News of the Day, May 17

“I will crush you mere mortals, now avert your gaze!

“Which wallet is yours?”
“It’s the one that says Bad Mother Fucker on it!”

You “Pulp Fiction” fans will remember that scene. You fans of The Yaya probably already know that it could also be talking about his wallet, as well.

Now I ask you …. can any club in its right mind sell this? The look on the face of the defender on the right is priceless. Were he not so completely paralyzed, he would have formed the words that would have been something like:

“Please. Sir. Don’t kill me. Don’t. Kill. Me.”

We’re still champions. Now that isn’t news, but I know that Barca fans being as paranoid as they might, maybe some of you woke up thinking that the Liga has reconsidered, disallowed a result and yanked away the championship, but no. We’re still Campions.

Here’s something else:

–Messi is pichichi and European Golden Boot
–Valdes is Zamora
–EE scored more goals than we did, but we finished with an absurd goal differential of +74
–At 99 points, we have set a record for the Liga
–Our starting XI for this final match contained 7 products from our very own farm (Pique, Puyol, Valdes, Buquets, Messi, Pedro!, Krkic)
–The Camp Nou is still a mess, but that’s okay

So. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, and there is stuff to report, including:

David Villa says that he will only leave Valencia if it is necessary to save the club. In other words, if things are so dire fiscally that the club must offload its stars to make ends meet. Which means, obviously, that Villa will not be presented as a Barca player on Monday, right, since it would already have had to happen. 😀

Villa believes in the club, and is loyal to the club. In this day and age of money-grubbing superstars, ready to switch clubs if they sense a few Euros more in the air, it’s good to hear Villa saying the things that he is.

None of this means that it won’t be deemed fiscally necessary to sell Villa. But still. I wouldn’t be holding my breath for those Camp Nou meet-and-greets anytime soon.

More Gabi Milito, who has extended his contract until 2012. It still doesn’t mean that we won’t sell him for the right offer, but he is an extraordinary insurance policy, in case a starter goes down, somebody gets tired, or Guardiola just wants to scare the crap out of attackers by the insertion of Mr. Lock and Load.

Pep Guardiola is staying. No, it hasn’t been confirmed yet, but our coach clearly feels that he has unfinished business, from his “we owe you one” to the fans last night, after the rueful admission that we should be in XXXXXX, preparing for the Champions League final. I can’t believe that he would leave us, unless the socis elected a turd-throwing, gibbering, pud-pulling actual monkey as club president.

–Yes, Javier Mascherano was thisclose to coming last season. He talks a bit about the now it is, now it isn’t move:

“The situation with Barcelona really affected me. It was a shame it didn’t happen as it was the city I wanted to live in.

“There were many discussions and problems during that month and a half. They were difficult times for me. One day I was off to Barcelona, the next I wasn’t.

“And Liverpool said I was non-transferable. Psychologically, it affected me as I couldn’t think in Liverpool and I was focused on other stuff and not on my work, my training and playing.”

What that all means for this season, lord only knows.

Alexander Hleb could be back, if press reports and his very own quotes are to be believed. “I have two years left on my contract with Barcelona, I am moving back to the club as I have the ambition to show myself, as much as other people, that I am able to perform at the highest level,” Hleb told Bild newspaper.

This doesn’t mean that we in fact want him back. Yes, I’ve gone on the record as saying that he would have been valuable midfield cover this season, and that I didn’t think he got the shake that he deserved, given the quality of his play when he first arrived (and before his ankle injury). But we will have waiting before we can grok this one in its fullness, as Valentine Michael Smith said in “Stranger in a Strange Land.”

–There is, and always will be Cesc Fabregas natterings. Next on the agenda is a meeting with Wenger to “discuss his future.” If you are a Gunner, you are thinking that this means he will talk about the club’s sporting project, be reassured by Wenger and announce his full intention to honor the years left on his contact.

If you are a Barca fan, it means that he is going to demand his transfer, leading to the announcement that he will be coming “home” this summer.

Our own Pulga has added that “I know him very well, and would be happy for him to be here, but he has not called to tell me that he is coming yet.”

Either way, it’s safe to say that we haven’t heard the last of the highest-profile non-transfer transfer.

–Remember those reports that we were going to offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Chelsea and/or Citeh for about 20m less than we paid for him? Never mind. Not only is his agent calling BS on it, but the absurdity of the notion staggers me. ‘Nuff said about that one.

–Finally, this isn’t team news per se, but it is news about the BFB Team, and a bit of information that makes one of its members so unbelievably happy that if he could turn cartwheels, he would. But Baby Kxevin will just have to settle for a massive, Cheshire-like grin over the news that finally, in 90 days or less, the stupid, insufferable presence of Ray Ray Dumbenech will be free from my beloved Les Bleus. Laurent Blanc, recently resigned coach of Bordeaux (and look at what he did with them) will be the new France skipper.

Unfortunately, Dumbassnech will finish off the World Cup, which means that Les Bleus will be lucky to get out of their group.

–Okay, that wasn’t finally, but this is finally. The BFB Team is bigger and badder now. In addition to the indispensible Tarun, Web guru and sender of hilarious missives, Isaiah, King of all he surveys, Kxevin, his humble acolyte and Hector, International Man of Mystery, we now also have Soccer Mom, aka SoMa, whom you have already seen posts by. But that ain’t all.

Also part of the ranks is Luke (Waters), who will be rolling into action once World Cup craziness starts, and Euler, a newcomer here but one who has already distinguished himself with not only post quantity and length ( 😀 ) but quality. Someone said that he reminded them of Hector, wondering if the two had ever been seen in the same room together. To my knowledge, no. We welcome his tactical savvy and lack of fear in taking a stance.

Yay, team!

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Eklavya
    May 17, 2010

    Love the picture! 2nd 1st comment straight! 😀

  2. BA
    May 17, 2010

    that may be the most Awesome picture of all time.

    • Kxevin
      May 17, 2010

      😀 I wasn’t planning to do a news post, but I came across that picture and said “Gotta do something other than this picture is badass. Look.”

      And whaddaya know, there was actual news.

      • barca96
        May 17, 2010

        do you have some more pics?
        btw, with yaya doing good as as a AM, whats the need for hleb?
        although i do want him back as i was quite happy with him.
        just not given enough time.

  3. vicsoc8
    May 17, 2010

    Hleb could be valuable in the event that he has a complete personality change. Not likely.

    I just don’t understand why we are interested in Mascherano. I can’t think of any way that he is better than Yaya.

    I’m very happy to hear Milito has renewed. We have five center backs but right now I only trust three of them, and one of the three I trust is 32 and not getting any younger even though he still plays like he’s 23.

  4. marce
    May 17, 2010

    I was at the game yesterday!!!!! it was incredible, and watching the Yaya dominate like he did was incredible. Seeing Iniesta finally come back for a little action was an extra special treat haha. I have some cool pics of the celebration that i can load up for the mural you guys were gonna make. It´s gonna have to wait till i get beck in the states though! anyways…… MADRID CABRON, SALUDA AL CAMPEON!!!!!!

    • barca96
      May 17, 2010

      i envy you!!!!
      send the pics to me…
      or you could post them here through kxevin.

    • Eklavya
      May 17, 2010

      You were at the Camp nou?! You have to do a live view from the stadium we do or whatever it’s called!!! write it up nicely and send it to the team! 🙂

    • May 17, 2010

      Um, marce, you see the guy in that picture up top? I’m sending him if you don’t want to write up your match experience. Just hit me up at, and off we go.

      • marce
        May 17, 2010

        Oh man lol i don’t know if i can write anywhere near as well as you guys can, but i guess ill give it a shot. I arrived in Barcelona on the 4th and was thrown straight into the action with the Tenerife game that same night. I ended up getting tickets for me and my 4 friends for 35 euros each outside the stadium from some socios. Since it was raining the whole bottom ring was wide open so we sat directly behind the Tenerife goal for the first half. AMAZING. For the second half we moved right to the midfield line..i was so close i could have spit and hit Dani and Messi, I was goin nuts.
        My friend and I had bought tickets to the Sevilla game, but we got FUCKED by the Volcanic Ash Cloud (It looked perfectly sunny) and couldn’t make the fligt to Sevilla,meaning that the 150 euro we had each spent went down the drain. Luckily God blessed us with a W as a tradeoff for mising the game in person.

        • marce
          May 17, 2010

          I’ll work on doing a write up for the actual game during the rest of the week. When i get back home, ill add some badass pics and vids that I took from both games, and ill send it to Kxevin for some editing and formating. I just wanted to write up a litte bit about the experiance i’ve had so far, but i’ll leave the Valladolid and post game festivities for my actual post!!! VISCA BARCA!! Y VISCA CATALUNYA!!!!

          • barca96
            May 18, 2010

            what wrong with you man?
            just the thought of you spitting on dani and messi is wrong!lol

  5. Stephen
    May 17, 2010

    Im pretty nervous about transfers and such, seeing how we would bring in a few player but none out? Highly unlikely. Just dont want to find out who it is, I love our “plantilla” now.

  6. DontPanic
    May 17, 2010

    I would like to thank BFB Team for all their HARD work. I think its safe to say we ALL appreciate it. Barca victories are even sweeter because of you, so keep your head up and don’t let a stupid post or two bring your spirit down.

    • May 17, 2010

      Thank you. Our heads are held high, as always. We are happy to be champions, happy to write for this forum, which all of you make so special, and happy to be returning next year.

      Things will only get better here, which is wonderful news.

  7. Eklavya
    May 17, 2010

    Since I haven’t had the time to celebrate because I had to leave just after the match ended, so please ignore this (but i have to say it anyway):

    CAMPEOOOOONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OLE OLE OLE OLE OLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BLAUGRANA!!!!! AZULGRANA!!!!!! OLE OLE OLE!!!!!!!!!



    PEDRO: 23 GOALS IN DEBUT SEASON (really speaking last year was his debut season but this is his TRUE debut season)!!!

  8. Euler
    May 17, 2010

    Often after Yaya’s name is mentioned the word “destroyer” follows shortly. Tactically, the destroyer role has become closely associated with Makalele and is even now often described as the “Makalele role.”

    Question – could Makalele have shown the kind of flexibility and stepped into the role Yaya did yesterday? Did he as a “destroyer” have the skill set needed to be that effective? That seems very questionable to me.

    One could argue then that Makalele played in a different era and the comparison is unfair. In many ways Mascherano is thought of as the modern day version of Makalele. Could Mascherano has provided what Yaya did yesterday? I can’t see it.

    One can argue that tactically, in Barca’s system and in the modern game, a destroyer isn’t a requirement anymore.

    But once again yesterday, we saw how Yaya doesn’t have to play the “makalele role.” That he’s much more than a “destroyer” because his skill set is more varied. He can do that (Yaya has no problem destroying…) but he’s much more than that. We saw that yesterday – flip a coin over whether Yaya or Messi were the best players on the pitch yesterday.

    Pep is a wonderful coach and is only going to get better. Tactially however, particularly in the two Inter matches, I was surprised to not see him better utilize Yaya’s skill set. It was good to Pep show that tactically creativity yesterday.

    It’s unclear what will happen this summer. However, Yaya is the kind of player that if sold, a club will often immediately start looking to replace the skill sets of the they just had and sold.

    • Tutomate
      May 17, 2010

      I agree Euler Mascherano does not bring us anything The Yaya doesn’t already have, what’s worse is that I believe he lacks a lot of what The Yaya brings to the table. Hopefully Guardiola can reassure him that he is important and convinces him to stay.

      Guardiola is agreat coach but he still has some learning to do, which is great because he is already the bat coach for Barça out there and he is only going to get better.

      Over at Marca, Sergurola talks about the kind of coach Guardiola is in contrast to “Mou”.

      And Kxevin, even a crap throwing monkey for a president is better than Sandro Rosell.

      Thanks BFB team.

    • Miguel
      May 17, 2010

      i think he’s more of a patrick vieira, really. “destroyer” is the word that comes to mind that best describes the dude to me; maybe after “versatile.” but must every comment about the ivorian be prefaced by a 500 word “ode to yaya?” isn’t that kind of preaching to the choir here, in front of all you barca maniacs?

      rijkaard bought a 6’3, 200lb+ attacking midfielder and played him behind the back 4. of course he’s versatile. but, he was brought in to destroy plays. we hadn’t had someone w/that skill set since van bommel’s sleazy ass was playing for us and that part of the system was key to all our success last year.

      this is what peppy g. had to say about him a couple of weeks ago: “he is an excellent player. at times, if i play busquets, it has more to do with his tactical prowess, but toure is more willing to get on with any task I give him. his movements and his ability to recover balls are great, always full of focus when we are back-pedaling.”

      that he’s so quick and good w/the ball are a plus. that the busi-yaya tandem didn’t impress more when they played in the season is a shame, too.

      i like toure a lot better than busquets, as i’m sure a lot of you out there do, & i certainly don’t want him to be sold. who in their right mind would after seeing yesterday’s game? that’d be retarded. i’m 90% sure he’s staying. fuck off seluk.

    • Ramzi
      May 17, 2010

      Of course we cant compare Yaya to Makelele. Everyone is better in what he does. Makelele was a better DM (though its not a popular remark here, I understand). In fact I am the least surprised of Yaya’s performance last night. I said it thousands of times last season that Yaya is better in an advanced role. I remember this remark in specific:

      “Playing Yaya as a holding midfielder is like tying a monster to the tree. He is too skillful for that”

      /a paragraph about DM comparisons deleted. dont want to spark emotional arguments 😀 /

      Kxevin, the new coach of france is not only about quality (or else they would have had a new coach since a while, right?). There are two powers battling against each other: French federation and the world cup 1998 players who act more like a lobbey. French federation needed that dump coach to stay in his position more than he needed them to protect him. I can only see Blanc becoming a coach if a more radical change happened in the federation. Or at least a compromise. Blanc is a coach I like to see in Barca, if Pep decided to coach Xerez B, just to shw how humble he is.

      I will add one point to Kevin’s “Here is something else” paragraph:

      – We performed well without Xavi, Iniesta, and…Cesc. I won’t mention Ibra as is an advantage for some that he didnt play.

  9. Eklavya
    May 17, 2010

    Last year’s percentage of wins in relation to numbers of games played:

    This year’s percentage of wins in relation to numbers of games played:

  10. Helge
    May 17, 2010


    I’m so happy for Gabi Milito to sign a new contract, happy for the whole team because they DESERVE to be champions more than anybody else, and last but not least I’m relieved that this is NOT your goodbye-post, Kxevin 🙂

    This is a nearly perfect day, I’m even satisfied with David Villa’s statement, because I prefer David Silva anyway – or a direct replacement for Titi Henry. Only thing I’m worried about is Hleb’s “comeback”…^^

    Oh, and welcome Luke, may the force be with you!

    • Eklavya
      May 17, 2010

      Hehe I was thinking the same Star Wars reference but decided not to write it … glad that someone else did. 🙂

    • May 17, 2010

      I appreciate any Star Wars reference, as that is the impetus of my name.

  11. Reagan
    May 17, 2010

    does anyone have a link to Pique introducing ibra by singing ‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ to the Go West tune?

  12. Hilal
    May 17, 2010

    Nice post Euler and i agree with most of what you say. However i will ask you a question, one that was asked of me yesterday and one that made me think…

    Nobody wil argue that Yaya has a broad skill set, and he is a very unique and special player. However, is he the right player for Barca? Does he serve OUR needs? Are his strenghts ones that we can use consistently? IT is obvious that Pep prefers Sergio in the holding role, so that is that, i dont see it changing. For whatever reason, Sergio has clearly made that spot his own. As mentioned though Yaya has other strengths, but are those strengths good enough to put him in the starting 11? I dont think so. As good as he is he certainly wont usurp Iniesta or Xavi when they are fit and Keita serves a completely different purpose, what happens if we go and sign Cesc? Where does that leave Yaya? Who is an exceptional player and deserves to be starting most games… Unfortunately i think he will leave, however i dont think it will effect us as much as many believe. Lets not forget that Sergio has played most if not all our big games this year and we only failed against Inter and that certainly wasnt his fault..

    He is still very young and has many things to learn, but in our system, in our style of play, when he is on top of his game I dont think you can find many arguaments to say that his skill set doesnt serve us better than Yayas. Not saying Sergio is better, but i do think his skill sets complement our play better, certainly when it comes to moving the ball quickly.

    I would love for him to stay, i really would, but I have a feeling that a player like him wants to play most games. He was won plenty with Barca now and I am sure he feels he could contribute more for another team. Man City maybe? Its a shame, but its our curse in a way, having so much quality, eventually somebody is going to be squeezed out. Who knows, maybe he will be content to stay and continue playing the supporting role, but i see him being far more ambitious than that.

    Either way I expect us to only get better next year. It is scary when you think about how young the core of our team is. Pique, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro, Sergio, even Xavi, have so much more to give. Some might say this is just the beginning.

    • Kxevin
      May 17, 2010

      I think that The Yaya is gone. Look at the reasons:

      –It makes business sense. Buy low, sell high.
      –The strategic angle cannot be stressed enough. With cover for Xavi, do we really need The Yaya?
      –Guardiola doesn’t like dissent. Recall the last time that The Yaya’s agent started talking ctap. Guardiola was very firm, but his message was clear.

    • Euler
      May 17, 2010

      Hilal you’ve raised a number of important points, particular with regard to what the nature of the “DM” spot within the Barca system will be moving forward.

      I’m sure this subject will be discussed at length but I think there are several different questions in play. Will Yaya come back? Should Yaya come back? What conditions are influencing how Pep sees the skill sets required for the DM position? These are all separate questions.

      To me there are three primary issues at play.

      First, what is the nature of the “DM” in the Barca system. In the contemporary game and in the Barca system how “defensive” does it need to be? Rather than a diverse skill set Pep may be seeing the position moving more towards a kind of specialization of skill which places more value on quick release of the ball in passing. Thus Busi. Whether or not this is the correct manner to envision the position is ultimately to be seen, particularly in the CL. In La Liga I do believe one can play with a Busi type player at the holding position. In the CL? I’m not sure.

      Second, how does Pep envision the proverbial “Plan B” for the squad? When playing a tactically sound club like Inter, a club that understands not only how to park the bus, but to disrupt space, Barca needs to have players who can make runs that will force the opposition to try to dispossess them of the ball. The squad has three to four players with this skill set. Yaya is one of them. Busi does not have this skill set (and it’s part of why he’s constantly diving….) Too much emphasis in placed on the aerial game as “Plan B” in my opinion.

      The third issue is how Pep wants to manage depth and squad rotation. They are thin at midfield as it is.

      It’ll be interesting to see. I can see it going either way.

      The one thing I would find somewhat disappointing was if they sold Yaya and then brought in another high profile “destroyer” like Mascherano. Were that to happen, I would think that selling Yaya was less about tactics and the evolution of the position and more about personality conflicts and his agent.

      • Kxevin
        May 17, 2010

        Euler’s last point is one to which I have been alluding for some time now. Sometimes, players get sold because their agent is a big, giant dick. The agent is happy, because he gets a cut every time the player transfers. But is the player happy? For example, if The Yaya went to Arsenal, would he really be happy, scrabbling for that 4-5 spot in the Prem, making Champions League but not really having a shot at the big prize? Good question.

        Here’s the Hleb Value (shit, that name again). And Gudjohnsen, for that matter. They did a lot of the Yaya/Busquets job. I don’t know that our system needs a traditional DM as much as it needs someone to help maintain and win back possession. You can see Guardiola thinking that Busquets can do that very well, as well as other tasks. He also has an up side, in that he is young and still learning the game.

        But a player such as Hleb or Monument means that you don’t really need a The Yaya as much, because that player can battle for possession and hold up attacks just as well as a more traditional DM.

        Euler makes an excellent point that in CL competition, a more traditional DM becomes more valuable. But I also think that the skill sets of Pique or Txigrinski lend themselves to that traditional DM role of destroyer/attack starter/wall in front of the back line.

        Midfield should be a priority this season, and the biggest reason arguing against The Yaya leaving is that it removes midfield depth. But as I said, his agent might have talked him out of town.

  13. Tutomate
    May 17, 2010

    I believe Hector once asked this same question and said it depended on what Pep envisioned for that role. Is it a versitile attacker that can move all over the field and destroy attacks? Or is it a deep-lying play maker a 4. If it’s the latter than Busquets is that man. But I think it should be the former because we already have 2 play makers. But it seems that Guardiola wants the classic 4.

    I was wondering if it could just be that Guardiola likes Busquets more. And I think the answer is NO. Because he brought Ibra to Barça and that did not mean he had a automatic starting spot even though he obviouslylied him enough to bring him. I think that Guardiola just uses who he thinks is tactically best in a given situation, sometimes he is right and sometimes not so much.

  14. May 17, 2010

    By way of playing devol’s advocate I will say this: For all of Yaya’s excellent play yesterday, he is certainly prone to having monstrous disappearing spells, one of which was the impetus for his being excluded from the squads for a few games running in the middle of the year.

    I am not saying Toure is not an excellent player, he certainly is. But if there is someone better who Pep thinks can fill this role, make these runs, and play defense just as well, then I will certainly trust his leadership.

    I do not think Pep dislikes any player, but I am sure he hates Yaya’s agent, who is an absolute jerk ass. As for liking Busquets more? Maybe out of preference for his slightly more consistent play, but nothing other than that.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 17, 2010

      I think a big liking factor for Busquets is that Barca are his agent. He is their youth product.

  15. May 17, 2010

    Laporta says:

    “What is clear is that Bojan will remain. That is what I have understood. With Toure, we will have to have some discussion. He has always stated his happiness with being at Barcelona and, further, he is an important element of the team and he knows that.”

    “Sometimes, perhaps [Yaya] has wanted to participate more. We need to discuss with the coaching staff and then we will see.”

  16. Ramzi
    May 17, 2010

    So help me god…

    I just mentioned in my comment above that I will not discuss the DM position. It won’t be smart if I want to be elcted for any position as I won’t be able to count on Cules votes after throwing my 5 cents about this issue. I will try to walk between the mines though…

    Those who had time to read my articles or comments last season can confirm two things 1) I pointed out that if we do not sign Mascherano, we will have a problem in DM. 2) I want Yaya to play the Keita role which will increase depth with Keita and Yaya rotating in position 3 (What I call the horse), and Iniesta playing the Xavi role when Xavi need rest, and instead of Henry in a rotation plan (that was before the league started and we saw the changes in form).

    I read a lot about the type of DM we need. INcluding why we use Busquets and not Yaya (deep lying playmaker instead of the so called distroyer). I will take the case from another point: If Pep do not want a “detroyer” in his squad, why was he so despirate to sign Mascherano? (He comfirmed it himself that he want to try signing him, and Mascherano admited it as well). I think this is a key question to understand the overall situation.

    We usuall face two situations in our games:

    1) Playing teams that apply pressure on our defenders to disturb buildup.

    2) Parked busses with teams defending in numbers, inviting us to attack, the getting advantage of the space in the midfield to generatecounters.

    For the first case, we need that deep playmaker (A.K.A busquets) because the best way to defend is to move the possession area forward and break through the pressure. Busquets movement and the way he demand the pass and make himself available for the player in possession is just exceptional. He gets the edge there.

    For the second case, when we play against ultra defensiv teams with counter attacking threat, we find ourselves in a crutial situation: We have a chance to atack in numbers. We have to attack in numbers. But we need to be well covered against counter attacks without employing lot of players to cover the space in the midfield. Usually with three Center backs (Puyol,Pique,Abidal), we can move one of the (Pique) forward to help the lone holding midfielder leaving 2 Center backs to mark a lone striker. Yet, in this case we may need more contribution from both fullbacks offense wise to stretch the field and create more spaces especially if Messi plays as a 10 and the “Left forward” had to cut inside into the box. That leave us with only two Centerbacks which leave the space in th midfield for the holding midfielder to cover. Yaya is one of the best players when in one-on-one situations. Rarely a player can dribble him. He is als a very quality player if you ask him to mark a specific threat. Consider it done. Yet he lacks the agility to cover spaces, change direction off the ball while change of play and is not the most alert and fastest option when it come to repositioning. Marking spaces demand all that. Noting that he is not even a natural holding midfielder. He didnt play it in Monaco. nor for the national team. He developed remarkably since he signed. But he is still a better player when he play where he can employ his natural skills including dribbling, shooting, heading, and even playmaking to some extend when he get the ball, not while making himself available to recieve it.

    Selling him is a huge loss. Yet, not where it is felt that he will be missed, but where he can offer much more.

    • Jnice
      May 17, 2010

      Good points, Ramzi.

      Last season I posted the compilation of Yaya at Monaco and Olympiakos several times and said that Yaya’s natural position isn’t DM. Like you, I pointed out that with Ivory Coast, he plays more advanced than Zokora and begged for Pep to try him out there this season. I’m glad he has proven how great he can be in an advanced role.

      Yaya is my dude, but I agree with you when you say, “Yet he lacks the agility to cover spaces, change direction off the ball while change of play and is not the most alert and fastest option when it come to repositioning. Marking spaces demand all that.”

      It is clear to see that Busquets does that way better than Yaya does, and that coupled with “Busquets movement and the way he demand the pass and make himself available for the player in possession is just exceptional” is the reason Busquets has started so many matches at DM this season.

      Kxevin, your observation about the look on the Valladolid’s players face had me cracking up. He really does look like he is begging for his life. 😀

      Glad to see that the staff is expanding, and I thank you guys for all of your wonderful work. Great blog.

      And Isaiah, when are you going to play me in FIFA again?!!

  17. jordi™
    May 17, 2010

    Seluk is such an idiot all his yaya is almost certainly gone talk doesn’t help anyone.Not even his main ambition to get a fat commission.All it will do is make buyers want a lower price “because the player isnt happy here and wants to leave”.His fail plan will backfire, and now he’ll get less money if yaya does leave.I wish we could send him to the bottom of the ocean :3

  18. Jnice
    May 17, 2010

    Oh and regarding whether Yaya stays or leaves, I think it is more his decision that the club’s. I think we would clearly love to keep him and Laporta kind of said that, but the question is whether he wants to stay.

  19. Jnice
    May 17, 2010

    360 degrees 3D photo of the Camp Nou during celebrations. Pretty cool.


  20. Hilal
    May 17, 2010

    I think whether or not Yaya stays or leaves depends very much on what happens with Cesc. If we do indeed sign him then I think Yaya will leave, probably as part of the deal. If Cesc doesnt sign then I dont think we would sell Yaya, we already have a lack of depth and Yaya is so versatile that he serves as a great backup for 3 crucial positions. Whether or not he will accept his role as a “backup” remains to be seen I guess. One thing is for sure, he needs to fire that dumbass agent of his, not doing him ANY favours.

    I have to admit though, as Kevin rightly pointed out, we will never get better value for him than right now, which is why I think he will be part of the Cesc deal.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 17, 2010

      First we have to see who the next President of Barca will be.

  21. Jnice
    May 17, 2010

    One more post…

    Yaya’s agent talking reckless again.

    On Ona FM, he said,

    “Yaya wants to play every game.”

    ” If Yaya had played in the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League in Milan, the club would now be in the final of the Santiago Bernabeu.”

    ” It is most likely Yaya won’t remain in Barcelona. Toure is happy in Barcelona, it is a great club and he is very comfortable, but he doesn’t want to remain on the bench.”

    He also said there is a chance that Yaya will be included in a deal for Cesc.

    Rafael Yuste, the vicepresident of Sports, also spoke to Ona FM and said they expect to close the signing of Villa this week and negotiations are “progressing well.”

    He said the Cesc case is different because you need the will of the player, he still has to talk to Arsenal, and then they can reach a possible deal. But he said both Villa and Cesc want to come which makes it easier. (Or something like that)


    Time to go study!

    • Helge
      May 17, 2010

      I’ve just read the headline of’ leading article, and I immediately though to myself: “Goodbye Yaya, hope you do good wherever you’ll be next season.”
      His agent just kicked him out of Barca.

  22. Blow-Grenade
    May 17, 2010

    One of either Busi or Yaya has to leave if Cesc comes (aka the new President wants him). Since Arsenal are keen on Yaya that is a good thing, Barca have something to get Cesc back. There is no comparision between Cesc and Yaya. Cesc is by long and far a much better midfielder than Yaya can every be, or, become. Cesc is one of the most versatile and complete midfielders I have ever seen, and he can play DM, left mid, right mid, or in the hole just behind the defenders and in front of the midfielders, where Messi has mostly played this season. He can, single handedly, open up any defence in the world. Barca will become very competitive next season with Cesc.
    I call for a Yaya Cesc swap. In the absence of Cesc I would like The Yaya continuity at Barca.

    • Ramzi
      May 17, 2010

      I can only hope Cesc surprise me and prove he is even half the player you described.Especially that I cant see Cesc capable of doing what Yaya or Keita can do in that unappreciated role in the midfield. He can do some other things that is already well covered, with better quality.

      It worth noting that Keita will be 31 years old next season. Yaya is younger.

      • Blow-Grenade
        May 17, 2010

        Cesc is the quintessential holding midfielder, his role models are Pep Guardiola and Patrick Viera, both holding midfielders. He has taken a more advanced role recently. But he is the epitome of a deep lying play-maker, and I do not know of any player who can pass better than him, or turn defence into attack, with the exception of Xaviniesta. You have to see what Messi Xavi Iniesta Pique etc… say about Cesc to understand that. There is a reason why these people keep referring to Cesc and about his virtues.
        Here is what Messi has to say about Cesc: *
        Here is what Xavi has to say:

        I hope Cesc joins Barca soon to take his spot as the holding midfielder.

        • May 17, 2010

          I concur in this assessment. It is difficult for me to properly express my feelings on how good Cesc is now, and how he could possibly be better than Xavi in a few years. Cesc is an underrated defender and moves without the ball in an incredible way and knows how Barca plays. I mean, he knows the system and could literally play 5 of the front 6 positions almost as well as anyone.

        • Jim
          May 17, 2010

          Sorry but I just don’t see Cesc as a DM. Yes he can tackle but I’m not sure he is disciplined enough for the role. He naturally wants to go forward and I still need to be convinced that he will be content with the short give and goes that Yaya ( and Busi) do the whole time.

          I’ll be sad if Yaya goes. He also adds muscle to our side which Busi doesn’t. I also don’t see the huge difference in technical ability between him and busi that others do. He might look slow but isn’t and, apart from a couple of games where he looked off the pace he can play perfectly well in front of the back four. I would also like to see him play the Keita role although I’m not sure he is mobile enough.

          I’d see Cesc as more an Iniesta replacement but that just ain’t happening. If we switch to 4-4-2 I could see a place for him but I’m not thinking that’s happening either.

  23. Helge
    May 17, 2010

    Here, take a look at this video from Barcelona:

    I wish I had been there!

  24. Ciaran
    May 17, 2010

    I still don’t why everyone says that Busquets is a deep-lying playmaker?
    When has anyone here seen him actually create a chance for someone? A deep-lying playmaker has to, you know, make plays. Pirlo, for example, sprays the ball around at will, creating chances and moving his teammates around to create space. Xavi does it slightly further forward but Busquets doesn’t do it at all.
    Busquets certainly has his virtues; his willingness to run, agility, making smart fouls, playing simple one-twos and allowing his central defenders to move around to open the pitch by taking possession very deep.
    But there are the other things; losing possession, diving, dribbling players with no-one behind him, arguing with referees & the fact that he doesn’t yet have the physique needed for Europe.

    Replacing Yaya with Mascherano is not a solution. Playing against counterattacking teams, what Mascherano can do is undeniably great but he creates problems too, the obvious one being the lack of height in midfield.
    If we do sign Cesc, and Iniesta & Xavi have complete seasons then the player with little minutes is going to be Keita. He is the perfect professional, a very solid midfielder and he works harder than virtually anyone on the roster but Cesc, Xavi & Iniesta will get the nod ahead of him… meaning the minutes available will be at DM.

    I would hate if the summer made us weaker…

    • BA
      May 17, 2010

      i agree with this; the biggest advantage Yaya has over Busquets is his ball retention. he doesn’t dick around with it in the center circle, he doesn’t try to beat people on the dribble, he just keeps the ball safe and moves it around. in that crucial position (in the squad and on the pitch), you have to have the ability to keep the ball, which Yaya does in spades and Busquets is “still learning”. Busquets is also a tall skinny wanker that nobody is afraid to have a go at, while Yaya is a giant striding mountain of death; he can go toe-to-toe with the biggest players in Europe while Busquets just falls over, twitches and hopes for a call.

      we’d be crazy to let an agent’s indecency determine the strength of our squad. Yaya has to stay.

  25. ooga aga
    May 17, 2010

    the big big honcho at the Club, joan oliver, said that we have three deals cooking, at least one of which will be resolved before the world cup, other(s) will be resolved later.

    “”The ideas of the coach and the technical secretary (with regard to acquisitions) have been very clear for some time, and we will do whatever is possible so that the 1st team is as good or better than it is now….

    “Currently we are working on three themes, three operations.”

    the only names from the current squad that came up in his conference were Henry and Ibra. He assured Ibra would be here next year. He did not rule out the departure of Henry, and might have even indicated it is a probability, though my spanish could have failed me here.

    nobody from the press, apparently, asked him about Yaya.


  26. fcb-gow
    May 17, 2010

    guys anyone have the links for the full trophy presentations???

  27. ooga aga
    May 17, 2010

    apparently, there wasnt a trophy hoisting yesterday because the trophy wasnt on hand? thats what i read. anyone know any more about this?

    • BA
      May 17, 2010

      did you guys hear me?

      the non-tabloid, mainstream American paper The Boston Globe is reporting that Henry already signed a deal that’ll take him to the U.S. after the World Cup and nobody’s interested?

      • Jnice
        May 17, 2010

        Still won’t believe it till it’s on the official website.

        Even though it is MLS, I don’t understand how Boston Globe and SI could report this before the Spanish press and other football sites.

  28. ooga aga
    May 17, 2010

    here is a video of some of the speeches from yesterdays celebration. in the background, children are playing. especially funny, is at minute 7:08, you can see a child imitating busquets….trust me you will laugh if you see it..


  29. Kxevin
    May 17, 2010

    Sport has the Valladolid pre-match video up. Can’t link to it, unless somebody haz super-mad skillz, yo. But I rather imagine it will be up on YouTube later.

    Meanwhile, hie thee over to the main Sport page and give it a gander. I’m ready to kick some ass, and I’m not even a player!

    • Jnice
      May 17, 2010


  30. Bill
    May 17, 2010

    Seeing Iniesta on the pitch yesterday made me happy. The few touches he had simply showed his class. Injuries have really held back this player. When teams put pressure on us at the back, we don’t need to change plays, the answer is simply INIESTA!!! The boy moves and gets the ball to a teammates feet no mater what is going on around him, and with a simple body fake or spin move, he can wrong foot 2 of the other teams’ players and leave them badly exposed at their back. AMAZING. Thats why he is the one barcelona player that completely captures my imagination.

    Another player that has grown on me this season is Pedro! This guys’ hustle, speed, skills plus knack for scoring goals of such a wide variety has been impressive. To think that this was his first full season with the team is impressive. I honestly dont know what Juan Mata or David Silva can add to the team over this guy, especially since they will cost loads of money.

    Bojan didn’t have a particularly great game this last outing, but he still hustled alot, his movement was good and he was able to unload some vicious shots at goal, any of which would have been devastating with a little more direction.

    I don’t get this Busquets is a better ‘deep lying playmaker’ sentiments some people have. Didn’t you watch the game yesterday? The Yaya can play-make and produce killer passes with the best of them.

    I don’t get this
    ‘he lacks the agility to cover spaces, change direction off the ball while change of play and is not the most alert and fastest option when it come to repositioning. Marking spaces demand all that’ . Would Pep play him as a defender soo many times including yesterday if this was true? He played extremely well as a DM last year, and I don’t recall many goals leaking in as a result of his stupid play.

    Bottom line is, the Yaya is an excellent player, that many a coach would love to have on their side. Yesterday, he went from a DM player helping out Busquets on many an occasion, moved to an offensive midfielder making plays, taking shot and breaking down defenses, and eventually ended up as a defender, when Alves was subbed and Puyol moved to the right. How many players can give you those options without a considerable drop in performance?

    I think the issue comes down to Pep. And this is where I have a problem with Pep. He just doesn’t seem to be able to handle players very well. If he doesn’t like something about a player, instead of finding ways to work with them, he just pushes them out. I don’t think the Yaya is a difficult personality that Pep can’t handle. On Yaya’s part, to be unceremoniously pushed to the bench for someone with less ability than you has to feel bad. I would leave if I was him.

    • Jnice
      May 17, 2010

      “I think the issue comes down to Pep. And this is where I have a problem with Pep. He just doesn’t seem to be able to handle players very well. If he doesn’t like something about a player, instead of finding ways to work with them, he just pushes them out. I don’t think the Yaya is a difficult personality that Pep can’t handle. On Yaya’s part, to be unceremoniously pushed to the bench for someone with less ability than you has to feel bad. I would leave if I was him.

      Of course Yaya’s personality isn’t a difficult one to handle- his personality isn’t the issue. If anything it may be about the personality of his agent, but apart from that, I think the reasons Busi plays over Yaya is covered in Ramzi’s comment.

        • ooga aga
          May 17, 2010

          how do you know it is just his agent? for instance, if busi was training harder than yaya, or generally being more “coachable” than yaya, that could tip the scales in his favor. even if his “personality”, per se, isnt the issue, it still could have something to do with in-house dynamics (i.e. the fans can never really know what is actually happening)

          • Bill
            May 17, 2010

            Agreed. Whatever it is, it’s definately not based on performances. ANd agents wont yap if players are treated fairly. Either way, it’s sad for me to see this happening. For the second year in a row, we will get rid of a dynamic that works very well in our team

          • Jnice
            May 17, 2010

            True, according to Graham Hunter, Yaya was a bit too casual in training at times during the season and he apparently gained a little weight.

        • vicsoc8
          May 17, 2010

          Italicizing is a html command, use this format:

          Italicize this

          Except remove the *’s and you get this:

          Italicize this

          • vicsoc8
            May 17, 2010

            Try 2:

            Italicize this

            Except remove the -‘s

          • vicsoc8
            May 17, 2010

            Try three:

            Use this format:

            Italicize this

            Instead of 1 use i
            Instead of 2 use /i

          • vicsoc8
            May 17, 2010

            Try 4:

            Look at this website:


          • Eklavya
            May 18, 2010

            LOL, your failed changed name is still carrying the curse XD

  31. ————————–

    done and dusted, henry to the redbull after the WORLD CUP, should be fun.. Cant wait til 2025 when messi signs with the colombus crew lol

    • ooga aga
      May 17, 2010

      will he also leave crackovia? hope not.

  32. Memorylane
    May 17, 2010

    Completely agree Bill I don’t know where these unfounded claims of Busi being a “deep lying play maker” come from it honestly baffles me to the point I question myself which Busi have I been watching?

    Despite these claims Yaya has had more assists this season then Busi even with his lack of game time.

    I have watched every minute of the past 3 seasons and there is not single argument 1 can create to tell me why Busi should be favored over Yaya, I can say with 100% confidence he simply isn’t in the same bracket to the likes of Yaya Toure and If anything it is Yaya who has shown he is more of a “deep lying playmaker” then Busi.

    Toure’s passing range is amazing how he can switch play from 1 wing to another effortlessly I reference the Depor game for people with short memories.
    To further back up my statement above his brilliant assist in the Nou camp last season for Henry’s opening goal against Valencia (he went on to score a hatrick that game)

    The below stats are recorded against Inter second leg where he was playing as a CB, he had a higher passing percentage then Xavi I mean who does that?…401h59m29.png/

    I still maintain had Mr Toure been playing the first leg in the San Siro my friends we would be in the final.

    I don’t think a Busi or even a Mascherano who is nothing more then a glorified dirty player and doesn’t have the technical ability to be featured in this Barca team can dominate a midfield and protect the back 4 the way Toure can.

    There is more then enough room for both players but I feel and the majority fans who I talk to want Toure as our main starter in the big games and to be frank I found it insulting for Toure the way Pep has treated him this season and I can understand why he would be bitter. But that is neither here or there.

    Also people remember Busi has had a tireless helper that goes by the name of KEITA in midfield to help him out….. Last season it was a consistent midfield trio of Toure, Xavi and Iniesta who were free to express themselves because they knew they had a wall behind them.

    There was no Keita covering every ground of the field it was Toure alone who had to protect the back 4 and he did it with class.
    I don’t think Busi can dominate midfields against credible teams such as Bayern, Lyon and the likes of Chelsea time and time again he frustrated Drogba 1 of the most feared strikers in Europe He was a key reason why Chelsea found it so difficult to string some passes together and score from open play.

    What about the first leg in the camp nou what a job he did in dominating Chelsea’s midfield who’s only intention was to bully and physically abuse our smaller players they would have succeded had he not been with his physical presence.

    I understand Pep likes Busi and that’s his decision we get it… But people are straight up telling fantasies to justify his inclusion over Yaya. Nobody can honestly tell you why he has been favored this season.

    To compare both players it is really unfair on Busi.

    Any Barca fan would hate to see the back of Toure and I for 1 would not give him for Fabregas or any amounts of money in the world unless we are getting Esiien.
    Why the obsession for Fabregas, people are talking about him playing as a DM with Xavi and Iniesta ahead of him that is ridiculous.

    Also not to mention we got Xavi, Iniesta, Toure who is more then capable playing as a play maker even Busi could if need be not to mention the youth players.

  33. Dr. J
    May 17, 2010

    Hello everyone! Before I start, I would like to congratulate all of you working on this blog. I absolutely love it. Kudos to you.

    I’ve been reading so much about “the Yaya issue” this season that I feel obliged to give my two cents on the subject.

    Firstly I must say that I think Yaya will be sold. I love the dude, but he will go. Like Kevin said – it just makes sense. He has written some of the reasons (the agent, the salary, the price etc.) but there is one more very important reason, that only applies to Barca. It is an idea that was (of course) firstly utilized by Cruyff, and we all know that Pep is basically his reincarnation. That is why Johann told Laporta to go for Pep, when Joan offered him the coaching spot.

    Now to the idea. Football goes in cycles. The cycle (of winning) can last two or three years without changing the team. If you want it to last longer (without a complete rebuilding) you have to work on the team. And that means buying new players and selling some of the “winning crew”. This is why Ronaldinho, Deco and Eto’o went. But the catch lies in who to sell. You do not sell the home-grown players. You build the team around them and sell the foreign stars. And then buy new stars. Cruyff kept Guardiola, Amor, Nadal etc. and sold Romario, Stoichkov, Laudrup etc.

    It is all the same now. Some new players have to be brought in and some have to be sold. Henry will definitely go. I think that so will Yaya. Maybe even Abidal, but probably not this year but next. And after that Ibra.

    When Yaya is sold we will need at least one new player if not two. A CM most definitely and probably a DM, Except if Pep thinks of using Chygrinsky and Marquez for Busquets cover.

    And just for the record. Yaya is great and very good playing at CM, DM and CB. But he is not the best in the team in any of those roles. And we all know you use that kind of player for squad rotation and for covering injuries and suspensions.

    He might be the best in any or all those positions at some other team and if he wants to pursue that option – good luck to him. We will find a replacement. Probably not like for like, but nevertheless.

    Greetings to all!

    • Kxevin
      May 17, 2010

      Welcome, Dr. J. Thanks for the compliments, and the well-reasoned commentary. You’re absolutely right about the Catalan core. I also think that Henry is gone, as is Marquez, The Yaya and Milito if the right offer comes knocking. Jeffren as well.

  34. ooga aga
    May 17, 2010

    a question for jnice and others that download games from places like rapidshare, mediafire, hotfile, etc etc

    jnice often posts links to these from “pakman”

    i was able once to successfully download a match, a couple months ago. it had problems — no audio — but was basically viewable. since then whenever i try to download one, i run into a problem. i try many of the links available on rojadirecta, but still…either the file is corrupted somehow, and/or the website says i cant download any more as a free user. (i use 7-Zip to extract the files and DivX player to view them.)

    my questions for you:

    1. do you use these download sites for free or do you pay the monthly fee for better downloading ‘services’? without paying money it seems it takes forever to download all the pieces necessary for viewing a match. still i dont know it would be worth paying the fee if all the files are corrupted anyway.

    2. do you have tips for successful downloading? do you ever run into problems, like you download it and it is corrupted? i dont know if it is just me, or the wifi connection at the cafe i am using… 🙂

    3. has anyone successfully downloaded the valladolid match? can you suggest a link?

    sorry for the boring post. im just trying to enjoy my team here. thanks.

    • vicsoc8
      May 17, 2010

      I’ve had a lot of problems with the files being corrupted. I’m on a mac though, so it may be some issue with the program I’m using.

      • Jnice
        May 17, 2010

        Vicsoc, for a mac, Pakman says:

        There is another option for Mac and that is to use UnrarX @

        The workaround for the CRC errors is very simple with this program. Go to UnrarX preferences, and select the option ‘Keep broken extracted files’.

        I just use Jdownloader.

      • Jnice
        May 17, 2010

        Vicsoc, for a mac, Pakman says:

        There is another option for Mac and that is to use UnrarX @ *

        The workaround for the CRC errors is very simple with this program. Go to UnrarX preferences, and select the option ‘Keep broken extracted files’.

        I just use Jdownloader.

    • Jnice
      May 17, 2010

      1. I pay for premium Rapidshare. It’s about $10 a month, but for me it is well worth it because I get to download all types of football matches, movies, music, whatever. Takes me like 5 minutes or less to download a match or even a movie.

      2. Well, I rarely run into problems. Especially with Pakman. I have a Mac and all I do copy the links and Jdownloader takes care of the rest. I suggest you download that because it downloads all the links at once, and extracts the files for you. So some of the errors you might be getting might be due to your extracting program. Jdownloader has one built in and it works almost all the time. Also you might want to use VLC player to view them.

      If you get CRC errors or something like that, Pakman has suggested this to fix it: 1. Right click the 1st RAR file.
      2. Click Extract Files…
      3. Tick Keep Broken Files.
      4. Click OK.


      With Win Explorer create a sub folder REPAIRED

      Open WinRAR, browse to the folder with the damaged RAR file(s). U can find which one is bad by selecting the 1st RAR file and using TEST button.

      Select the damaged file, press REPAIR button.

      In dialogue box, enter the path to the REPAIR subfolder, or browse to it.

      As long as there is a RECOVERY record in that RAR, it will be repaired.

      Copy all the NON-DAMAGED RAR’s to your repair folder and rename the REPAIRED file back to it’s original name.

      Proceed with extraction in the REPAIR folder as normal.

      People say this works, so try it. It’s not a boring post at all, I know what it is like to want to watch their games and not be able to. Hope it works!

      • cliveee
        May 18, 2010

        Jdownloader seems to offer exe files only. no luck for Mac?

        • Jnice
          May 18, 2010


    • Blow-Grenade
      May 17, 2010

      I pay for premium Rapidshare as well. Well worth the money!

      • ooga aga
        May 18, 2010

        thanks so much you all for responding to my question, especially jnice. i will follow your advice. cheers

  35. jordi™
    May 17, 2010

    looks like this Villa transfer has legs,


    • Jnice
      May 17, 2010

      Interesting. I believe it a little more because it is coming from Valencia’s newspaper, not to say it isn’t full or rumors itself, but I can’t take Sport and EMD anymore.

      I want to see what Graham Hunter and Balague have to say about this on Revista tomorrow.

  36. Kxevin
    May 17, 2010

    Everyone needs to calm down a bit, before The Yaya becomes this year’s Eto’o. It’s probably a bit late, as some of the long knives are out after Guardiola. But let’s understand a few things:

    –We aren’t privy to practice sessions or the locker room.
    –Guardiola isn’t stupid.
    –The above means that he will always put the best lineup on the pitch that gives us the best chance of winning.
    –As a former Chicago Tribune exec once said, “Your job is your perk.”

    If we recount the list of players to whom Guardiola has been unfair it includes Krkic, Jeffren, The Yaya, Henry, even Marquez. Fact of the matter is that Guardiola knows what he wants on the pitch, and how he wants those players to execute his game plan.

    The Yaya’s agent is a jackass, because to say that we would be in the CL final if his client had been on the pitch means that he would have been in the box when our defense was screwing up, instead of rumbling around the midfield, watching the carnage. So he’s stupid, and wants to talk his client out of town, if he hasn’t already. Let him. If he wants to pull his player from a championship side to a fate unknown, let him. Because the simple fact of the matter is that ALL championship sides platoon key players. The Yaya is one of them.

    This is what I mean by the quote “Your job is your perk.” You keep yourself fit, and ready to go when you are called upon, and you execute to the best of your ability. That is what being part of a championship side means. If The Yaya doesn’t want to be part of a championship side any longer, it’s all good. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. This club is bigger than any one player, even one the size of a star system.

    Busquets has a skill set that has been well documented in this comments section. It is also a skill set that is preferable for Guardiola in most situations.

    Do people here prefer The Yaya’s skill set? Apparently. But none of us can deny that there have been matches in which he has been dire this season. The difference has not been night and day, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Many here have commented on his slowness afoot, and tendency to lunge rather than taking those extra couple of last steps to get into position. He also holds the ball too long, and gets caught in possession sometimes. Busquets has his own set of deficiencies. But as with Krkic, don’t let good performances obscure the aggregate. The Yaya has been bad, mediocre, adequate, good and excellent this season. Like a host of other players. I’m sure with an adequate backup at right back, Alves would have been platooned when he hit his purple patch. There were matches that Messi should have been sat. Ditto for Xavi. But we lacked the luxury of like replacements.

    Most importantly, Guardiola knows. If a “best player” deserved to be on the pitch, he would be on the pitch, because not winning tears that man up too much to not have the best personnel out there.

    So The Yaya’s agent can yap all he wants. He wants X number of performances so that the incentives can kick in, so that he can get paid his cut. He wants his client to transfer for the big money, so that he can get paid his cut. An agent’s looking out for his client’s “best interest” usually means “agent’s best interest.”

    With Busquets in the (usually) preferred position, we set a record number of points in the Liga, and were a goalpost and blown call away from the treble. Again. Ask yourselves if The Yaya would have made the difference, when you watch those crucial matches again.

    If he wants to go to Arsenal, and can be used to reduce the cost of Fabregas, he would be doing the club a favor. Thank you for the excellent service, and have fun in the Premiership. But know that this is a bloodless business. Also know that Guardiola will NOT tolerate any locker room/off the field crap. He saw how expensive that was for Rijkaard.

    –Henry has, so far, called BS on the Red Bull stuff, saying that things are being discussed, and he will deal with it all after the World Cup. But for now, he is a Barcelona player with a year left on his contract. Full stop. It might happen, it might not. But any reports of a done deal are premature, until we hear it from the player.

    –Something else to calm down about. Sport is ratcheting up the anti-Ibrahimovic campaign by saying that he is being shopped, with the club’s permission. This, after club officials were quoted as saying that he wouldn’t be going anywhere.

    So we have lies, damned lies, and the Silly Season. Welcome aboard.

    • vicsoc8
      May 17, 2010

      This club is bigger than any one player, even one the size of a star system.

      This, coupled with the fact that Pep has won seven trophies in two seasons and I trust him to continue his success is all I need to accept that the Yaya could be leaving.

      I won’t be happy, but I trust Pep.

    • Jnice
      May 17, 2010

      “So we have lies, damned lies, and the Silly Season. Welcome aboard.”


      So I was reading those Sport articles about selling Ibra and it got me really mad. Because Villa might be coming, all of a sudden they want to completely discredit Ibra. Stupid rags.

      • Luna
        May 17, 2010

        yeah I read that too…I just don’t want the silly season of transfers with the silly season of presidential club politics, this camp leaking this, to ruin the moment. This whole barrage of news is just frustrating, but I can’t keep from reading the silly season spin

    • jordi™
      May 17, 2010

      Sport could atleast come up with some more conceivable names.Manchester united cannot afford him nor would they take the chance after the Berbatov experience.Chelsea could, but they already have the drogba and i can see them spending upwards of 45 million on Aguero not another big man. Moneybags City can afford him and if mancini stays he probably would want him, but again, does anyone see him going to a club in the europa league when he came here to win the cl?So where will he go? They should be ashamed of their little agenda.Not even AS have started to attack Benzema and Kaka , and neither of these players won the clasico for them.Disgusting.

  37. jordi™
    May 17, 2010

    Its too bad pep has to go on vacation because last year it was like the wilderness when he was gone ,with EMD and Sport running riot.Wake me up in September.

  38. jordi™
    May 17, 2010

    Look what not winning does to people lol 😀


    • Eklavya
      May 18, 2010

      Whaaat? Chiggy voted as the best player in champions league?? He didn’t even play in the CL!! Wtf?! 😀

  39. Eduard
    May 18, 2010

    This Yaya discussion may be getting out of hand. I for one would keep Yaya in Barcelona just so his offspring can be raised Catalan. Imagine having a Midfield of Yayas!!! I know Cruiff tried that with his son and didn’t really work out all that well but Damn!!, Yaya comes from good stock.


  40. May 18, 2010

    It is very clear that Bojan will stay and Toure will be moving. Both could be huge mistakes. Bojan has been excellent recently. But not opting for a loan could be huge mistake.

    It is clear that Ibra will stay here and there is a high chance of Villa moving to Barca. Now where does Bojan fits with these two gentlemen around. It’s not a secret that Guardiola don’t think high of him. That means he will see very less playing time. What Bojan right now needs is lots of playing time.

    As far as Toure is considered. It’s better stop looking it at a business point of view. Reminds me of how Perez saw only business when Makelele asked for a better contract. As a DM Toure is way better than Busquets. There is no doubt that Busquets passes ball better than Toure. But with Xavi and Iniesta in middle, it could be better to have a guy who is more solid, especially in Europe. Just watch the Inter match, how they managed to pin Xavi near the half line. That’s where the value of a Defensive midfielder comes into picture.

  41. May 18, 2010

    Another thing I hate the most to hear is this stupid argument that”Guardiola knows what he is doing”. I mean, then what’s the point of these discussion. Eto’o sale was a no-brainer as we all saw it. The worse was that we had a genuine chance of signing Villa last year. So I completely disagree with the strange argument that “Since Guardiola is the coach, he knows what’s best”. This is the same guy who held on two two genuine substituition when we were 3-1 down at Inter Milan. One of that might have changed the game for us (there is no guarantee, but not acting was a bigger crime). My point is that even Guardiola can make mistakes.

    I haven’t heard anything till now about Toure being a disturbing influence in the dressing room. And for god’s sake, don’t make excuses that Toure is going to be sold because of his agent. There was the same drama by Guardiola last season – buying Mascherano and all. Guardiola want Toure out because he don’t favour him or see him in his plans. It’s plain and simple.

    • Bundy
      May 18, 2010

      Guardiola knows best because he works with the team everyday, he knows what every player in the team is like, its easier to sit here on this blog and talk about what needs to be done but we don’t know what goes on in training or on the bench, or behind closed doors.

      Pep made it very clear last season that Pep has no favourites, if you don’t perform your out. We don’t know if Yaya’s fitness level is good enough to maintain a regular spot in an advanced midfield position, because Yaya has to show that in training, Pep cannot judge who plays solely on last weeks game or last months game or one game where we vs an Italian team. Thats not how managing at team works.

      What I dislike is the fact that some people find it annoying how Busquets is getting regular minutes. Well I see that we are extremely lucky to have someone like Busquets who is very young and good enough to compete against very high profile midfielders. I also think we are very lucky to have two very good midfielders in Busquets and Yaya who both deserve to start in our team and in any european club too.

      I think Yaya understands that the club ‘prefer’ Cantera and foreign players always find it hard to stay longterm at a club like Barca. But I see it that he wants to stay, clearly by the way he talks, the way he presents himself and the way he plays on the field. He wants to be like a Cantera of Barca.

      I’ve heard that the club have told Yaya that he has a choice if he wants to stay or not. I also think that its next to impossible for us to buy both Villa and Cesc this summer and I think If we buy Villa then Yaya will stay.

    • Kxevin
      May 18, 2010

      Please mind your tone, Varughese. Nothing makes a discussion descend into an argument more quickly than words such as “stupid” being bandied about. Remember that for every thing that someone labels stupid, the person on the other side of the discussion could just as easily label the opposing supposition stupid.

      Then you have an argument.

      We discuss club moves, purchases and decisions because it’s fun, and gives us something to do to while away the interminable months before our great club straps on the boots in anger. Simple as that.

      Do coaches make mistakes? You bet they do. But even with mistakes, I’m still trusting a guy whose club has set the Liga record for points in winning the second Liga title, atop the 6 previous trophies.

      We didn’t “all” see the Eto’o sale in the same way. I believed that if that was what the club needed to move forward, then so be it. Statistically and performance-wise, it did move forward if the Liga is the indicator. A bigger problem than whether Eto’o was on the roster was squad depth and injuries at key times. For every person who could say “We would have beaten Inter had The Yaya been on the pitch at the San Siro,” someone else could say “We would have beaten Inter at the San Siro had Abidal started.” You could also sub Iniesta’s name for Abidal’s.

      Nobody is saying that The Yaya is a dressing room disruption. We are saying that his agent is an ass. There’s a difference. Does his situation have the potential to become a locker room distraction? Yes.

      Guardiola doesn’t play favorites, though many accuse him of doing so. He does want to see if something will work out. No other way to explain Krkic’s playing time during the span when he was absolutely horrible. And Guardiola clearly prefers what Busquets brings to the side in many situations. Coach’s prerogative.

      The Villa and Mascherano deals last season were scuttled by the “home” clubs, not us. Valencia changed the price at the last second, and we went for Ibrahimovic. Liverpool deemed Mascherano “untransferable,” so that deal didn’t happen. Neither one is the fault of any member of the club’s technical staff, unless someone here thinks that Villa is a 50m player. I don’t, any more than I think that Fabregas is a 50m player.

  42. poipoi
    May 18, 2010

    the outcome is easy guys: toure signs for espanyol and makes a hell of our lives … villa comes this summer as world cup champion & ibra our DM next year 😀

    • poipoi
      May 18, 2010

      oh, I forgot … cesc next year’s EE coach

  43. May 18, 2010

    Guillem Balague is reporting here (not sure how he would know, frankly) that Fabregas has met with Wenger and expressed his desire to leave Arsenal for Barca.

    This is also an interesting commentary, from

    Now it really starts getting crazy. One “report” says that we have told Arsenal to “name their price.” Crazy? Dunno. It makes sense if you view Fabregas as a piece of electioneering. Laporta would like nothing more than to be able to stand with that unctuous grin behind the Continuity candidates and say “I brought Villa and Fabregas to us!”

    And Laporta has officially said that “negotiations have begun with Valencia to make David Villa a Barcelona player.”

    Now, the crazy part will be that people will presume that Villa and Ibrahimovic can’t co-exist, which is nonsense. I daresay that if Valencia had another target man on the pitch with Villa, they might have been closer than 947 points behind the leaders, in third place.

    I hate to admit it, but this is kind of fun.

    • vicsoc8
      May 18, 2010

      I know that Laporta is half electioneering, half trying to help the club for the future right now.

      However in my mind the electioneering half of it is not working. I may be looking at it from too obscure of an angle, but in my mind buying several players before the election will actually undermine the direct continuity candidacy. Like his style or not, a large part of the success the club has enjoyed under Laporta has been the result of his dominating style of leadership (this isn’t to say that a different type of leadership can’t also be successful). By buying players right before the election Laporta is in my mind reaffirming this notion that the strength of his mandate comes from himself, and less so from the people who work underneath him. This serves to undermine my faith in the continuity candidacy – without the strong leadership of Laporta I don’t believe they will be able to continue to maintain this success.

      Now this is obviously ignoring the fact that the three strongest candidacies (Ferrer, Ingla, and Rossell) are all at some abstracted level continuity candidacies as they were all part of the Laporta reign at one point or another.

      The other danger of signing players before the election is that it could leave certain candidates with nothing to claim after their victory. I can think of one candidate in particular who will certainly want to stamp his own name on the team. This could be harmful to the club, as it could force transfers to happen that shouldn’t happen just to satisfy the future presidents’ ego.

    • Jnice
      May 18, 2010

      I guess I will see more of what Balague has to say about that on Revista today. I’ll post the links here if anyone is interested.

  44. May 18, 2010

    And for the official record, you won’t see a lot of Isaiah in these discussions, for those wondering what his view on matters is. He HATES the Silly Season. 😀

    I think it’s kind of fun in a very perverse way, in part because of the various unlikely rumors and links that pop up, but also because of the discussions that we have here.

    Call me crazy.

  45. Ramzi
    May 18, 2010

    One of the reasons I intensified my comments on the blog again is the recent comment style like thats of Varughese. There were always moments of heated discussions between this group of Cules but recently it became more as a trend.
    Regarding:”protecting Pep decessions” I read this few days ago (not sure if it was Varughese repeating himself or someone else). Obviously, those who say so were not reading our comments last season. Some of us were DEMANDING what Pep did afterward. May be even before Pep had the chance to think about it. Call it right, call it wrong (what Pep did), but its more possible that Pep read what we wrote and did it than it is the other way. Thats how far you are from the truth.
    Not everyone saw that Ibra transfer was a mistake (I didnt). If in your OPINION it was a mistake, join the group of the majority. fair enough. But when you make a judgement:”it was wrong, and whoever say it wasnt is a stupid” then you have to send us your football CV first proving that you know better. May be we will be over impressed and demand that you take Pep job. If there are any proven Football IQ tests, attach your results as well.

    In 2006 we won the Liga and the CL. Imagine if we would have offloaded Ronaldinho then and bought Keita then ended the next season winning the liga and only reached the CL semi finals. Lot of Varugheses would have invaded Barcelona blogs complaining how stupid the management is to offload the best talent of the decade. “If we kept Ronaldinho we would have…and…then…” well..we kept him and the whole group (including Eto’o).the team collapsed without a trace. Now you can say “if we kept eto’o…if we did…if we didnt…” but thats just what you think, I think you are wrong. I cant prove you are wrong because we cant rewind the season with Eto’o in the squad, that doesnt make you right. If i was born in 350 BC I would have kicked alexander the great’s ass in the battle field and smashed his troops. Either prove me wrong or bow appreciating my assumed greatness.

    • May 18, 2010

      Preach, Brother Ramzi, preach!


      p.s. I had Napoleon’s back at Waterloo as well, but he just wouldn’t listen!

    • ermengol
      May 18, 2010

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaa!
      Ramzi, akhi, you are the awesomeness!

  46. fcbfan
    May 18, 2010

    This EMD Sport negative campaign on Ibra is pathetic. Even if other clubs want him, they won’t be able to afford his salary, except City and I think Ibra would want a CL trophy before going there. He’s going nowhere.

    As for Yaya, his agent has been angling for a move since Yaya first year with us. Dunno if going to Arsenal will give him trophies though, unless Arsenal also can keep Cesc when Yaya goes there.

    I hope Yaya stays because we need variety and different skills and of course midfield depth. If Yaya wants to start every game, then I’m afraid he has to leave. Sometimes we need different skills for different games.

  47. Jnice
    May 18, 2010

    For those who wanted to download the celebrations at the Camp Nou:

    Barca TV: Title Celebration 2009/10 Liga Bbva Champions Spain

    Part 1. *
    Part 2. *
    Part 3. *
    Part 4. *

    Multiupload has many options, including rapidshare, megaupload, zshare, badongo and others.

    Thanks to chicharro

  48. Jnice
    May 18, 2010

    “He has a contract with us and we are satisfied.”

    Laporta, when asked about Ibra.

    • May 18, 2010

      Now that is leadership. I like that statement. It won’t end any speculation, but it’s nice to hear. I do think that if the Fabregas rumors are rooted in fact, we will need to sell The Yaya to raise funds.

      Also, don’t forget that when the Henry deal happens, we’ll be getting money from that. Marquez will also be sold, as well. But assuming the rumors come to pass, here’s my starting XI for next season:

      Alves Pique Puyol Abidal
      Busquets Xavi Iniesta
      Messi Ibrahimovic Villa

      Who’s missing? That’s right, the most expensive reserve in the history of the game, Cesc Fabregas. Which is why I’m still wondering about that transfer.

      But on paper, with the likes of Hleb, Fabregas, Milito, Maxwell, Pedro!, Keita and Krkic on the bench, we’ll be looking pretty strong. I look to go into the season with 22 players on the roster, players of a quality sufficient to raise some hell, whoever is on the pitch. Figure on either Dos Santos and/or Thiago to get promoted, then one probably gets loaned out. Watch Johnny Two-Time during the WC. His performances there will go far toward showing whether he’s ready for top-flight European footy.

      • May 18, 2010

        Distressing thought No. 1:

        I do hope that Laporta is bonding with Rosell, who is the likely winner of the election. Because if this stuff happens even before the election, then Rosell will come into office wanting to do something, anything.

        That’s when stupid crap can happen.

        • BA
          May 18, 2010

          i look at that lineup, Kxevin, and see a glaring weakness in the holding midfield position….

          • Kxevin
            May 18, 2010

            Hard to argue with that one, BA. I just don’t know how else Guardiola will do it. Then we play with, effectively, a 3-man back line with Pique sliding forward into that holding position.

            No matter how I look at it, I just don’t see how, if the rumors are true, Fabregas and Villa get on the pitch at the same time. Unless we do sell Ibrahimovic ….

  49. barca96
    May 18, 2010

    why not just sell chigwimpy? :p
    yaya is better than him at CB and DM.
    and most probably CM.
    throw in marquez as well and we have an extra 30mill.

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