178 Comments

  1. astrosa
    May 30, 2011

    incredible. i first found out about this blog through a link to a Euler tactical analysis feature posted by a commenter on zonal marking, and have silently kept following the blog. this entry blew me out the water and compelled me to register an account. without question, Euler is the prime Barca tactical hivemind on the web. massive plaudits.

    • Eklavya
      May 31, 2011

      That was me!!! 😀 So my publicity stunt worked! Yay!

      • Barcaleya
        May 31, 2011

        Good job, Ek! 😀 Hahaha

      • Eklavya
        May 31, 2011

        😀

    • Barcaleya
      May 31, 2011

      Welcome, astrosa!

  2. IamXavi6
    May 30, 2011

    Here’s a stat that some of you may not know. In this CL campaign, Barcelona has had just over 8000 more passes than the next highest team. On average we do about close to 1000 passes a game..

    8 more games worth of passes than the next rival team..

    720mins more passing than the next closest team

    Oh and Xavi had more passes than the entire united midfield..

  3. Nav
    May 31, 2011

    Sorry if this has been asked before but will there be a Revista de La Liga this week?

    • Jnice
      May 31, 2011

      Nope. Revista only covers La Liga, so last week was it’s final episode.

  4. vicsoc
    May 31, 2011

    Ohhhh moc moc! Guess who twittered “felicitaciones campeon!” to our very own Gerard Pique?

    You guessed it, Giusseppe Rossi. He even got a reply from Pique.

    Let the summer season begin eh?

  5. May 31, 2011

    wow, just wow! a feast of a review…enjoyed every word it.
    Euler, i’m making a drink in honor of your name.

  6. bastardowski
    May 31, 2011

    Absolute monster of a review. Just a wonderful read

  7. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 31, 2011

    Speaking of Summer transfers,

    Given that our budget will be based on 50mil plus money from players on the out.

    Should we consider players being sold from the b-team in that budget?

    Because judging by the performance of the b team this season and how much the attention they have been attracting from the media. It looks like there are a lot of clubs waiting to sign them.

    We all know Nolito is leaving for sure, the amount is not known, But Im guessing at best its 10 mil.

    other desirables are:

    -Jonathan Soriano who might get the segunda pichichi, judging by rumours a few months back, certain liga sides have asked for him.

    -Jonathan Dos Santos has been rumored to be wanted by Racing, a transfer to me sounds likely given that racing has some money to splash thanks to their new owner.

    -Vazquez has already been transfered, but I’m guessing it was a free transfer, correct me if I’m wrong.

    So will the transfer money to sign Kiko, Angel and that 20 year old GK be paid for by those b team players on the out?

    Potentially we could buy 2-3 players (b-team/squad depth players) and still have 60mil left on summer first team signings.

    • May 31, 2011

      Nolito left on a free transfer, so no money from there 🙁
      I think its for him that he left, I don’t think he had a place in this Barca game wise and character wise

  8. 145culegirl
    May 31, 2011

    What a review.Absoluely superb.The win is slowly settling in and now I’m spending hours in front of my computer,reading posts which praise Barca.I’m reading how authors are lamenting about the loss of words to describe the beauty of Barca’s win.I’m reading how the critics are eating their words when they said Barca are cheaters,divers etc.And Enjoying.

    How are we goning to live without our heros till July?.I’m already feeling bored now.:(

    • 145culegirl
      May 31, 2011

      And I think I’m the only one who hates the silly season.

  9. Minha
    May 31, 2011

    After next season, Guardiola will take a sabbatical year. In 2013, he could become NT coach of Qatar, who offer him 36M net a year. :(((

    he indeed needs a beak but he will be dearly missed! :'(

    • May 31, 2011

      Careful. That “sabbatica” rumor comes from MARCA. Wishful thinking?

  10. stowe
    May 31, 2011

    anyone got links for torrents of the game. Internet here is so off on that the direct downloads don’t really work

  11. VictorNZ
    May 31, 2011

    Sad to hear Paul Scholes is retiring 🙁

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      Me too. The Ginger One will be missed. Apparently his testimonial game will be in August.

      Brilliant player. The fact that 5 of our players (including Xavi and Iniesta) asked him for his shirt says a lot more about him than any newspaper article ever could.

  12. May 31, 2011

    Although we might not like I think Cesc will be transfered to Barca this season. Unfortunately I even strted to believe that we might actually need him
    Reasons
    1.Pep was clear from last season that he wants him.
    2.Cesc is gonna come with a huge thirst for titles and this can only be good in keeping the fire of this team going strong.
    3. As a sub he can come in and have an impact and I don’t really know many players that can do that in our team.
    4. He can provide rest for either Xavi or Iniesta or even Messi (I think his direct passing will help the way Villa plays)
    5. He will adapt fast
    6.He will be able to carry some burden on his shoulders something that is too soon to ask from thiago

  13. barca96
    May 31, 2011

    We’re buying Botia back to include him in the deal with Rossi??
    That’s not good..After all that’s been said about him, Im sure the guy was really hoping to play for us. Instead he will only be here for a transit.

    • vicsoc
      May 31, 2011

      This is an example of why I generally oppose sending our brightest youth out on loan. While in theory it is a good idea, it very rarely actually results in the loaned player ending up back on the team.

  14. May 31, 2011

    Very open talk about us and Rossi. Villarreal president talking about likelihood of a deal, now his agent as well, including actual fee.

    General consensus is we want to buy a midfielder, a defender and a versatile forward/winger type.

    • Para
      May 31, 2011

      Does that mean that it’s done, or that they want people to know about it so that any potential competition drives the prices up/reduces any negotiating that Barcelona want to do?

      I would assume the former, but transfer-season always makes me awfully suspicious.

      • vicsoc
        May 31, 2011

        All the talk is giving me the impression that it is essentially a done deal. It’s not like our interest was a secret in the first place, and so there really isn’t much utility to Villareal to be so public about it. There’s also the fact that Rossi would probably stay at Villareal unless we sign him, so again it’s unlikely they are simply trying to attract more suitors.

        I’m just hoping that when we form over the cash for Rossi the Cesc talk will stop. We don’t have the money to buy both players and also suitably strengthen in other positions, so I’m hoping this signing heralds intelligent decisions throughout the summer.

      • May 31, 2011

        The talk is very direct. Villarreal’s president said, essentially, “I’m sure that a deal can be reached.” Now the agent is saying “You betcha, for a number in the 25-30m range.”

        Personally, I think that number is high, and I wouldn’t throw in Botia.

      • Cam
        May 31, 2011

        For the rumored $5M valuation, I’d just as soon keep Botia. A net $3m exchange seems like a waste for a young player of his caliber.

  15. sebi_BarcAzkal
    May 31, 2011

    wow Euler!

    i have been following this wonderful blog for quite a while but this is my first time posting a comment.

    Thanks Euler for such a sublime review (truly one for the ages — that’s so cliche but who’s stopping me, eh?). And Thank You to all the people behind this amazing blog. BFB is one of the things that makes our Beloved Team and the people who support it really wonderful.

    Thank you! Being a Cule and having this blog to enjoy has been and always will be an honor and a privilege…

    VISCA BARCA!!!

  16. May 31, 2011

    Not so excited about Rossi, but as already announced: After the CL victory I will have a “Vacation Attitude” for next season and enjoy it the way it comes. I wish we get someone else. but whoever we get I will welcome with joy anyways.

    Beside, you never know… Quality is not always mathematics, so we can only hope things exceed expectations.

    • vicsoc
      May 31, 2011

      Hate to admit, I’m with you in the not-so-excited category.

      • May 31, 2011

        I join the two of you in the “not so excited” category. Not for 25-30m. I think that we need quality depth that could start if necessary, but doesn’t absolutely demand it. Discord is not what this club needs, with a player who used to be an automatic starter, whining to the press. Mascherano is an exemplar in this. He just does his job, plays brilliantly when in the side and doesn’t make waves, because he understands.

        If we were going to spend 30m on a player of Rossi’s type, we should have been in for Suarez.

  17. PhepheSa
    May 31, 2011

    WOW Euler! That’s all i can say. Brilliant brilliant review.

    I love this blog so much and always learn a lot from the writers here. Thank you all for such a wonderful season it’s been really fun following this blog. To all the writers and everyone behind the scene it’s humbling to know that the are people who sacrifice so much for people they’ve never met. Thank you everyone including all the posters. I had great fun this season with all of you.

    Visca BFB! Visca Barca!

  18. May 31, 2011

    Check out this Willian video. Taken by itself, I’d say “Yeah, another YouTube genius.” But I remember what he did against us, and how he owned Roma.

    http://youtu.be/ROqxq5vxZ88

    • May 31, 2011

      I already set the plan Kxevin, we will support you in buying your favorite player so that every time you give him over 5 in your review rating we all point out your bias.

  19. Huckleberry
    May 31, 2011

    I think Cesc is more important than Rossi. Cesc can immediatly replace Xavi, Iniesta or Messi and even Busquets if needed and without to much loss in quality. Nobody else can do that.
    And if Villa needs some rest, Iniesta can take his place and Cesc takes his. And Cesc is already a leader and gives some fresh air and competition into the team. And that is, what Pep is looking for.
    Only if Bojan leaves, we need another backup striker.

    • May 31, 2011

      You make lots of sense, and if the Fabregas price was under 30, I’d be more in favor of it. But Arsenal over-values him. So do we, I fear.

      • Lev
        May 31, 2011

        Another advantage of Cesc coming this summer (although I am and have been advocating next summer) is that he can learn more from the master he will eventually replace.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 31, 2011

      Cesc is the most important signing for Barca. Without midfield dominance, the Barca model does not exist. Absolutely, we need an able substitution for Xavi Iniesta Messi!!!

  20. May 31, 2011

    I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words regarding the post. I appreciate the thoughts a great deal.

    And I want to thank the community for taking the time out to read the post. It’s no small effort to read the whole piece and I appreciate people making the effort to go through it.

  21. May 31, 2011

    Regarding the Rossi situation which does look like it’s moving forward –

    My preference would be for the club to buy Llorente. Now that may or may not be possible given the likelihood that he may be going to RM (there is almost no doubt that Mourinho is going to have a target man next season even if they guy Aguero).

    So my preference would be a player like Llorente.

    Now that said, I really like Rossi as a player. And I very much understand and can see why Pep wants to buy him.

    Rossi is an extremely intelligent player. His most outstanding quality is the intelligence of his runs and use of space. That’s his game. It’s not even scoring goals per se – or rather the goals are sort of the secondary consequence of his positional acumen.

    Sanchez is a fantastic player as well. But he’s just a very different player than Rossi. Sanchez would probably fit in well also and add different dimensions. It’s really depends on what the team feels it needs.

    But Rossi is tremendous. He really is. Will he fit into the Barca system? Who knows. At this point for any forward I’m going to say no, especially right away.

    But this is also why it’s a good time to buy a forward this season while Villa is still going to be able to contribute.

    Villa was a dominant footballer in the CL finals. Having two weeks off just breathed new life into him. Next season they cannot have him (and the entire front line) playing so many minutes.

    Getting a player like Rossi now will allow him to integrate for a season.

    I’m very happy to hear they are moving forward with addressing their lack of depth at forward.

    Personally, Rossi is not my first choice – but I am excited about the possibilities of him coming.

    He’s not a target man type – but he has qualities that no other Barcelona forward has and that’s important.

    There’s more than one way to create a plan B.

    • Lev
      May 31, 2011

      Damn Euler, if you’re gonna write reviews like that you should include a complementary cup of coffee!!!!!

    • Cam
      May 31, 2011

      Euler nailed the most important thing: whoever it ends up being, Barca is doing the smart thing by bringing in another class forward now so that (1) Villa isn’t worn down so much next season and (2) when Villa is ready to head out to pasture we will have a replacement integrated and ready to step in.

  22. Huckleberry
    May 31, 2011

    An suddenly attacking Piquet seems for me to be some kind of a plan B these days.

  23. Jnice
    May 31, 2011

    A Spanish journalist (http://twitter.com/ricardorosety) says that negotiations between Sporting and Barça for Jose Angel have broken down.

    Sucks if true.

    • May 31, 2011

      Yeap.

      The reference is: El Comercio Digital (Newspaper based in Gijón), as @laliga_news told me.

      • May 31, 2011

        Somehow I bet exercising the Botia option has something to do with it.

  24. blitzen
    May 31, 2011

    From barcastuff:

    229.046 people from 180 different countries watched the live stream of the street parade and the Camp Nou celebrations on Sunday [fcb.cat]

    Wow! And that doesn’t include people who may have watched the tv3 stream instead (I had both open).

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      And yet it was only Kari and me talking to ourselves in here! 😆

      • May 31, 2011

        IKR? Well, whatevs. I had fun commenting on it. 😀

  25. messi_fan
    May 31, 2011

    How much is Botia valued at? I don’t like the talk of using him to help fund the transfer of Rossi (or any other player).

    We need defenders and where else can we get a quality defender for his price?

    • flyzowee
      May 31, 2011

      Well it depends on what u mean by quality.

  26. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 31, 2011

    I really want to see how Rossi does in this team, he would be an immense signing, despite his size he is a very effective forward.

    However I wouldn’t jump to conclusions from the rumours just yet, you never know, tomorrow they could be saying Rossi would be worth 40 then 50 mil.

    I think Rossi is our first choice on the shortlist really, I think we are just sussing out his price, we look more flexible now when it comes to transfer targets, if lets say his price tag hits 40 mil, I bet we will move onto our next choice.

    30mil for Rossi isn’t bad given that he has prooven he is a worthy starter in La liga and is high up in the scorers chart, plus he is 24! years old. Aparently a lot of Italian supporters were confused as to why he wasn’t in the WC squad. He was more then worthy to be in the Italian first 11. Villarreal do not want to sell Rossi but for 30mil? we should take it and run.

  27. Helge
    May 31, 2011

    I still didn’t have the time to read your thesis of a tactical review, Euler, but I’ll do asap.

    Right now I’m still in awe because I watched the complete match some minutes ago, this time sober and without the pressure of an oral examination on the horizon.
    There’s a legendary Bruce Lee interview, of which the essential message is “to be like water”. I think we kind a played like water, too. Always in motion, the whole team like a fluid; and like a river, there are parts of whirls and swirls, areas moving with different velocities, but in the end you can never separate the continuity of a flow, the cohesion of the unit. Messi was indeed sometimes like water flowing through the obstacles, that were only supposed to be the best defenders in the CL, the best player of the EPL – how incredible was that!?!
    This team performance was almost as legendary as Bruce Lee himself is, to me!

    Anyway, I’m still searching for a video about Barcelona’s current season, it was about 13 min. long and also had a part featuring on Messi only. The link has been posted here and/or @barcastuff, but I cannot find it right now. Help is very appreciated!

      • Helge
        May 31, 2011

        Wow, I didn’t actually think of that, but it’s also a wonderful video. The next, about Messi, is even better imo.

        I immediately saved them both to my HDD, thx 😉

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      I think “playing like water” is a very good metaphor for what we saw on Saturday.

      Ideally I want to watch this game once for every Barca player on the field, concentrating on just one player each time (well, I won’t bother for Valdes, I guess) to fully appreciate his movements and interplay with the others. It is so easy to concentrate on Messi or Alves and forget about what Busquets or Pique is doing in the back there. I’m no analyst like Euler, mind you, I just want to fully understand how this team moves as one on the field.

      • Helge
        May 31, 2011

        Yes, that’s it. You’re my saviour, Kari 🙂

  28. May 31, 2011

    Nomorebullshitamine is doing its job for me, manos. 8)

    • Vj
      May 31, 2011

      Hands?

      • May 31, 2011

        I could have said amigos too, I guess. By my understanding, the word “mano” = buddy in Spanish, so “manos” would be buddies, although it could also mean hands.

        …And I just realized I could make a horrible pun with manos and goalkeepers. 😆

  29. blitzen
    May 31, 2011

    Nice article on Paul Scholes from the Beeb:

    … he was unbelievable because he never gave the ball away, was always in space, always had time on the ball and always picked the right pass. That is a mark of a top player; someone who makes it look easy, never looks rushed and always passes to feet and Scholes had that in abundance. He was always a dirty little git. He was always kicking people and sliding in 10 minutes late but he always had a cheeky side to him so I do not think anyone speaks badly about him.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/13602546.stm

  30. BA
    May 31, 2011

    the official site says Sevilla have activated their first option clause for Martin Caceres, in the region of €4m. so there’s a defender we can’t bring back, even if we wanted to. we should enact our buy-back clause for Botia, and with the promotion of Fontas we’d be starting to look noticably deeper (if inexperienced) at the back. that’d give us effectively 7 players who can play at center-back [even if Mascherano and Busquets are nominally midfielders].

    i hope the news about a Rossi transfer in the pipeline is true. he’s a brilliant player; as Euler noted his off-the-ball movement is fantastic, he’s smart in possession and has an extremely useful eye for goal. he’s also young and ambitious enough that i doubt the added work ethic would be too much of an irritation, and how cool would it be to have a guy from New Jersey playing for Barça? the question remains in the price, but i’d rather pay €25m for Rossi than €35m for Cesc without a doubt. i think we’re being very canny in our transfer targets so far; nobody really off the map beyond the aforementioned Exiled One. Sanchez, Jose Angel, Rossi, and Willian are all fine prospects, though colour me not fully convinced by the Brazilian.

  31. K_legit
    May 31, 2011

    I saw a lot of guys talking ’bout Busi’s post tackling celebration following the Pedro goal..and as I am unable to find a vid of that on youtube etc..could someone help me find one ?
    thanks!

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      That was me that started that, and I seem to have misremembered it. I know I did see him tackle the post somewhere, but maybe it was later. I will look for it tonight and let you know, because it is bothering me now.

  32. Cesc Pistol
    May 31, 2011

    Legendary post Euler! A post worthy of superlatives that will embarrass even Ray Ray. All I will say is this: In the past three years of reading the Sublime Hector, the Superlative Ramzi, The man who started it all Jonathan Wilson and the best works of ZM (even though his best works seems behind him) This article is the best I’ve ever read.
    In a mail to a friend (Chelsea fan) I wrote similar ideas (though distinctly pedestrian compared to yours, obviously) before reading your review
    Rooney was to cover Busquets and pressure him without possession and exploit the hole behind him with it, to drag the CB shape to create spaces for Chicharito. Park (and Valencia to an extent) were to push inwards to overload the midfield and gain a numerical advantage and support Carrick and Giggs. But Park had to track Dani’s runs as well. And so was the case was Evra and CB paring as well. When Pedro was between him and Vidic it was Vidic’s responsibility and Evra was to Cover Dani’s outer run or track Messi if he drifted wide. All in all a little too much to expect out of his players but the logic was sound. Against a 4/5 in mid of Barca -Busquets, Xavi Iniesta, Messi and Dani he could out-man them with Giggs, Carrick, Rooney, Park, Valencia and Evra. And still maintain his offensive threat to keep Barca on the backfoot (I admit using Giggs was not the best idea but who was there? An injured Fletcher, a risky tackling Scholes who would, despite his tremendous heart, tire out or an Anderson who was shown up to be the true “rabbit in headlights” that you used last time round? And can you really drop someone like Giggs after the season he had and the legend that he is?)

    And guess what for a period it worked! But this is Barca that moves better than any other team. And in ways I’m sure you never noticed, busquets went deeper and deeper upfront while Xavi took his place for a deep playmaker. But Rooney tracked Busquets all the way, the reason why SAF was scolding him, and then could not pressure properly and could not provide the threat in the hole either. Messi, Perdo and Dani overloaded United’s left and that what caused the first goal- you can see Evra lose pedro to get inwards for Messi but Vidic didn’t track him. That goal was as much Vidic’s fault as much as Evra’s. More importantly it was what Barca regularly do, overlaod an area of the pitch, switch positions frequently to cause chaos and to break the shape of the defense to make the very space which was afforded to Pedro and pin point perfectly picked up by Xavi. The CB’s had to come more forward because this time Xavi and Iniesta were taking hard well placed shots infront of the box and they had to be closed down. Distorting the shape to afford space. And Villa’s goal, as spectacular and unsavable it was -just like Rooney’s- It was because Messi dragged defenders around him to afford Villa the time and space to make that shot.

    And so it was throughout the match. Barca were on a different level yesterday, point me anyone who sees Barca regularly who had ever seen Messi so serious and intense when celebrating. He had his game on a different high yesterday and so did Masch and Busquets had the game of his life (MOTM for me) and Xavi and Iniesta and Pique and Villa has NEVER worked so hard yet effectively and efficiently. Not to mention Abidal who completely removed Valencia’s threat. The one which everyone was talking about before the match. Barca played one of their best matches yesterday and in those times even chicken shit Mourinho teams who hide under their mommy’s skirt lose 5-0.

    PS Barca used offside traps, their main defensive weapon with unbelievable precision to neutralise Hernandez. And ultimately SAF’s zona mista combined with pressing with narrowing wide and forward players -as good an idea as it was- fell apart due to Pep out-thinking his tactics.

    I felt a sense of affirmation and pride that I atleast somewhat got it.

  33. BarcaOwl
    June 1, 2011

    Thanks a lot for the excellent review, Euler. I could read this over and over and not get bored. You’re one of the best. 😀

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