Paulinho Arrived At The Worst Time Ever

Going through your twitter profile the only thing you will ever read about is Barcelona’s board. To be fair, Barcelona is in fact going through a very tough situation. But as the problems get bigger, the outcry becomes more and more ridiculous. And what do you do in this situation? You find yourself reading tweets and going: “You do know it is fine to hate the board yet love, respect, and have faith in the players and the club?”. With all the anger involved, people lose sense of what the word support means. So the hate which is directed towards the management suddenly becomes directed at anything that possibly represents Barcelona. I do not really understand how that happens but overreaction is what it is and it carries different forms.

Robert Fernandez went out to say: “After Verratti, we focused on Paulinho”. And therefore, we signed Paulinho.

Paulinho’s transfer caused the worst possible reaction by Barcelona fans worldwide. I read twitter feeds, Facebook feeds, Instagram comments, and if there was any platform in the world where Barcelona was being discussed I would be reading that one too. My eyes told me nothing different than what I already knew: No one wanted Paulinho.

As a matter of fact, no one outside the Barcelona offices truly wanted Paulinho. Well, there is one person who wanted the transfer to happen, and it was Paulinho himself.

Paulinho spent the summer discussing how big of a chance this is, how proud he is to be linked to the club and all that good stuff. Personally, all I ever thought about was: “Okay, you seem like a nice dedicated guy, but let’s not…”

Paulinho is a result of the board’s lack of options and incompetence. Barcelona fans were never as angry about a transfer because this one couldn’t have come at a worse time. Paulinho was announced right after we were obviously outplayed by Real Madrid. You know, the same Real Madrid that is currently the best team in the world. There is also that one incident where Barcelona lost its second best player and of course the fact that the club could not sign Verratti and the Dembele & Coutinho ‘news’ being too messy and unclear. The man really could not have come at a worse time.

Paulinho doesn’t help himself either. He is one of those guys who went to China. These are the players who will continue to be recognized as players who did not care about the glory as much as they cared about their bank account. What made it worse is that his reputation in the premier league does not help him either. It all looks fishy and unimpressive.

It all came full circle with Paulinho’s signing. The Brazilian became a symbol of the entire club’s failure, not just the board. How can you get people to love or take in a player that arrived in such a setting? It’s simple, you cannot.

Paulinho is a result of chaos, anger, and failure. Well, at least that’s how he looks like.

In reality, he is not any of this. He is just a player who received an offer to play at one of the most impressive clubs in the world and live in a gorgeous city. Also, he did not play a single game for the club yet. So, as much as everyone, including myself, does not trust the board’s decisions, a player should be evaluated based on his dedication to the club and what he actually achieves.

After Paulinho’s career became completely irrelevant by him moving to China, the world decided that this man deserves another chance in Europe and we are the club which gave him that chance. No, it was not a good decision, not even close. It was not good because there were countless better options. But, to say I know anything about Paulinho would be a huge lie.

As a matter of fact, I do not think anyone gave him any type of attention ever since he moved to China, and rightfully so. The details about Paulinho’s career there are so scarce that you will only find some irrelevant stats about him and a couple of articles which may not be exactly accurate at all. There is also that “he is alright for Brazil” statement which does not tell much either. This only indicates that no one really knows anything yet. Sometimes we sign far better players yet we also know that adapting to Barcelona is a task on its own and evaluating a transfer before the season even started seems a bit over the top.

Valverde will get him settled soon enough and he will play his heart out and only then will anything about Paulinho matter. His spell at Spurs does not matter, his effort for Brazil does not matter, whatever he did in China does not matter and why the board even thought about signing him does not matter.

The only thing that matters is that when Paulinho puts on an official match shirt and enters a match for FC Barcelona, he realises that he has the fans’ support and therefore should do the impossible to put the club back where it belongs.

He should have the fans’ support because this was never about him and this decision, regardless of its outcome, was never his own.

He should play his heart out because he plays for the greatest club in the world and in a season like this, we need every single player to be at his absolute best.


  1. Well said. I don’t know much about Paulinho but moving to China in your prime years sort of implies one’s interests are not it challenging himself with the best players but rather earning a fat cheque and taking it easy enjoying yourself in the field. I would probably have done the same thing if I was not hacking it at a second tier team in BPL and someone came in with crazy good financial benefits to sign me. There is no hope of going higher, might as well cash in. But to get that second chance to prove oneself – ala Barca knocking on the door. Man, fans can hate me all they want but I would grab the chance to showcase my football. Or so I hope Paulinho thinks. Whatever the case, I want my team to win, and do wish the best to whoever puts on the blaugrana. Paulinho failing mean my club is failing – and that’s not something I want. And the so called fans who wish Messi could leave our club on social media etc – you are not a cule but a results-driven Messi fan. I love the guy and wish the club could utilize his prowess in the most optimal way, but jeez, why would anyone wish something bad to ‘someone they love’ (Barca in this case)?

  2. Yep, that’s correct. The signing seems dubious at best and seems that 40m could have been spent better… however, what if we give him the benefit of doubt? Why shouldn’t we??

  3. I was guilty of ridiculing him a bit, but to be honest I think he kinds of redeemed himself by joining Barca though – he actually took a pay cut to join us.
    After some retrospection, I also think that we judged him joining Chinese League a little bit harsh. Consider the fact that he flopped quite badly at Tottenham, which is not known for being a selling for cheap club, Nobody with a big enough budget wanted him, and he was priced out of moving to a lesser clubs. Who’d pay 14 million euros for a flop?
    He could either have wilted out his 5 years contract with 3 remaining, or joining one of the best coach in the business, Scolari, in one of the worst league, China, to revitalize his career.
    It was a gamble, it took guts, and it paid off for him. With quite a bit of luck, of course, but being lucky is a good quality in football.

    This is what I meant by “insulting manner”.
    We have 220m in cash and we want to pay for their best player in installments over 5 years? With impossible addons like winning the Ballon d’or?
    Are we seriously bidding for the player or are we just fucking with them?
    This reminds me of us missing out on Asensio because we wanted to haggle over 2m. Yeah the 21 years old boy who scored twice in four days against us.
    I weep for our future.

  5. Seems like we are closing in on Seri. This is what I think (hope) is going to happen…

    Sign Seri for 40m
    Sign Dembele for 120-140m
    Forget Coutinho
    Sell Arda, Rafinha and one of Gomez/Rakitic

    If we can manage this I think we will be a good position for the season ahead, given the circumstances!

  6. Personally, I would be delighted if Coutinho arrived, but it is getting ridiculous with Liverpool’s reluctance. And more than 125m, or whatever the last offer was, seems too much, even in this situation. Realistically, I agree with Hilal, though I have not seen Seri enough to base it on my own observations (Kxevin has vouch for his quality, though, while others have questioned it). My worry is the word that Barca have not communicated with Dortmund for like 9 days, which does not bode well for Dembele arriving… If we buy Di Maria, however, I will be more disappointed than if we buy nobody. Draxler would be better, but not too keen; don’t think he will be a difference-maker.

    The other, bigger, issue is Messi’s contract. While I would never want him to leave, I think he is doing the right thing to hold out and, supposedly, put pressure on the board to act. Imagine him and Busquets telling the board to act or resign – or they leave for Man C…

    Finally, would be delighted to see this line-up tomorrow:
    TS, Smemedo, Marlon, Umtit, Alba, Busi, Alena, Roberto, Messi, Paco, Denis.

  7. Reading Guardians gloomy (for us) preview, it just hurts thinking about could-have-beens. We could’ve had a mid with Busi/Kroos/Thiago/Isco (LW)/Iniesta, with Ansesio challenging for the LW position, had we played our cards right. A big problem for us, I think, is the lack of proper rotation, which is what Zidane has managed to implement. Isco did not play too much during his first years in RM, but enough to keep him hungry, obviously.

    A big part of me is starting to feel we should let this season go (no give up, but allow ourselves some freedom to experiment) and plan for the future; go for CL and let the Liga & cup be a time for Alena and others to gain experience. Thing is, buying Paulinho screws that idea up already – meaning we are stuck in no-man’s-land. Sad.

    Sorry for the sentimentality; we had a dream run and I am eternally grateful for that, too!

    1. Don’t get me wrong Davour, I would love Coutinho too, I have seen him play quite a lot and he is an exceptional young player. Thing is Liverpool aren’t going to sell, Coutinho is doing as much as he can really and they are still holding firm, so I would rather we spend that money on Dembele. Firstly we need a winger more than we need an attacking mid, and second Dortmund are willing to sell, they just want an insane price, but whatever, we knew this was always going to happen with all the money we got from Neymar. Just pay it and get him.

      Seri I have never even seen kick a ball frankly, but if Xavi vouches for him then I am all good and at 30-40m definitely worth a try. If he is anywhere near as good as some people say he can help improve the MF a lot.

      Ideally what we need is all 3, because Coutinho is more in the Iniesta mold, while Seri is a controller ala Xavi. Who knows maybe the board will surprise and delight and land all 3, but I am not holding my breath! Haha.

    2. Yes, I understand – you took the realistic view on things. It would say it is 100% sure we are not getting all three of them (Seri will only come is C is not), and about 90% probability that Coutinho will not arrive. LFC really need him, too, while Dortmund seems to manage well without Dembele. I’m not even sure how much better Barca is than Dortmund at this point in time…

    3. Odds are Dembele will be sold once Dortmund thinks they’ve haggled as much euros as they can before Barca walks away. Two reasons: they bought Dembele really cheap and will make a huge profit after just one year; and they are winning without him. The locker room also seems to have turned against him although their board will be making decisions based on the first two reasons.

      I think we are not getting Coutinho. Liverpool does not feel it needs the money with the EPL TV deal and they do seem to think they need Coutinho after an underwhelming season opening. Of course if we do the old we are “walking away trick” Liverpool might take the money and try to avoid having an unhappy key player. It seems Liverpool is just trying to keep Klopp and the fans happy and it really does not make much sense to not sell Coutinho at an overpriced deal. Yes, we are getting taken to the cleaners but that’s what happens when everyone knows our board is in desperate straits.

      If Xavi vouches for Seri that is good enough for me. When is Xavi going to come and coach Barca anyway? I have a feeling a change of regime might encourage him.

      So new signings of Deulofeu, Semedo, Paulinho, Seri and Dembele I think will get us back on top if all of them perform up to the coach’s expectations. Though it’s really Messi’s expectations being met that are key. We really need the stature of someone like Xavi to convince our older players to not want to play all the time and still be in good shape for the season’s end. That’s what Zidane brought to Madrid. At the end of the day, how many championshps we win still depends on Messi, L. Suarez, Busquets, Pique, Alba and Rakitic – Iniesta for now -the veterans.

  8. Arda back in the squad – no Marlon, no Samper (expected, of course), no Vermaelen. Interesting.

  9. Hmm, quiet Sunday. just had a look at the squad for today’s game and you have to say it kinda highlights how we’ve fallen.

    Squad against Betis: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Busquets, Denis, Arda, Messi, Mascherano, Alcácer, Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, Deulofeu Gomes, Aleix Vidal and Umtiti

    Pep’s gala team ? : Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal,Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Eto’o, Henry

    Leaving aside the fact that Pep inherited a fair whack of his side – It’s not a Pep point I’m making – I’m thinking almost all of Pep’s team were best or near best in the world at their position. I’m thinking maybe three of today’s squad ? Three ! And interestingly nobody has broken through since then. Looking at today’s squad there are about TEN names I’d be happy to sell.

    I’m almost kinda hoping we don’t do our usual season’s predictions article. Of course, we will be up there in at least second place in La Liga and of course we’ll get through group stages in CL but more than that ?

    I just wish I knew more about how the club operates to have an idea of which areas we need to improve. I have a growing feeling the sporting team is not right but can’t put my finger on who. The comment about Pique was ridiculous, the lack of real young talent being bought before they cost the earth ( Umtiti and maybe GKs apart) , whoever signed off on the glut of average players last summer, the lack of sustained playing time for the best of La Masia etc. Of course the board has a responsibility as well for putting the top ones in their positions, including the manager, but they won’t have day to day influence in these matters. That’s down to the sporting team. Even, for me, at this early stage Valverde’s RM formation / selection,inability to get rid of mids who have had a fair chance and shown nothing coupled with his decision to offload Samper after less than one complete game of playing time after being brought back worries me. I’ve left out his decision to buy Paulinho to give the guy a chance but a lot of Valverde’s credibility will go down the drain if the guy doesn’t produce something.

    I’m even looking wistfully at the football being played by Unzue’s Celta, never mind Madrid.

    Having now made myself miserable I suppose I’ve still got a few hours to build myself up – and hope that Messi can save us again . . .

  10. Things seem to be boiling in the team/club. Read some excerpts from an Iniesta interview where he more or less openly (though not explicitly) criticises LE as well as the current situation. If the Don is this clear, coupled with Busi’s comments and Messi yet to renew (and perhaps Ney leaving?) and Bartomeu’s lie about the renewal… I really don’t know where this is going to end. Buying Seri and Dembélé might alleviate some of the tension, but all? Chaotic times in Barcaland.

    1. Thanks Davour for that link.
      Reading it together with the Xavi interview and some player comments and all, whatever accusation the fans (or some twitteratti) are facing in these pages, or even some of the commentators here, they should be assured that at least some of our legends have thoughts in the same frequency as these absurd fans!!!

      And as regards the game, that first half pressing gives me lot of hope. So does Gerard and Semedo. Both needs some consistent playing time and the support of their team mates and we might be just fine
      Am I the only person who thought Messi looks more determined? His resting period within the match has come down drastically, isn’t it.

  11. Wow the morbo is at an all time high in FC Barcelona right now. You guys know Messi hasn’t renovated right? The contract hasn’t been signed. And City is threatening to pay his 300 million release clause. It’s incredible. How can the board slap such a low fee on him! CR7’s clause is 1 BILLION Euros. It’s a tough time to be a culé for sure.

  12. Yeah sometimes I think we become the entorno. I have been keeping quiet and waiting for things to start clicking into gear. After the first half I have to say I see it’s the Valverde pressing i expected when he took over. And Nelson looks good. Quite good! Now if we get Seri and Roberto can replace Raki in the middle of the park as a part of gala Xi then I don’t see why the control won’t return to our mid.
    That and another winger along with Deolefeau.

  13. To echoe KD, things didn’t look too bad. This is not, to me, a great team, but it’s a TEAM. I was sorry about the way Neymar left, but not too devastated about him leaving. It was never feasible to harbour three superstars who only reluctantly tracked back or agreed to be subbed. I have missed the team spirit; hopefully this is a start. Semedo very promising, Roberto good shift, Gerard showed good intentions, and I felt Rakitic worked out better in a 4231 set up. I like how Umtiti is carrying himself, like a veteran boss already. Messi & Busi at the heart.

    1. Pretty sure Nice’s president said just days ago that he can leave if the price of 40m is paid.

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