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.”

By Kxevin

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.


    1. 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.

    2. 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. . . 🙂

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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??

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

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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!

    4. 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.

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

    1. 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?

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

  14. 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, ????

    1. 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.

    2. 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!!!

    3. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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

  17. 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”?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  20. 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):


  21. 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

  22. 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

    1. 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.

    2. -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.

    3. “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 😀

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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)


  28. 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

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

    2. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. If you have a VPN router that can make one connection for you then you might be able to use your computer VPN for the second. However, this is not usually the case for most home routers. Since the VPN is a tunnel within the existing IP connection you generally cant get two of them to work at the same time.

  32. True we eat bugs every day. Just check out the FDA’s list of allowed parts in tomato sauce and oj. (Kinds with pulp are allowed a great deal more). But no one wants to eat anything looking at them, and its just gross anyway.

Comments are closed.