News of the Day: May 12, 2010

We win even while holding hands!
Vincenzo Pinto (AFP/Getty Images)

Villa, Villa, Maravilla.

That’s the chant you can hear sometimes at the Mestalla or during La Furia Roja matches. Will we hear it at the Camp Nou in the next week, though? The Spanish newspapers/rags are all reporting that Laporta is pushing hard for David Villa‘s signature before the coming week is out, but it’s hard to put much stock in any of these rumors (€40m! €50m! €20m + Bojan + Hleb!) which circulated constantly throughout last summer in the exact same manner as they are now. Remember when’s “source close to Camp Nou” told them Villa had agreed to a move? Yeah. About that source: “close to Camp Nou” turns out to mean literally close, as in, standing outside the stadium while letting go with verbal diarrhea. This time around it’s mainly €40m and a 4-year deal that’s being bandied about, but I’ll believe it when I see Villa holding his blaugrana #7 shirt and juggling for the cameras in the Camp Nou.

I don’t know whether Villa would fit in with Barça’s system or if his signature would create tension among the front line and produce fights for minutes and I don’t know if his arrival would bring about the departure of other players. I do know that he’s a fantastic player and is extremely popular throughout Spain, but his arrival at the expense of Pedro, Jeffren, or Bojan would be a step backwards in our youth development. Still, Laporta seems to think it’s a good thing to sign here and now before the new presidential candidate comes in, just as a legacy thing, you know? What’s important to me isn’t what Laporta and his ego want, but rather what Guardiola wants. If Pep is the one pushing for Villa’s signature, then all’s good in the BFB ‘hood, but that’s not something that we can know.

The other side of this coin is, of course, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The rumor mill is tossing out friggin’ hand grenades and seeing what sticks, including that we’re going to drop Ibra, but the giant Swede is taking almost no notice as he had rolled to training in his million dollar Ferrari. Sport, somehow stepping up and being the paragon of journalistic ethics for once, obscured his license plate number in the picture they took of it. EMD? Not so much. Regardless of what the rumors say (he’s going to Juventus, he’s going to England), he’s not going anywhere. If he does move, I’ll change my posting name to Queen Elizabeth for a month.

Apparently The Great Yaya‘s agent is claiming that the player is almost certainly gone this summer because Sergio Busquets has taken over his playing time and that’s unacceptable, seeing as Yaya is the best defensive midfielder in the world. You all know where I stand on this: squarely in the shadow of the Yaya, happily scared witless by his size. If he leaves, we’re utter, utter morons. That’s all there is to it. I don’t know if the man deserves a raise along with more playing time, but give him what he wants because he’s worth it. He should play more than Busi, should earn more than Busi, and should be treated with the respect he deserves. Also, he should fire his agent, who is an obvious jerkturd. Yeah I said it.

In other, you know, actual news, Andres Iniesta training normally with the squad, which is fantastic news, but Seydou Keita has apparently been training separately because of a slight knock. Let’s hope he’s fit to play on Sunday. Xavi‘s 5th yellow of the season has not been rescinded by RFEF, which is about as surprising as the sun coming up in the morning. That means we’ll need Iniesta to fill out the bench even though Thiago has apparently been performing well in practice this week.

If you love statistics and records, check out The Guardian’s little bit of trivia about how many records are set to fall this week in La Liga thanks to the stunning points total between the top two sides. Beware, though, of points percentages and whatnot and the number of teams involved in the league at the time of the points hauls mentioned.

What say you?

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Written by:

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.


  1. Jose
    May 12, 2010

    If we let Yaya leave, then I will openly declare that we, indeed, are dumbasses…

    Ibra will of course be staying (good), and I really don’t think we need Villa. We just don’t.

    • barca96
      May 12, 2010

      i would like to disagree jose.
      we do need another reliable goal scorer in the team.
      every team should at least have 2 strikers who can give at least 20goals a season.

      • Eklavya
        May 12, 2010

        We have three of them! Pedro,Messi and Ibra! Yay!

    • Tyler
      May 12, 2010

      maybe we dont “need” Villa (I disagree), but why not have him anyways if our money is sound? He can’t hurt the club, and he’ll definitely score more goals than Henry did this year. And don’t point to him stealing minutes from Bojan and Pedro as a hurt. They have plenty of golden years of football ahead of them. If more amazing players want to come play in our sandbox I say, ‘hey hey come out and play’

      • Kevo
        May 13, 2010

        i think all cules do not want Yaya out. The only person that wants him out is his agent because of the $$$$$$$ commission!?

  2. Jnice
    May 12, 2010

    With the way his agent is talking, I really think Yaya is gone. It’s a shame that such a great player has to have such a shitty agent, even if he has been like a father to Yaya. He is worse than Mino Raiolo, Ibra’s agent. Such a shame.

    As for Villa, like I said yesterday, Balague has been saying for the past couple of weeks that Villa is coming and I always ignored him. But when Graham Hunter cosigned, I became more of a believer. He usually is cautious in what he says, but yesterday on Revista he sounded as confident as Balague.

    • Jnice
      May 12, 2010

      Oh and like Kxevin said in the other post, Yaya’s agent is saying that the reason he hasn’t played as much this season is because of a clause in Yaya’s contract that calls for a bonus if he plays 60% of the matches. I’m sure the clause is there, but I don’t think Pep would think about that when choosing Busi over Yaya.

      • jordi™
        May 12, 2010

        I dont think pep would jeopardize success for a few million euros either.If saving money was his aim he wouldn’t have insisted on Dima.Its not like its Txiki picking lineups.I think its a shame this guy is a bad influence on Yaya, because its obvious he likes it at the club, why else would he learn Catalan.Not even Johan speaks in interviews in Catalan.Yaya is a great player obviously but his language skills have impressed me more than anything else, apart from his patented death stare 😀

        • Jnice
          May 12, 2010

          Agreed about the Catalan part.

          Seluk has to be feeding bullshit into Yaya’s head every night, making things seem worse than they really are.

  3. jordi™
    May 12, 2010

    Seluk can grumble all he wants, its been years since a player has left this club against our wishes.Does anyone think pep will sanction starting the season with one Defensive mid, when 2 was barely enough this year?Short of Mascherano turning up at camp nou in a gift basket I cant see Yaya being allowed to leave without a guaranteed replacement.And if his agent is afraid of competition for places, where is he going to go for this guaranteed place?No matter where he goes there will be competition in this position if its a big club and our squad size is probably the smallest in comparison to the rest of them.Anyway if he leaves it should only to be City.Strengthening cl rivals again this year should be out of the question.

  4. Eklavya
    May 12, 2010

    Since we’re going stats here some interesting ones:

    All games played this season by:

    YAYA: 31
    Keita: 39
    Busi: 46

    Games lost when player was playing this season:

    YAYA: 1
    Busi: 4
    Keiteee: 3

    Since we only have 4 defeats this season, it means Busi played in all of them! LOL!!! 😀

    Balls recovered :

    Keita: 125
    YAYA: 127
    Busi: 232

    Balls lost:

    YAYA: 111
    Busi: 175
    Keita: 180

    And while we are at it…:

    Balls lost:

    Xavi: 303
    Ibra: 389
    Messi: 454

    -Official site stats page

    • ooga aga
      May 12, 2010

      so busi has the best balls recovered:balls lost ratio, it would appear.

  5. Euler
    May 12, 2010

    Were Barca to acquire Villa but sell Ibra that’s a fairly straightforward move.

    If however, they acquire Villa while keeping Ibra – then things get very interesting. That kind of transaction would be a clear signal that Pep both wants the Barca system to evolve and expects player in turn to adapt to it.

    Outside of how one feels about either move specifically, that kind of signal – that kind of strategic flexibility – would be a very good thing to see.

    Barca needs to generate better width along the left flank and the manner in which they do so along the right isn’t easily reproduced or generalized.

    The major question they need to answer is how do we want to generate width on the left side? Width isn’t static. There are many ways to generate width. How does Pep envision this?

    Bringing in Villa while keeping Ibra and Bojana and Pedro for depth would provide Barca with the opportunity to be perhaps the most tactically innovative and flexible squad in the world. It would allow them to create matchups other teams would find extremely difficult to answer. It would allow them to take away significant weapons the other side deploys.

    Now the ultimate goal is to win. Tactically flexibility for it’s own sake has no particular value outside of a world of theory. And I don’t think Pep is interested in engaging in theoretically interesting endeavors. Not after winning 6 trophies.

    The Villa and Ibra situations will be very interesting to watch unfold. It’s going to speak volumes for where the organization is and how Pep envisions structuring the club tactically.

  6. Kxevin
    May 12, 2010

    Agents are a pox on our lovely game. I understand their roles as player advocates and facilitators. I also see, in so many sports, players that teams won’t deal with, precisely because of their agents. If you choose to be represented by a big, giant dickweed, then you must accept those consequences, which sometimes means a team just flat-out getting tired of your shit, and letting you move on just to no longer have to deal with your agent.

    The Yaya might have entered that unfortunate category. So contentions that the team is stupid, or morons must be considered with that caveat. Contentious agents are toxins, and those toxins can affect a locker room, team chemistry and the overall tone of a season. If people see Seluk talking all this crap and leveraging more and more for The Yaya, what incentive is there for them to do things in the right way? None.

    Is The Yaya any less critical to our side than Abidal? No. What have you heard from Abidal’s agent? Nothing. What about Keita? Same question, same answer. Nothing.

    I like The Yaya’s skill set. But football is a business. If he wants to piss away his opportunities for more championships by going to Arsenal or wherever, then let him. Farewell and good riddance. If his departing will lower the cost of Fabregas, who I am increasingly starting to see the logic of from a midfield depth perspective, so much the better.

    But I just don’t think that any agent should be able to scatter bullshit in the press, like throwing turds at a fan. No, no, no, no. And that includes Ibrhaimovic’s agent, with his “Well, Juventus is interested, blah, blah, blah.” To hell with that.

    This is a business. We don’t have players who are playing for free. Anybody who believes for a moment that Guardiola didn’t play The Yaya as much because of a fiscal stipulation in his contract, accuses our club of being a dim-witted, nickel-and-dime outfit. To hell with them, and that.

    Guardiola had legitimate competitive reasons that were his own, for not playing The Yaya as much. I have to respect those even if I don’t understand them. If his agent wants to take his player and go home, let him. Good riddance.

    –There is an assumption that Villa’s arrival will mean that Ibrahimovic is on the outs, and that player development will be hindered. Neither one is true. If you watch Valencia, Villa drifts to the wing anyhow. Just start him out there, with an attack of Villa/Ibrahimovic/Messi.

    What of Krkic and Pedro!? The former gets his minutes in lesser competitions or as a sub (playing time, injury, etc.) and the latter returns to his rightful role as super sub. We gain depth and lose precious little.

    –The Ibrhahimovic deal, by the by, began life as a Daily Mail “exclusive.” This is often tantamount to “one of our writers made this up.” Rather than doing due diligence on the story and contacting sources, other footballing press entities just ran with it. Now it has become “fact,” or as much of a piece of fact as anything can be in a world of often dim-witted speculation.

    But at some point, we have to trust the people who run the club to do what is right for that club. Their asses are on the line. We just get to meet here and chatter about it. I would hope that they know better than to do something that would damage the club. But sometimes, that “something” means letting a valuable player go because of the damage potential of his agent.

    I don’t know if such things are a fact, but it’s worth considering.

    • Bill
      May 12, 2010

      ALL agents talk. That is a fact of life. Their No.1 job is to look out for their clients affairs. They act as a form of PR person. If a player is unhappy in the locker room, what should he do? Throw tantrums and become petulant? No, they shut up and talk to the agent, who then tries everything in his power to fix the problem, including throwing verbal shots across the bow through the media.

      I guarantee you, if Messi is benched in favor of Jeffren…or Hleb ;), his agent will be up in arms. So would Xavi’s, so would Iniesta’s. Ronaldinho’s brother did it, Deco’s agent did it, Puyols’ agent did it, Marquez’ agent did it, Eto’o’s agent did it, Henry’s did it, and even Ibra’s done it.

      So why do you all act soo shocked?

      • Kxevin
        May 12, 2010

        Of course all agents talk. As I said, I understand what they do in their roles. It doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

        What an unhappy player should do is start by talking to his coach. If he doesn’t get a resolution that way, then other steps are appropriate, but threatening to leave the club, to me, hardly counts as a viable step. That, when the club has what it perceives as an excellent, and even preferable option, is just a way to get a plane ticket out of town. And if he wants to go, I will wish him all the best, until he faces us.

        The difference in the cases that you cite: Messi, Xavi or Iniesta is that there IS no more viable option.

        Playing for a successful side means that you sometimes won’t get the playing time that you need, or that you might not be first among equals. If you don’t dig that, you have every right to say it. But man up and say it yourself, as Henry did when he wasn’t digging his amount of playing time. I just think that players who speak through their agents are punks. Like fans don’t know that it’s the player himself speaking.

        Anybody who isn’t happy at Barca can leave. Simple as that. The club will go on being successful without you.

    • vicsoc8
      May 12, 2010

      As an add on and side note:

      If Pep wants to stay and continue to coach the club for an extended amount of time (which I think he does – with his success so far I can’t see why he’d want to leave) then he can NEVER EVER lose control of the locker room. Rijkaard lost control of the locker room, and failure immediately followed.

      If Pep has to get rid of a player who won’t play nice and isn’t willing to accept their role in the team, and whose agent is constantly spouting to the media to control the locker room, then I can accept that.

  7. Bill
    May 12, 2010

    If I was Yaya’s agent, I would do exactly what he is doing. It’s not like he is saying something which is surprising to any of us. I’m actually impressed that he shut his mouth untill now. The fact is, Yaya has been treated like shit this whole season. Busquets is only 22, could have afforded to be Yaya’s, Iniesta & Xavi’s deputy for 3 more years, yet he has supplanted Yaya for no apparent reason. Just watching the two play, its easy to notice that Busquets is good and has lots of potential, but Yaya just bings a little more to the table.

    I said last season that I wasn’t ready to elevate Pep to God-like status because it was his first season, though it went amazingly well. This season, I think Pep has proved to be a brilliant tactician, but his personell decisions leave alot to be desired.

    From getting rid of eto’o, benching henry and Yaya, buying Txigrinsky to not giving Bojan any sort of meaningful minutes earlier in the season. I’m often left scratching my head. (his promotion of Pedro, Jeffren and Busquets was timely though)

    This last game was especially confusing to me. We were up by 3-0 around the 65th minute, Xavi’s injuries have been well documented, and Bojan was struggling with fitness at that point, yet they played well into the 85th minute. Who was on the bench? Yaya, Ibra, Henry. Any of those veterans could have added a different dimension to the team and fresher legs at that point.

    And I don’t buy the form issue, because at different points in the season, Bojan, Henry and Yaya have been called upon, and they all performed exceptionally well given the circumstances.

    Pep is an idealistic coach, which fits the barcelona way like a glove, but sometimes he needs to learn that Utility players are just as essential as the creative players in making things work.

    Painting the mona lisa is great, but the canvass and frame used for the painting are just as essential to the whole story.

    • Euler
      May 12, 2010

      Yaya utilization for much of the season has been truly puzzling. I also agree that the last Sevilla match was particularly odd given everything that was at stake.

      Tactically the team was able to dominate Sevilla for the first part of the match through frenetic pressing and possession. The work rate of the forward line was particularly remarkable. Alves was the central figure in opening up width.

      But it is extremely difficult to play like that for 90 minutes – and the squad just could not do it.

      Why Pep didn’t substitute more aggressively when up was strange.

      When a team presses like that and expends that much energy up high, much of the defending is essentially done through the forward line and indirectly via possession. When that form of defending lets up due to fatigue, the burden of defensive responsibility needs to be redistributed.

      It was seemingly the most straightforward situation to use Yaya in – particularly given Xavi’s injury.

      Despite that he hardly played. Perhaps something deep seated is going on between Pep and Yaya. That said from the outside the situation is very puzzling.

      I too thought the Sevilla match was poor sign for Yaya’s future with the club. Even if Pep wants Yaya to stay, those kinds of patterns of usage are not going to sit well with a player like Yaya. Perhaps something has happened that we don’t know about that justifies Yaya’s disuse – but it’s not a good sign for his relationship with the club.

      • Bill
        May 12, 2010

        Yep! Thats all I’m saying. If only I could articulate it as well as you Euler…sigh 🙂

      • barca96
        May 12, 2010

        bill, i would like to add one more point to your excellent post.
        pep shouldve given jds, thiago, fontas and muniesa some more first team action earlier in the season. there were plenty of matches where we were controlling and yet xavi and messi are playing full matches. he sticks to the same players sometimes(seville the latest one)under any circumstances that makes me think of rijkaard’s flwas.

        • Kxevin
          May 12, 2010

          Remember that the first team is limited in how many times it can use a second team player without promoting said player.

    • vicsoc8
      May 12, 2010

      From getting rid of eto’o, benching henry and Yaya, buying Txigrinsky to not giving Bojan any sort of meaningful minutes earlier in the season. I’m often left scratching my head. (his promotion of Pedro, Jeffren and Busquets was timely though)

      I disagree with almost all of those issues. Eto’o goes because Pep wants a tactical change. Henry is benched because he’s playing poorly. Txigrinskiy has massive potential, though he hasn’t adapted particularly quickly. Bojan was awful earlier in the season, and had zero confidence. Yaya plays less because his skill set isn’t as useful in Pep’s tactical approach (although I’d like to see him play more).

      Despite all these things, if we win La Liga we still will have had a very successful season.

  8. Helge
    May 12, 2010

    What’s going on here?
    La Liga isn’t finished yet and the transfer rumours are flying in as if there’s nothing else to care about.
    But there is still one match left, the most important of the season imo, against a Valladolid side that has lost only once under their new coach. We have Xavi suspended, Iniesta still not fully recovered, but Sport & Co. only talk about Ibra leaving, Villa signing ?!?
    This cannot be good, it will certainly distract the team from their actual mission, which is to win that last match. How must Ibra feel now?
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Marca and AS were reporting these rumours, but even our own press is already going crazy about transfer season…

    Anyway, I doubt it very much that a frontline of Messi, Ibra and Villa would do good for Barca. It’s just a “feeling”, but if we get Villa, we’ll have to sell Ibra. People might say Villa can also play on the wing, but he’s certainly not the best winger right now. So why pay 40m for a 29.5 year old who doesn’t even play in his favourite position for most of the matches?

    • Bill
      May 12, 2010

      Oh no! Feelings again? 🙂 I hate feelings. 🙂 Everytime I hear that word, i run under the table…

  9. Bill
    May 12, 2010

    By the way, this is neither here nor there, but Dunga’s decision not to take Ronaldinho, Diego and Pato to the worldcup is boneheaded. Ronaldinho hasn’t returned to his ultimate best, but his everage is still better than most. The few games I watched this season, his passes, free kicks and ability to conjure up flashes of brilliance are still there. Those are exactly the type of things you need to break open a tight game. Brazil has transformed into a utility team (in Dunga’s image), but they lack the creative spark to make it all work better.

    I’m taking Brazil out of the equation because of that.

    • Helge
      May 12, 2010

      And what do you with Argentina, who are missing Cambiasso, Zanetti, Riquelme, Aimar, Banega, Lisandro, Lucho, Garay, our Milito?
      I guess you already took them out of the equation since it was confirmed that Maradumba is their coach for the WC, right? 😀

      • Bill
        May 12, 2010

        Helge, at this point, Maradona has done his damndest best to make sure Argentina isn’t a factor in this world cup. And thats from a guy who has idolized maradona for a long time. Not taking Zanetti, Cambiasso and Milito especially is just suicidal. Riquelme, I can understand, especially if it’s true he wasn’t getting along with Messi. Atleast he took Higuain and inter’s Milito eventually.

        But yeah, argentina isn’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, Messi gets blamed. Brazil has a better chance than them.

        • Helge
          May 12, 2010

          The funny thing about this WC is, I’ve never been so disappointed by the line-ups from almost all the big nations. Only Spain has chosen a close to perfect line-up, but France, Brazil, Italy, Argentina and to some extent also Germany have made horrible call ups.

          Given the current line-ups, only Spain and England can convince me. Maybe you can add the Netherlands, I’m not quite sure about them yet 🙂

      • Auld Super
        May 12, 2010

        Maradona is God and will be treated with the respect that he, the greatest player ever to play the game deserves.

        • Kevo
          May 13, 2010

          but if he [Maradona] treats other like utter crap, then he doesn’t deserved to be treated as a God.

  10. Aeneas
    May 12, 2010

    The Yaya is the man. Villa for the right price would be splendid, but the price will never be right.

    How does Ibra fit in that car? *

    • barca96
      May 12, 2010

      lol thats random.
      that pic should refer to shaq lol

  11. Memorylane
    May 12, 2010

    Copy and pasted but I agree with most of it:

    if Messi was benched.. His representor/dad should shut his mouth and be happy the best player in his position is benched? Xavi? Alves? Ibra?
    Busquets is a good sub for Toure.. But he is light years away of being Barca 1st string defensive mid. Not only do we get physical power on the middle, we also get height, long passing option AND a DMF that helps cover the back line ALL the time.
    Oh.. Btw.. when have u seen Toure going down every 5 minutes? Usually is the other players that get knock down by his power! Also.. he knows EXACTLY when he should do tactic fouls on players.. unlike Busquets that usually let the players pass and end up in goals..

  12. Memorylane
    May 12, 2010

    More thoughts I have to agree with:
    I feel sorry for Yaya, and I kinda hate how Barca treats him. He deserves to be recognized as he is – one of the best midfielders in the world. I don’t know if it’s the money, or Pep, but if I were him I would leave, as I wouldn’t trust Barca having signed a new contract last season and getting bench despite it.

  13. Memorylane
    May 12, 2010

    Interesting comment I read regarding the situation with Yaya:

    I think i know why yaya isnt getting any playing time i have 2 theories…..
    1. World cup year. We all know busquetts dad works at barcelona so he wants his son to have a chance to play in the world cup, the only way that can happen is if he gets playing time, so a simple conversation with pep is all it takes for biskitts to be playing, even if he does make huge mistakes and is a disgrace on the field wioth his antics, the escuse is he’s young and will learn with experience, if busquetts was in a mid table club, he would be on the bench, his acting of throwing himself to the ground and wining free kicks he only gets because he’s at barcelona

    2. Pep doesnt want people to think this is rijkaards teams, yes we know he bought pique,alvez keita etc. But yaya and eto’o are great performers, eto’o with his hard work, and yaya with his clean up duties. Zlatan brings more elegance, and busquetts brings that as well. even keita is getting more playing time than yaya and even if busquetts is to play yaya should be in there instead of keita, but keita is pep’s signing. If you look at the squad now, other than the youth players, who in the starting 11 is rijkaards signing??? Pep wants to impliments his own players, thats okay if you buy a alvez, or a pique… but to throw yaya and eto’o by the waste side, who despite off-field issues they may have. They performance of the field has been nothing less than 100%

  14. pulpo
    May 12, 2010

    The reason for Yayas decreased playing time might have started out as technical- tactical experimentation, ACN- but i think its become for personal. Pep is human afterall and might hold a grudge against yaya (or his agent). Anyway, if both want each other, theres nothing a good face to face talk cannot resolve. The question everyone still doesnt understand is why Pep doesnt value Yaya at DM. The past few games yaya has well and truly become a back-up. This means Pep cannot guarantee Yaya first team action, Yaya will most likely leave unless Pep changes his plan for next season.

    What will pep do with busquets alone? Perhaps he wants a structure which doesnt involve a true DM? Does anyone see how this would work?

    • vicsoc8
      May 12, 2010

      If Yaya leaves, we will sign a new DM to cover/rotate with Busquets. There is no way Pep would go into the season with only Busquets at DM.

      • Jnice
        May 12, 2010

        Yeah, like visoc said, Pep will definitely buy another DM if Yaya leaves. That or convert Txigrinski into one.

    • Kxevin
      May 12, 2010

      I disagree. Guardiola is a coach and a human being, but he isn’t an idiot. And benching a useful player because of personal animus is being an idiot, pure and simple.

      And suddenly, when a fan favorite isn’t getting the love he deserves and is threatening to leave, the Guardiola long knives come out? Rijkaard had most of the same players and did squat for two seasons. Guardiola came in and, with a couple of key additions, won six trophies.

      But he didn’t win six trophies this year so now, he’s fallible. A coach, particularly a headstrong one such as Guardiola, has a notion of the game that he wants to play. If that notion doesn’t include a particular player, so be it. The Yaya’s value will NEVER he higher than it is right now. Perfect time to sell, particularly since his salary isn’t astronomical, either.

      Does Guardiola not value The Yaya as DM, or does he crave a different kind of DM? Or does he think that a player such as Pique or Txigrinsky will have value in that spot right in front of the defense? Good questions all, and questions that I don’t have the answer to.

      I do know that transfers roil debates among fans like few other things. We all know that The Yaya is an excellent player at his position. But if he goes, he will be gone, and we will carry on.

      What choice do we have?

  15. Memorylane
    May 12, 2010

    Either way if Yaya leaves I’ll be heartbroken and will be very dissapointed in Barca regardless who comes in during the summer.
    You might think I’m soft or it’s not that serious but I’m being real that’s how I high I value him.

    We never had a player like him in DM in my opinion he is complete package and Busquets doesn’t cut it for me.

  16. Hilal
    May 12, 2010

    My personal feeling is that Pep wants Mascherano and thinks he can get him now that Liverpool has basically collapsed. He tried to get him last summer and that failed so he held on to Yaya, but I dont think he likes him for our team, for whatever reason. Not sure if it is tactical or if he thinks Yaya rocks the boat too much or whatever. Thats the way I see it though. I think thats why we have seen less and less of Yaya as the season has progressed. Obviously nothing to do with his ability, he is an exceptional player, but players come and go. Pep is the coach and if he believes a player is hindering the team then we as fans cannot really argue. We see things from the outside, we have no idea what goes on in the dressing room or in training. If we cannot trust Pep to make the right decisions for the team then who can we trust? I certainly wouldnt want to keep Yaya if he is having ANY sort of negative effect. As exceptional as he is, he is only one player and we have all seen this year that when we are ON, when we play as a team, it doesnt really matter who plays in that role.. If we do sell Yaya then we would most definitely replace him with Mascherano anyways. That is almost like for like (although personally i prefer Yaya). So lets not all get too dramatic over this.

    • pulpo
      May 12, 2010

      Yes Macherano to replace Yaya makes a lot of sense to me, especially with last summer in mind. What does macherano offer over Yaya? How much would he cost us?

      • Dave
        May 12, 2010

        it makes no sense, yaya is far more complete- plus think about this,if yaya (and ibra) go we’re going back to been bullied by physical sides like chelsea and inter. Yaya must not go, we’re losing a terrific athlete and a ball playing mf and cb. Depressing situation

      • Tyler
        May 12, 2010

        he offers a shit-ton more yellow cards for one. I hardly watch liverpool play but when I do he always fouls without abandon. I mean I suppose he is a “destroyer” but jeez.

    • vicsoc8
      May 12, 2010

      Nice sentiments, but I would personally prefer that Yaya was replaced with Jan Vertonghen (in the event Yaya leaves, my first choice would be for him to stay). Jan plays at Ajax so he has a good background and most likely wouldn’t have too much difficulty fitting in. He is a CB/DM hybrid and can play both positions effectively, like Yaya. He is also versatile and can play in the midfield and defense on the left. Add to that the fact that he is young and wouldn’t demand a starting position and he’s the perfect candidate in my eyes.

      Now when you add in that Cruyff has declared how good he thinks Vertonghen is, and I see a winner.

  17. Dave
    May 12, 2010

    Hey great stuff anyone know where I can Watch revista again? missed it yesterday

    • Jnice
      May 12, 2010

      Courtesy of Pakman





      Links are interchangeable

  18. Memorylane
    May 12, 2010

    Mascherano being a like for like for Yaya Toure… Now I heard everything, he’s nothing more then a glorified dirty player it’s an insult to Toure for you to compare him to the likes of Mascherano.

    Let’s keep it 100 if he is going that’s his decision he knows what’s best for his future…
    When we talk about last season’s success he hardly gets a mention and anybody who followed every game of Barca last season will tell you that he was a key contributor without him there would be no triple you can spin it anyway you want but that is a fact.

    Nobody can doubt his commitment, when there were injuries/suspensions in the final part of last season i.e. Chelsea second leg Stamford bridge (he held the defense line on his own after Abidal got sent off and Pique and Alves were going forward for the away goal, it was Yaya who stopped Drogba with his last ditch tackles)

    Copa final (which he scored the decisive goal and what a goal it was to open up the game)

    Final in Rome….

    All the above games he was played out of position as a CB never once did he complain but I seem to remember when Pep asked Keita to play as LB in place of the suspended Abidal he straight up told pep no he won’t do it.

    If we are being honest regardless of whom Pep favors then there can be no argument Sergi Busquets isn’t half the player Yaya Toure is.

    If I was Yaya Toure I’d be insulted after all he gave to this club and let’s not forget in Rijkaard’s final season he put off surgery and took injections for a slip disk to play against Manchester United semi-final and he gave a man of the match performance at the nou camp.

    He has played his heart out and to be subjected to warming the bench for a player who should be his understudy I would be insulted and heartbroken also considering Busquets every week showed he doesn’t deserve that position over Toure, even Keita gets favored week in and out regardless of how average their performances are he still can’t get a look in that would hurt.

    You’d be lying if you say he should be happy his team is winning majority of the games.

    • vicsoc8
      May 12, 2010

      You’d be lying if you say he should be happy his team is winning majority of the games.

      Henry isn’t playing and he’s happy…

      If we are being honest regardless of whom Pep favors then there can be no argument Sergi Busquets isn’t half the player Yaya Toure is.

      There can be lots of arguments. In fact, they are both better at how they specifically play the position. Yaya is a destroyer, a typical DM. Busquets is more of a deep lying playmaker. Yaya is not a better deep lying playmaker than Busquets. Busquets is not a better destroyer than Yaya.

      Pep prefers the deep lying playmaker.

      Let’s not forget that despite the fact that Busquets is only half the player Yaya is, he has started the majority of our games this season and we have been remarkably successful.

      • Kxevin
        May 12, 2010

        If you’re going to make sense, get out! 😀

        Good points. Even the matches in which we lost the midfield, we have to ask how the match was actually lost. I would argue that, irrespective of any defensive shortcomings, we had significant breakdowns in our box, which is supposed to be the last line of defense when all else fails.

        We defend with possession and attack. But when that doesn’t work, our defense has to be able to stop players from scoring. We have given up fewer goals this season, and have more points in the Liga as well as a better goal diffrential, despite lacking the gaudy scorelines of last season.

        So is Busquets really all that bad? I find him personally vexing for his behavior, but he kicked out the jams against Sevilla. If that’s his standard, I’ll take it. That Inter jackass, however, you can keep. 😀

        But yes, I think there are times when a team of midgets needs to be able to roll out a galaxy, who can frighten just by standing there. Which doesn’t mean, if The Yaya departs, that I think it is anything other than the business that a good club has to do to remain successful. As I said, there will never, EVER be a better time to sell him than right now.

        • vicsoc8
          May 12, 2010

          Just to be clear, I really like the Yaya and what he brings to the club. I would be disappointed to see him leave.

          But the club is more than any one player, and I for one won’t be calling for Pep’s head if the Yaya leaves.

    • Bundy
      May 13, 2010

      from portion of this YEAR has the team played with no more then three days rest in between?

      I think ever since early february our fixture almost always featured midweek games.

      add on to the fact that Yaya fell ill and got injured somehow and at some point, you would have to question his fitness levels.

      Ok, you could say that its unjust how Busquets manages to pick up more playing time and what not, but I really doubt it is wise to field Yaya twice or three times every seven days. Its just too much, especially with the versitility of Yaya, he gets fielded anywhere, this season he has been featured more in an attacking midfield position and that alone takes a toll on his consistency and fitness levels.

      Its also considerable that Pep see the players almost everyday in training and well I think what Pep sees in training mostly influences his choices in the line-up and well maybe Yaya has found this season campaigne a bit daunting.

      Busquets is young and he is easily adaptive to new things, he gets motivated a lot easier and well his fitness levels are easier to maintain aswell. I guess when fixtures become congested he is more often relied apon.

      As for last year (early this season), Yaya didnt have the greatest performances and sort of began this season on his backfoot. There could be various reasons why, motivation? consistency? who knows.

      As for his Transfer, things become a little different. expect to hear more from his agent after the season finishes as Yaya will be solely foccused on the WC and well players can change afterwards, plus also the elections can have an influence on Yaya’s decision to leave or not.

      But with Pep’s decision, you have to consider what next season will be like, one key difference will be the congestion of the fixture will be far less next season, with no CWC or Uefa Super cup and no ACN or CWC, Maybe Pep might consider next season an ideal season for Yaya to play more minutes.

  19. Hilal
    May 12, 2010

    I didnt say Mascherano offered anything over Yaya, all i said was this is what I think is going to happen, given what happened last summer and Yayas subsequent lack of playing time this year. Is it the right move? In my humble opinion, no, it isnt, but i am not the coach who turned a team of underachievers into possibly one of the best sides football has ever seen. I think Pep has shown that he knows what is best for the team. He knows all the players, he knows the dressing room and all the player issues. If he doesnt want Yaya in the team then it is for a damn good reason because he is a damn good player.

    Anyways I hope we keep him, but if we dont it aint the end of the world and I trust that whoever Pep choses to replace him will be a success.

  20. vicsoc8
    May 12, 2010

    Let’s remember that Pep has more than once commented on how important Yaya is to the team. This isn’t a matter of Pep not wanting Yaya. This is more a matter of whether or not Yaya is willing to accept an different role in the team than he played last year.

    When his agent comes out and says “There is a 90% chance Yaya will be at a different club next season” it’s time to believe it’s true. Although I hear this as “There is a 90% chance I will collect a large commission when I move Yaya to a new club this summer”

  21. Kxevin
    May 12, 2010

    Try this lineup on for size, assuming the least silly rumors are true:

    Alves Pique Puyol Abidal
    Xavi Txigrinski/Busquets Iniesta
    Messi Ibrahimovic Villa

    Anybody got a problem with that?

    Yes, we lose the ability of The Yaya to move forward and attack, but perhaps Guardiola has figured that he can get that out of Busquets, that a big destroyer just in front of the defense would be more helpful.

    Dunno, just throwing it out there.

    • Dave
      May 12, 2010

      Athleticism is sorely lacking where its important

    • cliveee
      May 12, 2010

      I don’t see how Chgyrinskiy can play at DM, not right now. He does not have the foot skill. The last time he cost us a goal was when he failed to control a mediocre ball from Yaya which any other player on the team would not. Still room for improvement I will say, but if he is going to play at DM, he will have to prove to us that he can handle the ball well. Busi can handle the ball better than him and even Yaya. That’s why he starts.

  22. Memorylane
    May 12, 2010

    Despite these unfounded claims of Busi being a deep lying playmaker, Yaya had had 4 assists to his name.
    I really don’t like how people try to justify Pep’s decsion with lies.
    We get it Pep like Busquets for reasons no 1 can honestly tell you why.
    Please stop downplaying Yaya’s abilities to justify Busquets inclusion.

    Yaya can play tike taka football, can pass the ball with the best of them, his long range passing ability is better, his dribbling ability is better, his defense ability is unquestionably better, his shooting is better etc Just because Busquests is from La Masia and is Spanish doesn’t automatically mean he’s better then Yaya technically because in reality that is not true.

    I’m done it’s no point arguing this with some y’all… I say that because some of you are on that sheep mentality (no disrespect)if Pep plays him so automatically that gives him a pass and who I’m I to question Pep”

    I appreciate Pep and everybody in the squad but what has been done to Yaya is an injustice.

    • Bill
      May 12, 2010

      Memorylane, we can’t possibly be on the same wavelength this much on this issue. I had to check to make sure I wasn’t the one who posted this. If you were a woman, I’d marry you….are you? Hahaha

    • vicsoc8
      May 12, 2010

      I would argue with you, but this is just disrespectful. Any opinions other than yours are lies? Please some of the arguments here more clearly, because I don’t see anyone saying “Everything Pep does it right”.

    • Euler
      May 12, 2010

      I really don’t like how people try to justify Pep’s decsion with lies….I’m done it’s no point arguing this with some y’all… I say that because some of you are on that sheep mentality (no disrespect)

      This is completely cynical and empty thing to say. To say something that’s blatantly disrespectful and then try to cop out and get by on it by using parnethetical disclaimers is just unbelievably weak…

      And to suggest that people who might disagree with some notion of yours as “lies…” is just awful.

      It’s exactly these kinds of ridiculous statements that make the vast majority of football blogs garbage.

      The sad thing is that I actually agree with most of what you are saying in substance. But the way you’re expressing it is completely disrespectful and inappropriate.

      • Euler
        May 12, 2010

        To clarify – I agree with much of what you’re saying on substance about Yaya. The attitude and insults towards others leaves a great deal to be desired.

  23. Bill
    May 12, 2010

    Nice post memorylane. I didn’t know about the surgery and slip disc. I even forgot about the performances against ManU. I guess thats why you go by the ‘memorylane’ handle?

    In the last few years, players like Iniesta and Xavi were grossly underrated. This season, it has been yaya’s turn. Players like him don’t come along too often, and his departure will leave a gaping hole in the team like Eto’o’s did. It’s no coincidence that he is getting alot of standing ovations from the fans this season. Fans know it. They see it. But they feel whats coming. Sad really. Again, we are messing with a position that wasn’t a problem last year.

    Anyone remember how Yaya played this season as a box to box midfielder? The movement, the ball handling, the marauding runs, the killer passes? His talents are immense. The fact that he bottles them up to play DM as effectively and as cautious as he does is unbelievable.

    The so called 80-20 rule of marriage applies here. You desire the 20% that another woman offers soo much, that you forget the other 80% that your wife offers. Then when you leave your wife for the other woman, you eventually realize that you lost the other 80%. But it’s too late.

    I’m confident that Pep will eventually get it. He will get that the squad you want may not always be the squad you need. That the squad you have may be even better than you think, if you take time to work with individual players to improve on some areas you may want another dimension added.

    But at what cost will this learning curve come? First Eto’o, now Yaya. Who else will serve as fodder for Peps learning material? Bojan?

  24. Euler
    May 12, 2010

    If they decide to sell Yaya money, unhappiness, his agent, etc. may all be factors.

    But the root cause will likely be due to Pep having a different vision for what skill sets the DM/ deep mid should have within the system he wants to run.

    What those skill set are and how they will be tactically deployed are unclear. But Pep clearly wants this team shaped in his vision and this might be another step in that direction.

    Whether they sell Yaya is still to be determined – but if they do deciding whether or not that’s the right move – only time will tell. Much of it will depend on how Pep decides to evolve the overall system.

  25. Kxevin
    May 12, 2010

    Does it really always come back to Eto’o? What does Eto’o prove? Oh. Wait. We didn’t win as many trophies because we sold him right? I get it. Should we completely discount the Henry effect on our success last season? What if he were the same as he was last season? It’s a hypothetical, but let’s put it out there. What if we had adequate squad depth, so that our fatigued players’ minds and muscles didn’t go south at the wrong times? What if Ibrahimovic hadn’t come to us with a broken hand? What if Krkic had been as he was the past 3 matches, for the WHOLE season?

    A lot of “what its,” right? Should we have sold Eto’o? If Guardiola wanted to, then yes. Simple as that. Because he’s the coach, and it’s his team. Would Eto’o have been the same this season, with the same number of goals? Is he the same player? Not according to his goal totals at Inter, right?

    Eto’o is history. I respect and admire what he did for the club, but he’s in the rear-view mirror now. If we win the Liga on Saturday, it will be with a record-setting points total. A pessimist might say that we are two bad referee decisions away from doing the treble again: the Txigrinski penalty v Sevilla and the handball v Inter.

    But I’m an optimist. And for me, we have still had a magnificent season, have still played glorious football that made the world really appreciate how amazing this club is. Most importantly, I feel like we have taken decisions that set this club up for future success.

    Sheep? How DARE you, Memorylane? We do NOT name-call in this space. The same people that you accuse of being sheep could accuse YOU of having blind loyalty to a player, and insufficent trust in the coach of the club that you allegedly support.

    This is the precise reason that we don’t name-call in this space, because it doesn’t lead to anywhere good.

    We can agree to disagree, and we can debate the hell out of it, but we should do so in a way that is respectful, and above message board nonsense. Insults drag the level of discourse down into the shit. Stop it. Please. You can’t defend an insult, and it shifts the discussion from the situation to something personal, and that is just ugly. It’s comforting that Isaiah and I don’t really have to moderate the comments here, that people can have discussions in the spirit of the space. It is my fondest wish that that continues.

    • Hilal
      May 12, 2010

      Watch out for Memorylane, he also goes by the name The Evil Men That Do. He has a bit of a thing for Yaya and tends to attack anybody who dares to critisize the manmountain.

      He has already turned another great Barca forum into a Yaya vs Sergi moshpit.

      Well done to Athleti!! Another victory for Spanish football over the boring old English 🙂

  26. Eklavya
    May 12, 2010

    Meh, Fullham equalise 5 mins later -.-‘


  27. Ryan
    May 12, 2010

    1-1 at the half, with most of the pressure coming from Atletico. Fun first half!

    • Kxevin
      May 12, 2010

      Well if Fulham wins, it means that their 12th-placed team is better than our 9th-place team. So ….

      GO PATHETICO!!!!

      • Bill
        May 12, 2010

        And for that reason, I say ‘go pathetico! too!

  28. Colby
    May 12, 2010

    Kxevin mentioned that Yaya’s departure could lower the price of Cesc, “who [he is] increasingly starting to see the logic of from a midfield depth perspective.” I have to say, if Yaya is going to leave, I wouldn’t mind it being in return for Cesc (obviously with some cash departing). I was pretty ardently against Cesc a few months ago, but I’m also coming around. We’ve seen that Pep is willing to try different formations, so why couldn’t he find a way to fit in Cesc? Or Villa for that matter? We are no longer tied to the 4-3-3, for better or for worse Think about playing our “heavily-modified 4-4-2” (more like 4-2-1-3) that we have played a few times with Iniesta, Cesc, Xavi, and Pedro, behind Messi and Ibra. That could definitely work (against most sides).

    I apologize for bringing up Cesc again, but are there really that many things that Busquets brings to the table that we need for every game that couldn’t be provided by hardwork from Cesc, Xavi, and Co.?

  29. Colby
    May 12, 2010

    Also, I don’t think that bringing in Villa will be bad for the development of Bojan and Pedro.

    1.How many times over the past 3 years have we heard “Henry is a great mentor for Bojan so we should keep him around”? Wouldn’t Villa be a great mentor for Bojan too–especially since we are losing Henry? I mean, someone needs to make sure Bojan is in bed before 8:00.

    2. Messi has been playing a lot more centrally during the second half of this season, meaning that even if Villa takes up room on the left, we still have that right winger role open for the games when Messi is deployed centrally.

    3. We are considering this move based on our current formation. Our formation may change slightly if we sign Villa, so it’s (slightly) pointless to argue about where Villa would fit into our current formation.

    4. Messi has played too much this season. Some of his minutes should be given to Pedro, Bojan, and Co. for next season.

    5. As Kxevin mentioned, Pedro is still our Super-Sub and if he starts next less year I still expect him to appear in as many games as a sub.

    6. The last few games of the year have shown that Bojan may be earning more minutes. The reason he hasn’t played a ton centrally is mostly because he hasn’t proved to be effective, until recently. So if he keeps it up, I think we will just see more game to game rotation happening between Villa, Ibra, Messi, Pedro, and Bojan.

    That having been said, it may be logical to suggest a trickle down effect hurting Gai’s development. But he is, I think, the only other youngster besides Jeffren. And it’s impossible to say whether or not he will be border-line first team next year anyway. Plus, I don’t think Pedro and Bojan will steal too many of his CDR games etc.

    • Kxevin
      May 12, 2010

      What’s the recent deal on Assulin anyhow? Anyone know? I know that he’s up for a contract renewal, and many folks think that he’s still the business. I confess that he didn’t show much when he played with the big boys, but that was mainly because he kept trying to gild the lily.

      Have to nose around that one.

    • vicsoc8
      May 12, 2010

      I thought for a while that Villa would be bad for the development of the youngins, but I’ve mostly changed my mind. Besides, rotating Ibra, Villa, Messi, Pedro, and Bojan is just a mouthwatering concept.

      As for Gai – I think a lot will depend on how patient he is. I don’t think he’ll be ready for any serious time next year, and may need another year of integration after that. He doesn’t score a lot in the B team. I wouldn’t put him in my list of top 5 promising youth products right now, but what do I know?

  30. Bill
    May 12, 2010

    Kxevin, well, we are not really talking about the issue of Eto’o specifically, but as a context for the larger picture of the teams’ personell decision making.

    But Just for the record, since you brought it up, and I think someone else mentioned it in a previous post, Eto’o plays wing at Inter. I don’t even have to mention it because we all saw where he was playing when Inter played Barcelona. His goal haul as a winger and his performances there actually mirror that of Henry(whom you appreciated soo much) last season. Ask any Inter fan what they think of him there, or check out inter.theoffside ratings on him.

    And about the point haul, at what point did we take the foot off the pedal last year? When we were 12 points up on real madrid? or when we kicked their asses 6-2 and went 7 points up? This season, we have had to fight for every single point we could get because we needed it. Would Eto’o have scored 30 goals again? I don’t know. No one knows. But he did go on 2 one month long slumps and still got 30. Besides, we have his past records to compare to. he gave atleast 25 in each full season he played, and matched Ibra’s 16 playing half a season, twice!

    Back to the larger issue. My point is getting rid of great players or not utilising what you have and instead seeking other alternatives at the end may not get you the results you think it would.

    Sorry to bring up Eto’o, it’s just part of a larger discussion…

    • Kxevin
      May 12, 2010

      No probls, Bill. You make good points. But I think that both Eto’o and Ibrahimovic were out of sorts this season, shoved into a system that wasn’t going to adapt completely to accomodate them. So neither did as well as he did with his previous employer. The future will show whether that will change.

      I also think that getting rid of great players, with a different goal in mind that might not encompass that particular player(s), deserves some consideration in this debate. Hence my hypothetical lineup for next season, which on paper strikes me as interesting, and potent as hell.

  31. cliveee
    May 12, 2010

    wanna see Patheletico win for the glory of la liga over EPL. win it!!!

    • cliveee
      May 12, 2010


  32. Eklavya
    May 12, 2010

    OH MY GOD. What a missed chance for Atleti…

    • Ryan
      May 12, 2010

      I was cheering the goal before I learned they somehow messed that up!

  33. Miguel
    May 12, 2010

    peppy playing busque over toure should be taken in context. how many games has iniesta/henry played this season? what strategery have other teams taken against barca this year? who complements xavi best as a emergency release valve to keep games ticking?

    no iniesta in the lineup means keita gets the starting birth. keita, for all his box-crashing, and play-destroying abilities is not a great passer(how he’s done in the last couple of games is debatable.) messi has had to play a lot more centrally because of this, too.

    teams trying to play our own game against us(pressing up the field) & man marking xavi have worked well because there hasn’t been an adequate release valve. toure’s strenghts(destroying plays, man mountain intimidation) take a back seat to busque’s vision & effortless passing as iniesta hasn’t been an option this season. simple as that.

    iniesta comes back & we’ll see how pep wants to reshuffle his pack. to get rid of him right now, in my opinion, would be the wrong decision.

    sorry for brevity/lack of stream of consciosness

  34. Bill
    May 12, 2010

    How come pathetico never play like when they play against Barcelona? Just asking…

  35. Eklavya
    May 12, 2010


  36. Eklavya
    May 12, 2010

    So happy!

  37. Helge
    May 12, 2010

    Uruguay actually might have a shot at the World Cup with Forlan and Suarez 😀

  38. Jose
    May 12, 2010

    Beautiful goal. Just stunningly beautiful goal. Forlan is the effing HOMBRE.

    • Jose
      May 12, 2010

      And by beautiful, I mean in the context of the match 😛

    • Miguel
      May 12, 2010


  39. Euler
    May 12, 2010

    Once again the physically dominant, fundamentally sound EPL team wins over the effete, style over substance team from La Liga when the match matters and turns into a scrum…

  40. Memorylane
    May 12, 2010

    I appreciate the kind words Bill…

    Barca fans and neutral football fans/writers and journalist ask why is Busquets playing when there is a fit Yaya Toure?
    It doesn’t make any sense if you look at it logically, can I change that? No……… But I will not let anyone downplay Yaya’s abilities or his commitment to justify Busquets inclusion.

    I mean the man learned/learning to speak in Catalan he obviously enjoys being at this club and has demonstrated over the seasons he is more then deserving of his spot.

    Regarding Yaya’s future in my humble opinion there can be no debate between who’s more suited for that position I say that with 100 % confidence having watched Busquets and Yaya all 3 seasons of every minute.

    An inform Yaya there is no better player in world football for that position.

    There is not a single department that Busquets is superior to Yaya actually I can give 1 playacting i.e. diving which isn’t all that bad because it can work in your favor see the Inter game but some might even say that actually worked against us.

    For the people who got offended I’m strictly talking as a fan who wants the team to succeed I have no bias/loyalty to anyone at Barca. If Pique or Abidal were being pushed aside for Chig and Maxwell I’d be just as vocal.

    Toure doesn’t put food on my table so I have no agenda here, I been a fan since the late 90’s (Ronaldo’s only season) The way I post comes across strong but I’m not here to disrespect anyone If we were to have this discussion in real life and you would say to me “well Pep is the coach and your opinion doesn’t matter and whatever with Yaya” then honestly I would call you a sheep but I respect the rules here and apologize for that.

    I will be deeply saddened even heartbroken if we are to lose this gem of a player who’s versatility is only second to Messi.

    Busquets is a good prospect but lets keep it 100 he wouldn’t be a starter at any top class club. You can make the argument for Spain but that system caters to Busquets skill set and even then against quality opposition see Inter game for reference I’d say he will be exposed.

    I’m happy to see the nou camp chanting Yaya’s name I’m hoping that might have a bearing in Toure’s final decision. I hope Pep sees the value of him and makes him reconsider I highly doubt it though 🙁

    Yes Bill I remember that particular game very well seeing Yaya who turned down surgery took a risk in taking cortisone injections and considering all that absolutely dominate Manchester’s midfield not allowing them to get a sniff of the ball/breaking up play, bringing the ball out of defense/distributing effortlessly nobody does it better. It was that game I fell in love with Yaya Toure.

    You have to also remember at that point in time 07/08 Manchester United were being touted as the best team in Europe and Barca was at the lowest in the Rijkaard’s era even though Barca didn’t win that performance was something special.

    • Dave
      May 12, 2010

      completely agree memo. Hes a man on the pitch not a kid. I fear we’re becoming a little too obsessed with the praise on la masia ,so much so we feel we have turn out a first 11 from there. If yaya goes barca will be bullied mark my words.
      As you rightly point out he was the one bright spot from the 07/08 season. Mourinho etc would love to have yaya.
      Chelsea will have essien, inter cambiasso, madrid lass- us busquets
      he has great pace as proven when he caught up with almerias pocket rocket crusat
      Remember laportas quote on the signing of edgar Davids ‘i feel we have signed a man today’–yaya is a more evolved davids

      • Kxevin
        May 12, 2010

        All true. But I think that some confuse our willingness — should this in fact be more than agent smack talking and we see the broad back of The Yaya moving into the distance — to see what Guardiola has planned, with blind acceptance.

        The Yaya is a favorite of many. I think you’ll find that most, if not all cules admire his skill set, strength and abilities. He isn’t alone in having played hurt for the side, however, nor is he alone in making extraordinary sacrifices. Surely your memories of his willingness to take one for the side also include him staggering around in our midfield like a giant pylon, barely able to run. But he was our only option there, so Rijkaard had to play him.

        Is his treatment fair or unfair? Good question. I can only answer by saying that a coach has an obligation to himself and his system, and getting the players who make that system go. If he screws it up, history will judge him. But I don’t think that The Yaya is being treated any particular way.

        Remember that we aren’t privy to practices, or the locker room, so we don’t know. No, I am not making suggestions that anyone might be a disruptive force. What I am saying is that bereft of all the data, I’m willing to give Guardiola the benefit of the doubt.

        I think there is a place in the club for both The Yaya and Busquets. You can see matches where the skill sets of both would be appropriate. Both have also had dire, dire matches this season, as well.

        And now we wait. Recall that the last time this happened, The Yaya essentially told his agent to shut up, had a heart-to-heart with Guardiola, and all was well. Next thing we knew he was speaking Catalan. The same thing could happen again.

        Professional footballers want four things, above all:

        –Money (don’t kid yourselves about that one)
        –Playing time (which leads to more fame/money)
        –Respect (goes without saying)
        –Championships (this one moves up the list, dependent upon how close to the end a player is, such as Henry)

        The Yaya, in context, doesn’t have the first. He has less of the second. His agent probably has made him believe that he has less of the third. And perhaps he thinks that he already has had plenty of the fourth, particularly if we win the Liga this season.

        Maybe he thinks it is time for a new challenge. And fiscally, as I have said, there will not be a better time for us to sell him than right now, as he has a huge value and low salary, which will make moving him a piece of cake, even given the big raise he will be seeking.

        I’m just calling for perspective. This is a business, and sometimes an ugly one, even with such a beautiful club. And I’m sure that if The Yaya’s agent could see some of the tempest that mentioning his client’s departure has caused, he would be suffused with the glow of a job well done.

        • Kirsten-SA
          May 13, 2010

          if you were a barca representative, in one hand saying barca is more than a club and on the other saying such things about players, i would quit being barca fan yesterday. and actually you said the same thing about Puyol when his agent was speaking out about his time on the pitch last season. Thankfully you are not the club, but a fan. Do you think these players dont have feelings for the shirt and badge? do you think they dont love the fans who come out every match?do you think they make all these sacrifises for money? im sorry but again im disappoint by how you value our players. I for one would love to see Yaya leave and go to a team where his talents and skills will be utilized. It’s a shame to have a player like Yaya sitting rotting on the bench. And he is not getting any younger. He is at his prime now. And no player’s form will improve unless they get more playing time. busi, pique,pedro,etc are all examples. I bet if Arsene Wenger can keep the very same team and add Yaya to the mix, barca wont walk over them like they did at camp nou with denilson at the center. and i wonder if busi was not catalan would he get that much playing time?

    • May 12, 2010

      I also want to treat your speaking out separately. We are all fans here, for varying lengths of time. Many of us are also socis, carrying that passion to the extent where we will fly to Barcelona, to vote in the upcoming presidential elections.

      But we also take what we have here very seriously, and understand how rare it is. Thanks for the apology. It’s appreciated.

      Passion is good. We all have it. But I think that passion has to be accompanied by respect. Then everybody gets along, even when we disagree.

  41. poipoi
    May 12, 2010

    yay! atleti won Europa League so NOW we have to win la liga… double trouble for EE 😀

    I think villa would be great specially if ibra stays to see how pep manages to make the line-up and the system, we need a shooter and villa is one of the best. on the yaya vs busi yaya is three times or four the player busi is right now but I don’t understand why he doesn’t play more in the offensive midfielder role with andres injured for so long.

    • poipoi
      May 12, 2010

      oh btw… give busi minutes and seasons and he’ll become a beast… remember xavi when he started?

  42. May 12, 2010

    BTW – tomorrow is YAYA’s birthday… Happy Birthday Mountain Man.

    Just about everyone here seems to agree that YAYA is by far a superior player to Busi. I dont know what the fuss is all about. I think we all at one point or another are trying to understand why pep preferred busi this year.

    Busi dirty tricks can be interpreted as his desperate attempts to be as dominant as YAYA in the middle.

    Logic would almost dictate that there other factors involved here: money, age, nationalistic sentiments, etc…

    YAYA is 27 years old, he is in his prime and has another 3-5 years to go. This is the time for him to cash in. The noise his agent is making therefore are understandable. He needs to make sure that his man is in the spot light with all the talk about Ibra/Bojan/Villa/new president.

    Busi is 22 years old only and he can be part of the nucleus for years to come.

    Xavi and Kieta are both 30 years old. They need to be replaces in a couple of years. It just seems to me that salary wise YAYA’s is in a very difficult position compared to other players on the team.

    More food for thought.

    • May 12, 2010

      Some of that is true, Ibrahim. Fiscally, look at the sometimes cold math of professional football in the case of The Yaya, from both sides (speculation in its most pure form, I admit):

      Club: Immense value. No fewer than 8 teams want him, and can pay his big-ass transfer fee. The salary impediment that plagued us in trying to move the likes of Ronaldinho, Deco and Eto’o won’t be present in this case, because he is underpaid in the context of his global position as a footballer. Perfect time to sell.

      The Yaya: Immense value, and I get a cut of the transfer fee. Lots of teams want me, which means my salary is going to up. WAY up, especially because I am underpaid. They should either give me a huge raise, or sell me so that I can get paid. I will have seven championships after Sunday. I’m ready for my next challenge.

      I will say that The Yaya is a superior player to Busquets, except when he isn’t. And for many a match this season, he hasn’t been. Let’s not let our affection for him obscure that fact. Both players have different skill sets, so you can’t really compare them. Would I have preferred The Yaya in that Inter match at the San Siro instead of Busquets? You bet. But I’m not the coach. And had Alves stayed home on Sneijder, it wouldn’t have mattered who we had at DM.

      • May 12, 2010

        Yep… your fiscal breakdown makes sense. To continue speculating on the business side.

        According to this list three of the top 10 highest paid players in the world play for Barca: #1 Messi, #5 Henry, #8 Ibra . I am sure Xavi is somewhere in the top 20. So imagine having Villa, Cese, Iniesta, Puyol, Alves… Goodness, how many Barca shirts do I have to buy?

  43. May 12, 2010

    This, by the by, is Thierry Henry on Valladolid:

    “The most important thing is that Barcelona win the game and not whether I play more or less because we are a team,” he said in Sport.

    “We will fight until the last minute like them. When you play for a team like Barcelona or Real Madrid you always want to win and we will try this Sunday.”

    Say what you will about his form and health this season, but the dude is a consummate professional, who understands what Barca has given him, which is the one prize that always eluded him.

      • May 12, 2010

        You remember him, the guy who almost single-handedly ripped EE to shreds, who scored the tying goal in a tense away CL leg to Lyon, who generated the only real scoring chance that we had against United in the semifinal loss.

        You know …. that Thierry Henry.

        For all the talk about The Yaya and respect, Henry is one player who has hardly ever gotten his due. People forget that he scored 32 goals for us last season in all competitions. It’s worth remembering. Look at what his absence has done to this season.

        • Eklavya
          May 13, 2010

          Henry scored 26 goals in all competitions last year, not 32.

  44. May 12, 2010

    Finally, all you need to know about the ultimate veracity of Sport is that they have printed some drivel from Iaquinta’s agent that we have come calling on his player. I can see that. We crave a guy who in his best year, has only tallied 15 goals. Makes perfect sense.

  45. ooga aga
    May 12, 2010

    i agree that we should be talking about what might happen on sunday vs what might happen in the transfer season. xavi’s card wasnt retracted, now we are appealing that decision and should know tomorrow. i’d say there’s not a chance it is rescinded. iniesta isnt on the pitch for the full 90 unless we are being kept in the dark.

    the official website has suggested either yaya or thiago will/could be in the playmaker role. let’s discuss the possible lineup permutations, shall we?

    • May 12, 2010

      Alves Pique Puyol Abidal
      Busquets Messi The Yaya
      Pedro! Ibrahimovic Krkic

      I think there is too much riding on the match to start Thiago in such a crucial role. You might also see Iniesta start, in the hopes that we can put Valladolid to bed, then bring in Thiago and shut up shop.

  46. ooga aga
    May 12, 2010

    the transfer rumos come out of madrd and who knows, they could be trying to distract us and cause problems in our camp

    • May 12, 2010

      Not all of ’em. The Daily Mail is the source of the Ibrahimovic rumor. The Yaya’s agent and his very own mouth is the source of that rumor, in direct quotes to Sport, which is the right paper to blab to, if you want to fire a shot across the club’s bow. And everybody has their Villa nose in the air.

  47. vicsoc8
    May 12, 2010

    I’m currently doing research in a lab, and my boss has said to me several times that the important thing is to ask the right questions. I don’t think anyone wants Yaya to leave, that’s not the issue right now. Here are a couple questions I think are pertinent (although surely not exhaustive – feel free to add more) and my personal answers to them:

    Is the club bigger than any one person, be it player, coach, or administrator?
    – Yes.

    Do you trust Pep as a coach, and specifically do you trust him to build the team as he sees fit?
    – Yes. Considering Pep is about to become the second winningest coach in our history, he has earned my trust. He’s made mistakes in the past, and he will make more in the future, but at this time I trust his judgement, even if I don’t always understand it.

    If Yaya leaves, will you still trust Pep?
    – Yes. I won’t be happy, but I won’t be calling for Pep’s head.

    • May 12, 2010

      Pique looks like some kinda perturbed about something. Recall that he and Zokora had been going at it all match.

      • Jnice
        May 12, 2010

        I just think he was pumped up they won.

        • Jnice
          May 12, 2010

          Like a “Let’s F’ing go!” type thing. Ibra does that too.

          • barca96
            May 13, 2010

            ibra’s like, “get off your(hand balling, cheating) old hands from my man man” to henry.

  48. JC
    May 13, 2010

    Had a dream! We give away 20M dollar + Yaya and Thiago(Loan) to Arsenal in exchange for Fabregas. Looks like we getting shafted again.

  49. May 13, 2010

    “Ibrahimovic has been instrumental in securing victories, even in the last few games. To say so lightly that this player does not work, that he is not worth it, is to have a short memory,” Johan Cruyff. What does he know about football, never heard of Johan Cruyff.

  50. Hilal
    May 13, 2010


    Hmmmm. That sort of languange certainly implies that he is on the move.

  51. barca96
    May 13, 2010

    “The player must show his desire to play for the best team in the world considering he was once a blaugrana himself. Because of that, he needs to tell his (current) club he wants to come to Barca.”

    guess who laporta was referring to..hehe
    i can smell the smoke coming out of wenger’s ears already lol

  52. bill
    May 13, 2010

    By the way, what barcelona is doing now, and how they are playing, has repercussions for many years to come. When players like Keirrison, Ibra, Villa, Arshavin and Fabregas make comments like they would only leave their teams to play for barcelona, it warms my heart. I have a feeling there are many more young players watching the game, and thinking,’thats the only team I dream about playing for’.

    I just think we will be flooded with talent for years to come. If La masia comes calling for your kid, with the opportunity to become the next xavi, iniesta or messi, would any parent refuse?

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