The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Nothingness

So here we are, post-Cup and pre-Liga. For those of us whose teams broke our hearts, said organs are still tender but on the mend. For those of us whose teams broke records, we still smile, but not with all our teeth. And for all of us, the inner ear no longer vibrates quite so violently with echoes of a vuvuzela drone.

The first season I watched the last Barça match with the Hunky Soccer Husband, I sighed at the final whistle. ‘It’s all over,’ I said. ‘What to do until September?’ He blinked at me with surprise and disappointment, the way Sister Mary Holywater always did when a particularly gifted student gave a particularly stupid answer. ‘What ‘over’?’ he demanded. ‘It’s Transfer Time!’ And then he wrung his hands, like an old-timey villain in a silent film.

We are now in the dog days of Transfer Time, that Waste(of time)land that Isaiah so charmingly christened ‘Silly Season’. Silly Season always reminds me of that old ‘Seinfeld’ episode in which Jerry confesses that he watches ‘Melrose Place’:

ElaineMelrose Place?

Jerry:  Yes, Melrose Place!

Elaine: I just didn’t know you watched that.

Jerry:  Well, I do.

Elaine: I mean, every time I mention it you never say anything or join in the conversation …

Jerry:  Well, maybe I was a little embarrassed.

Elaine:  You mean this whole time we could have been discussing Sydney and Michael and Jane…

Jerry:    … and Billy and Jake and Allison, yes, we could have discussed it!

Seinfeld, ‘The Beard’ (#102)

Just so, here we are discussing Syndey and Adriano and Michael and Yaya and Jane and Rafa and Billy and Dima and Jake and Pep and Allison … (and even that person we all agree we should not be discussing)!

Yet what, exactly, are we discussing? If we take Barça (or any other soccer team) as strictly that, an organization of players and management, then really there has been no Barça, at least since last spring. The players were dispersed among other teams, Coach P was on holiday, and the presidency itself was va-cay. It has all been in our minds! An illusion! [Cue: audible gasp] Mwah mwah mwah!

Okay, that’s silly. ‘Tis the season. And now that players are wandering back into training and owners are giving out math homework at pressers, the transfer market is lighting up with more baddas and bings than a Sopranos pinball machine.

But that doesn’t give Silly Season any more heft. Everyone is discussing but nothing is happening. This means the only thing to discuss is what everyone else is discussing … which brings us back to …  nothing. (Except for Dan, who discusses his very real distaste for us). So what exactly are they saying, all these discussants?

What follows are a series of familiar quotes that make the headlines every Silly Season. I’ve then provided some plain-language translations so that we can discuss once more how very little, really, is goin’ on.

A. I hope that by the end of this month, Futi makes a definitive decision. He knows that he plays a very important part in my plans because he will be at the very heart of the team.

Meaning: He doesn’t love you … the way that I looooove you …

B. I don’t know where the negotiations are at this point, but […] he’s a great player.

Meaning: Whatever.

C. I have a lot of respect for him, both as a person and a soccer player, and for that I am grateful for all he has given us thus far.

Meaning: Buh-bye.

D. I have three more years in my contract and my intention is to follow through with them.

Meaning: I’d leave but nobody else wants me.

E. I’d be thrilled to play in São Paulo.

Meaning: Sears sucks, man.

F. I’m at the best team in the world; no one would want to leave here.

Meaning: Please don’t trade me.

G. I’ve been signed by the best club in the world right now.

Meaning: Where’s that million-euro signing bonus my agent promised?

H. I’m a great friend of Compa and he told me that being hired by this team is one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Meaning: … while we were out clubbing until about twenty minutes before this presser.

I. We believe that a few details remain to be worked out and until Futi is signed there’s nothing left to say except the process is very advanced.

Meaning: The guy (or his father / agent / old coach) is acting like an asshole.

J. Equipo fans don’t have to suffer over Míster Man, he’s a big fan of the club […] The moment he says he wants to renew his contract, we’ll do it.

Meaning: I can’t stand the guy and he can’t wait to get out of here, either.

The above are actual quotes, actually, that I scrubbed from Sport and Marca and People’s Online yesterday, but we all know that I, in the great tradition of Parkers and Dowds, never bother sourcing (Kxevin, how about a fact checker? And a copy editor? Also, I could really use an intern. Who makes a great gin and tonic). You’re online, you check ’em out. And if you still have nothing to do, entertain yourself by guessing who (who cares?) said what (nothing, remember?)

Unofficial Answers: A. Felix Magath, Shalke 04 re: Raúl González;  B. Pep Guardiola, Barcelona re: Cesc Fabregas (OOPS);  C. Pep, re: Chiggy;  D. Diego Forlán, Atlético de Madrid re: Atleti;  E. Forlán, Atleti re: Atleti;  F. Ezequiel Garay, Real Madrid re: Real;  G. Adriano, Barça re: Barça;  H. Adriano, Barça re: Dani Alves;  I. Augusto César Lendoiro, Deportivo re: Filipe Luis;  J. Sandro Rosell, Barça re: Pep (Glad to know Pep’s a fan!)

Now get back to work!

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Written by:

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. July 21, 2010

    Work? While there is BFB to be read? Clearly do not understand my priorities.

    Or you know them too well, and that was career advice.


  2. Jnice
    July 21, 2010

    I’ve been fed up with Silly Season for awhile now. I’m glad there’s at least preseason stuff to follow.

    Great post as always, SoMa.

  3. Kxevin
    July 21, 2010

    Javier Bordas says that we’re giving up on Fabregas, because “Arsenal won’t sell.”

    Saints be praised! Now we get on with actually fixing the club.

    And this, even after Xavi said that Fabregas is just “on loan” to Arsenal. Were I his advisor, I would have advised against that comment. More from our magician:

    “We know where Cesc wants to be this coming season, but perhaps there is not enough time for Barcelona and Arsenal to agree a deal.

    “Arsenal need to understand they are only delaying the inevitable. If we don’t manage to get his signature this season then Arsenal only really have him on loan for a year – because there is nothing they can do to stop him joining next summer.

    “I haven’t given up on him joining us this season but, if he doesn’t, it won’t be more than a year before he is back home. His people will have a whole season to sort out the deal between the two clubs and it will happen at the very latest next summer.

    “We were all with him for five weeks in South Africa and we know he wants to be at Barcelona, he made it very clear. But he will under no circumstances do anything that will upset the Arsenal fans. And that’s probably why we are going to have to wait for him for another year.”

    Wow. I really would have advised against his making those comments. I know that players are allowed to say what they feel when they are asked, but this is a fraught situation that is now as personal as can be.

    • Dan
      July 21, 2010

      That’s the problem. The only people that would advise him to stop this stuff would be his bosses (board, pres, coaches)… were do you think “classless” comes from.

      Seems like either the patients are running the asylum or the patients are being egged on by the doctors (although you all claim this isn’t the case.)

      • Kxevin
        July 21, 2010

        Dan, I disagree. Xavi is speaking his mind. A player has a right to do that, just as some of us have a right to disagree with the timing and phrasing of his comments.

        The club has officially said that the matter is shelved, because Arsenal won’t sell. That’s that. You have your captain. Enjoy him, and if you get him some silverware, you’ll probably even keep him for a while longer, as most of us hope.

        Issues of class and classlessness are matters of perception, and there is no point in arguing about matters of perception.

        • Dan
          July 21, 2010

          FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

          iv. Maintenance of contractual stability between professionals and clubs
          Article 17- section 5:

          “Any person subject to the FIFA Statutes and regulations (club officials, players’ agents, **PLAYERS**, etc.) who acts in a manner designed to induce a breach of contract between a professional and a club in order to facilitate the
          transfer of the player shall be sanctioned.”

          Players fall under the ruling of tapping up. Cesc has 5 years remaining on his contract but Xavi is insistent that he’ll sign for them next summer at the latest and that he isn’t really an Arsenal player. Xavi is no different than Laporta in the eyes of the law (stated above), you can all claim free speech and that he’s just responding to a question but under the law, that’s BS- he’s guilty, ergo the club is guilty.

        • Dan
          July 21, 2010

          “Xavi is speaking his mind. A player has a right to do

          Actually, no he doesn’t. Everything he says falls under tapping up. The ‘tapping up’ law supersedes ‘free speech’.

          • Vj
            July 21, 2010

            If the law is so stringent that it supersedes ‘free speech’, why aren’t hordes of people/clubs punished?

            And if this is such a watertight case that you have passed your judgement without a hearing on the matter, why doesn’t Arsenal FC take it up with the proper authorities?

            And don’t reply with the usual BS that FIFA gives English clubs a raw deal..

          • alano
            July 21, 2010

            dan, out of curiosity, how do you explain your enduring interest in an fc barcelona blog? the off chance that xavi himself is a regular contributor here, will read that he’s “classless” and feel so terrible about himself that he’ll change his ways? i really hope someone wraps you up in an fc barcelona jersey someday (imagine the excitement that cesc must have felt wearing the jersey of a team that’s actually worth a damn, even if only for a second).

          • Dan
            July 21, 2010

            He can say this if he likes, this certainly comes under free speech but as soon as/if Cesc breaches his contract, the ‘tapping up’ law comes into effect and supersedes free speech.

            The tapping up law cannot be initiated without the player breaching his contract (Not turning up on time for preseason for example).

            It’s not just tapping up that I would be embarrassed about if I supported your club, it’s the lack of respect and class (how you can say he doesn’t lack class with these comments makes you ignorant) as much as anything.

    • Bill
      July 21, 2010

      Kxevin, I wouldve gone a step further than you. I would have advised ALL Barcelona players not to say any of the stuff they have been saying in public. I think you can lobby the player privately, even pass on some indirect quotes to newspapers, but never take a stand on issues like that. Nothing good ever comes out of such stands. The more they open their mouths, the more their sterling reputations get sullied.

      After all, no one forced Fabregas to sign that contract extension he did, giving arsenal more say in his future. He, and only he, has to deal with that stuff. The other players should stay in the background and encourage him from behind the scenes.

    • lookout
      July 21, 2010

      It is Xavi’s right to have his opinion and it’s certainly understandable that he answers a lot of questions from the press designed to get the dramatic answers. I do wish though, if Cesc really is his friend, he’d come up with something more creative to say when the questions come up. Maybe something along the lines of, “Ask Cesc where he’ll be next year” or “That’s an issue for the two clubs to discuss, want to see my WC winner’s medal again?” or even “I think everything that needs to be said has been said”.

      Any of those would be superior answers over another drawn out “I like Cesc, Cesc likes us, and we’re gonna get him in the end, maybe not today but someday, so you guys can suck it, he loves us more than you” type of answer.

  4. stowe
    July 21, 2010

    here come the trollers!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! glad that i read this before it went crazy.

    great article SoMa

  5. ballbeav
    July 21, 2010

    the more brilliant/fun writing like this, the easier it is to justify my fixation on this blog. mes que un blog…thanks soma.

    • Kxevin
      July 21, 2010

      Agreed. Every piece that SoMa graces us with makes me happy that we plucked her from the bosom of the comments world. Because life ain’t just about football, even if it is, tangentially.

  6. Dan
    July 21, 2010

    Biting my tongue. It’s just too easy….

    • Dan
      July 21, 2010

      On a positive note, I have it under strong authority that as soon, IF, Cesc does anything remotely close to returning late for pre-season or anything in ‘breach of his contract’, all hell will break loose and tampering charges will be made.

      It won’t be too hard to find proof either. FIFA can go have a chat with Xavi, Puyol, Pique, Laporta et al…

      • mei
        July 21, 2010

        im pretty convinced that tapping up is considered only as a mutual promise “i will sign for you if… , and if I dont …” in the form of a legal document, within the duration of an existing contract signed to another club , without the club having consented .
        Verbal confrontations and promises are never taking seriously.
        So even if this thing gets even uglier , fifa chatting with our players would probably be for a football special or an interview , rather for penalties.

        • Dan
          July 21, 2010

          No the Tapping up law is very broad in it’s detail or lack thereof.

          It depends more on the ‘prosecution’s’ ability/bothering to prove their case, in this instance Arsenal FC.

          Everyone seems to think because all of this is being done in the media and in the open that it isn’t tapping up. IT IS.
          The law doesn’t differentiate between secret meetings in caves in afghanistan or via an interview in Marca.
          If the prosection are talented and forthright enough it won’t be that hard to prove. Especially given the amount of fodder the players and board are giving them.

          • mei
            July 21, 2010

            i never spoke about some meetings in caves or whatever.
            What i perceive us tapping up, and i could easily be wrong is , that the players has been offered(lured/tricked/asked for can also be used here) a legal document about him transfering to another club while(meaning when it is offered) an existing contract is in place.
            Transfer talk and wishes are worthy for papers and zodiac predictions, i doubt fifa cares about this.
            Or , just to keep it simple , name one case of tapping up based purely on paper , player , and generally media talk ,as opposed to discovering signed documents that could be called upon by the player/club and including repercussions.

          • Miguel
            July 21, 2010

            what’s the point of cesc coming to barca if all the trophies he wins here are gonna be stripped from him a la reggie bush anyway? ;^)

          • BA
            July 21, 2010

            the “tapping up” “law” of FIFA’s does not ever and WILL NOT EVER supersede the EU guarantees on free speech. sorry. the only way in which “tapping up” is punishable in a real court is if the offending club is, in effect, negotiating with a player behind his current employing club’s back (something i’ve seen no evidence for in this case). public statements made by players or ex-presidents or club members on the street are NOT analogous to the actions of an institution nor would they be considered so in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

            “tapping up” is a stupid law, but i’ve seen nothing that would lead me to believe it’s even applicable here. please stop subjecting these boards to your hysterics over your faulty, paranoid interpretation of it.

          • Rohanv
            July 21, 2010

            Tut, tut, with the Reggie dig. The guy was a cheat, plan and simple, as per NCAA rules, but ‘SC fans aren’t going to forget those amazing exploits on the field.

            (I’m not going to drag that into Cesc, except to say all this talk is rather annoying, and, as with Reggie, I’d rather see performance on the field, for us or them, than all this useless blather off of it).

      • lookout
        July 21, 2010

        Seriously Dan, let it go. It’s constant comments like this that cause the Barca supporters to snicker at Arsenal supporters. I’m dyed in the wool Arsenal and I believe we have one of the brightest futures on the world football scene but we have not, as of yet, achieved all that Barca have. There is no need to constantly display what appears to be an inferiority complex.

        We are Arsenal and while we have an outstanding history and tradition, there is no denying that the club’s massive push from English excellence to European elite has only been about 15 years in the making. We aren’t that far from the day when players will be looking at Arsenal as the place to go once they’ve become a star. Currently we are a team that makes stars out of talented unknowns but things are progressing. Quit worrying about other clubs and enjoy the ride.

        • poipoi
          July 21, 2010

          oh dan, you are so inferior … henry was a star in your team, probably considered the best player you ever had… omfg, that is way too insane!!! lol

          besides you represent a London neighborhood and us, well we represent a whole opressed mediterranean “nation” (which cesc is said to belong) 😀 😀 😀

          • ballbeav
            July 21, 2010

            dan brah, please just go away and use your time/energy in some other way, nobody wants you here, you arent gonna change anyones opinion or make a difference, so you are wasting your time and getting tense (you yourself can feel this in your own body, be honest with yourself), and it is not worth your emotional energy.

            i say this as a friend would. let go dan.

        • jaymin
          July 21, 2010

          @ rohanv: the recent fallout just makes his selfish, incredibly stupid lateral in the 2006 Rose Bowl all the more pronounced in my memory of the man. we would have been 14-0 up, defending champions going into halftime. Texas would have wilted, and the BCS would now be invalidating two national titles, instead of one.

      • Jim
        July 23, 2010

        As has been said before, if Barecelona have done something wrong and Arsenal can prove it they have the means by which to report us. If it hasn’t happened i think we can assume there is no case or they don’t want to do that ….. thereby souring relations for a future sale?

  7. Helge
    July 21, 2010

    Pacheco, also a former Barca Youth player, scored both goals in the 2-1 win over Portugal. Spain has already passed the group stage of UEFA U19 EC with 6 out of 6 possible points so far.

    And I wouldn’t trust in Javier Bardas’ words. I wish it was true but I still fear we will spend 50m+ on Fabregas this summer – for a bench player …

  8. Miguel
    July 21, 2010

    haha! melrose place. i feel like a secretary hiding her “people magazine” under her desk when i’m on the computer reading this blog. love it.

  9. Miguel
    July 21, 2010


  10. Dan
    July 21, 2010

    Im gonna leave now before I get attacked anymore. Thanks for those able to be civil.

    Grow up Alano.

    • alano
      July 21, 2010

      says the dude trolling in an fc barcelona blog. come on, man, you follow this blog more closely than i do — i’m simply wondering why.

      • Dan
        July 21, 2010

        Who’s trolling. I was having a dicussion about football law.

        I’m wondering why you feel the need to act like a hard man on a blog? Grow up.

      • Kxevin
        July 21, 2010

        Nonsense. You aren’t being attacked, so stop it. That’s easy, because you started it.

        “Classless,” “tapping up,” etc, etc. If Arsenal have a case, they will pursue it at the appropriate time. You will not find anyone here who can reasonably justify the Fabregas transfer. Likewise, you will not be able to find anyone here who wants to join you in calling the club that they love “classless.”

        We don’t insult Arsenal. Yet you come here, insult Barcelona, then claim that you are being attacked. I have looked at the comments in reply to your very aggressive comments, and you are NOT being attacked. You are being responded in a way that is, frankly, significantly more civil than if one of us visited an Arsenal board and jumped in with a similar tone.

        We don’t mind if anyone comes here. But there are rules of comportment. Most of the time, we hew to those rules. But if you lash out, and someone lashes back, you can’t be surprised by that.

        As Bill and I have noted, we don’t agree with what Xavi said. But this space doesn’t represent Xavi, or FC Barcelona. It represents a bunch of fans who love the club and the space, and gather here to discuss the club. Period.

        The reason any comments about tapping up are pointless is precisely because of the rule. A breach of contract has to happen before the offended club can pursue a tapping up complaint.

        Fabregas will report to a job that he apparently doesn’t want any longer, because he is a professional. He will work hard for Arsenal, and hopefully, continue to grow as a player. And if your club wins some silver, perhaps next summer, he will make a liar out of Xavi. Until that time, discussion is so pointless that it stoops to “Neener, neener.”

        And what’s the point of that?

  11. July 21, 2010

    There is no match this weekend either? Alright, waiting the liga for another week full of commenting Vuvuzelas from the foggy island… Damn…

    – Always nice to read your posts, SoccerMom.

  12. cliveee
    July 21, 2010

    Dan, I don’t understand why you are so worked up. But I respect that.

    If Messi is linked to Madrid or Inter or Chelsea, I will only laugh at the sources, or maybe Sergio Ramos, Julio Cesar and Drogba saying crap to the media in the public. Because I know he won’t leave. I have faith in Messi. If he does want to leave, then we will have to look at what we did with Yaya Toure. We are all upset about this giant leaving, but at the end we see him go and wish him well.

    Yea, it’s Messi I was talking about. The player that many claim that we rely on, although I don’t know how he would manage to score 4 goals in Camp Nou against “the most classy club in the world in the eyes of some”, if we don’t keep the ball together as a team. If he want to leave us and the offer is right, so long. Players come and go, the club remains.

    Still, thanks for coming into our house and piss all you can.

    I am upset for SoMa because everyone is responding to Dan instead of the writing these days. But that’s some really fun translations up there, I was smiling and laughing at times while reading them.
    Thanks and keep rocking!

    • Kxevin
      July 21, 2010

      I’ll fess up to opening the Pandora’s Box, cliveee. I admit to being kind of happy that we have closed the door on the Fabregas business, but I should have known that every time his name is mentioned in this space, the discussion degenerates.

      SoMa kicks ass. Without blowing our own horn (too hard) I think that we are the best Barcelona blog on the Web, period. It’s the quality of the fans and visitors, the writing and yes, the club that inspires us all.

      • July 21, 2010

        i stopped following other forums/blogs now.
        its becoming a cesc forum/blog

  13. mei
    July 21, 2010

    on another note, fontas signed an one year extension.
    Thats the fourth club employee after thiago , gds , some other youth i cant remember and pep.
    Club is getting more cautious after rosell election or is it just me?

    • cliveee
      July 21, 2010

      just saw it, i am glad for Fontas and hope he will recover and back to action soon.

  14. Eklavya
    July 21, 2010

    Nice piece SoMa but sorry nothing beats your piece on MouMou 😉

    If anyone’s looking at our old comments *COUGH KARI COUGH* and find it again please tell us 🙂

  15. Hilal
    July 21, 2010

    You know Dan, you keep talking about Barca being classless, but you know what is REALLY classless? When a club wont let a player leave even when he has made it as clear as he possibly can that he wants to leave. Especially a player who has done so much for Arsenal and has stuck with them even though he could have left a long time ago. This is how you repay him? By denying him his dream to return to his home and play for the club he loves… now that my friend is truly unclassy. Dont even get me started on Wenger… Talk about unclassy! The guy ALWAYS has an excuse or somebody to point the finger at..

    Furthermore if you want to talk about any player being unclassy you should talk about Cesc, who is trying his best to make as much noise as he can (via his friends at Barca) instead of just growing a pair and talking himself. If he wanted the Barca players to stop talking he would just ask them to and they would. Instead more and more of them are talking more and more about it and in stronger words. Why do you think that is?

    Very unlcassy indeed.

    • lookout
      July 21, 2010

      I’ll disagree with this post. Cesc hasn’t done everything he can. If he really wants to go, and I mean really really wants to go it is simple – hand in a transfer request. If he does that I’ll be disappointed but I’ll wish him well when he isn’t facing us. (I am one of the rare ones who actually believes he would force his way into the Barca XI within a year.) I’d rather he stay at Arsenal and lead our team to trophies but if he makes his intention and desire clear… then and only then will Cesc Fabregas have done everything he can. Then it is entirely upon your club to pony up the money Wenger asks for or decide Cesc really isn’t that desireable when push comes to shove.

    • GoonerInBarça
      July 21, 2010

      We’ve all been through this before. Arsenal ARE willing to do a transfer if the fee is the right one. Barca won’t/can’t meet this value so a deal won’t be done. Arsenal won’t admit to this because they have to sell season tickets. However if we receive £60m/€70m I’m sure there’ll be a deal. Barca won’t pay this as they see it as their “right” to have Cesc (or at least the Barca board do). There’s no bias in my statement. Everything is about money in this world. Whether Arsenal’s valuation is fair is another thing but for a player they’d quite like to keep and who has a long term contract AND is still 5 or 6 years from his peak they are likely to put a high value on him.

      As for the tapping up thing, it is indeed when a contract breach is made (of any form) so I’d imagine if Cesc did even the slightest thing wrong, FIFA would be getting a complaint about Barca. It will get messy if that happens so the best thing would be for the clubs to agree a fee but personally I can’t see that happening with the valuations so far apart.

      With Regards to Xavi’s comments, even Barca fans have to admit they were completely inadvisable. To say you want Cesc to come is one thing but to say “he’s only on loan” is blatantly mocking Arsenal. He does indeed have free speech and he won’t find himself in prison, however he could face footballing sanctions if FIFA deem it appropriate. Maybe not classless but perhaps a little stupid seeing as Rosell was at least (poorly) trying to rebuild relations with Arsenal.

      • ElShowDeJason
        July 21, 2010

        “However if we receive £60m/€70m I’m sure there’ll be a deal. Barca won’t pay this as they see it as their “right” to have Cesc”

        The reason we won’t pay that much isn’t because we are entitled. It’s because he isn’t that good.
        Sorry to shed some light on this fact, but your golden boy would be fighting for sub minutes with Keita, and wouldn’t win most of the time.

        • Hilal
          July 21, 2010

          Exactly. No team would pay that much for a player who would barely get in the starting line up. I have said it before and I will say it again. Cesc wants Barca A LOT more than Barca wants Cesc, which is why Cesc is trying to use his friends at Barca and the media to influence his club to sell him for less than Arsenals valutation. Barca will never pay 60m, hell i wouldnt want them to pay 40m for Cesc, but Cesc deperately wants to leave so he is stuck in a really messed up situation. He cannot put in a transfer request or speak out against Arsenal in public because if the transfer doesnt go through then he has at least one season of very angry fans. The only way he can try to get his message across without looking like a “traitor” is to use his friends at Barca. Which IMO is a hell of a lot more unclassy than doing a friend a favour and speaking out on his behalf.

          It is obvious that Barca wont pay too much for Cesc, nor should they, not because he is not a great player (because he is) but because Barca really have no need for him. Lets not forget Barca are not a club who are shy to spend money, if we really want a player then we usually pay for him, even if its over the odds. This is not the case with Cesc because we dont really need him, even for our future I would be happy not spending a penny and letting the likes of Thiago and JDS grow.

          Arsenal fans you need to realise that Barca are not the bad guys here. We dont need Cesc so we are not gona spend stupid amounts of money to get him. Cesc is the one who wants to leave, its just tough luck for him that we wont pay what Arsenal are demanding – hence all the drama in the press. Which is why I think its pretty unclassy of Arsenal, after all Cesc has done, let they boy have his dream (even if it will be mostly from the bench).

          As for the tapping up…. gimme a break, not only is it not founded, but it sounds desperate and quite frankly pathetic. There is no way in hell that if Cesc breached his contract it could be proven in a court of law that it was as a result of quotes of Xavi or Pique from Come on. Grow up. That is really pathetic. For tapping up to be proven in a court of law there has to be some actual evidence that the player was induced (by money, or precontracts, or “gifts”, or something else TANGIBLE) to breach his contract. The fact that some of you ACTUALLY believe that some player voicing his feelings (probably out of context anyways) will stand up in a court of law is as laughable as it is sad.

    • jaymin
      July 21, 2010

      this whole phenomena of the notion of class governing statements being made by, after all, professional football players answering what one would imagine would be direct questions is troublesome and should stop.
      presumptions of class as it governs personal conduct with regards to the so called “withheld statement,” in which a person will refrain from offering their opinion however deeply felt in order that an ongoing event not be imbued with emotional resonance, stem from a value system particular to northern europe, where the premium has always been placed on a businesslike objective resolution to proposed changes in anything. a lot of repression there 🙂
      the latin countries, and just as above this is a useful stereotype, have traditionally been more appreciative when one gives a full account of his or her feelings, one way or the other, when a change is occurring. Indeed in latin countries, withholding a statement out of a desire to seem impartial when clearly one is not, can be interpreted as callous, and, in their value system, classless.

  16. July 21, 2010

    If you have issues with Barcelona management, players, you name it, I can help you:

    This is the email of Barcelona’s official website. Feel free to tell them what you feel about it. May be you can have a talk with them and settle this down.

    I hope that help.

  17. theMaginator (tutomate)
    July 21, 2010

    Great post SoMa. Any reference to Seinfeld is alright with me.

  18. Bill
    July 21, 2010

    Even though I havent contributed in a while, Ive been reading about this transfer saga.

    As a Barcelona fan, I remember feeling angry at Chelsea and AC Milan talking about getting Ronaldinho in 2006/2007. I remember thinking that those clubs should just leave him alone, and that his brother should stop talking about those offers. So I can understand why these Arsenal fans are angry.

    To be honest Arsenal fans, Ive been one Barcelona fan who cringes everytime a player or any member of the team makes any kind of public statement regarding Fabregas.

    He is a very good player and can help Barcelona, but…He is under contract with Arsenal. There is no two ways around that fact. It doesn’t matter how they got him. He is the one that signed.

    And as I pointed out a little earlier, he extended his contract, which was about to expire in 2012, to 2015! He signed, so he should figure out how to get out of it. Barcelona players talking about it and pulling pranks in public is at the least just plain wrong.

    The management should try and purchase him if the want him, players can text or urge him privately, but the company line for all personell should be something like,’he is a great player, and every team would want someone like him on their roster’. Thats it. no more.

  19. flyzowee
    July 21, 2010

    F*** Fabregas
    Reports say ozil is in barcelona…. and even if it aint true, its better than all this fab shit.
    Arent u people tired?
    I wanna hear about the best club in the world.

    Not even lionel messi has gotten this much coverage on this blog.

    Quite frankly xavi pique and the rest of the guys just need to zip it. I dont care if their doing favours or helping out. Their just making any potential deal more personal with every statement.

    • poipoi
      July 21, 2010

      it HAS to be ozil, that would be sooo great. that way keita will have to go back a little and become DM along with busi. And those brits can keep a player that wants to leave if it’s fair to them… I like to think that we would never do that, if they want to leave they just leave. I’d love to see the chamaleon in a blaugrana jersey.

      • Alexinho
        July 25, 2010

        Ozil is unproven. A great World Cup doesn’t mean he’s good enough for Barca. It’s not like he’s been setting the world on fire with Bremen.

  20. ElShowDeJason
    July 21, 2010

    Ok, seriously… WTF is up with the Gooners coming here to voice their fears and insecurities?
    The Arsenal blogs must be slow these days. But then again, I suppose it doesn’t take very long for them to list their achievements over the last 5 years.

    Kxevin and Isaiah as administrators of the blog will give you a polite, politically correct response. I am not held to those standards, so I must say, you are not contributing to any intelligent discussion. You are bitching and moaning. All of us are fully aware that you think Cesc is being tapped up. We neither agree nor care. Repeating it again and again will not change our minds. We also will not feel bad for poor little Arsenal.
    My God, maybe once you and the people than run your club stop thinking about yourselves a small club, you might stop being one.

  21. Blow-Grenade
    July 21, 2010

    Wonderful article SoMa. Puts a lot of things in perspective. Haha.

  22. Jnice
    July 21, 2010

    Xavi is too outspoken most of the time. Whether it’s about teams coming out and not parking the bus, Cesc, or whatever, he’s way too outspoken and needs to tone it down. No need for half the stuff he says.

  23. Kari
    July 21, 2010

    It’s here…it’s finally here and there WON’T BE A LINK TO IT because it’s too awesome to for the link to handle. Enough Arsenal/Xavi/Fabregas/Life because it’s:

    My Favourite SoMa comment from Last Season (Not by request because it is MY favourite as well. So there! 😛 SoMa brings minds to think alike.) Revel in the awesomeness that is SoMa:

    A madrista once walked into a blog and asked,
    What do we need?

    Fifi said a star. Kxevin says a heart. Iker says a defender … every once in a while … would be nice. TVE says a(NOTHER) coach.

    EE is like a trust-fund day-care college-prep, where the everyone is wealthy, beautiful and above average, but the teacher’s afraid of the kids and the dean is afraid of the parents who side with the kids.

    If I were a madridista I’d walk out too. Marching. That’s not Fifi money, that’s socio money. The socios, the real fans, the ones from the barrio who take their tortilla sandwiches to the matcheses and puff on cigars and shout at the TV in bars — they love them some Raul and Co. ‘There’s no happiness,’ croaked one portly fellow to TVE, ‘like waking up on a Saturday and remembering that Madrid– your Madrid– is going to play today’. That’s heart right there, hombre. And they don’t just want to win. They want to win well. So there’s some young punks that flip Messi the bird from the sidelines. There’s also the old guard, the proud papa and his honorable son, standing up to applaud Ronaldinho at the Beu. That’s sportsmanship. That’s class. And for a team expenditure that could bail out Greece in a country with 20% unemployment, their blood rightly boils.

    What is a Fifi to do? How do you solve a problem like Crynaldo? You pays your euros and you takes your chances. You cannot trade … because the only way to trade now is down. And you cannot trade down because EE is not Fifi and it is not Pelly and it is not some greying old duke like Cruyff. EE is Raul and it is Iker and it is Guti and Sergio and now it is absolutely Crynaldo and probably Kaka and maybe even Benzema too. Fifi knows this. Crynaldo knows this. And this makes it Pelly’s problem.

    Operation Pelly is Mission Impossible. Kaka lets his wife (su MUJER, hombre) bitch that Pelly is a coward. What happens to Kaka? A little time out. Sergio says he will support Pelly heart and soul as long as he’s there. Pelly says he will stay as long as he’s allowed. As long as the players run the show and Fifi backs the players, Pelly isn’t a coach. He’s an au pair. For the lords of the flies.

    Pelly’s out, there’s no doubt. But who can really make a difference? It’s not tactical. It’s not monetary. It’s not talent. It’s psyche. It’s Oedipal. Now think about your dad. What’s your dad like? I wanna meet that dad! Doo doo doo doo!

    Right now you have the distant greying venerable kind of dad. The kind of dad Fifi said he wanted in Wegner but got in Pelly (thanks boss). He doesn’t get pissed. He doesn’t get loud. He gets disappointed. He gets disgruntled. This works in smaller teams where the players try really, really hard. Sometimes this is golden, like Bernd at Getafe. Sometimes this is psychodrama, like Pelly at Villareal. But at EE, the players get sassy and the pooch, as Kxevin says, gets screwed.

    You can also get the big-brother kind of dad. The guy who’s been there, who’s done that, who gets you, man. He’s young and he’s energetic and he’s cool. He actually works out with you at practice, instead of hanging around in the team sweats like the embarrassingly vital grandpa in the retirement community. When this is on, the team feels together, they feel lively, they feel ‘on’. This is the Pep @ Barca kind of coach. When it’s off, they feel lost, undisciplined, and out of control tantrummers. This is the later-Rijkaard @ Barca or now Unai @ Valencia kind of coach. But for this to work the coach has to be the cool kid. When your unruly star is the coolest kid in the class ever, there is no way coach will be cooler.

    No, you cannot have an honorable old-man type of dad, and you cannot have a hip, cool with-it type of dad. You need a dysfunctional dad, the kind of dad who will not guide you from afar or hang with you when you’re down. You need the kind of dad who will send you into years of later therapy. You need a real asshole.

    These asshole dads come in two varieties: the emotionally-deprived, mentally-absent dad and the borderline psychotic narcissist dad. We’ve already seen example 1 in Capello, and we all know how that turned out. They won La Liga. But no one can get behind Capello because he is so dry and apart and there is no way to relate to him. Capello would call Crynaldo on the nonsense, but Fifi will still back Crynaldo because Fifi is more CR9 than CPO.

    That leaves us one option. An asshole. A narcissistic, borderline psychotic, evil-genius asshole. We don’t need a guy who will tolerate CR9. We don’t need a guy who will gently guide him into sportsmanlike maturity. And we don’t need a guy who will pretend not to notice the tantrum because ‘bad attention is still attention’. No, we need a man who will out-asshole every asshole on his team, who can ratchet it up and scare the crap out of them, and then get to Fifi and elaborate and fabricate to the point that the Prez’s head will spin and he will start signing this and that before Raul can knock gently on the door. We need someone who will argue with the fans, who will demand they feel grateful to him, someone who will take on the team as his own and not on loan. And even better if that someone knows his rivals inside out, who goes to their games and studies their strategies and practically wrings his hands in the stands as he plots against them … because when EE win, and win it all, and win against THEM, THEN, THEN the fans will fill the Beu, THEN Fifi will pop the champagne, THEN TVE will slobber all over itself drooling again, and CR9 himself will bow his head and say he owes it all to him …

    And that man, my friends, is our very own evil genius, our next rival Italy and my bet for our man in Madrid …

    MouMou, Dr. Mouriarty, Mourinho.

      • Eklavya
        July 22, 2010

        In other words:

        Before Mourinho was selected as coach!

        Thanks for finding it 🙂

    • Jnice
      July 21, 2010

      That was a great comment from SoMa. And Kari, I like this little series you got going.

  24. Kari
    July 21, 2010

    Frankly, troller Arsenal fans just make people less sympathetic with their club. Class this, class that. What troller Arsenal fans really need is a thesaurus. Seriously. You’re embarrassing to your team.

    At first, I felt sorry for that your captain got caught up in an overgrown, childish b*tch fight between two egomaniacs, but now? It’s easy to see who’s keeping what going. I couldn’t give a damn. Hope his selfish ass stays at the Emirates and doesn’t warm our bench.

    Like tutomate said, whose comments I will save for later so I can add them in my infamous totally awesome “who wouldn’t want to be on that list?” list of favs comments, Arsenal fans need to worry less about what Some Other Guy on Some Other Team says about a guy that isn’t going anywhere, and more about their 3rd place spot, because they’ve got Citeh and Spurs clipping at their heels.

    Insecurity and envy are horrible things. Deal with it by discussing the very real problems that your team has, instead of coming to a blog whose team is doing very well and trying to force your myopic sob stories. It’s sad.

    • theMaginator (tutomate)
      July 21, 2010

      I cried when I read that, and for once in my life, felt special.


    • jaymin
      July 21, 2010

      we’ve only city on our heels! spurs overachieved and spent at an unsustainable rate, for them. City have, in the context of running a football club, unlimited funds for transfers and wages. Barring UEFA or FIFA strictly enforcing any “financial fair play” initiatives, we will all tread in City’s wake this season, and into the future. After they make Europe, so will everyone else. Sad but inevitable.

  25. Stephen
    July 21, 2010

    I wish I could go back to the days when I just didnt care who came and who went. when i was just a kid watching futbol on tv.
    Now im all involved.
    Thanks soMa great article, I didnt know those were actual quotes, Isaiah is right in calling this silly season, I thought most were jokes lol

  26. andrew M
    July 21, 2010

    just a quick question, but why is everybody in barcelona being blamed for this saga, that is, everyone except fabregas himself.

    he could end all of this if he just grew some bollocks and came out to the media and said what he wants. Either tell arsenal goodbye or tell them he is staying.

    the ball is in his court. Arsenal should be shitting on fabregas himself and shouldnt give a damn about things other players are saying.

    and by the by, having read the comments in spanish and then reading the journo’s translations, i am not surprised this has been blown out of the water. they just twist the phrasing or the context to make it as controversial and sensational as possible.

    lets get that german/turkish/chihuahua hybrid rather than a boy with no bollocks

  27. Benj
    July 21, 2010

    Great show SoMa, as usual!

    Off topic (on purpose) it’s Gai Assulin’s trial week at Rovers isn’t it? Whats the deal with him? All sources seem to say he wasn’t living up to his tag as ‘next messi’ but lets be serious now, there is no-one that could live up to that in the world at the moment…

    • vicsoc8
      July 21, 2010

      He couldn’t hold down a serious spot in Enrique’s team. Needs more time to develop, he’s definitely not ready to be a starter for a big club, let alone a useful squad player.

  28. July 21, 2010

    It’s never going to end, like the Flying Dutchman. Now reports are coming that Arsene Wenger has agreed to meet with Sandro Rosell next week, to discuss “something.” It’s probably to pee on his shoes.

    Oh, and this is an interesting read, that mates up with what many of us have been saying:

    Meanwhile, we have signed David Villa, and the excellent squad player Adriano, with a signing or two more to come. It’s why I want this Fabregas squabble to end. We have work to do.

    –Oh, yeah….have you people seen Krkic this pre-season? Dude’s been spending time in the weight room, and looks like a man now. Very impressive.

    –Hleb doesn’t want to leave. He wants to play Champions League footy, nibble on p’amb tomaquet and have the best seat in the house to watch Barca matches. But it’s looking more and more like a loan or outright sale.

    • vicsoc8
      July 21, 2010

      Whatever happens to Hleb, I like his attitude at the moment. We need players who are strongly motivated, and are willing to do what is necessary to prove themselves. After his loan season Hleb might be thinking “If I can turn myself into a useful squad player I could stand to win some trophies over the next couple of seasons.”

      A couple other players on the books could use this attitude (Henrique for one)

    • cliveee
      July 22, 2010

      agreed with the attitude idea, Vicsoc.
      I wanna see him remain in our squad for this season. he will be a very useful sub other than Jeffren & Pedro. His experience will help us in some occasions too, and the fact that he is not homegrown may make us unpredictable.

      • Bundy
        July 22, 2010

        But when Pep doesn’t end up using him, then will Hleb go back to his old attitude and stink up the place?

        Thats the problem, Hleb doesn’t want to spent another season on loan. but noone else wants to buy him anyway. So his only option is to stay. But I still dont think he is satisfied being here.

      • Alexinho
        July 25, 2010

        In my fantasy world, Hleb comes back into the team and comes off the bench to tear up teams in Iniesta’s place. In my fantasy world.

  29. theMaginator
    July 21, 2010

    Hey guys, I don’t mean to hi-jack this here post but I wanted to ask you guys what you thought of ANDROID. The reason being that I have been an iPhone user for the last 3 years and have had every iphone but the iPhone 4, (iPhone,iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS) and I have always been able to keep connected to everything Barca via IT (including this blog). I’m now looking to going ANDROID (HTC EVO, MOTO DROID X, DELL STREAK, SAMSUNG CAPTIVATE)but i want to know how ANDROID either augments or (de-augments?) the Barca life. I know some of you have iPhones (Isaiah), so what do you Droid users think?

    Sorry for the triviality of this question, as it pertains little or in no way to So Ma’s great post.

    • Kxevin
      July 21, 2010

      Rockin’ the MyTouch 3G. Love the Android platform. Best of all, you can open up the back, and put in bigger SD cards, batteries, etc, without having to send it to the mothership. Multitasks really well, and I can do everything I need to do for BFB on it, from new posts to editing and moderating. I’ve even participated in LiveBlogs from it.

      • theMaginator
        July 21, 2010

        Cool, that’s with T-Mobile right? Are you on FroYo?

      • ElShowDeJason
        July 22, 2010

        I’ve Liv-blogged via my iPhone 3G

    • Eklavya
      July 22, 2010

      Dude, if you don’t want your iPhone(s) you can just give it to me…

      I can’t connect to LiveBlogs though 🙁

    • July 22, 2010

      I am usually careful when it come to recommending specific product – unless if I am the one selling it 🙂 But I can safely recommend HTC.

      • Jim
        July 23, 2010

        iphone does it for me although the FCBarcelona app could be better.

  30. Eklavya
    July 22, 2010

    Arsenal fans can go call classless someone other than Xavi:


  31. CLUEless(John)
    July 22, 2010

    Along with Deco, Ronni, fat and skinny, and of course eto’o. And Hleb will be his new Snider.

  32. Kxevin
    July 22, 2010

    I think that this stuff just shows the depths to which the online footy press will do to generate “information” where there really isn’t any, and grab clicks with said bogus information.

    It never occurred to them that we already have the best midfield in the world, and the best attacking midfielder in the world. Why would we want one who is expensive, and has already proven that he isn’t the player he once was? For a striker who contributed more than 20 goals and 8 assists (considered a bust in some alternate universe)?

    To top it off, we’ll make the deal between two clubs who detest each other, and wouldn’t piss on the other one if it was on fire.

    Yep. Makes perfect sense. Print it.

    And then the rest of the world’s sporting press, also looking for something, picks it up. So Sport has the headline “Ibra will not go to XXXXXX,” as if there was ever even the remotest possibility that he was going to.

    It’s why SoMa is so correct to make fun of all this nonsense. Because that’s all that you can do.

  33. Bill
    July 22, 2010

    Hey guys, it used to be fun telling people about this underrated guy called Andres Iniesta, but now, everyone knows who he is, so now I need my next project.

    My question is, who do you guys think will be a revelation next season? We all know what the Messi’s and Xavi’s can do, but who will be the break-out star? My personal favorite is Bojaaaaaan!

    • Eklavya
      July 22, 2010

      Lets hope its Booojan or Fontaaas or JDSSS!

      • July 22, 2010

        In a serious note, it depends a lot on how the transfer period end. I won’t consider Bojan as a revelation as he has been in the first team for a while already and we all know what he is capable of doing with time.

        The revelation for me is someone like Pedro or Busquets who break through and stamp his name as a key player.

        If we signed no more players -at all. Oriol may have his chance (though I still believe its early for him) If we signed no defenders, then you can expect one of the youth there to make his name (Tough call but I will put a bet on Bartra). If we signed DM and CB only then I am one of many who are waiting for either Thiago or JDS to start a successful adventure with the first team. But you never know, may be Soriano will have a saying.

        Its unlikely that any of the youth forwards (beside the ones we already have in the first team) will catch us by surprise. First, because we have a full seated offense, and secondly because Rochina (my bet as a future forward) may still need one year or two to bloom.

        But if I have to pick a player, I will say Thiago without knowing if thats reasonable conclusion or wishful thinking.

        • Kxevin
          July 22, 2010

          I’m with Ramzi on Thiago. I think that JDS is still a year away, and it’s fairly difficult, the way we play defense, for a defender to really have bustout season. But Thiago has all the skills, and he isn’t afraid to shoot from the outside with that cannon of his. I’m tapping him as my High Hopes player.

          I do think that Busquets and Pedro! are going to continue to improve, to the point where Pedro! is going to cause some complexities in that he is going to want more time once he reaches the level that I think he can.

          • Eklavya
            July 22, 2010

            Huh, JDS has one cannon shot as well. I guess I prefer JDS for some reason…

          • Jim
            July 23, 2010

            Bojan is the one i’m looking at. He hasn’t cut it for me until the last few weeks of the season but the bojan I was watching on TV yesterday was a different person bulk wise. That added to a compilation of his goals from last season was pretty impressive.

            Of the youngsters I still have a hankering for Muniesa.

    • July 22, 2010

      Few surprises there.
      Holland all the way down at #18.
      Even the likes of peru and chile are above the dutch league.
      to make matters worse, even the belgian league has a higher point.
      I always find it a mickey mouse league but i didn’t expect it to be this bad.
      Im sure Ajax, PSV or AZ and twente can beat any team from the aforementioned league.
      this is so upsetting!]

      And Japan league is good too. Don’t understand why its ranked so low.

      • Alexinho
        July 25, 2010

        USA 88–not surprised I suppose. But when they put it, in between India and Malawi? Reality check…

  34. theMaginator (tutomate)
    July 22, 2010

    Thanks guys for the ANDROID recommendations.

    Eklevya, I’d give it to you but i lost my 3GS (tha’ts the official story, the real story is that i got taken like a sucker on craigslist,*hangs head in shame*)

    VJ, are you a developer?

    Ramzi, The Incredible is sick,i like it alot. But I’m going to wait and see what the Dell Streak looks like with FroYo.

    I miss my iPhone 3GS but the iPhone 4 is that great. I want to try something new.

    • Vj
      July 22, 2010

      Not a developer per se, but a CS grad student who can develop if I wish..

      • theMaginator (tutomate)
        July 22, 2010

        Cool I’m learning some stuff my self. But on my own.

        • Alexinho
          July 25, 2010

          Quick comment: I’m always surprised by the professional audience of blogs like this. I notice this–but less so due to comment volume–on Arsenal Offside, where there are at least four lawyers that regularly comment, including Martin (blogger). Kev is (and Isaiah too?) an experienced journalist, SoMa’s a collegiate professor, Luke’s a lawyer, the silent Euler and Hector are…something, but something very intelligent. Here we have a grad student, probably we have many grad students, I believe I heard one commenter alude to wanting to go into Barca archives for “professional reasons,” indicating s/he is a historian…

          I myself just graduated with my Bachelor’s in History and am working in a small–very small–museum on an internship basis. Thought I’d throw that out there.

          Really, very impressive. Outsiders wouldn’t expect blogs to be so high-minded, or probably high-minded as it may be.

  35. theMaginator (tutomate)
    July 22, 2010

    Also i read somewhere that FIFA will have 2 extra refs during UEFA CL like they did during the Europa League.

  36. Helge
    July 22, 2010

    The president of US Citta di Palermo said that Javier Pastore will play for Barcelona, sooner or later.
    I like Pastore, and he would probably cost only 1/3 of Fabregas’ price. So IF the board really has to buy another creative midfielder, they should go for him instead of Cesc.
    Nevertheless I still hope that we will only sign a new DM and trust in our own products for the creative and offensive midfield.

    • Josep
      July 22, 2010

      This is all true, but the most important part comes at the end. The DM aspect. Pastore is good but in that aspect of the game I still believe Thiago is a better prospect and will become better than he, so theres almost no point into spending a lot on Pastore.

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