People We Should Sign

So, someone asked me to do a Silly Season post and, you know what? Let’s do this.

Priority A #1:

A serious left back prospect. There has been talk of Fabio Coentrão, but besides the obvious interest from Madrid, there’s no way we can get him. With his funny tilde (that’s a ~) over his last name’s a, I would have to copy and paste so much that it would make learning how to spell Chygrynskiy look like a simple piece of work. I mean, Coent¿¡Ñäáo works, but not Coentrão. Barça is hard enough to make since I have to use the stupid alt+0231 code.

So we’re left with, I don’t know, Bartra or something. Oh and Eric Motherfunking Abidal. Works for me.

Attacking midfielders:

We only have like 4, so let’s buy more and, uh, play them all at once. Puyol will have to retire soon, so let’s invest in the future and start to play a 1-8-1 with just Villa up front and everyone else within the center circle. Thiago? Get in there, son. Cesc? In. Jonathan dos Santos? Studs flying, mijo. Victor Sanchez? Hell, let’s do it. Hleb? Get out my damned sight.

Up front:

This guy:

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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.

168 Comments

  1. blitzen
    June 2, 2011

    Puyol will have to retire soon, so let’s invest in the future and start to play a 1-8-1 with just Villa up front and everyone else within the center circle.

    Tee hee! The funny thing is, we would still win most every game. 😀

  2. 90sbaby
    June 2, 2011

    If I had to choose between the 4 forwards we been linked to my pick first would be:

    1. Neymar

    Than:
    Sanchez
    Aguero
    and last Rossi

    Oh and Nasri isn’t renewing his contract a cheaper alternative to Fabregas? or a sub for the injury prone Iniesta? +

    • blitzen
      June 2, 2011

      Injury prone Iniesta? He just had an almost completely injury-free season!

      Anyway, no to Nasri. Not nearly good enough.

    • soccermomof4
      June 2, 2011

      For the love of all that is messi in the world, no Neymar!
      Been dying to use Kari’s new adjective in a sentence 🙂

      It looks like Arsenal is going to have trouble holding onto players this summer. Bendtner wants out, Nasri’s a doubt. Will this make it harder or easier to get Cesc I dunno, but I’m ’bout ready to say that if it’s inevitable, just do it and get it over with so we don’t have another summer like the last.

  3. Lev
    June 2, 2011

    carrying over from the last thread, I don’t want Keita to leave either. A player of his quality to start / come off the bench WHEN NEEDED is worth more than the 10 million or so advantage we could get by selling or trading him.

    Also apparently Coentrao only wants to go to Madrid. We should bid for him anyway to drive the price up 😉

  4. K_legit
    June 2, 2011

    Barça B is soon to get a young GK in Andrada

    the ‘ç’ code in my comp is alt + 135

    It rained today

    weird things trend on twitter

    Justin Bieber is the 7th most popular ‘Woman’ searched on google so says abc(dot)com

    Oh and get Rossi!!! if only for the MessiRossi RossiMessi tongue twisters..
    25 mill worth those

  5. Whatever
    June 2, 2011

    A quality left back, because Abidal will shift to CB next season. A quality winger (a la Henry) and… that’s it. And both guys have to be nice… we don’t want problems in the dressing room.

  6. blitzen
    June 2, 2011

    Oh thanks, Isaiah! I never knew what the keyboard çode was before! Now I çan use it constantly!

      • Helge
        June 2, 2011

        😀

        çç <– Does anybody see a difference betweeen those two c's, one of them is alt + 0231 and the other alt + 135

        • June 2, 2011

          Most of the common alt characters have a three-number and four-number code. I know this because my name is actually spelled José and I have í and ñ to use too. They all have two different ways of coding them.

          I prefer the four-number, because I learned them first and it’s easy to figure out new ones (i.e., most of the “e” accents will be 023x, then the i’s are 024x and so on).

          :mrgreen:

    • soccermomof4
      June 2, 2011

      thankfully:
      barcastuff
      “Messi: “They didn’t even touch me, I felt nothing. It was just afterwards I heard about the commotion. Nothing really happened.” [ole]”

      • Para
        June 2, 2011

        He confirmed as much on his fbook as well.

  7. 90sbaby
    June 2, 2011

    @sccermom whats your issue with Neymar?

    Concerns over his attitude/arrogance have been an issue also and no European experience could also be a factor but with Dani and Adri I’m sure they’ll help him settle in.

    Between the 4 I say he has the most potential and truly could be a menace on the left of our attack reminiscent of Ronaldinho of 05.

    • soccermomof4
      June 2, 2011

      I have few concerns over his talent, although who knows what will happen when he starts to play at this level. So part of it has to do with the fact that he is too unproven at this level(Europe) to be worth risking the amount of money he would cost. I also wondered, when we picked up Ibi, if success in the Dutch league would translate into success in Spain, but as the price was sooooo low, the risk was worth it.
      But mainly I don’t want anyone rocking the boat in the locker room. Team harmony can’t be bought. Alves and Adriano should not be tasked with babysitting a potentially/seemingly immature, arrogant brat(my apologies if I’m wrong and he is truly sweet and just misunderstood).

      So basically- too expensive, too unproven, to much attitude 🙂

      • Josep
        June 2, 2011

        I wrote my post before i saw this. 😀

        Neymar is only 19. Besides Messi, no players act the perfect way around that age. I doubt he’d disrupt the team harmony, he’d have fun with the chincharon four!

        It’s true that he gets so much space in Brazil, and in the copa libertadores, but I still think he’s an insane LF and would be idea if we fail on Sanchez.

        he’s not so much arrogant but he’s had a bad streak. again, given that much money and freedom, at 19.. either way I truly think the baby he’s having will calm him down.

        • soccermomof4
          June 2, 2011

          “either way I truly think the baby he’s having will calm him down.”
          Now-a-days, the baby thing doesn’t seem to tie a guy down much (the mom, yes). How much he calms down with the baby depends upon how responsible and involved with the baby he plans to be, which depends upon his maturity level of which, sadly, I remain unconvinced.

          Anywho- high price = high risk
          If it doesn’t work out, to whom do we offload him? Don’t want another BANGS.

          I wish him luck. I hope he lives up to his potential. I just don’t want Camp Nou to be the laboratory for this expensive experiment.

        • blitzen
          June 2, 2011

          I don’t know many other 19-year-olds who got their coach fired. Plus, he is a diver on a truly epic level. You think Dani and Busquets are bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

          • Dani_el
            June 2, 2011

            I’ve seen neymar live for the sub 20 south american cup, and he’s a real diva, he only plays for himself, he even celebrate his goals as Ronaldo does, only himself and maybe 2 others, if I would be forced to compare him with someone I think he would better relate with Cristiano o Contreao, I also don’t like Contreao, he seems a prima donna, and kind of brusque for the dressing room peace Pep requires, I really do think (correct me if I’m mistaken) that it really is important to be a good guy to be in Barça, so that means no complaints about minutes one can´t play, and a more collective mind. I hope for Adriano to give somewhat what our alves does in the righ wing, someday I hope…

  8. 90sbaby
    June 2, 2011

    I don’t know though it seems like Rossi deal is at an advance stage but there is also Sanchez who is pretty versatile and has expressed he’d prefer to play for Barcelona.

  9. Josep
    June 2, 2011

    People are STILL against Neymar? this is all because what they’ve read, or heard right? does anyone actually watch him?

    • soccermomof4
      June 2, 2011

      I’ve only seen him in a few international games. I am impressed.
      I just go back to my high price/ high risk/don’t mess with locker room chemisty argument. I might be wrong. I am often. I’m not a risk taker. Maybe Pep is, and if a Pep-approved Neymar comes on board, then so be it because in Pep we trust. 🙂

      • Jim
        June 2, 2011

        I watched his game against Scotland. Good first half , invisible second and, I have to say, not bothering his backside to chase anything. Too big a gamble for me.

        • blitzen
          June 2, 2011

          ^ Completely agree with Jim. The kid has loads of natural talent but no discipline. To be fair, Brazilian strikers aren’t asked to track back and get involved in buildup like the strikers we are used to. He has never played in a system like Barça’s. I saw the Brazil/Scotland game as well, and at times he was brilliant. His goals were lovely. But he also struck me as a very selfish player. If we could buy him for cheap and put him into the B team for a year or two, I’d be all for it. I just don’t see him having the work ethic and commitment to being a team player that Pep is looking for.

          • JoachimD
            June 3, 2011

            I live in Brazil and the kid has a lot of potential for sure. The problem is here in Brazil he is already treated as the superstar and the next big thing from Brazilian football. He is better than Robinho for sure and I think he will become a great footballer but the media here and the fans are destroying his mentality by worshipping him.

            Eventually, he will grow up and become more mature etc., but agree that for the price Santos is asking it´s too risky for a family-club like Barcelona and its resources available. Chelsea, Man City and even Real Madrid would be the only places I can think of that could take the risk.

            Despite everything I like the kid, just not for the price Santos is asking. Aguero in this case would be a safer and more mature bet.

    • Dani_el
      June 2, 2011

      As I said on the top, I’ve seen him in the southamerican cup under 20, and he seemed too focus on himself, he usually lost balls for his individualism and stayed there complaining for an inexistent foul, he didnt press enough and when he did an amazing play, (cause he’s pretty technical and has talent) and he scored, he would celebrate cristiano’s way, I’d hate to have a Cristiano kind of player in the squad, and I think that is important to Pep.

  10. Jnice
    June 2, 2011

    Tim Vickery’s latest article in the BBC is entitled “Messi the perfect combination.” It ouches on both Messi and Neymar. You all should read it. He talks about the negatives regarding Neymar, but he says there are signs of improvement. Here’s an excerpt.

    The problem here is that domestic Brazilian football dances to its own beat. The defensive lines play deep, so there is space on the field. Today’s referees will give fouls for anything and diving is tolerated – a scenario which fills the dribbler with confidence. Take him out of the protective bubble and it can be a different story – Robinho is a perfect example, a player whose fighting spirit seems to shrink in front of your eyes when he does not get the fouls he used to be awarded in Brazil.

    The problem here is that Neymar is a child of the contemporary criteria of Brazilian referees, a fruit of the poisoned tree. I have never seen a player who dives so often and so theatrically. This is clearly an impediment in his quest to reach the level of play that Lionel Messi showed on Saturday, and there is another one.

    The Boy Prince of the Brazilian game, there is something of the spoilt brat about Neymar. He can scream and shout when he does not get his way, and also lose his focus. Against Argentina, in the big game of the recent South American Under-20 Championships, he was too busy diving and arguing to play much football.

    But this is a work in progress. The current Copa Libertadores campaign could go down as the moment when the boy prince shows that he is prepared to become king.

    This week Santos hope to book their place in the final. In the last few games Neymar has shown less petulance, done less diving and played some wonderful stuff – gliding past his marker on either side, showing vision and intelligence plus his trademark cool finishing.

    He is a special talent. The tests are going to get tougher as he moves up, but his journey will be well worth following. If everything falls into place, if he can keep learning and adapting, then he might be able to shine on the stage that Lionel Messi lit up on Saturday.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/timvickery/2011/05/messi_the_perfect_combination.html

  11. ciaran
    June 2, 2011

    Ahhh, transfer season, my favourite part of football.
    My take on things is simple; I will only include players of 1, sufficient quality 2, in their preferred position and 3, who are likely to stay – in order to assess our true squad depth

    GK – Valdes & Pinto for first team
    – Word on the street is that Esteban Andrada is all signed up for €4m and is showing promise – will start with Barca B then promoted next season I assume when Pinto moves into coaching or something.

    RB – Alves
    Adriano can cover

    CB – Pique
    Bartra and Fontas can cover along with Masch

    CB – Puyol
    Thiago Silva would be magnificent and if it does happen we’ll be even more unstopable

    LB – Abidal & Adriano
    Jose Angel seems a strange purchase and Coentrao has said that he wants to go to EE so now I don’t want him. Michel Bastos of Lyon maybe a better bet and he’s a freekick specialist which we don’t really have at the minute

    DM – Busquets & Mascherano
    CM – Xavi & Thiago
    AM – Iniesta & Keita
    Let’s face it, we will sign Cesc. Most of us don’t want us to buy him – it’s not we don’t want to have him, I mean, if he never left we’d be chanting his name every week – if he made the team. I see it happening for a big figure like €35m which I’m not pleased about but hey.
    It could spell the end for Thiago which I would be gutted about.
    Atletico are apparently trying to sign Keita who I can’t see us selling. It won’t happen but if it did I’d sign Javi Martinez of Athletic for a true box-to-box midfielder as a replacement and I’d love to have another Basque in our team again

    RF – Pedro & Afellay
    ST – Messi & Bojan
    LF – Villa

    We need 1 forward, 2 if Bojan moves on. What we need is a harder question. Alexis Sanchez, Neymar, Giuseppe Rossi & Kun Aguero are those mentioned above. Are any of them any different to MVP? I see lots of imagine ___ next to Villa and Messi but they need to be better than Pedro and his work rate is far better than the others. Also, all four of those players score the majority of their goals in counter attacking teams. We do not score as many counter attacking goals.
    Surely, the way to improve our team would be to have a striker capable of scoring goals when we are in possession for our usual, prolonged period of possession. Now that theory didn’t work with Ibra has he changed our plan A instead of giving us a plan B.
    In our position I don’t spend €25-35m adding another plan A player to our mix.
    I’d love to sign someone like Falcao of Porto who is a real poacher.

    • Lev
      June 2, 2011

      not necessarily agree that we need a plan B type striker. If we get Rossi we can rotate any of the VPR who is on form and rested. Depth is key. Villa and to some extent Pedrito looked knackered the 2nd half of the season – and to go from them to Bojan / Jeffren the drop in quality is too big. Rossi is good, could become reaaally good and I think his attitude would be positive.

    • ooga aga
      June 3, 2011

      ciaaaaarannnnnn! ciaaaaaraannnnnn! whenever you pop up it reminds me of the sweet, simpler times back at the offside.

  12. Helge
    June 2, 2011

    A question to the twitter experts:

    If I write a new tweet from my home page with “@username bla bla bla”, and the user is not following me, does he receive the tweet when he logs in?
    What is the difference between writing a usual tweet via “what’s happening” with @username … and writing a “Message” (on the menu bar, next to “Profile”)?

    • Para
      June 2, 2011

      I am by no means an expert, but I think I can answer your questions:

      The first: it doesn’t get ‘sent’ to the user, but if they check their mentions, then they should see your tweet.

      As for the ‘message’ option, I’m fairly sure that those are private, as in only the person who you send it to sees it, versus everyone.

  13. Diego
    June 2, 2011

    Quickly :

    Defense : If possible, Angel or any other LB – Maxwell -> Out.

    CB : Sakho, If we can’t get him then Botia, We can see the fitness of Puyol and Abidal next season, We can delay Botia till next year since the buy back clause extends.

    CM : Cesc can wait another year, We don’t need anyone else.

    FW : Rossi and Willian if possible -> Jeffren Out, Bojan buy back clause.

  14. Dani_el
    June 2, 2011

    Cool squad!
    I agree with all, but I think the negotations for Angel had stopped all together without a deal, and as others have said here, I don’t think we need a leftback, with Abi and Adriano and lamasia I think we’re covered there.
    For the forwards, yep we’re gonna need Rossi and William if we let go Jeffren and Bojan, but I think Bojan already has said he doesnt want to be part of another deal. According to sport we already offer 20M for Rossi and they want 30, maybe if we put Jeffren plus 20M (if Jeffren wants) that’s it, for William his transfer is worth 15M according to transfermarkt.de

  15. Cesc Pistol
    June 2, 2011

    Important!

    Can anyone please tell me what sort of stats are available from Opta or any other source. I mean to say can, by using their stats, someone create their own chalkboard type thing? Is it possible to do something similar for La Liga.

    Secondly, does anyone here know German? (I think either Helge or Hilal do?) Could any of you guys tell me what the lines here represent?
    http://i53.tinypic.com/15mhcp2.jpg
    (^Everyone should see this, tells you the main attacking strategies of teams.)
    Also, you guys should check out a paper called “Der Standard” excellent tactical analysis there.
    ________________________________________________________________

    After an overdose of Hector Pills, I don’t really care about the Silly Season. What is concerning is that who is deciding the players, if Rosell is still looking to prove his power we are in for trouble. Not to mention the fact Pep won’t play the players he doesn’t trust anyways.

    A World Class LB OR CB is what we need, if we can’t get that we should have a young talented LB AND CB as the back-ups. In addition, we need a top notch creative forward.

    • Lev
      June 2, 2011

      Other than selling Chyggy, which was purely done for financial reasons, there is no reason whatsoever to think Rosell will try to prove his power and get players Pep and Zubi don’t want.

  16. Blow-Grenade
    June 2, 2011

    Only one signing needed, the complete player, Cesc. Everything else is built around such players like Cesc, Xavi, Busi. The only other alternatives are Schweinsteiger, or Wesley Schneijder. If I have to watch pacy wingers, I can watch Porto play. If I want to watch strong men play, I can watch Chelsea/EPL. But I like to see a good “rondo”, and that is why I watch Barca.

    Puyol, Pique, Xavi or Messi are not stupid that they call for the signing of Cesc. \

    I have seen Thiago play the central midfield. In the matches I have seen so far, he does not have the discipline to keep the ball and make a safe pass, especially in the defensive midfield areas. He could essentially operate as a striker and I would not have a problem, he has a killer header, and a good shot from outside the box, he is also a good dribbler of the ball, always willing to take on players. But he is not a viable midfielder for the Barca A team, may be for the B team.

    But to play that role where Busi, Xavi and Iniesta operate, keep the ball moving from the middle and dictate play. Only one replacement comes to mind. Cesc! If I had to pay a 100Mil for that so be it, why, because it continues the tradition of the club, it preserves a way of playing, that Barca is, whose fulcrum is the team, but whose nucleus is a creative central midfielder. And the tradition will continue for the next forseeable future of 10 to 15 years because Cesc is so young.

    • The__K__Man
      June 2, 2011

      my opinion is that Cesc will be needed one day not that he can replace Xavi but he’s as close as we can get and he’s Catalan which probably means that if he comes back it’ll be until he retires…I love Thiago and I want him in our team but he is not a central midfielder nor is he the kind of player you would expect to be the leader or brain of the team..I honestly see him as an Iniesta kind of player..an attacking midfielder who can roam freely dribble, assist and score.

    • soccermomof4
      June 2, 2011

      😈 envy 😈

      And your last chance to get a jersey before the sponsor thing.
      I guess we can forgive you for liking a player and getting a named/numbered jersey because he stole everybody’s hearts this year (even hardened “I’m only about the club, players come and go” guys’ hearts 🙂 )

      Enjoy!

      • June 2, 2011

        Exactly. His is the first player name/number I’d wear, for obvious reasons. Doesn’t mean I’m a fan, but for me, his story defined this wonderful season, leaving my hard heart (mostly) intact.

        And yes, this is it before the shirt is sullied for at least three years.

  17. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 2, 2011

    I already Bought an Abidal top last year :), if it wasn’t for injuries, he would have been our most consistent and bad ass player of the 09/10 season.

    as for the possible transfers I’m pretty sure Neymar is on our shortlist but he is not our first choice, if things don’t go through with Rossi, we will most likely shift our priority to Neymar and CO. But Rossi is FIRST choice for Pep i believe, clearly because he is the least risky and he is heading into his peak form at 24 he is still young, think about it, he is a few months older than Messi :), I don’t see how Neymar would be better because of his age.

    As for Cesc, just like with Willian, I think Barca are not too fussy about being patient, If we are getting Rossi/Aguero then we do not NEED Willian yet. We can wait another 6 months into next season and he will have six months left on his contract and Shaktar will be more easier to negotiate with. Patience is key here. As for Cesc, Arsenal are in a very difficult situation right now, things are not going smoothly over there and anything can happen, there have been rumours of players wanting to leave and there have been times last season where there was talk of Wenger on the chopping block. The longer we wait, the more we drive Cesc’s price down. We don’t need him as of yet. Rather I think Pep is the only one who wants to sign him early so that he can build Cesc up so that when the time comes for Pep to move on, the team itself can be self sustainable, Especially preserving the ‘Xavi’ role.

  18. barca96
    June 3, 2011

    Guys a bit off topic.
    -How come Abidal is not included in any team of the season list? Didn’t they watch him play prior to his surgery? And to make things worse, Marcelo is chosen on top of Abidal. I’m a fan of Marcelo, but he is no where close on Abidal’s level and I would never trade them.

    -Did any of you watch Santos semi-final? Where was that played? The field is superb! I remember last year Lev gave a link for a nice football pitch in S.AMerica but unfortunately I couldn’t open it. Was it the same?

    -I find it really strange. Before we played Arsenal this season and the previous one, Nasri was supposedly their main threat. But how come nobody wants him now? I would take him in a heart beat. His price is low.

    -@Jsneezy
    Thanks for the links!
    BUt why do you need so many languages for?
    I reckon you can speak Spanish. But Polish? Arabic? Can’t imagine it 🙂

    – @Blitzen
    This should get into your comment of the week award (if there is one)

    By psqd
    wonder if EE knows he’ll never be the same and want to pull a kaka on somebody.

    But seriously. Perhaps there is a slight chance that we could sign Higuain. He has a good chemistry with Messi and add Pastore to the mix. Hmmmmmm

    • Jnice
      June 3, 2011

      I love watching in different languages just to hear how the commentators react and stuff. Can’t understand what they are saying, but you can tell when they are excited and what not.

      • blitzen
        June 3, 2011

        Yes, me too. You get an idea of their bias as well. I will be downloading that game tonight. Looking forward to the Arabic commentary!

  19. Eklavya
    June 3, 2011

    Oooooooh, Helge are you going to join Twitter? 😀

    • K_legit
      June 3, 2011

      Re: van Persie haters gonna hate… *must find Lio Messi puting on goggles gif..Kari help!!!*

    • stowe
      June 3, 2011

      Yea, I’ve never been a fan of Van Persie. Even when Arsenal was probably my favorite team I never like him much.

      As for signing Nasri, he’s good, but we don’t really need him and it would hurt them. Who cares about them? well, he would just be a bench warmer and wouldn’t offer that much. I think Afellay is better and Cesc and Thiago are the future

  20. 145culegirl
    June 3, 2011

    Got this Barcastuuf and optajose.This is how the La Liga table would have looked when Messi and Ronaldo did’nt score.And the winner would be………..VALENCIA.Now,this is what I call conspiracy 😉

    http://twitpic.com/55xxor

    • 145culegirl
      June 3, 2011

      *Or assisted by Messi or Ronaldo

    • K_legit
      June 3, 2011

      I don’t get this Barça without Messi is etc etc..Lio Messi is the Crown jewel of the Masia and the embodiment of the system..CR94 is a bought mercenary..
      So one can speak of Thong Boy and the EE being separate entities with their own priorities while a Barça sans Messi and vice versa is an absurd logic as Messi is Barça through and through..Barça made him and he in turn will make our future!

      • 145culegirl
        June 3, 2011

        Yes,what you said is correct.But I have never mentioned if there was no Messi in our squad.It’s just that IF he and Ronaldo were’nt scoring or assisting, the outcome would have been different.It’s just a funny stat.

        • stowe
          June 3, 2011

          we also would have tried harder after the 4 clasicos and would have probably still won. Of course, then we probably would have been exhausted in London.
          Interesting stat though, thanks for sharing

    • Ryan
      June 3, 2011

      Yes, most teams would probably struggle if they had to play with 10 players for an entire season!

  21. messi_fan
    June 3, 2011

    ‘Efren Suarez (father and agent Jeffren): “We’re not interested in any offers, Jeffren doesn’t want to leave in the summer.” [rac1]’

    Seems like the only one who wants to leave is Milito. And does anyone else find it hilarious that Jeffren’s father’s name is Efren?

    • K_legit
      June 3, 2011

      Gary Neville’s dad’s name is Neville Neville
      what the f*&k?!

    • Barcaleya
      June 3, 2011

      I thought I saw a tweet from barcastuff quoting Milito’s lawyer that he doesn’t want to leave either. He said Milito has one more year in his contract and would see it out.

  22. Xingxian
    June 3, 2011

    OK I’m just going to ask right now: what does Hector’d mean? What are Hector Pills? Why the name Hector?

    I weep for lack of glossary/faq for slang around these here parts.

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 3, 2011

      Hector was, just like Euler currently is, one of the Bloggers who graced the blog for a little while and then decided to retire. But what he said was absolutely brilliant. And he would substantiate his answer with all the right data. So if somebody wrote something that was not quite on the right vein, Hector would Hector them. And the rest would be history.

      So, Hector’d means, that your message has been responded to in a way that has no reply to it.

      Hector pills are, well, pills you take to Hector somebody else.

      Hope it makes sense.

      • Blow-Grenade
        June 3, 2011

        Hey Mods, do we have any articles from Hector???

      • ooga aga
        June 3, 2011

        this is inaccurate, so let me correct you on the BFB colloquialisms. Hector was like Euler in that his writing style was more formal, great grammar and the like, and great tactical analysis and ability to reference relevant historical and contemporary facts. He would write epic posts at The Offside which would often (with uncanny frequency) get covered up when a new thread was created by Isaiah. so, getting “hectored” means you spend a bunch of time writing a post, but then a new thread is posted and your post ends up at the bottom of the previous thread, to be ignored and to die in obscurity.

        ‘hector pills’ are a different matter, it means you go to great lengths (ie ingesting imaginary pharmaceuticals) to enable yourself to ignore rumors during the offseason, because it is really only a waste of time and a source of anxiety.

        • Eklavya
          June 3, 2011

          Actually Hector wasn’t formal… He commentated all the time blabering about Argentina’s mess and lol’ing about random memes.

    • soccermomof4
      June 3, 2011

      Mata’s available? Really? Why aren’t we going after him? Or is the whole winger who can play like an attacking midfielder thing a little too redundant already in our team?

      Coentrao, pic 13/50. Let EE have him. Ugly legs- not what I’d expect from a footballer 😉 Bad judgement also. I mean…you know there are cameras all over the place and you pose like that!

      • blitzen
        June 3, 2011

        Mata is “available” in the sense that Valencia needs the money and could hardly refuse to sell if someone made a big enough offer. They don’t want to sell him, and as far as I know he is happy where he is for the moment. Remember that he is still very young and is in the starting 11 of the 3rd best team in Spain. He is a smart kid and won’t be looking to move to a big team where he won’t get much playing time…yet. I expect him to stay at Valencia for at least one more season.

        • soccermomof4
          June 3, 2011

          I’d rather have him stay at Valencia. I like Valencia. But if he had to leave, I’d rather it be to us than EE or City.

          • soccermomof4
            June 3, 2011

            Then again, City with The Yaya, Silva, and Mata would make for some pretty purdiful EPL football. Nah, still don’t want him there.

  23. Blow-Grenade
    June 3, 2011

    Can we bring “Caption This” back to the blog people!!! Mods???

  24. Josep
    June 3, 2011

    I like the newest statements in the Sanchez chase, as long as we match the highest transfer bid (30-35m I’d assume) Sanchez’s first option is Barca. Fantastic news, we won’t get stuck with Rossi hopefully (cue hate)

  25. blitzen
    June 3, 2011

    The Guardian’s Rumour Mill writer is in fine form today:

    Meanwhile Robin van Persie has told Chelsea to “shut the fuck up”. That’ll be a two-match ban for Wayne Rooney then. The Dutchman, exhibiting the sort of self-awareness that would shame Sepp Blatter, is fed up with Chelsea’s players always complaining about referees. Van Persie is managed by Arsène Wenger. Van Persie, of course, did his bit for the Respect campaign by calling his sending-off against Barcelona in March “a total joke”. Van Persie wasn’t finished there – he also hit out at Barcelona for trying to get opposition players booked, presumably for tackles like this.

    And: Real Madrid’s manager José Mourinho has told City he won’t give them £14m for Emmanuel Adebayor, last seen stomping around the Camp Nou karate-chopping any Barcelona player that dared to move.

    But especially: Everton’s David Moyes is closing in on Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who’s very good, although he’ll be a bit miffed if he ends up signing Bayern Munich’s Miroslav Klose, who’s very bad.

    😆

    *http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jun/03/football-transfer-rumours

    • Lev
      June 3, 2011

      the best thing about RvP’s comments is that 2 days ago Jack Wilshere said “We should pressure the refs more. It doesn’t work if it is only Robin Van Persie doing this.”
      lol

  26. Eklavya
    June 3, 2011

    Who’s watching Roland Garros? The first set just ended. Great match! Very tight

  27. blitzen
    June 3, 2011

    Does anyone know why Keita hasn’t been called up for the Mali NT? Does the coach have some kind of problem with him? Seems like he would be a no-brainer.

    • Jnice
      June 3, 2011

      Keita took a break from Mali after the last African Cup of Nations and the coach didn’t like that. He decided he would return after about a year, but coach decided to speak with him and I’m guessing he wasn’t convinced or satisfied with what Keita had to say, so he hasn’t called him up ever since. He claimed that Keita’s return would cause disharmony within the group.

      Here’s a good article on it:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/piersedwards/2011/03/clipping_an_eagle.html

      • Jnice
        June 3, 2011

        And I must admit, I’m not a fan of these international breaks European based African players seem to be so fond of. Essien is another one. He’s back now, but I don’t know, I think this is a problem with African NTs. Too many players think they’re above their national teams and don’t seem to care enough.

        I don’t think you should be picking and choosing when you want to play.

        • blitzen
          June 3, 2011

          Plenty of European players do the same thing, though. Ibra did it when Sweden didn’t qualify for the WC. Several English players have done it that I can think of.

          Considering the punishing schedule Keita has had with Barcelona over the past 3 years I can’t blame him for wanting to opt out of international football for a while. He didn’t do it for “diva” reasons. And Keita is very popular in the dressing room, by all accounts. I would think the coach would want to play his best team.

          The coach is new to this team though–I suspect he is doing this to assert his authority and make his mark on the team.

          • June 3, 2011

            I don’t hold it against Keita, nor any other African player (or players from generally less developed countries like in CONCACAF or Asia), who decides to take a personal break from the national team during less important times in the 4-year cycle.

            The problems that our European NT players face with their FAs (too many friendlies, sometimes a bit heavy travel load) pale in comparison to the problems that African players have to experience. Moving/canceled match dates, poor communication from the FAs, having travel arrangements fall through, poor technical preparation for matches (especially compared to European clubs), shoddy–at times dangerous–accommodations…

            Many of the FAs in Africa, particularly poorer ones like Mali, do not make it at all easy on their players. Many of them stick to it through all the poor organization and incompetence, but I don’t blame the few who get frustrated at having to expend more effort fighting with their own FA than actually winning damn football matches.

  28. blitzen
    June 3, 2011

    Snippets from Mourinho’s recent interview with El Larguero (thanks to unamadridista for the translation):

    It was a sad moment for Valdano and for everyone, and I’m not being hypocritical, because if there’s anything I’m not, it’s hypocritical. I’m not happy about his departure. If I’m happy about anything, it’s with the new organization of the club.

    It’s the only time where someone is sanctioned without knowing why. More than one month has passed. You don’t have the right to know why, you don’t have the right to defend yourself, you don’t have the right to argue… and as a person, I believe I have the right to defend myself. That’s why I’m going to the TAS and I will fight to the end.

    Are Higuaín and Benzema non-transferable?
    Yes.
    You won’t allow either one to leave?
    It’s not about whether I allow anyone or not. If the club wants to do something, I’m no one. We all agree about Higuaín and Benzema. We want to keep them.

    [Barcelona] won the final justly, with a lot of class and tranquility, but they didn’t win the quarterfinals and semifinals well. But in the final, my hat goes off to them, they deserve it. The best team won the final.

    I knew [Guardiola] as a player. Ten years have passed. Right now he’s the leader of his team, it’s different, I don’t know him. I knew a different Guardiola as a player, and he knew me as a different person. I thought he would be like this in the future, without knowing his desires or his motivations.

    • Para
      June 3, 2011

      erm, I know why he’s said the semifinals weren’t just (I still think he’s a giant bag of poo, but I know why he’s saying it), but the quarterfinals?

      • blitzen
        June 3, 2011

        The Arsenal games…you know, how we bribed the ref to send off RVP.

        • Vj
          June 3, 2011

          Theo Walcott (Arsenal): “People forget we actually beat Barcelona in the first leg. But I think in the end the better team won.” [fatv]

          Straight from the horses mouth..

          via Pep @ Barcastuff..

  29. blitzen
    June 3, 2011

    barcastuff:

    Pascal Boisseau (agent Keita): “Interest Atletico? Guardiola wants him to stay at the club and I think Guardiola’s in charge.” [rac1]

    😀 😀 😀

  30. Ryan
    June 3, 2011

    Getting ready for my trip to Boston to watch the USA-Spain game – can’t wait to watch Iniesta, Pique, Busi, Villa, and Pedro! Maybe even a half for Valdes? Anyone else going?

  31. hammeronmessi
    June 3, 2011

    federer won.

    yap.

    hoping he beats the matador.

    federer is simply class

    • June 3, 2011

      Pure class and style.

      The year he beat Roddick at Wimbledon, and is standing there in white slacks and jacket during the award ceremonies, was awesomeness. Full on.

      • hammeronmessi
        June 3, 2011

        the most impressive thing bout him is that in this era of athletism,power and stamina federer still won cause of his pure technique,skill and mental resilience.

        when his age gets up with him ,he lost his invincible aura.at his prime maybe sampras or agassi have a chance.

        • Eklavya
          June 3, 2011

          Class, technique, humble and cool. The way he played today was exceptional.

          I remember when we played Basel 2 years ago in the group stages of the CL and we won 5-0, he had attented the match. At point he was texting and my commentator jokingly said that he must have been sending hate mail to Nadal. Lol 😀

          • hammeronmessi
            June 3, 2011

            Class, technique, humble and cool. The way he played today was exceptional.

            forget to mention the coolness of him.

            remember the days when he was a rebel?

    • Huckleberry
      June 3, 2011

      would be very classy, when he could finally beat Nadal in Paris in the fall of his career…

  32. hammeronmessi
    June 3, 2011

    gotta read this

    http://footballpantheon.com/2011/05/the-50-greatest-european-club-sides/

    what they say bout us

    As often as this Barcelona have transcended modern football, it is probably their performances against their oldest rivals that have best defined them.

    Most impressively, the 5-0 win over Real Madrid in November 2010 illustrated the true potential of a team sport. It was a carnival of technique, a kaleidoscope of cohesion.

    In the same season’s Champions League semi-final first leg, then, Leo Messi emphasised the individual excellence that comprises the team with his coruscating solo run. And that was complemented in the second leg by Pedro’s precise finish to another dizzying passing move.

    Such performances, of course, have lead to talk of the greatest team of all time.

    Certainly, it is highly possible that Pep Guardiola’s stewardship represents the highest possible peak of club football. As reflected by their play on the pitch, the club is perfectly synchronised with the former captain i charge. He represents the top of a seamless pyramid; an institution that’s almost organic rather than organised.

    Because, at present, La Masia produces prototype players that perfectly fit the team’s approach. But then Guardiola has also enhanced that approach. He’s evolved their inherent passing philosophy with a vigorously implemented pressing game. In the rare periods of a match when Barcelona don’t have the ball, they work harder than any team to win it back. That stats show that no side in history has reclaimed the ball as often in the opposition half. And, obviously, no side in history has had such insane possession stats.

    The end result, of course, is that the side play virtually every game on their own terms. And that has produced some extraordinary achievements. As well as winning Spain’s first ever treble, Guardiola’s Barcelona have won a three-in-a-row and two Champions Leagues in three short years. Along the way, they’ve also been Spain’s most emphatic league winners in terms of points per game and provided the division’s best ever defence.

    And for those that say that was down to the poverty of the Spanish league, they’ve beaten every Champions League knock-out opponent except Chelsea by more than two goals.

    But such dynamism comes with extraordinary demands. For a start, the pressure on the obsessive Guardiola. Then there’s the fact that their unique philosophy makes it difficult for players to adapt. That has left them with a necessarily short squad and – occasionally – an overstretched one. Indeed, it was arguably that, above all, which cost them the 2010 Champions League – a trophy that would undoubtedly have put them top of this list. Unlike their rivals though, they still have time to rectify it.

  33. hammeronmessi
    June 3, 2011

    although they listed us at no 4,we still have at least 2 years 2 become the numero uno

    • Eklavya
      June 3, 2011

      OMG, I just realised that you ‘replied’ to Kxevin above in the right place… not down here! So you CAN reply at right places at times huh? 🙂

  34. hammeronmessi
    June 3, 2011

    thats me.like ramos,sometimes i do the right things but most of the time i dont.

    i often wonder how come u became eklavya?

  35. Vj
    June 3, 2011

    So Abidal finished expertly again. Too bad it was in his own net. I blame France’s gawd awful jersey..

    • Huckleberry
      June 4, 2011

      you don’t like the brittany/rugby-style of the jersey? I like.

  36. June 3, 2011

    According to soccernet we signed an Argentine goalkeeper, 20 year old Esteban Antrada.

    • mega_tajh
      June 3, 2011

      Yeah and apparently EE has a 1st option purchase clause for him, which they might use to steal him away from us or just raise the price up.

  37. blitzen
    June 3, 2011

    RVP says he didn’t say it:

    “These reports falsely suggest that I recently made negative comments about Spanish and Chelsea players, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I haven’t done an interview with Sport 1 or any other outlet in recent weeks and I’ve certainly not been rude as the comments suggest.

    “I respect my colleagues of Spain and Chelsea and look forward to playing against them for many years to come. I sincerely hope that all football fans worldwide don’t take these misleading reports seriously.

  38. blitzen
    June 3, 2011

    Sid Lowe writes a rather mean-spirited article on La Roja:

    Perhaps so, but for most players this feels more like an inconvenience than an opportunity. It is an imposition that, in many cases, the players resent. The fact that they are here at all is the issue that most occupies them. The mentality is hardly positive. After a long season and a clásico series that players on both sides privately hated, they just wanted to get away. Some had done so, only to have to report back once more. Del Bosque has talked about the “responsibility” of being world champions and the importance of not losing the prestige gained last summer, but most players do not agree.

    For them, this is simply a game too far.

    He refers to a “cold atmosphere” between the players (of RM and Barca, one assumes), but the only named source is El Pais. No verified interviews or quotes from named players. Sid is of course not in Providence with the team nor is he interviewing the players himself. An extremely poor piece of “journalism”, and not even very good as an opinion piece.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/sid_lowe/06/03/spain.us.friendly/index.html#ixzz1OGESRmFV

    • Barka
      June 3, 2011

      What do you mean by “mean-spirited article” blitzen? I think this is a fine article by Sid, not great or anything but not bad either. As for the unnamed players or sources, he frequently does that in his weekly Spanish article. Nothing that hasn’t been done before.

      • blitzen
        June 3, 2011

        He may do it frequently. That doesn’t make it good journalism. :roll:

        By “mean-spirited”, I mean that he is taking a very negative view with really nothing to back it up. Every interview I have seen, every video, pictures of the players–they all look pretty normal and happy to be there. How does he know it “feels like an inconvenience”? He has not interviewed a single player to ask them how they are feeling. If he had, he would have published it. On the one hand he bemoans the media fixation on the fallout from the Clasicos, then he goes ahead and exploits that same fixation. It is cynical, and yes, mean-spirited.

        • Barka
          June 3, 2011

          Well, I didn’t see anyone here complain about his journalism before the Busquets incident so it’s quite strange to see so many now.

          About the players’ quote, he could have heard it from other reporters privately. Or, he did interview the players directly but left the names out due to their request. I don’t know a lot about journalism (perhaps Kxevin can say seomthing) but quoting unnamed sources seem quite common for me. Perhaps you are implying that Sid fabricates these quotes which I don’t think is true because it would hurt his credibility.

        • Barka
          June 3, 2011

          About the mean-spirited thing, I get what you mean :D. To each his own I guess, I think some may act a bit colder towards each other after all those matches.

  39. ElJefe
    June 3, 2011

    I WOULD TAKE YAYA BACK IN A HEARTBEAT

    • Vj
      June 3, 2011

      I WOULDN’T..

      His leaving paved the way for one of our best signings in history..

  40. 90sbaby
    June 3, 2011

    If I’m being 100 I’d give Mascherano or Busquets with Milito and Maxwell thrown in for Y Toure.

    Curse his bastid agent he could have been part of the best team in history regardless he still was a huge part in that 08/09 treble winning team, wouldn’t have won without him.

  41. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 3, 2011

    I wouldn’t take Yaya back now, he is not really needed, we have prooven we can do without him.

    Its true he was one of the few players we had that could come into the midfield and replace Xavi and Iniesta and we didn’t lose our attacking force. We can see now that Yaya’s true position is an attacking one, and a position that Pep couldn’t guarantee Yaya regular starts, and in his last season with us I remember he had a slow start and was inconsistent the rest of the time, he was losing motivation and his fitness dipped, so I guess it was the right choice to sell him.

  42. mega_tajh
    June 3, 2011

    I for one am quite happy with the moves other Spanish teams have been doing so far. Dani Parejo to Valencia makes perfect sense while Malaga is making quite some noise in signing RVN and are now even in talks with Jeremy Toulalan, all quality players.

  43. June 3, 2011

    I tend to agree, I rate yaya higher than Busi and Masch Mazch is prolly more versatile and the squad seems to love Busi )who would be better for our squad over the next 10 years). But the fact that we in essance got a 2 for 1 (Busi starting and Masch brought in) was great. Plus Busi and Yaya are two totally different animals, Yaya, a destroyer and Busi a super deep lying playmaker!!!!

  44. Jnice
    June 4, 2011

    Keeping an extra eye on Rossi because of all the speculation and watched some highlights of Italy-Estonia. Only Estonia, but I must say, Rossi looked really good. Scored one and hit another off the post. He really knows how to move into space and his combination play is great.

  45. June 4, 2011

    I was reading a goal.com peice and they seem to think that Coentaro will play RB and hook up with Di Maria, as they did in Portugal for Benafica(?). The thing is, neither of them have anything close to a right foot. According to the article, this would leave Marcelo and Ronaldo and Marcelo on the left and push Ramos to CB to partner with Pepe or Carvahelo. Very interesting way to get your best players on the field.

    • mega_tajh
      June 4, 2011

      Yeah I read that to.I think its more of an El Classico lineup Mou is trying to figure out. With Carvahlo and Ramos as CB, Pepe being the DM and Marcelo and Coentaro flanking to link up with thongboy and Di maria.

  46. mega_tajh
    June 4, 2011

    Now reading that we are rumored to have agreed a fee for Alexis Sanchez in the region of 27mil euros. Idk how to feel on this.

    • Dani_el
      June 4, 2011

      I’ve just read Zubi has stopped all negotiations for the time being, cause’ of the outrageous asking prices of some players when it comes to make an agreement with Barça.
      http://www.sport.es/es/noticias/barca/20110604/zubizarreta-anda-preocupado-pide-enfriar-mercado/1031071.shtml

      I don’t think we’ll offer 27M for Sanchez, I don’t think Sanchez or Kun are on Pep’s agenda, I think he’s looking for an impact sub, or so it says here…
      http://www.sport.es/es/noticias/barca/20110604/kun-vendra-barca/1030943.shtml

      I think Rossi and then William, are in the mainstream agenda, I like Rossi, he would be a good signing for us I believe.
      I read from Martin Perarnau and Cristian Pulina that if we get Rossi, Bojan or Jeffren will go (probably a cesion or a sell with a buy-buck clause), and if we get Cesc we wont need a center back, cause Cesc can play midfield defender (his jersey nr 4 is saved by pep for him they say, and he will teach him what he needs to learn to play in that position) so Masche could be the prefered centerback subbing for puyol, the nro 12 player. Rossi should be the first signing, then a negotiation for cesc, if they accept the offered amount we sign him, if they don’t maybe we’ll wait for cesc to do something, if he doesn’t maybe we try to get a good centerback, sakho or thiago silva from milan. That would be an excellent silly season story, I wish to know what squad we’ll have on august already! I wish the club accomplish the wanted signings before pre-season, that would be great wouldn’t?! all the squad training since july 18 I think, well all of them who dont play in the copa america (I think Messi, Mascherano, Alves and Adriano) If Adriano starts on the left for Brazil..wow!

  47. June 4, 2011

    Wow, 27 is a good price for what has been quoted recently About the same we are rumored to be willing to pay for Rossi. The difference is, we seem to be the only one heavily linked with Rossi, while teasms in England, Italy and Spain all want Sanchez. In my heart I like Rossi, as he can play all over the front line Sanchez, is younger and has more potential (maybe). It may be a pipe dream, But if er loan Bojan and sell Jeffren, maybe we bring them both in for 55m. That leaves us next year to get Cesc for 35 and a 15m defender.

  48. June 4, 2011

    I almost just had a heart attack watching sanchez clips on youtube, he is so perfect for our system. A true right footed left wing, that will do excatly what messi does from the left. He has mastered that “messi shot” cutting in at the top of the box from the left and blast an 18 yarder. Also he has Dive Maria’s speed and foot skills but does not lose control of it like his EE counterpart. Finally, can you imagine him linking up wit Iniesta in the left!!!!!! EPIC. Dare I sat the interchange will be Messi/Alves esque. I love how we can make 1-2 changes to our lineup and become even better it’s surreal, while EE has to overhaul their rodter with 5-7 changes each year just to come in second.!!!!

    Can Euler or someone tell me who would fit better, Rossi/Sanchez? And why they fit?

    • June 4, 2011

      Alexi for me, without doubt. He has alway been a talent to watch but after the worldcup performane and this season at udinese, the boy is blooming Rossi is not bad at all though.

      My attitude toward the whole transfer thing is simple: No matter who we buy, we’ll expet a better squad than a Liga and CL winner we witnessed this season. Nothing to complain about I guess.

  49. June 4, 2011

    And for the record, I want give Mascherano for Yaya+10 M. As a holding midfielder, sMach is way better. Barca fans never agreed with me on that, but its still a fact for me.

    In the other hand, Busquets-Mascherano is a better combo to have than Busquets-Yaya. The first offer you more diversity while in the other -at its best- there is more redundancy.

    Now as a CM, It always strikes me when someone get surprised how good Yaya is as a CM. He played there most his games with the national team. I’d been demanding using him in Keita’s role for years. And thats where I may not mind seeing him, in Keita’s role. Though its really tough not to stay loyal to Keita who is a certain quality in what he does for Barca, while Yaya is a promising quality.

    But what decides it all is that both Mascherano and Keita proved being more secure as team players and better fit for the dressing room.

    So with all respect to Yaya’s history with our club -and I am his fan as anyone can be- we are better with those we have.

    • June 4, 2011

      *And for the record, I won’t (will NOT) give Mascherano for Yaya+10 M.

      • Eklavya
        June 4, 2011

        Hehe typos ruin everything, don’t they? 😛

    • Jnice
      June 4, 2011

      Now as a CM, It always strikes me when someone get surprised how good Yaya is as a CM. He played there most his games with the national team. I’d been demanding using him in Keita’s role for years.

      I’ve been saying the same thing you have for probably the same amount of time. Before Eriksson took over the Ivory Coast job, Zokora was the holding midfielder and Yaya was in an advanced role. He did the same for Monaco when Laurent Banide took over.

      In the beginning of the Premier League season, English journos kept saying Man City were playing with 3 DMs, which wasn’t true. Then they questioned Yaya’s ability to play in an advanced position. I had to correct so many journos on twitter and finally during the last month of the season, they admitted they were wrong and it became fashionable to praise Yaya. Some clueless ones even credit Mancini as the one who introduced Yaya to that position. Yeah, sure.

  50. June 4, 2011

    Keeping an extra eye on Rossi because of all the speculation and watched some highlights of Italy-Estonia. Only Estonia, but I must say, Rossi looked really good. Scored one and hit another off the post. He really knows how to move into space and his combination play is great.

    Moving into space is the key to Rossi’s game. And he’s brilliant at it. He has very good touch, quick feet and finishes very well (as that shot he scored on yesterday showed).

    But it’s Rossi’s utilization of space which is the best part of his game and what he’d really add Barca. We do not have a striker similar to Rossi right now.

    There’s a very good argument to get Sanchez instead as Sanchez is a brilliant player as well. But that doesn’t take anything away from Rossi. Rossi and Sanchez are just different.

    I think Rossi is being underestimated by some cules because his game is much more subtle than that of most strikers.

    He’s a tremendous footballer.

    This was also interesting from Sport (via Barcastuff):

    barcastuff barcastuff
    Guardiola has told the club that -with Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Fontas, Mascherano and Busquets- there’s no need to sign a centre-back. [sport]

    If this is true – and to date there’s been very little talk about a CB, not even much on Botia – then I do think it’s likely that Pep may again make a serious effort to try to bring Cesc back and play him in the holding position.

    Busquets and Masch can’t really function as CB depth in this fashion unless the team has another holding player – and that’s not Thiago or Afellay.

    Pep’s envisioned Cesc playing the 4 for Barca for a long time.

    • Whatever
      June 4, 2011

      Sport writes that we’re after Fabregas, Sanchez and Rossi. Suppose we get the three of them… How will they fit in? They can’t all play in the 1st team.

      So… Busquets is out if Fabregas comes?

      • Jnice
        June 4, 2011

        I doubt we’ll get all 3 of them, Whatever. At the most, it’ll be Cesc and either Sanchez or Rossi. Still don’t think we’re signing Cesc, but if we aren’t going for a central defender, then I’m leaning towards Euler’s thinking and guessing Pep wants Cesc as the holding midfielder.

        Busquets out-you mean sold or to the bench?

        • Whatever
          June 4, 2011

          Busquets on the bench, Fabregas in his place. I wouldn’t do that… Busquets really is a spectacular footballer. But in Pep we trust.

      • Barcaleya
        June 4, 2011

        Why would Busquets be out, Whatever?

        In my opinion, he’s irreplaceable. He’s the best DM of his kind. I think that Cesc would be rotated for Xavi and even Iniesta. Busquets to me is the player closest to being Xavi and doing the Xavi role, many years from now. Cesc is closer to being Iniesta as he has a more attacking flair.

        But most players’ positions are so fluid that Busi and Pique even go high up and everyone else falls back to cover for them when they do so. Masch carried the ball from near our goal all the way up to where Dani/Pedro normally lurks. It really confuses our opponents.

        Anyway, just saying that Busquets will never be out. No matter who comes in. If we are retaining the style of play that we have now, that is.

        • Whatever
          June 4, 2011

          I agree with you. To me, Busquets is irreplaceable. I was referring to what Euler was saying above… If I understood him correctly, our middle line would be Iniesta – Fabregas – Xavi instead of Iniesta – Busquets – Xavi.

          Fabregas would be a great addition, but he doesn’t really have a place in our 1st team (if all are healthy). He could place in the place of Iniesta, while moving the latter to LW. But then Villa or Pedro are out.

    • Jnice
      June 4, 2011

      If this is true – and to date there’s been very little talk about a CB, not even much on Botia – then I do think it’s likely that Pep may again make a serious effort to try to bring Cesc back and play him in the holding position.

      Busquets and Masch can’t really function as CB depth in this fashion unless the team has another holding player – and that’s not Thiago or Afellay.

      That’s been my argument every time someone says we can just use Mascherano at CB next season. What if Busi gets hurt? Mascherano will need to play DM, he won’t be able to play CB.

      It’ll be a real shame if we don’t at least buy back Botia and give him preseason to see what he can do. I’ll be very disappointed with Pep and co. One of La Liga’s better CBs for 2 years now available for 2m and you pass that up? Sorry, but I don’t understand.

      • Eklavya
        June 4, 2011

        We can still sign him next though, right?

        • Jnice
          June 4, 2011

          I guess we can, it’s 3 years, right? But I just think he’s needed now, not later.

  51. Lev
    June 4, 2011

    Actually, Euler, the season before his last (at PSV) Ibi played as a holding midfielder. The coach’s decision to do so was widely criticized in Holland not due to Ibi playing badly in that position but because the team lacked creativity with Ibi playing so far back.

    I still agree with you that I don’t want him as a defensive mid at Barça, though.

    • June 4, 2011

      Lev,

      I recall that – when PSV moved Ibi to the holding position. I know he has experience there – but it didn’t seem to work out all that well for them for the reasons you pointed out with them lacking creativity (just look at how poorly they did this season after Ibi was sold).

      I don’t get the sense that pep wants him at the holding position – if they do that they they lose depth on the flank.

      The fundamental problem is that they simply do not have enough players. It’s just math.

      Their players are all multi-faceted and can play multiple positions because they are tremendous all around footballers.

      But they just don’t have enough of them to get through a long season. And next year will be even more grueling.

      They need a squad of at least 22 regular first team players.

      And they need to get a CB. They really do. Two of the three year Peps been in charge they’ve run out of CBs by the end of the season.

      Sure Busi can fill in at CB but while a pairing of him and Abidal may be ok Busi and Pique is not a good situation as they are just too slow.

      They need a CB with some pace. If they dont’ add that player this summer I will be very concerned going into next season.

      They barely got by this season.

      • Whatever
        June 4, 2011

        I doubt they’ll sign a CB. Guardiola said he doesn’t need one. They’ll probably sign a LB.

        • Barcaleya
          June 4, 2011

          If they’re not getting a CB – I guess we are moving Abi to CB so we have Puyi, Pique, Fontas and Abi for that position.

          We’re buying an LB – so we’ll have Adriano and new guy. And maybe we’ll groom Ibi for that post as well.

          Cesc will rotate with Xavi and Ini. We have Busi and Masch for the DM.

          Then we’re buying a forward who will rotate with Villa and Pedro.

          Think I’m satisfied with this. Once we have really great subs for Xavi and Ini (Cesc) and for Villa and Pedro (Sanchez or Rossi), we’re ready for next season. Between Fontas, Puyi, Pique and Abi for CB – we should be okay. I do hope we buy Botia too.

  52. The__K__Man
    June 4, 2011

    We already played 2 champions league finals with a defensive midfielders in our line up (Yaya 2009 and now Masche)..Last year we played vs Arsenal with 2 out of form CBs (Marquez and Milito)..this year again we faced Arsenal with Busi as a CB..We did well and always beat the our opponents but we really need to address this issue for good..We need to have 4 main CBs…Just imagine Busquets and Puyol (which could happen again next year) being injured..then we’ll use Masche as DM and will only have Abi, Pique and Fontas as CBs..a team like Barça needs more depth

  53. June 4, 2011

    I dont think we should believe everything we read, whether its about Pep not wanting a CB or Pep wanting Cesc.

    1) The discussions about where to use Cesc is more than enough to show we shouldnt buy him. A great player. But you usually check what you need and buy per se. You dont buy and they scratch your head trying to figure where to use him. Unless if its a dressing room demand backed by political need (or the other way), there is no reason for Pep to approve getting him.

    2) Deciding what player to buy depend on different things. Transfer approach will be based on different scenarios, depending on who is available and for an affordable price. You can bet most of the players who are on Pep’s wishlist are not tranfer targets because the club cant get them for different reasons. Thats where the “If we sign this we go for that, but if we sign another we dont” roadmap take place.

    At the moment, still impossible to know which path we will take. The first player we sign can tell a lot about whats coming next.

  54. barca96
    June 4, 2011

    WOW.Just WOW!

    Poll result: “Who do you prefer at Barça, Cesc or Thiago?” Cesc 16% – Thiago 84% [el mundo deportivo]

    I guess the local folks prefer Thiago than their Catalan son. Hehe.
    But I’m still upset that Thiago is demanding playing time if Cesc comes here. He just got promoted and already demanding. Why not slug it out?!
    What do you think my main man Euler? Would you prefer Thiago to stay or Cesc to come and satisfy Pep but have a grumble Thiago and a possibility of Thiago moving on…

    @Ramzi on Yaya. I feel that Yaya-Busi midfield is more suitable. BUsi is a deep lying player while Yaya can roam forward, a box to box player. You even said it yourself that you see him as a Keita type of player. BUt yet you think that Busi-sMasch is a better combo. Both of them are deep lying players. So how would that work?

    • barca96
      June 4, 2011

      Oh and regarding Sanchez vs. ROssi.
      I see a similarity between the Villa vs. Ibra rumors back in the beautiful summer of 2008.

      A lot of fans were creaming their pants at the thought of Ibra because of obvious reasons; his skills, height, shot etc.
      But I was really behind Villa’s move all along. Ibra is definitely the better player individually but Villa would definitely bring more to the team that what Ibra could offer. That’s why I was going so nuts emailing the Barca board with a similar message 😆

      Sanchez may have a better potential and skills and what not but I find that Rossi would give us something extra, something useful.

      • June 4, 2011

        * Busquets can do everything Yaya can as a CM and more. And he is younger. Thats where the Yaya busquets combo creaes redundancy.
        * As a holding midfielder, Mascherano is the distroyer that neither Busquets nor yaya is. His workrate is better than thats of Yaya and so as his positioning and decesion making.

        ——————-

        As for Vila Vs Ibra. You have a short memory. In fact everyone was demanding Vila over Ibra (beside minority that includes me-and maybe only me). Why? because Villa is the lethal finisher and 9 who can score a zillion every season.

        I will not repeat what I used to say about Villa -a great player- back then, as this season confirmed it all already. As for ibra, I still believe he could be a better 9 for Barca than anyone else. But we will not go over the whole thing again regarding the reasons why he didnt survive for a second season after first -needed- adabting season, where after all he didnt achieve anything less than Villa. It happens in football.

        Any player will bring the squad somethng extra. Thats why I dont mind getting any of the names mentioned, i just prefer some over others.

        • barca96
          June 4, 2011

          *Busquets can do everything Yaya can as a CM and more. And he is younger. Thats where the Yaya busquets combo creaes redundancy.

          But Busi plays DM. And we are talking about Yaya at CM.
          I don’t want to see Busi playing at CM and sMasch at DM again. I think Pep tried it out last season. It looked slow to me. And there was no creativity.

          The Ibra vs. Villa thing is from what I noticed what the posters wrote on the old Pep’s blog, transferblog or something. The majority of the people seem to prefer Ibra for the reasons I stated above.

          Any player will bring the squad somethng extra.

          That’s true. But from what I gather from watching Youtube clips of Sanchez, he looks like an out and out RW. And we already have Alves, Pedro and Messi occupying that space. It’s a threat that we already have in our arsenal.

          But perhaps he could operate in other positions as well. I can’t tell since I’ve never really noticed him during the WC. Does he pass well? Can he make diagonal runs? One two’s?

          I know for sure Rossi can..

          • June 4, 2011

            Well, Alexi played more behind the striker this season than on the wing, though his mobility helped him to cause continious threat on the flanks as well.

            As for your questions, yes, and yes , and yes 😀

    • Jnice
      June 4, 2011

      But I’m still upset that Thiago is demanding playing time if Cesc comes here. He just got promoted and already demanding. Why not slug it out?!

      Why are you upset? It’s only the papers saying this. Neither his father nor Thiago have come out and said anything about Cesc, as far as I know.

  55. Lev
    June 4, 2011

    Cesc will be a much better eventual replacement for Xavi than Busi. Busi is more of a guardiola type player, simply put he is just not dangerous at all going forward.

    Also I really don’t understand the “trying Ibi out at LB” statements.
    Ibi is stronger with his right than with his left. He lacks defensive positioning, strength and heading. His crosses are decent but not all that great either imho. And his overall skill set, dribbling and passing would be better served in the midfield or on the wing.

    It will be interesting to see how the possible arrival of Rossi effects his playing time, especially with Thiago being promoted also.

    • Barcaleya
      June 4, 2011

      Perhaps Cesc would be a better replacement for Xavi than Busi, were he to come in. Busi is perfect for what he does as DM, although Masch offers something different too as a DM. I haven’t been watching Cesc lately but from all accounts of Busi – he seems to have such discerning and rapid decision making prowess in terms of where and who to give the ball to, approximating that ability of Xavi.

      So if Cesc doesn’t come in, I’d say that Busi would be a better Xavi replacement than Thiago. In terms of consistency and reliability of passes, as well as vision.

      As for Ibi as LB, again this is just in terms of positions they can cover in case of injuries and when the first choice for such position is unavailable. He has really good pace and can do an Alves on the left, going high up the field and delivering crosses. Perhaps he can be taught all other skills such as what you mentioned to cover that position properly. That’s what we do with everyone else anyway. Busi is not a CB but he is used as such when need be. His skill set is not perfect for that as well, hence the own goal against Arsenal.

      We are just toying here with possible positions that other players can cover since we don’t have the luxury of buying the two best players for each position as starter and sub. So we have to use some in unconventional positions in case of injury and such.

  56. 90sbaby
    June 4, 2011

    I’m scratching my head at how a Mascherano and Busi midfield would be better than a busi and a Yaya partnership in midfield.

    For me it’s the opposite with Toure can do everything that Busi can do and more.

    Busquet is not a destroyer, Toure if needed can be just that. Busquet is not as versatile as Toure
    Busquet doesn’t posses the range of passing that Toure has.
    Toure offers much more in attack

    Toure with the ball at his feet can run at players and skip past markers and distribute from deep.

    Busi while he is an admirable player in THIS Barcelona midfield it’s very hard to see him do what Yaya Toure does at City with lesser talent in midfield…

    This is just my humble opinion, Toure is a top 3 midfielder in the world, saying that I take nothing from Busquet but I’d feel much more calm with Toure protecting the back 4.

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