Summer Transfer Update 2.0: Signings, Loans, Youth

*UPDATED* Kind of piggy-backing on Kxevin’s excellent news article yesterday, this has a few more links for you to check out. Like many of you, I love the summer transfer window. Not because it offers any concrete information on players, but because it is filled with rumor-mongering, lying, and general tomfoolery on account of clubs representatives, agents, and the players themselves. While some may despise it for this very reason (ahem, fearless leader Isaiah, ahem); the level of bluster fulfills some deep-seeded desire for gossip that I just need. As such, I am tasked with providing you with all the juiciest gossip on Barça players and possible transfers. I will update this periodically, and if I miss something, I am sure you will all make it painfully obvious to me in the comments. Please remember this is all based on rumors and speculation for the most part.

It's so hard to say goodbye


Juan Carlos Unzue- Goalkeeping Coach – FC Barcelona/Numancia
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Sort of a transfer, but FCB’s long-time goalkeeping coach has moved to Numancia of the second division as their manager. He has been with the blaugrana since 2003 I believe, meaning he has basically been Valdez’s coach through all of the maturation, the bad times, and now in his prime. We wish him well.

David Villa – Striker/Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Barcelona and Valencia agreed to this transfer at some point before the end of the Liga season and announced it momentarily thereafter for a €40M transfer and signed a 4-year contract.
Luke’s Entirely Too Early, Completely BS Prediction (LETECBSP): He’s going to sign with FCB! YES!

Cesc Fabregas – Midfielder – Arsenal
Where We Stand: Pick your poison here. Fabs wants to leave or he doesn’t? He told Arsene but Wenger is having none of it? Messi is sending him text messages… ZOMG!!! Seriously, it’s getting crazy around here with the rumors and Rosell still seeking the Catalan golden boy. Rosell has said he still think they will pull Fabs away from Arsenal before the end of the summer, and I would tend to agree with him.
LETECBSP: My opinion is that media scrutiny and Cesc’s admissions he wants to leave eventually cause Arsenal to cave, although the price will be too high. I wish Barcelona would focus efforts elsewhere until Cesc makes it abundantly clear to everyone in the world or he settles down and accepts he signed a deal with the Gunners for a lot of years.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Striker – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: I hate to break it to the Eto’o apologists in the room, but this guy is not going anywhere. Despite outlandish rumors to the contrary (an $80M move to AC Milan, really?), Ibra’s agent has stated that he has no desire to move, especially to an EPL club, which seem to be the only ones who could afford the ransom it would require to buy him. Laporta, Rosell, and the like have all confirmed Ibra is going to stay, although you can’t go wrong with a great rumor about swapping Ibra for Pato, Robinho, or Fernando Torres.
LETECBSP: He’s staying, I’m about 95% confident on it. Unless some team like Man City makes an outrageous offer above €40M or so. Laporta all but confirmed this.

Dani Alves – Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: We offered him an extension past his current deal, but it appears we short sold him in the process (seems to be a common theme for non-La Masia boys. So, Man City is coming in to offer some giant contract and some outrageous sum of money, although I seriously doubt he leaves and I am guessing this is just to call our bluff.
LETECBSP: He will stay, but we had better stop short-selling the kids, especially since Dani is the second best right back in the world.

Thierry Henry – Striker/Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: All but signed, sealed, and delivered to the New York Red Bulls in the MLS, although for some reason he wants a free transfer, even though he has a year left on his contract. I’m not saying he’s gone for good, but…
LETECBSP: He’s gone for good. Some rumor had him to West Ham of the EPL, but my sights are squarely on the NY Red Bulls so Henry can finish out his career in his favorite non-French city. I doubt he leaves on a free.

Yaya Toure – Midfielder/Defenseman – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: Well, his agent is an outright ass, so we know that much. Anyway, he’s probably gone for any number of reasons, not many I agree with. Laporta recently said he wanted Toure to stay, but he wants to go and Man City is going to offer between $25-$30M, which is going to be enough.
LETECBSP: His move is “imminent”.

Dymytro Chygrynskiy – Defender – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: Chygy has been linked to at least 4 EPL clubs (including Arsenal and Manchester United), but the big new rumor is going to Bayern Munich because Van Gaal loves him in the same way Pep does. Now reports have that Shaktar may be looking to get back in on the game (TV interview). Apparently his brother recently said he talked to Dymytro and was told he was sticking around after the season, per Pep.
LETECBSP: I think he stays because Pep will put some kind of huge price tag on him, like $30M or something because he likes what he has seen previously. But you never know, lots of smoke here may mean a fire?

Gregory van der Wiel – Defender/Winger – Ajax
Where We Stand: Woo rumors! A lot of clubs are interested in the talented Ajax right winger and Barcelona want him as a backup (possible replacement in the future) for Dani Alves. He is aware of the interest and rumors are that talks have occurred, although it seems now he is getting tired of the interest during the World Cup and is talking about being back at Ajax next year.
LETECBSP: If he can be had for around 12-15 million, Barcelona will sign him. I hope they do because he’s very good.

Alberto Botia – Defender – Sporting Gijon
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Botia has been on loan to Gijon all season from FCB and the youth team. It has been confirmed that he is leaving on a free to Gijon and signed a 4-year contract, although FCB does retain buyback rights during the first 3 years. We wish him luck, and hopefully he will be back.
LETECBSP: He’s leaving for Gijon. Just call me Nostradamus people.

Pedro! – Attacker/Winger – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Pedro has signed an extension with FCB until 2015.
LETECBSP: He’s going to be here for a long time and we are making a huge investment in him.

Xavi – Midfielder – FC Barcelona
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Xavi has signed an extension until 2016. After 2013, he must play in more than half of all games in order for his contract to be extended on a year-to-year basis.
LETECBSP: He’s going to finish out his playing career here.


K9 after signing

Aleksandr Hleb – Midfielder – FC Barcelona/Stuttgart
Where We Stand: After spending a year in Barcelona, being unfairly derided, and playing sparingly, Hleb was sent on a 1-year loan to Stuttgart where he started most games in the midfield and showed himself nicely. Now it seems he is on his way back to Barcelona in order to add much-needed depth at mid and hopefully atone for some mistakes. However, other reports have him going to Italy, possibly Sampdoria.
LETECBSP: May be coming back, may be going to Italy, I am unsure.

Keirrison – Striker – FC Barcelona/Florentina
Where We Stand: After spending the first part of the year on loan to Benfica and playing very little, K9 was shipped to Fiorentina, where he played much better, scoring 2 goals and providing good work rate on the attack. As of right now, his loan to Fiorentina extends until the end of the 2010-11 season with an option to buy at €14M after that. May be going to Santos according to Sport?
LETECBSP: He’s in Fiorentina until June 2011, then we will see. But if Santos comes a calling, I’m sure an amicable solution could be offered.

Victor Sanchez – Midfielder/Defender – FC Barcelona/Xerez
Where We Stand: He spent the past year on loan to Xerez and scored 2 goals, while getting some good experience. VicSan spent the year over there on a free and FCB can recall him should they so choose. Looks like Barcelona is going to do just that, according to Sport.
LETECBSP: Looks to be coming back, but with the crop of players we have, I don’t see how he plays?

Martin Caceres – Defender – FC Barcelona/Juventus
Where We Stand: Juventus wanted Martin, and they got him. He played well early on and I thought for sure he would be back in the blaugrana until he injured himself and only ended up playing 15 games, although he did score 1 goal. Juventus has an option to buy him now and that is one option. However, his future, like most of these loaners, is so up in the air, it’s hard to guess. Looks like we balked at Juventus’s lower offer and they withdrew interest? AC Milan may also be interested here.
LETECBSP: Absolutely no idea?

Henrique – Defender – FC Barcelona/Racing Santander
Where We Stand: Well, he was pissed when he was shipped to Santander last year, especially after the signing of Chygrynskiy. Although rumors have him moving to a more competitive side on another loan, it may also be likely he gets a shot if Rafa is gone, or he may well be sold elsewhere due to clogging at the position and the entrance of Bartra. He may be going back to Brazil?
LETECBSP: Again, your guess is as good as mine, probably a loan.

Youth Players


Gai Assulin – Winger – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: Rumors have that Arsenal and Chelsea are hot on his trail, wanting to find the next great young La Masia player. These rumors are still the latest, although a move away seems certain if Barça are not putting any pressure on him to stick around.
LETECBSP: His contract is up here and there seems to have been little, if anything, on FCB’s end to indicate they want to keep him around. He’s leaving.

Jonathan Dos Santos – Midfielder – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Re-signed for two years with the club. Huzzah!
LETECBSP: He’s here until at least 2012.

Thiago – Midfielder – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* According to Sport, he’s coming back. His deal has an automatic two year extension if he becomes a permanent part of the first team over the next year (h/t vicsoc).
LETECBSP: Not leaving.

Marc Bartra – Defender/Wing Back – FC Barcelona/Atletic
Where We Stand: *CONFIRMED* Bartra, like JDS and Thiago before him, has re-upped until 2012.
LETECBSP: He’s going to be here for a long time, and is the future in the back.

Gerard Deulofeu – Winger – Juvenil B/Atletic
Where We Stand: The next big one or whatever you can be when you are only 16 and look like you won’t shave for another 15 years has signed his first professional contract.
LETECBSP: He’s young, but a lot of people like him a lot.

Fernando Quesada – Midfielder – Cadet A/Atletic
Where We Stand: Same as Deulofeu, he has signed his first professional contract.
LETECBSP: Second verse, same as the first. A lot of people rave about him, but 16 is 16.

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  1. Pete
    June 19, 2010

    There will be no offers for Assulin, he is out of contract June 30 and clubs can then get him free. There has been no news of talks or a renewal offer so I think he is gone.

    • Luke
      June 19, 2010

      Probably right, I keep forgetting he is out of contract, I will edit.

  2. Dave
    June 19, 2010

    Great post and not to be a nerd but thats jovetic in the picture.
    Ps Kerrison is not wanted by Fiorentina

    • vicsoc8
      June 19, 2010

      True, will look for a source on that.

      • vicsoc8
        June 19, 2010

        Certainly not the greatest source, but it’s a start.


  3. Euler
    June 19, 2010

    A world cup squad isn’t able to maintain width because the wide player keeps drifting into the center of the pitch crowding out space for the playmaking midfielder and the striker.

    That’s the general description of what happened in Spain vs. Switzerland. But it’s also what just happened in the match the Netherlands played against Japan. van Der Vaart, like Silva, isn’t maintaining positional discipline and keeps ruining space for the Dutch.

    But the Netherlands won. They did so on a moment of individual brilliance by Wesley Sneijder who struck a ball from outside of the box with tremendous pace and movement that overwhelmed the keeper. If you watch it in super slow motion it can look like a mistake by the keeper. In real time it was an overwhelming strike.

    As brilliant and as great as Xavi, Iniesta and Silva are none of them could have scored that goal. It’s not in their skill set.

    I wonder what Florentine Perez thinks when he sees yet another moment like that from Sneijder? Does it gaul him? Does he not particularly care? Sneijder was arguably the best attacking midfielder in the world this past season. Perez forced the sale of Sneijder out of a fit of impatience. Sneijder was injured and had one poor season for Real. Rather than show patience, Real got rid of him and lost over 10M. They then went out and bought Kaka for over 4 times as much compared to what they sold Sneijder for. And Sneijder is a much better, more complete player than Kaka. And of course Kaka was a disaster – almost as bad as the once “dissappointing” Sneijder was.

    But at the time many Real supporters were thrilled with the deal. They were sick of Sneijder. He didn’t fit with Madrid’s style or in La Liga league. He wasn’t working hard enough, etc. Kaka was just what they needed.

    Selling a brilliantly talented player after a single season can be a recipe for utter disaster.

    • Helge
      June 19, 2010

      Hehe, and if you want a player who is “working hard enough”, you buy Kaka 🙂

      I wonder if Netherlands will show a reversed development in this tourney: Start slowly and then showing brilliant total voetbal in the knockout-phase.
      The shot of Sneijder was hit with 117km/h and maybe the keeper didn’t see it from the beginning. So for me nothing to blame the Japanese keeper for.

  4. Eklavya
    June 19, 2010

    What a stupid goal conceded by Ghana.Wow

  5. polstar
    June 19, 2010

    why do some fans still believe in zlatan? He is a non-starter at Barcelona. If he wasn’t, will the team have payed 40mil for insurance of villa? |Zlatan staying for one more year will only confirm what everyone knows…he’s just not that great. Cash in on him now, while people still think he has value, or lose millions by selling him for peanuts next year.

    Eto’o looks better and better as time goes by in barcelona, and strikers keep undewhelming.

      • Jose
        June 19, 2010

        PEANUTS!! Imagine all the peanuts we could have!!

    • Luke
      June 19, 2010

      Thank you for backing this up with facts and reasoning. Since it is “what everyone knows”.

  6. Eklavya
    June 19, 2010

    For those who don’t know yet, Anelka has been excluded in the France NT and been sent back home after insulting Domenech.

    • poipoi
      June 19, 2010

      they should put anelka as the coach after the incident. coupe d’etat!

    • Euler
      June 19, 2010

      Insult is the very polite way of describing it. How he reportedly swore at Domench and then smiled as he was told he was being removed was quite something.

      • June 19, 2010

        so it happened during the mexico match?
        what exactly did he say?
        i didnt watch the match..

    • ElShowDeJason
      June 19, 2010

      serves both of them right. I can’t stand either of them, or their National Team.

  7. poipoi
    June 19, 2010

    great post!

    Ibra can stay but at least hes not our saviour or our hero anymore

    the youngsters look so good man, even better than in xavi and puyol days, when they started… thiago, jds, muniesa, and fontas are gonna be huge someday!!! and btw get ready for the year of his chigryness ! 😀

  8. Luke
    June 19, 2010

    Red for Kewell, penalty to Black Stars, converted by Gyan. This has gone from glorious to awful for the Convicts.

    • vicsoc8
      June 19, 2010

      Hahaha Convicts, best nickname ever.

      • June 19, 2010

        why do you call them the convicts?
        is it because of the history with britain?

        • Vj
          June 19, 2010

          British convicts were sent to Australia as their own jails were getting overcrowded, hence the name..

          • June 20, 2010

            oh wonder my dad has been calling them that
            cos he is living in australia now.

  9. polstar
    June 19, 2010

    hi, I read this blog many times. very good job.

    Luke- the facts are that they paid 40mil for another striker. the facts are that they only won 1 major trophy after making only 1 significant change. The facts are that this happened, even though Messi produced amazingly this season, and \pedro too. The facts are that teams scored less this season against barca than last seasons amazing run. The facts are that all catalan newspapers want Zlatan to leave. Only fans here seem to still have faith in this man.

    • June 19, 2010

      its kinda similar to rosell winning the presidency dont you think?
      here, people loathe him but in barcelona they love him.
      here, they love zlatan, but in barcelona, they want him out!

    • Luke
      June 19, 2010

      Glad you read, and thanks.

      Anyway, the presence of Zlatan was not the reason we only won 1 trophy. The reason for the Copa was fatigue for the team. As for the CL, Inter outcoached us and outplayed us in the first leg. That is not Zlatan’s fault, but the team’s.

      As for Messi and Pedro’s roles expanding, that is even greater reason for Zlatan to have scored less, since no team is going to score 5 goals a game. And no offense, but I don’t give two shits what Catalan players have to say about it, since they are, at best, rags, and at worst, fish wrappers.

      There is this one guy who still has faith in Zlatan, and it’s Pep. Otherwise, he’d be gone quick, if you remember how he unceremoniously showed Eto’o the door.

      • polstar
        June 19, 2010

        you don’t give two shits about who? the catalanplayers or the fans?

        YOU INSULT THEM just because they know the truth, Ibra isn’t going to be a revelation any time soon? They loove football in catalonia, all young kids play it, and when they become older, they become barcelona fans and know something about smart and talented players playing great football. Ibra is flashy, but isn’t anywhere close to his reputation.

        • Luke
          June 19, 2010

          The newspapers, you know, the ones you referenced in your post. Of course I care about the people, that’s silly. But saying none of them like him is a gross overstatement at best, and a lie at worst.

          I love football, when I got older, I became a Barca fan, why should they know more about it than I? Specious argument.

        • vicsoc8
          June 19, 2010

          I think he meant the Catalan papers, who admittedly have their own agenda (at the very least, to sell papers)

        • polstar
          June 19, 2010

          oh you mean the newspapers! Thats different. But anyway, Mr. Guardiola and Mr. Laporta can’t get rid of Zlatan, because it will be an embarrassment to them, after spending gazillions of dollars for him, and getting rid of a decent squad player. At this point, I think it’s ego thats keeping Zlatan in the team, like chygrinsky. We will see next season

    • Eklavya
      June 19, 2010

      Fact is, we were one of the highest scoring team in the history of football and THE highest of the history of Barca.

      Now, if the sextuple has happened only ONCE in the history of football I doubt it will happen 2 years consecutively.

  10. vicsoc8
    June 19, 2010

    Not to get all over your back, but a couple things:

    1. Apparently AC Milan is now interested in Caceres, according to
    2. Marquez will speak to Guardiola about his future after the world cup according to Sport. Juventus has been rumored to be interested.
    3. Thiago’s new contract isn’t actually the same as JDS’s. Thiago’s is an extension until 2011, with an automatic two year extension if he becomes a permanent part of the first team over the next year.

    • Luke
      June 19, 2010

      Come on vicsoc, why jump down my through? 🙂

      I saw the AC Milan and Rafa stuff this morning. I must have read a wrong report because I thought Thiago’s was the same. I will edit it.

  11. Eklavya
    June 19, 2010

    So that Anelka said to Domenech is “Va te faire enculé, sale fils de pute” which translates to “Go **** yourself, you son of a b***h”.


  12. June 19, 2010

    Im so happy after reading the news regarding our youngsters!
    i think from the only star from current athletic team who hasnt signed a pro contract is fontas.

  13. Eklavya
    June 19, 2010

    OMG, I just saw a Barça logo in the new Narnia movie trailer! 😯


    Pause at 0:27.

  14. Eklavya
    June 19, 2010

    The Ghana – Australia match should have ended with a score of 29-29

  15. Jnice
    June 19, 2010

    I’m ashamed to be a fan of this Ghana. Ridiculous display. Why not attack a 10 man Australia? Why the fuck were we playing like that? I just don’t fucking understand. Selfish players, selfish plays, terrible crosses and shots. I can guarantee we won’t get out of the group after this. Fuck this point, we didn’t deserve shit from this performance and we don’t deserve to get out of the group. Shameful.

  16. Lev
    June 19, 2010

    That was a miserable game against Japan.
    @Euler disagree that Van der Vaart was not maintaining positional discipline. We all know he is not a wide player. When he moves inwards Sneijder should create space by switching to the left. Or even better, start Elia instead of VdV. And if we know the team is gonna park the bus, why play two holding midfielders? Oh well, another solid German win for Holland.

    • Euler
      June 19, 2010

      disagree that Van der Vaart was not maintaining positional discipline. We all know he is not a wide player.

      Lev that’s the other way of looking at it. But in that case, why is he playing? If he just naturally is going to drift into the center then his value is limited. Sneijder clearly wants to stay in the center as well. He doesn’t seem naturally inclined to play out on the wing either other than intermittent position switches. So if van der vaart can’t adapt to a different role then he’s not as valuable in the context of the team as his talent would suggest he might be.

      Part of why this is such a problem for the Dutch side is that van der vaart is playing as if he has Van Der Wiel playing behind him rather than van Bronckhorst. van Bronckhorst has very limited pace now and cannot just rampage down the flank into the space that opens up when van der vaart cuts inwards. Van Der Vaart is playing as if he has a world class, pacy left back in support of him. He doesn’t. And as it is, it seems like van Marwijk wants to play his back line conservatively.

      The Dutch repeated the same mistakes today as they did against the Danes. Very similar to Spain. Limited width and running the ball through the middle which just makes them easier to defend, particularly as teams drop deep.

      Until Robben is fit to play they would benefit from a different approach. They haven’t played very well so far.

      • vicsoc8
        June 19, 2010

        Interested to hear what you (and other people of course) think about Van der Wiel’s play today.

        I’m just getting around to watching the game, and he’s looked good so far.

        • Euler
          June 19, 2010

          He’s played very well. What’s been particularly impressive is his defensive solidity and positional discipline. Based on his play with Ajax, his attacking and technical skills on the flank are very apparent. Given how high scoring the league is, it’s hard to know how well Eredivisie full backs will defend. But he’s looked very solid in that regard. Plays the man, ball and space well.

          Now the Dutch have played two very conservative teams that haven’t attacked much so there’s that caveat. But in addition to defending he’s done well positionally. He hasn’t rampaged forwarded. Instead he’s attacked selectively and partnered very well with Kuyt. It seems like van Marwijk is very concerned about their defense and has asked the back line to play cautiously. Whether or not that’s the right thing to do is separate. From a Barca perspective it’s very good to see him play a disciplined game and execute the tactics.

          At only 22 he’s a wonderful talent. He has the potential to be a truly elite right back. If Barca can get him they should. Playing time with Alves is an issue but they’ll work it out. He’s that kind of talent.

          As an aside – this might be completely off, but given the way he’s controlling his runs forward, I wondered if he might be able to play in a holding midfield position some? He clearly has the pace and technical skill to do so. It might be asking too much of a 22 year old or just not a natural fit but it was just something that crossed my mind when thinking about how he might get on the pitch with Barca.

          • Luke
            June 19, 2010

            Euler, from what I have read on VDW, he can play all 4 defensive back line positions, and is better at the Left than you might think for someone who plays Right 95% of the time. I think he could play holding/defensive mid if he wanted. He’s also a large person, so he could provide some size we will miss.

  17. vicsoc8
    June 19, 2010

    Saw the Netherlands game, have to agree with Euler that Van der Wiel played well, and displayed his discipline. In a way it’s frustrating that he doesn’t have more license to get forward – both because I’d love to see his attacking skills, but also because I think if he got forward and provided width the Netherlands attack would benefit. When Robben gets back, if VdW provides width in the final third it will allow Kuyt to drift inside and play almost like a striker alongside van Persie at times.

    Very interesting thought about playing him at the holding midfield position. He used to play center back, and from the way he plays right back I imagine he played center back similar to the way Pique plays center back. We know Pique can play as a holding midfielder, I wouldn’t be surprised if Van der Wiel could as well.

    He’s obviously a very skilled player with a lot of attacking potential, but I’ve been impressed with his poise and discipline on defense as well.

  18. Kari
    June 19, 2010

    I just wanted to post this interesting link. It’s the Player of the Season award that’s voted by Barca fans throughout the whole season (i.e every game). First place isn’t a surprise, but guess who’s second? 😛


    I know, I know. Doesn’t mean much now, but still…

    • vicsoc8
      June 19, 2010

      Very interesting. Wonder if the majority of fans who dislike Ibra is rather a very vocal minority.

  19. tutomate
    June 19, 2010

    Zlatlan sucks just wanted to state “what everyone knows”

    Anyway Euler is right about Van der Sloot I mean Wiel. I was very impressed during the match. I only counted 3 time where he seemed to be not running back fast enough or being out of position. And she showed he has a lot of technical abilities on the ball for fast triangles and 1 2s.

    • Luke
      June 19, 2010

      Van der Wiel is a beast, I want him badly. He can also play left in a pinch, according to reports from Ajax.

  20. vicsoc8
    June 19, 2010

    Eto’o GOLLLL

    Denmark shoot themselves in the foot.

  21. Dave
    June 19, 2010

    Eto great finish 1-0 cameroon-poulsen shocking

  22. Kari
    June 19, 2010

    Netherlands first to qualify to the round of 16 and Cameroon eliminated.

    Thrilling match and a fantastic goal from Rommendahl. I don’t know if Cameroon deserved to win or lose, but there was a chances galore and either side could have taken it.

    • vicsoc8
      June 19, 2010

      Very entertaining match, mostly due to horrid defending.
      Rommedahl was easily MOTM with a goal and an assist.
      Netherlands also officially tops the group, having already beaten Japan and Denmark.

      • vicsoc8
        June 19, 2010

        Oops, I made my first mistake ever, Netherlands doesn’t top the group…. yet

  23. Euler
    June 19, 2010

    Denmark is generally thought of as a defensive squad. But they’re lack of pace is very striking – especially along their back line. They are very slow. In order to prevent Cameron from getting behind them they moved off the ball and didn’t close Cameroon out aggressively. In turn that gave Cameroon space and time on the ball which generated all of those high quality chances.

    For team after team, pace on the back line is a significant limiting factor. Argentina, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Denmark for example are all vulnerable to pace along the backline.

    One team which has acknowledged this vulnerability and developed a tactical approach to managing it is Brazil. Lucio and Juan have limited pace. But Dunga hides that by playing them deep and deploying his two deep holding midfielders. And along the flanks Maicon and Bastos have no lack of pace. And there’s no team in the tournament that his better designed to exploit lack of pace on the backline in attack than Brazil.

    • David
      June 19, 2010

      Lucio in fact doesnt lack pace i agree with everything else you said though

  24. Lev
    June 19, 2010

    @Euler you are absolutely right of course. That’s why Elia should have started imo. And VdV should have taken up De Jong’s position since Japan were bound to play very defensively.
    Van Marwijk is the most conservative Dutch coach ever. I wonder what he will do when Robben comes back. Robben is most effective on the right wing, like he played at Bayern this season. But Marwijk has a Benitez like hard-on for Kuijt, who would suck even more on the left.
    Also agree that Van Bronckhorst is our weak link, and a very weak one at that. I shudder to think what Maicon will do him if we do meet Brazil in the quarter finals. Brrrr.

  25. IS
    June 19, 2010

    A few quick points that might be worth adding to the speculation…

    Wasn’t there news that one of West Ham’s directors had said that they were told by Titi that Barca had offered him a new contract? Weird, but plausible if we’re looking to maintain his veteran influence in the dressing room as we did with Sylvinho.. Extremely unlikely nonetheless..

    Agent’s comments to Marca were a bit tricky to interpret. He said something along the lines of Laporta, Rosell, Pep, fans, Me (the uber-ass of an agent), and Yaya all want to stay at Barca…. So I need to chat with Mr. Rosell to see if he can now promise me some more playing time.. Now that could be a “well I tried – see!” to Yaya to avoid having him destroy him for sending him to Man City out of all places (I don’t buy the Kolo link justifying no CL for a season or indefinitely) OR he’s genuinely hoping for Rosell to persuade Pep into promising minutes (which is.. umm.. impossible).

    His stay at Fiorentina till 2011 isn’t such a sure thing anymore. It seems the new coach openly declared he won’t be relying on him next season. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with him and Henrique – especially considering Rosell’s attack on the current administration’s dealings with Traffic (the agency who owned the majority of the two player’s rights).

    We keep hearing that he’s probably heading out, but are there any rumored destinations so far?

  26. October 10, 2010

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