To start with, an apology: No new posts for some two days has the suck. We’re aware of this, and it doesn’t fill our hearts with song. It won’t happen again.
Now, to begin with, an interesting perspective on the Eto’o-Ibrahimovic swap. No, it doesn’t come from a “reputable news source,” but precious little does in this world of ours. The long and short of it is that we came out ahead. Now, I know that this startles some people, who believe that the Ibrahimovic experiment isn’t working and “Lord, how I wish we had Eto’o back.”
But the piece is worth a read.
–Meanwhile, who the hell is Park Sheng Ho and why do we care about him? Well right now, we don’t. But if the 13-year-old fulfills the promise of being “the Korean Messi,” we will care a great deal in 5 or 6 years. We have apparently outstripped pretty much every big club in Europe in securing the signature of the wee one, who will be joining our La Masia for proper indoctrination into the Barca Way.
–Is Txiki B out? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some say that he has already decided to leave, and will announce his depature in April. Others say that presidential candidates and wannabes such as Jaume Ferrer and Alfons Godall will rock the “Please, baby please, babybabybaby please,” on him, assuring him that he won’t be a sitting duck when front-runner Sandro Rosell turns the trick, wins the election and fires his ass. Stay tuned.
–And speaking of Rosell, eminently reliable source AS, an entity that is but a consonant away from being appropriately named, says that Rosell has been trying to lock up Franck Ribery, but that Scarface has said that he only wants to play for That Other Spanish Team. Whatevs, kids. Whatevs.
–You may have stumbled across a Facebook group, “Si som 5,000 em presento.” This is the cyber-entity of Carles Rexach, who is saying that if 5,000 people join the FB group, he would stand for the Barca presidency. He’s got ’em, so let’s see. (By the by, you can find fun stuff and people by searching for various names on Twitter and FB. You’ll find Xavier “Your mama dresses you funny” Martin,” and Alfons Godall, to name a couple.)
And speaking of presidential shenanigans, Jaume Guixa is calling for the resignation of Joan Laporta, saying that the King of Catalunya’s aspirations threaten to distract from the club and its mission, and heaven forfend that a president should distract from everyone’s mission by having ambition, or having press conferences that call for very successful presidents to resign from the club.
Um, wait. Never mind that last one.
–Xavi is defending Henry, sort of, saying that he thinks that too much is being made about the fact that he isn’t playing. (Um, say what now?) Further, that Henry works like a dog in traning, is always trying to make the most of his efforts and is a role model in the locker room. So people who are saying that he’s washed up, and good riddance should just shut up.
Guardiola is saying that if he is washed up, it’s all his fault, and that he’s here to help whenever Henry decides that he’s ready to become a French lion again.
Henry acknowledges his deficiencies in both fitness and match pace, and says that he understands his role on the bench, and why he’s there.
–Messi sucks, if you believe the Argentine media, who are on our small wonder again after his sleepwalk through the friendly with Germany. Good thing we know that he doesn’t.
–In the “without” basket, as he head to plucky-but-doomed Almeria, we will be without Pique (suspension), Keita and Abidal.
–Now for the “Huh? What?” file, rumors that we are going to sell Gabi “We hardly knew ye” Milito to Inter Milan, are bouncing about like mad. Some are calling bullshit on them, others are saying not so fast. I say it isn’t such a bad deal. He’ll play well, be healthy and be on borrowed time with that knee of his. But with the young back line folks that we have out on loan (Botia, Caceres, Adriano), in addition to the ones in the pipeline (Muniesa, Bartra), we can afford the sale before it creates a hole in our roster.
And Hleb’s agent says that we are going to recall his recalcitrant Belorussian charge this summer. My guess, however, would be so that we can make sure he doesn’t have the plague, then ship his ass off to the highest bidder. In something that will appall, word is that we’ll take 5m for him. Damn, yo. That’s cold. It’s also one hell of a depreciation from the original sale price.
–Everybody missed this one, but the president of La Liga has noted that the Big Two are even bigger now, and it sucks, for both the aspirants, and the show. But he has no freakin’ idea what to do about it, other than to try to impose fiscal logic on the Liga minnows, which will make the gap between them and the Big Two …. well …. even more extended. Go figure.
–Keita and Abidal are progressing, and should both return early from their injuries. Both are still working apart from the group, but well ahead of schedule, as per usual with our physios. Keita is expected to be available for Valencia.