The day in pictures, aka “Why I love this club.”

Call me biased, but I don’t think a practice goes by without many moments such as this. Players don’t have to like each other, don’t have to enjoy laughing together and working together, but it sure helps. I suspect part of the reason our club goes like a rocket is that the players never seem to forget that despite all the pressure, and all the millions and millions of dollars, this is still just a game.

And here is Valdes reminding newest acquisition David Villa of that very thing. Yes it’s intense here, but get used to it. You’re going to laugh a lot, too.

And this, of course, is just clamoring for a “Caption This.” Have at it, folks.

“So this is the work that I have to do to hang with the best of the best, huh? Okay. Bring it.”

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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.

240 Comments

  1. majatt
    August 16, 2010

    The pictures from practice, though hand picked by the club, always convey a feeling a warmth and comradeship. I took me a while to get used to Ibra in our Kit but I suspect the same won’t apply to Villa.

    He scores tons of goals with Spain and just seeing him in the training kit get the blood pumping for this season.

  2. vicsoc8
    August 16, 2010

    I should know better than to comment without checking if there is a new post.

    Ah well, copy-paste:

    I don’t think Bojan should be loaned out for three reasons:

    1. He is currently training with three of the best forwards in the world, and one of the best coaches in the world. There is no better way to learn a trade than by being taught by the best. If you watch Bojan play you can already see that he picked up some of Henry’s tricks. By learning from three stellar forwards who each have their own style he will have the opportunity to assimilate their knowledge and make himself better with it. Not to mention they are three very different style forwards, increasing the multitude of skills he can learn. Finally, there is no better coach he could be learning from than Pep.

    2. By staying with the team Pep can continue to shield him from too much pressure. Bojan has proven to have confidence issues and he clearly plays better when he doesn’t feel the weight of expectations on his shoulders. Pep has worked hard to remove expectations from him and to give him a resonable and proper role in the team for his age. If he were to go on loan there is no guarantee that he would be protected from these pressures, and it could very likely have a negative effect on his development.

    3. Bojan is already playing right around the right amount of minutes at Barca for his age. Let’s not compare him to the best player in the world. Instead think of Xavi and Iniesta, neither of them had significantly larger roles than Bojan does now when they were his age, and look where they ended up now. Look at Busquets and Pedro, neither of them were considered for even a cameo inthe first team when they were Bojan’s age. The fact is he already holds an advanced role in the team for his age, and he is moving along a proper development path. He should be allowed to continue on this path at the club and not be forced to expedite his development away on loan because some cules unreasonably expect him to be the next Messiah.

    • Mikel
      August 17, 2010

      Bojan last year in league scored the same goals(8) than Benzema, who cost quite a lot of money to EE. Consider thatn Bojan is younger then Benzema(lo?) and that he seems to be improving his scoring rates year after year, I don’t see why Barca should loan him and spend a lot of money to bring another potential Benzema-like player.

      • Kxevin
        August 17, 2010

        Krkic needs playing time to develop. Consistent, reliable playing time, that should answer a lot of questions about what he is and his potential.

        • Vicsoc8
          August 17, 2010

          Disagree. He is playing enough as it is. Did Iniesta, need constant, consistent playing time when he was 19 to reach the heights of scoring the winning goal in the world cup final?

          Bojan is playing enough for his age.

          • Kxevin
            August 17, 2010

            Strikers need reps. Krkic will not get them with us, unless Guardiola decides to do what he has heretofore not, which is start platooning, so that Krkic is an automatic sub for one of the two forwards, Villa or (if he isn’t sold) Ibrahimovic. Then where does Pedro! go?

          • Vicsoc8
            August 17, 2010

            I guess I don’t understand/agree with the reasoning that strikers need reps more than players in different positions to develop, but this is going to have to be one of those (many it seems like) issues where we agree to disagree.

    • Diego S.
      August 17, 2010

      Anyway .. The British Daily Star is reporting that Iniesta would love to see Mascherano at Barcelona .. I guess now the Liverpool fans will start to hate us .. When we’re actually buying someone .. He just comes a.k.a Adriano .. We don’t tell our players to keep talking about him in every chance they can

  3. Nick
    August 17, 2010

    Here’s what I saw while trying to open the official website this morning: “Of the 158 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 82 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2010-08-16, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2010-08-16.”

    Have they been hacked?

    • August 17, 2010

      Note : this does not happen if you re visiting the english version.
      Notice that google informs you that the selected page has been [b]reported[/b] as potentially harmful to your computer.
      They could have been hacked , but its most likely that an outgoing link directed people somewhere that it shouldnt and didnt include in its description.
      It could easily just be a false warning too.
      No malicious content was hosted and the site didnt direct people to pages that hosted such content , so the above is my best quess.

      • Dave
        August 17, 2010

        Was wondering with the Malware warnings

    • Kari
      August 17, 2010

      BS.com is dubbed so for a reason.

      Honestly, I don’t care what they say and it’s not like their voice is heard anywhere. Useless site that translates information from other places.

      Don’t get me started on their “Spanish Inquisitions” …

  4. poipoi
    August 17, 2010

    looks like my comment didn’t go through

    caption this oh yeah!!!

    pedro!: nike mola maaaás! (nike is cooleeeer)
    messi: no,no,no. adidas mola más (no,no,no. adidas is)

    • aULD sUPER
      August 17, 2010

      60% of the time adidas wins every time

  5. Reagan
    August 17, 2010

    A few thoughts-

    1. Maxwell and Adriano could well be key to our season because of their versatility. They could both attempt to play Keita’s role as the box to box type of play. This would leave Abidal in his best position ie. Left Back.

    2. The rumors linking us with Masch are splendid because it gives us a way to get a deal done for Hleb (who would do well at Anfield)AND we get ourselves the most combative defensive midfielder there is. Would he take busquet’s place or keita’s.. who knows? he could probably play in both. I am in favour of this transfer

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      Mascherano isn’t coming. Zubi has said he doesn’t fit into our plans for the season and we aren’t interested.

  6. Kxevin
    August 17, 2010

    If we are to believe Bartomeu, Ibrahimovic IS for sale. When denying the insane swap rumors, Bartomeu said something to the effect of “If they want to buy Ibrahimovic, thet will have to put money down, something they haven’t done yet.”

    I’m sorry, but if we want to sell him, let’s put him on the market and be done with it. As it stands, assuming Bartomeu’s comments aren’t made up, that is an absolutely horrid way to treat a player on the roster, and presumed to be part of an attacking trident that could potentially be thought of as revolutionary.

    Not cool, irrespective of how you might feel about Ibrahimovic and what he’s done and cn do for the club.

    Some might suggest that Bartomeu is tacitly saying “And I mean real, crazy-ass money,” but I don’t think so. How the hell is that supposed to make a player feel? Committed to, and ready to bleed for the cause? Doubtful.

    I confess that I don’t understand. The player and his agent have come out and said this is our club. One club official has said he isn’t for sale. Another club official says “put your money down.” How in the hell are we doing business these days?

    • poipoi
      August 17, 2010

      what could be pep’s thoughts on ibra right now? I really don’t know, he is not speaking very clear me thinks. any quote? If bartomeu says that kind of stuff it’s because pep had to say something. I did not know who bartomeu was, but I looked it up 😉 he’s “vicepresidente deportivo” so he has to talk to pep and know what he feels and wants… ’cause pep still rules right? or is it sandro???

      • August 17, 2010

        ’cause pep still rules right? or is it sandro???

        That question is what makes me queasy every time I read/watch/think about barca these days.

  7. Tajh
    August 17, 2010

    well in other news Özil is going to EE…but I must say this year they have spent very wisely and correctly.

    • poipoi
      August 17, 2010

      we should have bought him and then loan him to atleti or something… no way a player like that goes to EE… this is war right here!!! … no way a new promise wants to play in your club, we say no say no and let him go to the enemy. nooooooooo, I hate to see a player that I like in those colours… before I only like pipita now it’s two. nooooo I’m melting!!!!

    • Kari
      August 17, 2010

      Pfft. Like they did last season, huh? I mean, they bought 2 former WPOYs, a striker with a lot of potential, a CL winning midfielder, and a former canterano.

      It’s actually an impulse buy–a dumb one. They thought, “Hey, here’s a young player that did really well in the WC. His club has him up for sale and he’s in the last year of his contract. We shouldn’t wait until his contract expires so he’d go on a free–oh no, what if some other club would come in and take him? Let’s buy him now.”

      Too bad they have Kaka (albeit injured) VDV, and Canales in that same role.

      I just don’t see how he fits in. He’ll want to play every game–he’s young remember and needs game time to hone his skills, but so will Canales, who is a fan favourite. He could play on the wing, but Di Maria–another signing–is there. I’m happy Ozil didn’t come to us because he was very inconsistent for Werder.

      I laugh at EE.

      • Tajh
        August 17, 2010

        Now that he has signed for EE I don’t really see how much he will grow as a player..I assume he will be a really great player nationally (Podolski scenario)and just melt away on the bench for them.
        Also, having Mourinho as his coach makes things only worst for him.Bad Move IMO…

      • poipoi
        August 17, 2010

        maybe not but to me he is better than kaka or canales… the two look like mamma’s boys nad özil looks like a dirty mofo. I love his game look and personality I would have loved to see him in a blaugrana jersey.

        only time will tell

  8. fcbfan
    August 17, 2010

    Ozil to EE. damn.

    Can I get a Senna at least?

    There is something not right going on between Pep and the board. im worried. Should have kept Botia. Too late. Let Caceres stay, and gget Senna. Should be enough short term.

  9. Kari
    August 17, 2010

    “My son has always said that the only club he wanted to go to was Real M*drid.”

    Yeah. Just like how he said Barcelona was his favourite team.

    You know, deep down, I kinda feel sorry for Madridistas. I mean, just when they though their team understood the value of canteranos, they go and buy youth from other teams.

    Ouch.

  10. fcbfan
    August 17, 2010

    Yeah wonde what will happen to Canales. Canales, Ozil, Di Maria, Benzema… all young players at EE.

  11. Euler
    August 17, 2010

    EE biggest need by far is left full back. If they don’t address that they’ve had an incomplete signing period once again where they are prioritizing players rather than the system.

    That said, you can see them putting together a number of the pieces Mourhino had at Inter to reconstitute that system. They may not be able to do it in one transfer summer but that’s the direction they’re headed in.

    Ozil’s camp spoke with Barca but Barca simply didn’t want him. Can’t blame him for moving on.

    The major club that made the most sense for Ozil was Man U. Their age in midfield is obviously an issue and Ozil could have stepped right in to a starring role there.

    But evidently he didn’t even consider Man U at all. That’s why Man U didn’t even put in a bid. At the same time Nike wanted to make him the face of their campaign in Germany and told him he needed to make sure he got playing time. That he’d be better off staying in Germany and starting than going to Spain and sitting on the bench.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens. Ozil maps well to the role Sneijder played at Inter last season as a hybrid advanced mid/ support striker. Van Der Vaart doesn’t. Mourhino was never going to rely on Canales.

    But as always the challenge is to make that mess of players a real system. And that’s going to be very difficult. Barca not only has more balanced talent in the starting XI but balanced talent that acts cohesively.

    The only issue that’s in EE’s favor is depth.

    • Hannibal
      August 17, 2010

      “EE biggest need by far is left full back” I second that and it doesn’t look like they’ll be buying one which is good.

      Nonetheless I actually like they way they look in midfield with Alonso, Khedira, VDV, Ozil and either (Leon/Granero/Di Maria) they have width and creativity enough imo. Add Crynaldo as a creative, be it whining, genius and a lethal Higuain and there good to give us some more pressure than last year.

      EE has depth, a better defence than last year and a better coach vs still the best, actually even better starting lineup but very little depth…it is going to be close this year.

      • BA
        August 17, 2010

        “a hybrid advanced mid/support striker”.

        you mean Kaká?! you know, that player they bought at the start of last season for somewhere around the 2nd largest transfer fee ever? that’s his job description to a tee. okay, he’s injured for awhile but good lord if they’re looking to replace him already, and i can’t see any other rational explanation for this buy, that’s shocking.

        :note: yes, i would feel MUCH better about this season if we bought an established midfielder before the window closed; Senna being the preferred option.

        • Euler
          August 17, 2010

          Yes obviously that’s also Kaka’s role. Difficult to know what they think of him now. I get the sense that they aren’t counting on him and may see him as a sunk cost.

          That may be why they were keen on Ozil. If Kaka isn’t someone they can count on and Van Der Vaart doesn’t fit the system, bringing in a player for “only” 15M in the EE world may make sense.

          But who knows what’s going on there. Mourhino never sounded thrilled about Kaka.

  12. Kxevin
    August 17, 2010

    Official team picture day today, and guess who was in it, and who wasn’t?

    Caceres was in it. Hleb wasn’t. Also in the UEFA official pic were the likes of Dos Santos, Thiago, Oier, Mino, Sergio Gomez, Fontas, Victor Vasquez and Oriol Romeu.

    • August 17, 2010

      If we keep Caceres, that may end up being the best transfer we made this season. But Photoshop’s magic make the official team picture, “official, for now…”

      I am ok with not signing Özil. I will keep feeling ok about it till we pay 10 times his cost to sign someone else in his position.

      Jonathan and Thiago, prove us right!

  13. Kari
    August 17, 2010

    VILLA!!

    I honestly can’t wait. Saturday, come already!

    -Like Jnice? posted before, Depor are interested in Muniesa and Carles something. Considering their role in that Felipe non-transfer, I say we flip ’em off and tell them they ain’t coming.

    Besides, I’d be really upset if we let Muniesa go. He has to be my fav B team defender.

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      They just wanted either of them on loan, but according to some reports, we have rejected their offer.

  14. Kari
    August 17, 2010

    Funny when I go to the official site, it says:

    THIS SITE MAY HARM YOUR COMPUTER and a Malware warning.

    Guess I won’t be going there for a while…

    • Kxevin
      August 17, 2010

      Kari is correct. Stay clear of the official site for a while. I visited (via IE, silly me) and picked up a couple of pieces of malware. I got rid of ’em, but be warned.

      • Jnice
        August 17, 2010

        I visited, but I trusted my Mac and went through with it. Hopefully I won’t regret it.

        • August 17, 2010

          If there is something Mac can brag about, its that 🙂

          Still not lot of psychos feel it worth programing troubles for Mac. Exe-platform troubles are still more marketable!

  15. BA
    August 17, 2010

    i don’t have any problems with US not signing Ozil, i just still don’t feel comfortable about our lack of depth. i was never convinced that he was the player for us, but our problem of minimal established midfield players remains. i’m going to be restless until we address it, and if we start the season with a squad this light i just don’t think we’re going to compete at the level and breadth we’re used to.

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      I think that if we go into the season without any more purchases (DM), we can win either La Liga or CL, but it would be hard to do both. Copa, I’m not too sure about, because I feel Pep will play a lot of youngsters in those matches.

  16. August 17, 2010

    Yeah it is really annoying that some members of the board contradict each other so much. Whereas I can see why you would sell Ibra if a monster bid came in, why talk about it? Even better, let’s keep him motivated so that he will rock for us this season and we will never want to sell him. I wonder what the mood is in Catalunya regarding the president that they have just selected.

    @vicsoc agree with your three reasons for not loaning out Bojan.

  17. poipoi
    August 17, 2010

    besides it’s 15 million!!! like hleb!!! omfg

  18. August 17, 2010

    @Jnice I don’t give a COÑO about the copa. The only reason I want us to stay in it as long as possible is to give experience to the kids.

    If we win either la liga or the CL I will be very happy, provided that if it is the league that we win then EE should NOT win the CL!

  19. Diego S.
    August 17, 2010

    EE is buying star players .. All of which were stars at their original club and expecting to start in the line-up .. Yet They’re neglecting their defense which is good for us .. They’re going to be a very powerful PES side when 2011 comes out ..

  20. Kxevin
    August 17, 2010

    –Here’s the thing about EE and Ozil: They don’t really have two brilliant incumbents at the positions, and two potentially brilliant incumbents-in-training. So the purchase is head scratching for them, but wouldn’t have made a lick of sense for us. As in zero. And don’t forget the omnipresent Fabregas lust.

    –And I’m still not completely sold on him, and I hope he doesn’t prove me wrong against us this season. But he was pretty invisible against Spain at the WC.

    –Agree with Ramzi about Caceres, and the malleability of “official” pictures. But I hope that he stays. I don’t think that he completely played himself out of town the last time he was here, and his back line versatility makes him valuable.

    –That malware business is why my next computer is going to be a Mac, now that I can split the brain and run VPN on the PC sliver.

    –Finally, poor Hleb. Lots of teams have been rumored to have asked about him, Sevilla being the latest. No serious bites so far, however.

    • August 17, 2010

      If you think mac’s are not vulnerable to malware , adware , worms or viruses you are wrong.

      • Jnice
        August 17, 2010

        I’ve had mine for 4 years now and I’ve had no problems. Though I also run Windows on it and that has picked up a few things.

      • August 17, 2010

        Mac platform that is not compatible -originally- to .exe extensions (the most common applications transmitted) makes it armored against most common harmful programs.

        • August 17, 2010

          thats true but while apple software sales shoots up , more people will be inclined to write code for it(and malicious one too , as a result 😉 )
          Its just a market thing , if you really want to attack people’s computers(for whatever purposes -advertising, setting up a botnet or stealing personal info- ) it requires less efort and many more possible targets if you aim at the ones that are little to nothing prepared for such attack/trap ,and those are found easily within the market of pc’s, that cover the 99% of the market , rather than the one of the mac’s . But if the numbers change , and this is happening for some time, software market will redirect itself too (both for commercial/gaming and malicious purposes)

    • August 17, 2010

      About official pictures: Ozil was in Werder Bremen’s official picture just yesterday.

  21. Euler
    August 17, 2010

    Agree on Caceres. He played well for Juve and did ok at the World Cup. He isn’t ideal for the Barca system in terms of skill on the ball but as a 4th CB he might fit in fine and allow Fontas to be integrated in a controlled fashion.

    Ozil played well at the Cup when he had time and space on the ball. When faced with the relentless high press spain played he (and more aptly the entire German side) couldn’t dictate the game.

    A major reason why Ozil struggled against Spain was the same reason why Sneijder struggled against Spain: Sergio Busquets and his positional awareness.

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      Yeah, I hope Pep realizes we probably need to keep him with us. Plays across the whole backline, has pace, just needs to town down his tackles and learn to pass the ball.

  22. August 17, 2010

    Yeah I wonder what’s up with Hleb.

    I originally disagreed with his purchase (at his price) when we already had a player who dribbled and passed (better) and didn’t score to save his life (but still scored more than Hleb) in Iniesta.

    It seems to me Guardiola simply prefers the canteranos, which I can understand up to a point, but since we have Hleb why isn’t he in the squad. I haven’t seen him play at Stuttgart except for his wondergoal at the start of last season, but is he worse than two teenagers who hardly have any Liga experience?

  23. poipoi
    August 17, 2010

    Damn I’m mad at my club!!! Aaaargh!!! Let me tell you, if EE wins this liga and we don’t get CL or something I’ll only support my beloved players, screw this stuff, screw the club, screw the canterano fundamentalists, every year the same old thing. 2 years ago we had the best team ever seen with xaviniesta-busiyaya — messi-etoo-pedro and we just threw it all away again!!! like when ronnie & co won the CL!! and now this year after strugglin’ vs inter and madrid we can get masche and özil and we say “no, our youngsters can handle the challenge” all without doing any major test on the youngsters, like let’s say LAST F*CKING YEAR

    I sorta could handle the etoo-ibra swap but this is too much for me. 4 losses 2 signings you gotta be kidding me. It was clear last year already that the list was short, we are playing 3 hard competitions. I don’t think we intend to win them all with this kind of list. Remember we got back to be the best ever ’cause foreigners like ronnie deco or etoo came to play here… all of them marvellously helped by our precious cantera. Don’t get me wrong we would be nobody without xavi iniesta puyi pique, in fact there’s nobody that get more love from me than iniesta xavi or pedro! … but the foreigners were key in the change of the club. We gotta know our limitations, it’s lke they think someday somewhere there will be born a catalan ronaldinho or messi, not in the next years I think. You have to look for those players, and get ’em while they’re young!!! özil to me is one of those players with a special thing (like a good version of guti) but maybe I’m wrong, let’s hope so sonce he’s in EE now. Let me tell you also that pep hasn’t had a single good signing, ibra would be the best one 🙁 … but on the other hand just look at busi and pedro!

    sorry for sounding so loud but every year it’s the samew thing. Hope özil is not as good as I think, but I have a good concept of my eye for players.

      • Diego S.
        August 17, 2010

        I kinda agree with you .. but i’m not worried about EE .. We have a better XI and we play better football .. I believe we can defeat them .. Just Look at Khedira and Ozil against Spain .. What I’m worried about is other teams .. They park the bus and we don’t have a plan B .. My Only hope is that we buy a DM .. and then send several messages to Pep that he should use 2 DMs in big matches ..

          • Diego S.
            August 17, 2010

            Like in the semifinal against Inter .. the 1st leg .. I think if we used Yaya and Busquet , Xavi , Keita , Messi , Pedro/Ibra it would’ve been better ..

    • OhYes
      August 17, 2010

      relax dude. Let’s not turn into madridistas where they abandon the team when they don’t win. that’s bogus as hell man.

      look if Guardiola isn’t comfortable with a player, or if he feels that a signing isn’t necessary, why should people force him to change his mind? He’s the one in charge right now, he has ideas as to where he wants to go with the team and he’s working on his project. It’s best not to fiddle with that unless he’s failing miserably or something, which he isn’t.

      • poipoi
        August 17, 2010

        absolutely true. I think he is doing what cruiff did with him, he got promoted at 17 or so, nobody or almost nobody knew who he was and later won a CL. I think his canterano background can affect his “objetivity” (objetividad) but since such thing doesn’t even exist, and more in footy… who better than a canterano coach?

    • Kxevin
      August 17, 2010

      poipoi, you are welcome to do what you like. But part of having the players we have is that it takes a very special player to augment or, heaven forfend, replace them. I don’t purport to know more than Guardiola or the technical staff.

      The Yaya wanted to leave. We honored his request. Should Guardiola have rolled over, showed his belly and guaranteed him the playing time that he was demanding? The club wanted to keep The Yaya. But he didn’t want to stay. That’s life.

      Guardiola didn’t want Eto’o, and when you see Ibrahimovic at his best, it’s clear why. Will the experiment ultimately work out? Who knows. But again, one year is too soon to be able to say anyone could “sorta handle the etoo-ibra swap.”

      If the club brings in the WRONG player, the cules are all over the club’s ass. Txigrinski? Kill him! Guardiola and Laporta are morons! What a waste of money! Hleb? Kill him! Guardiola and Laporta are morons. What a waste of money!

      Yes, Ronaldinho and Deco were augmented by players from the cantera, but they were fully grown and ready to start in the side. We have foreigners, and among the best in the world. Ibrahimovic, excellent squad players who would start for many a club in Correia and Andrade, a potential player who DID start for Juventus (Caceres).

      Our club is damned if it does (Hleb, Txigrinski) and damned if it doesn’t (Dos Santos, Thiago, etc). The season hasn’t even started yet and people are threatening to stop supporting Barca, conceding the Liga to EE, etc, etc.

      Even IF Ozil is good, where is he going to play for us, and is that worth discarding the future for? People want to play Krkic over Ibrahimovic, but nobody wants to give Dos Santos and Thiago a chance? How do you KNOW they aren’t good enough? With 4 canteranos in critical positions and only 2 regular starters in the side, we had Sevilla under control, until a few fatigue-based errors. It happens.

      None of us have seen enough of Ozil to call him anything except talented. A good version of Guti? Which means what? Would any of us take Guti over Xavi or Iniesta? Really? So if Ozil is a good version of Guti, that just means he still isn’t as good as what we have and potentially, what is waiting in the wings.

      Every year this club makes smart purchases that augment the sporting project. Ibrahimovic and Andrade last season, and there have been the likes of Hleb, Alves, Keita and Henry. Every year it is NOT the same thing. Have some sense of history. Please.

      • poipoi
        August 17, 2010

        it took many years to see the xavi and iniesta we are seeing now. thiago and jds HAVE to get in the team, little by little but I don’t see this specific signing affecting those two way too much, he can play in the wing also and well. JDS can do DM I think. It’s not like cesc that is pure midfield, özil is more versatile… but wait, wait. I won’t say anything about him he’s a storm trooper now 😀 😀 😀

        I would love to see the kids on fire, and take keita’s place.

  24. August 17, 2010

    Poipoi are you saying there were no foreigners before Ronnie and Eto’o? I seem to remember that half the team was Dutch…

    Ozil might be great, but I don´t think he is better than Fabregas who we will surely get next year. Who is Catalan and knows our system and when he plays for us will play for his boyhood club. And then what do we do with Ozil? 4th choice behind Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc?

    The only purchases we would need right now imo are backup CB and DM. And don’t say that Pep did not have a good signing this summer. Villa is a huge transfer.

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      IMO, Adriano is a pretty big transfer as well.

      • poipoi
        August 17, 2010

        villa and adriano I like them both, I liked ibra too I guess if etoo had to leave. but I was saying by now, that they have been playing a full year.

        I just looked it up and the year pep came also came keita alves pique hleb (4, triplete) but don’t know if he had anything to do with those. after that txigri ibra maxwell (2, onetete) 😉 not bad but nothing stellar, hope this year is different. Don’t know is this sounds good or bad, but the starting 11 are so damn good we have to win every championship we’re in, period. Specially CL… EE can keep la liga if we win the CL. Specially in the fall in “octavos” again. AND since we are so good and we are always in the quarterfinals if not semifinals and last 3 years we won 2 CL’s could we win more often? and since I’m asking… 2 in a row? that would be amazing, I always felt since ronnie and deco that this team was a dinasty, with xavi & iniesta with a bigger role. then comes messi & yaya, after that pique and now busi and pedro! … the canteranos are the business but with that core, able of the best, why do we sign so badly when it comes to offensive players lately? since 2005 look: van vommel, EZQUERRO HLEB guddy titi ibra … I just felt that özil could be a good player for us but maybe he was not signed because pep already knows we’re cursed. txigrinskyi style.

        can’t review my writing gotta leave sorry for the tone and mistakes

    • Euler
      August 17, 2010

      Fabergas is going to cost over 45M. Difficult to compare him to a player that cost 15M – a player that the club dismissed out of hand.

      Given how this summer has progressed, Fabergas makes almost no sense at all. If they believe in JDS and Thiago and are willing to role the dice with them – to the point where you are going to not even attempt to sign Ozil at all despite him wanting to play here – then bringing in Fabergas for enormous money really isn’t a coherent strategy.

      That’s the kind of move EE would make quite honestly.

  25. Diego S.
    August 17, 2010

    We need to calm down .. We didn’t lose 4 and Buy 2 .. We lost 4 and got 4 .. Villa (Current Form) is Better than Henry .. Adriano, Caceres, and VicSan .. We could’ve won the Treple again last season .. If we played with the same squad against Inter we would’ve won if we played differently and handled the match better .. And Against Sevilla in Copa Del Rey we could’ve done better

    People are emotional and get bored quickly .. we want big signings and NEW signings every year .. Even if we never heard about that new player we just love to see the words “Official : Barcelona Sign …”

    • Kxevin
      August 17, 2010

      If Krkic doesn’t push that header wide, if the referee rules that the ball played the man rather than a deliberate hand ball, we are in the final and probably win it. Shit happens.

      The treble year, we got every break possible, and then some. And we’re spoiled already? Before that were two trophyless seasons and a recall vote for the president that everyone is now hailing as such a sporting success.

      I repeat: This is the most difficult club in the world to play for, because of the fans, press and expectations.

      • Bill
        August 17, 2010

        Yes, we had some lucky breaks in that record winning season. But as a result, Pep was elevated to a higher level than he should have, and given too much control over personell decisions. Then Ibra and Chygrinsky happened. It should never have happened.

        • Jnice
          August 17, 2010

          Who is supposed to make personnel decisions if it’s not the manager? No one else should have a say.

          • Vicsoc8
            August 17, 2010

            I think I agree withe the general principle you are getting at, but I would also say that the sporting director should work closely with the manager and he two of them should determine signings. It is generally beneficial to have tel different viewpoints, provided they can work well together.

            The president however, should never be involved in determining signings.

        • Kxevin
          August 17, 2010

          “Should never have happened” are very strong words. We don’t know yet. Txigrinski was sold after an injury-hampered season. Ibrahimovic might be sold, in favor of who, or what?

          Everyone can read it here first: If we sell Ibrahimovic, we will be worse off than we were last season. The combo platter of movement, control, scoring ability and passing can, if properly used, make our offense extraordinary. And he, Messi and Villa can all interchange, making us even more difficult to play and plan for.

          The way the system used to work was that Guardiola and Txiki B. would consult, then reach a decision on the player. Then Laporta and the board would get involved. Did Guardiola have a degree of personnel carte blanche? Sure. Any coach would be given that after what Guardiola did.

          Hindsight is always 20/20, but many, myself included, think that Txigrinski deserved more time. So did Guardiola.

  26. Jnice
    August 17, 2010

    Watching the Gamper match vs City and Fontas truly does know how to pass. It looks so easy for him and I guess it is since he was formerly a DM

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      Gai looked so bad in this match and Thiago was gold.

  27. Bojan
    August 17, 2010

    my god… what will i give just to be one week in practice with those guys… being like family as like one is what wins games…. i am so proud of my team and i will support it till the death!!! Please lord, grant me just one day to train with barca… thats why we are mes que un club… the photos speaks everything… i am so proud of my club and i love it… VISCA EL BARCA!!! TE QUEIRO!!! and by the way no transfer is that much important like having the unique family relations in a team… motivating photos i must say… thank you Kev!

  28. August 17, 2010

    Yeah Adriano looks like a good signing too.

    I am not arguing whether getting Cesc makes sense or not (I think it does but let’s not have that argument agaaain lol). What I am saying though is it looks very very very likely that we will get Cesc next summer. In which case it makes no sense to sign Ozil and yet indeed makes sense to give the youngins a chance. And even more sense to get Masch (or another DM) for a position we really do need cover for so that if need be we can move Biscuits to MF in case we need cover for forward midfield positions.

  29. Kxevin
    August 17, 2010

    Abidal escaped sanction in World Cupgate. Anelka got a 16-match ban, which all but ends his international career.

    • Vicsoc8
      August 17, 2010

      To my knowledge, which I’m sure isn’t as great as kxevins, Abidal rightfully was not punished for his actions in the world cup. Perhaps you could comment on his culpability, or lack thereof, in France’s disintegration.

      • Bill
        August 17, 2010

        You hardly ever hear anything from Abidal. He almost never does anything remotely controversial on the pitch or off the pitch. I would have a hard time believing he was integral in what happened to france. He may be just guilty of going along with the strike.

        • Kxevin
          August 17, 2010

          Abidal was part of the madding throng. He, like EVERY other member of Les Bleus, has extreme reservations about the qualities of Dumbenech and his abilities to continue to lead the squad.

          Initial, and ultimately incorrect reports had Abidal being part of the revolution. Was he passive/aggressive? You bet. The whole side was.

          Should he have been stronger in his actions in trying to unite the squad and salvage something from the WC? Yes. Like Henry, he gave a Gallic shoulder shrug and watched it all happen. Henry’s excuse that “Had I been playing, I would have had more control” is bullshit. He and Abidal, in addition to the other elder statesmen, had the power to bring that squad into line.

          Abidal was contrite, and very cooperative with the FFF and the investigation, as well. He’s a good egg, so to speak.

  30. Barcathegreatestever
    August 17, 2010

    Vicsoc8 has the only sensible things to say about Bojan. Loaning him out is a dumb idea. Whe he starts with Villa and Messi beside him and Xavi and Iniesta behind him, Barca returns to the form we are in awe of. Then there is Pedro and if Ibra finally comes good so much the better.

    Putting too much responsibility on the canteros and for that matter a second year starter is a mistake. As good as the offense was in 09 the defense was what delivered in those rare tight games. Not so last year.

    • Vicsoc8
      August 17, 2010

      I don’t know exactly how you interpreted my comments, but I just want to be crystal clear that I don’t think Bojan should be a starter this year. He can still learn and flourish as an important squad player.

    • Hilal
      August 17, 2010

      Uh actually I think you will find that if you check your facts defensively we were BETTER last year than the year before. Here, read this *http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/05/18/barcelona-champions-2009-10-tactics/

      You might learn something..

  31. Barcathegreatestever
    August 17, 2010

    How do you get we got every break the treble year? Blew out the Champions of the French league, the German League, the Italian league, dominated the CL final and made our luck a man down, a man fucking down away at Chelsea. Won the El Classico one of a handfull in their entire history. What were you watching. We were all saying this was possibly the greatest squad ever to play this game. Then we won the three super cups with Ibra torturing the flow of play. Thank God for Pedro, your “sub at best” player, Spains newest starting forward and World Champion.

    • OhYes
      August 17, 2010

      Still always takes a little luck, even if it’s the greatest squad ever.

      I don’t know if you have realized this or not but Iniesta’s goal? Yeah. That’s luck. Yes there is a lot of skill involved in hitting that ball but any wind or even a butterfly in the way and that ball ain’t going in. Many more examples of this. Also, I think a lot of Refs would have called those penalties. We got lucky in that respect, too.

      Granted, Essien’s goal was lucky as well.

    • ooga aga
      August 17, 2010

      “…Ibra torturing the flow of play.”

      that’s how i felt so many times. let’s see if it works better this season.

  32. Vicsoc8
    August 17, 2010

    I’m all for giving the canteranos a chance, but I still think the team needs at least one more signing this summer (and maybe even 2). However I’ve already expended lots of words and bandwidth arguing this, so let’s chat about something else I’m concerned about given the lack of transfers.

    I have been getting the impression that there is a serious internal power struggle going on at the club since Rosell took over. Some of us have speculated on the unspoken reasons behind Txigrinski’s transfer – that it was a power play by Rosell to remind Pep who was in charge. I’m worried that our lack of transfers this summer is a result of a power struggle that has emerged as a result.

    We all know that pep is a stubborn man, and it is possible that he is refusing transfers because he feels the transfer policy of the board is not to support his vision of the development of the team. For example, the board could be contacting players and clubs about transfers, but it may just be that they are focusing on what Pep has asked for. As a result Pep denies the transfer.

    I guess what I’m trying to say, is that Pep has spoken about the squad being short before, and it is shorter now. I think Pep does want a transfer, but he the options the board are giving him don’t fit his criteria, and so he would rather no transfer than one that doesn’t fit his idea of what the team needs.

    I’ve been known to stray onto conspiracy before, so let me know what you think

    • Vicsoc8
      August 17, 2010

      Should read: “it may just be that they are NOT focusing On what Pep has asked for”

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      I guess what I’m trying to say, is that Pep has spoken about the squad being short before, and it is shorter now. I think Pep does want a transfer, but he the options the board are giving him don’t fit his criteria, and so he would rather no transfer than one that doesn’t fit his idea of what the team needs.

      That’s what I think as well, because I don’t see how he would suddenly be satisfied about our squad depth when last year he wasn’t and that was with two more players than now.

      He might be trying to prove a point.

      • Hannibal
        August 17, 2010

        It looks like it and I unfortunately (because of the board-Pep dispute) agree as well. Moreover, his latest words on ‘txigrinski’ etc… do not blow this opinion away.

    • Kari
      August 17, 2010

      I hate Rosell.

      I think you hit the nail on the head. I’m not sure Pep will stay on next season. If you connect the dots, it’s not hard to see him and Rosell don’t exactly see eye to eye.

      Again, I don’t want to think about it since the season’s gonna start soon, but our days in the sun seem to be numbered…

  33. Barcathegreatestever
    August 17, 2010

    Bojan and Pedro are starters, maybe Bojan lacks consistency but he doesn’t have to carry the team just like Sergio last year. He just has to play in the system, not turn the ball over 80% of the time like Ibra, complete more than 20% of his passes like Ibra, stay onside more than 50% like Ibra, get yellowed every third game for his shitty attitude like Ibra. Which is why he was a starter already at the end of last season with the one last chance of a title on the line. Course every year is a new beginning.

    This Ibra crap in the press started with Ibra and his agent by the way not Barca. Him talking about being flattered and everything changing in 24 hours. And wanting the EPL eventually. Who knows what he’s saying to the club.

    • Bill
      August 17, 2010

      Yeah, this Ibra trade was the worst bit of business the team ever did. It has gotten them into a myriad of problems, including spending 40mil to cover for his lack of explosive goal production, and having their own newspapers turn against them. I couldnt believe it when it was happening, but I don’t know what they can do with him now.

      I just hope he can have a decent season though. Outperform himself like henry did. The team needs it.

      • jordi(TM)
        August 17, 2010

        “the worst bit of business the team ever did”

        that would be replacing Figo with the likes of Overmars and Petit,and dont get me started on Geovanni. In case you didnt realize we still won the league last year.We signed Villa to replace henry, even if ibrahimovic scored 40 goals i bet we wouldve still signed him regardless, just like we will sign cesc next year regardless of our success.

        • Hannibal
          August 17, 2010

          oh so true about Petit and Overmars. However when the latter was actually playing he contributed but then again he very rarely did so.

        • Bill
          August 17, 2010

          To me, it’s the worst because of how much was spent, plus how much we later had to spend on Villa.

          We won the league, but thats just it, we won 1 title after the 6! And we barely survived that one. We weren’t annihilating teams like the past season, and we were saved by Messi’s amazing goal production. Pedro made up for henry, so what was the problem?

          • jordi(TM)
            August 17, 2010

            To me its unreasonable to expect us to do anymore than we did.3 of those trophies coincided with the next season anyway, and you can only defend them if you repeat a treble.And i cant expect or demand that, when the previous one had required a miracle strike in the cl semi, and pinto’s save when he pointed to the penalty taker where he would dive. Last year we came close, if bojan’s goal wasnt disallowed we would be possibly celebrating a league and cl repeat.Which is amazing and inconceivable when you take a step back and look at it.

  34. August 17, 2010

    @Poipoi

    “every year it’s the same thing.”

    Yes, every year we are winning the liga plus some other silverware. Whats wrong with that?

    How come you praise Pedro and Busquets while being angry because Barcelona didnt sign Özil?

    Pedro and Busquets were last season in the same situation Thiago and JDS are in at the moment. On Pep transfers blog I was attacked in the comments session for opposing any signing for the left wing. During the season we all know how it went in Busquets case. Yet, because we didnt sign a left wing, and because we didnt shoot Busquets after his first mistake, they are where they are now. And you are praising them.

    Now take of Pedro and Busquets names from the above paragraph, and put Thiago and JDS, then read your original comment where you say:

    “Damn I’m mad at my club!!! Aaaargh!!! Let me tell you, if EE wins this liga and we don’t get CL or something I’ll only support my beloved players, screw this stuff, screw the club, screw the canterano fundamentalists, every year the same old thing. ”

    Does it sound different now? It should be!

    Beside, it seems they bought him for over 16 millions and gave him a salary of 5 millions AFTER tax. For his initial contract with the club! Are you kidding me?

    And hey! Özil is NOT a Ronaldinho!

    • poipoi
      August 17, 2010

      hasn’t it been two years of busi & pedro? I think so, and I also think those cases are not the common ones. They are more like wonders, hope JDS and Thiago are those kind of wonders also. And Oriol Romeu and Muniesa and Oier and Sergio Gomez and Fontas and Rochina… and myself what the hell!!! I just don’t see özil harming any of JDS or Thiago’s development.

      it does sound different ’cause different are the players and different is the moment. think of your sentence with giovani dos santos and bojan 😀

      • Vj
        August 18, 2010

        Yeah, even I can’t imagine how JDS or Thiago’s development might get affected by the arrival of a player in the same age group and position as they play in..

  35. Bill
    August 17, 2010

    On the issue of Bojan, I believe he will be great in the future. I have no doubt about it. He has all the tools needed to make an impact on the soccer field. But he has been mishandled by the coaches.

    Rijkaard would have used the same formula on him as he did with messi and Iniesta. Give him regular incremental minutes towards the end of most games. Play him to his strengths then try and expand those strengths. Once he gets used to playing first team games, guarantee him atleast 30mins a game, eventually 60, and finally a full time starter.
    Pep on the other hand has completely mishandled Bojan. He subs him in with 3 minutes remaining in many games, and thats only after bojan hasn’t seen any action for 3 or 4 games. And then once in a while, throws him in as a starter, against teams like sevilla, valencia or Atletico Madrid no less. And once he misperforms, he is benched for the next 5 games! Thats a recipe for disaster.

    Same formula was used for Pedro and Busquets. They were just thrown into the starting line-up, after they were hardly used a season prior to that one. Thank God Pedro and Busquets were old enough very ready to come in and play, and thank God their deficiencies were never ruthlessly exposed frequently, because the rest of the team was soo dominant.

    Teams hardly ever play to their full potential in the first games of the season. It’s even worse on young inexperienced players who end up being either too nervous or too anxious. Bojan was also played in his least favorite attacking position. It would be a big mistake to bench him for long periods again. He is ready to be given about 20 mins a game. He should get them, because he is very important in Barca’s future.

    • Kxevin
      August 17, 2010

      Krkic needs one, preferably two, of the following: confidence, size, technique. You simply can’t have a striker who gets dispossessed almost every time he faces up a defender. Would anyone tolerate such a thing from any other player? No.

      Krkic didn’t play more because he didn’t earn that time where it counted, in matches and in practice. Being the Boy Wonder is a heavy crown, but it isn’t a birthright. He shouldn’t be in the first team right now. He should be with Enrique and the B teamers, or on loan. He needs development time, which means playing time. And because we are so focused on winning trophies, we don’t have time to be a development team for diminutive strikers.

      Krkic had the opportunity to put this club into the Champions League final, and pushed a wide-open header wide. Sorry, but he did. And if he has all the tools necessary to become a great player, he should be able to make stuff happen against Sevilla, Valencia or Atletico Madrid. Live up to the hype.

      Rijkaard? His mismanagement of an entire squad cost us silver for two seasons. He lost the locker room, hence the squad. He was rightly fired. Krkic was wrongly promoted, in my opinion. He isn’t ready yet.

      The comparisons to Pedro! and Busquets are sound. They were put into the first team because Guardiola thought they were ready, and he was right. Why, then, do we suspect that he isn’t using Krkic as a true first-teamer? Probably because he isn’t performing in a way that warrants that role.

      Busquets was the first-team defensive mid on a side that lives in the midfield. If he’d had deficiencies that were ready to be exposed, they would have been. Yes, he’s a shameful diver at times and at the beginning, didn’t take as sound care of the ball as he should. But he seems to have taken care of that.

      Pedro! came into the lineup and started scoring goals, and important ones. In match after match. This, coupled with Henry rightfully finding a seat on the bench, placed his star in the ascendancy. He even played his way into being capped for Spain, and played very well in his World Cup appearances.

      Those two players entered the first team and performed as they should have to remain in the first team, with no excuses being made about the quality of the competition being too difficult for them. If you have the skills, it doesn’t matter if it’s the UEFA SuperCup. It didn’t for Pedro! Krkic didn’t evince the necessary skills with a consistency sufficient to earn him more time. And that’s why he isn’t a real first-teamer.

      Is he talented? Absolutely. Is his situation a complex one? Absolutely. People are against loaning Krkic. I don’t blame them. But is he going to get the playing time that he needs, playing behind Ibrahimovic, Villa, Messi and Pedro!?

      Guardiola runs a meritocracy. You earn your spot. Henry didn’t, so he sat. A bad run of play by Ibrahimovic? He sat. The Yaya got clunky? He sat. And you know what? The arrival of Villa even gives Guardiola the chance to sit Messi when he hits a bad stretch of form (unless people are thinking he is going to have another year like he had last year).

      Krkic hasn’t earned his spot, so he doesn’t have one. It’s as simple as that. And I’m sure people will say “Oh, you hate Krkic.” I don’t. We would all love to see him succeed. But he shouldn’t be handed a spot in a championship side just because he needs the development. That’s what the B team is for.

      • vicsoc8
        August 17, 2010

        1) Being interested in winning trophies and developing young players are not mutually exclusive, even if the players are “diminutive strikers”.

        2) Bojan played a similar amount of minutes as Marquez last year. Was Marquez not a true first team player?

        Sorry if this is incorrect, but from your posts I get the feeling that Bojan isn’t living up to your expectations of him. He is playing a useful role as a squad player, which is as much as you can reasonably expect from someone his age.

        • aULD sUPER
          August 17, 2010

          Bojan needs to go on loan, he needed to go last year or the year before in fact but he really needs to go now so he can show how good ( or average as I suspect ) he really is.

      • Bill
        August 17, 2010

        I would agree about Krkic, if he was 24. Dude is 19. All good coaches don’t put the load on a 19yrs (if his name isn’t Messi). Even Balotelli, besides his bad attitude, and with his size, was still being brought in very carefully by Mourinho. Balotelli just wasn’t patient or wasn’t smart enough to understand what the coach was doing. SAF did the same thing with Ronaldo, Nani & Anderson. He brought all of them into the team slowly, untill they were ready to handle the reins. The pressure is unbelievable for a young guy, and thats why you have to handle with care.

        • Dave
          August 17, 2010

          But why not let him play with Barca B and develop?

  36. August 17, 2010

    The squad is definitely light, too light. We were hanging on by a thread last year — remember when Iniesta was out and Xavi was tired as hell? Well, they just played basically every minute of Spain’s world cup. In fact, Xavi hasn’t had a rest in 3 yrs. We’re seriously risking it this yr with a squad this thin.

    If Pep didn’t want Ozil, that’s fine. But we should’ve got someone, anyone, to be a squad player. I don’t know if Hleb will be sticking around or what, but it honestly wouldn’t be the worst thing.

    By the way, to whoever said Pep hasn’t had any good signings, leaving aside the always-controversial Ibra discussion, how would you classify Dani Alves and Keita? And Maxwell, to a lesser degree? Come on, give credit where it’s due.

    Agree with every word viscoc8 said about Bojan.

  37. Bill
    August 17, 2010

    On the issue of Oezil, I really don’t think he is that great. Yes he had a good worldcup, but he wasn’t such a standout for werder bremen last year.

    He is very good at quick counter attacking moves, running at retreating defenders and 30yrd strikes. Basically, very good at playing against Barcelona. What I havent seen from him is an ability to play Tiki Taka, Proding and Probing parked buses patiently, then making an intelligent defence splitting pass. To me, he wasn’t worth it, unless we planned to use him as a makeweight for a Fabregas deal later on.

    The only player in Real Madrid’s squad that still scares me a little is Kaka. Yes he is injured. But a healthy Kaka is the business. He has the ability to make Ronaldo and Higuain hard to contain because you definately have to focus on him. Im hoping Madrid are foolish enough to get rid of him like they did with Robben and Schneijder.

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      Kaka is wack. Never been impressed by him. What you said about Ozil not being able to play tiki taka and all that applies to Kaka more so. He doesn’t make defense splitting passes regularly and close him down and he’s not a threat. He lives and dies by the counter. How someone could be afraid of Kaka, especially the Kaka of this year amazes me.

      • Bill
        August 17, 2010

        Not the injured kaka of the past 2 years. But the kaka before that. And you are right, he thrived on the counter attack. That Kaka has the ability to destroy any defender in his path, and can make CR9 more dangerous because you will be damned if you focus on kaka or CR9. It’s that partnership than I don’t want to see. Oezil can be contained. He just doesn’t possess kaka’s qualities.

        • Jnice
          August 17, 2010

          Kaka could destroy any defender in his path? Huh? Are you talking about Messi? But anyway, that Kaka is long gone, so I’m not worried (even tho the “old” Kaka never scared me either).

          • Dave
            August 17, 2010

            Jnice just give credit where its due, the ‘old’ Kaka was brilliant.

          • Jnice
            August 17, 2010

            I don’t think he was brilliant, so I’m not going to give credit to anybody. Brilliant is Ronaldinho, Messi, Ronaldo… not Kaka. Sorry.

          • Kari
            August 17, 2010

            Ricky sold his soul when he went to EE.

            That’s all I have to say on that topic.

          • Dave
            August 17, 2010

            Watch Kaka vs Man u and you’ll witness brillance. And IMO he did not sell his soul-Milan could not turn down that offer for him. I do believe they sold him knowing his nagging knee injury-‘a pig in a bag’ as the saying goes.

  38. August 17, 2010

    Remember euro 2008? Spain won it , xavi played every minute in it.
    Our players were tired as hell , nobody had decent preseason training.
    A new coach was installed , that had coached no other team than that of the 3rd tier league and two of our former star players were dismissed along with our right back (oleguer).The only upside was that we just had signed the most promising right back in spain , and we brought back a canterano that didnt look that good at the time.3 youth were promoted and earned some playing time , busquets , pedro and victor vasquets.
    This year we bought villa and adriano , a super scorer fully compatible with our midfield and defence and a super versatile player.
    This year we are lacking in depth only as opposing to 2008 that the whole functionality of the team was a big question mark .
    Every year we have a canterano breaking through with huge benefits to our team performance and general output.So yeah we may luck on paper some depth , but im convinced that a canterano is outthere working his ass off to shut all of us up ,although you can never be sure on what position this may happen( imagine oriol shadowing busquets :D).
    Be patient, calm and enjoy the ride , because afterall , the future looks very promising even when comparing it to the one of summer of 2008.

  39. Kxevin
    August 17, 2010

    Oh, great. More “Ibrahimovic bad business” stuff. And Krkic? When he can approach a defense with the ball and not lose it to a grownup, I’ll consider him as a potential starter. It boggles my mind that people could watch the way that Ibrahimovic and Messi played together early in the season, and not want to give that a chance to work.

    For more than three-quarters of last season, Krkic was shit. And ineffective, at that. At the end of the season, he had a couple of good performances and suddenly, he’s the second coming. This season, in his first starting role in a real match, we got a rerun of the bad part of last season. Someone should refresh my memory: Did Krkic score any match-changing goals last season? It’s an honest question.

    It’s all the rage to gang up on Ibrahimovic. Rock on. The papers do it, why shouldn’t fans as well? Short memories will do that to you. Without Ibrahimovic on the squad, do we win the Liga? Good question. Who was going to score the goal that Ibrahimovic did, after the defense kept us in the match? So it’s a 0-0 draw, perhaps. Then what? They don’t have to press as hard at home, and then what?

    We didn’t buy Villa because Ibrahimovic was unproductive. On what planet is 21 goals and 9 assists in all competitions unproductive? We bought Villa because Henry was crap, and gone by the summer, and the coaching staff recognized that without even a spectral Henry, we had no wing threat. This made our offense much, much easier to play. Thankfully, our defense was excellent last year.

    • August 17, 2010

      I gave you an advice before, Some arguments you cant win with logic, bet on time. Don’t bother…

      Why dont you listen?! 😀

      I don’t comment on hatred tsunamis anymore, after making my third attempt.

      • Bill
        August 17, 2010

        yeah Ramzi, it’s no wonder Catalunya’s pro-barcelona major newspapers have been shamelessly making up stories about him leaving. It’s no wonder many fans that go to camp nou have turned against Ibra. It’s all because they all don’t have sense, or don’t listen to logic! Obviously, they are all blind to his amazing capabilities!

        • vicsoc8
          August 17, 2010

          1) During the Third Reich it was commonly accepted by the Germans that the Jews were less than human and deserved to die. Just because everyone felt that way, does that make them right?*

          2) I’m all for sarcasm, but be careful you don’t cross the line into being uncivil, please

          *I’m not trying to compare Ibra haters to Nazis, just trying to use this as an example that the opinion of the masses isn’t a good indicator of what is good or correct.

          • ooga aga
            August 17, 2010

            ibra scored 20 goals last season. thats almost inevitable for a 9 in barca’s system. beyond the quantitative aspects, looking at the qualitative, for me, ibra stuck out like a sore thumb so, so many times, as interupting the flow of play and making our team less beautiful. thats subjective, so you cant really argue with it. sorry. i still think he deserves another season to fit in, but thats it.

          • vicsoc8
            August 17, 2010

            ooga aga – I saw similar things.

            I think my post was more aimed at how we should go about discussing things on this page than what positions are acceptable for people to have.

            It is inevitable that we will disagree. That’s good. However if you’re going to argue your point it helps to be reasonable and make salient points, while being respectful

          • Bill
            August 17, 2010

            Wow, you brought third Reich and talk about civility in the same sentence. I just visited Auschwitz this summer, I can assure you, it was a horrible history and it has no place in this conversation.

          • vicsoc8
            August 17, 2010

            Bill – really? even with the clarification of the example you can’t see how it was pertinent to the conversation?

            SIGH

        • jordi(TM)
          August 17, 2010

          Bill, these papers are anything but “pro-barcelona”. The same papers did turn on samu you know.There are just as many comments under their “objective” articles calling them a disgrace for trying to speak for cules, its disgusting.

        • August 17, 2010

          “Catalunya’s pro-barcelona major newspapers” Does that exist? Oh!! Apologies, I am not following. I only heard about some pro-Rosell tabloids that my time is too precious to follow what they write or dont write.

          But in any case, nothing make their opinion worth for me more than yours or any one’s opinion on this blog.Sorry.Its not that they are the knowledge and those who do not agree with them here are clueless. Nor those who agree btw.

          “It’s no wonder many fans that go to camp nou have turned against Ibra.”

          Regardless of ibra’s argument that -as mentioned above, I won’t comment on. “many fans that go to camp nou” complained about Pep after just two games with the club ( defeat and a draw”, then they hailed him. Booed Laporta at the beginning of his reign when the results were bad (and Sandro crawled out in a dark night), then they hailed him. Oh! then they bashed him again. They hailed Giovani dos santos, then whistled their hatred against him (or for Bojan’s love to be more specific). They booed and hailed then booed and hailed then…and.. Marguez. and Valdes. even Ibra. You name it…But I guess you got my point…

          I will worry more if my opinion has nothing to add to the common belief. Cause I believe that -historically- the majority was always wrong. In everything.

          • missingpage
            August 18, 2010

            “I will worry more if my opinion has nothing to add to the common belief. Cause I believe that -historically- the majority was always wrong. In everything.”

            Pure beauty…

            Intelligent writing like this is what hooked me to this blog and its good to see it still manages to break through despite the sudden…overpopulation 🙂

        • Diabolics
          August 17, 2010

          Yes, all 22% Bill.

          _http://www.elmundodeportivo.es/web/gen/20100817/encuesta_53984809802.html

    • vicsoc8
      August 17, 2010

      I agree with you on Ibrahimovic

      However, it really bothers me that an argument for or against Ibrahimovic is so commonly directly linked with an argument for or against Bojan. They really are separate issues and it isn’t fair to try to build up one player by putting the other down, no matter which direction it is going.

      I know you aren’t the first or only person to do this Kxevin, and you are only responding to people who have already made this direct link between the arguments, but it just really annoys me all the way around.

    • Bill
      August 17, 2010

      Ibra scored 16 goals on the league, almost half of Eto’o’s misfiring ass. Thats a dismal return. Eto’o gave you atleast that much, in the 2 seasons he was injured atleast half the season. Who would have scored the goals Ibra did? I would like to think Eto’o would have given his usual ’25 goals a season minimum’ at his favored striker position.

      Barca didn’t buy Villa because of a dismal Henry. Pedro more than made up for henry’s goal production. Pedro’s performances qieted down the Ribery, silva, Mata talks (oh, btw, he benched those two + navas in the world cup!)

      As for Krkic, he just needs to be handled better to instill confidence in him. He will be great. With Inter’s parked bus, Krkic came on, and in less than 20mins, he got 2 strikes that Julio cesar knew nothing about. One missed narrowly, and the other was ruled out. They were more dangerous than what Ibra had given in the whole game

      • Jnice
        August 17, 2010

        Still on that Eto’o train, I see…

        • Bill
          August 17, 2010

          Follow the conversation for a second Jnice. Kxevin asked who could have scored Ibra’s goals, and I simply replied about who did it better in the past. How better to answer that question than with someone with a previous track record? Thats not being on any train.

          Btw, Villa the train I’m on, and it’s the train I wanted, if the Eto’o train was to leave.

          • Jnice
            August 17, 2010

            But you are, though. You say the same things all the time, every time. He’s old news.

    • Kari
      August 17, 2010

      Barca trollers aren’t pretty to read, are they?

      I don’t think anyone wants to see this kind of link-up go away http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8inzX538CpA

      It’s just sad how easily people forget the earlier part of the season, when he was The Man and assisting like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4JRfbgLQZY

      Actually, I’d like to thank some of the fans and the idiotic press: we have a motivated as heck Ibra right now, who now has come to grips with our system, and if preseason is anything to go by, we’ll see a full-on BANGS this season and a Messi who’s learnt the art of passing. Throw Villa into the mix and oh baby!

  40. GREECE BARCA
    August 17, 2010

    it s so funny that in the end all the hate of barca fans will go to rosell!if rosell is the boss and he wanted to bring his favorite players then oezil now would be ours days ago..come on..your conspiracy theories killing me..let me help you in this rosellhatething!we don.t make transfers even we have 40m because is propaganda by the board..for me is just simple!pep wanted cesc!he did.nt come so pep don.t want anyone!

  41. August 17, 2010

    Haha I stayed away from commenting on this blog during the summer because I couldn’t take the Ibra hate/debate anymore, and I really thought that in a few months it would settle down. Hahahahahaha. Man oh man, I think we all just need the season to start.

    • Kari
      August 17, 2010

      Too bad. You missed the Yaya-Busi epic, not to mention the “Classless” Barca-Fabregas saga.

      Meh. This will all be over when the season starts–actually, it won’t because they’ll talk about it happening next summer, but at least I’ll have games to watch to ignore the madness.

      • August 17, 2010

        Haha I definitely READ the blog+comments — I wouldn’t have missed Arsenal fans losing their shit for the world — but refrained from contributing. I’d like to think it did me some good.

        Agreed on the fact that when the games start, we can start the REAL debates.

    • Kxevin
      August 17, 2010

      It is never going to go away, Ahsan. Sorry. I wish it wasn’t the case. I’m not a fan of blindly supporting the club. I believe you can be aware of its difficulties and discuss them. You’re right. We used to. Now, it’s player A is shit, player B is the answer. The end.

      So Villa comes because Ibrahimovic is terrible. Krkic doesn’t get time because Guardiola can’t handle players. And foolishly, I respond. I think it’s time for me to do an Isaiah and stay out of the comments, and go back to watching last season’s matches to remind me of how wonderful this club is, irrespective of who or what it signs.

      • Kari
        August 17, 2010

        You mean you weren’t doing that before?!

        Outrage.

  42. jordi(TM)
    August 17, 2010

    Its possible to praise ibra without knocking down bojan and vice versa, why is everything always polemic with our players? Its never a question of X player vs Y, they only thing important is that they contribute to helping us win, i dont care who plays as long as they help us win.The only good thing about yaya being gone is no more “debates” about whether pep is racist, or nepotistic.Maybe its better if Masch doesnt come afterall…

  43. MoSSi
    August 17, 2010

    Damn! EE sign a player and everyone’s going crazy!

    Relax, in Pep we trust remember?

  44. Euler
    August 17, 2010

    Comparing strikers only based on how many goals they score isn’t a good gauge of how well that striker has played. This is particularly true for Barca.

    The system is set up to really operate at it’s highest level when they have 3 multidimensional attacking players lined up along the front line.

    Much of what the player in the “center” is supposed to do is to create provide the players on the flanks more freedom and space.

    More and more the role of the striker is to create opportunities for other players.

    • Bill
      August 17, 2010

      Euler, when you strip roles to their bare bones, it comes down to this. Goalkeepers goalkeep, defenders defend, and strikers strike.

      Now, you may want or search for a goalkeeper who can play out a pass with him foot, or make an accurate long ‘route 1’ type pass, but it should never be at the expense of his main role as a shotstopper.
      Same as a striker, you may want one who can make amazing passes, set people up, hold up the ball, whatever it is you like, but it should never be at the expense of striking. You want a striker that can score boatloads of goals, and anything else he does is an added plus. When he stops scoring, then the other deficiencies will be combined with that fact, and used against him.

      This is why the real Ronaldo got away with his allergic reaction to defending and participating in build-up. He was scoring. He did his main job and did it extremely well. But when he stopped scoring and became fat, he got what he deserved. Ditto Ronaldinho.

      But, my point is, a strikers main role is to strike. Its an added plus if he can pass well and hold up the ball, but that simply means you have to get someone else to strike. But who, Iniesta? Xavi? Keita? Who would take advantage of those amazing through balls? And now, you have to spend 40 mil for someone else to take advantage of that great quality.

      • theMaginator
        August 17, 2010

        SIGH

        “But, my point is, a strikers main role is to strike. Its an added plus if he can pass well and hold up the ball, but that simply means you have to get someone else to strike. But who, Iniesta? Xavi? Keita? Who would take advantage of those amazing through balls? And now, you have to spend 40 mil for someone else to take advantage of that great quality”.

        We get it you don’t like Ibra, he was too expensive, Eto’o is your man, blah blah blah you tune never changes.

        However what you can’t seem to except is that Ibra was not brought in to do what Eto’o did. NO WAIT LET ME FINISH. If he was supposed to provide what Eto’o provided we would have signed Eto’o. But PEP wanted something else (it doesn’t matter if you think PEP is great or not the fact is he SHOULD have the ultimate say in Squad decisions because he is the coach). Do you now how many goals Eto’o scored in La Liga in his first season with barca? 24, do you now how many assists he had? 0 ( according to ESPN ) Do you know how many Goals Ibra had in his first season? 16 you want to know how many assists? 7

        So they are actually pretty close huh?

        Also remember that when Barca bought Ibra, Txiki said that it did not exclude a villa deal.So NO villa was not brought in cause Ibra failed. It had been thought this way.

  45. August 17, 2010

    I think we should try to sign Sneijder for $12 mil. You never know with Rafa…

    And that’s my last contribution to any talk of transfers.

    • vicsoc8
      August 17, 2010

      I don’t think it would ever happen, but I wouldn’t be mad.

  46. August 17, 2010

    By the way, I always make fun of him, but I think Rafa will do quite well at Inter. Let’s put it this way, I don’t think there will be a major drop off in performance from Jose’s team (maybe results will drop off because I can’t see them winning another treble, but results and performance don’t always go hand in hand).

    • Euler
      August 17, 2010

      Ironically, having Moratti calling the shots there will probably help Rafa. It’ll keep him from churning out so many sales and purchases of players.

      He’s in a bit of a no win situation. The club is largely the same. If he wins the credit will still go to Mourhino and Moratti. It’ll be interesting to see how his relationship with the press goes.

    • Bill
      August 17, 2010

      I feel bad for Rafa. Mourinho was lucky to win what he did. Roma came from 22 points behind, to lead Inter by 2 points. Then they unfortunately stumbled. The volcanic eruptions forced barcelona to take an 18hr bus ride to milan(btw, why didnt they take a cruise ship/luxury yatch across?) meant that they were flat in the first game, and Mourinho wins. Now everyone thinks Mourinho was a God, and rafa will be held against that. Not a good situation for him.

  47. Cesc Blanc
    August 17, 2010

    Our club has come a long way. From 6 titles in one season to record in points to being in debt and practically bankrupt and now having an attacked website you can’t access. Just like Isaiah, I blame everything on Sandro Rosell. Since the day he came, the sun stopped shining in Catalonia.

  48. Kari
    August 17, 2010

    Can we talk more about Villa now?

    I get the feeling that people are correlating the arrival of Villa to the departure of Ibra which is pretty silly IMO. Villa came to make our squad stronger. Period. Whether he’s there to “replace” Henry or lead the line are, really, just assumptions–whether they are informed ones or not– made by fans. After all, we’re not the coach here. Pep is. And I’m sure that he’d like to see all of Villa, Ibra, Pedro, Messi and Bojan because that’s probably the single deadliest attack in the world.

    We have the deadliest finisher in Spain that wasn’t playing for us.

  49. August 17, 2010

    I wonder if Villa will outscore Leo this yr. Probably not, but it says here he’ll come close.

    • Hannibal
      August 17, 2010

      If Ibra stays it’s going to make some fine striking force! I think he might profit the most of Villa’s arrival and become the nr 1 goleador.

    • Jim
      August 17, 2010

      It’ll be interesting to see how Messi does this season, goal wise. I got the feeling watching the WC that his days of cutting in from the right and curling the ball into the far corner are disappearing as keepers are now expecting that of him and moving across. I’d like to see him fire some at the near post to keep them honest. Likewise with going outside a full back or two instead of cutting in. It’s something he still needs to work on. It’s about the only thing he still needs to work on. . . 🙂

  50. Hannibal
    August 17, 2010

    only two more weeks of fairytales and in that time I believe will sign one more midfielder and cut loose another one (thou who buys him shall be Hlebbed). If not we’ll see as it goes, we were terribly good last year we’ll at least be no less this year (bar injuries).

  51. Luis
    August 17, 2010

    Bojan’s problem is not his body and strength, its his technique and body control. He is never leaning the right way(compare with pedro is isnt as fast or as strong) so gets pushed off the ball with ease. His first touch is actually quite poor, although this can improve. He also doesnt have much variety in his finishing and his weaker foot is really weak.

    This will not be popular, but I dont see why everyone rates bojan so highly. He has a long way to go, and the good thing for him is he gots lot of time. IN the realm of developing youth, Pedro has potential to improve, something which isnt much talked about. I think Pedro more than Bojan can benefit from PLaying with Villa since they have similar attribute- mainly two footedness.

    Re Ibrahimovic… I hes going to drop deep and facilitae in midfield hes going to learn how to play tiki taka and not lose the ball everytime. I think this was the main reason pep could play him as he costed us possession dearly. This and not is stat line that everyone is so keen to point out. And pls dont call me hater. So far his preseason looks promising

  52. GREECE BARCA
    August 17, 2010

    i am watching dinamo kiev-ajax now.luis suarez is a fantastic player.after the match my view for f.d.wiell and verthogen!and guess!our oleguer play!

  53. GREECE BARCA
    August 17, 2010

    oh and spurs already lost 2-0 to young boys!

  54. Hilal
    August 17, 2010

    Off topic – Tott are losing to Young Boys by 3 goals to nil 🙂

    Haha. God I love to see those smug EPL teams lose!! This is the team the team that ended 4th in the “best league in the world”. HA

  55. Bill
    August 17, 2010

    About Bojans body strength, players take time before they figure out their strong suit. You figure out if you can beat them by speed, or deft moves, or off the ball running. If you get pushed off the ball, you figure out how to proactively push guys before they push you, how to only take dribbles that leave defenders too displced to even get the chance to push you or you learn how to fall theatrically to get the refs attention. Bojan will figure all that out as time goes and he gets more gametime experience. His technique is good enough.

  56. Euler
    August 17, 2010

    Goalkeepers goalkeep, defenders defend, and strikers strike.

    I don’t think that’s really true anymore. Obviously defenders attack all the time now. That where most squads get their width.

    What are wingers supposed to do? At one point in time it was to hug the line an simply cross the ball. Now we have Messi.

    I agree with central strikers it gets more complicated. Goals scored are obviously a significant element. But I think it’s becoming less so.

    The greatness of Marco van Basten or an Andriy Shevchenko can’t be boiled down to their goals scored.

    Gonzalo Higuain scored 27 goals last season. Are those 27 goals a good index for how good a footballer he is as a striker? He outscored Villa last season. I personally don’t rate Higuain that highly and don’t think he’s close to the player Villa is. He largely poaches goals based off of other players creating opportunities for him.

    I guess much of it depends on how you think of the position.

    • Bill
      August 17, 2010

      I don’t rate Higuain that much either. I think Maradona should have played Milito. But if Higuain is scoring 27 and Benzema 12, I go with Higuain.

      Some roles are well defined in a soccer game, thats why I used those 3. You can change formations, field positions, tactics and movement, but at the end of the day, thats what those 3 positions are supposed to do.

    • Dave
      August 17, 2010

      In fairness to Higuain hes doing his job and fulfilling the criteria. Gerd Muller was no Johan Cruff on the ball but bcoz of his goals and their importance hes remembered as one of the greats.

      Also I don’t like this labeling of people with other opinions as ‘haters’. Its immature and a load of shite TBH
      Its these opposing viewpoints that make blogs work imo.

      I think people have forgotten that Ibra was not Guardiola’s 1st choice. That was Villa but because Valencia refused to sell he looked elsewhere. This was common knowledge.
      But Ibra has been good for us although I can say it was disappointing to see his decline in form.

      A further problem which the blog has alluded to is Ibras salary. This makes him an easy target. Im sure Rossell would like to get rid of him as the leaks to papers would suggest. I also wouldn’t be so sure that Guardiola wants to keep him despite his statements. Politics are certainly at work.

  57. Diego S.
    August 17, 2010

    Another Topic .. Who do you think will carry the #4 Jersey ?

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      Busquets, maybe? Dunno, but Jonathan said he wanted to keep the #4, but we saw that in Seville he had the 34. Maybe Busi told him he wanted it.

      • Cesc Blanc
        August 17, 2010

        if he really gets the 4 and has a change of name from that Sergio B BS that sounds as if he is some 100$ latin lover gigolo to say Busi, Busquets, etc. I might even put finally a name on a new shirt.

        • Jnice
          August 17, 2010

          He had only “Sergio” on his back for Spain, right?

          • August 17, 2010

            names dont mean that much.
            Guardiola’s name in greek sounds very close to what youd call “son of a whore” 😛
            Its his level of playing that will determine whether he suits the story of the shirt anyways, not the name or the looks.

  58. Bill
    August 17, 2010

    Off topic, how are the shirt sales doing this season? Who is selling the most and how is Iniesta’s shirt sale compared to last season?

    • Diego S.
      August 17, 2010

      All I know is that Messi #1 and Villa #2

  59. GREECE BARCA
    August 17, 2010

    my prediction for saturday.barca-sevilla 4-1 goals by messi(12)villa(24)ibra(41)tiago(82)fabiano(89)
    if this come true i will write my bank account to send me 50e each of you!ok??

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      Haha, now that’s a positive statement. I like how you even predicted the minutes of the goals, too. Good job!

  60. Hilal
    August 17, 2010

    Everyone is assuming that Villa will score a gazillion goals this season and not that I am doubting him or anything, but I wonder what the fans will say if he only scores 20 goals or so. Will he be deamed a failure like Ibra?

    What would be an acceptable number of goals for a 40m striker to score? 30? 40? Clearly 20 is not enough for some, so just wondering, what is the number that will make the Villa buy a success?

    • Kxevin
      August 17, 2010

      What is mostly likely to happen is that the three attackers will each bag a bunch of goals, with no crazy statistical anomalies from any of them. Your Villa question is a good one, and brings to mind a potential post for someone.

      • Hilal
        August 17, 2010

        Yeah its curious, because to me 20 goals is a successful season for a striker in a new league and a new system. Strikers like Drogba, Milito and Higuain, who are regarded as some of the best in the world, all had similar or worse starts at their respective clubs.

        I remember saying at the start of last season that 20+goals for Ibra would be a success and I know many ppl who agree. I live in the UK and most of my friends support EPL teams and they are shocked when I tell them that a lot of Barca fans are dissapointed with Ibra’s first season. 20 goals + 9 assists is a failure? Jeez.

        I would love to know what number would have been regarded by most as successful. If the answer is 30 goals, well then Ibra gave 9 assists, which is very high for a striker, so he did actually contribute to 30 goals. I guess it doesnt count for some unless he scores them. I just find it so weird.

        • Kari
          August 17, 2010

          In all honesty, when people dislike a player, they try to justify their dislike by pointing to anything and everything.

          “He affects our dynamic”. “He’s too static”. “Our football looks disjointed and doesn’t flow whenever he plays”. “His body language pisses me off”. “He looks like a gangster”. “His nose isn’t that magnificent”. “He’s not Eto’o”.

          Basically, people don’t understand what exactly Ibra offers. When they do understand, they don’t like it? Why? Because it’s different to what they’re used to (WHICH IS THE POINT!)

          So they think, “Man, I don’t like this guy. How much did he cost? Eto’o plus a pile of cash?! The hell?! Then how much did he score? Less than Messi? Damn him! And we play like that when he’s in the line-up?! Sell him. He’s crap.”

          I’ll be honest and say that I was majorly bummed when Villa didn’t come last season (Remember, Villa was Pep’s first choice. It was only when Valencia said he wasn’t for sale at the last moment that we went for Ibra. Eto’o was also being difficult and no-one wanted to buy him. But you know that). Now that we have both, why not play the both of them? That’s surely better than picking one of the other. Duh!

          • Kxevin
            August 17, 2010

            Kari, now I have a rant of yours to clip and save. 😀

    • Kari
      August 17, 2010

      Question: Will he be deamed a failure like Ibra?

      Answer: But, but, but he’s illa, illa, illa Villa MARAvilla. You can’t argue against that. Especially when he’s proved his worth for Barca by scoring crucial goals that took Spain to the WC title–unlike Ibra.

      Whaddya mean Ibra couldn’t play for Spain?! He plays for Barca, doesn’t he?! Bah. Fans these days.

  61. GREECE BARCA
    August 17, 2010

    i will flying in barcelona friday.my 2 sons want messi shirts and i will buy for me a villa shirt!and my sisters 2 kids also want messi.s!

  62. GREECE BARCA
    August 17, 2010

    thanx jnice!the truth is i am very optimist and exciting for this season!!off topic greece basketball team play a friendry now with canada!the score?106-38!watch out for us U.S.A!

  63. cliveee
    August 17, 2010

    I am really surprised how many of our folks here support Bojan so much. Yes, he is talented, and he also had a great last season as a sub. Pep said so, and we agreed.

    I disagree with 2 of the 3 points Vicsoc8 made. Because 1) Bojan has been training with top players our club signed, even with Ronaldinho when he was with us, and the squad changed over time when more superstar came to train with him. Then now look how he performed against Sevilla. Pep gave him the 90 he wants and he gave him shit. To me he didn’t even deserve a 3. I have no idea how many more stars he will need to train with in order to be one himself. Also, training with players who are better than him has a flip side to it: you are never shouldering any burden for the success of the club. you always have the “seniors” to lead. Judging by the performance he demonstrated, I have to wonder if he is working hard enough, or mentally strong enough to try to break into the first team.

    2) This point about pressure points directly to a loan-out for him, because we are in the club with maximum pressure. If you don’t want the pressure, the best way is to get out. It does not make sense to say Pep could shield him within the club. Do you think if Arsenal or Ateltico or Espanyol will give him pressure equal to half of what he is getting with us?

    3) This one is more debatable because playing time varies from players to players, because as some of us suggested, “every player is a unique case”. Kxevin compared Messi with Krkic, because of the age and the size and the position they share, but they are different. I also wish they were the same, because that will give us 2 Messis. But they aren’t. “Krkic is a 9” as Pep said, Messi is Messi. Clearly, Messi gets more playing time than Krkic, so, the solution COULD BE a loan deal.

    I share the same point of view as Kxevin regarding the development of Krkic, but I think he deserves this one season ahead, because HE DID WELL last season with us, as a sub. He scored bunch of goals albeit not the most crucial ones, but he is still doing what is required of him to do. The ones against Villareal were particularly vivid to me because he demonstrated how well he could be when he is confident of himself. Yet, there were a lot of crappy moments which I see how the supporters of him neglect. So, I think this will be his last season to prove himself. If he stay the same as he is, he SHOULD be loaned out. Because he clearly needs a breakthrough.

    • Vicsoc8
      August 17, 2010

      I don’t think it’s fair to discuss a players development and then point to one game where they played poorly. Yes Bojan played horrible against Sevilla, but this isn’t proof that he Isn’t developing as he should be. To get a sense of how he is developing you need to look at a much larger amount of evidence. I prefer to look a last year: he was very. Inconsistent all year, with some good performances and some poor ones, but he finished well. I think that is a microcosm of his overall development, he has been ip and down, but overall he is slowly getting better.

      Just for a comparison, Thiago and JDS are right around his age ad are though to be ready to start their break into the first team. He is already acting as a squad player for the first team. That means his development is advanced to where we could reasonably expect it should be, no?

  64. cliveee
    August 17, 2010

    and what the hell, someone attacked our official website?!
    is it the ars0nal fans? or the EEdistas?!

  65. Kxevin
    August 17, 2010

    New transfer policy:

    Barcelona’s basic transfer plan for the coming seasons will be: 4 exits, 2 signings and 2 promotions of youth players. (From EMD this morning)

    If we’re starting this season, let’s look at what happened:

    –Out: The Yaya, Henry, Marquez, (and soon) Hleb
    –In: Villa, Correia, Dos Santos, ????

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      I think Fontas will be the last player.

      • Jnice
        August 17, 2010

        And Chygrynskiy should count as an exit, no?

        • Cesc Blanc
          August 17, 2010

          I guess MD wants to keep Hleb, or maybe they just wanted to fill pages since it’s summer and boring as that’s one of the most stupid transfer policy ideas EVER.

        • Kxevin
          August 17, 2010

          My error. Forgot about Txigrinski. How quickly they fade from memory.

    • Cesc Blanc
      August 17, 2010

      what a effing stupid policy is that supposed to be? is this big brother?? you vote 4 out, bring 4 in. who are the 4 next season? and I guess in 4 years, it will be either Xavi, Puyol or maybe even Messi and Iniesta’s turn. Do Sandro’s people have more smart stories to pitch to the press? Incredible!!
      And I’m just saying, how can you be stupid enough to plan a short season with a lot of games in a short span with the same number of players as a long season with less or the same number of games in a longer time frame? damn, I hate this new junta!!!

    • Euler
      August 17, 2010

      But is it really 4 exits?

      Part of the problem with looking at it as 4 exits is that one of those players was cover for three positions down the central axis of the team.

      That’s why that plan EMD described (assuming it’s correct) doesn’t really hold. It could still leave them short. It’s 4 players but you could argue Yaya and Marquez covered for far more than 2 spots.

  66. Cesc Blanc
    August 17, 2010

    In case you want to know why democracy in football is maybe not such a great idea, have a look at Sandro’s facebook page. There are some comments on his wall that just want you to hope for a way to sell Barca to whoever is the heir of Steinbrenner.

    My favorite one:

    My boy Hector Maeste: “Rosell buy players! Guardiola will ruin us this season!”

    But there are some great ones by as an example Jose Perez Lopez or Jordi Lopez, that are batteling for being the Culé Uncle Ruckus. And unfortunately, to me this just smells like the beginning.

  67. Jnice
    August 17, 2010

    LOL @ the “Culé Uncle Ruckus” phrase. Too funny.

  68. Ciaran
    August 17, 2010

    I agree, the 4 out, 2 + 2 in is very silly.
    It is good to refresh the squad but you don’t know what will happen.
    Yaya is not just one player gone, as Euler said.
    I think that they are trying to label is disastrous attempt at a transfer period by Rossell.
    Laporta signed Villa, Rossell sold/released Henry, Marquez, Chygrynskiy & Yaya as well as the Hleb situation.
    Caceres will most likely stay now from the looks of things which I’m very happy with. He can cover each of the 4 back spots.

    I think, once again, versatility is being confused with depth by Guardiola. He is a young and very inexperienced coach and seems to be falling into the same trap as the last couple of seasons. In reality, if someone like Messi had been injured for a long stretch in any of the last two seasons we would have had no chance with the points totals that EE were stacking up.

    • Jnice
      August 17, 2010

      Well, Milan are interested in Caceres and are scheduled to talk with us next Wednesday, so we’ll have to wait and see.

    • Dave
      August 17, 2010

      New system is absolute bollocks. It’s just Rosell’s petty war with Laporta in the ‘I’m more Catalan than you’ war

  69. Vicsoc8
    August 17, 2010

    Why can’t our transfer policy be “let go of the players who are no longer needed, buy players who will fit with the philosophy of the team in positions that are needed, and promote canteranos who are ready”?

  70. Euler
    August 17, 2010

    I think they just came up with this silly transfer policy idea because people keep calling the squad “short” based on the math alone.

    4 out only 2 in. What the hell is going on? Where did those two vanished bodies go?

    Who knows who comes up with this stuff. But that almost seems like it’s too arbitrarily silly for MD to have just come up on their own. It’s just so random it has the feel of someone from the board trying to spin them which of course is easily done.

  71. Ciaran
    August 17, 2010

    Current sitation… Youth teamers in brackets.
    Goalkeeper: Valdes | Pinto | (Mino)
    Rightback: Alves | Adriano
    Centreback: Pique | Puyol | Milito | Caceres | (Fontas)
    Leftback: Abidal | Maxwell
    D Midfield: Busquets | (Romeu)
    C Midfield: Xavi | Iniesta | Keita | (JDS) | (Thiago)
    Wing Forward: Messi | Pedro | Villa | Jeffren
    Strikers: Ibra | Bojan

    Now, the likes of Adriano, Puyol, Abidal, Maxwell, Keita, Messi, Pedro, Villa, Jeffren and Bojan can play in at least 2 positions but the same player can’t play in two positions at once so another defensive midfielder HAS to arrive.

    Mascherano has never been my favourite player but we all know that we need him.

    • Dave
      August 17, 2010

      It hurts when you look at it like that. Depth at cb is a glaring problem-pique and puyol……then GabilegcouldgivewatatanyminuteMilito-MartinthemanagerhasnofaithinmeCarceres
      and Fontas(got nothing for him). I’d like if our CBs we’re able to go to Utd like Pique and toughen up.WORLD CLASS CB NEEDED (OR EXPERIENCED)
      I believe we’re setting Mourinho up to look great.

      • Dave
        August 17, 2010

        Secondly agreed on Mascherano. This year will be a real dogfight and we should be bringing a tenacious pit bull

  72. Diabolics
    August 17, 2010

    I am sorry for this double post, (first one came as a reply to Bill, now buried way up there) but I thought it was funny poll (although they are almost always worthless):

    _http://www.elmundodeportivo.es/web/gen/20100817/encuesta_53984809802.html?id=53984809802

  73. Barcathegreatestever
    August 17, 2010

    Kevin

    Calling Bojan shit and Henry crap. Great!. a little bit of knowledge goes such a long way. Baggin on Messi, Saying 09 was just luck?

    Why don’t you take your own advice on the negativity

  74. Bundy
    August 17, 2010

    WOW from 9 comments to 205+ over night, this is just mind blowing.

    with regard to the topic on our transfer campaign. to make it easier Ill place it in dot points.

    -I don’t think Pep solely decided not to sign more players just to give Rosell a sweet payback for selling chygry etc.

    -Pep is going into his third (fourth if you count barca b) season managing Barca, and I think over that time he experienced a lot of things regarding managing a competative squad.

    -When it came the time where Pep had to make a decision on youth vs signings, I assume he would have looked back over the last two season and realised a few key points.

    -What do we classify as depth in a squad? is it the value of players on the bench, or is it the competence of players on the bench?

    -lets look back at 08/09 and look at the depth in midfield, hmm we had Keita (who at the time wasn’t good/established enough to hold a starting role) we had Hleb, Gudjohnsen and Victor Sanchez, maybe also busquets.

    -At that time, none of those players were truly considered as stasfying s

    • Bundy
      August 17, 2010

      cont…

      satisfying depth, and nowhere near good enough to start regularly.

      -half of those players had tough times dealing with being just squad players, Hleb, Gudjohnsen and even Yaya were complaining or felt dissatisfied at times.

      -Yet, with that kind of so called depth we managed to consistently record out of this world results and pretty much won everything and beat everybody under the sun.

      -looking at 09/10, our depth in midfield was somewhat the same, but with less players, with the exeption that Keita vastly improved, but on the counter balance Iniesta was again mostly injured. Anyway, with supposedly less number in midfield we still managed to continue our streak of beating everyone to a pulp CONSISTENTLY.

      -with regards to this season, we may actually have the same if not better “depth” in midfield then last season. We have Keita, MAXWELL, Thiago, JDS, maybe Hleb, if possible Romeu maybe feature in a few games next season. Im pretty sure if worst comes to worse, Adriano may feature in midfield. Messi also may feature in midfield.

      • Bundy
        August 17, 2010

        -now lets look at Ozil, clearly Madrid bought him for some kind of midfield ‘depth’ as if they didnt have enough. A lot of people don’t like the fact that we didnt buy him instead. Well look at it this way they spent 15+ mil on Ozil for squad depth. We spent 0 ‘ZERO’ for two young midfielders as squad depth.

        -how would Ozil compare to having two good promising midfielders who fit the system and do not need any time to get comfortable?

        -Plus, thiago and JDS won’t complain everyday like Hleb and gudjohnsen. neither of those two former player really met their worth on the field, Pep had trouble trying to find a spot for them in our line-up. (remember the dreaded third midfielder job, where whoever played at LM totally sucked) you know why that happened, because our midfield cover at the time werent good enough or didnt fit in the team well enough.

        -now when we go out and consider buying a new midfielder we have to make sure they tick all the boxes or else they become a waste of time.

          • poipoi
            August 18, 2010

            “neither of those two former players really met their worth on the field, Pep had trouble trying to find a spot for them in our line-up” – good point but I just felt this time he could fit. I never wished for guddy or hleb but I do like this one player. 15 million for a young good player is not that much I think, just like caceres or hleb. it’s not like the youngsters are starters already, they have to work out, same as özil but he is from abroad, not-barça MORE VERTICAL.

            ozil doesn’t compare to JDS/thiago. maybe now that their teams face each other, but having all three just adds variety. xaviniesta-keita-ozil and then the youngsters when needed, the season is long and hard. just think of the damn copa hehe. and let’s not forget that özil can do wing and andres has been playing in the wing to much lately. He scored twice in the WC but I crave for andres playing only mid like xavi does. He’s gonna do wing a lot with the current situation. I think I’m finding my real motivation for that signing 😀

  75. GREECE BARCA
    August 17, 2010

    totally agree with you bundy!finally a voice of logic against the screams around the blog!yes pep make the decisions and he knows better than any of us what to do.enough with the silly transfers of the past!the future is bright!

  76. Kxevin
    August 17, 2010

    For you folks who get GolTV, the “La Liga Special” is basically a two-hour Barca love fest. It recaps the season, and has some amazing, close-up views of fun things such as the Ibrahimovic goal vs EE, a ton of Messi runs, goals and general greatness and the ascendancy of Pedro!, to name a few. Definitely worth catching.

  77. Pyro
    August 17, 2010

    Kxevin is the supercopa second leg going to be televised?

    • Kxevin
      August 18, 2010

      Just delayed on TVE, as far as I know. Luckily, that’s part of my Spanish language package from Comcast.

      • Pyro
        August 18, 2010

        Thanks, Yeah I have TVE on Direct TV. What’s the delayed time?

  78. jaime
    August 18, 2010

    I’m surprised this hasn’t been addressed yet on this blog…

    Según Catalunya Ràdio, fue el actual presidente quien dio el paso para que la reunión fuese una realidad. Rosell llamó por teléfono a Cruyff para concretar una fecha y un lugar para verse. Johan puso como condición que esta reunión tuviera lugar en su domicilio de El Montanyà, cosa a la que el presidente del Barcelona accedió. Eso sí, cuando Rosell informó de esta decisión a sus compañeros de junta, las personas más allegadas le hicieron ver que era un error y que tenía que ser el presidente quien decidiese el lugar de la cita y nunca desplazarse.

  79. jnelson
    August 18, 2010

    The latest Ibra transfer news from Bartomeu has me disgusted. Like Kevin said, “Just how the hell are we doing business these days?” Absolutely pitiful. Way to continue f****ing up the best club ever. 20 years from now, I will be looking back at this period and sob uncontrollably. This board is like the San Diego Charger’s management. They tell LT he is worthless after firing HIS coach who had just went 14-2, releasing the best FB ever, changing all the lineman to pass blockers, releasing the old, and changing the entire offense to pass. Oh, the similarities. Pep is our only hope.

  80. Eklavya
    August 18, 2010

    It’s 200+ comments already? I’m still on vacation damnit!

  81. Jnice
    August 18, 2010

    Considering all the Bojan and Ibra talk over the past few days, this picture is cool (and don’t worry, it’s just the image link for this particular picture, so no malware)

    *http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/Galeries/futbol/temporada10-11/08/entrenament_18-08-10/2010-08-18_ENTRENO_95.JPG

  82. Bashir
    August 18, 2010

    Of all the summer transfer this silly season
    The one i wish had come to Barca besides Villa
    Is Ramires (the future keita)

    Damn chelsea.

    Is it just me or would ramires been
    Perfecr fo us?? Or should i stop sayin oooh what if

    • Jnice
      August 18, 2010

      Personally, I’ve never thought Ramires to be anything but an ok player. We’ll see what happens when he plays at Chelsea.

    • aULD sUPER
      August 18, 2010

      I never worry when other clubs sign players i fancy because if they turn out to be good then we will summon them to camp nou and invariably they will come.

  83. Bashir
    August 18, 2010

    I hope your right 🙂
    It’s a long season and I do feel
    We’r one mid short.

    Dm or md. Only keita as regular mid sub
    Is scary. Thank god for Maxwell if he stays fit

  84. aULD sUPER
    August 18, 2010

    I see Ozil is reading his well prepared speech, madrid are the best club in the world, blah blah, i thought he said we were 2 weeks ago. Strange indeed.

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