What a signature, what a coach!

Has it been 3 years already? And does anyone remember when?

Forgetting for a moment about how much Pep Guardiola has aged in three seasons, let’s look back a ways, shall we?

After two trophyless seasons suffused with partying superstars, poorly timed red cards, collapses and rumors that he had lost the locker room, coach Frank Rijkaard was fired. At that time, debate raged, about not only the propriety of the firing and whether he deserved another chance, but who would be the best candidate to lead FCB into the future.

The club announced that it would be the then B-team coach, Pep Guardiola, and everyone wondered.

I post a an excerpt from a comment at The Offside, from a poster whose handle was Citizen:

Not to deflate everybody’s optimism about Guardiola as the new manager, but there’s a problem with it that hasn’t been mentioned here yet: as former captain under Cruyff, and seemingly getting the majority of his support from Laporta, who seems to worship Cruyff, just further extends Cruyff’s strange stranglehold over the club’s operations. In the past couple of years, I think that we’ve seen Cruyff offer his bucketloads of “opinions” whenever the team starts to struggle a bit. What’s Pep going to do when that happens, when his main backer turns into a critic? Cruyff is probably my favorite player and I also loved him as a manager, but I think his influence on the club is starting to have sour effects. If he wants to offer all those “opinions” on how things should be done, then he should just stand for the presidency (he’d probably win) or become the technical director (like he almost did at Ajax) or manager. He does the same thing for the Dutch national team, by the way, I think. The way things are now, Cruyff can be said to be de facto running things — do you really think they could have named someone manager without his approval? –, without being held accountable at all.

Now I’ll be ecstatic if Pep could prove me wrong and bring some discipline and drive to this team. For his own good, and the club’s, I just hope he knows what he’s getting into and has the balls to cut ties to Cardinal Cruyff and go about his job independently.

I’d say he did that, and then some. And just think what might have happened had Joan Laporta and the board not thought that Jose Mourinho’s demands were extravagant, eh? For those curious about what we had to say about things back in The Offside days, you can go here.

Guardiola, before signing on the dotted line three years ago, presented a resume that included his Way of Dealing With Things, that included bringing the medical setup into this century. We didn’t know what that meant at the time, but now we do: preventive training, improved fitness, specialized diets, etc, etc. The result has been, if not fewer injuries, fewer debilitating ones, players coming back more quickly from injuries and a mostly intact core that has led us to, during his three-year tenure: 3 Ligas, 2 Champions Leagues, etc, etc.

When we were debating Rijkaard and Guardiola, the latter was busy plotting world domination, and he seems to have succeeded. Everyone is saying that this will be his last season with the club. I remain unconvinced, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. But for now,

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Written by:

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

302 Comments

  1. June 7, 2011

    does anybody know who is the agent of coentrao?

    • Barka
      June 7, 2011

      Jorge Mendes. He’s also the agent of other famous Portugues players such as Deco, Pepe,.. if I remember correctly. Even Mourinho.

      • The__K__Man
        June 7, 2011

        He’s the agent of both Mou and CR7

      • Barka
        June 7, 2011

        Yeah, Marquez too. He’s not the shady kind of agent like fat Raiola though.

      • June 7, 2011

        Thank you guys fow the swift reply! Even wikipedia has a n article on him he seems quite shady and able to sell flops for LOAAADS of money

        “At the 2008 European Championships, Mendes was allowed privileged access to the Portuguese team hotel by the then-manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.In the same year, Mendes handled the deal that took Scolari to Chelsea, negotiating a three-year contract worth between £5.5 million and £6.25 million.”

        Favors for favors…

      • Jnice
        June 7, 2011

        He’s soon to be De Gea’s agent as well. He’s the one that brokered the deal bringing him to Man Utd.

        I’d imagine he’s the richest agent out there followed by Pini Zahavi and Mino Raiola.

  2. June 7, 2011

    Sanchez’ agent is in Barcelona, presumably not to take a Gaudi tour and have a xocolata.

    • June 7, 2011

      BTW, he is @AlexisS7 on Twitter.

    • Vj
      June 7, 2011

      Apparently he’ll be off to Juve on Saturday. Quite an industrious fellow..

      • barca96
        June 7, 2011

        If he really wanted to join us, he would’ve instructed his agent not to shop him around.

        Now my feelings (Pep style hehe) for him are diminishing. At least with Rossi, we only hear positive things from his team mates and coach.

      • Jnice
        June 7, 2011

        So let me get this straight.

        He is supposed to bank his hopes on only one club? He obviously prefers Barça-that much is clear. The president of Udinese has said it’s his preferred destination. Still, Sanchez knows Barça has other targets, like Rossi, why would he tell his agent not to look at offers from other clubs?

        Also, he knows that just because he may agree terms with Barça, doesn’t mean Udinese will agree terms with Barça.

        Why should he put all his eggs in one basket?

        About the players/coach thing-we hear so much about Rossi b/c his they are asked about him. They don’t come out and say “Rossi will be perfect for Barça” without being asked. If you asked the Udinese about Sanchez, I’m sure we’d all hear the same positive things being said for Rossi.

      • Jnice
        June 7, 2011

        the Udinese players*

    • just listenin
      June 7, 2011

      Saw that on barcastuff – looks like things are progressing, and we look to be in the lead. I think Sanchez would add a great dimension to the attack, good on the ball, good last pass, reads the play well. The thought of him joining is exciting. We’re going to need a strong rotational attack that adapts to different styles with the schedule being no easier next year.

      Sport and MD are running headlines today that we’re going for all three Sanchez, Rossi and Fabregas (I believe his return is inevitable), and that loans and sales will be considered to fund it, but that’s Sport and MD. However, it’s starting to look a little like this scenario could happen with a lot of smoke and maybe fire around Thiago, Bojan, loans/sales w/buy backs. It’s also being leaked that we won’t sign a CB, which bothers me for some reason despite the amount of depth and strength that Cruyff outlined in his recent article around the position due to Abidal and Mascherano stepping in and up this year – I don’t know if it is the lack of a true center back, or just the loss in “stability” that seems to come when the captain is not anchoring the line and shouting “Focus!” at Pique. Not sure what it is, but something about it bothers me.

  3. June 7, 2011

    One of the newspapers in Chile is reporting that during an interview with Franco Soldati, the president of Udinese, Soldati stated that Sanchez and Barca have definitely agreed to personal terms – 3M/year on a 4 year deal with an option.

    He also said that the negotiations between the club are ongoing but that’s what remains.

    We still have to wait and see – but Sanchez is an immensely gifted footballer. He’s going to have to go through a significant adjustment period but he’s very talented and still very young. Even if it takes him a year to adjust he’ll be 23 and still have the best years of his career in front of him.

    This signing – especially if it includes Bojan somehow – is not gong to be enough though.

    They need 5 true forwards + Afellay headed into next season. Jeffren can’t be relied on and will possibly not even be here. And it’s difficult to know what we’ll get out of Bojan if he stays.

    So Sanchez would make forward #4 assuming Bojan goes out on loan.

    They still need to get another forward – Rossi would be great.

    • Jnice
      June 7, 2011

      According to @alcalacope Rossi’s agent has just entered the Barça offices for an ‘important meeting’.

      We’ll see what happens, but I don’t think we can afford both.

      • Jnice
        June 7, 2011

        @alcalacope is Juan Antonio Alcala, journalist that works for Cadena Cope, by the way.

      • just listenin
        June 7, 2011

        Seems like this is where the press is trying to do the math by taking the existing transfer fund and adding Bojan, Thiago and Jeffren at 12M, 9-10M, and 7M respectively + Maxwell, and Milito to get to around 100M transfer kitty, or somewhere on the order of three sizable signings – that seems like a little double counting though if we’re offering less cash + players against market value like some of the scenarios suggest. Getting curiouser and curiouser.

  4. jordi™
    June 7, 2011

    Heh, Ramzi vs ‘MAD’.Classic.

    • Jnice
      June 7, 2011

      I love Ramzi. I think I’ve told him this 100 times on twitter. That was an easy K.O. And someone actually had the nerve to call him a troll, ha.

      • Eklavya
        June 7, 2011

        MAD, what a joke.

      • jordi™
        June 7, 2011

        Ramzi is like a Katana but with smiley face stickers.

      • Vj
        June 7, 2011

        I am someone who is secured enough to exchange opinions, respect the other point of view, and interested in football in general instead of trying desperately to create my own delusional bubble with infectious effect while having a phobia that maybe an outsider will come and scratch it so it burst (And I am answering your question: who am I).

        Ramzi lays the hammer..
        ..like a freakin’ Boss!

  5. flyzowee
    June 7, 2011

    @ jnice

    Comfirmation about Sanchez workrate is all ive been dying to here all this time in the midst of all this talk about his skill etc etc.

    All that stuff dont matter to me tbh.
    If he can run for 90min then i say we stick in an extra 3mill for gud measure.

    Too many lazy forwards in the game for me.

    But i believe there will be one last dive for Rossi just to show villareal that we da puto jefe or is it jefe puto?
    In any case we da boss!!

    What

    • flyzowee
      June 7, 2011

      I was gonna ask what languages he spoke?

      • Jnice
        June 7, 2011

        Sanchez runs and works hard all game.

        What languages does Rossi speak? English, Italian, and Spanish.

  6. K_legit
    June 7, 2011

    @ the whole Ramzi vs Inter mod guy argument
    I just take relish in the fact that if (and I want this to happen badly now) Inter face Barcelona in the CL next season, there is going to be some butthurt nerazzuros at the end of it..that I have faith in 🙂

    • Eklavya
      June 7, 2011

      Half the time the InterOffside talk about Barca.

      • K_legit
        June 7, 2011

        Haters gonna hate yo!

      • flyzowee
        June 7, 2011

        Lol…… Let me check it out.

  7. Whatever
    June 7, 2011

    If we could get Sanchez, Rossi and Fabregas as Sport suggests, that would be amazing. Amazing. But I think all that would cost us around €100-110m, which is probably too much for our financial department.

  8. Roz
    June 7, 2011

    The Inter offside is just one big black ball of hate. It’s disgusting really but im glad Ramzi taught that MAD idiot a thing or two. Its like he thinks that comment board is just for Inter fans and no one else. And since when are we “masters of the universe”. Pathetic really.

    • Barcaleya
      June 7, 2011

      Is there a link to this?

      I am now so curious and want to read what Ramzi did/say.

      Thanks!

    • Barcaleya
      June 7, 2011

      Wow! That InterMAD person is a dimwit.

      Thankfully, Ramzi is cool, calm, collected and super smart.

      Sometimes I hate reading blogsites cause it makes my blood boil when people totally lose perspective and take even objective and informative discussion as a personal attack against them and what they post. And then, when they don’t like what people say in their site – they tell them to go to other sites. Duh? Even if you own the site, you have to be able to take civil discussions since you opened your blog to the public. Otherwise, just stay on email and send messages to your private friends.

      Ramzi was only talking about our need for more forwards. Bojan was ineffective and/or injured this whole season (same with Jeffren) so it’s true that we hardly had subs for MVP. Given that we play with lots of pressing, our forwards get exhausted more than those of other teams who are not expected to press or track back as often we do. Villa towards the end of the season was obviously tired and we can see what a fresh and rested Villa can do at the CL finals and the Spain friendly.

      We compete on so many fronts, plus almost all our players are internationals, so they hardly have any rest. We do need as many players and world-class ones for rotation.

      And none of the Inter blog people seem to get this. InterMAD was just completely off-tangent as his mind was filled with haze just by seeing Barca people/posts. Others – I guess they don’t really know our squad? They think we have enough? And in their minds, everything we do is meant to hurt them. As in – Why do we need to buy a player they’re interested in?

      Anyway – wow. Sometimes, I also feel like leaving messages and correcting wrong facts/misconceptions on other sites but I get tired just thinking about it. So glad there is Ramzi and others who take the time to do this. Even if the non-Barca posters spout all sorts of vitriol, I would like to think that what we write (if well-said and objective) will plant seeds in their mind and at least give them something to think about even if we don’t necessarily convince or convert them. Just a balanced view would be nice.

  9. ciaran
    June 7, 2011

    With our financial situation, I can’t see Rossell letting Bojan go and spending €30million on a replacement. I think Cesc’s move will definitely happen but I can’t see Rossi and Sanchez both joining us. I wouldn’t imagine Bojan will leave this summer, meaning that Rossi’s move would be less likely than Sanchez’s.

    Bojan has only ever really functioned as a no.9 and Messi is always going to be the first choice and will play every possible game so there isn’t as much need for a central striker. Villa can cover centrally also.

    Picking any 3 from Messi, Villa, Pedro, Sanchez, Afellay and Bojan is a nice headache for Pep.
    Picking 3 more from Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Cesc, Keita, Mascherano & Thiago is also more trouble. That is probably a harder one meaning that it is possible that the Mascherano may play most of the season as a centre back.

    The main issues then maybe the left back position. Adriano has done well but I’d still prefer Abidal. Add to that, Dani has little cover at right back Adriano may be stretched. Maxwell seems unwanted and Coentrao prefers EE. Where does that leave us?

    • ciaran
      June 7, 2011

      Maybe Vargas of Fiorentina?

    • Roz
      June 7, 2011

      Enrique from Newcastle. He has had a good season in the EPL and he is stalling on signing a new contract. Solid spanish leftback and he could be good for Barca imo.

      • Vj
        June 7, 2011

        Yes, he had a good season, after about 2-3 mediocre ones – one in the Championship. I wouldn’t call him solid at the back either. No one from Newcastle from the recent years is solid at the back..

  10. Eklavya
    June 7, 2011

    I don’t mind seeing Bojan including in any deal, although I prefer if it’s Jeffren. Our squad will still remain a bit short since we will be trading a forward for a forward. That is, unless we also somehow get Rossi. Now that would be cool.

    Forget Cesc, save 50M and use 2M on Botia instead. And some for Jose Angel.

  11. June 7, 2011

    It’s getting hot and heavy: (all via various Twitter sources):

    Udinese says that Alexis’ Sanchez agent has informed them he’s agreed personal terms with Barca. Clubs still negotiating a transfer fee.

    Franco Soldati (president Udinese): “His agent told us that Sanchez has a deal with Barcelona..3M a season.”

    Soldati: “The clubs closest to signing Alexis Sanchez are Barcelona, Juventus, and Inter. I think there will be a deal at the end of June.”

    Rossi’s agent has just entered the Barça offices for an ‘important meeting’

    Soldati: “We’re now starting talks with Barcelona. We know Alexis’ wish is to join Barça but we’ll see if we can also find a deal with them”

    • Eklavya
      June 7, 2011

      Now there are denial reports from their official site or something.

      • June 7, 2011

        And so there are. I do so love this time of year.

  12. Humphrey Bogart
    June 7, 2011

    I do not get these interistas? What is their problem? They did beat us last year on their way to the CL win, but still can not let go. Maybe it is this aura thing they are commenting about in this offside article. They did win the CL last year but are already as good as forgotten, and everybody is talking about Barca again

    • Vj
      June 7, 2011

      Its not from the CL win, it precedes that. They (that board) despised us after we won the CL in 09 not sure from where the hostility came from. And then after they ‘beat’ us, it was soon forgotten because of the WC. And in between Mou left them high and dry just having won the CL. They couldn’t emulate us with the 5 trophies and all and got duly ‘rewarded’ with Benitez.

      I think its misdirected anger, acting out on us. Couple the fact that their success in Europe sounds more like an aberration with all the adulation given to us, no wonder they want something to vent their spleen at..

  13. Mila
    June 7, 2011

    Statement Udinese president Soldati: “There’s also no meeting scheduled between the clubs to discuss a transfer.” [udinese.it]
    »
    barcastuff
    Statement Udinese president Soldati: “Statements attributed to me have no foundation. There’s no deal with Barcelona on Alexis Sanchez.”

    Guess we’ll have to wait some more 🙁

    • June 7, 2011

      Note that he is fixing the notion that agreeing to personal terms means that a deal is done. Players and clubs agree all the time, then it’s up to the selling/buying clubs to work it out.

      Dealing with Udinese is like dealing with Sevilla, by the by. It ain’t gonna be easy.

  14. Humphrey Bogart
    June 7, 2011

    I do not get VdB: Alonso was supporting the EE in the Busi smear campaign and as a present get the armband, why does he not make Marchena Captain or Villa?, always somebody from the EE, I have never seen somebody of our guys seen wearing it for Spain, even if Barca is providing the most players

    At least VV gets a cap

  15. just listenin
    June 7, 2011

    These silly season rides are fun! It’s like an amusement park

    • soccermomof4
      June 7, 2011

      No it’s not! I don’t like the silly season ride 🙁
      I don’t I don’t I don’t… *throws fit and stamps feet in childish petulance*
      Wake me when it’s over and tell me the (hopefully) good news 🙂

  16. blitzen
    June 7, 2011

    Not to spoil it for anyone, but my sentimental favourite team Faroe Islands is up 1-0 over Estonia at HT.

    Go Faroes!!!! 😀

    • blitzen
      June 7, 2011

      Now it’s 2-0!!!! Faroes rule!

    • JoachimD
      June 7, 2011

      Did they win? Go Faroe Islands!

      • blitzen
        June 7, 2011

        Still 20+ minutes to go, but Estonia had a man sent off.

  17. soccermomof4
    June 7, 2011

    Anyone know what time the Ven v Esp game is?

    Can’t find it anywhere so I’m hoping for links when the time approaches 🙁

    • blitzen
      June 7, 2011

      The Guardian site says it is at 21:30 pm, I assume that would be Venezuela time?

  18. Eklavya
    June 7, 2011

    A lot of people don’t like the transfer season. I do.

  19. blitzen
    June 7, 2011

    And some Big Angry Swede appears to have scored a hat-trick.

    • Eklavya
      June 7, 2011

      FAROE ISLANDS FTW!!!

      • soccermomof4
        June 7, 2011

        Why the Faroe Islands love? Just asking. Did I miss anything?

      • blitzen
        June 7, 2011

        Why NOT the Faroe Islands? 😀

        Because they are small (pop. 45,000) and live in the middle of the ocean and they still manage to field a somewhat decent football team.

      • soccermomof4
        June 7, 2011

        OK-

        GO FAROE ISLANDS!!!!!

    • soccermomof4
      June 7, 2011

      Oh Joy…what rapture…what heavenly bliss…whatever 🙂

  20. JoachimD
    June 7, 2011

    Does anybody have inside info on Barca B and other youth players? I read at Total Barça that 5 Barça B players left (considering their age understandable). Lots of people during Silly Season want Barça to buy this and that but Barça B had a great year last year. Are their any players realistically going to be promoted to the 1st team?

    JDS, Fontas, Bartra, Thiago, Montoya and what about Soriano as back-up for Villa? Or is Bojan a better player? I have no idea myself, just curious. Just hoping we don´t regret ourselves buying expensive players that would turn out to have the same impact as our reserve players. If we get Sanchez or Rossi, I can imagine that Jeffren will move the other way (good player for most sides but Barça is gruelling).

    Last question, do we really need a Sakho or Willian? I think Pique, Abidal, Fontas & Puyol should be enough for CB. Maybe Willian or a similar player for a decent price to give competition to Adriano at LB? What about back-up for Daniel Alves? Is their player at the reserves that could step up?

    • soccermomof4
      June 7, 2011

      There’s supposed to be some “top secret” BFB Bteam/youth team scouting task force. Waiting patiently for report….

      • June 7, 2011

        In due time, my pretties, in due time….

        *cackles evilly*

      • JoachimD
        June 7, 2011

        Oh great. Dr. Evil is our head BFB Bteam/youth scout? Or is it Gollum (or whatever his name was from Lord of the Rings)? 😉

    • Vj
      June 7, 2011

      Isn’t there a project about it going on?

    • blitzen
      June 7, 2011

      Thiago and Fontas have pretty much already been promoted, and I frankly don’t believe any of the rumours about including Thiago in a deal with another club.

      JDS, Bartra, and Montoya are all good players but not ready to be promoted IMO. I expect they will all get some first-team playing time in the coming season as part of their development plans.

      Soriano had a great season and deserves to move to a first team…just not at Barcelona. Rumour is that Luis Enrique will take him to Roma. I just don’t ultimately think he is good enough to fit in seamlessly with the likes of Messi, Villa, and Pedro.

      • JoachimD
        June 7, 2011

        Thanks for the great reply, blitzen. So do you think Bojan is a better player than Soriano as a back-up striker?

        Also, I really do not think Bojan should play the wings as Pedro, Messi, Affelay and the rumoured signings of Rossi or Sanchez are better in this position, my humble opinion.

      • blitzen
        June 7, 2011

        This season’s performance notwithstanding, I do actually think Bojan is a better player for Barca than Soriano. He knows the system inside-out, has oodles of talent, and is willing to adapt to whatever position Pep plays him in (although you are correct, he is best as a CF not on the wings).

  21. rico
    June 7, 2011

    Off subject but has anyone noticed that the US official store is closed. Anyone know what that’s about?

    • soccermomof4
      June 7, 2011

      barcastuff barcastuff
      Line-up Spain (vs Venezuela): Valdes – Iraola Albiol Marchena Arbeloa – XabiAlonso Busquets Iniesta – Pedro Llorente Villa #fcblive

  22. blitzen
    June 7, 2011

    Looks like the Spain/Venezuela game is starting now. I won’t get to see it.

    • soccermomof4
      June 7, 2011

      🙁

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 7, 2011

      Blitzen, this is the best summer day in TO. What are you doing on your computer? I’m torn between Spain and catching some sun. I think Ill go for the sun.

      • momo
        June 7, 2011

        Are you kidding me, yesterday was waaaaay better!

      • blitzen
        June 7, 2011

        Some of us have to work for a living, Blow-G. 🙄

        It was too humid for me anyway.

  23. soccermomof4
    June 7, 2011

    eee gads- Barca players in white again–makes my skin crawl 🙂

    save VV in the first minute

  24. June 7, 2011

    I have a feeling we will sign Sanchez, Rossi and Cesc. Bojan, Jeffren, Milito, Maxwell and maybe Thiago will be sold. I would love Sanzhez and Rossi, it would make our strike force without equal in world football. It would also provide the depth we need to rest a lot of the big boys much more often and we all saw how much better a rested Villa is. Next season is going to be really tough. Madrid are only going to get better and we have a hell of a lot of games to play. We could definitely use the players.

    Cesc I am not sold on, but he wants to leave, we want to buy him and I think Arsenal have to come to terms with the fact they have to sell. I just hope they price him too high for the deal to materialise.

    • Vj
      June 7, 2011

      All three? :O Too risky, too expensive, not good if Thiago is sold. Any one from Rossi and Sanchez and we’re good, so seems the consensus.

      And our strike force is already without equal..

    • JoachimD
      June 7, 2011

      Agree with VJ. I don´t think we will go for Cesc this year, too expensive and not super important for our team at the moment. As Thiago, Affelay and Keita can play these positions when necessary (CDR for example). Besides his contract ends in 2013? So I think Barça can get a good deal next year and Xavi would be a year older also. Perhaps, in 2 years time Fabregas could be a first team player with Iniesta and Xavi becoming more a squad player. Who knows.

      Rossi and Sanchez would be insane to buy both, breaking the bank. One of those would be fine. It seems, our Barça B fullbacks are not ready to be promoted as cover for the up-coming season, so I reckon Barça should look into strengthening these areas (LB & RB) as Maxwell will probably be leaving.

  25. Vj
    June 7, 2011

    Whats with the obsession with white? Last I checked it was La Furia Roja and not Blanco :S

  26. soccermomof4
    June 7, 2011

    Goal Villa FK at least 25 yards out

  27. momo
    June 7, 2011

    Villa does his best TB impression. What a freekick!!! Why doesn’t he take ours again?

    • Ryan
      June 7, 2011

      He should definitely be above Alves in the FK order!

      • momo
        June 7, 2011

        He should be ahead of Messi too IMO…

    • Vj
      June 7, 2011

      He like to watch Dani deposit them to Row Z..

    • blitzen
      June 7, 2011

      Because Messi is good at them too and Dani is a “free-kick specialist” according to his bio. 🙁

  28. Vj
    June 7, 2011

    Fight. Fight. Fight..

  29. momo
    June 7, 2011

    VdB better take iniesta off, these guys are playing like its a final.

  30. soccermomof4
    June 7, 2011

    goal P!! assist Villa

  31. soccermomof4
    June 7, 2011

    Spain’s back line looks shaky- it wouldn’t surprise me if Venezuela gets one

    • Humphrey Bogart
      June 7, 2011

      Albiol and Arbeloa are terrible, VdB should pray that Puyi and Capdevilla have an other tournament in their legs

    • Ryan
      June 7, 2011

      Valdes is gonna do his best to prevent that!

  32. Helge
    June 7, 2011

    What a difference such an important and beautiful CL final goal makes, he? 🙂

    David Villa plays with the same desire and confidence as he used to do. El Guaje is back!
    Please preserve the shape for the complete next season.

  33. Vj
    June 7, 2011

    Its getting rough out there.. Isn’t this a ‘friendly’?

  34. Barcaleya
    June 7, 2011

    So great. Earlier it was all Barca – Iniesta, Busquets, Villa to Pedro.

  35. soccermomof4
    June 7, 2011

    0-3 goal that EE guy I used to think was OK Alonso

    • Barcaleya
      June 7, 2011

      Haha. Same thought here soma4.

      I truly loved him before. From way back Real Sociedad time. How easily Mou has rubbed off on him is terrible.

      • blitzen
        June 7, 2011

        I unfortunately have to agree. Mou has ruined Xabi for me. 🙁

  36. Para
    June 7, 2011

    Just caught onto the game in time to see that Villa came off for Silva (I think?). I’ve seen the original line-up, but have there been any other changes from that?

    • Barcaleya
      June 7, 2011

      Villa, Iniesta and Xabi (I think) came out for Silva, Cazorla and Manu del Moral.

      • Para
        June 7, 2011

        Thanks!

  37. Ryan
    June 7, 2011

    Is that a new move Pedro pulled just now? I’ve never seen him try any tricks, rather than just running and maybe a stepover or two.

  38. Barcaleya
    June 7, 2011

    Ack! How can Torres miss that?!

    • soccermomof4
      June 7, 2011

      Beat me to that comment 🙂

    • Ryan
      June 7, 2011

      Looks like he wanted to put as much power as possible… if it plays out like the US game, since he just missed a sitter, Torres will now score in a few more minutes. 😛

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        I hope so. He should score even for these non-bearing games. It will help him a lot. I want his confidence back for the Euros!

      • Ryan
        June 7, 2011

        Doh, all he did was mess up another 1v1.

        He better find his form again, as there are so many players chomping at the bit to get some playing time.

  39. Ryan
    June 7, 2011

    What a save, VV!

  40. soccermomof4
    June 7, 2011

    I’ve lost count of how many times VV has saved Spain’s back line’s butts.

    • Barcaleya
      June 7, 2011

      Yeah. Great save too! Ugh. Iker si coming in….

      • soccermomof4
        June 7, 2011

        Ew, that other EE guy I used to think was OK Iker

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        😀

  41. Barcaleya
    June 7, 2011

    I take our boys for granted so much.

    I can’t believe that for all that we think Pique doesn’t focus enough…I realize now how much more faith I have in him than any of these guys now playing defense for Spain.

    Then I’m wondering how the balls seem to get lost more quickly….and I realize it’s because it’s not Xavi or Iniesta or Messi who have the ball at their feet. And why does Spain have less possession? Again, it’s Spain and not Barca.

    • Ryan
      June 7, 2011

      But it’s Spain without Xaviniesta. With them in the team they swallow up tons of possession and never give up leads.

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        Yes, yes, exactly. But I watch Spain sometimes thinking that it’s Barca too. And since it’s in a tiny stream screen…I forgot that Xavi/Iniesta aren’t there. And esp in the 2nd half, I was irritated at how little possession we have. Then I realized they weren’t there. And of course, defense was bad cause there was no Puyi and Pique.

        But oh well. It will do 😀

      • Ryan
        June 7, 2011

        At least the shaky defense allowed VV to display his skills. 😀

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        True. Would have been awesome terrible if Iker let in a goal….

        Jeffren should have played for Venezuela. I’m sure he will have a place. Unlike at Spain.

  42. June 7, 2011

    Re: Inter board stuff

    I think it’s been well documented that that place is a angry ball of hate, not worth our worry. The key is to not judge Inter and its fans based on the few trash fans (like the Inter Offside bloggers) that you encounter. I don’t know where it comes from, though I agree with Xavi’s comment that just 6 months after they won the UCL nobody talked about Inter. Even at the beginning of the season, Barca still considered the best team in Europe. And by now, absolutely nobody cares or talks about that treble-winning Inter team. Maybe that’s what continues to grind their gears, and it’s why interistas talk about Barcelona more than cules ever talk about Inter.

    Also, Ramzi is boss 😀

    • Barcaleya
      June 7, 2011

      Yes. Also the kind of people who populate a site is determined by how the site is set up. If there’s a lot of hating and is condoned, guess most threads will be of that flavor and persuasion.

      Surely there are Inter fans who are balanced and could appreciate the way Barca plays.

      It just boggles the mind how some people just spew hate non-stop until they have no sense of objectivity left. They don’t even say it as a joke, the way they do. They positively seethe with vile and venom. This at RM blog as well.

      We get really angry too but mostly justified, I think. Oh well. And I don’t mean to come off “goodie” which is what they hate us for. We all get mad as much as they do. But I don’t think we’ve ever lost balance nor have unjustly attacked them the way they do us. Whatever 😀

      Let’s just be happy with our team and continue supporting them and let’s all stick together. Who else could we share all these happiness and pride with? Everyone else just wants to make us miserable.

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        **the way WE do** ack! so many mistakes

      • June 7, 2011

        This at RM blog as well.

        The new RM blog is not like this at all, I find. Sure some are just stupidly irrational when it comes to Barca, but the environment is generally very, very pleasant. It used to be real bad, months ago, until Bassam and Corey laid down the law (they also had a similar “hammer-laying” clean up years ago, I think).

        I think popular sites like the Offside can easily attract hateful posters, and that can ruin the discussion for everyone. The Inter site is the extreme example of this, because they seem to hate everybody, Roma, Juve, Milan, Barca, everybody seems to elicit vitriolic reactions.

        We get really angry too but mostly justified, I think.

        That’s why I keep coming back. Some of us might become stupidly irrational sometimes, but the community quietly corrects it. We never collectively become unhinged. Maybe I have. When it comes to Arsenal. But hey! I still like them.

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        Oh, is the new RM blog better now? Haven’t been in a while. Andres and some regulars were being irrational the past posts I’ve read. They’re still going on and on about Busi and how we dive and cheat without them ever acknowledging their own diving and kicking and stomping.

        I also mentioned to Bassam [here in our blog] that I thought they didn’t treat Barca posters well in their new blog whereas we welcome him/others here. Sometimes they’re very rude to the few Barca supporters who leave comments. He said it’s because they also have a lot of trolls, etc.

        Anyway – I don’t know why I even bother to drop by other sites, really. Except for the Man U one linked by someone here – they were all praises for FCB after their loss. Amazing. That was nice to read 😀

      • Vj
        June 7, 2011

        That forum is class, and a class above. I don’t think that we were so classy once we got booted out of Europe last season..

        http://therepublikofmancunia.com/

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        Oh – haha. That’s bad form from us then.

        I wasn’t reading this blog then. I only started after the World Cup, I think.

      • Vj
        June 7, 2011

        Here’s the thing, usually the posters are the ones who spout poison, the mods are the sane ones, but for that board, its the opposite. The posters are objective, some like us, but what can I say, the mods must be MAD..

  43. Ryan
    June 7, 2011

    Anyone about to watch the USA-Canada game? It’ll be a rude shock seeing the hoof and hope style after watching good soccer all afternoon, but let’s go USA!

    • blitzen
      June 7, 2011

      I love hate the fact that I am in Canada and can only find a Spanish feed for this game.

    • Barcaleya
      June 7, 2011

      Ryan – there’s your USA goal.

      So many long balls and how bad is Canada? Sorry to all Canadians here!

      I say this in relation to how I used I am to seeing Barca play. Now everyone is bad. I can’t understand now when players can’t keep possession [unless it’s our opponents, of course] and when they have so many turnovers. Bad, bad Barca. So spoiled for beautiful football.

      • blitzen
        June 7, 2011

        No, we’re bad. Really bad. 🙁

      • Barcaleya
        June 7, 2011

        Yes, blitz. Sorry.

        I mean – how can US look so good now (granted they didn’t have their best players last Saturday) when they looked like sh*te against Spain?!

        I don’t think Canada have strung three passes together…

      • Ryan
        June 7, 2011

        Donovan adds a lot to the team. Nobody else on the US team really has that eye for the pass or the quick counter, in my opinion.

        Also, Bradley and Dempsey I believe were added in the 2nd half vs Spain, and after that Spain only added one more goal. There’s no excusing that first half vs Spain tho… it should have been 4-0, had it not been for Silva’s goal being called offside.

        The US look semi-decent out there, as long as you keep Barca far from your mind! The teenage Agudelo is impressing; it’s always nice but surprising when a player decides to play for the US rather than his previous country/country of his parents.

      • blitzen
        June 7, 2011

        I bet Faroe Islands could beat Canada. 🙁

      • Barcaleya
        June 8, 2011

        Ryan – where is Agudelo from?

        If he came from a country that has tons of good players and you think there is a slim chance of making it to the NT, then might as well play for the US, right? You’d be the best among not-so-good players and it’s a well-supported team compared to other NTs.

        Yeah, Donovan is okay and Bradley and Dempsey too. But Spain in the 2nd half didnt have Xavi and Iniesta either. So kinda evens out 😀

  44. momo
    June 7, 2011

    Why wasn’t Messi born Canadian? WHYYYYYY??

  45. momo
    June 7, 2011

    Oh Canada… (sigh)

    Also my ears are bleeding, one of the commentators is trying to convince us that Tim Howard is one of the TOP 5 goalkeepers in the world…

    • June 7, 2011

      Univision is streaming all the Gold Cup matches for free on its website, great quality, decent (inoffensive) Spanish commentary. I think they’ll be doing the same for the Copa America too. Love Univision.

      And that’s FT. Damn Canada.

  46. Lev
    June 7, 2011

    @momo (and Kari) (and Blitzen, I think)

    Canada will never be a good soccer country. 6 months of snow a year means your kids simply can’t practice enough.

    But at least you are good at hockey, eh?

    • momo
      June 7, 2011

      Sadly you’re right. You don’t need to patronize us with that hockey remark though…

      • Lev
        June 7, 2011

        lol having lived in Canada for 7 years I prefer you to interpret it as a loving tease

      • June 7, 2011

        ROFL. Were some of you guys actually expecting something from the Canucks? Of course they can’t win; they have a Stanley Cup Final series to sweep.

        Or something.

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