Ye of Little Faith…


Some of these writers can be such cotton-headed ninnymuggins. Here goes one right here in this very space, poo-pooing the f’in bananas out of a poor, defenseless rumor. Yeah, it’s some tyrannical overlord hemming and hawing and derping all day, looking for ways to bring in some chump change on a spurious rumor. There is no vast, periodical-based conspiracy. There is no SPECTRE.

The thing about these rumors is that it’s the naysayers that make them rumors instead of facts. It’s our “hero” Simmons, whose push for grammatical correctness and inability to see that rumors just need to be believed that keeps our dreams from coming true. A rumor is just a fact that hasn’t been supported properly.

Like Buddy, wandering the streets of New York looking for someone to prove him right simply by believing, these rumors merely need your support, your love, and your total, unfailing belief in them and poof they will become reality. There was no man on the moon, but everyone believes it so much that Neil Armstrong shot into space on a shopping mall rideWithout putting in a quarter.

Cesc for a bottle of cava and a Darth Vader pez dispenser? Check the “I believe” box and he’s all ours. Alexis Sanchez? A bottle of the boss man’s signature cologne and a hearty pat on the back for Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo from one Señor Messi.

Build it and they will come.

Categorized as Nonsense

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Messi is lighting it up vs. Albania! 1 assist and 1 goal in the first half. He created at least half a dozen chances for his team too.

    1. Well, hopefully whatever is stopping you won’t be in the way for the Copa America!

  2. Isn’t it funny that our like seventeenth choice centreback starts for Argentina

    1. Is it just me, or has Milito had a great game? Intercepting passes at the right time, good distribution, bringing the ball out of the back line. He looked like the Milito of old!

  3. Gianpaolo Pozzo (owner Udinese): “Alexis costs 50M but if Barça has a player that could be useful for us, that might help the deal.” [rac1]

    Ah, the stench of greed! Frankly, I’d rather keep Jeffren and Bojan and take a chance on promoting Soriano than pay anywhere near that amount for Sanchez. And I speak as one who has been preferring Sanchez to Rossi all along.

  4. I’m directing this post at all those writers who post on BFB (Kari, Euler, Kxevin, Isaiah, et al). I’ve already posted on this once, and I’m going to post on one more thread before I let it go:

    While we’re on the subject of silly transfer rumors, and while we don’t have much of anything better to post about, could some author at this blog please, PLEASE give this Arsenal blog (Untold Arsenal) credit for being willing to do a post on media fabrication and debunking the Cesc transfer saga?

    In the spirit of goodwill between Barca and Arsenal fans, I’d like for Barca fans to be able to see that an Arsenal blog was willing to post this kind of defense of Barca, along with the many positive responses that it receieved from Arsenal fans in the comments.

    If BFB could do an official post on this, or link to the site, I think that it would be a good way to drive up their traffic, as a way of saying thank you for giving our club a fair shake where all the Cesc BS is concerned. Could you just do this one little thing for me? PLEASE?!?!? 🙂

    Here are the links:

    The Cesc transfer saga, how they lied to us – part 1

    The Cesc transfer saga, how the media finally shut up – part 2

    1. Read it. It’s a great article. I wish she would send it out to Daily Mail, News of the World and all the rest of the BritPress.

    2. Well, I’m the one who wrote it, and I would love to send it out to the rest of the britpress. Except that they wouldn’t be willing to publish it anymore than a thief would be willing to present the evidence in court that would send him to jail 🙂

    3. I read it… that’s a really nice work and effort by Anne… 🙂
      unfortunately not many gooners read it…

      for us Barça fans, this is not something new, we already how *#$&% British press are with all their fake interviews and idiotic rumors…

      thanks, sathompson1… 😀

    4. You don’t think many gooners read it? This blog has decent readership, and they do get a link on, which is sort of the Arsenal news aggregator of choice. Why do you say that not many people read it?

    5. I read it as well. That was excellent, and you put a lot of work into it. Of course, we all knew those “interviews” were fake at the time, but it is astonishing to me how easily the British (and worldwide) public accepted them as truth.

      Good job!

    6. Thanks to Bliten and Blow-Grenade for your compliments. I hope that you both remembered to thank Untold Arsenal as well for publishing it (haven’t been back over there yet) 🙂

  5. To everyone here,

    Even if BFB chooses not to post any link to the above articles, if you happen to take the time to read them, could you just leave a quick post in the comments to let this blog know that you appreciate how they were willing to stick their necks out for Barca? I think they deserve that. Thanks.

    1. It is a fabulous post there at untold arsenal and anne deserves major credit.

      She claims to have 120pages of research on this cesc fiasco and judging by the content of the post as well as the way she handled comments down below, it is really impressive stuff.

    2. Thanks flyzowee. I do in fact have 120 pages of research on this whole cesc fiasco, and I’ve compiled no small portion of it using BFB and Kxevin’s posts as a starting point (I’m an avid BFB reader, incidentally 🙂 ). That’s why I’m bringing all this to your attention.

      In short, I’m trying to induce you all into a dialogue on the Untold comments threads 🙂 Or at least, I’m trying to do that if I can’t induce BFB to link to these particular articles, and direct their readership that way. I think that Untold Arsenal deserves the increased web traffic just for being willing to post something like this.

      But I guess my main goal is to reignite dialogue between Barca and Arsenal fans (especially on this particular Arsenal blog, where the readers are of above average intelligence), so we can get past this totally obnoxious stage where we all hate each other.

      Make no mistake, I’m a Barca fan first and foremost. If it comes down to a choice between the 2 clubs, I say f*** Arsenal (although please don’t repeat that on Untold 🙂 ). I just hate to see Arsenal fans getting suckered in by these media lies that have no basis in reality, and I hate to see Barca fans being hurt by Arsenal fans’ responses to the same said lies.

      This article was my best attempt at remediation, and I don’t think it went down too badly, all things considered 🙂 The only thing I would ask of you all is that, if you enjoyed these articles, please go back and post a friendly comment from a Barca fan giving Untold Arsenal credit for these publications. Just so that the gooners know that you noticed 🙂 Thanks.


  6. Rosell: Cesc is ‘doing everything he can’ to facilitate a move, but the club wont pay 35m for him. I actually like the hardline stance by the club, we need to do the same w/ Sanchez!!!!

    1. agree about the club doing very much the same with Sanchez, he has definitely not yet proved himself worth the prices which are doing rounds. I hope Barca does not make a mistake. I hope Barca is keeping an eye on other potentials as well.

  7. hello guys, long time no see. I’m in menorca doing my nomad-sage thing. this is the 1st computer I have touched in along time and my android is only a gps have to save me some battery. don’t like much of this silly season, no polemic departures this year I believe. Villa stays! 😉 like eto’o or ibra those were some though provoking silly seasons with all that debate. Is anyone leaving? I don’t care much about who we sign, cesc means little thiago, alexis means little p!/afelay. Afelay must be like -Alexis?! wtf!!- Whoever pep/zubi decide to sing will be okay by me.

    Anyway, had to share a thought with you: just seeing, knowing what kind of players argentina has makes me think we (Spain) have won our only World Cup because of Maradona or Maradumber as he is called here. It makes me love “El D10S” even more! 😉

    1. Knowing what kind of defenders Argentina has makes me think Spain would have beat them anyway if Argentina had been able to beat Germany in the first place. The team with more blaugrana usually wins!

    2. Oh Come on, Argentina just did not have a good enough team or players in the WC. I never understood the high billing. People find it so convenient to overlook the fact that Maradona took the team through to the finals; there was a real possibility of Argentina not even reaching the WC finals.

  8. via Barcastuff – Udinese will be invited for the Joan Gamper trophy and get the profits of the game as part of the deal on Alexis Sanchez. [sportmediaset]

    LOL. That is quite an imaginative way to try and make the transfer work. Pep must really want his man if we are pushing this hard!

  9. “Kiko Femenia (20) will sign a three-year contract at Barcelona, with an option for a 4th year depending on number of games played. [md]”

    Can someone tell me why we would want to buy Kiko? And does anyone know whether he’d play for the senior team or the B team?

    1. I think he’ll play for the B team. If he steps up, he’ll get a crack at the first team IMO..

  10. We do need to replenish the B team with some players as there seems to be a notable exodus in the players this time ’round.

    1. Fair point. I just was figuring that we could’ve used some of that money to get Jose Angel

    2. That’s what Junevil A is for…so where’s that scouting report Kari and Co.? 🙂

      Messi was very messi last night: 1 goal, 2 assists, and created Teves’ goal. While it would be nice for our flea to rest this summer, for selfish reasons I’m glad there’s the Copa America. Can’t go too long without seeing some good footy. Masch played well, even Milito. Granted, it was Albania, and a weakened Albania at that. I get a kick outta seeing Zanetti. He looks such the throwback. Perfectly groomed, shirt tucked in neatly. Kinda wierd for footy. Can we all take up a collection to buy Batista a haircut? Just sayin’.

  11. “With austerity, it’s hard and you lose friends. We are suffering with it. We’ve removed the catering events, our bodyguards. It’s a disadvantage. And we don’t even have the money to make copies in colour at the club. Now we make copies in black and white and save on toner,” added Rosell.

    No colour copies! Wow, Rosell is really thinking outside the box! Hmm, let’s see if we can come up with some other ways to save money at the club:

    –Office supplies to be strictly rationed. Applications for more pens or paper clips must be approved by the Board.

    –Cut down on cleaning staff and replace them with Roombas.

    –Players required to bring their own bag lunches.

    –All first-team players (except Messi of course) will be required to spend one hour per training day signing autographs at €5 a pop. A quota of at least 10 signatures per minute must be reached. Less popular players will be allowed to drum up business on the street outside the stadium.

    –No more paper towels in the bathrooms. Wiping their hands on their pants was good enough for our grandparents, wasn’t it?

    –Ll prntd dcmnts nw t b wrttn n “Rsll shrthnd” t s lss tnr. N xcptns!

    –Exercise bikes in the gym to be hooked up to the power system. All youth players to work a 3-hour shift every day to generate power. And they get fit at the same time. Genius!

    1. OK, now I feel sorry for Rosell. We can take up a collection and send him an Office Depot gift certificate. Or maybe it would make more sense just not to pay ginormous prices demanded by crazy Italian club owners.

    2. “All printed documents now to be written in Rosell Shorthand to save toner.”

  12. Kxevin,a nickname for sanchez plz…i presume we continue wit the NINO MARAVILA…or maybe after scoring a hattrick again E.E,we name him IVAN ZAMORANO

    1. As Josep said, he gets no nickname until he joins the team. Until then, you may refer to him as He Who Is Not Worth 50m.

  13. lol I work at a much smaller company than FC Barcelona and cutting those costs probably won’t save more than 500k-600k per year.

    1. however I can’t tell you how much they save on bodyguards because there’s no damn way I’d give up mine.

    2. hey if you have a posse of female bodyguards like Chandragupta Maurya did then I do believe I owe you a tip of the hat sir..well done!

    1. Messi’s pass was amazing. He was great yesterday – great in that “average Messi” game kind of way that we’ve come to expect. He makes passes like that and you marvel at them – but it’s not even a surprise.

      As great as Messi’s pass was – credit to Aguerro. The tactical discipline and intelligence he showed on that play were just wonderful. The stayed very wide on the play initially to open up space in the middle. And then he engineered a beautiful delayed, diagonal run anticipating that messi would find him. It was a brilliant run – the kind of run Alves makes. But it’s probably even more difficult to do right from the front line as it’s much harder to stay on side.

      And that was outside of the finish. Amazing all around team play.

  14. On the Argentina match yesterday and Messi’s role –

    Arg’s attack is just unbelievable. They have forwards in quantity and quality like Spain has midfielders. This is even more true now after the terrific season that Lavezzi had.

    Batista has also made a needed decision to build the team around Messi. When he first experimented with giving Messi a role similar to the one he has with Barca he used Messi on the right. He now has him in the center which is good to see.

    All that said – I have growing concerns about how Batista has Arg playing tactially and how he is using Messi.

    Too often in the Arg set up, Messi has to stop being a false 9 and turns into an enganche. Now there’s a clear overlap and blurring between those roles. But the critical thing for Messi in how he distributes his effort is the midfield Arg is playing behind him.

    Batista has given Messi a free role in the center. But he also seems committed to playing two holding midfielders and one box to box player in Banega behind Messi. Perhaps this is because he doesn’t trust his back line.

    However, by playing this midfield this way behind Messi he’s not maximizng the impact of Messi playing the false 9. Too often Messi is forced to drop deep – just to build play. When he does this he moves away from goal and turns into an enganche.

    That’s fine in theory but that leaves Arg clustered with players in the center of the pitch and only two attackers up front. And the midfielders just aren’t dynamic enough.

    Arg destroyed Albania yesterda – and it was only a friendly. But even then their spacing on the pitch was not particularly strong. When Messi dropped deep the Arg midfielders didn’t move enough to reform triangles.

    Batista played Biglia last night – whom he seems to like a great deal. Biglia is fine I suppose but he plays at a very slow, deliberate tempo and last night his spacing was not great.

    When Messi drops deep and pulls defenders out of shape Arg can only take advantage of that right now by having the other forwards pull in centrally. Kun did that brilliantly on that goal yesterday.

    But when they do that they are prone to lose width.

    Batista attempted to address this problem yesterday by playing the backline and full backs similarly to how Pep played. The full backs pushed up, the CB split and Masch would drop centrally. The argentina full backs just aren’t dynamic enough though to push forward to provide that width.

    It’s leaving ARG disjointed. They are also still prone to turning into a broken formation because their back line doesn’t stay compact because they don’t have enough pace and are worried about getting beat on the counter.

    All this is to say – I’m still not sure how Arg are going to get the best out of Messi with how they are currently set up. Maybe they just have so much talent in attack it won’t matter and they’ll with the Copa.

    But I think Batista needs to rethink his midfield. The best way for this Arg team that has limited full backs to take advantage of Messi as a false 9 would be for them to play a true attacking central midfielder behind Messi. That way when Messi drops deep and pulls defenders out of shape that midfielder could make forward runs into space.

    Batista has that exact player sitting on his bench in Pastore. He should play him because it’s that axis of Pastore and Messi which is going to give this Arg squad a chance for greatness.

    Connected with this is their back line. It’s a major problem for Arg. They just don’t have quality defenders. Zanetti is wonderful but he’s not athletic enough to play the role he has to give Arg width.

    And playing a back 3 with Masch in the middle and the full backs up high is going to expose Arg defensively to the counter. They don’t press as a unit consistently higher up and with the full backs moving forward it is going to expose them at the back – especially with Milito and Burdisso responsible for the flanks with their limited pace.

    I really want Arg to win this summer. But I’m not sure if they are set up to maximize their chances of doing so.

    1. As long as Batista continues to utilize the same formation and tactics, I don’t know if Pastore will get a shout unless Argentina is chasing the game.

      Batista seems content to play three ball winning midfielders and just hope some combination of Messi/Tevez/Lavezzi/Aguero/Higauin can find the back of the net on a consistent basis.

      Tactically, it’s disjointed as you point out. Not as inept as Argentina under Maradona, but there are definite causes for concern.

      This breaks the 4-3-3 formation Batista’s been toying with for a while, but I wouldn’t mind seeing:

      Tevez – Messi – Lavezzi
      Cambiasso – Mascherano
      Rojo – Milito – Burdisso – Zanetti

      Regardless of all these issues, I expect to see Argentina in the Final.

  15. Joking aside—it’s not that I object to Rosell trying to cut costs. Little things like colour copying can add up, after all. What I object to is the way he goes on television crying poor, talking about “austerity measures” and what a financial mess the last administration left the club in, and holding himself up as the sainted martyr who knows he won’t be popular but makes the hard decisions for the good of the club. And all the while there are other Spanish clubs in real financial trouble, going into administration, unable to pay their players for months, even years on end. Sure, some of that is due to their own mismanagement, corruption, absentee owners. But a lot of it comes down to the economic situation of Spain itself, low attendance at games, an unfair system of TV revenues, and the willingness of banks to loan enormous amounts to the big clubs and not the smaller ones.

    So make the cuts if you have to, Rosell. Balance the budget, turn off the air conditioning, remove every other lightbulb in the building—but don’t go on TV crying about how the club is so poor it can’t even afford colour copies. It’s political posturing at its worst, and it leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.

    1. Being a fan of “smaller” greek club ruined be debt forced to fall divisions for the first time in 103 years while the big three flourish I find rosell’s behavior really annoying…
      He should just do the work-I agree on many of the austerity measures and believe that Laporta was spending way too much money- but stop bragging already…
      And what about the “if don’t have the sponsor we would have to sell”…when we have 45 mil to spend on a transfer budget?!
      He got one thing right though…he really doesn’t know how to talk

  16. Good analsis Euler. Argentina have great attackers and absolutely average defense and good midfield. One of the reasons that Argies struggle is that their back lacks pace big time. Players like Garay or Forlin simply have not stepped up which is a pity. Even in near future, their best players are attackers and not a single great defender on horizon.

    Another thing that was clear is that though most of argentine players are excellent on the ball, their passing is not as great. I saw too many over hit or under hit passes.

    Also as Messi did not have any many options to play around, he was trying few times to go solo. Which was great to see but of course not the most effective option in lot of cases.

  17. Via Pep @ Barcastuff..

    Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez (22) has left the Chilean national team hotel and will in a few hours take a flight to Barcelona. [ona-rac1]

    Sanchez will fly from Santiago de Chile to Paris, and then to Barcelona, where he should arrive on Wednesday in the afternoon. [ona-rac1]

    He’s visiting to see the architecture, isn’t he?

    1. Apparently he just left the hotel just to run some errands. He isn’t traveling to Barcelona.

    2. I heard it was yellow.

      Tomorrow’s headline: Sanchez flattered by Villareal interest, probably on his way there now!

  18. If there was a possibility that the club would need to sell Jeffren or Bojan this summer they should have sat both of them down and been honest with them at the end of the season.

    This is especially true to Jeffren as it’s very unlikely he’s going to be in the club’s long term plans.

    Pep and Rosell should have just said – we found you, we developed you, we believed in you but things just haven’t worked out after many years of trying. It’s best to move on. We need to get some value back for you given all of the effort we’ve put into teaching you.

    Even if they said no it would at least let the club know where things stand and whether they could be used in a deal.

    But instead it’s all being done chaotically.

    As an aside the idea that Jeffren is just so wrapped up with sitting on the bench of the U21 that he just can’t be bothered with making any decision about his career strains plausibility.

    Not all of the players in La Masia are going to make it. The club must figure out a way of getting value back for the players who don’t but are good enough to play for other teams.

    They can’t just keep letting them go for free.

    And that’s where things are headed with Jeffren.

    It’s unfortunate – don’t see how this deal is going to get done now. Very difficult.

    Too much has been said publicly for either side to give a huge amount and not lose credibility. Particularly true for Udinese.

    1. It’s unfortunate – don’t see how this deal is going to get done now. Very difficult.

      Yep, I don’t see it either.

      And you’re completely right about the Jeffren and Bojan situation. Pep and the club didn’t handle this well at all.

    2. It’s unfortunate. The fact remains that the club is desperately short at the forward line.

      And now Villareal and Rossi know how much Barca was willing to give up in value for Sanchez. All of this is not going to decrease their demands.

      Rosell’s first major negotiations completely on his own and they’ve gone poorly. Not good.

      Someone involved in these negotiations is going to have to twist some arms.

      Pep may just need to tell Jeffren that he’s not in his plans for this year. And that means that he is not going to even make the bench and it will be another wasted year of his career.

      And Sachez is paying his agent a lot of money. It’s up to Felicevich to fix this for his client. These are the times when agents produce value. Otherwise just hire a lawyer to review contracts.

      The fact that the B team can’t be promoted is really hurting Barca right now. It’s leaving a gap in the development process. Players don’t want to go out on loan as they don’t believe they’ll ever be brought back. Barca needs to figure out a better transitional phase for players like Jeffren and Bojan.

      It’s very telling that neither of them are starters anymore for Spain’s u21. Spain looked much better with Munian on the wing than with Jeffren.

      Everyone wants to stay but at some point you have to take a hard look at reality.

    3. Euler, it is indeed unfortunate, the whole Sanchez deal is so far being shown in a very unfortunate light, but I believe it will go through. Otherwise RoSell will look even more of a tool than he looks now. Pep needs quality players and RoSell and his motley crew are botching up all the transfers.

      Too much has been said, too much has been stated about the player’s wish to come, his decision to lower his wages instead of jumping on City’s gravy train – how will we look now? Like complete idiots if we do not sign him. Poor, pauper idiots at that.

      I believe the transfer will go through, if only to save RoSell’s face – he promised Pep new players and he is so far delivered nothing. No LB, no RB, no CF – nothing to show for all his B&W copy and shirt selling saving methods.

      Another issue that is very troubling is the little messages he keeps sending Guardiola through the media. His yesterday’s interview was full of them. By saying things like: “Pep knows Cesc is not worth 40 mil…” he only gives up the plot that Pep once again asked for Cesc and RoSell cannot deliver, or doesn’t want to. And by saying this, he merely let Pep know that his wishes are no longer a priority for the club – the money is. This is the coach that will forever be the best Barca coach ever, he will be spoken about for ages as the greatest – you do not send him messages through the press or embarrass him this way! You talk to him in private, deal with his player requests in private without airing all the dirty linen in press.

      Another issue was Abi’s renewal and the way he phrased his words, it seemed like Abi doesn’t want to sign the allegedly improved deal. Ridiculous, the man loves the club!

      And the B&W copy machines, no bodyguards (like someone will attack you, Mr. President!) – this just sounded so pathetic. Sure let everyone know that the club has no money to print its own crest in blaugrana, try to drive the prices for players down, but please refrain from sounding like an embarrassment for Barcelona!

      Sorry long rant over )

    4. Another issue that is very troubling is the little messages he keeps sending Guardiola through the media. His yesterday’s interview was full of them. By saying things like: “Pep knows Cesc is not worth 40 mil…”

      I was annoyed with that, too. Why say things like that? It’s just so unnecessary.

    5. I agree with everything you say here, but I do feel it necessary to correct this:

      no bodyguards (like someone will attack you, Mr. President!)

      Laporta and his family received death threats, and kidnapping is certainly not unheard of in Barcelona. Ask Quini and Cruyff. Or Henry.

    6. Everyone wants to stay but at some point you have to take a hard look at reality.


    7. @blitzen: I used this comment because I was under the impression that such reports were exaggerated by the previous administration, so forgive me if I’m wrong (which I very well might be on this issue and often am on others).

      But one thing is for certain – for a self promoting self involved creature as RoSell – if there was any real danger – he would be the first to scream bloody murder and surround himself with dozens of bodyguards. Maybe even blame Laporta or Cruyff for it 🙂

      Still – he is proving to be a disturbing presence at the club, no matter how you look at it.

      A President should not be heard, and preferably with that kind of a mug – not seen either 🙂

      Sorry if anyone is taking offence – just really not a fan of the guy 🙂

    8. “Reports exaggerated by previous administration” – mean to for death threats to Laporta, not the situation regarding Cruyff of Quini. Sorry.

    9. Why can’t we just say this has gotten out of hand, good luck talking your playing into moving to Manchester and go after someone else? Then maybe the other clubs won’t try to mess with us so much. Being Barca gives us some extra bargaining power in that players want to come here. Why not use it.

      Or am I being too naive?

  19. To be fair, imagine being evicted from someplace that you lived your whole life, fair enough, but now the evictor is telling you you have to go live in Udine? From Jeffren’s perspective I can see why he would want to decide where he lives and works.Plus its not just Jeffren or Bojan that don’t want to be in swap deals, its Thiago, Montoya, its any player really (except Soriano but he doesn’t count, being 100 years old and all).

    Generally speaking, unless its in Italy with their weird co-ownership deals, players don’t like being used as currency. Just look at Robinho and the Cristino saga a couple years ago.In, my opinion its a pride thing: “If I have to leave, I certainly wont be helping you get the player you say is better than I”.If Chelsea or United could have afforded him I doubt Eto’o would have gone to Inter either.Its not a question of Pep handling it better, because nothing he tells a player would make them eager about being a makeweight.So far none of the youth players have ruled out leaving, just not as part of player plus cash deals.

    In the end I think Sanchez will come, its come to far for the little details separating the clubs to end the transfer forever.If I recall correctly the Ibra deal hinged on Hleb agreeing to go to Inter and Hleb rejected, resulting in us paying 5 millions more.We’ll up the cash and I’ll howl and moan about being robbed etc. etc. 😀

  20. I guess, you’re all overreacting here – even FCBarcelona cannot satisfy everyone.

  21. Bojan off to Roma for 10m with an option to buy. He’ll sign the contract next week (via @catradioesports)

    1. wonder how much the buyback is, 15 maybe? we’d essentially pay what we got pique for- 5 million.

    2. I was thinking 15, too. We wanted 10 and Roma wanted 20. They definitely won’t go for 10. We’ll see.

    3. Oh I though selling price between 10 and 15 (then buy back 20 and up), if we sell for 10, buy bcak will be close to 20. 17 may be.

    4. via Pep @ barcastuff –

      There’s a deal on Roma paying 10M for Bojan, and the discussion now focuses on the buy-back fee: Barcelona want 12M, Roma want 20M. [sky]

    5. 😯

      Ehhhh?! I haven’t been taking any of the rumors seriously (for obvious reasons) but now… Well. I can’t say a move isn’t a positive thing, but I want(ed?) him to succeed at the club. 🙁 Still not official though, so I won’t go crying in a corner somewhere.

    6. I hope it’s not true.
      Milito, Hleb, Maxwell, Jeffren & Henrique should all be sold before Bojan.
      People give him a hard time because his lack of confidence but his stats have always been decent and if we can’t put faith in players with this much potential then we are wasting our time with La Masia

    7. If he isn’t getting good minutes, what’s the point of him staying? He needs to play, not sit the bench.

    8. He would have had a lot more minutes in the second half of the season if he hadn’t gotten injured. That was really unfortunate for him, just when he was starting to look like the player we know he can be again.

  22. If Bojan was going to make an impact at Barca – he was going to need to leave.

    He has to play more – and he just wasn’t going to get that at Barca. I don’t think Pep, the club or Bojan took this lightly. But he had to leave to grow.

    With Lucho going to Roma it’s a unique opportunity for certain young players at Barca to gain more top flight experience. Bojan is one of them. He’s never worked with Lucho to any significant extent – but this will give him the opportunity to work in a similar system for a coach that is familiar with him and speaks the same language.

    He’s going to have to grow up though and fast. There is going to be some bad blood in the Roma dressing room given the veterans there who are set in there ways. Lucho is coming in to bring change and that’s just not going to be easy.

    It’s very possible that Bojan is seen in that dressing room as Lucho’s player. And he may be resented for that by the older players.

    But those are the kinds of things that Bojan is going to have to handle and grow from.

    What’s so unfortunate about all of this is that Bojan is leaving to complete training and experience he should have gotten from the ages of 17-20. He’s now almost going to wind up doing that from the age of 20-22/23. I don’t see him coming back in a year.

    Bojan did not receive good advice from this advisers when he was forced into the senior team. And he’s still paying for that mistake now.

    Italian football will be a whole new world for Bojan. They are going to really try to intimidate him.

    It’s up to him now. His perceived talent and reputation as a youth player will count for almost nothing in Rome.

  23. I like Rossi:

    Rossi (Villarreal): “Don’t like all the press talk that is going on, I still hope to join Barça. My agent? Don’t talk much with him.” [cope]

    via Pep @ Barcastuff..

  24. Whether Jeffren stays or not it seems apparent that the club doesn’t count on him as a contributor.

    If Bojan goes then the club is down to 3 first team forwards + Afellay.

    This is a very concerning situation. They must develop depth along the front line.

    Right now for me they need to add two forwards this summer – not one – two.

    That second striker doesn’t have to be world class – they can be simply effective. But they need two players up front.

    But judging by the teams budget and how they’ve structured themselves in the past I’m concerned that once again they are going to go into the season with an inadequate squad in terms of depth.

    World Cup 2010. Long 2010/11 season. International Friendlies. Copa America. And next summer Euro 2012. And they’ll be competing for 6 trophies this season.

    The amount of minutes and games these players have to play is just unbelievable. And it’s basically out of the question for Messi to ever miss an Arg NT games due to the politics.

    The Barca forward line has to work harder than any other forward line in the world due to the amount of defending they do.

    If the club does not build proper depth they are going to regret it deeply. This just cannot go on – no matter how much a “small squad” may appeal to Pep.

    1. I agree, although with Bojan leaving I can see the club signing another forward, maybe even Rossi?? Or maybe the idea is to sign Sanchez and Cesc and use Afellay as a forward. Pedro, Messi, Sanchez, Villa and Afellay up front. That is 5 world class forwards for 3 positions. That is pretty good depth.

      Then in midfield, Xavi, Iniesta, Busi, Masch, Cesc, Keita and Thiago.

    2. Where’s all that money gonna come from? Replacing a €10million player with a €30million player when we are broke doesn’t make sense.
      Our central defensive versatility is again being mistaken for depth.
      This player can cover and that player has the attributes doesn’t excuse the fact that Pep doesn’t seem to learn his lessons in terms of depth.
      It seems like he wants cover for Xavi and Messi and doesn’t see the deficiencies in the rest of the squad.

    3. So whats your point? If we are broke then how is it Pep’s fault that we dont have more depth? Pep can only suggest who should be bought it is then up to the club to go an buy them. I think saying that Pep isnt learning from his lessons in terms of depth is a little unfair.

      I also think that having a small squad is in general a good idea, it keeps the players close and builds very good team unity. It also keeps players fit, sharp and happy cos they are playing a lot. We dont need a huge squad, in fact I think the number of players we had last year was fine, its just that players like Bojan and Jeffren werent good enough to provide cover. Replace them with players that are and I think we are just fine.

  25. @sathompson1 / anne

    I didn’t choose my words correctly…
    I visited ur link, and saw lots of comments right there, which means many gooners read it…

    what I meant is, there are still sooo many gooners in this world, that don’t even consider those interviews as fake…because they havent read your article…
    think about our gooner friends who don’t understand English… that’s what I meant… 🙂

    sad to hear Bobo’s news… I knew it was coming, but still… 😥
    now we need 2 forwards…the other 1 doesnt need to be expensive…
    maybe a player like Kanoute…?

    I think I’m gonna watch Roma a lot this season…

    1. Football can all be about moments at times.
      First game of the season, the ball is spread wide left to the new guy villa – Amazing back flick to an onrushing maxwell who lays it on a plate for the tappiest of tap – ins for bojan but to no avail.

      If that chance went in, we very well might not even be having these discussions but such is life….

  26. Folks, Barca is not broke – despite what the black and white copy maestro says.

    Sure they may have significant debt – but for any business debt only has meaning relative to income.

    Microsoft has debt. In absolute terms – they probably have enormous debt. Relative to their earnings – not so much.

    Here’s a great example. I’ve heard in many places people discuss how by winning the CL this season Barca had to play out 67M in bonuses.

    That’s a lot of money.

    What was their revenue from winning the CL? 113M.

    They made 113M euro from winning the CL this season.

    This is an organization that makes over 400M euro a year.

    The club is not broke.

    If they were then you’d see it in tangible ways – organizations that are broke are not making huge investments in new assets.

    Look at it this way – the President of the club keeps saying they are broke – do his actions correspond with those words?

    Rosell and the club are now basically on record as being willing to spend 75M on two players. Think about that.

    They are willing to pay roughly 35M for Sanchez. Rosell is basically on record as saying they’ll pay 40M for fabergas.

    They are also close to sing Kiko for roughly 3 and Jose Angel for 3-4.

    By their actions the club is willing to spend on the order of 80M in this summer.

    Either they are not broke in any way or the Rosell and the board are absolutely reckless and incompetent.

    What are they telling us by their actions. Hey look we’re saving on color printer ink but we’re spending 80M in the market.

    If you have really worrying debt relative to your income you do not spend 80M on new assets. If you do and you do in fact have troubling levels of debt then you are a fool.

    So right now we have to conclude that either the club is in at least decent financial health or Rosell is an absolute fool for spending money the organization doesn’t have.

  27. I wish Bojan luck but I’m really not sure how this move is beneficial for anyone.

    For Bojan, moving to Roma means adapting to a completely different style of play. If he thinks La Liga defenders are physical, they have nothing on Italian defenders. I don’t see how moving to Roma is better for him than moving to Villareal, or Valencia. Roma are a big club but they aren’t in the Champions League and even if Luis Enrique is successful it’s going to take a while for him to build the kind of system he wants.

    For Roma, they are taking a huge chance paying 10 million on a player with serious confidence issues who will have to adapt to a new club and a new style of play.

    Barcelona gets 10 million, but they will probably have to spend at least that on a replacement for Bojan. (I’m not counting Sanchez, in my opinion he is a replacement for Ibra). Bojan may have been maddeningly inconsistent in his form but he contributed a lot in terms of goals over the years, especially near the end of the season when the normal starters needed rest.

    Buying two strikers also means Barcelona will have two strikers trying to adapt to the team: not an ideal situation for a club in six competitions.

    It just seems like a big risk for all concerned.

  28. Not sure if it was reported here that Mark Bolton will no longer be doing Revista de la Liga? According to his twitter today he was axed by Sky Sports.


    1. He mentioned that he was leaving Sky Sports 3 weeks ago, but I thought it was his choice until he mentioned he was fired yesterday. A shame.

  29. There are things in life more pleasant than Silly Season. Among these are taxes, root canals, standardized tests, childbirth w/out anesthetics…

    In Pep I trust, Rosell…not so much. Hope it works out. For the love of Messi, don’t give P!! the #9 shirt; it didn’t do CT much good.

    U21 Spain tomorrow and Gold Cup semis!

  30. I’m actually excited to see Bojan play for Roma–just what the doctor ordered. This time last year there was talk of him going on loan to Valencia in order to catalyze Villa’s move, and that made me so stoked to watch Valencia that season. In retrospect, perhaps that was the best thing that could have happened. I do think it’s the best thing for Li’l Bo, and I don’t think it necessarily means he will never come back to Barca.

    At the risk of sounding as if I’ve gotten my hopes up to an unreasonable level, I’m looking forward to watching the development of BarceRoma. I’ve always wanted to have some sort of investment in Serie A.

  31. Argentina should play Masch in CB along with Burdisso for more defence stability, Cambiasso, Banega, and Pastore (or any other player) can fill the midfield. Zanetti and Zabaleta as FBs with Messi, Aguero and a striker upfront.

    Presence of Pastore will help Messi as he wouldn’t drop back so much to build the attack.

    Barcelona has still done nothing officially this transfer market.

  32. Some thoughts on today:

    –As I noted earlier today, and Euler has here as well, the club dropped the ball with Krkic and Jeffren. It was stupid, and potentially has damaged the Sanchez transfer, when the deal was all but done, apparently. Rumor is that he’s back on the market. Players are commodities, but they are also human beings. Perhaps a little chat at the end of the season between Guardiola and Jeffren would have made things clearer. Yes, players delude themselves. All the time.

    –Jeffren wasn’t very bright. Udinese has a way of making stars who then get sold for lots of money. It would have been worth the risk. And they’re playing in Europe this season, I believe? No loss, except to his ego that didn’t want to be a makeweight in a deal for a player that the club actually DOES want. He’s being childish, and the ridiculousness of wanting to talk to Guardiola before making up his mind is absurd. As if Guardiola is going to say anything to him except “What other club do you want to go to?”

    Valencia, Villarreal and Liverpool are purportedly in the frame. Jeffren shouldn’t want to go to the Prem. At Valencia and Villarreal, he doesn’t have a chance in hell of being on a championship winning side. Udinese? Who knows. They were 4th this season, and could improve with the right buys. Serie A is wide open right now. I understand ego. But Udinese would have been the smart play. That club will be watched this season, and you build goodwill with the club that you’re leaving. But what do I know?

    –The Roma deal will be great for Krkic, or kill his career. One thing is for sure: He wasn’t going to make it at Barcelona, with his head in the state that it’s in. A change of scenery should make him blossom. The talent is unquestioned. The head is a serious question. Hats off to Roma for taking the risk.

    –We haven’t really done anything in the transfer market. So if my math serves me right, we started with 45, add 10 from the Krkic sale and the first installment of 6m on the Ibrahimovic gutting, leaves us with 61m. This is before Milito and Maxwell are sold, which should net another 10 total, not counting what we should get for Jeffren, who will be sold.

    –Not every player can be expected to have the attitude of Soriano, who basically says whatever the club wants for me is fine by me. And this is the Segunda pichichi, who will do very well for some club.

    –Nobody can blame Jeffren and Krkic for not wanting to leave. They grew up in the system, were nurtured by the system and were part of the first team. As long as you are in the system, there is hope, even when you know that there isn’t. Even Jeffren admitted this today on the radio, apparently.

    Private planes, nice buses, victory parades and trophy celebrations are tough to give up, even when you haven’t really contributed to them. It’s a very, very hard thing.

    –The transfer window officially opens on 1 July. I still believe that by the end of the first week of July, all family business will be taken care of.

    1. On Jeffren: I think you have captured Jeffren’s failure of vision succinctly. Now the only question is whether he can find a career sustaining solution. I am not sure why you dismiss Liverpool. Depending on Dalglish’s plans, this may be Jeffren’s best hope.

      On Bojan: Playing time anywhere would help Bojan, so if that’s in Luis Enrique’s plans, then great. But regardless of what happens, Bojan needs more fire. I was frustrated while watching the end of the U21 Spain v Ukraine game as Bojan complained to the ref about a particularly elbow-y shove from a Ukrainian defender. I wished his response was to turn around and either foul the defender or score. Better yet, both. All of those options are more productive than whining to the ref. There have been many great players of small stature, and being tough and determined is their common characteristic (e.g. Tevez, Messi, Maradona — just off the top of my head). Bojan has the technical skills to be great. He now just needs some determination and toughness (or anger, if that’s what it takes).

      I hope you are right about finishing up business by the end of the first week of July. But I am nervous that we have no heard much about new defenders. I want some support for our backline. I have always believed that our quality defense is often the unsung secret to our success. (How’s that for mixed metaphors!)

    2. I was frustrated as well by that move. Just get on with it! You need to score. No time to waste in fighting for petty things like this.
      He looks increasingly more like a frustrated teenager. Oh wait, he is not anymore.

      However, I find his 10 min spell quite good. He made a few good runs and made an excellent pass to Thiago in the box.
      That said, he easily lost the ball in their own half in succession. Passed straight to Ukraines players while he had so much time on the ball.

  33. So, let’s see…would the club have 75M euros for buys? we will be wasting 35 to 39 for Sánchez, Rossi may go for 28? William for 13-15? Sakho for 15? Vargas for 15-17? Have I missed another player that it’s being discussed? oh..CESC!
    Rosell already told us he won’t pay more than 40M, I don’t know it it was wise to use Pep’s name on the statement, but here we are..
    I found this in Sport, it’s really great! it’s a player by player review, of goals, assists, possession, and so on…
    Here there’s the ones of messi and xavi and iniesta…!

  34. -I watched Ukraine vs Spain U21 and Argentina vs Albania last night.
    Thiago is really really special. I like Munain too. We should consider him as VIlla’s replacement in a year’s time. That kid is business!

    -Who said that Aguaro and Messi don’t work well together?

    -I really feel for Rossi.

    Rossi (Villarreal): “Don’t like all the press talk that is going on, I still hope to join Barça. My agent? Don’t talk much with him.” [cope]

    After being ditched for Sanchez, he still talks so good about us. He really is a far cry from those Italians from New Jersey Shore 😆

  35. At this point Jeffren really represents an issue of cash flow.

    It seems very unlikely that they are going to keep him.

    As such – they can just as easily give Udinese the cash equivalent of how Jeffren was being valued in the deal now. Then they just sell him later on this summer to recoup the cash.

    Jeffren has to get translated into some kind of monetary figure as a makeweight. Just front the cash now and close the deal if you were going to make it before hand anyway.

    If Barca have really targeted this player the way they appear to – then Jeffren should not stop it from happening. Especially now with Bojan leaving Jeffren must see the writing on the wall.

    The only way that doesn’t work is if Udinese really wanted Jeffren because they feel that his talent is greater than his cash equivalent booked value in the deal. But if Udinese is really going to hold up a deal over that – then they are just ridiculous and don’t want to do business.

    If I had to guess part of why Jeffren may not have wanted to go to Udinese is the volume of young talent they have. Between Udinese and Granada their team is stacked. I wonder if he was concerned about getting passed by again.

    Villareal and Valencia are better teams than Udinese – but they both have less talent in terms of numbers.

    Rosell came in telling people he was going to make Barca a much better team in the transfer market.

    Time for him to put up. Because so far he’s done a poor job in his first major negotiations.

    1. And he doesn’t seem to have the luck of Laporta, who wanted David Beckham and “settled” for Ronaldinho. 😀

      Now apparently, on RAC1 Jeffren has said that he is not that enthusiastic about joining Udinese, but he will reevaluate after the U21s. He should have plenty of contemplation time while sitting on the bench.

      I still think we should play hardball. Sanchez made a promise to his dying father. Not to capitalize on heartache, but he only wants to come to Barca. Udinese understand that they have to sell him this summer. The risk is too great not to. They are over a barrel as much as we are.

      As noted above, I think that much of Jeffren’s complexity is wounded pride. No player wants to be a makeweight. Hopefully his advisors will be telling him “If you want a chance to return to this club, don’t burn bridges. A year or two at Udinese won’t hurt, and might even help.”

      Like Krkic, Jeffren needs time to develop. Unfortunately time is a luxury that a side competing for trophies 24/7 just doesn’t have. If a player can’t contribute at the level necessary, it’s just a wasted roster spot.

  36. For me, the only good thing about Bojan leaving, and I mean only, is the fact that this means we are for sure bringing in another front line playe. And w/ Jefferen leaving, maybe two???? I know this sounds crazy but why not bring in Sanchez then have Villareal sweat it out until mid August, then hope we get Rossi as well for like 24-26m. Let Thiago and 3M be the first and second off the bench in the midfield and next year bring in Cesc and a CB or FB!!!!! We all see how good Villa is on proper rest, so if we play 50 games next year, there is plenty of room for Messi, Villa, P!!, Sanchez and Rossi in the squad. I mean MAN City has like 6 or seven forwards in their rotation and they play a 4-4-2.

    If Rossi replaces Villa for every CDR game, and early CL games, as well as second leg games that are essentially over + starts 10 La Liga games and replaces Villa in the 65-70 min normally, he will play what is like a full season at Villareal. With Sanchez, we are not paying him to back up P!! this season, for the first 10-15 games, yeah, let him intigrate, but after that, he should split time w/ P. Plus I think Sanchez is a long term rep[lacement for Villa (if Messi stays as a false 9), so at 22, he can only go up in playing time over the nexty few years.

    1. When Tevez is playing w/ Baleoteli or Dzeko, I consider it two strikes. The point is, Usually they only have 2 recognized front line players on the field at the same time, with guys like Silva and Johnson only able to play the wings. So, you may be right, just like MANU plays a 4-4-1 alot, the point was they have 2 strikers on the field at the same time. We play w/ 3 guys who could all play a #9.

  37. Sorry, more clear here. Villa played in 36 games for Valencia (a less demanding phyical system) mhis final year there. Last year at Barcelona, he played in 48 game. He looked really tired all season, late in games, and going on 30, I don’t see him getting to much more phyically fit. Having said that, on full rest, he is one of the deadliest strikers in the game. So, what do we do? It’s clear that Sanchez has to be looked at as a long term replacement for Villa, who has moved to the wing with FCB. At 22, he is eight years younger than the Spanish interntional, and is a naturally more fit player (as evidence by how he tracks back), Barca is an elite team, who should have an elite option off the bench up front, so this is what I see. Reasonably, for the next 6-8 years we can look forward to Messi, Sanchez and P!! up front. The scary thing is, out of those three, you have to say Sanchez and P!! have the most room to grow, as Messi was a world bearet at 21. I think that we need a Rossi type player to shake it up off the bench as a CF, while 3M can grow into our wing specialist in the future.

    (best front 3 for the future)

    W/ Messi @ (false 9)


    W/ Rossi (like) player in the line up


    Note, if any winger is hurt, P!!!, 3M, Sanchez or Messi can all play the position.

    Having a Rossi type forward allows us to invert the front three and gives us tons of options on the wings.

  38. With a terrific coach, an all time great squad, brilliant farm system, one would have expected Barcelona FC to have a good management team. They might definitely have one, but their president Sandro Rosell does not inspire confidence at all. By publicly letting know what budget is available for transfers, who are the targetted players, and what would be the offer limits, the president has placed too many of his cards on the table for everyone to view. That does not always work well in a competitive market where gaming the other is one of the keys looked for by smaller clubs, such as Udinese.

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