Welcome: Javier Mascherano

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe
Well, this is turning into an interesting back half of the week. Today FC Barcelona announced on its official site that the club has reached a deal with Liverpool to buy Argentine MF Javier Mascherano assuming proper medical clearance and all that jazz. Terms are being reported differently everywhere, ranging from 25M euros to 21M + 3M in incentives to 16 + 3 and so on and so forth. All seem to agree that Mascherano will sign a 4-year deal with the club following medicals, photo-ops, and pledging allegiance to Lord Pep.

Initial reactions

I like this deal for a few reasons. The most obvious of which is that we need MF depth, specifically to help out with the defense as we were relying solely on Busquets to buoy the DM position, and failing that, Pique or Keita. Now we have a bona fide DM to stick in as depth, but he can also fill in at other midfield positions in a pinch. A team that is likely going to play 65+ games this season is going to have to have more than one DM, and now we have two that could start.

The key here, and I am sure Pep has already laid this one out, is Masch knowing that he is not going to be the first starter here, Busquets is. And nor should he be at this point, he will have had zero days experience in the club before the Racing game, which he won’t play in. This won’t kill his chances to get a good start, but it will hinder him in some ways, meaning he will come along slowly most likely. This is not a problem, it’s to be expected.

He doesn’t score a lot of goals because he’s not expected to, scoring only 4 goals in his international and club careers combined. He is however a solid leader for Argentina (and Liverpool), serving as the captain through the shit storm that has been the last 4 years for the Albiceleste. Notwithstanding the back line collapse that was Argentina’s final World Cup game against Germany, Masch played well, serving as the only defensive stopgap the team had.

What he does do is fight. Figuratively, sometimes literally, but he’s a fighter. He doesn’t let people run over his teammates and has shown a predilection to fight for Messi when he gets knocked down for Argentina. He won’t allow any of our guys to get knocked down repeatedly and will fight with any opposing player we have. He’s short, but he controls well and is great with crosses.

He’s not perfect, but he’s the depth we needed. People should not be down on this after losing Yaya. Yaya did not want to be here and play under our terms, Mascherano does, and that’s what we need. We could not make it through with one DM all year and Romeu simply is not ready right now. In a couple of years, I think he will be. We will have more and update you more when we are sure. Check out Kevin’s short post with a Masch video if you’d like.

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148 Comments

  1. mei
    August 27, 2010

    What worked withh pique? Gerard came for 5 million and played 45 games for us, chygrynskiy came for 25 and played 14 matches.
    And thats appearances, dont even get me started on how many minutes did he actually play.

    I dont really care what the player might have been if he would not get injured promptly after his transfer , if he learned spanish quickly enough , if he felt comfortable with the ball at his feet like at shakthar and wether his overall confidence wasnt shot after our being kicked out of the cup. He was slow , he got cought up in the defence , and he was slow . Maybe he could be a good defender in the future, maybe not. Some many disadvantages point towards not however especially for defending in a side like us.
    Ill take the 10 million loss and put my hopes on someone more exciting than him , in the cantera for example.

    • Vj
      August 27, 2010

      Our patience worked with Pique.. He was given more than half a season to settle in, and it worked wonders.. Chiggy on the other hand wasn’t bad in the first few matches he played.. Sure his confidence got shot after the Copa loss, but that’s not the point.

      The point is that even though Pep still had him in his plans, Rosell saw fit to sell him. As Kxevin mentioned, this should point as to why Pep isn’t committing for a longer term.

      Don’t think Pep is gonna stay/last long..

  2. August 27, 2010

    mmm ok for those of us thinking “it is not Rosell’s fault that Pep didn’t want Zlatan, it’s ok to get rid of him now that we have Villa”, I have got two points to make:

    1. Why did we not sell him to Manchester City for 500 trillion dollars?
    2. Why do we have to treat him with so little class?

    • Alex
      August 27, 2010

      Agreed, I think Ibra stays. Him showing up to practice today is good news.

    • mei
      August 27, 2010

      Lev , in what way was ibrahimovic treated with so little “four letter word weve been hearing all summers by arsenal trolls”?
      At the same time the club is considering legal action against ibras agent.
      Also do you really know wether man city indeed wanted him ,wether he wanted to be there or wether this whole situation came to light just now so a transfer was not on the cards at the time that man city was supposed to be interested??

      • mei
        August 27, 2010

        five letter word.Damn i cant spell!

  3. y2k156
    August 27, 2010

    Just read the official communication on FCB website regarding Ibra. It seems clear that FCB is going out all guns blazing against Mino R, scumbag. But than, agents in general are scumbags. After all, agent is just politespeak for pimp. Sigh!

    This saga does not leave make me feel good. They need to close transfer window before starting of season. Make it from middle of May till beginning of August. That is enough time for any stupid things to happen.

  4. IS/ocho
    August 27, 2010

    Sure hope the death of Barca’s relationship with Raiola doesn’t impact Maxwell in any way :s

  5. August 27, 2010

    “Lev , in what way was ibrahimovic treated with so little “four letter word weve been hearing all summers by arsenal trolls”?”

    Well here is what I think:

    it is pretty obvious that going to Milan right now is a major step back for Ibra (and I’m not even talking about his paycut). I was never in favor of him coming to Barça, but for us to force him out at the last minute after his first season while he had repeatedly stated this summer that he wants to be a Barça player and fight for the cause? Mmmmmm…..

    It would be one thing if he played horribly last season. But he didn’t. Neither did he set the world alight yet 21 goals and 9 assists is very decent for a first season at the club, part of which he was injured.

    It would be another thing if he showed a bad attitude. It doesn’t seem that he did. He didn’t sulk when he was benched in favor of Bojan last season. Neither did he sulk when we bought Villa this summer. Ok, so he didn’t celebrate the Gamper trophy but i would not feel like celebrating either if I feel someone is trying to stab me in the back. I would feel like staying away as not to ruin the celebrations of my teammates.

    It is not his fault we made him the 2nd best paid striker in our squad. On the contrary, as a star striker his attitude when faced with adversity (being benched, being pulled early in the semis) has been exemplary.

    To force him out in this way is disrespectful in regards to both his quality and his attitude imo.

    * Now the big fat asterisk is if in the end it becomes clear that it is all that rat bastard mino raiola’s fault, in which case I do hope Barça will give full disclosure to what happened.

    • August 27, 2010

      I want to read Barça’s statement regarding Raiola on the official website. Could anyone confirm whether their virus situation has been solved yet?

      • Kari
        August 27, 2010

        Yes, it’s been solved. You can go there or find Jnice’s comments above (it’s bolded).

        My Hector Pills are working quite nicely.

      • August 27, 2010

        oh perfect thnx kari and jnice.

        mmm so this is insinuating that Raiola got into Ibra’s head and Ibra is the one wanting to leave? But it doesn’t make any sense for Ibra to want to go back to Italy… Or to take a 33% paycut…

        mmmmmm….

        anyway I am glad to see that a club (and not just a club!!!) is considering legal actions against an agent.

        When you think about it, if Ibra leaves both Ibra and Barça lose. Who wins? Raiola, bc he gets yet another big fat cut off of the transfer fee.

  6. theMaginator
    August 27, 2010

    Remember how Pep said there was someone else coming between he and Ibra? I winder if he was reffering to Mino. It would not be the first time an agent manipulates a player to make a transfer. It would also explain why pep early on said that Ibra’s future was ultimately up to Ibra.

  7. BA
    August 27, 2010

    the transfers of Villa and Adriano are the only positive spots this summer for us in the market; is it in any way out of line to assume that was because both were facilitated by Laporta? the Ibrahimovic situation is disgraceful; the player plainly did not want to leave and a bigger attempt should have been made, from Pep to the president, to help him feel comfortable. i defended us over the Cesc situation to many Arsenal-supporting mates of mine but i can’t defend what the club just did to Ibra, who despite his flaws on the pitch last season IS a quality player and deserved a chance to fight for his spot this season.

    Mascherano is a *poor* buy. he isn’t going to work in our system, will demand playing time but is too destructive to fit anywhere but Busquets’ position (where the Catalan has been playing the best football of his life), and is in no single way a better choice than Yaya Toure for our current system. we just weakened our squad for, between the 2 deals, 14m. not worth it. i love my club but am deeply, deeply disappointed with it’s actions both morally and in footballing terms this summer.

  8. August 27, 2010

    More drama…I started to like the show since I started living in Denial believing that it is not happening.

    I think Sandro and Co will start throwing stones on the plane taking Ibra and his agent to Milan 😀

    But if they can knock that agent down, I will praise Sandro for 3 days and 3 nights. As long as we don’t talk talk talk, and he get paid more and more and more.

    • Kari
      August 27, 2010

      They were saying that they would take legal action.

      Ooooh sn~aaap!

      FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

      Next episode we’ll see the: Return of Seluk. Preview shows a Seluk-Raiola style b**ch fight and a Yaya HULK SMASCH. Don’t miss it!

    • mei
      August 27, 2010

      So to get this straight , fcb will try to rescind the agents contract with the club , so we wont pay any fee to him?
      That sounds nice.

  9. jord(TM)
    August 27, 2010

    jaja this has been a nice acrimonious exit hasnt it?So much drama, i take a nap and We have a full on statement threatening Mino.Whatever happens this will be a lesson for douchebag agents in the future thinking they can mess with Futbol Club Barcelona, its image and its employees.

  10. Euler
    August 27, 2010

    To avoid further Hectoring >>>> new post on main page

  11. Carles P
    August 27, 2010

    I think the threat of legal action is the first step in trying to forego the “super bonus” for the agent. That’s what he (Zlatans agent) gets for opening his mouth about the “super bonus”.

Comments are closed.