FC Barcelona v. Ceuta Rewind

Thiago's in there somewhere?

Comprehensive beatings are sometimes fun to write about, especially when it is against a Valencia, Real Madrid, Villareal, or the like. We can gush and fawn and generally praise the entire team while reveling in our own superiority, at least until the next week. This game against Ceuta though was something all together more measured. Like my cat Bella pawing at a bug or some such thing, perhaps the bug puts up a fight for a minute, but other than that it’s just a prolonger and measured torture. In a Copa del Rey match where Pep was looking to give some young kids reps we introduced Messi up 3-1… It was that bad for the North Africans.

I do not mean any of the preceding or the following to disrespect Ceuta. They came a long way and played a much better (funded and talented) side and did not roll over, nor did they resort to harsh, childish tactics sliding our players or acting as if they didn’t belong there. You cannot help it your city is inaccessible except by ferry or chopper and that Morocco still claims your land as its own, you just did what you could. So kudos to you, what is left of Spanish imperialism, you were worthy, if smaller foes.

Before we even got settled in Nolito broke the seal in the 2nd minute with a wonderful little goal using a hop, skip, and possibly a jump while moving through defenders before slotting one home. Nolito is a good little player, he may never be a superstar or anything, but a serviceable striker he most certainly is. Then, just like was predicted, Gaby Milito scores because he does that so often. Corner. Ball to feet. Goal. Simple as that and it wasn’t off his head, so good for the oft-injured (foreshadowing) defender.

Now Bojan, poor Bojan. The moment that I am sure made 95% of this board orgasm with glee as Bojan was fouled (maybe) and a card was shown (red) and a penalty was given (maybe justly) before Bojan stepped up, fooled the keeper, and hit the post (absurd). Certainly the young man needs a goal, a tap-in perhaps (foreshadowing!), or even the most clumsy goal ever, but he needs one, badly. He was tireless up front this game, and deserved more goals and better treatment than he is sure to get. He’s not washed up, he’s not awful, and he doesn’t need to be sent away unless we have some other striker waiting in reserve to take his spot. And don’t say Nolito, he’s good, but Bojan has more skill and just needs off the snide.

Ceuta got one back, so huzzah for them, before the half ended and it was 2-1. Second half engage: 5 minutes in and Pedro, who showed a ton of movement, slotted home a brutally hard low shot that Ceuta’s keeper had no chance on. 3-1. That, as they say, was that. The next 15 minutes were a whirlwind of passes, and shots, and good saves, and a barrage. Wouldn’t you know Ceuta’s luck too, they are down 3-1 and being dominated, and then the ringer Leo Messi shows up on the pitch. You might ask why, but my best answer would be two-fold: 1. There is a lot of internal and external pressure from people with money invested in the team to play the player as much as possible, he’s a money-making machine; 2. Messi is basically a child: he always wants to play, he never wants to sit, he always wants to be in on the action, even against a 2nd rate side he could run circles around with 1 leg lopped off.

So Messi’s on, dilly-dallying around, treating this like a Sunday shoot around between some friends. He dances into the box, set free by a gorgeous Thiago pass, chips the keeper, but the ball is barely touched before skimming just past Keita to Bojan, who taps it in like only he can so masterfully. Finally, off the freaking snide because this was just ridiculous at some point. Hopefully this will mean he stops forcing so much and can relax. Anyway, Messi scores a beautiful goal, la-ti-da. 5-1, 7-1 on aggregate, let’s go have some champagne and party like Pique taught us. Unfortunately, Milito was injured again and may be out as long as a month, meaning we may need to become very familiar with Fontas very soon.

But wait, there’s one key element I have missed today: Thiago. He was absolutely brilliant today and unlucky not to score. 2 assists, one of which was Xavi-like and the other of which came off a great settling move, then dribbling through two defenders before leaving for Milito in a solid position, and excellent movement creating space for passes. He has learned well from his forerunners and is really showing why he is next in line for a promotion very soon. A definite Man of the Match performance. Another great performance from Masch, who is fitting in nicely to his role player and Biscuits stand-in. He looks solid in possession and makes the short passes well, which is what that Barça DM needs to do. He is making some fans look foolish for their complaints about his signing and play.

I could complain about Bartra’s poor movement and marking on the goal, or Maxwell’s similar actions on the same play, but why? We won, we have moved on, and the young guys looked good. I don’t do scores because they are arbitrary, but your MOTM was Thiago and his 1st Lieutenant was Masch. Glad Bojan scored, glad Pedro did, glad Messi was not injured.

Let’s do some shots.

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  1. Kari
    November 10, 2010

    Captain Cuddly–even when the Argentina Captain, (probably) Mali Captain and Messi were on the pitch–celebrates the ending of his goal drought like only adorable personified can:


    Yesh. Bring on Villareal!

    • Kari
      November 10, 2010

      Or 1:18 here: /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOyMl_eC00g

    • Nik
      November 11, 2010

      I definitely groaned out loud when I saw him pull that move. Oh Bojan.

  2. blitzen
    November 10, 2010

    I posted this link in the other thread, but in case you didn’t see it–Puyi and Pique acting like 5-year-olds:


    • barca96
      November 10, 2010

      Why did Puyol got so pissed at Pique all of a sudden? He did the same when they were celebrating the World Cup on the bus. Puyol need to discipline Pique off the pitch as well 😆

    • jhargrid
      November 10, 2010

      They’re like an old married couple or something.

  3. Momo
    November 10, 2010

    Pretty sure the pass into the box for the 4th goal was Mascherano’s. Just saying…
    Great Recap BTW.

    • Jnice
      November 10, 2010

      Yeah, it was Mascherano. Great ball.

  4. blitzen
    November 10, 2010

    And here is some nice video of Mourinho being sent off during today’s RM match:



    • Nik
      November 10, 2010

      That face he makes is pure gold.

      God help me, but while most people find his antics grating, I think he’s freaking hilarious.

  5. Stephen
    November 10, 2010

    i think the messi move was just “Hey maybe you should come to Nou Camp even when tickets are 7euros!!” (which i believe they were)
    Either way, I won’t even go into the Bojan thing… bleh…
    As far as CB, I think Bartra should get the ‘bench’ behind Abidal, because I’m sure that Guardiola wouldn’t risk it with one of the kids when its such an important Liga match vs Villareal.

    November 10, 2010

    The risk will be if abidal play as C.B.He can.t.I believe busquets can play better there.

  7. Nik
    November 10, 2010

    Glad to see the game go as expected. It was good to see Bojan score (even if Messi did most of the work. Oh, and Bojan really, really, REALLY should have done better on that penalty). I doubt the well of goals will suddenly explode, but I do hope to see more calm and deliberate play from him.

    Thiago was awesome today. He really should enter our midfield rotation throughout the season to spell Xavi. He is young, but the quality/potential is there, and our general could use the rest.

    November 10, 2010

    I just wanted to see muniesa..but i believe the summer pep will promote him.Tiago is ready.

    • Vicsoc8
      November 10, 2010

      Muniesa is still young, and he is getting valuable experience on the b team right now. He will get his chances, but i don’t think it will be too soon.

      Thiago is still young too. He will be promoted, but we will probably onl see him in low level liga games. The copa will be his stage to shine this year.

  9. Momo
    November 10, 2010

    Here’s the GIF you’ve all been waiting for:
    (Courtesy of Ade C. ,The Offside).

  10. Kxevin
    November 10, 2010

    As Luke notes, this was just a romp, swatting away a much lesser opponent who also had one less man than we did.

    Um …. Krkic. Fail. That penalty was ridiculous. I know, I know. More time. He’s only XX years old, etc, etc. Gotcha. And yet, someone such as Afellay “isn’t Barca quality.” Hell, right now Krkic isn’t Barca quality.

    Not sure why Messi came in, except to boost the goal tally and provide Krkic, as he did with Villa over the weekend, a pooch that couldn’t be screwed. Keita did a “Huh, what?” thing over the loose ball, which fell to Krkic. The goal will go on his tally, I suppose.

    Thiago. Hell yes. Wow. And Mascherano’s passing is a delight, even if he still gets a little sloppy with the ball at times. The Ceuta goal was a defensive comedy of errors. Whatever. I don’t know if anyone was really taking the match all that seriously at that point.

    So are the January additions a promoted Thiago and Afellay? I wouldn’t argue that much at all.

    • Soto
      November 10, 2010

      I back Luke’s second reason for Messi’s inclusion: Messi was probably on the bench psychically or verbally telling Guardiola, “Put me in coach. Let me play.”

      I remember that when Barcelona signed Mascherano this summer that Guardiola described Mascherano along the lines of: “He’s a great passer.” (I am paraphrasing — I can not remember the exact quote.) At the time, I did not see it since Mascherano never seemed much of a passer at Liverpool. But hey, I am glad to say I was wrong and Guardiola right. Mascherano’s passes have been at times inspired. That past to Messi that started the fourth goal was beautiful and perfect. I want to see more of that.

      • Kxevin
        November 10, 2010

        Guardiola said that he put Messi in just to please the fans, and because he hadn’t trained at all today.

  11. Soto
    November 10, 2010

    When the camera showed Bojan’s face right before he took the penalty kick, something in his expression made my stomach churn slightly, and I thought, “He’s going to over think this and miss.” And he did. That penalty kick sums up Bojan’s challenge: over thinking. Hopefully Guardiola has a plan to get him past that. I don’t think that the tap in goal will be enough.

    I really enjoyed watching Bartra, a player I have seen very little of. He was making very Pique-esque runs into offensive positions, which was great to see. Unfortunately, Ceuta’s sole goal happened because Ceuta’s #10 completely beat Bartra — which is not very Pique-esque.

    Thiago is another player I have not paid much attention to. Certainly I have heard the bloggers here praising this young player, but it was only today that I witnessed myself all of the potential in Thiago. The Xavi comparison is apt, Luke. I really hope Thiago gets more and more senior team time.

  12. Kxevin
    November 10, 2010

    As Diego notes in the match comments thread, Goal.com credited the second goal to Bartra, and picked Krkic as MOTM.


    • Diego S.
      November 11, 2010

      Thanks for the recognition 😀

  13. Kxevin
    November 10, 2010

    4-6 weeks for Milito, saith team doctors. Bummer.

  14. Kxevin
    November 10, 2010

    Hey, whoa! Thiago is a whole 19 years old, and look at him go. Talent galore, and clearly he is ready for some bit roles against real opposition. I mean Ceuta is one thing, Villarreal or Sevilla is something else altogether. But the promise is immense, and he appears to be doing/saying the right things. In the press conference, for example, he was clear in saying “My future is with Barca.” He’s in a great spot right now, on a great club in a great system.

    We do have to solve our striker complexities, however. If people are saying that Krkic won’t be ready until he’s 24 or 25, that means that all we have is Villa, which doesn’t exactly fill my heart with song. One wrong foot plant and Krkic is in the starting lineup? Baby Kxevin no likey.

    • Nik
      November 11, 2010

      For all our sakes, let’s hope the road to recovery for Bojan starts now. I don’t see us getting another striker in the January transfer window (but I’d love to be proven wrong!), so I foresee many heart-attacks in the coming months every time Villa is the subject of a harsh tackle. Some may argue that we’d be ok because we could shift Andres up, but honestly, we are a much better team with the dynamic duo of Xaviniesta.

      Fingers crossed.

  15. barca96
    November 11, 2010

    Holy crap. Messi didn’t even train and he played. Out of this world 😆

    Why was Mourinho so pissed off at the ref? Why was he taking it so seriously. They were winning anyways. He always somehow knows hot to steal the limelight.
    Seriously, we don’t need any new additions in the middle. We are running thin at the back and at the front.

    So, striker and defender, yes. I’m not confindent when Abidal plays at CB.

  16. SV
    November 11, 2010

    All i can say about this game was Nolito’s strike was beautiful.

  17. cliveee
    November 11, 2010

    We are spectacular today, very good game throughout the 90mins. 81% seems to be a record for this season, and we all must be happy for our young players and squad players.

    What Pep said about Thiago’s performance:

    “Thiago? Congratulations for his game. He has great skills, but he still can improve a lot.”

    “Thiago sometimes seems like showing off but that’s just his way of playing, he always did that, since he was younger.”

    “My happiness in the 5th goal? That was for Messi, Thiago doesn’t deserve that yet (laughs).”

    Those are some important highlights because the way Thiago plays is really flashy in every way. We often ask if a youth player should do something flashy because our team just doesn’t seem to do tricks so often. But youth players tend to use that to shine in front of the grown-ups or attract noise from the stands. Thiago clearly falls into the bright-shining group, but the way he does his tricks are so natural, but now that Pep tells us he has always been like that since he was young, I guess we understand.

    Thiago can still improve a lot, it’s clear. He could have done better in monitoring the tempo and pace of our passing. I am sure many of us notice his movements, he is an advanced player, position-wise. He gets the ball in the attacking third more than the middle line/circle area. But he would drop back and move forth all the time to create space for other teammates. I’d like to see him drop back more to spray passes. But that will be easily solved with more minutes. To me, he is not our next Deco, he is still the next Xavi to me, square and sound.

    Gotta salute to Pep for keeping Thiago’s feet on the ground by making that joke. If I were Thiago, I wouldn’t feel that good to hear that joke, because you don’t know what he is thinking behind, and thus will just keep working really hard. But he knows he is on the right track and humbly receiving everything that go his way.

    But really, the question of paying 40M for Cesc will reappear at some point and the uprising of Thiago is really giving people headache…

    • Jnice
      November 11, 2010

      When Thiago plays for Spanish u19 or u21s he plays a deeper Xavi like role and dictates the tempo of the match. I don’t know what his instructions were yesterday, but I think if Pep wanted him to drop deeper, he would have told him to.

      Next Deco? I hope not. Deco gave away way too many balls for my liking.

    • Soto
      November 11, 2010

      I don’t see a conflict between having Thiago and Cesc. I agree with Kevin’s sentiment earlier: Thiago is extremely young. I am excited by this player, but I hope that we don’t rush him into the senior team. More appearances when warranted are great, but I hope we don’t pull a Bojan on Thiago and promote him too soon. Therefore, we will probably still need a Xavi backstop in the near future, which is a role that Cesc can perform. Or someone else. But four or five years from now and I see Thaigo orchestrating our midfield.

  18. Eklavya
    November 11, 2010

    I missed the match but when I was watching the highlights and Bojan missed the penalty I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He was over-thinking for sure, and god he missed it!

    Later on when he scored the tap in and didn’t celebrate I was like “Well, can’t blame him. What’s the point of celebrating when you’ve missed a penalty and scored a lame tap in goal” and then he did the crazy celebration which made me barf with laughter in front of my screen. 😀

    Oh and looks like Pedro is finding his scoring touch again. His finishing is really what makes him stay here. Great that he’s scoring again.

    Thiago: 😯 no comment!

    The goal we conceded was soo bad, I was surprised Pep wasn’t yelling his head of or something.

  19. Goo
    November 11, 2010

    Sid Lowe just tweeted: “And this time it is official: Barcelona vs Real Madrid, MONDAY 29 November 9pm Spanish time.”

  20. mei
    November 11, 2010

    thiago will be installed as a first teamer in the spanish seleccion sooner than another random name you might choose to recall when you watch at the formers promise : you read it here 😛

    On a more serious note though , guardiola showed us why he has thiago training with the first team for the last couple of weeks , and simultaneously not falling under the pressure to just give him some minutes to please him , the press and the fans.

    No kid , this isnt it.
    This aint barcelona B, or spanish u19/21.
    This is barelona’s first team , and the runs this team includes in its game along with the pressing/passing, needs one to be familiar with it to be able to take advantage of and display a performance of the quality of yours we watched yesterday.
    We dont need a flashy individual showing off flashes of brilliance , we need a brilliant team player ready and kicking.
    Yes last night we played against a lower side , this must be noted.
    We were playing with many non first teamers as well though.

  21. November 11, 2010

    Thiago was as amazing as one can expect. But he still need lot of improvement and playing time this season to be counted next season as a first team option. Ceuta is something, Barca opponents’ standards are on another level. His style still cause lot of lost balls. He need to tune that and he will be ultimately the best and most complete young midfielder in world football.

    Not happy with JDS situation. Pep disappointed me last night.

    If we spend 50 M to buy Cesc (whom I started to doubt he has some serious injury problems), then we are pure naive. If JDS end up a leverage in such deal, that will be an international crime.

    • mei
      November 11, 2010

      I think just by looking at the young player contracts, its clear that JDS will be give chances next season.
      Thiago both pushed and was given by the club a priority this year.
      JDS was never maent for this year imo and thats why he got a 2 year contract with the B squad.

  22. Eklavya
    November 11, 2010

    Yup, its confirmed:

    El Clasico on Monday 29th November at 21:00 CET.


    • Jose
      November 11, 2010

      Awesome! Ok, I’ll have to take the afternoon off, but I would have missed it on Sunday due to Thanksgiving related travel…

    • extreme barca fan
      November 11, 2010

      There is an upside for the game being on monday, it will give us An extra day to prepare which is a good thing for the team, but i Agree, for most fans it sucks

    • blitzen
      November 11, 2010

      FML. I specifically booked my vacation so that I would be able to watch El Clasico at home, and then they had to go and schedule a freaking election. As things stand I will just about be landing at Edmonton International Airport at kickoff time. 🙁

      It’s OK, though! I have a cunning plan involving my loving brother, his laptop, and a memory stick. I just hope those wonderful people at rojadirecta get the game uploaded fast or I may be pulling an all-nighter. 😀

  23. Clue(less)
    November 11, 2010

    I find it amusing how how in the first leg Nolito trying to make solo runs into the box, at defenders, was reminiscent of Betty White running a crossing pattern in that Snickers commercial. But his first run of the second leg, he does the same thing and scores a beauty. Having said that, he goes back to his old ways one minute later on our very next attack.

    Clearly JDS is in the dog house with Pep for some reason, but I see no reason he is not getting at least 25 min in matches like this. I mean think about it, if we love Thiago, and JDS will become expendable in the summer, if we bring in Douglas Costa Afellay, Cesc, Pastore, or any combination of midfielders, shouldn’t we be showcasing his talent in games like this.

    I really feel that if we are to keep him, surly he is higher up in the Barca B progression list than Sergio Roberto, who I like by the way. Clearly Thiago is about to burst into the squad, as he should, and he should be upgraded from Copa matches to playing significant minutes against weaker Primer a teams, like EE lol.

    Maybe Pep is gun shy about allowing any youngster to make the leap to first team in a whirlwind type way, instead opting to bring them along slowly. But the one player he had made the transition with, Busquets, has worked out terrifically. But seeing Bojan struggle has probably given him reservations about promoting yoyng guys so early, and quickly.

    If Pep was the first team coach instead of Rijkaard when Bojan was coming through, I am positive he would placed many more restrictions on CT’s playing time, bringing him us Thiago style, letting him hop back and forth with Barca B for a year or so. Who is to say what the right decision would be.

    ***** I know this is a Barca blog, but we have some really astute football fans here so I want to vent about an EPL team for a few second, hopefully someone can tell me if I am crazy for my thoughts on Oasis’s favorite team.

    Also a few thoughts on Manchester City. I want to pull my hair out when watching that tea,. I have never seen a team with so much talent play so negatively, aside from Chelsea in the CL semis in 09′. At least Chelsea were a deadly team on the counter, especially in the second leg, city routinely field a team with no side whatsoever, an still try to play an English style ‘rout one’ football. They have players our size, but can’t play anything like us.

    I cringe every time they roll out their über-defensive 4-3-2-1 hybrid catastrophe of a formation with # defensive mids (kind of). This team bought ( and are paying €300k/week) for one of the top three defensive mids in the world, a player that does the work of two holding players, and all of the sudden the thy to play him in a Gerrard or Messi world cup esque false 9 position. Now no doubt that Yaya is athletic enough to play that role (for 60 min or so till the tires), but he goes from the best player in the world at the DM position to maybe a top 20-30 player at this new position.

    There is a solution to this problem of course, be more offensive!!! As those of you who watched the Manchester derby can attest, the blue side of Manchester has a really good defense, and don’t necessarily need to play with 2-3 defensive minded mids at the same time (Barry ‘terrible and overrated’, De Jong, nice but no Yaya, and of course Yaya, the best and most obscenly overpriced of the lot). What you will lack in midfield dominance, you can surly make up for in ‘defense through offense’.

    Another serious issue that I have with that team is their insistence on trying to pass this James Milner guy off as a winger. Mancini has England’s future starting RW, and maybe one day Barcelona winger Adam Johnson chomping at the bit to bring some semblance of ‘on the ball class’ to a team that seems to have no identity whatsoever. How he and classy ass David Silva get so little time is beyond me. This team has so much talent sitting on the bench acting as spectators, it is sickening. If I were the Sheik would pay some serious money to bring over Luis Enrique or someone over who can implement the Barca system over this summer.

    If I were in charge at city I would use the following as my base starting lineup, starting it in cup matches to get them gelling, and slowly implementing the team as your full on league and European first choice squad.

    —————-Joe Hart

    ———-Kompany——K. Toure



    -Adam Johnson—————————-Silva



    This lineup has a dominant DM, who players for 2, a solid defensive RB, an offensively capable LB, two great lingers, a tricky false 9′ who works like a dog, and two skilled strikers. Aside from us, and Madrid, this team has as much talent as any squad in the world. Then in January I would sell SWP, Lescott, Wayne Bridge, Lescott and Richards.

    With any proceeds I would either either buy Pastore, allowing him to play the false 9 and rotate Tevez in with the aforementioned strikers, or Bale, sticking him at RW, moving Johnson to the false 9 and again moving Tevez into a striker rotation. The could also sell Addy and move for Pato, which would secure their striker spots for years to come. Regardless, of what they do, watching City is like watching an American football team with Peyton Manning at CB, and the coach running the ball 50 times a game. (Enough with the city rant)

    As Kevin has not wrote an ‘In the News’ segment in a bit, I will jot down a few things that have hit the wire lately.

    *Barcastuff (Pep) and Goal (a true beacon of journalistic integrity) are reporting that Gabby is looking at 6 weeks, time to see Busquets at CB and Masch it DM…I think so, but Pep don’t, he said we will be looking to the B team for a CB.

    **Thiago was quoted as saying his future is right here at Barca, well duh!!!

    ***Today’s goal gives Leo 102 under Pep in something like 800 days, Greg Louganis has 72 in that same time frame, just sayin’.

    ****Antonio Cassano may have is contract recinded for Sampdoria, essentially making him a free agent (no transfer fee). Great player with a bad attitude, someone Pep would surly ‘have a feeling about within a year’. He is tempting though.

    *****That journalistic gold standard Goal quotes CT agent Zoran Vekic saying the following:

    “He is happy with his current situation, but we will re-evaluate the situation once the season is over.”

    Conclusion: Quote seems legit, but I am not thinking to much into it, this is standard agent speak, but our golden boy is Jeter-esque to our club and it’s weird to think of his agent posturing in front of the media. Goal reports that Arsenal, Juve and England are in on him. I think we could use him as a make weight in a Van Der Wiel deal as a loan. he would score a bunch in Holland and get a good amount of playing time, hopefully linking up wit Suarez.

    ******Speaking of transfers,Pastore is dreaming of us and dissing EE, but Palermo are dreaming if they think we will shell out €50 million for the kid. If we can get Cesc for less, it is a no brainier, especially with the love fest tha Sandro and Pep have for Fabs.

    *******The past 48 hours has seen the heat turned up on a potential Afellay deal, something I don’t think we can afford to pass up. Sure he may be free in seven months, but I have no issues paying €5 million for a young, big midfielder, with a bright future, who would not command starting time, but has the potential to earn it.

    ********West Ham are hot to trot for Bojan….And I am hot to trot for Messi’s girlfriend.

    *********Things seem to be slowing down on the Van Der Wiel front, but dhould heat back up in early January, especially if this €34 million Man City bid comes to fruition.

    **********Finally Chelsea want Sergio Busquets, but if Alves at 27 is worth (a super inflated) €34 million, then Busi, who we mortgaged our DM future on with the sale of Yaya, is worth at least that much at 22, most likely more.

    Thanks for letting me vent; )

    • Eklavya
      November 11, 2010

      Come on Clueless, your comment was born to be Hectored lol 😉

    • Helge
      November 11, 2010

      Regarding ManCity, I’ve posted a comment in the previous one.

      What’s up with Messi’s girlfriend? Was she at the stadium yesterday? I’ve read several comments about her 🙂

  24. Diego S.
    November 11, 2010

    My thoughts on the match :

    – Bojan needs to step up his game or a Loan or a Sale will be in his near future.

    – Mascherano was amazing. I’d really like him to see at CB (He times his tackles and has some speed) with Busi at DM.

    – Thiago was awesome. I’d wait till next year to promote him. We could use him when we want. We should let him have more playing time at B and see how they do.

    – Jeffren is injury prone and as Kxev said a Ferrari without a Driver. Loan or Sell him and Promote Nolito. Some might say that Nolito is selfish and only runs as well, but He is less injury prone. He is a true right winger (we only have Pedro).

    – I’m glad Pedro is scoring. He deserves it.

    – Abidal as CB is too risky. I remember one attack they had last night. He was running to the side trying to cover the attacker. He remembered he’s playing CB so tried to get back. He saw Maxwell in the centre with their CF. He ran again to the player on the wing.

    – Anyone else noticed we play better when Eklavya isn’t watching ? (1st Sevilla, now this).

    • mei
      November 11, 2010

      nolito’s speed and tricks on the wing is something we could certainly make a good use of.
      We havent really had this since messi has been shifted towards the middle and devides his time between many aspects of the game.

    • Eklavya
      November 11, 2010

      Hey I’m no Kari!! 😀
      Sorry kari

  25. poipoi
    November 11, 2010

    thiago made me not think of özil yesterday. he and nolito should be 1st teamers already 😉

    bojan scored … omg. not a golazo but he scored, yay boji!

    btw… have you seen EE’s second goal? BIGGEST OFFSIDE EVER

    • Diego S.
      November 11, 2010

      Not only did he stand in front of him. He basically pushed him inside the net 😀 . The referee looked very young.

      • Helge
        November 11, 2010

        Their penalty was also worth of a discussion…
        But Di Maria’s pass was great. He’s my favourite player of the EE.

  26. IS
    November 11, 2010

    Luke, any reason the pic up top being from last season during an entirely different game??

    • Luke
      November 11, 2010

      When I was writing I couldn’t find a good pic of him from either leg this year. So I went with another.

    November 11, 2010

    Without a question we need a good C.B.Milito for me is over.Bartra or fontas are good back-ups but no yet starters.Huge mistake that we left marquez leave.

    November 11, 2010

    Can we bring back botia the winter?he is on loan but i don t know if we can.

    • Kxevin
      November 11, 2010

      No. Botia is technically sold, but we have cut-rate buyback rights.

    November 11, 2010

    Oh and i am surpised with Adriano.I can.t understand what he is doing in our squad.Not something special.

  30. zlavi
    November 11, 2010

    posting after like a decade now.not much access to internet basically…many new people at my most fav blog.i m really happy for that. And is Kevin involved a lot in the discussion these days?

    Any way this is really frustrating because our lack of depth is clearly exposed again… I d recommend we cash in on Milito in January, wat is he offering to us from injury table anyway!! I feel bad for him but its time to move on.
    I d really love it if the buy back clause of Botia is activated.i mean its a better no-brainer than even the Affelay situation! A defender born n brought with our system, I mean how much of a risk is it!? We brought Pique back at the same age too. and how cool it would be to have all center halves club grown 🙂 any way I do realize the club might not be thinking in these lines

    There are fresh rumors that the club officially contacted PSV… That means he is coming in January. Me likey that. I think thiago should be promoted slowly, dont want another Bojan situation!!

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