Monday’s News (Uncle Sylvinho Edition)

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Kevin can’t do the news today (ironically because he is at work at the, you know, actual news) so you savages will have to do with me. We’ve got the usual rumors and blatant fabrications but also some press conference quotes, a few precious tidbits of real news (imagine that!) as well as praise and fluff. Without further ado: the news.

– Lets’s start out with the man on the picture you see above. Our beloved Uncle Sylvinho. The consummate professional and locker room leader. He spent five great years with us, winning 3 Ligas and 2 UCL’s in that time span. Not bad at all. Even when his age took away his starting spot he always practiced hard and kept himself in shape. He became a mentor to Messi (a better one than Ronaldinho and Deco in terms of being a professional one would think) and was an example to all the players in the squad of what it takes to play for as long and as hard as he did. He was tested in the ultimate way a back up can be when half our defense was either injured or suspended for arguably the most important game in Barcelona’s history. His number was called and he responded, at 35 years young, with a solid starter quality performance against defending champions Manchester United. You can’t ask for more. His tears of joy where well deserved and all of us owe him our gratitude.

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Well, now he’s signed on for Man City on a one year contract. How about that? One more year of top flight fútbol for our ageless wonder. I for one feel nothing but happy for Sylvinho and I wish him the best. Objectively, Man City is not doing a bad job at all of assembling a squad given that they don’t have the history to pull in upper tier superstars a la Messi or Kaka. They need leaders and experience since they still are a young team. Lescott and Sylvinho will help in that department. They also have a certain party loving, often unprofessional, Brazilian as their “crack” and that is another thing Sylvinho can help with. We wish him all the best.

– All the main Spanish sports dailies were full of praise for Barca’s performance last night. “Poker of Cups” screamed EMD, “Super Champions” pronounced Sport, “They are Insatiable!” concluded Marca (on the website of course, the cover page of the print edition didn’t include a single word referencing Barca’s Super Cup victory), and, the lone exception, AS complains that “Barca Had it Easy” (obviously in a small box on the margins of a title that read “The Other Treble” and featured Thong Boy, Benzema, and Kaka).

– Both Sport and EMD insist that Barca and Shaktar directors will meet this week in Monaco before and after the European Super Cup to discuss Pep’s boy, Chygnasty. A bid higher than 22 million euros is possible.

– Sport quotes Txiki as straight up saying that they are looking at CB’s but not midfielders. However, they don’t give us the direct quote (as in the exact words framed by parentheses). The direct quotes that they do give are:

“We will keep talking. This is about a very interesting player and if we can close the deal then we will close it this week. It is not necessary to meet face to face to close a deal like this. We have a week and will try to seal the deal.”

“There are other options which we are studying and if needed we will see which one is best.”

(Regarding Henrique) “There is nothing new. We look for the best for our players.”

– According to Sport, West Ham’s signing of Goran Pandev has reduced their budget so a possible Guddy transfer now must be as a loan. Meanwhile, Txiki is quoted as saying that “We are looking for an exit for him so that he can keep on playing but if he leaves then we are not obligated to sign a new midfielder”. What does this imply then? Canteranos galore if Xavi and/or Iniesta go down?

– Well known Swedish reporter Anna Brolin interviews Zlatan. Some quote from the BANGS:

“Its not as stressful as Italy here. They have more fun here and the rhythm is a bit more relaxed. I also love the weather and the temperature. Everything is great and I am just focused on football”.

“I think I can evolve more as a player at this club than I could at Inter. I accomplished what I could over there. I gave it my all and I didn’t think I could advance much more. Here I can continue getting better.”
(in response to what can he improve) “All the little details. How to be a complete player.”

“Barca plays fantastic football. Its easy on the eye but its also easy to play and they make it easy on their teammates. We open the field, and the possession of the ball…well, its ours. If you watch Barca games, they routinely have 70-30 or 60-40 possession in games both home and away. That makes everything easier. I also think opposing teams have to worry about more players here than they do when they play Inter…”

– In other news, Guardiola confirmed that Messi will shoot all the penalties when he plays. If he’s not on the field then Ibra or Xavi will take them. Fifty goal season, anyone? If he stays healthy of course. Pep also called the Yaya a “Force of Nature”. Really? Talk about stating the obvious.

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A diehard culé since the Rivaldo/Figo Judas days, I am also a rabid Argentina and Boca Juniors fan despite definitely not being Argentine. Read more articles by me by clicking on the name-link.

62 Comments

  1. Corrine
    August 24, 2009

    i don’t even know how to feel about sylvinho going to mancity. glad that he’s able to wind down at a top league with a competitive club but grrrrrrrrr i have irrational hate for mancity, and abuelo has always been a favourite of mine

    ps: i’m not sure if it’s been found yet but http://us.superliga.fantasysports.yahoo.com is the english site for the la liga ff league. i noticed that only the spanish one is linked here

  2. August 24, 2009

    Sure did.

  3. fcbfan
    August 24, 2009

    The Yaya will help Chygnasty adjust to Barce. didn’t he play in Ukrain before?

  4. BA
    August 24, 2009

    hey you deleted that!

  5. August 24, 2009

    Disregard any inflammatory Chelsea related comments, guys. Its a shitty human being/spammer. We’re dealing with it. Don’t feed the trolls and all that. I’m initiating a government style cover up now. So, some post will disappear. Just ignore it if something comes up before one of us gets to it.

  6. August 24, 2009

    Hey, there was even one of them there Chelsea comments under the screen name of Kxevin! (shudder!) 😀

    I guess when you’re famous, you become a target, right?

    Review is in process. It’s one I’m pretty proud of, and will be worth the wait. Just home from work. So there.

  7. Ciaran
    August 24, 2009

    well spotted fcbfan. Yaya is an all-knowing, all-powerful being who can indeed speak Ukrainian; though I doubt the 6ft 3in Ukrainian Chygrynskiy would be brave enough to approach the Yaya at first opportunity.

    If Laporta is that confident then I assume he will come.
    I would not be at all surprised if we get someone in the winter transfer window. We could do with one other body for the front 6.
    JDS will probably spend some time with the first team, unless of course Guddy does not make his move.

    Technically Thiago is superior to JDS but physically JDS is closer to first team level so I don’t expect much from him. He has the same problem as Gai. Gai is technically superior to Jeffren but is physically further from La Liga. That also goes for Fontas and Muniesa.
    Next summer will be the time for Muniesa, Thiago and Gai to get promoted.

  8. Alexinho
    August 24, 2009

    Question, Hector, if I may…

    I don’t want to give you any extra homework to do seeing as you have three goals on your plate to analyze (or two? What’re you going to do about the pens?), but I’ve been watching the Arsenal openers. Of course they’re playing a 433 and sometimes I spot a triangle and I see Fabregas playing better than normal and…

    If I could make a request, I would ask you to take a look at a bit of an Arsenal game with your tactics-knowing eyes and see what’s up. I see huge differences between Arsenal’s style and Barca’s style, but this season I see a few similarities beginning to sprout up. Do you see it too? Thanks; loving the new blog so far.

  9. Alexinho
    August 24, 2009

    Woohoo! Thanks for the links jNice-

    And congratulations Alex! As for me…well, you ever seen Vince Vaughn in Old School?

  10. Jnice
    August 24, 2009

    Np, guys.

  11. August 24, 2009

    Sport claims that Chygnasty is all but in the bag for the paltry sum of 25 “kilos”. Supposedly he wont play on friday and will be presented on Saturday. Sounds like the typical fabricated story / calculated bet. We’ll see I guess.

  12. August 24, 2009

    Alexinho- I’ve only watched a half of Arsenal this season but effectively from what I saw they were switching between a Barca style 4-3-3 and their usual 4-4-2. Some very nice one touch passing (especially from Cesc, RvP, and Arshavin) and a little False 9 from RvP were some things I saw. Alas, they don’t press up high nearly as well or as hard as we do, appearing to prefer to absorb the pressure and launch their trademark counterattacks.

    I’m gonna have to watch some more but its definitely interesting. Wenger definitely took a few tricks from Pep this off season.

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