BFB Writer Q&A Session

Launching at 7pm EST/4pm PST, Kevin, Luke, and I will be answering your questions about the team, the past, the future, and whatever else you can think of. If this goes well, we’ll be doing it again. And again.

The rules are simple: submit questions, read the answers, submit follow ups or quick rebuttals. We’ll be approving the good comments (funny works, but only if it’s actually funny); don’t think that not getting your comment/question out there means we didn’t appreciate it. Keep ’em coming and we’ll wade through them.

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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.

80 Comments

    • Ryan
      September 27, 2010

      Is it me, or does this look like a squad list of food?

      • blitzen
        September 28, 2010

        I dunno, I would have put popcorn up front, brought in Twizzlers as a replacement, and left Coke out altogether.

  1. Kxevin
    September 27, 2010

    Thanks everyone who took part. That was awesome. In hindsight, we should have not doled the questions out so quickly, so that everyone could have time to read/write and stuff. The questions were great, and things that I have not seen dealt with in the comments section.

    • September 27, 2010

      Agreed: thank you for coming! We’ll definitely do this again and hopefully have a slower, more thoughtful conversation. It was like talking to a crowd on speed! But in a good way!

      SEC speeeeed.

          • Jose
            September 28, 2010

            That mistranslation is actually the source for the nonsensical phrase “The exception proves the rule”.

            In the original Latin, it actually is “The exception tests the rule”.

            The More You Know! ..-~*

  2. blitzen
    September 27, 2010

    Couldn’t make it, but looking forward to reading the replay at my leisure. Glad it went well!

  3. barca96
    September 27, 2010

    Didn’t make it of course since it was my bedtime.
    But I was already expecting it to be tough for the mods to answer all the qustions during a chat session. I find it quite chaotic.
    It would be better to post questions on a dedicated wall(the blog post itself).
    Just a suggestion…

    • Nik
      September 27, 2010

      But they already do that in every other thread. This was the opportunity to try something different.

      I unfortunately missed out on the session (screw you exams!) but reading over the log, it seems a lot of good discussion happened. Cheers to you guys for doing this, and hopefully I can catch the next session.

    • Nik
      September 27, 2010

      Actually, I think I totally misread your post. If you meant that they should collect questions before-hand on a dedicated wall, then that’s not a bad idea. Apologies for misreading your post.

      Although, the point of the live chat is to keep things real-time and evolve the conversation organically, so maybe it could be a mix of both live and dedicated?

      • barca96
        September 28, 2010

        Ey no problem man..
        Yeah, I do mean a dedicated blog for questions so that the mods can go through every question 1 by 1.

  4. ooga aga
    September 27, 2010

    ciaran asked what happened to gai, but i and ballbeav want to know, what happened to ciaran?

  5. vicsoc8
    September 27, 2010

    Just my own opinion on Mascherano…

    He is here, and I think he is happy to play backup. I would be surprised if he thought he would be starting over the World Cup winning DM right away. The reason he is willing to do this is simple: he wants to win trophies.

    Also – with Busquets and Keita playing phenomenally, and Thiago looking right at home in his time on the pitch, our midfield all of a sudden looks fairly crowded, and I like it

  6. Stephen
    September 27, 2010

    Agree Kevin, its hard to “find” or include questions like the ones asked today, in the comments, be it because the topic doesn’t call for them, or because we don’t have a ref, like Luke calling it “Ok too much of this, next topic.” which I liked, it doesn’t become a rant/fight of any kind. The reading did become difficult at points, but nothing a little scrolling doesn’t fix for those reading, and we can always go back and read the ‘transcript.’

  7. Philo Barca
    September 27, 2010

    Didn’t get to be around for this, but a couple points on the discussion.

    1) Villa has missed a lot of clear chances as long as I’ve watched him. What he does is, like Eto’o, (a) get in position to score more chances than others and (b) score some chances that others can’t. Over the course of a season that’s just going to work out to 25 to 35 goals (He has 3 goals in 7 games right now. About 4 in 7 would be his average at Valencia).

    2) Re: Cesc. I think people exaggerate how much his pursuit is a whim of our President. People like Xavi, Puyol, Pique, and Guardiola desperately want to see him play for us. And his presence in the team would help keep selling tickets at Camp Nou and make the local socios happy. This really is a case of the President following the lead of his constituents, as it were.

    • mei
      September 27, 2010

      About the cesc point :

      This situation oddly has many people lined up ,opting for his capture for all the wrong reasons.

      Socios want their prodigal son back.
      Only he isnt one , he chose to leave.
      Yeah I know, he was young situation was bad back then and a famous coach came from a brilliantly performing him to promise him time.
      Dont care – now he wants to come back , although being the captain of a big team, because the situation here is a delight.Silverware is a bitch when you lack it and you sense that you can find it easily elsewhere , isnt it?

      Players want him to come because he is a friend of them and has been raised through la masia , a homegrown talent that has to come bac(although hes been risen as a player in arsenal).
      Well im sorry but the working environment isnt supposed to be filled with your buddies , or the people you grew up with . If you pursue it and it happens , its ok, but it is hardly the default option. People should not even talk about a potential transfer that strongly , they are not nor should they be in charge of forming the squad.
      If lamasia can be considered a football university ,and i think the parallels are close, think about how many of your colleagues that studied with you the same field ended up working at the same place as you?

      The only person that might actually kill the deal , is probably the one people were after when he was elected : Rosell. If he is for real about the finances and puts laporta hatred behind him, he wont go for fabregas . Unless pep requests it.

      Since a transfer fee , if the club goes after him again, will be involved , there are mainly three parameters to be considered that stand out above all of this nonsense:

      -Is he good enough for us(can he fit in our system , and perform like our current midfielders do , and provide something extra).

      -Can he be a part of our plans(do we need him/can we fit him into the squad)?

      -Does he worth the money , considering the above points?

      • Jose
        September 27, 2010

        “Socios want their prodigal son back.
        Only he isnt one , he chose to leave.”

        You know in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Prodigal Son left his father’s farm of his own volition, fell into ruin and didn’t win a trophy for five years became a pig herder.

        The Prodigal Son is supposed to have acted recklessly before his return. “Prodigal” means reckless. People always get the term wrong…

        • Luna
          September 28, 2010

          Jose you are always dropping knowledge!

  8. September 27, 2010

    Via pep twitter

    Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao): “The marking by Piqué is harder than the one by my girlfriend.” [marca]

    very nice

  9. Philo Barca
    September 27, 2010

    The only person that might actually kill the deal , is probably the one people were after when he was elected : Rosell. If he is for real about the finances and puts laporta hatred behind him, he wont go for fabregas . Unless pep requests it.

    I think Pep definitely wants him, and I think Rosell said this summer that we will budget 50-60 million Euros a year for transfers. So the question will be whether Pep wants to use the vast majority of his transfer budget on Cesc (assuming it’s his choice to make) or whether he wants to reinforce multiple parts of the squad (e.g., striker, CB).

  10. Kxevin
    September 27, 2010

    The Bears beat the Packers! Everything is beautiful!

    • vicsoc8
      September 27, 2010

      It was very exciting there at the end of the game, great stuff.

    • Josep
      September 28, 2010

      Hah, the game was the reason I missed this. So amazing, Kxevin you’ve obviously had to have been to a Bears game right?

      BTW, My theory has always been that Hester can only return kicks when they play Soulja Boy. And they did last night for the first time in years.

      • Kxevin
        September 28, 2010

        Believe it or not, despite having been a Bears fan for as long as I can remember, I never have. Weird, I know. It’s something I have to do. Tockets are next to impossible to get. Barca matches are a lot easier.

      • Bill
        September 28, 2010

        Lmao! Yeah, Hster loves his soulja boy. I think it was a mistake making our most potent weapon a receiver. We took away his game. Good to see him do his thing again. But boy, bears do have a talent of making offenses look ugly.

        • Josep
          September 28, 2010

          Well our pass rush was good.. but we play a really soft cover 2. You can pass all day on us with short passes, then when it comes time to get into the redzone we finally shut you down.

          But don’t try running the ball on us. And really kxevin?! I’m very surprised. Its a great experience, the tickets aren’t that hard to come by. Especially the last two bad seasons weren’t.

  11. barca96
    September 28, 2010

    I don’t get the fuss with Pedro Leon? It’s on the front page of ElMundo.

  12. stowe
    September 28, 2010

    I don’t think we’ll see Cesc in the blaugrana until Xavi is done. I also think his skill set is a great mix between what iniesta and xavi offer.

    • Kxevin
      September 28, 2010

      It’ why I said season after this one. Xavi has two more seasons at his current, superhuman level. Fabregas comes in, apprentices under Xavi for a season, and bridges the gap between Dis Santos being fully cooked and Xavi leaving. Fabregas will also have two seasons left on his contract, so that will be the year to cash in.

      The only real issues are price, and whether Dos Santos develops more quickly than anticipated. There is also the Thiago v Inieata issue. I think that Thiago is more Iniesta than Xavi, so when Thiago is ready ( I think he is farther along than Dos Santos), does Ghostface become playmaker?

      Time will tell.

  13. blitzen
    September 28, 2010

    I am sure you will all be as shocked! as I was to find that out a trusted 🙂 British newssource has been making up sensationalist stories including “interviews” with global football stars and attributing quotes to them that they never in fact said. Many of these stories involved our very own Barcelona players such as Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Messi, and Pique, who all weighed in on various topics such as Cesc Fabregas, Mascherano, and the future of Fernando Torres. What a bunch of chatty players we have! And in English, too!

    Well, naturally anyone with a functioning brain cell knew these stories were fake, but that didn’t stop the rest of the English media from picking up on them and passing them along (I’m looking at you, goal.com) and causing mass outrage and hysteria against Barca and particularly Xavi. You can read about it here:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/473881-beware-sensationalist-football-stories-by-the-daily-star

    And of course, now that the stories have been disproved, we can expect Arsenal and Liverpool fans to flock to this blog and apologize for their earlier outbursts? 😀

  14. Josep
    September 28, 2010

    Also, a question about the kits. Whats the 3 with like the arrow on the sleeve of the kit? Its like a 3>
    Is that a reference to Champions Leagues?

    • Kxevin
      September 28, 2010

      That’s the logo for TV3, the Catalunya station based in Barcelona.

  15. Kxevin
    September 28, 2010

    Xavi completed 109 passes v Bilbao, a record so far this season for Europe.

    Apparently, Messi “trained normally” with the squad yeaterday. Vilanova and all are stressing that he be fully healed andfit before his return. His absence was to encompass the next two Liga matches, which puts him back after Mallorca. I know he’s superhuman,and all, but I think the rest will do him good. I’d rather have a fully fit and chomping at the bit Messi, than one rushed back for two matches we shouldn’t need him for.

    –How can anyone, particularly Caparros, criticize Iniesta for Amorebieta’s sending off? All he did was take the foul. I know it’s partisan nattering, but people amaze me sometimes.

    –There are a few good piecea floating around out there on the rise of the underdogs this season. I think it has a lot to do with the World Cup year. Underdogs didn’t send any players, ao they’re ready, well-drilled and cohesive, compared to the sides that sent players to S. Africa, then still had to give those players a vacation. I think this is going to be a crazy season. Lyon has one win in 7 matches? Mainz is undefeated in the Bundesliga? Hercules is slaying giants? Very cool, I say.

    • blitzen
      September 28, 2010

      As I said in a previous thread, I think it’s better to have Messi training happily with the team and sitting on the bench for games, maybe getting some minutes if the docs say he is up for it, than definitely ruling him out when there may be no reason to. I trust Pep–if he was willing to cause an international incident by not playing Messi in Korea (when he was only tired, not injured), he is hardly going to rush him into playing now if he is really not ready. I suspect he will come off the bench in Kazan for 20-30 minutes, depending on how the game is going.

      –Iniesta could be knocked down by a steamroller and some people would still accuse him of diving. Nothing you can do about that.

      –yes, I like when underdogs do well too. Hercules has been playing their hearts out and I hope they can keep it up. And I’m thrilled for Mainz, it’s a lovely city and I have relatives near there.

      –why is my comment above awaiting moderation? Is it because I forgot to put a * in front of the link?

      • Kxevin
        September 28, 2010

        Yep. I’ll log in and approve it.

  16. Cesc Pistol
    September 28, 2010

    @Isaiah: If memory serves Pique left because his grandpa was one of the directors Gaspart era and to not create problems politically he left. Laporta’s group was strongly anti-gaspart if you remember and Pique came back after one of the most shameful years in our history while he had won CL with ManU. Pique’s loyalty doesn’t leave a shade f doubt for me atleast.

    While Cesc left breaking his youth contract practically hiding under the radar. And he hasn’t exactly been going “Barca or bust” like Pique did. Pique wasn’t a big star, wasn’t sure of a starting place and was technically taking a step down career wise. Yet he forced his way out of a double winning ManU. Can Cesc claim anything even remotely similar?

    • Kari
      September 28, 2010

      Cesc Count including name: 3

      You’re treading dangerous territory, C—- Pistol. One more and trollers might come.

      They smell these things….

      Ah.

      Because I included the “C” word in this post, does that take it to 4…? Hmmm…

      (Like Queenie, I’m probably anti-Fabregas for the same reasons. He left and wants to come “back” now that he’s not winning and we are. And we have to PAY his team more than 5mil? Pftt. (I know I’m being a brat, and that’s just the reality of football today, but it doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.)

      Pique, at first, I was feeling uneasy about because we bought him more than the total of 0. However, after reading how he was desperate to come back and basically what you said, I’m down with him. Even more so now that he’s kicking the jams out of everything.)

  17. Diego S.
    September 28, 2010

    Remember Barca vs. Kazan is earlier than the rest because it’s in Russia. I hope Messi stays on the bench no matter what the result of the match is.

    Barcelona B is currently is in 4th Position (having same points as 2nd and 3rd) and Only behind Leader by 3 pts. Tenerife is last and lost all 5 matches. That was unexpected, to me at least.

  18. El Diez
    September 28, 2010

    Can someone provide me link to download Revista.De.La Liga of this week?

  19. blitzen
    September 28, 2010

    David Villa gets a one-match ban for the red card. That means he will be available for the Valencia game. Hooray!

    And regarding Messi, Pep had this to say:

    “First we’ll have to look at Leo’s ankle. He’ll train, and then we’ll speak to him and the doctors and then we’ll decide. It’s a very important match, bit his fitness is what matters most.”

    Source, official website.

    • Kxevin
      September 28, 2010

      The one-match ban is very good news. So Villa and Messi are back for the Valencia match. And we’re also home, which is even better.

  20. Bill
    September 28, 2010

    For Giuly fans 🙂

    //http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZD4hJ_mMxI&feature=player_embedded#!

    • Kari
      September 28, 2010

      Robinho missed an absolute SITTER. He had time and space and was one-on-one with the goalkeeper after being put through by Seedorf.

      Missed it and by some distance. Ouch.

  21. Kari
    September 28, 2010

    Meanwhile, Partizan are getting their arses handed to them by Arsenal. It’s 1-0 to Arsenal but a goal-line clearance and 2 saves from their keeper are what’s keeping the scoreline down.

    –Bayern are down 1-0 to Basel!

    –Chelsea beating Marseille 2-0

    –Oh, it seems that while I was typing the Arsenal game is now tied 1-1. LOL, wonder how that happened. Wenger will be pissed; Arsenal didn’t put away their chances, again.

    –EE game is 0-0.

    • Kari
      September 28, 2010

      Looks like Partizan’s goal was from the spot.

  22. Kari
    September 28, 2010

    LOL

    Guess who equalizes for Milan… 😀

    (And it’s not Robinho.)

    • Ethan
      September 28, 2010

      really can’t believe we brought him to this level, and now look at him. ugh. so disappointing. we really needed him this year, and we did all the work for his success in milan, really hope it was for the best, though as we see how thin our team is this year, can’t say for sure on that one. not trying to keep on with this subject, just never spoke about it before, and i was one of the ones who was beyond happy we picked him up, and stoked to have seen him score his first goal at the nou camp. ooooooooh well. guess he was an ass and thats what got him out of town, so can’t really complain, just bummed on the outcome.

      • Kari
        September 28, 2010

        Yeah, but in the end, I think he thrives in an Italian system because he’s been there for 8 years, so I’m not really surprised.

        But Milan’s biggest problem is cohesiveness and injuries to their star players (Milan lab? Pfft). Their bigger problems, like getting decent wingbacks and back up wingbacks (Jankulovski and Zambrotta? Really? Rock on.)

        They’ll be (or rather, already are) the alternate universe Arsenal , flatter to deceive, but can’t point to lack of experience.

        • Kari
          September 28, 2010

          *Their bigger problem aren’t being addressed. The offensive buys were to appease fans, but their very real deficiencies will still be brutally exposed in the long run (or even in the short term)

      • Luna
        September 28, 2010

        I think it would be wrong to say Barca brought him to this level. He certainly learned things with Barca, but if you have watched him play prior to Barca, he certainly looked like the Ibra more comfortable in Serie A.

        I personally don’t care if players are asses as long as they perform on the pitch. From what the other players said about Ibra he was a good teammate (that some think he’s an ass after he opened his mouth? Sure fair assessment). Someone Pep wanted to manage? Not at all and that’s Pep’s prerogative, whether you agree with it or no.

  23. vicsoc8
    September 28, 2010

    Kari – are you watching any of the games? which would you suggest?

    • Ethan
      September 28, 2010

      The Madrid and Amsterdam game is good.

    • Kari
      September 28, 2010

      Depends on what you want to see, really:

      If you want to see Arsenal dominating possession, create chances but fail to convert, and being caught/ vulnerable in the counter; you’d watch to watch their match.

      If you want one for upsets/underdog/Hercules-esque performance, Basel-Bayern would be your game. It’s a good one TBH

      If you want to see EE play like crap (but will probably win anyway) their game is to watch.

      Milan-Ajax has been interesting, but I’ve just been seeing bits and pieces. Ibra looks sharp though.

      • Kari
        September 28, 2010

        Okay, maybe not like crap. More like Thong Boy plays like crap. The game’s been entertaining if you want to see him fail (ahem.)

      • vicsoc8
        September 28, 2010

        Sounds like Ajax-Milan in the forefront with Madrid in the background. Thanks

        • September 28, 2010

          Ajax vs Milan highlights so far..Mostly the goals

          ****http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9UgBG42Mxs

    • gv
      September 28, 2010

      if you want to see a pissed off cronaldo firing shots to the stands, watch the ee game.

  24. blitzen
    September 28, 2010

    I can’t watch any of the games as I am at work, but I had to share this quote from the commentator at the goal.com play-by-play of the Real Madrid-Auxerre match:

    “Ronaldo does his best impression of a teapot as he tells the world how unimpressed he is with the ref’s decision to penalise him for having his hands all over Hengbert. ”

    XD

    • Roz
      September 28, 2010

      LOL genuis. Who says Goal.com cant be a little funny.

  25. gv
    September 28, 2010

    what time’s our game with kazan tomorrow?

    • Kari
      September 28, 2010

      To my knowledge, 12:30pm EST

      (Ugh! I’m gonna miss it 🙁 )

  26. Ethan
    September 28, 2010

    wow. inches from own goal and AUX taking the lead over RM.

    • Ethan
      September 28, 2010

      and then bad goaltending leads to a goal. lame.

  27. ooga aga
    September 28, 2010

    goaltending errors: teams always play easy against EE and let them win. it would seem 🙂

  28. ooga aga
    September 28, 2010

    cant wait to see the bats school the red devils tomorrow. go valencia.

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