Categorized | Thoughts

The Quandary of Bojan Krkic

Our Formation Next Season

It’s an international break, and that means the Barcelona dailies are rife with transfer rumors. If half of these stories are true we are going to have the most deadly attacking force in European football next season (wait, don’t we already?) Forget about an attacking trident, in the spirit of the season we are going to employ a manita of attackers with Rossi and Nilmar joining MVP, with Neymar and the majority of La Liga strikers warming the bench.

The rumors do however, bring up the eternal question: what the hell should the club do with Bojan? Before we start offering him up on Ebay, let’s take a look at his season. He has played less minutes than everyone except Pinto, Jeffren (who has played less than 90 minutes this season), Milito, Afellay, and Fontas. With Messi, Villa, and Pedro ahead of him he has been used mostly as a sub; only getting starts in the Copa and when one of our Terrific Trio is injured.

He has recently reared his baby face with 2 goals in 2 games and if we are lucky he will repeat his run of form that helped us win the league at the end of last season. Even so, a two game run of form can’t cover up his poor play throughout the season, and it seems as if our boy wonder has begun to stagnate at the club. So what do we do about it?

Selling him is not the right option, and it really isn’t even a possibility. As the youngest Barcelona player ever, the youngest player to score a goal for the club, and the third youngest player to reach 100 games in La Liga history, the club has a lot invested in the boy. Don’t expect a sale this summer.

Loaning him out for a season is an option that has been gaining a lot of traction, and not just on these pages. The general line of reasoning goes: going on loan will allow him to play more regularly and will alleviate his mental issues. It’s great for the player and the club; Bojan gets to go wreck defenses week-in week-out for a season and then the season after that he triumphantly returns – mentally strong and ready to play like a true Barcelona player. This is an idealized scenario, but the truth is a loan doesn’t guarantee anything, but rather is a calculated risk. What if he fails to impress on loan and ends up with less playing time than he gets at Barcelona?

From the club’s point of view, if Bojan goes out on loan it’s going to be necessary to replace him. Jeffren should be gone in the summer, and we have some serious depth issues at forward. Afellay can play on the wings, but so far he has been better when in the midfield. Will Rossi or Nilmar be willing to play backup to MVP?  If Pep wants to add a target man to sit on the bench instead of someone who can play across the front line, then a player like Bojan is absolutely necessary for depth on the wings. Judging from the fact that we have spent over 100 million Euros in the last two summers on strikers, it doesn’t make sense to spend another 30 million on a squad player. While sending Bojan on loan might be good for his personal development, it will create complications with the squad depth.

At the same time, it is easy to understand why Bojan has been willing to stay at the club. He may get more playing time on loan, but it comes at the expense of working with one of the best coaches in the world. As a young player he should also be learning his trade from other world class forwards. With Henry, Ibrahimovic, and Villa (not to mention Messi) all spending time at the club there is nowhere better for him to be learning. Just like sending him on loan, keeping him at the club represents a risk. Will he be able to mature over time and grow into his own shoes with gradually increasing playing time? He will need to break through his mental barriers, and that is impossible to predict.

Whether Bojan stays at the club or goes on loan next season, there is no guarantee that he will break out of his prolonged slump. If he is sent on loan he will need to be replaced. It will be difficult to find someone who is willing to sit on the bench, is Barcelona quality, and won’t cost a fortune. Either way one thing is certain – the decision to keep Bojan around or send him on loan should be dictated largely by the transfer goals of the club this summer.

You know you'd miss his celebrations

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89 Responses to “The Quandary of Bojan Krkic”

  1. Kari says:

    I am not writing under vicsoc’s name.

    …Just saying.

  2. Vj says:

    Bojan will stay. If he was to leave, it’d be done a long time ago..

  3. blaunero says:

    He should go to a small club in the summer. It’d go him a world of good. I don’t think we should go crazy in the transfer market. Rossi’d be nice but I reckon he’d be expensive. Personally I’d sign Kanouté–he’ll be for free; he’ll understand staying on the bench; and he might well provide the proverbial Plan B. It’s in defense that our troubles lay though. As seen this year, with Puyol and Abidal seemingly out for the season, we only have Piqué as the only competent player in the department. I would invest on good young defenders, like Kjaer from Wolfburg, maybe take a chance on a couple of the cantera players, like Fontas and Bartra. Either or, we have to start planning ahead on our defense, lest we end up like my beloved Milan who back in ’09 had only Nesta and Maldini to cover the centre of defense.

  4. Miguel says:

    my favorite part about last week’s game vs getafe was bojan flying over to the side line, jumping, & pumping his fist in the air. & then clicking his heals around alves. ;)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAYbc1NdrK4&feature=related

    i say give the guy a chance. he doesn’t mind sitting on the bench. he’s not stupid. he’ll break out sooner than later.

  5. Ramzi says:

    Said it during the summer and will say it now: Getting a 9 is by far the most crucial (and may even be the only unavoidable) need for this squad. Our whole season is still on a thin line because of offense sterility – yes you read it right and God bless the Messi!

    From there on, its all for Bojan to decide. If he is willing to accept his true position in the squad as a player who is still developing, then he stays. If he takes it seriously that he is Barca’s 9 already, good luck anywhere else.

    And Hi!

    • Helge says:

      Could you explain to me why a 9 is “by far” the most crucial need, ahead of a CB, for instance?
      I think we’ve been suffering more under a lack of CBs this season!

      • Ramzi says:

        I didnt see us suffering at CB this season.

        Pique-Puyol: First options.

        Abidal: Remember he was my prediction to become the future CB at Barca for the following two-to-four years. If he regain his form the CB partnership will shift with time toward Pique-Abidal and Puyol as a back up. Abidal is not young, but will perfectly fit the position for 3 years.

        Then we have Fontas and Co. (And we are considering Milito as gone by summer).

        Then you have Busquets/Mascherano as crisis options.

        Dont get me wrong, we will be much better with a new CB or at least a FB. But we are not really in a big trouble in that department.

        Now check the 9! Pep is using Messi there (unlike the common belief) because thats the only option available. Messi move deep, or the offense sleep. With time this will get too predictable to work, and it is so already. We are counting completely on the individual brilliance of the player. Villa and Pedro are made for the flanks. Messi for a role where he room free per se. With the current situation, Pedro and Villa are getting dizzy with Pep trying to switch them and reposition them hundred time during the match, and Messi is becoming -tactically- an inzaghi. But luckily, he is Messi after all, and he plays beyond tactics.

        • blaunero says:

          I actually think Messi will retreat further down the pitch, to take Xavi’s role, in a few years’ time, esp. if Guardiola is still on the bench. That’s the only logical conclusion. You are right about our attack. It is the one that has let us down, not our defense. It didn’t matter in the middle of the season when we were scoring plenty of goals and we were 3-0 at the half. But when the game is close the opposition gets bolder and our defense more nervous.

          • Jnice says:

            I actually think Messi will retreat further down the pitch, to take Xavi’s role, in a few years’ time

            Maybe way down the line, but in a few years time? No chance. That’s wasting half of his ability.

        • blitzen says:

          Villa “made for the flanks”? No…he is doing well playing on the wing because that is where Guardiola puts him, but his natural position is in the centre. That is where he spent most of his career, and I think he did pretty well there….

        • Miguel says:

          i know, huh? ;)

          who fits that number 9 mold, though? would guardiola want another tall ibra type striker? like a berbatov or somebody? & who could possibly take pedro’s spot or, more likely, villa’s? llorente is great & i like gomez from bayern a lot but would either one of them mind warming the bench? most importantly, would barca pay that much for a plan b striker? & how good is lukaku, really?

    • vicsoc says:

      I think a striker is important, but a defender is equally important. Milito in particular doesn’t look good enough to spend another season at the club. I think Maxwell is going to find his way out as well, and if the transfer rumors are true the club might end up doing a nice piece of business. But that leaves you with six defenders. At least one defender will have to be brought in.

      But at the same time, if Jeffren leaves this summer we only have four forwards. Actually, since Jeffren has played less than 90 minutes this season we really only have four forwards now.

      The lack of depth in the squad is ridiculous. The only place we have enough depth is in midfield, of all places. And they still want Cesc?

      And good to see you Ramzi

      • Jnice says:

        The lack of depth in the squad is ridiculous. The only place we have enough depth is in midfield, of all places. And they still want Cesc?

        Mind-boggling.

  6. can_we_go_Xalvies says:

    Its not that easy to just go out and buy another forward and expect him to play to our standards off the bench. That has just the same amount of risk then just sitting bojan on the bench and waiting for himself to improve.

    You mentioned Bojan’s main problem was playing time, but wouldn’t our new “signing” have the same problem maybe even worse given he will most likely have no experience playing in a system like Barcelona’s.

    Even when you look into the past, we never really had a good bench forward, eg Ezquerro, the only player that i could think that succeded was larsson? but he accepted his role. A 30 million dollar signing won’t

  7. Jnice says:

    PDF version of the April edition of World Soccer Magazine. It includes a profile on Iniesta by Sid Lowe.

    http://www.multiupload.com/UX90Q3BK3W

    Credit to bobik007 at fbtz.com

  8. vicsoc says:

    The real question is: how do you play a nine and Messi and still maintain the necessary width? In order to maintain width the nine has to be comfortable dropping out to the flanks, especially early in our attacks. Later in attacks you could make up for the lack of width up front by having two fullbacks moving forward.

    I don’t necessarily agree with Ramzi. I think Pep has built the team to run around Messi. I don’t see a classic 9 working with Messi’s current role in the team. It would force Messi to move out to either side or deeper to find space, and would take him further away from the goal.

  9. majatt says:

    So there is a strike in la liga…the next round is played in June…while I’m sad about that, if I understand this correctly that mean we get back Xavi for the Villareal game which would now be in June :-D and we play them during our 2nd ‘peak fitness’ period.

    • Helge says:

      What? :D

      I don’t think that’ll happen, they won’t postpone a playday to June.

    • Miguel says:

      i had a snarky remark locked and loaded, but, honestly, i have no fucking clue. :)

    • Jose says:

      Except that’s not what’s happening… La Liga is literally planning on screwing over the entire schedule by *shifting* each matchday over by a week. We would then play Villareal just a week later, and we would travel to Malaga (our last game) in June.

      That would have several implications… We would play the Copa del Rey final against EE before the league clasico. If we made it to the CL finals, we’d still have a league game to prepare for. We’d also play Villareal in between our Shaktar Donetsk games, but we’d also play against Almeria after going to Ukraine.

      I still don’t see it happening, though. I mean, officially, right now it is what’s going to happen, but I’m sure they’ll reverse that position before the Villareal match.

      • Jose says:

        Also, Villareal, Sevilla and co. are protesting the strike, while most of La Liga (13 clubs) are supporting it (which is why it passed). Those that oppose it are the same group that protested the new TV rights deal.

    • PhepheSa says:

      I’m confused. I know about the strike but don’t get what you saying. Does it mean now he’ll be suspended for the almeria match instead? That would be great for us and a bummer for villareal. I also heard Villareal are pushing to play this match no matter what. They probably feel they have a better chance to beat us now since we are not playing well and will be missing Xavi.

    • PhepheSa says:

      Wonder if the longer break would help us or harm us.

  10. Diego says:

    CF, CB, LB.

    Out : Maxwell, Jeffren, Milito.

    I don’t really think it’s that hard to do. :D

  11. Diego says:

    Buying a highly attacking skilled left back will make us unplayable, Teams usually double on Alves leaving the left side empty, Plus MVP wreaking havoc it’d be an even greater team to watch than the current one, Yes we may concede goals, but we’ll probably score more.

    Imagine Our games ending 15-3. :D

    • Miguel says:

      like i said earlier, la liga team owners should thank their lucky stars that they’re not in argentina where all games are on free-to-air tv. although, to be fair, the kirchners forked over a huge chunk of cash, much more than individual rights would have gotten, due to it being a sort of bread & circus sort of deal.

      whatever happens it should be fun to watch or atleast read about. i hope this gets resolved quickly so i can watch some footy but am also hoping the “other league” teams get something out of this move.

  12. barca96 says:

    I’ve said this earlier.
    We don’t need a young striker.
    We need to have an experienced striker.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo says:

      there’s a lot of talk about Rossi and Neymar…

      I like Rossi a lot, but is he suit our need?

      tes.

    • Víctor says:

      Villa is supposed to be the experienced striker. Granted, he doesn’t exactly play as the striker (he plays at the wing), but if you are looking for an experienced striker well… there you have it. Villa may not have that much CL experience, but he has a lot of experience in La Liga and in international matches.

      Why do we need another striker anyways? other than a sub, I don’t see why the team with the most impressive attack needs another player that plays as a striker.

      If we need anything, it would be a central defender. Pique is being a little bit distracted as of late and Puyol, well, he is a leader and all… but a young defender with talent would be a great addition. The defense is our ‘weak point’. But of course, why care so much about defense when you have the best attack out there?

  13. Euler says:

    The real question is: how do you play a nine and Messi and still maintain the necessary width? In order to maintain width the nine has to be comfortable dropping out to the flanks, especially early in our attacks. Later in attacks you could make up for the lack of width up front by having two fullbacks moving forward.

    Buy Fabio Coentrao.

    As it is now Villa spends a considerable amount of time in the middle of the pitch to link up play with Messi.

    But when Villa moves in – they lose width on the left because they don’t have a LB who is truly world class in attack.

    If Pep wants to play Messi in a false 9 role and still maintain width they need a more dynamic LB.

    • barca96 says:

      Yup. A player like Alves on the left.
      But that means we would need to DM’s don’t we since we have a hole on the left and right.

    • Bassam says:

      It feels like me and you discussed this not a long time ago. This whole business with relying on a full back for width is very tricky. A midfielder like Busi sacrifices a lot to cover for a player like Alves in the defense. Especially in situations were the other team is playing a counter attacking game.

      The only way i see this happening for you guys is by tactical discipline. Do you believe that if Alves attacks, Coentrao can stay back? Better yet, can Alves stick to defense if Coentrao is bombing the left flank?

      In any case, Abidal should remain as the starting left back as he is rock solid defensively and very tactically disciplined. Grooming a center back that can play left back is a great idea for you guys. I can’t think of anyone on the market right now that can play that role, but that would be the best buy that you guys get. This way Adriano can deputize for Alves rather than Abidal. This is the benefit of having a versatile defender, just like Puyol was for you guys the past two years. Having a defender who can rock the middle, right and left equally well is amazing,.

  14. Jnice says:

    Headline of Sport’s interview with Bojan: I’m here because Pep counts on me.

    He won’t be leaving anytime soon.

  15. Víctor says:

    Said it during the summer and will say it now: Getting a 9 is by far the most crucial (and may even be the only unavoidable) need for this squad.

    First, why is it crucial?

    Second, OK, get a ’9′ (I think that Villa is a great ’9′, yes, despite his awful performances as of lately)… but sacrifice which position? The ‘false 9′ Messi? One CB? One creative midfielder? The holder? Or the keeper? :)

    • BarcaGirl_Indo says:

      if Pique stays an ‘idiot’ like this next season, CB will be the most crucial and danger position…
      Milito is likely gonna leave, and our Captain Caveman is not getting any younger…

      Jan Vertonghen? :)

  16. xavi says:

    HAving trouble fitting a CF in our line up!? First of all, there’s this saying don’t fix it when it is working fine… So the mentioned CF would only be a squad player, not starter

    Suppose we had to start him, just give rest to Xavi/INiesta and play a similar formation to 4-4-1-1, with Messi lurking behind the CF while maintaining the connection between the mid field & striker. You have to understand that Messi is coming deep way too much this season anyway, so this would be just like playing INiesta in Xavi’s role & Messi in INiesta’s role. Only Messi as AM would be more aggressive than Iniesta!!

    • barca96 says:

      An experienced back up striker is all that’s needed next season.

      No need for another youngster. Maybe we can Rossi/Nilamr/Neymar now but loan them back to their club and we get them the following season as there is no point letting them come here only to ride the bench like that kid, Canales. He should’ve stayed at Santander and developed further there. Now he will end up at Getafe :lol:

  17. xavi says:

    Also for the love of God, please stick Bojan to that RF role. His crosses are really low & dangerous from right.

  18. OSBAG says:

    with all this transfer concerns on our part I only hope the management sees what the team needs and leave cesc alone.

    I just found this
    Barcastuff With 1 goal every 141 minutes, Bojan has this season a better goal average in the Liga than Pedro (1 every 148 minutes) #fcblive [via sport]

  19. barca96 says:

    Damn!! Messi is looking fine nowadays.
    His photoshoot in the GQ magazine is stunning.
    I’ve never seen him looking handsome ( natural).

    Do the clubs in US have an indoor pitch?
    Cause the Argentine NT is training in an indoor pitch.
    How cool is that?!!! It’s like futsal but on real grass.

  20. barca96 says:

    Messi is HOT in Dolce & Gabbana

  21. outerspacedout says:

    Love the idea of Kanoute. He’s already playing a bench role for Sevilla so he wouldn’t mind playing off the bench, he’s humble and has the kind of personality that wouldn’t cause dressing room problems, kinda like Keita in that sense, and he is still pure class. Quality player. Would provide plenty of extra depth in the forward positions a la Larsson in 2006.

    Also love the idea of Coentrao. Haven’t seen him much outside of the WC but if as Euler says he is also defensively solid, I’ll be happy. I want a LB that is first and foremost very good defensively and has speed, and will provide an option by the left touchline to provide width the way Abidal does now at left-back cos of his pace when we are attacking and passing around the box.

    If he comes it gives us extra depth at CB, being able to put Abidal at CB without sacrificing the dynamism and width a la Maxwell or defensive solidity a la Adriano. Also, then we’ll have enough depth across the field. LB: Coentrao, Abidal, Adriano. CB: Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Fontas. RB: Alves, Adriano, Puyol, (Bartra, I was very impressed with all I’ve seen of him in the first team so far). If I could choose I’d make him our top summer target- as Euler said, the dynamism on both flanks would make us almost immpossible to handle, plus the depth across the whole defense it gives which we really need. Plus, it gives us extra depth up front as well, Coentrao can play as LW if we’re short up front or in matches that require more defensive steel, or matches that need to be closed out (eg: Abidal moving to left, a CB coming on and Coentrao pushed up to the LW in CL away games after we score, cos we ALWAYS seem to concede).

    We could probably sell Maxwell and Milito for rather good money. A Barca fourth-choice or third-choice is good enough for many La Liga clubs. I think Malaga might buy one of the two (namely Maxwell) off us, they have money, Pellegrini makes wise buys and their defense is atrocious.

    As for an all-Barca XI, not including Messi, only two current Barca players… I only started really watching games in 2006, so I don’t know much about the previous players except what I know about the history of the club. So I can’t make a fair judgement in some positions.

    That said, players who would definitely make it-

    Puyol, Ronaldinho, Cruyff.

    We haven’t had a ton of great centre-backs so Puyol has to be in, but I don’t know whether to make my second current player Xavi in midfield as he is absolutely crucial to our best ever side, or Alves cos he is such an important player from RB and we have so many other fantastic midfielders as options. Considering the amount of talent we have had over the years in midfield, I’d say Dani is more ‘necessary’ as a pick, if you get what I mean. Iniesta also gets left out for aforementioned reason. Players like Maradona get left out cos even though they were greats and played for Barcelona, such a team should be based on the player’s play for Barcelona only imo.

    Hmm okay: Zubi, Alves, Puyol, Koeman, ?; Toure, Pep, ?; Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cruyff.

    Toure cos after all he was a mainstay of our greatest ever midfield, and I can’t put any players currently in the side. Ronaldo cos he was unbelievable in his season here. The other question marks cos I could only put in two current players and Messi was illegal. Alves and Puyol cos I felt defense was the area most needing those two current player spots, since we have historically had so much talent in midfield and attack. This list will be very very off, of course, since I’ve only really seen games from 2006 on.

    Finally back to transfers:

    Out: Maxwell, Milito, if a good enough offer comes Jeffren since he plays so little its not exactly even a depth issue.
    In: Coentrao, Kanoute. I wouldn’t mind Mexes if he comes on a free, or Botia as a buy-back, or a young and most importantly pacy CB.
    Promoted: Fontas, Thiago
    Getting more playing time from the B team: Bartra

    Then we’ll have enough depth for me to be happy.
    LB: Coentrao, Abidal, Adriano
    CB: Puyol, Pique, Abidal, (Fontas)
    RB: Alves, Adriano, Puyol
    DM: Busquets, Mascherano (if we are going all offensive even Afellay as played a holding role at PSV)
    CM/AM: Xavi, Iniesta, Afellay, Keita, Thiago
    Forward line: Villa, Pedro, Messi, Kanoute, Bojan

    At least one world-class backup option for every spot on the roster.

    Torn between sending Bojan out on loan for half a season to bring him back in the winter or keeping him.

    • outerspacedout says:

      Oh, and of course, sell Ibrahimovic, Henrique, Hleb, Caceres for good.

      If Ibrahimovic is gonna be sold for the 24 million agreed before, Hleb for 6 or so million, Caceres has been good for the teams he’s played for since then so maybe 8 mil.

      Malaga should just snap up the defenders we’re putting on the market lol, they’re more than good enough for most clubs in La Liga and really need the defensive backup. Malaga have money. Go on guys, take Maxwell, Milito, Caceres.

  22. hammeronmessi says:

    hmmm,
    in the previous post regarding the dream 11,i am surprised nobody mentioned ladislao kubala-the first megastar of barca and a mythical figure in barca folklore.

    And in my team there is no xavi,it should be pep,without pep there is no xavi,cesc,ini. Etc.

    My 11 is,
    GK zubi
    RB Dani
    CB Puyi
    CB Koeman
    LB Gio
    DM Pep
    RM Laudrop
    LM Kubala
    RF Cruyff
    LF Ronaldinho
    CF Etoo

    bench migueli,rafa,deco,rivaldo,maradona,stoichkov

    Coach Sir Robson

    • barca96 says:

      Dude, its because a lot of us didn’t even get to watch those legends.
      You can’t expect us to simply list down names without having watched them play for at least one season long.

      Did you know that RObson coached us for only 1 season?
      Why did you choose him as our coach?

      My choice would be Cruyff as player/coach :)
      There used to be quite a few player/coaches before but Ive never heard of them now.

      • hammeronmessi says:

        Dude,its because a lot us here didnt even see cruyff,laudrop,zubi koeman(i think).but still they made the 11.i watched all of them except cruyff and kubala.and i think he merited a place in my team because of his status.he was a cult figure in barca at that time.

        yup,buddy i know he coached us only for 1 season.

        cause he is great coach,great eye for talents(he brought ronaldo)and he has got big enough personality to manage this awesome team.

        if you want a player/coach then what about pep.

  23. hammeronmessi says:

    i dont want a left sided alves.with our aging CB s it will be very very difficult to cover a huge space left behind them.

    In the left we need a abi like player.monreal is defensively good and he can join in attack and is comfortable with the ball but he is no left sided alves.my vote is for him

  24. Ramzi says:

    Short and straight to the point (as far as possible):

    - Having an attacking fullback may bring back the Belletti-Gio syndrome. it is not as easy to execute in real life as it looks on paper. But thats a long argument to discuss where it works and where it doesn’t. To keep it short, if i want to pick one selection for a whole season: we are more unplayable with Abidal on the left than with anyone else there. So if we buy a defender, let it be a CB.

    - Villa is a good rooming CF. That we know. And thats how he played throughout his career. Pep started by trying him in the center for many games, and as predicted he is not as fitting there for a club like Barcelona. He is still quality. But not THE quality we need there.Then pep tried Pedro for two games to avoid the tough last option. But in vain. Messi jumps to the rescue. The big concern: Messi getting too used to this position to accept moving back to where he fits most.

    - Barcelona offense consists of 3 slots. Currently we have 3 reliable options, an under study Bojan and a Fontas-like Afellay (whom I still consider a midfielder). Saying that another signing is meant to ride the bench is none sense. 5 players for 3 slots (without lot of makeshift alternatives) is too thin to feel secured and smiley (Thats if we are talking about 5 reliable options – not the case). Now we have no game changer on the bench. Next season, I won’t mind having Pedro on the bench for one game, Villa for the other, and a reliable striker for the third and so on…

    - I cant understand the point behind arguing 9 Vs width. In fact a classical 9 (which is not what I’m demanding) PROVIDE width. Because the attacks from the flanks become more threatening to the opponent and they will need to check the sides which will stretch their defense, unlike now when they make sure to seal the center of the park and let Barca play on the flanks and cross the ball for ever. If you put a striker in the box you will always have a Pedro/villa aided by Iniesta on the left and an Alves aided by Messi on the right. The field open and the wholes turn numerous. Now if we get a dynamic 9, much better. As long as we give him ENOUGH TIME to adapt.

    - I dont want to talk about the previous experiences with having a nine because its an endless argument. Lets hope Messi stay fit and rocking because guess what…we are more Messi dependent now than ever. Not an insult, but a concern.

    • barca96 says:

      Kluivert was a monster for us. He was our only #9 that I can remember other than Eto’o since Ronaldo left (after just a season sigh ).

      I was the one who said that the new player would ride the bench because as we all know, Pep doesn’t rotate.

      I would love Abidal to be our LB again but we also need him at Cb at times.That’s why I would love us to sign a really good LB that doesnt mind sitting on the bench and be an understudy of Abidal for one season or so.
      So Abidal will be our official back-up left CB and this new player has to be content with Maxwell like playing opportunities.

      Good to have you back Ramzi.
      You are living in Europe right? But you’re from Middle-East. Hope all is well with your relatives back home. Do you listen to Maher Zain btw?

      • Ramzi says:

        Yes, I am a Lebanese living in Sweden. And you just introduced me to Maher Zain :) I think I’m out of date when it come to music – hard to impress.

        So…is it more reasonable -in the presence of both Maxwell and Adriano to buy another LB as a back up (Even if you sell Maxwell)? Will this player enjoy more playing time and make a better impact on the squad’s quality compared to a new forward?

        My shopping list priorities are ordered as follows: 1) Forward 2) Center back 3) Luxury signing, Depending on the youth development: Alves backup (Adriano better on the left so why put him right and buying left?) or Valdes Back up (As you may have noticed from Pinto’s performances he is getting senile by time).

        But if we can buy C.Ronaldo, then go for it and forget all the other signings! Buy him, put him on the bench for the whole season watching his face every time Messi scores!

        • barca96 says:

          Wait was that sarcasm in the comment
          And you just introduced me to Maher Zain ??

          What a coincidence. You both originated from the same country and reside in the same country.

          We (not including you) were discussing this yesterday, there is a lack of talent worldwide at LB. Who would you suggest at LB as back-up.

          If we sell Maxwell and one of Puyol & Pique is injured, would you rather;
          -shift Abidal to CB and put Adriano at LB or
          -buy a LB that is way better than Adriano but content with being a back up LB
          -buy a CB ( pacey ala Abidal/Caceres and or strong but slow ala Puyol/Pique/Milito/Fontas)

          You sound like you are confident of having Adriano as a back-up LB. I know he is better at LB but I really don’t think that anyone wants to come here and be Alves’ back-up knowing that he plays almost every game.
          If Pep offers me to be Alves’ back-up, I say no thanks :lol:
          Same goes for Messi. I find them irreplaceable.

          We are probably better off with a youth player. Bartra impressed well last season but he is not a full time RB at Barca B if that is right.

          • Ramzi says:

            No I’m serious regarding Maher Zain. Interesting to know he is also Lebanese living in Sweden…

            * I’ve been out of Rumors world for a while. Not sure where this “Sell Maxwell” came from. I heard that Shakhter want to buy him, but didnt think it was that serious.

            If the player we want is a player who accept a back up role but still matured and developed enough to play straight forward when needed, then we are looking for an Adriano or Maxwell. No other player in the market fit this criteria better. We have them both.

            Thats why, taking Puyol’s age in consideration, and the presence of Maxwell and/or Adriano, a CB is more crucial than LB. Remember during the summer my demands were Mascherano and a CB (thats before we gifted Ibrahimovic).

            I believe when we think about CB, we need to think about the partnerships, not only about the individual qualities. We need someone who can compliment Pique. Chelsea snapped a good one, though for an expensive price. Bruno Alves was another alternative. But the perfect scenario will be cloning Abidal i.e. finding a player who can play as CB/LB.

            In a theoretical world, I would probably prefer Evra as a LB back up over Adiano. But realistically it is not possible to have a better back up than Adriano on the LB. If we buy a CB, the coming youth, Adriano (RB/LB back up) and Puyol can cover Alves rare Absence. Its even hard to make a strong case whether Adriano-Abidal-Pique-Puyol is better, or Abidal-Pique-Puyol-Adriano. But I still vote for the first.

  25. Helge says:

    Oh my God!

    I probably have to mark Mach, 29 with a big red cross in my calendar.
    According to sport.es, Batista is seriously pondering to bench Messi for the Costa Rica friendly and play him for only 45 min.!

    • barca96 says:

      Thank GOD.
      My happiness is your misery ( Im sure that’s not the proper sentence, help me please).

      But maybe there is more to that.
      In the photo’s linked by Pep@barcastuff, Messi was seen holding his right knee on a few of the photos. Remember his right knee knocked against Seville’s goal keeper two weeks ago? Kinda worrying.

  26. hammeronmessi says:

    @barca 96.,

    pep is much much more meticulous then cruyff in the defensive section.

    I agree with you though.cruyff it is.he is the undisputed no.1 in barca history

  27. Lev says:

    In discussing a new LB, yes he has to be defensively solid. But he needs skills and an attacking game as well. People seem to ignore how far up the pitch Abidal and Maxwell play, regardless of Dani Alves.

  28. PhepheSa says:

    Sorry off topic but this comment from Van Persie has got me really mad. From Barcastuff

    Van Persie (Arsenal): “I didn’t understand all the fuss about my foul on Messi. Barcelona players complain too much, like those of Chelsea.”

    That foul was very dangeroung. The cheek!

  29. blitzen says:

    From barcastuff:

    Former Barcelona and Madrid players will in April play two clasicos. The profits will go to the victims of the tsunami in Japan.

    Please tell me these are going to be available on streams! I want to see them!

  30. hammeronmessi says:

    @lev,
    ahem,maxwell plays far up in the pitch,true,but most of the time he chooses the safest option.pass the ball to ini or to the closest CB.

    Bout 2 danis in both flanks,isnt Chelski under scolari used that with bosingwa and cashley.thoug their player profile and system differed from ours.chelski enjoyed good matches with that but after some time it was deemed a failure

  31. hammeronmessi says:

    @lev,
    ahem,maxwell plays far up in the pitch,true,but most of the time he chooses the safest option.pass the ball to ini or to the closest CB.

    Bout 2 danis in both flanks,isnt Chelski under scolari used that with bosingwa and cashley.thoug their player profile and system differed from ours.chelski enjoyed good matches with that but after some time it was deemed a failure.

    @sheena

    not sure whether that foul was intentional,but intentional or not if that foul were to happen say RVP or FAB,arse players will do the same.

    He was right though in the regard that if the receipient were smash nobody would give a damn.

    Xavi,Busi,Dani,VV these players in our team complains too much,which i dont expect from our team coached by a classy classy guy.

    Finally who is RVP?a CF of a selling club and a non elite club in ENG.

    • PhepheSa says:

      I know what you mean, but he’s talking as if that was a nothing tackle.

      And he’s talking about barca players complaining all the time and forgets that Fabregas also does the same when playing lesser opponents in the EPL but then again Fab has Barca DNA.

    • xavi says:

      Haha yeah but he’s not just a world class CF belonging to a non-elite selling English club but (B)he also spends most of his time on the injury table(/B), which is one of the reasons his club is a non-elite selling english club :p

  32. Lev says:

    To clarify, I am not saying if we another LB that he should play like Dani Alves.

    I am just saying that in our system the LB already plays high up the pitch. Not as high as Dani Alves, but still high enough that the LB needs to be strong offensively.

    Now with a player like Bale, that might be a weakness because he is too attacking and he might lack defensive awareness.

    But from what I hear, Coentrao is strong on both ends of the pitch, which is definitely what we need from our LB.

  33. Lev says:

    And about RVP, mweh…Pot. Kettle. Black.

  34. xavi says:

    ‘As’ reports we are seriously interested in Nacho Monreal…whose buy-out clause is really less, I think around 10m or something.

    Sure would make lot of guys happy here. I won’t deny I’d prefer Coentrao but it’s fine to have Nacho, he’s the future of Spain for the LB berth. He’s defensively very strong and he does involve in attack very much too. More importantly he’s used to the league. Won’t be a bad transfer IMO. There was indeed interest from our side for a long time now, so I do think it’s not just vague rumor. Also tbf ‘As’ have definitely been fairly accurate when it comes to our transfer moves, moreso than our own Catalan newspapers

  35. cliveee says:

    My bet is that Bojan will likely to stay with us.

    A loan deal would do him good, but judging by the love and patience he has been receiving, he will likely stay for at least another season to ‘grow’. A loan may happen after this season because even if he is loaned out now, he may not even play regularly in another team. Who would like to lose the ball up front every time you pass it? Bobo has a lot work to do.

    Also, I may be the minority to say this, but I am for keeping Nolito. Indeed, his selfishness needs to be fine-tuned and talked to. But he is, potentially, another P!!. His ability to dribble and at least keep the ball on flanks, goal-scoring instinct and more importantly, La Masia root, gives enough reasons for us to keep him.

    Nolito deserves a chance, also because of how we are trying to 1) cut cost, 2) stop trying new and big money striker only to risk failure that cost us a lot.

    Yellow Submarine carries some good strikers such as Rossi & Neymar, but if we land them in Barcelona, we will have to repeat another striker adaptation cycle. Also, they are similar to what we have already. But oh, I am not going into plan B debate.

  36. K_legit says:

    And at the Cricket World Cup we get a Clasico of the Cricket kind..India vs Pakistan..can you not feel the adrenaline pumping!

  37. barca4eva says:

    We have all watched Boyan for the past three years now with lots of optimism about the kind of player we hope he will mature into. But unfortunately, his career has taken a reverse kick. Part of the problem with his game is a lack of confidence. But there is also another important part being overlooked here: he consistently makes the same errors such as ball control and lack of pace in his movement. Which makes me wonder if he realizes what he has to do to consistently improve his game. My worry is that he will have fewer minutes to play next year if we strengthen as we are very likely to and that may further hamper his growth. I would suggest a loan agreement that will guarantee him more playing time.

  38. Cule_less says:

    Sorry but if the kid got Pedro time he would be producing pedro numbers.

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