L’Affaire Yaya, aka “Man up, shut up, or get gone”

Have a seat young man, and think long and hard about what you are about to do here. We are all very aware of your powers. Even as I was typing this soon-to-be cantankerous post, the site didn’t work for me for about 10 minutes.

Scary stuff.

But here’s the thing: I’m up to here with you and your agent. We had to go through this same business with you two last season and frankly, once is enough.

Get it sorted, either with us or somewhere else.

Last time this happened, you surfaced and in effect said that your agent was speaking out of turn, recommitted yourself to the cause, and even started giving press conferences in Catalan (swoon!). Awesome.

And now this.

When you have played this season, you have played very well, but you have also been crap. Yes, Busquets got more time than you. And in the Liga, we finished with a higher points total and better goal differential. Is that directly attributable to Busquets? Hell no.

But it might make the point that you through your agent overestimate your power and value to this club. And yet, I don’t even care about that because for me, it’s simple: If you don’t want to be here, then leave. Now. Make a public statement, and the club will find a deal for you and get you the hell out of Barcelona.

At present, it’s just your spectacularly annoying agent, blabbing away. “Yaya is 90 percent gone,” “Yaya is more out of the team than in,” “Yaya wants to be somewhere he can play all the time,” “Money isn’t the issue, he doesn’t want to go to sleep on the bench.”

What. The. Hell. If you aren’t happy, then leave. You’re a grownup who can do what he wants.

The club, through Txiki B., has said that you are a very important player for us, and important to the club’s plans for next season. But, he added, you also have to understand that the coach will play the lineups that he sees fit, that you are part of a team. If that ain’t copacetic with you, big man, we can find somewhere else for you to be.

So what’s it going to be? Nobody wants a player in the clubhouse who doesn’t want to be here, I don’t care how good they are, and you are definitely good, verging on great. As the World’s Largest Attacking Midfielder, you dismantled Valladolid, passing, rumbling and hurdling prostrate defensemen. You will make any team instantly better, and we will be less versatile if you leave.

The club has made it very clear that it would like for you to stay. Does Guardiola have a technical vision that rules you out entirely? Clearly not, or he would have played someone instead of you in the crucial, crucial match against Valladolid. Our season was on the line, and he started you. Clearly, the confidence that he has in you is through the rood. And yet, you utter, through your agent, rumblings of discontent. Imagine how Henry must have felt this season, having been leapfrogged by a Canterano and a Kid. Did he whine? No. He was the picture of professionalism from the bench, fully supportive and understanding that it’s the coach’s team. Playing or not, you support the side. At the very least, sort that crap in private.

I don’t like it. This club has to be a big, happy family to work. If you don’t want to be here, get gone. Now. Why wait, and why let your agent talk even more crap? Get a deal done. Go public, say you want to leave and we’ll make you happy, as we did Ronaldinho. We owe you that, and more. Right now, you’re hedging your bets, as Cesc Fabregas is, by saying nothing, in case you stay with the side next season. I understand the politics. They still suck. Chelsea is the latest rumored destination for you. Makes perfect sense, because you’ll surely be playing all the time there, with Ballack, Lampard, Mikel and Essien just ready and waiting to step aside for you.

Yeah. Right. And the one club where you would definitely fit in and start playing every match, all the time, Arsenal, your scummy mouthpiece has said you don’t want to go to. What, did Kolo poison them against you?

Figure out your destiny.

Right now, here’s what we know: Your agent is stirring up a hornet’s nest. Period. We don’t know how practices went, we don’t know about individual fitness parameters, we don’t know the decision making process behind Guardiola’s lineup and vision. What we do know is that your agent is doing precisely what many agents to, which is to be a pot-stirring thorn in the side. That’s his right. But it doesn’t mean that we have to like it.

“My client is 90% gone.” Make it 100%, if you want. Just do something. “When he goes, Barca will see what it missed.” We already know. Nobody doubts your value to the club. “If Yaya had been in the lineup against Inter, Barca would be in the final.” Sorry, but that just irks the crap out of me. You weren’t playing defense. You weren’t part of the three stupid, stupid goals that were conceded. Abidal, when he was subbed in, almost made a difference. Imagine if he had been healthy and started. So it could just as easily be “If Abidal had been in the lineup against Inter, Barca would be in the final.” Or “If Iniesta had ….” you get it.

The best football club in the world just made itself a lot better by signing David Villa. We should be spending all of our spare time playing fantasy football with Ibrahimovic, Messi and Villa. Instead we’re bickering about whether Guardiola is an idiot, has a Catalan bias, whether you were treated fairly and whether a guy with 21 goals and almost 10 assists is a bust who should be sold.

At least his agent isn’t being an ass.

In my worldview, I don’t care whether anyone, including you, thinks you’ve been treated fairly. Football clubs are benevolent dictatorships in which the coach can do and play what he wants, as long as he has his reasons. Guardiola had his reasons. Some day, he might explain them. Or not. Either way, make a decision, because as I see it, you have some explaining to do to a club and fans who revere you, and believe that you are a great Blaugrana player.

You have the right to do what is best for you and your future, just as Guardiola has the right to play whatever lineups he sees best. He doesn’t have to answer to fans, and maybe you believe that you don’t either. That’s fine.

But in my view, I am still left with a multiple-choice exam for you:

a) Man up
b) Shut up
c) Get gone

All that this club has done is made you into a star. Yes, it was your talent that we brought over from Monaco. Yes, you might have developed into the monster that you are with some other club. But you didn’t. It all happened at Barcelona. What you do next is up to you, but quit screwing around.

For the record, I think you are a remarkable player. I really have no idea why you didn’t play as much this season. I do know that you, Busquets and Keita are different skill sets, and Guardiola knew what he wanted from those skill sets.

Now. Does any of this mean that I blindly trust Guardiola, and follow his every word like a sheep? No. But again, for me, it isn’t any of that. It’s a player who doesn’t want to be here, sitting around and whining through his agent. It’s a pox on the club, and like any disease, it should be cured.

So make a decision. Say something. Because no player, even a star system-sized one, is bigger than this club. Oh, and get busy with that multiple-choice exam.

Love, Baby Kxevin

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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. ballbeav
    May 22, 2010

    the site wasnt working for me either. i was trying to post links to these video clips:

    1. see brazilian ronaldo get fat:

    2. see bilbao play versus 100 children (including 3 goalies!) in a goodbye match for Joseba Etxeberria. very cool.

    kxevin earns my respect for his straight talk towards yaya, a man who i know he likes and who he wants to stay…but yeah, enough of this. like many, i think yaya should get more playing time, but we dont need a whiner or a whiny agent screwing up the good vibes.

    i just was so warmed when yaya made a goal for messi against valladolid, and then welcomed the leaping argy bargy into his arms. he wanted messi to set the record.

    • ballbeav
      May 22, 2010

      im also of the mind that there is much more going on behind the scenes in re: yaya than we can know about. but anything that gets kxevin ranting is good, cos then i can read it. 🙂

    • Stephen
      May 23, 2010

      Thanks for the vids lol Funny, esp the kids one.

  2. Lev
    May 22, 2010

    Great post Kxev, couldn’t agree more with you on this.

    I will say it is obvious Yaya himself is not happy as we could all see at the celebrations of winning the liga after the Valladolid game.

    Understandable? I would think so. In our triple winning season he was the mountain that allowed Xavi and Iniesta to blossom instead of getting trotted on. He can play DM, AM and PM. And if need be he can play in the heart of the defense when half our team is suspended in a Champions League final.

    Yet this season he had to see Busi and Keiteee start most games instead of himself. In truth I don’t know why he spend so much time on the bench this year and I can easily imagine his disappointment, because here is a man who seemingly did everything right, including learning Catalan, and still inexplicably got the short end of the stick throughout most of the season. But yeah 1.Man Up 2.(tell your agent to) Shut Up or 3.Get Gone sounds about right.

  3. May 22, 2010

    I don’t know what to say, besides the truth that YAYA is and should be an impact player in every match. He played poorly at times, but so does everyone that is a key player (Xavi, Messi, Pique).

    YAYA needs to stay, and while I don’t fear a colossal breakdown like when Madrid sold Makelele or however you spell it, I’m very nervous about where he might go, and how it could ultimately bite us in the rear.

  4. Joe
    May 22, 2010

    Sad to think that Barca would be celebrating the Fourth Champions League trophy last night if Yaya was playing rather tha Busi against Inter in the 1st leg. Can’t stand to see Moirinho celebrating too.

  5. jnelson
    May 22, 2010

    Hmm…I can think of another player in the EPL who should be having a similar talk. I can also think of a certain unnamed player returning from loan who should be given exam with only “C” as an answer.

    • Jnice
      May 23, 2010

      “I can also think of a certain unnamed player returning from loan who should be given exam with only “C” as an answer.”

      LOL. 😀

      But yeah, Kxevin, I agree with you wholeheartedly on this. I absolutely am in love (yes, in love) with Yaya, but he and his agent can’t continue to do play these games. It’s silly.

      I just don’t understand the Chelsea choice. You complain of competition between one player in Busquets, yet at Chelsea, he will compete with Essien and Obi Mikel at the least. Good one.

  6. lizi
    May 23, 2010

    Agreed on you that Yaya should do something. In a recent interview by Mirror, Yaya stated that he only wants to stay at Barca and be a success here. It sounds that his agent may have been speaking without his permission or agreement. So he definitely should do something (let his agent shut up) if he really wants to be part of this team.

  7. vicsoc8
    May 23, 2010

    I agree with you Kxevin. However I’ve recently been trying to understand what is going on with the sparse information available. I’m going to take you through my thought process – if I get too far off track stop me.

    Now my first thoughts concern the causes for the Yaya speculation, and judging by the comments coming from Pep and the club the cause rests solely with Yaya. What then are Yaya’s motivations? Playing time and money certainly, perhaps he wants a new challenge, and… his brother. Both he and his brother are on record as saying that they would like to play together before they retire. Kolo is 29 and not getting any younger, and Barcelona has no need to buy a 29 year old central defender. So if Yaya wants to play with his brother, he needs to move to him.

    What club can give him everything he wants? Manchester City. They can pay him handsomely, if he didn’t start almost every game they’d be crazy, and his brother is there. Now let’s all remember that last silly season Manchester City was deeply involved in all the Yaya nonsense, and Kolo was practically begging for his brother to come play with him. He won’t get Champions League football next season… so what? He’s got one, and if they play their cards right they should be there in two seasons anyways. If Yaya moves anywhere but Manchester City I will be surprised.

    Now I wonder, why the silence from Yaya? He knows the club made him, and he loves the club, giving interviews in Catalan proves that. Yaya doesn’t want an acrimonious split, and in my view neither does the club (especially after the Eto’o nonsense last year). So Yaya will pretend to be a deaf mute, and the club will talk up wanting to keep him.

    And that’s where Seluk comes in. Someone has to be the bad guy, and he’s mighty good at it. Yaya wants his future settled before the World Cup, but the club doesn’t want to sell him for cheap (and keeping him until after would almost certainly increase his price). Seluk is mouthing to the media to try to expedite things. I believe the Chelsea comments are his attempt to put pressure on Manchester City to get a bigger bid from them earlier.

    The whole thing has a ring to conspiracy theory to it. But I’ve accepted that Yaya is leaving (whether he does or not), and now I’m just hoping it will be to go play with his brother.

    NOTE – the fact that Manchester City isn’t a direct European rival and they have the cash to pay a very large transfer fee doesn’t factor into my hope at all.

    • vicsoc8
      May 23, 2010

      As long as I’m wildly speculating, I might as well go a step further.

      What if Pep knew Yaya wanted to leave last summer, but convinced him to stay for one more season? This could go some way to explaining why Pep chose Busquets – knowing he would be losing Yaya he needed to begin blooding Busquets so the team could survive post-Yaya….

      But I’ve indulged too much and I’m starting to sound crazy

      • barca96
        May 23, 2010

        no no its not crazy.
        i do think something happened last summer.
        but maybe not about yaya leaving.
        i dont think he would leave after winning the treble.

  8. i just like this post. he is not the reason why we are out of UCL. had it been we have iniesta and abidal fit, also the bus trip cause it all. but their is always next season with villa and busquet we will win titles without yaya. we are a big club that dont depend on one player. watch sergio busquest next season (after world cup) you will love him…

    • May 23, 2010

      I don’t think a world cup is going to impart the defensive stability to Busquets that Yaya provides.

      Kevin says it best when he notes “[Yaya], Busquets and Keita [have] different skill sets.”

      Sergio—when he is not flopping around or doing stupid needless flicks—is an excellent component of our attack, and adds a creative element that Yaya, for the most part, lacks.

      Busquets is good, and will get better. But Yaya’s style of play will never be something that is simply replaced in his absence, rather it is something that will be compensated for.

      It’s a subtle distinction, but a significant one.

  9. Stephen
    May 23, 2010

    Couldn’t agree more with the Yaya thing, but also I think he SHOULD leave, he has a lot of talent, doesnt get much playing time with us and really like you mentioned of his brother, isnt getting any younger so… he should find playing time else where really, it would be more beneficial to him. Not that I don’t want the Yaya to stick around with us, but what would happen to him if he doesnt leave NOW? End up in MLS rumors like Henry? Who the hell wants that?
    Rafa, Henry, and even Ibrah took it well to be benched when the TEAM needed them to be benched.

  10. Hussain
    May 23, 2010

    Yaya was a starter at the beginning of the season. He had his chances , and clearly Pep trusted him. He started all the 3 super matches, away games against Inter Milan and Valencia. His performance was poor, Pep gave Busquets sometime, but Yaya wants to start every game regardless of his form . He is not willing to take part in competition with any other player. Clearly, his attitude isn’t helping him . Work hard, and you will have your seat in the team, you will force the coach to start you. Pedro did it, and we remember the time that we were complaining of Henry starting and Pedro was subbed. Bojan also did it. The only way to start in the team is to work hard, show a good attitude. But Yaya didn’t do that. His agent is drawing offers from Arsenal and other clubs, in 2008 , 2009, and now, 2010. Now, we have a whiny player, who wants to leave, and he thinks that the club will collapse when he leaves. Just show us your back , and I bet that you are the one who will regret it. Just watch Barcelona brilliance next seasons.

  11. Ramzi
    May 23, 2010

    “If Yaya had been in the lineup against Inter, Barca would be in the final.”

    If its that true, why hadnt we won against Kazan at home? We had no volcano to beat, no calls against us, and were playing at home. Still we lost a game against Kazan who were defeated by Inter back and forth.

    Why hadnt we won against Stuttgart, Almeria, Espanyol? Lets cut the crap.

    Hope he stays. but if he doesnt, I won’t be as worried as I was when we sold the likes of Riquelme, Cocu, Davids, and even Saviolla… Year in year out big names leave other names come. Aside of signing Ronaldinho, the club success was never hooked to any player’s shoe. It was the club overall situation (especially in the dressing room and board of directors) that helped players to find their way to success or collapse than it was the other way.

    • Cule
      May 23, 2010

      Can’t really compare a group stage match with a cl semi final, invalid.

      • Ramzi
        May 23, 2010

        A match is a match. We needed to win in both cases. NO difference at all. In fact the only way there is no comparison was that the game against Kazan was supposed to be easier (and definitely we were in better conditions in that game). So its more a generous assumption toward Yaya than being unfairness.

        But even if we play the same team in the same stage two games, some will say there were fewer birds in the sky.

        Its Ironic that a logic full of delusional conditional statement like”if he played he would have swallowed the sun and kicked the moon” sound more valid for some.

        • Cule
          May 23, 2010

          We did not need to win against Rubin Kazan. In fact, we lost, drew the next game, and still finished on top of the group. So that was not a must win game…

          Plus I really don’t think you can draw conclusions from the Kazan game, as it was a fluke win for Kazan. We missed so many chances, hit the post, they score off their only two shots. 9 out of 10 times we win that game. W

          • Hussain
            May 23, 2010

            Yea we finished at the top of group, but not after Kazan games in which Yaya played and did us no favor, but after the wins aganist INTER and Dinamo Kieve in WITHOUT Yaya. I can say, if it was Yaya who played those two decisive games , we would have stayed third in group or even fourth. With Yaya starting in champions league, we won 3 games, drew in 3 , and lost 1 . Average 1.71 points per game. Without Yaya, we won 3 games, drew once , and lost once. Average 2.5 points per game , which tells me that our team is BETTER without him . This is the only valid thing here.

            And if you want to go for that Yaya crap, don’t forget to count Abidal and Iniesta. In fact, we won against Inter Milan with them , and lost without them. The left back was our weak point, and we needed Iniesta magic in midfield, Yaya wouldn’t change anything.

            I can say whatever I want , and I can do it , and your point isn’t more valid than my points, and we can discuss the ifs forever. Crap !

          • Ramzi
            May 23, 2010

            I see… we were not giving it all against Kazan and lost by intention because we knew we will top the group anyway. Make sense.

            In fact, Yaya hold a part of responsibility at least in the second goal against Kazan (Bad positioning and anticipation+ mistimed bad tackle opened the highways for the initial counters). So I will counter the hypothetical assumption by imitating it:”If Busquets played that game he would have made a better decision and we wouldnt have lost that game which mean we would have guaranteed group qualification earlier, rotated int eh last game, and played more starters in the Cup against Sevilla” Do I really believe that? No. But just to exchange more no-sense.

          • Iason
            May 24, 2010

            Yaya was partly to blame for their second goal.

  12. Ramzi
    May 23, 2010

    *Davids: When we failed to sign him after his loan period.

  13. Lev
    May 23, 2010

    Agree with a lot of what is being said above.
    I feel Yaya deserves a lot more playing time but if he feels too good to fight for it then obviously he doesn’t deserve it either, if that makes sense. Some players are just not cut out to be squad members and I can understand that. At the same time it seems that he does love Barcelona, if only for the fact that he learned Catalan. Or it could be that he loves languages.
    I hope he understands that the grass might not be greener at the other side of the fence, that we have a special team that should be beautiful to be part of. He is an important player to us and I hope he continues to be so, but with all due respect if he leaves I have full (ahem, 97%) confidence in Busi.

  14. Lev
    May 23, 2010

    Oh and if he goes to Citeh, which I find a very interesting and not at all too far fetched theory (@ vicscoc8) then I wonder how much those idiots would pay for him. Inflated market and all that. If Ronaldo was worth $100 million and Yaya is say 2/3rds as good then we should at least get $67million etc.

  15. WTF PEP
    May 23, 2010

    I completely disagree with almost everything said in this article.

    Before I begin my rant, Yaya is not saying anything. Stop pretending a player talks through his agent cause that’s bull.

    Now, here is why I think that even if Yaya is dealing with the situation in a bad manner, he is right to do so because he has without a doubt been treated unfairly by the club.

    Yaya came in 07-08 and played well, even played with his back bothering him. That deserves respect. In 08-09, he was excellent. Rarely had bad games and the midfield of yaya-xavi-iniesta was the best in the world and we NEVER lost a midfield battle with those 3. Yaya was asked to play CB for the CL semifinal and the final, and he did not complain, did what he was asked for. So in his first two seasons not only did he play great, but he fit in, the fans liked him and everything. I really would love to know where it all went wrong. Why the F did Pep start playing Busuqets ahead of him? There is no logical reason, there was nothing wrong with Yaya’s play. Maybe in the beginning of the season he had a few bad performances, but the way Pep stopped using him makes no sense. All of a sudden he was second fiddle to Busquets, and it made no sense. I’m tired of people saying “Busquets and Keita are different players and Pep thinks they suit what we are trying to do better than Yaya”. That is BS, WTF did Busquets and Keita do to leapfrog a a player who has played better than them and shown great commitment to the team?

    How do you expect Yaya to feel if he is not treated as well as other players are?

    Many of our players have played through poor patches but were all given time to play out of it. Yaya was just shut out for no apparent reason. It just did not matter how well he played the few times Pep did play him, or how bad Busquets played at times, it is crystal clear that Pep simply preferred Sergio.

    If Yaya started performing poorly, then Pep should have let him play through it and he would have regained his form from last year. The thing is, he did not even play that badly..this whole thing makes no sense. The way the club has treated Yaya is a disgrace. Busquets can dive all he wants, can make all the mistakes he wants, he will still be chosen ahead of Yaya. Disgusting.

    • bundy
      May 23, 2010

      firstly, Busquets and Yaya both had a fairly even amount of minutes over this season.

      Secondly, its hard to say that Keita and Busquets make no impact compared to Yaya, where infact we have won more games and finished with a better win percentage then last season, we didn’t score as many as last season, but we did concede far less goals, we’ve kept more cleansheets (im assuming)and we have generated more points, so technically our midfield and defence is a lot stronger. Yaya isn’t a goalscorer and he regularly doesn’t play as an attacking midfield, unless Pep wants him to so we can’t say that we score less when Yaya isn’t on the field

      So before you go any further about how Pep has made a mistake in his decisions to field Keita and Busquets regularly, then I would suggest that you realise. This team is very very strong relative to the rest of europe, and if he cant find a spot in Guardiola’s line-up that often then it is because he isn’t performing consistent enough.

      We are at a time where we are looking to win everything in our path, so we must involve every player in the squad.

      Im sorry, but Yaya is treated fairly, just as every other player in the squad.

      If he doesn’t agree to his role in the team, then the door is open for him, but this is a once in a lifetime squad to grace the fields of europe and it is a big thing for him to let go of.

    • May 23, 2010

      I believe—and pardon my lack of sources—that Pep has said that Busquets is the future of our midfield in the pivote position (same role Pep once played in himself, so you’d hope he could spot them). To be the future you have to have playing time, so Yaya and Kieta were certain to loose minutes this season. It is not a case of “suddenly becoming second fiddle.”

      It seems to me that Yaya, as opposed to Kieta, just complained about it more this season. Actually—now that I think about it—that difference in attitude is quite conspicuous.

  16. May 23, 2010

    yaya can leave; his agent talks too much, we cant take that from him… (we are more than a club)

  17. Lev
    May 23, 2010

    “How do you expect Yaya to feel if he is not treated as well as other players are?”

    Other players like, say, Henry? Henry is the player at Barça I like least due to his incessant whining all the way through his last two Arsenal seasons. And he should have at least avoided the hypocrisy of acting as if he didn’t handle the ball against Ireland. He could have said it was the “hand of Napoleon” for all I care if my country wins the World Cup cause of a handball I will be forever grateful and few people I know do not feel the same way. But one thing that has impressed me about Henry is the grace with which he has supported the team after losing his place to Pedro and Bojan.

    To answer your question I do not expect Yaya to feel good about losing his place in the team. And he can show his emotions about that up to an extent but I would like to expect from all our players pride and joy in the success they accomplish with their teammates.

    I share your opinion that he should have had a lot more playing time. But not at DM. Apart from Busi simply grabbing his chance very well, in my opinion, it is Yaya’s bad fortune that Pep played at DM himself. This is important because the way Guardiola sees the game is from their position and Busi’s vision coincides a lot more with his. What do you expect? He has been taught the way Pep wants the position played.

    Now I believe he should have played instead of Keita, especially the second half of the season. I am not saying they are similar players, but I think he could have done better with what he brings to the game. Then again, I think that based on limited knowledge. I only watch the games, after all.

    As to whether Barça treated him disgustingly, or even unfairly, that’s a bit strong imo. It is good for the team to have competition for places. Who would have thought after 10 games this season that Bojan would have overtaken Ibra’s spot at the end? çit keeps them sharp and should make us a stronger team.

    Excuse the insomniac rambles, lol.

  18. Blow-Grenade
    May 23, 2010

    Great post Kxevin, as always.

    Firstly, a big bow to Mourinho – for winning the triple with Inter.

    Mou is coming to Spain and that should make things very interesting. As excited as I am with Villa, I am even more excited that we have a great tactician as our main protagonist next season.

    As shall be seen, Pep will finally meet his match in La Liga.

    • Lou
      May 23, 2010

      Mourinho to Madrid will certainly be interesting.

      In some ways I think he brings a lot of what they need (discipline, solidity) but not what they want (grand, swashbuckling, attacking football).

      It will also be interesting to see if they give him more time than Pellegrini. Mourinho didn’t win the Champion’s League in his first year at Inter, even if he can beat us in the league (btw our record against Inter this season was 2W-1D-1L) those games aren’t necessarily decisive.

  19. Blow-Grenade
    May 23, 2010

    Hey Kevin, I though these should be two choices.
    a) Man up and Shut Up
    b) Get gone
    I dont know may be its too early for me in the morning and my coffee hasn’t sunk in.

    • ballbeav
      May 23, 2010

      how about

      a) man up
      b) shut up and get gone

      this is some deeeep philosophical stuff we’re talkin here…

  20. Helge
    May 23, 2010

    Haha, would you dare to stand in front of Yaya and repeat everything that you’ve written down? 🙂

    off-topic: After seeing yesterday’s CL final, I gotta take my hate off to Mourinho. He doesn’t play beautiful football, but it’s effectiveness in perfection. Period. I’m actually glad that Inter won, because some of my friends are Bayern Munich fans and they told me Bayern was the best club of Europe. If Bayern had won, they would have had a strong agument. Plus I’m happy for players like Cambiasso and especially Zanetti, who will both not partake in the WC which still gets me mad. Zanetti is a living legend, playing as a fullback and midfielder on a constant, high level at the age of 36, almost 37 – that’s not human. It’s a crime against football that Zanetti didn’t play for Argentina during the WC 06, and now he misses another WC. Therefore, I say “F*** you Maradona”.
    Back to Mourinho: He confirmed on Sat.1 that we will coach the EE next season. DAMN! My most-hated player and coach together at my most-hated club. Next season will be too much for my cardiovascular system 😀

  21. Lou
    May 23, 2010

    Just to be clear, I really like Busi, think he is an excellent midfielder and look forward to seeing what he can do at the World Cup this summer.

    I also understand why Pep would prefer him over Yaya, particularly in a season where Iniesta was often injured or playing on the left wing.

    Still, I don’t understand why Toure didn’t play more, just for the sake of rotation and keeping everyone fresh. In my opinion, Busquets actually played too much and was pretty exhausted near the end of the season. I think this lead to some of his less appealing characteristics showing up more frequently in some of the later games (the diving against Inter, those antics while being substituted during the Villareal game).

    But I accept that Pep had his reasons.

  22. Flyzowee
    May 23, 2010

    I would first like to say wow! at the number of intellectuals here on this site.
    Are u guys sure your all ordinary everyday people?

    anyway i think ive pretty much heard everything in this never ending debate concerning yaya and busquets and after some serious thought im inclined to feel that yaya is being a treated a tad bit harshly by barca.

    I have some questions/obserations:
    1. If we are to assume that pep is being fair to everyone and allowing all the players equal access to playing time based on their performances (aka yaya-busquets) then i gotta ask- Why is the margin for error given to these two players seemingly wider for busquets and comparatively smaller for Yaya?

    2. Suprisingly im hearing people talk about Yayas weaknesses all of a sudden (lack of lateral cover etc.) These weaknesses were there last season so how come nobody noticed them then?

    3. Please dont refer to thierry henry when looking for an example to show how a player should behave once relegated to the bench. Henrys performances and zeal dropped at an alarming rate this season and he declared that himself. This became more obvious every time pedro worked his magic and thus justifying his bench role. Oh and hes at the twilight of his career.
    Can any of us in all honesty see the same pattern with the yaya-busquets telenovela?

    4. This observation scares me a lot. I heard someone say pep chooses busquets because he has some sort of vision about just what a barca holding midfielder must possess-quality wise.
    Pep needs to be careful i think, no doubt he absolutely owned this very position back in the day but there is a reason why in as much as the DM position has evolved over the years, one quality remains constant.
    That ruggedness, that assurance of strength both on the ground and in the air etc. Pep for all his technical ability was not one to be pushed off the ball.

    I feel someone is about to refer me to the likes of pirlo and Xabi alonso two players whose technical ability far outweigh their physical prowess…
    In simple terms pirlo had gattuso and alonso had masherano and NOW has lass.

    I know im going to sound like my head is already buried in yayas culo but when i cast my eyes around europe hes just about the closest thing we could have to a combination of any one of pirlo-gattuso or alonso-mash.

    In the moulding of a DM into the kind that fully complements our system and stlye of play, i can only hope and pray that pep doesnt forget to factor in the demands of our rivals. Esp if they include the likes of chelsea, man utd and inter.

    5. lastly pep is widely lauded for his man management skills and in most instances rightly so but once again cant help but feel that in situations were theres a clash of personalities b/n pep and a player there might be one or two things pep cud do to help the situation esp if it involves a quality player aka etoo/yaya.
    (pls note im making assumptions here no one knows wats goin on behind the scenes)

    – look at pelligrini and guti?
    – what about a certain scot and luis nani?
    – arshavin and wenger maybe?
    – lets add mourinho and balloteli in there.
    Mourinho eventually gave up near the end but marios a diff nutcase all together.

    How was fergie able to keep ronaldo motivated and firing and the dreessing room stable when ronaldo, their biggest star had the biggest hard on for EE that ul ever see?

    6 I think above all toure needs assurances, he has got to be assured that if he comes on the pitch and totally owns and dominates then he has a chance of holding down a starting place, otherwise where lies the motivation

    Sorry 4 da long post but damn that felt good. Cheers

    • bundy
      May 23, 2010

      I think there is more to that though

      Eto’o was a different case, Eto’o was not in Pep’s plans from the beginning.

      No coach is perfect, there always will be personality clashes b/w players and staff members, its whether these clashes take effect on the team is when it becomes a problem, and then it should be adressed.

      In the case of Yaya, there is no clash of personality. Because quit frankly, Yaya does his job, he does it well and the team rolls on as normal. There is no tension.

      If Yaya needs assurance, so does Pep, Pep job is to make sure the team wins everything, because well the fans are demanding and the players are good enough to reach unreachable heights. But like every teammate, Yaya needs to proove assurance that he is worthy to play on the field. That includes tactical strengths, performance in TRAINING and he has to accept his role first and foremost.

      there are other technicalities that led to his limited time on the field. He had a not so great start and well so did Marquez and he never recovered, they both started the season on the back foot, in a season where the pressure is enormous and the expectations are infinite. The schedule wasn’t helping either. Pep needed assurance that Yaya was fit and motivated to proove himself.

      Then ACN came, that ruined everything because the team was suffering for a while in their absence. But again after the ACN, Yaya didn’t really make much of an impact, he also picked up an injury later on which makes things worse for him. Because he can’t train with the team and get back into the groove.

      I understand why Pep would choose Busquets because the guy is healthy and fit to play. Ok he may have a few bugs in his game, but he gives assurance to Pep, he does his job consistently.

      his agent is actually the problem, because its not making Yaya do his job any better, and it takes an affect on the team and the staff, so why shouldn’t it be adressed now?

      Yaya has to sort things out now!!!!!

    • May 23, 2010

      On behalf of a bunch of people with a way higher footie IQ than me, I’ll accept that compliment, and say “Welcome!”

      Since it’s a nice morning and I’m enjoying my sunday morning coffee outside, I’ll try and give some insight on a few of your questions. These are my opinions, and I wouldn’t read this site if I wasn’t at least 50% sure someone is going to disagree with me and start a fun debate.

      1. Because Pep believes Sergio is the “next big thing” at pivote. As a developing player, he’s given a bit more leeway than veterans Yaya and Kieta, who are expected to know their role and provide stability, but not a very high risk/reward return that (Pep believes) Busquets will.

      2. Tough to answer, because where someone says “Lack of lateral cover,” I think “he has good positional sensibilities for a defensive mid.” Most of Yaya’s “criticisms” derive from certain tactical perspectives that you may or may not buy into. Personally, I think the absence of Iniesta and Henry. Both Iniesta provided great defensive width—closing down on the opposing team and creating turnovers. Yaya, in that situation, was always the central destroyer, picking up any forward or attacking mid silly enough to wander into the center of the pitch. With the substitution of Pedro and absence of Inieta, we loose defensive width and Yaya’s tendancy to stay near the center of the pitch now looks like a weakness.

      So did it exist before, sure. Did it matter before? Well, different question.

      3. As a professional athlete, your role is to play, not talk. When not playing, your role is to be supportive. That is a purely personal opinion of mine, but Henry exemplifies what I believe to be the professional approach, so I’ll have to defend Kevin here. Want a better example, look to Kieta. Similar reduction in playing time due to Busquets, no crazy telenovelas about it. Professional.

      4. Agreed. Thats why I like the flexibility of being able to pull Yaya off the bench. Yaya makes our team look different. I don’t think anyone here wants Yaya to leave. Likewise, I would hope Mourinho’s Chelsea taught Pep the value of having more physical midfielders. Remember, this is the Coach who cited “the more physical evolution of football” as one of the reasons he quit playing. Let’s hope he isn’t trying to impart his vision of what football should be in spite of what it is. As one of the few footballers with a college degree, I believe he is smarter than this.

      5. We’ll never know until we can sit in that dressing room.

      6. The older I get the more I realize that security and guarantees don’t exist. You have to make yourself valuable to others, and if they don’t recognize that value, you have to find someone that does. Just don’t judge Pep’s opinion of Yaya based entirely on playing time. There is a lot more that goes into that equation that we are not privy too. Perhaps, on a private basis, Pep explains to Yaya each time why he is not playing at has good reasons. It’s all speculation at this point.

      Ok… need more coffee.

  23. vicsoc8
    May 23, 2010

    Is it too early to speculate on players that would replace him?

    Toulalan (not likely)

      • vicsoc8
        May 23, 2010

        Ugh. Joke or no joke I still get a sinking feeling when I think about it

        • barca96
          May 23, 2010

          just looking at those names makes me wanna fly to ivory coast or where ever yaya is and beg him to stay.

  24. MemoryLane
    May 23, 2010

    I agree with most of the below post:

    “I will say it is obvious Yaya himself is not happy as we could all see at the celebrations of winning the liga after the Valladolid game.

    Understandable? I would think so. In our triple winning season he was the mountain that allowed Xavi and Iniesta to blossom instead of getting trotted on. He can play DM, AM and PM. And if need be he can play in the heart of the defense when half our team is suspended in a Champions League final.

    Yet this season he had to see Busi and Keiteee start most games instead of himself. In truth I don’t know why he spend so much time on the bench this year and I can easily imagine his disappointment, because here is a man who seemingly did everything right, including learning Catalan, and still inexplicably got the short end of the stick throughout most of the season. But yeah 1.Man Up 2.(tell your agent to) Shut Up or 3.Get Gone sounds about right.”

    Sure his agent is out of control saying what he has to the press but I very much do sympathize with Toure he has been treated much worse then Eto’o and that’s saying something.

    Doesn’t surprise me 1 bit that he would be resentful for his lack of unjust game time for majority of the season. Being overlooked for the likes of Busi and Keita game in and out regardless of their performances considering he played a key role in us winning everything who wouldn’t be bitter?

    Being brought on against the likes of Xeref and given a few minutes at the end of the game for a player who contributed as much as he did is plain insulting and I would guarantee if you was in his place you’d be bitter too we are all humans after all.

    Regardless of all this I still hold hope that he will remain I just can’t see any team selling a player of his class. Peps should cut his vacation time and fly over to where Yaya is and have man to man discussion with him, he is worth keeping.

  25. Luis
    May 23, 2010

    I hope we can come to consensus that
    1) we do not know what is happening behind the scenes. There may or may not be something more
    2) from an outside perspective as well as Yaya perspective(sure he is partial, but Im sure he is not a child either) he is being treated unfarily- Busquets gets more chances regardless even if other factors such as performance are taken out. What this really means is that Busquets hasnt gotten all of his minutes(where they were both fit) simply on merit.

    All I can say is I hope there is something else going on otherwise Pep is making a mistake. Pep is know for his openness and honesty, so I dont see why when it comes to Eto and Yaya he doesnt just clarify everything face to face. Pep should outline what he wants in DM, what he think yaya can or cant do, and where.how else Yaya will be used. There doesnt have to be a guarantee of starting 11 as this is impossible, but I get the impression Yaya loves this team so much he will compromise. All is required is some respect which I do not think he has been given. Towards the end of the season, especially with the big games Yaya was very clearly made the backup. It was no longer a question game specific tactics.

  26. Lev
    May 23, 2010

    Of course another possibility could be that…

    Barça have Yaya sign a new contract last summer, because they know they will use him less and want to sell him for a lot of money this summer. After all, we have spent a whole lot of money on transfer fees with not that much money coming in.

  27. lol
    May 23, 2010


    87 million €! The English club sets that astronomical price to sell Cesc.


  28. barca96
    May 23, 2010

    you know,i saw an official stat a while back.
    this was the outcome;
    Yaya is better at not losing the ball and at helping the attack; Busquets is better at regaining the ball and drawing fouls.

  29. barca96
    May 23, 2010

    regarding cesc.
    i think his transfer, if it goes through might come back and bite us just like how it did with the ibra-etoo swap+buck load of cash.
    i think we would do arsenal a big favour no matter what the price is.
    even worse, we give them yaya+cash, luckily the chance is slim on that happening.
    no matter what, they might spend the money wisely and beat us in the future.
    so please, no cesc this summer. its not time yet.

  30. fcbfan
    May 23, 2010

    All I can say is

    – No one wants Yaya to leave.
    – Pep is bias to Catalan Busquets? then I guess Del Bosque is too.
    – For the sake of team stability, Yaya should leave, or change agent, or leave. We all (90% Cules) love Yaya but this can’tt go on. Seluk always does this every season. Bad enough it makes Yaya unhappy, but worse he badmouth other players on the team, and that doesn’t create a rift?

    ps: Cescy can stay in Arsenal.

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