News of the Day: Guess Who’s Joined BFB?

That's me, a newbie!

Not that guy~! Surprise! It is I, Kari, who has joined the BFB team! Yaaaay me! Yaaay team! And no, I can’t believe it either!

You may ask, “Just what do you bring to the table that  isn’t already there?” and I would say, “No intelligent discussion or contributions, bad grammar, long useless polls on the LiveBlog, and a virtual smiley face 😀 ” You may reply, “How does that help anything?” and I would retort, “….Well, my mom’s better than your mom!”

And the conversation would end there.

On a more serious note, I’ll primarily be a news gatherer here on BFB meaning I’d be the gatherer of news (same thing idiot). The news will be Barca-related, of course, and from a variety of sites (or barcastuff, whatever). My posts would be “News of the Day/Week” depending on events. If one day is particularly eventful, I will post a news of the day. If news is slow, news of the week will probably be the post. All in all, I’ll just be relaying information to you .

I’ll also (try to) add some interesting articles that are on the web today. What I find “interesting”, you may not find interesting, but I’ll try to keep it as appealing/amusing/astonishing(-ly amazing) as possible. An example could be a Sid Lowe review of a Barca game, or a Zonal Marking article. You may (read: will) see a La Liga Loca article at some point. I may also post an article to spark some football-related debate among BFBers and get some lesser known articles to your attention.

Don’t expect any reviews/previews/tactical awareness/SoMa goodness/etc. from me. I’m the clueless one on the team who leans more towards the “Ooooohhhhh, purty football! Moc, moc” side of the football scale than the tactical knowledge side (credit tnyatu for the analogy). If I try my hand at those things…

This is what would happen to me.

I have some ideas of what I could do, but I dunno if I could make it a constant thing. Some of the “maybe I could do that” ideas: uploading the BFB “game of the season” on YouTube ( after a poll), uploading a Revista de La Liga on YT, posting the post-match comments of Pep and the players after a game and before a review… Yeah. But I don’t want to get your hopes up though. I may not have the time to do that. I’m already taking an age getting the second leg of Barca-Arsenal uploaded (I’ve uploaded the 10-minute pre-match if anyone cares).

What I will do for sure though, is give you a little long monologue of how I became a Barca fan later. Because you’re all dying to know, right? Right.

I am so honoured to be part of the team. If this was a shock to you, it was even more of a shock to me (I’m surprised I even manage to string words together, let alone post something. I still can’t really believe it)! I hope to keep up the BFB standard and make supporting Barca that much more fun.

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152 Comments

  1. Roz
    January 27, 2011

    Cograts Kari! Im expecting major Awesomeness from Ya :).

  2. blitzen
    January 27, 2011

    You know what’s weird? I was just this morning thinking they should make you a mod for all the work you do with the LiveBlogs.

    Congrats, Kari!

    • soccermomof4
      January 27, 2011

      Ditto Blitzen, been thinking that for a while.

  3. mei
    January 27, 2011

    You suck kari.
    GTO! :p
    Congratulations 😀

  4. jordi™
    January 27, 2011

    So uhh. Who has joined BFB? 😀

    Congrats Kari 😀

  5. ooga aga
    January 27, 2011

    enbuenahora, kari

    i just wanted to mention again, if you didnt catch it the first time, watch messis first goal vs almeria and see how he makes the defenders crash into each other and one of them goes down. soooo funny

    • soccermomof4
      January 27, 2011

      I rewatched that goal-you’re absolutely right- and it was hysterical

  6. Roz
    January 27, 2011

    BTW does anyone know what happend to Ramzi?

    • MoSSi
      January 27, 2011

      I read on his blog that he was busy with work/life the upcoming weeks or so..

      • blitzen
        January 27, 2011

        What is this “life” you speak of?

  7. MoSSi
    January 27, 2011

    Everybody’s turning in a moderator!

    Congrats Kari!

  8. January 27, 2011

    We’re very pleased to have Kari on board. Of late, we’ve been expanding the team because frankly, it’s hard for 2 or 3 of us to maintain the quality and posting frequency that you all demand. So here’s the team, moving forward:

    Isaiah: You know who he is.
    me: Villa and Krkic hater extraordinaire
    Luke: General excellence
    Euler: Tactical jams kicked out
    VicSoc: LiveBloggage, generalist
    Kari: (see above, yo)
    Tom Johnson: Business, tactics, whatevs
    SoMa: General genius
    Linda Hui: Her website is here: http://black-white-and-grey.blogspot.com/

    Hopefully, between the lot of us, all intensely time-constrained, we can continue the excellence that everyone has come to expect. Rock, and welcome, Kari!

    • outerspacedout
      January 27, 2011

      You forgot… (wait, who else does Kxevin hate?)

    • cliveee
      January 27, 2011

      oh my goodness, that black and white and grey blog, wow. can’t wait to see Linda Hui and her posts.

      • January 28, 2011

        Agree Clivee. We’re thrilled that she’s agreed to help out. Isaiah and I are big fans.

  9. outerspacedout
    January 27, 2011

    Oh my good laugh at Goal.com got Hectored.

    Anyway here it is: http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/01/27/2326189/guardians-gareth-bale-twitter-exclusive-shows-social-media

    Scrolling down and seeing the first (and at the time only) comment I laughed my head off. If it has more comments now maybe the effect won’t be funny anymore. Going down to scroll and expecting a comment that was funny would also probably not make it funny since it was just not expecting anything and seeing that which made it funny. Anyway though.

    And congrats Kari ;D

    • Eklavya
      January 27, 2011

      I guess this is the end of your BFB Hammer jokes!

  10. soccermomof4
    January 27, 2011

    Well there goes the blog!

    Just kidding. Way to go kiddo, but don’t forget to get your studying done!

  11. outerspacedout
    January 27, 2011

    Some day I’ll be a poster too… 😀 Maybe a year or two (or three, or four) down the line I’ll be at poster-level.

    • Eklavya
      January 27, 2011

      Me too…hopefully … in a few years…

    • soccermomof4
      January 27, 2011

      Not I, I’m quite content to be served and not to serve.

  12. Extreme barca fan
    January 27, 2011

    Congrats to Kari and to BFB, Rock on

  13. Kari
    January 27, 2011

    Thanks so much for the congrats, guys! And there is a nice edit button beside all your posts, so if you didn’t congratulate me, I’ll make you 😀 . I have the power now! <—May become power-hungry in the future.

    It actually took me a little while to post this because I had an internal struggle whether to Hector Kxevin or not. I decided not since that would be pretty ballsy for a newbie 😀 Next time though…

    @Eklavya, the Ban Hammer jokes will never go away. Watch, there will come a time when I can't post anything…

  14. yoyoma
    January 27, 2011

    Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh moc, moc Kari! Congrats.

  15. soccermomof4
    January 27, 2011

    First poll idea, Kari, and it actually was Blitzen’s idea is:

    Who does Adebayor get into a fight with first at EE? (although something in me has a small soft spot for Adebayor ever since the Togo bus incident, so sad).

    • soccermomof4
      January 27, 2011

      Togo and incident—-I want that delete button just for my own mistakes

        • soccermomof4
          January 27, 2011

          OOOOOOOHHHHHHH!

          But you only use your powers for good!

  16. manishchhetri
    January 27, 2011

    That’s just awesome awesomeness.. All hail Kari..

  17. Jnice
    January 27, 2011

    These “pundits” Shaka Hislop and Janusz Michallik on twitter claiming Mascherano isn’t a good player, comparing him to Felipe Melo and when I ask them if they’ve watched him play for Barça, they act as if I’m saying something ridiculous. I said Mascherano has been great for Barça and Shaka says “Eh?!” as if he knows more about Barça than me.

    Seriously, I despise these journalists who watch maybe one or two games and claim to know everything about our team. If they actually watched Barça matches, then they would know how good Mascherano has been.

    This frustrates me.

    • blitzen
      January 27, 2011

      Who are these people? Who do they work for?

      I just watched yesterday’s match this afternoon, and Mascherano was brilliant! The way he steals balls is a joy to watch, his passing is as good as any (except Xavinesta, natch), and he has adapted beautifully to Barca’s possession/attacking game. He even took a couple of shots on goal–I guess he figures if Abidal can score, he can too!

      • Jnice
        January 27, 2011

        ESPN Press Pass dudes. So annoying.

  18. blitzen
    January 27, 2011

    A few more thoughts on the game while it is fresh in my mind:

    –we don’t need a tall forward when he have flying Pedro!! Yes, he can fly now. Awesome.
    –Adriano didn’t have a bad game at all, aside from a couple of mistakes. It’s just that he’s not Dani Alves. He’s not fast enough to advance up the right wing and then dash back to cover for an out-of-position Pique. And he got fouled a lot. Would they have fouled Dani like that? Don’t think so. They wouldn’t have been able to catch him, for one thing.
    –Pique wasn’t good in the first half, but improved a lot in the second.
    –ABIDAL! Not only was he an absolute beast, he also had to do part of Pique and Adriano’s jobs.
    –Pinto managed not to scare the heck out of me for once. Good game.
    –Afellay looks better and better the more minutes he gets. He should play the whole game in the second half of the tie.
    –Villa had an excellent game, too. This Villa-Messi-Pedro trident is almost unbeatable. Poor Bojan.

    • blitzen
      January 27, 2011

      Oh, and I forgot to add:

      –I sometimes feel almost sorry for Rosell. It must be hard to have to sit there stone-faced next to the opposition president and not be able to celebrate how well your team is playing. 🙂

      • January 27, 2011

        In terms of pure pace, Adriano is faster than Alves. Watch ’em both. And Alves doesn’t have the full-on pace to get back, either.

        And I wouldn’t say poor Krkic. He brought it on himself.

        • Jnice
          January 27, 2011

          Alves has the stamina to get up and down. Adriano doesn’t.

          I just think Adriano has to improve his decision making when he has the ball. If Xavi is telling you to keep it moving and asks for the ball, then give it to him. No need to switch the fields or blast a pointless shot.

          • blitzen
            January 27, 2011

            Maybe you’re right, it’s more about stamina than speed. Alves knows he can run all day and night so doesn’t hesitate to make that run, while Adriano needs to conserve his energy more.

            And with regards to decision-making, watching Milito trying to decide what to do with the ball was downright painful at times. He wasn’t bad, just slow to make the pass. He needs more game time to get back in his rythm

          • Tom_Johnson
            January 27, 2011

            “Alves has the stamina to get up and down. Adriano doesn’t.”

            Adriano appears to be a bit heavier (thighs for one). The official listing says by around 7lbs. That might be the reason for somewhat lesser stamina.

            Whit this ‘extra’ weight, Adriano is more effective during ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ contact. His tackles appear to bring more force too.

            As for decision making process, it takes time to develop ‘chemistry’ and mutual understanding. Such things come with repetition.

            For now, the most important thing is that he is where is supposed to be (for the most part). Making himself available to receive a pass. The more time he spends on the pitch the more calm he is going to be and will stop trying to do ‘too much’ in an attempt to impress.

          • Jnice
            January 27, 2011

            Well regardless of Adriano’s weight, I struggle to name many players who have the stamina Alves possesses.

            That said, Adriano does look stronger when he goes into challenges with his body, but I also think he can be a bit reckless when it comes to throwing his weight around. Against Betis he was practically asking the referee for a second yellow with some of his senseless challenges.

            And I know the chemistry and all that will come with more game time and what not, but if you look at Afellay for example, he is doing the right thing. Pass the ball and keep it simple. When the midfielders ask for the ball, he gives it. Some of that stuff Adriano is doing should be cut out by now.

        • blitzen
          January 27, 2011

          Just because Bojan has only himself to blame for his performance doesn’t mean I can’t feel sorry for him! 😀

  19. jnelson
    January 27, 2011

    Congrats, Kari! This place gets more awesome by the day. Visca Barca!

  20. Tom_Johnson
    January 27, 2011

    @Jnice

    “Against Betis he was practically asking the referee for a second yellow with some of his senseless challenges”

    Thats a part of ‘trying too hard’ to impress.

    “…but if you look at Afellay for example, he is doing the right thing. Pass the ball and keep it simple.”

    I didn’t get impression that he is struggling with simple passing. However, his decision making is a bit skewed because he is under ‘pressure’. Again, he is trying too hard instead of letting the game ‘come to him’. He is being jittery out there if you will.

    Jittery is what Afellay has been too. I agree with you that he is keeping things simple. But to me most of the time he looks like he is rushing the pass. He is trying to get rid of the ball too quick even though he is not under pressure.

    At times when he is holding on to the ball and is trying to dribble, it again strikes me like he is doing it too fast. Even his movement strikes me as somewhat chaotic. He would pick up the ball and make two dribbles then pass it. The same thing he could have achieved if he just moved a step or two in the right direction and properly shielded the ball with his body.

    Another detail, while playing in the middle he usually have options available to his left and right to choose from. More than Adriano who is confined to the right side line and 90%+ of events occur to his left.

    Afellay does have better vision and is more comfortable on the ball. I guess that would explain why he plays in the midfield and not at RB in first place.

    • Jnice
      January 27, 2011

      Fair points, hope he does well on Saturday.

      • January 27, 2011

        Oh Adriano: Dude’s just started getting first-team reps. Match fitness is something that you just don’t have. Alves has a huge advantage in being permanent, etched-in-stone first team. Adriano has more pure pace, and as has been noted, is significantly more physical. He is still learning where to be in our system, one that takes some time for attackers (which is what our right back really is) to learn.

        On Afellay: That is the best 3 million this club has ever spent. I think that he just plays stiff. There again, it’s hard for attackers, particularly mids, to fit in. But he looks significantly more comfortable than any recent offensive signing. I like his passing and constant movement, so that he’s always looking for space to take the return ball.

        Once he settles in, we’ll see what his playing style is. Tom notes his dribble/passing, rather than just moving a proper step or two, shielding and passing. I’m careful not to apply the WWXD (What Would Xavi Do) rule to Afellay, which is really, really hard. I think he has his own style, and I really like what I see.

        • Tom_Johnson
          January 27, 2011

          I should have explained myself better.

          It wasn’t about the radius of his movement. That I have no problems with. On the contrary.

          It was more along the lines that he would go and make a movement with the ball only to end up passing it to a certain player where a more experienced player would asses the situation and, maybe after a step or two, pass the ball to that guy right away.

          He looked like a pinball that first game he got in up there on the left side.

          When I was talking about how he looks to me like he wants to get rid of the ball too soon, it happens a lot of times to players who either didn’t play for a while or are new to the system.

          Especially in the midfield, one of the most important things is to get the feel for the ‘game speed’ and set the timing right.

          a. One doesn’t want to panic and give the ball too soon when there is enough room to work with (turn, head up field, dribble)

          b. Hold on to the ball for too long allowing the opponent to close down and make an attempt to disposes, intercept the pass, foul or generally slow down the play

    • Blow-Grenade
      January 28, 2011

      Affalay’s movement off the ball is not as strong as Xavi/Iniesta/Keita. I hope Pep fixes that issue soon with him.

  21. Jose
    January 27, 2011

    Congratulations, Kari! You know, you are always my favorite. Except when it’s blitzen. Or EBF. Or eklavya. Or Isaiah. Or Kxevin. Or…

    Research has been weighing heavy on me this last month and will be for the next few weeks, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to post much. But I have been catching all the matches since Christmas, all the while being eternally grateful that we are living in a period where we get to watch this squad play football.

    Now back into the shadows…

    • blitzen
      January 27, 2011

      You’re alive! We missed you. 😀

    • Eklavya
      January 28, 2011

      Yay, you are alive then! 😀
      BTW, why am the only one without a capital? JK!

  22. cliveee
    January 27, 2011

    Are you the Bojan of BFB then?? Congrats, Kari!

  23. January 27, 2011

    So has anyone noticed that at the last two matches, ZubiZa has been sitting next to Alves, and both look like they’d rather be having a proctology exam than sitting next to each other?

    • Jnice
      January 28, 2011

      I think that’s just the way Alves’ face is. Xavi always looks unimpressed when he watches matches too.

      • blitzen
        January 28, 2011

        Exactly. When they showed Alves during the last match, it looked to me like he was physically restraining himself from jumping out of his seat and getting into the game. 😀

        And Jeffren just looked depressed. Poor guy.

  24. January 27, 2011

    Congrats Kari !! I like the additions BFB. Lets keep the awesomeness going.

      • blitzen
        January 28, 2011

        Shock, horror! Balague in truth scandal! 😛

  25. outerspacedout
    January 27, 2011

    Milan are actually starting to look like genuine UCL challengers now. When football sites predicted Milan to reach the semis or finals of the CL at the start of the season and win trophies I had a good laugh at it, considering how old their midfield was, their awful full-backs, and how the defense sucks when one of Silva or Nesta is missing, and that Inter still had the much deeper and stronger squad. I even thought Spurs, with their very fast wingers, would cause Milan serious problems at the back and had a good 50-50 chance to progress.

    But now they look favorites to win Serie A (of course, part of it had to do with Inter being so god-awful) and they seem to be really tearing it up on the transfer market. Got Cassano for a steal, van Bommel for free, the Ajax wing-back/winger/left-back/atleast-someone-not-slow-as-molasses-to-deal-with-fast-wingers Emanuelson for 1.7 million, and now looking to agree a deal with Espanyol for their left-back. Specifically the getting fitter midfielders- now Seedorf won’t be in attacking midfield and van Bommel is still in good shape- and a better defense I’d say poor Spurs, their chances are considerably lower now.

    As for La Liga, the Boca president has apparently said Gary Medel is going to Sevilla, who are also reportedly (from persistent rumors) close to signing a deal with Rakitic from Schalke before he leaves when his contract runs out I think. That’s good for me in two ways, imo- makes Sevilla stronger, and makes Valencia’s next CL opponents weaker. I want Valencia to at least make the semis. If they beat Schalke and then get the winner of Roma/Shakhtar or a surprise winner from one of the other legs they have a pretty clear shot.

  26. outerspacedout
    January 27, 2011

    Ps. Now that pretty much all the positions for BFB itself are covered, I call dibs on whenever you guys decide to give someone the ‘BFB Facebook Page (or BFBFB) Updater and Runner’ job. The FB page never posts the links up when they come out.

      • outerspacedout
        January 28, 2011

        Yeah, there’s even a box with it at the end of each post isn’t there?

  27. outerspacedout
    January 28, 2011

    From Soccernet comment threads:

    ‘jordifromflix (1/28/2011 at 10:06 AM) Report Violation
    Its funny, a lot of the comments labeled at Busquets are reminisent of the ones labeled at Makelele. Busquets may not be at that level yet, but is there another 22 year old DM that’s remotely close to his skill?

    All of this criticism of him and the rest of the Barca team is quite the compliment for Barca. If they weren’t a threat no one would say anything. The great thing is that they are pushing people out of their comfort zones. Gabriel Marcotti said it well in the Journal –

    “Barcelona is defying much of the conventional wisdom of modern soccer, which calls for physical, athletic players, a balanced team and ability to vary one’s style. All of which points to the fact that if Barca keep this up, we will have witnessed something truly extraordinary. Barca isn’t just breaking records. It’s shifting paradigms.”

    Revolutions like this are rare in the game and most people don’t realize the impact until much, much later.’

    Mostly that excerpt from The Journal.

  28. Vj
    January 28, 2011

    Awesomeness!

    You know what would be more awesome? If someone could compile season highlights *eyes the new team member*

  29. Barcathegreatestever
    January 28, 2011

    Not a fan of Adriano yet. Almeria is at the bottom with a minus 14 GD and their attacks on goal came from his position. Center mid gets caught out and then trouble. He has a lower center of gravity which Ronaldo with his quickness is going to be licking his chops. He is not as clean with his touches which leads to more counters with him out of positon and most of all I’m worried that he might not be that smart with all his one man dribble attacks and long distance blasts.

    Much rather see Puyol shift over and Fontas jump in. That way Abidal can reap havoc on the left and Busquets plays where he’s been groomed.

    • Jnice
      January 28, 2011

      Why do you keep mentioning Ronaldo? Alves isn’t going to be out all the way until April. He is already training with the team and will probably get the green light in a day or two.

      • blitzen
        January 28, 2011

        I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Alves plays this weekend.

    • January 28, 2011

      It’s fine to not be a fan of Adriano, but don’t let that blind you to the skill sets that he brings to the side, namely pace and physicality.

      As you said, if the center mid breaks down we have trouble, but that’s true irrespective of who’s in there. Never forget that teams loveto exploit the space behind Alves, because he gets so far forward. That is a problem, as well, that our defensive scheme can usually cover for.

      Puyol no longer has the pace to play RB. Montoya is a brighter prospect there than Fontas.

      No question that Alves is a brilliant right back. But the defense saves his bacon a lot, just as it does for Adriano, and will have to for any RB that gets forward as Guardiola demands.

  30. Barcathegreatestever
    January 28, 2011

    Because of the ongoing uncertainty of his staying and the increasing certainty that the season will come down to the next games with madrid. And because it is so hard to beat a really good team 3 times in a row.

    If Alves is healthy and committed great but even he had a bad stretch at the end of last season and it hurt Barca.

    • Jnice
      January 28, 2011

      I don’t get what you are saying. Alves will be fit in a couple days. His contract situation is not going to change the fact that he is our starting right back. Period. What, is he going to be sold in February? He is our starting right back when healthy. No need for these alternate scenarios for a match that’s 3 months away.

  31. Barcathegreatestever
    January 28, 2011

    Barca might even be better with Puyol Pique Fontas and Abidal

    • barca96
      January 28, 2011

      Nah. Puyol needs to marshall the back. And we need pace on the wings.

  32. Barcathegreatestever
    January 28, 2011

    Yeah sure I guess I’m still reminiscing about his performance in the CL final 2 years ago

  33. Olufestus
    January 28, 2011

    Do you know what the attacking trio of Messi-Villa-Pedro is called… M -V-P!!

    • vicsoc
      January 28, 2011

      Who can photoshop Messi, Villa, and Pedro’s heads onto Mike (thesituation), Vinny, and Pauly D’s bodies?

  34. tutomate
    January 28, 2011

    I hope our friends in Egypt like Miguel are ok. Their government has shut down their internet so that they can’t organize for protests.

  35. vicsoc
    January 28, 2011

    With all the talk about Alves, we are seeing Van der Wiels name thrown around again in the media as someone we are considering as a replacement. I think we could do worse.

    Here’s what he recently said (via barcastuff):

    “Barça interested? That’s what the internet says. But over the past years there have been 80 reports like that.”
    “Barcelona is definitely a nice club, but I know absolutely nothing about any interest in me.”
    “Even if Alves leaves, I still don’t know what will happen at that club. I just assume that I will stay at Ajax.”

  36. vicsoc
    January 28, 2011

    This is sort of a side note on Kxevin and Tom_Johnson’s discussion of Afellay.

    In the middle of Ray Hudson’s expressive discussion of Afellay against Almeria, he made a very good point. He pointed out that Afellay is going to help the team so much because he provides something that no one else on the team really does. It’s not that he’s a better dribbler, or a better scorer, or better at defense, it’s that he has a unique style on the team.

    This is why he sometimes looks out of sync with the team when he plays – he doesn’t have the same effortless flow that Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi display in their play. At times he almost looks disjointed – but then you realize that that is just how he carries himself and that is just his style.

    This whole thing harkens back to a discussion long ago here where it was discussed how important it was to have some players who can fit into the system while still remaining somewhat outside of the system. The way I look at it is that teams have an incredibly hard time defending against the slowing football played by our youth team players, but there is still a general flow to their play. With a player like Afellay he can maintain the flow during the game, but he can also remove himself from the flow and play a more distinctive style. This is beneficial as defenders over the course of a game or a season will settle into defending the normal flow of our team. When all of a sudden Afellay bursts out with his unique style defenders are going to be dumbfounded.

    I couldn’t be more happy with his play right now. He needs to maintain the dynamic tension between fitting in with the team and maintaining his own distinctive style. This will result in him looking awkward on the field at times, but if you go back and watch his last game you can see how effective he was on the pitch.

  37. soccermomof4
    January 28, 2011

    News from club site:

    “Dani Alves has recovered from his muscle injury and has been included in the squad that faces Hercules on Saturday. Bojan is out with stomach bug and Barça B’s Nolito and Fontàs are also named.”

    That must be some stomach bug if CT still has it! Would like to see Fontas get some time if we’re comfortably ahead. With Puyi out and Pique’s foot problem we may need him eventually (Abidal can’t play all the time- he’s 31ish and if he plays constantly he’ll be the next one down with some kind of itis.).

    • vicsoc
      January 28, 2011

      I have a cynical feeling that Bojan’s stomach bug is really the psychosomatic presentation of his stress.

  38. January 28, 2011

    A former colleague asked where she can buy some of “this Barcelona stuff,” as apparently her daughter is obsessed with “some Messi oerson.” Ha!

    • blitzen
      January 28, 2011

      When I forced my Dad to watch the Barca/Rubin Kazan game when I was home, he asked me, “Who’s that little guy there? he’s quite good, isn’t he?”

      Oh, I don’t know Dad, no one important. I think his name is Messi or something.

      • soccermomof4
        January 28, 2011

        You know, we’all fell in love with this team by very different means (some of us by being forced to watch a game) and it’s a very unlikely love affair (especially for those of us who are from the US and are supposed to be watching baseball (ugh!) or if our kids are highly involved in soccer we may be cultured enough to follow the EPL). A goog thread may be “tell us how you were introduced to this obsession”

    • blitzen
      January 28, 2011

      Frankly, with Pique’s current form, I’d be more inclined to rely on Abi than anybody!

      • January 28, 2011

        I don’t know why anyone is vexed with Goal.com. On their best day, they are stupid, and they rarely have good days. Anyone who has actually watched Eric Abidal play at CB understand how he plays the position today.

        • blitzen
          January 28, 2011

          I just find it amusing. Sometimes I can’t figure out what game they were actually watching, as it bears no similarity to the one I saw.

          • outerspacedout
            January 28, 2011

            I was just gaping when they gave Messi vs Zaragoza (hat-trick and won a penalty, and was jaw-dropping) a player rating of EIGHT POINT FIVE. F’in 8.5. That was as clear a 10 as I have ever seen. It was jaw-dropping. Sid Lowe’s article after that match about the newspapers in Spain running out of superlatives and all. What game were they watching?

  39. Barcathegreatestever
    January 28, 2011

    I think Pique’s form and Abidal’s positioning has more to do with the number of blowouts and the lack of possession and even any organized attack by other teams. Its almost as if its a “ok what am I doing here lets put down the popcorn now” kind of thing

  40. SoccerMom
    January 28, 2011

    Blitzen: Which little guy, Dad? They’re all little out there!
    Blizten’s Dad: Well, the little guy, he was kinda funny-looking.
    Blitzen: In what way? Was he on the field playing somewhere, or was he pacing the sidelines in a fancy suit?
    Blitzen’s Dad: I dunno, just funny-lookin’.
    Blitzen: Can you be any more specific? Did he have bushy eyebrows? No eyebrows at all? Spiky hair? A faint moustache? Little-kid knit gloves?
    Blitzen’s Dad: I couldn’t really say.

    • blitzen
      January 28, 2011

      ^ 😀

      So you’ve met my Dad, then!

  41. January 28, 2011

    Reports such as this one crack me up:

    Dani Alves will reject a big-money move to Manchester City and sign a new contract at Barcelona.

    The Brazil international is wanted by Roberto Mancini at Eastlands but any move was set to be put on hold until the summer.

    Mancini has added £27m Bosnian Edin Dzeko to his squad in the January transfer window but is said to be pleased with his business for this month, without the need for any more arrivals.

    Alves, 27, is currently in negotiations over a new contract at Barcelona and City have been watching developments with interest.

    Mancini planned to offer the right-back a massive pay increase and a move to Eastlands but talkSPORT has learned from sources in Spain that the defender does not want to move to City and will sign a new long-term deal at the Nou Camp in the near future.

    “Sources in Spain.” Yeah. Right. As I have said, trust nothing. The direct quote from Alves’ agent verges on being trustworthy, though the source makes it suspect (Sport).

  42. poipoi
    January 28, 2011

    congratulations to the BFB team for this excelent winter signing, I bet sandrusco would be proud of how you sign great players but still respect the actual BFB budget 😉

    I was in Camp Nou last game, vs. I don’t even remember who, you see? Almeria, ok. Anyway, it was semi-finals, 5-0, and the stuff is normal. Excuse me??? People say we bore in our excelence, I really don’t understand… they should be watching because maybe nobody will ever play like this. AND LEARN.

    Almeria game… I saw how two guys man-marked xaviniesta the full game, no matter where they went. One was enormous bald and black (iniesta) and the other white guy with some hair 😉 he sticked to xavi. Messi was false 9 and their CF didn’t even know what to do, go out and mark him or not… most of the times they didn’t. P! was free but El Guaje was ALL THE TIME in the let, I didn’t like that a lot, but at least he really stretched the field and scored what more can you ask. El guaje is cool!

    Xaviniesta were tightly marked IMO, but P! and Messi, specially messi came back a lot of times to play and control the ball and helped them. Masche was ok I think. Keita.the.bomb. We didn’t play very very well, but we always manage to get the victory versus many different styles and we score a lot of goleadas. Can’t wait to see what happens in alicante!!!

    • poipoi
      January 28, 2011

      not “their CF” … “CB” 🙁

    • blitzen
      January 28, 2011

      What was your impression of Afellay?

      • poipoi
        January 28, 2011

        it was only one game and I think it was already 4 or 5-0 when he came in… he lost quite a few balls, he also did some good passes and dribbles. He looked a little out of place in this one game IMO.. willing but not ready. He looked too hyped. I remember how the crowd cheered for him, but now I saw the replay of him coming in and I believe he did not even realize. lmfao.

        But he can move from left to right, he’s got great pace and his passing looks ok, but his touch, his control seems long when compared to other FCB players, he seems much faster though, sorta like p! … can’t say much more really… Villa is old he is young.

        • January 28, 2011

          Also remember that Afellay isn’t really supposed to be the same as all of the other FCBers. He’s a direct player with a big shot, the very thing that will be needed against many clubs. Remember by caution about the WWXD (What Would Xavi Do?) mode of thinking.

    • Eklavya
      January 28, 2011

      If this is not a undercover “First!!!” then I’m a intelligent Donald Duck.

      • January 28, 2011

        And the David Luiz to Chelsea deal that was supposedly done is now being held up as Benfica develop a spine. Want more $$$$.

        • January 28, 2011

          Suarez to Liverpool? Does that mean Torres is gone in the summer, or a sign Ngog isn’t counted on anymore?

          This may sound crazy but if RoSELL still has connections to Nike, and we apparently need another striker and Torres is “looking at his options” during the Summer transfer window… Add our club’s hard-on for Fabregas and…

          I feel sick, suddenly. I’ll just leave the crazy stories for the journos…

          • blitzen
            January 28, 2011

            Liverpool just turned down a massive bid from Chelsea for Torres so we wouldn’t be able to afford him anyway. Not that we want him.

          • January 28, 2011

            Yeah, but my reasoning on the failed Chelsea bid is that Chelsea are direct rivals in the EPL. It’s normal not to give a prized assets away to a team in the same league as your own, especially the EPL (media reaction, fan reaction etc.) Liverpool also don’t need money as badly as they did with the new owners and all.

            If Torres were to come back to Spain, I don’t think the price would be as high. Besides, he’d either go back to Pathetico or to us IMO. He’d never play for EE, given his Pathetico history.

            Not that I’m saying we want him or anything.

          • soccermomof4
            January 28, 2011

            Torres is too good and expensive to come to us and sit on the bench until we need “Plan B”. And his style doesn’t fit with our plan A.

          • soccermomof4
            January 28, 2011

            ew, just had a bad thought…if Chelsea gets Torres and daughter replaces her existing Torres poster and Torres is wearing THAT blue kit…..

    • soccermomof4
      January 28, 2011

      Liverpool fans introduced us to European football so I have a soft spot for ‘pool and hope this helps( they also told us about this other team with this short guy named messy or something that I should watch). Doesn’t Suarez have a rep. for being a little volatile(as well as a talent for well-timed handballs) at times (don’t follow Dutch league)?

  43. January 28, 2011

    Thanks again for the all the congrats. Jose even came out of lurkdom to say enhorabuena; that makes me happy 🙂

    @Vj, season highlights? Just who do you think I am? allas14?

    School has finally eased up and I’m ready to rock and roll!

    • Eklavya
      January 28, 2011

      Yay, you get to paste the site’s URL on the “website” section. 😛

      • January 28, 2011

        Yup 😛

        I have my “How I became a Barca fan” monologue done, but I’ll probably post it after the Hercules match… Unless by popular demand.

        • soccermomof4
          January 28, 2011

          Oooooooohhhhhhh! I’ll be glad to hear it. You gotta admit that loving a team 6 times zones away is a little odd. I’ll be ready.

  44. January 28, 2011

    And if any of you Twitter users aren’t following @optajose, you should be. Amazing stats, such as the fact that Pedro!! has gone some 1430 minutes without a card. He isn’t just great, he’s super clean. You’d think those flailing arms would have caught something or other, right?

    • January 28, 2011

      You don’t even need Twitter to follow them (if people w/o Twitter were wondering). I’ll probably be adding some of the more eye-catching stats in news compilation post.

      • Jnice
        January 28, 2011

        But you should get an account so I can send you silly messages like BOJAN IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD!! 😀

        • January 28, 2011

          What’s silly about that?! BOJAN IS BEST IN THE WORLD (at looking cute, but don’t sweat the small details)

  45. SoccerMom
    January 28, 2011

    Actually, ‘Fargo’ is on basic cable and I was scrolling and laughing and then scrolling again …

    But then, again, as Tim and Eric say, ‘I wanna meet that dad!’

    Especially ’cause he says things like ‘quite’.

    Quite, indeed!

    • blitzen
      January 28, 2011

      Well, he Scottish, so…imagine him saying “quite good” with a Glaswegian accent.

  46. Eklavya
    January 28, 2011

    LOL Guillem Balague is getting a lot of hate mail! Hahah! 😀

    • Jnice
      January 28, 2011

      All because of this:

      Torres wants Liverpool to keep negotiating with Chelsea.There’s NO buyout clause.Four days to go before a POSSIBLE exit of the striker

      For those of you that prefer to shoot the messenger, i am a liverpool fan and I wouldnt never tell this story if it wasnt true. Sorry

      I don’t really like the dude, but some of the replies from the Liverpool fans are uncalled for.

      • mardia
        January 28, 2011

        I don’t support the abuse from Liverpool fans at all–they need to cut that out pronto–but honestly, as a Liverpool fan, I’m beyond tired of all the stories that the press has been putting out about the players, especially when the players were being blamed for all the club’s issues (never mind the fact that we had a DISASTER of a manager…).

        So, sorry to say, but at this point, I refuse to believe any stories unless they’re confirmed and/or have direct quotes. So I’m hoping/believing that Torres won’t leave. Plus, honestly, Chelsea? They have to rebuild almost as badly as Liverpool do, tbh.

  47. outerspacedout
    January 28, 2011

    Wow Liverpool are gonna be lethal up front with Suarez and Torres. Pity they suck everywhere else LOL. Okay well Reina, Meireles and Gerrard are also very good.

    Soccermom04: Yeah he has a bit of a reputation, especially with biting a player in a match, but he also has a reputation as a pretty lethal forward. And there is reason to assume that he won’t be another Afonso Alves since he looked class in the World Cup in offense (and mad skills in goal! Though it made my Tanzanian-Canadian best friend and her friends cry.)

    I don’t think Torres will move, now that Liverpool have no debt and owners trying to rebuild.

    The Copa goalkeeper for Almeria was god-awful in the first few minutes.

    And super cool, this channel I get over here occasionally shows BarcaTV and I just saw the extended highlights of the Copa game and am now watching a program about Barca B and specifically Thiago. Just saw Rafa Alcantara for the first time, he looks nothing like Thiago!

    • outerspacedout
      January 28, 2011

      Barca B player Ruben Mino’s fashion sense in post-match clothes is really awful too btw.

  48. blitzen
    January 28, 2011

    And because no one has mentioned it yet: Seems that Keys and Gray may end up working in Qatar for al-Jazeera. Oh. Joy.

  49. vicsoc
    January 28, 2011

    Similar to Kari’s uploading of games to youtube, I’m currently working to chronicle Barcelona games: my goal is to have every game played under Guardiola. I just started this week, and I’m moving at the pace of ~1 game per day, so it will take me several months to obtain them all.

    The reason I mention it is because when I have them all I would be more than willing to share them. I’ll work on details once I actually have all the games, but my initial thought is that the easiest way would be mailing external hard drives if anyone was interested.

  50. Cesc Pistol
    January 28, 2011

    Congrats Kari! I’m surprised you didn’t make the team earlier. An “articles to read this week” post would be wonderful.

    And congrats to Tom_Johnson too! The moment I read Kxev saying mail to me, I thought Tom’s getting a callup to the first team.

    • January 28, 2011

      Thanks!I hope it works out and becomes a regular thing. I’m learning how to hyperlink as fast as I can.

  51. PhepheSa
    January 28, 2011

    Hope I don’t get Hectored. Congrats Kari you Roock. Moc Moc!

    • January 28, 2011

      I’d never let you get Hectored after saying something so awesome! Thanks a lot, PhepheSa! 😀

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