El Banquillo 5: Mission Emirates

Episode 5: In which the dastardly plans of Barcelona come to light…

TheNotoriousIG: [/signs contract] Well, okay, that finishes off the deal.
MeritimeLaw: Well, I’m off to Madrid to win some titles! So long, suckas!

*MeritimeLaw has left the chatroom*

TheNotoriousIG: [/rifles through papers] I’m positive we transfered him to the other club in Madrid…
JustArseingAround: Wait, we sent him to Getafe?
TheNotoriousIG: LOL
JustArseingAround: What’s next on the agenda?
TheNotoriousIG: Ah, it’s time to have a discussion with Cesc about his future. Moderator, please bring him in.

*TheFabulous4 has joined the chat*

TheNotoriousIG: Hello, Cesc.
TheFabulous4: Hello, Mr. Gazidis.
JustArseingAround: Let’s discuss your future. Are you committed to Arsenal?
TheFabulous4: I love Arsenal.
TheNotoriousIG: Well that settles it! He doesn’t want to go to Barcelona.
TheFabulous4: Barcelona is my home.
JustArseingAround: Oh, so you do want to leave Arsenal…
TheFabulous4: I love Arsenal.
TheNotoriousIG: But what you just said about Barcelona…
TheFabulous4: Barcelona is my home.
TheNotoriousIG: This is unacceptable! We must be clear here.
JustArseingAround: Wait, wait, I think I see the problem…
TheNotoriousIG: You do?
JustArseingAround: Arsenal.
TheFabulous4: I love Arsenal.
JustArseingAround: Barcelona.
TheFabulous4: Barcelona is my home.
JustArseingAround: You see, he has a classic case of Agent Speakitis. He only responds this way to external stimulae. It is very common amongst the superstars of the world.
TheNotoriousIG: You’re a genius.
JustArseingAround: They don’t call me Le Professeur for nothing.
TheNotoriousIG: Because you have a PhD?
AlexandreTheGreat: I think it’s because you’re quite smart. May I say that? I believe it.
TheNotoriousIG: How did you get in here?
AlexandreTheGreat: Gentlemen, I have an offer.
TheNotoriousIG: Denied.
AlexandreTheGreat: But, sir, please. Barcelona.
TheFabulous4: Barcelona is my home.
JustArseingAround: Oh no you don’t! Arsenal.
TheFabulous4: I love Arsenal.
AlexandreTheGreat: I see you are already aware of the, uh, situation.
JustArseingAround: They don’t call me Le Professeur for nothing.
TheFabulous4: Because you wear loafers?
JustArseingAround: Because I’m…yes. Yes, it’s because I wear loafers.
TheFabulous4: I knew it!
TheNotoriousIG: He is not for sale.
AlexandreTheGreat: Please be reasonable. He is filled to the brim with Barça DNA.
JustArseingAround: That’s not even real!
AlexandreTheGreat: It is a simple test. No one with Barça DNA can resist it. If he does not react, you will hear no more from us until 2015.
JustArseingAround: Ivan, this is not acceptable. We have business to attend to.
TheNotoriousIG: I’m listening…
AlexandreTheGreat: Visca el Barça!
TheFabulous4: i Visca Catalunya!
AlexandreTheGreat: I knew it!
JustArseingAround: Oh well fuck that wasn’t fair.
TheNotoriousIG: Why is my water glass shaking like in Jurassic Park?
AlexandreTheGreat: Oh no!
JustArseingAround: Oh no!
KoolaidMan: Oh YEAH!
TheNotoriousIG: It’s a trap!
CaptainCatalunyaViscaelBarca: DID I SEE THE PUYI SYMBOL IN THE SKY????
TheFabulous4: Hey Carles.
AlexandreTheGreat: I forgot that would happen.
JustArseingAround: You planned this!
Number1DraftPique: Oh shiiiiit did someone say partaaaay in the Emirates!?
TheFabulous4: Duuuuude.
Number1DraftPique: /shoots spitball at TheFabulous4
TheFabulous4: LOL
AlexandreTheGreat: Barcelona.
TheFabulous4: Barcelona is my home.
Number1DraftPique: Barcelona is my home.
CaptainCatalunyaViscaelBarca: AWOOOOOOOO
TheFabulous4: You guys want to play some PES?
PulgaMyFinger: Yeah!
JustArseingAround: Where are you guys coming from?
Number1DraftPique: We’re everywhere, baby!
AlexandreTheGreat: My work here is done.

*AlexandreTheGreat has left the chatroom*

TheNotoriousIG: This is outrageous!
JustArseingAround: I can’t believe we fell for that.
Number1DraftPique: [/pantses JustArseingAround]
CaptainCatalunyaViscaelBarca: Olé!

*TheNotoriousIG has left the chatroom*

*JustArseingAround has left the chatroom*

By Isaiah

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


  1. LOL is all I can say!

    You deceided to be “political” about this one huh. I was hoping for Paulo el Octo but nvm…

    Great to see a Banquillo though after such a long time!

    1. with his lucidity on the ball and eye for the weighted through ball, there’s no way that Fab plays PES. He’s assuredly a FIFA 10 guy.

    1. is the club’s finance their only reason to rule that? or they just hate any starless team.

    2. That’s crazy news. Kinda feel bad for them after the surprise that was last season.

  2. woahahahahhaha, always love this chatroom thing! you are the best, Isaiah! hahahaha

    I foresee the trolls coming in and I will keep laughing hahahahah!

  3. What would the PUYI symbol look like? Anyone care to give their photoshop skills a go?

  4. haha that was brilliant!by the way i hope the next post here will be:welcome home boy!yeah!

  5. Isaiah, i almost died laughing in the middle of a court case. I had to leave coughing and wheezing the Judge was not happy.

    1. *http://www.thespoiler.co.uk/index.php/2010/07/22/a-short-gallery-of-ribery-in-prison-pictures

    2. *http://www.thespoiler.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/shawshank-ribery-pic.jpg

    3. LOL, yeah its me. Why do you think my pic only shows one part of the face.Now where is that hooker?

  6. haha stupid footballers!they earn so much money,fame,glory and what they doing??underage prostitutes!good job ribery,go to jail you deserve it.

    1. You read my mind, I cant help but think of myself at 15 waiting for that magical AOL dial up to connect me when I was 15 lol. Greece Barcelona is Heroin to me!!!

  7. Are you all that classless? On the day the Arsenal flag hangs half mast.. And how shall this piece portray in sportsmanship? Bunch of knuckels… You will dread the day when Arsenal beat the pants off Barca! Go Real! Go Mourinho! I just became a Real Fan! Good work

    1. You need to understand that this was a skit and not some meaningful dig at Arsenal.

      Man up and grow a sense of humour!

    2. 31,458,215,365,499….. 31,458,215,365,500

      Sorry, its my ‘classless’ counter.

      For every time a gooner mentions the word on a Barca blog…

  8. i love the title from a clash(my favorite band)record:give em enough rope..that s my answer to the question:what madrid needs..yeah i know it s off topic but i just read the comment of the arsenal fan..for me one club,one team there is.barca.and nothing else matter(metallica the 2nd fav band)..visca barca and cesc whatever happen you are our boy
    visca barca visca catalonia and the new season we will rock again!yeah!

  9. Arsenal fan here or known as Hartwick by respectful name. I am amazed at the disrespect given by two clubs who have like styles who have been connected by a beautiful player of Spanish origin. And, the question begs why such disrespect? I have always loved the rise of Barcelona vs. Real. But, because of this turmoil you disrespect the Arsenal cause? Have we not returned the favor in many players? Why the hostility? I have routed for Barca against many a English side! Chelsea! ManIOU! And, Insult you must? Do you want this rivalry? Or mutual respect? I choose respect and you choose your own… Arsenal will prevail I say! Arsenal will prevail! We are meek, we are humble, and we are determined!

    1. What the hell are you talking about?

      oh you forgot to use the word classless.

    2. Yeah, your right, Arsenal will prevail. Just as they did v Messi in the CL last year…oh wait that’s right Messi 4 Arsenal 1. If I recall correctly your lot was wearing white that night right??? Bad idea.

    3. This is a joke dude from a blog. If you go to Arsenal blogs you will them mocking us with all the DNA crap.

    4. How are we being rivals to Arsenal? We don’t troll on their blogs… We don’t call them classless… We don’t go about saying ‘because of all this, I’m now a Tottenham fan’…

      Meek? Humble? Here’s that little fish vs big fish mentality.


      Take off your damn training wheels and act your age, this isn’t a case of the schoolyard bully vs the little nerdy kid.

      Come on mate, be sensible or dont bother posting…

  10. http://www.fansfc.com/story/22941.html

    If we wrap this up, it has to be the best piece of business of the summer, looking back Villa was a steal, but this would not even be fair. Ozil is a super Kieta!!!!! 15 million Euros is a bargain for this kid, who we can prolly lock down for 5 years for a decent wage (say 35-50k per week??). This would shut down the Cesc talk for 365 days and allow us to give a platform to Thiago and JDS, one of which we would almost certainly be shopping next summer as Cesc would be coming home. Our post Xavi and Kieta options at midfield will be Iniesta (26), Cesc (23), Ozil (21), Busi (21) and either JDS (20) or Thiago (19). I see Xavi being an automatic starter for at least 3 more years and Kieta being around for 1-2 more years, but our youth would be so damn impressive!!!! THOSE FIVE PLAYERS AVERAGE LESS THAT 22 YEARS OLD THIS YEAR. There is 10 + years of service from any of them if we want it, I am retarded excited at the proposition of signing the Weder Bremen wonder boy.

    1. Well, €17-20m would certainly be a great deal compared to Cesc, but if you bring in Ozil, then there’s no room for Cesc OR there’s no room for Thiago OR JDS. And I don’t like bringing in a player at the expense of the canteranos. I would prefer neither Cesc nor Ozil and keeping both Thiago and JDS.

      It makes no sense to bring in other players and destroy the hopes of your cantera when it is specifically the cantera that got us to where we are today.

      JDS and Thiago are more important to our club than Cesc and Ozil. Period.

    2. we should not sign cesc ever, and let arsenal see how he leaves to a team that is not even considered his home, after they do nothing in CL again (hope it’s atletico or valencia) lol

      ozil can do wings me thinks, like iniesta. JDS can do DM and thiago OM.


      DM’s – busi jds keita
      OM’s – iniesta xavi ozil thiago keita (wow)
      WINGS- ozil iniesta (if needed)

      cesc – who cares… as long as he doesn’t go to EE.

      great banquillo isaiah? is hleb the misterious kool aid man? 😀 😀

    3. That article is fish though, because it says that Sport claims he was in Barça to tie up a deal, when all Sport said was that he was in Barcelona for vacation.

      Personally though, I would love it if we signed Ozil and Capoue and called it a day.

    4. Not for me. One good WC isn’t a decent basis for a buy for Barecelona. don’t see him as putting in the hard shuift Keita does and wasn’t particularly impressed by his goalscoring. Also the space between defence and midfield where he operated doesn’t exist when you play for Barca against teams that press.

    1. I watched up to when Henry scored… he had some nice touches, including the one for the goal. Red Bulls didn’t look half bad, except for their defense.

  11. Ohhhh I dont know about that Izzy, I love this team and I understand that no players are bigger than the club, and using the system as it was meant to work is usually ideal….but. You cannot seriously think that our team will be better with Thiago and JDS than Ozil and Cesc. I would gladly sacrifice one of the two next year to make room for Cesc as option 1A. and the other the next year. We would have the best attacking line and midfield in the world with these two prove comodities, as opposed to taking chance with two players who have never played back to back games for the big team. Also both Ozil and Cesc have the ability to play up front on the wings, adding more value. I would take the 15 million (or more) we could get for them after next season, sell Hleb 3 million and Kieta 7 million. Take that 25 million and put it toward Cesc, 40 million next year. after grabbing ozil for 18 million this year. Of course we could either keep one of the two young boys as a squad player.

    1. it doesnt really work like that.
      Last year nobody expected wed be better off with pedro instead of henry in the left flank and that he would outpeform him .
      Especially with the signs pedro gave us the year before that.
      Nor anybody expected busquets to cement a starting place in dm in front of yaya.
      The bottomline is that canteranos posess attributes that few are able to recognise instantly , but pep seems to have already mastered that from his time there as barca b coach.

    2. I expected pedro! to be more than henry. More than expected I knew ’cause at the beggining of the season he already was, the problem was just that there weren’t many “pedro! poster buyers” like what happens with titi, and that titi earns like 200 times more than p! besides costing us some money. politics as usual , the old deco-iniesta problem.
      Same thing with busi when almost everyone trashed him, they even sorta insulted him! … lol …I don’t say he’s better than yaya but different. both spanish kids are world champions now playing key roles and the ones that left didn’t even go through 1st round, france wasn’t even supposed to be there… it’s their teams not only those players ok but still p! and b! performances have been great. they have suffered from the love of yaya and titi in this blog. I also love yaya don’t take me wrong, but I’ll always support spanish football and our youngsters… like pep once said I think: give them trust and you’ll se what they can do. And like reina said, busi is the man of the world cup. What a championship he did, no wonder hecried so much after the final. Imagine they keep growing like that omg

  12. One big trouble we face right now is how to sign important additions to the squad while also maintaining a path for our youth players to break into the squad. We certainly need at least one more signing to maintain a balanced squad.

    In defense there is a clear path to the first team. After selling Chygrynskiy the fifth center back spot is open (not to mention Yaya who was chosen there in big games is gone). If Marquez doesn’t stay then Fontas, Bartra, and Muniesa certainly have a chance.

    Our forward line is very deep and currently looks difficult to break into. Villa, Messi, and Ibra are all big name established players. Pedro has gone from strength to strength over the last year. Bojan is nipping at the heels of a larger role in the squad. Jeffren will probably stay and continue to learn, as well as offer Pep a different option. Luckily there aren’t many (any?) youth players who are poised to break into the team in the near future.

    Midfield presents a different issue. We currently only have Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, and Keita. With JDS and Thiago both looking solid in their few appearances last season, you have to image they will play more this season. However, the two of them don’t give us enough depth, and so we need to make at least one signing.

    The question becomes which kind of midfield signing serves us better, an offensive midfielder or a defensive midfielder? I don’t trust Keita to fill at DM completely, but even if Pep does Keita is 30. How much longer do you see him staying at the club? 2 more seasons, max. That leaves us with that hole at DM again. I think it is much more important for us to sign a defensive mid this summer.

    Buy Cesc next summer. Xavi will be another year older and will start to need more rest, while Thiago and JDS would get this season to get more experience. It’s too much to hope they both make it, but in several years we could have Fabregas, Iniesta, old Xavi, Thiago/JDS, at offensive mid.

    1. Keita doesn’t even trust himself to fill in at DM completely. He said he would play wherever Pep asked, but he feels we should sign a DM.

    2. I don’t know what will happen to Hleb, but I think we should keep him with us for the next season. Judging by his attitude now, I think he is really giving a shot at winning something with us, and I like what he and his agent’s behaviors these days.

      He is experienced, not sure if he is over his peak yet, but it really was his first season with us before he was loaned out to Stuttgart because we thought he was such an ass. But now that his attitude has changed, he will be very useful in some occasions such as chasing a game or changing tempo of the game. He showed when he played us in the CL last year that he can still run with the ball . Yes, we do have Jeffren, and as you said the front-line is really deep. But he is not there to play match in and match out for us. He is a very useful squad player to me.

      JDS and Thiago will be given more chances, but with the promotion of Barca B in the Segunda, their development will be enhanced too. Because they will have tougher tests even if they remain in the Barca B, playing Betis, Valladolid, Tenerife and whats more Alcorcon!. So hopefully after this season, we will have even better players coming from the Segunda!

  13. Not only did Henry score, but he took the rail to the march with the freakin’ fans. Color me mpressed.

    1. took the rail to the march with the freakin’ fans.
      what’s that?
      i do hope that the red bulls will sign another star from europe.
      and imagine if lebron manned up and chose NY instead of hiding behind wade.. it would be a great boost to NY.

    2. i dunno, he got all pufffed up after scoring in an exhibition match against a half-strength Spurs side. let’s see how he does the rest of the season.

    3. fair nuff. i prefer players that smile when they score as opposed to looking all “hard,” but just a personal thing, whatevs. i dislike ibra’s celebrations for same reason. why you gotta look all hard and angry?

    4. As in, he hopped on the train and commuted to the match. Imagine being a Red Bulls fan, sitting in your seat rocking and swaying, and you look over and there’s Thierry Henry. It’s be like Messi riding the train to a Barca match, in context.

      Unbelievably cool.

    5. He did get a little too pumped up but it’s his first game and he’s ALWAYS concerned about his public image. How do you know kxevin? No beef, maybe it’s not that way but I guess he made it clear for everyone to know, so cool

    6. Find me a player who doesn’t get excited about scoring his first goal for his new club, and I’ll show you somebody who the club shouldn’t have bought. Recall that he was also over the moon when he scored his first goal for us.

      Are we really so hell bent on hating a player that even when he does the right things, they’re shit? Ibrahimovic scored his first goal for the club against a weakened Citeh in the Gamper Trophy match, a puffed-up exhibition, and nobody uttered a discouraging word about that.

      Henry is ex-Barca, and played his ass off for this club, including taking a foul that ultimately injured him, after being the decider in the Bernabeu Clasico. I don’t have to tell anyone what he meant to this club’s treble-winning season. I don’t expect people who hate him to love him. But something vaguely approximating his due wouldn’t be a bad thing.

      But call me stupid in that assessment.

    7. well ibra scored for barça in barcelona where soccer is everything, titi in NY with some publicity team 😉

    8. As suspected. But just think about it….actually think….just for a moment. For example, what if somebody decided they hated Iniesta. They could then point to his 1 goal and 1 assist from last season, and declare him an always injured, overrated player. Would the statistics back them up, or would you say, “Oh, you just hate Iniesta, the best player in the world.”

      They would counter with “Why is he the best player in the world? He’s only scored two goals of any significance in three seasons, one not even for his club team.”

      What would be the response? Think. Think carefully.

      The Red Bulls are the New York MLS franchise. The fans of that club would dispute your arrogance in calling their side a “publicity team.” The most devoted probably love their club as much as you purport to love Barca. And yet, when people call US arrogant, we quibble about it. But should we? Really?

    9. it’s only a joke but I don’t see the possibility that the football team of FCB is called “regal barça” or “borges barça” … maybe someday it happens who knows but it doesn’t look like it for now.

      I accept people hating iniesta, I even like it because time has proven them wrong. Same thing with people loving titi in FCB… but just look at iniesta touch the ball, no possible comparison man.

  14. No offense mei, but as good as Pedro! was last season, we weren’t better with him than Henry. We were better statistically in the Liga, but missed Copa and Champions league. And we missed i becauae the lack of dynamic wing play made life difficult for Messi and Ibrahimovic. That was the missing link offensively. Now, we were certainly better with Pedro than without him, but that legitimate wing threat to provide goals and create width, was lacking.

    Now I do think we are better offensively this year, and will be even better with some midfield depth, and a DM not named Keita. Can he play the position? Sure. But if there’s a better option we’d be crazy not to take.

    The one vexing thing about this Fabregas business is that it is holding up other efforts. Ozil isn’t a real either/or for Fabregas. I see him as a more dynamic Iniesta, which is of value. But we also have Thiago and JDS. If we do Ozil and Fabregas next summer, why would any talented mid hang around the Masia? We’d be solid for years, with almost no point of entry. Never mind that I’m not all that bowled over by Ozil yet. That’s another.

    Least disruptive would be to keep Hleb as midfield cover, pop for a good uoung DM and call it a night. Next summer , we can think about other needs.

    1. hope we do another crazy silent deal like adriano, someone no one thought about. ozil brings hope too though, for the little I’ve seen. He also looks like he likes barça and barça likes him I don’t know

    2. no offense taken , obviously :D.
      Well I did not mean that we were better off with pedro than with henry , nor compared their contributions and overall impact.

      But cantera products can surely become exciting rotation players and even more;xavi substituted guardiola , messi giuly, iniesta and puyol were rotation players at most before enstablishing themselves into the first team.No cantera product came out of nowhere as indispensable , but gradually intergrated into the first team.

      There was a number of factors that contributed into us missing out on these two competitions , but as far as im concerned pedro covering henry’s decline was the least vital one :he scored goals , assisted others ,sure he lacked the physicality that henry provided yet included some other tricks in his bag of attributes : ambidextrity , insane work rate and scored some match/trophy winning goals.Thats cuts it for me.
      His positional awareness has grown considerably and hes gonna be a very interesting rotation player to watch since now he’s not the new gem having a breakthrough season, but the one that needs to keep it up and improve it further -theres no aging henry to overshadow but an up and coming david villa to compete against.

      If I had to point a finger or two at what made us “fail”(doesnt that sound funny for any barcelona fan whos been following for more than 10 years) the champions league and the kings cup was guardiola handling of the minor cup against sevilla, iniesta injuries/ibrahimovic not firing like in the first half of the season along with toure not being up to standards like last year.

    3. True, mei. But I still think the fundamental difference was the lack of wide play. We could never solve that problem, so when defenses pinched in, we just didn’t have an answer. It’s why Krkic was so successful when he was inserted, because he was a diagonal runner that worked into the spaces that were created by Messi’s movement. It wasn’t really a substitute for wide play, but it was another variable that added to the equation, that, had he not pushed that wide-open header wide, would have worked.

      Pedro! has improved immensely. I think that soon, we’re going to have to make some hard decisions about him, because he’s going to be too good to keep on the bench.

      “Failure” is an odd word to use about a Liga-winning side, I agree. Perhaps we should use “achieved less than its predecessor.”

      Another problem, I think, was all the matches in our legs. It was bound to catch up, and did at the wrong times.

    4. well thats a very interesting approach.
      Although I think cutting down on wide play was more a matter of tacticts rather than lack of players that were available to serve it ;
      messi was moved from the right wing to the centre and that cuts 50% off your wide play if i get it right.Or even more than that since messi-alves collaboration was a major threat on the right wing .

    5. same here, i am not sold on Ozil either. love the fact that he is a barca fan, and his display in the world cup. but playing continuously for a club against all these tough teams is just another thing.

      i see talents in him but whether he will end up sucking under such huge pressure applied by this freaking club is another thing. who knows what will happen to him? fans will ask questions after 3 weeks with no goal, give a away the ball too much and we will call him a failure. give by his young age, he can easily flop really hard under such pressure.

  15. brace yourselves for another gooners invasion.
    villa has joined the long list of “classless” barca players 😆

  16. 30th july, 21:30h Iniesta goes to Fuentalbilla, Albacete!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    His home village is gonna welcome the world’d greatest, don’t know how many people will be there (only 2000 people live in Fuentealbilla but there’s gonna be many nuthead pilgrims for sure) it’s gonna be crazy hell yeah!!! I’m gonna do what’s in my hand to go even I work on the 30th and 31th (my birthday). Besides Albacete is not that bad, Castilla La Mancha the land of El Quijote. Grande Iniesta!

  17. And for the record, our players, management, ball boys, Barca Xips vendors and everybody else, should just shut the hell up about Fabregas. It doesn’t help the situation, it doesn’t help the club’s image or perception and it sure as hell doesn’t help move him closer to the Camp Nou. All it does is give people who are already feeling aggrieved, even more reason to feel aggrieved.

    I don’t care if he comes, as I don’t think we need him and he will be overpriced. I also don’t think he will help the club as much as a quality DM. But I just don’t see what more blather atop of the already present pile of blather would add.

    Villa “would do anything.” Would he give up half of his salary to add to the transfer kitty? Doubtful. So what does “anything” mean? Which is why I say, just shut up and let things happen as they are going to happen.

    1. I agree with you on this one. This is becoming eerily similar to CR9 and Man U. I don’t like this at all. These teams don’t need to sign new players, they need to sign good PR teams. Because they suck at it.

  18. So, in other news, Laurent Blanc does the unexpected: he drops all 23 player from France’s WC squad, even Ribery and Anelka :gasp!:

    If my sarcasm wasn’t obvious, Blanc did the most obvious thing in the world and is now going to be seen as a “savior” who knows what he’s doing. The bar is so low for France that whatever Blanc does, it’ll be seen as a huge step forward.

    Does this mean that Frey will finally place for France?


    1. Its what I would have done. Go with a completely new squad for about 2 years, then slowly start incorporating some of the old guard with a zero tolerance policy. I don’t know if I would ever invite Anelka back for what he did. Players like Gallas and Evra might also have to sit out longer.

  19. on a good note, ramos is in senegal doing some charity work and he dons cornrows now. looks way better than that flat iron style.

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