Of Club and Loyalty

Sometimes I wonder why we so often proclaim our cantera to be the world’s best and as being one of the main reasons our club is so much better than all the other clubs in the world.  I mean, it is fantastic and it has given us the majority of the squad we currently field, but if it’s so great and wonderful, why don’t we trust it?

I wrote a piece over at Soccernet (shameless self-plug, of course; get used to it) in which I voted in favor of Thiago and JDS over Cesc, Ozil, or Gourcuff. It’s not that the latter trio is bad by any stretch of the imagination, but rather that the former are ours and have remained with the club in an effort to break through. It’s fun to talk about how some of the world’s great players would fit in our system, but when it comes down to it, are we prepared to remove the direct connection between the first team and the  cantera? Do we want to send the message that canteranos must  be fully developed by the age of 17 or we’ll replace them with a superstar brought in for tens of millions of euros?

It’s one thing to suggest that we need to fill gaps in our squad with transfers and another to suggest that we do so while talking about various B-teamers having massive potential. Some may disagree with this assertion, but I think that JDS and Thiago have the capability to become world class players. If that is indeed the case, bringing in a transfer to take their spot, even for another year, is irresponsible and would promote desertions like that of Fran Merida and Cesc Fabregas (who left for pretty good reasons, truth be told).

If we demand loyalty–that is, if we’re to suggest that Cesc, Merida, or any of the other youth teamers that have left should have stayed and are traitors for having left (cough Gerard Piqué cough)–then how can we not demand the club return that loyalty? The argument that this is a business goes both ways, after all. If they’re showing us loyalty by staying despite the rumors and the possibility of a big payday in a different country, then bringing in a star player to fill their position and effectively lock them out of the first team is treason on our part (or the club’s, if you prefer to think of it that way).

Naturally you can do away with this whole argument by thinking of it in purely business terms, but I find it impossible to entirely separate the human element. If a player can be “ruined” by a set of circumstances, then it is precisely this sort of situation that can ruin one. Were I JDS or Thiago and I saw any big name star come into the squad, I would leave the club immediately. If you believe there are enough games to go around, you are mistaken: there are two positions and Iniesta, Xavi, Keita, [transfer], JDS, Thiago cannot take them up in a consistent rotation.

That is why Hleb and Víctor Sánchez are probably the keys to the coming year. Feel free to reread that sentence and gasp again. I did just write it. And what’s more, I mean it. They do not command significant minutes, but are able professionals capable of filling in when needed (Hleb more so than VicSan, who I have even less faith in; okay, I’ll stop blowing your mind) and will provide the proper competition and compliments for JDS and Thiago throughout the year as both of them step up more and more.

If neither JDS nor Thiago can make the cut in the first team by next summer, then it is time to offload them and move on. And for the record I accept the argument that we should offload them now and move on. Though I disagree, that is at least a consistent argument. Ignoring your youth teams and looking only at transferring in the superstars of the world is something others do. You know, that team. And we are not them precisely in that we have a squad full of canteranos. So let’s keep it that way.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. mei
    July 23, 2010

    we are producing more youth talents than we can consume , plain and simple.
    Many could say that some of them are overrated but even so.
    Expectations risen by these kind of advertisement casted on our youth harms the young players in many ways; krkic was considered finished after guardiola for failing to keep up with the superstars named etoo and zlatan(hes only 19 years old !) despite of being a member of the first team squad for a couple of years.Youth players demand playing time even though they are NOT ready.
    Its like everyone all of a sudden wants to achieve a record for the yonungest aged squad possible.Thats arsenal and thankyou very much but i will not consider them a reference.
    Youth are being gradually intergrated in barcelona if they deserve it ; think of all homegrown player that are first members.

    It has nothing to do with transfers , thats a part of every club , no matter how many homegrown players have you installed into your roster.

    Or is anybody seriously expecting gds and thiago to displace xavi iniesta? nope they will at most fill some minutes the enstablished players cant/shouldng be present.Thats what they get, and seriously thats what they should get.They can succeed them when they are declining , for now watch the show and learn as much as you can from them.

  2. ballbeav
    July 23, 2010

    please, nobody respond to the flamers this time. im resisting.

  3. Jnice
    July 23, 2010

    I think in Pep’s press conference, he made the point that he wanted all the players who were on loan last season, to go out on loan again. So, I don’t think Sanchez and Hleb will be apart of the team, and for me, Sanchez is nowhere near good enough.

    I agree with you about not signing these stars who will effectively block out the cantera, but the decision is all Pep’s. Last season, he rarely used Thiago, Jonathan, or even Jeffren. I hope one of the players convince Pep this season, otherwise we won’t see a player have an impact like Pedro or Busquets anytime soon.

    • Kari
      July 23, 2010

      I get the feeling that because there were breakout players like Pedro! last season and Busi the season before, Pep is just trying to keep the other cantera from feeling too much pressure and keeping them on the ‘DL’ so to speak.

      I think everyone (that includes neutrals and fans) is thinking, “Who’s going to be the next Busi/Pedro! this year?” when it was because no-one was expecting the aforementioned duo to have anything close to the impact they had—in other words, they came out and flourished because no-one expected anything.

      I’m thinking Pep doesn’t want another Bojan-esque case happening, so I expect Thiago and/or JDS to starting kicking some butt not this season but the one after.

  4. Luke
    July 23, 2010

    I think here at Barcelona we sometimes try to have our cake and eat it too when it comes to youth teams. Surely the FCB youth system is one of the better ones in the footballing world, if not the best at consistently producing wonderful talent and world class transfer for other clubs.

    However, a club like this one cannot rely on JDS and Thiago to shore up much of anything right now, unless they have both made giant leaps since last I saw them. They are both going to be great, but not right now. Playing the teams we play from RM to Arsenal to Inter to Rubin Kazan, and everywhere in between, means there are some places for them to get good experience (Copa del Rey), but nothing like they are probably want. Stated simply, we have 2-3 starting spots for these type of players and currently they are filled by Xavi/Iniesta, and a rotating group of a few others, probably Cesc, OzilMFG, or some such new star.

    In this day and age it makes it hard for players with such talent to wait their turn and bide their time because eventually the Bolton’s, Chievo’s, Tottenham’s, etc. of the world come calling and can offer spots in the lineup long before Xavi retires or a spot is ever going to open up. That’s just how it is now.

    Either we bring the players up to use as depth for now and risk getting burned because when Xavi or Iniesta need a breather or are hurt these kids who cannot play at some of the levels of comp we have are forced to play. Or we let them play for Barca B for a couple more years and they decide to bolt.

    Sucks to be us I guess. Although having this as a problem is something I welcome.

    • BA
      July 23, 2010

      a good point, and people should keep in mind too that it took Xavi well into his 20’s to break into the first team in a real way, and even then we’ve only seen him in his preferred position for the past few even as he hits 30. bringing the kids in is great, but everyone (fans, coaches, players) has to be patient and not expect youngsters like JDS (or his brother), Thiago and Jeffren to immediately make an impact in the first team. Messi is Messi and Pedro, well, is the luckiest guy on Earth; but those are exceptions rather than the rule.

      • July 23, 2010

        I disagree in one sense: Pedro is good, not lucky. Luck doesn’t take you to the World Cup final or a starting spot at Barça. Skill does.

        • July 23, 2010

          The other side of that coin is that Pedro is the beneficiary of two of the best play-makers in the world, and world class forwards that routinely draw 2 defenders and create space.

          To the man’s credit he has not wasted that opportunity and has scored oodles of goals. And from my eye, he’s getting better. That’s a bit scary.

          For everyone else.

  5. Kari
    July 23, 2010

    I don’t want to start a whole new discussion when this cantera thing is an interesting topic on its own, but how about Mallorca being kicked out in the Europa league and being replaced by Villarreal? That totally sucks, but if their financial situation really is that bad….

    Still, sucks that their on-field achievements get thrown out of the window like that. Imagine if they made it to the Champions League.

  6. Blow-Grenade
    July 23, 2010

    This article has convinced me that Cesc is not the right signing, but rather it is best to promote a Cantero to fill his position. I am still a fan of Cesc though.

  7. Rohanv
    July 23, 2010

    Yep, I agree completely. If we have only one more signing this year, I would like it to be a back-up DM who could double as a CB (wonder who in major European football can do that well? Sigh), or a CB who can play anywhere on the backline and allow Pique to play in the middle.

    People tend to forget that even if we do have an injury to one of the Offensive midfielders, we have such a stacked frontline that we have backups (pull Messi back and have Bojan/Pedro play up front?) who can play IF we don’t feel like trusting the canteranos for a big match (A Champions League game, a Clasico/tough Liga game, etc.) Whereas we barely have any defensive cover or midfielders who we would trust on the backline. There is plenty of fullback depth, but not so much on the CB/DM spot.

  8. vicsoc8
    July 23, 2010

    “If you believe there are enough games to go around, you are mistaken”

    I wholly disagree with this statement. If we bring in one new midfield signing, there will certainly still be games to go around, as well will only have 5 midfielders for 3 positions. Bring in a DM, and Thiago/JDS still have an obvious place. Bring in Ozil/Cesc/an AM, and Keita gets moved to DM and Thiago/JDS still have a place.

    I don’t agree that signing players and correctly utilizing our youth is mutually exclusive. The key to Busquets and Pedro’s success has been integrating them into the squad slowly and waiting until they are ready. Pedro was 22 when he broke into the first team. This is important to minimalize the initial pressure they feel when playing for the first team.

    Thiago and JDS are both still young, and this season should be gradually integrated into the squad. It is likely that they will move between the second team and the first team, especially as Barca B is in the Segunda. To expect them to play a large role in our upcoming campaign is too much to expect – I’m not saying they can’t or won’t, but it is too much to expect.

    With Keita and Xavi aging, there will be spaces in the team beyond this year as well. Xavi played too many minutes last season, you could see it in his game from time to time. Add another season in and he will need some rest. Keita is a great destroyer, but the way he plays depends largely on his fitness, and we will see how long that lasts.

    It is a very tough line to tread – look at last year with everyone screaming about Busquets starting over Yaya. However new signings aren’t necessarily going to block the youth, it is a matter of making intelligent signings.

  9. CLUEless(John)
    July 23, 2010

    Could not disagree with you more. As one of the 5 biggest clubs in the world we need star talent at each of the 11 positions on tue field, and our canteros should be used as squad players until they can prove that they are that superstar. Messi did it, so have busi, Iniesta and P!. When talents like Cesc or to a lesser extent Ozil become avaliable, if it makes our team better RIGHT NOW, and it is fiscally resonable, then signing a star and putting him in front of a cantero is a must. And to be completely honest, I feel that you are making big assumptions if you feel that JDS and Thiago are or will be as good or better than Cesc. I day we give them both this year to show us what they have, then we can go into next summer feeling better about buying Cesc or not. I mean how much JDS/ Thiago have you possibly seen. I feel like I saw Ozil play mor minutes in the WC this year than I have seen the two boys get with the first team in competitive action. To compare our canteros to someone like Cesc, who has been a pro and best player for like 7 years on a top 4 prem team makes little sense if we are truly gauging the players based on merit and potential benefit to the team. Bashing a possible Cesc signing in favor of JDS/ thiago, is like saying no thanks David Villa, what message would signing you mean to Gai / Jefferen/ Pedro. And why didn’t you guys put a kill on the Ibra deal? I mean we had Victor Sanchez and Bojan who were next in line. Love the post, anytime you and Kevin put words on paper I will read, but that does not mean we always have to agree. Cheers.

    • July 23, 2010

      Of course we don’t have to agree. If we did, this place would be a boring, boring place.

      You made an interesting observation that, for me, ruins your point. You said that they must be squad players and I completely agree with that. They must, indeed, be given the chance to flourish within the squad. All of the players you mentioned (Busi, Messi, Iniesta, and Pedro!) were all given the chance to shine before becoming first team regulars.

      What’s important in that is that they weren’t hindered in their stepping up by the existence of a superstar that commanded playing time. If you have Keita, Iniesta, Xavi, Villa, Ibra, Pedro, Messi, Bojan, Jeffren, and another star player for 5 positions, you will have few chances to shine. That is to say, when Iniesta, Xavi, Villa, Ibra, and Messi are healthy, they’re automatic starters. That’s all 5 starting spots taken, so if Unnamed Star comes in to fill the gaps that you have in a typical year, that’s one less spot available. In a perfect world where egos don’t exist, you are completely correct in saying that this works, but this isn’t a perfect world and if you leave a superstar on the bench for too long (a serious stretch of games, for instance, which is Pep’s style) he becomes seriously pouty and that’s bad for your squad.

      If we want to get down to it, Ozil is a far better buy than Cesc for this reason. Cesc would command minutes AND destroy the hopes of canteranos who are, in my book, far more important. That’s why Hleb and VicSan (who I agree is not up to standard and should be transferred) should be the ones to fill in. If we NEED another superstar, then I’m not sure how we made it to 99 points last season without one.

      And yes, it has occurred to me that this is not my argument when we’re talking about The Yaya, but that has more to do with the fact that I think there’s room for 2 players at the same position when those are the only two players vying for that spot (AND Yaya was brought in before it became apparent that Busi even existed, at least to me). If JDS and Thiago were fully integrated into the squad, then we could talk about that as a parallel situation because we could compare apples to apples rather than guessing. But it IS guesswork and I would like to err on the side of the homegrown precisely because they know how to play the Barça system. Bring them in now and we’ll reap the rewards of that for years. Bring in Cesc, who is only 23, or Ozil, who is 20, and we will lose two potential greats.

      You’re also mistaking my saying that these kids have potential with the idea that they will be better than Cesc. I don’t particularly care about that, really, because Unnamed Star isn’t just a player. He’s a player PLUS a price tag and that changes the equation a little bit. Money should not buy championships nor should it be the easy way out. Why not simply bank that money AND get a championship through our cantera or at least risk doing so?

      As for Villa: I am generally against such signings. I was against the Alves signing, for instance, because it was too much money. The only difference there was that we had a serious weakness at right back. I was opposed to the Chygrynskiy deal because of this too. We weren’t lacking in defenders.

      All of that said, if Guardiola comes out and says “hey guys, Unnamed Star is who I want and we’re going to roll like that,” I will say okay, good, sweet, let’s do it. That’s how I feel about Villa because that’s the general impression I get from Guardiola’s statements about him and the future of the club. It is, of course, sad that Bojan and Jeffren have their work cut out for them to make it in the squad because I’d love to see them succeed, though their situation is different as well because they’re younger and both Villa and Ibra (who replaced Eto’o, mind you, and not a canterano–and I was thinking that Pedro would be in the wings for another year and Bojan wasn’t ready yet and wouldn’t be for a couple more years but that is the point: Bojan is in the squad despite not being ready yet!). Until JDS and Thiago fail in the first team, I am behind them (and Bojan and Jeffren have done quite well and are works-in-progress).

      As for your question about watching them: I have seen more Barça B games than the average grown man. I’ve also watched them in preseason games and internationals (yes, I watch U-18, U-19, and U-20 games). I like what I see from them more than what I saw of Ozil in the World Cup (and I watched all of Germany’s games–in fact, I watched 63 of the 64 WC games, missing only Ivory Coast-North Korea because of stupid shitass Portugal-Brazil taking up all the screens in the bar I was at and my DVR not recording it). Could I be completely wrong about this? Of course. I wouldn’t bet the farm on either become a superstar, but I have high hopes (not expectations) and I think helping them achieve their potential is a big part of what La Masia stands for.

      • CLUEless(John)
        July 23, 2010

        Well said man. My thoughs are pretty much that we can’t pass on Cesc NEXT YEAR. He is just the perfect player to begin to fill the Xavi role, although I do feel that he has at least 3 good years left. But with iniesta’s frailty and Xavi’s advancing age, why not bring home a superstar, who know’s our system, loves our club, and us the best possible player on the planet to play in our midfield for the next 10 years (that is not on our team currently). He is a midfielder that can play forward and has a commanding presence on the field (Arsenals captain at 23). I just can’t see us passing up on that regardless of the possible potential of two budding young players. The phrase 1 in the hand is better than 2 in the bush is perfect for this situation. I would rather be 100% sure of our midfield in 2 years, with Iniesta 28, busi 23, and Cesc 25, than replacing Cesc in that equation with either JDS/Thiago, even if it is a 35-40 million dolllar insurance policy we would be taking out to assure the sucess I’m looking for. And rememer there will be value in selling JDS and or thiago in a year or two as well.

      • BA
        July 23, 2010

        Isaiah, i love you man….

        but TLDR. 🙂

  10. Anony
    July 23, 2010

    In response to the term “bandwagoner.” I love this club. I take the actions of it’s players and the club itself very seriously. Barca has a mission statement which they try and follow as much as possible and it is very obvious when someone is a “new fan.” Especially when they call for signings or changes that would not make sense for the club financially or the club’s values. However I honestly would take all the “bandwagoners” that we can get. A fan is a fan. The more a club have the better off the club is, in so many ways. The newer fans might make ridiculous comments on blogs and not know the culture of the club, but all of that can be learned the longer they stay fans. A far majority of the people that post on this blog are not new fans, but I do not doubt there are what the first posters would call “bandwagoners” that visit this space. But when it comes down to it, I would rather they jump on the Barca bandwagon and learn to love the game how it truly should be played.

    • July 23, 2010

      Amen to that Anony.

      I don’t care who you are, where you come from, or how long you’ve been a fan. Welcome to the good ship Barça and enjoy your time here.

  11. Sid
    July 23, 2010

    Timely Article and I agree with every single word of it.

    We need to retain and nurture our canteras. Difference between our cantera and other youth teams is that while other youth teams might produce good players, ours produce players following a particular philosophy. Years in the cantera ensures that the midfielders produced understand the “Receive – Pass – offer” philosophy of Cryuff. Defenders produced from the cantera are comfortable with the ball at their feet and holding up a high line along the pitch. The goalkeepers would know how to play the last defender and be brilliant in 1 on 1s. Hopefully, upcoming strikers (Etock, Icardi, Delafoue) would also be good in positioning accuracy and scoring from the midfielders passes.

    We should learn a lesson from Ajax in this.

  12. July 23, 2010

    Word, Isaiah. And you already know that you can guarantee my vote on this.

    I also read (or more scanned to be honest)the comments above and I understand some of the disagreements. But let me put it this way:

    There is always the easy way and the right way, in everything. I can go as far as saying that the right way is never the easiest way. Its easier to set back and rely on counters, for example. But some teams decide to go for what they assume -rightfully or not- the right way.

    Relying on youth as the main source for the squad will not guarantee titles. No doubt. But since when signing finished products guarantee anything? I will not say Real Madrid as this is an old news. Take Chelsea. Thats an option Vs ours. How many CL did their 400 M brought them? They were lucky that Man Utd and co were in a transition period so that they won some domestic stuff.

    Some are suggesting that you cant have two youth players as vital players in your squad when you are a big team. I will not say the opposite. But when have we decided to sell Xavi, Iniesta and Keita? JDS and Thiago are third options already. Push them further?

    But one important thing to recognize that as challenge-y as it sounds to focus on the youth, its more manageable than people may think. The idea is not “we must not buy players”. No one is demanding so. The idea is to take in consediration our youth when we decide whom to buy -and we must buy. If you dont take them in consediration you go for Cesc. If you take them in consediration you go for a holding midfielder. If we buy a Holding mid then we will have Iniesta, Xavi, Keita AND Busquets if needed in the center midfield (and he can be great there)while there is a holding midfielder behind. That area is secured for one year or two and then you will be flooded by options when the two youth mature. Simple. Really.

    Then, as I mentioned before, you have Messi. Put Villa-Ibra-Pedro as offense with Keita-Busquets behind Messi the Attacking midfielder and use two attacking fullbacks and you create a lethal selection without both Xavi and Iniesta and without the youth. That will even give more opportunities for Bojan. We have lack of depth? Who said so? Creative approach can counter that. When there is a well, there is a way.

    Either taking some sacrifices for one season for the sake of our youth who will appreciate it, or sacrificing them for years to come and regretting that later on. Mind you, you can always find quality signings. Its not this summer or never.

    The threat is not just that you will lose youth. If so, some may say: Who care? We are bringing quality signings instead. The problem is the lose of football identity that ONLY those you nurture can protect. When Ronaldinho era ended, its the football identity that was stamped in the veins of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol that kept the spine which Pep relied on to recover the team. Without it, you can buy christianos and Kakas but their will be no scheme or unique tempo for them to adapt to. You will start creating compromises between the signings’ football style, and you will always end up with clashes. A player who sign for Barcelona now knows exactly what to expect, what to do, how to play… There is a method and their are the knights of the method who orchestrate and lead. When you start losing those with time, that will be irreversible. Clone them!

    • BA
      July 23, 2010

      you’re probably right; should we fail to sign a significant midfield backup, i’d expect to see Messi moved into the center closer to where he played for Argentina.

      my worry is that Xavi drops out to exhaustion, Iniesta gets broken and Messi picks up a bad one. unlikely perhaps, but that would leave us significantly shorn of midfield creativity.

      that’s all notwithstanding the fact that we are once again playing in 3 competitions this season, which means we’re going to need practically a whole different squad for early Copa and possibly Champion’s League games. we’ve got the quality, we’re still lacking sheer quantity.

  13. Jim
    July 23, 2010

    Hey, jumped off the Bus Turistica today to have a look at La Masia. Lovely looking place but couldn’t see a single person !

    • July 23, 2010

      There was no one there when I walked by it a couple of years ago. I suppose because it was summer they were either on vacation or training at Joan Gamper…

  14. Kxevin
    July 23, 2010

    Blah, blah, blah. This club’s loyalty is to winning. If it sees fit to make purchases, it’s because the quality of the purchase outweighs any short-term benefit to be had from existing products. At some point, you have to trust the people making the decisions to evaluate talent and say that we need this type of player or that type of player, because it ain’t coming from La Masia.

    I don’t place a lot of faith in the “Barca is interested in” rumors, Ozil being the latest. But if that deal happens, it will happen because people who know better, namely our technical staff, have sat down and said “Well, we like Thiago and JDS, but I just don’t see them becoming better than Ozil can become in our system. We have some time to watch how they develop.”

    It’s the same thing when we bought Villa, as in “What about Krkic?” Well what about him? If he were the answer to the question, we wouldn’t have bought Villa. I’m sure our technical staff could have found something else to do with that 40m, right? Like turning the Boy Wonder loose to see if he is in fact the Boy Wonder. But they bought Villa, which tells you two things: Villa meets a need that Krkic can’t fill, and we’re pretty confident that we have time to watch Krkic develop, as in he isn’t going anywhere unless we want him to, because he’s loyal to the club.

    La Masia is an invaluable talent incubator and feeder. There isn’t another one like it in the world. As far as an upgrade path, 7 of the starting 11 came from there in the Champions League final, and for much of last season. If that isn’t a bright, shining example of an upgrade path for talented, deserving players, I don’t know what is. But I just don’t see purchases ruling out players moving up when they’re ready. Isaiah cites Merida and Fabregas above, but they looked at Xavi and Iniesta and said, “Well, hell, I won’t be starting here any time soon.” Those weren’t related to purchases. But the farm can also turn out squad players, not just superstars.

    But this also points out the value of squad players. Maybe that’s all Krkic is ever going to be for us. Maybe that’s all Thiago and JDS are going to be for us. They’re still developing, so who knows. It’s also the immense value of a player such as Keita, who plays where needed, and makes stuff happen. If Hleb’s attitude is really and truly right, he’s that valuable midfield cover that is needed to help Xavi and Iniesta, because the odds of the latter playing an entire season are long, indeed. And Xavi will need rest. Hleb can control the ball, and make passes for long enough to salt away a match, which means a worthwhile sub for that last 25-30 minutes, when we’re up 3-1 or something, and don’t really need Xavi in there.

    Bottom line is that our technical staff is constantly evaluating the team, and tweaking as they see fit. I just don’t see them making buys because some newspaper, or a pile of cules say “Hey, we like Ozil.” Adriano is the perfect example.

  15. July 23, 2010

    On the news front, the Marquez to Red Bulls with Henry is looking more and more likely. I can’t see them paying us much of anything, which means that we gain his salary off the bottom line. I reckon this means that we couldn’t find anyone to buy him for a reasonable price, so might as well make the player happy.

    • Josep
      July 23, 2010

      Thats another thing about the club I love. Obviously we will see Puyol out here as well.. while other clubs let their all time leader in appearances go off to other clubs. I agreed with what was said in the original post until yours above this. I love this site, and all the discussions held here and glad my friend recently showed me it.

    July 23, 2010

    what the fuck is going here?first anri,now marquez,next abidal,keita,maxwell,ibra,villa.yeah.make them happy.give them for free.one word.fuck

    July 23, 2010

    sorru guys i am just so pissed.we have financial problems and we give away players for free.for me that is no logical.anri for 5millions marquez for 5.i am insane?tell me

  18. the truth
    July 23, 2010

    ” Ignoring your youths and spending on superstars is what others do ” <<<<< it is exactly because of comments like these that people can't stand Barca and its fans anymore it is also why they call most of you Bandwagoners , your team hasn't always been all about cantera in fact your cantera love is very recent , this team was spending left and right on players just like " OThers Do" how many cantera players were starting for Barca in 06 for example , exactly, you guys need to get off your high horse

    • vicsoc8
      July 23, 2010

      Let’s go back 10 years to the 2000-2001 squad:

      Josep Guardiola
      Ivan de la Pena
      Sergi Barjuan
      Gerard Lopez
      Gabri Garcia
      Carles Puyol
      Francesc Arnau

      All these players were Barcelona youth products playing in the squad.

      While Sergio Santamaria, Nano, Roberto Trashorras from the first team were given a look at in at least one game.

      Were you saying something about not basing our team on our cantera?

      • the truth
        July 23, 2010

        How many of those players were key players ? As in how many were starters ? I could say that a team like say Madrid base their team on their cantera because from 2001 to now they have had Raul , Guti , Casillas , Granero , arbeloa , parejo , javi Garcia , miguel torres , raul bravo , portillo , helguera , saldado , pavon , diego lopez etc.. play for them but I would be terribly wrong because although they have had plenty of canteranos play for them ( or given them a look in ) what they rely most on is bringing in super stars

        Now Barca under laporta have changed their ways but you’re very delusional if you think that Barca wasn’t HEAVILY relying on buying players up until recently learn your history

        • vicsoc8
          July 24, 2010

          Every player I mentioned (except those I specifically spoke about) except Francesc Arnau (who was a backup keeper) played an important role in the season.

          I think you are confusing the quality of the players with Barcelona’s philosophy.

          Our philosophy since the time of Crujff has been to build the foundation of the team with youth team players. If you go back there has always been a large contingent of youth players in the team. Recently the quality of our youth players has greatly increased, and so they are playing more important roles in the team and comprise of more of the team than usual.

          The philosophy of the club to build the foundation on the youth team hasn’t changed, we are just going through a period where we are creating better quality youth players.

          On a side note – Fans will realize that the increase in quality of our youth players has been gradually building up over time. This is due largely to the attention placed on the youth training by the club. And there you see the truth, our continued adherence to this philosophy is the reason we currently have so many quality youth breaking through

    July 23, 2010

    we spend our money trouth.not the money of a rich mafia boss like others.we have democracy.one of our presidents killed by franco fascists.we have history.we never bring capelo to win la liga.we don.t have so many titles cause we love win with beautiful football.and it s the hard way.we love cantera from 1979.FIRST read barca history and then speak.

    • Clue(less)John
      July 25, 2010

      First go back to 5th grade a take a gramar class….then post lol

  20. vicsoc8
    July 23, 2010

    This issue is, unfortunately, complicated by the current administrative makeup of the club. It doesn’t just have to deal with the president buying/selling who he wants, hear me out:

    Pep is a smart enough man to have a long term plan for the team. He is currently working with all the Barca B players to get a feeling for their potential himself. He has been incredibly adept at fitting young players into the squad so far – one a year is an incredible rate.

    The issue is that to take these decisions leaves the coach exposed if he makes a mistake. He took a lot of heat for playing Busquets ahead of Yaya. Imagine if he tried that with a player that didn’t go on to win the World Cup that same year. More importantly, when Laporta was in charge Pep knew he was protected and could take those decisions. However with Rosell that knowledge is no longer there.

    With Rosell, Pep has to go out and prove himself again, and to do this he needs to win trophies. While I believe he has a long term plan for the club, he may have to make sacrifices to that long term plan in order to maintain his status as coach. Think about it, if he decided to use Thiago and JDS instead of buying Cesc, and then the team didn’t win any trophies, he would be to blame (and Rosell wouldn’t be there to protect him).

    It is important for the club to balance long term goals with short term success. This is the hardest aspect when integrating youth players into the squad.

    Pep is in the best place to do this, but by selling Chygrynskiy Rosell sent him a very loud message: Immediate success is the most important

    July 23, 2010

    and you know something?we HAVE to buy some big names because the big names bring money to our club.that s the reason.we have the players from our akademy to play fantastic and win titles.but we need money from sponsors,tv.
    we are the only club in the world who can be in top class without transfers.

  22. Eduard
    July 23, 2010

    I think Guardiola has been doing amazing with the youth coming in. Last season we saw Pedro and Busquets break into the team. I see Pedro having less minutes this season but Busquets, who can argue against him now(killer showing at the world cup). This year we’ll see youth coming in as well, Bartrau, Muniesa, JDS. Remember guys, it’s a long season and unfortunally Xavi, Messi, Iniesta, and Puyol can’t play in every game.

    Forca Barca Y Visca Cataluya!

    btw, Cesc is not a Barcelona player so I do not want us signing him(although he probably will); Till then However, we should look into our quarry.

    • Eklavya
      July 23, 2010

      Bartrau? Uh, the club does fusions these days?

      Bartra and Dalmau

  23. andrew M
    July 23, 2010

    the players who bloom from the cantera seem to be the unexpected ones like pedro or jeffren. Most people also wont accept that they are good players until the media tells them so, ie: busquets.

    we hear names like bojan, jds, thiago, gai and we get all giddy and excited and no doubt those players hear about our expectations. Is it a coincidence that they then tend to not show up? i mean, it remains to be seen with jds and thiago, esp thiago as he seems to be ripping it up with the younger spain nt. but remember how people squawked about gai two or so years ago and perhaps the pressure made him flop. the pressure got to bojan as well.

    pedro was even behind jeffren in level of expectation and perhaps that anonymity combined with first team opportunities allowed him to blossom.

    just a thought. perhaps we should stop expecting a miracle every year because next thing we will ruin our beautifully built cantera with the weight of lofty expectations. iniesta and xavi only became superstars when they were ready to take over from other players like guardiola. jds and thiago wont see regular playing time until they have proven themselves and we all start saying “wow look at those kids go”.

    to be honest, right now they are just kids. give them a chance. we cant have a messi every year.


  24. vicsoc8
    July 24, 2010

    On a different note, I’m currently worried about Fontas.

    To be clear about my feelings – I’ve never been totally convinced about his ability to step up to the first team. When I’ve seen him play he never really stood out to me (to be fair that could be because he goes about his job quietly and efficiently).

    However, I’m worried that having an injury this preseason could see him superseded by Bartra and/or Muniesa. IF one or both of them get ahead of Fontas then he could be in trouble as he is the eldest of the three. I hope his (purported) ability to play DM helps him maintain a path to the first team.

    PS – I really want to believe he will make it!

    • Jnice
      July 24, 2010

      I think Fontas will be ready for the first preseason match against that Norwegian team. From what I last read, he is already being integrated into group training. I do think his main challenger will be Bartra, so that will be interesting to follow.

  25. July 24, 2010

    Kxevin, made two interesting points:

    “This club’s loyalty is to winning. If it sees fit to make purchases, it’s because the quality of the purchase outweighs any short-term benefit to be had from existing products.”

    “At some point, you have to trust the people making the decisions to evaluate talent and say that we need this type of player or that type of player, because it ain’t coming from La Masia.”

    – Every club in the world wants to win. No doubt. The fact that some win others dont shows that sometimes clubs choose the wrong way to win. Which is the issue we are mainly discussing.

    – The technical department consists mainly of the coach and the sport director, and I believe those are whom you meant “They know better”. There were many buys Txiki made who Pep didnt agree on and there were players Pep wanted -including Chegrnskiy- whom Txiki wasnt convinced of their transfer value (if not their quality). Which shows that its not about pure math. They do mistakes.

    – “Short term benefit” is exactly what I am worried about. They may know better, but they are also under more pressure to win. That leaves an impact on their decisions. For me, the short term benefit already exist from within the squad. The more important objective is the middle to long term. Thats with giving more time for the youth. No other way. If they didnt work, we will always find quality players in the market. No need to worry about that.

    The “short term benefit” and the “temptation of quality signings” is an era we witnessed in the last years of Nunez and mostly during Gaspart era. And we can see some other teams who are over obsessed by urgent short term success. Every time they fix one thing (throw a signing) they damage many things in return, and there is always another year.

    • Kxevin
      July 24, 2010

      Yes, but under the current system, the Technical Department is essentially Guardiola. No rumblings about mystery Brazilians (a flaw of Txiki B). Every technical department makes mistakes. But what any intelligent one who wants to work within the team strictures hopes to do is make buys that bridge gaps between farm products being ready. Or buys that, frankly, offer a potentially higher quality than any farm product that might be on offer later.

      Life involves risk. Look at Gai Assulin, touted as the next Messi. Now he’s floating around out there, available to any team who wants to take a risk on him.

      • July 24, 2010

        “under the current system, the Technical Department is essentially Guardiola.”

        “Life involves risk.”

        Exactly. So the question is: Which risk to take?

        “Look at Gai Assulin, touted as the next Messi.”
        And Chegrnskiy was the next Keomen, while Hleb was Xavi’s-clone and Caseres the next Montero…I can keep going forever… And they are all “available to any team who wants to take a risk on” them.

        • Kxevin
          July 24, 2010

          But for Txigrinski, there’s Busquets and Pedro, right? And we still don’t know how Txigrinski would have turned out, only that Rosell pulled the plug to grab 15m. There’s also Alves and Keita, speaking to those who believe that Guardiola’s transfers have been a litany of failure.

          Hleb was never intended to be more than midfield cover, that talked itself out of town. Let’s see how the rerun goes before we declare the movie a failure. And the still-developing Caceres may yet turn out to make liars out of us.

          But, find me a team with a 100% transfer record, and I’ll show you a unicorn.

          • July 24, 2010

            No one defended the transfer policy more than me;) But we cant ignore that there is a risk in buying as well as counting on youth. Which I am pointing on here.

            “Could have been”…”May become…” goes both ways. For Hleb and Thiago. Caceres and Fontas. So again, same risk but one cost some millions more.

            No one is saying we must not buy players. When we bought Alvis, we had no quality fullback at all to play on the right. Thats not the case with the position where you have the best two in the world already. Keita is a player we also didnt have any prospect of the same profile (we still dont have, and Ozil cant do the Keita work). Thats why no one will complain if we bring a holding midfielder because we dont have enough options there. Even if Oriol promoted later, you can still use Busquets as a B2B taking Keita’s place in a year or two. so no problems at all. We are all supportive to the idea that we must buy world class players. But what type of players and thew positions we need to strengthen is the question.

  26. Jnice
    July 24, 2010

    Speaking of our youth, the latest EMD Cesc news claims that Arsenal would agree to a 40m euro deal plus one of Thiago, Jonathan, or Fontas.

    That is seriously the worst thing that could possibly happen. I would literally cry if that deal were to happen, but since it’s reported by EMD, I’m calm.

    • vicsoc8
      July 24, 2010

      While just rumors, this still makes me sad.

    • DontPanic
      July 24, 2010

      If that goes through than we are no different than Real Madrid. Selling a promising canterano to get a galactico.

  27. Excellent Post. The latest rumours has been that Barca is considering to offer JDS + 40 Million to get Cesc back. I still don’t understand. We can do without him, then why this obsession. We will let JDS go now and after three years we will be after him. Remember we will do the same with his elder brother in a couple of years. The entire exercise looks like the current admin obsession with anything catalan.

  28. Kxevin
    July 24, 2010

    And I wouldn’t get too worked up about El Mundo’s natterings. BritPress is saying that Fabregas has said the deal’s off for now, and he’s looking forward to the Arsenal season. Nobody knows, because Fabregas isn’t talking …. to anyone. So everybody is trying to read the tea leaves.

    When EMD says something, it’s generally what they, in their editorial “judgment,” would do. That has no bearing on reality. If Wenger were to make that deal, that would make him stupid, because he would be getting 40m and a still-developing product for a proven difference maker in the Premiership and World Cup. And Wenger ain’t stupid.

    I mentioned the Gai Assulin situation above, and it bears repeating, because I think that for all of the scoffing at the politicians being “more Catalan than thou,” there is sometimes a “more Masia than thou” sentiment. Just because we raise them, doesn’t mean they’re world class. For every Messi, there are 6 Assulins. For every Iniesta, there’s a Giovani Dos Santos. And for all we know, Jonathan is just as likely to be a Giovani as a Xavi. All that we have to go on is potential.

    I don’t think that any of us doubts the quality of Fabregas. I don’t think that any of us doubts the potential of the likes of Thiago and Dos Santos. But just as quality can be derailed by an injury or something (look at Eduardo, by way of example), potential can be derailed by the harsh light of reality.

    But I want my club to win, and whenever possible, do the right thing in winning. Our success has raised this renewed interest by other teams’ sets of fans in their cantera. Visit the EE board and they’re screaming about essentially the same things that we are. Bridging gaps is the key to any successful promotion program.

    Finally, I would hardly consider Fabregas a galactico. He wouldn’t automatically start for us, and doesn’t yet have the reputation, justly earned or not, of a Beckham, Zidane, Figo or Thong Boy. He’s still improving as a player.

    • Rohanv
      July 24, 2010

      Plus, do Arsenal really want to take another youth product and repeat this whole drama in a few years time? Just saying… 😉

    July 24, 2010

    can somebody find how many players from la masia right now playing in other teams??i remember pacheco,merida,fulque,xavi tores,botia here in greece toni calvo,xavito..barca make players not just for us but also to help em find job in other teams.

    • July 24, 2010

      A farm product that was overlooked. Luckily Mascherano’s transfer failed when Yaya stayed.

      But finally, I hand the Busquets case. He is getting enough love now. Next…

      • July 24, 2010

        And for the record I wrote an article about the double pivot’s trend in the world cup last week and gave this guy his credit.

    July 24, 2010

    do you watch italy-spain?tiago is amazing,rochina and planas very good!

  31. July 24, 2010

    “I saw a lot of things written about why I left but I just wanted to play with my brother. That was very important for me.”, Yaya Toure (Barcastuff twitter).


  32. fcbfan
    July 24, 2010

    Rochina’s goal was good!

    and if we buy Cesc at the expense of JDS Thiago Fontas or any youth, we’d be going backwards.

  33. Kxevin
    July 24, 2010

    Not necessarily true, fcbfan. Not if the Fabregas purchase enables us to keep on rolling without breaking stride, once Xavi is no longer capable of his daily brilliance. Today, it’s Xavi/Iniesta/Busquets, tomorrow it’s Fabregas/Iniesta/Busquets, further down the line (perhaps) it’s Fabregas/Dos Santos/Busquets, or Fabregas/Dos Santos/Fontas.

    In the ex-Barca front, Citeh went down 2-0 to Sporting Lisbon. I know it’s pre-season, but can anyone see us losing 2-0 to Sporting Lisbon?

    • JMo
      July 25, 2010

      Kxevin, I’m sure that my knowledge and wisdom is quite inferior to your own when it comes to our players, and to footy, but I’d have to disagree with you’re prediction of “tomorrow it’s Fab/Iniesta/Busquets.”

      I don’t see Fabregas playing a similar role as Xavi. Not because he’s incapable, but because his aggression and creative prowess are his strongest attributes, much like that of Iniesta.

      I think tomorrow’s midfield could very well be, Busi/Fab/Iniesta, but a more proper comparison of the skills ans attributes of our squad would lead me to envision a Busi/JDS/Iniesta/Fabregas, just out of the fact JDS’s attributes reflect Xavi’s more directly.

      I would love the lineup of Fab Busi Iniesta, but I do think JDS would better provide Xavi’s quality upon his departure.

  34. July 24, 2010

    didn’t know my dream girl has such a nice…
    messi watch your back..

  35. fcbfan
    July 24, 2010

    I see your pov Kxevin. I just hate the situation we are in now. JDS and Thiago has lots of potential just as Cesc had when he went to Arsenal and he grew into a great player under Wenger’s nurturing helped immensely by getting lots of quality game time. If JDS/thiago/our youth turn out the same, in five years time, do we buy them back giving Arsenal another 50 mil? I guess personally I don’t like the fact that Cesc can go and come easily when others have to wait for their chance. Our technical staff may deem Cesc as a need worth spending millions and some youths, but I don’t have to like it. and I bet, if Cesc is not catalan, he wouldn’t be our priority.

    • Kxevin
      July 24, 2010

      Dunno ’bout that one, fcbfan. Recall that Ozil is being brought up as a possibility if the Fabregas thing doesn’t happen. I think that high-quality midfield depth is an acknowledged need, particularly after the players have so many miles in their legs from last season. Fatigue will be a real danger this season, and it’s not the time to roll in with a short squad.

      I also think it’s one reason that Guardiola is taking a long, hard look at the B-teamers. If some of them can become squad players, like Pedro! was his first real season with the big team, a reasonably high-quality fill-in that gets the time that gets them ready (again like P!), so much the better.

      But we should have two complete starting XIs sitting on the bench. There will, of necessity, be a quality dropoff from first to second, but it shouldn’t be enough to lose you a match against most opposition.

  36. Hilal
    July 24, 2010

    I think a very important factor when discussing the prospects in our youth system and how they may or may not progress is playing time. Would Cesc be the player he is today had he not gone to Arsenal? I very much doubt it. Players improve through playing time (see Busquets) and Cesc has been a regular starter for Arsenal for the last 4 years. There is no way he would have even got a fraction of that playing time at Barca, which is why I dont think he would be the player he is today had he stayed.

    That begs the question…. will players like JDS and Thiago really reach their full potential playing for Barca? In a way Pedro was lucky that Henry was so poor last season because it gave him a lot of playing time to grow and progress. Busquetz is also lucky in that Pep clearly saw the potential in him and favoured him over a much more experienced player, and it has paid off. However in the case of Xavi/Iniesta as long as they are fit they will start the majority of games. Does that leave enough room for the youngsters to really grow? I know they are still young, but so was Cesc when he started playing for Arsenal.

    Its the same conundrum that young Bojan has… the potential is clearly there, but will he ever reach that potential without regular time on the pitch at the highest level?

    Its a tough question to consider and Im not sure what the answer is really. Do we loan these players out to get consistent playing time at the highest level or do we hold on to them and risk limiting their growth as players?

    • July 24, 2010

      Hilal, Cesc moved straight from Barcelona to Arsenals first team. And he did just fine. So the issue was that Barcelona didnt dare to do what Arsene did, and they were wrong once. But here we are in a similar situation. JDS and Thiago are in the same position as Cesc back then, will we dare to use them against the levantes and Xerez teams and the cup or not? Thats the question. If we do so. Thats all the rest Xavi and Iniesta needs.

      They fit us now better than Cesc. While Thiago and JDS can bench Xavi or iniesta (not both at a time) in some games to give them rest, I cant see Cesc coming without putting pressure on the rotation system. There will be lack of games to distribute especially that player like Cesc will not count the cup games as contributions. He will look for the Classicos and the champions leagues.

      The players we have in the midfield with temporary contribution of Messi or Busquets covered by a compact offense we have and a new holding midfielder we can get is more than enough. Sure we can do it with 50 M less in our account (Even more than 50 M it seems).

      Will they become a Cesc for the little playing time they will get? I recall a player who became better than Cesc by gradually gaining playing time over many seasons. Iniesta. It happened once, no reason not to believe it will not happen again.

      Sure, as BA pointed out before, Xavi, INiesta, and Messi may got Injured all together and thats when -only then- we will lack some options. But Milito, Puyol,and pique are more likely to get injured together. Valdes and Pinto? Busquets and the new DM (if we bought one)? If we want to count on that, we need a 50 players squad. Even without Messi, Xavi and Iniesta (and at the moment before signing the DM we must sign) we still have Milito+Puyol as CB and Pique as DM with Busquets (who can do the playmaking excellently) + Keita behind Villa-Ibra-Pedro. Bring me any other team with better depth when they lose their best three performers.

      So its not like we are suffering or anything. One selective signing or two away from that specific department (AM/CM), and we are the team with the best depth I can think of.

      Signing exciting cracks is too tempting to resist. No wonder falling in the trap is more common than avoiding it.

      I want to win or lose while keeping my belief in our youth. Especially that no one can guarantee me a win all the time through any other way.

  37. Siddharth
    July 24, 2010

    Hello. I have one question? Why do people think Barcelona have always trusted their youth and we (Real) have never? Must I remind you that in the 1980s, our team was strongly made up of canteranos, while the Barcelona teams under Cryuff and Van Gaal had so many foreigners. These things come and go in cycles.

    I will the first to admit that I envy Barca for having so many youth players who have become international stars, but to say that has always been their policy is utter BS.

    P.S – I do not post this message with any ‘bad’ intentions, just that I disagree on this matter.

    • July 24, 2010

      I don’t think anyone can underestimate RM’s youth academy. With your comment you demonstrated my point. The most stable RM was the one that gave chances for the youth. When the “short term” success and the flashy exciting transfers started to sound like “more success in less time and effort even if it cost more” the club started to struggle.

      But no doubt, its not only you had a great youth setup. You still have it. Yet, you are producing players for the other teams then may be you sign them back later on for 10 times the money you received. Pretty much what I am worried we will start doing as well.

      In fact, most teams in Spain have a good youth setup at the moment. It doesnt include only Sevilla and Valencia (Barca and RM are a given), but also teams like Malaga -one of the most excting generation of youth, Zaraggozza, Soceidad, Athletic Bilbao,, you name it.

      The future is promising for Spain, as it seems.

    • Jose
      July 24, 2010

      Siddharth, I understand where you are coming from, because I have seen a few people out there claim that Barcelona has always emphasized cantera over cartera, which is it not really true.

      It hasn’t always been the case but it certainly has been the case for the last decade or so.

      Also, I believe it is a false narrative to claim that these differences in philosophy come in cycles. These philosophical shifts–at the level of a club–come as a result of the actions of the few men in charge of the clubs. Had there not been a Cruyff in the early 90s, or a Florentino at Madrid, things would have been difference. There’s too much noise in the signal to predict a pattern.

    • poipoi
      July 24, 2010

      you’re right about the 80’s but now is the global world we play with 7 or 8 canteranos… must I remember you that la quinta del buitre consisted of 4 players (5 minus pardeza) and they NEVER got a CL? they are a fake, what did they do with the national team? absolutely nothing, el ridiculo como siempre

      • poipoi
        July 24, 2010

        AND 1979 la masia was founded, many players have been lived and learned there from then, the list is endless the place is mythical…

    • SoccerMom
      July 24, 2010

      Cheerio lads, welcome Siddharth, thanks for the interesting question … have one for you actually … just came across news of probable departure of Raúl and Guti … has the firmament shifted above the Bernabeu, scattering its stars hither and yon? Because it’s just not as much fun to boo at luxury imports like CR9 and Kaká … we love (to hate) MouMou long time too but he’s still not really Real yet … and we disgruntledly and grudingly sort of kind of secretly think Casillas is, well, not so horrible (but just ’cause he’s a friend of Xavi, mind you) … and that just leaves us with Sergio … whither our foil, Siddharth?

  38. fcbfan
    July 24, 2010

    Our youth program only began properly when Cruyff took over coaching in late 80s right? So won’t that explain why we are just seeing the benefits now? As the program gets better and get upgraded every year, quality youth coming through have increased.

  39. fcbfan
    July 24, 2010

    If we do sign Cesc, we can’t say anymore that we didn’t spend a single cent on… all right there’s Pique. we bought him back for 5 mil, and then Cesc 10 times that amount. We could use that money to produce dozen Cescs the next 10 years for Arsenal you know.

  40. Kxevin
    July 24, 2010

    People, we should be able to converse with anyone here without attacking them. Such behavior makes us no better than other blogs, and drags down the overall tone of the discourse here. Moderation doesn’t just come into effect when we have a Fabregas-related post. It also comes into effect when we behave, for lack of a better descriptive, like arrogant, self-righteous balls of hostility. Nobody has carte blanche here, just because they are a regular.

    Siddharth came with a legitimate question and observation, phrased in a way that made it very clear that he came in peace. We should comport ourselves accordingly and even if someone doesn’t come in peace, let your moderators deal with it. Offending comments will (and have been) edited and/or deleted.


    • poipoi
      July 25, 2010

      you’re welcome… but the escudo IS ugly as hell, guess you’ll agree 😉

      is not the concept EE offensive? is not “real madrid” itself offensive? I thought we supported barça here… antimadrid hasta la muerte

  41. July 24, 2010

    This discussion brings up another interesting debate that until now, we’ve just been nibbling at the fringes of:

    Athletic Bilbao says “This is what we do. We have our club requirements, and would rather lose that alter those requirements.”

    What’s everyone’s view on the ultimate loyalty of patience and working with La Masia? I almost get the sense that some wouldn’t mind a dry spell (they will come naturally enough, right?), as long as we didn’t betray the overall notion of our system, and progression from farm to Camp, so to speak.

    Personally, I think it’s a difficult thing, and I don’t envy anyone trying to make those decisions. We’re in a luxury period right now, in which Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Busquets, Valdes, Puyol, Pedro! and Pique are all farm-raised. So we can thump our chests with pride at the fact that we can win while maintaining devotion to what has become an excellent system.

    But what happens when the pipeline dries up? That’s my question for the class. Do we lose with our principles, so to speak, or work with the canteranos where we can, but add horsepower to keep on keeping on.

    • mei
      July 25, 2010

      its fairly easy to say that we can afford a dry spell as long as we get the gems in our first team polished WHILE we are winning and can brag about it.
      But if we look back , and we dont even need to go back to the fifties ,but more like in the span of these 10 years that we had the misfortune of not winning a trophy for a small amount of time actually, we see what did happen as a counter effect : coaches sacked in no time , players sold , loaned and bought without fitting in any sort of sporting plan that later on needed to be offloaded and cause disaster to economics.
      And on top of that a certain mess caused by the promises made by the candidates in each presidential election , that rarely are delivered anyway.
      The point is that i see it as the tradeoff for being a big team that has elections every few years : when you are directed at a large number of people moderate views with much insight rarely cuts it; its much easier , clear and media friendly to motivate them with shock movements : games lost?coach is gone , player notfitting right away – he gets sold , elections?lets just promise some big names.Large group dynamics demand heads to get chopped off when something threatens their demands, and its pretty easy to satisfy this need too(even if you just created another problem).

  42. fcbfan
    July 25, 2010

    have yall seen the Spain nt friendly dates? wtf! not at all friendly. Spain vs Argentina in Sep… Villa, Pedro! Xavi, Iniesta, Busi, Pique, VV, Messi. That’s almost the entire team! and it makes sense that the game will be played in Argentina.

    Actually so far all the friendly dates are scheduled out of Spain. wth

    Del Bosque should just send the B and C team.

  43. Sid
    July 25, 2010

    Does anyone see the similarity in the situation right now and right after 2002 world cup?

    Then there was an established star in Beckham whom our newly appointed president promised and now we have the same in Cesc. Then we had a dimunitive Ronaldinho coming from a sterling performance in the world cup as central playmaker converted to winger when eventually signed and Now that player seems to be Ozil. Then we had established midfielder in Xavi and Iniesta coming in through the ranks, and Now we have JDS.

  44. Sid
    July 25, 2010

    Correction * Then we had established midfielder in Iniesta coming in through the ranks, and Now we have JDS.

  45. Bundy
    July 25, 2010

    Is it me, or has Bojan really tanked up?

  46. July 25, 2010

    He has, Bundy. Dude’s ready this season, for sure. Should be interesting.

    July 25, 2010

    kxevin who attacked to madrid fan??me because i made a joke with exorcist??o no!the people here has amazing behavior others come here and attacking to us like arsenal fans.

  48. July 25, 2010

    New post up, folks. One that I have been longing to put up for some time.

  49. jaime
    July 25, 2010

    “bringing in a transfer to take their spot, even for another year, is irresponsible and would promote desertions like that of Fran Merida and Cesc Fabregas (who left for pretty good reasons, truth be told).”

    this is a valid point,but only in retrospect. At the time it seemed like leaving was the best alternative for Cesc because at the time it didn’t seem like he would have a spot on the first squad. Fast forward to today and here we are tripping over ourselves to spend 40M + to recover a player that was our own to fill a gap on our squad.
    There is something to be said about this whole situation though. Had Cesc stayed at Barça the whole time he wouldn’t be nearly as experienced and mature as he is today at just 23. He would have stayed on the B team for who knows how long and then would have been a bench warmer, instead of playing under a great coach,on a great squad in a great league…and that’s the whole point.Instead of letting young talents go just because their positions on the 1st team are filled when they are still teenagers is not fair (to the player) or smart (for the club). Yet keeping such talents on a Bteam when they’re getting lucrative offers from some other big club is just inviting them to leave.

    I think the best route is to send these players abroad ON LOAN for a few seasons.Let them grow and mature,get some minutes under their belts and so on.If they blossom into really good players then bring them back or sell them off after their loan contract is up.

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