What Was Really Said

There has been discussion of what went on between managers Ståle Solbakken and Pep Guardiola after last night’s Champions League match. BFB has received exclusive footage of the encounter and has employed a series of lip readers in order to provide you, the sporting public, with the truth behind the “dust up” that has the world so riveted…

Scene: A medium-sized stadium in northern Europe at the end of a match. Two well-dressed men are walking together on the sideline.

Pep Guardiola: Good match.

Ståle Solbakken: Agreed. Both teams played very well.

Guardiola: I like your scarf.

Solbakken: Thanks! You’re is okay too.

Guardiola: Just okay?

Solbakken: I mean Burberry is always a handy touch.

Guardiola: It’s warm and stylish. Yours is just boring monochrome.

Solbakken: It’s not my fault others say you’re the ex best dressed manager in Spain.

Guardiola: You take that back this instance, mister!

Solbakken: Never! Mourinho is a graceful stag! You wear rags!

Guardiola: I will hide pictures of Alves’ wife in your house!

Sergio Busquets: Whoa, whoa, calm down guys.

Solbakken: You’re lucky your horse is holding me back, Pep!

Guardiola: Nice defense, Sergio. Maybe some of that in the game would have helped?

Solbakken: Burn! [the two high five]

Busi: I just wanted to help and you go and be mean. [runs away sobbing]


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.



    Seriously though, I believe The Spoiler described this as less of a fight or a rowe and more of a heated discussion of two friends regarding American foreign policy in a trendy cigar bar.

    Also, Busquets mockery shan’t be tolerated. Your apology should be forthcoming.

    1. funny isaiah because after the game my friend also made fun and said they were comparing scarves and being all fashionista

  2. Haha, I knew it was about their scarfs!

    btw, the picture in your yesterday’s review is 2 weeks old, Isaiah.

    1. He didn’t know, he just told me.

      Isaiah: Dude, I thought that pic of Iniesta was from the match yesterday?
      me: No, you’re an idiot
      Isaiah: I know that, but seriously, it looks the same right?
      me: Sure, you’re still an idiot
      Busquets: Hey guys, calm down.
      Isaiah: You suck
      me: my liege!
      Busquets: Everyone calm down and we’ll all go get ice cream sundaes and scarves like Pep!
      Isaiah: You suck and are not as good as the Yaya
      Busquets: *Internet punches Isaiah* Shut the fuck up
      Isaiah: *bleeding profusely and confused* Yes sir
      me: Ice cream!!!!

    2. What really happened:

      Me: Are you working on anything for today?
      Luke: I am illiterate and ugly!
      Me: We really need to up our standards around here…
      Luke: I know you are, but what am I?
      Busquets: Hey guys, calm down.
      Me: You suck
      Luke: My liege!
      Gareth Bale: I thought you were on my side!
      Busquets: [falls down holding face]
      Luke: [head explodes from conundrum]
      Me: [cackles madly]
      Bale: [runs around Maicon 80 times]

    3. Both of these conversations actually happened. I just now put my face back together.

      And if I have to choose between the two, I obviously choose Bale, whose skin has been known to cure cancer at the slightest touch and whose gelled hair is so perfect, it turned Medusa to stone and caused Cuthulhu to retreat.

  3. Hey, did anyone see the Sport piece that in fact Milan do NOT have a purchase obligation on Ibrahimovic, just the right to?

    But it is paradoxical that in this summary of the policy accounts indicate that the Italian club is not obliged to close the transfer and pay those 24 million at the end of this season. It argues that the Milan is indeed an option to buy for that amount you can do from the first effective July 2011 and understands that the undertaking is fulfilled. Though she says there is no clause obliging Italians to realize the operation.

    In other words, at the end of the season Milan could say “Uh, thanks, that didn’t quite work out as we’d thought. So here ya go.”

    1. Well, and worst part about it: I wouldn’t be too surprised if Milan fails to survive CL group-stage and doesn’t win the Serie A either. Then, why should they see Ibra as a success…

    2. Why are you surprised? This isn’t new information. They have the option to buy him, but they are not obliged to. We asume they will because that is what the player wants and because Ibra is expected to do better with Milan than Barca. And he is a world-class striker, after all. Unless Ibra’s feet fall off this season or something, they would be fools not to buy him at the bargain price we sold him for.

      Of course, we could have some fun speculating who we could sell him to if it doesn’t work out at Milan. Where hasn’t he burned any bridges yet? Premier League, I guess. Maybe we could trade him to Arsenal for Cesc?

    3. i’d love to see him back, but not Pep.

      Villa playing on the left and Ibra as a CF is what the whole plan was, until the incidence between Pep and Ibra happened. We will be a lot better with a real threat in the middle even if he don’t do anything.

  4. And we have matches on Sunday (Malaga), Wednesday (Ceuta return leg) and Saturday (Villarreal). My guess is that Xavi doesn’t play against Maulaga or Ceuta.

    1. It’s against Getafe, not Maulaga!
      But I’m not quite sure which opponent is easier to play. Getafe should be more fair-play-like though.

    2. Thanks, Helge. That’s easier and more difficult. Getafe is a better side, though they aren’t as hack-tastic.

  5. The Alves wife reference was tasteless, in my opinion, and totally avoidable.

    I’m sure she too bakes cakes with Barca crests on them for Dani. That makes her awesome.

    1. Hahahaha. Makes so much more sense now. The context here, though, might not be very clear to dudheads like me.


  6. I think my displeasure was also due to the fact that some writer had once said that Alves’ wife isn’t very good looking or something to that effect. Subtler writers have said that he has a “real wife” instead of a WAG. Can’t remember where exactly i read that stuff, so I assumed you were running on the same track.

    1. It is true that his wife isn’t the hottest of the hot (at least not in the “conventional” sense of the term hot–model hot), but if he loves her and thinks she’s beautiful and all that, who are we to say otherwise? Pictures here and here.

      And she probably does make him Barça cakes and that’s enough for everyone on this board to demand I be givin’ a ring to my lady, so it should be enough for Dani Alves too.

    2. Hm, as a girl myself it really impresses me that he has a normal wife and not the typical model/actress/tv presenter who normally comes along with footballers. 100 extra points for Dani. And it was Sid Lowe who said in his article about Dani that he has a real wife and not a WAG and that he actually is very funny, down to earth and a lot of other positive things.

    3. No, 100 points exta on his already high point account in my opinion. I really like Dani, even with his special way of defending and his “crosses” and contrary to other opinions I would not sell him for any amount.

  7. Anyone know what exactly was Solbakken’s “joke” on Pinto was that Pep didn’t take too kindly to?

    1. Hilarious joke, that was. Then he tried to explain the humourous aspect of it by screaming “Fuck you!” into pep’s face several times.

      Ah, those fun-loving Norwegians!

  8. Man, I haven’t been here in days! So i’ll have to weigh in on this weekends match.

    I agree with most of the points, I have noclue why Pep only made 1 sub and so late.
    Alves had another one of his terrible crossing games, but his positioning, as Pep probably called for was way too far up.

    All FCK had to do was use the space in the gap he left, and they did. This was easily fixed by dropping to a back 4, but Pep didn’t want to. I’d have to say for most of their attacks FCK looked more lethal.

    Also, if an offer of 34 Mil comes in for Alves what do we do? Here’s my thoughts..

    1. Sometime during this season we need to see how we perform without him. Bench him and try someone else at RB.

    2. Switch the flanks. Everyone says Gareth Bale is amazing (I’ve agreed for 2 years, and wanted him on the pitch way more), what would happen if we had an Abidal-esque on the right? Messi wouldn’t have that guy next to him, but he’s been more central.

    3. Basically on point 2, if we sell Alves, shore up RB defensively.. and not buy Bale but buy Fabio Coentrao. How is no one talking about him? He’s an amazing LB/W/AML (FM:D) and destroys that side. I think hes more an AML this season with di Maria gone, but hes a stud. He would be exceptionally cheaper, and would take way less to gel assumedly.

    4. This moves Abidal to back CB. Maxwell would be second choice, and Adriano 3rd/2nd RB. I like Adriano, his base is amazing he needs to play more.

    As far as the rumors this weekend theres another one..
    Despite the interest for Bojan from clubs like Juventus and Arsenal, both the club and the player at the moment don’t consider an exit [md]

    I wouldn’t sell Bojan for 20m. He’s 20. He has the potential to be the world beater we assume he can be, and if he doesn’t pan out that sucks. But if he does its a waste of 50m we’d pay for him to come back..

    Also I thought it was known about Zlatan? Thats how loans work with rights to purchase like GDS’ at Galatasaray last season. But the thought is that Milan has almost assured us that they’re going to purchase right? If not, we might even be able to get more for him. I mean he’s having a great season.

    Hmm anything else?? Oh yeah, I’d sell Nolito for 10m in a second.

    1. The last I reported on the deal was that it was a loan with an obligation to purchase. Otherwise, what the hell’s the point? It’s like giving somebody a piece of luggage that you don’t want, in the hopes they will travel with it and dislike it less than you do.

    2. But…that’s what a loan is. That other thing you are talking about? That’s rent-to-own. Or purchasing on the layaway plan. 🙂

    3. You can structure a loan deal any way the club that has the whip hand likes. “Loan with obligation” would have been the best way to structure this. Otherwise, you might wind up getting a player back whom you don’t want.

  9. –I’d sell Alves for any number over 32m in about 2 seconds. But everyone knows my Three-Year Brazilian corollary. His first year was his best year, and the slide continues. Buy Van Der Wiel for 20-25m, and we’re set at RB for years, thanks to his youth, Masia grads and Adriano’s veteran presence.

    –Nolito for 10m? All day and all night. And what’s with La Masia not being able to develop strikers? We have mids, DMs and defenders galore.

    –Gareth Bale? No thanks. Never mind the 20% English Player Surcharge. Even without that, he wouldn’t be worth what Spurs are asking. If he was that good, they wouldn’t be 5th in the table.

    –Krkic for 20+m? Hell yeah. He might develop into something, but it won’t be in our colors. Too much psyche stuff going on, and that ain’t gonna change. I’d take that money, tack on another 10 and make Bilbao an offer they couldn’t refuse.

  10. Fabio is better than bale.He was amazing in W.C.I want him and philip lahm.But that.s just future talks and personal wishes.The problem is what we will do in winter.We need a C.B,forward and midfielder.Pep said that the boys were dead at the end.So we need fresh legs.

    1. Of course the boys were dead. And whose fault was that? There’s a 19-player squad, with one psychologically damaged forward. That is not a sufficiently large squad to contest matches on three fronts. We can’t dump the Copa against Ceuta, but we should dump the Copa. First chance we get. Losing those matches off the schedule will help immensely.

      Publicly, Guardiola says that he’s happy with the squad. I just don’t believe him.

  11. The rules for new adult socis

    New membership registration process

    From November 2 new applications to be an FC Barcelona member will have to meet the new conditions for registering as an adult member.

    Adult category
    1. Be a relative up to one time removed of of an adult member of FC Barcelona. The accepted relations are:

    1. Between parents and children
    2. Between grandparents and grandchildren
    3. Between marriages and de facto partnerships (registered)
    4. Between brothers and sisters
    5. Between in laws

    a. Method for accrediting family relationship:
    i. The applicant will be required to provide information on their member relative and the following documentation:

    * code
    * membership number
    * name/surnames

    ii. Documentation accrediting family relationship:

    – Photocopy of DNI or ID document of member
    – Photocopy of DNI of applicant
    – Photocopies of ‘Libro de familia’, registry or other document o documents that accredits family relationship
    – Photograph (if not coming in person)

    2. Have previously been a member of the Club for a period of time of at least 2 years.
    b. Method to accredit having been a club member:
    i. Identification by: (any of the following)

    * Showing last membership card
    * Providing membership code
    * DNI or ID document

    The applicant has the opportunity to make a membership application using the web form at http://www.fcbarcelona.cat, where he or she can attach all of the information required or can go to the OAB (Barcelona Supporter Services Office, avda. Arístides Maillol s/n Barcelona 08028) with all the documentation.

    The membership application process can only be completed once FC Barcelona has verified all of the information that shows that the applicant satisfied all of the requirements made by the Club.

    Process for registering new youth and child members

    There are no changes to the application process.
    All children aged under 15 years can become club members, regardless of whether they have a relative who is a member of the club or have been members before or not.
    They do not have to satisfy the requirements for registering as adult members.

  12. The second part of Xavi’sinterview with FIFA is up, and he has lots of interesting things to say:


    On Dani Alves:

    “you turn around and suddenly he’s upfield, then he’s covering back, playing one-twos – he never stops! It’s like he’s on a motorbike.”

    On Rijkaard:

    “He was perhaps too nice a person for the coaching profession, but he’s a great coach. He had a strong character and didn’t mind showing it, but he went too far in terms of trying to understand people. Sometimes he would have been better drawing a line between him and the players and, in the end, that caught up with him.”

    On Ibra:

    We (the players) didn’t have any problems with him. He said that he was handicapped by not being able to speak to the coach, but that wasn’t something we were aware of….[cut]…Ibrahimovic was more static due to his physique; he weighed nearly 100kg and is nearly two metres tall. He gave us more of a target to aim at but wasn’t as dynamic. When we were up against opponents who defended very deep, he’d give us an outlet up front and that was really useful. He was a different type of player to the ones we have now: neither better nor worse, just different.

    1. That’s a nice interview. Thanks!

      Haha Alves is being called MotoGP(Sorry Isaiah, I just had to bring two wheels up). I love Alves. He is irreplaceable!!

      I didn’t have internet back then so I didn’t know what went on in the dressing room or in Barcelona. What happened with Rijkaard?
      He was too nice, so what was the problem? Who took advantage of him?

  13. Alves had a very tough match yesterday and he’s still getting used to playing in a slightly different role.

    Right full back in the current barcelona system is one of the most demanding positions in the world. A number of players were subpar yesterday for the team.. But that match was a very clear demonstration of how dependent Barca are on strong play from that right back position.

    If they do sell Alves they absolutely must replace him with a player of enormous physical and technical quality. Technical quality alone will not be enough. It’s either that or Pep is going to need to significantly re-engineer how he has the team play.

    Basically on point 2, if we sell Alves, shore up RB defensively.. and not buy Bale but buy Fabio Coentrao. How is no one talking about him? He’s an amazing LB/W/AML (FM:D)

    Fabio Coentrao is arguably the finest LB in the world. Gareth Bale has been spectacular and is receiving a great deal of attention. But Coentrao has been remarkable this season.

    If we want to start talking about successors for Abidal from outside of La Masia, Coentrao is arguably the best LB for the Barca system. Against teams that try to stay compact and narrow, the Barca full backs run into walls. They don’t have the usual acres of space to play in on counters and fast transitions that many full backs get to exploit. They have to play a different way. (This is actually an even greater challenge Alves has been tasked with this season because he’s playing forward even more.)

    Coentrao’s enormous technical quality, skill on the ball, and passing make him particularly valuable for Barca given the way the club is defended. He’s a spectacular player.

    But Benefica was already asking 30M for him last summer. And that was before the WC and his play this season.

    And as it stands – right back is much more demanding than left back the way Barca plays so if they are going to shake up the back line they need to make sure prioritize that RB spot.

    1. Word, Euler.

      Alves is our key player in our particular system. The way he operates on the right to destabilize the overcrowded middle has been the most successful way of our attack (If you could take those miss crosses off your mind for a second).

      At the moment, Iniesta is operating on the left, partnering with the likes of Abidal and Maxwell, to destabilize defense like what Alves and Messi do on the right. These 2 units are what make the system so tough to play against because both are extremely dangerous, especially the Messi-Alves combo. We produce quite a number of options with them. We could play one-two, Messi can drive inside, Alves can play crosses, or shoot himself. It’s hard to see any replacement imo.

      Coentrao is an interesting proposition, I remember he had a really good world cup, especially against Spain. He was the only player who helped Portugal find the little attack they could have. but its hard to see it happen tho, mostly because Abidal and Maxwell are with us in the foreseeable future. But he is a player very close to Alves, albeit less technical in skills and shooting.

  14. Apparently laser beams are being aimed at Mourinho to stop him seeing what is happening on the pitch. That sort of thing makes me sick. They should stop the game and clear out that whole section of fans until whoever did it is caught.

  15. 🙁

    EE equalized at the death it seems. Darn, and I wanted a win too. Ah well, it’s better than EE winning it at the death at least…

    1. I did not.

      …I was following the match via online commentary for the first half but went to the store for the second.

    2. I wasn’t, I swear! I mean, it was on my mind a bit, but it’s not like I was mentally wishing EE would score an own goal at the 91st minut…

      …Okay. But I wasn’t watching!

  16. Via Pep’s twitter :

    “Some of the many names on whose transfer Barcelona are working are Cesc Fabregas, Javier Pastore, Gareth Bale and David Silva”

    Even if it’s only one of those transfers happens, I’d be very pleased.

    1. hmm interesting. I still want to see Coentrao..and Benfica’s win will help them get to the round of 16, more exposure is good for him. I can’t get over Fabio!

      The transfers noted would be alright.. I mean they’ve been rumored a while but I think Silva is a new one again. Perhaps to link up with Villa?

    2. Whoa. WHOA. Where is all this Gareth Bale talk coming from? Look, I’m pro- all things Welsh, but he is so far from anything Barca that it’s ridiculous he’s showing up on this blog. It would be exactly like hearing rumors that Theo Walcott is coming to Barca, and might I emphasize: EXACTLY. Just wait until Theo scores a hat-trick again–some of you might remember the last one he scored and how many headlines he was getting for that little trick. And, within two weeks, he fell into a dugout in England practice, busted his shoulder, and was out for months.

      I can’t see Silva coming in January; actually, I think he’s doing pretty well at Man City, considering he’s so new. When it comes time for the front office to decide who stays and who goes, I think they’ll keep Silva, and if I were him, I would stay. This is factoring in for Man City transfer craziness, in case anyone was wondering.

      As for Fabregas…has anyone else noticed how much time he’s missed? Last season he missed quite a lot of time with the same hamstring injury. In fact, after missing a second set of three weeks in the middle of last season, he was subbed on against Aston Villa to score an AWESOME free kick, and another on a counter-attack to make it a brace. But, when he scored this goal, he nicked the hamstring again, and missed another set of three weeks–his third of the season (he was on the field for half an hour). Can you think of another time last season when he hurt himself scoring? I thought so. I didn’t think much of it then, and was more-or-less in favor of having Fab come over during the summer, but now I’m glad he didn’t come for Barca’s sake, because this season, he’s barely played! He hurt himself against Sunderland in mid-September, and only came back about a week-and-a-half ago, and I fully expected him to play against Shakhtar today….but guess what? He didn’t travel, because he felt some tightness in that same hammy. These are NOT good signs for the future of one of my favorite midfielders…

  17. -I just watched the match last night.
    I really don’t get the pessimism(sp?) here.
    We played good, just not great. Don’t forget, we can’t steamroll every opponent out there. And full credits to FCK, they were good, physical but not dirty aka EPL. I really like them.

    -Why did a lot of people complained about Alves. He did the most running. Was 100% attacking and 100% defending. Fighting for every single ball. Simply superb. My heart sank when I remember those negative things being said about Alves when I was watching the match, seeing him doing good things but not appreciated. The guy goes 110%!

    -Listen Kxev, I’m an Ajax fan, and here, my colleague, my room mate is too, Ajax fan too, he just came down from Holland, no way in hell is Van der Wiel half the player that Alves is. We might as well use our youngsters like Bartra to be a young back-up for Alves and Adriano being the veteran back-up.

    -Special mention to N’Doye. He’s really a great guy. Never complains.
    Even during the 1st match.
    Thank God he survived the maniacal attack from Valdes.
    Another special thanks to the Swedish guy who got kicked from Alves. 90% of players would’ve gone down theatrically.

    -Isaiah keeps coming with these hilarious posts. Everytime a new post comes up, it can’t get any funnier but then I’m proven wrong again and again.

    -Alves is the best RB, RM in he world and a top RW too.

    -Blitzen, Kopenhagen is in Denmark:)
    -:lol: @ Kxevin for saying that Bojan is a “psychologically damaged forward” 😆

    1. barca96, I am aware that Copenhagen is in Denmark, but Solbakken is Norwegian, and he made a remark at the press conference about his Norwegian sense of humour.

    2. Great points Barca96. Agree with the perspective. From what I’ve seen of Van Der Wiel, I certainly agree hes not in Alves’ league. Adriano is the guy closest IMO. I think Barca need to think long and hard before playing hard ball with Alves. On his day he gives the team so much. He rarely needs rest as he has the stamina of Lance Armstrong. He’s aggressive, reminding me of how Eto would lead the charges into battle. Quite simply,playing 4 33 you need full-backs with unbelievable stamina- thats why he and Abidal work so well for the system, they are capable of covering a whole flank.
      Watched Chelsea tonight and (despite the opposition) I was impressed with Ivanovic- seems like a player in the Puyol mould.
      No Nonsense

    3. Van Der Wiel isn’t in Alves’ league yet, but what was Alves doing at Van Der Wiel’s age (22). Alves is 27, don’t forget.

      Consensus was that Van Der Wiel was one of the best right backs at the World Cup. There’s only one Alves, but if he doesn’t want to be here and the price is right, let’s cash in and move on, I say.

    4. With regard to Ivanovic…I can’t believe I’ve come across this opinion on this particular blog!

      I don’t watch Chelsea THAT often, but when I do, Ivanovic looks like the best defender on the field, whether he’s right full-back or center-back. Not really an attacker, but my lord, does he keep the right side on lock-down when he plays there. The year that he really came into the team was the same year that Bosingwa joined Chelsea with great expectations, and look now, Ivanovic has worked his way into the starting XI, and so unquestionably.

      That said, comparing him to Puyol…sends chills down my spine…

  18. This is the last comment from me my friend here.I believe now you ll find something else to write now on!I will be watching;-)

    1. Oh shit Greece. Why so sentimental? The guys were just advicing you and then joking around. no biggie.
      If it makes you feel better, I do read your posts. I read everyone’s actuallly.

  19. Nooooo Greece, ur content has Bren great lately and I encourage you to post more often, plus I will need a place to stay when I come to Greece next summer so you better stick around, and post up a storm. Lately you have posted fresh content, you were the first to report the Clasico date had been confirmed, that is awesome. Don’t ever stop posting dude, our friendly blog banter has really improved w/ you around and you are a full on member of the BFB family.

  20. just saw the highlights from EE’s game.

    in AC Milan’s 1st goal, ibra tries to pass (I think) the ball to pipo inzaghi, he pass/shot is no good but casillas deflects it and inzaghi scores. Did you see ibra’s reaction to it??? Inzaghi goes crazy starts running looking at ibra but BANGS stands still and opens his arms, a little. Then Inzahi runs to the bench area where there’s someone from the staff and instead of hugging him he is the one that has to look for ibra, which is still standing there looking all tough. f*ck him I hate that player… I love inzaghi

    1. And after that first goal, Inzaghi was going absolutely crazy. You could see Ibrahimovic seemingly saying “I’ll get my love when dude calms down.” And as Nik notes, Ibrahimovic ran directly to Inzaghi after the second goal.

    2. it means he was happy take the lead in the game I guess. but I was talking aboput the play in the 1st one… don’t care AND still hate him. el pipo is twice the player he is

    3. lol, I think your hate is influencing your view just a tiny bit, poipoi.

      He’s a dick, but I didn’t see anything in the goal celebrations from yesterday to show he’s a dick towards his teammates.

    4. I wanna se him in camp nou so badly!!!! what do you think the reaction from the crowd will be? I say: booooh 😀

  21. I follow this blog every day.I just think that every comment must be good writen cause most of you are from U.S.A.So it.s better to reading than comment in bad english:-)My blaugrana heart is here!!no big deal clueless!

    1. I for one enjoy your comments. You bring a type of raw, sometimes controversial, passion that balances the analytical nature of the people here.

      This is a free fan blog, not English class. Post any way you like. After all, there are English speakers that use “u”, “r”, and “lyk” instead of “you”, “are” and “like” and no one really complains about them.

  22. Lay off Greece Barca. If we want to start picking at grammar, spelling and syntax, I can go to war with the best of them. I don’t, because as noted earlier, that isn’t what it’s about here.

    If we chase someone away because of some people carping about spelling or use of capitalization, shame on us. Do I blame Greece Barca? Nope. It doesn’t take much to make someone feel unwelcome, and there’s nothing like schoolmarmish nattering to make a pleasant hobby feel like something not worth taking part in any longer.


    1. Are you serious? They were advicing him except the part where some of the guys mimmicked him. Nobody made him feel unwelcome.
      You should visit a barca related forum and see what kind of language and e-thugs are on. It’s disgusting. Here it is more civilized and high class.

    2. I am most definitely serious. This isn’t another “barca related forum.” This is our forum. Everyone has different hangups and inferiority complexes. But here, we are united by our love of this club and its team, and we all come here to be heard, no matter what form our comments take. So to hear from a growing chorus that you aren’t being heard pretty much sucks.

      Isaiah and I strive to have this place not be like other forums and message boards, even with the cognizance that growth will introduce elements that we wish weren’t present. Often, the body politic will resolve those complexities, other times not.

      But for me, this is one case in which a family member was wronged, straight up. No offense intended, but my ego likes to believe that we are better than those other forums, not only in a broader sense, but in our own collective context, sort of like Messi’s individual standard.

      And when people rip on somebody for their language and use thereof, and say that they aren’t reading his comments because of the way that the posts are structured, that can most emphatically make someone feel unwelcome.

      English is my first language. I also have French and Catalan. As I run out of words and the ability to put them together, I lapse into what, for them, must be the equivalent of baby talk. And I’m trying to think of how I’d feel if a shopkeeper were to say to me, “No food until you place your order correctly.” Not good, because I’d be hungry, as well as dissed because of my linguistic inadequacy.

      Hope that makes sense.

    3. I totally forgot that someone said that he gave up reading. But later on he apologized. Everybody deserves a 2nd chance including Bojan :p

  23. And I watched Benfica destroy Lyon to get a good look at Coentrao. Holy crap! I see what the buzz is about. Dude is for real, but the price is going to be CRAZY. North of 30m, for sure.

    What’s also interesting is that our two left backs are an aging, but still potent French Greyhound and a talented veteran. Coentrao is 22, with nowhere to go but up. Man, does he need to be in our system, where his skill set can thrive. (Yes, that’s Blaugrana ego talking. So sue me.)

    1. Benfica vs Lyon 720p HD Sky Sports

      First Half: *http://hotfile.com/dl/80074230/51299be/BEN_1st_LYO-regmo.blogspot.com.mkv.html

      Second Half: *http://hotfile.com/dl/80084136/ea7e576/BEN_2nd_LYO-regmo.blogspot.com.mkv.html

      Credit to J-Reyes at fbtz.com


      French commentary

      First Half: *http://www.megaupload.com/?d=X3N60P4L

      Second Half: *http://www.megaupload.com/?d=FPU2E311

      Credit to Jejeinho at fbtz.com

  24. Holy crap!! Alves bought his 3 year old daughter an Ipad!!
    What’s she going to do with it? Stream matches of him playing?

  25. Chygrynskyi kinda scored last night.

    We need a CB, CM, CF. LB can wait at least another season.

  26. Anyone read the article on MD titled “The other Pep”? It’s interesting to read a somewhat negative article about Pep on Barca paper…even more interesting since Rosell practically owns MD.

    1. The last part of your comment is all that you need to know, really. EMD is the club’s mouthpiece, with all that said status entails. You can tell from the stories they have been choosing to run re: the Laporta business, and the slant of said articles.


      If they are running a Guardiola piece with a negative tone, it does suggest that everything between the two might not be as rosy as Rosell would like us to believe, yes?

    2. not really.

      First of all it is suggested that it was written in a somewhat negative manner.That can mean a hell lot of things , but most importantly that it could be just a different kind of approach on some things pep does.
      Nobody is perfect afterall.

      Secondly , just because he “practically” owns it , doesnt mean that he writes the articles, or that he approves every bit of it.
      He might set the tone , and draw the lines , but thats it.
      When you have 99% of the articles praising a person and one raising questions you cant claim an underlying problem , hardly.Not even if you are a conspiracy theorist.

      Lastly , rosell has publically stated that he thinks pep is untouchable , and wanted to offer him a long term contract, has backed him up in the vast majority of his decisions(ex about villa: pep was right about him eventually scoring the goals – last game-).
      He also stays out of the picture and let the player and coach get the spotlight , as they should.

      Rosell’s actions , or lack of it are being read too much and always from a sceptic point of view.
      He is the president of our club, and I would like to give him as much rope as he can get unless he manages to hang himself with it.
      Until now , you can only accuse him of the chyg sale and the public hunt of guardiola.
      Both of which have not really played out .
      Laporta was the man to hope for, when he took over.
      Rosell is the man to blame for.
      I dont really like the last part , because we are living in the present , and we should try to enjoy it as much as we can.
      Especially at this time that everything looks so exciting and promising.

    3. Well, I went and read the article, and it’s not particularly negative. It just goes over other incidents where Pep has been involved in arguments and the occasions where he got himself an expulsion. It points out that in every case he protested because he felt an injustice was being done to his players, who he “will defend at all costs, no matter what happens.” Nothing wrong with that at all.

  27. 2 or 3 years back I thought of Messi as an excellent dribbler, quick, intelligent, creative, good goalscorer. However in the last months he is free-scoring, to the point that I’m wondering if he really is the best finisher in the world. If Messi played on a constant basis as a centre striker, do really some other player would be able to score more goals than him playing in the same position?

  28. EMD is a windsock that blows in the direction of the current board. Just look at how its tone on Laporta has changed.

    We all know what Rosell has said publicly. It’s the right thing to say. Who knows otherwise? And yes, Rosell is our president, but he’s also a weasel. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw him, though I admit to not having checked my weasel tossing distance of late. If you sling it by the tail, you can probably get it pretty far.

    What I do know is that Rosell has agendas like everyone else, including Guardiola. The truly selfless person is an extreme rarity. From everything thaat I have seen, I am not convinced that Rosell’s agenda has the club first and foremost.

    And with the club-cenric dailies, management worldview can often be read into its articles and coverage decisions/slants.

  29. on wing-backs: how big of a tactical shift is required to move the impetus of one coming forward from the right to the left? not that significant, i wouldn’t think. the case for Coentrão and the case for Bale are similar: young, ambitious, left-sided, phenomenal athletes with lots of potential. either is going to cost a metric crapton of money. i’d think Coentrão would end up being cheaper (the 30m valuation from Benfica was more a “Keep Out” sign before the World Cup than anything), but we need a left-sided attacking player more than a wing-back at present. those decrying Bale as the Welsh Walcott must not have been watching him over the past season or so: he’s a vastly more complete player, much bigger and more physical, and has a much higher workrate. his youth and energy and pace alone would do well for us, given this high technical standard.

    i’d love to get them both, and Cesc. what a team that’d be. but now we’re talking Madrid-esque money.

  30. Man Chygrnski had a great match last night did anyone catch it? He sure can pass the ball.

    @kxevin, finally! Coentrao has been playing at this level for two years now.

    Sad news as Ruben de la Red has been forced to quit football. I know he’s a Madridismo, but still. You never like to see it, he was talented thats for sure.

    And why don’t we look towards a young Brazilian LB/RB to produce? What about Diego Renan? or maybe Lucas Digne from Lille I’ve heard a lot about? Or if we want to spend on Cissokho.

    Also, EE were good in the first half but couldn’t finish their chances (sound familiar?) and if not for an offsides Inzaghi they could’ve came away with 3 points. Zlatan also missed a sitter when iker came out deep in the first half, for no reason but he tried to do a cute side footed toe poke.

    Just read this:
    barcastuff A private contract between Milan and Ibrahimovic obliges Milan to pay the striker more than 24M if they don’t buy him next summer [catradio]

    1. My only excuse for having missed Coentrao until now is that I don’t get out much, footy-wise.

  31. Our “list of 6” is pretty funny. My brief views:

    Gareth Bale: Dude’s 21. Tack on the English player surcharge, and as BA notes, a metric ton of cash would be required. On the up (or down) side, it would be the first incidence of monkey chants at the Camp Nou for a white player.

    Cesc Fabregas: He’s hurt as much as Xavi, and he’s only half Xavi’s age? Chronic hamstring problems have colossal suck. Not sure if it’s training, strength or what. And he’s going to be very, very expensive. All of the other arguments have been raised already.

    Ibrahim Affelay: The price would be right, the talent is undeniable. Some have said that he isn’t Barca quality. How do we know that until he’s in the shirt?

    Luis Suarez: In something of a purple patch right now but again, big, giant talent and the goals would come. We saw that at World Cup this year, a tournament that also jacked the merde out of his price.

    Javier Pastore: I’m least excited about him. A great talent to be sure, but the price and stress is going to be crazy, and for what? Is he that much better than Affelay, who can almost certainly be had for half his price?

    Fernando Llorente: Mmmmm! Daddy likey! My only complaint about this one is that his signing would upset the balance of power in the Liga for some time. 😀 Dude has all the skills, and imagine Messi running toward the goal, then stopping to dink a ball for Llorente to head home, rather than running into 5 defenders. Yes, I am.

    1. Bale’s Welsh, actually, not English. not a huge difference anthropologically, but the Welsh national team is hardly the circus the English national team is when it comes to their players. he’s a media darling and pretty well hyped now (though how much of that is due to the Fall of Rooney is suspect), and that’ll add some money.

      didn’t we just try a tall, strong, mostly sessile central forward? i don’t understand the appeal of Llorente after the failure of Ibrahimovic, it seems like that kind of player just doesn’t fit into our system: we don’t hit teams on the break, we play the ball on the ground, and most of our goals from open play are created through movement of our forward players rather than the straight, aerially oriented runs Llorente makes.

    2. Llorente isn’t a headcase. He is a quiet, reserved, fantastic and underrated player thats why.

      @Kxevin, even before the WC I think Suarez scored something like 51 goals that season which seen his price go up. I think Afellay would definitely hold his weight, hes like a Pedro type player but not nearly as fast. Having him on the left, would be great because it would mean Iniesta in the middle.

      You don’t like VdW? I think hes impressive. The guy from Osasuna is Azpilicueta, I think he had an assist or two last night (who didn’t in a 7-0) and his move to OM was a huge shock. He’s always been piped up as the future RB of Spain so they can move Ramos to CB after Puyol hangs up his boots. Good shout on him, he likes to get forward a lot too and I had forgotten about him (Don’t particularly watch Ligue 1)

      I’d only sell Alves if the price is right, or he won’t renew. And as it stands, hes not renewing thats why the talks of selling are up. As Kxevin always says no one is bigger than the club.

      How many years before we see Gerard? 😀

    3. He’s Welsh, but as regards his transfer fee, he’s English for all intents and purposes. Sorry for the lack of clarity. Premiership stars come with an automatic 20% uptick.

      My Llorente view is that rather than Ibrahimovic sometimes thinking that he was a midfielder and trying to play with Xavi, Llorente knows his job, and does it very well. And if we do think Llorente is all but worthless to our offense, then we also have stop grousing about the quality of Alves’ crosses. Ain’t no target ‘cept for midgets.

    4. Again, too quick to brand a guy with 21 goals and 9 assists in his first season a failure? I’m as tired of the cliché as the next guy but our play is too one-dimensional.. We need a guy who leads a fast break and we need a guy who can head the ball apart from the usual tiki-taka..

    5. Ibra might not have been a failure as a striker in general, but he certainly was a failure in the “Big Bus-Breaking Man Up In the Box” role. which is what Llorente is used for.

    6. Gareth Bale on our LW would have a similar role to that of Henry in 08-09, no?

      Cesc? I think we should focus on Thiago.

      Luis Suarez: Naaah, rather get Bale.

      Pastore: I dunno much about him.

      Affelay: Dunno much about him either but is he better than Pastore? Good question.

      I have to agree on Llorente. Signing him would upset the Liga balance waay to much. Not to mention all the shouts of we becoming like EE.

    7. I don’t know enough about Affelay or Pastore to comment, but:

      Gareth Bale: You had to go with the monkey comment? Boy can’t help what he looks like. Anyway, I don’t want him and they won’t sell him anyway. He is very good at what he does, but he is the flavour of the month. Too soon to say whether he would be worth it.

      Cesc Fabregas: Want. We already know he will fit with our system, and with Xavi’s recurring injury problems we will need someone to fill in. Thiago is good, but not yet ready to play every game. The only downside I can see is his price.

      Luis Suarez: Well, I wouldn’t say no, and he’s certainly got the goods. I think he could do very well with us. But I don’t think we would be willing to pay what he is worth, plus he would have to drop his agent first. According to him he is committed to staying with Ajax at least for the rest of this season.

      Fernando Llorente: He is a great player, young, athletic, and on a hot streak. He would give Dani Alves a target for his high crosses and Pique a reason to boot the ball down the field the way he seems to like to recently. He has also played with most of our team before and has good on-the-ball skills. On the whole, I say if he is for sale we would be fools not to buy him, but I really don’t think he is looking to leave Bilbao right now, and they don’t need the money that badly.

      Dani Alves: You already know how I feel about this. DO NOT SELL! There is no player like Dani and we can’t afford to lose him at the moment. What we DO need is a reliable backup for him. He has played almost every game for us this season and it is starting to show.

    8. Adrino is a perfect replacement for Alves! I think’s Alves general play would be better if he was rested a bit more. I know he likes to play a lot but bringing on Adriano as a sub for him in matches would be good for both.

  32. I don’t like Van der Wiel at all. I don’t he’s good enough now and I doubt he will be. Selling Alves for him is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. However there are certain RB/LBs that I would prefer like Coentrao (he’s the buisness!) or Ivanovich or even that dude who went from Osasuno to Marseille (his name starts with an A). The former is an attacking guy with great technique and the second one is big, solid defender who can play in the center or on the side. He kept Henry out of the game when we played Chelsea 1st leg two years ago. Other than that, I think we can give more time to Bartra.

    But I wouldn’t sell Alves, unless we get more than what we payed for him (remember we had to pay Sevilla an extra 6m because Alves won the CL while playing a lot of games or something like that). So basically I’d sell him for about 40m (enough to buy Coentrao/Ivanovich) but no one is ever gonna offer that much. Besides, both Coentrao and Ivanovich play on the left side, where we already have Abidal and Maxwell.

    1. Well, the World Cup did add some money to Van Der Wiel’s price, but to watch him is to love him. Thank the stars for Deportes, and Dutch league matches.

      Certainly if Alves renews (we have apparently drawn closer on the economic side of things, and there is much optimism), left back becomes a greater need, as we have two aging lions there now. Know that Coentrao will cost at LEAST 30m. He might even cost what Alves did when he arrived.

    2. Is it bad or funny that I think two EE’rs in Marcelo and R.R. would be great for us? I think Marcelo has elevated his game so much in the last two seasons.

      I still am all-in on Coentrao though… hes pretty dreamy looking as well.

    3. He is at that, Josep. And I do think that clubs consider that. Or they certainly should. Pretty boys sell more shirts, all else being equal.

    4. Yeah and Mourinho wants him as well, if are to believe the rumors.
      Frankly, I don’t see us selling Alves, nor us buying anyone you or I mentioned. The closest one is Cesc.
      The real deals work quiety behind the scenes, see here Adriano. Speaking of him, he should be the real successor to Alves, Abidal or Maxwell. I think he just turned 26. He needs constant reps, like Maxwell last year when Abidal got injured. His crossing is, unlike Alves, still top notch although Alves on his day is one of best crossers.

    5. My biggest concern, frankly, is replacing Abidal, who can’t have many more seasons in those cut-to-shreds legs of his. We don’t realize his awesomeness until it isn’t in there. Recall the purple patch that ensued when he was out of commission for those two months in consecutive seasons.

    6. It’s true that he does get a long term injury at least once in a season. I think he said that he would either renew with Barca or retire. I think he’s gonna gradually get out of the starting XI and will be a great sub!

      Who was the best LB we’ve had in the last decade? Apart from Abidal, I can’t think of anyone. When Abidal retires I will him a lot indeed.

    7. Yeah, I fear Abidals retirement too. It is not only his playing skills but also that he emanates calmness and coolness on the pitch. To be honest next to Xavi he is my favourite player and the last time I was in Spain I get his jersey.

  33. So the running joke last year was that Florentino Perez was watching the champions league final this year, and he said…Get me that Scneijder and Robben! Never mind that he had gotten rid of them, but they were the flavor of the month at the time. Is Barcelona becoming the new EE? Every time their is a flavor of the month, we want him. Average players like Javier Pastore, Di Maria and Gareth Bale are talked about as if they are all the second coming of Messi.

    These players are decent, but nowhere near as good as people make them out to be. Take the flavor of this month for example, have you watched Gareth Bale closely? He has speed definately, good free kicks and decent shots. Like a typical english player, he lacks creativity, intelligent movement, deceptive body movements and can’t get up close with a player or two and take them out. How would he perform against parked busses? Can he unlock a set defense with an insightful pass or deceptive movement? No.

    What we also forget aboutt these guys is that they look good compared to the guys they play with. No offense to Tottenham, but THEY ARE Tottenham. Just like when people salivated over Ibra…heck, Eto’o is the most creative and has the best skills at Inter (something we could never accuse him of at Barca). It’s only when they get to Barca, millions spent, then people realize…wait a minute, the product isn’t as great as the package it came in.

    So, why would people think about Bale when we have Pedro? A more skilled, more intelligent, better dribbler and deadlier around the goal? It beats me.

    Let’s not become EE with the flavors of the month!

    1. I agree on the sentiment that we are becoming EE with our demands and wants and spending. but those players named are better than average.. totally.

      Bale has been a highly touted prospect since he was like 16 though, and people have known about him since he was at Soton, myself included. Hes a great player and its now showing.

    2. Bale has nothing on Pedro in my opinion. He can’t switch wings like P!, he can’t constantly switch positions and participate in tiki taka as far as we know. Can’t use both legs like Pedro and doesn’t have the individual brilliance of Pedro that adds to the collective play. He is a star in the british isles, where real talent is hard to come by. Rooney is their most brilliant individual player in the last 10 years! Basically, he is the sluttiest Nun in a convent.

    3. Well, you all already saw my Spurs/Bale comments in a previous thread. The only person on our fictional “list” (made up by newspapers) that I would be into for sure is Llorente.

  34. Guys Bale is the flavour of the month. Trust me. Like with everything EPL they make a huge fuss over nothing. First it was Walcott, now its Bale (next its Wilshere). Neither are good enough for Barca, Pedro is better. Bale is just very fast and he can actually cross (unlike Walcott), but like MOST players in the EPL he needs space and lots of it, something he will rarely get at Barca. I watch Tott play most weeks and believe me when I tell you this guys… he is not good enough for Barca.

    He looked great vs Inter but did you see how much space they gave him? My god. I also think the two games were more of a highlight of how far Maicon has fallen as opposed to how amazing Bale is. Most decent defenders in the EPL keep him quiet.

    The player we need more than anyone is Llorente. Even more so than Fabs IMO. We have enough players like Fabs, currently playing and rising stars. We have NO players like Llorente. Its not just that he is tall, he is direct, he doesnt mess around. He is a striker in the purest sense, give him the ball and he will score. No flicks, no fancy tricks, just goals. Which is exactly what we need.

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