The Other End of the Spectrum: Drop Zone City

So there are 3 matches left to play and you’re probably wondering who we’ll be facing in next year’s league. Well I’m here with a definitive list of all the teams that might fall into the drop zone this season. Some of them may surprise you. Here you go:

Definitely going down:

Almería

Probably going down:

Hércules

In very real danger of relegation:

Depor
Real Zaragoza
Getafe
Menorca Bàsquet
Blackpool
Real Sociedad
Detroit Lions
1899 Cleveland Spiders
Osasuna
The snows of Mt. Kiliminjaro
Enron
Málaga
Racing
Ponferradina
Lindsay Lohan
Mallorca
Levante
Syndrome
Sporting

There ya go, folks, the whole thing.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

128 Comments

  1. Eklavya
    May 9, 2011

    Very insightful and thoughtful piece, Isaiah, thanks! :)

  2. I hope 1930 Cleveland Spiders stay, I am really looking forward to Barca playing them next season. :)

    • May 9, 2011

      Unfortunately it was the 1899 Cleveland Spiders that were so awful. The link I had was updated and is now correct, as far as I know.

      • May 9, 2011

        Isaiah, you get bonus points for two baseball references in your articles in a week 😛

  3. outerspacedout
    May 9, 2011

    BANGS has been BANGing up some team-mates.

    Amidst the celebrations Zlatan delivered a kick to the back of Antonio Cassano’s head while he was giving an interview.
    So if you’re trying to keep track of Ibra’s violent hijinks, it started with him kicking Rodney Strasser in the back, then he tried to kick the ball out of Robinho’s shirt during a goal celebration, then he got in a training ground fight with Oguchi Onyewu, then he kicked Swedish teammate Christian Wilhelmsson. Now this.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/blog/dirty-tackle/post/Ibrahimovic-celebrated-Scudetto-by-kicking-Cassa?urn=sow-wp1468

  4. blitzen
    May 9, 2011

    Definitely going up: Real Betis. And well-deserved, too!

    Amazing that the relegation battle is this tight with only 3 games left to play. I hope it’s Getafe or Depor that go down along with Hercules. As for poor Almeria, I found this quote on Sid Lowe’s blog:

    Almería. They’re heading back to the second division – and by bus too. Eight hours back from Getafe on Saturday night for them. “Second Division team, Second Division transport”. And, yes, that really is what their players were told.

    Ouch!

    • Ryan
      May 9, 2011

      Oh no! Not Team Dubai Burger King Getafe!

  5. Josep
    May 9, 2011

    For all you saying Sanchez isn’t good because of the YouTube videos go watch any of Chile’s matches at the WC. Or a specific match this season the 6-1 (I believe) versus Palermo. one goal was so brilliant. I’ve hoped we’d sign him for 2-3 years now.

    Everyone says Kun this, Kun that. AFAIK, Kun isn’t even on our radar…

    “IN: Aguero (whatever fee), Kanoute (5-8mil), Botia (2mil), another good young CB (5-10mil? dunno)
    PROMOTED: Thiago
    OUT LOAN: Bojan to.. wherever Enrique is coaching
    OUT: Ibrahimovic (24mil?), Caceres (12mil?), Keirrison (7mil?), Hleb (Xmil?), Milito (6mil?), Jeffren (8mil?)

    In Total: 72 mil (5 more players to squad)
    Out Total: 60 mil (2 less players from squad)”

    Kanoute could be 3-5 mil, Caceres I think his buyout is 5mil, Keirrison I’d love 7mil… 13 mil loss. Others look right..american dollars.

    • outerspacedout
      May 9, 2011

      That was what I wrote as my highly unrealistic dream transfer window, actually.

      If you see what I wrote I said I’d seen little of Udinese but Sanchez looked quality, but that I think Aguero is maybe the best possible and wish we would sign him as unlikely as it seems.

      • Josep
        May 9, 2011

        not singling you out boo!

        Just read the other posts with the “From what I’ve seen on YouTube he only does stepovers and would be a waste of money” and such.

        JNice is dead on the boy is very colorful. I personally am a huge fan. Though he might stunt Delofeu’s progress, but still. And someone said he was slow? lol.

    • Reaper
      May 10, 2011

      to chime in here, i fail to understand why no one here rates Llorente that highly – especially to solve our plan B quandary. Phenomenal in the air, good with both feet, can defintely crash the ‘park the bus’ tactics and will almost certainly not cost more than 20m

      We don’t need players like Sanchez, Rossi or Kun.. we have them already. We HAVE to let our kids play more next season.

      PS. as much as everyone despises the arrival of Cesc, I’d personally love him playing for us.

  6. blitzen
    May 9, 2011

    I’ve been playing around with The Guardian’s chalkboard feature, which is very cool:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/chalkboards

    But of course it is only for Premier League games. Does anyone know of any sites that have a similar feature for Liga or CL games?

    In other news, I have just realized that there are only three more league games and one CL final and then the season is over. What am going to doooooo?????? I’ll die of boredom. I’ll be reduced to picking apart stats from old games to prove why Kxevin is the most biased idiot evah! 😉

    • Ryan
      May 9, 2011

      There’s the Copa America to watch though!

      • Josep
        May 9, 2011

        you can watch the crapshoot MLS as well

        • Ryan
          May 9, 2011

          True that, I’ll be going to DC United’s games just to watch Davies this summer. (I also hear they have a pretty sweet pre-game tailgate/buffet)

    • mei
      May 9, 2011

      Are you serious?? As soon as the fabregas rumors kick in you will find yourself fully occupied with the job of shooing the trolls.

    • May 9, 2011

      There is also the Gold Cup this summer, in addition to the Copa America. I personally enjoy watching two Caribbean teams match up in the group stage than the inevitable Mexico-USA (yawn) final :)

      Copa America is also fun, seeing how the South American teams are shaping up in preparation for the marathon to qualify for the first “home” World Cup in almost 40 years.

  7. Jim
    May 9, 2011

    Was it ever resolved whether Spain would be playing in that?

    • Ryan
      May 9, 2011

      I believe Japan minus its J-league players (and I suppose Kurogawa is still injured?) will be there instead.

      Spain should finally get a summer off, especially considering they then have 2012’s Euro, 2013’s Confederations Cup, and 2014’s World Cup!

  8. May 9, 2011

    96K and small change soci requests for Finals tix. So I have an approximately 1 in 4 chance. I’ll take those odds.

    It warmed my heart to see Arsenal get whipped by Stoke yesterday. I don’t know why. But if Arsenal beat us and Stoke beat them, maybe we wouldn’t be all that good against Stoke on a cold winter’s day. 😀

    • blitzen
      May 9, 2011

      Go to the Guardian chalkboard feature I linked above, and check out the passing stats for that game. It’s pretty amazing.

  9. hammeronmessi
    May 9, 2011

    I have seen some sanchez,especially the palermo one as josep mentioned.he is fantastic.has got tricks and pace. but when does barca need searining pace?we consistently have 70% possesion.

    and to joseo before u stating kun this and kun that,i remember the game when we lost 4 3 un the treble season.he murdered our backline.

    when u talk bout which players barca need,u should xplain the reason IMHO,or u can just say he is your favourite player as clearly as villa is the favorite player of kxevin.

  10. hammeronmessi
    May 9, 2011

    @Blitz
    thanks for the award.
    please dont say i m arrogant but i think i m the SPECIAL ONE

  11. hammeronmessi
    May 9, 2011

    Sorry for many many spelling mistakes.

    still not used to the touch screen typo thing

  12. hammeronmessi
    May 9, 2011

    @Jnice

    what is this thing bout sanchez being colourful?

    is it like he is colourful like pique or showboating on the field ala TB?

    • Josep
      May 9, 2011

      I said “jnice knows hes so colorful” it’s more so slang. just means interesting baasically.

  13. soccermomof4
    May 9, 2011

    16 odd minutes in, Fulham 0-3 Liverpool.
    Holy cow!

  14. Extreme barca fan
    May 9, 2011

    Are the AVATARS ever coming back??????????????????????

  15. Vj
    May 9, 2011

    via Pep @ Barcastuff:

    Lucescu (coach Shakhtar): “The key to Madrid’s exit in the King’s Cup was the King. He was in the stands and they are the team of the Crown”

    Did he mean Abi?

  16. Lev
    May 9, 2011

    I had never considered this until one of my culé students uttered: “Why don’t we try to get Eto’o back?”

    Mmmmm…..

        • culegirl3
          May 9, 2011

          What was “the feeling”? I never could understand completely why(or it was denial on my part). I mean I heard about Eto’o and Pep clashing due to personalities or whatever but still I’m sure there’s lots of footballers with gigantic egos, etc..they could have made it work.

          • Lev
            May 9, 2011

            well, apart from “the feeling” there was also the “Eto’o being difficult about renewing his contract”, but yeah I agree they could have made it work. After all, when they did make it work we won the triple :)

          • Jnice
            May 9, 2011

            What’s cool is that Eto’o said he still talks to Pep and they get along well. “The past is the past” or something to that effect.

            He also said Pep is better tactically than Mourinho.

  17. Josep
    May 9, 2011

    haha I just downloaded this iMourinho app and its just a soundboard with some of his rants including ¿Por Que?

    • outerspacedout
      May 9, 2011

      Hahahahahah that’s a fantastic app

  18. Hi guys….this is totally OT but I was wondering if there are any peeps here who live in the Dallas Ft Worth area. I am looking to go to their match against Club America at the Cowboys stadium and was hoping to get together with other BFB’ers who may be going, or if there is already a group set up, can I tag along?…..:)

    • culegirl3
      May 9, 2011

      I’m not from Texas, but I might be going.

  19. barca96
    May 9, 2011

    @Josep

    Just because a player is not on our radar or at least not in the papers, doesn’t mean that Pep is not interested in “that” player. Sometimes it just happens.

    • Ryan
      May 10, 2011

      Right, Adriano’s signing came out of nowhere, for instance.

  20. ooga aga
    May 9, 2011

    amazing that only 4 points separate 9th place from 18th place (relegation) in La Liga after 35 games

      • hammeronmessi
        May 10, 2011

        do u have to say that again?

        i m now a fan of stoke city.

    • Barcaleya
      May 10, 2011

      David Luiz is such a cutie!!! Wish he wasn’t in Chelsea, which I loathe. It’s terrible that I can’t dislike them so much now cause Torres and Luiz are there. Ugh. For all that I want Chelsea to lose, I also pray that Torres gets his goals.

      CHECK THIS LINK, BY THE WAY – http://dhargaurav.blogspot.com/

      Wonderful articles on Messi, Xavi and the El Clasico although the writer, it turns out, is a Liverpool fan. He sounded like a cule to me. Tsk 😀

      • outerspacedout
        May 10, 2011

        Yes he is. And I also absolutely loath Chelsea in general.

      • barca96
        May 10, 2011

        Thanks for the link. Superb material!

      • hammeronmessi
        May 10, 2011

        thank u mam.

        that was quite good read for a cule.

  21. May 10, 2011

    Hey peeps, we have an exciting few weeks ahead of us huh?

    1-First thing, if you guys want to expand the football conversation outside of this space, I would suggest redcafe,net. Its a United forum on steroids. We have some really good, passionate and tactical thinkers on here and Im sure you will make a good showing over on their site. Just remember kill em’ with kindness, we are the favorites and have nothing to prove when we step on the field @ Wembley. Most of the fans there love Messi, are in awe of Barca, and despise some of our antics….not to different from a lot of people on this blog.

    2- I hope we can get into som CL final tactis soon, we are pretty set with our starting 11, but there is a real question on who SAF will play, and even what formation United will use. Many believe he has to counter our midfield three with five players, while others think United needs to come at us with either a 4-4-2 or “gasp” a 4-3-3. And who in the hell is going to play. I am pretty sure you will see Rooney, Park, Valencia, Carrick, Vidic, Rio, Evera and Van Der Sar. But which twin plays RB, Fabio or Rafeal? Who partners wit Carrick in the midfield, surley nor Scholes, who would be sent off before Messi broke a sweat. Does Giggs deserve a “swan song start”? Is playing Valencia, Rooney and Chicharito being overly offensive. Anyways, you get the point, tons of questions for us to debate.

    3- Our legacy. Winning this match has to raise the question, “Is this one of the best club teams in the history of football?” It’s an interesting thought.

    Personally I think we have a long summer ahead of us and have tons of time to argue the merrits of Rossi/Kun and whoever else we may look at. I remember being envious of Bayren and Inter last year, knowing we should have been in that match and our season was ended early. We have something Madrid, Inter, Chelsea ect don’t have and that is an evtra month or so of super meaningful football, we should cherish it and use this space to do what we do best..exchange ideas and arguments about the one thing we all have in common FC BARCELONA!!!!!

    • hammeronmessi
      May 10, 2011

      Personally I think we have a long summer ahead of us and have tons of time to argue the merrits of Rossi/Kun and whoever else we may look at.

      thats the fun of transfer speculation.thats what the fans and papers like to argue.

      I remember being envious of Bayren and Inter last year, knowing we should have been in that match and our season was ended early.

      IMO,no we dont deserve that,inter deserved that.u cant blame the volcano,the refereeing decisions.they were there on merit.though nobody will remeber inter apart from the interista.

      We have something Madrid, Inter, Chelsea ect don’t have and that is an evtra month or so of super meaningful football, we should cherish it and use this space to do what we do best..exchange ideas and arguments about the one thing we all have in common FC BARCELONA!!!!!

      thats what everybody is doing here.but the wembley final is still 18 days away.its very tough to be excited so early,moreover the league is done and dusted.so may be there is nothing to be tensed for.

      i think manu will play the same 11 as in the chelsea game.

      thank u for the suggestion.will go to the redcafe.

    • outerspacedout
      May 10, 2011

      Give Giggs a swan-song start? Why a ‘swan-song start’, he’s been a boss in centre midfield this season right? Completely dominated the likes of Chelsea (league and the two CL games, four assists in those three) and CL opponents. He’s probably their best midfielder by far right now.

      • hammeronmessi
        May 10, 2011

        Giggs may be their best midfielder.

        but there is no chance in hell he can compete with the MFof ours.no disrespect to this MANU legend.

        Now i remember,someone a MANU fan in a Guardian Blog commented

        “Giggs can dribble as good as messi,can pass as good as Xavi,can float as good as Iniesta.”

        Now thats what i call compliment from a partisan fan

      • outerspacedout
        May 10, 2011

        I wasn’t saying he was better than Xavi/Iniesta right now. Just that the use of the words ‘swan-song start’ by Cule_less seems to imply that he’d be given a start as a thank you for his final game sort of thing, by saying that he is still very much a top top class player, Giggs, he’s not playing and getting plaudits out of sentiment for his fantastic career.

        • May 10, 2011

          Sorry dude I disagree. Giggs is great when united are on the ball, but is lacking defensivly. If Chicharito, Valencia, Park and Rooney start, I doubt Giggs gets the nod. If you remember, Giggs was subbed in the 75th min of the 08/09 final after being pretty lackluster.And that was the year the won the EPL player of the year!!!!!

          I think SAF has to attack a bit so this is what im looking at for the MU lineup

          ——————–Chicharito
          ———-Rooney
          ——————————–Valencia

          ——-Park———Carrick——-Fletcher/Giggs/Anderson

          —-Evera———–Vid/Rio———-Rafeal

          ————————-VDS

          He could go the Mourino way and put a defender as a stopper/sweeper (smalling). I think this is their only shot. But it puts crazy pressure on Carrick to have the game of his life. Another variation of this is putting Park and Carrick in the middle, Rooney on the left, Valencia on the right anf Hernandez alone up top.:

          ————————-Chicharito
          —————————–Rooney

          ——-Park———–Carrick———-Valencia

          —————–(Messi Shadow)Smalling

          –Evera—————-Vidic—-Rio——–Rafeal

          —————————-VDS

  22. outerspacedout
    May 10, 2011

    Seeing that Zaragoza goal from last season in HD drives home just how f***ing ridiculous that goal was. It’s frickin inhuman.

    After that game (a hat-trick and won a penalty for Ibrahimovic) I was like ‘this is the single best individual performance I have ever seen by one player in a game, ever’.

    Of course he then scored four against Arsenal the following week, but still Messi vs Zaragoza is maybe my favorite individual performance I’ve ever seen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rK6vyUQ6kQ&feature=related#t=1m13s

    That goal. Straight up insane.

    And to think the same player has also scored THAT Getafe goal and THAT Madrid goal. And THAT Arsenal goal. And THAT so many other jaw-droppers.

    • barca96
      May 10, 2011

      And can you imagine how pissed off I was when THAT goal vs. Zaragoza wasn’t even a contender for goal of the season… I had a rant here. Was so pissed off.
      They did include another of THAT kind of goal, against Valencia I think but it was not even close to THAT goal against Zaragoza.

      Damn. Now Im going to download that match in HD!! I already have the normal version but I want a HD :)

      • outerspacedout
        May 10, 2011

        The Valencia goal was nowhere near the Zaragoza goal.

        And you should. I should too, actually. My jaw has only literally dropped very few times in my life, but it was literally just open-mouthed staring at the screen towards the end of that game. It was like he was scoring whenever he wanted. ‘Oh a hat-trick! La la la… oh they just scored two, it’s 3-2 now lemme finish the game of… ah, I’ll just win a penalty and let Ibra score… la la la’.

  23. hammeronmessi
    May 10, 2011

    in a important news.

    pele said chicharito may be the new messi.

    maradona used drugs thats true,but seriously i think we should check whether pele is taking that also?

  24. Benj
    May 10, 2011

    http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110507100101AAtpDe3

    Rather funny actually, if you look at the bottom comment from ‘Oliver Norbury’ I had a little chuckle…

    Apparently West Ham United would be a top 10 side in Spain…..
    Segunda B maybe?

    He rates the players alongside eachother, so I thought I’d do the same (as anyone who compares Valencia to Busquets or the strike combo of Rooney/Chicharito to Pedro/Villa obviously knows nothing about our team…

    GK
    VV vs VDS – Tough call as VDS is a great keeper but its like comparing Casillas to VV, VDS and Casillas are great shot stoppers and their positioning is fantastic, but VV is a far better ‘sweeper keeper’ and as it has been said, is perfect for our system.

    LB
    Abi vs Evra/Fabio – Do I even need to say anything? Evra is a world class but Abi is universal! oh and Fabio is very average.

    RB
    Dani Alves vs O’Shea/Rafael – Hilarious comparison, O’Shea is rubbish and Rafael is average, immature and too prone to getting carded. Conversely Dani Alves is a machine with his attacking prowess and ability to defend aswell.

    CB
    Shakira/Caveman vs SnoopDogg/Nemanja – Neither pairing really have pace, both have experience (especially in Puyol/Ferdinand) and the passing/attacking of Pique/Vidic puts them about even in my books.

    DM
    Busi/Masch vs Carrick/Fletcher – Obviously a > should have been put between the two, as Carrick and Fletcher are very very average players, while Mascherano has been great since his transfer and Busquets has won just about everything by the age of 22… Im not fussed who Pep chooses out of the two.

    CM
    Xavi/Iniesta vs Scholes/Giggs – Clearly alot of experience and passing excellence in these two pairings, but neither the welshman nor the ranga come close to Xavi’s precision passing nor Iniestas ability to tear through defenses. 2 more points to Barca.

    Wings
    Pedro vs Valencia/Nani – I have only put one of ours because, well, he can play both (good ol Random Chaos Generator). I would put Pedro over Valencia, but Nani is pretty damn good. He can be a seriously dangerous attacking presence, but that doesn’t make me dislike him any less.

    Fwd’s
    Messi/Villa vs Rooney/Hernandez – I know we play with 3 forward but for the sake of this comparison, I’ve used our 2 main goalscorers, and they are well above United’s 2. Rooney cant score goals and Messi can’t stop scoring goals. I’d put Villa and Chicharito at a similar level, but I think little Hernandez would actually do better in a system like ours than Villa does.

    Thoughts?

    • hammeronmessi
      May 10, 2011

      VDS is magnificient,but for our system VV is crucial.

      VDV/VV=draw.

      Dani/Da Silva Twins=Dani.

      no comparison.dani is a tireless battery.the silvas are still learning and when they mature they will be very good and oh they r not average.

      Evra/Abi=abi for this season.

      IMO evra is better than abi except just only this season.abi gets the edge cause only in this season he deserves it.

      PP/RV=Pique Vidic.

      my original choice is puyol vidic,but they cant complement each other.so pique gets the nod.puyol was left out only because of his fitness.and there is no place for snoopdogg.

      Busi/Unknown=Busi

      XAVIINIESTA/Unknown=XI

      P/NV=P,2 footed,excellent defending.shooting.Nani is a showboat,valencia is a good player and he is perfect for the uniteds way of playing.

      V/Chicarito=Chicarito.i simply love him errrrrrrrr like him

      Messi/Rooney=M.no football discussion here.rooney is the white carnation of pele,but he only edged out by M cause of his off field antics.Rooney plays in a mans league,where it is difficult to score,and each team team can beat any team on a given day.so i give it to messi though rooney is a more talented and more complete player

      • outerspacedout
        May 10, 2011

        You’re being EPL-fan sarcastic with that last one right?

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          May 10, 2011

          is that sarcasm?

          because if that is a sarcasm, then I’ve just got Hlebbed… 😛

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        May 10, 2011

        eerrr..

        why you give it to Messi if rooney is more talented and more complete?

        • hammeronmessi
          May 10, 2011

          cause of his off field antics.

      • May 10, 2011

        ummmmm no no on the messi thing lol. And in order to do an us v them thing you may want to know the names of their players, the unknown thing is kinda funny.

        I dont think Nani has a chance at playing, way to much of a defensive liability, Park should get the start there. My only concerns are Chicharito and Valencia. Abi will have to stay at home to keep Valencia at bay and Puyol/Pique need to watch for through balls from Rooney to Hernandez. But come to think about it, when is the last time we were beaten by a through ball on the ground, iniesta/xavi esque? especially with our top pair a CB.

        Finally, I am trying to see how Masch getgs into this lienup,to put out those fires. I do know one thing, te second we are up 2 goals, or one with 15 min left, I am putting Masch in for either Villa or Busi.

        **Remember Villa scores in big games, think national team!!!!

        • hammeronmessi
          May 10, 2011

          I know each and every mf of MANU.WIth the exception of scholes and giggs,i think i will disrespect peekaboo,xavi and ini if we r gonna compare them to carrick,fletcher,park.

          all of them r good players in their own way,but to compare them with MF trio of ours

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 10, 2011

      This Universe hates FC Barcelona.

      he said that because we were dived?
      LMAO… 😆

  25. hammeronmessi
    May 10, 2011

    and i cant believe barca grirl indo buy that.

    or m i being hlebbed?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 10, 2011

      LOL, really, I couldn’t find any sense with your last paragraph…

      I thought “this must be a joke! but then…hey no emoticon?is he being serious?”

      like Bassam said :
      must.learn.to.use.emoticons 😆

      • blitzen
        May 10, 2011

        You are both using “hlebbed” incorrectly. If there is no Hleb, you have not been hlebbed. ;(

  26. May 10, 2011

    My summer Wish List

    *No Cesc

    In: Adam Johnson/Charlie Adams/Douglas Costa (one of 3), Rossi, Ryan Shawcross

    Out:Milito/Maxwell/Jefferen/Nolito

    Brought up: Thiago, Fontas

    Float: Gerard Deulofeu (back and forth a la Thiago this year)

    • Jnice
      May 10, 2011

      Charlie Adam and Ryan Shawcross?!

      Gerard isn’t close to being ready to float in between teams. He hasn’t even established himself on Barça B yet.

      • hammeronmessi
        May 10, 2011

        I understand shawcross,he can break pepes leg into half,maybe thats why he wants him.

        but adam,what can he offer us?

  27. hammeronmessi
    May 10, 2011

    i was sure everybody will get that.

    but most importantly dont know how to use those.

  28. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 10, 2011

    I’m going to start with who I think has a confident chance of leaving from our squad this summer:

    -Milito (its a little obvious)

    -Maxwell (good player, not ideal for our team anymore, strong interest from others)

    Given that Guardiola began this season having a lot of confidence with this small squad and yet we finish this season above expectation.

    players I still believe will stay:

    -Jeffren (hasn’t been given a clear chance, has at times been very helpful squad player, eg( WCC finals and certain league games))

    -Bojan (as usual even with a small squad Pep still relies on him upfront, eventhough we only have 3 clear cut starters upfront, he hasn’t signed anyone yet to overtake Bojan in the past three seasons)

    Keita (a quiet start to the season, but he has been given a lot of playing time in the second half of the season, showing improvement in his technical abilities, no yet worthy to sell)

    B-team players to be promoted:

    -Fontas (we are missing a decent back-up for Pique, Fontas is ready to make the jump, has been confirmed)

    -Thiago (has been confirmed, almost ready to fill in for Iniesta and Xavi)

    -B-team GK? (rumours of B-team signing a new GK, also given our situation after the classico we may need a third GK in the first team just incase)

    Given these assumptions, we still have key positions where we need new signings:

    -RB or LB?
    Abidal is our main LB but is also our CB (yes he can play two positions at once, just watch him), again for the third season we have no clear cut back-up for Alves, Adriano is apparently, but how can he when he has to fill in for LB most of the time? with Maxwell maybe being sold, we need another fullback or maybe even two.

    -CM or CB?
    I go though our starting line-up and can’t help but think we have no Puyol replacement till I realise we have both Abidal and Mascherano. But we lose out in midfield, especially when mashcerano has to play defence, we end up with only one DM in Busquets, Busquets also can fill in for Keita/Xavi/Iniesta if they are unavailable, so we really need another midfielder or another CB

    CF or LW/RW?
    this is a tough decision, because we have three good starters, one super sub, and two back-ups. Potentially if we lose one starter upfront we become lopsided or depends who is out we become messi-less. We need some sort of forward that can come in and start with full confidence but ACCEPTS his role.

    I don’t believe we need a ‘plan B’ or a ‘target man’ player upfront, we need someone who is a constant goal threat, I don’t mean a goal machine, But someone that makes defenders nervous, for example Henry, he wasn’t good at piling on the goals but he constantly has that threat no matter how far on the wing he was, he got defenders to worry about him. Pedro slowly became that type of player. Maybe not yet in the big big games though.

    Eto’o was a goal machine, who put in that effort to get infront of defenders and what not, but Eto’o was never a goalscoring threat in open play, you give him the ball with his back to goals outside the box and he struggled with his first touch and weighting of his passes, and he couldn’t do anything in those situations. Villa can’t either, but Villa ACCEPTS his role on the wing, Eto’o could never play on the wing, even when Pep ordered him to.

    My ideal signing would be Rossi, given that I know a lot of people especially Italians have a lot of confidence in him being CF for Italy. Even if Rossi would potential always lose out in height and strength, he gains in creativity and an eye for goal.

  29. May 10, 2011

    Not getting my hopes up yet, but application number range for Final tix runs from 3888-36,000 and something.

    Witn no. 17,127 …..

    I’ll just wait to hear something.

    • May 10, 2011

      No tix for me. My number was 017127. Ah, that important little zero. Serves me right. My doubt (and ongoing ….) made me hesitate, rather than rising at 3 a.m. like a fully devoted soci, to get my name in the lottery.

      So I’m watching on TV, with friends, on my big-ass plasma.

      • blitzen
        May 10, 2011

        I was going to sympathize with you until I hit the part about the big-ass plasma. I’ll be watching on a tiny little stream, as usual. 😛

        • May 10, 2011

          Mmmmm, hmmmm …. 58 inches of goodness, because anything less than 50 inches is, in Guy Land, just a computer monitor. 😀

          • May 10, 2011

            Hehehehe! As I said to a colleague, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, when there are so many other reasons!” 😀

          • Jnice
            May 10, 2011

            Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, when there are so many other reasons!

            I like that. :)

          • ooga aga
            May 10, 2011

            your definition of “guy” is oppressive :)

  30. Lev
    May 10, 2011

    “Pedro slowly became that type of player. Maybe not yet in the big big games though.”
    yeah. except for big games like CL semis against the Evil Empire or WC finals that is…

    Rossi would be interesting though I do believe that if we could get a good deal on Eto’o he would be perfect for us – especially if it is true that he and Pep are on good terms.

    Good luck with getting a ticket Kxevin! (if you do, would you sell it to me? 😛 )

  31. hammeronmessi
    May 10, 2011

    rossi is good,but the amount we r hearing i think it is too big an investment

  32. Lev
    May 10, 2011

    apparently Bendtner is
    A) fed up with being on the bench
    B) would like to play for Barça
    LOL

      • Jim
        May 10, 2011

        He wouldn’t come near winning a place on our bench.

  33. hammeronmessi
    May 10, 2011

    If u wanna dream,why settle for a low dream?bendteners dream is every footballers wish now.

    alas bendtener ur dream will remain a dream.

  34. hammeronmessi
    May 10, 2011

    there is rumour floating that the professor is going to sell arsha.

    if under 15 M,then i think the coaching stuff should take a look at him.

    • blitzen
      May 10, 2011

      NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! No HLH for Barca, please!!!!

      • Lev
        May 10, 2011

        Oooooo….ooooo….oooo….

        (echoing blitzen’s NO)

      • hammeronmessi
        May 10, 2011

        HLH?

        I think even arshavin heard your nooooooooooooooo

  35. hammeronmessi
    May 10, 2011

    i think i m making too much comments.

    but recently this space is so barren

    • ooga aga
      May 10, 2011

      well, no wonder it’s barren. 😉

      in re: bendtner, he wouldnt sit on our bench, he would lay on the bench. then our players can sit on him, keep warm.

      • Lev
        May 10, 2011

        That’s just rude.
        He could always be Masch’ tackle dummy in training.

        • blitzen
          May 10, 2011

          Or be the Keeper of Puyol’s Hair Products.

          He could be in charge of grooming Pinto’s Plait of Power!

  36. Josep
    May 10, 2011

    “Reaper says:
    May 10, 2011 at 2:07 am
    to chime in here, i fail to understand why no one here rates Llorente that highly – especially to solve our plan B quandary. Phenomenal in the air, good with both feet, can defintely crash the ‘park the bus’ tactics and will almost certainly not cost more than 20m

    We don’t need players like Sanchez, Rossi or Kun.. we have them already. We HAVE to let our kids play more next season.

    PS. as much as everyone despises the arrival of Cesc, I’d personally love him playing for us.”

    The thing about Llorente is no one dislikes him, everyone loves him. It would cost maybe more because Madrid are rumored to want him, and no one knows if he’d be comfortable to sit the bench. That’s why.

    also, I plan on crashing Kevin’s CL Party

    • Lev
      May 10, 2011

      Llorente…On the one hand I would love him in our team, but on the other hand buying the best of the Liga’s rest every season to have them sit on our bench makes me feel evil empirish…

      I actually think we are letting enough of our kids play. Over the last 3 years 18 canteranos have made their 1st team debut under Pep. That’s pretty impressive.

      • Jnice
        May 10, 2011

        Over the last 3 years 18 canteranos have made their 1st team debut under Pep. That’s pretty impressive.

        It is impressive, but it’s not representative of how many actually feature regularly. It took too long for Fontas to finally get some time.

        But when you look at strikers, there are no kids ready to play, so we need to look for one on the market.

        • Lev
          May 10, 2011

          While it is not representative of how many have broken through if you take into account that this is the best team Barça has ever had, debuting an average of 6 academy players a year is incredible.

          Pedro and Busi are now starters and we can expect Thiago to play plenty next season. I remain unconvinced about Fontas because I don’t think he will complement Pique all that well. As for Jeffren I would not be opposed to selling him.

          I think the target is (or should be) for 1 player to break through per season. We are doing fine imo.

    • Barcaleya
      May 10, 2011

      I think everyone here would love to have Llorente. It’s just that we don’t want to waste his talent on the bench. He’s too good to be a squad player. And bad news for the national team if he doesn’t get to play first team regularly.

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