How to be a Míster Man

You have tendonitis from managing your FIFA club (that’s EA, not BBVA). You have a special screen at work so your boss doesn’t know you are studying Fantasy Football numbers instead of the TPS report (it protects your eyes from flair glare). At the LiveBlog you rush to project Pep’s lineup before anybody else (stupid ‘first!’-ers). Yet you hunger for the Big Time. The Real Deal. The Show. Well, you’re gonna to have to do more than just show up if you wanna stroll about the sidelines. And here’s SoMa to show you how. Fo’ sho’.

1. Actual Ability. Oh, no. The Actual Ability Department is down the hall in Our Ruler Euler’s corner office, where he pours over field maps with a monocle like great generals of yore. Don’t get me wrong, I read from the Book of Euler devotedly. I study his graphs until my eyes swim in their sockets and I reach a state of Technical Transcendence. Then I watch a match in this state of soccer grace and twenty minutes in all I can think is, ‘Ooooh. Purdy.’

2. Sartorial Style. It is always better to look good than to play good. That way you get more endorsements. Now, you have choices when it comes to clothes; everything just depends on your game.

If you bring an A game, you wear a: Suit. Dress it up with a silk tie, dress it down with a cashmere vest. When chilled, you may don a pashmina muffler and a wool duster, preferrably long, like a doctor in an old-timey Western movie. Your Zoolanders are: Pep Guardiola; José Mourinho.

If you used to bring an A game and now you bring a B game, or if you bring an A or B game depending on the tournament, you wear a: Parka over sport jacket. The parka must be a) poofy; b) past your bottom line; and c) have your club crest on the breast. It ought to have a hood, too, which you must never, ever put on your head. Your Zoolanders are: Quique Sánchez Flores; Manuel Pelligrini.

If you bring Tiddlywinks, you wear a: Track Suit. The suit ought not to be velour, or you will look like an American tourist on his first overseas flight. Like the parka, however, shiny and crested is o.k. Thus when time runs out, you run out of subs and your fans run from the stadium, you can run on the pitch to pitch in. Your Zoolanders are: Mauricio Pochettino;  Manolo Preciado.

3. Bench Behavior. You cannot just stand there thinking, ‘Oh. My. God. I’m on the *&^%$ sidelines!’ If you’re not sure how to act, just look down at what you are wearing, reference the above, identify your game and read on:

If you bring an A game, your bench behavior is: En el banquillo, tranquilo. Suck on Vichy Catalan until your cheeks hollow, hiss at your minions (who will scribble submissively on a clipboard) or even pound some hardware (chairs and overheads are o.k. – careful with fiberglass walls). But your seat stays seated until something truly outrageous happens, like a close offside call or featherweight foul. Then leap to your feet in righteous anger and point at someone. Your Zoolanders are: Pep Guardiola on a good day; José Mourinho on a bad day; and Manuel Pelligrini every day, which used to be good but lately border on terrible. Poor Pelly.

If you bring a B game, or if you should bring an A game but you are only bringing a B game, or if there are VIPs in attendance, your bench behavior is: Histrionic. Pace like a new father who skipped the ‘Daddy And Me’ classes. Cup your hands around your mouth while screaming yourself hoarse. Throw your limbs around like Heathcliff and Catherine in the old Monty Python ‘Semaphore’ skit. This way you impress the Big Bosses, puzzle the linesmen and embarrass your players. Your Zoolanders are: Unai Emery every day; and – yes, confess!– Pep Guardiola on a bad day, who signals: ‘You! Spread out! Way out! Grab the ball and clutch it to your solar plexus! Then take it, run that way and shove it where their sun don’t shine! ARRGH!’ (Punches overhead, throws self into seat, sucks on Vichy Catalan.)

If you barely bring a team to your game, or if you bring a good game but behave badly, your bench behavior is: Absent. You may bump some chump from his Grandstand seat, which provides a decent view as well as ‘presence’. Do not order a hot dog. Or you may rest comfortably in a luxury box, which is sort of like hockey’s penalty box but no one pours beer on your head. You’re obviously in time-out, but you communicate easily with your minions by cell. In all cases, be aware of Spain’s new ‘Ley del Fumador’. No smoking, anywhere, and that means you, Míster Preciado.

Just don’t let yourself get woolly, ‘cause of all the stress.

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SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.

122 Comments

  1. Kari
    January 24, 2011

    I got two copies of Barca: Making History, instead of one of Barca: Best Year of Our Life and Barca: Making History. I’ll have to check my order online again, but it looks like I just screwed up (yet) an(nother) order. Sigh.

    Luckily, there is SoMa to pick me up 🙂

    (And yeah, it looks like I fudged up my order. I had originally ordered one of each, but I don’t think they sell Barca: Best Year of Our Life anymore, so they sent me two Barca: Estem fent Historia, I guess. Ah well.)

    • Eklavya
      January 24, 2011

      Jeez, there always seems to be some sort of problem ordering online.

      I ordered a book a few months ago and it’s still arrived. :/

    • January 24, 2011

      Told ya. They pop up from time to time. I don’t think that Angle Editorial is planning another edition, but you never know. I’d try Kitbag.

      • Kari
        January 24, 2011

        That you did, Kxevin. I’ll probably try Kitbag from now on (so I don’t misunderstand things again…or they don’t screw me over. Again.)

    • blitzen
      January 24, 2011

      How much did it cost you? I might be interested in taking the extra one off your hands if you can mail it to me. I assume you would take a cheque since we live in the same country?

  2. Eklavya
    January 24, 2011

    The first para is the best!

    Whats the “vichy catalan” though? I don’t get that part…

  3. soccermomof4
    January 24, 2011

    The cool thing is that shortly after Kxevin warns us that SoMa will be taking it easy at the blog for a while, we get treated to two SoMa pieces almost in a row.

    “Then I watch a match in this state of soccer grace and twenty minutes in all I can think is, ‘Ooooh. Purdy”
    That’s how I am with soccer, too. Kxevin, Euler, and co. can write all the technical stuff but for me it all comes down to the wow/how’d they do that/ that should be impossible/ ooooh purdy factor(come to think of it, that’s how I am with most things (let others argue about a piece of art’s merit, I only care about how pretty it will look on my wall)).

    In case some people missed it, I wanted to repost this link that someone had posted previously because I really enjoyed it. It’s part 4 of the Xavi 550 special (w/ English translation) but you can get to parts 1-3 from there:

    http://hairat.tumblr.com/post/2853572107/xavi-550-translated-part-4

    • Miguel
      January 24, 2011

      right?! i just finished commenting on her last post. soma’s blinding us w/science again!

      wenger is so parka over sport jacket.

      does this mean i have to get rid of all of my velour track suits if i’m to have any success as a gaffer? boo!

      • January 24, 2011

        Because like me, SoMa has a dedication to the family that overrides all, proper recovery from training and beauty sleep, in my case.

        The track suit reference is so spot on. As a Euro friend quipped, “How can you tell the Americans on your overseas flight?” “They’re the ones wearing pajamas.”

        P.S. No, I don’t. Slacks, shirt and sportcoat when traveling. Yes.

        • Miguel
          January 24, 2011

          word. jeans + sportcoat for moi.

          although, “i would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.” ;^)

      • soccermomof4
        January 24, 2011

        “does this mean i have to get rid of all of my velour track suits if i’m to have any success as a gaffer? boo!”

        um…there needs to be a reason to get rid of velour track suits?

        • blitzen
          January 24, 2011

          I had a velour track suit when I was twelve and I looooved it! It was purple and silver. But in my defense…I was twelve. 🙂

          • soccermomof4
            January 25, 2011

            Is this better, Blitzen?

            um…there needs to be a reason for an adult male to get rid of velour track suits?

  4. blitzen
    January 24, 2011

    Villa: “Camp Nou pitch? The ball doesn’t bounce well. Xavi and Iniesta aren’t happy. It’s not good, but it shouldn’t be an excuse”

    Uh oh! Xavi and Iniesta must be kept happy at any cost. Messi too. I don’t care if they have to hand-stitch the turf from individual blades of the most expensive grass available.

  5. Miguel
    January 24, 2011

    while we’re on the subject, this was filed under la liga loca’s “good day” column today:

    “Michael Laudrup’s Mallorca
    A coach with who adopts the rather rare ‘if we’re going to lose anyway, let’s do it with our trousers pulled up to our nipples and saluting the flag’ approach to games at the Santiago Bernabeu.”

    • momo
      January 24, 2011

      I respect the hell outta that man. It’s such a refreshing approach to see and if adopted by all teams would definitely insure a smaller point difference between the top two and the rest.

      • January 24, 2011

        And they hit the post! A draw in that one as well would have been rather beneficial.

  6. Kari
    January 24, 2011

    Just a quick question: Do you people want all the pre-game/HT/post-game stuff of the Barca-Arsenal game (i.e. showing the lineups, players coming out the tunnel, British commentators trying to give Arsenal fans hope, post match celebration/Messi adulation etc.)

    OR

    Do you want me to go straight to kick off, give you only the game and cut out all that stuff? I have the full pre-game and post game that I could upload separately.

    It’s up to you guys. Just leave a comment under this one and I’ll take majority rules.

    • momo
      January 24, 2011

      First option please. I love me some delusional English bias.

      • soccermomof4
        January 24, 2011

        That it was Momo! The bias used to irritate me but now it amuses me (except that guy that CONSTANTLY rags on Alves( has called him our weakest link), he still irritates me)).

    • soccermomof4
      January 24, 2011

      That’s a lot of work so I wouldn’t want to pick an option that adds to your workload. As this is a labor of love for you, I would go with whatever option makes YOU happy and the rest of us will/ should just be happy to watch the barcenal that you gift us.

  7. soccermomof4
    January 24, 2011

    BTW, congrats to Tom_Johnson!

  8. Kari
    January 24, 2011

    If you’re a lurker who has registered and hasn’t commented yet, now is your chance! I’m serious, I’ll take majority rules, so speak up! 😀

    Some clarity: in the second option, I would upload the 10 minute pre-game, the game, and the ~15 min post game in that order.

    • Sheena
      January 25, 2011

      I vote for the first option, Kari. But only if you’re up for uploading it, as I imagine it would be a lot of work. Whatever works for you! 🙂

    • complotGP
      January 25, 2011

      *Delurks*

      Hello Kari. 🙂 I would prefer having the pre-game and post-game separate from the actual match, but whichever would be more convenient for you is OK. 😉 Thanks for this!

  9. tntyau
    January 24, 2011

    Regarding Villa, and Kxevin’s assessment of the weaknesses in his game, here’s his own comments on his contribution, from this morning’s press session:

    “I have come to understand the system better, the speed of our play, keeping it non-stop. And also when Barça do not have the ball. I now defend down the wings, and I’m getting better at it little by little.”

    He also said in another interview that Pedro is the role model for him as a Barca forward.

    Sounds like he’d be the first to acknowledge that being static, out of position, and slowing play due to bad touches or having to think before passing and moving, are areas needing improvement from him.

    http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/english/noticies/futbol/temporada10-11/01/24/n110124115302.html

    • blitzen
      January 24, 2011

      He also said in another interview that Pedro is the role model for him as a Barca forward.

      D’awwww!!!! I love this!

      I think we should all remember that Villa is 29 and is having to unlearn the way he played for Valencia, the way he has played all his life, the way that has always worked well for him. The fact that he is doing as well as he is, is actually pretty amazing.

        • complotGP
          January 25, 2011

          Thank you, it was an interesting read! 🙂

      • Víctor
        January 24, 2011

        More than “unlearning” what he did at Valencia he needs to learn Barca’s system. Let’s not forget that he has qualities (as a Valencia striker and Spanish NT striker/winger) that we do want on a forward. He has a good FK shot, he can be certainly unpredictable and create great plays out of nothing, and yes, he’s a killer when he’s in the area. (Of course, that hasn’t been happening as of late, but whatever, he does score)

        Personally, I do want Villa to become more like Pedro in the wing, but adding his own skills that he already has.

        And that’s why I say that we should cut some slack to him. Yes, he needs better ball control and positions himself badly, but he is learning the system and is getting better at it. I do hope that we he already has it altogether, he adds the skills he already has.

      • He don’t have to unlearn anything my dear, he just have to adapt. Put Pedro on another team he most probably have to unlearn and start from the begining. Villa simply put is the best striker in the world. Maybe Barca fans won’t agree. But at half stage he has 16 goals and looks like he is improving every day. So he looks good for 30 goals this season. Two years back we used to say that was an absolutely stunning take home from a season.

  10. Jim
    January 24, 2011

    Good catch , Tntyau. I’m not sure where you get the bad touches bit in that or the out of position or static but overall he comes across pretty well I reckon. The very fact that he acknowledges he can learn from Pedro, a relative rookie, is pretty humble. No ego there. I like that.

    To me, this guy is fitting like a glove into our system although there are still bits where he can improve. I’m much more confident going into the business part of the season than I was last year.

    • Ryan
      January 24, 2011

      Seriously, the dude is Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer and he’s saying that he’s using Pedro, with I believe a grand total of 1 goal scored for Spain, as his role model! Talk about being humble and having a good attitude.

  11. tntyau
    January 24, 2011

    I’m just listing off some of the constructive criticisms leveled at his performances that we’ve seen around these parts. We sometimes may think reviewers/commenters aren’t giving him enough credit, but the subtext of what he said today shows he knows he has to work to do, to be a fully functioning part of the system, and that he’s not there yet.

    Anyway, the assessment verbage was from the more tactically knowledgable. Me, I’m closer to the “ooh, purdy that was frakking awesome” end of the scale rather than the expert tactician end. Or, as is the case with Villa sometimes — only sometimes, mind you — “OMGnooooowhyyyy.” All in all I am very happy with how he’s fit in. Which makes the “OMGNNOOOOOWHYYYY” moments louder, if that makes sense?

    To go with SoMa’s satorial theme: he’s tailored for Barca. Just not bespoke-tailored, yet.

    • January 24, 2011

      Egg-sactly. That’s the best way that I’ve heard it put. Or, he has moved into a house that has been built by its residents. He’s still learning where all the light switches are, and what rooms lead where. Some matches he gets it better than other matches. His time with the Spanish NT has helped him immensely. It’s an advantage that Henry or Ibrahimovic didn’t have. He’s also the right kind of player for a system in which everybody plays everywhere.

      Having said all that, don’t think I won’t call his butt out when he doesn’t meet standards. 😀

      • tntyau
        January 24, 2011

        Please do, Kxevin. Thanks to BFB I am now better able to articulate why exactly I’m yelling “OMGnnnooowhyyyy” at my television. 🙂

  12. Lev
    January 24, 2011

    friggin amazing for Villa to defer to Pedrito like that. That, my friends, is the kind of attitude you can only dream of your new star striker signing having.

    By the by – I’m psyched by the Steelers going to XLV! Dreamt of James Harrison tackling Crynolda from the blind side last night 🙂

    • soccermomof4
      January 24, 2011

      Yes, Nav, congrats!

      “Dreamt of James Harrison tackling Crynolda from the blind side last night.”
      Sure, TB v linebacker. That’ll teach anyone some humilty. was he was wearing his pearls in your dream. Hope I have the Ray Lewis tackling TB from the blind side dream!

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      January 24, 2011

      humble… and willing to learn…

      that’s really Pep’s favourite attitude… 🙂

    • Josep
      January 25, 2011

      black and yellow black and yellow black and yellow black and yellow

  13. Víctor
    January 24, 2011

    Question, because the topic is always there… is Cesc Fabregas worth 50m?

    • soccermomof4
      January 24, 2011

      Short answer. NO
      Long answer. Yes, if a team had the money and really needed him, which we don’t yet.

      • Víctor
        January 24, 2011

        LOL, yes.

        No, really,I ask because there’s a lot of fuzz regarding that. It is even said that: whether Barcelona pays 40~60m for Fabregas or not will decide a lot of transfers this summer.

        And now, it’s no secret that Barcelona is longing a lot for Cesc Fabregas… okey, not all Barcelona, but Puyol, Pique, fans and the board… and it seems – to me, at least – that they will try everything to get him this summer…

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      January 24, 2011

      YES. for Arsenal he’s worth even 60 – 80 m.
      he is their talisman, their captain.

      again, that’s for Arsenal and their fans.

      for me, the logical price would be around 20-30 m…

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      January 24, 2011

      ooooooooooohhhh!!! hahahahaha… thanks, blitzen…! 😀

    • Miguel
      January 24, 2011

      haha! i was gonna post this but figured kari might have already done so in a previous thread. awesome!

  14. blitzen
    January 24, 2011

    And a Happy Birthday to our Maestro, our conductor, our Generalissimo:

    Xavi!!!!!

    😀

  15. BarcaGirl_Indo
    January 24, 2011

    @barcastuff

    Both Barcelona and Alves agree that if no deal is found, the player will continue at the club until his contract expires in 2012. [sport]

    good thing or bad thing?

    • Víctor
      January 24, 2011

      Good, I’d say. At least secures having him one more year. As expected by contract.

      As for whether that’s an indicator on what will happen… well, no one can really tell. It seems like a gentlemens’ agreement to me. “OK, if there’s no deal, we’ll keep the things as they are laid out by now”.

      Still, I do think that Alves will renew contract.

      • barca96
        January 24, 2011

        Vic, that’s not good. He will walk out as a free man. His value will drop next summer as he is on his last year of contract.

        If we go far in CL and win some trophies, hopefully that will be enough to convince Alves that there is no better place to be at.

        I do think he will improve Man CIty but he will be caught out of position way too many times.

        • outerspacedout
          January 25, 2011

          Massive improvement on the likes of Micah Richards in just plain player-for-player terms. It’s not like Richards is a particularly solid defender anyway, so its not like they’re swapping any otherwise-increased defensive solidity for an attacking Alves. Zabaleta is not bad but still Alves would be a huge upgrade over him as well.

          That said for me, City already have a great forward and attacking midfield line-up (Dzeko, Tevez, Silva, Balotelli, Johnson and Toure are all very good and also have been performing well) and are solid in defense and defensive midfield. They also have players who can keep possession and seem more comfortable on the ball than most EPL teams, even nice teams like Spurs, as in City have a much slower build-up game when they are playing well, which I like compared to other teams’ play over there. In that sense I think they need a pure passing midfielder more to be really world-class, that final jigsaw in the puzzle.

      • outerspacedout
        January 25, 2011

        Bad thing. We could get a lot of money from him IF he is sold (don’t want him to be, but if things stay this way in the assumption that he leaves anyway). Esp with a player like City looking for him, knowing the kind of fees they pay (24 mil for Milner and the like) that’s a possible 25-35 million we would get by selling if he renews his contract or is sold now + the sporting benefit we get if he stays on one hand, and on the other losing him in a year and getting no money for a player who will conceivably still be world-class, only 28 or so, and have a few more years at the top level and thus should have a high value for sale.

        • January 25, 2011

          Terrible thing. We simply can’t lose Alves on a free. That report can’t be right. As a club, we aren’t that stupid. If they don’t agree on a contract, he will be sold this summer, mark my words, for a price in the 25-30m range. This buys us a young talent such as Van der Wiel, one of the best young right backs around, who can come in and work into the system while the likes of Puyol and Adriano teach him the ropes.

          VdW could have been had for around 20 last summer, and he didn’t renew his contract. Should be less this year.

          Losing Alves on a free would be a monstrously stupid bit of business that I can’t believe the big brains would countenance.

          • BarcaGirl_Indo
            January 25, 2011

            in football term, maybe that’s a good thing, to have Dani for one more year…

            but financially, that’s just awful…terrible…
            I prefer to see RoSELL sell him this year to Citeh, than let him go for free next year…
            naaahh…what a loss…

            I wish we could get 30 – 40 m IF Dani decided to go… (sure I still hope he’ll renew)
            though most likely they will use those money to bid Cesc… *ugh*

          • barca96
            January 25, 2011

            Now that I think about it, if we keep Alves until the end of his contract and let him go for free, his price would be X(his current salary).
            How much would his value be in the summer? 10-15mill?
            I’d rather us losing that 5mill for his salary and let him go on a free rather than letting him go in the summer.
            We would be shaky. We are going through a magical period now. Losing Alves in the summer would be a major blow. It would disrupt the team. We would have to change tactics and that will take some time.
            In that transformation time, Madrid might overtake us.

          • soccermomof4
            January 25, 2011

            Losing him for free is awful business, but if we’re only gonna waste his fees on an over-priced Cesc, keep him and get another year out of him.

          • Humphrey Bogart
            January 25, 2011

            Not sure why you are so convinced by VdW. I did follow him during the WC and he was not very impressive. Surely no an adequat replacment for Dani, but on the other hand, who would be?

    • Alves will fetch you atleast 30 million. And if we approach City, then that could rise to 40 million. So if he don’t sign an extension, sell his this summer. It’s sad, but its the only option. I think even Chelsea will be interested.

  16. Lev
    January 25, 2011

    Cruijff said to sell Dani in his weekly colum, since he is not worth to break our salary structure over.

    I would not be surprised if Rosell waits a year and lets him go for free, though. We are talking about a man who could not even sell Ibrahimovic.

    • mei
      January 25, 2011

      We are talking about a man and his director of football (zubi) who ve been in charge of the best barcelona ever so far.

  17. January 25, 2011

    I would again caution everyone about believing ANYTHING about ANYTHING that doesn’t come directly from the involved party(ies) or the official site.

    And note that the Cruijff comments have been misread. He isn’t saying “sell Alves to City,” as the BritPress is frothedly reporting. He said if a deal can’t be reached, it’s better to sell. This is true. I posted his comments in the match review thread.

    Transfers are messy business, and can change overnight. Guardiola has said that Alves will be a Barcelona player for years to come. That’s direct from the horse’s mouth, as is the Cruijff quote. Nothing else should be trusted.

    • Lev
      January 25, 2011

      you are right Kxev, he said “if a deal can’t be reached”, but he also said that in his opinion we should not pay him more than Puyol, Pique and Valdes.

      I sure hope a deal will be reached.

      @Mei what did Rosell and Zubi (much love for Zubi btw) have to do with this year’s Barça? All he did was to get rid of Ibra (for a bag of peanuts and a X-mas card) and buy Afellay (who had been widely reported to to have his heart set on a free transfer and move to Barça anyway).

      This Barça is Pep’s Barça, enabled by Laporta who was advised by Cruijff.

      • mei
        January 25, 2011

        Well lots of things but its not really the point.
        I am more interested in results rather than intentions and politics when talking about the board.
        However , calling them out on the base that a rug wrote a ridiculous piece is not my style.
        Also , kxevin, cruyff had some nice words for krkic and was in line with guardiola on the reading of that cup game.

  18. momo
    January 25, 2011

    Milan sign Van Bommel…
    Really?
    Wow.

    • y2k156
      January 25, 2011

      I think it is a smart signing from Milan. Van Bommel was part of team that went to final of CL and WC in last 12 months. I do not like the guy at all but he is a smart operator. He is also a canny guy who might really help Milan and shield Pirlo. I would say that chances of Milan getting one over TH increased by his signing.

      • Lev
        January 25, 2011

        agreed. smart move. Bayern didn’t want to let him go initially, but agreed to shred the contract and give him a free transfer because of Van Bommel’s contributions to the club over the years. Very classy.

        • Helge
          January 25, 2011

          Well, they also let him go because they’ve recently bought Luiz Gustavo from Hoffenheim, who is also a defensive midfielder – albeit a versatile one, playing defense on several occasions, too. Bayern practically would have had 4 defensive midfielders in Schweinsteiger, Tymoshchuk, Gustavo and van Bommel. Nonetheless, credit for not asking any transfer tee.

  19. Goo
    January 25, 2011

    Speaking of mister men…

    Guardiola: “I’m sure Xavi will end up being a coach, hopefully here. He has the skills and he’d get bored sitting at home.”

    Xavi is so cule I can’t imagine him coaching another team. And speaking of Xavi… Happy 31st maestro! 🙂

  20. Josep
    January 25, 2011

    Cruyff’s comments are being so misconstrued its terrible. He did say sell Alves… if we can’t resign him. Alves is in Eto’o’s situation (lol 2 ‘s LOL). We’re trying to make him look like the bad guy for not resigning with us so far. and we MUST sell him this summer if he doesn’t resign. We can’t wait till January. When a players contract expires, 6 months prior you can offer him one from a different team.

    Alves staying needs an extension, otherwise it would be like Afellay. We got him for cheap because he came in January. If he came end of season, he’d be free. We can’t let his contract wane down, it’d actually be even worse the speculation of “where is he going to go” would be through the roof.

    p.s. baby Kxevin, I feel bad for Cutler :(.
    I do love me some Steelers though.

    • January 25, 2011

      I don’t feel bad for Cutler. He was crap before he exited the game, and I still believe that he could have played. Lovie doth protest too much for my comfort. If Hanie makes those two reads correctly, and that stupid end-around isn’t called ….

      Anyhow. I don’t believe in the “salary+x” stuff. That isn’t going to buy you a player. If we have to be without Alves, make it so in the summer, get a deal done before the end of the season with someone, and go through the off season relearning with a new right back.

    • barca96
      January 25, 2011

      Only saw the first 5 minutes and then the last 10 mins.
      What a crazy match!
      Honda looked dangerous.
      Did the Japanese striker that Barca is interested in play?
      WHat’s his name again?
      I’m kinda glad that Japan went through. THat way I can follow that striker and Honda although I would miss seeing the cute Korean girls in the stands.

      • outerspacedout
        January 25, 2011

        I really like Honda as a player. When he plays he always looks so confident and badass. And somehow even with Kagawa- probably the best player of the past half-season the Bundesliga and the first/only time I recall an Asian player so consistently bossing a big European league with a top-tier club- Honda looks like the Boss and so in command. He can play too. And great free-kicks. He should go to a big club, he has the talent + tons of revenue from the Asian market the way United get from Park. Japan does have over 100 million people in population.

        I was supporting Japan cos the girl I like and one of my best friends over the past year or so is from Japan, though she doesn’t watch football except when Japan reaches big finals and the rest of her family does. I’ve tried getting her into Barcelona but she is completely uninterested.

        • outerspacedout
          January 25, 2011

          And not just that, cos I like the way Japan play (they play nicer passing football than England, for example) and I like Honda, Okazaki and Kagawa as players.

          Didn’t know which Japanese striker we’re following by the way. Is it Okazaki?

  21. January 25, 2011

    Lost in the transfer news is Chelsea picking up David Luiz from Benfica. Good move for them, that should make them a better defensive side. Good player.

    And this just in. Andy Gray fired today.

    • K_legit
      January 25, 2011

      wait what now Chelsea get Luiz?
      And what abt Keys?

      • barca96
        January 25, 2011

        What is the fuss around Keys and Gray?
        I’ve always hated listening to them commenting on Barca matches but it kinda sucks that they lost their jobs.
        In the news article it only said they made sexist remarks, off-air.
        WHat kind of remarks did they make?

        • K_legit
          January 25, 2011

          Keys: Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.
          Gray: Can you believe that? A female linesman.
          Women dont know the offside rule.
          Keys: Course they don’t. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny [Dalglish] will go potty.
          This is not the first time, is it? Didnt we have one before?Gray: Yeah
          Keys: Wendy Toms
          Gray: Yeah Wendy Toms or someone like that
          Keys: The game’s gone mad.Did you hear charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Do me a favour love.

          • blitzen
            January 25, 2011

            Thanks for the link, and no, I’m not sorry for him either. The man is an *ss and a dinosaur, as well as a terrible commentator.

            And for anyone who might think of excusing them because “boys will be boys”, try replacing the words “her”, “female”, “women” and “sexism” with “that black man”, “black”, “Africans” and “racism” and see how offensive you find it then.

            Get it?

          • barca96
            January 25, 2011

            Were they attempting to be funny cause it’s not even funny. Those guys always live in their own little world.

          • soccermomof4
            January 25, 2011

            The comments were ridiculous, and as a women I do take offense at them. The only thing that worries me is that this was off air. Regardless of what the laws are in a country, shouldn’t everyone have the right to speak freely in private? In this case we’re talking about the right to be stupid in private. I can’t feel sorry for the guys but something in me gets worried when people are being told what to feel, what to think, what to believe,and what to say(in private). That being said, although I’ve never heard them commentate, from what y’all have said it appears that this is all for the good as it gets rid of some bad soccer commentators.

          • blitzen
            January 25, 2011

            shouldn’t everyone have the right to speak freely in private?

            They weren’t in private, they were off-air. Different. They were on the job at the time, part of which job entails representing their employers, a major media company, to the public.

          • soccermomof4
            January 25, 2011

            good point—off air but still on the job—-too dumb to wait to get to the pub before being stupid

    • Eklavya
      January 25, 2011

      Really? Fired?! A bit sorry for him but what the hell, if Messi isn’t good enough for Stroke then he isn’t for anything!

    • Josep
      January 25, 2011

      Hopefully it means new announcers for FIFA 12

  22. Jnice
    January 25, 2011

    Pep says Thiago isn’t going to Racing on loan.

  23. MoSSi
    January 25, 2011

    From Barcastuff:

    Savini: “Barcelona expected a lot from Icardi but due to his physical characteristics, he failed to adapt to the new system of Guardiola.”

    I really don’t understand this, I thought he was looking for a tall striker. So why sell him to Sampdoria?

    And I read somewhere that he was a real talent.

    • Jnice
      January 25, 2011

      If he wasn’t cutting with Juvenil B, then no way he would make it up the ladder to the first team.

      Maybe another system with allow him to fulfill his potential.

      • barca96
        January 25, 2011

        But his height is good, He is 190cm. Didn’t we need a tall striker?
        ANd with him being with Barca since young, Im pretty sure he has got the ball skills, movements etc even though he is a big kid.
        So what was missing?

        • Jnice
          January 25, 2011

          He hasn’t been with Barça since he was young. He’s only been with Barça since he was about 15. He’s 17 now.

          He was doing well at first, but I think he stalled a bit. I don’t know exactly what the problem is, but like I’ve said before, we don’t do well when it comes to developing and promoting strikers.

          • blitzen
            January 25, 2011

            Hopefully Deulofeu (sp?) will be the one who works out for us.

        • blitzen
          January 25, 2011

          We had a tall striker last season. He didn’t work out either, although I think we can all agree that he is very talented. Sometimes a good player just doesn’t work in a particular system. Guardiola isn’t going to be changing his system anytime soon, so let the lad take a chance somewhere else.

          • barca96
            January 25, 2011

            Yh, I guess we will never see a tall striker in our system until the day we change to a 4-4-2 or when we don’t have small, speedy midfielders who are always on the move.
            Hopefully those African boys in the Juvenil A & B are flexible enough. Dongou and Etock.

  24. blitzen
    January 25, 2011

    And since we are on the subject, here is Ian Holloway’s opinion on female officials:

    “The game belongs to everybody on the planet. For ladies to like it is fantastic, for ladies to play it is brilliant, and for ladies to officiate is no different. They only thing I’ve ever found, with my wife, is that I can find my way around better than her without satnav. Everything else, she does a lot better than me.
    “So why can’t a linesperson be a better linesperson than a man? Her decision as I saw it on the telly was absolutely bang on. My experience of it is that is some of these people are at the so-called top of the game then lets have a look at some fresh people and see how good they are.
    …….

    “It’s not refs behind the goal, and extra ones in the Champions League, that ain’t going to work. USE THE TV FOOTAGE! For Christ’s sake, it’s so easy. And that’s the bloke’s job, and he’s also got to control the time. Give him two jobs! Or it might be a woman, because they can multi-task. How about that? Because we bloody well can’t, can we?

    I love Ian Holloway. I really hope Blackpool stays up, so he will be around to entertain us next year. The whole article is highly worth reading:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/jan/25/ian-holloway-charlie-adam

    • barca96
      January 25, 2011

      Did you read that article about him wanting to punch some players?
      Ever since I read that I started to follow Blackpool’s standings in EPL.
      He’s a funny and respectable guy. Like REdknapp.

    • K_legit
      January 25, 2011

      lol the man’s a gold mine for quotes

      and blitzen is your gravatar from the 2-6 at the Bernebeau?

      • blitzen
        January 25, 2011

        I’m not actually sure. It’s a screencap from a game but I didn’t make the original.

    • Josep
      January 25, 2011

      I love Holloway, he’s brilliant. His asking price of 40 million for Charlie Adam is amazing. Its true too. If he is what will keep them up, they’ll have to pay the 40m it would cost to go down. I’m so happy with how they’re performing, and the way they play is good. They don’t play trash football.

      • K_legit
        January 25, 2011

        isn’t he asking for 14 million?

    • outerspacedout
      January 25, 2011

      LOL I love this guy. The Olly McTavish thing was gold as well. Everything he says is gold, actually. I remember something he said about picking up girls and sometimes its not the prettiest lass but you got her home and that’s what matters or something in reference to some ‘ugly’ win they won back when they were in the second division. One of the few things I really like about the EPL now is this guy and his team.

  25. Kari
    January 25, 2011

    I’m pretty busy this week, but blitzen, email me at officialkari@gmail.com and we’ll enter a RoSELL-Galliani style price negotiations–my first offer is a $25 loan for a year–and sort out the other details.

    • soccermomof4
      January 25, 2011

      RoSELL-Galliani style price negotiations—OH NO! This does not bode well!

    • blitzen
      January 25, 2011

      OK, but I should warn you–my agent is Mino Raiola and he handles all my negotiations! 😛

  26. Josep
    January 25, 2011

    Montoya, Bartra, and Nolito trained with first team.

    Nolito will be on squad if Bojan still has stomach problems. Montoya is there to prove a point to Alves? Or because Adriano has played like shit.. who knows.

    • Jnice
      January 25, 2011

      I think Montoya is there because if there is no Alves and no Puyol for the match, then Adriano is the only right back in the squad. Nothing else.

      • Josep
        January 25, 2011

        Shutup you, with your logic and sound reasoning!

        You’re last on my callups list!!!

        And whats the deal with Turan? I don’t recall a situation like this, buying a promising youngster to play for the B team and hopefully groom to the A team? I mean Fontas, right? Or was he a free? Soriano too.. weird

  27. soccermomof4
    January 25, 2011

    Isaiah has a new post up—don’t get Hectored.

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