Here he is, making it verrrry clear how he prefers to have his name spelled, folks. It’s the latest addition to our back line, Dmytro Chygrynskiy or, as he prefers the back of the shirt to say, Chygrynskyy.
But let’s just agree to call him Chygnasty, and be done with it, shall we?
His transfer will be announced on Saturday, after he makes an appearance at the christening of a new stadium, as we agreed with Shakhtar’s boss. So welcome (almost) Chygnasty.
More on the long-tressed defender. He’s 22 years old, from Iziaslav, Ukraine. He’s 6’3″ tall, or 1.9m for you metric-sized folks. His strengths, as have already been laid out in videos here and here, are positioning, height, long passing, attack starting and heading ability. And having watched those videos again, I must say that I love his defensive positioning. Keep in mind that highlight videos never show the clunkers, but he reminds me so much of Piquenbauer, but….
We already have Piquenbauer, so anybody thinking of Chyggybauer should just forget it. I’m just saying. 😀
The deal has been confirmed by Txiki B., of 25m transfer fee, with a sliding scale salary that starts at 1.2m per annum over 5 years. Note that this dude took an immense pay cut to come to us. He was pulling down 3m per annum at Shakhtar, in a much more favorable individual income tax environment than Spain. It’s sort of proof of the pudding that, as Ibrahimovic said, players would play for free to be with us. It isn’t quite free, but I like the attitude of “How much money do I need, really? I’m 22 and if I kick ass, I’ll get a raise but more importantly, I’m now with the best club in the world. And I get to make the hair band back line with Puyol and that gimpy Argentine dude. Yay!”
And TV3 got the money shot, when Chygnasty and Guardiola shook hands as the various delegations arrived. No video or images are up at the TV3 site yet. I’d love to see it.
“Tomorrow it will be a very special game for me,” said Chygnasty at a press event today. “It will be my last game with the shirt of Shakhtar. After that I will leave for Barcelona. I feel proud that they have signed me.”
Note to Guardiola: I recommend that all plays come down Chygrynskyy’s side (he ain’t Chygnasty ’til he dons the colors). Really, how hard is he going to play against/foul guys who are going to be his teammates, a day later? 😀
–It’s Champions League draw day, an event that will happen at 7:45 p.m. Monaco time (do your own math, as any journalist will tell you that numbers make me angry….there are so many of them!). We are the top seed, which only makes sense as we are also the defending champion. We’re also in Pot 1, which includes Chelsea, Liverpool, Milan, United, Arsenal, Sevilla and Bayern.
As I have said before, I want as easy a group as possible. I think that we will be tempered competitively by the Liga and other competitions. I want to coast through the group stages so that key players can relax and we can remain as stress and injury-free as possible in the early part of a loooong season. But we’ll see in a few hours.
–All-business Guardiola is grumbling about individual trophies and whatnot, saying “We’re here to play football, dammit!” You have to love the attitude. He makes it clear that he doesn’t begrudge individual accolades for his charges, just do it on a non-match weekend. Man, I love this coach.
—Marquez and Iniesta will travel with the group to Monaco (since they want to be in the trophy presentation picture), but they will not play. There is no real reason to rush either one of them back, particularly as we will now have Chygnasty for the full Liga campaign in the case of Marquez. And I just can’t see Jeffren going anywhere before January, in light of our not having bought any wing help.
–Laporta has confirmed that the Guardiola renewal will be put off until next year, with the new president. Again, I like the style. No matter what he does this season, he is in effect saying “I don’t want any political crap to sully my tenure here. So if the new guy comes in, whoever he is, and he wants me, we can do a deal. But I’m not coming as baggage.” What a man.
–You European posters were probably wondering what that horrible noise was that you were hearing yesterday. That was a Monument, dragging, kicking and screaming in contemplation of being moved to England. Gudjohnsen doesn’t want to leave us, for both Sporting and personal reasons. He has a kid in the academy, and likes Barcelona. Given that his deal to West Ham is a loan anyhow (they consented to pay his full salary), I say we revel in the midfield depth he provides, and keep him. As I’ve said before, I would sub him in with a quick hook at the ready, but why not? Is he ultimately Barca quality? No. But he does have value as a one-touch, possession passing aid in control of a match in its late stages. And he’s a consummate professional, which is never a bad thing to have around. (Note that I wouldn’t be saying any of this if we’d signed some midfield depth.)
–In what I think is good news for us (if it’s based in truth), Arjen Robben will be sold by the EE to Bayern Munich. He’s dangerous as can be when he’s healthy, and I’d rather see him in some other league, where he can’t single-handedly change matches and vex the crap out of our backs. This news is coming from one of Spain’s comic books, Marca, so it’s probably true. But I’ll believe it when Corey and the lads are rending their garments. Sneijder I could see selling. But Robben? I like! But I kinda don’t want to see Bayern in CL now, with Ribery and Robben bombing up both wings.
—Messi’s new contract is almost done, and it will include a 300 million Euro buyout clause. Let’s think about that one for a second. Three. Hundred. Million. Euros. Holyfreakincrap, that’s a lot of money. Scary thing is, you could still see a cash-rich side deciding “Hmmm, we’re willing to pay that,” and trying to pony up for the best player in the galaxy.
–And speaking of the best player in the galaxy, some clarification is in order. In a previous comment one post ago, I stated that there were certain players the club couldn’t do without in the case of a temporary injury. I didn’t have Messi on that list. Some misconstrued it as my believing that Messi is not critical to our success. Far, far, from the truth. As Jason correctly sussed out, the point was that we’ve played without Messi before, are used to it and can do so again, a fact that in no way ameliorates his astounding qualities. But certain other players, in light of what they do, would be more damaging were they to be absent.
Messi is all crazy possibilities and otherworldly skill, a man who can turn a match on its ear, as he did on numerous occasions last season. Make no mistake, we are a better team with him. A far, far better team with him. But we could get along for a month or so without him. Xavi is another matter, for example.
Hope it’s clearer now.