Not the News, aka “Brief, snappy and semi-nasty”


“Anybody got a Twinkie? Or two?

We have a bit of news for you all, mostly to keep people with smart phones from developing carpal tunnel with all the scrolling, as the comments build and build and …. Neener, neener. And let’s start it off with the news that has everyone on pins and needles, the status of our want-away/not want-away Brazilian, Dani Alves.

This Pep Guardiola quote is floating around:

“We have talked about it with Dani, I told him how I feel, and I do not want him to stay here while he is unhappy.

“He deserves to ask for what he wants, and the club has the right to give it, or not. I want him to be happy here, or anywhere.”

Hmmmm ….

If he’s unhappy, he should leave, IF (and as we know, that’s a big IF) the quote is genuine. This quote also contradicts the confident-sounding Guardiola quote from earlier in the week, which was essentially that everybody should relax, because Dani isn’t going anywhere. Sounds like they’ve talked since that quote.

Assuming this stuff ain’t all made up.

My view is that anyone who doesn’t want to be here, should get out. Now. I know. He’s an integral part of our attack, blah, blah, blah. So was The Yaya, and we’re a better club without him. I know that people roll their eyes at my “club over player” bit, but I believe it to the depths of my soul (or bottoms of my soles, whichever is farther). If a player wants to leave, we should expedite that request, because unhappy players are toxins. Yes they perform because they are professionals, but eventually, the person becomes toxic, which affects the quality of the team’s mood, demeanor and ultimately, performance.

Alves has been completely quiet on the entire matter, one that is fraught with complexity. Does he have an offer from Citeh, or doesn’t he? Sources say that he doesn’t, which is why the club is sticking to its guns. But something tells me that if we were actually available, he would have an offer in about 12 seconds.

Some say why, oh why, would Alves ever want to leave us? A new challenge, perhaps? He has won every trophy of every kind with us, and what next? Wouldn’t it be cool to be the link that propels a club to championships, he might be thinking. Who knows? Either way, if he wants out, then nobody wants him out more than I do.

And now we wait.

–Someone noted on Twitter that Lionel Messi got the same penalty (yellow card) for wishing his mother happy birthday, as Nigel de Jong for his Xabi Alonso karate kick in the World Cup final match. Actually more, because de Jong wasn’t fined. Awe.Some. Way to go, La Liga, a passel of truffle-rooting dimwits who keep uprooting turds instead of delicacies. Imagine that. “Game times? We’ll figure that one out. TV is linked to match times? Well, they will adjust to us. We are La Liga. And fine that midget. How dare he?” Those jackals could screw up a sunny day. Of course the club is appealing the penalty, on the grounds that it is monstrously dimwitted and picayune.

Albert Benaiges, aka “He Who Discovered Andres Iniesta,” is leaving the club for a coaching post in Dubai, after a 20-year relationship with the club. We wish him well, and owe our eternal thanks for Ghostface. Yes.

–There’s a pretty delightful interview with Eric Abidal, our French Greyhound, in Sport, where we learn, among other things, that he left notification at Wembley, when France played there last year, that he would be back for the Champions League final. Let’s hope he’s prescient. He’s going to begin negotiating his renewal with the club on Thursday. Word is that he doesn’t want more money, just more time, consistent with his desire to retire with Barca. (Hear THAT, Dani?) Oh, and he wants some of those shape-up shoes, because he’s heard good things about them.

–Bursitis? We’ll all noticed some suckage from Gerard Pique this season. Apparently, he has been having some foot complexities. Between Xaxi and Puyol’s tendinitis and now this, someone astute would note that these are all overuse injuries, consistent with players who have played, oh, about 914,000 matches in the last year for club and country. He looked as good as he has in some time in his second-half sub role, however, so let’s hope that Lank is back.

Speaking of Puyol, word is that he is out until the first leg of the Champions League tie against Arsenal. And frankly, we should be able to handle our business without him back there. So is your preferred back line Alves/Pique/Abidal/Adriano (ding!) or Alves/Pique/Abidal/Maxwell? And what about Alves/Pique/Busquets/Maxwell, or Alves/Pique/Mascherano/Maxwell-Adriano? Eh?

Wednesday/Saturday/Wednesday/Saturday. That’s our match schedule for the next couple of weeks. Get used to it, because it doesn’t get any easier from here, folks. Word.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

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

111 Comments

  1. blitzen
    January 26, 2011

    Don’t be ridiculous. Are you actually taking that quote to mean that Dani is unhappy at Barcelona? TotalBarca translates the quote this way:

    “I don’t want him to be unhappy here. He deserves what he demands but the club has every right to grant him that wish or not, but all I want is for him to be happy here or wherever it is.”

    Meaning, of course, that he supports Dani’s salary request, but it is not up to him (Pep) and if they can’t come to an agreement he wishes him luck whatever happens. Dani has already said many times that he is happy playing at Barcelona and hopes an agreement will be reached soon. What more do you want him to say? People should stop overanalyzing every poorly-translated quote to pop up on the interwebs.

    Now, can we please talk about something other than Dani Alves for a change?

    • January 26, 2011

      And what maes that translation the ultimate? Further, bot are saying the same thig, which is that Alves might be unhappy. Whether it’s with his pay packet, or the quality of moisturizer in Barcelona, is open for debate.

      There is plenty to talk about from the post. You could have offered back line suggestions, for example. Alves is the biggest situation facing the club right now. It could, if not favorably resolved, change the way that we play. Can something such as that be discussed too much? Good question.

      • blitzen
        January 26, 2011

        I’m just saying that there is nothing to be gained from picking apart every single sound bite for possible interpretations. We have debated this to death already. Can’t we just wait and see for a bit?

        And I’m planning to comment on other things in the post, including the back line, I just prefer to do it in separate short posts instead of one long one.

  2. Vj
    January 26, 2011

    I guess this is part of a tough negotiation that is ongoing between Alves and us. Both know that they need each other, yet both are willing to see who blinks first. Much as a I want to hear what Abidal has said as a fan, I don’t think an agent would be too pleased if he heard his player airing quotes like that..

    Alves is right in demanding what he perceives his value is, and so is the club to give what they feel is sufficient for a player like Alves. The key is to negotiate a settlement in keeping with the best interests of both. Though in between each camp would try to weaken the opponents case and strengthen theirs. The result? half-baked rumours floating around being lapped up by story-hungry journos at the leading daily rags..

    The best thing to do as a fan is to stop speculating (as we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes) and have patience along with faith that everything will be fine, as recent history (and form! :D) has shown..

  3. soccermomof4
    January 26, 2011

    Blitzen’s quote is the one I saw, too. I rather thought that it was support for a higher salary for Dani and a little more hope for keeping him. I think Pep has a lot of pull in this( HE asked the club to pursue contract talks w/ King Eric). Personally, I think that he’s not signing any contracts until he gets the players that he wants/needs. Not signing gives him leverage against our somewhat capricious brass.

    Lineup—I want Milito to have another chance (scares me after last Wednesday, though). We will be needing him with all these games coming at us fast and furious (moreso because our beloved captain is hurt). I prefer Abidal over him now as a CB but Abidal can’t be our solution all the time or he’s going to end up with an ‘itis. Bursitis, tendonitis….too many itises!

    • barca96
      January 26, 2011

      I want Milito to start too together with Pique.
      MIlito has always been better than average. He is quality!
      I’m sure he would be a lot calmer now that we are playing at home.
      I do hope of the youngsters get a chance to shine in Camp Nou.

      THis ROnnie video that Mossi posted is incredible.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmTFTul7Ks4&feature=player_embedded
      I wonder when and where that video was taken though

      • MoSSi
        January 26, 2011

        He’s with his team Flamengo so I think it’s not that old barca96..

        • barca96
          January 26, 2011

          Thanks Mossi.
          Wow. THat guy still has it. Such an amazing footballer.
          If you look at the video, no other player/person actually really cared to look what Ronnie was doing. I guess it’s a normal thing for them to see Ronnie doing some magic.

  4. MoSSi
    January 26, 2011

    There’s a source in Holland (De Telegraaf) that says that Barca are planning a 20 million bid on van der Wiel.

    The’re not a reliable source so I would take this news with a grain of salt..

    • barca96
      January 26, 2011

      That’s quite a lot for a youngster like him.
      I really wouldn’t take these youngsters out of Holland seriously.
      When was the last time a youngster has proven himself outside Holland besides Sneijder? Even then, it took him a poor few years at EE to reach his expected level.
      I am Dutch and an Ajax fan but I don’t know, the last quality players were the ones in year 2000. After that there were no new quality players. Many promising but never progressed that much.

      • barca96
        January 26, 2011

        Speaking of that batch, I am so lucky that many of them were stars of Ajax 1995 CL winning team and later on played at Barca.
        Kluivert, De Boers(although they both left Ajax on bad terms), Overmars & Davids.

      • MoSSi
        January 26, 2011

        Agree on the money but he was Hollands starting rightback at the WC so that means something right?

        About the youngsters, we have to see how Emanuelson is going to work out with Milan.

        • barca96
          January 26, 2011

          Urby is another one that I find very weak mentally. Lack of discipline(on field). Same goes for many of the new players like Babel, Heitinga, Pienaar, De Jong, van der Vaart, Boukhari etc. Very disappointing..

          And on another Barca forum, somebody actually suggested we sign Anita. What a joke!

          A player that I have high hopes for at the moment now is Ebecilio. BUt he could turn out to be another Babel.

          • MoSSi
            January 26, 2011

            Speaking of Urby, he just set up a goal for Pato..

            I don’t agree with van der Vaart and Pienaar, the’re both starters for 2 decent English clubs.

  5. blitzen
    January 26, 2011

    Regarding Messi’s fine and yellow card, Goal has a good opinion piece (yes, it’s true) on the issue of goal celebrations and FIFA’s attitude towards them. Which is, in a word, stupid. I agree that players should not be allowed to take excessive time to celebrate (I’m talking to you, Stjarnen!) or show advertising logos, but a simple heartfelt message to friends or family or a brief celebration with the fans should be perfectly acceptable.

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/01/26/2324112/michael-yokhins-comment-yellow-cards-for-celebrations-are

    To illustrate the ludicrous extent to which referees enforce this rule, I refer you to the case of Swiss league player Paulo Diogo, who lost a finger after getting it caught in a fence he climbed to celebrate with fans after scoring a goal. Then he got a yellow card for it. Because losing a finger just wasn’t punishment enough. You can find video of this incident on YouTube, but be warned, it is graphic.

    • soccermomof4
      January 26, 2011

      But look at all the good things La Liga officials have accomplished. Now nobody is going to risk vulgar birthday messages on their shirts and they also took care of that pesky under armour not matching the uniform problem. They’ll get to the minor problems like scheduling after they tackle these important issues.

      • MoSSi
        January 26, 2011

        Did Thongboy get a fine and a yellow when he showed that message from his hometown?

  6. BA
    January 26, 2011

    i’d love for our backline against Arsenal to include a center-back who’s not Eric Abidal, since he’s vitally needed on the left. Maxwell has already been and will again be shredded by Walcott if left out there. here’s to hoping Milito returns to form fast.

    • barca96
      January 26, 2011

      Maxwell has always been our weak link last season.
      He was so weak last season. Whenever he plays, the opposition would score from his side.
      This year he’s been more solid although I’d still take Abidal over Maxwell anyday. Walcott is Arsenal’s most dangerous player IMO.
      I know not many people share my views but I really do find him the perfect player to tear us apart. He can create chaos for our back line.

    • Jim
      January 26, 2011

      Ok, I’m gonna say it one more time. Where is your evidence of this “shredding” ? Certainly not from those two legs. Jeez. This is assuming urban myth proportions.

  7. blitzen
    January 26, 2011

    As for the back line, for today’s game against Almeria I would like to see Adriano/Pique/Milito/Abidal. Milito deserves a start, and with Abidal on the field he should do fine. I doubt very much that Alves will start, but he will be on the bench.

    For Arsenal, if Puyol still isn’t fit (although I think he will be): Alves/Pique/Busquets/Abidal, with a midfield of Xavi/Mascherano/Iniesta. Oh yes.

    • barca96
      January 26, 2011

      But if Milito does fine today, I don’t think that we need to put Busi at the back. But no matter what, we shouldn’t take Arsenal lightly.
      Milito is a better and experienced defender but Busi is a better reader of the game.
      But I still favor Milito, 60/40 in favor to Milito.

      On the other hand, sMasch would scare the shit out of Wilshere in midfield 😆

      • blitzen
        January 26, 2011

        Basically I just want want Mascherano and Busi to both be on the field for the Arsenal game without having to use two midfield slots.

        • outerspacedout
          January 26, 2011

          Their defenders are small and not physically imposing for defensive players. That defense isn’t gonna be able to bully or intimidate our small forwards the way Inter or Chelsea defenders could. Whereas they also have forwards that are not physically imposing, Abidal at 6’1 and Pique at 6’3 along with our shorter but still physically strong Puyol would not be getting much trouble. Their midfield is also pretty lightweight. Song isn’t physically imposing, Denilson is awful, Wilshere makes crazy tackles sometimes but is slight. And just the huge gap in technical ability. And Messi, Villa, Pedro and Iniesta are going to be up against Clichy (defensively awful lately), Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou and Squillaci.

          I don’t think we need both of them in the game. We have that sheer swagger of being able to dominate Arsenal physically, mentally, and skill-wise. You can see from the way Pique is out in games like against Arsenal or Madrid that he’s supremely confident of not being beaten in a physical or sporting battle. We don’t really need an extra player to bully Arsenal, we can play our most skillful players and just play them off the park (while keeping a close eye on speedy forwards).

    • MoSSi
      January 26, 2011

      Pique AND Busquets as centrebacks? That’s calling for trouble, the’re both quite slow. I think there always has to be a pairing of a tall one (a la pique) and a fast one (Abidal, Militio?, Mascherano)..

      • blitzen
        January 26, 2011

        Fine, put Masch as CB and Busquets in the midfield. That works too!

        And remember my lineup is conditional on Puyol not playing. If Puyol is fit, then obviously we don’t need another CB.

  8. MoSSi
    January 26, 2011

    A quote from Balague..

    “In three weeks time they will be facing Arsenal in the Champions League and I tell you what – people at the Camp Nou are already growing scared of Arsenal and the way that they are playing, especially the form of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Nasri. Pep Guardiola is drawing attention to the fact in every press conference. He said that Arsenal are playing wonderfully after the Wigan game and I wouldn`t disagree with that.”

    Scared? I really hate that guy..

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.guillembalague.com/blog_desp.php?titulo=La%20Liga%20Previews:%20Week%2021&id=543

    • outerspacedout
      January 26, 2011

      LOL. ‘The way they are playing’ conveniently ignores the fact that while Arsenal are having a good run of form we have been simultaneously having a near unstoppable run (8-0 Almeria, 5-0 Madrid, 5-1 Espanyol, 4-0 Malaga, 5-0 Betis and so on). If talking about the form tables that just sounds silly.

      Guardiola is just being respectful and all that with him pointing out Arsenal have been playing well, trying to ease the pressure and remove complacency after the way we tore them to shreds last season. Honestly almost no Arsenal fans even seriously think they have much of a chance.

      • soccermomof4
        January 26, 2011

        Arsenal have looked great up front lately, but there defense is hurt and shaky. Vermalean isn’t going to be back in time. Dani and P!! will tiki taki all over Clichy. I want Abidal’s speed at LB because Walcott is pretty fast. Busi has marked Sniedjer out of the WC final, Schweinstieger (sp?) out of the semi, and Ozil forgot what the ball even looked like at the last clasico so I want him in there against Cesc.

  9. Eklavya
    January 26, 2011

    Milito did fine last year vs. Arsenal.

    • Jnice
      January 26, 2011

      He had several games under his belt at that point.

  10. soccermomof4
    January 26, 2011

    My prefered lineup:
    Pinto
    Maxwell, Pique, Milito, Abidal
    Xavi, Masch, Iniesta
    P!!, Messi, Villa

    Subs only after we’re comfortably ahead. I want to see Maxwell at RB again. He did well that one game last year (that one-two thing with Messi was sweet- don’t remember the opponent).

    Disaggree with Blitxen for Arsenal game. I want Busi in the midfield.

    • soccermomof4
      January 26, 2011

      I’d like to see Masch in the back four one day when we have the luxury of experimenting.

    • outerspacedout
      January 26, 2011

      Yeah I want our starting line-up and Busquets in midfield.

      Abidal, Puyol, and Pique between them have the strength to dominate the Arsenal forwards physically and the ability to deal with them in situations. Abidal at LB is fast and would be very helpful against Walcott. Their defense isn’t physically imposing (and bad- seriously, Clichy Squillaci Koscielny Djourou are expected to deal with Messi, Villa, Pedro and Iniesta?) and nor is their midfield so we don’t need to go toe-to-toe with them physically and play Masch, if anything we are probably tougher. We just need to focus on playing them off the park with football. I would say we already have the physical and mental advantage to begin with. Thus, our ‘flairier’ defensive midfielder, Busquets.

      • mei
        January 26, 2011

        You are going at this backwards.
        They are the ones that will be in need of a strong defense tactic, and in need of finding a way to disrupt our midfield superiority.

        • outerspacedout
          January 26, 2011

          It was agreeing with S04 about wanting to see Busquets in midfield, not Mascherano. My point was we don’t have any physical battle we need to win with Arsenal, since our defense is physically stronger than their forwards and their defense can’t physically cow or intimidate our forwards, so we play Busquets and footballing-lesson play em off the park, no need for Masch here because I don’t see that big a threat.

  11. tutomate
    January 26, 2011

    For those interested in seeing Guardiola’s presser here is the link Playing on the top right hand side of the page with an english voice over.

  12. blaugranaDOOM
    January 26, 2011

    I doubt tendinitis will keep Puyol out of CL match. They are resting him now because we have some fairly easy fixtures coming up. The big match is against Arsenal, who are coming into form right on cue.

    I am fairly decent at basic math. Pay Alves. We payed 35 million for him. We pay him about 4 million a year. That is about 13 million over the 4 year contract. Let’s say he wants 7 million a year now. So the total cost of Alves over 8 seasons would be 79 million, or about 10 million a season.

    How will we replace him? Say we buy Van der Wiel for 20 million and pay him 3 million a year over 4 years. That costs the club about 8 million a year.

    How much could we sell Alves for in the last year of his contract? 15 million? Only Chelsea and Man City would be bidding.

    So Van der Wiel transfer – Alves transfer = – 5 million.
    Alves salary – Van der Wiel salary= 4 million per season (or 16 million over 4 seasons)

    With these back of the envelope calculations we would save 11 million over 4 seasons or about 3 million a season.

    Considering Barca revenue is close to 400 million a season, is it worth the risk of replacing Alves with an unknown quantity for 3 million a season? I am not sure.

    • January 26, 2011

      If we put Alves up this summer, the bidding war would be between Chelsea, United and Citeh, with Milan maybe popping up as long as things stayed in the 20s. No way he goes for 15m. More like 25 or so, because of the bidding battle.

      I return to the salary structure for Alves. If the club has to hold the line because paying Alves would mean chaos with everybody wanting more money to preserve salary relationships, what then?

      Van Der Wiel was the starting right back for the World Cup runner-up. How bad can he be? I think he’s a bit more than an “unknown quantity.” He’s “not Alves.” I’ll buy that. But what is he? We don’t know yet, just as we don’t now what a player will bring to our club. Busquets is “not The Yaya,” right?

      I think that we all hope Alves renews. But if he doesn’t, the club would be nuts not to have contingency plans.

      • blaugranaDOOM
        January 26, 2011

        I am not sure the bidding war would push his price up that much. All of those teams except Milan have right backs that are pretty good. But maybe.

        Van der Wiel is unknown quantity for us. Obviously he is a very good player.

        From an economist’s point of view, salary isn’t the only thing that keeps a player happy. Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique, etc. all make great money, and they get to live at home. Their family lives close, their life long friends live close. They will live in Barcelona and make millions more as ambassadors, coaches, spokespersons etc. That Pique interview makes this form of compensation very clear.

        Alves doesn’t have any of those advantages. That’s why we pay him more.

    • soccermomof4
      January 26, 2011

      The big stink was not about the 7 million part. It was about salary structure i.e. how much would Alves’ raise cause other salaries to go up. That being said, my opinion is—pay the guys you got and stop talking about midfielders in London that you don’t need!

    • Tom_Johnson
      January 26, 2011

      “I am fairly decent at basic math…We pay him about 4 million a year. That is about 13 million over the 4 year contract.”

      Are you sure?

      On a more serious note, those are some low estimates.

      Van der Wiel was available last year for 10-15M. Although he started at WC, he didn’t renew. I fail to see how can he then cost more this time around. He can possibly ask for higher salary but that is it.

      Due to his age and familiarity with the system, he is going to play for the modest amount like Busquets did up to this point. So forget about paying him 3M/year.

      The number that was floating around last few days is closer to 25M than it is to 15M. If he is indeed such a fantastic and indispensable player some of you are trying to make him then I am sure the potential suitor will be ready pay much more than 15M to acquire him.

      But what matters more than any of this is:

      a. Pay structure needs to be honored fully. The system is more important than any individual

      b. What Alves is giving us is not worth 7M/year

      c. There are options available to offset potential loss. Adriano is already in the system and with more reps he will become more productive. Put him there and a mobile midfielder instead of Xavi on that right side (Cesc, Afellay, Thiago, Iniesta) and it is going to give the team what it might lose if Alves leaves.

    • blitzen
      January 26, 2011

      Pep Guardiola always explains to you not only that you have do this, he explains why you have to do it. He gives you a reason. And maybe you can understand better what soccer is about and how it works. For example, if you pass the ball to Xavi then you have to move, but he explains why you have to move so that Xavi can give you another pass. That’s better for you to understand soccer.

      Seems elementary, doesn’t it? Pass, move, receive. So simple, and yet so effective.

  13. outerspacedout
    January 26, 2011

    Interesting this might be-

    Since 1990, Barcelona have won 10 league titles and Real have won 5. Both have won three CL titles. We won the Copa thrice, them once. 1990 or so can be rightfully considered a turning point in the history of the club in terms of ‘post-1990’ and ‘pre-1990’ arguably being pretty much different eras, where we went from relative sporadic to stable at near a top level in Spain and Europe.

    That trend is encouraging in terms of our hopes of catching up on the all-time stakes (if we win the league this year, ten more wins than Real and we are the Spanish top dogs historically, if we win the CL this year, five more successes and we are top in the all-time stakes. If a core from this generation of Valdes, Messi 23, Pique 23, Afellay 24, Busquets 22, Pedro 23, Fontas 21, Bartra 20, Bojan 20, possibly Fabregas 23, Iniesta 26, Mascherano 26, Thiago 19 and more can play at top level for the next six or seven years which is very conceivable, its not impossible right?)

  14. mardia
    January 26, 2011

    At this point, I just really want this Alves situation to be settled one way or another. If he doesn’t want to stay, then we should sell him this summer, period. I’ll be sorry to see him go, absolutely, but better a clean break than creating a messier situation down the road.

    That news about Puyol isn’t great, but Abidal’s been fantastic lately so we should be able to manage. I’d prefer Adriano to be the one subbed in, as the more playing time he gets, the more he can improve.

  15. soccermomof4
    January 26, 2011

    SSSSSOOOOOOooooo, Sevilla vs. Bad Guys is on ESPN3 at 1:55 today. Anyone watching? Not sure I can stand the anxiety but I’m praying for a miracle( like another Luis Fabiano hat trick).

    Good Guys vs. Almeria 4:00 on GOLTV. Will there be a liveblog, will Ray Hudson come up with some more gems, how many stupid things will Phil say, will Kari get her dream of seeing Ibi and the cuddly one score in the same game. So many questions!

    • Jnice
      January 26, 2011

      I’ll watch the Madrid match because it’s not a league match.

    • Ryan
      January 26, 2011

      I like watching Sevilla, especially when Navas is playing, so I’ll be suffering along!

  16. Lev
    January 26, 2011

    Since there is some uncertainty about the translation of the quote, can anyone give me the Spanish quote?

  17. Jnice
    January 26, 2011

    Tweet from Graham Hunter:

    If Pique plays it will be with pain killing injection in his big toe! Instep and outstep only for GP tonight. Otherwise Milito!! Aagh. #Busi

    • blitzen
      January 26, 2011

      Adriano/Milito/Abidal/Maxwell then?

      This will be interesting.

    • soccermomof4
      January 26, 2011

      So unless we use a kid or risk hurting Pique more, we are looking at Adriano, Milito, Abidal, Maxwell??? That’s an awful lot of left-footed players!

      • Jnice
        January 26, 2011

        I think we may see Busquets play as a CB. I don’t think Pep will play two lefties in the middle.

        • soccermomof4
          January 26, 2011

          Agreed. Blitzen, you may be getting your Busi/ Masche game early!

    • MoSSi
      January 26, 2011

      If that’s true it will be a big blow, Pique is the only one who can defend Ulloa with balls in the air. Unless Bisquits plays there.

    • soccermomof4
      January 26, 2011

      Nifty site- but I tried the OBVIOUS comparison (TB vs Messi) and they count TB’s disputed 23rd goal and had Messi at only 13 assists.

      • blitzen
        January 26, 2011

        I compared Messi and Villa, Messi was offside 15 times, Villa 44. 😀

        • MoSSi
          January 26, 2011

          Dahaamn! 44? Is that even possible?!

          • blitzen
            January 26, 2011

            Just for comparison’s sake, here are offside numbers for:

            Osvaldo – 17
            Nilmar – 4
            Mata – 8
            Aguero – 12
            Forlan – 7
            Trezeguet -15
            CRonaldo – 5
            Llorente – 30

    • blitzen
      January 26, 2011

      Then I compared Dani Alves and Sergio Ramos. To see how completely different they play, just look at the passes (1333 vs. 870) and dribbles attempted (33 vs 9) stats.

  18. soccermomof4
    January 26, 2011

    Just got onto ESPN3 and pulled up the EE game. Somebody. Stop. Me.!

    • Ryan
      January 26, 2011

      Sevilla has been playing well – at least watch until EE scores. 😛

      • blitzen
        January 26, 2011

        Oh, you know it will be the same old thing. Sevilla will hold them to a scoreless or 1:1 draw at the half, then in the 80th minute Di Maria will take a dive and CR will step up for the penalty shot.

  19. soccermomof4
    January 26, 2011

    Dude on ESPN3 just said something to the effect that Mou said (maybe to Sevilla? didn’t catch the whole thing), “we will leave you trophyless this season.” We win the better coach award this season.

    • Para
      January 26, 2011

      I thought that there was a video Sevilla made with the players rubbing facepaint on themselves and generally hollering (I think it was supposed to be warpaint), and then the video ends with the words written on the screen “we will leave you trophyless” in portuguese…presumably addressed to Mourinho.

      Maybe it was based upon something Mourinho had said originally, but it was definitely in the video.

    • Ryan
      January 26, 2011

      Indeed – stepping up his game in response to Ade joining, or just a flicker of talent?

    • soccermomof4
      January 26, 2011

      Hey, I don’t care if it takes war paint. I don’t care if they do a Castillian version of a Maori war haka ala New Zealand’s All Blacks at halftime. If that’s what it takes for them to get up for this game, more power to them. Just beat EE!

  20. MoSSi
    January 26, 2011

    Am I the only one who wants Madrid to go trough so we can beat them a la Barca-style!

    • Extreme barca fan
      January 26, 2011

      I’m with you Mossi 100000% with you

  21. Miguel
    January 26, 2011

    no fucking way! that looked in to me.

    • Ryan
      January 26, 2011

      How many think that would have counted if it had happened on the other side of the field? So close to an equalizer before the half.

  22. jordi™
    January 26, 2011

    Pretty sure that ball crossed the line :blind:

  23. Jnice
    January 26, 2011

    Looks like a goal, here: *http://plixi.com/p/72635354 and here: *http://yfrog.com/h2v9xcj

    • Miguel
      January 26, 2011

      tough call in real time but it should’ve been counted. luis fabiano was clearly onside too!

      • blitzen
        January 26, 2011

        Sid Lowe thinks it was not a goal.

        • Miguel
          January 26, 2011

          so does phil schoen:

          “For me, no goal, by the thinness of a panel on the ball. Still one, and only one replay angle gives me doubts. Video replay will not work.”

          jerks.

  24. Eklavya
    January 26, 2011

    LOL I’d knew something like this would happen. It’s EE afterall.

  25. Miguel
    January 26, 2011

    line up courtesy barcastuff:

    “Barcelona line-up (official): Pinto – Adriano Pique Abidal Maxwell – Xavi Mascherano Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa ”

    no busquets in either midfield or defense.

    • Eklavya
      January 26, 2011

      Masch needs his minutes. Busi is ahead of him, but Copa is supposed to be for reserves.
      Pep wants to win this one simply put. With Pique and Abidal and Masch we should be OK in defense. Offense should be the usual.

      • Miguel
        January 26, 2011

        hopefully pique’s bunion doesn’t flare up.

        • blitzen
          January 26, 2011

          It’s too bad Keita can’t play CB, he could get a lot of minutes filling in back there.

          • soccermomof4
            January 26, 2011

            Bet he’d do well if he got some reps.

      • soccermomof4
        January 26, 2011

        Almost as strong a lineup as we could muster…bit worried about Pique.

        Pique and Abidal as CB pairing= a “you shall not pass” Gandalf-like thing(yes, I’m a geek).

        • soccermomof4
          January 26, 2011

          don’t bunions usually require surgery?

  26. vicsoc
    January 26, 2011

    So my preceptor is keeping me late again today, and I won’t be able to run the liveblog. I’ve emailed the other writers, so hopefully someone (like Kari) can step in.

  27. Ryan
    January 26, 2011

    Funny stuff from Casillas – tuck and roll!

  28. blitzen
    January 26, 2011

    Di Maria in…can a dive for a PK be far away now?

  29. Miguel
    January 26, 2011

    what the hell just happened? did ozil really just miss that? beczema could have made that!

  30. Kari
    January 26, 2011

    Me to the rescue! LB should be up soon.

  31. jordi™
    January 26, 2011

    Handball by Alonso? Nope cause Xabi wears an invisibility cloak

  32. Bafanalapagus
    January 26, 2011

    I think Ghostface is a horrible nickname and I think you should stop using it.

    You may think it’s endearing, but it’s not. It’s too agressive. Sure Andres is pale but so what?? It’s picking on someone’s physical appearance and that’s never good nor clever.

    You know it’s a terrible nickname if you would never use it to their face. Would you say “hey Ghostface, thanks for sitting down for the interview”.

    • January 26, 2011

      Actually, the derivation of his nickname is from a Wu-Tang Clan song, a line of which goes “Introducing the Ghost Face Killllaaaa!” Because he’s pale, and he kills you every time. Nothing mean about it.

  33. Barcathegreatestever
    January 26, 2011

    second that motion

    On the back line having both Maxwell and Adriano just may provide an Achilles heel in the big game. Maxwell is just not that physical nor that skilled in attack. I was thinking that Allefay is a starter and someone is going to have to move over. Would he could he be our left back if Abidal is center? If not then Barca could try Adriano Pique Busquetts Abidal with Masch holding mid.

    What about Fontas? He can’t be that far off.

Leave a Reply