Barca v Rubin Kazan LiveBlog, aka “Tadaaaaa!”

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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.

69 Comments

  1. vicsoc8
    December 7, 2010

    I enjoyed the blog a lot today, thanks for everyone who came by. Sorry to those I chastised/blocked about the rules, nothing personal meant, but there will inevitably be hiccups when implementing new rules.

  2. Kari
    December 7, 2010

    First medical report Bojan: it’s only a bruise, nothing bad, he left the pitch as a precaution [barcastuff]

    Phew!

    • Nik
      December 7, 2010

      Were you able to hold back the tears when you saw this pic Kari?

      *http://bit.ly/gkDzoX (as always, credit Barcastuff)

      Glad to see he’s not seriously injured. That kid cannot catch a break, it seems.

      • Kari
        December 7, 2010

        Jeffren too. With the regularity of his injuries and the duration he’s usually out for, you’d think he was an Arsenal player…

        • Nik
          December 7, 2010

          LOL very true. After a certain point, you have to wonder what sacrifice they failed to make to the football gods.

  3. Nik
    December 7, 2010

    Good, solid performance by the subs + B team. The more I see Thiago, the more confident I am in the future (probably next year with the tendinitis issues El General is fighting this season) midfield of Thiago – Busi – Don Andres.

    He’s definitely not a finished product, but the future does look oh so sweet.

  4. barca96
    December 7, 2010

    If counted correctly, we played with 5 B-teamers. That is insane.
    I was hoping that Vasquez would’ve come out for Messi cause to be honest, JDS was playing better than Thiago.
    Thiago only sprung to life after the 1st goal. And since that goal, Thiago & JDS linked up pretty well which was what I was always hoping to see.

    I find it a bit strange though why Rubin Kazan played like they did. No pressure. No life. It seemed like they didn’t even want a draw to qualify for CL. Strange when you consider how they’ve been playing us in the past.

    I really feel sorry for Jeffren. He and Bojan could’ve really done some damage. TOo bad both of them were out.

  5. Kari
    December 7, 2010

    Shoot! I thought the CL draw for the R16 was this Friday, but it’s on the 17th. 🙁

    Well, it looks like we can get Inter, Lyon, Marseille, Milan, Roma*, or Arsenal(?).

    Bold are the teams I want.

    *Roma is 3pts behind Bayern, but can’t top them due to head-to-head.

    Arsenal still have their match and can still top their group or not qualify…

    • Jose
      December 7, 2010

      Any of the Milan teams would make for interesting ties. The French teams would be a bit boring (I’m really tired of drawing Lyon).

      Arsenal would be relaxing, jaja.

      • beeeef
        December 7, 2010

        I would love to see either of the Milan teams, especially Inter in the round of 16. It would be fun to dish out a real ass-whooping on those guys.

        under rafa they’ve also been god awful, so I think we would have a pretty good chance of progressing. just gotta watch Etoo

    • ooga aga
      December 7, 2010

      A: 1. Spurs 2. Inter
      B. 1. Schalke 2. Lyon
      C. 1. Man U 2. Valencia
      D. 1. Barca 2. FCK
      E. 1. Bayern 2. Roma (9) or Basel (6)
      F. 1. Chelsea 2. Marseille
      G. 1. Real 2. AC Milan
      H. two of Shaktar (12), Arsenal (9) and Braga (9)

  6. Jnice
    December 7, 2010

    Vazquez: “I’m already 23, it’s true. I got injured on what could have been a decisive moment. Today went well.” (via barcastuff)

    Vazquez himself saying what I’ve been saying for the past year. If he didn’t get injured two seasons ago, he would’ve been promoted by now. I SPEAK THE TRUTH.

    Shame he hasn’t been the same since then and he’ll never get promoted.

    • Kari
      December 7, 2010

      Yeah, I just saw that. Too bad. He was the star of the B-team that had Messi, Pique and That Other Dude, wasn’t he? Must suck that they became World Player of the Year and WC winners respectively.

    • jordi(TM)
      December 7, 2010

      He and Marc valiente from that team are two that can really say what might have been. Hopefully a primera team picks him up and he gets a career in the top flight.

  7. Diego S.
    December 7, 2010

    The way Rubin Kazan played today reminded me of how Greece played against Argentina in the world cup (No offense GREECE BARCA).

    • Kari
      December 7, 2010

      Question, Diego: If Argentina and Eygpt ever met, who would you support? (And don’t say both because that’s cheating and impossible 😀 )

      • Diego S.
        December 7, 2010

        They did meet 😀

        Argentina won 2-0, Burdisso and Aguero scored.

        Since it was a friendly, I cheered for Argentina just for the fun of it. 😀

        In an Official match, I’ll cheer for Egypt of course.

        • Kari
          December 7, 2010

          You’d sell out your Argentine brethren just like that?! 😀

          At least Egypt have a great team, Canada on the other hand… (We own at Hockey though!)

          • beeeef
            December 7, 2010

            Do you know an Issei Nakajima-Farran who plays (played?) for the Canadian NT? I use to play against his younger brother during my HS days. Good player.

          • Jose
            December 7, 2010

            At least you get automatic qualification to the Gold Cup, Kari!

            Try following a Caribbean team 😛

          • Kari
            December 7, 2010

            You have my pity, Jose 😛

            –Never heard of him, beeef, but he’s well known enough to get his own Wikipedia page. Pretty cool that you got to play against a pro footballer (if his brother went pro that is).

  8. GREECE BARCA
    December 7, 2010

    Haha diego don.t worry!You are right..I am happy for the win!Guys who do you believe is ready for the first team??

    • Kari
      December 7, 2010

      None right now. But in time, I’d say Thiago and Fontas. Bartra has potential as well. JDS’s form hasn’t been all the great recently, he needs to get an extra gear if he wants to make it IMO.

  9. GREECE BARCA
    December 7, 2010

    Oh and i want A.C milan only!Only!No for ibra,but because we will see beautiful games!

    • Diego S.
      December 7, 2010

      Me too, we haven’t faced them in a while.

      Arsenal for Quarter finals.

      EE for Semis.

      Chelsea for the Final.

      We win all the matches 5-0 ! (Bojan scores a hat-trick in one) 😀

  10. soccermomof4
    December 7, 2010

    No one’s quite ready yet. Thiago and Fontas are closest. I would hate to bring them up and have them just sit on the bench. Of the two, I’d bring up Fontas first because of how few centerbacks we have.

    • barca96
      December 7, 2010

      I feel the same way too but Thiago is too pushy with the clause in his contract. He thinks that he is ready. What’s the point of sitting on the bench.
      Fontas looks more ready for 1st team action rather than Thiago although Thiago is the better player.
      They both should train with the 1st but play for B Barca.

  11. momo
    December 7, 2010

    Good stuff! Rest assured fellow Cules, the future is safe with a b team like this. Oh, and Adriano! What a game! This just might be his break out game into the pecking order ahead of maxwell. Although I feel like his fullback role really limits his attacking potential. I mean he is clearly very technically gifted. Oh, and Fontas was brilliant as well, so brilliant and assured that I was continuously mistaking him for pique. Thiago is coming along nicely, I honestly don’t see a need for cesc anymore. JDS was terrible, I don’t know if it was nerves or what but really don’t see a place for him in Barca’s future.

    Here is our XI in five years (not sure about leftback though):

    ——-Valdes———
    Barta-pique–Fontas—adriano
    ———-busquets———-
    —–thiago——iniesta—–
    —pedro————-Bojan
    ———-Messi————

    • momo
      December 7, 2010

      On second thoughts I want to be left back in 5 years (I’m left footed :))
      ——-Valdes———
      Barta-pique–Fontas—MOMO
      ———-busquets———-
      —–thiago——iniesta—–
      —pedro————-Bojan
      ———-Messi————

    • barca96
      December 7, 2010

      Adriano is way ahead of Maxwell even before this match.
      I am still not conviced of Maxwell. He loses too many balls.

      Adriano was easily the bright one in the 1st half in this match.

  12. ooga aga
    December 7, 2010

    stats from today

    FCB Rubin

    16(3) Shots (on Goal) 4(1)
    7 Corner Kicks 0
    79% Time of Possession 21%

    not bad for a second string against our bogey team two years running

  13. mei
    December 7, 2010

    messi has to play at least 30 minutes in each game as long as he is fit.Its a clause in his contract ,otherwise the whole team has to train twice a weak in rosario for every game he doesnt!

  14. jhargrid
    December 7, 2010

    Rubin looked rather sluggish out there today, and Barcelona looked content to just sit back and possess for the most part. I can’t say it was the most exciting display I’ve seen – frankly the Ceuta match had a lot more action. That said, I can’t complain about a win, though it’s a shame it came at the price of two injured strikers. Hopefully they won’t be out for too long.

  15. December 7, 2010

    Agreed Adriano had a great game. But still we didn’t yet see him as a defensive specialist. Whatever he showed in recent matches are his offensive qulities. So I believe Maxwell will be still ahead of him after Abidal.

    Everyone says Thiago is in the Xavi mould kind of player. I doubt it. He plays similiar like Iniesta rather than Xavi. JDS looks a bright prospect as a deep lying creative midfielder.

    Fontas and Vasquez for me are the guys who should be given immediate first team actions. Vasquez looked really good. Have you guys seen the way he win the ball.

    • barca96
      December 7, 2010

      Yeah he had hunger. JDS too won a few balls. As was Bartra.
      It’s just the way Barca kids are trained… 🙂

  16. vicsoc8
    December 7, 2010

    In a way, these types of games are even more comforting to me than the Clasico demolition. I know we have the best starting XI in the world and they can beat anyone on their day, but it is very comforting to see promising performances from squad players and youth players.

    I have been on the fence with where I stand on Adriano, but if he keeps putting in performances like this (and what versatility too!) then I won’t be on the fence for too much longer.

    Fontas, Thiago, JDS, Bartra, and Vazquez all acquitted themselves well on the pitch today, and this bodes well for the future. Fontas looks like he is developing very well, and with the age of our centerbacks (Puyol, Abidal, and Milito being 32, 31, and 30 respectively) this alleviates my concern about the future of our defense (assuming of course that the forgotten Henrique never comes back). I think Bartra will break into the team as a backup right back, and over time as he gains maturity and composure he could gravitate towards centerback. Thiago didn’t have the best game, but in context of the match and his previous showings I have no worries for him. JDS is another story. I want him to succeed, and he put in a workman-like performance today, but he is going to need to be very patient to break into the squad. I wish all the best for Vazquez. We will see what happens to him, but honestly I hope he is able to find first team football elsewhere in La Liga (it’s too much for me to hope he breaks into the first team, although this would be ideal).

    Overall, another win, and the juggernaut rolls on; we aren’t just continuing to win games, but continuing to build the Barca philosophy.

    • barca96
      December 7, 2010

      The kid that impressed me the most was Bartra.
      I already knew what Fontas was made out of at CB. I really prefer
      Bartra at RB.
      What on earth happened to Muniesa? Is he injured again or has he fallen of the pecking orders(in terms of promotion chances) like JDS?

      • barca96
        December 7, 2010

        Btw, Thiago really didn’t impress me . He only came alive and made good passes after the 1st goal.
        sMasch needs to stop trying to do the long passes. It’s already enough having Pique doing it constantly and constantly losing possesion that way, we don’t need another one.

      • Vicsoc8
        December 7, 2010

        Muniesa Is still young. He has been playing with the B team, and performing well from what I understand. He’s been used at both centerback and left back.

        He will have his chance. His appearance in 2009 was a statement of intent from Pep Guardiola to Muniesa: “stay in the youth system, you have a future in the club.”

        • Jnice
          December 8, 2010

          Yeah, don’t worry about Muniesa. He will get his chance in the coming years.

      • OSBAG
        December 8, 2010

        Nobody is mentioning nolito. Why didnt he feature

  17. Euler
    December 7, 2010

    It was a wonderful match today for a whole host of reason. To see the kids play that well against a tactically astute team in the CL that has given the first team fits was terrific.

    For me, perhaps the biggest positive was seeing Fontas once again look composed and not overwhelmed at CB.

    This is enormously important for this season.

    This does look like a Barca squad poised to do some special things.

    But their one issue is depth. Now that’s been addressed with midfield/ the wings with Afellay.

    Even more concerning due to the risk involved was how thin the squad is at CB, especially given how injury prone Gabi is. I just don’t think he can be relied upon for long stretches anymore. He’s breaking down.

    With Milito unstable, that leaves the team with only 3 CB, one of whom is Abidal. 3 CB with one being the starting LB is not a good situation.

    For a while I thought they may need Masch to be able to play CB for depth this season.

    But Fontas’ performances are extremely encouraging – not only for the future but for this season.

    It would not be surprising to see the team need Fontas to play in an important match.

    I’d like to see him get more experience against lesser opponents.

    • Vicsoc8
      December 7, 2010

      It was interesting that when the team was playing the 3-4-3 Busquets was playing in the middle of the backline, while Mascherano was in the midfield.

      • Euler
        December 8, 2010

        It was. It would have been good to see that for longer. I’d guess Busi (or Masch) would be fine there in a pinch. My preference though is to avoid getting into the pinch in the first place.

        Don’t know whether Pep would feel more comfortable playing Busi at CB in a crunch or Fontas. I’d guess it would be Busi (or Masch?).

        Either way I’d like to see them give Puyol some more rest and another player more experience at CB to mitigate risk.

        • Jnice
          December 8, 2010

          I really want Fontas to get more minutes in the near future. I’ve been impressed with him every time I’ve seen him play for Barça B, and he has shown quality with the first team as well.

          I just love how smooth and composed he is. That’s why he’s the captain of Barça B.

  18. Clue(less)
    December 8, 2010

    Hey guys and girls, you know how on SKY and to a lesser extent soccernet they have a Paper roundup on Sunday. How cool would it be if one person each week compiled all of the articles on FC Barcelona and wrote a post, with links to each article and maybe a sentence or two about what the article is about.

    Here is an example:

    {*http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=847482&sec=europe&root=europe&cc=5901}

    This i a Phil Ball column on soccernet about ho El Clasico was no contest.

    I am no Einstein, but I think this is a great idea and it could add another dimension to our space making it truly you er ‘one stop shop for barca junkies to get their fix. I know that if every Monday (after the weekend matches), Kevin, Luke or Isaiah would link 20 articles or so in one post, I would spend hours reading all the stories. And to better help find interesting articles, we could all email the min BFB email address with stories for the upcoming week!! Lemme know what you guys think.

    • momo
      December 8, 2010

      Well sir you just might be Einstein.

    • barca96
      December 8, 2010

      Yeah. I love it when some of the guys here post the links to the articles.
      Sometimes I search around Guardian to look around for Barca related articles. Their writers are quite good.

    • Jose
      December 8, 2010

      I nominate Clue(less) for the compiling job!

      Good idea 🙂

    • Louis
      December 8, 2010

      Read it earlier today. Didn’t really like it. Aside from the Pele and someone else’s quote (whom I forget his name now), it really had no substance. Just Graham rambling on, without really making a definitive case.

      Not saying I don’t agree with what he’s trying to say.. Just think it was poorly put together.

  19. Clue(less)
    December 8, 2010

    I would love to get Milan in the group of 16 the Tottenham in the rounf=d of 8 followed by Man U and Madrid!!!

    • Jose
      December 8, 2010

      I won’t even try to imagine a Champions League Final between Barcelona and the Evil Empire, for fear my brain will explode.

      • barca96
        December 8, 2010

        Becareful what you wish for.
        Remember what happened last season with Mourinho/Inter.
        We were wishing to meet Inter in the KO stages too and look what happened. Once that guy is in a KO stage, he will handle the match differently.

  20. OSBAG
    December 8, 2010

    Does anybody know that we might not get another match to rest our stars this season. Messi was incredible with that half field run. Reminds one of maradona’s goal

  21. barca96
    December 8, 2010

    Holy shit. Nolito doesn’t want to continue with us 🙁
    Pep needs to give him some more minutes with the 1st team.
    If he has really made up his mind on leaving and Pep doesn’t want him, better not to even call him up to the 1st squad.
    Let others who are going to stay here train with the 1st team.

    • K(legit)
      December 8, 2010

      I think Nolito didn’t play because the B team has an important game coming up

      • K(legit)
        December 8, 2010

        oh man just saw it on barcastuff 🙁

    • OSBAG
      December 8, 2010

      Are u sure nolito is leaving. I like d bloke

  22. Jnice
    December 8, 2010

    So….the Real Betis v. Barça B match that was cancelled a week a half ago is being played today. That means Luis Enrique will be without Fontas, Bartra, Victor Vazquez, and JDS (Thiago is a given) because they all played today. Pretty generous on his part (if he actually has any say in these matters) to let these players go with Pep knowing they wouldn’t be able to play the big match against Adelante leaders Betis.

    • Diego S.
      December 8, 2010

      He knows it’ll be for the best when they earn some CL minutes against a real European Side. It’ll be good for them, for him, for Guardiola.

  23. Diego S.
    December 8, 2010

    Nolito’s leaving is saddening but not surprising, He’s 24 and talented, He deserves some first league football, and also the likes of Soriano, Vazquez. They’ll never be promoted at this age, They should look out for their future.

  24. Jnice
    December 8, 2010

    Yo, jordi, you see the Juvenil A highlights from last week? Deulofeu was killing kids left and right. It was too easy. I also like the way the kid Javi Espinosa plays. He moves with purpose. Rafa has been scoring a lot too.

    Wish I could watch full Juvenil A matches. Guess I need to move to Barcelona.

    • Diego S.
      December 8, 2010

      I watched the highlights of Juvenil A’s match against Espanyol.

      Espanyol’s players kept kicking (They really have it in for us.)

      The Players who grabbed my attention was Tello, He dribbled past a lot of players. Dalmau was very good at the RB position. Rafa Alacantara scored with his left foot and he was wearing the no.9 Jersey (Is he a CF, Is he a Leftie?). And One other player who I couldn’t catch his name.

  25. y2k156
    December 8, 2010

    After watching yesterday’s match, the big surprise was the way in which Rubin approach the game. They were really reactive. That was a pity.

    It is clear that the young un’s are quite comfortable on the ball. I was not convinced that any of them are at a level to play for first team week in and week out. Thiago comes closest but he does need another season or two to really mature. His interplay with Messi was excellent though.

    JDS seems to have regressed since last season. If he does not pick up his game, i can see us losing him in summer or maybe next winter.

    Other than this, lot of potentials but none outstanding for me. So it will be wait and watch to a great extent.

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