La Liga Weekly Podcast: #10

I wake up early sometimes and record some podcasts so that you can hear my silly voice saying silly things about this obsession of ours called Barcelona. And I talk about other parts of the league sometimes too. Mainly Barcelona though. And David Beckham’s underwear.

We cover La Liga, Copa del Rey, and even Champions League.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

84 Comments

  1. Diego S.
    November 12, 2010

    Goal.com predicts 3-1 win for us. Apparently, They trust Fontas.

    If Fontas has a good match, I say start him against Almeria. A reward, playing time, good for his development, and not risking Pique.

  2. Soto
    November 12, 2010

    Is there any way that I can download this podcast so I can listen to it on my commute?

  3. Josep
    November 12, 2010

    I’m not being pessimistic, but Villareal will escape with (a) point(s). They’re on blistering form, and not that we’re not playing well the injuries at CB hurt. Unless someone fills in well, we’re conceding 1-2.

    That being said, rumors link Milito with Inter in the January window. Now this is a tough choice. Inter will pay more than most would for him, because Walter Sameul is done for the season. But we need Milito. Inter won’t in July. So what do we do? Sell him for 7-10 mil which apparently is what’s being stated, this January. A great cash-in but that leaves us very thin. In July we’d probably get 2-3 mil.

    Also barcastuff barcastuff
    Barcelona have a pre-agreement with PSV attacker Ibrahim Afellay (24), signed by the player’s agent Rob Jansen. [md]

    If Guardiola gives his ok, Barcelona will execute the deal with Afellay, in January or at the end of the season. [el mundo deportivo]

    I remember the last time these things were said, about Ozil. Guardiola most certainly will okay the move right?

  4. Nick
    November 12, 2010

    The special arrogant one has been banned for two matches. Good thing he is back for El Clasic. I want him to be there.

  5. MoSSi
    November 12, 2010

    Damn how things have changed, there was a year were we demanded at least a 3-0 win over every team we faced, week in week out. Now I see more and more pessimism, now I really realise how unique that treble season was..

    • Kxevin
      November 12, 2010

      I don’t ever believe that we are going to lose or draw a match, because we are the best club in the world. I’m not sure what the source of the pessimism is, either. If we play our game, no club can match us. Simple as that, and it doesn’t matter who we have on the back line, because the opposition is never going to get that far.

      I’d put sMasch in the back line next to Pique, with a midfield of Xavi/Iniesta/Busquets. It’s go time.

  6. Kxevin
    November 12, 2010

    Guillem Balague on why Fabregas is playing for Arsenal instead of us.

    After speaking with several highly placed sources connected to both sides in recent weeks, the circumstances surrounding FC Barcelona’s failed move to sign Cesc Fabregas in the summer have become a little clearer. Wenger had been resigned to losing his midfield lynchpin and Fabregas was under the impression that Barcelona would do all they could to meet Arsenal’s demands once the player made it clear that he wished to return to his hometown club.

    However, after former Barcelona president Joan Laporta spent the first part of the summer putting very public pressure on Arsenal to sell, angering Wenger in the process, the new Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, decided to take a very different approach after taking over at the Spanish club following elections in June.

    Once installed in office, Rosell apologised to Arsenal for the manner in which the former regime had tried to force them to sell, and told the London club that, with limited finances at their disposal, Barcelona would only be able to make a slight increase on their initial offer. Furthermore, the new regime revealed that Fabregas was not an absolute priority for them: something that turned out to be key to a reversal of the situation and something that Wenger was able to make count to his advantage.

      • Kxevin
        November 12, 2010

        And if true, those who actually wanted Fabregas will say “Nice work, Sandro. Way to insult Arsenal and the player, and scupper the deal.” Was that his intent? After all, if the deal happened, Laporta might get some credit for it, right?

        • Eklavya
          November 12, 2010

          That does stir does thoughts…

          Although in the end (will it ever it?), I’m happy we didn’t get him (yet?).

  7. Tajh
    November 12, 2010

    hey guys were there any Revista de Liga this past week??
    i think i missed the links Jnice usually post….do any1 have any links i can downlad from?j

    • Jnice
      November 12, 2010

      Just look a couple of posts back next time.

      Revista De La Liga 11-09-10

      *http://hotfile.com/dl/81517941/0df69ee/Revista_De_La_Liga_-_09-11-10.avi.html

      Courtesy of Pakman at fbtz.com

  8. blitzen
    November 12, 2010

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s game? I am! As Josep mentioned above, Villareal is in blistering form right now, and we are on a bit of a hot streak ourselves, so this should be a lot of fun! Unlike Josep, I think we will win, but it won’t be an easy one.

    –we have the home advantage.
    –in our last 5 games we have won 4 and tied one. In their last 5 matches, Villareal has won two, tied two, and lost one.
    –all of our top players are well-rested, having missed the Ceuta match. I don’t count Messi’s 20-odd minutes as that was a stroll in the park for him.
    –Villareal will likely be without Marcos Senna, but I don’t think that will make much a difference for them.
    –We will be without Pique, Milito, and possibly Adriano (gastroenteritis), leaving us pretty thin at the back. I expect Pep will call up Fontas rather than Bartra, especially after that huge error by Bartra in the last game.

    My tentative lineup:

    Valdes
    Alves – Puyol – Abidal – Maxwell
    Busquets – Xavi – Iniesta
    Villa – Messi – Pedro

    Sorry, Bojan! Of course, I’m probably completely wrong, as usual. He might start Fontas or even Mascherano instead of Abidal, or put Captain Cuddly in for Pedro, or put Busi in the back line, honestly I can never predict what the man will do.

    • blitzen
      November 12, 2010

      Now that I think about it, a back line of:

      Alves – Mascherano – Puyol – Maxwell

      sounds very likely. Hmm.

      • Kxevin
        November 12, 2010

        My lineup:

        VV
        Alves sMasch Puyol Abidal
        Iniesta Xavi Busquets
        Pedro! Messi Villa

        • blitzen
          November 12, 2010

          My only concern is that this lineup will leave us a little “short” (ahem) on the right side of the pitch.

  9. Kxevin
    November 12, 2010

    Apparently PSV is looking for around 3m for Afellay. Whoa.

    • Josep
      November 12, 2010

      Whoa as in… thats a steal!!
      I think the reason I’m pessimistic is the back 4. It all comes down to that, how well they can break up the counter attack. I don’t know who will play or who will back up who. If they can get it together early, we’ll win. If not..

      I want to win every match as much as the next but in the NFL terms this is a “trap game”.

      Kxevin, did you watch the Baby Bulls win by 30 last night??

      • Kxevin
        November 12, 2010

        Nope. 40-mile trail ride, dinner, leg soak and that was that.

        And what’s this nonsense about the Red Bulls/Fire match not making you want to gouge your eyes out? Horrific display that reminded me of why I support the Fire and go to matches when I can, but the MLS isn’t ready for prime time.

        • Josep
          November 12, 2010

          barcastuff barcastuff
          PSV and Barcelona have officially started talks on a winter transfer of PSV attacker Ibrahim Afellay. [voetbal international]

  10. Josep
    November 12, 2010

    breaking news on afellay in 5 minutes… #fcblive

    Ah!! I’m about to get pizza and miss what pep is going to tweet.

    • Kxevin
      November 12, 2010

      We’ve officially started talks with PSV on Afellay.

      • Kxevin
        November 12, 2010

        (@barcastuff) We want to sign him for January, price: 2-4m.

        Shouldn’t be a problem, seeing as how PSV want 3m?

        • Kxevin
          November 12, 2010

          @barcastuff: Marcel Brands (sports director PSV): “I can confirm that Barcelona have indeed contacted us regarding a transfer of Afellay.”

          • Kxevin
            November 12, 2010

            (@barcastuff) Brands (sports director PSV): “The club are now negotiating. I cannot yet asses when there will be a deal.”

  11. jordi(TM)
    November 12, 2010

    Well the price of afellay is a win win , if he succeeds, what a bargain, if not we can make a tidy profit.Then again we’d probably loan him out then give him away for free :/.

    • Kari
      November 12, 2010

      When we are thinking clearly, we can get good deals. I mean, we got Maxwell for 4.5m. There must be some sense from someone somewhere in our negotiating team. Get that person on the job more often (although I don’t think Txiki will come back under the current regime. Just a… feeling.)

      • Kxevin
        November 12, 2010

        Even if Afellay is HALF as good as his YouTube compilations, 4m is a steal. That’s essentially no money for a club such as ours, and could solve two problems, one short-term (dynamic wing play) and one longer-term (depth at playmaker).

  12. Eklavya
    November 12, 2010

    Afellay or Affelay or Affellay? That will be question. Soon.

    • Diego S.
      November 12, 2010

      Afellay.

      When I said that Barca games are always weekdays that’s because I’m Egyptian. In Arabian Countries, the weeks starts on Saturday and the weekend is Thursday and Friday.

      • Eklavya
        November 12, 2010

        Pardon my poor general knowledge.

  13. Euler
    November 12, 2010

    Very good news on Afellay. Depth at attacking midfield and at the wing position have been urgent needs for quite some time. Xavi’s injury has only increased the team’s risk.

    Afellay is not a perfect player. Many of the criticisms some cule’s have made have merit.

    However, no player is perfect. We will never know for certain if a player is “barca quality” or “fits in the system” until he gets here and plays. David Villa was supposed to be instantly integrated into the club and even that hasn’t worked out smoothly. On the other hand, Masch was supposed to be a potential problem. Ironically he turns out to be integrating faster than Villa.

    The best you can do beforehand is judge the player’s talent and capacity to adapt. The fact that Afellay is Dutch and has played one touch football his entire life is a tremendous plus. Coupled with his obvious physical talent and technical skill this is a player who makes sense to take a chance on.

    And secondly – you have to look at the imperfections of the player in the context of his cost. This would be a remarkable piece of business for a player of Afellay’s talent and quality. Not only is the transfer fee is pittance (potentially as much or less than Maxwell!) but his salary is also reasonable.

    Many have wondered why Afellay and not Oezil. There are probably many reasons but one is certainly cost. Oezil cost 15M and he is making 5.5M per season.

    For 5 years Afellay – transfer fee and salary would be roughly 13-17M.

    Oezil also may have wanted some kind of guarantees on playing time. Afellay is going to know that he’s not going to be starting and will have to earn a place. If he agrees to Pep’s conditions then that speaks very well of him.

    Some are going to argue that Afellay is going to hurt Thiago and JDS but I don’t think this is the case. No one supports and believes in youth players more than Pep. There’s no question about that. But what’s also very evident is that Pep does not want to rush young players into playing significant minutes in key spots for the first team.

    Thiago’s talent is blatantly obvious and has been for a while. He’s substantially better this year than last. Pep sees this every day in training. Despite that he’s being very cautious with Thiago and likely will be for most of this season.

    They need someone to back up Xavi and Iniesta. I don’t think Pep wants Thiago to be that player this season.

    If that same player backing up Xaviniesta can also back up both the Left and Right wing position also – all the better.

    If that player already has 6 years of first team experience in the Dutch league, is the Captain of a squad like PSV, and has started for the Duth NT while being 24 and available for 3-5M – I don’t see how you don’t take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

    Afellay could have gone to Liverpool or Inter or probably ManU and gotten much more playing time and money. This is likely another situation where a player is willing to make sacrifices because of Barca’s stature and his desire to play in the colors.

    The club would be foolish to not leverage the situation. Let’s hope it comes to fruition.

    • Josep
      November 12, 2010

      Brilliant post. I’m very excited for whats going on with the club and think this is a top notch signing.

      @Kxevin, I guess it was just the atmosphere of the RBNY-CF game. It was a packed crowd, the highest ever at Toyota, and though the product wasn’t that great (MLS), it was a great experience. The passion of the crowd was amazing. The play wasn’t that bad.

      I don’t think anyone should argue this hurts JDS/Thiago. Afellay will most likely play on the wing, the only way it could possibly hurt them is because Iniesta will play in position. If it hurts anyone its Jeffren and Nolito.

      It should help Bojan, and make him realize he is our no. 9 but if he doesn’t perform he doesn’t play. Its not pressure but incentive.

      As stated, at 24 if he doesn’t work out..depending on the length of the contract, we could still end up making some money on the transfer fee at least. He shouldn’t command too much in salary.

    • cliveee
      November 12, 2010

      Ole Ole!
      Yay for Afellay!

      It’s all about competition, baby! welcome to the game!
      Pep loves our kids, that’s why he put them through this competition, and it’s a great tough one. A transferred player shouldn’t feel proud just as much as the youth players shouldn’t. All players need to compete for their spot. Afellay is an attacking player, he will not compete with the likes of Villa and Messi, but will definitely compete with Pedro, Bojan, Jeffren and maybe Nolito.

      Thiago and JDS belong to the midfield. They will have little to do with the arrival of this signing.

      New transfers are not always successful even you do all the research and asking beforehand. That’s why competition will help players to adapt. By observing and training with your teammates, you learn how to blend in. Many of us are reluctant to see Bojan leave because he knows the club and the system inside and out. Movement, positional, the patience that takes to play this game of ours, the right decisions on the ball in our system…etc.

      When some people claim someone is not Barca material, I always wonder how it is defined. Why would Bale fit us and why wouldn’t Afellay fit us are some questions that is hard to answer, because only when they are here to play then you can find out. But in general, a player who makes correct decisions & passes the ball well would absolutely do well with us. If you lose balls after balls, you are bound to be not ready or misfit. But I think Afellay looks fine and will perform with the minutes he got.

    • Bells
      November 12, 2010

      There was an detailed article in Sport or EMD yesterday about how Barca had made a deal with Ozil for 7,5 M, and it was all done, just needed Pep’s final approval but in the end he said no.

  14. Josep
    November 12, 2010

    Who from here is named _URSKA_ on twitter? I accepted their follow request but are not quite sure who they are.

    • Eklavya
      November 12, 2010

      Hey me too!
      Whats your twitter btw josep?

      • Josep
        November 12, 2010

        My twitter is Jawsytown
        I have request only so feel free. 😀

  15. GREECE BARCA
    November 12, 2010

    It s unbelievable that del bosque called Xavi for the friendly against portugal.Tell me whatever excuse you want.The guy is a madrid fan and he don.t like barca.

    • Josep
      November 12, 2010

      When is this friendly? I don’t think its unbelievable, I mean Xavi is a key member of the squad. Friendly or real match. The match in Argentina was deplorable though.

  16. November 12, 2010

    If -BIG IF- the reports and quotes coming from PSV officials are true, then the transfer is almost done. It is unusual that a club confirm a transfer until things are advanced (unless if they are inviting other teams to catch up and create a bidding war).

    We already have a better back up for Xavi than Afellay in Busquets, especially with Mascherano starting to show the predicted quality. Thats on the short term. On the long term we have one or two other options. Beside,Afellay is more direct than our normal buildup method, and while I insist that more directness is needed in the midfield, past experiments proved that Pep doesnt share that belief. This will create another challenge.

    So, generally speaking, such transfer is not the priority as we have other more urgent needs. But the price makes the condition irresistible. 1) because -like van bommel deal before- the benefits are certain. He has enough quality to serve the team well. 2) If he didnt prove useful selling him guarantees profit. 3) And most importantly, the money invested on him will not damage the financial possibilities to get the player we need: Striker. 4) Our squad is thin anyway there is a place for an additional player with decent qualities.

    He may end up as a back up for Iniesta’s role, not Xavi’s, in the midfield or on the flank. One can only hope he keep on taking longs shots he tested in his previous team if he joins Barcelona, instead of getting the Kieta/Alves infections (or instructions).

    Is there a possibility to put some 4 millions on a Trezeguet-ic transfer as well? Only time can tell…

  17. flyzowee
    November 12, 2010

    Forgive my ignorance, but what kinda experience does mash have at playing CB?

    I cant understand the confidence some of u have in him performing this role especially coz hes no force in the air.

    • Josep
      November 12, 2010

      Thats what I’m afraid of. sMasch filled in last match admirably but against a lowly side. His lack of height might get us killed on crosses. Then again, Villareal don’t exactly have much height.

      The Trezeguet shout.. certainly interesting to be honest. I don’t see it happening as I don’t think Hercules would say but it’s an interesting take.

      We should take G. dos Santos back in on a loan

      When you say Afellay taking over the Iniesta role you mean the one as LW?I think afellay will help a lot with our slow regrouping process and his speed on the wing would give us a great outlet. In the Kobenhavn match we got burned by attacking too slow and them parking all over the middle waiting for us.

      • Josep
        November 12, 2010

        barcastuff barcastuff
        Although PSV denies there’s already a verbal agreement with Barcelona, Afellay will in January start playing for Barcelona [@thijsslegers]

      • November 12, 2010

        Thats why I didnt say Trezeguet, but Trezeguet-ic, Which means in my broken-english terms, someone with similar specifications like Trezeguet.

        Yes, Ibrahim can play that Iniesta left wing role. The problem with slow offense has two folds: 1) Players demand the ball to feet instead on demanding it in the space. 2) Players in possession barely pick the players in the space and favor the short tiki taka. We saw that often with lot of players who either had to adapt with this Barca offense method or fail. Thats what I meant when I mentioned directness challenge.

    • November 12, 2010

      Without posting my 5 cents regarding the defense against Villarreal, I just want to pint out that at Liverpool Mascherano played as a CB before (and as a RB) whenever needed.

    • jhargrid
      November 12, 2010

      Based on the official FCB website (if that’s anything to go by), Pep is probably going to pair Puyol with Abidal or Bartra/Fontas. I don’t think sMasch is really a consideration. In all likelihood we’ll see Alves-Puyol-Abidal-Maxwell at the start, with Fontas or Bartra on the bench ready to come in to pick up some minutes if things look good in the last thirty.

  18. Kxevin
    November 12, 2010

    @barcastuff:

    The negotiations on the transfer of Afellay would be in the final stage. Transfer fee: 2 to 4M. Contract duration: 4 or 5 years. [md]

    • Kxevin
      November 12, 2010

      (@barcastuff) There’s a principal agreement of 3M on the transfer of PSV attacker Ibrahim Afellay (24) to Barcelona in January [catalunya radio]

  19. GREECE BARCA
    November 12, 2010

    I can.t believe that we will buy afellay in that price.Is a very good transfer from financial option.The rest in the field.Let.s go now 4 a real 9.

  20. Kxevin
    November 12, 2010

    As far as Mascherano at CB, if Guardiola puts him there, it will be because he is confident that he can play there. People put too much stock in the lack of height thing. When we concede set piece goals, it is rarely because our defenders have a height problem. It’s usually the guy ghosting in from midfield. As I recall, the last set piece goal that we conceded off a header, Pique was in the neighborhood, and they don’t get much taller than him.

    Mascherano has range, pace, tackling and ball winning skills. Those things, as part of a back line, are compelling. And Villarreal isn’t exactly a set piece dynamo of a side. It also gets Mascherano and his ball-winning skills in the lineup at the same time as Busquets, which is never a bad thing.

  21. Euler
    November 12, 2010

    If the reports on Afellay are true this is a tremendous pieced of business. This might be the anti-Hleb purchase.

    Again, Afellay is not perfect. But he is very talented and extremely flexible positionally.

    And from this agreement it seems clear that Afellay very much wanted to wear the colors. Given his expiring contract he could have had his choice of teams to join. Just look at Manchester United’s midfield situation given their age. Man City keeps playing Yaya in an advanced position because they don’t have a true creative attacking mid. Liverpool was interested in him as was Inter.

    Instead it looks like he’s decided to make his way in Barcelona and take on the challenge of earning every minute of playing time he gets. He has to know the situation – you don’t join a team with Xaviniesta and Villa/ Pedro not know what the situation is.

    I also think that this season Afellay may be in the process of taking that next step forward that many people have been waiting on him to take. He’s been very good for PSV this season and made a significant advancement with the Duth NT in that game he had against Sweden.

    After all of the overpriced transfer blow ups Barcelona has had over the past few seasons and the Ibra debacle, it’s very nice to see a transfer like this. Barca is using their stature as a club and their attractive style of play as a kind of value which is helping to support the acquisition of a talented player for a pittance.

    Affelay’s ability to back up 4 positions is going to go a long way.

    Now the club’s only outstanding need is another central striker, though that of course is the hardest player to acquire.

    Dzeko, Suarez, Torres and possible Llorente may all be available to varying degrees this winter. Only Suarez is cup tied, IIRC.

    With Afellay and the development of Thiago the case for Fabergas is just not there. If the club really does have 40M+ to spend on transfers they should consider doing so this winter for a striker and not make any major purchases this summer if need be.

    The team is tremendous but it’s one flaw is lack of depth and diversity along the front line. Another striker would complete the picture. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be a big name – just someone to give them a different look.

    • November 12, 2010

      “After all of the overpriced transfer blow ups Barcelona has had over the past few seasons”

      I think that’s an exaggeration. Beside every Chegrnskiy and hleb there was a Maxwell and Pique. I consider the 14 M for Keita as a bargain as well (since day one I remember commenting that it will be one of the best transfers made, and I still think so), Alves transfer was also for the right price (less than Chelsea offered a year earlier and been rejected). Abidal? Yaya? Henry? Larsson? Van Bommel?… I won’t call Ibra’s transfer as an overprice if you take it from pure financial standards as it should be evaluated(it was something between 30-40 M). But that’s just me.

      Ex-sport director flaw was buying players without the coach confirmation in a period where Pep was demanding more empowerment in transfer decisions. The coach responded with clear messages. This is where things went wrong though its not a certainty that more empowerment to Pep would have made things better A.K.A Chegrnskiy (Hleb was also on Pep wish list btw). Thats not the case with Pep now as he is more calm and settled to his job as a coach. So he is responding more positively now to signings like Adriano (where he had no saying but he welcomed as he -himself- mentioned in an interview).

      • Euler
        November 12, 2010

        On the whole I agree with your evaluation of the transfers over the past several season.

        But note – I never said that the transfer record was uniformly poor or even predominantly poor. I was simply stating that there have been a number of very high priced failures. Which there have been.

        This has been discussed ad nauseum by cule’s but the transfer record over the past several years was mixed for a whole host of reasons ( a fundamental one which you point out was the acquisition of players who Guardiola did not want which was always a strategic disaster waiting to happen).

        I was simply contrasting the nature of the risk and opportunities posed by some of those players like Chygrinski and Keirrison versus Afellay.

        Afellay may cost Barca 15% of what Chygrinski did and less than 30% of what Keirrison did.

        I was only pointing out that it’s good to see Barca getting a player at a very good value after having certain large expenditures producing very poor returns. I wasn’t trying to make any global statements on the overall transfer policy and success under LaPorta.

  22. Eric
    November 12, 2010

    Bit off topic, but it looks like GolTV is showing the EE game AGAIN instead of Barca. Since I don’t have ESPN Deprtes, it looks like I’ll be watching on the computer. That’s like 3 weeks in a row. I thought they alternated. Does anybody know what’s going on with that?

  23. blitzen
    November 12, 2010

    How to remember how to spell Afellay (for Kxevin) 😉

    It has one F FoLLowed by two L’s.

    Easy!

  24. cliveee
    November 12, 2010

    I disagree on the sMasch CB at the moment, at least not against Villareal. He may have that quality to play at CB in another club but Villareal is not for us to experiment him with us in that position.

    I would still say Alves Puyol Abidal and Maxwell, because it has proven to work. And I believe tactically this defense line works better. Abidal has the pace to chase the likes of Nilmar, Carzola and Rossi who are some of their quicker forwards which I don’t see sMasch has the pace to chase them when needed. At least if we compare to Abidal, Mascherano is not the best option.

    Also, Mascherano is barely adapting the role Pep has given him as well as the club and life in Barcelona as a whole. To play him at CB is depriving him the normal time new transfers need to adapt to the system.

    But this whole plan is also determined by how Maxwell will do at Left back. He is solid, but this test is going to be stern and we need him to play 100% rock solid defense to stop Villareal from damaging us. I believe Pep will trust him more than experimenting Mascherano at CB though.

  25. cliveee
    November 12, 2010

    by the way, what a steal if we land Afellay with 5M for 5 years. it’s guaranteed profitable buy.

    • Kxevin
      November 12, 2010

      So 3m would be even better, yes? 😀

    • Eklavya
      November 12, 2010

      Pinto was banned for 2 matches too.

  26. November 12, 2010

    I understand your point Euler. I was just pointing out that it is not valid to compare a current transfer to one of the worst transfers of previous board. Mind you, Afellay may cost 15% of what Chygrinski did, or almost as much as we paid to get Pique. 30% of what Keirrison did or 100% of what Maxwell did (Who cost 30% of what Adriano did). So it is possible to see it both ways depending on the benchmarking alternative.

    Previous board lost money buying players the coach doesnt want, current board already lost money selling players in an irresponsible manner even a player whom the coach wants. So far the board lost around 30 millions in transfer agreements. And thats in 3 months of business.

    You made a normal understandable remark. But I can see the snowball hailing current board in the media for such transfers.

    Nothing to take away from the current board. Nice utility players for good price (though Adriano price ended up being a bit too much). Yet too early for net picking.

    • mei
      November 12, 2010

      not really a clever statement.
      Someone would argue sensibly that it was the last board that overpriced some assets for more than 30 million so whenever a sale could happen it would definitely be a loss.
      And since when did pep want ibrahimovic to stay at the camp nou?

      • November 12, 2010

        Well…we cant improve cleverness sometimes, we just get a share and we live with that.

        That’s why I could only calculate that we sold a player for a virtual price of 24 M payable in three years. I deducted his agent salary share that the club (our club) had to pay and ended up with an initial transfer value (the value today) that safely goes under 20 M for a player my limited cleverness made me estimate that a cleverer person could have sold for 40 M cash. So it didnt need lot of cleverness to estimate -based on my none clever basic assumptions- that through this transfer Barca missed 20 M, which has absolutely nothing to do with the initial price paid to buy the player.

        Then, there was a player Pep wanted (and it is him who dictated his buying price BTW) and the board sold for 15 Million because there was a need to use that return to pay salaries. In another words they surrendered to a loss of 10 M as they pointed out to deal with crisis. Ultimately we didnt use 40 M of transfer budget exist since before the sale (something the board repeatedly confirm). Which proves that we sold an asset that on the club books has an estimation of 25 M for 15 Million though this decision was avoidable. Was that a complete 10 Millions loss? No. You have to add 2 to three millions of Adriano’s transfer that should have cost less taking his contract situation and his transfer demand in consediration. That needs no cleverness at all -though it is based on none clever assumptions- to calculate the overall deficit in transfer transactions.

        But I can only try as far as my cleverness (or lack it) serves…

      • November 12, 2010

        Oh and BTW, Pep never mentioned that he wanted Ibra out. Just for the record. Though, this is all irrelevant to the main topic.

        • mei
          November 12, 2010

          ramzi , chill.
          Just because i said that I perceived this as a non clever statement , doesnt mean that I dont think that you are brilliant.
          Its just because,I have to point out , when i see differently that well thats not like the rest :D.And thats quite a rare occasion.
          Just saying.

          • mei
            November 12, 2010

            getting past that its simply a point of view.
            Chyg never even remotely justify a 25 million tag.
            Yeah i know its not his fault or pep’s in the most part , but i dont really care we are talking economics not whose fault really is it.
            You buy at the wrong price, the player undermines even the half of it while playing at barca.
            Dont really care about the injury,the adaptation etc also since we are still talking about price tags.
            Someone who is bought for a huge some and is not even used as a cover for the first is always bad for marketing if you decide to sell.
            His former club came with a pretty decent offer considering what we paid and what the player was displaying and the board jumped at a decision.
            Was it the wrong one?
            Dont know.But the early signs point towards it for various reasons.
            If his next transfer will be a 5 million one , or even a free one what would anybody say?
            Ibrahimovic repeatadly stated that it was pep , solely , that wanted him out.
            He is an asshole , but he is half the part of who can tell us what happened.
            If the coach wants somebody out immediately , you do it.
            The only eligible receiver at that point was milan.
            Did we negotiate badly? Probably. But thats just a part of the transfer , there was a long road that we rode till it came such , half of which we have not heard of and probably never will.
            So yeah , im still not on the hating rosell totally bandwagon and blaming every wrong that can be perceived as wrong on him.

          • November 12, 2010

            – Chegrnskiy, nominal Value Vs Actual value: To figure if the 25 m is a real value, lower, or higher we need to figure:How much he really worth? That’s subjective. You are evaluating him based on one season. That’s not valid. You made an investment that (taking his age and position) can serve for 10 years. Example? simple. How much Thiago worth? JDS? Fontas?… If 15 million is a fair value for Chegrnskiy to sell then comparing his CV in Shakhtar and national team to all the mentioned players CV in the lower division we should sell for any buyer who pay over 5 million for any of them. Being youth players is not a factor here because we are evaluating their absolute value, not their value compared to how much they cost(and btw it is not true that they cost zero when they are youth). But that’s not how its calculated right? Exactly. Again, that is pure subjective.

            What really worth noting is that in Barcelona’s balance sheet there was an asset that added 25 Million to the club economic value. The asset was switched for 15 M cash declining the Club value by 10 M. If we want to talk poetry, we can go for ever. If we want to talk economy, that’s economy. But sometimes you have to take such decisions, right? Right. Was this time one of those? No.

            The general football value of a player is subjective but The football value of a player W.R.To a specific club is mainly stated by the coach who use the player, train him, and know him most. Thats why Cesc is more valuable for Arsenal than Barcelona for example. Pep decided to pay 25 M for this guy. Pep didnt want to sell him at all, and was not happy to get 15 M for him. That means that football-wise (same as economic wise) the player didnt lose his value. Only if the club is financially collapsing the board can compromise and reconsider the value of a running asset (asset in use). Again, that’s a principle in economy/accounting. Was it the case here? As I stated above, time proved it wasnt.

            *BTW if you really think about it, it is highly unlikely that shakhtar made the initial offer, I do believe things went the other way or else how would we have paid salaries if Shakhtar didnt offer to buy him back? I think we offered him, not the other way.

            – Ibra: “Ibrahimovic repeatadly stated that it was pep , solely , that wanted him out.” bring me one statement that prove that. I live in Sweden and you can be sure that all his interviews and speeches are followed here and we hear it live (99% of the time he say something and the press publish something completely different BTW, but I won’t go there…). In the other hand, I can bring you numerous statements where Pep pointed out that he didn ask anyone to sell ibra. History tells that when Pep want someone out he doesnt shy to state that. Before the deal all parties were flirting with each other (including Ibra statements that he want to stay). After the transfer everyone said -including ibra- that HE wanted to leave because he didnt feel comfortable. Lets go with good intentions and say that whats on the surface is whats on the bottom. The board claims that they knew Ibra want to leave since the end of the season. Why did the directors insisted in their interviews that he is not for sale (same as Messi, and Xavi as one of the directors said in Norway-I have the interview on my blog Video)? How can you expect offers if you are closing all the doors? By coincidence their was that match against Milan that sparked the whole thing. If its him who wanted to leave you sit with his agent early before preseason and say clearly “Look, get me 40 M and you are free to go. Anything under that means you stay. Period” Thats when he will scout for options that work for the club (including the obvious option -the Balotelli buyers). You cant wait till last moment then tell me, I had no choice. Then the deal made? Dont let me start… That has nothing to do with how much we paid to buy him, even if we really spent 65 M for him (which is absolutely wrong), no one is demanding 65 M to sell him. But under 20 M for a player like Ibra? regardless of what you think about him, thats a joke. Will Real sell Ronaldo to inter for 30 M if he said he only want to move to that team or he will be upset? thats not how clubs roll.

            I hate no one. Never did, neither in personal life, professional life, or on general terms. And I cant be, for the kind of work i do. but I have standards and criteria that i dont compromise. No excuses, just responsibilities. Based on that, sorry, I am not impressed with the miracles Sandro is pulling from his hat so far.

  27. simple_barcafan
    November 12, 2010

    One question…The doubt in every cule’s mind is who is going to be the NEXT “Xavi”…we have begun to love and admire Xavi so much that we have sort of become obsessed with him…Every mid player(from Barca B or anywhere else) who plays the “Xavi” position is compared with Xavi.. If he plays exactly like Xavi, then ppl praise him. If he displays any other skill( attacking a lil more, playing a more advanced position ,shooting etc. ), we tend to not hold him in such a high regard…aren’t we missing something here…Agreed Xavi was a perfect Pivot/Maestro/Fulcrum for the Barca team till now( and maybe for a few years) But do we need a Xavi replica for the future Barca team or a newer modified version of Xavi?…Because the dynamics of the team will change in the future.. You cannot have replicas of Iniesta and others also…Players with different skill sets will come..we will have to adapt..so should the new Xavi…

    • November 12, 2010

      I am not looking for a new Xavi. Xavi was not new Pep but he inherited his leadership in the midfield. Iniesta is not new Xavi but he will inherit the midfield leadership after Xavi. Thats almost a certainty for me, since the day people were not taking Iniesta seriously as a world class player. And this belief is only growing.

      • simple_barcafan
        November 12, 2010

        My apologies Ramzi..It looks as if the question is directed specifically to you.But I was referring in general to everyone in this blog..Leadership I agree..But the skill..Do we need the exact skills? for a team that is slowly evolving as well as dynamically changing at the same time???

        • November 12, 2010

          I didn’t think that you were directing your question to me. I was just stating my opinion there. No apology needed.

    • Kxevin
      November 12, 2010

      It’s why I think that Iniesta will be the next Xavi, with his particular blend of skills, adapted. How ’bout a midfield of Iniesta, Thiago and Busquets? I’m in!

      What you have there is a fully adapted midfield, where Thiago is the crack, and Iniesta is pulling the strings. Very cool.

      • November 12, 2010

        “How about a midfield of Iniesta, Thiago and Busquets?”

        So you declined any chance that Hleb may come back after his glorious loan spell?

        • Kxevin
          November 12, 2010

          @Ramzi: 😀

          I see no need for Fabregas, now or ever. I’d also give Keirrison a good long look this summer. When someone said “Trezeguet-type,” he popped into my head.

      • Diego S.
        November 12, 2010

        We keep talking about Barca’s future , yet no one mentions Victor Sanchez.

        • Kari
          November 12, 2010

          You just got Hectored for that comment 😀

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