Are we excited yet?

Just because there’s no news, doesn’t mean we don’t have something to get everyone excited. Those of you who have the new shirts for this year probably have already noticed this. For those of you who haven’t, this is a picture of the rear of the team crest, on the inside of shirt. It’s directly over your fast-beating cule heart, as it should be.

And yes, the Spearmint shirts look much better in person. Trust me.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

113 Comments

  1. Jnice
    August 6, 2010

    I actually like the way those looked on our players and I’ll probably be getting one soon. Unsure of which player I’ll get on the back.

    Oh and this just in (altho most of us knew this anyway:

    “Firstly I would like to apologise to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment.
    “I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me.
    “This was the club where I learnt my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing.
    “There are not many players in the world who would not want to play for Barcelona.
    “I have had many conversations with Arsene Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal.
    “I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me.
    “I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal.
    “I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 per cent focused on playing for Arsenal.
    “I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about.
    “I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me.”

    -Cesc

    *http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3084956/Cesc-Fabregas-commits-to-Arsenal.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=Football#ixzz0vpTpUeyR

    K, now let’s use the 40 million we have left wisely.

    • GoonerInBarça
      August 6, 2010

      Praise to the heavens! I can finally enjoy my summer!

      Of course it will all begin again around February/March but until then I shall just enjoy the football!

  2. Han
    August 6, 2010

    Thank god, wise words from OUR LONDON CONNECTION 🙂
    The rumours will die, only to come back at the end of this season.

    • Jnice
      August 6, 2010

      Since Sport and EMD won’t have any Cesc news to report (well, we all know they are going to go on and on about how he will for sure sign next summer), expect more Ibra to wherever rumors. The Catalan press is pissed and who better for them to take their frustration out on? The one they love to hate. Ibra.

      • Kxevin
        August 6, 2010

        True, they love to hate them some Ibra, don’t they? We are apparently still maintaining contact with Citeh over his sale, and that loan deal to Milan is thisclose to coming to fruition.

        The Fabregas comments are interesting. Essentially if you read them closely, it’s “I wanted to leave, but Arsenal didn’t want to sell me.”

        The madness is never going to end.

        • Jnice
          August 6, 2010

          Yeah, his comments definitely say that, but if Arsenal is happy with that, then that’s cool.

          What I want us to do now is focus on other signings. I’ve thought more and more about our youngsters, and while I would love for Thiago or JDS to have a breakout season, announce their names to the world, and contribute greatly to our success, that really isn’t realistic. We need some proven players, pronto. I mean we have the 40m left, right? Or is big ears lying about that too?

          We need to spend that money wisely and improve the depth of our squad. No matter how much Pep talks up the canteranos, I refuse to believe he wants to go into the season without further signings.

        • Bill
          August 6, 2010

          Yeah, his statement pretty much professed his love for Barca, and he said he will play for Arsenal just because he is a professional.

          But, say what you will about Fabregas, he has handled this whole saga like a real pro. I admire that in him. He shut his mouth about what he wanted to do, all his statements had double meanings, until it was clear where he would play, then made a statement of comittment to that club. Thats a PR savvy guy.

      • MISSINGPAGE
        August 6, 2010

        I actually think they are going to stop now. They know our squad will be way to thin if Ibra leaves…and plus their beloved cesq aint coming now in order to occupy his position..so their dream of
        valdes
        dani puyi pique abidal
        busi
        xavi cesc
        andresito
        messi
        Villa

        will have to wait for one more year…
        and by that time -in the ideal scenario-
        we’ll win CL, Ibra will go to citeh(who in the meantime have won the league or at least have qualiffied for CL) for around 30 mil…
        …bojan will be a full gronw striker our own homegrown little samu…and cesc will arive at just the right time..for 35 mil 🙂

        • MISSINGPAGE
          August 6, 2010

          Can’t believe I made so many typos..apologies 🙁

    • GoonerInBarça
      August 6, 2010

      It means: Cesc és el nostre! 😉

    • Kxevin
      August 6, 2010

      Together we are strong. It’s a line from our Himno.

    • cliveee
      August 6, 2010

      its in our anthem! sing it! “tot units fem forca…”

  3. vicsoc8
    August 6, 2010

    I’m so happy the Fabregas stuff is over (temporarily). Now let’s sign a versatile midfielder and be on our merry way.

    BTW – I’d still like to see Jan Vertonghen come.

  4. Jnice
    August 6, 2010

    It is bad that I’m laughing at EMD and Sport, who just a few hours ago had articles stating we made a fresh new bid and columns full of hope and trust in Rosell bringing Cesc in this summer? Nah, can’t be. Idiots.

    • August 6, 2010

      Is that the purpose of EMD/Sport? For me to read things in the morning that make me laugh?

      • August 6, 2010

        “Isn’t” was the word I was looking for. So anyone here do EPL fantasy league? I love me some fantasy football so holler and I’ll make a league of fellow barca fans.

    • GoonerInBarça
      August 6, 2010

      Sport have swiftly deleted those articles from their website. What a surprise…not! Both are awful publications and hold very minimal fact content but then again people want to hear gossip. I wish people would just watch football instead of constantly speculating about what may or may not happen.

  5. August 6, 2010

    Yeah the time is simply not there yet. I hope we don’t spend too much money on a midfielder though. We all know said midfielder would be redundant next summer when Cesc comes home.

    I actually thought the away shirts were wicked from the start. The heart in the inside is freaking awesome though!

    • GoonerInBarça
      August 6, 2010

      “Home”? I thought we’d been through this before? Unless Rosell wins the Euromillions draw or Barça put themselves into actual debt (as opposed to Rosell’s imaginary debt) he’ll still cost €70m at least. To be honest if you pay that I’d take it and put a large percentage of it towards wages in a free transfer for Ozil and then buy Gourcuff as well!

      • vicsoc8
        August 6, 2010

        Not going to argue with you, but I think you’re seriously wrong on how much Fabregas will cost when he does come to Barcelona

        • GoonerInBarça
          August 6, 2010

          I never said that’s how much his value is but how much Arsenal will demand for him. Remember that he’ll have developed for another season, will still only be 24 and still have 4 years on his contract left. Assuming he’s valued at say… I don’t know… €45m. That’s how much he’d cost if Arsenal were willing sellers. However Arsenal aren’t. They want to keep him as he is and will be a world class player for the next 10 years. Therefore to persuade Arsenal to sell Barça will need to bid a fee in the region of Kaka/Ronaldo. It’s not a question of cost or value but how much it will take to change Arsenal’s mind.

      • mei
        August 6, 2010

        Fabregas’ value is top 50 m , in this inflated transfer market .
        Transfer price is influenced by a number of things though , like marketablility of the player , his position , titles won , importance, age , who is forcing his sale (other club , club owned , the player himself), current status of club that plays for etc.

        • GoonerInBarça
          August 6, 2010

          Precisely. Even Messi could only be “valued” at maybe €70m but to buy him a club would have to bid way beyond that figure, maybe double that. The same principle applies to Fabregas albeit at lesser values than Messi. Cesc ticks all the boxes you listed above. Very marketable (being a young catalan, has world appeal also), is an attacking midfielder, world/european championship winner with spain, Arsenal rate him as their best player, he’s still only 23, he has a long term contract and Arsenal want to keep him. All of this combined massively inflates his price tag.

        • Kxevin
          August 6, 2010

          I’m with Gooner on this one. Fabregas is “home.” It’s where he chose to ply his trade as a player. His market value is another question. For us, we offered more than what he was worth to us, in the context of his position in the midfield, and the likelihood of his starting for us.

          This in no way speaks to his true market value (because there is no such thing), any more than the 30m sale price of The Yaya does. Citeh had a need, and The Yaya filled it. So they ponied up.

          People often presume that their “fair” price is somebody else’s “fair” price, hence the dudgeon that greeted our first offer for Fabregas, a number deemed to be “insulting.” Now that I think about it more, for his role to us, that initial offer was still an extravagant sum for a squad player. (Ignoring all of the dim-witted political crap attendant to that offer.)

          Context and perspective are everything. To Arsenal, he is priceless. Almost every club has a player of that stature, where if some crazy-ass number comes in, the club would seriously think about it. Anyone think, for an instant, that if a 150m offer came in for for Messi, that there wouldn’t be meetings well into the night about doing the deal? Arsenal fans are right in that 70-80m would have pried him loose. But no way in hell were we going to pay that. I’d go so far as to say we would NEVER pay that.

          Now this doesn’t speak to our respect for Arsenal, the player or anything else that motives have been ascribed to. It just speaks to the fact that this game is a business, and our need for that kind of a player. It’s what I mean about staying detached from all of this.

          • mei
            August 6, 2010

            Fabregas IS home , im with you on this one.
            Hed better stay there and win a trophy otherwise he will never create a name out of himself as he should.
            Lets talk about transfer market.

            There is a huge deal when somebody is forcing himself out of the team , nomatter how big that player is.
            The longer you keep on him , the worst it might get if things to drastically change(personally im hoping arsenal gets a double just to keep fabregas there , although this cant happen with the kind of planning wenger does and the rest of competing teams) eventually you will be obliged to sell , before things get really angry. And paper talk will just be a good memory if we come to this.And when you are obliged to sell , you sell cheap , unless a manchester city comes with a big offer and the player is willing to go there.
            Fabregas was not integral in euro 2008 , nor in world cup 2010 . He was just a substitute.Perdo! was more important than him , and thats why he got to play more.
            Fabregas has not been an important member of a team that is competing for trophies throughout his career , and thats a huge deal because arsenal has been practically built on him for the last couple of seasons.Not disrespecting arsenal , but probably he got himself in the team in a wrong turn of their history, trying a new identity which is admirable.
            He is a promising young player , amongst the best midfielders of the world but that does not warrant a fee of 50m let alone 70m.
            Also marketability gets adjusted around what club are you gonna join : there is no chance in hell fabregas gets more credits/exposure than messi , xavi , ibrahimovic or even iniesta.
            Its similar to buying a star , and buying a whole bunch of them ( like EE ): you cant expect to get the same number of sales on shirts for example of just buying ronaldo , in comparison to buying ronaldo kaka benzema alonso .

      • Bundy
        August 6, 2010

        thats a question of Cesc’s motivations, if Arsenal don’t improve from last season, then whats the point for him if he wants titles etc.

        but again, as each year goes by, there will be more options for Barca to choose other than Cesc. So either way, It doesn’t really matter if we get Cesc in the end, what matters is if we get a midfielder that can pick up from where Xavi will let off.

  6. August 6, 2010

    I’m considering getting this year’s home shirt, but not the travesty of color that is the away shirt. Can we get a nice away shirt? I mean, it’s obviously not going to be white (good), but that doesn’t mean it has to be garish and puke-tastic, does it?

    Of course, considering that I own and love the neon orange one from a few years ago, perhaps I should be banned from opining on the awesomeness/grossness of away jerseys.

    We should just wear camo.

  7. August 6, 2010

    Yes GoonerinBarça, home. Take me for example. I have lived outside of the country where I was born and raised for 10 yrs and counting and although there are still people who would like me to come back I am happy where I am at. However, should I ever change my mind, which in my case is not likely, but should I ever change my mind and go back then obviously I would be considered to go back “home”.

    I think it is obvious that Fabregas wants to come back to his home, if not he would have said so. The fact that he kept his mouth shut is, I believe, out of respect to Arsene and to the club he captains. Let’s hope that Arsene respects Cesc enough to allow him to come back home next summer.

    • GoonerInBarça
      August 6, 2010

      If I’m going to be pedantic, home to Cesc is Arenys Del Mar. But we all accept Cesc will probably return to Barça one day. It’s nothing to do with respect on Arsenal’s behalf. I’ve said this before here but if Barça had offered a sum that Arsenal deemed acceptable they would have accepted it. All the press conferences about saying he’s not for sale are just for public image. Every player has his price and if Man Citeh came up with €150m for Messi, you’d better believe that Barça would accept it! The only disrespect is the pitiful bid that Barça made.

  8. August 6, 2010

    Btw, for a transfer fee close to those of Kaká and C. Ronaldo, Fabregas should win Footballer of the Year first. Especially since you are in effect selling us back a player who we by law were not able to offer a professional contract yet at the age that you lured him to London.

    • Kxevin
      August 6, 2010

      No. Arsenal didn’t “lure” Fabregas to London. He looked at the landscape here, and opted for opportunities to play and become a star. Nothing wrong with that. But just as claims that we have unsettled Fabregas are incorrect, you can’t lure a player who doesn’t want to be lured.

      • GoonerInBarça
        August 6, 2010

        Let’s remember that it wasn’t just a free transfer either. Yes Barça couldn’t block the deal but a fee of around €3-4m PLUS Gio Van Bronckhorst (who we paid around £8.5m- €13m at the exchange rates at the time). So all in all that’s a transfer of around €16m for a player of 16 years old! Are you telling me that as a completely unproven player Barcelona didn’t see good value in that deal (at the time). Obviously now looking back it looks bad but who could guarantee he would have developed into the player he is if he’d stayed at the Camp Nou?

        • Kxevin
          August 6, 2010

          But I don’t think it looks bad now. No worse than us buying The Yaya for 9m and selling him for 30m.

          In exchange for a player who wasn’t going to start for us for a while, we got a useful, effective player who was part of many a championship side. The deal was a no-brainer. I think that we recognized Fabregas’ talent then, as we do now. But sometimes, you can’t offer a player what he wants, so you have to let him go. Again, like The Yaya. The parallels are numerous.

          • mei
            August 6, 2010

            It was such a mess back then.Gaspart left the office in shambles and for a while nothing was clear.
            Everybody knew that fabregas was a great talent , but you can never be sure in what type of player will the turn in so no real promises can be made.He could be iniesta/xavi or the next dos santos/gai assulin.
            We certainly wouldnt let him leave before we could test him in the big stage for sure however. The presidential mess and uncertainty of the administration , sporting status of the time and economic woes certainly did not make barcelona the place to be , especially when the english newly crowned invincible champions tempts you.

        • mei
          August 6, 2010

          I can clearly remember that arsenal were obliged ,by court, to pay some sort of compensation for the way they got fabregas.
          Something about parent’s club fee for raising him , sth like that.Dont know if they worked out a deal that ended up like this though.

        • MISSINGPAGE
          August 6, 2010

          Gooner in Barcelona..sorry but you are mistaken we actually paid you 2mils for Gio !
          below there is a quote by wikipedia stating just that

          “As the 2003–04 season approached, van Bronckhorst had the opportunity to move to FC Barcelona and work with new boss Frank Rijkaard on a one-year loan, with a view to a permanent transfer.[8] After adapting to his new role as a left back, he helped Barça to a revival in the second half of the season. In May 2004, van Bronckhorst completed his move from Arsenal to Barcelona for a fee of €2 million, signing a three-year deal”

  9. fcbfan
    August 6, 2010

    End of Cesc for now yay! now let’s get a dm!

  10. vicsoc8
    August 6, 2010

    I really don’t want to argue about Fabregas anymore, but I’m just going to give my opinion on his future cost:

    Undoubtedly Arsenal will continue to value him very highly, as he is unarguably their best player and their captain. A $70 million valuation of Fabregas, from Arsenal is likely.

    Unfortunately for Arsenal, they are in a terrible position to negotiate. Yes, Fabregas does have a long contract, however player power is stronger than ever in football. While it’s theoretically possible to keep a player who wants to leave, it’s a dangerous game to play as you can make a player unhappy and unhappy players don’t play as well as happy ones, no matter how professional they are. The fact is that every season for the past couple of seasons Fabregas’ desire to join Barca has been increasing, and he has been putting more pressure on Wenger and the club to let him go. It only makes sense that the pressure will continue to increase – Cesc knows he needs to return before other canteranos make his presence redundant (not a guarantee, but a serious danger for him). Eventually that pressure will reach a breaking point, and if Arsenal keeps him past that point it would likely lead to a disastrous season (a la Henry’s last season with the club).

    As Fabregas’ desire to leave will put more pressure on the club, they also don’t have any tools to increase his price. They aren’t able to create a bidding war – he is a fantastic player, but will refuse to go anywhere besides Barcelona. This alone dramatically decreases his price (it’s a result of artificially low demand – no other club will try to sign him, despite being interested). Add in the fact that Barcelona don’t need Fabregas (want yes, need no), and there is no incentive for Barcelona to pay over the odds (that is if the club leaves their sentimentality behind – something Rosell is doing well I think).

    All of these factors indicate that if and when Fabregas joins Barcelona, it will be for a price substantially closer to Barcelona’s evaluation of him than Arsenal’s.

  11. fcbfan
    August 6, 2010

    I have a question about buying Barca shirts in Asia. Is it available at any sport stores, like Nike, or do I have to order it from the official site. Second, are there girls size? Thanks!

    • Kxevin
      August 6, 2010

      They have men’s, women’s and youth sizes, fcbfan. The official shop will ship to Asia, so I would go that route. That, or Kitbag, which is the order filler for the official shop, anyhow.

    • August 6, 2010

      Depends where in Asia, more than likely. Barça has an official online Japanese store (here) which might help.

      The European store offers women’s cut jerseys here. But they don’t appear on the American site and I haven’t found them on the Japanese site by clicking randomly (don’t speak/read any Japanese).

      Hope that helps.

      • fcbfan
        August 6, 2010

        Thanks Kxevin and Isaiah! Will take a look at all the links. I’m in Japan.

  12. August 6, 2010

    @kxev and goonerinbarca
    ok fair points. still it seems to me cesc wants to go home ;p

    home being catalunya where he grew up and f.c. barcelona his boyhood club from which he was lured – i understand it was because he wanted to be lured, Kxev, it is just that I have a big problem with clubs recruiting teenagers outside of their own country, whether it is barça, arsenal or ajax. It is one of the reasons (actually probably the only reason) I defended Rosell over his African youth player comments.

    • August 6, 2010

      I think it’s important not to draw ourselves into discussions we know nothing about. I grew up all over the place and my home is where I live now, though I still call Northeast Ohio my true home (where I spent the largest percentage of my childhood and all but one semester of college). Fabregas may call Catalunya home or he may call London home. It is not for us to decide such things or pawn off our sentiments on him.

      Despite his status as a superstar, he’s still a human being who gets to decide these little things for himself, much as I get to decide where I call home and others telling me where that home is are way off base (even when they agree with me).

  13. August 6, 2010

    For all of you who hate the spam filter here, just know that yours truly, moderator of this here site, just got sucked and had to retrieve his own comments. How lovely.

  14. August 6, 2010

    As I mentioned before If Kaka worth 70 M then Cesc worth 100 M (both assumptions are wrong). But if you take Silva’s transfer then Cesc’s value is a 40 M, which is too much for Barca to pay (if they want to be reasonable) because they dont need him and too little for Arsenal to accept not only from sport perspective but also for the damage that will bring to the club’s branding. So…No deal!

    But I have to disagree on the idea that “for a transfer fee close to those of Kaká and C. Ronaldo, Fabregas should win Footballer of the Year first.” If I buy a player I pay more for a player who still have things to win than a player who has nothing to prove. It doesnt mean I will bless buying Cesc, but just thought to comment on that statement.

  15. theMaginator
    August 6, 2010

    HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS.

    The place where you make your money is called WORK.

  16. Pyro
    August 6, 2010

    Guys answer honestly Do you guys think that Rosell is really going to buy another DM? I really hope so but I dont know it seems unlikely at this point

    • August 6, 2010

      I hope Rosell is not going to buy another DM. I hope Rosell is not going to reject buying another DM. I hope Rosell leaves that job for the coach and his Sport director to decide.

  17. Rohanv
    August 6, 2010

    What do you guys think IS a good away jersey for us? Seems like the kind of thing that has never stuck to the club (other than having flamboyant colours). I’m kind of biased towards the sky blue, subdued stripes of 07/08, but that’s because I was gifted one.

    The yellows, maybe?

    • vicsoc8
      August 6, 2010

      Love the yellows, and I have to agree with Isaiah, the bright orange from a couple of years ago still wins as our best away shirt in years in my mind.

    • Kxevin
      August 6, 2010

      My favorite (one of) was the orange with the blue UNICEF logo. I also liked the yellow one a lot.

  18. Alex
    August 6, 2010

    Can we please stop talking about Fabregas. The horse is dead. It has been beaten to a bloody pulp.

  19. Helge
    August 6, 2010

    Perfect news before I’m heading to Portugal. Now we can concentrate on signing a DM, or signing nobody. Cesc will be a Barca player within some years, as Xavi’s successor. Thiago and JDS will then hopefully be replacements for Iniesta and Cesc, don’t leave us!

    When I come back in twelve days, I want to read the following news:
    – Marcos Senna signed for 3.5 m
    – The Spanish internationals survived Mexico without any injuries
    – Barca beat Sevilla in the first leg of the SuperCopa (this is the least important)

    Visca el Barça, visca Catalunya!

  20. Kari
    August 6, 2010

    GoonerinBarca,

    Alway a pleasure to have you here. Seriously. I appreciate the civil and respectful manner you conduct yourself with. And the fact that you say stuff that makes sense, as opposed to verbal diarrhea.

    It also helps that you’re on the same page as everyone else in regards to Fabregas 😀

    We’ll see you back in February (if we’re lucky, but with the Spanish press that seems unlikely) when this starts up again. Good luck this year.

    Now that that’s over, we have more pressing issues to discuss. Alves has already left for the US (what was the point in him coming on the trip other than showing his lack of diplomacy and basic geographic knowledge?).

    According to Sport , Messi decided to train voluntarily even though we’d been give the day off in order to regain his form. Awesomeness. He was recalled for the Ireland game. Not cool.

    Milito, Cuddly, Keita, Maxwell, Adriano, Pinto, Abidal, Hleb, VicSan(?), are our only first teamers available. Iniesta might also feature, but Pep might give him an extended break. Although we might lose the game, I’m actually kinda glad we don’t have the majority of our team (blatant lie). At least we can field youngesters (Thiago! Thiago! Thiago! Muniesa! Romeu!) and see how they fair against real opposition in a competitive game. Who knows, this could be the opportunity for them to prove themselves to Pep.

    Cuddly agrees with me : *http://www.sport.es/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=44&idioma=CAS&idnoticia_PK=723428&idseccio_PK=803

    Then we kick butt in the second leg in the Camp Nou.

  21. Kxevin
    August 6, 2010

    What I find funny are all the blogs (note that the Arsenal blog over at The Offside is very, very different …. thoughtful and even-handed) are saying “Yay, Fabregas kicked classless Barca to the curb,” conveniently ignoring the nature and quality of his comments, which made it abundantly clear that had Arsenal been willing to do business, he would have been gone like last-week’s milk.

    Sigh

    Is the need to self-delude really so prevalent in the blogosphere?

    • vicsoc8
      August 6, 2010

      It’s necessary to placate the socio’s who were so adamant that Cesc be brought back.

    • Jnice
      August 6, 2010

      That’s the question I just asked Pep, Isaiah and Kxev on twitter. Pep says maybe internal reasons. I just think it’s stupid and unnecessary.

      • Kxevin
        August 6, 2010

        It’s a face-saver, pure and simple. It shows that we were willing to make an offer and that they weren’t willing to accept it. It placates the hordes who wanted Fabregas back, all three of them, and gives the Rosell people, who we will all recall rolled with the “See, Laporta was a jackass, we’ll get this Fabregas thing sorted in about two seconds” blather, a chance to shrug their shoulders and say “They didn’t want to do business.”

        • vicsoc8
          August 6, 2010

          Something that we tend to forget in our little bastion of Barca-megaknowledge is that there are many many casual Barcelona fans and Catalan socios who really wanted Fabregas to come this summer.

          • Jose
            August 6, 2010

            Absolutely. Let’s not pretend that our views represent the views of most Barca fans. There are plenty of cules who, unlike most of us here, still see getting Cesc back as divine right. Unfortunately.

  22. vicsoc8
    August 6, 2010

    New game: guess our lineup for the first Spanish Super Cup leg.

    Pinto
    Adriano Milito Fontas Abidal
    Thiago Keita VicSan
    Bojan Soriano Maxwell

    subs: Mino, Bartra, Muniesa, Iniesta, Romeu, Hleb?, Nolito/Tello/Benja

    • Kari
      August 6, 2010

      Agree with your line-up TBH, but it’d be interesting to see:

      Pinto
      Maxwell* – Milito – Fontas – Abidal
      Thiago – Romeu – Keita
      Jeffren – Bojan – Adriano

      *Did well the last time he played RB

      • vicsoc8
        August 6, 2010

        Totally forgot about Jeffren. I like that lineup too

        • Rohanv
          August 6, 2010

          Ah, crap. I’d like to see Bojan in the middle as well, or at least having some time there interchanging with Jeffy/Soriano.

    • Flippy
      August 6, 2010

      Bojan and Jeffren are with the U21 team.

      • vicsoc8
        August 6, 2010

        True, will they be back by this game though?

  23. Kari
    August 6, 2010

    Interesting view, which I, more or less, agree with. I think he genuinely loves Arsenal, though, while also being grateful to Wenger.

    *http://bleacherreport.com/articles/430744-cesc-fabregas-case-closed-or-just-delayed

    An except I particularly liked:

    Cesc made up his mind 7 years ago when he left for England, now he should stick with the decision he made. There’s no place like home…but he could’ve thought about it ages ago–not when it is convenient for him

    • vicsoc8
      August 6, 2010

      I’m going to be obnoxious and completely disagree with that statement. Seven years is a long time, and it is completely acceptable and very common for people to change their mind/values/etc. in that amount of time.

      He certainly needs to deal with the consequences of that decision, but it isn’t fair to expect him to stay at Arsenal for the rest of his career because of a decision he made when he was 16.

      • Kari
        August 6, 2010

        I don’t think the author of the article is suggesting he stay at Arsenal for the rest of his career

        Yes, 7 years is a long time, but it’s funny that he’s changed his mind/values/etc. when we’ve recently won everything there is to win and are still challenging for everything and going through arguably our best phase in our history.

        I sincerely doubt Cesc was in a rush to join us or wanted to come home two years ago. 5 years is also a long time. As opposed to Pique, who was reportedly desperate to come back, despite us having one of our most embarrassing seasons in recent memory.

        So in the end, leaving as a 16 yr old was convenient for him and now “coming back” is also convenient for him.

        • vicsoc8
          August 6, 2010

          Now those are sentiments I can’t disagree with

  24. August 6, 2010

    Isiah I do not decide where Cesc’s home is. He might feel London is his home, just like I feel at home where I lay my hat right now. Regardless, he admittedly wanted to come back to Catalunya and if this is still the case next summer then he will come home. It is not as if I decided where the dude was born , if you understand what i mean

  25. JMo
    August 6, 2010

    The USA kits have the winded snake behind the crest and it reads DTOM in relation to the famous “don’t tread on me” slogan.

    ps – I’ll be at the new meadowlands stadium to see our boys take on the Brazilians on Tuesday. Anyone else going to be there?

    • ooga aga
      August 6, 2010

      “The USA kits have the winded snake behind the crest and it reads DTOM in relation to the famous “don’t tread on me” slogan. ”

      god, that’s dumb. does it have the NRA insignia or the confederate flag next to it?

      • Rohanv
        August 6, 2010

        I’m not American, but I actually think that’s pretty cool. The Gadsden flag is nothing but iconic, and incorporating it into the jersey design is a nice touch.

      • ElShowDeJason
        August 7, 2010

        What’s wrong with the NRA?

  26. Sasha
    August 6, 2010

    Pep @barcastuff reports (via MundoDeportivo):
    “Primera Division clubs Mallorca, Racing, Sporting and Levante have contacted Barcelona to ask for a loan of Victor Sanchez. Barcelona sports director Zubizarreta will discuss the situation of Victor Sanchez with his agent when the team comes back from Asia. It’s not excluded that Victor Sanchez could in the end stay with the first team of join the B team in the second division.”

  27. Dave
    August 6, 2010

    So the Cesc case is closed- for now. However I for one am not looking forward to it all over again next year. Now time to concentrate on the job at hand in retaining la liga and making good impression in the cl.
    Stop a resurgent Madrid under Mourinho and hopefully meet Arsenal in cl and repeat last year. Should shut them up over at Arsenal maniacs.
    Next two mf acquisition’s DM and an offensive option.
    The scenario I fear and part of me is predicting- we rely on the youth only to realise in November that they’re not ready and shelved for another year leading to pressure on the durable Iniesta and co.
    Meanwhile Mourinho has assembled a team of machines with little interest in flair but merely destruction. Ah post apocalyptic La liga

  28. sonik
    August 6, 2010

    Cesc Fabregas has made the most assists in the top 5 European leagues over the last 5 seasons, ahead of D Alves & F Lampard. Gunner.

    Cesc Fabregas created a scoring chance from open play once every 29 mins, the best rate in the top 5 European leagues. Orchestrate.

    He’s only 23 and got 5 more years. Yet you lot think he’s worth only 30 million or so? Haha.

    • Hilal
      August 6, 2010

      Jesus. What mess. Did you just pull those stats out of your ass hoping that ppl would believe you.

      Last year Cesc got 16 assists in all comps, same as Lampard (altho Lampard had one more in the EPL). Xavi had 18.

      The year before Cesc got 13 assists in all comps, Lamps had 19. Xavi had 27!!! Even Messi who is a winger got more assists with 16.

      I could go on, but I think I made my point.

      Check your facts before you post such garbage, otherwise you end up looking like a fool.

      Oh and Cesc may be worth 70m to Arsenal because at Arsenal he is your best player. At Barca he isnt even in the top 5 and would start less than half of the games, so NO he isnt worth more than 30m or so to us. Keep him.

    • theMaginator
      August 6, 2010

      Why are you still here? Go worry about fourth place.

      Sad, imagine worrying about 4th year in and out.

        • Vj
          August 7, 2010

          What for? You don’t spend anyway..

          And how much do you have to shell out for a season ticket?

  29. Diego
    August 6, 2010

    We need a DM “Capoue or Javi Martinez” and a CB “Maybe bring back Caceres or Henrique , I know he’s loaned for another year so Pep has something else in mind” and Keep VicSan or Hleb and sell the other ..

    ZubiZa “I just had to say it .. it’s so much fun”

    • Jnice
      August 6, 2010

      Pep ruled out signing another CB, stating “he has enough”, so if we sign players, they will only be mids. Caceres has a chance to stay, though. And honestly, I don’t see why we don’t give him another shot. He had moments of madness, but he wasn’t that bad. For me, the worst part of his game is his passing and that can be worked on.

      • Diego
        August 6, 2010

        I like Caceres .. Maybe it was his red card against Mallorca in Copa del Rey that made some people doubt him .. but I like his work ethics and he Impressed me as a left back in the final two games of the world cup .. And I think Fontas and Muniesa are way too young to be trusted in heavy games .. Pique was an early bloomer and we waited him till he became 22 .. We will all mis Chygy “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxvsN2i3SNY”

        • Jnice
          August 6, 2010

          I don’t think Fontas and Muniesa are in the same boat. Fontas is older, more mature, and more experienced. ( I see what you’re saying, tho) I think he has all the tools to succeed. Let’s hope he gets some time on Sunday.

  30. Lou
    August 6, 2010

    I don’t think Arsenal will want to sell next year either. And they don’t have to because Cesc is under contract for five more seasons.

    The difference between Pique and Cesc’s situation is that Pique wanted to come back and so didn’t sign a long term contract even Manchester United were keen to extend his contract. That meant that Barcelona could resign him for ~5 million euros.

    Cesc signed a long term deal with improved benefits with Arsenal, but in return that means that Arsenal can refuse to sell him. I don’t think it is fair for him to expect that Barcelona pay ~60 million euros in this current economic climate, for a position in which doesn’t need to be filled.

    If he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to stay at Arsenal maybe he shouldn’t have signed a six year contract extension? As it is he’ll just have to wait until Arsenal and Barcelona can agree on a price and hope that neither JDS or Thiago become good enough in the meantime to become Xavi’s successor.

  31. jordi™
    August 6, 2010

    LOL as sure as night follows day…

    *http://sport.es/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=44&idioma=CAS&idtipusrecurs_PK=7&idnoticia_PK=723473

    An exclusive from a source you trust!

    • Jnice
      August 6, 2010

      Haha, I was gonna post mine at the same time, but I never pressed submit.

      Can’t wait for the EMD update.

  32. Jnice
    August 6, 2010

    Haha, as most of us predicted, on Sport: “Pacto secreto para el 2011”

    They never stop, do they? And why do they always end their articles with cheesy lines. It’s like the stupid Spanish Inquisitions on goal.com

    • Vj
      August 7, 2010

      Yeah, lets give details of the secret pact to the “journalists” at Sport, they’ll keep it to themselves right?

      People taking this kind of rubbish seriously have my sympathies..

  33. stowe
    August 7, 2010

    apparently i might get to see the team play tomorrow in beijing, that would be amazing!

  34. Cesc Pistol
    August 7, 2010

    I for one don’t want Cesc to come unless it’s for free. To pay for an academy player who basically hid and ran away is ridiculous and sends the worst message to Masia players. I’d rather have JDS/Thiago or some other canterano take over the Xavi role.

  35. ElShowDeJason
    August 7, 2010

    Isaiah, Luke, Stephen, Jnice, Corine or anyone that can get at me via twitter, please inform me when we are finished talking about Francesc Fabregas on this blog.
    I can’t take it anymore. I really can’t. I’ll be waiting 🙁

    Unless Isaiah, you can make a Cesc post, and have it permanently around the top, that way I can stay the hell from it.

    maybe we can get a /cesc.theoffside.com going?

    • ElShowDeJason
      August 7, 2010

      of, and lovelymofo! I didn’t forget about you… you just don’t tweet much anymore 🙁

    • Stephen
      August 7, 2010

      I saw 111 comments on this post, and immediately skipped them all to the bottom, right about here. Dont care to read and dont care to care about Cesc.

  36. Reagan
    August 7, 2010

    What are our options besides Senna for DM?

    Essien would be great buy (expensive unfortunately) IMO. However, his box to box play likens him to a Keita type of player rather than a Toure.

    • Jnice
      August 7, 2010

      Capoue, Javi Martinez, Moussa Sissoko are all names that have been mentioned.

  37. Jnice
    August 7, 2010

    Barcastuff: The Mexican football federation has approved the request by Jonathan dos Santos to not take part in the friendly game against Spain.

    Nice commitment from JDS. (altho he prob still has some gripes with the FMF)

    I’ll go ahead and say that he will definitely start against Sevilla.

  38. August 7, 2010

    Congrats, Jnice. You’ve been Hectored. New post up, that will (I hope) comply with the request of many to discontinue discussing the player who isn’t coming. We have other stuff to worry about.

  39. December 2, 2010

    In order for your articles to produce results in sales and leads, you have to get that ideal equilibrium between quality and quantity.

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