Club news, December 27, 2010

Posted without comment, just to catch everyone up.

Johann Cruijff was one of the instigators of the Eto’o/Ibrahimovic deal, he reveals in his El Periodico column: “We convinced [Laporta] of the sale of Eto’o, and the wisdom of the change to Ibrahimovic, and when we realized that we were wrong, we supported the sale of the Swedish player. And we also supported the purchase of Villa. We took a step back to make two steps forward.”

–Speaking of Cruijff, he is claiming that the club owes his Foundation EUR100,000. The dispute between he and Sandro Rosell continues.

Nolito says that if EE wants to buy him, he will go there.

Luis Suarez says that he wants to go to Spain, but did not specify a club.

–The Internet’s most popular Spanish athlete is Andres Iniesta. The remaining 5 were Iker Casillas, David Villa, Rafa Nadal and Fernando Alonso.

–Under consideration by UEFA is the club’s petition to move the UNICEF logo to the back of the shirt. The matter is pending.

–Finally, the club has said that is it coming to America in 2011, but that dates and opponents are unconfirmed.

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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.

232 Comments

  1. blitzen
    December 27, 2010

    Welcome back, Kxevin!

    Do you have a source for that Nolito quote?

    And when Cruyff says “we” supported buying/selling Ibrahimovic, is that the royal we, or who else does he mean besides himself?

    • Jnice
      December 27, 2010

      Here’s the Nolito quote: *http://sport.es/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=44&idioma=CAS&idtipusrecurs_PK=7&idnoticia_PK=733465

      • Soto
        December 27, 2010

        The headline focuses on the Madrid quote, but he also responds to Benfica rumors and general questions about his place at Barcelona. He seems aware that his time at Barcelona is up and he provides a pretty mature and professional response to the situation. Whoever asked him about playing at Madrid was just trying to trap him, and Nolito did the best a young player can do when a journalist starts playing games.

        I think the consensus around here is that Nolito is not good enough to beat out other rising La Masia talent. Therefore, I can only wish him the best and hope he keeps up with the polite and appreciative comments about Barcelona. I’ll take his honest comment about playing for Madrid over Ibrahimovic’s trash talking any day.

        • blitzen
          December 27, 2010

          Thanks, both of you. I like Nolito, but sadly I agree that he will never make the first team as anything more than a benchwarmer. I wouldn’t like him to go to Madrid, but he doesn’t have the same roots with Barcelona that someone like Bojan does, so there is no real reason why not. I wish him luck whatever happens.

          Unfortunately I think the next few years will see a major exodus of young La Masia talent. The fact is, there is so much talent there and only a few places available in either the Primera or Segunda teams. Bright young talents like JDS or Vasquez may have no option but to leave.

    • Soto
      December 27, 2010

      It looks like the Eto’o/Ibrahimovic decision was made by Txiki and Guardiola with input from Cruyff. Or so Cruyff says in the article:
      ***http://www2.elperiodico.es/BLOGS/blogs/johancruyff/archive/2010/12/27/un-equipo-que-vale-millones.aspx

      A ‘we’ that includes Txiki, Guardiola, and Cruyff might still be considered a ‘royal we’.

  2. BA
    December 27, 2010

    “… to the back of the shirt.”

    ugh. how embarrassing.

    • Miguel
      December 27, 2010

      a history of barca shirts:

      *http://www.diarioyoya.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/postYOYA13.jpg

      i tried posting this earlier but it didn’t go through.

  3. Auld Super
    December 27, 2010

    Can anyone tell me where I can watch the arse0 v chelsea game online ? Villa won USSA’s athlete of the year too.

      • Auld Super
        December 27, 2010

        Cheers, I went to the pub for it in the end. Arsenal will be eaten alive by the mighty Barca.

  4. just sayin'
    December 27, 2010

    Probably not confirmed yet, but here are tentative dates:

    30 July: Manchester United v FC Barcelona (Washington)
    3 August: AC Milan v FC Barcelona (Miami)
    6 August: America of Mexico v FC Barcelona (Dallas)

  5. blitzen
    December 27, 2010

    Anyone know what time tomorrow the Catalunya – Honduras game is being played?

  6. Vj
    December 27, 2010

    If Nolito wants to audition for other clubs at Madrid, let him..

    And its always nice to see Arsenal with a spine..

  7. Jim
    December 27, 2010

    Damn. 3-0 Arsenal which is great for football but that might mean curtains for Ancellotti which in turn means a bid to get Pep at the end of the season. Let’s get him tied up now.

    • Jnice
      December 27, 2010

      Pep would be silly to go and manage this super old Chelsea squad.

      • stowe
        December 27, 2010

        I was thinking about the possibility of Pep going to England and I just don’t see it happening. He could not play his system at either Chelsea or ManU and they wouldn’t give him enough time to bring in his own guys. I don’t think he would leave anyways. If anything, he would take a more handsoff position for a bit to rest and then come back as a coach when possible

        • Jim
          December 28, 2010

          I don’t really believe it myself, Stowe, but be in no doubt Pep will be a target if he’s not signed up soon . Abramovic is a huge fan of his and could easily fund a raid on the top players in most clubs. He does also seem to want to move Chelsea over to a better style of play and the notion of a Masia-like academy.

          Pep is being naive if he doesn’t see that his stalling over the new offer will lead to a growing interest in his situation. I don’t want to see that becoming a distracting factor and tbh I don’t know what Pep is hanging about for. Why hasn’t he signed already if he’s happy here? I’ve never understood year by year contacts as they are a recipe for continual unrest and speculation. To my mind he has everything here and as someone famous once said – if you think the pressure at the top is bad you should try the pressure at the bottom !

          However, maybe it’ll be sorted at his meal with Rosell. Here’s hoping.

    • Auld Super
      December 27, 2010

      The Pepster will never leave us. NEVER !

      • Kari
        December 27, 2010

        ^THIS

        And you can’t tell me otherwise!

  8. cliu
    December 27, 2010

    Kxevin, I have been holding back, but I can no longer. Your usual sterling prose is tarnished by the following, “The dispute between he and Sandro Rosell continues.” It should be “The dispute between Sandro Rosell and him continues.” Indirect pronouns always follows the proper name in subordinate clauses. Excuse the school-marmishness, but I feel that you set an example of good sports writing and I needed to chime in! Happy Holidays to everyone, commentators and posters on this wonderful blog.

    • Vj
      December 27, 2010

      What better way to welcome Kxevin back than someone disagreeing with what he has written.. 😛 (No offense cliu)

      I’m wondering how much time it’ll take for someone to call him a biased idiot 😀

    • Jim
      December 27, 2010

      For what it’s worth ( and at risk of seeming pedantic or making a point ) your comma before “but” is redundant.

      Welcome back, Kxevin 🙂

      • BA
        December 27, 2010

        also, you spelled “Kevin” wrong.

        • Vj
          December 27, 2010

          No, thats his proper, Catalanized nick, an ode to Txiki.. 😛

  9. Auld Super
    December 27, 2010

    Any deal Txiki was involved in should be investigated throughly I would suggest. It’s only my opinion but I think he robbed the club blind in cahoots with traffic.

  10. Kari
    December 27, 2010

    KXEVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *cue singing chorus*

    –Arsenal’s no.6–Kosielny is it?– is an absolute désastre. From Ligue 2 to Ligue 1 to EPL, poor guy looks out of his depth…

    Dunno what happened to Chelsea (perhaps the sacking of the assistant manager?), but if they can’t exploit that Arsenal defense, shaky and wobbly as it was, they are in a serious crisis.

    And I love it.

    Muhahahahaha

    • soccermomof4
      December 27, 2010

      I got bragging rights back at our house 😉

      • soccermomof4
        December 27, 2010

        That being said, we are gonna have a field day against their back four.

        Clichy aint gonna know what hit him when Alves and Pedro are tiki takaing around him!

  11. Miguel
    December 27, 2010

    they really miss vermaelen, not that he was that much better.

    • Kari
      December 27, 2010

      Yeah, but Djourou wasn’t too shabby. I’d say if they had him and Vermaelen as CBs, Sagna at RB and Gibbs? as LB…

      Well, I still don’t think it’ll withstand us, but it’ll be a massive improvement 😉

      –Caught by CAPTCHA again. I forgot how much I dislike it. Maybe the ‘submit comment’ button could be under the CAPTCHA, so that we’ll remember.

      • Miguel
        December 27, 2010

        arsenal looked their usual shaky selves but they really grew into the match. i still think we steamroll over them.

        is it just me, or can you not post urls anymore? does this have anything to do w/my posting nsfw links? :/

        • Vj
          December 27, 2010

          Funny, my comment also got ‘caught’.. Though Soto above was able to embed his link..

          • Miguel
            December 27, 2010

            yeah, weird huh? i was this close to writing bfb an angry letter for banning my url ;^)

  12. Kari
    December 27, 2010

    It’s done! Although my blood still boils when I see the last half hour…

    Might as well repost the whole thing for those who are missing parts (if there are any)

    Arsenal vs Barcelona

    First Half

    Part 1: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kbce-rLl4Y
    Part 2: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjqJMj8RdOQ
    Part 3: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YendNXsBfk
    Part 4: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5n6QlR-sNM
    Part 5: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yMPf2z455w
    Part 6: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDnwEFr9HEU

    Second Half

    Part 1: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8fHuqBujGA
    Part 2: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bfAbLF18Aw
    Part 3: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELY1tRj7sbg
    Part 4: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beXQC_7CV0Y

    On Ramzi’s website, the manita with English commentary has been uploaded.

    • Miguel
      December 27, 2010

      this’ll come in handy tomorrow at work, kari. thanks!

      so, has barca’s pressing game finally rubbed off on wenger?

      ***http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/12/27/arsenal-3-1-chelsea-tactics/

      we’ll see soon enough how well these guys keep this up.

    • Tajh
      December 27, 2010

      Now after watching all that one must watch the Messi show in the next leg!! Highlights and Interviews here *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JmClXclel8&feature=related

    • soccermomof4
      December 27, 2010

      Great work!

      wish list…the final against Man U??????? I never saw it.

    • mardia
      December 28, 2010

      Hi, can I get the link for Ramzi’s website? I haven’t been able to find a link for the manita that’s actually usable.

  13. cliu
    December 27, 2010

    I am KXevin’s biggest fan. I was silently pulling for him and his silent X during the recent spat, but I DO take Jim’s correction of my comma seriously. : ) Seriously though, I thought KXevin was WAY too hard on himself. An apology sufficed.

    • Kxevin
      December 27, 2010

      Even when things are posted without comment, people find stuff. Not sure what to do, except to suggest that you get your hands on a Chicago Tribune stylebook. It’s the manual I use, and the one that my fingers default to when writing. We have just now switched to AP style, except in cases where we adhere to archaic spellings and word usages.

      Journalism style books often disagree with English sticklers, just as newspapers aren’t written for said individuals.

      We have incorrectly spelled words, typos and other grammatical inconsistencies that permeate this space. But it’s a newspaper style vs school learning style that brings ’em out. Thought it was safe to come back.

    • Jim
      December 28, 2010

      Only joking, Cliu 🙂

      I just winced when I saw his first post back being picked up for bad grammar.

  14. Miguel
    December 27, 2010

    quit being english majors already ;^)

  15. gow
    December 27, 2010

    hey guys…does anyone have a nice documentary film about barca in english:D
    centering around the treble might be good:D

  16. BarcaOwl
    December 28, 2010

    Welcome back, Kxevin. I must say the blog lacks a little flavor when you’re not around.

  17. poipoi
    December 28, 2010

    boooh to cruiff and selling etoo! xD I’ll always think he screwed up big time on that, after winning the triplete and displaying the best football the man behind the scenes thinks we should redesign the team, why? Still don’t understand it, it had to be because of etoo’s contract or something other than thinking than ibra would suit the team better than etoo because if was the latter, he showed he doesn’t know it all when talking about footy. Bad BAD call, thank god villa was still available the next year and we could buy him. ibra=caca

    can’t wait to see affelay in action he looks very fast and “goal oriented”

  18. Jim
    December 28, 2010

    Maybe a tad harsh, Poipoi?

    As regular readers will know I’ve never been a fan of Ibra but I have to say I wasn’t good enough to spot what was going to happen. I had this vision of a tall, hustling CF getting on the end of all our good work, offering a real aerial threat and chasing his butt off. Goes to show i hadn’t watched a lot of Ibra in action, eh? – only highlights. Not sure that the club could’ve done much differently given the haste with which we had to operate. I was up for Plan B. My only surprise was that it took people so long to see it wasn’t working in a team balance kind of way although I suppose we don’t really know the point at which Pep decided it wasn’t. What I would say is that I’d trust the instincts of both Pep and Cruyff to safeguard our style of play which is the most important thing to me.

    As I understand it, the decision was made to offload Eto’o partly for financial but also harmony issues as Pep wanted a clean slate. (Eto’o was always a little bit of a loose cannon mouth wise imo, although a great player for us). Villa was our first thought and when that didn’t work out we turned to Ibra. The rest is history which none of us really want to reopen. I would say, ‘though, that I don’t go along with those who say he cost us the CL or that he won us the Clasico. The CL, imo, was down to bad defending in the first leg for whatever reason and like or loath him he did score a reasonable amount of goals for us and has gone on to do well (so far) in Milan. Can’t excuse his behaviour since leaving us.

    It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the business half of the season – but then you could say the same of us 🙂

    • December 28, 2010

      Jim makes a good point about OUR performance. I don’t know if we’ve been on our best form recently, which probably explains why some names that we used to see in these parts, we don’t any longer. We need to get back to being family.

      Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, the state of the world, whatever, simply is. There is no right or wrong, and there can never be in a subjective debate. It just is. It happened. Now we move on.

      And hey, instead of debating the points of my grammar, how do people feel about the Cruijff matter? Greece Barca, for all the stick that he takes about the readability of his comments, had a view when he commented in a previous post that Cruijff shouldn’t be airing the club’s dirty laundry in public. That, to me, is more the point than how the sentence was structured. Does the fact that English is not Ramzi’s first language make his tactical comments any less valuable?

      More importantly, a request, simply put: Lay off. I’m wounded right now, and don’t need my scabs picked at. I don’t blow anybody else crap, and deserve the same courtesy. What’s good-natured to someone is, in the black-and-white, un-nuanced world of typeface fonts, personal to someone else.

      If you disagree with something I have to say, tell me why. “You just love/hate so and so” is worthless, because it’s a debate that doesn’t have any factual relevance or foundation. So how can it be discussed?

      We’re here for Barca. We should never, ever forget that. Our team is playing about the most beautiful football in its history right now. We should rise to that level of performance. This space feels different now. It will never be The Offside, just as The Offside was irrevocably changed during the Eto’o debate. Change, like life, just is. What defines us is how we roll with it.

      • stowe
        December 28, 2010

        what? ramzi isn’t a native english speaker? wow! I love the writing on this blog. No, it’s not perfect, but i must say that even the non-native speakers, like Greece Barca, have better posts than some native commenters i’ve read on other blogs. Thanks for the great writing and input guys

        • tutomate
          December 28, 2010

          HA. LOL That would be me. When i think the comment in my head it makes perfect sense but once I press the submit button I sound like an idiot. Watch….seee?

  19. Kxevin
    December 28, 2010

    And before I forget, registration is being discussed. Yes, this means no more Captcha, and no more dancing about posting Web links. Any serious fors or againsts should probably be aired now.

    • Jim
      December 28, 2010

      Registration gets my vote – as long as I get to register, of course 🙂

    • Vj
      December 28, 2010

      Cue the restrictions on being socis below 14 jokes..

      I can see many benefits of membership, just make sure that registration isn’t a hassle

      • y2k156
        December 28, 2010

        Registration seems good idea. Especially as most of us do post regularly and as long as the browser remembers user name/p/w, it should not be a problem.

        • stowe
          December 28, 2010

          yea, I would appreciate registration. That would be fun. But i’m about to start traveling for a few months. so if I miss out on a registration window, it would be sad to miss out 🙁

    • December 28, 2010

      do i have to be below 14 to register like the soci membership? i’d like to register too.

      and oh, kxevin, nice to have you back.

    • Roz
      December 28, 2010

      Registraion Yay! But im not Catalan :). Couldnt help it.

  20. Jim
    December 28, 2010

    From Barcastuff :

    Tweet Puyol: “My best friend Javi Perez joins Barça. Very happy to train with him every day…”

    Do I know this person? Footballer?

  21. Jim
    December 28, 2010

    Perez, not Puyol, before the wisecracks start . . . .

    • stowe
      December 28, 2010

      a quick google search says he’s a spanish defender. plays for Persijap Jepara. never heard of him though.

      I would agree that we need more CB depth, although Abidal has been doing well there

  22. December 28, 2010

    Yes on registration.

    Javier Perez… i remember that name from Puyol’s twitter-following list

    #javipobla javi perez
    Poder entrenar con mi amigo de toda la vida @Carles5puyol serà rememorar nuestra infancia.

    From what i understand, he’s like having a free training with his lifelong mate… and nothing more.

    **http://twitter.com/#!/javipobla

  23. Vj
    December 28, 2010

    About Javi Perez,

    note: today is “holy innocents’ day” in spain, the local equivalent to april fool’s day, a day for pranks.

    via Pep @ Barcastuff..

  24. Barcathegreatestever
    December 28, 2010

    Last time I posted I said that for every goal that Ibra scored it cost Barca 2 possibly 3 goals. I said that the canteros wouldn’t be able and shouldn’t be put in the position to lead the team in significant games. I was told essentially to fuck off and that I was to be censored.

    I’ve played and coached youth soccer for 30 years, traveling to every major tournament in the US including regional ODP finals.

    I’ve watched every game possible of Barca for many years now. I continue to be in awe. I suspect many people who visit this site have similar and substantially more experience in the game.

    This is easily the best english speaking blog for Barca fans. Kevin is at the center of it with the tremendous amount of work and effort and writing talent he puts into his articles.

    He also never ceases to offend with his crude remarks, denigrating assessments, nasty counter attacks on opposing views, but most of all from his high and mighty view point as he considers the best players, team and coaches of our generation and quite probably of all time.

    If you are wounded it comes from your own arrogance. Working yourself into a lather doesn’t make you right. You could be really great with a little humility.

    Now you return with a mea culpa but add that you want every one to register? For what purpose? Cordial arguments are the center of makes the discussions interesting. Not lapdog tongue waggers saying how awesome your crap is. And especially not with the most malignant mouth here holding the censure button!

    • soccermomof4
      December 28, 2010

      um…dude…this was supposed to be constructive and help us get back to “normal” how????

      Can we all just get back to discussing this team?!!!!!!!!

    • tutomate
      December 28, 2010

      adding to my ignore list…….done!

    • Roz
      December 28, 2010

      For an old dude (lady?) you seem kinda angry. How bout retirement or something you seem like you need it.

    • ballbeav
      December 28, 2010

      kxevins in a tough place. the blog thrives because of his incessant interjection of strong opinions. they get a reaction, which makes for lots of blog activity. sometimes i think it is more of a journalistic tactic than what he really thinks. could be wrong. but journalists make a name by having strong, often polarizing opinions… frankly, by being big Egos. yes, it is amazing and frustrating how he finds fault with possibly the best team of all time, considering, by his own admission, that he has never played soccer in his life. on the other hand, it would be boring and a less interesting blog if he didnt. maybe.

      • tutomate
        December 28, 2010

        Kxevin has strong opinions, true, but they are not polarizing in my view, just strong opinions not any stronger than our own opinions sometimes. Anyway that is not the issue the problem is when people are disrespectful like some of those on my ignore list. Like Kxevin said it is not that it is bad to disagree with him it is just that if one does one should have something tangible rather than ambiguous accusations of favoritism and “being on a high horse”

        Personally I’m glad Kxevin finds faults in this team even when they play fabulously cause you know who does the same? The pepster.

        By the way this is not exactly directed at you BallBeav but rather in conjunction with your comment.

      • Tom_Johnson
        December 28, 2010

        “considering, by his own admission, that he has never played soccer in his life.”

        I think one needs to be aware of this fact before “lashing out” at Kxevin.

    • Vj
      December 28, 2010

      So, let me summarize what you just posted. First you say that this the the best English speaking Barca blog there is, yet those who say how awesome Kxevin is, hence the blog, since he is at the center of it, are lapdog tongue waggers.. Which means you are one too..

      See, if you find Kxevin ‘offending’ you should probably take it up at that time with solid, insightful arguments.. Its his space, he is allowed to say whatever he wants, and that is one of the many reasons that make this blog the best, as you concede..

      And lastly, I don’t understand these kind of posts.. You accuse us of being arrogant and want cordial discussions yet you yourself use terms like ‘lapdog tongue waggers’, ‘malignant mouth’ etc. You say working oneself into a lather doesn’t make you right, shouldn’t the same hold for you? Hypocrisy much?

      Lastly, if you think the registration thing is about censorship, you are way off the mark.. Please research more before commenting and you won’t be told the essentials..

      • Tom_Johnson
        December 28, 2010

        “First you say that this the the best English speaking Barca blog there is”

        It seems to me that statement speaks more about the (poor) quality of the rest rather than paying a compliment to this one.

        • December 28, 2010

          This! ^^^^

          We ain’t the best. We’re good, but there are many things that we lack, and might never gain, frankly. I think of the XTC song, “Mayor of Simpleton.”

          We have very good writing, strong points of view and a knowledgeable family of commenters to keep us honest. That’s a good start. We’re working hard on the rest.

    • Jim
      December 28, 2010

      I’m taking that as a no to Registration then?

      Seriously, that would be an issue if it were the case that the mods started pulling registrations if someone offended them but do you actually think they would? The success of a site such as this comes from its participants. I’ve always found Kxevin and the rest to be respectful of opposing views while not necessarily shifting ground – which is their perogative.

      My issue is with your tone. Are you making a serious point about the pitfalls of registration? If so, then it is lost in the gratuitous swipe at Kxevin. Such intemperate language is exactly what many of us would like to lose completely on this site and will, I fear, only lead to a rash of counter posts. I like to think this wasn’t your intention but its difficult to look beyond that as the motive for a post like this.

    • Clue(less)
      December 28, 2010

      Owwwwwww nooooooo u didnttttttt…… get em’ boys, defend our dear leader!!!!!!

      Ps. ur a douch.

    • Tom_Johnson
      December 28, 2010

      I’m with you on the first passage. Felt very much the same myself.

      At the beginning, I had overestimated Zlatan’s potential “in air” and, more importantly, the staff’s ability to change his mindset, increase his work rate and acceleration. Towards the end of the season I have realized the mistake I made.

      Not the only one to come to terms with this, few here tried to share the “revelation”. They were greeted with a steady dose of “it’s only his first season in the system”, “intangibles he is (supposedly) bringing” and hair short from a guarantee that “next year he’ll score 40 goals”. That was a general sentiment here.

      Some were loudly reminding us how many goals Zlatan scored. Note: the number per se is not enough. We need to look at the number of high probability scoring opportunities it took him to get there is what matters. 21/35 is not as same as 21/50.

      That being said, I think you are either off mark or wrong with the tone on the last three passages.

  25. soccermomof4
    December 28, 2010

    Anyone got a good link for the Catalunya friendly? If I can’t get a Barca fix soon Im gonna (yes I know it should say “going to”, English majors) burst. Since I can’t get a full Barca fix, I’ll take a small dose of Puyi, VV, Busi and CT (I guess that would make this game the equivalent of Barca methadone).

    • blitzen
      December 28, 2010

      *atdhe.net or rojadirecta will have links to the game.

    • blitzen
      December 28, 2010

      Stream: *http://www.rojadirecta.org/goto/www.futbolenhd.com/12954.html

      • soccermomof4
        December 28, 2010

        Great link, Blitzen! Thanks!

      • Miguel
        December 28, 2010

        yeah, great link. thanks! anybody know the lineup?

  26. blitzen
    December 28, 2010

    Boy, they are really missing Xavi in the midfield!

    Valdes is captain. 😀

    Love the kits, I want one!

  27. Miguel
    December 28, 2010

    *http://www.limev.com/embed.php?fileid=bilbainita3&vw=700&vh=520

    here’s another one in case it crapped out on you.

    • Vj
      December 28, 2010

      I should read this blog more often..

  28. Miguel
    December 28, 2010

    bojan w/a nice cross for an assist to…some dude.

  29. Vj
    December 28, 2010

    Woohoo! CT assist!

    ***http://www.limev.com/embed.php?fileid=bilbainita3&vw=700&vh=520

  30. Miguel
    December 28, 2010

    sergio just misses what would have been a really beautiful goal.

  31. blitzen
    December 28, 2010

    Well I guess we know where Bojangles stands on the snood issue. 😛

    ‘nother one:

    *http://www.rojadirecta.org/goto/www.tinyurl.com/psnweb2

    • Miguel
      December 28, 2010

      baby bojan should always be swaddled.

      great move by him just now, too.

  32. Vj
    December 28, 2010

    Love the way the supporters flash the Catalonian flag..

  33. Vj
    December 28, 2010

    TotalBarca with a host of links in case

    ***http://www.totalbarca.com/2010/matches/live-catalunya-vs-honduras/

    • Miguel
      December 28, 2010

      victor valdes, puyol, busquets, bojan, sergio garcia, maybe verdu? i’m not really sure who else. i’ve been trying to search for the lineup too.

      • blitzen
        December 28, 2010

        Both Fontas and Bartra are on the bench.

  34. Vj
    December 28, 2010

    Catalonia lineup: Valdés, Damià, Puyol, Victor Ruiz, De la Bella, Busquets, Verdú, Javi Márquez, Sergio García, Coro y Bojan

    • blitzen
      December 28, 2010

      No Capdevila? Doesn’t he usually play?

    • Miguel
      December 28, 2010

      nice. i should read this blog more often ;^)

      • Vj
        December 28, 2010

        🙂

        I think Capdevila has been rested..

  35. blitzen
    December 28, 2010

    Here is a really nice fullscreen link to the game:

    *http://www.tv3.cat/3alacarta/#/directes/TV3

    • soccermomof4
      December 28, 2010

      even better link! Thanks again!

  36. Vj
    December 28, 2010

    CT assists again, this time for Sergio Garcia to score..

  37. Miguel
    December 28, 2010

    wow! what a great goal by sergio garcia; a beautifual chip. and bojan w/another assist.

  38. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    Oh Bojangles. Why can’t you do this for us on a regular basis? Or is it the power of the snood?

    If so, wear it. Wear it always.

    (It could also be that it’s ‘only’ Honduras and a friendly. But this is the third year in a row he’s kick ass for Catalunya. Proud Catalan? 😛 )

    (And moltes gracies to blitzen for the link)

  39. soccermomof4
    December 28, 2010

    I’m really digging both of the Catalan keepers’ kits. Can’t decide if I love the feild players’ kits; the numbers are pretty crazy.

  40. soccermomof4
    December 28, 2010

    CT is having one heck oof a game!!!!!

    • blitzen
      December 28, 2010

      This is him saying, “See, Pep, all I need is some real playing time!”

      Also, snoods for all!

  41. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    mardia, this is a little late, but Ramzi’s website is here:

    /http://www.footballmood.com/2010/12/barcelona-real-madrid-enjoy-watching.html

    Website full of badassery. And the good kind too.

    –SoMo4, I actually don’t have the CL final vs Man. Utd. on my laptop at all, so I can’t really upload it.

  42. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    NOOOOOOOO! I missed what ever Miguel, blitzen and SoMo4 are talking about!

    Bojan scored, didn’t he? Daaaaaaaaaaaaamn!

    But I get to see Bartra make his debut!!

    • blitzen
      December 28, 2010

      Not only scored, but scored beautifully from a perfectly timed run into the box. This is the Bojan we love to see.

  43. Sasha
    December 28, 2010

    Bojan has scored in every game he’s played for Catalonia, 4 in 4. Not bad.

  44. Sasha
    December 28, 2010

    Óscar Serrano, Marc Bartra & Sergio González all come in place of Javi Márquez, Carles Puyol & Ferran Corominas respectively.

  45. cliveee
    December 28, 2010

    omg, are you kidding me? Bojan a brace?
    confidence booster!

  46. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    I SAAAAAAAAAWWWW THAT ONE!!!!

    BOJANGLES! POWER OF THE SNOOOOOOOOOOOD!

  47. soccermomof4
    December 28, 2010

    Did you see that one, Kari?!!!!!

  48. blitzen
    December 28, 2010

    Bojan for Man of the Match!

    I think Pep should consider starting him against Levante. He will still be a high from this and will probably do really well.

    • soccermomof4
      December 28, 2010

      Only if he wears the snood.

      • blitzen
        December 28, 2010

        With Messi not playing, Bojan can play in the centre, which is his natural position. It’s also Villa’s natural position, but he does just as well on the left wing. Pedro is the only natural winger we have right now. hence Afellay.

  49. mei
    December 28, 2010

    cruyff shows guardiola how to effectively use bojan 😛

  50. Eklavya
    December 28, 2010

    Im at Sanchez Pijuan! (wrong spelling I know)

  51. Eklavya
    December 28, 2010

    Is there a match going on? Oooooooooooh!

    • mei
      December 28, 2010

      catalunya vs hondorus , bojan 2 goals , 2 assists until now!

    • blitzen
      December 28, 2010

      Catalunya vs. Honduras:

      *http://www.tv3.cat/3alacarta/#/directes/TV3

  52. cliveee
    December 28, 2010

    Fontas is really an attacking defender, just like Pique.

    • cliveee
      December 28, 2010

      and by the way, Pinto is the most attacking goalkeeper

  53. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    Pep need to two things:

    1) Give Bojan a snood and demand he never take it off. Even when he’s sleeping.

    2) Tell him it’s a friendly and he’s playing for the Catalunya NT

    (“Barca represents Catalunya. So you see, Bojan, it’s like the pseudo-NT. Go out there and represent your country!”

  54. Miguel
    December 28, 2010

    i saw the 2nd goal too! i haven’t missed anything after that, right?

  55. Miguel
    December 28, 2010

    bojan standing ovation. who came on for him?

  56. cliveee
    December 28, 2010

    another player exactly two-bojan tall came in for Bojan, wow, who is that tower?

  57. soccermomof4
    December 28, 2010

    Aw! Poor Kari! CT off!
    “offers virtual tissue”

    • Kari
      December 28, 2010

      Thanks SoMo4! *takes virual tissue* I knew we had to part at some point, but I never thought it would be so soon! 🙁 😛

  58. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    Standing ovation for Cuddly. *insert scene of proud mother crying*

    I knew it would happen someday!

  59. blitzen
    December 28, 2010

    Are there unlimited substitutions in a friendly? Because that is number 5.

      • Vj
        December 28, 2010

        I’ve seen some friendlies before the WC in which there have been >8 subs..

  60. cliveee
    December 28, 2010

    not official, right???!

    //http://www.diariosdefutbol.com/images/2010/12/atbcn1.jpg

    it can’t be right to have white, not even an away shirt.

    • soccermomof4
      December 28, 2010

      Apparently there are some Catalan “April Fools Day” jokes going ’round.

  61. Jnice
    December 28, 2010

    Soccermom:

    Barcelona vs Manchester United CL Final 2009

    First Half:

    *http://www.soccerclips.net/en/videos/full-1st-half-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sport

    Second Half:

    *http://www.soccerclips.net/en/videos/full-2nd-half-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sports

    Celebrations:

    *http://www.soccerclips.net/en/videos/celebrations-ft-analysis-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sports

    Credit to ali_cdaman at fbtz.com

    No need to download and the quality isn’t bad.

    • cliveee
      December 28, 2010

      and credit to Jnice the media department head too! much appreciated!

    • soccermomof4
      December 28, 2010

      Oh, Jnice—-a big cule hug to you! Thanks!

      • Jnice
        December 28, 2010

        No problem, folks and a big hug right back at ya. 🙂

        *http://bit.ly/c8yj1k

    • Tajh
      December 28, 2010

      Wow thank you Jnice!!!! this makes my day considering I’m trapped inside in NY due to snow….

      BTW after watching over the Home leg against Chelsea in 08/09 season as well I Noticed Bojan missed an open header similar to the one against Inter……..Hoping this run ends…

  62. soccermomof4
    December 28, 2010

    Ok, 4-0! We didn’t want to teach those Espanyol players how to pull off a manita anyway.

    @Kari—it would have been 5-0 had Bojan been allowed to get his hat trick 😉

  63. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    Jnice is a True Cule Hero. But we already knew that.

    @SoMo4, shhhh! The Cuddy Toy Hate Brigade might hear you! 😀

    • Jnice
      December 28, 2010

      And you’re the heroine!

      A hug to you too: *http://bit.ly/c8yj1k

  64. ooga aga
    December 28, 2010

    highlights of catalunya-honduras

    ++**http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgpGKgkUI6I

  65. Jnice
    December 28, 2010

    Sky Sport’s Goles y Goles y Goles presented by Guillem Balague

    Here’s what the program covers. *http://www.skysports.com/tv_show/story/0,20144,12385_6606503_12385,00.html

    Links:

    *http://hotfile.com/dl/92450331/a44b4a6/Goles_y_Goles_y_Goles_-_27-12-10.avi.html

    or

    *http://www.fileserve.com/file/Bm2Y7ss/Revista De La Liga – 21-12-10.avi

    or

    *http://bitshare.com/files/an3p8l6l/Goles-y-Goles-y-Goles—27-12-10.avi.html

    Courtesy of Pakman at fbtz.com

  66. vicsoc8
    December 28, 2010

    I didn’t watch the match, but Bojan always plays well for Catalunya. Did Crujff play him differently than he plays for Barcelona, or did he just have a dominant day?

    • Kari
      December 28, 2010

      It was the power of the snood. And because his mom was in the stands (see: 0:50 of the video ooga aga posted. She’s the one on the right with the glasses)

      Honestly though, I’m not really surprised he did so well with Catalunya. It was the absence of pressure amongst other things. Cruijff didn’t do anything particularly special–he only called him up to the NT. Bojan’s position looked to be the same as Barca to me.

      Actually, the only difference–if you can even call it that– was Bojan was on the LW as opposed to the RW.

    • soccermomof4
      December 29, 2010

      That was great—loved the music mix (with the Cold Play background (ofcourse!)).

  67. Goo
    December 28, 2010

    Thank God for friendlies, because I’m going through a really bad Barca withdrawal which may not end on Jan 2. Does anyone have news on whether games on that day will push through? Because I still have 5 days of nothing better to do than watch old Barca games.

    Bojan just made me feel like a proud parent, and I’m not a lot older than him.

    Also sharing this: ‘I don’t think describing Barcelona`s play as having a “better movement than Sophia Loren in her heyday, walking up a flight of stairs in high heels and a tight leather skirt” is being overly descriptive… is it?’ I bet you can all guess who said that. His interview here: .http://unprofessionalfoul.com/2010/12/22/an-interview-with-ray-hudson-part-one/

  68. Kari
    December 28, 2010

    May I be the first member of the Kxevin Fairness Commitee? (KFC <–NOT intended, but it is now 😀 . Big Sam will be the second member) Yes? Alright then.

    KFC-ites, unite!

    — Something really important to remember: This blog wouldn't be the same if we didn't have people disagree with each other. We'd all be mindless sheep just going with what other people say otherwise. No matter how poor your English is, or how little you know about football (my own knowledge has vastly improved since becoming a Cule), you should be able to give your opinion.

    I started posting on BFB because I thought it was a really cool and accepting blog. Everyone was so familiar with each other and it was like a family. The level of football knowledge was also astounding, I've learnt, and still am learning, so much from this blog alone.

    All that is asked is that you back up your claim and do it politely. Sometimes a person doesn’t mean to be harsh, but as Kxevin very correctly said above, little nuances we’d understand if it were a discussion face-to-face, are lost on online blogs. You may not mean it that way but the other person may take it that way. Sometimes Kxevin or Luke or Isaiah might sound “aggressive” or “matter of fact” to some people, but I sincerely doubt they mean to. Likewise to some other posters that have commented before. Tone is difficult to manage.

    I happen to agree with a lot of Kxevin match reviews, not because it’s Kxevin and I’m “afraid” to “stand up to him” but because I agree with him gasp!. There are plenty of other things I don’t agree with, prima facie being Bojan and Villa to an extent–I’m pretty sure that’s well known by now–but I don’t call him a “high and mighty biased idiot” when he says Bojan should go on loan. First and foremost I know he’s defending his view NOT attack yours, or at least not you personally.

    Lastly, English isn’t the first language for some people here. Let me be the first to say: I seriously respect that. I really do. I’ve taken some Spanish classes, but can’t speak it to save my life (I wish I did!) I wouldn’t post on a comment board of, err, -insert popular Spanish online blog here-, because I’d be way too shy on the face of so many great other posters whose Spanish is far more superior.

    Therefore, when there is a comment that seems very “blunt” I take it in stride, because not everyone here is a English major and defending an opinion is much harder when English isn’t your first language. I bet if this blog were in Spanish, Catalan, Swedish, Hindi, Italian, Greek, Japanese, Arabic, etc. etc. there would be plenty of people who could be just as eloquent as SoMa and have as much football knowledge as Euler/Hector.

    Good grammar and excellent vocabulary are greatly appreciated (especially to learn English from) because that’s just a privilege we have on this board and not the standard.

    … I think that just about covers everything. (Stop attacking Kxevin? Check. ESL-people rule? Check. We’re all passionate and should respect each other? Kinda check…?) Ah wait I forgot one thing:

    This rant isn’t really directed at anyone in particular. I just hope people keep posting and I’m sure it’ll get back to normal once Barca start playing again. We all love Barca and want a place to discuss it without “your stupid”, “ur no nothing about football”, “are you even a fan” etc. etc.

    So yeah, let’s remember that.

    (This comments is so going to get Hectored)

    • Goo
      December 28, 2010

      ^ This.

      We all love Barca, so let’s just stop hating on each other (should be BFB’s 2011 new year’s resolution.) Let’s agree to disagree, as disagreement lends itself to excellent conversation as long as we don’t start attacking each other personally.

      • Tajh
        December 29, 2010

        BTW what ever happened to Hector…Since i don’t visit as much as I used to it seems to me he just vanished from our space or did he say he was leaving??!?!?

        • Kxevin
          December 29, 2010

          We wondered the same thing, Tajh. Dude just vanished. I tried Googling him to see if anything odd happened. Couldn’t turn anything up. And contrary to popular belief, Euler isn’t a reincarnated Hector. 😀

          • Tajh
            December 29, 2010

            lolz…there’s always Facebook as a resource to use…I just joined and found so many of my lost friends from a decade ago.

  69. December 28, 2010

    Wow.

    “He also never ceases to offend with his crude remarks, denigrating assessments, nasty counter attacks on opposing views, but most of all from his high and mighty view point as he considers the best players, team and coaches of our generation and quite probably of all time.

    If you are wounded it comes from your own arrogance. Working yourself into a lather doesn’t make you right. You could be really great with a little humility.

    Now you return with a mea culpa but add that you want every one to register? For what purpose? Cordial arguments are the center of makes the discussions interesting. Not lapdog tongue waggers saying how awesome your crap is. And especially not with the most malignant mouth here holding the censure button!”

    “Crude remarks?” Surely you jest. “Nasty counter attacks on opposing views?” Come on. Really? Find the evidence, and post it. The archive of my posts and comments is right here. You can even go back to The Offside if you’d like to go way back in time for fodder. And good luck doing so. But know this: I don’t do affirmation, and I don’t expect anyone to kiss my butt, or be a lapdog. And I don’t say anything I don’t believe and am willing to support.

    Heck, more people here disagree with me than agree with me. That’s their right, and part of what makes this space work. We all learn from the discussion and debate. We don’t learn from baseless personal attacks.

    And BFB isn’t me. It’s a team. Isaiah is the father, so to speak. We ALL (Isaiah, Euler, Luke, SoMa and Tarun) have discussed registration, in response to the unloved, post-eating Captcha. Finally, nobody is forcing you to visit this space. If it’s so onerous, don’t come. Things such as this are voluntary. They always are, and always will be.

    –Now, for registration. It means that you’ll all be able to post URLs without resorting to slashes, or asterisks. It will work like any other space that requires it, except you won’t need to be under the age of 14, or Catalan.

    Registration is, first and foremost, a way to control the spammers and trollers. As we have grown, this has become a major problem. Nobody sees it because they aren’t our IT guy, or don’t log in to the system to see the ever-increasing numbers of comments that are caught by the spam filter, which sometimes snags innocent posters.

    Registration is a very effective way of dealing with that. Registration is not a means of control. That’s rather a strange kind of paranoia that, again, has no basis in fact.

    We’re not sure when it’s going to happen, but most everyone seems to be for it, so it will happen sooner, rather than later.

    Thanks, everyone.

    P.S. Until registration arrives, it’s a good idea to copy your post. Captcha has been acting funny of late.

    • vicsoc8
      December 28, 2010

      Am I the only one who looked at this sentence:

      “He also never ceases to offend with his crude remarks, denigrating assessments, nasty counter attacks on opposing views”

      And immediately disregarded it as one of the most hypocritical statements ever made on this blog?

      Thank you Kari for your post of reason, because it’s really sad to see this level of disrespect around this space.

  70. December 28, 2010

    And now, for Krkic:

    It was against Honduras, in a friendly. It was against the 57th-ranked FIFA side that finished last in its World Cup group. If Catalunya were a country that could field a side and grab a FIFA ranking, it would almost certainly be a whole lot higher than 57.

    I want to see Krkic do it in a match that matters, against real competition. I know that some feel his performance today will help his head. I hope that’s true, because we need him. The talent is there. On that we all agree. But there’s something else hindering him. I think of us being one wrong Villa foot plant away from having 4.5 as our 9, and shudder.

    Ade over at the Barca Offside makes a case for Krkic having a bright, shining future. (I’d post a link, but their site’s acting funky right now.) And the answer is time. We’re giving him until 2015. Four years. He’ll be 24, and by then we will know.

    For now, I guess we wait.

    • Goo
      December 29, 2010

      On Bojan’s contract extension: I’d rather have him at Barca, training with the best and learning from them, than on loan anywhere else even if he can get more playing time. Loaning him will shatter his confidence, and we all know how seemingly fragile that is. Plus, no one else on our team brings out the parental instincts in me quite like he does. He grabs a brace and provides a couple of assists, and I’m like a proud soccer mom – and I’m just several years older than him.

      I feel compelled to post this again, after captcha ate it all up the first time: ‘I don’t think describing Barcelona`s play as having a “better movement than Sophia Loren in her heyday, walking up a flight of stairs in high heels and a tight leather skirt” is being overly descriptive… is it?’ His head says he’s a Barca fan, too.

      His interview here: *http://unprofessionalfoul.com/2010/12/22/an-interview-with-ray-hudson-part-two/

    • Vj
      December 29, 2010

      It wasn’t Ade who came up with that post, it was a guest blogger, Ethan Dean-Richards who wrote that post..

      ***http://barcelona.theoffside.com/barcelona/bojan-can-still-be-a-success-at-barca.html

    • blitzen
      December 29, 2010

      Kxevin, you biased idiot! (how I’ve missed saying that) You just can’t give Bojan his due, can you? He played a terrific game. Admit it. Yes, it was against Honduras, a low-ranked side. But you should remember that he was playing with a team that hardly ever plays together, that doesn’t have anywhere near the same level of flow and confidence in each other that Barcelona does. Honduras’ defending was pretty lousy, but that doesn’t take anything away from Bojan’s performance. His runs were brilliant, perfectly timed, his awareness of where everyone was on the pitch was unimpeachable. The boy done good.

      Good to have you back. 😀

  71. December 28, 2010

    Ummm, what else? Oh, yeah. News within the news ….

    –Busquets is a done deal. Total agreement for a renewal until 2015. Expect an announcement very soon.

    El Mundo Deportivo conducted a poll, and found that people approve of Rosell and his team’s steerage of the ship, think that Alves should be renewed, we should sign Fabregas, the 5-0 was better than the 6-2 and Pellegrini is better than Mourinho.

    1. HA!
    2. Absolutely
    3. HA!
    4. Disagree. The 6-2 was an annhilation in their house.
    5. In Pellegrini’s dreams

    –Guardiola and Rosell have agreed (bet that was hard) to a one-year renewal, that will be announced soon, so as to avoid media hoopla.

    In case anyone missed this:

    http://www.sport.es/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=44&idioma=CAS&idnoticia_PK=733520&idseccio_PK=803&h=

    It’s a hilarious bit about Guardiola’s new fragrance, “Filoso’feau.” Hey, it was Spanish April Fool’s Day, so what do you expect?

    –Afellay can’t play against Levante, because he won’t be official until the Liga opens for business on Monday. The match is on Sunday. But he will be eligible for the Copa return leg against Bilbao.

    –The United States Sports Academy named David Villa its male athlete of the year. That and 3 Euros will get you a cup of xocolata in downtown Barcelona.

    • Vj
      December 29, 2010

      Call me a Mou-hater, but I can’t see how he’s any better than Pellegrini.. EE were playing much better football last year than now and even had us pinned in the first Clasico..

      I dunno what would’ve happened if Thong Boy had scored in that 1v1 against VV and Higuain hadn’t missed that sitter vs. Lyon, but they certainly weren’t Pellegrini’s fault. And he was a decent guy to boot, mind you he got a lot of boots by the Spanish rags in their effort to shield FloFlo..

      True, Mou has had more success, but in context to EE, I definitely feel Pellegrini was better than him..

  72. December 28, 2010

    Whoa! Via Twitter @Barcastuff

    Barcelona B central defender Andreu Fontas has said on Facebook that he will start the Liga game against Levante on Sunday. [via @jenfer27]

    • vicsoc8
      December 29, 2010

      speaking of ways to disseminate information on the internet… Barcastuff’s twitter is stuck on this message for me:

      “In 15 minutes, at 7pm local time, Catalonia plays an international friendly against Honduras at the Olympic stadium in Barcelona #fcblive”

      And no matter how many times I refresh that shows as the newest tweet. Has anyone encountered a problem like this before?

      • Tajh
        December 29, 2010

        yeah same here thought it was only my internet..

      • December 29, 2010

        That’s weird. Working fine for me. Are you using TweetDeck or straight-up Twitter?

        • vicsoc8
          December 29, 2010

          Straight up twitter. I only use twitter to check barcastuff… so I’ve never seen a reason to use tweetdeck

          • Kxevin
            December 29, 2010

            Web version of Twitter also working normally for me as well.

      • HY
        December 29, 2010

        I had this problem when I didn’t log in to my twitter account. After I logged in, I can see the new updates.

      • blitzen
        December 29, 2010

        Try emptying your browser’s cache. That should do it.

    • soccermomof4
      December 29, 2010

      Hoping he had Pep’s permission! Usually we never know who’s playing ’til they’re almost taking the field.

      • blitzen
        December 29, 2010

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he does start. Pique has some kind of sciatica problem, and Milito is still not 100%.

  73. Tajh
    December 29, 2010

    Anyone who missed the Bojan show with Catalonia can check this video for the highlights *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgpGKgkUI6I&feature=player_embedded#!

    Its been such a slow week for me..Been re-watching over all our important over the past 2 years. Noticed that last season we could have easily won everything and repeat that Treble if only for a few individual mistakes in certain key matches i.e Sevilla and inter but what was so viewable was that the luck we had in the 08/09 season was just not present for us last season…

    Watching those 08 games really showed me how spectacular that year was in both terms winning and entertainment. Every thing went our way that year..every call, every ball deflection, every pass was just on point for us..

    That BLACK CAT that showed up earlier in the year in the Nou Camp really s put some bad mojo on the team last season…specifically talking about Ibra really as he didnt score as much after it showed up….lolzzz don’t judge me I’m bored!!!!! Doing everything to keep myself occupied!!!!!

    • December 29, 2010

      No, I think you’re right. It came down to two mediocre matches: first legs against Sevilla and Inter. I think that good teams make their own luck. When Ibrahimovic went south, we didn’t have a reliable backup option. What’s interesting is that we haven’t learned from that mistake.

      Some of last season was fatigue, and the accumulation of minutes in the legs. Without the various pre and post-season things, World Cup notwithstanding, the players were fresher this season, and we’re seeing that in their performances.

      • Tajh
        December 29, 2010

        I believe what fatigued the players more last season than this one was that we were adjusting to a new player and trying much harder in making him fit in than playing naturally.

        The good results early in that season made it even harder and tiring for the team eventually on as I strongly believe if our players faced those obstacles earlier on in the season we could have sorted out all those problems that followed us when the key matches started. IMO those early results formed the belief in fans and players alike (maybe) that we would play the same as in the 08 season and all will be like old. But as we all know its in the past…Just a thought

        p.s-Guys I find its easier to type in the Captcha before you type your comment out.Makes life so much easier 🙂

      • Tajh
        December 29, 2010

        Your comment is awaiting moderation. hmmm that’s new to me.didn’t post any links or anything…..

        • December 29, 2010

          Not sure what snagged you Tajh, but I went in and freed you up.

    • vicsoc8
      December 29, 2010

      We certainly could’ve won everything last season…

      But I will continue to argue that the main thing that distinguishes last season with the treble season and with this season is tactics.

      I’m a firm believer that you make your own luck, and in the treble season I believe we made the luck we got by playing a flowing attractive style where all the parts of the team fit seamlessly. When you play that style and always put yourself in the position to win games, you will win games. I think this season while the tactics are very different from the treble season, they have the same sense of all the pieces fitting together seamlessly.

      The difference I saw last year is that the pieces didn’t fit together seamlessly. Ibrahimovic is a fantastic player, but unfortunately he placed a burden on the team tactically – he forced the team to alter their tactics to fit his style of play and as a result the team didn’t fit together seamlessly.

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Villa may not necessarily be playing better than Ibrahimovic as an individual this season, but the team is playing better as a whole with him in the lineup because of how he adapts to the tactics that gets the best out of all of the players.

      Finally – Guardiola is a fantastic tactician. I firmly believe that he will find the Bojan solution over the next couple of years. But for now I think Bojan is performing his role fairly well – be a willing and hard working sub and put in strong performances against weaker teams.

      • Kxevin
        December 29, 2010

        Spot on. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that when Ibrahimovic really made an effort to work within the team’s tactical constraints (first half of the season), he was wonderful. As he started to play to his default settings, his performance tailed off, and so did the club’s. Now, I know this will shock people who think that I love him, but it’s true.

        The Villa comments are also true, by the by. Again, a shocker for those convinced that I hate him. Villa excels because he’s comfortable in the Henry space, which allows Messi the freedom necessary. But he can also shift to the middle if needed.

        Now note early-season Ibrahimovic, and how much you’d see him frolicking on the wings, playing 1-2s in midfield and dashing toward the box, as contrasted with later-season Ibrahimovic.

        • Tajh
          December 29, 2010

          The Problem I noticed with Ibra is that he tends to revert to his “comfort zone” when things doesn’t go right for him. Like when he stopped scoring as much it seemed to me he just reverted to the Ibra of Italy and waited for the play to come to him. I guess Pep saw that as well and benched him instead of re-teaching him what he learnt & forgot from pre and early season…

          Ibra IMO was becoming a frustrated person on the pitch which I’m guessing altered the personality he portrayed to us and Pep.

        • vicsoc8
          December 29, 2010

          It’s also interesting to note that Ibra didn’t fit tactically largely because of the emergence of Messi in the unprecedented “false-nine, playmaker, striker, etc, etc” role he plays now.

          Even though Pep watches Messi play every day, I have a feeling that even he didn’t realize exactly how dangerous Messi would become and how quickly it would happen. It’s been said before in this space by people with better tactical minds than my own, but Messi is inventing his own position, something very few players have had the quality and intelligence to do – he is the modern day Beckenbauer.

          This is another reason Ibra struggled. He may well have been the correct purchase, but then Messi stepped his game up to unprecedented levels and completely changed Pep’s preferred tactics.

          • Miguel
            December 29, 2010

            which is why i had always suggested playing ibra on the left wing a la villa’s postition right now. zlatan would have had a definite role & definitive responsibilities(hugging the touch line keeping defenses wide) while messi could’ve provided the link up play; something ibra was way too eager & way too slow to do. our pressing would’ve been as good as it is this year or in the year of the treble & his skill set would’ve been that much more appreciated there. i also think he would’ve been offside far less often. but this just my opinion & i’m perfectly aware that there’s no way of proving that. whatev.

        • BTTFCule
          December 29, 2010

          Ibra is a fantastic player. From a tactical point of view(Total football) I think he was not able to exploit space by moving. He is very good at exploiting space with a pass but not with moving to space. Moving to space and shifting play is very crucial for a team employ Total football. It comes as a surprise because he was from Ajax!

  74. December 29, 2010

    Oh. As an aside, the Authentic shirts are niiiiiiicccccceeee! A lot nicer than the replicas. I now have one of each, and will probably get another Authentic, since it’s the last shirt I’ll be buying for a while. Anyhow. Nicer fabric, more vibrant colors. They run a bit smaller, though. I take a replica L and an Authentic XL, which is worth noting. Just a note for anyone on the fence.

    Comes in a nifty-keen presentation box, too.

  75. jaymin
    December 29, 2010

    150 to 100 for the good guys in the final, to the fourth seed who staggered their way into the playoffs with one lung, no eyes, half an arm, but two juevos and the verdad, to be damn sure.

  76. December 29, 2010

    I am not following the comment session and I didnt read everything. So apologies on advance as I am not sure what was said already. One of Kxevin’s responds led me to a comment that worth commenting on.

    @Barcathegreatestever

    If you are a coach, I definitely don’t want you to coach my team. What you mentioned above doesn’t fit a coaching profile. Neither the rational opinion about Barca issues nor the mental balance while dealing with others who do not agree with you. Especially when they are the hosts and you are a visitor at their own place. I think while reading your comments, we like you to show your quality as a person more than your records as a coach. That’s if you want us to take you seriously.

    I’m avoiding arguments lately, but it worth noting the bragging and arrogance in your comment where you try to overestimate the value of your own opinion while -obviously- it is barely a view of a casual observer.

    On Ibra’s topic, and regardless of different opinions about it, You (Mr. coach) failed to understand the case in hand, and you failed to think as a coach that approach the game from a different perspective than an emotional fan who build hindsight reactions based on events (which is valid for a fan) rather than an opinion based on a framework(As coaches are always instructed to do). I recommend that you get some coaching education. If you feel it is that prestigious to be a coach, do your homework to reserve the value of the position.

    The canteros are the reason why this team is where it is. I had to deal with people telling me that Iniesta is not a world class midfielder but a super sub, and there is a need to buy a midfielder to replace Deco-two years ago. Then there were people who attacked me in comments session on another blog I used to write for, when I repeatedly said “we dont need an Arshavin nor (another Brazilian left wing who was getting people crazy back then and now I forgot his name), I trust canteros and I put my bet on Pedro” and the respond was the same as yours: “you cant count on canteros.” . Do I have to remind you of the times when “Busquets was playing just because he is a Cantero and Pep is bias toward La Masia”?

    But it was all fine, as none of the opposing opinions came to the space waving a coaching CV and claiming exclusive knowledge that gives him the right to preach. With you, it is different. Based on your thorough coaching experience, name the best five players in the squad and tell us: how many Canteros you got there?

    So I have to say -though may sound like bragging as well:”Sir, I cant care less what kind of school teams you were babysitting in US so far, but you are wrong.” And it is coming from someone who has more coaching knowledge and football experience than you.

    Look…there are people who spent time and effort creating a space to exchange views and share experience. There was a clear vision for how it will be done since day one and step by step it progressed. The strings were pulled accordingly. There were always an awareness how far to go in a certain argument balancing between being informative and keeping the flow of opinions -regardless of its validity- free to express itself without getting slaughters by insults. We all learn by experience not only what to say but most importantly HOW to say it. You are more than welcomed to share your opinion as long as you are aware it is just another opinion that carries exactly the same value as Any.Other.Opinion. Or else, save your permanent judgments for yourself. I don’t know how far you think the world revolve around you, but really, no one care to know the absolute truth you like to preach about.

    We, mortals, enjoy being wrong and like to be treated as if we are right regardless of the fact that only fortunate prophets like you hold the keys of wisdom. Leave us living our own ignorance and denial on a blog. Greats like you will always have more important things to do than nitpicking our flaws by staging their perfection. What about exploring some supernatural secrets that only gods like you can approach?

    And mi Appologize fur aniwan if ther iz anysing rong wiz mai gramer or sbelling!

    • tutomate
      December 29, 2010

      I’m going to start calling you Thor. Cause you laid down the hammer.

    • Vj
      December 29, 2010

      I’ve followed Ramzi since the fcbtransfers days and am amazed by his level of English nowadays.. I believe some people think that English is his first language now, which is amazing!

      Oh and as always, Ramzi layeth down the law!!

    • Tom_Johnson
      December 29, 2010

      (on the passage about youth players)

      It is not that simple. The impact/contribution of a youth player is different over time. The moment when he is introduced vs the later stages of development. As we all know, it always takes some time for that development to occur.

      In this particular case, Deco had at least as good ball handling skills and vision but more experience, physical presence, and a significantly better defensive contribution as a result. I repeat, at that moment. Nobody is able enough to see the future.

      The same goes for Busquets. The ability to move the ball faster was his only advantage over Yaya. The Ivorian was, at the time, better overall player and, more importantly, more productive for the team. It took time for Busquets to reach the level he is currently playing at. Pep, or his advisor, decided back then it would be wise to start this process.

      Pedro spends most of his playing time on the right side. That is where the bulk of his production is coming from. Rarely he is effective on the left. We still need that player that is both physical and fast enough to stretch the defense to the left (and cross it with his left foot) instead of cutting to the middle “9/10” times.

      The gamble we took on Jeffren and Bojan didn’t work out as the one we took on Pedro.

    • simple_barcafan
      December 31, 2010

      when Ramzi speaks, ppl listen…

  77. Tajh
    December 29, 2010

    SO off topic guys anyone seeing the noise Malaga is making this January transfer window. Signing players like Julio Baptista,Demichelis, Asenjo and Ignacio Camacho and with Pellegrini at the helm they can only get better….

    Doubt they will get relegated this season now with all these movements but its about GOD-DAMN time that a Qatari businessman invested in a La Liga…Their owners might not be as rich as the others but they can surely help build a competitive team out of Malaga…

  78. barca96
    December 29, 2010

    Whoa.
    No internet connection for 5 days and I missed this blog so much.
    Almost dropped a tear after seeing Kxevin’s name again.
    Welcome back bad boy.
    Happy holidays guys!

  79. blitzen
    December 29, 2010

    From barcastuff:

    Villa: “Pedro is an example for me when it comes down to defending. He knows the system and has helped me a lot since I’m here.” [sport]

    Nice. 😀

  80. blitzen
    December 29, 2010

    In other news, Royston Drenthe is apparently on strike due to his wages not being paid by Hercules:

    *http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2010/12/29/2281543/i-havent-been-fully-paid-once-since-leaving-real-madrid-for

    And we should hear within the next 24 hours whether the January 2nd fixtures will go on as planned. I sure hope so, the last thing La Liga needs is a disruption to the game schedule.

    • Miguel
      December 29, 2010

      it’s true.

      “Players’ union set for court over schedule”
      **http://fourfourtwo.com/news/spain/70873/default.aspx

  81. blitzen
    December 29, 2010

    Diegoooo??? You in here??? Are you going to see the Cairo Derby? Who do you support?

  82. blitzen
    December 29, 2010

    Crackovia has a special edition up, all the best musical performances:

    *http://crackovia.tv3.cat/videos

  83. Barcathegreatestever
    December 30, 2010

    @ Ramzi, Kxevin fair enough… however to clear up

    My reference to the Ibra and Cantero discussions was not to elucidate my position but to reference the direct threat and, at the time ( I thought ) a done deal of full censorship. Chime in the witnesses

    My soccer experience doesn’t qualify me to sharpen the pencils of the pencil suppliers on this team. Deleted from my first post as too larky; but implied and lost on you is the fact that the vast majority are in the same boat.

    Purpose of registration? my misunderstanding and over reaction.

    Being defensive and offended on the treatment of the players in Kxevins petulant style? my mental instability

    calling Iniesta a ghost faced midget is way over the line. I’ll spare you the insolent return on Keita. You say your evolving, well that there is pretty basic.

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