Saturday’s News: Guardiola on the Eto’o “feeling,” and more


Well, you probably won’t be seeing this scene again, according to Pep Guardiola, who believes that repeating that magical triplete is impossible. He’s probably right. Magical seasons are magical for a reason.

That said, he definitely wants to gobble up every bit of silver that he can, and has convened “the best” players for the Sunday Spanish SuperCopa finale at home against Athletic Bilbao.

“Athletic will press,” said Guardiola. “That’s why we have to go out and attack with discretion.” In other words, look for a tight match, because “I want the SuperCup,” said Guardiola.

–The infamous “feeling” that Guardiola had about Samuel Eto’o that led to his transfer, was clarified in yesterday’s press conference. “The decision to dispense with Eto’o was not a question of ‘feeling,'” said Guardiola. “Footballing there was no problem with Sammy, and I could work very well with him at a personal level. What I meant is that my ‘feeling’ after the success we achieved last year was that it was time for a change.”

–Racing is the most likely destination for Adriano. As the club’s boss, Francisco Pernia, says it’s all over but the shouting on the Henrique front. They also want them some Jeffren, but that will depend on what happens regarding Guardiola’s desires to sign a left winger.

–First work, then Ramadan for The Yaya, Keita and Abidal. Fasting, one of the tenets of the Muslim holy period is always a complexity for athletes. All three have, through the intervention of an Imam, chosen to postpone strict observation in light of their professional committments. As Keita said last year, “I am Muslim, but I am also a footballer.”

–Ah, Cicinho. The rumors just won’t go away. Roma wasn’t happy with our initial bid, as you might all recall, and Cicinho has started nattering about not being happy, blah, blah, blah. The usual stuff. Roma have said “It will cost thiiiiis muuuuuch to get him.” It is rumored that we are going to reply with “But we want to pay thismuch.” And off we go.

Juan Mata might be back in the frame again. Recall the hooraw with Valencia and Dalport Investments, and Soriano saying “We don’t need to sell anyone since these guys, with all this money and a logo right out of a child’s coloring book, are going to make a massive cash infusion.” Well, that sorta didn’t happen. The group didn’t even make the first payment deadline. And the whole Dalport thing is looking funkier and funkier, which means that Valencia are once again in a big ol’ fiscal mess. So we might test the Mata waters. Stay tuned.

–The club is still pushing for the signing of Chygrynskiy. Expect the deal to happen, or not, when both clubs and their various officials convene in Monaco next week for the UEFA SuperCup.

–We still might see some kids staying up, despite the Guardiola statement of the other day that none would be promoted permanently. Oier, Fontas, Muniesa, Dos Santos and Jeffren are part of the SuperCopa squad list, and as Guardiola said of the young’uns, “They are inexperienced because they are young. But they are ready.”

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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. Eduard
    August 22, 2009

    We can win the triplete, just might be three different trophies. But I don’t understand why he doesn’t say try to win 6 trophies

  2. Muhammad
    August 22, 2009

    it seems that I made everyone so angry with the Oleguer comment. sorry about that, but I didn’t know there was another fairness club. I must be careful the next time I start calling him names..
    anyway back to the topic, I certainly hope that Pedro and Jeffren can develop enough this year to be regular starters on the wings next season, because with the proposed Cesc deal we probably aren’t going to make any other big cash deals next summer.
    I think that will be the right move too, if we aren’t going to sign someone of the calibre of Ribery or Silva then we shouldn’t spend on the likes of Di Maria and Mata.

  3. Kxevin
    August 22, 2009

    I wouldn’t say that you sparked any anger, Muhummad, just interesting debate. Which is good.

    Mata is an interesting question. At present, he’s a member of the “all potential” team, those guys who everyone says “Just you wait….” and we keep waiting, and waiting. If the price was right, he’d be worth going for. But the price isn’t going to be right, right? Because of lingering animus from the Villa situation.

    Fabregas is interesting. It seems that the only real life in that deal is coming from the Spanish media. Fabregas has said “I’m an Arsenal player,” and Wenger has said “Over my dead body.” And yet they persist.

    Did you see the crazy news that internally, Bayern weren’t going to sell Ribery for anything less than 100m? Staggering. He’s their Messi, it would seem. Many clubs have one, that player whom they wouldn’t sell at almost any price.

    But (and this is probably a post for a slow period) is there any such thing as an unsellable player? What if someone waved 200m for Messi at us? Citeh rumoredly sent over a blank check, right? What a world in which we live and play.

  4. poipoi
    August 22, 2009

    we should just clone yaya and give the clone spanish citizenship 😉

  5. Jnice
    August 22, 2009


  6. August 22, 2009

    “is there any such thing as an unsellable player? ”

    Very interesting question indeed. I think it depends not only on the quality of the player himself but also on the squad quality and the club finance.

    The common belief is that if you have a player who is holding the whole team then this player is unsellable. I actually see it the other way. If your squad lack quality while you have one-and-only-one game changer, then its better to sell that player (if you recieves a big offer like the 200M for messi, you suggested) and invest the money in strengthining the squad departments in a way that makes you less dependent on one individual who may get injured, face drop in form, etc… Your team may not turn to be as good as it was when you had that player in his peak, but the overall performance of your team will become more stable and deliver better on the long run.

    But for Barcelona for example, I think lot of our players are unsellable. because simply if we ask the question “Why will we sell?” we will not get a convincing reason. What will we do if we recieved 200M and sold messi? We already have one of the best squads in the world . The best defenders in the world who “May” upgrade our defense notebly are unsellable themselves (So we need to pay over 50 M to make a Man-city-like offer to buy any of them) But who are they?Honestly no tempting options.

    Midfield? Do I need to start?

    Offense? We can only buy Messi back for 250M. NO other options that will upgrade the team better.

    So you will end up investing the money to buy players whom you hope can Cover Messi absence. But why taking that adventure in the first place?

    As for the club finance, I think a player who is as young as Messi (with all the quality and Market value he has) is a better investment for the club-Financially- than any other investment the club will make using the 200 M. So it doesnt worth as well.

  7. Alexinho
    August 22, 2009

    If Mata rumors do bubble up again, I’m going to be very angry again that we didn’t get Villa.

  8. bill
    August 22, 2009

    Money makes all players sellable. Luckily for Barcelona, the team does not depend on an individual business owner, who might get greedy enough to sell their most prized assets. I think if Barca sell, it’s for other reasons other than greed, because management doesn’t really have a stake in forcing the sale.

  9. Anna
    August 22, 2009

    Ramadan Mubarak The Yaya, Keita, and Abidal!
    They’ll prob postpone to the winter when the sun sets earlier.
    Lucky ducks summer/fall Ramadans are the hardest!

  10. OhYes
    August 22, 2009

    Ramzi: Just look at AC Milan and their selling of Kaka. He was an important player for the club, and a huge figure in the world of football. Maybe not as good as Messi in many footballing aspects, but when it comes to how important they are (in Kaka’s case, was) to a team, they are about the same.

    AC Milan == Kaka
    Barcelona == Messi (arguably)

    So your argument is very valid because Milan’s reasoning for accepting Madrid’s bid was to strengthen the entire team rather than rely on Kaka time and time again.

    But it can also work against a team because the sale of CRon left a massive hole in ManU that unfortunately can’t be filled. So the most important variables are how good the player being sold is, and how unique that player is.

  11. Dave
    August 22, 2009

    Haha Jnice, Ibra looks freakin EVIL in that picture.

  12. vicsoc8
    August 22, 2009

    Does anyone else feel like the pursuit of Chygrynskiy is a tactic by Pep to unsettle Shakhtar before the UEFA Super Cup, and that in the end Pep isn’t truly that interested in him?

  13. Helge
    August 23, 2009

    Ibra looks like an evil magician who tries to gain Messi’s skill and energy 🙂

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