Poll Time! Who do you want to sign this summer? + U21 LiveBlog

[polldaddy poll=5136035]

Note: the results from the Fabregas poll conducted here on BFB show a 83% of you either don’t want to sign Fabregas at all or only when the price/time is right. Just sayin’. Interesting.

Another note: I’ll be running a LiveBlog for the Spain U21 vs England U21s today. It’s at 2:45pmEST if you want to join in. You’ll see some Bojangles, Thiago, Botia, Jeffren! ….And some other nobodies like Mata and Javi Martinez.

Spain Lineup (Barca players in bold) – De Gea; Montoya – Botia – Alvaro Dominguez – Vila Rosello (aka. Didac); Thiago – Javi Martinez – Herrera (aka. Ander); Mata – Adrian – Jeffren

Bench: Mino, Marino, Azpilicueta, San Jose, Parejo, Bojan, Capel, Nsue, Jose Angel, Ruiz, Ruben Perez, Muniain

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Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

212 Comments

  1. Diego
    June 12, 2011

    Spain U21 match is showing on my TV. Wohoooooo

  2. Diego
    June 12, 2011

    Rossi, Willian, Botia
    Out : Maxwell, Milito, Jeffren, Bojan (loan)

    Next Year :
    Puyol and Abidal will be not the same, (Pique,Fontas,Botia) so we buy another defender to fill in for them.
    Bojan back, Villa out.
    Cesc in. We could evaluate the Alexis situation if he’s still with Udinese.

    • barca96
      June 12, 2011

      Next year?
      Buy an unhappy players in EPL, Silva, Nasri (if he stays with Arsenal) 😆

  3. barca96
    June 12, 2011

    Rossi & Cesc for me.
    You should’ve added
    Rossi/Sanchez & Cesc + CB as well Kari.

    Damn…WHy are you disappointed in me?
    DOuble blow to me today.sigh.
    RUmor must start from somewhere right…

  4. Neel
    June 12, 2011

    Most importantly I do not want to see Thiago go away or worse, used as make weight for a trade. I think Barca wants Cesc and although I have been against his purchase at an extravagant amount, I think we need Fab as a tried and tested custodian to backup Xavi and Iniesta. Between Rossi and Sanchez, I would prefer Sanchez, but I think Rossi is more likely to end up in Barca. But more than either Rossi or Sanchez or any other forward, I would want a CB, in the mould of David Luiz. Also, he should not be too old from footballing career perspective.

  5. Roz
    June 12, 2011

    Rossi and Botia. Milito and Jeffren(with buyback option)out.That’s all we need really.

  6. Neel
    June 12, 2011

    Oh and yes, I imagine that Nasri, if he comes way cheaper than Fab, should be chased down rather than Cesc. I think under Pep, he can be as good as Cesc potentially can be for Barca. He has a huge positive that he can play as a forward as well, as far as finishing goes, he is way better than Cesc. And he is a good free kick and corner kick taker as well.

  7. bridgette
    June 12, 2011

    Messi is playing in a charity game for Pupi Zanetti’s foundation right now if anyone is interested. Stream here: http://www.canal13envivo.com.ar/

  8. Neel
    June 12, 2011

    Wow, thanks Bridgette, just came online and I get a link to watch Messi live. I LOVE THIS FORUM !!! 🙂

    • bridgette
      June 12, 2011

      More than welcome! 2 Messi goals already 😀

  9. y2k156
    June 12, 2011

    thanks bridgette. this is really useful!

  10. Jnice
    June 12, 2011

    De Gea; Montoya, Botía, Domínguez, Didac; Javi Martínez, Ander, Thiago; Jeffren, Mata y Adrián.

    Jeffren starting, that’s a surprise. Bojan has to be pissed. He’s usually an undisputed starter.

    • June 12, 2011

      That’s very surprising on Bojan. There’s been little question about his role as a starter internationally.

      This must be difficult for him – but it may be necessary.

      His career is at something of a cross roads. Strange to say that with a player so young – but that’s the situation he now finds himself in.

      I hope he is angry about this. He has to take hold of how he plays. Too much of his career has been built on potential and his absurd production as a youth player.

      Not starting today is another signal that the past is over and potential is not enough.

      He never should have pushed for first team football so soon – but he and his camp did. And Barca was caught in a bind and catered to what he wanted.

      But what’s done is done.

      This must be a real blow, particularly coming on top of the rumors of him as a make weight.

    • JoachimD
      June 12, 2011

      how did our guys play? I was reading a live chat at voetbalzone and it seems that especially Herrera was playing great. Thiago was very positive as well. Jeffren seemed to have a poor match and bojan did not even start?!

  11. Neel
    June 12, 2011

    Wow the goal they let the special kid score…Man, these guys are doing good stuff…

    • June 12, 2011

      And now Pablito has a brace! The defense just can’t contain him!

      So. Much. Win.

    • blitzen
      June 12, 2011

      At this rate I predict a final score of 20-20. 😀

  12. blitzen
    June 12, 2011

    Hat-trick Pablito! 😀

    And why is Messi the only one on his team wearing black shorts?

    • bridgette
      June 12, 2011

      Messi was on the other team for the first half, I think he just switched jerseys

  13. soccermomof4
    June 12, 2011

    Just came in time to see that last goal and a standing O for Messi.
    Thanks for the heads up and the link, Brigette. This is awesome.

  14. June 12, 2011

    Just a heads up: I’m starting the LB in a couple of minutes.

  15. ciaran
    June 12, 2011

    If only real life was as easy as football manager.
    Out: Milito, Maxwell, Jeffren, Soriano
    In: Botia, Bastos/Vargas, Fabregas, Sanchez.
    We should just re-sign Henrik Larsson. He was already too old when we signed him and he was fantastic.

  16. soccermomof4
    June 12, 2011

    MotM- Vj- for the underwear link

    • blitzen
      June 12, 2011

      Eez nice, eh? 😀

    • soccermomof4
      June 12, 2011

      I’m thinking that if the everyone’s kit design was changed to be more like that—the beautiful game could be even more so??

  17. blitzen
    June 12, 2011

    Thanks for the loveblob, Kari, even if the game sucked! I’m so football-starved right now that I’ll take any old game.

  18. blitzen
    June 12, 2011

    According to barcastuff, Thiago was chosen as MOTM. Good for him.

  19. Olufestus
    June 12, 2011

    The match was quite entertaining,i swear i will shoot down zubi n wenger if thiago was allowed to go for fabre-SOLID(fabre-GAS)…THIAGO STAYS AT PASSING-LONA…nuff said

  20. Olufestus
    June 12, 2011

    Anything hes called,either fabrePASS, fabreLIQUID,fabreSOLID,fabreDIESEL,or fabrePETROL,i dont want him @ passinglona(BARCELONA)now…THIAGO should stay @ F C PASSER(F.C.BARÇA)…no thiago +ca$h

  21. Nav
    June 12, 2011

    Aw man missed the charity game 🙁 I hope there are some highlights or downloads later

    • mei
      June 12, 2011

      haha even they have been tired by the bullshit theyre writing.
      Now they started mocking themselves too!

    • blitzen
      June 12, 2011

      Actually I wouldn’t mind downloading it if anyone has a link. Jnice? get on it! 😀

    • Jnice
      June 12, 2011

      Already been on the lookout, nothing up so far, maybe it will be tomorrow. I’ll post when I see it.

    • blitzen
      June 13, 2011

      You the man, Jnice. 😀

  22. June 12, 2011

    Incoming (note that I am presuming this Rossi rumor is still just a rumor):

    Botia buyback
    promote Fontas
    Willian
    veteran bench striker (Forlan, Drogba)
    promote Thiago
    shuffle Bartra, Dos Santos

    Done. Stronger, deeper squad for less than 30m, leaving us with 15m from our announced transfer kitty that we will use to convince Guardiola to stay for more years. 😀

    Outgoing

    Maxwell (time to move on)
    Milito (REALLY time to move on)
    Krkic (I’d sell him.)
    Jeffren (Ditto)

    • blitzen
      June 12, 2011

      15m from our announced transfer kitty that we will use to convince Guardiola to stay for more years.

      Pfft. I know you’re joking, but if Guardiola cared about money he would be in Qatar already.

  23. blitzen
    June 12, 2011

    And barcastuff says:

    Joining English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers is not an option for Barcelona B midfielder Thiago (20). [sport]

    As if it ever was. 😆

  24. BarcaGirl_Indo
    June 12, 2011

    can’t choose between Rossi/Sanchez…
    I watched Villareal/Italy NT much more than Udinese/Chile,
    so it would be unfair to Sanchez if pick Rossi…
    I’ll be happy if we get one of them, whoever it is…

    and Cesc, seems like Wenger won’t let him go,
    so he will stay there until he retire without any trophy for a long time…

    a forward and a defender is a must for me…
    and IMO, we should sell/loan Jeffren or Bojan…

    with smart transfers we will be even stronger than before… 😀

    • barca96
      June 12, 2011

      Finally you’re back.
      Was gonna post asking where you were.
      Same with Outerspace.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 13, 2011

      oh, hi barca96! 😀

      I won’t post too often during silly season, me thinks…
      still posting, but not much…

      my favourite part from silly season is when I see words like :
      “the deal almost done”, “final meeting”, “OFFICIAL”, “signed an agreement”

      right now is all about rumor and speculation…
      hope we’ll sign somebody this week, really looking forward to it… 😀

      you can check his twitter if you miss outer…
      @jamgoodmeatgood…

  25. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 12, 2011

    by next season we have to make sure we:

    -have sufficient cover for Puyol
    -have sufficient cover for both fullback positions
    -have a starting winger/CF that can come off the bench or be involved in heavy rotation.

    the good things:

    -We actually already do have sufficient cover for Puyol, be it Abidal or Mascherano, but with these players having to play CB, we lose a player in the FB or CM department, so when it comes to signing a new player we need either:

    a CB or CM, thus why we are pushing for Fabregas rather then a CB, because buying a midfield player would be worth more than a CB, for utility reasons.

    -Fullback position will be our cheapest signing but I think the most crucial of the three.

    -It doesn’t matter who we get, be it Sanchez with his close dribbling and workrate or Rossi with his off the ball movement and explosive speed. Because either player will serve the same purpose.

  26. mega_tajh
    June 12, 2011

    Looks like Lucho is already revolutionizing Roma inside out. Apparently he is making all their youth teams play with the same shape as the first team, he is under direct control in buying/selling players, and is discussing his pressing system to certain players who may agree or disagree with him, there are even rumors of Vučinić wanting out of Roma because of said system.

    • Soto
      June 12, 2011

      After the Champions League final I read quite a few comments about whether other teams would replicate Barca’s methods. Most commentators weren’t sure how that could be done, since Barca’s style of talent is so rare. I believe that Lucho is illustrating the key ingredient to replicating Barca’s style: start with a coach who is ideologically committed and then give him the authority to execute that ideology. This last part us what many owners fail to do. Regardless of the coach, from Mourinho to Guardiola, a successful coach needs complete authority to execute their vision.

      So if the Roma owners really have the guts to continue giving Lucho free rein, then Roma has the best chance of replicating Barca’s style. That won’t necessarily guarantee trophies, but it will be exciting to watch. And perhaps it will provide a blueprint for taking the Barca franchise to other leagues.

      Of course, since this is football, it all depends on whether Lucho can get his team ready in time to start winning. Because it’s always about the wins.

    • blitzen
      June 13, 2011

      Go Lucho! I think they will give him the time he needs. They knew what they were getting when they signed him, and I’m sure he made it clear he wouldn’t put up with interference.

      I am sure he will work wonders with the youth system. His main challenge will be getting the established players like Totti to fundamentally change the way they play. It will be interesting to watch, anyway.

  27. June 12, 2011

    Just had to say:

    DALLAS!!!!

    No ring for you, LeBron! 😆

    • messi_fan
      June 12, 2011

      🙂 I’m so happy Dallas won. They’ve been close for years

    • Ryan
      June 12, 2011

      I lost count how many free throws they screwed up…

    • June 12, 2011

      Karma for the superstar non-calls they got to get them. *Runs and hides*

    • mega_tajh
      June 12, 2011

      Why everyone hating on LeBron?

    • kinukinu
      June 12, 2011

      yeah–careful there. Their LeBron could be our Cesc someday…

    • June 12, 2011

      Because he’s an arrogant jackass. As Michael Jordan said, “Bird, Magic and I would never have thought of signing for the same team.” It’s true. My worldview, once the Bulls went out, was Anybody But Miami.

  28. BA
    June 12, 2011

    Thiago was bloody brilliant in the U-21 game against England. we’re crazy if we shunt him to the side or don’t give him minutes. the kid is class (on the pitch, anyway).

    • June 12, 2011

      So true. I’d still like to see him rein in the trick and flicks, as they sometimes catch his teammates off guard. And I’m sure that he will. But I wouldn’t even trade Fabregas straight up for Thiago. His up side is colossal.

      It’s worth noting that they aren’t the same player, but still.

    • mei
      June 13, 2011

      I think his tricks are fundamental to his way of playing, so they will be difficult to reduce.So lets make him makeweight for a transfer!lol… the kid is pure class!

    • June 13, 2011

      Well, I think that as with Ronaldinho when he was effective vs when he wasn’t, the tricks were at first used when there was no other option. If you’re faced by a batch of defenders and the only way out is some sort of backheel flick, he’d do that. But other than that he was a very direct player.

      Late-era Ronaldinho was all tricks, and no effectiveness.

      Thiago isn’t all tricks and no effectiveness by any stretch of the imagination. But he will learn when all you need is a simple, direct pass, no mustard. His next season(s) under the tutelage of Xavi will be huge, and potentially career-making. He could be one of the greats.

    • kinukinu
      June 13, 2011

      oh boy–careful what you wish for huh? Maybe I should have asked for world peace…

    • Vj
      June 13, 2011

      Pique’s manita gesture? What about Pepe’s obscene one when they scored?

      Because when it really boils down, Madridistas would rather listen to Raving Mad Tomas..

    • culeZim
      June 13, 2011

      yeah. there is something bad about celebrating the number of goals our team has scored because it just happens to be the same amount their team has conceded.

    • blitzen
      June 13, 2011

      Casillas’ rude gestures on the field, Marcelo celebrating like a maniac when he forced a penalty, Sergio Ramos trying to strangle Puyol…I mean, you could go on and on.

      Laughable.

    • June 13, 2011

      Well, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss a contrarian view that isn’t all that inaccurate as B.S. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even when it doesn’t jibe with the party line.

      Fact of the matter is that there is much to read there. I take issue with the author’s assertion that leaving Krkic on the bench was in error. Watching him run around aimlessly brought back too many bad memories of this past season. The kid really is mentally damaged, and I have no idea how to get him out of it.

      I think he isn’t that wrong about Thiago, either. As I noted above, he will learn to rein in the trickery. Sometimes, the hot dog just needs a bit of mustard, so to speak. But he’s a work in progress, and one with a tremendous up side.

    • June 13, 2011

      Not amazingly at all. Hleb has a big mouth, but he also has talent. In many ways, he totally screwed himself by talking his way out of town. We were the best fit for his skill set, which is possession. Using him as a winger is something of a dead end, it seems. But as that guy who holds possession, makes the pass and helps control the midfield, as he almost certainly would have been used with us had he stayed, he wouldn’t have screwed the pooch.

      But I’ve said it before and will say it again, like Ibrahimovic, Hleb is getting a worse rep than his play warranted, because he’s a giant, festering jackass.

    • blitzen
      June 13, 2011

      I never said he wasn’t talented, but this is a list of the most unwanted players. No one wants Hleb. We can’t even give him away now he’s got a bum leg. Or have you heard rumours of clubs falling over themselves to bid for him that I haven’t?

    • June 13, 2011

      True, but “most unwanted” is a pretty heavy burden. We can’t get rid of Milito either, right? 😀

      I think for the right price, we’ll be able to deal Hleb. We won’t make anything close to what we paid for him, but that’s the story of big clubs anyhow. Buy high, use, sell low. Though in Hleb’s case it’s buy high/let player screw himself/sell for whatever.

    • blitzen
      June 13, 2011

      We don’t seem to be shopping Milito around very hard, actually, so that’s a little harsh. The club seems quite happy to sit back and wait for the right offer. Milito is extremely popular with the other players, so they’re not in any hurry to push him out.

  29. Josep
    June 13, 2011

    btw in case you guys don’t know Bleacher Report is essentially goal.com. they’re garbage someone once wrote “I used to encourage everyone to write, and then I read the bleacher report.”

    My want list is:
    Thiago Promoted
    Sanchez
    Botia
    Cote
    I don’t see why we are but Kiko seems inevitable.
    Split time between Fontas, Bartra, Muniesa, with one being loaned out.
    Sakho
    JNicee
    ….promoting Soriano. Give him or Keirrison a chance preseason, thats all I want. The latter won’t get it for sure though.

    Out:
    Milito, for a fee though.
    Jeffren with a buyback
    I love Bojan too much to say he can go.

    Our copa lineup will be

    Pinto
    Montoya Pique M/F/B Maxwell/Adriano/Cote
    Mascherano
    Keita JDS/Xavi Iniesta/Thiago
    Gerard/Messi Scoriano/Villa Sanchez/P/Jeffren if he stays.

    I hope we get some easy draws in the Copa as I think its a huge year for some of the fringe players.

  30. blitzen
    June 13, 2011

    Things I have learned so far today:

    Paul Scholes’ testimonial game will be played on August 5th against the New York Cosmos. That should be lots of fun. Wait…does that mean the Cosmos actually have some players now? And why don’t they do testimonials in Spain?

    Shabby Alonso will consider a move to the MLS after his career at RM winds up. That could be interesting. If he ends up in Toronto (no hope) I would go to watch him. It’s still years off, anyway. Sadly (or happily?) I can’t imagine Xavi ever ending up in the MLS. Whatever would they do with him?

    Rory Delap’s impressive long throw-ins (for Stoke) are the result of his talent as a javelin champion when he was younger. I did not know this. That explains a lot. I think Barça should recruit a former discus champion for next season. Just imagine what the throw-ins would look like then!

    Why are ESPN asking Iker Casillas ridiculous questions about whether Guardiola would ever coach at Real Madrid (barcastuff)? Shilly Sheason ish affecting their brainsh.

  31. Olufestus
    June 13, 2011

    I heard it wasnt the volcanic ash that made barca travel earlier to wembley,that it was THE DUST FROM ARSENAL TROPHY CABINET…lol lol

    • momo
      June 13, 2011

      Good one…

    • barca96
      June 13, 2011

      Haha good one!!
      http://www.footballfancast.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Arsenal-Trophy-Cabinet-208×300.jpg

      So I did a research on google.

      -Also, there was a rumor that Bin Laden was hiding in Arsenal’s trophy cabinet for the past 6 years.

      -What’s the emptiest place in London?
      Well you guessed it. Arsenal’s trophy cabinet.

      -Q. Why do Arsenal fans plant potatoes in their gardens?
      A. So they have something to lift at the end of the season!

      -Fire brigade phones Arsene Wenger in the early hours of Sunday morning…
      “Mr Wenger sir, the Emirates is on fire!”
      “The cups man! Save the cups!” replies Arsene.
      “Uh, the fire hasn’t spread to the canteen yet, sir.”

    • June 13, 2011

      Okay guys. That’s uncalled for.

    • privateeye
      June 14, 2011

      Maybe we should do an impression of dumb spanish journalist falling over himself

  32. June 13, 2011

    Pozzo and Udinese are playing the Sanchez situation very well.

    It seems as if Sanchez is Man City’s top target. And that makes a lot of sense. Tactically he would be an almost ideal player for them given how their system is evolving.

    If City is to take that next step upwards, they need a creative player to play in the hole behind the striker. It seems like they’ve identified Sanchez as that player.

    But Sanchez may not be very enthusiastic about going there.

    So the key for Udinese now is to get Man City to put as much money as possible on the table both in terms of transfer fee and salary for Sanchez. Udinese is going to need to make City offer so much total money that Sanchez and his agent (who will get a cut of the transfer fee of course and sanchez himself may as well…) will agree to go to City.

    The other thing that City can offer in theory is playing time. I’d guess that’s how Mancini will try to sell the situation to Sanchez. And it’s true – he would be an absolute star in the EPL. Given his athelticism and technique – he would be completely stand out.

    After their most recent negotiations Pozzo is saying that 35M euro is not enough for Sanchez. That’s clearly aimed at City as there’s no way anyone else is going to approach that number. If 35M isn’t enough then Sanchez starts getting as expensive as Kun.

    At this point Barca should just make offers they are comfortable with and wait. There is no reason to worry about Man City because there is no purpose in getting into a bidding war with them – no one can win so there’s no point.

    If Barca want Sanchez their only real leverage is if Sanchez is adamant about playing for them. They can’t compete with City on money or playing time.

    If Sanchez won’t play for City and Udinese don’t like other offers then they are in a bind. Sure they could keep him – but he was arguably one of the 3 best players in Serie A this season. In some ways his value can only go down, especially from injury. That could be catastrophic for them – and he does absorb a lot of hits due to his style of play.

    Sanchez isn’t going to up his goal scoring too much – serie A is already a low goal scoring environment and playing behind the striker Sanchez creates at Udinese but isn’t a primary scorer. Also, Di Natale scored 34 goals I believe and together as a team udinese scored 65 all season. Di Natale has scored over 50% of udinese’s goals the past two years, IIRC. But he’s already 33 – if he gets hurt or his performance drops off Udinese is going to plunge. And Sanchez’s play may look worse without that goal scoring partner.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens. What will become clear is what trade offs Sanchez is willing or not willing to make. He ultimately is in the driver’s seat here.

    • June 13, 2011

      Fully agree. We could not buy anyone and still improve just through promotions. Fontas, Bartra, Thiago, buy back Botia, give Soriano a look. At some point, the club has to pay more than lip service to its fiscal “Lawd, lawd” stance.

      And next year looks to be a year of player stagnation, as the FIFA financial rules are going to tighten purse strings to the point where transfer fees become almost normal.

      If Udinese thinks that Sanchez is worth more than 35m, then Citeh becomes the only player in that game, and best of luck with that. As I and others have already noted, Rossi is more compatible with Messi and where/how he plays, at any rate. And apparently Rossi has said to Villarreal that they should accept any reasonable offer from us. Dude wants to come here bad, and I do think he’d be useful.

      Most importantly, he would have players such as Keita and Mascherano, automatic starters at their former clubs, to set an example of patience and team spirit.

    • June 13, 2011

      I think the club is going to hold up Masch as a model for quite some time.

      Here was a world class player – captain of one of the great NT’s in the world – and he was willing to play off the bench. And in the process he wound up playing much more than could be envisioned at the start of the season and he won the top trophies possible (and he got paid very well in the process…)

      What’s good is that the club can go into negotiations with players and make all of this clear. And if the player isn’t good with that fine – move on to another talent who will fit better.

      Rossi’s agent has already said he’s not looking for a starter’s spot to be handed to him. I’d guess Sanchez is also very clear on the situation.

      Hopefully this represents Pep and the club learning from past mistakes on how to handle transfers. Much too much has been made about Pep’s record with transfers – that narrative already got started after two summers. Not a big sample size there.

      Not sure who we’re going to get – but just going by the names of interest – these area mostly all players who will make sense in many different ways.

      The club is doing what Vicsoc suggested they need to in his transfer column – leverage their success to create advantages in the market place.

  33. June 13, 2011

    Something cool I noticed during the amazing Canadian Grand Prix yesterday: Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari has a Catalan flag next to his name, where it denotes driver nationality. He was born in Barcelona, so it makes sense, but very cool nonetheless.

    • barca96
      June 13, 2011

      Jorge Lorenzo of MotoGP once had a Barca themed helmet.
      Hah. Just gotta bring superbike up just to piss you off hehe

    • barca96
      June 13, 2011

      I didn’t watch the match, I mean the F1 race as Im totally not interested in watching that but what on earth happened to world champion and current leader Vettel? Why did he spin on the last lap?
      I thought he was a Schumacher successor, balls of steel kinda guy.

    • June 13, 2011

      Oh, I like SuperBikes also, and GP moto, so no worries there. Pirelli has made tire management part of a driver’s bag of tricks. If you drive hard, your tires will go off, which is what happened to Vettel. When he was setting fastest laps, he should have been managing his tires.

      The other complexity was that there was a dry line on the racing line, but it was squirmy as hell off the racing line, with the wet and the marbles. He got a little funky, gave it a little too much throttle, and that was all it took for Button to pull of an amazing drive from last to first.

      But to put things in perspective, Vettel’s record in 7 races is 5 wins, and 2 second-place finishes. So he ain’t crying in his beer, I can assure you. 😀

    • Vj
      June 13, 2011

      Crazy race! The amount of stoppages was astounding. It’s probably the first time I watched a steward having to jump to avoid one of the cars. How Button managed to win starting from last and taking SIX pit-stops is beyond me..

    • Vj
      June 13, 2011

      Alguersuari is a Parakeet. Never Cool.

  34. Dani_el
    June 13, 2011

    I read this from Ruben Uria, one of the best spanish sport journalist I’ve read, along with Martin Perarnau and Marcos López. This is the translation, sorry for any mistakes:

    “Two reasons that will have weight in the negotiation for Cesc. One, that Fabregas could make the famous “transfer request”, a letter that means a moral obligation, that would make the englishmen negotiate. Two, that the 17th article of the player statute of FIFA, the Damocles’s sword on the head of Arsenal. (Any player no older than 28years old, can abandon his club as long it is between 3 years of having sign his contract renovation, and if he pays what he would have earned in the rest of his contract). Cesc having 4 more years of contract with Arsenal, could go out for less than 30M euros. Fabregas knows that London is the bridge he has to burn, and Barcelona is the bridge he will have to cross.”

    • ciaran
      June 13, 2011

      Technically speaking, he would have had to give Arsenal notice of this intention less than two weeks after the finishing of the season for him to use this.

    • June 13, 2011

      And Wenger wouldn’t be saying that “Fabregas is staying with Arsenal for a long time” with the certainty that he is, if there were a chance that he was leaving this summer, despite what the press is saying. So I don’t think you all will have to worry about us overspending for Fabregas anytime soon.

  35. Lev
    June 13, 2011

    When it comes to choosing between Rossi and Sanchez I am starting to lean more and more to the Italian-American. Skills wise it’s a 50/50 with each player having different advantages over the other, and while true that Sanchez might have more potential I think that personally wise, with Rossi really really wanting to come to Barça, he would be the right move.

    • Jnice
      June 13, 2011

      If you’re talking about technical skills with the ball, it’s not 50/50. Sanchez is more skillful than Rossi is on the ball. Beating players 1v1 is a big part of Sanchez’s game not Rossi’s.

    • Eklavya
      June 13, 2011

      I agree, Sanchez can keep the ball, dribble and beat players easily, those are the skills that tip the balance to Sanchez.

    • Eklavya
      June 13, 2011

      Meaning, that those are the things that don’t make it 50/50 (and not those are the things that tip the balance of Sanchez being a better player).

    • Ryan
      June 13, 2011

      And if we’re talking about goals, Rossi is quite better than Sanchez. It’d be nice to have yet another major goal threat on the team!

  36. Jnice
    June 13, 2011

    According to @manfredoalvarez, a journalist from Gijon, Lucho and Roma have made an offer to Sporting for Jose Angel.

    • June 13, 2011

      I understand Barca is trying to make a statement of now having a hard line on spending, etc. but if the offers for Angel are correct – they were honestly ridiculous by Barca.

      He is well worth 4M. That’s no way that is an inappropriate demand by Gijon in any way.

      He’s a talented young footballer. He always stuck out on Gijon.

      4M would be an excellent value for him. I’m not surprised at all to see Lucho try to get him. It would be a very shrewd move for Roma.

    • Eklavya
      June 13, 2011

      It seems the negotiations were broken down, although no reasons are known at present. I don’t think Barca we deeming 4M too much, there must have been some other reason.

      Why will it be a shrewd move for Roma?

    • June 13, 2011

      Perhaps it’s not accurate, but it’s been reported that the talks broke down because Gijon were looking for 4M-4.5M but Barca was offering 1.5M + bonuses.

      1.5M for a player like Angel is really not close to his value.

      He’s a very good player – he has a real chance to be the NT starting LB.

      That’s why it’s a very good deal for Roma if they can get him. He’s a relatively undervalued player right now who has significant growth potential.

    • Eklavya
      June 13, 2011

      Ah, I wasn’t aware of that. It seems strange …

    • June 13, 2011

      The issue, as I understood it, was that we were offering 1.5m cash with the rest of the 4m in bonuses/incentives. Hee-Hon wants a check for 4m.

      Complicating matters for Roma and every other bidder is that Jose Angel, as with Kiko Femenia, has said “It’s Barca or nothing.”

    • Jnice
      June 13, 2011

      The issue, as I understood it, was that we were offering 1.5m cash with the rest of the 4m in bonuses/incentives. Hee-Hon wants a check for 4m.

      Still a bit cheap from Barça. We should be offering at least 2.5-3 and the rest in incentives.

    • Barka
      June 13, 2011

      If only we were this stingy when buying Adriano and the Brazillian duo before. The Brazillians bought by Txiki (or Pep) in particular were shambolic deals. I also disagree with our (new) policy of signing young promising players only to play them in Barca B. Except for a few positions in the first team we are quite well covered. Why should we buy a la liga player then play him in segunda? I would buy and immediately loan them back to their club instead.

      On the other hand, we have some great LBs in the academy: Grimaldo and Fran Alvarez. May be Abidal and Adriano can keep the position occupied for several years just in time for our youngsters to grow up.

  37. Vj
    June 13, 2011

    I say, Patience! We do not want to enter when the market is inflated. We have a fine XI as it is, with a number of youth players ready to burst on to the scene and an immensely successful season to boot. The management doesn’t need to sign immediately.

    Wait till August, and let the players get a little antsy about their future. If the player really wants to come, he will, case in point being Mascherano. We’ll get a good deal out of it too.

    But this shouldn’t be done in the case of signings that are really required i.e. a defender..

    • Jnice
      June 13, 2011

      We don’t need to sign immediately, but August is way too late. It’s always best for players to enjoy a full pre-season. Not everyone will be able to adapt like Mascherano did. And even then, I bet he’ll tell you he would’ve liked to have had a full pre-season under his belt.

    • Vj
      June 13, 2011

      Hmm. Couple of million or a full pre-season? I’m willing to bet what Rosell and his band of penny-pinchers will choose..

    • Jnice
      June 13, 2011

      Dunno, I doubt we’re going to sign so late. Pep knows the values of pre-season. We might make a last signing in August, but I reckon we’ll have the rest before July 18.

    • Ryan
      June 13, 2011

      And thus in time for the friendly at the end of July in DC, right? One can hope!

  38. ciaran
    June 13, 2011

    It seems like Rosell is waiting for the new financial year to make signings.
    If at the end of the year we suddenly spend €45million and unbalance the books all of his preaching about saving money will fall on deaf ears because he won’t have the financials to back it.

    My bet, all signings are already lined up but they won’t push them through until July, that way Rosell gets to gloat about the economic turnaround and still have his marquee signings. Twelve months down the line, when he is including this summers transfers people will have forgotten about the economic ‘disaster’ that he took over and will be too busy with the Euro championships.

    • June 13, 2011

      I’m with Ciaran. The window opens on 1 July, and my guess is it won’t be long after that before the dominoes start falling.

  39. ciaran
    June 13, 2011

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHaXiivofjw
    Barca Juveniles, how long til Deulofeu makes his way to the first team?
    The end of the video shows a quick interview with Oscar, the coach of the Juvenile team, who along with his brother Roger played for Barca way back when.
    It is nice that we get former youth teamers to pass on their experience.

  40. Reaper
    June 13, 2011

    Sanchez is better than Rossi on Fifa 2011. Just saying

    • Benj
      June 14, 2011

      Xavi’s greatness cannot be equates in mortal numbers…

      His position at the head of the table of midfielders doesn’t come down to his goal/assist rate.

      He’s more than often the guy that assists the assister.

      Xavi gets in behind the front two, slices a quick through ball to Pedro!! on the left, getting the ball through a gap with mere millimetres to spare on each side, where Pedro cuts it directly across to meet an galloping Villa/Messi for a simple tap-in.

      How often do you see that?

      Iniesta has long been a fantastic midfielder, but cannot be judged on his goals or assists either.

      In the EPL, they are judged on assist/goal rates because midfielders need to get forward and get the assists because one forward won’t assist another, they just all go for goal.

      Besides, Fabregas has been feeding the likes of Adebayor (who was prolific), Van Persie, Nasri etc, thats not too shabby.

      Give him a couple of years, when he grows the cojones to actually come out and say “I’m moving’ or ‘im staying’ then we’ll see.

      He frustrates me. All he has to do is talk.

  41. June 14, 2011

    32 goals for Soriano last B season? Whoa!

    • messi_fan
      June 14, 2011

      Did he get ANY playing time with the first team at all?

    • Para
      June 14, 2011

      No- if I recall correctly, Guardiola wanted to call him up when Bojan got injured (it was the game Deulofeu spent on the bench, I think), but couldn’t, because he hadn’t been registered in the ‘right way.’ I think that means he hadn’t been registered to play with the first team.

    • messi_fan
      June 14, 2011

      Oh ok. Thanks. I guess he might’ve been too old to switch back and forth between the A and B team

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