The Opening Days of Sandro Rosell

There is a lot of news to report from the opening days of Sandro Rosell’s presidency. I’ll try to get through all of it here, but no promises since there’s a lot. Let’s start with the sporting stuff:

In player transfers, there’s Yaya’s departure to Manchester City, which I covered in part here. There’s more information (thanks Vj) about the transfer fee, which is €30m total, but only €24m goes to the club while €6m goes to Yaya’s agent Dmitri Seluk. Confirmation of this is on the official site. This does bring up a couple of questions, including what the real value of other transfers has been for the club and what involvement agents should have in the ownership rights of the players they’re negotiating for. More importantly for the transfer on hand, it brings up the question of whether €24m is actually good amount of money for Yaya. I was of the opinion that €30m+ was a solid financial deal for us, but cutting out those €6m does change it a lot for me. Not only do I think it was bad business from a sports perspective, now I also think it was bad business from a financial perspective. And yes, I realize that €24m is a lot of money, but if Javier Mascherano is worth €30m+ then Yaya is certainly worth that much. We got hosed.

Our loanees (Keirrison, Henrique, Hleb, and Caceres) are all on the block and can be purchased for, well, probably a couple of pennies on the dollar. That’s not surprising and apparently Guardiola wants nothing to do with them. Fine. So they’re out. Case closed.

Moving on to broader picture stuff in the sporting department, Txiki Begiristain has been replaced as Director of Football/GM by Andoni Zubizarreta. Like Txiki and Guardiola, Zubi was a part of the Dream Team under Cruyff, when he played goalkeeper. He made 410 appearances for the club between 1986 and 1994, but he had the nerve to never score during that entire time. Whether or not this is a good choice is certainly not something that can be said right now. Txiki did a good job, in my opinion, but Zubizarreta could easily surpass that by not buying players like Keirrison and Henrique that Pep clearly doesn’t want to incorporate into the team. He was the Director of Football for Athletic Bilbao from 2001 until 2004, so he knows at least some of the ropes, though now he’ll have a massive budget to work with, so that might make it an entirely different ballgame. Word on the street is that Guardiola is in favor of this change, so that’s another thing Zubi has going for him.

The director of football for the youth squads–a new position–is Guillermo Amor, also a former blaugrana player from the Dream Team years. He made 421 appearances as a midfielder and is, apparently–and this is something you can file away–the Barça player who has won the most trophies with us. He was our director of youth football before (a slightly different capacity), from 2003 until 2007 and he’s back now for another go-around.

Oddness abounds with this one: Johann Cruyff has been summarily stripped of his Honorary President status by Rosell pending some sort of a ratification vote by the members. Rosell claims that the club president–at the time Laporta–can’t just create an Honorary President post whenever he feels like it and that it has to come from the members. Yet he also said that he would like Cruyff to be the Honorary President. And then Cruyff returned his insignia of Honorary President and took Rosell by surprise, though Rosell said that he would have done the same thing cause, you know, he’s all just and honorable and all that jazzerific crap.

And, just to make sure everyone was aware that he was there, Cruyff said, “It hurts, but it appears that I’m a nuisance to this club.” Oh shove, it man. You’re a legend and if some shiny-shoed, snappy-suited president can take that away from you by having you return some lapel pin, then you’ve got bigger ego problems than you need. And if you’re just trying to make Rosell look bad, you’re coming off as a whiny old man. Stop it. You’re Johann Fraggin’ Cruyff, not, say, some thin-skinned blogger up too late on a Friday talking about Dutch dudes.

More, of course, later in the week as some of these changes become clearer, I’ve had a chance to read more about them, and this gosh-darn World Cup stops taking up all of my time. What’s it’s problem, anyway?

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

171 Comments

  1. Eklavya
    July 3, 2010

    WTF we get only 24€m for THE YAYA?! Now we know why the club wanted to sell for 36m!

  2. July 3, 2010

    – “if Javier Mascherano is worth €30m+ then Yaya is certainly worth that much. We got hosed.”

    Without getting into the same Yaya Vs Masche thing. I dont think Mascherano worth 30 M now, taking his contract conditions in consideration. If we buy him for that much, call back Txiki!

    And for a player who wanted to leave, I think we got a decent price.

    – Zubizarreta didnt do a good job for Bilbao, so he didnt survive there. But taking in consediration the Transfer constrains at Bilbao (Exclusively Basque players), we cant take that against him. Unless if Sandro hired him to sign only Catalan Players. Ha! Good luck for our legendary keeper in his new job.

    – Guillermo Amor is someone I like. A lot. Very good choice.

    Regarding Honorary,turned Horror-y, President: It all smells bad. There was no need to do it this way. Rosell could have demanded a voting to confirm the position and the person picked for it. That would have been a more respectful exit (and if votes went against, its not Sandro’s fault). but again, Laporta shouldn’t have created this mess in the first place and Cruyff should have used more wisdom before accepting it.

    • Eklavya
      July 3, 2010

      Your comment reminded me of how we got Ronaldinho for only 30m. What a steal that was, man…!

    • Mikel
      July 3, 2010

      Guillem Amor is a nice person and capable in my opinion, besides he was part of the tiki taka midfield of the dream team under master Cruyff, so is good that the youngsters can continue learning from that philosophy. Best decision of the Rossell team so far.

  3. BA
    July 3, 2010

    Yaya sale a bad idea. pretty sure i’m on the record for that, and will proceed to lord it over everyone who disagreed this season.

    everything else looks, surprisingly…. not that bad. Amor is a super smart guy and did a good job in his previous stint on that job. the Cryuff v. Rosell spat over the title is just handbags, really, with Rosell trying to assert himself quickly off the start and Cryuff using his leverage to play the aggrieved hero. not that Cryuff isn’t brilliant or shouldn’t be Honorary President; he should. but it’s not really a significant issue for the club so far.

  4. Colby
    July 3, 2010

    My take is that the introduction of Zubizarreta is a good thing. For one thing, it means that we have a technical director, as opposed to the rumors that Rosell might get rid of the position altogether. This means that Rosell has less direct control over player transfers (hopefully). Hopefully, it also means that Pep has more direct control because he and Zubi are pals. And in the end, no one is perfect when it comes to transfers so as long as they practice common sense and do what Pep wants for his team then they will have done well.

    Will we get a Txixi rap up post? With lots of stats, and perhaps some decimal places?

    This is a good sight to see all of our transfers:
    http://www.transfermarkt.de/de/fc-barcelona/transfers/verein_131.html

  5. Eklavya
    July 3, 2010

    Yay no Vernon vs germany! Same line up as vs Mexico…

  6. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    And Germany score from the first FK.. didn’t see that coming..

  7. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    The Demichelis – Burdisso combo is pathetic..

  8. Luke
    July 3, 2010

    Isaiah, you hold on to grudges like a confederate widow.

    • Vj
      July 3, 2010

      “some thin-skinned blogger up too late on a Friday talking about Dutch dudes”

      Was that what set Luke off? 😀

      BTW Cruyff was no less whiny when he played/managed here, so why stop when you’re hugging senility?

  9. Jnice
    July 3, 2010

    Di Maria loses the ball every time he’s in Germany’s half…

  10. Eklavya
    July 3, 2010

    Mouvement vs rigid. Smooth vs agressive. Sighhh

    • Vj
      July 3, 2010

      And he misses the Semis.. Did that deserve a yellow?

  11. Eklavya
    July 3, 2010

    Poor Muller that was waay too harsh..he misses the semi final

  12. fcbfan
    July 3, 2010

    Don’t cry Argentina. ahh how the favourites are falling!

  13. jordi™
    July 3, 2010

    About around the 60th minute the momentum was in argentina’s favor i wouldve thought then was the time for a sub but what do i know

  14. OhYes
    July 3, 2010

    Oh my Argentina is getting OWNED in every sense of the word. Poor Messi! He’s gonna be feeling this one for the next 4 years.

    Damn I hope Maradona gets sacked.

    • jordi™
      July 3, 2010

      AFA dont sack managers he’ll be there till copa america.How wonderful!

  15. fcbfan
    July 3, 2010

    a thrashing!

    oh pls don’t blame this on Messi. thats all I ask.

  16. OhYes
    July 3, 2010

    Wow. Whenever they want. Seriously, any time GER wants a goal, they go ahead and score it. It’s like they’re playing against school yard kids or something.

  17. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    At the end of the day, I think justice was done. Argentina don’t have a defense, simple as that. They have issues playing as a team and their transitional football, in general, leaves something to be desired. The whinging, crying, annoying players like Heinze will finally leave; the ineptitude of the likes of Demichelis will also be gone; the better team won so all should be good in the world.

    It should be, but that doesn’t make any less sad for Messi. He didn’t score a goal and only has on direct assist so people will say he’s had as bad a WC as Thong Boy and Rooney which is simply not true. 🙁

    Oh well, at least now, Argentina will get a real coach. C’mon Spain!

  18. OhYes
    July 3, 2010

    They’re definitely blaming this on Messi. Even though that defense and the midfield have really let down everyone in attack.

    Ref added only one minute to spare the ARG any more heartbreak.

  19. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    If Spain falters, then Kxevin gets his wish.. No more Barca at the Finals..

  20. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    Well, Maradona and Argentina deserve this thrashing for leaving out a clutch of players like Samuel, Milito, Cambiasso etc..

    As Ramzi correctly pointed out, the only reason the match was a contest till the 60th minute is because the Germans were confused by the tactical mess of the Argentinians..

    • July 3, 2010

      But Samuel WAS in the team, he got injured in the South Korea game.

      • Vj
        July 3, 2010

        Didn’t he recover from his injury? I thought Maradona was out to bench him..

        • Kari
          July 3, 2010

          He didn’t, apparently (recover from the injury that is). Even if he did, Demichelis would have still been in the line-up so it wouldn’t have mattered. You’d just have a defender coming back form injury and Demichelis, which is arguably worse.

          Samuel-Burdisso was never going to happen.

          • Vj
            July 3, 2010

            Burdisso is no legend either.. Inter were desperate to send him packing before the beginning of last season, he was so bad, he didn’t even attract any suitors.. Eventually he was sent to Roma on loan..

          • sam73
            July 4, 2010

            Actually Burdisso had a great season with Roma.

            Quality defender.

  21. BA
    July 3, 2010

    did anyone seriously think that a back line of Otamendi-Demichelis-Burdisso-Heinze could win the World Cup? those people are crazy. they were ALWAYS going to come apart against the first good team they faced. a back line of Zanetti/Samuel/G. Milito/Monzon or Insua + Cambiasso protecting in a double pivot with Mascherano is so mind-bogglingly obvious that it’s scandalous it didn’t come about, thanks to a BAD MANAGER. moreover, i’d even say that Tevez sucks, Di Maria is horribly overrated, and Maxi Rodriguez is pointless. that leaves Messi to run through the entire opposing team or attempt to put it into the path of a goalscoring but not dominant Higuain.

    can’t do that at this level anymore. Diego got it all wrong.

    • Vj
      July 3, 2010

      I didn’t see Tevez’s famed work-ethic today.. I can’t even count the number of balls he wasted out there..

      Di Maria didn’t justify his price tag at all.. But he’s young so he might improve. He sure picked the wrong team for developing his talent though..

      Worst of all, the string of decent results prior to this match (including a 1-0 win in a friendly against, you guessed it, Germany) did a pretty good job in disguising these flaws..

  22. jordi™
    July 3, 2010

    Ah i can see it now.Gleeful haters enthusiastically writing up how Leo is just a club player.I hate you diego.Words cannot express my hatred!

  23. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    ARRRRRGH!

    Maradona completely messes up the line-up (i.e defender for attacker and leaving in Maxi) but since he’s The Dona, it’s Messi’s fault naturally.

    Did you guys see how deep Messi had to come just to see the ball? He was basically a RB! You have to score anyway, Leo! It doesn’t matter that there are 4 defenders around you every time you have the ball and your teammates can’t control a simple pass and have terrible decision making abilities. Your Argentina’s #10, the next Maradona and Diego used to win games on his own and without a decent coach; didn’t you know?

    And how Mascherano got away with all those tackles without a card (which came at the end of the game) I have no idea. That dude flies into tackles; I hope we NEVER, NEVER go for him. He’s not a Barca DM IMO; he’s really, really limited.

    Why the heck was Maxi on the field? Can you answer me that, Diego?

    I’m glad Argentina got found out because there were far too many articles praising Maradona (i.e. “The method to Maradona’s madness”) for my taste.

    So pissed at Maradona/Argentina right now. Messi had a way better WC than any of the other “superstars” (David Villa doesn’t count). ARGH!

    • jordi™
      July 3, 2010

      Yea if they won it would be “thanks to Diego”.Screw the players, diego coached and played at the same time.Im really sad for Leo and want to punch Diego :(.I dont even want to think bout how little time milito saw in this mundial.

      • Kari
        July 3, 2010

        Sometimes I wish Messi just took up Spain offer to play for them way back when. How badass would that national team be?

        Sigh 🙁

        Viva Espana! A David Villa hat-trick, Iniesta goal and a Xavi midfield masterclass would make me feel a lot better! Make it happen, of the Forest!

        • July 3, 2010

          yeah i keep on day dreaming about that too, messi in spain nt.
          the WC would be so one-sided.

    • Helge
      July 3, 2010

      We knew it from the beginning, Argentina was destined to fail with this “coach”.
      In this match, Zanetti, Cambiasso and Samuel (nearly 50% of Inter’s perfect defense) would have been pivotal… oh, wait a minute. Two of them have not even been in Diego’s World Cup squad!?!

  24. poipoi
    July 3, 2010

    viva el centro del campo!!! screw argentina

    vamosss españa (por favor) win and face germany for the game of them all, no more argentina-brasil

  25. Helge
    July 3, 2010

    Com’on Spain! Make me happy now!

    Spain vs Germany will be the actual final of this World Cup (if Spain knocks out Paraguay, but they’ll simply HAVE to do so!).

  26. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    Spain will be okay if Xabi Alonso remembers that Xavi is the one the passes and leads the offense from the centre of the park, not him.

    Spain played a lot better vs Portugal when Alonso stopped trying to be Xavi.

  27. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    Paraguayans pressing hard.. Lets see if Spain break them down..

  28. Jnice
    July 3, 2010

    Some excerpts of Messi criticism I’ve seen:

    “I always said Messi is over-rated, here’s the 2nd time it’s been proved. True greats can carry their team to the final by their influence alone. Messi was just another talented player, no more.”

    “Lol at all the people thinking Argentina will score 3 or 4 goals. And lol at Messi, Best player in the world, i dont think so.”

    “Messi simply a no show Where is your dribble past 1-2-3-4-5..goal! stuff?”

    “I’ll have fun watching Schweinsteiger pass, defend, shoot, AND DRIBBLE better than Messi has done this entire tournament. Or I’ll watch Forlan, who has had five times less support than Messi and has dictated the rhythm and has scored or otherwise created in every game he has played.”

    • jordi™
      July 3, 2010

      “just another talented player” lol

  29. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    People can say wherever they want about Busi, but it’s Xabi Alonso who is the reason Spain don’t flow.

  30. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    This comment from the Guardian sums what I was think:

    “spain have two problems:

    1. xabi alonso is NOT suited to be the 4th midfield alongside 3 barca boys. he keeps trying to play it direct and early, breaking the passing rhythm before it can be established. it should be either silva or cesc (cesc would be [his] choice EDIT: Silva would be my choice ) in there.

    2. fernando torres is hopelessly out of form. he can’t do simple things like hold the ball and distribute it. his movement is useless.

    a team can carry one of those problems, but not both, yadig?”

  31. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    Pique has been Man of the Match for Espana. He’s a stud.

  32. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    Holy CRAP! PENALTY TO PARAGUAY!

    Ahhh, Pique concedes it 🙁

    Will they score….

  33. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    PLEASE DON’T DON’T GIVE IT TO ALONSO!

    WHY?!

  34. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    And Villar saves!!

    I blame Fabregas for the retake..

  35. jordi™
    July 3, 2010

    Cesc got taken down! This game has suddenly sprung to life

  36. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    I might as well would’ve dozed off for the first hour.. Then suddenly the game explodes!

  37. Tajh
    July 3, 2010

    Y don’t Xavi take penalties for Spain……..,,

  38. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    Controversy. There were at least 3 Spanish players in the box when Cordozo took his pen (which wasn’t asked to be taken again) while obviously there was when Spain took its pen.

    Also, it looked like TheGuyWhoPlaysForArsenal was also taken down right after the missed Alonso pen. No way the official saw/will call that anyway.

  39. OhYes
    July 3, 2010

    Lol that ball knows the post more than the Spanish players themselves.

    Nice goal; great set up by Iniesta

  40. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    ANOTHER BARCA GOAL!!!! INIESTA TO PEDRO! WHO HITS THE POST THAT REBOUNDS TO VILLA TO GOAL!!

    • Eklavya
      July 3, 2010

      Xavi to iniesta to pedro to post to villa to post to the other post then gooooooaaall

  41. Eklavya
    July 3, 2010

    GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAL WHAT A BARCAEAQUE GOAL

  42. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    Great God Iniesta!!!

    Marchena coming on for Puyol? Odd sub to say the least!!

    Ms. Riquelme, start covering up those implants!!

  43. jordi™
    July 3, 2010

    PEdro should start the next game.Cesc too.SAy no to xabi and torres!

  44. Tajh
    July 3, 2010

    Pedro making his name as a sub…He should start!!! but i doubt they would risk it!!

  45. Vj
    July 3, 2010

    Casillas saves that spilt effort.. that was close..

    And Villa almost..

    Ramos gets his face disfigured almost..

  46. OhYes
    July 3, 2010

    Good game by PAR. Should have scored that penalty, huh?

    Spain v Germany it is, then. 😮

  47. Tajh
    July 3, 2010

    I cant wait for our season to start.!!! Seeing Iniesta-Villa-Pedro link up so well…..Imagine how it would be with Messi and Ibra thrown into that mix!!!

  48. Blow-Grenade
    July 3, 2010

    Whoa!!! What a second half!!! I had my heart in my mouth more than a couple of times for Spain. Looks like everything is fine till next Wednesday, when we will play the mother of all matches, Spain vs Germany!!!!!
    What a cracker that one is going to be.

  49. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    Sigh. It was coming.

    *http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/jul/03/world-cup-2010-joachim-low-lionel-messi

    • Vj
      July 3, 2010

      Brit press never ceases to amaze me.. I’m shocked that they are not publishing any ‘England were better than Argentina as they scored against Germany hence Rooney > Messi’ stories

      • Kari
        July 3, 2010

        The ‘England were better than Argentina as they scored against Germany “logic” has been all over the Guardian website (in the posts). They know Rooney was shite, but they’re putting Messi in the same category as him (and Kaka’ and Thong Boy and Torres)…

        Sigh.

        • Vj
          July 3, 2010

          Brit fanboys are in a class of their own, you can’t imagine what rubbish they might spout next..

    • jordi™
      July 3, 2010

      Not to mention talking about how leo cant be compared to maradona.Well obviously not yet, but in Diego’s world cup at messi’s age he was not good and it ended with him getting set off.In 4 years Leo will be the age that maradona was when he won it and should be at his best, if theres no injuries.Having an actual competent coach who picked the best players, in their actual positions to maximize their talent might help as well…What was leo supposed to do when he was playing virtually in midfield? At least he has something to keep him motivated for the next 4 years, i had been wondering how he would keep going having won everything at 22.In short they are all idiots and its not worth reading them 🙂

  50. fcbfan
    July 3, 2010

    woohoho Spain into semis! did yall see how many Barca players there at the end! cant wait for the season to start!

  51. fcbfan
    July 3, 2010

    and Villa survived the Guardian/hype whatever curse. there were lots of praise for him coming into the game, was worried he’d get jinxed!

    • Kari
      July 3, 2010

      Ahh, but he isn’t sponsored by Nike, so you didn’t have to worry 😛

  52. fcbfan
    July 3, 2010

    and VDB, enough with Torres and Xabi. 5 games enough to see the two are hampering the passing game.

  53. Kari
    July 3, 2010

    Yet another example (or proof) that BS.com writers don’t watch matches:

    Pique – 4.5 – Distributed poorly, lost the ball cheaply, conceded a needless penalty, and should have been punished for playing Valdez onside towards the end of the first half. An uncharacteristically poor performance from the young defender, who would have been put to the sword by a team with more attacking quality.

    Yeah, it was a stupid, stupid, stupid error, pulling Cardozo(?) in the box like he did, but he was by far the best defender for Spain, even after the penalty and definitely before it (when I thought he was MOTM)

  54. Kxevin
    July 3, 2010

    What a brilliant match. Yes, only one of them. Germany v Argentina went about as it was supposed to, frankly. The first real team that Argentina faced, with defensive discipline and a real attack, and they got knee-deep all up in that. Messi is the best player in the world, but at times he was the only man in the midfield, ringed by Germans. Or he would get the ball 30-40 yards away from the German box, with a “Go ahead, Leo, do your thing.” Yeah. Right.

    The BritPress can munch on my sun-darkened posterior. Even a diamond, if you embed it in a turd, will smell like dung at the end of the day. And good luck rooting around to get it out.

    Now, on to the Spain match. I am still woozy from that one. What a spectacular second half. Hats off to Paraguay, a side whose work rate was staggering. They were clearly hammered at the end of the first half, and they took a break, then came out to do it again. Wow.

    Two big substitutions for Spain were pulling Torres (turdalicious yet again) for Fabregas, and the insertion of Mr. Excitement himself, Pedro!, who worked the winning combination into space, and hit the post, setting up the sweet finish by Villa. And how ’bout those penalties? The stop by Casillas, then the hit….no, wait….a retake and SAVEholycrap!

    Paraguay were onside for that goal, a play that almost certainly would have changed the match, and made them defend even more resolutely. Wow, what a half of football. I also loved how Paraguay decided to defend by applying incessant pressure to Spain, which worked for a while.

    Xavi is amazing, Pique giveth, and Pique taketh away. He would have been around a 5 on my scorecard, too. Made some very good plays, but the two bad ones deserved to kill Spain, who were saved by a close call (I still thought that ties were supposed to go to the offense) and Sant Iker of the church of Off The Line Early (should have been a retake).

    Iniesta was amazing, Ramos wasn’t, and I know I mentioned that Torres was horrific, but it’s worth repeating.

    The real final will be Spain v Germany. Netherlands v Uruguay, without Suarez, should be a walk in the park. Then again, everybody was predicting a walk in the park for Spain today, and look what happened. They could very easily have lost that match.

    I love this game!

      • missingpage
        July 4, 2010

        Great post and even greater perception! thanks!

      • Luna
        July 4, 2010

        He wasn’t involved in the play because a player needs to be ACTIVE to be considered offside. Here are the rules:

        “The offside rule says “active play” means: #1 interfering with play, or #2 interfering with an opponent, or #3 gaining an advantage (as a result of his offside position). Later in the rule book those categories are explained. #1 and #3, both involve “playing or touching” the ball: Martinez did neither.

        #2 — defined as “preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the player’s line of vision or movements …” …Cardozo did not do any of that, I frankly cannot see any merit in Martinez’s opinion. Paraguay was robbed of a goal.” source

    • July 5, 2010

      All goalkeepers pray at the church of Off The Line Early. Hell I was taught to do that 🙂

      9/10 nobody notices. Oliver Kahn was ridiculously good at doing this.

  55. Kxevin
    July 3, 2010

    Oh, and for the record, we didn’t have a choice about selling The Yaya. The only question was price. Unlike some other clubs, we don’t keep players against their will. Not sure who signed off on that scumbag Seluk getting paid out of our chunk, but they should bring back the bastinado for ’em.

    • Jnice
      July 3, 2010

      Agreed. Yaya said he wanted a new challenged in his most recent interview with City. What were we supposed to do? Chain him down? We all know that wouldn’t work too well anyway.

      On the subject of The Yaya, here is video of Pep speaking in English about Cesc, Yaya, and Ibra.

      *http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid87571505001?bctid=107144570001

      • Jnice
        July 3, 2010

        He doesn’t talk about Ibra, my bad. He does speak about Cesc, Yaya, and the World Cup.

        • BA
          July 3, 2010

          in that vein, Pep said “it’s not good news” that Yaya left. direct quote.

          • Jnice
            July 3, 2010

            Of course it isn’t good news. Why would it be good news to lose one of your best and most versatile players? I think what is obvious from that, though, is that Pep clearly wanted him to stay. He wasn’t just like “Fuck you Yaya we don’t need you.” He clearly wanted him to stay, but the most important thing was the will of the player. How unhappy would Yaya be if we forced him to stay next season?

        • cliveee
          July 4, 2010

          ooh god, i miss listening to him talk, thanks a bunch.

          still crying for losing yaya toure. :'(

        • July 4, 2010

          obviously yaya would say that he needs a new challenge. he cant say that he didnt want to leave right?
          every player who just signed for a new player will talk as if its’ their dream move.

          • Jnice
            July 4, 2010

            Yaya clearly wanted to go. Like Ramzi said, every time he was asked about the Prem, his face lit up.

  56. Rohanv
    July 3, 2010

    Props on that video for showing me an awesome cricket video game ad (I don’t see a lot of those.)

    Never mind what the actual deal with Hewhowillnotbenamed moving to Barca is, I was wondering if anyone had insight into how he (and his agent?) would react to him spending time on the bench? I’ve heard news that he was a little petulant about not starting in the World Cup squad, but obviously the circumstances and the coach are different.

  57. Jnice
    July 3, 2010

    Guys, remember when right after we signed Villa, Sandro said he would be cheaper to sign after the World Cup? Boy, was he wrong. That 20-30 million more Laporta said we would have to pay sounds about right.

  58. lovelymofo
    July 3, 2010

    So who do we think is going to be battling it out for the WC July 11th? While I love Spain and would absolutely love for our Barça players to win the first ever WC for their country, I think the final is gonna be Netherlands v Germany.

    I mean, unlike the people I was watching with, I don’t think Germany will totally kick Spain’s ass or anything, but Germany is just playing really well right now. How much is it going to affect them not to have Mueller for the next match?

  59. fcbfan
    July 3, 2010

    I’m with you. Nothing would make me happier than to see Spain win the cup, but somethings off. The team isn’t clicking. def not the same team of the euros, and its more than Senna’s absence. Torres is off, Xavi ineffective, and VDB hell bent on 2 dms. Spain’s been playing with just one dm for sometime now from the youth levels to the senior, why change now Del Bosque. Too much tweaking.

    If Spain is to overcome Germany, they need to score first. Let Villa partner Llorente, or just play Villa Llorente Pedro/Navas Can’t afford to have Torres sucking for 60 mins. By then probably too late for the subs to have any impact. Right now Spain is too predictable.

    Ppl are already writing off Spain and thats fine. Germany is def the favourite here and so far the favourites been well… we’ll see. All considered, not getting my hopes up. If Spain lose, they will still have another match, the 3rd/4th place I think.

    • Jim
      July 4, 2010

      I think Spain will be a totally different proposition for Germany to what they have faced so far. We’re talking the German team up but for ten minutes in the England game we saw what can happen with momentum. In looking at their wins, England couldn’t pass the ball and Argentina had no positional discipline especially in defence. Spain have both.

      For me, Spain haven’t played badly at all but Torres hasn’t been mobile enough and I’m unsure of what Xabi Alonso offers the side. It’s not long passing as Pique can offer that; its not ball winning either. I’d be tempted to settle for one DM (Busi) and get Cesc into the midfield. Both he and iniesta offer a chance to run at a defence and Cesc can play the tika taka well enough.

      The other question is how Germany will take to having to chase the ball for long periods. Paraguay were unbelievable in their efforts but we saw what a toll it takes. If we can prevent losing an early goal i think our chances grow. We need to make sure we stay solid at the back for the first 20 minutes.

      Not saying it will be easy – and we may require an even break luck wise – but I think it’ll take a lot to knock Spain out now. The confidence Iniesta will have got from his part in the last two goals will hopefully mean he feels better about running at defences, something he hasn’t done for a while and this the biggest stage of Xavi’s career. Experience of the very biggest matches may well stand us in good stead.

      Can’t wait 🙂

  60. fcbfan
    July 4, 2010

    Sad for Messi. He sacrificed his natural position so Arg had a semblence of playmaking, creating for others, letting them score, he probably knew he’d be in the superflop category for the zero goals, but he did it anyway cause he is a team player. Now losing like this. Getting blamed… I’m pissed! Those Argies don’t know how much Messi has given up. He could have joined Spain, and he could have refused to play as cm. Messi overrated? Messi doesn’t care for Argentina? They don’t know what they are talking about!

    • Stephen
      July 4, 2010

      Agreed. This is why he shines in Barça, because well he produces what he’s supposed to at this natural position, and makes it look pretty. He can’t do that at an uncomfortable spot in the Argentine team. Messi para Catalunya 2014 Naturalized !!

    • Blow-Grenade
      July 4, 2010

      Wish Maradona would have kept Requelme. Guy would have done wonders for their midfield.

  61. Jnice
    July 4, 2010

    She wants him. Bad.

    *http://www.as.com/recorte/20100704dasdasftb_10/H380/Ies/Paraguay-Espana_imagenes.jpg

    • Miguel
      July 4, 2010

      she wanted to rip his clothes off and do it under the bleachers after the game he had. she was calm & composed interviewing del bosque right before that :^)

    • Vj
      July 4, 2010

      By the looks of it, she wants to eat him alive..

  62. It wlll be interesting to see what German do to handle a team that that averages 65% poession. Here is the issue, Del Bosque HAS TO CHANGE HIS TACTICCS to allow more width. This is what I see.

    ———Villa————Pedro
    —————-Lorente

    ——Don Andres———–Xavi

    ————–Xabi or Biscuts

    —-capdevilla———————Ramos
    ——————Pique—-Pyuol
    ———————–San Iker

    Playing only ! DM is a big gamble but you may have to do it to push offensivly, smoething Espana will have to do to keep control of the game. Another idea is sit lorente and let villa play as a lone striker with Ces playing just behing him using him as a link bewteen Xaviensta. Te main point is that Torres has to sit so we can either go with Cecs playing deeper or pedro out wide right. we are in a tough spot because Delbasque will want to play a 4-4-2 in order to contain ozil/close/podolsky. But THIS IS SPAIN, and we need to grow some balls and come out offensivly minded because if we don’t play tiki taka, we have a real chance of loosing. Also, Biscuts or Xabi need to man mark Swinstiger(?) because he is really opening up all those nasty counter attacks. This is going a tremendously tactical game, youth and counter speed versus composed passing and imagination. REMEMBER GERMANY LOST IN THE GROUP STAGES AND HAD A HARD TIME WITH GANA, so regardless of thier destruction of Argentina, they can be beat. remember we beat a good German team in the Euro 2008 final witha lone striker and 5 in the midfield including 2 wingers. I have a serious feeling that Villa may pull something out thier ass al la Torres goal in the 08 Euros. This is one of those rare occasions that the semis act a s a final as both teams will be favored in the final.

    • Miguel
      July 4, 2010

      serbia beat germany largely due to klose being sent off towards the end of the first half. the game vs ghana was weird due to it being the last game of the group & both teams knowing they would progress.

      i’m interested in how germany will play w/out muller. i do like your idea of only playing one dm(busque), but maybe not until the second half. espain should focus on germany having to pick up/man mark their midfielders, not the other way around. i still don’t think germany has played a top class side, no offense to ghana. argentina? what can i say?

      • Helge
        July 4, 2010

        At least they haven’t played against a solid defense so far. I mean, both Argentina and England were absolutely pathetic. I wonder how Germany would react if they were one goal down. Hopefully the Spain match will answer that question:)

  63. Auld Super
    July 4, 2010

    Lets non over complicate things here, goals win games and we signed a goal machine, and he can play a bit too. Imagine trying to sign him how !

  64. poipoi
    July 4, 2010

    omg villa pichichi of the world cup. omfg iniesta he has broken every single game with his runs… es el mejor y punto. I did not watch the game only heard it on radio and almost died with the penalties, from that moment I could only shake and shake.

    vamosss españa this has to be our year, and xavi iniesta puyi pique villa can be bigger legends.

    biggest lol ever at brazil and argentina, you gotta have some midfield and play a little!!! or at least try!!! it is such a good thing that did absolutely nothing this WC.

  65. Kari
    July 4, 2010

    My sympathies to the child

    *http://www.goal.com/en/news/91/portugal/2010/07/04/2009038/real-madrid-and-portugal-star-cristiano-ronaldo-becomes-a

    • July 4, 2010

      ronaldo leaked the story out himself in order to divert the attention away from his poor WC 😆

  66. July 4, 2010

    chelsea bid 100mill for kaka and torres.
    not sure if its pounds or euros though.
    city want arteta in exchange for adam johnson, Onuoha, wright philips.
    but man united are after ireland as well.
    arry redknapp tryna get micah richards.
    liverpool chasing ashley young.
    everton in for milner.
    and ac milan for clint dempsey from everton.

    and last but not least, ibra to milan rumors surfacing again for 2 days in Italy.

    • July 4, 2010

      It make sense. If Milan couldn’t afford dempsey transfer, they will move to plan B and buy Ibra.

  67. Vj
    July 4, 2010

    Sport is reporting that Yaya’s weekly salary at Man City is around 267.000 Euros, currently the highest in the EPL..

    • Jnice
      July 4, 2010

      Yeah, I saw that in goal.com

      There’s all types of bonuses and image rights things involved. The News of the World saying it’s 55 million pounds over 5 years. If true, that is truly ridiculous.

      Regarding Spain, Zonal Marking thinks Busquets has been Spain’s best player so far. That’s quite high praise. And I agree with those who thought that when Alonso was subbed and Xavi was dropped deeper by Busquets, Spain looked way better. Too bad Del Bosque will play Alonso next match anyway. I still think Spain can beat Germany, but it should be a tight affair.

      • Jnice
        July 4, 2010

        I tweeted him and he thinks Busi has been second best behind Villa. I kind of agree…

  68. Museum
    July 4, 2010

    So what did everyone think of the glimpse we had of Xavi/Iniesta/Cesc/Busquets all on the field together? I was pleasantly surprised, they had a really nice flow going against a team that was mainly interested in defending. It made me a bit less apprehensive about buying Cesc. The question would be formation, but it has potential.

    • Blow-Grenade
      July 4, 2010

      I would love Cesc at Barca. I consider him a one man army. Barca vs Arsenal at Emirates stadium, he was pivotal to turning the match. In the game against Paraguay, he was substituted for Alonso, so he was playing defensive midfielder, alongside Busi. His play and vision there were unbelievable. He can also play Xavi or Iniesta’s position, and also as an out and out forward. He has an unbelievable knack for goal considering he is a midfielder.

      He originally modelled his game after Pep and Patrick Viera both of who are holding midfielders. He would be the best possible addition to Barca in place of Yaya.

  69. The best news of the day is that Del Bosque is considering sitting Torres, This is good news but if he is smart he does not switch him with a full on striker (Llorente) but with a winger (Nevas, Pedro), or a mid, Cesc of course. Bunching up the midfield or exposing the wings will force Germany to work a bit more than a 4-3-3 ore even a 4-4-2. This is what im thinking

    Start the game like this

    ——————Villa
    ——————–Cesc
    ——Andres—————silva/pedro/neavas
    ——————–Xavi

    ———————-Biscuts

    —Capdevilla——————Ramos
    —————-Pyuol—-Pique
    ——————–Iker

    Bring Llorente on for silva/pedro or neavas if we need more offense and if we take the lead sub a that same winger position for Xabi and play the double pivot al la this.

    if we take the lead move to this

    —————————Villa*

    —————————Cesc
    ————Anders——————–Xavi

    ———————Xabi——Biscuts

    —–Capdevilla————————-Ramos
    ———————The Barca Boys

    ————————-Iker

    *If we take that 1-0 lead I say we think about subbing Villa in the 75 min for Llorente, as we all know Germany is good at set pieces and Llorente can use his hight to help out in defense during corner kicks and set pieces for Germany in the offensive zone.

    The loss of Muller for Germany is tremendous, Podolski, Klose and Ozil are tremendous but this Spanish defense has shut them down before (Euro 2008), the key will be Biscuts continually disrupting Schweinsteiger, and looking for outlets such as Xavi and Andres. I cannot stress how important it is that Biscuts and even Spain’s front 3 pressure the ball and not allow Ozil and co to start the counter attacks. Because of this I hope Del Bosque does not get cheeky and tell Carles and Pique to play as high of a line as they would at Barcelona, SPAIN IS NOT BARCELONA. At our club, our defense is offense, but with Spain that is not totally the case, although they do have tremendous possession numbers. Finally I am really scared of what Ozil can do to either Ramos or Capdavilla, Pique and Pyuol will have to be huge in cover.

    • Jnice
      July 4, 2010

      Where’d you read that? Everything I’ve read from Del Bosque has him in favor of starting Torres again.

    • Blow-Grenade
      July 4, 2010

      The GERMAN COUNTER ATTACK, is very deadly. This is where England and Argentina got caught. Spainish defenders do not want to get caught upfield. The game has to be played very carefully in that respect by Spain. Also, in that respect Muller will be a big loss for the Germans. He has been their star.

      Hope to see an entertaining game with lots of goals and action.

    • July 5, 2010

      No one knows what Del Bosque is thinking, and if he will make any changes, I am sure he didnt mention it yet. He won’t even make the final decision before-at least- the last training session, or even minutes before the game.

      Media in general and Spanish journalism in specific like to give advices dressed as news. They dont only start Iba’s transfer news (which is an advice to sell Ibra . They also pick his replacement ( Torres- another advice). But them we cant buy Torres without selling Ibra (as they brilliantly concluded), so they recommend a club to offer Ibra to (Milan). But Milan have a problem, how can they afford Ibra’s price?

      Worry not. Yesterday Sport made a complete road map helping Milan to collect money. They showered them by advices like sell this and offload that and bom! Its all done.

      To be a successful journalist, either you need to be extremely hardworking seeking news from reliable sources on daily bases, or slightly creative to invent them. Sports journalists are usually people who failed to make it as players or retired. Both types are not normally known for being the hardworking type.

      • Jnice
        July 5, 2010

        Well, Del Bosque said “Torres will continue to be our striker.” So, I think the lineup will be the same as it was for the past 3 matches. I don’t see him dropping Xabi Alonso and he definitely won’t drop Busquets, so it should be straightforward.

        *http://www.as.com/futbol/articulo/bosque-torres-seguira-siendo-delantero/dasftb/20100704dasdasftb_23/Tes?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_term=futbol%2C+football%2C+soccer%2C+sport%2C+Real+Madrid%2C+Barcelona&utm_content=futbol%2C+football%2C+soccer%2C+sport%2C+Real+Madrid%2C+Barcelona

        • Jnice
          July 5, 2010

          He also said they’re no guarantees he will start, so never mind. Too confusing.

          Would you start Torres, Ramzi?

          • Helge
            July 5, 2010

            Well, now MARCA also has the story. Del Bosque is at least pondering to start Silva or Cesc instead of Torres.
            My preferred starting line-up:
            Iker
            Ramos – Piqué – Puyol – Capdevila
            ——–Busquets – Xabi ———
            — Fabregas – Xavi – Iniesta —
            Illa, Illa, Illa, Villa Maravilla!

            I would prefer Fabregas because he is more physical than Silva and also more of a goal threat, at least considering their league stats. Plus, Silva didn’t play well so far.

          • July 5, 2010

            Yes, Jnice. I will pick him in a heartbeat. I am against any suggestion to bring him instead of Ibra, but that doesn’t mean I have to deny he is a great striker. Yet, the reasoning behind starting him goes beyond his individual qualities as a striker.

            Spain need to do everything possible to make Villa’s life easier for being their winning horse in this competition.

            1) As I’ve been saying it since two seasons and thankfully its confirmed now, Villa plays better with a striker in front of him to create spaces than he does as a lone/main striker. Add the fact that Spain barely have any scoring midfielders who is proven with the national team, that add more responsibilities on the offense to score. Spain need to use Villa the way he scores most and help him to be less containable. Thats not as a lone striker which will put lot of limitations on his qualities as a versatile forward who-for the record- contributed defensively on the left flank almost as much as Capdevila. When he moves to channels you will barely pick an alternative who can run into the box and cause damage. Keep Torres in, even if he doesnt score. He create the spaces for Villa to do so.

            2) The other alternative (instead of starting a midfielder instead of Torres) is having llorente as a starter. This is a striker I like, but how far can we consider him as a tested reliable option as a starter to worth the gamble of changing your main striker so far in a semi final game? Starting from semi finals, changes in the selection are not recommended in general. You use the selection that picked the world cup momentum already as a group regardless of individual evaluations. You can expect the games to be close and tight which means that the last 30 minutes will decide the game. Install your additional options then. Add the fact that Torres knows Villa. He can predict whats going to happen next and what to do to serve that. Referring to the first point, this factor gives Torres the edge as a starter.

            3) If you start Torres and sub him for another player who is not a key starter, the sub will be very motivated to serve as a game changer. If you bench Torres then your plan failed he will be too desperate as a sub to prove his worth so he may not be as helpful.

            4) Even when torres disappoint as a farward, he still put an extremely appretiated pressure on opponents defense while retaining posession. Thats a huge plus for a team that plays possession based style.

            5) If Torres scored in the semi finals he will turn to a beast in the final. Thats tempting enough to give it a try.

  70. Auld Super
    July 5, 2010

    This new president seems like a bit of a dickhead. He also said he will consider sponsors on the jersey, if this happens he must be killed.

  71. Jim
    July 5, 2010

    Some interesting, if not surprising, stats from Sky sports news this morning. Xavi has most passes ( almost 500 !) and Spain has been the most fouled team. They also seem to still be favourites to lift the cup.

    I think where Torres is concerned it depends what’s wrong with him. If he is carrying an injury of some sort then we can’t risk it as he hasn’t been very mobile. If it’s just rustiness and lack of match tightness then he will come good at some point but there isn’t long to go. Sorry, but I’ve not been impressed by Navas at all.

    On a tangent, does anybody know the dates when the first team resume training? I read somewhere that there were different dates depending on when their team was eliminated. Reason I’m asking is that I’m in Barcelona from 20th July for a week and was hoping that Messi might be back at training by then. Also, where do the first team train and can the public watch?

  72. Eklavya
    July 5, 2010

    I would like Spain to play like this:

    ———–Casillas——————–
    –Ramos–Pique–Puyol-Capdevilla—–
    ————Busquets—————–
    ——–Xavi———-Iniesta——–
    –Pedro——————-Villa——
    —————Llorente—————

    • Helge
      July 5, 2010

      I think this would be very risky, too offensive line-up considering how strong Germany are in counter-attacks (which is actually their real strength, they have had the luck to score early against Argentina and England, and afterwards all the other goals came practically after counter-attacks).

      • Eklavya
        July 5, 2010

        Yeah but I’d wish they had tried it out versus some other team, like Honduras or something…

        It requires a good defensive job from the strikers.

    • Blow-Grenade
      July 5, 2010

      ———–Casillas——————–
      –Ramos–Pique–Puyol-Capdevilla—–
      ————Busquets—————–
      ——–Xavi———-Iniesta——–
      –Navas——————-Villa——
      —————Llorente—————

      I would make one change, and that is to pick Navas instead of Pedro. This is mostly because Navas has an excellent shot from outside the box, and can supply the crosses for Llorente/Torres. Pedro is good at scoring goals but lacks in the crossing ability.
      I am fine with Torres starting instead of Llorente because of the reasons Ramzi mentioned. I do not think Spain have to change their game plan when playing the Germans, they just need to play as a unit, i.e. track back and defend as a whole team when they get caught in possession. The forwards will have to work extra hard to make that happen.

  73. July 5, 2010

    if torres still doesnt know how to at least shoot on target, then i think del bosque should put pedro in.
    but then, im not sure how effective pedro can be against big german defenders.

    btw abidal is cutting his holiday short to be back with us!
    following in messi’s foot steps(last year)

    • Tajh
      July 5, 2010

      Torres condition reminds me of how Ibra was in the tail end of our season…Just can’t get nothing right, trying to hard and low on confidence…

      • July 5, 2010

        but at least torres does position himself well.
        just lacks the touch which is due to rustiness

  74. flyzowee
    July 5, 2010

    Off topic but can i please ask how we got messi from newells old boys? Anyone one know if we paid compensation or any of the financial details between barca and messis old club.
    Thx.

    • July 5, 2010

      Hey flyzowee, it was a simple act of us being the only club willing to pay for his growth hormone treatments. He was going to play for River Plate, I think, but they wouldn’t pay for his treatments, so in stepped Barça. There was no contract between Messi and Newell’s at that time (he was 11, after all) so he was free to go wherever he wanted.

  75. Eklavya
    July 5, 2010

    We need a new post… maybe one about Spain’s best possible XI vs Germany or something.

  76. Blow-Grenade
    July 5, 2010

    Guillem Balague: Dont drop Nando.
    **http://www.skysports.com/football/world-cup-2010/features/story/0,27203,15241_6245824,00.html

  77. Arsene Wenger
    July 8, 2010

    Dear Mr Rosell

    With regard to your interest in my club captain, who remains under contract. It would appear from recent press reports that your club is so broke it doesnt have a pot to piss in.

    Let me assist you in your financial plight; I am authorised by my board to offer you the sum of ten million Euros for Lionel Messi. I feel this is a very fair offer, and represents our view that he clearly has Arsenal DNA in his bloodstream. I shall of course ask his colleagues to chirrup in his ears and to the world’s media about how good a move it will be for him, until your resolve is finally broken.

    The sum alone should be enough to keep your players paid for a few days, while you work out what else you are going to do to get yourself out of the parlous state you find yourself in.

    If you would like Arsenal FC to play a charity game in your favour – we are, may I remind you, in a very strong financial state – then please do throw your cap my way and I will see if we can have a whip round.

    In the meantime, I wish you every success as you lead ‘more than just a club … a bankrupt club’ into the next few years.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    With very kind regards

    Arsene Wenger

  78. Reading this website it is amazing what garbage retards will add to a post, Really what is the point? Give the guy a break and stop adding so much garbage.

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