Liga Liveblog: Barça – Tenerife

Yours truly is back to his liveblogging ways today, with the return of the midweek fixtures and a visit from Tenerife. Launching just prior to kickoff.

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

151 Comments

  1. Eklavya
    May 4, 2010

    henry at 49 goals for barca. will he leave at 50?

    • vicsoc8
      May 4, 2010

      We don’t win the treble last season without him. Thank you Thierry, but it appears your race is run.

  2. May 4, 2010

    49 goals in 3 seasons!? Unacceptable!

    Hmm, Bojan has 32 in 3 seasons and 7 more appearances? SELL HIM.

  3. May 4, 2010

    The ref today is a total jerkwad: Delgado Ferreiro. He’s the one who officiated the Weligton-stomping-on-Messi match and our latest Catalan derbi with Espanyol. He’s either anti-Barça, anti-big clubs, or he’s ridiculously swayed by home crowds. Any way you look at it, he’s a terrible ref who doesn’t deserve to be in the top flight of any league in the world.

  4. Alex
    May 4, 2010

    Who is DJ Pauly D and why is he a Baskin Robbins promo guy…

    • Alex
      May 4, 2010

      And NO. I don’t want to mix it up with you Pauly D

    • larm
      May 4, 2010

      dude DJ pauly is from the jersey shore. possibly the greatest show to come out in the past 5 years. take all the stupid people from the real world. give them amazing fake tans, way to much steroids, and put them together in one house.

      go barca!!!

        • larm
          May 4, 2010

          yeah the show is called “The Jersey Shore”. most people i know love the show in a hateful way. its just the people are soooo full of themselves. imagine a house full of ronaldos, and paris hiltons.

          • DontPanic
            May 4, 2010

            I fukking LOVE Jersey Shore. Yeah, I said it. It’s like crack kokaine but million times better. I hope it lasts 1000 seasons. Better yet, turn it into the Truman show so we can watch Guidos being conceived and raised before our eyes.

            Remember: If you don’t love The Situation, I’ll make you love The Situation.

            *Ignores all you haters and starts hookin’ up with every broad in sight while fistpumpin like crazy*

    • May 5, 2010

      If you live in America and you missed Jersey Shore, please tell me what rock you are hiding under so I can join you there.

  5. Flyzowee
    May 4, 2010

    As long as we score some golazos!! He wont have any choice in the matter

  6. Jnice
    May 4, 2010

    Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Maxwell, Touré, Xavi, Keita, Bojan, Messi i Ibrahimovic.

    The bench: Pinto, Txigrinski, Milito, Busquets, Henry, Thiago i Pedro.

    So Busi isn’t suspended.

    • Miguel
      May 4, 2010

      that’s what the official site is saying, too. what’s up w/that?

      //http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/catala/futbol/temporada_09-10/arxiu_partits/lliga/jornada36/Barcelona_Tenerife/partit.html

  7. cliveee
    May 4, 2010

    VALDES
    ALVES PUYOL PIQUE MAXWELL
    TOURE XAVI KEITA
    MESSI IBRA BOJAN

    (OFFICIAL)

  8. Flyzowee
    May 4, 2010

    Is this some sort of race!
    man, thought i was da first with the line up

  9. vicsoc8
    May 4, 2010

    This game was made for Yaya. His physicality alone should be able to destroy Tenerife.

  10. Flyzowee
    May 4, 2010

    5 goals in three games messi, just 5 goals ,
    u can do this…..

  11. Memorylane
    May 4, 2010

    I don’t know many players who are as versatile as Toure.

    I love Jerry Armstrong is praising Toure and questioning why he hasn’t been a regular he said that he’s better then Busi in every aspect which if anyone folows Barca will tell you the same.

    Looks like the Nou camp appreciates Toure as much as I do too.

    Hope to see Messi score some late goals to get close to that 47 mark currently on 43..

    • barca96
      May 4, 2010

      yeah i noticed that too!!
      the love to cheer on yaya or clap when he does even the most simple things!lol.

  12. BA
    May 4, 2010

    Ibra is on we waste chances and look sluggish. Ibra comes off, we score 3 and look quick, sharp and dangerous.

    just sayin….

    • Miguel
      May 4, 2010

      i was in & out since i was & am still @work, but after watching the highlights of that second goal by bojan it looked like ibra was still on the pitch for that one; on the left wing as a matter of fact.

    • Eklavya
      May 4, 2010

      WRONG!
      Ibra was there when we scored the first 2 goals! He even had an assist and should have had a goal.
      We looked sharp after our 2nd goal.
      I think Ibra was overall good today. The “we are faster without him” stuff was there in the other matches but not really in this one.
      Some are giving him slack for other matches in which he was poor.

      • Helge
        May 4, 2010

        I do even dare to say that Ibra was the best player in the first half. Not because of his assist, but his workrate was awesome. You could find him everywhere on the pitch. He’s made some beautiful and succesful tricks, he was actually destined to score but somehow Maxwell forgot about him (How can you?!? After playing together with him for many years at Inter and Ajax???). It’s natural that he’s not looking happy on the bench after being substituted, but I feel that he’s getting better and better. Next season, we’ll see the real Ibracadabra.

        • barca96
          May 4, 2010

          i dont know helg…
          he was lazy when he lost the ball.
          dont be fooled by the flicks he made in the 1st half.
          he was good in the 2nd but definitely not good in the 1st.

        • Eklavya
          May 4, 2010

          I had the same thought (about maxwell and Ibra knowing each other and all). Did anyone notice that it was also Ibra was started the play by a long diagonal ball to Maxwell / Bojan. He had a few other good balls as well which deserved better fate but ah that is football!

          That being said he also lost some balls as usual albeit less than before. I dunno Pep subbed him…

    • gv
      May 4, 2010

      the thing that strikes me the most is that, when zlat is playing, we try to work the ball to the center. when he is subbed out, we bomb the box with crosses. shouldn’t we be crossing the ball more when ibra is in the middle? i mean, the guy’s 6’3/4!

      i agree with eklavaya. as much as i don’t want another eto’o vs ibra debate, how can you expect a 6’4 guy move like 5’7/8/9 striker? he seems static because most of our players are very fast and agile. but you cannot deny that he has the ability and talent to play for us.

      • May 5, 2010

        I noticed this too, its weird because based on size considerations along you’d think it would be switched, and we’d try to go through the center more with through balls to speedier forwards.

  13. skyislm
    May 4, 2010

    messi has scored 44 goals this season according to wikipedia! is he the greatest yet?

    • Helge
      May 4, 2010

      No. R9 has scored 47. But 7 of them came from penalties (5 straight, 2 penalties on the rebound – he also took them, but keeper could handle his first shot). Messi has scored just one penalty.

      • gv
        May 4, 2010

        i think r9 scored 5 goals too while having a tan, 2 goals while dating and a goal while having his hair done in a salon.

  14. jose011
    May 4, 2010

    gv – The R9 Helge is referring to is the original Ronaldo. CR9 scored 42, total a couple seasons back.

  15. Tyler
    May 4, 2010

    for me alves was the difference maker. I think he had a hand in every goal except for the messi-pedro one. his crosses were spot on and he just was tearing up and down that right side of the pitch all day. it’s great to see offensive minded defensive players, at least for me.

    • Alexinho
      May 4, 2010

      I agree. At one-one, he looked like the hungriest player on the field.

      • Eklavya
        May 4, 2010

        Really? He didn’t try and shoot with his left foot when he was 1-on-1 against the keeper.

        Otherwise he was pretty good.

    • cliveee
      May 4, 2010

      Alves indeed was on fire today much because of the lackluster Tenerife attack and thus he was free to go up the flank as much as he wanted.

      AND THE FIRST GOAL demonstrated just how important that is to cross the right kind of ball to a 6 foot tall striker. Kick it up high, let him locate the landing spot, and boom, he heads it loose to let Messi score. Are we clear on that now?

      Ibrahimovic has a hell of a game today as well. That thru ball to Alves in the first half was simply world class. A delight to watch him drift in and out around the pitch, on the flanks and around the box. With him playing on the pitch, we have a huge threat which Tenerife cannot neglect. Too bad he did not get on score board.

      • Tyler
        May 4, 2010

        agree on all points. maxwell should have squared that pass to Ibra, he was wiiiiiiiiiide open

        • May 4, 2010

          Was it Maxwell or Bojan? who ever it was, If you not going to pass that one, at least take a better shot than that.

  16. Eklavya
    May 4, 2010

    Victor sanchez scored vs Valencia! 😀

  17. Helge
    May 4, 2010

    Interesting rating from the sport.es users:
    *http://www.sport.es/elMejorNew.asp?oeiehydpzi

    right now Ibra has the worst with 4.8 out of 10. Will not get easier for him in the near future…
    Krkic and Messi lead with 7.6 and Dani Alves is on 6.5 Crazy!

    • Museum
      May 4, 2010

      Man, not much of a fair shake there. Hopefully he comes back next year and wins some of the fans over with awesomeness. He did get applauded pretty well coming off the pitch.

    • adal
      May 5, 2010

      Its alright. I don’t think he cares what those fans think. He’s always been controversial and he will still be in. He said once that he’s tougher to himself than anyone else. So I don’t think what the fans’s thought will effect him that much.

  18. Dave
    May 4, 2010

    daniel agger in marquez out great bit of business.

    • lovelymofo
      May 4, 2010

      Whaaaaat? Tell us more! I’m bummed I’ll never get to see Rafa play at the Camp Nou. [I’m never sure if I have that right, Camp Nou/Nou Camp. Tot el camp es un clam!] I know he’s not in his prime anymore, but the selfish Mexican fan in me wants him to stay there at least one more year.

      • May 5, 2010

        Camp Nou. Pronounced “Kam now” in Catalan. “Camp New” in Spanish.

        New/Nou Camp = English/MartinTylerization

  19. Tyler
    May 4, 2010

    Pep is a zen master, we could not have a better coach or role model:

    “So I said at halftime: “Win it if you can and if not, don’t worry about it.” I, as a footballer, was unable to do what these guys have done. The players amaze even more if they lose the league than if they win it.”

    “There will be assessments made if we fail to win it, but they do not worry me. When we finish, we will be happy if we win and sad if we do not but after the eighth day we’ll forget about it and say: ‘It was a spectacle’.”

  20. May 4, 2010

    Pedro’s goal in my opinion the highlight of the match… He made a great defensive stop and ran back box to box… Messi found him and he kept cool and scored. Had played the first half, I doubt he would have been able to make that run. Pep did well with his subs the second half.

    It would be awesome if Mallorca gives us a hand tomorrow… we have not gotten any help this year.

    • majatt
      May 4, 2010

      Madrid would argue the same, in the end all you can do is help yourself and we just need 6 more points, 2 vitories and we would have helped ourselves to a title.

      • Vj
        May 4, 2010

        EE can argue all they want but fact remains that they are and will be helped by Atleti and Espanyol..

        That said, the rest of La Liga desperately needs financial support to make it competitive.. Teams like Valencia and Mallorca are gunning for Europe, while they could go in administration any moment.. Sharing of TV rights should help..

        • Jose
          May 4, 2010

          Apparently, the future of La Liga will be decided on May 10th, at a meeting of all 1st division club presidents. Florentino Perez and Laporta have made verbal agreements to institute a “Premiership” system, under which TV rights for La Liga will be sold collectively.

          Premiership has done it for almost two decades now, Serie A start next year, and it is quite possible that La Liga 2011-2012 will have collective TV rights. What remains to be determined is how funds will be distributed amongst the clubs…

        • Jose
          May 4, 2010

          Oh link.

          /*http://www.marca.com/2010/04/30/futbol/1adivision/1272657225.html

          Yeah it’s Marca, but it’s also on other sources.

    • Jim
      May 4, 2010

      Messi also made a run from half way in the 93rd minute of a match we had won for his goal. We shouldn’t ever accuse this team of not trying. We have had commitment like this all year.

  21. Lev
    May 4, 2010

    lol madrid would not argue the same due to the fact that we beat them both times. We have dropped 5 points against other (weaker) sides. But agree with you it is up to us to help ourselves.
    6 more points!!! visca barça!!

    • lovelymofo
      May 4, 2010

      According to As.com (of all places), he only has a bruised knee. Hope they have their info right!

  22. cliveee
    May 4, 2010

    Watching replay, still enjoying the first goal because of the brilliance our best 2 strikers and fullback showed there. That goal sums up the qualities Messi and Ibrahimovic contribute to our club.

    If we didn’t have Ibrahimovic, we would not have that goal. Henry can’t head that one loose, Eto’o couldn’t either. Ibra’s height and power are what made that goal possible. But if the player wasn’t Messi to do the seemingly “easy” job, it wouldn’t result a goal either. That wicked little flick over the hip of the keeper who cover almost anywhere the ball could go was not easy at all. Give you 10 strikers, each try the same, not 3 of them could finish that one. It is exactly how technical Messi is. His sense in front of goal, and the speed of the run, also the speed of knowing how that ball should be finished, are diamonds.

    If we have Alves’ crossing the ball like that EVERY GAME, we don’t need a plan B, because that becomes plan A.

  23. May 4, 2010

    I just wanna say seeing Xavi and company move in free space the last 2 games has washed Inter from my mind. Like a fresh air after carbonmonoxide poisoning.

    Was Toure at CB an experiment for the future, or just a needed tactic? THere is something reassuring with a central spine of Yaya-Busi- Xavi. Would converting to CB lengthen his carrer? (in general.)

    • mike in africa
      May 5, 2010

      the way i see it, it’s quite an irony. pep really trusts yaya as a player, whether as a DM or CB, he would not have second thought playing him when required, as a stablising force. he expects him to perform right away even though he hasn’t been given minutes…

      but i was thinking yesterday, barca demands ball-playing CBs; and if you look around, there’s few as strong as yaya, and as good with the ball at his feet as yaya, and he is hell of a defender. even though CB is really not his primary position, most CBs will never be as good as yaya, nor suit barca’s style as much as yaya.

      for me though, it’s a personal favor to play busquets ahead of yaya and not just professional. yaya with his quality and versatility would be hugely missed if he were to leave.

  24. CLUEless(John)
    May 5, 2010

    Ok I love the guy and what he does…. ie.. El Clasico, but it’s go time. Let’s send Ibra to Man U and bring in Villa to play the CF . He plays like eto’o but better and he is the perfect person for bojan to study under for 3 years ( CT would still ve only 22 then) and then he can assume his role as our first choice #9 for the next 10 years. I know or was a shit team we played, bit the kid is finally comind arouLnd. The money we get for ibra goes to Villa and maybe a Luis Suarez type LW. Then in 2 years bring in Cesc and we have a core of piqué, biscuts, cesc, inestia, Bojan and messi in 2012, all would still be under 26 I think. That gives us the best nucleus in football history for 4-6 years…….boom goes the dynamite.  

    Sent from my iPhone

    • adal
      May 5, 2010

      I think your name sums it up pretty well: CLUEless 🙂

  25. bundy
    May 5, 2010

    hmm, I’d opt to keep Ibra for next season, I would like to see how he goes with a full pre-season, plus I don’t want us to start the new season having to give time for more new players to adapt and cost us vital points. Ibra has been around for a season, we know his strengths and weaknesses, I don’t want to throw all that out.

    I wouldn’t mind getting Villa either, but at the cost of Bojan or Pedro Im starting to have second thoughts, because a new president coming in might not want to buy back these players if we were ever to sell them.

    I beleive Yaya will stay, my last post on this issue was a bit messy, but I think Pep still needs him, he just uses him sparingly. We either opt for another midfielder or we try to revolutionize Iniesta Messi style with a strict diet and fitness regime to keep him fit. Yaya is a great part of the team, he has great attacking mid qualities, and if I was Pep, I would start to integrate him as an alternative to Xavi, just incase we have some kind of injury crisis.

    for the defence, a back-up RB I beleive. I hear Botia is being followed by big clubs, but I know Pep, he will try him in the pre-season first. Henrique might be our midfielder we’ve been looking for so maybe Pep might see how he goes in pre-season.

    Chygrynsky has been dissapointing this season, but just like Ibra, I’d like to see him after a full pre-season, Marquez is most likely on the out and so, this might give Chygrynsky the insentive to break into the first eleven. Thats highly Unlikely, but If we were to fall short of fullbacks at some stage, we need someone to replace Puyol. Milito is a great defender, but I know what Pep is after, he wants to playmaking CBs, so to create kind of like a second midfield and eliminate any sort of threat opposition make when pressuring our midfield, a great example was our 4-2 win against Mallorca this season.

    I wouldn’t opt for JDS or Thiago to be promoted yet, its too early, I would rather they stay in the b-team and try another season after their promotion to the b division.

    • barca96
      May 5, 2010

      al bundy..:p
      i agree with your points.
      yaya is more than capable of filling in for xavi at cm.
      but im just worried that yaya might leave as he cant play his favored position lately. but the good thing is that pep trusts him over milito or marquez at cb.
      the way he steals the ball from defenders, its just…..
      effortless..

  26. Eklavya
    May 5, 2010

    BTW, Fontas is out injured for 3 months … poor Enrique.

    • barca96
      May 5, 2010

      holy cow.
      i was really hoping muniesa and fontas would do well in the pre-season but now both of them are injured.

  27. Kxevin
    May 5, 2010

    Pique is a doubt for Sevilla.

    Anybody talking of selling Ibrahimovic, particularly after yesterday’s match, must have been watching with blinders on. Find me another player who can lay on the kinds of passes that he was making from the midfield, then be in the box to take a pass, battle for possession to win the header that sets up Messi for our first goal. Villa? Don’t make me laugh. Krkic? Don’t make me cry laughing. People fall in love with players who aren’t here. Then when they come, no time is wasted in finding fault with those players.

    Villa at CF? So what you have is Eto’o essentially, with better ball skills, more fragility and not as much strength or quickness. Sounds like a party. Sign me up.

    Why are we so impatient? Ibrahimovic isn’t cutting it, sell him. Txigrinski is a failure, sell him, too. Despite seeing what time in our system does for a player, we’d still rather toss away immense potential because they didn’t do exactly what we expected when we signed them. We sign a player, and our eyes fill with stars. “He must be able to move the world if we want him. I can’t wait for him to score 8 million goals/stop attacks all by himself.”

    Then when he doesn’t immediately it’s “He sucks. Get him out.” Thanksfully, we didn’t listen after Henry’s first season (lest anyone misunderstand the value of active, talented wing play, look at our attack this season without Henry), and we won’t listen this time, either, with Ibrahimovic or Txigrinski.

    This is a little preview of the review (which I have to find time to write, working like a sled dog as I am …. later on this afternoon/early evening), but Krkic did jack shite except get bundled off the ball by grownups. Yes, he scored a goal, but let’s be wary of Pedro-itis here, in goals blinding us to what actually happened with a player. He has talent and potential, but he can’t beat defenders straight up, and can’t hold his position on the ball with strength. He does move very well, which explains the goal.

    We were looking past Tenerife, and almost paid for it. The match was a lot closer than the scoreline indicated, mostly thanks to Maxwell and his unfathomable stupidity. At 2-0, Tenerife goes belly up. Then Puyol gifts them a chance, and they take it. At 1-1, there’s a lot of fight in that dog, so to speak.

    They took a page from the Mourinho handbook in contesting the midfield, and defending spaces/men rather than just defending in the box. It would have worked, had they been better at finishing, and had better fitness. We’d better be a LOT better at Sevilla.

    • Kxevin
      May 5, 2010

      Oh, and The Yaya showed exactly why he should be preferred to Busquets, time and time again. The latter made back pass after back pass, while the former actually kick-started the attack, and again served as Giant Xavi.

      In Pep We Trust, which doesn’t mean that we understand. 😀

    • mike in africa
      May 5, 2010

      let’s not forget villa is a more rounded-player and is more clinical.

      • Kxevin
        May 5, 2010

        Really? “More clinical” than who? Not Krkic, who this season has 10 goals in 27 shots for a strike rate of 2.7. Villa is 34 goals in 190 shots, for a strike rate of 5.8. Messi is 46 in 222, for a 4.8 rate, but he was more efficient last season, with 42 in 154 (3.6).

        Henry his last full season? 36 in 182, for a 5.0. Eto’o, his last season with us, was 39 in 174, for a 4.46.

        Ibrahimovic? 23 in 144, for a 6.2 strike rate. I reckon if he stopped trying that crazy ninja stuff it would improve his strike rate, but still.

        Well-rounded to me, means that he plays defense, assists, leads breaks and battles for midfield possession. That defnition has been shaped, mind you, by our system. Villa runs around, waits for the ball and, every 5.58 shots, scores a goal. That’s nice, but if he were to come, and have as many goals as Ibrahimovic does, would people be labeling him a flop?

        Just asking.

        • Bojan
          May 5, 2010

          hahahahahaah crazy ninja got me laughing sooo hard! hahahaha he indeed is a crazy ninja :))))))))))

        • Helge
          May 5, 2010

          Where do you get these stats from?
          It has to be including pre-season, otherwise Messi has 44 goals this season, 38 (maybe 39, but certainly not 42) last season.

          • Kxevin
            May 5, 2010

            That’s all competitions, from ESPN SoccerNet.

        • mike in africa
          May 5, 2010

          very nice stats. but the big problem is that it doesn’t tell you half the story: for example a player’s ability to create shots for himself or how clinical/wasteful a player is given the same situations. bojan is far more efficient than anyone you mentioned, but is not half the player that anyone else is. i made the mistake of criticizing your opinion based on impression, and that’s certainly not very clinical of me 😀

    • Eklavya
      May 5, 2010

      You just said everything I learned from yesterday’s match. 😯

    • Anony
      May 5, 2010

      Maxwell didn’t lead to a goal, Puyol did.

      • Luna
        May 5, 2010

        no but Maxwell blundered an open goal, is what I believe Kxevin is pointing out that would have changed the tone of the match

  28. vicsoc8
    May 5, 2010

    My not-so-humble thoughts on Ibrahimovic yesterday:

    -Why haven’t we scored more goals like our first goal yesterday? It seemed so simple, yet so effective. Let’s hope for more of those next season.
    -Ibra’s movements have all of a sudden been much better. I don’t know if it’s that he’s fired up or if it’s finally starting to click or what, but his off the ball movements in the past couple of games have been very good.
    – He still needs to make decisions/passes faster. Someone please tell him that if he passes faster and moves into a better position, he will get the ball where he doesn’t need to beat three defenders. When he makes quick passes, we get Alves freed on the wing – that’s good.
    – If you’re going to track back, don’t stop halfway. Several times he did, and the pass to him was intercepted. Commit to your decisions, even if they’re wrong.

    On that final note, every time Ibra drops back to gather the ball deep a central defender follows him. Every time. Why wasn’t Bojan (or Messi) immediately moving into that space that he just opened? That’ll really confuse the defense, do you follow the man running short or stay back to cover the fast mighty might running for the long ball? That would be very dangerous.

    • stephen
      May 5, 2010

      You know Phil (GolTv Phil) mentioned, has Ibrah adjusted to spain or has spain adjusted to Ibrah?
      Italian teams do not play defense as Spanish teams do, maybe coaches don’t make DVDs of their rivals or they dont study each other, but in La Liga they do. I do believe defenses have Ibrah covered in a way hes not used to YET, and like you mentioned, once he realizes this, he can pass faster and move quicker into space. Beginning of the season, defenses had not seen him play,and therefore he was left to do his will, not anymore.
      So now he has to adjust to the defensive tactics they’ll put on him.
      I see his improvement in working with the team as well, my problem I saw yesterday is that messi/bojan problem. lets note that both Ibrah and Bojan are true “9”s and it just felt awkward, especially like we saw Bojan was a ghost on the field most of the time while Ibrah was on the pitch.

    • Helge
      May 5, 2010

      I also thought during yesterday’s match, “Damn! Leave Ibra some space.” It really seems as if the opponent wants to make it extra tough for Ibra, the defender followed him everywhere and I feel that he has been handled in the most aggressive / unfair way while receiving a pass (and in 90% of a little skirmish between Ibra and his opponent – usually initialized by the opponent – the ref’s decision goes against Ibra or there’s no reaction at all. That really sucks!). Messi, Bojan and Co. have more space and time to receive a pass on several occasions. Maybe they move more or faster, but I still think Ibra is being tracked closer.

      • stephen
        May 5, 2010

        Exactly, and many things can lead to that, his temper, the fact that because of his size fouls are called on him more often, that fact that he cant track back quick enough so he always gets caught offside.
        Even Xavi and Messi are ineffective when they are marked right, we’ve all seen it, Ibrah just hasnt adjusted quite yet and they have him figured out.

  29. vicsoc8
    May 5, 2010

    Pep’s recent interview and this last game has finally allowed me to see the light with Yaya!

    The fact is in the system Pep likes to use, Yaya’s skills are better suited to CB than DM. Pep likes ball-playing centerbacks and defensive midfielders who are more tactically savvy. That’s why Busquets plays DM over Yaya most of the time, he is more technically savvy. Yaya’s skills – big, strong, good at headers, good distribution, are better suited to playing CB.

    Now a lot of people think Yaya could play Xavi’s role, and I disagree. He doesn’t see the field the way Xavi (or Iniesta) does. His best offensive contributions are ambling runs which have the ability to catch the defense off-guard, either as a counter attack or as a destabilizing run when they are bunkered down. While these runs destroy lesser teams, they are less effective against stronger, better teams.

    • Bojan
      May 5, 2010

      hmmm… yaya as a CB?? now that will be confusingly strange. i mean yaya’s primary position is a DMF and after comes the CB or eventually the CMF role. I think yaya is a destroyer and thats what the DMF role is. To destroy early attacks or counter-attacks in the beginning phase. Busquets is just out of space when there is a sudden counter-attack he always covers either the middle or the side leaving the opposite side defendless for a long pass. Yaya is the classical DMF you would like in your team.

      And other very painful to me is krkic! please just please dont sell the boy. for god sake he is only 19 he has still much to learn and the boy will become a class. If we sell him trust me we will regret that choice, because remember pique we loaned him, then sold him to ManUTD and then bought him back.. Krkic will develop in a excellent striker, villa is not much taller then bojan and also he is getting old. If you keep bojan and give him a little time barca wont lose anything… will gain much!!!
      VISCA LA BARCA!!!!

    • Bill
      May 5, 2010

      Vicsoc8, care to elaborate what you mean by ‘tactically savvy’? Everytime I watch Yaya, I see how he shadows attacking play without giving up ground, he provides very good cover for defenders, rarely gets hussled off the ball and generally does everything a good DM does, so I don’t know how you can say he isn’t ‘tactically savvy’ yet still good enough to play defense.

      • Kxevin
        May 5, 2010

        I’d love to see a definition of “tactically savvy” myself. I just see Busquets making back pass after back pass. He plays a zone out there, but he certainly isn’t any better at defending than The Yaya is. As a matter of fact he’s worse, since he can’t do it without fouling, or flopping while the other team runs the other way, which he did yesterday.

        Our attack is more fluent when The Yaya is working up with Xavi. I can see Guardiola’s point about having that attack starter in the back, and The Yaya having the pace to be able to get up and back, as he was doing yesterday. But having watched both repeatedly this season, when The Yaya is playing well, I just don’t see why anyone in their right mind would prefer Busquets.

        But as I said, In Pep I Trust, even if I don’t understand.

        • vicsoc8
          May 5, 2010

          I’d argue that Busquets is better than Yaya at one aspect of defending only – making interceptions. In every other area I agree that Yaya is superior. I think this stems from the fact that Busquets reads the game better and faster than Yaya.

          Yaya can make those destroyer runs against teams like Tenerife, but against teams like Inter I just don’t think they would be as effective. In these cases being a smarter, better passer is more effectively offensively.

          Playing Busquets over Yaya is a risk, undoubtedly. You lose a lot of defensive strength. It seems that Pep trusts the team to maintain possession enough that he is willing to take that risk and give himself a little bit more offensive firepower.

          Personally, I think it’s important to have both, and pick and choose depending on the situation.

      • vicsoc8
        May 5, 2010

        I should have been more clear and clarified further. Yaya is obviously very good defensively, whether it be technically, physically, or tactically. When I refer to “tactically savvy” players I’m thinking more players like Xavi – players who are able to look at the field and see the space, to recognize where the opponent is weak due to how they are set up, to know where the ball needs to go next to start/continue the attack.

        Yaya is undoubtedly a fantastic “prototypical” defensive midfielder. I say prototypical because this is the direction the game has been going in recent years – strong, fast, destroyer defensive midfielders.

        However Pep doesn’t want to play with a typical destroyer DM. Pep wants more of a ball-playing deep-lying playmaker, a person who can not only break up opposition attacks, but also control the flow of the game and make dangerous offensive passes. Players like Pirlo… or should I say Pep himself?

        People say Busquets only plays because Pep sees a little of himself in Busquets. This is in a way true, but too simplistic. Pep is building the entire team in his image – building it to play football the way he believes it should be played. In his system the DM is more of a ball-playing DM, less of a destroyer. Busquets fits the bill a little better than Yaya.

        Someone posted a very good article from Zonal Marking the other day, which also sheds a lot of light on this subject.

        • mike in africa
          May 5, 2010

          pep said he plays busquets for his “tactical prowess”, and you got it spot on!

          • vicsoc8
            May 5, 2010

            Well to be fair I read the interview and that comment was what really got me started thinking on the matter.

          • mike in africa
            May 5, 2010

            in that case, your elaboration is spot on.

    • Eklavya
      May 5, 2010

      Wow, you know what, this does shed some light on The Yaya not playing thingy!

      But then why did Yaya play more than Busi last year? Hmmm, of course that was Busi’s debut year …

  30. Eklavya
    May 5, 2010

    So Kxevin do still think Bojan is better on the wing? I think he’s better as CF. He disappears on the wing. IMO he’s better as CF cause he’s better in his movement and control rather than his speed and crossing. On the wing he just gets pushed off while as CF he can at least make good runs and wriggle through.

    Of course, this is only against La Liga teams. Big, Physical teams are another matter.

  31. Blow-Grenade
    May 5, 2010

    I believe Bojan is not fully developed yet. His game can still adapt to either wing play, or centre forward play. He is too young. Pep will take care of him. All I know is that Bojan can turn players, he has a wonderful first touch, and does well in interchanging passes with our midfield and forward line – aka tiki taka. He does best when he has a little bit of space – both on the wing, or a more central role.
    Bojan definitely seems to have come far from where he was last year. It is in the next match that we will see how far Bojan has developed. Here is hoping he starts over Ibra.
    For Sevilla we need pace and movement. They are a very technical team like barca. Bojan is a better choice for that.

  32. Keep Ibra? Sell Ibra?
    May 5, 2010

    I have been a long time reader of this blog, from the offside days. I spend a lot of time everyday reading the entries and comments here and I have to say lately its getting a little boring with this Ibra debate.

    Some people want him gone and others support, but the discussion about it has gone a little stale and nobody seems to be saying anything new and I wish it would just stop. Having said that, I also understand that this is place for discussion.

    Personally, I think Ibra has been pretty good for his first season and the potential with him fully integrated are quite huge. Hopefully we will see that next season. And the guy is new to our system and we as supporters, regardless of what we think of his performace thus far, should show some patience and give him atleast a couple of seasons before we term him a failure.

  33. May 5, 2010

    well, I might as well have my say too… after all I do have a Barca Fan card which costs me $160 a year…

    I honestly don’t understand what is about Busquet play, but when he came in yesterday I felt we became much more settled and comfortable as a team.

    I love YaYa, but he is no XAVI. Just think of the two assists in the last EE game, or XAVI’s composure/assist to Pique in the inter game. All the rumors about YaYa leaving are depressing.

    The Ibra/Eto swap indicates that coach believes that teams must renew and have fresh blood to maintain a high level of achievement. One thing we all overlook is what Ibra wants to do for himself. Maybe he decides he wants to go. I think he is an amazing player, but I have serious doubts that he will fit in. I wish he stays because I am one of those fools who loves magic on the football field.

    Bojan still does not convince me. The only two players I feel should go now, are Henry and Marquise.

    OK… enough of me.

  34. Memorylane
    May 5, 2010

    Against the big teams i.e the Inter Milans and as last season shown against Chelsea mistakes can be very costly lucky for the latter we had Toure to dominate the midfield in both games and countless times stopped Drogba but Inter was a different story wasn’t it and if I recall he wasn’t playing.

    Yaya showed yesterday even with the rare start and hardly any game time this season why he’s much better and should be proffered time and time again over Busi or Keita in Midfield.
    Even the commentator for UK televsion Sky Sports was saying this.

    Busi who’s game this season has been slowing down our attack with his constant back passing or tries to make a forward run and gets dispossessed. Let’s not even talk about his defensive frailties.

    Yaya actually was kick starting our attacks with his excellent forward runs. this allows Messi to stay in a forward position as opposed to him dropping back in midfield to help Xavi.

    Yaya compliments Xavi perfectly and also has the ability to play in his position. If the people who are responsible for transfers and such have an ounce of sense they will not let this man go.

    I also suspect Pep knows Toure’s value and knows he is the best option in DM he even trusts him in CB over Milito.

    Apparently it’s a disciplinary action he has taken towards him for making noise about a pay rise.

    Credible Spanish football journalist Graham Hunter said the the above and also mentioned he had been casual in training on a random podcast I listened too.

    The following are not all my opinions.
    If we are going to be honest Busi isn’t exactly setting the world on fire and really has had an average season compared to the man he replaced.

    Not to mention his reputation is really at an all time low right now. People really hate the guy but me personally I gave him props for sending Motta out the game maybe it did work against us in the end?
    But at that time I was happy to see him being sent off.

    The general consensus is on forums/blogs/Barca fans/writers is that he is overrated and only gets to play over Toure because of his upbringing.

    What goes behind training I don’t know, if what Mr Hunter was alluding to is correct then that would explain a whole lot as to why Keita/Busi get too play ahead of him this season.

  35. jose011
    May 5, 2010

    im watching the inter roma copa final now.

    motta is a scumbag.

    julio cesar never disappoints does he?

    • lovelymofo
      May 5, 2010

      I want Roma to win. Materazzi is a big jerk, isn’t he?

      • Helge
        May 5, 2010

        Materazzi is the dirtiest player ever! No doubt about that.

        But the whole Inter is climbing upwards on my ladder of most-hated clubs. Naturally, there is still a HUUUUGE step between them and the EE 🙂
        After all, they have made the biggest jump this season.

  36. lovelymofo
    May 5, 2010

    Argh, and right when I say I want Roma to win, Inter score.

  37. jose011
    May 5, 2010

    materazzi is a pretty disgusting excuse for a professional athlete, yes.

    nice milito goal though. mexes should have done better there.

  38. missingpage
    May 5, 2010

    GOOOOALLL by Mallorca…that was OF course CANCELLED for offside although IT WAS NOT!

  39. Vaffanculo
    May 5, 2010

    Always the same thing happens; the opponent scores first but then the monkey boy scores lucky goal…now they will soon score the second…Sadly it seems that we wont get any help from other teams

  40. Ethan
    May 5, 2010

    mallorca are owning madrid, and its still only 1-1 = (

  41. Museum
    May 5, 2010

    That Crynaldo goal was awesome, it must be said.

  42. Vaffanculo
    May 5, 2010

    Mallorca look a quite dangerous on the ball and had several open chances in 1st half but of course they are now losing their momentum, I was obvious that they needed 2 goal lead if they wanted any points. Now everything is set for RM´s one goal win…Sevilla game is a must win

  43. BA
    May 5, 2010

    why won’t they just die? JUST DIE. you’re finished. let us finish the league in peace.

    • Vj
      May 5, 2010

      I’ve said it once and I’m gonna say it again.. Madrid is like Boris the Bullet-Dodger.. Why you say? Because they dodge bullets.. And its f’in impossible to kill them..

  44. Museum
    May 5, 2010

    Kinda happy to see Tottenham take City down. Never want to see the team with the money buy their way into the CL. Maybe that’s hypocritical, we’re not exactly in the dole line ourselves, but whatever. Another London team in the CL, another EPL team that can’t win it. Says history.

    • Helge
      May 5, 2010

      Yeah, I was praying for ManCity to not qualify for the CL qualification 😀

      Because this is a HUGE blow to their transfer plans, they might even lose some players such as Carlos Tevez. And no matter how much money their sheikhs want to spend, the true superstars won’t join City. If they qualified for the CL, I feared they might be a sort of Chelsea 2.0, a typical English, defense-obsessed team. Not good…
      but Spurs, that’s great 😀 They’re no danger at all imo

      • Museum
        May 5, 2010

        Yeah this hurts them in the summer, no doubt. I still think they’ll get in sometime soon regardless, especially if Liverpool can’t right the ship.

    • Ciaran
      May 5, 2010

      it’s great for Spurs. They have deserved it.
      Modric has been great this season.

        • Alexinho
          May 5, 2010

          They just might put Arsenal into a fourth-place finish after the last three disgraces against Wigan, Man City, and Blackburn.

  45. Vaffanculo
    May 5, 2010

    Stupid ManU, why did they sell him? They sold their own EPL title and now he is too good player for RM. So Mallorca´s offside goal was deflected from RM defender but still denied? I have a bad feeling if and when RM wins this game, we dont need another 06-07 season

  46. cliveee
    May 5, 2010

    thong boy scores again. whatever they do, man.
    we win our games and stay as king.

    • cliveee
      May 5, 2010

      by the way, i totally wanna see Mallorca feature in CL. Sorry Sevilla fans, but Mallorca is playing awesome football and deserves a place. I also wanna see what other Spanish side can do in the European stage besides Sevilla.

    • Museum
      May 5, 2010

      That wasn’t exactly a shining example of fine porteroship on his second. If you’re going to come out and stop him, give a bit more effort than that. So it goes.

  47. jordi™
    May 5, 2010

    I think its bullshit that mallorca goal was disallowed, but w/e, we just will win out.

  48. BA
    May 5, 2010

    1-man team that Madrid, eh? Ronaldo-dependencia?

  49. cliveee
    May 5, 2010

    Assistant coach yelling instead of Pelle, lol. Sore throat?

    • Museum
      May 5, 2010

      I’m listening to music while watching, I thought the play was dead. Turns out the three or four of them were just standing around watching as soon as Ronaldo got by them.

  50. Luna
    May 5, 2010

    Wow the Mallorca defenders just stopped playing.

    And those English commentators need to just shut the f up…

  51. Alexinho
    May 5, 2010

    The Yahoo Eurosport feed is so FUCKING BIASED…

    Welp. Time to beat Sevilla.

  52. Vaffanculo
    May 5, 2010

    They did it again, I am not even surprised, they have got already so many “impossible” away wins so far. The opponent again had their chances but did throw it all away,so typical. But guys, dont be overconfident about Sevilla game, it will be very hard, especially if Zlatan starts

  53. Alexinho
    May 5, 2010

    In case you’re wondering, this season vs. Sevilla…

    At home in the Copa, they beat us 1-2.

    Away in the Copa, we beat them 0-1 and were knocked out.

    A few days later, at home, we earned a revenge 4-0 hammering.

  54. Luna
    May 5, 2010

    Mallorca officially went belly f’ing up, pathetic

  55. Jim
    May 5, 2010

    Total Barca reporting that Pique’s injury is worse than first thought and that he is doubtful for Sevilla. 🙁 🙁

  56. Blow-Grenade
    May 5, 2010

    Wow what a game by Sevilla!!! I will get lots of beer and chips for Barca vs Seville. This game is the real deal. There will be very good attacking football on display.
    Forget others, we need Diego Capel for our Barca wing.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 5, 2010

      Plus Capel has been part of the Barca academy in the past. So he understands tiki taka.

  57. jose011
    May 5, 2010

    ooo saturday is going to be a good one!

  58. Lev
    May 5, 2010

    i dont know why people are so happy with Ibra’s assist. looked to me like he misheaded it, yet Messi took great advantage of the opportunity.
    Just saying though…

      • ooga aga
        May 6, 2010

        true, he was attempting to head it on goal i think, messi’s quickness is the only reason we score that goal.

  59. Lev
    May 5, 2010

    Also people saying Ibra’s 6ft4 poses an aerial threat. Being Dutch I have followed Ibra since his Ajax days (my 2nd team after Barça). Never was an aerial threat and I doubt he ever will be. And yes i love his 2 meter high back heel goals. And yes I hate it when we need a goal and he tries to back heel a cross in and misses the ball completely where a STRIKER would head it. You know, actually try to score! And to those who say Ibra should be put on the wing I have one thing to say: he’s too slow!
    You know, just saying though…

  60. Lev
    May 5, 2010

    And also I think it is awesome Pep brought in Ibra so that we would have a Plan B. Too bad he threw plan A out of the window, cause that plan seemed to be working pretty well last season.

    You know, just saying though.
    (and that’s enough of my Ibra hatemail, lol, I really do hope he will shine for Barça bc yes, he is a talented mofo!)

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