Marquez, Iniesta back; Messi fried; Totti nixed Barca?

A quick and dirty news update, folks, to pass the time before Isaiah’s nifty-keen Getafe preview.

Francesco Totti says that he deserves his fat contract extension, because early in his career, he turned us down. So there. Rock on, dude.

Iniesta and Marquez are back in the side for Getafe. Both have received the okay from the medicos. Ghostface’s return took longer than usual, because he took the understandable risk of playing in the Champions League final. That match set back his recovery, but he’s adamant that he would do it again. Love me some Ghostface.

–It’s two months on ice for Thiago, who went under the knife for a ruptured meniscus.

–Guardiola and the coaching staff are worried about a fried Lionel Messi. Physically and mentally, our little genius is on the ropes right now. He wants to play against Getafe, but he probably won’t. And frankly, as Isaiah will make clear later, we shouldn’t need him to dispense with Getafe, dammit.

“Run, Lionel, run,” shrieks Maradummy and his staff, turning our rapier into Don Quixote’s lance. And we know what happened in that epic windmill battle. The pressure of Argentina’s World Cup hopes are resting on his squat little frame. Here’s hoping that he doesn’t buckle. A return to club football and the welcoming arms of a thoughtful, knowing medical staff will be just the thing.

–The dimwits are at it again, as wonders whether we should sign Robinho. Absolutely yes, I say. Because we need a left winger who won’t track back on defense, who is selfish with the ball, who likes to party and thinks that training hard is more mere mortals which, thankfully, he is not. He will fit in perfectly with the Guardiola regime.

Actually, it isn’t all that laughable. They admit that there is no footballing reason that we shouldn’t sign the mercurial Brazilian, but make it clear that the non-footballing complexities might mitigate against such things.

And that’s why the gods made Willian.

–Reports are that we’ve nabbed a 7-year-old attacker from Lyon??!! SEVEN?! Really? I’m for spotting them young, but you shouldn’t have to change a player’s diapers when you pick him up at the airport. According to TribalFootball, the folks at Lyon are saying they haven’t seen a young talent such as Kais since one Karim Benzema.

–Ramon Cugat says that Gabi Milito could be playing again before the end of 2009. How sweet would that be? The pain when he runs has lessened, and our medicos are optimistic that it will go away completely. Best of luck, Gabi!

–Guess who’s available and will be in the lineup for Saturday’s Getafe match? That’s right, Chygrynskyy. My guess is that we’ll see him as a second-half sub if the match is well in hand. And why not? Significantly, he trained with most of the first team, except for the World Cup qualifier absentees, Messi and Alves.

–The At. Madrid match will be on Saturday, Sept. 19, a mere 3 days after the Inter clash at the San Siro. Shit. It’s part of that insane stretch of 7 matches in 22 days that we’re going to be undergoing. It was first planned as a Sunday clash, but hey, what’s one day amongst friends, right?

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


  1. September 11, 2009

    Ugh, we might be able to petition RFEF to change the date to Sunday. They usually do, but we have a game against Racing on the 23rd, so they might not be down with that. ARGH.

  2. September 11, 2009

    Also, it’s Abidal’s 30th birthday! YAY! Happy Birthday, Le Greyhound.

    It’s also September 11, which, in Catalunya, is a special day. It is the National Day of Catalunya remembering those Catalan patriots who died in the Siege of Barcelona, in defense of the city, against the Franco-Spanish army. So there’s parades and stuff.

  3. Hilal
    September 11, 2009

    Wow….7 games in 22 days…that is a lot. Although I think right at the start of the season this can be a good thing. A lot of games for players like Ibra, Maxwell and Chrygnasty will help them to adapt quickly and I am not worried about fatigue yet, we just started! Iniesta is also gona be itching to get back in there so getting a few games under his belt quickly will be good too.

    Inter next week does worry me though. That is going to a be a tough game against our worst nightmare opposition. They will park one hell of a bus and they will be very dangerous on the counter. I think Eto’o scoring is pretty much a given as well…

  4. Hilal
    September 11, 2009


    Yeah, cos that is the problem, the European players…

    • Soto
      September 11, 2009

      From the article that Hilal refers to:
      “Maradona wasn’t impressed with the performance of several of Argentina’s top European-based players against Paraguay and Brazil. These included players like Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Javier Mascherano.

      Although the three are likely to continue to be part of his squad, Maradona believes Argentina’s home-based players are more “hungry” to fight for the Argentina shirt.”

      Really?!? Messi isn’t hungry for a win? I didn’t see the two Argentina games, so feel free to correct me, but I can’t see how Messi wasn’t out there fighting for the win. What is it that Maradona has against Messi?

      Maradona was a cheat as a player and now is pathetic as a coach. Incredible.

  5. ElShowDeJason
    September 11, 2009

    Tevez is out for three weeks with a knee injury.

    Citeh have Arsenal this week and ManU next week.

    • eklavya
      September 11, 2009

      Well I hope this forces Maradona to use Milito as a number 9 now…

        • SC
          September 11, 2009

          No. He’ll change the entire line up before he calls up Higuain. Unbelievable.

  6. OhYes
    September 11, 2009

    Ugh I hate Maradona with a passion

  7. JeffP
    September 11, 2009

    Per Sport, Marquez is out against Getafe. Chygnasty to get the start, perhaps? Love to see it.


  8. john
    September 11, 2009

    Hi guys, I was just wandering by, and, um, I was thinking about, you know, this weekend, and… AUPA GETA AUPA GETA AUP- [transmission terminated]

  9. Kxevin
    September 11, 2009

    @John: 😀 (But now I have to cut you.)

    Not too worried about Marquez. The back line of Alves/Pique/Puyol/Abidal will be just fine. Speculation is that Chygnasty won’t play, given that he’s only had one real practice with the squad. We’ll see.

    Maradona’s stupidity just staggers me. Messi wasn’t raging full on against Paraguay, but at some point being surrounded by an underachieving side probably gets to you after a while. So yes, the motivational trick is to say “You guys suck, and won’t bleed for the colors,” and swap in other people.

    You tell ’em, Diego.

  10. Alexinho
    September 11, 2009

    Gabi who?

    Frankly, I could care less if Argentina qualifies. The more rest Messi gets, the better. Same goes for France. I don’t expect to be disappointed by the World Cup when it still includes the likes of the Netherlands, England, Brazil, and of course the U!S!A!

    • Tutomate
      September 11, 2009

      Yeah, the USA, they are fun to watch! * sarcasm implied *

    • SC
      September 11, 2009

      True but a world cup without Argentina just feels… wrong.

  11. Eduard
    September 11, 2009

    Happy Day of Catalunya! I wish I was in Barcelona so I can see the fireworks.

    First, Iniesta is awesome…That’s some dedication.

    Second, Does anyone know what kind of reception Messi got this morning when he got off the plain? I read he was sad and the fans tried to cheer him up.

    and Chygnasty’s not starting is he? i feel like it’s too soon for him to be incoorporated into the system. Specially such a tough opponent like Getafe. A lot of people think they’re easy but I see them around the same quality as Deportivo.

  12. Alexinho
    September 11, 2009

    Oh yeah, and why all the talk about Willian? I thought we didn’t want to give our up-and-coming wingers/attacking mids a reason to leave.

  13. September 11, 2009

    Kxevin, you managed to bring up willian again 🙂 My best wishes go out to Milito. Come back soon big guy!

    • Tutomate
      September 11, 2009

      William must be French, that’s is the only logical explenatiin for the obsession. No matter how talented he may be.

        • Kxevin
          September 11, 2009

          See? Neener, neener!

          We need reinforcement, but I just don’t think that we should splash for the types of names that have been flying around. Willian is fast, with excellent ball skills and control. He vexed the crap out of us in the Super Cup, and we’re the best club in the world, right?

          He also tracks back on defense, has a high work rate and is young (22). I think he’s the perfect player for that left side, once you realize that the goals aren’t going to go flying in, once Henry leaves at the end of this season.

          So it isn’t as much an obsession, as wanting the club to get better, and believing he’s the player to make it so.

          And yes, he’s Brazilian which, if you believe that I have a bias, flies totally in the face of those pre-existing notions.

          Double neener, neener.

          • September 11, 2009

            🙂 haha was merely messing around Kxevin. I think he’ll be an awesome buy too. But is he the best left winger in the market? Perhaps not. Ribery is technically better than him although he’d be bloody expensive. But if we had to choose between willian and silva… well in my book there’s only one winner there

          • SC
            September 11, 2009

            I have to admit, I know zip about him, but to say I was not impressed by his performance against us would be a flat-out lie.

          • Boat Forever
            September 11, 2009

            I’d prefer Luis Suarez to Willian… Suarez has almost become a goal-scoring machine. Look at that goal he scored against Colombia yesterday, and the little trick he did in the build-up for 3rd goal, it’s a li’l Xavisque 🙂
            Seriously Suarez would be an excellent replacement for Henry, a scoring winger who can play at all 3 positions up-front. So, would be perfect for our line-up where the front 3 keep interchanging positions. And regarding the tracking-back, I think Guardiola could make any body do that, Henry actually publicly complained that at Barca he had to run more than he had ever but been brilliant last season. Now Suarez is still a kid compared to Henry & his achievements

  14. ooga aga
    September 11, 2009

    puyol pique chygnasty maxwell
    toure keita xavi
    pedro ibra bojan

    • ooga aga
      September 11, 2009

      hard to find a lineup without players who didnt play 180 minutes during the paron de liga

      • Kxevin
        September 11, 2009

        Remember that Krkic is still injured, ooga aga. I think:

        The Yaya/Busquets/Xavi

        Subs to be Iniesta (to get him some match time before Inter), Keita, and maybe Chygnasty.

    • Kxevin
      September 11, 2009

      Maradona, by a country mile. He had talent. Jessica Simpson was smart enough to parlay middling talent into big-time fame. That’s pretty smart in my book.

      You have to be pretty dumb to piss away your legacy by being a horrid coach, right?

      • September 11, 2009

        he’s probably doing the best he can in his defence. He loves his country more than anything as we all do. His only problem (a BIG one!!) is that he should realise that he doesn’t have the coaching prowess of many other coaches in argentina. There’s only so much a team can do playing with heart and no vision.

  15. ElShowDeJason
    September 11, 2009

    Grrr… in anticipation for this weekend, I am taking Iniesta and Messi off of my fantasy teams… grr… i thought i had the perfect line-up.

    Are we sure Messi won’t play? and that Iniesta won’t get 90 mins?
    fuck it, Ibra and Keita, your on!

  16. SC
    September 11, 2009

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and call on Ghostface to start, and then get pulled out at in the second half.

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