The argument for selling Dani Alves, aka “Baby Kxevin done lost his mind!” UPDATE w/poll

[polldaddy poll=4114125]

So here’s what we know about the Dani Alves situation:

1. His contract extension is being negotiated.
2. We have made a “final” offer, that was rejected.

Everything else is up for grabs, and there has already been much discussion. I got to writing a comment that got to be pretty long, one of those “Ramzi back in the day” suckers. 😀 So it’s now a post, give people a non match review-related opportunity to call me crazy.


For a moment, let’s leave aside the philosophical objection of a player holding a club hostage. Here are my main reasons why this summer should be the time to sell, if Alves doesn’t want the piddling money that we’ve offered him.

1. His first year for us, for me, was his best.

2. Now that clubs are figuring out how to play us, his attacking instincts are making him more of a defensive liability. It’s one reason that we concede more when Abidal goes out. Our back line’s pace deficiency becomes even more so.

3. We don’t really have an aerial target, making his crosses, when they are on target these days, all but meaningless. This has been noted time and again in match review comment threads and during LiveBlogs, rarely by me.

4. He can’t seem to take free kicks any more. None of us can, but he’s the worst, and this is notable because it’s a big part of his game. I recall the huzzahs when we was signed, because it meant that in the wake of Ronaldinho, we still had someone to threaten off of set pieces. It used to be that fouling one of our guys near the box meant serious danger. Not any longer.

5. His defense has improved, but he isn’t that good of a defender, nor is he a stand-up guy who will shut down someone’s attacker. If Mourinho shifts Thong Boy to the right in El Clasic, for example, you can forget about Alves being a significant part of the offense. Some of why he isn’t that good a defender is because he’s frequently chasing the play.

Now before anyone reminds me, Dani Alves is one of the best right backs in the world who has slotted into, and enlivened our tika-taka system. He teams with Messi to raise hell, and gives us a constant offensive threat on the right side of the pitch. But look at that second goal against Villarreal, and tell me that two years ago that tika-taka sequence wouldn’t have been with Alves instead of Pedro!.

I won’t deny Alves’ brilliance, not for a second. Nor his energy, nor his value in driving the other team inSANE. But I also won’t deny that just as our system copes when he is suspended or injured, it will cope when he is gone. The attacking right (and left, for that matter) back is becoming all the rage. Look at Fabio Coentrao as one example of the modern wing back. This increasing trend makes Alves increasingly less rare and extraordinary.

Guardiola is asking him to do more, but our system is also coming to life despite his deficiencies. P!, with his increased maturity, is really opening up the right side. And with the addition (hopefully) of the likes of Afellay, not to mention what Villa already brings to the left side, it’s easy to see a system where our backs are used more as overlaps, rather than integral parts of the offense. So Abidal becomes the template on both sides, though the right-side back would get forward more because of Messi’s fondness for playing to that side of the pitch.

This contract business also makes me start to wonder why we purchased Adriano. Has he been spectacular when he was in the side? Nope. But give him reps, and what will he be? Good question. Is it hard to envision his being the kind of right back who could work in that reimagined Alves position? Another good question. He has the pace, ball skills and attacking ability to function as the right-leaning attacking mid that Alves is, in reality. Is it a question of just getting him reps? Hmmm ….

If we go out in the world, a world that contains a few attacking right backs of high quality such as Gregory Van der Wiel, who could be purchased, and still leave change after an Alves sale, what then? Lord, I’m full of questions, aren’t I?

If we are going to sell, the time is now, because you can’t just sell Alves to anyone. He’s going to command north of 30m, which greatly limits his (and the club’s) fiscal worldview. If he’s wanting Xavi money, putting him around 8m per season, that too limits who can buy and satisfy him. There are only two clubs I see who can and would: Chelsea and Citeh. Both have fairly urgent needs for an RB of Alves’ quality. Neither will be willing to wait a year for him to come. We won’t sell in January, because that’s just crazy. But this summer, if I were running the good ship Barca, the first 30m would take him home. As with The Yaya, his value is never going to be higher.

P.S. Alves could come to his senses, realize the cool deal that he has in this team with this club and reopen negotiations, in an attempt to find a compromise that will allow both sides to save face. He’s on record as wanting to stay with the club. But right now that desire is on his terms, just as the club wants him to stay on their terms. Both have a right to seek what they want. Now we see who wins this game of fiscal Chicken.

Ready …. set …. discuss!

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Jim
    November 18, 2010

    Ok. I literally just finished posting this in a previous post when up pops this. A great topic for debate imo. I repeat what I posted a minute ago.

    There has been a flood of comments talking about Alves’ being irreplaceable. But what skills exactly are we looking to replace?

    If we are looking for someone to get up and down the park like him it’ll be difficult but not impossible. However, endurance is not a top class skill. So what else is there? He’s not a great crosser of a ball. He doesn’t score as many as he should given the number of times he finds himself receiving a great ball in space on the right, he ruins our FKs, he play acts and is only decent defensively, escaping blame as he’s up raiding most of the time and leaves a huge gap behind him.

    Now I’m saying this only half seriously as I do think he brings something to the team and I don’t want him to leave. But the same level of skill as Messi, Iniesta or Xavi? Not even close, so there will be a replacement somewhere.

    • Jnice
      November 18, 2010

      Once again, I think people are not giving him the credit he deserves.

      What skills are we looking to replace?

      When it comes to combining with players in tight spaces, Alves is as good as Xavi, Messi, or Iniesta. You say endurance isn’t a top class skill, but time and time again we see people tired after making a couple of runs up and down the line. He does it ALL game long. From Iniesta: “He’s got too much energy and never stops. We needs games to sap some of that energy. He’s the only player who looks forward to extra time.”

      No one else makes that run behind the defense time and time again like he does. How many times has he given Xavi, Iniesta, and others an outlet? Against Getafe, Mascherano found out how helpful Dani is when under pressure.

      Sure he ruins our fks, but so does everybody else who steps up to take them. He doesn’t play act nearly as much as he did in previous seasons and isn’t the best defensively, but still does his job well for someone who is asked to be an offensive threat every match especially with Messi down the middle.

      I don’t understand why people are acting as if he isn’t integral to our game when all the players along with Pep know he is. Sure we have won games without him… we have won games without Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta, too.

      Doesn’t make any sense to me, but this just might be one of those things where he will leave and when we see Van der Wiel or whoever else in action, people will fully realize what he gave to the side.

      • blitzen
        November 18, 2010

        Xavi compared his speed to a motorcycle, zooming up and down the right side.

        • Kxevin
          November 18, 2010

          If he were a motorcycle, attackers wouldn’t get behind him as frequently as they do. Xavi was being classy, as he always is.

          • starboyfudge
            November 18, 2010

            you done lost your natural mind.

        • blitzen
          November 18, 2010

          Xavi doesn’t say stuff like that if he doesn’t mean it. He is one of the most straight-talking footballers out there.

      • Barca Fan
        November 18, 2010

        Excellent points. I totally agree. Dani is not just one of the best RBs in football. For me, he’s one of the best players. He can play anywhere on the right side of the pitch & has an engine like noone else. What he does for Messi’s game is clearly overlooked and underappreciated by many. He makes the Tikis Taka! Anyway, you don’t truly know how valuable a player is until he’s gone and I hope we don’t have to find out by losing him.

  2. majatt
    November 18, 2010

    I’d love for him to stay but the salary one upsmanship that seems to be required isn’t going to serve us well while the rest of la liga complains (and somewhat rightly imo) about the TV rights situation.

    If our annual revenue drops and UEFA imposes stricter financial controls it will be a forced sale of someone or ‘begging’ players to take cuts. It just doesn’t make financial sense to bend on these sort of matters at this point.

    Our sporting prospects may suffer in the short term but in the long term a certain other club with ridiculous salaries and a lengthy roster would suffer far more.

  3. blitzen
    November 18, 2010

    Why? You’ve just rehashed everything that was already said in the last two threads. I’ll go collect my last few posts and cut-and-paste them if you really want my opinion, but I’ve already said everything I wanted to say.

    Oh, except for this: Dani’s goal in the last-but-one Brazil game? That was off a free kick. And it was beautiful.


    • Kxevin
      November 18, 2010

      Because not everyone who reads this space has thought fully about it or commented. Further, often blogs will post up about a significant event because it will generate discussion of a type that helps its denizens analyze it. So as my grams would say, if you’re mad, scratch your butt and get glad, because it isn’t just you, right?

  4. Eklavya
    November 18, 2010

    I’m not sold on Van der Wiel. Maybe I don’t watch him enough, but he’s not it for me.

    I agree, if Alves leaves and we fail to properly replace him we’re gonna feel like when Eto’o left. And I don’t want that happening.

    I think that Alves should play less (long term thinking) and Adriano should be given more time.

    I say Alves should stay.

    • Kxevin
      November 18, 2010

      I didn’t feel much of anything when Eto’o left, except tired of arguing about it. But I realize that I’m in the minority there.

      • Cluless(John)
        November 18, 2010

        I submitted a post to isaiah on this subject a week ago, I assume he choose bot to post it, oh well:(

  5. Josep
    November 18, 2010

    I think the best point you make is that Alves is a hot commodity, yes. But his position is becoming more and more common making a replacement easier to come by.

    Are you suggesting, cash in while we still can and get a similar up and coming replacement for cheaper? Or only cash in because the negotiations have stalled?

    Also which do you prefer? Would you want to sell him, or prefer him to come to his senses? I think hes a great player, but I’m always one open to change.

    And other replacement options besides VDW? What about a player like Davide Santon, Diego Renan, or maybe try Rafael from United?

    • Jnice
      November 18, 2010

      Boo to all those names. Those guys haven’t even made that much of an impact with their respective clubs. Consistently hot and cold. I’d rather go with Montoya than any of those names.

      • Josep
        November 18, 2010

        I guess but Montoya? Certainly Barta would be better off?
        I like your point. Until someone comes out and shows they’re good enough I hope to keep Dani.

        It’s times like this, when a player might be leaving the club that all the fans make arguements on WHY he should LEAVE. All the things he does wrong, all the whining, etc. We should be asking why he can’t stay. He’s a fabulous talent, and no one knows how the team will run without him.

        Sure, we’re a revolving door of talent, but in La Liga you’re not really given that gelling period. Theres no time for it.

        • Kxevin
          November 18, 2010

          He can’t stay because he wants too much money and the club doesn’t want to pay it. Just like The Yaya left because he wanted playing time guarantees that Guardiola wasn’t going to offer. Players leave all the time, for many, many reasons.

          I think that we would all love for Alves to stay. But not if he doesn’t want to, because you have to work too hard in our system to be half-assing it. If you aren’t fully committed, you’re going to be a liability.

        • Jnice
          November 18, 2010

          Montoya is a better RB than Bartra.

      • Kxevin
        November 18, 2010

        Good question. I don’t watch the rest of the world enough to fully know who’s out there. I watched most, if not all of the World Cup matches however, and about the only player that stood out for me, that reminded me of Alves in his unflagging pace and energy, solid defense and willingness to join in on the attack (as well as having the skills to do it) was Van der Wiel. And nobody has to sell me on the Dutch system preparing players for Barca.

  6. Vj
    November 18, 2010

    I hope Dani stays.. both sides have valid arguments but I wonder what is Pep’s take on the matter.. Will he let a member of the core squad go without making sure whether a replacement is there? I dunno..

    Here’s another Pep’s take on the so called ‘news’:

    note: the story that alves “has been told he can leave the club” is invented by paul macdonald. the “reports in spain” don’t exist.

    • Josep
      November 18, 2010

      Kxevin linked to this earlier its a shame this fake journalism is still going on.

      But he didn’t link to this..

      • Vj
        November 19, 2010

        Awww, Don’t <3 year olds look cute in suits?

        Speaking of, there are a couple of R rated pics too..

  7. mei
    November 18, 2010

    rejects a contract renewal , a quite generous one too , is 29th years old . 30 million and ship him out if he indeed rejected the contract theres nothing to discuss.
    Even if xavi rejected a reasonable contract renewal , I would ship him out too what are we supposed to talk about?

    • blitzen
      November 18, 2010

      Dani is only 27 years old, not 29.

      • mei
        November 18, 2010

        my bad 😀
        Anyway, its his last big contract/transfer.
        If he rejects a reasonable contract offer , we should sell him and get the $$.
        It is not a case of undervaluing someone , its a case of someone overvaluing himself just because big bucks are after him.
        We are trying to cut down on expenses , so big offers for either contract renewals or transfers are off and we are a team based on hierarchy that has to be maintained.
        The only question that it is asked is how much is daniel alves worth for us , and if he has rejected the contract renewal offer he already answered that we cannot pay him.

  8. poipoi
    November 18, 2010

    he’s THE best in his position, not like xavi that has iniesta or iniesta that has xavi in their positions. messi has thong boy, there’s also rooney. alves is alone or maybe he has maicon there so he can claim that cash IMO. Think from his point of view, besides he’s not a cule, or born cule at least. He just asks for his money. Alves alone is the best in his position, and being paid like xavi or iniesta is not that crazy in my and probably his opinion. If you want to buy maicon or vanwhoever you would have to pay high wages also, and hope for a good adaptation.

    But the club can also say no if they don’t think the same way or don’t want to spend so much in a defender’s salary. How much does captain caveman earn btw? 😉

    I love alves, the energy he provides, the constant movement and effective hustle, constant but not that effective crosses, balls recovered in midfield, overlaps etc… but the rival always focuses on alves and the spaces he leaves behind, like valencia in the 1st half. I loved chapi ferrer more than alves the way he sticked to “his forward”, never let him touch a ball in good conditions and the way he defended more than attacked… but still made some good crosses and plays. In FCB I think the idea is to have catalan-spanish defenders and mids and the best foreign strikers, like when cruiff. It’s ok if alves leaves, maybe we can get to see some homegrown talent or someone new from wherever. We bought alves too old he was already a star at the peak of his game.

    It’s not like eto’o that you knew could cause the team to fall into readaptation time if he left. Or even yaya, everyone was afraid aboutr busi ’cause it’s a key position. He’s the right back, the best right back but a great defender can just fill his gap IMO.

    • Josep
      November 18, 2010

      We can’t compare him to Xavi or Iniesta anymore lets give up that and theres several reasons.
      Xavi and Iniesta are best at their positions. MIDFIELD. Do you know how many great, amazing midfielders there are? Compare that to a smaller position like RB. You can field 3-4 MF and only one RB.
      Xavi and Iniesta are from La Masia. They’re already loved here, Iniesta is a WC game winning goal winner for Spain. Alves is a product of another youth system, althought an amazing player you can’t compare these reasons.

      • poipoi
        November 18, 2010

        steven gerard or lampard are good plus they score. silva and cesc also young. but xaviniesta are still better, same as alves and the rest of right/left backs and there are many players in those positions trying to make it, same as midfield. He starts for brazil right? How many kids try to play in those positions in brazil? It’s the defenders and the bad midfielders (like alves). So its twice the people 🙂

        It’s precisely because he’s from outside that he should be paid more, I think statistically it has always been like that in FCB. How much did deco or van vommel earn compared to xavi or iniesta? or even puyol in those times? If the player was from la masia he used to make less money, the foreign stars made more but I guess it’s not the same anymore since the stars are all from la masia 🙂 Anyway, nodoby should earn more just because they are from here or there IMO.

        the thing to me is that those kind of midfielders are harder to substitute than that kind of right back, that should be the club’s position. Midfield in barça is more key. I was saying that he is the best, because that should be HIS (agent) point of view in terms of negociating. He has to look for his own good and money is always good. 😉

  9. Hilal
    November 18, 2010

    I think everybody needs to relax. Dont think Dani is going ANYWHERE. This is posturing, pure and simple. Most players do it when it comes time to negotiate, they try and squeeze as much as they can out of the club before they realise thats it. Look what happened with Rooney a few weeks ago. It was all for show. Its what a “good” agent does to make sure they get as much money as they can. Alves would have to be a complete idiot to swap Barca for City and I very much doubt Chelsea would pay what we asked for him, they arent the big spenders that they used to be.

    I would be shocked if he ended up leaving, but even if he did, so what. We will get by without him, like we are getting by without Yaya. I remember a lot of people saying Yaya was “irreplaceable” and now we have two players who can fill that roll extremely well. Alves is a great player, but he is only the best right back in the world because he plays for Barca, just like Yaya was the best DM in the world when he played for Barca. How many people still think he is the best in the world playing for City? Alves knows full well that he will never get to play the game the way he does at Barca.

    Also lets not forget Alves’ form has been very hot and cold lately. Yes he runs endlessly, which is great, but a shocking number of his crosses go nowhere so you have to ask to what end is all that running? He is getting caught more and more often out of position as well. The type of player he is, age will catch up with him very quickly, see Maicon as a perfect example. So if he is demanding a long, expensive contract then we have to protect ourselves as well. He may be woth 7-8m now, but will he be worth the same next year, or the year after? I have no problem with the club being financially responsible. I still think Alves will stay, even if he doesnt get what he is asking for…

    • Kxevin
      November 18, 2010

      Good points, Hilal. With every negotiation, the club asks the question “What is this player worth to us, and is he worth more gone than here?” There will come a point where, in the bloodless world of this business, that we might well ask that about Messi. What if he gets a serious injury and comes back without that blazing first step? And the goals go from 30+ per season to 20 if we’re lucky? Don’t scoff. It might happen.

      This is Alves’ last real contract, as someone has noted above, and he wants to grab the brass ring. Good on him for that. Some of this is posturing yes, which is why it’s happening so early. It gives plenty of time for both sides to come to some sort of compromise, which is still a very likely scenario, even if I don’t see it happening.

    • Cesc Blanc
      November 18, 2010

      the thing is yahya was kind of replaceable because Busquets was getting more minutes than him but Dani is the one player along Xavi, Pique, Valdes and Messi that has kind of played almost every game of the past 2 years.

    • Momo
      November 18, 2010

      You summed up what I was thinking…

  10. jordi(TM)
    November 18, 2010

    Why is 30 million the magic number? We paid MORE than that to get him, if he has to be sold, spend the extra million and a half and renew the contract anyway and we have more leverage, as opposed to being handicapped by a 2 year deal.Not sure why anyone thinks we’ll get 30 m when hes got a year left starting from June? Thats fantamercado. We got 25 million for Yaya (and not even all >={ ) and we probably will get no better than that for Dani.Its not worth it IMO.Its alright to be penny wise, and I’m a fierce believer in no player holding this club to ransom, but if it costs us more in the long run (titles, spending even more if we don’t find the right replacement in the 1st go, and just plain morale, everyone loves a dani celebration 😉 ) it would be more than “pound foolish”.Anyway, i bet once dani talks to the board himself, this will be sorted and he’ll sign the new contract.If not it will be his loss, but we will lose as well.

    • Diego S.
      November 18, 2010

      Wow 😀

      I just posted the same comment but with my own style of writing.

  11. adwivedi
    November 18, 2010

    i am real fan and i think dani is a good RB but kxevin is right in pointing out that u can make some money from him right now…
    the only way u r gonna find out how imp he is … is when he is sold.. there is no way to conjure it now… i hope it is like the eto transfer where u lose because of ur greed and supposed far sightedness… how much money can u make if he is sold now rather than say going on free transfer 3 yrs from now considering whether ur own youth player can fill in or not?

    • Jnice
      November 18, 2010

      …. I just looked on real offside and you said:

      “Nothing useful to comment but just a heartfelt and pious thought of FUCK Barcelona… man that always cheers me up….FCB=FuckingCatalanBullshit….”

      So…. I don’t think you really deserve a response to your question. Do you? No need to answer that, by the way.

      • Kari
        November 18, 2010

        Umm. Wow.

        I’m not really sure what brought that on (maybe our draw for the CDR?), but I’ll go ahead and answer his question above: obviously we’d make more if we sell him now because if he leaves on a free–we make nothing.

        • Jnice
          November 18, 2010

          I wish I was as nice as you, Kari. 😀

      • adwivedi
        November 19, 2010

        hehehe..thats it to fire u up? name calling hurts does’nt it? i never complain abt what u all say to our club player or ur coaches.. atleast i have the courtesy to behave on ur blog…for me catalan=barca players coach and administration. Not against any fan or general member of public…i hope u understand… btw i was really high at that time….And sorry if it hurt ur feelings i have no right to do so.. it was just a joke to liven up..

  12. jordi(TM)
    November 18, 2010

    Oh God,I hope we dont sell him to milan.Ive had enough of dropping our pants for Galliani.

    • Diego S.
      November 18, 2010

      They paid 24m for Zlatan (Still hasn’t paid it yet). They’ll make a 5m offer for Alves.

  13. barca96
    November 18, 2010

    Since when are we a selling club? I think you have said that many times in the past Kxev to someone else.

    I have stated many times before. Alves is irreplaceable. Remember when he was out injured early this year, we had a rough patch. We just didn’t know how to play without him.

    Remember how Etoó used to fire up the team when things were down? Motivating everybody.
    Alves has a similar impact. He always motivates the team just like Puyol. Even Pique doesn’t do this.

  14. Diego S.
    November 18, 2010

    Contract expires 2012. If we keep him till the summer, He’ll have 1 more year on his contract. Nobody will pay 30+ , Look at Afellay and Ozil, One sold a year before his contract, the other with 6 months. Teams could wait the year and get him for free.

    • jordi(TM)
      November 18, 2010

      Right, i made this point above, City didnt even pay above 25 million for Silva, why would Dani with 2 years on his contract, almost 1 by the end of the season, go for more? We’ll get shafted if we sell him without a new contract.20 or 22 millions + add ons, if we deal well is more likely and when we talk in those terms i fail to see the value.

      • Diego S.
        November 18, 2010

        A big club shouldn’t be bothered by 1.5m , They could think they bought Afellay for 4.5m instead of 3m. Think of the trophies we would win with Alves, Doesn’t that cover the 1.5m difference ?

        Even If we’re trying to sell him, We have to extend his contract to get a proper price 😀

  15. Diego S.
    November 18, 2010

    What do you all think of Diego Alves (GK of Almeria) ?

    I always buy him whenever I’m playing.

    I just read that he has saved 10 penalties of the 14 counted against them. He saved 8 of them , with 1 going wide and 1 hitting the post. That’s really impressive.

  16. ooga aga
    November 18, 2010

    i dont know, everytime alves hasnt played, it HAS been felt. go back and find those games. watch them. we miss him. of course we had puyol on the right, but still: puyol is world class and used to play right back. we sorely missed alves. im assigning someone the task of finding those games and watching them. then report back. now get to it, chop chop.

    • barca96
      November 18, 2010

      Early this year(last season) we definitely felt it!

  17. Jim
    November 18, 2010

    I dunno. To me he seems to be staying up the field longer these days and as someone else said teams know that that’s where they can get in behind us. We don’t have too much pace in the covering CBs.

    Someone else mentioned that if Alves moved elsewhere that team would just change their style to suit him. I don’t see it that way. To me, the only reason he gets away with attacking so much is that we dominate possession in all matches and win the ball back quickly before attacks can be set up against us. That wouldn’t be the scenario anywhere else.

    It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the Clasico against Ronaldo. We could suffer big time unless he gets the balance right.

    Again, I’m not looking to see him go. He’s an integral part of the way we play at the moment. I’d just rather he realises that he’s being offered a contract commensurate with where most people would place him in the pecking order.

  18. Andrew
    November 18, 2010

    For me the best right back in Barcelona’s history. My stomach curled when I heard he rejected the contract because for me he is as key as any player. He makes numerous assists and is a great bridge for both the midfield and the attack. He has helped Messi a great deal too with his constant support and intricate passing.

    If he was to leave, Van der Wiel seems the ideal replacement, an excellent talent with similar attributes to Dani.

    A more spectacular replacement would be, seeing as Barca play with one attacking full back (Alves) and one defensive (Abidal), to sign a more defensive right back and in order to make space for Gareth Bale on the left! Just a thought..

  19. t.ball6
    November 18, 2010

    Personally, i dont know think we have to worry about dani going somewhere else and then lighting the place up. are chelsea and man city going to play our same style and give him free reign over the entire right side? no absolutely not, they will be simply destroyed by some of these teams that play with true out and out wingers. this is not to say that he is not a phenomenal player, but hes not going to be the same player once he moves somewhere else.

    i doubt that any of these “replacements” are going to sell everyone completely now, but isnt that why they are young? all of them obviously show potential, and they all would bring new aspects and abilities to the team. that being said, i think the ultimate option would be phillip lahm, but knowing that would be almost impossible, i think vdw would be fine

  20. Kari
    November 18, 2010

    I remember us winning the CL final without Alves or Abidal. Just sayin’

    Personally, I don’t think Alves will leave any time soon, but after we sold the Not-that-Magnificent Nose after one year, I don’t know what to think anymore.

    So long as we don’t sell him to Milan, I’ll understand, I hope.

    • Diego S.
      November 18, 2010

      Puyol is experienced and was 2 years younger with Yaya as CB. Puyol missed a 1 on 1 against Van der Sar, plus It was one match. Try it for a whole season.

  21. Cesc Blanc
    November 18, 2010

    1. Fullbacks are the players most difficult to replace, as they are the ones opening the game up and starting most attacks. It took Inter over 13 years to replace Roberto Carlos after selling him, it took Madrid 3-4 years to replace Roberto Carlos, Milan still haven’t replaced Cafu and Maldini really and needed both to play until the end of days, Arsenal still haven’t replaced Cole, Chelsea fiddle around to find decent fullbacks, etc. So overall, the belief that we can easily replace the world’s best fitted fullback for our system is…well, let’s say naive. Even Sevilla have a hard time replacing Alves.
    2. With Alves it’s not about crosses, it’s about his runs, his sense for when to pop up, his energy, his being a kid with ADHD.
    3. He is an important factor in the squad as a team member.
    4. Adriano can’t really even shine his shoes.
    5. We have no one coming in from the youth to replace him.

    With that said, I believe that both parties will reach an agreement and keep going. We had the same worries with Valdes and we thought that the agent who said that Victor deserves the same as Casillas is a lunatic. Not so anymore. Similar with Alves. He is right now a player earning little because we paid a high fee for the transfer but he needs to be in the same category as Victor and Puyol and for effs sake, meet him halfway between Xavi and Valdes and make the guy happy. You’re not paying Ibra’s wages anymore, so you can afford Dani a little rise, especially as we won’t find a better rightback in the next 5 years(and no, it ain’t Van der Wiel! Really! He isn’t!!!) and he is essential for our team.
    if he wants ridiculous money, ok, then let him go, as he won’t find a better environment than Barca(good luck with the diving, going forward and a new coach every 2 years in the EPL, Chelsea or ManCity, wherever you go…have fun!), but he isn’t asking yet for anything ridiculous and if you lowball on your first offer, then it’s your own fault.

    • tutomate
      November 19, 2010

      Perfectly said.

      The only thing to consider is that this would be this boards first contract extension. And I have a suspicion that they are a whole lot tougher about negotiations, except with Milan where they just bent over and took it then asked for more.

  22. bundy
    November 18, 2010

    one thing we all can agree on is that we want him to stay, which is a no brainer obviously. Some people point out that we suffer in his abscence, which is agreable. I have to also say that when alves is abscent Pep suffers a little too. Apart from Messi of course, Alves was Pep’s next best coaching creation, tbh Alves for Brazil is not the same as alves for Barcelona, plus the reason why we cannot search the world for another RB good enough to replace Alves is because Pep created him.

    Im not trying to make Pep look like some genius. But Pep and Alves seem to have a good working relationship, good enough to make ALves and the RB position so unique and so effective, that other teams cannot emulate.

    This doesn’t mean we can’t sell Alves, it means we can’t find a replacement. Not only do they have to be a good player, they have to be able to understand Pep.

  23. BA
    November 18, 2010

    Dani isn’t going anywhere for the time being, nor should he. at least, let’s hope not because we’d have to seriously change our current method of play if he left:

    : his energy is literally unlike any other RB on the planet, excepting perhaps (big perhaps) Maicon.
    : his technical ability is very, very high indeed. better than any of his potential replacements. i’ve watched van der Wiel, and he doesn’t have it.
    : both of these allow him to be a constant release valve for our midfield, and his absence limits the options of whoever is playing there. when he doesn’t play Xavi often pirouettes, looks out to his right and finds nobody, then has to pivot back into the mixer. in our possession game, a constant open man in space on the wing is invaluable.

    Kxevin talks about his “poor defending”, but he’s a fine defender when he’s back in time. that he isn’t always back in time isn’t necessarily his fault; Pep obviously expects him to push forward and knows that no player can be in 2 places at once. yes, his crossing has gotten progressively worse, but as we’re not a team who depend on crosses it isn’t as big of an issue. nor can any other right-back that i’ve seen compete with him in interplay around the edge of the box; certainly his relationship with Messi in that area is everything we could ask for. last but not least, he’s also (as we all know) a nasty little shit at times, in a team that doesn’t really have one. that sort of player, the kind who tugs shirts and kicks ankles and winds people up, *is* valuable to have in a side. we lost some of that when Deco left, but Dani picked up the slack.

    we hear about making money off of him, but in terms of his play he’s pretty much done everything we could have hoped for. we are *not* a selling club, and right now there’s no better player for that position in our system. does that make him irreplaceable?

    *as a side note* buying players who light up the Dutch league is becoming an increasingly risky proposition; the Eredivisie is currently ranked behind the Ukrainian and Turkish leagues by UEFA, so despite it’s history the quality of that league isn’t what it was 20 or even 10 years ago. that Afellay has had some good seasons there or van der Wiel is making a name for himself should therefore be taken with as big a grain of salt as Real Madrid should have taken when they discovered Huntelaar scoring a bajillion goals for Ajax. jus’ sayin.

    • Victor
      November 18, 2010

      Very well said, but then, I’m partial to Dani as a character, in addition to his many virtues as a player.
      Kxevin replied earlier to a post of mine that he his a fan of the team, rather than of players, and I can totally understand that. But what’s a team (especially THIS team) but the sum of its parts? It seems like we’re discussing, how would the nature and character of the TEAM we all love change, if that part would be removed, and should they fight for it? Would the team survive?

      • Kxevin
        November 18, 2010

        Yes, Victor. The team always survives. We were supposed to go to hell in a handbasket after jettisoning Ronaldinho and Deco. We weren’t supposed to win anything after selling Eto’o. But the nucleus of this club is too good.

        Good points, BA, but I for one am basing my VDW thoughts on his performances in the World Cup. I don’t watch a lot (read: any) Eredivisie football. I didn’t see Alves when he was the same age, but VDW strikes me as what Alves might have looked like. Impressive player.

        The real fact of the matter is that right now, Alves wants more money than we are offering. A LOT more. 1.5m per annum isn’t a gap, but a chasm.

  24. Diego S.
    November 18, 2010

    Ranieri: “Guardiola said ‘Claudio, we can only play like that because the players have it in their DNA, you can’t export it’.”

    Aren’t we getting a little overboard with this DNA talk ?

  25. Bill
    November 18, 2010

    What about a right back from our other farm system (arsenal)… haven’t they produced another player we can swoop in and take? 🙂

    Alves won’t go to Chelsea. The owner is cutting back on his spending, so i don’t think he will go for such an expensive player. His options are really Man city… And if he goes, he will regret it.

    Do these players understand that when they play for a team of Barcelona’s caliber, they can make more in off field endorsements and commercials than if they play for a team like Man City?

  26. Dave
    November 18, 2010

    The club should pay Alves. Hes brings so much to the team. We pissed away 70m on Ibra, so we can pay Alves. All other options seem lightweight and will have to adjust. Just my opinion

    • Kxevin
      November 18, 2010

      But a lot of extra stuff goes with that decision, Dave. Apparently the club is very conscious of its wage structure, and the hierarchy that goes with that. If Alves gets Xavi money, then Xavi will need a renegotiation, which puts him close to Messi money, who will then need a renegotiation. And what about Busquets, who is due for a renewal? Seeing those numbers will make his goggle eyes distend like a telescope.

      Or does the club of necessity hold the line. Laporta would have just paid him. Rosell apparently doesn’t roll like that. Should he? Good question.

      Larger question: Should a club say to a player, “Yes, we give in to your terms.” To be sure, there are certain players who hold that kind of leverage. Three, as a matter of fact: Messi, Xavi and Iniesta. Nobody else does. So now what, is the big question.

      We wait.

  27. psqd
    November 18, 2010

    first…let’s just be honest, any relationship with dani alves is gonna be a love hate one. I second most of the love comments and most of the hate comments.
    However, to put it in perspective though, he is expected to defend like a defender and cross and score like a winger. The fact that he is criticized for not filling both roles perfectly speaks volumes, to me. I think that defining alves as a right back is shallow and ignores the expectations placed on him and the role he is asked to fill. I argue that he doesn’t play right back, he plays the entire right side. If you look at the heat maps of games and the formations we actually end up in, he dominates the entire right wing. No one in the midfield or up front plays the right side. The entire formation gets to favor the left and center, which obviously facilitates the style.
    How do you replace that?
    I am not sure there is a “right back” that is going to step into that role. I feel like there may be more compensation with formation and an extension of the WW or three at the back. Can adding afellay in the midfield and continuing to ask busquets to drop back have a similar effect?
    What is that worth?
    obviously he isn’t going to be worth more later. But he isn’t going to fetch the same price with one year left as he is with 4.

    Business would say sign him and sell him.
    Heart says don’t go!

  28. Diego S.
    November 18, 2010

    To Sell him or To Keep him, We’ll have to sign an extension.

  29. barca96
    November 18, 2010

    If Alves leaves, who else is going to pump up the team when things are down like Etoó did?
    NO ONE except Puyol.

  30. Philo Barca
    November 18, 2010

    Last time we broke the wage structure in a big way was for Zlatan, and we had to re-negotiate and increase the salaries of Messi, Iniesta, and others as a result. Zlatan’s now gone but those long, expensive contracts remain.

    The decision doesn’t just affect how much we pay Alves, but the whole club.

  31. cliveee
    November 18, 2010

    To sell him right now is to gamble the future of this historic team. As mentioned by many that this team is so unique, everyone plays an important role here and it makes everyone shine when they are part of it.

    Agreed with Cesc Blanc who made some really good points. Especially the fact that wingbacks are extremely hard to replace. We have the whole wide world to look for talented players, but there must be reasons why clubs such as Citeh and Chelsea want him. I bet if his cost is a little lower, clubs will line up from Barcelona to Brooklyn to sign him.

    What we have right now is a collection of rare talents, whether it hurts us when we lose some of them is one tough question to answer. We played United in Rome with absolute control all over the pitch, that’s why we did not suffer from lack of options. However, this time around in our club, we have a small squad, and that means less selection. We cannot count on Puyol on rightback because we are even short on CB. Adriano needs to step the hell up if we sell Alves, to buy a replacement means we need to give him time to blend. We may produce some rare talents from La Masia, but again, we don’t know. That’s why it’s risky.

    The time is not right now. It may seem the best time to sell, but I’d say, let Chelsea or Citeh suffer more first. They are looking for wing backs. We look around and find our wing back is the best and the second best is 9 streets away, so that means we have the time to hold. If they suffer more, they will want him more. If it’s 1.5M the club don’t wanna pay, why don’t try 0.75M to see what Alves has to say first? We surely wanna show that we want him to stay, but not with words.

  32. November 18, 2010

    With Alves, we basically play 11.5 vs 11 b/c he does the work of 1.5 players. We cannot lose him.

  33. jnelson
    November 18, 2010

    Well, taking into account Kxevin’s legitimate 3 Year Brazilian Theory + The Principle of Not Allowing Any Player to Hold the Club for Ransom, i say = sale. Dani is great, but that is enough for me. We have youth players who will eventually take the reins, and there are players like WonderWall and even possibly Adriano. I do think Alves’ effectiveness (at least) has declined. There is no longer a target man for his crosses, Messi has moved predominantly to the center of the pitch, his free kicks and shooting (for us at least) have been awful, and he is being exposed in the back more often than ever before. Of course, these things are not all or even mostly his fault, but they are deficiencies or negatives. I change to the system can be expected. No matter how great this Barca machine runs, there will always be a time when opposition forces a change, if not a small tweak.

  34. Alexinho
    November 18, 2010

    “But look at that second goal against Villarreal, and tell me that two years ago that tika-taka sequence wouldn’t have been with Alves instead of Pedro!.”

    Excellent, excellent point. I do not believe that I had noticed that, except subconsciously.

    Oh, 08/09, when Messi and Alves weren’t just brilliant, they were twice as fast as XavIniesta and making fullbacks dizzy with one-touch play. Those were the days! And, yes, that goal against Villareal hearkened back to that particular aspect of the 08/09 offense better than any other highlight this season…or last season.

    Once, I said that when Dani’s contract expires, he can go…but boy, I just don’t know. I remember when his signing was announced, I still had FIFA 08, and manually transferred Alves to Barca (and I think changing the team in the FIFA vacuum is tantamount to sin, if anyone follows me)…boy, was that exciting. So fast!

    As far as non-Masia players go, I can’t think of a more fitting player for the cult of Barca. And the cult, I would argue, is every bit as important as the tactical system, and closer to fans’ hearts.

    I think he will go at the end of the day, and next season, we’ll keep on keeping on.

  35. Alexinho
    November 18, 2010

    If Alves goes to Chelsea, I will fucking. die. Citeh, okay…Chelsea? Nonononono. My stomach hurts…

    • Alexinho
      November 18, 2010

      And since you’ve alluded to it…how about The Late Yaya? I am guilty of not watching a whole lotta Citeh, but on F365’s Winners and Losers column a week or two ago, he was in the losers’ column, and the writer spoke about him like he was a dead flop, the most useless player on the team. Sigh…

  36. Stephen
    November 18, 2010

    I’ll agree with “clubs have figured us out” and Dani Alves isn’t a defender, he’s an attacker, he’s not doing what he has to defensively, and I think that’s the issue here… “retrain Dani Alves to new tactics by paying a crap load more.. OR sell him and buy someone who already has what we NOW need..”
    He brings so much to the club, he would be missed but we’ve adjusted in other (worse) situations . The guy is unique, he runs like no one else, he has off days but who doesn’t, and well he never tires, however he is getting older, and we’re broke… I say sell. PLUS Adriano could easily do the Dani Alves job with more minutes, I even think he crosses better.

    • Jnice
      November 19, 2010

      You honestly think Adriano could easily do the job Dani does? Damn, Stephen.

    • soccermomof4
      November 19, 2010

      I like Adriano, BUT he CAN’T fill Alves’ boots!

  37. barca96
    November 19, 2010

    Alves should be paid as x= attacker+defender/2

    • ooga aga
      November 19, 2010

      maybe you mean x=(attacker+defender)/2

  38. Jose
    November 19, 2010

    In recent Barca news that nobody cares about but me, one of our canteranos just got called up to the U-17 Dominican Republic national team for the U-17 Caribbean qualifiers. He will be the first culé to represent the country at any level.


  39. Spiro
    November 19, 2010

    it will be interesting to see how this situation pans out.

    Does anyone think that selling Alves at a good price is worth more then maybe finding a suitable replacement to replace Alves?

    I’m thinking in the long term future here, and well, we all know Alves will not be around for long, its inevitable. I just think right now is a good oppurtunity to prepare for the future of our fullbacks (Left side too).

    • barca96
      November 19, 2010

      Not worth it!
      We want to win trophies.
      We are not a selling club!

      • Spiro
        November 19, 2010

        I didn’t say anything about selling, Im trying to say that if we are to sell him, we have to make sure we are able to find a dead set replacement, otherwise, selling him isn’t worth the money, even 30 million isn’t enough

  40. Benj
    November 19, 2010

    People keep saying that he gets caught up field alot, however it all depends on how you interpret Barca’s movements on the pitch.

    We line up 4-3-3 in most cases to put it in simple terms. Alves as part of the 4, however as soon as he bombs forward, we become a more fluid 3-4-3 and sometimes even looking like on old school 2-3-2-3 with Abidal and Puyol holding back, Pique, Busi and Dani feeding Xavinista with the usual front line.

    I think people need to realise that when he looks like he is only defending part time, he is only a part time defender. Just as Busi is a part time DM, just as Ini is a part time CM, part time LW or Messi is a part time demigod….

  41. November 19, 2010

    I’ve already posted my 5 cents about this matter, so I will avoid repeating myself. But it worth pointing out Alves contribution in the system of play.

    This post reminded me of a Gif I made once on fcbtransfers, and it sum up Alves defense. So its relevant to start from there:


    If Xavi is the living prototype that represent Barcelona’s method of play concerning possession and build up, Alves id the living prototype that represent Barcelona’s method of defense. That defense method that is extremely underrated outside Barca’s orbit. Why? Because it goes unnoticed when it work, but it turns as bold as Messi’s talent.

    Is it true that Barca’s defense is easier to expose via counter attacks than traditional defense? You bet. Because while in another team all the lines -relatively-forget the ball and the player in possession while defending and make a fast transition backward to close their own half, Barcelona players are clearly instructed to hold their positions in the opponent half and try to retain possession there. Anyone think there is a defender who can run more than Alves? Not in this world. So there is no doubt that in traditional defense system he can make the fastest transition back to his own half if that’s what’s needed. But is it? Now check this one:


    This is not exactly how we play. But I am more pointing out that while we defend by putting pressure, the defense depth and cover are the two vital layers of or defense onion. To evaluate Alves defensive contribution, we need to define the defensive department he is employed to serve. Is he a player who contribute in putting pressure overseas, same as Messi and co? Is he a player responsible of covering behind that first layer of defense (as a holding back should be)? Or a defender who create depth (The best Abidal role)? If we do not define his department, we cant evaluate his contribution.

    Even though, he is more an overseas defender at Barcelona, Alves is probably the only player who contribute most in the three departments only second to the holding midfielders when at their best (And Keita when he is really in his day).

    Compare his contribution in Cover and depth when the initial pressure fails to retain possession, and compare it to the defensive contribution of Xavi, Iniesta, and the rest of overseas “defenders”.

    Compare his contribution in overseas defense Vs Zonal defense to that’s of any other defender we employ.

    Alves depend in the three departments of defense we have. It is not valid to compare him to another player who contribute in one, or almost two. Of course we can buy a defender who make faster direct transition to close the right flank. But then you will need a player to defend in front of him, or else you invite the opponent to counter from that side. Automatically, That will also limit the offense threat of that flank. Maybe, if it wasnt of Alves predicted threat on the right flank, Villarreal coach would have had more resources to shut down Barca’s right wing (Pedro) instead of structuring his tactics to close Alves path to offense? Good question. And of course we can find lot of samples where Alves contributed in goal scoring opportunities this season. Not contributing in one doesnt indicate a lot. Even Xavi is not a contributor in each and every goal the team scores.

    The other fold, is the build up contribution where Alves become a play maker from the right flank. It is interesting that for all his explosive style he is still not exactly a player with narrow direct style as fullbacks usually are: Defend, overlap, cross. He is crucial in the buildup the way Barca execute it, and I cant think of another fullback who can replace that.

    Van der Wiel is the most mentioned replacement. But is he really half as good as Alves in buildup and offense? Because that’s the only argument to build on. His defense? If being caught out of position is the main critic against Alves, then watch Robinho goal against Netherlands in the world cup.

    Will Barcelona relegate if Alves leave? No. Is there a good cheaper replacement? I dont know. No one I can think of at least. I am just trying to give credit where due. Alves has his bad catastrophic days as well as glory moments. But his overall contribution across the season. His contribution in improving the performance of his teammates (including Messi). That’s beyond doubts.

    • November 19, 2010

      Because it goes unnoticed when it work, but it turns as bold as Messi’s talent when it gets exposed. (The only missing option in the comment session is comment editing).

    • Jnice
      November 19, 2010

      Van der Wiel is the most mentioned replacement. But is he really half as good as Alves in buildup and offense? Because that’s the only argument to build on. His defense? If being caught out of position is the main critic against Alves, then watch Robinho goal against Netherlands in the world cup.


  42. November 19, 2010

    A little late, but made it before the next game!

    Abidal vs Villareal is here!


  43. mei
    November 19, 2010

    lets play a fantazy game!(since the dani alves issue , has been discussed to death and unless a breakthrough happens between the two sides theres not much more to talk about)
    If we had bought CR , how would you think our coach , directors , teammates would defend his antics?

    I hate him too and this hatred has obviously risen since he joined the EE.
    But he is an excellent(although simultaneously selfish, arrogant and provoking player).

    • Spiro
      November 19, 2010

      tbh, in a way, Alves was born to play for Barcelona, CR on the other hand is not a player that suites barcelona.

  44. Spiro
    November 19, 2010

    this situation should really test how good Rosell is as a president.

    I understand what Kxevin and various others are saying about cashing in on Alves. I actually do not want Rosell to do that.

    rather then “cashing in” it is a good time to actually set things strait and make intelligent decisions with our transfers, and instead of thinking about the money, we think about maybe solving the problem of replacing Alves competently (if it ever comes to that situation of course)

    I am not however for the decision to sell him, Im just speaking that in terms of if the situation ever comes to the stage when Alves doesn’t end up renewing.

  45. Eklavya
    November 19, 2010

    I think we can cope without Alves for a few games but in the long term of a season, we will struggle.

  46. barca@india
    November 19, 2010

    i think all of need to remember his age ,if he sign a new deal with barca we will nt get anything after 2yrs ,we spend 27 millon on him,and we hav our youth players who ar really gud like fontas,batra,marc and never forget we hav many players on loan also ‘we ar barcelona, alves need us nt we need alves,we can get worldclass players’ , we can cope without him !.

    • Eklavya
      November 19, 2010

      None of your points stick.
      None of our youth players are ready, let alone be world class.
      In this case, we need Alves more than he needs us. He can get playing time and money at City/Chelsea but we won’t get any replacement easily. There are not many great RBs out there. Maicon, who’s the closest to Alves, has been much worse than Alves this season.

      Like I said before, I think we can cope a match here and there but not one whole season (or longer).

  47. Diego S.
    November 19, 2010

    Official Squad against Almeria :

    No Abidal, Milito, Jeffren. B-Teammers : Thiago, Sergi Gomez, Fontas.

    Are we really gonna risk Pique ?

    • November 19, 2010

      Two matches out of the selection is too long to keep the right tune for the clasico. Maybe…thats what Pep is thinking, or Pinto will play as a CB.

    • soccermomof4
      November 19, 2010

      Why no Abidal? Is he injured?

  48. Luke
    November 19, 2010

    Not that anyone gives a good shit about my opinion, but I completely and vehemently disagree with this idea. More later.

    • Kxevin
      November 19, 2010

      Oh Luke….we all care about your opinion. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

  49. Josep
    November 19, 2010

    After reading many of the comments last night and re-reading them this morning here seems to be what I’m hearing and my thoughts.

    1. No one in the world is as good as him at what he does. His getting forward/tracking back/support on the right/attack is amazing.
    A. Yes this is true. No one is denying this. For what he does there clearly is NO ONE in the world that can replicate his duties within the world. No one. But what people seem to forget is that Pep is the one asking him of these things, no other coaches require these things.
    2. We need to resign him at all costs because of reason 1.
    A. No, this isn’t true. Last time we broke the bank, as mentioned above, we rescheduled a lot of contracts only to drop off Zlatan’s. We let a player take the club hostage and it hurt us. Given our financial ‘crisis’ we can’t afford to break our wage structure for Alves.
    3. Van der Wiel? GARBAGE!
    A. While VDW is a good player, its agreed he is no Dani. But someone else noted that Pep helped shape Dani into the player he is. Is that why Pep bought Adriano? Now lets see what Adriano has. He has the pace, the dribbling, the crossing, the sliding tackles of Dani. He doesn’t quite have the link up play and what not but hes a poor man’s Dani. If Pep works with Adriano, he can be a serviceable RB. He’s not going to be Dani, no one will. But he will be Adriano. An attacking, roaming RWB for Barcelona.
    4. The cantera players aren’t ready for the first team squad!
    A. You’re right, they’re not. Adriano can step in at RB and fill in. If we sell Alves, especially in the winter window, one player will get his final chance to prove himself before he’s sold. Jeffren. Jeffren will get another shot to slot in at RB like he did last year. He’ll spell Adriano, and if he doesn’t work out he’ll be gone.
    5. Well, replace him with who?!
    A. I just gave those two options, Adriano or Jeffren from our club. If we go external theres a lot of options. I’d prefer a pacy player with a lot of upside..for Pep to turn him into another Dani.

    Or. We could switch flanks. With Messi playing more central we could use the link up on the left. We could promote a Montoya, Dalmau (heh), or Bartra. A young defensive-minded RB. or even push Puyol out but I think he is too valuable at RB. If we switch flanks Maxwell can slot in at RB, with Adriano starting on the left. Or personally, I think if we sell Alves we make Coentrao our signing and slot him in on the left. This gives us quite a bit of depth because it makes Adriano stronger because he can roam the left better, and he can also shore up the right. Maxwell can do this as well. Abidal becomes a backup/rotated CB and Milito gets sold for 8mil to Inter in the winter.

    Any thoughts? I can’t think of any points I missed so feel free to nitpick.

    Basically, I know Alves is irreplaceable. The team will suffer, maybe. It’s yet to be seen, I agree with Kxevin that theres too much talent to not do well. We do well without Messi. It will hurt in the long run, as does losing any key player. but NO ONE takes the club hostage. Thats the key. We don’t WANT to sell Alves, but we will not break the bank for him. Which is the right move.

    • Kxevin
      November 19, 2010

      I had this comment banged out on my mobile device, then stopped for breakfast, then logged in and found this most excellent comment. Ditto.

      I would only add that I, too, don’t want to sell Alves, but that’s the sentimentalist in me. This post is the logic side.

      In the 20/20 clarity of hindsight, it is only now that we see that The Yaya was in fact NOT irreplacable. Recall the arguments at the time that we would rue the day that we dispensed with such a bulwark in our midfield.

      “Well, Busquets was playing as much anyway.” But we don’t have a viable RB option to compete with Alves. If we did, how much would he be playing, and would this Alves complexity be easier to deal with? Exclusivity doesn’t mean irreplacability.

      In Alves at Sevilla, we saw qualities that we thought would make him work in our system. Was he playing the same at Sevilla as he was for us? No. No way, no how. Different system. But we saw the skills. So suddenly no other player alive is capable of that same blossoming into a system?

      I understand fondness for players and what they do. I also understand the necessity for a club to do what it does, and sometimes make unpopular moves, or decisions that might harm it in the short term, for the greater good.

      Everyone should be prepared for the fact that this might be one of those times.

    • Momo
      November 19, 2010

      Well said, you should be one of the blog posters here.

    • November 19, 2010

      1) “But what people seem to forget is that Pep is the one asking him of these things, no other coaches require these things.”

      a) Actually he was doing the same at Sevilla (which is also a respond to Kxevin’s comment). He had a defensive left back and Paulsen to cover his back while he ramble to offense.
      b) The point is actually irrelevant to the subject. Pep requires these things because he has the player who can do it. Perfect match? Well…that’s what we are saying.

      2. “We need to resign him at all costs because of reason 1.”

      I didnt read any comment that says so. We are saying that his demands are understandable. The club need to weigh the options and alternatives. If we find someone cheaper to do the job, fine. If not, then sign him (not for all cost), but for what he really worth. A key player who deserve better than being the 7th highest earner as rumored. (We only increased Messi’s Ibra in relation to Ibra’s transfer. The rest were normal renewals).

      3: As for the third point, again, I dont know how many people said Van der Wiel is garbage. Not me anyway. But you cant say one of the reasons to think about selling alves is the defensive risk (review point 5 in Kxevin’s post) then suggest Van der Wiel who is more fragile defensively. His work rate is lower. His stamina is lower. And so as his aggression. Such things you can barely improve. Noting that Pep didnt make Alves, he used him. As for Adriano, I like him. But lets keep things in the right perspective. There is a reason why he wasnt able to make the fullback position at Sevilla his own (neither on the left, nor the right). He is a good squad player. Just that. And for his age, its good if he can survive on that level for two more years.

      4. Jeffren? I mean…I know I was probably the first who saw potentials in this player to become an Alves Heir. But being the injury prone he is. And with the learning curve he is showing. Just forget about this one. Simply put.

      Lets not be creative. If you sell Alves, you need a direct established replacement. At least for the following two years. If there is a player on the scouting net, fine. If not, then obviously taking all the factors involved in consediration, he deserve to be one of the 5 best earners in the squad. That is as close as equal to his demands.

      @Kxevin, I always knew that Yaya was replaceable. So, no fondness or anything. No doubt the club has to make an unpopular move, either compromise the salary structure to meet Alves real value, or compromise the squad quality to keep the rigid criteria in place.

      Again, thats if there is no direct reliable replacement. Other than the names mentioned already.

      • November 19, 2010

        Alves wasn’t doing the same thing at Sevilla because Sevilla doesn’t play tika-taka, and don’t have a Messi for him to interact with. Yes, he was getting forward, throwing in crosses, etc. So is Van der Wiel, right? Which means we don’t yet know if VdW can do the same things, just as we didn’t really know what Alves was capable of. Guardiola is exceptional at adapting his system to suit the personnel.

        The pronouncement that VDW “can’t” do this or that has a counterargument in the case of Thierry Henry, who could to precious few of the skills that made him so valuable for us, when he arrived from Arsenal, except bust up the wing. He became a playmaker/defender/midfield possession passer and battler under Guardiola’s aegis.

        If Alves is sold, there is no reason to think he won’t be able to do the same with whomever rolls in. Too often, we believe that the current player is THE player. That is rarely the case, and I would argue is only the case with four players on our roster: Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol.

      • Jnice
        November 19, 2010

        Alves was Sevilla’s everything. Whenever they played us, I feared him more than any other player on that team. I’ve never feared a RB before, but he was the creative force behind that team. It was always clear what Alves was capable of on Barça.

        • Kxevin
          November 19, 2010

          Not to quibble (don’t you hate that? Because it means that the person is indeed going to quibble.), but he still wasn’t doing the same stuff. They didn’t have the personnel. It’s safe to say that he’s been a pleasant surprise for everyone.

          • Jnice
            November 19, 2010

            Personally, his performance hasn’t been a surprise because like I said before, he dominated matches while he was at Sevilla, led them to UEFA Cup glory and great success, so I knew with Messi and co. at Barça, he would be great.

      • November 19, 2010

        Alves was getting forward, pressing upfront while retaining possession, contributing in the buildup (the main contributor beside Navas), linking with Navas, and scoring goals. Pretty much what he does at Barcelona. The only difference is having more quality opponents to get advantage of what he does. So to answer your question regarding Alves Vs VDW: No.

        Yes we can see what players can do or not based on their attributes. Thats how clubs sign players (not a lottery selection). Anyone who wasnt certain what Alves can do when he was at Sevilla was not watching Sevilla.

        Putting the adaptation aside, Henry was used in the first season the way his attribute doesnt fit. He didnt perform. When he was used properly, he clicked. His attributes showed obviously what he can, and what he can’t. Now I dont agree he did all what you mentioned, and maybe thats where we can not reach an agreement regarding Henry. He did great retaining possession because it was obvious since Arsenal’s days that this guy has a high work rate, physically strong, and a good reader. He did great serving as a second striker (What Pep is using Villa for recently. He didnt work as a pure wing (as he was used during the first season) pretty much what his attributes tell.

        Is their a player who can do better than Alves? Again, I dont know. But it is not as easy as getting any fullback who is offense oriented. We had Belletti once. We even had Zambrotta at a time when he was considered the best Right/left full back in the world. We had Gio. And Silvinho. Some were good. others were bad. None was even close to what Alves bring to the table. An extremely underrated input.

        And here is a shocking confession. At the moment, Alves is more important than Puyol on the field. Putting sentiments aside.

        • Kxevin
          November 19, 2010

          Zambrotta was considered one of the best defensive right backs in the world. The qualifier is important because of the morphing of backs into entities who play offense as well as defense. Yes, backs have always gotten forward, but in the past 5 years, the position has been being redefined.

          You also have to look at the different systems that were played. We won before Alves, we will win after Alves, when his successor will be doing something different than what Alves did, but still making the system work. That’s why systems are adaptable.

          Your Henry discussion is, again, pertinent to Van der Wiel, by way of one example. You look at attributes when you are considering a player. He has pace, passing skills, can get up and down the pitch and transition from offense to defense very well. He plays as part of a possession-oriented Holland side, a template for the kind of football that we already play, not to mention his day job at Ajax.

          Now. Does this make him Alves? No. Does it mean that he can’t be very successful in our system, given the attributes that we know he has? Again, no.

          As for your shocking confession, I would say “sometimes.” Nothing is ever always true, and for my money, I’d rather roll into a big match, if I had to choose, with Puyol rather than Alves.

          • November 19, 2010

            Hope you don’t take it as an annoying argument but:

            – Zambrotta was never ever considered as a defensive fullback. His main qualities were in offense (in fact he started his professional career as a left wing). If you have Juventus friends, ask them.

            – Ajax gave up on the possession oriented game long time ago. Renius Michels in his most known book “Team Building” dedicated a full chapter just to criticized “New Ajax”. So yea, thats just another stereotype like many existing in world football.

            – “We won before Alves, we will win after Alves” well…we actually lost without Alves. We lost a Liga title where the right fullback gap was the main reason of all troubles. But of course, based on that argument we can bring Oleguer back.

            Who said we will not win without Alves? We will also win without Xavi (we won titles before Xavi), same goes for Messi. I dont know where this argument lead us. Really.

            Now what you mentioned regarding attributes fit Belletti as well. Enough said. I wish if it was as easy as finding a player who can run back and forth from offense to defense.

            There is a deference between a player who can do his job for the club, and a player who represent an added value in the system. Not sure in which category will VDW fit, but we know where Alves is.

            Again and again, I am not against finding a cheaper option if that new player can deliver. I am just pointing out that saying “no one keep the club hostage” is not valid in this case. Alves demanding his fair value. Actually this principle is applicable the opposite way. The club cant keep Alves hostage of being understanding. The club will lose a player who is second to none in Alves as much as Alves will not find a player that fit his qualities as Barcelona.

            Lets not get overwhelmed by sentiments of pride “take it or leave it. Good radiance”. Because this is not valid here. It is a case between a player asking for his rights, and a club that negotiate him to compromise the rights. I say fair enough, if the outcome proved beneficial to the club. Time will tell…

            If I had to find a replacement for Puyol, that will be easier and less threatening on the squad quality than finding a replacement for Alves. (And of course I am not saying sell Puyol). Checked.

          • Kxevin
            November 19, 2010

            –By the time Zambrotta got to us, he was much more defensive than offensive. Watch him play for us some more.

            –Ajax doesn’t play a pure possession style like us, but they aren’t exactly a Serie A side, either. I don’t watch a lot of Eredivisie, but I’ve seen enough to know that much, Rinus Michaels’ tactical protestations notwithstanding.

            –Champions League and Liga in 2006, right? Which was before Alves. So yes, we have won before Alves. The point (not argument) is that no player is irreplacable. Systems and clubs roll on.

            –My point is that we don’t know if a player will represent added value until he plays for the side. Look at Krkic, by way of example. Or Hleb.

            –Alves is demanding his fair value in his eyes, just as the club is making a fair offer in their eyes. It’s then up to the two sides to either agree, or agree to part ways. But a club is not going to agree to a deal that will be ultimately detrimental. It just isn’t, and that includes us. If Alves has to leave, so be it.

            –We won’t find another Alves, but Alves won’t find another Barca, either. We’ll get closer than he will, but both sides lose out because of intransigence.

            –You can find another CB who can fill Puyol’s physical shoes. Try finding one who is the heart and soul of this club, as Puyol is.

  50. Euler
    November 19, 2010

    Abidal is out with a knock. Milito isn’t available.

    This means the team goes into the Almeria match without their 3rd and 4th CB.

    On top of that Pique also isn’t 100% and is on 4 yellows in the match prior to el clasico. It would have been good to not have him play but now the alternatives are tight.

    This might be the match to play sMasch at CB.

    They may as well try it now as it’s almost inevitable that at some point he is going to need to play there this season.

    • Kxevin
      November 19, 2010

      Agreed. And how in the hell did Abidal pick up a knock v England? He didn’t really have to DO all that much, except run with Walcott a few times.

    • Jnice
      November 19, 2010

      You don’t think there’s a chance we’ll see Fontas?

      • Euler
        November 19, 2010

        Fontas could – it’s just that given how little he’s played at all at the first team level throwing him in and starting him may be too much too fast right now.

        Pep really believes in the youth players but he is also very deliberate and slow with how he wants them integrated. He seems to try as hard as possible not to expose them too early.

        Also, CB is probably the most difficult position for young players to try to integrate into the first team in. Any mistake made at CB is just so costly.

        To me, given the lack of depth at CB and Pep’s hesitancy to throw young players into the fire, it is inevitable that Masch is going to have to play at CB this season. It’s better to have him start doing so against a team like Almeria rather than in the CL.

          • Lev
            November 19, 2010

            Ok…what do you guys think of Busquets at CB and Smasch playing in front of him at DM?

        • Josep
          November 19, 2010

          What are the chances of a DESTROY EVERYTHING lineup?
          We’re away from home, yes, but due to injuries and playing a lower team I wouldn’t mind this lineup.

          – Puyol – sMasch
          Alves(RWB/RM) – Biscuits(DM) – Maxwell (LWB/LM)
          – Xavi – Iniesta
          Messi – Villa – Pedro

          • November 19, 2010

            Now we are talking 😀

            But I prefer to put only Mascherano to smach everyone who come close, and use Bojan instead of Puyol!

            Joking aside, Pep will never use this selection. But against the team we will face, it may work really well. That was creative, Josep!

          • Josep
            November 19, 2010

            Why do you say that? Actually, I’m starting to think he’ll roll with that, except Iniesta in the P! spot and Keita where Iniesta was. This helps secure the line in case we have trouble due to our outstanding depth (:P) at CB. Get as many ball winners in there just in case.

          • November 19, 2010

            I think Alves and Maxwell/ Adriano may play more as FB in your selection. Now of course while going offense, they move forward, but they cover each other as full backs.

  51. Vj
    November 19, 2010

    Can you guys throw a poll to take the popular opinion? Would like to see where everyone stands..

        • Kxevin
          November 19, 2010

          Never let it be said that we ain’t responsive around here. Just don’t go asking for a sandwich or anything! 😀

      • Kxevin
        November 19, 2010

        The results are overwhelmingly in favor of keeping him, in case anyone is shocked by that news.

        • SoccerMom
          November 19, 2010

          To quote RayRay

          Are you KIDDING me ?!?!

          I just figured out how to put in a *&%$# video and now you people are tossing in polls hither and thither?

          Well at least now I get to click ‘Keep’ about 50 million times for my DannyBoy.

  52. cliu
    November 19, 2010

    Tuna melt! I’m with Kxevin on this one. I think Dani’s trading price is high. I think his movement has gotten predictable, his crosses are not. I agree with y’all that he is high energy and motivational and even motivated, but I just haven’t been that impressed this season. H

  53. Auld Super
    November 19, 2010

    How could Barca survive without his almost 100% scoring rate from free kicks ?

    Sell him for 35m, buy Bale for 30 and pay 5 off the 450m debt. See people it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

    • November 19, 2010

      Wait few weeks, and Bale price will drop to the half. Thats less complicated 😀

    • Kxevin
      November 19, 2010

      Whew! Not on the Bale bandwagon, I regret to inform, but I assume Auld Super is kidding. 😀

  54. Helge
    November 19, 2010

    I have always been a pundit of Dani Alves for his crosses. There’s obviously nothing that you could criticize about his energetic runs down the wings, BUT when you have so much space on the wing, consequently so much time to put in a brilliant cross, you have to make more of it than Dani Alves. He’s the best in generating space on the wing, but he is at best average in using that space for succesful crosses. Compare his crosses to the ones of Bale, for instance.
    If we get 35m or even more for him, sell him!

    Btw, is this the first ever poll on BFB?

  55. Philo Barca
    November 19, 2010

    Is there anything remotely reliable out there about how much Dani is asking for? To me, the abstract question, “sell or keep?” is really kind of meaningless without knowing what it would cost to keep him on board. If he wants to be the second-best paid player on the team or have a contract that guarantees him big money until he’s 33, then sell him. If he’s asking for more than Xavi and Iniesta but less than Villa, then we’ve got a real live question (this is just a hypothetical; I actually don’t know how their respective salaries rank).

    What we should not do, IMO, is bow to a player who says, “Man City is willing to pay me X; so if you want me to stay, pay me X.” Man City should not be our standard for what to spend.

  56. Dr. J
    November 20, 2010

    Papers say he is asking to be in the same group as Xavi, Iniesta, Villa. The Club is offering him the third group, and it’s supposedly 1.5 million difference (Villa has 7.5 mio, so they’re probably offering Dani around 6).

    He could probably get 8 mio easily at Citeh or Chelski, but we gotta watch our pay-structure. I do think they could offer him about 7 and he would probably accept. Otherwise it’s Van der Wiel time. He is the same profile and we would get him for less money than we would get for Alves. His wages would also be much lower.

  57. Nill-Zone
    December 7, 2010

    We do not need another right back to replace Dani, Puyol can replace that position and Fontas could take puyol’s position his a great defender did u see him defend good on the 8-0 against Almeria and just saw him score the 1-0 against Rubin Kansan

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