Call me Queen Elizabeth

So, then, we’ve shipped out SuperMartin Caceres to Sevilla on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season and we’ve also sent Alexander Hleb to Birmingham City. Then we re-upped Seydou Keita until 2014 and increased his buyout clause from โ‚ฌ90m to โ‚ฌ100m…because there was a chance someone was going to buy him for โ‚ฌ90m and we were worried about that? Is there something I don’t understand about these buyout clauses?

I said I would do it if Ibra left this summer and so I shall: I will be writing here under the name Queen Elizabeth until the end of September. You know what that feels like? Birmingham City will soon:

Dammit.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

96 Comments

  1. August 31, 2010

    Alright…I will not joke about it…I will not tease or any think…hm…:D

    Thats what happens when you think some people are smarter than they are while you can’t really affect their decisions.

    Regarding Keita’s Clause, I think it is just a sign of appreciation. hm…And you never know with Man city -and Malaga- in the town.

  2. Roz
    August 31, 2010

    Much respect. Way to man up to something so humiliating. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. vicsoc8
    August 31, 2010

    I can’t for the life of me remember which of you promised this…

    but I’m having a great laugh imagining all of you as the Queen Elizabeth persona!

    • Helge
      August 31, 2010

      It must have been Isaiah because there is a link to a statistics page at the end of the article ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Helge
    August 31, 2010

    Great news from Sky Sports 24 resp. BS.com
    Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola added, “I never spoke with Milan about Maxwell. He is very happy at Barcelona.”

    • ermengol
      August 31, 2010

      but hey, wait, raiola is such a rat.
      why would he say that maxwell is happy?
      he said that ibra was happy?

      *que twilight zone*

  5. ooga aga
    August 31, 2010

    van der vaart to spurs, it appears

    guddy to stoke

    gyan to sunderland

    robinho to milan

    • Diego S.
      August 31, 2010

      Real Madrid reportedly pulled out of Rafael van der Vaart talks with Tottenham at the very end of the transfer window, frustrating the Spurs.

    • Diego S.
      August 31, 2010

      And There are Other news that the deal is done for 8m. Let’s wait and see

  6. Diego S.
    August 31, 2010

    So when does Hleb contract end ? He’ll spend his third year on loan at Birmingham .. Is it a four or five year contract ?

    I’m a fan of Caceres, He can play RB,LB,CB. He has world cup experience and did well, But apparently Pep doesn’t believe in him.

    • Blow-Grenade
      August 31, 2010

      Pep does not trust him because of the way he wears his socks.

  7. y2k156
    August 31, 2010

    Way to go dude…even i don’t remember when you did promise this but good that you did…:)…

    • Diego S.
      August 31, 2010

      Cough Cough .. Just Stand Over the name Queen Elizabeth and see the link

        • andrew
          August 31, 2010

          nice try queen elizabeth. i see what you did there trying to use an image of the QE2 ship to make us not imagine you as an aging incontinent old geezbag. nice try. silly queen

  8. Jnice
    August 31, 2010

    Revista de La Liga from Sky Sports (Guillem Balague and Graham Hunter among others)

    *http://hotfile.com/dl/66081660/50c02a3/Revista_De_La_Liga_-_31-08-10.avi.html

    or

    *http://www.fileserve.com/file/BGCVbHt/Revista De La Liga – 31-08-10.avi

    Credit to Pakman@fbtz.com

    Best Liga show out there, I suggest everyone download it.

  9. Jnice
    August 31, 2010

    Revista de La Liga from Sky Sports (Guillem Balague and Graham Hunter among others)

    *http://hotfile.com/dl/66081660/50c02a3/Revista_De_La_Liga_-_31-08-10.avi.html

    or

    *http://www.fileserve.com/file/BGCVbHt/Revista De La Liga – 31-08-10.avi

    Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

    Best Liga show out there, I suggest everyone download it.

    • Kari
      August 31, 2010

      Ahhh, the ever reliable Jnice. Muchas gracias.

      Balague annoys me very much, but I love me some Graham Hunter. I don’t know what it is about him that I like (that he’s not an arrogant pr*ck that thinks he has the inside scoop to every thing helps), but he’s one of my favourite journalists. I’d say him and Sid Lowe are near the top of my list, after BFB journalist/bloggers of course.

      • August 31, 2010

        hey Jnice how often does this show airs??
        would love to see it more often even by the means of download…

        • Jnice
          August 31, 2010

          And the show airs every Tuesday in England. I’ll post it when it’s uploaded, which is usually couple of hours later or sometimes on Wednesday.

      • Jnice
        August 31, 2010

        Yeah, I love Hunter. He’s the truth.

    • Diego S.
      August 31, 2010

      Can you break it down to parts or use a server that allows “Resume” Download after I pause it .. pretty pleeeez !

      • Jnice
        August 31, 2010

        I don’t upload them. I just post the links, sorry.

        But this show is only one link, so you should have no trouble downloading it.

  10. Eklavya
    August 31, 2010

    Jesus, Isaiah. No one even remembers it LOL. You even changed your avatar and all. Oh, its not Isaiah, its Mrs. Queen Elizabeth….pffffth! hahaa

    I love that Hleb photo!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I think my favorite part about the Hleb picture is that the words are left justified for some reason. Dunno why I did that.

      Hellooooooo, as QE would really say.

  11. Euler
    August 31, 2010

    Puyol has picked up some kind of knock during training today with the Spanish NT. Some kind of second degree muscle injury to his leg. Don’t know if this is what the issue he had yesterday was also.

    Supposedly it’s going to keep him out 3 weeks, pending additional testing.

    Let’s hope Abidal can really play CB because the need for depth is now starting in earnest.

    (thanks to Pep for the information via his twitter page)

    • Helge
      August 31, 2010

      Mmh… that would mean he’s not fit for the match @ Vicente Calderon – very bad news!

      • Jnice
        August 31, 2010

        Hope Milito or Abidal is up to the task.

  12. ooga aga
    August 31, 2010

    *http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/castellano/noticies/futbol/temporada10-11/08/31/n100831112665.html

    tests on puyol will be performed tomorrow. jeffren also got a knock and is returning from the U-21.

  13. cliveee
    August 31, 2010

    Since when did we see bloggers with such integrity??? Gotta appreciate it, people! Salute to the Queen!

    ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Diego S.
      August 31, 2010

      Aren’t you gonna upload new videos or compilations ? I’m loving your Abidal/Thiago Videos

    • August 31, 2010

      oh thanks, I don’t know yet. I will make some Keita or Busquets who are both as underrated as Abidal.

  14. Lev
    August 31, 2010

    hey bro you’re gonna blog @espn under your new and improved moniker too? :p

  15. August 31, 2010

    So with Robhino going to Milan for 18 million I think it brings truth to the rumors that we were looking for one more striker and the budget was 18 million. But like I said before, Pep wants nothing to do with Robinho and I think this is the second time we have turned him down in the past year. And there was no way Valencia was going to let go of Mata for 18 million.

    Our squad is great, but let us pray/raindance/cross all fingers for no serious injuries to our main offensive players. Whereas Madrid can lose Kaka and Ronaldo for 3 – 4 weeks we can’t afford this year to lose Iniesta or Messi for that long stretch of time.

    Alternately, I wonder if Llorente would have been a good option. He did well in the World Cup opening space for Villa and had better movement than Torres. Alas, ’twas never meant to be I suppose.

    So how long do I have to wait for the next Barca match?!?!?!?!?!

    • Helge
      August 31, 2010

      This Sunday, Barca B vs CD Xerez in la Liga Adelante ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jnice
        August 31, 2010

        I’ll be watching. ๐Ÿ˜€ No Thiago, though.

    • Eduard
      August 31, 2010

      I don’t know if this will sway your opinion, But I too thought Llorente would do well playing for Barcelona, so I BOUGHT him(on FiFa that is). To make a long story short, he’s not cutting it, and I’m going to have to sell him for 1/4 of the value I got him for. I think I’m just going to stick with Bojan.

      • ooga aga
        August 31, 2010

        well, that settles it. llorente would have been a disaster.

        • Ryan
          August 31, 2010

          Well, he certainly made a fine case for himself when he substituted Torres out in the Spain vs. Portugal game. A tall, strong striker who can actually hold up the ball and fight without fouling…I like!

  16. fcbfan
    August 31, 2010

    cough cough Isaiah. actually I don’t remember you making this Q E deal ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. Vicsoc8
    August 31, 2010

    So glad Keita renewed. He is a great player, and is the template on which we should base our future transfers on. The fact that he spent a lot of his first year in Pep’s office asking for tactical clarification says a lot about his desire, commitment, and the strength of his character.

  18. fcbfan
    August 31, 2010

    we have 18 first team players. 2 are goalkeepers. now Puyi and FF are injured

  19. SoccerMom
    August 31, 2010

    God save the Queen!
    We mean it, man!
    We love our Queen!
    God save ‘er!

    And as for Hleb?
    Noooo future
    Noooo future
    Noooo future for yoooou

  20. Eric
    August 31, 2010

    Sorry for being a bit off-topic, but does anyone know if GolTV US (not Canada) will still be showing Barca games this year? I don’t see anything for this weekend, and I don’t get ESPN Deportes. If they’re not, I think I’m going to cancel my subscription to the Direct TV sports package, since I’ll just end up watching Barca on my computer (slightly annoying, despite the better than average stream on ESPN3).

    • Kari
      August 31, 2010

      Hey Eric. (Note I live in The Great White (currently boiling hot) North, but I regularly steam GolTV US via Vettle online)

      It looks to me that they will be switching between Barca and EE, like last season (although they showed more EE games, those jerks).

      In my honest opinion as an outsider, it seems to be more of a given on ESPN Deportes than GolTV . Those more knowledgeable (and actually live down south) will give better view though.

  21. Kari
    August 31, 2010

    By the way, did anyone find out why the linesman had a problem with Messi and Iniesta’s short corner in the second half? Did he call offside or something (you can’t be offside on a corner, though…) I didn’t see any mention of it in the comments, so I thought I should ask.

    I couldn’t find a video that focused sorely on that incident, but if you go to 3:35 on this video*,

    /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRQv72ckfSg&feature=channel

    it shows the incident. I thought maybe he called a handball or something…? Or I guess, offside.

    *(that conveniently show Messi’s performance during the Racing match. If you’re wondering why he got a 10, just look at his passing, although that one incident at 1:55 is one of those Messi moments where he should have passed IMO. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt though. I don’t think passing to Villa would have been better than the shot, considering Villa’s angle)

    • vicsoc8
      August 31, 2010

      Looks to me like the linesman just wasn’t ready and panicked. Maybe he called that the ball wasn’t stationary before it was put into play?

    • Diego S.
      August 31, 2010

      It’s not an offside since we got the ball back twice, The linesman didn’t want the corner to be taken quickly something like that as in the last time you feel the Linesman saying “Play it !” and Messi saying sarcastically “Now I can?”

    • jordiโ„ข
      August 31, 2010

      That pass at 2:25

      *http://www.dynintel.com/pics/drooling-homer.gif

  22. Luke
    August 31, 2010

    Am I the only one who just now saw this video? With lots of snips of the players when they were young, including Iniesta’s worst haircut ever and Messi’s mother somehow being shorter than he is? Also, it features an awful cover of “Common People” by the English band Pulp, which William Shatner also covered, but not here. Wow.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWjuaCtRC1s&feature=player_embedded

    • Kari
      August 31, 2010

      That video just made me smile the whole way through. I love this team. Seriously. Sometimes, I think people are taking this team for granted. Enjoy this while we can everyone; this is a special, special generation.

      I know I will.

      Visca Barca.

    • vicsoc8
      August 31, 2010

      I just teared up.

      Nest part is hands down Pique taking a picture of a random person, the man is hilarious

    • Diego S.
      August 31, 2010

      Did you see Messi dribbling past these two kids ? That just shows that he’s the best player in the world

    • andrew
      August 31, 2010

      whoa whoa whoa, messi is wearing a brooklyn shirt? the tillary shirt? am i wrong? is he supporting the brooklyn penya?

      and also, oh, puyol, hanging around in the woods doing nothing. just like i imagined him in his spare time

    • majatt
      August 31, 2010

      The most beautiful scene in that video, to me, is Iniesta staring out of tla masia at the camp nou from a window.

    • Ryan
      August 31, 2010

      Haha, I love that it includes a clip from when Iniesta messed with Ronaldo last year. That was probably the one thing I’d expect less from him than a non-epic goal!

      • Kari
        August 31, 2010

        I loved how a clip of Messi and Pedro! smiling and applauding showed right after ๐Ÿ˜€

      • blitzen
        September 1, 2010

        I love the Crackovia version of that where Sergio Ramos gets involved. “Is that 50 Euros each or total?” ๐Ÿ˜€

    • jordiโ„ข
      September 1, 2010

      I saw this a few days ago, but then i lost it.Really would have come in handy on the day of “Ibra-gate”:(.Great vid it is indeed.

    • Eklavya
      September 1, 2010

      Iniesta looking out to the Camp Nou was the best.

  23. Reagan
    September 1, 2010

    Correct me if I’m wrong but did the same Ibra issue happen with Rivaldo too?

    If i remember correctly, we were doing pretty well when Van Gaal came back in 2002 and the club released Rivaldo because he couldn’t get along with the coach. Rivaldo was THE player at the time so it goes to show that noone was bigger than the club or rather no one player ego was bigger than the coach at any point

    • mei
      September 1, 2010

      If i remember correctly it was more than that.
      Of course van gaal probably is more of a “dictator” and much more outspoken than guardiola , and rivaldo did request to play his usual role.

      Yet it cant be a coincidence that Rivaldo started declining majorly at around that time, only to become bench player at milan.

      • Mikel
        September 1, 2010

        Though then he was hugely successful in Greece and actually is still playing in Uzbekistan. Sometimes I feel that Rivaldo was a better player than Ronaldinho was, Rivaldo was really a beast for Barca in his heyday.

        • Mikel
          September 1, 2010

          Actually he is a free agent, he rescinded contract with the Asian team this August

  24. vicsoc8
    September 1, 2010

    From Barcastuff:

    Interview of Zubizarreta and Bartomeu

    Bartomeu: “The main objective for the coming months is the renewal of the contract of Dani Alves.”

    Zubizarreta: “The origin of the Ibra case was for football reasons. The stars want to play always but only 11 can play.”

    Zubizarreta: “There was no ultimatum of Guardiola about Ibrahimovic.”

    Zubizarreta: “Robinho and Mata were offered to us but we rejected those options.”

    Zubizarreta: “With Henrique playing at Racing Santander, he’ll soon have his EU passport.”

    • Eklavya
      September 1, 2010

      “Zubizarreta: โ€œWith Henrique playing at Racing Santander, heโ€™ll soon have his EU passport.โ€”

      Yay! Maybe he will stay after all! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • mei
        September 1, 2010

        I seriously doubt his passport was the reason of his constant outing from the team.
        Its not like we have any players that lack a european passport in the squad :p

        • Lou
          September 1, 2010

          Yeah, I think it might be more that he will be easier to sell with an EU passport.

  25. Kxevin
    September 1, 2010

    On Revista, Messrs. Hunter and Balague believe it was Laporta’s heavy-handedness that is the reason Fabregas isn’t here today.

    Nice work, Joan! ๐Ÿ˜€ Now we can see what Dos Santos and Thiago really have to offer.

    Other ZubiZa tidbits from the presser, courtesy of Pep@barcastuff:

    –The coaching staff have said they want to keep Alves, now they’re going to take up the matter.

    –First-team salary cost has been reduced by 5 percent.

    –Guardiola at no time issued any ultimatums about Ibrahimovic.

    –The club felt he had to go, Milan came in with an offer. He could have stayed, but wasn’t down with not having status equal to Messi.

    –We made a 40m offer for Fabregas, but Arsenal did not want to talk. But relations have been normalized with the clubs, so we will see about next year.

    We are paying 10% of Caceres’ salary, and 25% of Hleb’s.

    “The stars want to play always but only 11 can play.”

    “We cannot break the contract of Raiola, who earns 10% of what Ibrahimovic earns.”

    “Ibra was a problem, we have solved it. The financial cost has been taken into account.”

    “Ibra could have stayed but Milan made an offer and we thought that, even with the financial loss, this was the best option.”

    “Ibrahimovic told me that he was uncomfortable with being a sub and with the team not playing at his service.”

    “Guardiola told us that the Ibrahimovic case was a sporting matter.”

    We wanted Hleb to sign with a different club, but he wanted a return to the Premiership.

    “We have the squad we wanted. It’s a balanced one, with many versatile players.”

    “Both Cesc and the club made a big effort, but Arsenal never wanted to negotiate.”

    Final fees for Adriano and Mascherano: 9.5+4 in possible incentives, 20+4.

    • blitzen
      September 1, 2010

      This makes for very interesting reading, thanks for reposting it for the Twitter-resistant among us.

      So if this account is to be believed (and I see no reason not to), the problem was as most of us suspected: Ibra wanted to be the star of the team and the first choice striker. He couldn’t handle playing second fiddle to Messi, and the phrase “uncomfortable…with the team not playing at his service” pretty much says it all. This was just completely the wrong team for him and he never should have been bought in the first place.

  26. Diego S.
    September 1, 2010

    Bojan wears #9 while Jeffren gets #11 ! Leaving #20 which I think Thiago will wear when He’s called up

  27. Helge
    September 1, 2010

    sport.es reports that there was a “false alarm” about the extend of Puyol’s injury. They claim he would be back for the match against Alicante. But so far, all the other sport websites don’t confirm it. Also, reading article (although I don’t speak Spanish) I understand that it’s more like an assumption or prediction from sport. Nevertheless, would be great if he’s only benched for one week – missing the internationals and right after that, back to full training ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. September 1, 2010

    And Txiki starts at Chelsea in January. Abramovich wants to model his club after ours, with a youth system, farm and everything.

    • mei
      September 1, 2010

      Yeah right.
      Youth systems needs loads of patience , and courage to give them chances in the first team.
      Txiki was never mainly responsible for our cantera anyways ; there are other coaches and supervisors for the youth teamS of barcelona.
      Do chelsea got any youth products registered with the first team other than terry?

    • Helge
      September 1, 2010

      Hehe, but they couldn’t fulfill the new regulations from the FA to call up 8 ‘homegrown’ players in their squad – actually there are only 4.
      Way to go, Chelski

  29. aULD sUPER
    September 1, 2010

    I don’t know I think this ‘mes que un club’ is getting to peoples heads at the club. Don’t get me wrong I agree with it in some regards like the charity work and the fact Barca is the national team of Catalonia. The thing is the presidents and even the Pepster seem to think you can spend fortunes on players and get rid of them for a pittance and there will be no financial consequences. There will be, we are not man city with a gazillionaire to write off these debts they are real and will have to be payed some day. It was mad to sign Ibra for that money and it will be insane to sell him for 24m too. I love the club as I’m sure we all do but there’s are some strange and dodgy deals being done and it can’t go on.

    • September 1, 2010

      The immediate loss is 46m – 24m = 22m. However, at 10m per year for the next 4 years, that’s another 40m on top. We’re actually saving money compared to what would have had we kept him even though the deal is a financial bath from the short-term perspective (especially considering that we’re not getting the 24m until next year). It’s interesting that the transfer fee is not the most expensive part of this particular deal, the salary is. I’m not saying we got a good deal, but if we’re actually saving headaches and 40m in salary over the next 4 years, we’re doing all right. No need to ring the alarm bells.

      I think that this whole loan+requirement to buy next year smacks of Rosell cooking the books just like Xavier Sala i Martin said he would: deferring profits until next year and making Laporta look all the worse (Ibra’s sale will be off the books by next year, if I’m not mistaken and so the 24m will show up as pure profit for the fiscal year) and Rosell like the savior of the club. We’ll have to see about that 70m profit that Sala i Martin suggested would magically appear from the way Rosell is handling things.

    • mei
      September 1, 2010

      Barcelona is not the natinal team of Catalonia ; it’s their symbol , their main reference point when talking about sports.
      ” Mes que un club ” has very little to do with the manner the club manages its transfers. It has everything to do with charity work and being an emblem of catalonia.(More than just a sports club.)
      It is currently closely associated with a high number of home grown players being represented in the team , and a different approach to the sport by the fans and the working stuff.
      Of course to be able to perform charity work and invest in certain areas you need a strong finances wich the club has.
      That means that they can absorb to both make risky investments in high profile playesr(ibra) or not (hleb , chyg) and take it on the chin if it doesnt work without too many consequences.
      The club has a lot of money both in cash(revenue) , and in assets(players , property) .Plus it has a brand worth loads of money.
      Having that many safety valves enables each board to use finances wisely or not.But we are galaxies away from phrases like *we are in debt(in the term of owing money and not being able to repay it in the long run and nobody lends us to*.

      • aULD sUPER
        September 1, 2010

        I am aware it’s not the national team but it is seen as such by Catalans ( except Espanyol fans ). And yes I agree with your point about the players from the academy in the team, thats a major point. I suspect the queen is right that Rosell is manipulating the figures to make Laporta look bad but Barca is not a pawn to be played with by there two clowns. I still think Rosell will be a disastrous president too.

  30. Lev
    September 1, 2010

    “Correct me if Iโ€™m wrong but did the same Ibra issue happen with Rivaldo too?

    If i remember correctly, we were doing pretty well when Van Gaal came back in 2002 and the club released Rivaldo because he couldnโ€™t get along with the coach. Rivaldo was THE player at the time so it goes to show that noone was bigger than the club or rather no one player ego was bigger than the coach at any point”

    True. The first match after winning the Ballon d’Or Rivaldo told Van Gaal in the dressing room in front of all the other players: “I am now the best player in the world. From today I will play at 10 (behind the strikers)”. Van Gaal wasn’t buying it, since he (rightly, imo) felt that Rivaldo was more efficient as a left forward, because he didn’t play enough at the service of the team in order to play behind the strikers.

    Although I never was a fan of Van Gaal at Barรงa – he brought in way too many Dutch players – he was 100% correct in this. We can also credit him with two Liga titles and with bringing up Xavi, Puyol, VV and I believe Iniesta also. And of course the unforgettable TU ERES MUY MALO rant which still cracks me up to this day:

    //http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhERJW3ftkw

  31. Cesc Pistol
    September 1, 2010

    The Ibra deal was a joke, if anything those responsible for it should be named the queen’s jesters. That includes Pep. I you specially sign a player that is BY FAR the most expensive transfer the club has ever done you better do everything possible to make it work. If Pep can’t manage big egos then he’s in the wrong business.

    And I never imagined I’d be typing those words after the two years we’ve had with him.

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