Rrrrrremnuntarrrrr! Barca v Sevilla LiveBlog

vicsoc’s in the house with the magic.

Reminder: Be nice! This is our first LiveBlog of the season, so let’s make it a memorable one. Thanks.

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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.

131 Comments

  1. August 21, 2010

    And because there’s no live U.S. television, let’s post those links early, please, so that everyone can be ready.

    Let’s DO THIS!!!!

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      Only ~1.5 hours until the game…

      /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-LbvFckptY&feature=av2n

    • jaime
      August 21, 2010

      I don’t know if you are aware of this, but you can always go to rojadirecta.com and watch any game streming live.

  2. vicsoc8
    August 21, 2010

    Arsenal put 6 past Blackpool this morning, and the EPL has had two 6-0’s in two weeks.

    • Euler
      August 21, 2010

      Blackpool were just completely overmatched. It wasn’t even competitive. And that was even before Blackpool went down to 10 men. Blackpool’s defense has no pace whatsoever. It was embarrassing.

      • Kari
        August 21, 2010

        Aww, c’mon guys, you’re being too harsh on Blackpool. There were second in the EPL for 7 glorious days and they’re equal to the number of wins Derby had the whole of the 07/08 season! They still have 36 more games to surpass it.

        Good on them, me thinks!

    • Helge
      August 21, 2010

      And they must have put 10 past them, with truely good finishing it would have been a dozen!
      Did you see Vela’s backheel-flip followed by two other flicks to fool a total of 4 or 5 players? That was brilliant 😀

  3. mei
    August 21, 2010

    Epl defenses are strong , laligas are a joke 😀

  4. August 21, 2010

    REMUNTADA!

    Blackpool is a joke, how they could get promoted to the Premier league I really dont know.

    • Miguel
      August 21, 2010

      you mean, like how hercules got promoted to la liga?

  5. y2k156
    August 21, 2010

    I think people are being harsh. I like Blackpool as they seem to play the game attractively. They do not have players and it is understandable. They cap their salaries at 10k per week and even the reserve in most of EPL teams make more than twice that much. They were simply outcast though considering number of poor teams in EPL, I think they have a 5% chance of survival.

  6. Josep
    August 21, 2010

    I think its less than 5%. Their chance of surviving in the championship was about 30% last year… and they got promoted.

    I’d have to disagree Euler, sure Arsenal had possession but I like the way Blackpool play. Before the red card I could’ve seen them losing maybe 2-1, or 3-1. They’re not a bad team, its just a team of unknown players that have had some time for their chemistry to work. I truly hope they stay up, they’re entertaining and not a group of primadonnas.

    • vicsoc8
      August 21, 2010

      I’m furiously refreshing Pep’s Barcastuff twitter page, but no lineup yet

      • Kari
        August 21, 2010

        See my post below.

        Pep means serious business. XAVINIESTA! XAVINIESTA! XAVINIESTA!

  7. cliveee
    August 21, 2010

    Streams:

    i will still be sticking to *http://atdhe.net/ for all the links they provide. love it. not sure if it will work for non-US regions.

  8. Kari
    August 21, 2010

    Pinto

    Alves – Puyol – Piqué – Abidal

    Xavi – Busquets – Iniesta

    Messi – Ibrahimovic – Bojan

    XAVINIESTA! XAVINIESTA! XAVINIESTA!

    Bojan LW…well, it’s better than RW… Villa on the bench.

  9. aULD sUPER
    August 21, 2010

    Why aren’t sky showing the game ? Strung out for a Barca game and sky show neither of them, shame on them.

  10. Kari
    August 21, 2010

    Sevilla, Sevilla. Why are you fielding your strongest XI? Does the CL mean nothing to you?! (I’m just sad Palop is starting. Darn him!)

    Palop

    Dabo – Cala – Escudé – F. Navarro

    J. Navas – Cigarini – Zokora – Perotti

    Negredo – Luis Fabiano

  11. mei
    August 21, 2010

    oh and wigan trashed again!brilliant epl defences!
    pep says ibra is on the bench are you sure about the lineup?

  12. vicsoc8
    August 21, 2010

    Hmmm, I’m seeing

    Valdes
    Alves Pique Abidal Maxwell
    Xavi Busquets Keita
    Messi Bojan Pedro

    • Helge
      August 21, 2010

      well… if that’s true, then it’s “bye bye, Ibra” 🙁

      • vicsoc8
        August 21, 2010

        I wouldn’t necessarily say so, it looks like Pep is experimenting to me

      • Kari
        August 21, 2010

        I wouldn’t read too much into. Just because he doesn’t start, doesn’t mean he’s going to leave. He’s been starting a lot of matches, and like vicsoc said, he’s probably giving Bojan a chance to play in his favourite position. Besides, when was the last time Messi started a preseason match?

        Yeah.

  13. Helge
    August 21, 2010

    Yeah, EPL is the best in the world, where the top4 teams constantly smash 4+ against other opponents 😀 pathetic…
    And after seeing just one match of Chelsea, I already hate them again. But Arsenal was a pleasure to watch (despite the lousy opponent).

  14. mei
    August 21, 2010

    Line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Pique Abidal Maxwell – Xavi Busquets Keita – Messi Bojan Pedro

    • Diego S.
      August 21, 2010

      Abidal CB ?
      Keita , Bojan , Pedro — Substitutions : Villa , Ibra , Iniesta

  15. vicsoc8
    August 21, 2010

    Making myself a sandwich, and then I’ll start the liveblog

  16. Kari
    August 21, 2010

    Well, that’s the last time I go to Marca. Shoulda known better than to trust the enemy.

    Damn them! Getting my hopes up like that. Well, at least Bojangles is CF…

  17. cliveee
    August 21, 2010

    omg, abidal in central defense again…

  18. majatt
    August 21, 2010

    No Ibra at the start? what the ef?

  19. Euler
    August 21, 2010

    To take the cup you have to keep a clean sheet.

    That is going to be a challenge with Abidal at CB.

    It seems to me that Pep is trying to see if Abidal can play CB. If he can that makes it much easier to not buy other players and go with the youth players.

    But Abidal is just not particularly good at CB.

    I don’t think not starting Ibra is a big deal. It seems like he only wants to start either Ibra or Messi but still rest one.

  20. Miguel
    August 21, 2010

    are we lulling them into a false sense of security? oh well. still a good line-up. got what i wanted to know. dvring a delayed broadcast of the game again from tve & won’t get to watch it til tomorrow. kiddie pool party to attend, woohoo!!!

  21. Alex
    August 21, 2010

    I dont like it one bit. Ibra needs to start. This whole fiasco with him is starting to piss me off

    • Kxevin
      August 21, 2010

      As I noted in the previous post:

      I honestly think that Ibrahimovic will be sold before the window closes. He is Laporta’s bright, shining transfer, and Rosell I don’t believe, is a fan. It wouldn’t be a bad move politically, and Ibrahimovic’s value will never be higher than it is right now, as it’s generally thought that players go downhill starting at 30. He’s 29, and lots of people want him.

      If Citeh can do a deal for Adebayor, they would buy Ibrahimovic in about 2 seconds, but they’re about the only club that can afford him. I don’t think we want an Henry situation, where he’s too expensive to sell, so we have to let him go for cheap or on a free, just to unload the salary.

  22. ooga aga
    August 21, 2010

    POST THE GOOD STREAMS PLEASE THANK YOU

  23. aULD sUPER
    August 21, 2010

    I think Rosell will be the ruination of the club.

  24. Ciaran
    August 21, 2010

    Awesome. Beating Sevilla 4-0 is better than beating Blackpool 6-0 no?

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      Yeah. “Decent-ish” alright. 😀

  25. Kxevin
    August 21, 2010

    First silver of the season. Daddy likey!

  26. Kxevin
    August 21, 2010

    For me, it wasn’t the win. This club has had undeserved 4-0 wins before. But this was a hiding, helped by stupid tactics by the opponent, admittedly. But the ball movement was such that they had two options: foul or chase.

  27. Kari
    August 21, 2010

    Messi hattrick, Villa debut, Palop dissed, Sevilla 4-0 butt kicking. Good day at the office, me thinks.

    Now, I’ll be talking my Hector Pills.

  28. vicsoc8
    August 21, 2010

    Abidal put in a solid shift at CB. He still made some mistakes, but his pace is something that we could really use in that position.

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      His positioning leave much to be desired though.

    • Euler
      August 21, 2010

      Was he really challenged or put under pressure?

  29. FranFlorida
    August 21, 2010

    If anyone wondered what “anim ibra” means, it means “good bye ibra, good luck in milan”

    • theMaginator
      August 21, 2010

      Actually it means Animo Ibra, or Encouragement for him.

      • Kxevin
        August 21, 2010

        Chin up, Ibra, is what it means. Nice gesture from the fans.

  30. Kari
    August 21, 2010

    You know, I see JDS playing a Keita like role. He’d do well in that position IMO. I don’t think he has the same vision and control as Xavi, but he’s tackling and reading of the same could make him a better Keita.

  31. Euler
    August 21, 2010

    Barca played beautifully. But Sevilla made a terrible tactical gamble to try to balance this game with their CL match.

    Sevilla did not play their game, especially defensively. That game Barca tremendous tima and space on the ball. And if you give Barca time and space they are going to destroy you. That’s what happened.

    Great start to the season, but a confusing one.

    Ibra not playing at all seems telling. I didn’t think him starting or not was of paramount importance. But not playing – unless he picked up a knock we don’t know about this is a signal.

    Between this and Pep and Zubi’s puzzling comments this week about Ibra – not a great sign.

    I’d guess Barca is listening on deals for Ibra. Whether or not such a complicated deal can get done before the window closes is another issue.

    But it seems like something is going on with the Board.

    Once the club President publicly declares that the club is in financial distress, the sporting project becomes very secondary. The usual decision making authority the manager and sporting director evaporate.

    In the climate of a club purportedly being in financial trouble, the President has the authority to essentially do whatever he wants and isn’t explicitly overstepping his bounds into the area the sporting director and manager usually occupy.

    If the club is in financial distress Pep doesn’t have much input into whether or not a player is sold. See Chyggy.

    • Kxevin
      August 21, 2010

      Exactly, Euler. It’s like martial law.

    • Luna
      August 21, 2010

      which is why more than ever, Pep is gone next season 🙁

    • theMaginator
      August 21, 2010

      That is exactly what is happening.

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      I hate Rosell.

      Sad isn’t it. For all his chest pumping bravado, I miss the King of Catalunya. His arrogant smirk after an goal against EE; toothy grins after a thrashing… It’s just not the same. 🙁

      I refuse to think about Pep’s future until the end of the season. I don’t want to get depressed at what might happen. Especially after seeing the team today. Bru-tal.

  32. Tan
    August 21, 2010

    Imperious performance, anyone thinks Ibra will be gone before the Santander match next week?

  33. JC
    August 21, 2010

    Adriano was handing the cup to Ibra to hold, but Ibra refused to take it….He said something, which made Adriano chuckle…

  34. Kxevin
    August 21, 2010

    I’m sort of stunned by what I saw today. Sevilla’s dimwitted tactics helped a lot, but we just destroyed them. Can’t wait to watch it on the big screen. So cool.

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      Seeing it once, what would you give Villa?

      I’d give him a solid 7. And that’s not because he was wearing it.

      • vicsoc8
        August 21, 2010

        He was awesome today, I guess I didn’t realize his passing was so good

        • Kari
          August 21, 2010

          Me too.

          I’m expecting great things from El Guaje!

    • Jim
      August 21, 2010

      I’m not really sure what Sevilla could have done. Are we talking about personnel or positional? They couldn’t hold the ball in midfield but very few can against us. They had numbers back but we were pretty incisive. They wanted it but we seemed to want it more. The only thing I can think of is that they weren’t as offensively minded as they usually are but a lot of that was great pressing on our part.

    • Euler
      August 21, 2010

      It was a remarkable performance. No other club in the world could come close to playing that way.

      I’m sure it caught Sevilla off guard as well. I think Sevilla read too much into last week’s match and Barca’s match fitness.

      They played a tactical match that didn’t anticipate this level of command.

      And in the end Barca was so good today that their strategy to try to take the trophy in the final 20 minutes was simply overwhelmed.

  35. jordi(TM)
    August 21, 2010

    Well we havent seen what happens when they start to gang mark villa.Actually we did, in the worldcup when torres was out of the lineup.Selling ibra means we lose a potentially unmakrable frontline.Did we get bionic thighs for andres? what happens when hes injured and we have to push leo deeper?Thinking about this objectively, the pros are neglible compared the the cons of selling him especially if we dont get a replacement and i dont mean castoffs like boriello(!) or Robson de souza.What is 12 million euro salary saved if when may comes we dont have the legs to keep going?I need a nap.

  36. Stephen
    August 21, 2010

    Dont want to see Ibra leave ! Really don’t. Its heartbreaking 🙁

  37. Euler
    August 21, 2010

    President Rosell: “A great debut for me. Happy for the team, the coach and the fans.”

    From Pep.

    And in the end that’s what matters isn’t it?

    A great debut for me.

    Because that’s what cule’s all over the world were worried about. How would the new President’s debut go, especially after the skipped out on the away game the squad had to dig it’s self out of.

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      *Holds breath and counts to 10*

      I hate Rosell.

    • Luna
      August 21, 2010

      geez OMG even I have better media sense than to say that, but then again, it really is about Rosell for Rosell

    • jordi(TM)
      August 21, 2010

      His hair looked great, and its clear he practiced his smile.What more do you guys want 😀

      • vicsoc8
        August 21, 2010

        He need to go with the full windsor next time, I just don’t think the half windsor looked professional

  38. theMaginator
    August 21, 2010

    I wonder if Pep quits after this season and the players speak up,might we see an mocion de censuara?

    • Kxevin
      August 21, 2010

      Not a chance. Rosell’s winning margin was immense, such was the Laporta animus, not because of the sporting project but rather his naked ambition and use of the club to further his own personal, political goals. No coach is bigger than the club’s president, nor should he be. Coaches and players come and go. So do presidents, for that matter. It’s all part of the cycle, so you can’t get too worked up about it.

      • Luna
        August 21, 2010

        Well I somewhat disagree. We have all been fans, collectively here, to see how Rosell’s actions, the politics, the general “feeling” that’s being generated has lead to trouble on the playing field in the past. Maybe not this season, but next season, well, I hope I am wrong. No person should be bigger than the game itself, agreed. But at this point in time Guardiola coming and going, it’s not the same, it just isn’t..

  39. vicsoc8
    August 21, 2010

    Just for your general edification, COVERITLIVE says there were a total of 260 visitors for the liveblog. I’m sure that is overestimated, but man this space has gotten big.

    It also means there are a lot of lurkers out there.

    • Kxevin
      August 21, 2010

      Whoa. The software allows only a maximium of 50 or so active participants. 260??!! That’s huge. I’m floored.

    • Vj
      August 21, 2010

      Does it count the number of unique visitors or not?

      • vicsoc8
        August 21, 2010

        I don’t believe so, hence it being overestimated.

        But there were 80 more visitors for this one than the last game of last season.

  40. Hilal
    August 21, 2010

    Well that was magnificent. Say what you will about Sevilla and their tactics but we were unstoppable tonight. The pressing, ohhhh the pressing. Thats what makes us so good and tonight we were all over them, we didnt let them do anything (shots on goal anyone?). Especially the first half. When we play like that, with that intensity, we are unbeatable.

    Maxwell keeps impressing me. He is getting better at the back and his link up play and forays forward are intelligent and effective. I think we will see a lot more of him this season, maybe as an attacking mid.

    There are no words to describe Messi so I wont even bother. Ditto for Xavi. (both are supposed to be tired!?!?!?)

    Villa came on and took my breath away. His movement, his passing, his interplay, this early on? Are you kidding me! I just pray we keep Ibra because Villa will be twice the player with Ibra in the middle using up 2 defenders.

    • Kxevin
      August 21, 2010

      True that, Hilal. I will just add that we were saying a lot of the same things about Ibrahimovic’s debut last season, and look where that situation is now. Of course, the rope that Villa has to hang himself with is a whoooooole lotta lotta longer than Ibrahimovic’s was.

      • Hilal
        August 21, 2010

        Agreed. The difference with Villa though is that because of Spain he knows the system and the players, he should fit like a glove. Ibra was ALWAYS going to need time to adapt, the fact that he started so strongly might have worked against him in the end. Anyways, only time will tell, but I think if we keep Ibra we may end up seeing the best team ever to play this game.

  41. Euler
    August 21, 2010

    Rosell: “From the box, you see the game very well. Spectacular fist half.

    I’m relieved. I was so worried that the President might have one of those semi-obscured seats, you know, the ones where you’re sitting behind a pole and you get a discount on the ticket.

  42. Alex
    August 21, 2010

    Pep during press conf:

    Ibrahimovich didn’t play for sporting reasons.

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      “Ibrahimovic? It was a pure sporting decision. Milito for example also didn’t play” is the full quote I got of Pep (barcastuff)

  43. Kxevin
    August 21, 2010

    Guardiola says that Ibrahimovic not playing was a “pure sporting decision.” This means, I presume, that we should read nothing else into it. He also had effusive praise for Maxwell.

    News Alert: The stodgy, old journalist that I am will relent on being such a prig, and call Correia Adriano, and Andrade Maxwell. I’ll certainly lapse from time to time, but there you are. I hope everyone’s happy at having me incinerate my journalistic principles on the ash heap of making people’s lives easier.

    sob! sob!

    😀

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      Pep also said : “Messi? He’s still not really in shape.”

      How cruel.

      • vicsoc8
        August 21, 2010

        yeah, to other teams. Messi scoring hat tricks when he’s not really in shape?

        It’s almost not even fair

    • Pyro
      August 21, 2010

      Yay! I was getting super confused when I read one of the previews and this dude Correia kept popping up. Same thing with Andrade

  44. Kxevin
    August 21, 2010

    So, here’s the question. We see how well Maxwell has adapted this season, and the start that Ibrahimovic has gotten off to so far. Why is the first season so tough for newcomers?

    • Kari
      August 21, 2010

      Yaya fit in quite well in his first season. I think. He had some back injury though.

      To be honest, I always though Maxwell was the weakest link in our defense, but hoo boy, did he tear it up or what?

      His beastliness rivaled Abidal at time–and he attacks a bit better than Eric IMO.

      • August 21, 2010

        Yaya was ok in his first season. He had some good games and some disastrous ones. His best performance was during his second season, starting from January till CL final. Consider it as a Yaya Diary:) he looked so good because he inherited a disastrous situation in the Holding midfielder position, so we compared him to null. Others didn’t have this fortune.

        Maxwell? I never had a doubt when he was on my transfer wish list. Guys, you need to start trusting that wish list and root for my transfer demands!

        Rosell, he is 1000x smarter than me. No matter how much I try to like him, he always find a brilliant way to make me fail. I give him full credit for that.

  45. Hilal
    August 21, 2010

    Oh and one more thing. Young Sergio was imperious tonight. A lot of why Sevilla saw so little was him. Yaya who??

    • Euler
      August 21, 2010

      Busquest played very well yet again. He had a very good match.

  46. Mikel
    August 21, 2010

    With these 3 goals Messi becomes the 3rd higher goalscorer of Barca in all history in official competitions with 130 goals (equalling Eto’o and Rivaldo). First is Cesar with 235, 2nd Kubala with 196.

  47. mei
    August 21, 2010

    Great game.Impressed with maxwell(a lot) and abidal actually because we all have been criticising him at CB.
    Hes got pace and decent ball distribution.If he takes care of some shy passes hes gonna be gold for backup at CB.

    Messi , what can someone say.And he is not in shape , guardiola is honest , this is not hard to observe.
    Xavi , iniesta , busquets : well boy these guys are not fit , not sharp but even in this state they can be unplayable.

    Also guys , you are really preoccupied with rosell.Why is it so abnormal for a president to want to make his debut at home?
    Not that im fond of the guy , but seriously blame him for his wrongdoings , refrain from trying to a bad spin on him on everything he does just because we dont like him.

  48. tMe
    August 21, 2010

    Can somebody please define “sporting reasons”? Using Chygrinskij as a comparsion doesn’t really help as he’s also in doubt after his questionable performances.

    • mei
      August 21, 2010

      sporting reasons can be not fit enough (physically) , not sharp enough(match fitness) and not in a solid state of mind(anxious , disappointed with his performacnes etc.).
      My bet is on the first ,cause he limped out of the last game anyway.
      Puyol didnt play.Are we transfering him as well??

      • mei
        August 21, 2010

        it can also mean not fitting into his tacticts for the game.Anyway!

        • Kxevin
          August 21, 2010

          “Sporting reasons” can mean anything that a coach wants it to. It could even mean (for you cynics out there) “We didn’t want to play him lest he get injured and therefore unsellable, which would damage our chances of being able to buy the player we want in the next 10 days, thus harming the sporting side of things.” 😀

  49. Lou
    August 21, 2010

    I had to miss the match because of work. Does anyone have a link to highlights?

    • mei
      August 21, 2010

      */http://forum.rojadirecta.org/showthread.php?96961-Supercopa-de-Espa%F1a-(Vuelta)-FC-Barcelona-vs-Sevilla-FC-21-08-10

  50. Luis
    August 21, 2010

    I’m likeing this new look messi! His passing was so insightful today and not just the usual afterthought. This new season I feel he’s look to his team mates more and more, and today, as his reward for being good his teammates give him the ball for a hat trick. What better way to change his ways.

    Also someone before(sorry forgot your name) mentioned jds in keita’s role. And think that’s a brilliant way to give him more minutes. He ha the defense tactical skills to be so versatile. Not to mention speed. We may have to stop calling xavi’s successor

  51. August 21, 2010

    @Kxev’s news alert

    bro I understand you call president Obama president Obama instead of Barrack.

    but the dudes you are referring to are Brazilian football players. Aren’t their different journalistic standards in place in this case? Nobody knows who you are talking about when you refer to them by their last names. How do you call Romario, Ronaldinho, (the real) Ronaldo, Pele, Garrincha and Socrates? And these are the famous ones of whom I would (kind of know or at least recognize their last names when mentioned, but still)

    • Kxevin
      August 21, 2010

      Well, when Maxwell and Adriano get to be as famous as the Brazilians you mentioned, we can talk.

      And given what people tell me about Barack Obama, it will probably bum him out that he will be Mr. President for perpetuity. 😀

  52. August 21, 2010

    Most importantly Barca rocked, it seems, but I missed the match 🙁
    Ibra might or might not be gone if Rosell sells him it would be a mistake unless he gets a huuuuge bag of money in return and has a good replacement (preferably a replacement who is not Brazilian and does not sport Nike)

  53. messi_fan
    August 21, 2010

    I was watching the match on a crappy connection. Whenever the stream stuck when we lost the ball, by the time it started back we had possession again. It seriously looked like Barcelona match highlights 🙂

    Suggestion for match review title “AKA Rust? What Rust?” 🙂

  54. Kxevin
    August 21, 2010

    Yo, TVE’ers! Match is on right now, two hours earlier than some program guides said. So get busy.

  55. Kxevin
    August 21, 2010

    I don’t think that anyone should get all that worked up about the sale of Ibrahimovic. Look at it this way:

    For:

    –Age. He’s 29. At 30, people start to think of strikers as washed up.
    –Price: He’s expensive. If we can get somebody to give us 45m, I say take it and run.
    –Politics: Krkic and Pedro! Both need and want time. Pedro! has earned it. The arrival of Villa makes sorting that situation very complex. Ibrahimovic goes, and that means new life for Pedro!, Krkic and Jeffren. Youth commitment? There you go.
    –Economics: We gain a big-ass transfer fee and dump about 12m in salary. People have said “Who’s the replacement?” Pedro/Krkic/Jeffren, dependent upon situation.
    –Failure: He is NEVER going to score enough goals to make the cules happy. And playing in a front line with Messi and Villa, it is unlikely that he will have many more goals than he had last year. He’s never scored 30 goals for ANY club, and he’s been a solo act for all of his striking career.

    Against:
    –Economics: Some say he has the stuff to take us to the Champions League and then some. Isn’t that worth his salary?
    –Sporting project: Is he the best striker in the world? No. Is he the most talented one? Arguably. Is he about the only big, pure striker in the world who can fit into our system? Fo’ sho’.
    –Henry: His first year was good, but still disappointing to the fans. His second year was monster. What if Ibrahimovic does an Henry?
    –Possibilities: Who doesn’t want to see what will happen with Messi/Villa/Ibrahimovic.
    –0-for-2: That would mean that two of Guardiola’s preferred signings would be sold in the same year. Not cool.

    Now, I can see both sides of the situation. It’s also why I won’t be all that surprised if he is indeed sold, nor will I be that surprised if he isn’t. All we can do is analyze (or attempt to) and roll with what happens.

    • vicsoc8
      August 21, 2010

      For: He is not the type of player to accept a bench role, and with his wages he is paid too much to be a bench player. If Pedro keeps improving as he has been, then there is a possibility Ibra wouldn’t be a starter for many of our games. We would have a serious problem on our hands if he is not one of the first 3 choices to start up top. He got benched during a run of poor form at the end of last season, and he sat today for “sporting reasons.” It will not be good is he is sitting a lot for “sporting reasons.”

      – of course this is just a possibility, it’s also possible he will break out and have a Henry-esque second year. At the moment I think they are equally likely.

      Against: we already have a thin squad, with both midfield and defense looking a man short (in my opinion). Ibra leaves and our forward line looks a man short as well.

      • Kxevin
        August 21, 2010

        It’s the Pedro! Conundrum. Ibrahimovic has scored in every match he’s played for us so far, right? His reward is to sit at the first opportunity for acquisition of silverware. Hmmmm.

        But if he stays, the reward that Pedro! gets for a bust-out season is to sit.

        I don’t envy Guardiola.

    • Bundy
      August 21, 2010

      But thats not the point, the biggest problem is that we have to start all over again at CF, what was the point of buying Ibra on a four or five year contract and not being able to build him for that course of time, now if we sell him we will be back to square one.

      • Kxevin
        August 21, 2010

        True, Bundy, but recall that 29 goals has been the peak productivity for Ibrahimovic. 29 goals would earn him scorn from the cules. Heck, it could be argued, given his 9 assists, that he accounted for 30 goals last season. In my opinion, he’s just screwed. No matter what Guardiola does with him, it’s going to be the wrong thing. Sit him, and it’s “Uh, oh….” Play him and it’s “What about Pedro! and Krkic?” A match where he doesn’t score is “Eto’o would have scored today.”

        I don’t think that anyone, Guardiola, Ibrahimovic or his agent, knew what they were getting into. Hell, even I didn’t suspect it and I know how cules can be. How many people turned out at the Camp Nou to welcome him? That was just a year ago. Wow.

        And if we are going to sell him, it might as well be now, because his value will never be higher. He will never, in my estimation, score enough goals to make people think he should stay. Yes, there are some cules now saying he shoudl stay, but that’s what happens with ’em: You kiss the person you just stabbed, because the dirty work is done. I’ve said before, we’re a tough club to play for. The Ibrahimovic situation demonstrates exactly how tough, so much more than the Henry situation did.

    • Lou
      August 21, 2010

      Hmm, I do understand the logic of selling Ibra if there is an appropriate offer and we really are in financial difficulty. Heck, it’s not like there is a shortage of strikers, and last year even with Ibra having a pretty bad game by his standards we were one wrongfully disallowed goal away from making another Champions League final.

      From my understanding of the Swiss Rambler’s blog post on the club finances, the biggest (real) issue facing the club is that expenses have been growing at an alarming rate. Getting rid of the salary of someone who earns 12 million euros per year would make sense.

      But mostly it just seems like a tacky thing to do to a striker who scored over 20 goals last season, who doesn’t want to leave, has never complained, even when he was benched at the end of last season and seems to be in pretty good form now. Add to that it makes it all the more likely that Guardiola will decide that he can’t work with Rosell and leave next year, which would definitely not be good for the club.

  56. jnelson
    August 21, 2010

    I still believe we should have bought Suarez this summer. Suarez-Ibra-Messi would have been the ultimate front line. All can score goals and all can pass really really well. I would have bought Van der Wiel instead of Adriano as well, but I like Adriano. David Villa is excellent, worthy of starting on any team, but I don’t see him fitting in best. Suarez-Ibra-Messi would have been so freakin awesome. Now, we are going to sell Ibra (WHY!?) and we will have P!-Villa-Messi. Sadly, we will be worse than last year IMO. Midgets are awesome to an extent.

  57. Diego S.
    August 21, 2010

    After his “goal” today .. I think Pedro should be awarded another “!”

  58. Jnice
    August 21, 2010

    FULL MATCH:

    TVE Coverage

    *http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AMR4VH8Y

    Credit to adriancrm @rojadirecta.com

  59. Jnice
    August 21, 2010

    What up, folks?

    Finally got to watch the match… what gratification. I love it.

  60. Euler
    August 21, 2010

    Zubi on Ibra in an interview with TVE after the match today:

    “He has a contract and he’s our player – for the moment,”

    For the moment is probably the key phrase there… Not a real vote of confidence and a clear different from prior statements from the club about Ibra definitely staying.

    No player outside of perhaps Messi can’t be sold. There is a legitimate argument to be made for selling Ibra as long as the club can sell him for an strong price.

    There’s also a strong argument to be made for why he should not be sold.

    As with most complicated issues, it’s not black and white – it’s shades of grey. And this is particularly true when cash is involved as most assets have a price point where it makes sense to sell them.

    But whether or not Ibra is sold is in many ways secondary to why he might be sold.

    What’s really at stake here is how the organization is going to be run under the current regime and how the decision making authority is handled on player transfers.

    The key question here is whether or not Pep wants Ibra to stay. I personally find it unlikely that only a year after pushing to buy Ibra Pep is ok selling him. Perhaps he is for a certain price now because of Pedro’s development. I don’t know. It seems unusual for Pep to undergo this kind of reversal.

    What would make me very uncomfortable is if the decision to sell the player is being pushed by the business side of the club under some flimsy argument that the club is in financial distress. The club made 500M euro last season.

    If Pep and Zubi want to approve a sale of Ibra at a certain price for a combination of sporting and financial reasons then it’s just part of running a club.

    But if Pep and Zubi are only approving some kind of potential sale because they’ve been told the club has to sell due to the recent audit, then there are serious problems inside the club. Regardless of how compelling the argument is to sell, if the people directing the sporting project aren’t making the call it’s an enormous problem.

    It’s unclear if Ibra is going to be sold. Pulling off that kind complicated deal in a broken market that is not in equilibrium is not going to be easy at all. But it does seem likely that Barca is at least currently exploring the sale of Ibra.

    *http://www.espnstar.com/football/primera-liga/news/detail/item488143/Zubizarreta-coy-on-Ibrahimovic-future/

    • Jnice
      August 21, 2010

      I think the only thing that will prevent Ibra from leaving, is Ibra himself. I think we will agree a fee with some club, but in the end, Ibra will refuse to go. Because all of these unclear statements and what not are different from Pep’s first press conference after vacation when he gave Ibra a vote of confidence and said he wants Ibra to stay, but it was up to the player.

      Now it’s “he’s a Barça player for the moment” yadda yadda. Ridiculous turn of events, especially after Ibra’s preseason. Looking at it that way, this decision has to be one taken by Rosell and not Pep,

      • Euler
        August 21, 2010

        Getting Ibra to agree will be a major hurdle. Man City is the only team with enough money and at the age of 29 to go without CL football for even one year is a big deal.

        Given Pep’s prior statements only this summer about Ibra staying – it does seem like this sail is being directed by Rosell, most likely under the auspice of financial duress.

        The Chyggy sale basically sets a potential model for Ibra to be sold as well.

        So even if you want to line up an argument saying it’s the right thing to sell Ibra at price X, the process through which he would have been sold is completely wrong. And here the process is more important than the outcome in many ways.

        Who knows what’s really happening. But if Pep is getting cut out of the decision making process and essentially being told that the club has to sell Ibra for non-sporting reasons, then it’s a just a mess. Pep’s a smart guy. He sees what’s going on. The club is risking alienating him and having him leave.

  61. bundy
    August 22, 2010

    honestly, right now everyone is over thinking things, it all starts with Ibra not starting in the supa copa. all this fuss about conspiracy theories with Pep fighting a silent battle with Rosell over a player like Ibra.

    We all thought Ibra was gonna leave when Bojan played the last few games of last season. We all thought Pep didn’t want him, the papers were banging on about it since the dawn of time, but hey, what do you know, he is still here after 2/3 months of speculation.

    and now he doesnt play one game, it means that he is on the out and we are gonna get a billion dollar pay check, get real.

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