Happy Labor Day Weekend

It’s the beginning of a long weekend here in the United States, so I thought I’d honor one of last year’s winners with all I have to muster on this hot, humid, hurricane-filled day. Helge won the Table Prediction Challenge last year and I promised him some accolades. Here they are, all rolled into one, only like 81 months late.

Click for a full-sized version.

Categorized as Nonsense

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. once there was a man named isaiah
    handsome and tasty like grammas paella
    he knew how to rhyme, he knew how to flow
    he remind me a bit of a young kurtis blow

  2. Hahaha!

    Congrats Helge! You weren’t another Hleb.

    Poor Kxevin. His France got Hlebbed 🙁 Blanc has his work cut out for him…

    1. We got Hlebbed, but it wasn’t even Hleb. I mean it was, but it wasn’t. Um …. wait. See, it was Vyatcheslav, not Aleksandr. So the question of the day would be: Is Hlebbing familial?

    2. The modern science of Hlebbing Genetics, which seeks to understand the process of inheritance of Hlebbing , only began with the work of Gregor Mendel in the mid-nineteenth century. Although he did not know the physical basis for heredity, Mendel observed that organisms inherit traits via discrete units of inheritance, which are now called H genes.

      H(leb) genes correspond to regions within DNA, a molecule composed of a chain of four different types of nucleotides—H (hlebenine),L (lebthemine), E (ebtosine), B (buanine) the sequence of these nucleotides is the genetic information organisms inherit. DNA naturally occurs in a double stranded form, with nucleotides on each strand complementary to each other. Each strand can act as a template for creating a new partner strand—this is the physical method for making copies of H genes that can be inherited.

    3. Proof that getting Hlebbed is hereditary:


    4. Lordy, it gets even WORSE! Hleb scored, with an assist from Hleb!

      I need some quiet time now. This is all too much for me to take.

  3. haha maybe we have to buy that other hleb some day!who knows,maybe he play for us better than the alexander!

  4. There once was a rapping tomato
    That’s right I said rapping tomato
    He rapped all day from April to May
    And Also, Guess What? It was me.

  5. I think international football needs to be done away with. It is brutal and gets in the way of good league and European games. I was watching the Ireland game yesterday and couldn’t help thinking that there is no Barca game this weekend because of this rubbish and god was it rubbish. Most of the Barcelona team are off to Argentina next to play a friendly, ARGENTINA for christ sake ! We had one league game and then this and there are more in October. It has to go.

    1. It would just be Spain’s luck that they finally get going with winning trophies and then international football was done away with!

  6. zaugg, lietchestein coach: “it was so impressive how spain played. I think football can’t be played in a better way. They are the reflection of perfection…()… I am very thankful that they came here to play with all of their players.”

    the rival wasa bad we kicked so much ass yesterday I was completely hipnotized.

    what torres, villa and iniesta did yesterday is what I say we can do in Barça, I think it will even work better:

    where iniesta may count as a winger but he really is a 10, he played really well there yesterday. villa and torres are two 9’s that can fall to the wing whenever they want.



    so there’s xaviniesta and keita also, same thing as in spain if the coach respects the hierarchy pedro! goes out, the season is long and p! is young 😀

    1. Formations are secondary with teams like these as what matters is the dynamics.

      Against Racing, in both halves, it was the player on the RW for Barca that had the most freedom in his role. Iniesta on the “right wing” was already playing a free role. Look at where Iniesta scored his goal from (he was in the middle-left). And also, right from the beginning of the game with Messi’s first goal – look at where Iniesta was positioned to receive that pass from Xavi and from where he provided the through ball to Messi for the goal – he was in the center of the pitch.

      Part of what was so interesting tactically in that match was how Barca implemented a player on the wing with a free role along with a false 9 in Messi who while not having a completely free role had a great deal of leeway with movement. Especially dropping very deep.

      In the second half when Messi moved to “right wing” he again occupied the role with the greatest freedom on the teams.

      In essence the right wing position in Pep’s system against Racing was the “10” spot.

      Spain played very well yesterday – especially defensively. Lichtenstein is awful however. One of Spain’s recurring problems however is their lack of width. This is part of the trade off you make when you give Iniesta (or Silva) high degrees of freedom to move centrally, especially when one full back is Capdeilla.

      It makes them easier to defend then they should be. That’s a major reason why they scored the fewest goals of any World Cup champion. It’s very clear how best to play Spain defensively. Maintain shape by remaining compact and narrow. Spain can struggle to break teams down because they don’t have Messi to rely on and they don’t utilize width enough. It makes staying narrow defensively easier than it should and negates Spain’s brilliant ball movement and passing more than the opposition should be able to.

    2. I think del bosque really respects the hierarchy but don’t know about pep, all I know after two years is keita always plays 😀 😀 😀 I feel like xavi iniesta keita messi villa have to play in the big games, and I founded the non-existant AINOW comittee (Andres-Is-Not-A-Winger). I now think that is the best position for iniesta in a team that has not 10 like maradona zidane or riquelme, knowing that keita always plays. The dynamics in attack come the players and iniesta rules the game while messi and villa are goal seekers, the predators. You still have xavi and TWO hard mids to keep things under control defensively. What is key IMO is villa, as incisive as messi and playing changed-foot, so it leaves everything symmetric. messi left footed in the right villa right footed in the left, and they are self-sufficient… both can play like 9 and winger. xavi and keita have the obligation to defend (one more than hte other) iniesta is more free and recuperates the 10 position for barcelona. yay!!!

      btw… swap keita for masche and FCB with the biggest doble pivote ever + xaviniesta 😀 we rock

    3. sorry… so if messi and villa can be considered symmetrical, iniesta back in the middle is a dream come true, and even it’s better if in the formation it’s still a 4-3-3 and he’s the “winger”

    4. and leave the crosses for the LB and RB! 😀 we have sorta two def mids to take care of “coverturas”, the other team’s players

    5. I founded the non-existant AINOW comittee (Andres-Is-Not-A-Winger). I now think that is the best position for iniesta in a team that has not 10 like maradona zidane or riquelme, knowing that keita always plays

      Pep does a good job of recognizing and balancing the need for strong defensive play alongside attack. That’s part of why Keita and his skill set are important.

      With Iniesta on the wing – it just speaks to how the game has changed. Look at it this way. If most teams are going to play a 4-2-3-1 with two defensive holding players why would you want to play both Xavi and Iniesta in the center of the pitch? It just makes marking them easier in many ways.

      By playing Iniesta on the RW not only do you get him away from the other teams “destroyer” you also put pressure on the other team’s left back. He will be more cautious making his own forward runs if he knows he has to mark a player of Iniesta’s quality who is deadly with time and space on the ball.

      The trick to making this all work though is Iniesta (and Villa’s) tactical discipline. They can’t just keep drifting to the middle all of the time because then Barca could wind up like Spain vs. Switzerland – a team with no width that becomes much, much easier to defend. Same thing for Villa on the LW. Though, I’ve been very impressed with Villa’s discipline when on the LW. He does well staying wide until he receives the ball and then looks to cut in.

      This is also why Dani Alves is so critical for Barca. When Messi or Iniesta move off the RW to the center Alves is literally Barca’s entire right flank. He is one of the few players in the world who can do that successfully.

      On the whole though, Andres needs to be very tactically disciplined on when to stay wide and when to utilize the freedom he’s been given by Pep to be a modern 10 on the RW.

    6. … AINAW … lol

      true about the LBand now with maxwell and adriano now in the left flank too (if pep wants)

  7. Nice interview of Pique in English with Graham Hunter (thanks to barcastuff)


  8. The players had a few days off, but Keiteeee hit the Camp Nou to train anyway. Man, that dude just knocks me out. He understands.

  9. barcastuff: little note: because of time problems, we will have to stop with our 24/7 barça news stream. we will continue with the match tweets though.

    That’s a shame.

    1. Unfortunate, that. But that’s the problem of doing this stuff. It’s a labor of love that runs pell-mell into chronological reality. Having the team that we have now, with SoMa, The Queen, Luke and Euler means that none of us are killing ourselves to create posts, cover news that matters and do match previews/reviews. It was, frankly, wearing me down last season, what with wife, life, cycling and then this. We do it because we love it, but it gets hard sometimes.

      Hats off to Pep for recognizing that, and trying to find a way to keep doing the great work that he does.

      I would also encourage everyone to look around for things that are interesting, and post them in the comments spaces. We (as in the family, vs the blog team) often have things just as quickly as anyone else does. I rather like that.

    2. And lest I forget, he isn’t part of the blog team per se, but vicsoc8 runs LiveBlogs, which are an essential part of our matchdays, and every bit as important to the health and vitality of this space as match reviews of previews, in that people would reallyreallyreallyreally notice if we didn’t do them. Hats off to another hard-working member of the family.

    3. absolutely, liveblog adds so much more colors to this space. because its an immediate share of love and emotions. hats off to the TEAM!

    1. I think it airs every Tues. in England (dunno if they air during International break, though). Jnice said before that it’s up on fbtz on Wednesdays and that he’ll post them when they come on the site.

  10. So. Finally caught up with France/Belarus. Man, Les Bleus were all over them, with scores of excellent chances. As Blanc has said, we lack a goal scorer. Malouda looks so good with Chelsea because he’s playing off Anelka and Drogba. You could see so many good runs that just lacked that target at the end of it. Not sure what the future is yet, but there is shape, style and more importantly committment and energy.

    Having said that, Hleb Sr. looked pretty damned good when Belarus had the ball. I still wonder why we were so committed to getting rid of him, but Guardiola knows best. He reminded me of an Iniesta the way he runs at defenders with the ball, maintaining control throughout. No, he obviously isn’t Ghostface, but still. I don’t think he got a fair hearing with us, and he screwed himself out of one. Kinda too bad. If only he’d been more like Keita, I think he’d still be in the colors.

    1. he also reminded me of iniesta, in arsenal when the times I saw him… the way he handles with both feet. don’t know what happened either

    2. I used to watch Arsenal just to watch Hleb. Was over the moon when we signed him. Seems so long ago.

  11. Guys , you should consider “expanding” this community , volunteers will be willing to help for sure.
    I havent been following this space for a long time , but even in this short amount of time i got the sense that this place has grown considerably.
    Growth doenst necessarily mean urge for doing things in a faster and wider capacity .
    It could also mean that some people may be willing to take care of things that take over some of your valuable time , like editing etc.

    I believe there is a considerable amount of people that understands the quality that this blog provides, appreciates it and is willing to contribute in any way that it is possible.
    Just a thought!

  12. Damn it!! Once again pep leaves us (transfers and election blog).

    Why would any Barca fan believe the BS.com report as we all know that Keiteee is Pep’s favorite player.

    Btw, I don’t really rate Keita highly against racing. He kept giving the ball cheaply away.

    Kxevin, completely off-topic. What are the single gear bikes called? I feel like getting one too since I only use 1 speed. Are these kind of bikes cheaper than the 7 or 8 gear bikes?
    But on which gear would the single gear bikes be? Can we adjust the chain like we do on bikes(superbikes)?

    Many thanks in advance

    1. Its a 24×7 job, especially with Pep(the guy is almost as dedicated as Josep).. don’t forget that he has a life too..

      Besides, there isn’t much reporting to do once the silly season closes.. I think he’ll be back again.. he always does..

  13. We are not used to giving second chances. We are not used to because we cannot afford. You play for us, you keep your position on the team by playing well. You work hard to fight for the spot, maintain at the level we demand, even as a squad player. If you screw up, you are out. We are talking about the maximum pressure among all the spoiled press and fans in the footballing world. One mistake, and you are questioned. More mistakes, you are benched. A season of disappointment is about the end of the contract.

    Dinho had his prime, once its gone, he is gone. Eto’o a hero to us too, but acting up get you out of the club. Ibra performed, did what was asked of him, but deep down, we see why ego is still an issue to top player’s performance. It’s rooted in you, the second year will be the same. The second chance will be the same. Caceres screwed up a couple of times, same goes for Chygrynsky. All finances talks aside, they are gone. Hleb is no exception, whatsoever. Be an ass all you want, but you kill your chance of staying with us, even as a squad player.

    Is there really room for a second chance? Do we actually do long term investment that has no immediate results? Can the coaching staff convince people that “screwing up is just part of this great long-term investment, we need this player in the club for the years to come”? To hell with all the selective memories, personal preferences, excuses of the club finance, numbers and statistics that are variables of different interpretations, we all live with them. It happens, in every moment, in everyone, all happening under the same white sun. Under such pressured environment where all the eyes and the brain in that same head are being extremely critical, it makes it so hard, so hard to find reasons (excuses) to players that had screwed up.

    No surprise here, this will be the most important season for Bojan, because he had enjoyed a lot of chances due to his young age. but to still see him stay with us playing poorly is just not the trend in our business. Alves can be benched if Adriano or Maxwell continue to impress. Puyol won’t start automatically, which is predicted.

    Second chances are luxury for small clubs. As for us, we keep on rolling and become bigger and bigger.

  14. What really pisses me off right now is that we are not giving a chance to Kerrison. The boy needs to be our 3rd center forward and get a year or so training with our first team to see if it will work. If he never gets a chance to play AT barca than his will go down as the worst signing in barca history, how can we sign a young striker with more skill and as much hype as a pre EE Benzema and never let him wear la Blaugrana. How a player preforms while on loan is not necessarily indicative of how said player will preform in our system. Until he is given a chance, we have no idea if he will be the next Pedro or Hleb. Here is hoping for the former

  15. O.k guys, I have been thinking about ours supposed lack of depth up front and I tend to agree with those who believe that we need to make some additions to to our attacking trident, especially after the loss of Ibra and our clubs non commitment to seeing the Kerrison and Hleb projects come to fruition. Having said all of this I think We need to take a look around this January for a player who can help fill our needs up front. Most importantly, the disastrous outcomes of some of our last few transfers (incoming and outgoing), has hopefully taught both our president and coaching staff, that we must be absolutely rigorous, as well as financially savvy in any future negotiations.


  16.      O.k guys, I have been thinking about ours supposed lack of depth up front and I tend to agree with those who believe that we need to make some additions to to our attacking trident, especially after the loss of Ibra and our clubs non commitment to seeing the Kerrison and Hleb projects come to fruition. Having said all of this I think We need to take a look around this January for a player who can help fill our needs up front. Most importantly, the disastrous outcomes of some of our last few transfers (incoming and outgoing), has hopefully taught both our president and coaching staff, that we must be absolutely rigorous, as well as financially savvy in any future negotiations.

    First and foremost, we are NOT Real Madrid, we do make reactionary purchases, there is no need for Sandro or Pep to flaunt their teststicular fortitude by making one or two huge signings to replace the Ibra catastrophy (cough.. Cesc cough cough…Torres). Instead it is my contention that we need to focus on signing a player who is, young, versatile and posses enough flair and grace on the ball to gel in our system. All of this must be done in a financially responsible way  which ensures that the era we are entering is one of sporting success and fiscal profitability.

    So without further adu, I’d like to introduce you to my idea. Of Barcelona’s perfect player, Douglas Costa**.

    **Mind you, Costa is just my personal choice for a winter addition, by no means do I think that he is the perfect player, nor do I think that he is the only piece we may need. My argument lays soley in the fact that Costa is a solid player who’s services we could obtain at a reasonable price. We cannot, nor should we pay inflated prices for players, who WANT to play for the best team in the history of club football! 

    In what would be considered grand larceny in these 50 states that I live in, Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk bypassed the 20 milliod dollar buyout clause that Brazillian side Gremio placed on his head, and agreed to a fee of 6 million euros for the Brzil U-20 international. Before signing for Shakhtar, Costa garnered interest from  England’s big four as well as Real Madrid and our very own Blaugrana. 

    At only 20 years old, and Brazilian, Costa has been labeled back home as the next Roni for his tremendous flair with the ball at his feet. His awareness and positional sense seem outstanding for his age and coaches and scouts say he can play four positions on the field, both wings and both attacking midfield positions in a 4-3-3.  

    Like a steak, Costa is being marinated in the lower levels of Europe before hitting the big time with whatever club will be able to woo the playmaker. Unlike Neymar, who will leave the Brazilian leagues for the shiny lights of top flight European football, Costa is doing the right thing by using the Ukrainian league as a Triple A of sorts, in order to prepare for what lies ahead. Neymar, Brazils newest, brightest star is said to have rejected a 25€ million move to Chelsea in order to stay at Santos, a noble decision, but will Neymar face the same competition at Santos that Costa is facing in the Ukrainian? Will the fact that Costa has already (successfully) adapted to life in European football prove invaluable in the players mental development, making him more valuable in the eyes of European suitors? Only time will tell. 

    Why in the he’ll is lil’ old Douglas Costa a viable option for a team like Barcelona?

    A. Jefferen, Gio and Gai.
    —— playing for Barcelona is difficult enough, and capitalizing on others failures is not always the ideal way to make a team, but aside form the phenomenon that has been P!, Barcelona have not produced a reliable  young wing player since Messi, instead opting to spend money on players such as Henry (converted winger) and Villa (yet to see where he will play). With Ga and Gio’s failure total to land spots on the big boy team and Jefferen’s inability to impress,, it is clear that the team could be in the market for a versatile winger/badass.

    B. Sandro and his Brazilians (cheap)

    ——-We all know fearless leader has an affinity for the samba kings (see ‘dino signing), add that to the fact that we could probably scoop him for 12€-15€ million, makes him the perfect signing. Let Sandro bring someone in with enough flair to capture the attention of the Nou Camp faithful, while at the same time showing off hoe fiscally aware he can be. * for all the crap that Sandro brings with him, and trust me, it’s a lot. He does seem he’ll bent on assuring that the club will be financially sound, and shrewd moves like this could show he means business.

    C. Sporting reasons.
    ——- Simply put the kid can play, eight goals in 20 appearances for Shaktar last season, his first in a country in which he is oblivious to the language, customs and game speed, is a sure sign of the positives to come. His work rate down the flanks reminds me of Man U’s Antonio Valencia, with the imagination of Juve’s Diego (when he was good). He handles the ball with the trickery of a young Roni, all while crossing like Dani Alves. And off all that was not good enough, the kid has a nose for goal, his goal tally will never reach Messi like numbers, but 15 a year from a utility guy who can play all over the field and eventually be the first or second sub off the bench is fairly impressive.


    I  not a scout, but if I was I would tell my staff to snatch this kid up asap. Bring him in next summer for Hleb plus €8 million or offer €13.5 cash and a year or two from now you have yourself the next Ribery… Minus the whole paying for sex thing.

    1. Yeah, but I’d only take him if Robbie Keane got an career ending injury or something. The dude’s *quality* ! 😀

    2. Having never heard of Costa I looked him up on youtube after reading your post. I have to say I am impressed…


    3. That’s the thing, I think he will fit in our system, but the idea of the transfer it, that he is cheap enough to take a risk on. Instead of continuing our policy of “buy high and sell cheap”, we need to start buying younger players with high upsides that come cheap. Instead of buying European elites, we need to start signing players based on potential, even if it take grooming them in Barca B for a year.

  17. can anyone translate the interview of xavi and andres published in sports?i translated it via GOOGLE.but still has lots of trouble understanding it

    1. But that translation leaves out the bit where Xavi teases Andres about his bathing suit! This is what the Yahoo babel Fish makes of it:

      X: It hears, me has arrived a small bird that has said to me that cachondeo east has been much summer with the photos of your bathing suit. It is truth?

      I: It dresses the photos?

      X: No.

      I: To then it put one me like any other. Apparently there was people to whom it did not like.

      X: Why?

      I: Ah! I do not know. For me it was a precious bathing suit, but already one knows that for tastes, colors.

      And here is the link to the original article in Spanish:


  18. Marca going after Laporta for “corrupt” spending. It’s a mixture of pretty weak sauce and stuff we already knew (open accounts @ night clubs, private plane rentals and special gifts for the players, etc.). Will be interesting to see whether Rosell jumps on this publically or not.

  19. Barcelona B vs Xerez at 19GMT .. which is 2 hours and a Half away from now ..

    Hope We See More Thiago .. that should make Jnice and Jordi happy for awhile 😀

    1. And me! Me too! Don’t forget about me! I love Thiago too! Acknowledge meeeee—


      I will be viewing that match at a later time. Hopefully, Thiago Alcantara has an awesome game.

    2. It will, but too bad Thiago can’t play since he is with Spain U21s. Sergi Roberto will probably start.

  20. thanks for the update Diego. Anyone got links to the game? even crappy links will do, that’s how desperate I am to watch some footy…

  21. Fastest man in the world, strong, can jump high, average football ability. He’d fit right in the EPL


  22. Barcelona B line-up: Oier, Montoya, Sergi Gomez, Fontas, Muniesa, Sergi Roberto, Romeu, Jonathan, Carmona, Soriano, Nolito.

    I knew Sergi Roberto would start. And Benja looked poor last week, so no surprise Carmona is starting ahead of him.

    Muniesta starts in place of Planas, who last week looked like he picked up an injury. And Sergi Gomez ahead of Bartra who was exposed time and time again last week.

    Should be an interesting match, considering Xerez was in the 1st div last season. It’s about to be a bunch of grown men versus kids.

    1. Stay in the second tier, because we play in the Primera Division and an A team and B team can’t be in the same competition.

    1. lol, its like we will have double lifeline that we don’t need. sell it to malaga or hercules.

  23. Why are there just a few spectators in el Miniestadi? It looks like it’s not even half filled. That’s really a shame…
    but at least the atmosphere is great, lots of fan chants. But why did they sing “José Mourinho, José Mourinho, José Mourinho” (Stamford Bridge style)? I can’t see a connection there.

  24. Oh, and thanks for finalizing my price, Queen Elizabeth.

    I simply imagine that the guy on the ground is Crynaldo and it makes me smile brightly 😀

  25. *http://www.atdhe.net/23606/watch-barcelona-b-vs-deportivo-xerez

    For anyone who wants to watch.

    Barça B playing really well. Especially JDS and Nolito.

  26. 1-1 Bermejo equalizes. Golazo liked he scored on us last season. We should have cleared it, but tried to dribble out. We should be up by a couple right now, but this is what happens.

    1. Didn’t he score like that on us last season, when we were home? I’m almost certain.

      Well anyway, great goal, but we had the chance to clear, but someone (Sergi Roberto?) decided it would be better to try and dribble out of trouble and we got punished.

  27. Hey, here’s a scary thought: Is anybody ready for the Iniesta that I watched (admittedly, late) yesterday? He was astounding in that match vs Liechtenstein. Granted, it was Liechtenstein, but if that’s our Iniesta, this really is going to be a great season. There is a power in his game now, and a decisiveness that make him a much more dangerous player. Wow.

    Oh, and one hell of a golazo by Villa. I daresay that if our luck with injuries can remain, this is going to be an amazing club this season. Amazing.

    And I don’t know if I read during the effusion dropped during that match, how amazing Xavi was. To watch him is to love him.

    1. I didn’t even think it was Iniesta’s best game, but he was still brilliant. He just looks so strong and confident right now.

      In that interview he and Xavi did they talk about how perfectly Villa fits into the team, both with creating space and providing assists. Now we just need to see how Mascherano works with everyone, and we are all set for an amazing season!

  28. Wow. Should have done better with that shot. Romeu and Fontas look really good. Poised on the ball.

  29. They haven’t figured out fully that the ball moves faster than a man. So they’re dribbling when they should be passing, to move the ball up the pitch.

  30. How awesome would it be if B won the league and we won the Liga? I mean it would suck for them because they’re never getting promoted, but still.

    1. By Playing in Segunda B They’re gaining tons of experience .. And They’d be ready to join the A team faster than before (When they were in Segunda C)

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