospects in the b team at the moment bar grimaldo and samper,


  29. Perhaps the Argentinians (and other critics) now understand what Messi brings to the team, what a difference he can make…

    1. Dont think so friend. Someone even commented, Tevez has taken a hit for the team!!!
      Anyways, there are few who started realising that it was Messi who dragged them to the two recent finals. Without him, none can initiate attack in the middle it seems.

      It looks like both Martino and Tevez will be there, at least until the end of qualifiers, leaving fans without any hope. Most are already predicting a situation in which Argentina will have to play the qualifiers, a la Maradona times. AFA has never fired a coach. So even if both Brazil and Columbia win in the next games, which is almost guaranteed now, Martino would continue. I have to appreciate his courage though, to still insist that his team is playing well!!!

    2. I cant help appreciate Sabella even more now after looking at the naive Tata. Sabella realised very early that Argentina do not have the best defenders to play highline defence, nor quality midfielders to play a possession game. So he asked the fab four to counter attack, and they almost cruised through the last WCQ’s.
      Tata, instead, keeps insisting on playing possession with highline and during the friendlies when it was time to test his different youth, he didnt, and throw them out into the blood, during the real WCQ match. Unbelievable.

    3. Tata is a complete joke. His defenders grow fewer by the day. It’s shameful he’s in charge of the GOAT

  30. check this link and you will be stunned to hear that Enrique use more B player across top 5 European team than any coach even our renown guardiola. …. . I just wish to see samper in action the guy look like only thing close to xavi @ the moment. Luis hear my plea please ,I don’t wish to see this guy left the club without been giving time to prove himself .samper you should be patient too.

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