BFB Writers Q&A Tomorrow

Tomorrow evening at 7pm Eastern, 4pm Pacific, there will be the first in what will hopefully be a series of BFB Writers Q&A done in a liveblog style. Kevin, Luke, and I will all be present to engage readers in a realtime Q&A session. Here’s the basic idea: when the liveblog starts, come say hi, write questions, and submit them and we’ll try to get to as many as possible.

Most of you are used to Cover It Live from the Liveblogs, but this is going to be a bit different in that only Kevin, Luke, and I will be permanently unmoderated. I’ll be keeping a log of your questions so that we can (hopefully) go back to some of the ones we missed, but do be patient with us while we sort through any bugs and while our fat fingers type out answers. The more intelligent the question (“What are your thoughts on the difference between 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 in Guardiola’s system?” rather than “How come you’re so ugly?”), the more likely it will be published and answered, though that doesn’t mean you have to be humorless in your approach.

So, Monday evening at 7pm Eastern, 4pm Pacific, we’ll have our first Writers Q&A. Please show up if you can. Apologies to everyone who can’t make it because of the time differences, but the evening here in the US is the best time for us. If things go well, we’ll try to have a Saturday morning one that everyone can make.

Categorized as Barcelona

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Won’t be able to make it, but hope to read the transcript afterward.

    Of course, I expect the word counts for “Bojan”, “Villa” and “Ibra” to totally eclipse anything else…

    1. I actually have imposed a limit on the following terms, all of which may only be used a maximum of 7 times: Villa, Bojan, pimpmobile, assless chaps, Ibrahimovic, Ibra, wangerdoodle, bite, my, shiny, metal, and daffodil.

    1. You’re in Singapore Mister? If I’m not mistaken. the daylight saving time will only affect the time staring from Oct.

  2. My question to Kxevin would not be;
    “Why you hating on Bojan and Villa”
    “Do you really look like Thuram?”.
    Cause a few days ago Kxevin said a Japanese tourist snapped a photo of him thinking that Kxevin was Thuram 😆

    1. 1. Because they’re short.

      2. Yes, which can be fun in the right spots, like Barcelona airport Customs, where the security guard said “You’re famous!” I denied it, but he insisted. I handed him my passport, and he checked it out, then returned it with a knowing wink. Guess I was famous, and traveling under an assumed name/passport. My wife was howling.

      And the year we signed him, I was in Barcelona for the Gamper. Wifey and I went for a walk. It was a hot day, so I was wearing shorts and a polo shirt. We had no idea why people were stopoing and staring and pointing. I just figured they didn’t get many of the brothas in Barcelona. Then we get back, fire up TV3, and wifey says “Holy shit, you’re on TV!”

      It wasn’t me, but they were interviewing Thuram. Hilarious. We even have the same tired-ass athlete walk. Go figure.

  3. Damn. Now I’m doing what GreeceBarca is doing. But I jsut gotta share this. Guess who is on GQ magazine..Pep? Xavi? Valdes? Bojan?


    1. I like the pic, except for the extra shirt just randomly draped around his neck. That’s just weird.

    1. Hercules was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      You can sure as hell bet we would have fired Pep if he, as a newcomer, failed to get us through Champions League prequalification against that Polish club and then lost to Numancia on the opening day.

  4. Goyo is in charge of Sevilla now.Im glad he finally got a big club, itll be interesting to see how he does there.Its a pity they took so long.

  5. Okay. I dont know if this counts as a serious question , but anyway:

    Guardiola has stressed every now and then that messi always wants to play. Lots of our players want to always play , thats a given. Why is this being stressed and repeated so often?
    Is there any chance messi is being played more due to that desire and the fact that he is a star ,leading to fitness mismanagement?

    also a second one :
    Keita is being given much love here, deserved as well. However I consider him , as well as guardiola , as a not undisputed starter in this team. What type of game would you consider as not suitable to be present?

    1. 1. Yes, and I think it’s a mistake. A coach and medicos have to act as a governor on a player, no matter his desires. So far so good, but we’ve all seen Messi during his tired stretches.

      2. A match against a quick, counterattacking team that moves up the wings.

  6. I have 2 Questions :

    1- Is Kxevin’s avatar really him or Thuram ?

    2- Do you see us buying anyone in December ?

    1. *,1&biw=1276&bih=627
      First pic^^

    2. 1. Thuram

      2. No. Not if Captain Austeriry is serious about us battening down the fiscal hatches.

      Speaking of, notice how little leakage has emitted from rhe boardroom since Rosell cracked down on that stuff?

  7. Messi is making the trip to Kazan. Still needs a green light from the medics. Only first team absence is Adriano. Thiago also made the squad for the trip. Yay!

  8. If we play Messi against Kazan or Mallorca, we’re crazy. It isn’t worth the risk. A player on the form that Messi is on wants to ride it like a rented mule. The coach and medicos have to serve as his better judgment. The rest will do him good.

    Pique is calling BS on the Torres “interview.” Duh.

    And speaking of Pique, apparently Wenger tried to poach him from La Masia, back in the day. Sat what you will about Wenger, but dude’s got an eye for talent.

    1. I don’t know. The problem with Messi is, as Guardiola says, he always wants to play. And he sulks if he doesn’t. The question then becomes, is it better to leave him at home to train by himself when his heart might not be in it? Or is it better to take him to Russia, let him train with the team, and give him maybe a half hour in the game if he is up to it? You had better believe that Pep will not allow him to play unless the medical team OKs it. He is certainly not a fool. Everyone is acting like Kazan is on the other side of the planet or something, when it is only a 5-hour flight. (Or maybe that’s my Canadian bias, 5 hours just isn’t that long of a flight for me. And they’re not even flying Economy class.)

      I sometimes get the impression that Messi is a bit of an idiot savant that must be kept happy at all costs. Luckily, that’s pretty easy. Just give him a ball and field to play on.

  9. I dunno if this thing is going to be a success. I mean if we had questions we would just ask them in the comments, since all the mods are pretty much always connected. :/

  10. Why is Sarah Benny always pregnant ? Every time she’s on TV she’s heavily pregnant, what’s that about ?

    1. Yes Wenger is a tool alright, I look forward to him yet again winning nothing with his stolen babies and hostages ( Cesc ).

  11. and btw, i just read this on Tim Stannard’s usually excellent La liga Loca blog on

    “Barcelona had just beaten Sporting 1-0 with David Villa taking the unusual but amusing step of feigning wiping his backside with the flag of his former – and supposedly beloved – team from Asturias after scoring the winning goal. “F**k ‘em and their stupid cider obsession,” was his boisterous response in the mixed zone.”

    Anyone else notice this during the match? Surprising lack of class if true and I cannot imagine Guardiola being amused.

    1. Not cool. Emphatically, completely, not cool. I still have the match on the DVR, and will go back to have a look. My, oh my.

      Something else Villa-related. I noticed a little bit of a gut on El Guaje as he exited the pitch after his red. Anyone else?

    2. I think you are reading way too much into this .
      Villa is out of form. Lets not try and attach a negative spin on every side and action of him because of it.
      Why would he be obliged to mask his dissatisfaction of his former club , if there was any, with such gesture?
      Why not go ahead and celebrate like mad the goal? Was he scared of something? Come on.

    3. No. If it happened, and Sid Lowe has no reason to lie about it, it’s a classless gesture no matter how you read it. How would we be reacting if a non-Blaugrana player did such a thing? That reaction shouldn’t be any different when it’s one of ours.

      A player’s starting club is usually fondly thought of by the player. Hell, Eto’o couldn’t even score sitters against Mallorca, so deep were the roots of fondness. When P! goes “home,” he is always very subdued. It’s a gesture of respect.

      There is only this action that I am discussing, and if it in fact happened, this action is, to me, classless. Even if he wasn’t happy with the way that he departed the club or whatever, you still don’t do it. Barca players should comport themselves in a way that befits the class and style of the best club in the world. Period.

    4. No you are wrong. I dont take sid lowe for granted , just because he said it doesnt make it right , likewise just because you say that hes got no reason to lie doesnt make it true either.
      Even if he did do it , it doesnt include the “f**k you and your cider obsession” comment. The commenter is just spicing things up to attract attention , and while this works it is very bad journalism , mixing up a picture with a distorted opinion.
      Even if he did do that , and meant to do that, why didnt he celebrate the goal, that by the way broke the deadlock and was scored after him losing lots of good opportunities(thus having more reasons to celebrate)?
      Its an honest question.

    5. And also note that I said “if it happened.” I think your error is in presuming that mentioning it makes it so.

      Tim Stannard’s writing style is fast and loose, and he often includes jokes and asides. They are meant to be precisely that, rather than inflammatory tidbits to attract attention. It’s also writing rather than journalism, as it isn’t chronicling an event.

      People have watched the goal, and said that it didn’t happen (on the televised portion). So it’s all good. If he did do that, in my opinion it’s lacking in class. Barca players don’t do that.

    6. mmm although from what i can see on youtube he scores then walks off without celebrating.

      As for Villa’s gut yeah maybe, or it could be that his shorts are up high idk since i only saw him with shirt on walking off (again checking youtube clips of the event, lol).

      I did notice that Puyol seemed genuinely disappointed with villa, and didn’t even bother arguing with the ref. In his defence it seemed to me that the Bilbao player pushed and kicked/kneed him twice and shoved his hand in his face all in 1.5 seconds before Villa retaliated. A better decision would have been for both to receive a yellow card imo

    7. hold on Kxev I said Tim Stannard (, and not Sid Lowe. Are you saying Sid Lowe confirmed it?

    8. I watched the match 3 times and also noticed a bit of gut bulging haha. I also noticed Puyol shaking his head at Villa when he got the red card and was trying to explain his side of the incident to the ref.

    9. No, this is completely ridiculous and false. Villa has such respect for his former club that he never even celebrates when he scores against them. Ever. I have to assume that this author is trying to make a joke based on that, you know, it’s fuuny because it is the opposite.

  12. Curious about what people think of this. Saw it in a post on BarcaLoco:

    I’m always happy to see Barcelona beat Athletic anyway, because I despise the latter’s policy of only choosing Basque players. I realize a lot of people think it’s quaint and old-fashioned, but I think it’s the ugliest kind of nationalism and that it denies the global nature of the game in 2010. If any kind of business apart from a football club used this policy, people would find it offensively discriminatory instead of a demonstration of quaint local pride. Imagine a Basques-only cafe or barber shop and you get my point. From a footballing perspective, the idea that any side – any side – is better for not wanting Castillian or Andalucian (let alone South American or African) players is absurd to me. One of the things I love most about FC Barcelona is the global nature of their squad, both in terms of players and fans. Of course, they have a Catalan base to root them in their city and region, but there are players who seem to have been born with blaugrana blood no matter where their birth happened to take place. (Messi and Cruyff spring to mind.) This is the beauty of a truly global side like Barcelona (and, indeed, all the best clubs in the world,) and to see a club that wants to hunker down in its own little piece of the world and employ only its neighbors and family strikes me as alarmingly twelfth-century.

    I bring it up because there is always the contention by some that Rosell would love an all-Catalan side. And like Catalans, Basques are a proud, independence-seeking people. The joke was during the Copa final during us and Bilbao, that during the anthem everyone would either say nothing, or whistle. Anyhow.

    It strikes me that Bilbao has that policy because it ties into their sense of people, place and country. I’ve always admired that they could hew to a principle such as that and still have never been relegated. Discriminatory and exclusionary? Good question. Prima facie, absolutely.

    A more complex question is if something discriminates against everyone, is that somehow less reprehensible?

    Have to think about that one some more. Anyhow ….

    1. Is the writer an arsenal supporter or something?
      Bilbao have relaxed their policy anyway for some time now :
      even if you are not born or associated with the basque identity , you can be picked to play for them as long as you have been risen in a basque club.
      Some clubs , like barcelona and blilbao are symbols to their places.
      Bilbao is trying to preserve this symbol and its identity.
      If we get mixed up in this kind of conversation , some will probably end up saying that all sorts of tradition and customs are obsolete and pose a threat to the modern world.

    2. Personally I love Athletic Bilbao for this policy, which I find admirable. While it is true that I would not find it admirable were it any other “business”, a thing that (I guess pretty much only) North Americans* sometimes fail to understand is that a football club is not a business.

      Nobody outside of North America would refer to a sport club as a “franchise” nor would it be even remotely imaginable for a club to move to a different town – heck, even moving to a different neighborhood is problematic.

      The identity and tradition of football clubs are somewhat sacred to us. In case of Bilbao take into consideration that the Basques (like the Catalans) have endured cultural oppression for many years and whereas many Basques long for independence they are still ruled by a “foreign” power (Spain). They do not have their own national team, so they take pride in Athletic Bilbao representing them.

      Again, were Athletic Bilbao a business – a bakery, a factory, a call center, etc. etc. I would be the first to condemn them for only hiring Basques. Or even if the business part of Athletic Bilbao (all employees except for the players) hired only Basques, which I believe is not the case, then I would be against that too. But as for as the sporting aspect goes, if they want to keep their cultural identity more power to them, visca euskadis!

      On the other side of the spectrum I read a report that Barça and Man Utd clamoring to bring in a 15 year old Brazilian prodigy (the name escapes me) which I find reprehensible. Also Man Utd last month signed a top prospect from the Ajax acadamy, about 2 weeks after the kid turned 16. Yuck!

    3. I don’t mind the policy at all, Or find it offensive.
      Like mei says, they take in players of any race or culture, as long as they are brought up in a Basque club. They have black players in their youth set up actually.

    4. Personally I would love to go back to the days that clubs were only allowed to field 3 foreigners at any time. It would definitely curb the power of money when it comes to building a football team.

    5. maybe the writer that Kxevin cites should bring a case against Bilbao in the World Trade Organization. the writer assumes that any attempt to stem globalization of every aspect of our economy and society is backwards and immoral. this is dangerous. you can extend the same argument to say that local norms should always give way to big Global Capital. you can also extend the same argument to its logical extreme and say any preference for local players needs to be eliminated, which undermines the catalan tradition of FC Barcelona. how can the writer slam bilbao and yet embrace FCB? where is the tipping point where preference for local players somehow becomes “12th century.” the writer is full of s**t.

    6. isolationism is stupid, but we’re talking about a football club here. if bilbao want to do that as part of their brand & they can keep from descending into the segunda then fine by me.

      as kxevin thuram said before me, prima facie of course it’s descriminatory & exclusionary.

  13. Also kevin , about the previous comment.
    I based my whole argument in logic .
    Meaning if villa did that it would have made no sense to not even slightly celebrate the goal he just scored(he had quite a few reasons for it too) and masking his “hatred” for his forming club in an act like this. He would also have been loyal to his former club for all those years only to come to barcelona and totally screw it up.
    If things dont add up I opt for occam’s razor , never relying on the shady , conspiratory like explanations.
    Its like wanting to keep a secret and simultaneously posting it on facebook.

    1. well i agree with blitzen’s contention that tim stannard was probably making a joke, albeit a joke whose comic intention were unclear. I remember a Sid Lowe article based on Villa being sad he scored a penalty against Sporting when he was still a Valencia player

    2. This also tells me how little people on this board seem to know about Villa. It is about as likely for him to do something like that as it would be for Xavi or Iniesta. As in, not even in the realm of possibility. He has always been very respectful about his former clubs and coaches.

    3. actually i did know that about villa which is why i was so surprised that this was reported by a journalist who follows la liga pretty intensely, which in turn was the reason why I didn’t dismiss it immediately yet questioned whether this was true

  14. he didnt celebrate his goal, why would he pretend to wipe his arse with their flag. stannard is full of s**t.

  15. a couple of links, and a question for the Q&A:

    messi trains with team 8 days after injury:

    phil ball loveliness:

    Thiago played against Bilbao the other day, isnt there some rule about how many appearances a B-team player may have before he has to be a permanent member of the A-team and cant play with the B-team any more? thanks,.

    1. AFAIK, when the team is in the segunda its limitless appearances, but divisions lower than that like last year its around 5 before you have to promote them for good.

  16. Sid Lowe on Ronaldo’s free kicks at the weekend :

    “. . . . .his free kicks didn’t just fail to clear the wall, they failed to clear the wall’s knees.” 🙂

  17. Who would be your Barca picks for a 5-a-side game? And yes, you can only choose five. No cheating by picking Xaviniesta!

  18. Only in football, and when no violence occurs, cultural imperialism is pretty damn cool. I, and many of the others on this blog are from the states where we (as a whole), tend to have a tremendous sense of cultural imperialism. If our (big 4) sports played on an international level in the same sense that football clubs do, we would see much of the same things here. Also, we must remember that there are 17 autonomous regions in Spain, with the Basque region and Catalunya carrying the flag for independence. Unless you live or visit Spain on a regular basis, it is difficult to understand exactly how much passion many Spaniards have for said cause.

    1. That’s why I was so puzzled at the vicious Villa rumor.

      I can see a non-celebration.

      And an Assturian wipe, maybe. Really?

      But badmouthing sidra?

      No, that I cannot fathom.

    2. from today’s tim stannard la liga loca article:

      “The cold-hearted, downright-unpleasant-during-its-monthly-‘time’, but consistent LLL prides itself on wishing ill-will to every club in la Primera, every day of every season.”

    3. meant to post this too…

      “However, that isn’t always enough to stop the ‘clearly pro-Madrid, anti-Madrid, pro-Barça, anti-Barça’ nonsense that comes with the Primera-pundit territory.


But at the moment, the blog must admit to crossing its fingers for especially bad things to happen to Deportivo and Almería, two teams that came face-to-face on Saturday. In the former side’s case it is because this most tedious of teams make the blog want to hurl itself off its balcony, having first undergone decapitation to ensure a swift end to it all. “

  19. Questions:
    1) Is it the comment section not good enough and you guys wanna exercise your brain, so you guys called this instant Q&A liveblog thing just to challenge the ultimatum of this awesome, long-live, grande, BarcelonaFootballBlog site? I mean, why this Q&A?

    2) Didn’t get in touch with you guys back in theoffside days, how was it compare to now? I believe it is a lot better and that’s why you guys left theoffside? so how do you guys feel when looking back now? (geez, that’s 3 questions, but actually just 1)

    3) Busquets obviously got everyone’s approval and applause by now and how do you guys think he will progress in the future?

    4) When do you start Keita-ing here, Luke? You live in Mali, or Maine?

    5) When will you guys do some lucky draw to give shirts away to your beloved BFB fans so that you guys keep us happy? (very concerned)

  20. eh. a club president should be able to do what he wants. if he wants all basques/catalans/whomever, fine. a league imposing rules for a minimum # of home grown players or whatnot doesn’t strike me as fair.

  21. 5 a side (played with a small goal of course, negating the use of a keeper)

    Dani Alves

  22. I have a general question, but it can probably be just as easily be answered in comments: is there a good site or resource on the web for researching stats/results for F.C Barcelona through the years?

    Basically, I am looking for the calendar, match-day squads, results, and goal-scorers. Like what the main site has for recent seasons: e.g.,


    1. I’ll second that request Philo Barca. I’m dying to see the stats for the only match I’ve been to at the Nou Camp–Dec ’86 (or Jan ’87) against Mallorca. Barca won (I’m sure), Gary Lineker scored twice (not so sure), and the manager was Terry Venables (El Tel, for sure).

  23. My question has to do with tactics.

    Ive heard time without number (esp from us barca fans) about how we find it disgraceful or maybe unacceptable how teams including the elite in world football set up against us
    aka park the train.

    Well, assuming your the coach of any club of ur choice, wats the best approach to winning a game against barca that doesnt involve parking the bus?

    1. can i get a clear definition of what “bus parking” is? can anybody define this? just seems to me to be a term anybody & everybody bandies around when a result doesn’t go barca’s way. hercules was happy to concede possession(not control) as long as barca didn’t do anything w/it. & they didn’t.

      counter attacking football is still football, and can still be beautiful.

    2. I believe parking the bus to be 2 banks of 4(sumtyms 5) sitting deep and showing a general disinterest in offensive play except the occasional free kick.

    3. If I’m Chelsea I’d fill my side with six foot plus players and use route one by pumping long balls into the box and hoping for a loose ball.

  24. I am no football pundit, but I do cover a soccer team full time and talk with the coach every day, he told me ‘parking the bus’, is when a team plays in a 4-5-1 or something of that nature, with 10-11 behind the ball. Mostly 1 striker will sit at around midfield waiting to make runs off a CB. I agree with the earlier comment that these teams have no interest in offense, and will rarely if ever make counter attacking runs, even if their forward is holding the ball well. Think about Bojans run vs Bilbao it was 1 v 4, If we played this way for 90 min, it would be considered parking the bus. At least thats the way I understand it as the above mentioned coach told me.

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