News of the Day: July 6, 2010

Apologies for such lax posting, but it was the 4th of July weekend here in the States and despite the heat wave we’ve got going on here at the moment I’ve spent as much time outside as possible. Not that there was anything to see. Fortunately, the holiday is over and now I get to sit inside and write about Barça instead of having friends and hanging out in the park. Yay.


Perhaps the biggest news of the moment is that Dmytro Chygrynskiy is headed headed back to Shakhtar Donetsk in a transfer worth €15m. Besides the obvious question of why we bought him for €25m only to sell him back for a €10m loss one year on, there’s also the ever-growing gap in our roster that will have to be filled somehow. Guardiola obviously considers him surplus to requirement, but it seems strange that we would ship him back to Ukraine without him getting that all-important second year to really acclimate and show us what he can (or can’t) do. Those who suggest Ibra should get another year should obviously be of the same mind with Dima.

He leaves us after just 14 appearances–if you take the €10m loss with that view, we paid €714,285 for each of his appearances. Fantastic. And yes, I realize that the official site says, “The money received for the 23-year-old central defender will help ease the Club’s short-term liquidity problems,” but that means buying other players that are expensive and that we don’t really need (aka attackers). If we have “short-term liquidity problems” then we should stop purchasing players.

There’s still Yaya news, of course, as our ex-solar system-sized-man-mountain gave an interview (English article here) to Catalan radio station RAC1 in which he basically praised Barça and Guardiola and promised to one day return to the club. While I’m sad to see him go and I think it was perhaps a bad bit of business, I think he’s talking bananas. Have there ever been any players that have left the club and then returned 5 years later when they’re in their 30s? I doubt that and I don’t think we’ll be seeing Señor Touré in blaugrana again. In fact, I’m positive of it. Especially not if he wants to remain the highest paid player in a league.

In Rosell news, it’s time Statement Rollback Time already. After Cruyff returned the honorary president insignia to the club, Rosell has obviously found himself staring down the wrong end of the barrel. Stating that Cruyff is a legend, a myth, “a symbol of barcelonismo”, and other “I realize I put my foot in it” missives, Rosell is trying to do some damage control. Fair enough, but come on, Sandrusco, let’s see some real movement if you’re truly contrite and believe Cruyff should be the honorary president. And if you’re interested in my opinion on the whole thing, I don’t care for Honorary Presidents. Cruyff should just write his blog like the rest of us and we should all be happy to have him near the club. If Rosell wants to do away with the Honorary Presidency, I am all for that, but enough of this wishy-washy nonsense.

Today’s “Will He or Won’t He?” for Zlatan Ibrahimovic is that He Won’t. He won’t be going anywhere, according to Manuel Estiarte, our media relations director, because Ibra is, well, a Barça player. He has a contract (and what a contract!) and his agent has said he won’t be going anywhere. Until tomorrow, perhaps, when Milan will be coming with an open wallet for him. Perhaps.

Categorized as Team News

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Three quick points:

    1. From Zonal Marking:
    “Iniesta coming inside to create a numerical advantage for Spain in midfield also worked predictably well when they had the ball. A key method of getting the ball forward was to bring Iniesta in to create the 4 v 3, therefore forcing one of the Germany wingers into the centre of the pitch to try to relieve the shortfall. In turn, this created space for Joan Capdevila and Sergio Ramos, who would storm forward into dangerous positions. Ramos did this particularly well, and Podolski spent much of the game on defensive duty, rather than running towards Spain’s goal.”

    With Iniesta and Pedro hanging out in the middle a lot, Spain created width by jamming the middle. Just an interesting concept to consider, especially because we often discuss how there is more than one way of creating width (Henry for example).

    2. This may be way off base, but I think Villa could have done better if he had dropped into the false 9 role occasionally that Ibra and Messi often play. There was a square of defenders formed by Germany’s CBs and CMs. From a hypothetical point of view, it seems that if Villa had dropped into that more often, then he would have either pulled a CB with him (leaving space for a midfielder to run into for a split second until Germany switched players), or forced a CM to drop (leaving space for Alonso to shoot). However, he left that job for the midfielders, who had a tough time getting there because the Germany CMs could see them coming and would track their run, whereas Villa would have come from behind.

    Being incredibly biased and perhaps delusional, I kept picturing Ibra dropping into that space, receiving from Xavi, drawing a CB for a split second, then feeding Messi who makes the run in front of the German LB and behind the CB that Ibra has just brought with him.

    3. Pedro! seemed to have an edge to him that I haven’t seen before. His runs with the ball were more focused and Messi-like, rather than completely out of control. I think the best word to describe his performance is “sharp.”

  2. Oh, and Ramzi very eloquently made the point about our finances that I was going to make. Nice work. As I’ve said before, Rosell is running a calculated risk that is, so far, backfiring on him. It’s making the club, rather than Laporta, look bad. Stupid, stupid, Sandro!

    If the situation of the club were as dire as he would have us believe, as Ramzi notes, we would have made zero transfers, and he wouldn’t have said that we in fact have 89m in transfers. And if it’s that bad, selling a player for 15 is fundamentally meaningless.

    Rosell is so determined to set himself up as a savior that he doesn’t even care how the club that he purports to love is perceived.

    Greece Barca made a pro-Rosell argument, citing the poll that x number of respondents wouldn’t vote for Laporta if the election were held today. But that’s nonsense, because that poll exists in the 20/20 clarity of hindsight. So the results are garbage.

    Further, the poll reflects the unhappiness that the respondents have with the politicization of the club for Laporta’s personal gain. He does want to be King of Catalunya, after all. But if you were to ask someone, “Would you vote for a guy who is going to, during his tenure, bring the club four Liga titles, two Champions League titles and an unprecedented treble, do you really think that anyone would vote against that?

    That poll was garbage at the time it was taken, and it’s garbage now. The Continuity candidate didn’t win, simply because of Laporta’s tainted coattails not as regards the sporting project, but as regards the naked political ambition.

    And I know that Greece Barca is new here, so here’s the new poster homework assignment: Find me another player who, in his first season with a club and having shown up injured, notched 20+ goals and 8 assists. I won’t hold my breath while you search.

    1. Oh, and you’ll know when we’re in real fiscal trouble because Krkic, who would fetch more than Txigrinski and didn’t cost us a red cent, will be on the block. If people think that Txigrinski wasn’t going to get much playing time, imagine being Krkic, particularly if we sign someone such as Fabregas.

    2. but when was the last time we had such a strong team?
      i think its easier for any striker to come into our team than anytime before.

      say we dont have ibra or villa, who would you like to be leading the line for us?
      im kinda curious..

  3. Yeah I remember last year this time there was a movement to post your favorite pokemon as a profile picture, but with no reason behind, just to relive childhood memories. Odd that it’s now been expanded so much…

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