Why I Don’t Want Cesc Fabregas

He’s a fantastic footballer. He’s a World Cup winner, captain of a top 10 side in the world, and he already knows the Barça ropes—culturally as well as sportingly—but I want no part of him. There are good arguments that he would add depth to the midfield and attack, a seriously good argument that if the team wants him (true) or needs him (debatable) then now is the time because he can spend Xavi’s waning years learning from the maestro, and a closeness between him and other members of the squad that wouldn’t break apart the dressing room. But I want no part of him.

My reasoning is fairly simple: he left. It was his right to do so, I firmly believe, and I hold nothing against him for that. I’m happy for him that he was able to find success at Arsenal and on the national team and if Torres is worth £50m or Andy Carroll worth £35m, then Cesc is certainly worth €35m.

But he left. He walked away from Barça and, again, that is his right to do so, but it is also our right to say “Okay, good luck, goodbye.” And if he wants to come back, he can come back, but not for a price. Not for more than the fee that was eventually paid for him (you could adjust for inflation if you really want). It was his choice to leave, to play with the Spanish and English laws and disappear for a night. And I cannot stress this enough: that is his right and I do not hold it against him as a person. I probably would have made a similar decision.

It’s just that Barça is a club that trains a lot of players and we cannot set the precedent of buying back those who leave the club when we can do nothing about it (and make no mistake, we could do nothing about it). It is not a question of them being “ours” because they can leave if they want; instead, it is a question of the club’s perspective on who to bring back. Gerard Pique cost €5m too much for me (or that minus whatever the fee we ended up receiving for him was). Yes, that was a great deal in the market and a total flub by Manchester United (unless you buy that Barça youth products can’t play outside of Barça, which I wouldn’t argue too strongly against), but we shouldn’t have done it.

It was also Fabregas’ decision to sign a contract extension rather than wait until his contract expired and choose his suitor. I realize that contract extensions and re-ups in Europe are different than in the United States where free agency rules a lot of the market, but it should have been made clear to him at the time that he wouldn’t be returning to Barça until 2015 if he signed that extension. Would he still have done it? I don’t know—the raise was probably pretty huge and hard to pass up. But that’s his decision.

And it’s not that I think Fabregas betrayed Barça, though perhaps there’s a smidge of that, it’s that others have not done so. Thiago has shown loyalty, Xavi showed loyalty and worked to break into the system rather than leaving for an easier assignment. And if that was the decision he felt he should make for his career, again, all the luck in the world to him. But not at Barça unless he comes back not costing us anything.

I believe in player’s rights above club concerns, but that does not mean that the club cannot decide to reject an eight figure transfer for a player that left of his own accord. And yes, I realize this limits our options on a couple of players, but I’m okay with that. If Gio Dos Santos (suddenly, unexpectedly, shockingly) turns into a world beater, then we can buy him back because we sold him. He didn’t leave us in the lurch. Of course, I’d completely understood if he turned down that offer, but that’s his decision, not mine.

Some more nuance: Yaya Toure left because of a variety of factors including playing time and wages. Manchester City were there offering not only a large raise, but also the ability to play with his brother, Kolo, and Barça cashed in on that desire to the tune of €24m, a nice €13m profit on the player, effectively saying that the team could do at least as well without him (though Mascherano was purchased soon after). It could be argued that Yaya held us over the coals and because we weren’t going to be held to ransom, he had to move. He would, then, in a sense, qualify for the Cesc Rule. Each situation is different and obviously we have little information about the precise goings on behind-the-scenes.

Because of these nuances, I understand if others have a different view. That’s okay, I get it. Perhaps the team would be better with Cesc than without and perhaps some believe in bringing back The Catalan Kid. It seems unlikely that it would be worse given the Spanish national team example of how the midfield could work. It just feels wrong, like the club is being snookered by an impatient child incapable of working through, like Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, even Bojan. Fight for your place rather than look up the ladder and say “I can’t make it here.” If you’re that good—if you’re worth €35m+—you’re good enough to earn a spot. And if you feel like you want to go elsewhere to earn money now, during what is a short shelf life, that is perfectly acceptable. But to me, that’s the same as shutting the door behind you as you go out.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. June 27, 2011

    Spot on!

    Another thing that adds for me is the timing. He says he would want to come back even if we weren’t winning. I call BS. Now that Arsenal have gone trophyless for 6 or so years and we’re winning everything, he wants to come back. Where was this need, say, three years ago when we finished 3rd in the league and had to qualify for the CL? Yeah.

    I get it, his idol is coach and he’s BFFs with a lot of the players, but he chose to leave. Big bad Wenger didn’t come and whisk poor, innocent Cesc against his will; he talked it over with his mom and said, “okay, I don’t think I can compete with Xaviniesta, so I’m jumping ship”, which is okay. Football is a short career and you gotta make you dough quick considering you have a time limit. But it feels like a betrayal if we splash cash for someone jumped ship, who didn’t show any loyalty and who wants to come back when we’re in a historic era. It irritates me how little is being said about Fabregas and how much he has to play at this. He wants to play both sides; leave but still be a hero. It doesn’t work that way, especially when you’re the cornerstone of the team.

    Pique is different because he was the grandson of the director during the Nunez regime and with Laporta and a new board coming in, he kind of had to leave. Politics forced him out, which is something I actually didn’t know. And what makes me forgive Pique is that he was desperate to come back. He was ecstatic to be at the club even though we suffered the worst season in recent history. And more crucially, he cost 5m Euros.

    I don’t like the whole message this Fabrelust is sending to our youth. Thiago had come out to say recently that he didn’t like the talk of him being sold (i.e. the rumors he’d be a makeweight for Fabregas) and that made me so sad. So very sad. Because he wants to stay and triumph with Barca even though he could want into a Man Utd or other such club’s midfield.

    It’ll take a lot of time for me to warm up to Fabregas when he does eventually come. I don’t have anything against him as a person (he’s actually the reason I even watch Arsenal) and I think he’s a brilliant player, but I don’t like the baggage that comes with him.

    • June 27, 2011

      So, uh, to sum it up, I guess my problem is: timing, price and Thiago.

      I should also add that the money could be used to be spent elsewhere, like a CB.

    • topgun
      June 28, 2011

      HA HA HA. Im an Arsenal fan. To me Xavi is a special player, to say you have Thiago is abit silly; Thiago is good but he is far from Xavi. Guadiolla wants cesc and the barca players want him so bad because they know cesc is a young xavi if not better. I know for a fact that Cesc wanted to go last year so his heart was not in it this season. Cesc has played at the heart of a battle hardend league where legs get broken for many years. Barca want him also because RMADRID, MANCITY, CHELSEA would pay 45mill plus for him and pay triple what Barca could pay.
      Pique, no offence was crap in manchester. Im sure Fergie regrets that decision to sell so cheap.
      My point is that he loves Barca. At 16 Arsenal gave him a chance to secure his whole family for the future. At Barca he was not so sure. He could of broken a leg or lost focus which happens to many hopfuls.
      I like cesc alot, but his heart is with Barca.
      Give us 35mill and Thiago or Villa and hes all yours. lol

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        Hiya topgun,

        Arsenal is my second team. So I watch quite a bit of them. Sorry, Cesc is not a young Xavi, he’s a young Cesc. They are not that similar in either style or responsibility. If anything Cesc is more attacking. Maybe he’s a combination of Xavi and Iniesta, not possessing either one’s strengths to the degree that Xavi or Iniesta do, but enough of each to make an impressive package. Busquets, as unlikely as it seems, has more of Xavi’s skill set than Cesc does.

        I have said that part of me wants Cesc back just to avoid having to go through this every summer and January. I was just being flippant. Count me in the don’t want Cesc back until he’s free (or really cheap, no more than Pique cost). Same reasons as most: Thiago, his injury concerns (which may be less at Barca where he won’t be thrown back on the pitch half healed), message it sends to youth players, COST, but mostly not because he signed the first contract, but because of the extension he signed.

        We know that Thiago is not up to the level of Xavi yet. But we see his potential and we’d like to see it developed properly at Barca. At other teams he may be thrown into a starting role before he’s really ready. That can work out(Cesc) or be disasterous (Bojan).

      • ak
        June 29, 2011

        Pique wasn’t crap at utd. Ask any die-hard utd fan.
        I hadn’t even heard his name when he came to us. On of my friends, who is a huge utd fan, told me, don’t worry, he’ll be great for you. He recounted his couple of performances and said that he was almost as good as ferdinand.

  2. June 27, 2011

    Plenty of reasons to pass on Cesc, mainly because with Thiago we don’t need him. I respect your opinion, but him leaving is not a reason in my opinion. People may think him leaving was crappy or disrespectful, but oh well, it is not near as bad as what we did/are doing to Kerrison. This is a business, and Cesc made a good move. He has been the most technically gifted MF in the most watched league in the world for 6 years or so, and a club captain on one of the 15 best clubs in Europe. He made the right decision to move, and I thank him for it because if he had stayed, we may not have seen Andres and Xavi together. If Cesc disrespected the club, by jumping ship, then we are no better for baiting along Kerrison. Also, if JDS lefy would you blame him? 15 months ago we were talking about him like we talk about Thiago now, he was next in line. Now he is burried, so if he was to leave, be brilliant for 5 years, and fans were clamoring for him back, would you pass?

  3. blitzen
    June 27, 2011

    Oh, bullcrap. Sorry, Isaiah, but I am sick of the whole “he left so he should shut up and lie in the bed he made” argument. He was a 16-year-old boy at the time. A child. With no immediate prospects of breaking into the first team, and an offer of more money than he had ever seen and playing time with Arsenal’s first team. He made a choice. Maybe it was the wrong choice, maybe it was the right one. You can debate that all you like. But stop acting like he broke some holy covenant and should do penance for the rest of his life.

    Oh, and the “he signed a CONTRACT” thing? Let’s get real. We all know that a football contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Contracts are signed for many reasons, and only one of them is to ensure that a football player stays at a club for the prescribed time. Kun Aguero signed a new contract with AM just a few months ago and now he’s up for sale to the highest bidder (except RM). No one seems to be calling him a hypocrite, strangely enough.

    • The__K__Man
      June 27, 2011

      Spot on Blitzen! People need to understand that Cesc was a 16 year old boy when he left, a kid , who needed his a legal guardian to sign the contract for him. Who are we to say what he should or shouldn’t have done at the time? Premier League offers come with a lot of money for the player and jobs and social security for the whole family, so are we entitled to tell the Fabregas family or recently the Toral family what to do? And obviously we’ll not be trying to sign “any” player who has left us but this guy is special.

      If it were up to me he wouldn’t be my priority because we need more reinforcements in other position but if Pep wants him and ALL the players seem to want him than who am I to not support them?

    • June 27, 2011

      Kun Aguero signed a new contract with AM just a few months ago and now he’s up for sale to the highest bidder (except RM).

      Here lies the problem with Fabregas. You sign an extension generally for three reasons: 1) for long term stability, 2) the inevitable pay raise, and 3) so the club you’re extending for gets a handsome sum for you. The last one is generally something players do when they are grateful for the club and it’s why players of selling clubs sign those extensions.

      The thing with Fabregas is that there is no highest bidder. It’s just Barca and he knew that if he ever left Arsenal, it’d be for Barca. He has said it himself. But by signing that extension — even with the knowledge he’d be returning — he raised his own transfer price. Do I fault him for it? Well, I don’t really know. Hindsight is 20/20 after all. However, if we won’t pay it, well, it’s really is his fault.

      It’s a putada, as Xavi has so eloquently stated, but it’s a putada he has created. I don’t think he should wallow in misery nor do I feel he’s got his just desserts (okay, slight lie on the latter), but he was no child when he signed that contract.

      • blitzen
        June 27, 2011

        The last one is generally something players do when they are grateful for the club

        Yes, exactly. He has been with Arsenal for 8 years. He loves Arsenal. He wants them to get a decent price for him. What on earth is wrong with that?

        • June 27, 2011

          Nothing, if I was an Arsenal fan. I think it’s pretty sweet that he’d do that — but that’s the whole playing both sides thing. The problem is that we have to pay that sum, and it isn’t a measly, say, 3m either. It’s about 10-15x that amount, and we’re supposedly in major debt and desperately need to strengthen our defense.

          It’s all well and good that he wants Arsenal to get a good price, but he’s made it so that we’re the ONLY ones who will pay it. It just doesn’t work that way. If he doesn’t want to man up and ask for a transfer, stay. But he won’t because he wants to come.

          And I say that he has to take some of the blame for that.

          • blitzen
            June 27, 2011

            I don’t think you understand how insulting it would be to Arsenal and their fans if he put in a formal transfer request. No way is Cesc going to do that. Maybe our new friend NS Gooner can speak to that.

            As you (and Xavi) say, it’s a putada.

          • June 27, 2011

            Nah. I know he’d never, ever do it and frankly, I’d be very disappointed in him if he did. In fact, I wouldn’t want him to come. EVER. It’s like Xavi or *shudders* Messi handing one in. A huge slap in the face.

            I’m being extra mean to Cesc today because I just saw Thiago’s interview in English and it made me feel all emotional. I don’t want him to leave, ever.

            –Sincerely, the 3rd member of the BFB Thiago Fan Club, after second in the command jordi and the Grand Overlord Jnice.

  4. June 27, 2011

    By the way, your post is the first article on News Now under Barca!!!! Yay BFB

  5. June 27, 2011

    Uh. Hmmmm ….

    From the Twitters: Arsenal comienza a quitar todo lo relacionado con Cesc que hay en la tienda oficial

    Dang, if they’re pulling Fabregas stuff from the official shop, something is going on.

    • June 27, 2011

      And the transfer window opens in…three days.

      /bangs head on desk. (I see to be doing that a lot lately).

      Oy vey.

  6. June 27, 2011

    My reason for not wanting the Fabregas is significantly more base than Isaiah: He costs too much.

    We’re going to pay probably around 40m for a guy who barely plays half the season for his club? Yes, we can figure that maybe our medicos are different than Arsenal’s. Guardiola has kept Messi healthy for 3 seasons now, when he used to suffer a major injury every year. So who knows?

    But big, fat ol’ penis-head that he is, RoSELL is right about Fabregas being worth less this season. And he isn’t just worth less to us. I reckon he’s also worth less to Arsenal. Wilshere has exploded onto the scene, and Nasri is ready for the next level. They’re also eyeing (and have the inside track) on another talented AM whose name escapes me. Each year that Fabregas stays, his fee drops another few million. So if they’re going to sell, now’s the time.

    I think he is talented. It’s difficult to argue with the assist statistics that he puts out, and he already knows the system, though he will probably require some remedial training, if he comes.

    My fundamental issue is price.

    • Vj
      June 28, 2011

      We can say p***s-head? Whoa, the journo admin said it 😛

  7. June 27, 2011

    Alexis Sanchez

    ‘I am still a young player, but I have the ambition to become the best player in the world. I need to be more clinical in front of the goal, but I am very eager to continue developing into a better player. My biggest secret is perhaps my humility.’

    I am starting to really like this kid, he is putting the pressure on Udinesse too…I love it

    • June 27, 2011

      @barcastuff reported that those quotes were from an old interview, rather than a more recent one which would indeed imply that he was putting pressure on Udinese.

      I do like that we’re sticking to our guns on the bid of 28 cash/9 variables/3m from two Gamper Trophy matches. It’s still too much, but shows that we aren’t interested in a bidding war.

  8. June 27, 2011

    “But big, fat ol’ penis-head that he is, RoSELL”……OMFG I love Kevin and this blog, so classy…….. The Tribune is clearly an amazing institution having this guy, a true beakon of journalism. A pulitzer is in his near future for sure!!!!!!

  9. lovelymofo
    June 27, 2011

    The lovely thing about the internet is that everyone can have a different opinion, no? I agree with Isaiah about not wanting Cesc, but that’s mostly due to the talent we already have, those currently tearing it up in the first team and those soon to be promoted (Thiago!). Well, that and the fact we need depth in other areas and I would much prefer the $$$ to be spent there.

  10. blitzen
    June 27, 2011

    Victor Valdes:

    Everybody is talking about the potential signing of Cesc Fàbregas for Barça: “He is a great player with exquisite skills. He knows this place well and knows what the shirt means. He is perfectly compatible with Thiago because those two offer different things. If he does some, he’ll be a great signing”, said Valdés.

  11. NS Gooner
    June 27, 2011

    Arsenal fan here (as the name no doubt suggests), and I both agree, and disagree with your post. First, I commend you on a well balanced, unbiased article- very rare these days among all teams blogs. I do agree with the trophy argument- clearly these are not the most celebratory times for the Gunners, while Barca are winning trophies for fun. It’s easy for any footballer to be tempted, but if we were winning the EPL he may not be as anxious. Surely he knows that he’s a legend in London, whereas he’d be (a very talented) squad player at Barca. I do disagree with the ‘he left’ argument. He was a kid, saw an opportunity to play with one of the greatest managers at developing talent, and he took it. You cannot prove whether it was the right thing to do, but he’s clearly grown by leaps and bounds at Arsenal.

    I also don’t think he is as injury prone as his record would suggest. This summer is his first full summer in ages, and I hope, whether he is with you or with us, that he gets a full year in again. He’s gotten more assists over the past five years in the top five leagues than anyone (stat from Optajoe I believe), and is just capable of tearing defenses apart.

    All that said, I agree that bringing him back is more political than anything. You don’t need him, and while he would add midfield depth, you can’t afford to do that based on your supposed debt problems. I think your defense is incredibly weak at the moment (as shown by Masch and Busquet playing centre back), and the fact you concede so infrequently is more a credit to your midfield than anything else. Bringing in more defensive cover would just make you all the more fearsome an opponent.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I’ve tried to keep the Arsenal glasses in my pocket, but you’ll forgive me if I’m intensely loyal to Cesc. Wanting to leave or not, he’s given a lot to the club I love.


    • NS Gooner
      June 27, 2011

      And by ‘incredibly weak’, I am referring to quantity, rather than quality. Your starting four are all very talented.

      • June 27, 2011

        So true. What’s interesting is that people are just beginning to figure out that defense begins in the midfield/possession for us. Usually when we concede, it’s off a jailbreak or giveaway, which hardly any defense is prepared for.

        I think we all agree that he’s a hell of a player. As I said, I only object to the price. I know he’s priced fairly in this crazy transfer world, but still ….

        • blitzen
          June 27, 2011

          No, Kxevin. Defense begins the moment Valdes starts the play. 😀

        • barca4eva
          July 1, 2011

          Agreed. However, I do think Fabregas at 40million pounds is still a good deal for barca if u look at the pattern in the market in the past few years.

      • Anonymous_69
        June 27, 2011

        “And by ‘incredibly weak’, I am referring to quantity”

        I think our defense proved its immense depth this past season. I very much doubt our attack would be able to survive the injuries our defense did. Even with all the injuries, there still wasn’t any room for Milito. I think improving the attack should be Barca’s priority. If there is money left and Barca find it necessary, they can replace some defenders. Replace Maxwell with Jose Angel, replace Milito with Fontas. The quanity would be the same, but the depth would be even stronger, as the quality would be much higher. 7 players for 8 positions, perfect for me. The quanity only seems weak now because we are afraid of using either Maxwell or Milito, but that would change with Jose and Fontas/new defender.

    • June 27, 2011

      Great post, NS Gooner.

      I agree that the faulting him for leaving at 16 is a bit unfair (I admit to some sour grapes there), and now that I really really think about it, the only real problems I have with him are price, timing, and what that price tells talented players like Thiago.

      I do think he became a better player faster at Arsenal. And make no mistake, Cesc Fabregas is an incredible player. I’m sure Man Utd or Chelsea would pay a handsome sum for him.

      I dunno, I just think that his coming is not a good time and purely political. With all due respect, this is the one team where him coming won’t add an incredible amount.

      Spot on re: defense. We are really vulnerable there right and the money we would be forking out for him could be better used getting a CB and another LB.

      • NS Gooner
        June 27, 2011

        I agree he wouldn’t add a whole lot, as in the important games you’d be hard pressed to super-cede Iniesta or Xavi. What bugs me more than anything is Rosell’s argument over the price, as I find it rather insulting to the player. Regardless of last season (which was mostly poor due to injuries than bad form), we saw Torres for 50MM, Carroll for 35MM, Henderson for 20MM, Dzeko for 34MM, etc. I would say Cesc is better than all of them except possibly Torres (and only when he’s on form), so his value has increased by the radical amount of inflation that is prevalent in football these days, regardless of any ‘wear and tear’. I would defend that he is worth 50MM based on market forces, but I’m not an idiot. I work in finance, and while prices are never less than what the seller will willingly take, it is never more than what a buyer will willingly pay. As Cesc will never go anywhere else, a compromise of somewhere between 35 and 40 seems the most likely. If the bid came in I would take it, and wish him all the luck in the world. He’s always been a class act regarding Arsenal, and he’s done his service to the club. It’s just a shame he’d never win the EPL and become a true club legend.

  12. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 27, 2011

    Im not into the whole, he left us he is a traitor thing. There are probably hundreds maybe thousands of kids being developed in our youth ranks and youth branches and only a handful of those kids will ever get a good chance to play for the first team, all those kids that never made it either went to another club or quit football, does that make them all traitors? Not really. Even if your the most talented player to touch the grounds of La Masia and you were destined to play for Barca, it does not guarantee you’ll end up playing for Barca Seniors, look at Victor Vazquez as an example.

    Fabregas was offered a guaranteed opportunity overseas and many really don’t turn down that oppurtunity unless you are completely sure you will play for Barca.

  13. June 27, 2011

    Absolutely agree w/ Kxevin, NS Gooner and Blitzen.

    I don’t blame Cesc for leaving Barça. I think we as fans often expect our team’s players to consider the club before their careers, but that is totally unfair and unrealistic, especially when the player in question is just a kid. When a player does show exceptional loyalty to Barça at the cost of a career opportunity, that is beautiful and admirable, but it shouldn’t be seen as the norm. We shouldn’t expect players who have little chance of breaking into the first team to stay when they have a better opportunity elsewhere.

    Cesc is an amazing player but I want him to stay with Arsenal, at least for another year. We can’t afford him right now and we need depth in defense, not another attacking midfielder. And as everyone’s saying, if Cesc coming to Barça takes minutes away from Thiago or stalls his development I am 100% against his purchase.

    • barca4eva
      July 4, 2011

      I agree with you. I don’t think he will stall Thiago’s development, except if Thiago isn’t good enough.

  14. Safado
    June 27, 2011

    I think you people care too much for, and give too much credit to Cesc. I was against the following deals for Henry, Eto’o for Ibra, and this eventual deal for Cesc as well.

    I thought the money for Henry was WAY too much especially without seeing him play after the injured season he had before we got him. The physical he received had to have been below par, or they simply took it easy on him. When he came, we all saw that he was so slow he looked like a 70 year old next to all the other players on the field.

    I couldn’t believe the non-sense Pep made with his “no plans” for Eto’o his first season. Without him we would never have been on our way to win 6 trophies. I would still like to hear from Pep as to why he felt he could not play with Samuel, while he thought that he could play with Ibra, who has always been slow on the field, and an obvious poor fit into the club.

    This next deal for Cesc will bad in several ways. #1 he is not worth the money that Arsenal is setting his value at. Rosell is a lot closer to his value with the $27M than Wenger is with $50M. Look at the seasons Cesc has had over the past 4 years. He has scored 3-15-3-7 goals respectively. While he is a good player, he is not a top player. He is excellent at transitioning the ball from the back third to the front third, and I really think that is how you need to look at him. Ashley Young just sold for $20M to ManU and that is where the bar should be set, no matter what Wenger says. Look back to when Essien went to Chelsea at the same age for $24M, this is where I think Cesc is worth, maybe up to $30M if you want to talk about the price of football going up, but if the economy went up and down, then so should the player’s values.

    Additionally, look at the respect the spanish national team gives him….there is a reason that Juan Mata, Santi Carzola, and David Silva get as much, if not more time than him on the field.

    Lastly, when it comes to making decisions, I think we can all agree that he doesn’t have much of a spine. He’s tried to play both sides of the fence for years stringing Barca along, just as much as Arsenal. It’s almost as if he’s taken french lessons from all those years with Henry. The guy is waffle and flips every time the wind shifts. I want to play for Arsenal…but it is my dream to play for Barca….over and over again we heard this. We don’t need a guy like this in locker room, we want someone who truly wants to play for the club, and is committed.

    I would like to see us get Aguero or Neymar if we are going to spend big money, but we also need to think about suring up our back line.

    Visca el Barca!!!

    • NS Gooner
      June 27, 2011

      I have to disagree to him not being a top player. The below stats are from Optajoe:
      466 – Over the last five PL seasons Cesc Fabregas has created a total of 466 goalscoring chances, more than any other player. Coveted.
      28.6 – Cesc Fabregas created a scoring chance from open play more regularly (every 28.6 mins) than any player in top 5 leagues. Coveted.

      Now I’m not saying he’s better than what you already have, but there are very few teams where he wouldn’t walk right into the midfield. Comparing Fabregas to Ashley Young is laughable- Young is not first choice for his country either, but England’s midfield is a far cry from Spain’s. He has no Champions League experience, was not the best player for Villa, let alone United, and had one year left on his contract. Fabregas has played over 300 matches for Arsenal at the top level, has won us games we had no business winning (as exhibited in a two goal, 28 minute cameo vs. Young’s Aston Villa), and has four years left on his contract. You say he waffles over the two clubs, but is it possible he loves both? Clearly his dream is to play at Barca, but can still want to play for Arsenal at the same time if he ends up staying another year or two. I thought his comments this year were that of a clear professional- despite wanting to move he left it to the club he’s been at for eight years. I find that incredibly refreshing given player loyalty seems to be a thing of the past (i.e. Modric, Nasri, etc.).

      • Safado
        June 27, 2011

        I was using Ashley Young as a way to guage the market. I also used Michael Essien as comparison, but I guess you didn’t see that. Essien at 24 was also a player many a manager would want to mold their team around. While Cesc sets many people up around him to shoot for goal, he’s still not doing it well enough for his team to score enough goals to win Championships.

        Look at what the Real Madrid did the last three weeks of this season to feed the ball to Ronaldo so that he could get the scoring record in La Liga. With that being said, I don’t see anyone pushing Madrid’s midfielders as the must have players this year. Setting people up does not win championships, goals win championships.

        My point is there are always going to be players who have talent and we can purchase at a nice price, and that they can fit in our system. We don’t need to break the bank for Cesc. While I agree that Cesc would step into a starting role into almost every other team out there, I don’t think doing so guarantees that team to win any hardware. We don’t need Cesc to win, we’ve proven that.

        We have Thiago ready to go, and we even have his little brother coming up behind him, and he is supposed to be on his way to being better than Thiago. We need to stay true to Cruyff’s system, trust it and not freak out. Let Madrid keep spending, let’s pay down our debt. They are going to have so much pressure on them next year, even more than this year. Cooler heads will prevail and we will come out on top.

        I do think it’s possible for a player to love two clubs, but I think his actions with resigning the contracts twice, shows he’s in it more for himself and money. He keeps Barca looming in the wind and mentions how much he wants to play for them everytime he wants a raise.

        There was a recent article where Usmanov called out Kroenke and the Arsenal board for charging the Arsenal fans exhorbitant amounts for tickets, and stuffing the profits in their pockets instead of investing the team. Being that Kroenke now owns 60%+ of the club, I don’t see this behavior changing. With that said, I don’t see Nasri staying there and I pretty sure that Cesc is going to sick of the same old story there. It was his desicion to resign with Arsenal twice, so I don’t think we should do him any favors in helping him get out of bad situation, if Arsenal continues to stay Arsenal. In that event, if he wants out, then he should buy out his own contract like he could have a year ago before the World Cup.

        Anyway, We’ll see where this all goes, and I hope like Isaiah we don’t purchase him……for anything more than $30M. 🙂
        If we do buy him, it will certainly help in extending Xavi’s career as he won’t have to play as much.

    • June 27, 2011

      For me, it’s money. And yes, Henry had to regain fitness his first season, but his second season is impossible to argue with.

      The unfortunate reality of us is that we buy to continue winning, and fit into the best side in the world. That isn’t going to be cheap, and we aren’t going to be able to sell, once we’re finished, for anything close to what a player cost. We aren’t Udinese.

      Fabregas was inserted into the World Cup final to make a difference, and he did.

      As far as his decision making, yes he’s straddling the fence. I’ve called him on it before. I’d say the French slagging is over the line. Lots of players of all nationalities straddle the fence, not wanting to upset fans in case the deal doesn’t happen. Fabregas isn’t the first, and won’t be the last.

      It’s also worth noting blog posts that are linked to above, that chronicle the reality of the Fabregas quotes, and how they were misused.

      As far as Neymar, Guardiola was right about his character concerns. For me, he’s more expensive than Fabregas, for Robinho II. No thanks. Aguero? I’d rather spend that sum on Sanchez. At least we know he tracks back.

      • Safado
        June 27, 2011

        Looking back, I’ve always remembered Henry’s 19 goals in his 2nd season to come mostly against low bottom table clubs, or after the club were already up 2 or 3 goals….just saying.

        • The__K__Man
          June 28, 2011

          low teams? Like scoring 2 against Madrid? crucial away goal at Lyon? Bayern Munich? Atletico Madrid at the Calderon? these are just a few goals that come to mind..not to mention his assists and dangerous runs vs a lot of teams!

      • NS Gooner
        June 27, 2011

        The main argument I have is that the transfer market is ridiculous at the moment, and for 27MM we would not get anyone close to Fabregas’ quality. Young for 20MM is a bit much I think, as he has one year left on his contract and wasn’t that great last year. I saw the Essien point as well, but how long ago was that? I almost feel you can’t use transfers from more than a year ago as a reference, given how stupid the market is. I also argue your point about goals being the end all of defining midfielders. Fabregas’ numbers are much better than Xavi’s when it comes to goals and assists, but no one is saying Fabregas is better than Xavi. Also, it doesn’t matter how many perfect passes you give to Bendtner, you’re not getting any assists 🙂

        Supposedly Cesc will take a pay cut, and will forgo the 15% of the transfer fee he is entitled to for the move to go through. I don’t want to see it, but those are hardly the actions of a greedy player? If he wanted money he’d sign for City and get 250K a week.

        Anyway, I’ll defend Fabregas to the hilt, as you will with your players. I agree that you don’t need him and shouldn’t break the bank for him, but I think that you should have to break the bank if you are going to get him.

        Thiago looks ready, but you could be a victim of your own success- I’ve read a lot that he is considering leaving, and the reason is simply that your midfield is just too good. If Fabregas does sign, you may as well send Thiago the other way, as I doubt he’d stay. I’m sure you all are more informed than I am, but how would you feel if you were just breaking through into the first team, and the organization bumped you down the queue by bringing some one else in? If we get Mata (I doubt we will), Arsenal won’t look like such a terrible place for a young Spaniard.

        On a non Barca side note- I hope Nasri stays if Fabregas leaves. We’re linked with every available wide player, but we need some creativity in the centre of the park.

        • NeverEver
          June 28, 2011

          “I’m sure you all are more informed than I am, but how would you feel if you were just breaking through into the first team, and the organization bumped you down the queue by bringing some one else in?”

          which is one of the huge reasons why i don’t want cesc to come to barca.

          If kari is #3 Thiago fan, I hope that I’m in line to be #4.

          I don’t really care what cesc did when he was sixteen, but if we are going to spend 35-40mil on a player it better be one that we NEEEEEED not one that we WAAAANT. i had to teach my four year old niece the concept of need vs. want the other day… but it seems like a fine line that many in the barca management haven’t figured out yet…

  15. June 27, 2011

    For me, Cesc leaving at 16 is completely secondary. He was young. He left to get a chance to play. So be it.

    However, what I do have a major issue with was his contract extensions.

    And I have a particular issue with it because it’s the very specific nature of that contract that is going to cost Barca millions and millions of euros in fees that are completely unnecessary.

    Here’s the thing on the extension – Fabregas did not sign the standard kind of extension contract. Rather than sign a 5 year deal which would have ended when he was 25 he signed an eight year very long term deal.

    Why did he sign an eight year deal when he had to know he was probably going to want to come back to Barca especially when Xavi was 31-32? The reason was purely money. He wanted to know that he was guaranteed eight years of income.

    And not only did he sign one extension – he went back to Arsenal and had them redo the contract he signed in 2006 in 2008. The Arsenal board went as far as making his new contract and wage packet retroactive. They gave him a 3M pound lump sum payment agreeing that he had been “underpaid” the two years prior.

    So Fabregas not only committed himself to Arsenal for 8 years once – he confirmed it twice.

    But that entire deal and his salary moving forward had a real cost – Wenger signed him for the entire prime of his career. You could see the writing on the wall for what Wenger wanted to do. I’ll keep Cesc until he’s 27 and then sell him for millions back to Barca with a year to 1.5 years left on his deal.

    And Fabergas went along with it because it was in his financial best interest.

    He easily could have signed a 4 year deal when he was did his extension. Instead he signed an 8 year deal because it made him more money.

    And he had to know that by signing for 8 years he was going to potentially cause the club he professes to love tens and tens of millions.

    This was not the case of a player needing to sign to ensure his club gets something when he leaves like Kun did this winter for Atleti.

    Fabergas was already an absolute star young player when he left. Arsenal paid next to nothing for him. They are a huge team – not one struggling to make money or a team that paid a huge transfer fee for him.

    He did not sign an eight year deal to give Arsenal something back. He signed it so that he could get more guaranteed money in case he got inured.

    And the thing with Fabregas is that he seems to want everyone else to fix what he has come to see as a mistake.

    He signed away the entire prime of his career and like that wants everything reversed.

    Arsenal has been treated shabbily here. But it’s not by Barca for the most part. It’s been by Fabregas. It’s him.

    • June 27, 2011

      I should just stop typing my nonsense, wait for Euler to post so I can simply type:


      I can’t express just how much I agree with it. You just hit the bulls-eye of what my problem with Fabregas is.This is exactly what I think but have been too jumbled to properly and concisely say.

      I didn’t even really think about the prime angle, but yeah. He did essential sign way his prime and then wants everyone else to fix it. And yeah, by saying that he signed it so Arsenal get a sum…well, that’s admitting Arsenal are a selling club like Atleti/Valencia/Sevilla, right?

      • June 27, 2011

        By the time Cesc signed that extension’s Wenger’s management strategy was very clear. Keep players utnil they are in their late 20’s and then sell.

        There is no way Cesc did not know this. His agent is the son of the David Dein – who was Arsenal’s vice chairman for years.

        He had to know that Wenger basically wanted to get the best years out of every player and then sell before they went into decline. He did that over and over.

        But Cesc still decided to sign for 8 years. And that’s because Arsenal probably said if you sign for 8 years we’ll pay you more and he was getting guaranteed money for nearly a decade.

        • June 27, 2011

          I can’t rip on Fabregas for being a moneygrubber. He established that when he left at age 16 for money, stardom and a big club. No reason to think he’d change.

          I think that he also signed the contract not realizing what was going to happen to Arsenal and us (no disrespect intended to Gunner fans). I think had he known it would be 6 trophyless seasons, he might not have signed. Because after a point, it isn’t all about money.

          Like Henry and Villa, dude wants to win. Self-serving? Sure. Money-grubbing? You betcha. I’ve already labeled him Oft-Crocked Glory Hunter.

          But it’s hard to slag him for looking out for No. 1. I just don’t think the club should buy at 39m. No way, no how.

    • xavi
      June 27, 2011


      And what about the timing of his contract extensions!? The first time he signed an extension was when Arsenal were CL finalists. He had faith in them, that they would win things, so he signed.

      The second time he did was at the end of 2007-08 season. Arsenal came really close to winning the league that year. The faith’s still there. Moreover the money being offered is insane, so he signed.

      The timing I’m talking about is this… He signed the extension when Pep Guardiola returned as manager of Barcelona. By that time he still had 4 years left in his contract, but still decided to sign an extension taking the contract to 2015. But what about his dream!? What about playing under his idol!? Did he not know he is making it impossible for himself to return to Barcelona and realize his dream!? To be associated with Pep Guardiola to boot!?
      Or did he just realize there was no future for Barcelona(Remind you that was the dark period) whil his own club is looking bright, so just decided to sign the extension!? Now ever since the club started shining he remembers how he always dreamed to play for us and how playing under Guardiola, his idol, will be moments to cherish!!

      Arsenal has been treated shabbily here. But it’s not by Barca for the most part. It’s been by Fabregas. It’s him.

      People keep saying he is good at heart, that’s why not submitting the transfer request. But never did he respect Arsenal nor their supporters… Yeah Nasri & Modric say they want to leave. But what worse positions did they get their clubs into than that Fabregas did to Arsenal!? Modric would probably fetch morem oney for Tottenham than Fabregas would do to Arsenal! Moreover Tottenham aren’t title contenders unlike Arsenal and guess who’d be missed more by their respective teams!!

  16. June 27, 2011

    Some @PedrithoFCB guy on Twitter is saying that a deal is done for 39m (fixed and variables), to be announced soon and for now, both clubs keeping it super secret.

    The BBC story about it kinda twigged me. The past few seasons, it’s been speculative bollocks between the Spanish sports dailies and the fiction-based BritPress. Now the grownups are wading in.

    • June 27, 2011

      Sport is reporting now that a deal is close and will be done this week.

      They cite a figure of 35M + 4 variables. I wonder if this is the original source?

      Regardless – I don’t think the Arsenal leadership is going to be leaking stories about willingness to sell unless they knew it was going to happen.

      They are preparing the arsenal supporter base for the probability of a sale.

  17. June 27, 2011

    Well I agree with you, but securing your financial future seems to be the prevelant train of thought on every twentysomethings mind, regardless if they play football or not. Of course Cesc is wanting to come home now, we are amazing, something he colud not have known in 2008

    • June 27, 2011

      He wouldn’t have secured his financial future with a 5 year deal? Really? He’s just doing what every other twenty something person is doing?

      Compare what Fabregas did to what Alexis Sanchez is doing now. That deal is far from done, but Sanchez is turning down millions and millions simply to try to come to Barca. Sanchez hasn’t even gotten his first big deal yet.

      And Cesc could not have known in 2008 that Barca might be great?

      Ok. So that means he really is completely trying to have everything tailored to his needs. I want to go back “home” but only if you can absolutely guarantee me trophies. Playing in the Euro 2008 with Xavi and Iniesta and Puyol wasn’t enough. He needs more of a guarantee. He’s then basically saying I won’t work with you to achieve greatness. I will only come if you can guarantee me greatness? That’s not saying much. But it is basically what he’s telling Arsenal.

      And interestingly Cesc signed his extension back in 2006 – the year Barca beat Arsenal in the CL finals.

      I guess the potential chance to play with Ronnie, Eto’o, Messi, Xavi and Iniesta just didn’t meet Cesc’s high standards for guaranteed winning?

      Fabergas is in many ways the quintessential modern athlete. He wants everything catered to his needs. He wants to make decisions that maximize enormous wealth without having to live with any of the incumbent trade offs involved with procuring that wealth. In fact he expects other parties to incur enormous financial stress so that he can have it both ways. It’s really quite amazing.

  18. June 27, 2011

    Sport is saying this week. And Chelsea have come in with 45m for Sanchez, so color that potential deal dead.

  19. BA
    June 27, 2011

    – too expensive
    – unnecessary
    – injury prone
    – waste of precious resources we should be using to strengthen other areas of the squad
    – kills minutes for Thiago (and others who’ve stayed to fight for minutes)
    – history of being greedy and fickle
    – has been jerking us and his own club around for years
    – Rosell is a douche

    did i about cover all the objections to this? is anyone here hugely in favour of this transfer?

  20. jaymin
    June 27, 2011

    this really does feel like endgame for this too long for this particular annual fracas : (

  21. Judas Pissed
    June 28, 2011

    I feel we need Cesc more than we need Sanchez. Cesc is the best immediate cover in the world for the frankly irreplaceable Xavi. We are ok up front & Sanchez would just take minutes away from Affelay & Thiago, plus Iniesta can play as part of the trident. Finally, signing Cesc DOES improve our defence – as we defend with possession not position. Plus we have Fontas, Bartra & Montoya as ample cover.

    I’d rather sign Rossi than Sanchez, & I’d rather sign Cesc than anybody.

  22. Blow-Grenade
    June 28, 2011

    Cesc is a masterclass. Barca would be luckey to have him for less than 50 Million. Forget the history, what is past is past. He is captain of Arsenal. I believe that is his price. But, because of his past, he may be able to come to Barca for approximately 40 Mil.

    There seems to be an alternative in Thiago. In the games that I have watched Thiago play for the Barca first team, he has tactical discipline issues, and looses balls in dangerous areas. When he plays higher up the pitch for Barca, he tends to run into defenders and looses the ball that way. He does not have the same tenacity as Cesc to keep the ball circulating and/or the ability to find a pass.

    I am a fan of Cesc, and I can see success at Barca for many years to come if he joins Barca. I do not get the same feeling based on Thiago. Yes Thiago can take on defenders, and has a good shot, and a good header, all the qualities of a good player, but he is nowhere near the level of Cesc.

    Xavi Iniesta Busquets are the midfield engine that make Barca what it is, the nucleas in the middle that circulate ball. There is no replacement for them right now. I would go so far as to say that because of Xavi’s tendonitis problems, Keita aging problem, Barca need a world class midfielder. Barca may not need Cesc this year. They might be able to survive this year with Xavi and Keita(time will tell), but definitely next year they will need them. I don’t think Xavi can play all the games, in all the competitions, and play for the national team.

    I see two alternate midfielders to Cesc – Schweinsteiger, Sneijder. There might be others, but from my recent memory, these are the players who have the tactical discipline to play in a crowded midfield, and still be creative.

  23. Humphrey Bogart
    June 28, 2011

    If he return, and it seems more likely than ever, please, please let us not meet Arsenal (if they qulify) or any other english team again in the CL, the drivel and hatred you get as an cule even on the comment section of a respected paper like the Guardian is already unblievable now. You have to fight a lonely war there against a condrum of drivel, downright lies, false accusations and the same old prejudices: we are brocken, c***ts, holier than you, there are endless snears about our club motto from people knowing and not wanting to know anything about our club,

  24. Noslehcimretep
    June 28, 2011

    someone please tell me the reports from Soccernet and BS.com about Barcelona being one of the 5 clubs who have agreed to pay 45m for Neymar is garbage.

  25. Liva
    June 28, 2011

    I have to ask since I wasn’t following Barca back then – was there a really big fuss when Fabregas left? Or was it just a young, but talented player leaving which has turned into this nightmare just now because he has turned out to be that good?

    I think it’s kinda harsh to accuse Fabregas of a betrayal of sorts because he left the club at the age of 16. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it is easy to be annoyed by him now that he has proved his abilities as a player; back then, I believe, the situation for everyone must not have been so clear and obvious. I think people need to imagine themselves in his position when he was 16, the place in the first team was probably not guaranteed by any means, and when a club like Arsenal offers you a chance like that…

    I mean – look at Pique. If he had been tremendously successful at Manchester United, we would probably have had the same kind of mess there is right now with Cesc. But, since he was not that influential and important there, Barca was able to get him back rather simply and without massive amount of debate. Now people rarely mention the fact that Pique also had left the club when he was young – a bit of a double standard? (Although I realize that both of these cases are not identical)

    The biggest problem for me is the price – do Barca really need him that desperately to pay so much for him? I doubt.

    • xavi
      June 28, 2011

      Laporta, the then newly elected president, met him in person to talk him off the move to Arsenal. Rosell, current president & the thenveryimportant board member under Laporta, did his all too. It’s not like the Arsenal fans love to picture it as if he was ill-treated here or was not considered important.

      People keep repeating he left in search of first team football. But Cesc was not part of the Arsenal first team in his first year. He had a world class mid field ahead of him at Arsenal too. After an year or so, because of different ales he got his chance. So it got to be either the money or Arsenal being the big shots then or the combination of both!

      DO NOT BRING PIQUE INTO THIS TOPIC, PERIOD… Pique leaving here is under total different circumstances. It’s a political issue. He was even bad mouthed publicly by some of the board members.
      And when and how did he return BTW!? When his club was riding high, being hailed as the best in the world and won the CL. While we were in our darkest periods. That is totally unlike Cesc who only wants to come here when we started winning left & right.
      Pique had as many defenders ahead of him there as he did here in his first season, so not even the lack of playing time is the answer to why he returned. He has Barcelona in his blood and that’s why he returned

    • June 28, 2011

      – Cesc was more or less the Thiago of Barcelona when he left. The club made an offitial complain (even though we were in big managerial chaos back then) and managed to get some coins compensation. For the rest, check my comment down. He wasnt a 16 years old kid when he renewed his contract. Just saying.

      – Pique is a different story by the way. His departure was a part of a conflict between the board and his grand father -former Barca director- Amador Bernabeu.

      – Each and every youth at Barcelona was/is/will be in Cesc’s position at 16 years old. Some leave -good luck anywhere else- some decide to stay and fight for a chance in the first team and those have the priority for me. That’s Why promoting Dos Santos is a better option for me than signing Cesc for free. And I mean it.

  26. June 28, 2011

    “He was a kid when he left”

    He was a man when he renewed his contract. So that logic is paper thin. Beside the fact that for his age, football players with agents and media around them are not kids anymore.

    I agree with Isaiah’s post. I will republish a post I made two years ago in the same direction. Buying Cesc sends a wrong message to current youth, dont go Iniesta’s way go cesc easy way. Find yourself a club where you can earn more and play more and later Barcelona will buy you back for a Camp-Nou size price.

    Do we want to offer an Iniesta model for the youth to follow or a Cesc? Thats the big question.

    Its Iniesta for me – all the way. A more talented player compared to Cesc who could have left to any club (Real Madrid was just one of many hunters), but he didnt. He had the patience of the world even when he was a better choice to start at the last days of Deco, he didnt complain when he was unfairly benched for at least half a season acting as a super sub. He just kept on learning from quality surrounding him including Xavi, Deco and Ronaldinho and kept getting better till he got all things right for him and for the club. THAT is the player I want Sergi Roberto and co to look at.

    Is Cesc a good player? Yes. But he is not exceptional by any mean. You can find players who are more or less of the same quality for better price. Add to that, considering the squad needs, spending that amount of money in the midfield is the stupidest decision ever. With that amount of money invested on Llorente or Thiago Silva provide more upgrading to the team than what Cesc can offer.

    Needless to say there are lot of question marks concerning his injuries record and his performance curve in the last two years. I can go forever in listing reasons why he is not a good buy.

    But at the end of the day, he is Catalan -or else Barcelona wouldnt have even considered him. So we have to live with that I guess, convincing ourselves that buying him is a good move. I hope he perform good enough to make us all delusional enough to feel good about having him.

    • xavi
      June 28, 2011

      ^ THIS

      But at the end of the day, he is Catalan -or else Barcelona wouldnt have even considered him. So we have to live with that I guess, convincing ourselves that buying him is a good move. I hope he perform good enough to make us all delusional enough to feel good about having him.


      And if the move indeed happens and as a result we lose Thiago, then I’ll definitely lose a bit of respect for Pep. Not only is he sending wrong message to the kids but also is going against the main motto… bring the Cantera kids through instead of buying superstars. Especially since we don’t actually need one in the mid field right now

  27. xavi
    June 28, 2011

    It looks like it is happening. Apparently the Official Stores are removing his merchandise. He is not to be seen in the new promotional video when there’s even Nasri present in it!!

  28. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 28, 2011

    So I’ve been thinking about Pep’s intentions in the transfer market this season, and I reckon Pep does hold the center of defensive issue very seriously, and I think more then people here say he does. I think this is the main reason why we are not breaking the budget to sign Sanchez. Because Sanchez will not solve any defensive issues in our squad. On the other hand previously I said to solve the defensive problem Pep has only two choices, either buy a CB or a CM and keep Masch and Abidal as secondary CB options. I think if we were to break our budget it would be for a midfield player, because it would guarantee us that we wouldn’t have to search for another expensive and risky defensive player.

    Eventhough there have been many points why Sanchez would be a dream choice for Pep to sign, but these points are still merely theoretical. Buying Sanchez for 35+ mil is still a hefty risk, and in terms of providing depth, Fabregas would offer just as much in midfield than Sanchez in attack.

    We do still have issues in midfield we need to solve, for example holding a lead against very good opponents. An example would be the 1st leg against Arsenal in the CL, after gaining the lead, we had no options off the bench to help maintain possession. Pep subbed on Keita to solidify the midfield, but that wasn’t enough we still failed to keep our passing game and we lost the game eventually. Also the cup final against Madrid, our midfield was spent leading up to that game, with madrid’s persistent pressure in the center of the field caused a lot of errors from our midfielders who couldn’t maintain our game for the whole game let alone in extra time.

    So I think there are many good points why we shouldn’t sign Cesc for so much money. But I think the points regarding Sanchez being worth the extra cash are rather weak.

  29. June 28, 2011

    Wow wow wow wow….Acoording to soccernet, Santos rep said 5 teams have agreed to meet Neymars 45M buyout…….one of those teams BARCA baby….I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! let the fun begin….Its Chelski, EE, United, Barca and City!!!!!!!!It’s surly down to us and E.E. Forget this kids attitude, it can be adjusted once he comes on to our matuer team!!!!!! Give me Neymar at 18 over Sanchez any day for the same price. Can dominate the LW for the next 10 years. THIS IS BORDERLINE EROTIC FOR ME.


    w/Pedro back at super sub. Also Neymar and Villa can be impact subs when P!! starts. I really think it’s going to be Cesc and Neymar this summer!!!!!!!! Fu**in STOKED!!!!!!!

    • Vj
      June 28, 2011

      I can see him going all Ibra on us. After his first training session. We can’t handle his ‘do forget about the whole package..

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Please, we all know (I hope) Neymar isn’t coming. Why are you excited for?

      • Josep
        June 28, 2011

        The borderline erotic white girl bleaching, probably.

  30. Olufestus
    June 28, 2011


    • K_legit
      June 28, 2011

      What does happen when a White girl bleaches?..I’d very much like to know that

  31. June 28, 2011

    Sorry I dont quite understand your joke, cultural difference I’m sure. But I knoow I’m in the minority, but I love this kid, and for 5M more than Sanchez, he is a no brainer for me. Plus, he will retain his value, being so young. At 24, if he is just Pedro/Villa good, we can sell him for the same price, if not more!!!!! I heart Neymar. Give me Neymar and Cesc this season and a CB and a Coentaro like FB next year and we are talking Bulls esque dynasty here in Barcelona.

    Most beautiful places in Barcelona

    5. Beach
    4. La Rambla
    3. Musseu Picasso
    2. Sangrada Famila
    1. Camp Nou!!!!!!!!!

  32. June 28, 2011

    When it comes to club finances, I think that the board must have a seperat transfer kitty for Cesc, like he does not even count against the 45M number. I am sure we will get a big time front line player this summer, and 70% sure we will get cesc. We are looking at 75M Euros this summer, and we may bring in hopefully 30-40M, Bojan(10), JDS(5), Milito(4-6), Maxwell(5-7),Jefferen(7-9) Ibra(6).

    Also, does anyone here think that Akeksander Kolarov has been burried at Man City, after they paid 16M pounds for him. I mean I think if he is less than scucessful again this season, we could probably secure his services for 10-12M euros. It seems like a good piece of business, his performances this last season dont show his true potential, and at 25, he is the perfect age. And I still think we could convert Santon to LB. The point is, we need a LB for the future next year, and if we want to spend 25M on an amazing CG, we need to find a bargin at wingback.

    So some LB we could look at next year

    Kolarov- skilled, burried @ City.. Likely attainable for just over 10M

    Santon(RB)- Started hot, cooled, playes both sides…curious to what he would cost.

    Emanuelson- Ajax product, immense attacker, perfect….I love this kid, he is a big time attacking FB, who was trained in the Ajax system. Can play left mid, and onlt cost AC milan 2,5M euros. 25 years old, and probably can be had for cheap.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Kolarov? Did you see him play last year at all?

      Emanuelson…. let me stop.

      • Josep
        June 28, 2011

        If we wanted Urby we would’ve paid for him in January. Or got him on a free come July.

        I think we should spend 45k on Kolarov.

  33. Gogah
    June 28, 2011

    It is a well known and extensively written about fact that Barca doesn’t need Fabregas. not just yet. Barca’s midfield is our strongest position and we certainly don’t need a super expensive bench warmer given our debt problems. I have always believed, for all of barcelona’s sporting brilliance we are pretty foolish in doing business. There is just too much emotion. i just dont understand how with all our recent successes, we don’t have the pulling power we should have. We dont sell very well too. A barcelona player should be worth a lot, but instead we sell for peanuts or for free. i don’t get it. now we are licking cesc’s balls. We are a huge club and we are chasing a man who left the team. I am positive the only reason this is happening is because Cesc is a famous Catalan. nothing else. Good midfielder? sure, but there are loads of other midfielders with similar characteristics who will be cheaper too. The only reason this shit is happening is because Cesc is Catalan and famous!
    Now you guys can come up with hundred million reasons to justify why he shouldn’t be bought. but the bottom line still remains – he is Catalan. And fc barcelona is a sentimental fool. albeit a talented one.
    Visca Barca!

  34. In 2008 when Barca was in a crisis we did not need Cesc and therefore Pep did not ask for him so I don’t understand why many people say he did not come when we were in crisis. Now with Xavi heading to 32 having to play with pain in many matches Pep has asked for him and it is now that Cesc says he wants to come.
    Lets not compare Xavi and Iniesta to Cesc. Xavi and Iniesta are UNIQUE they are fairytale material the stories from Camp Nou will be about them not Cesc.

  35. simple_barcafan
    June 28, 2011

    n after all this cesc should perform badly at Barca…#EPIC_FAIL

  36. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 28, 2011

    Like I said before, If we buy Sanchez, we have to go out and buy another defensive player. If we buy Cesc or a midfielder, Masch and Abidal are enough cover for Puyol, and we won’t lose out in midfield if Masch has to play in defense.

  37. Rao
    June 28, 2011


    I’m not much into this transfer season.So,quickly,like all Barca fans,I would want Cesc Fabregas at Barca only when the time and the fee is right.

    Coming to my main reason of giving a comment is that does anyone have the La Manita and the CL final games for which the download is free of cost?. Even a website will which has the full match.The video should be clear,preferably in HD.

    No need to do it for free.I’ll send a post full of smilies. 🙂

    • Vj
      June 28, 2011



      Here ya go..

      • Rao
        June 28, 2011

        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 😀 😀 😀 😀

        Thank You and I lived up my promise!!!!

          • Vj
            June 28, 2011

            Yeesh.. disregard the links. I’m gonna search for new ones..

          • Vj
            June 28, 2011



    • barca96
      June 28, 2011

      I asked you what size you want in the last post.
      ANd which filehosting site?
      Hotfile, RapidShare, Fileserve?

      • phunky
        June 29, 2011

        That was me, and I’ve downloaded it, ty.

  38. blitzen
    June 28, 2011

    Here is your laugh for the day:

    As a possible alternative for Sanchez, Barcelona are interested in Man United winger Nani (23), who could be put for sale by his club. [md]

    Not. Going. To. Happen. 😆

  39. June 28, 2011

    Well it was inevitable really, whether we like it or not, that Cesc was going to return and we were going to pay 35m+ for him. At least it aint 45m+.

    The way I see it, we dont need him now, but it’s an investment in our future. Cesc will likely play out the rest of his career at Barca and could very well be our captain one day.

    I also think the longer he stays at Arsenal the worse his injuries will get. Arsenal have a problem with keeping players fit, not sure why, but they definitely have a problem so the sooner we get Cesc in the hands of our team the better. That is one thing we can be sure will improve at Barca is his fitness.

    At the end of the day Pep obviously has a plan because he wants Cesc and he wants him bad so really who are we to question the man.

  40. PhepheSa
    June 28, 2011

    Messi: “I won’t join any other team. If I leave Barcelona it’ll be to return to Argentina and retire.”

    I never get tired of hearing him say that.

    Via @barcastuff

  41. mom4
    June 28, 2011

    I have said that part of me wants Cesc back just to avoid having to go through this every summer and January. I was just being flippant. Sadly, there is no sarcasm font.

    Count me in the don’t want Cesc back until he’s free( or really really cheap). I don’t blame him for what he did at 16, but don’t sign an extension and then expect us(and it would only be us) to spend beaucoup bucks!

    Looks like we’re gonna get him, maybe Pep knows something we don’t (my thoughts keep going back to Kvevin’s scary comment yesterday that basically said what if Xavi’s tendon problem is worse than we know).
    Sigh… in Pep we trust 🙂

    If he doesn’t come, I doubt he’ll keep the armband at Arsenal and I doubt his stock will be as high there with the emergence of Wilshere and Nasri’s improvement. And I bet Arsenal is as tired as we are of the constant: Barca is my home…I love Arsenal…Barca is my home…I love Arsenal…

  42. Colby
    June 28, 2011

    “If Pep told me to throw myself off the third tier of Camp Nou, I’d think, ‘there must be something good down there’.”

    That’s all that needs to be said about the transfer (not that that will keep me from saying more:)). Normally when your manager wants someone, you tend to think, “Well, the manager has much more information than me so I’ll trust his judgment, even though I’m wary. Maybe Xavi’s tendonitis is bad, or maybe he has always dreamed of playing a 3-6-1, or wants to actually be able to rotate, or something else completely.” But if your manager is Pep frickin’ Guardiola, former club captain, most successful coach in club history, demi-god and all around stud, don’t you just automatically give the benefit of the doubt to any decision that he makes?

    • dennise
      June 28, 2011

      Everyone blames here Rosell for absolutely everything but do not want to see Pep behind Rosell, because of Pep’s holy cow status.

      Pep is not at FCB for more than a season or two. And Pep knows that it is his once in three liftimes chance to try ot his crazy coaching ideas – but he needs Fabregas for his visions. And quickly.

      Just my two ultraspeculative cents.

    • mom4
      June 28, 2011

      ” But if your manager is Pep frickin’ Guardiola, former club captain, most successful coach in club history, demi-god and all around stud, don’t you just automatically give the benefit of the doubt to any decision that he makes?”
      😆 Love this!

      “In pep we trust” doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t question any decision, it just means that we accept that he has more information, experience, and working knowledge of the club and football in general in his left pinky finger than most humans have in their whole body. He can be wrong (i.e. Ibra, taking out Villa for Keita in the away game against Arsenal) but he has a more than decent track record of being right. Never questioning a decision would lead to boring blog posts anyway 🙂

      • Colby
        June 28, 2011

        Agreed. I’m mostly just trying to get on board the delusion train. Half of being a fan in the internet age is second guessing every decision that is made, and over-analysing everything to smithereens. But now that the transfer seems inevitable, I might as well blindly pledge allegiance to the transfer, right?

  43. guano
    June 28, 2011

    Iniesta was injured when we lost to Inter.

    With Cesc that wouldn’t happen.

    We need rotation with an older Xavi (remember his Achilles?)

    I’m for the deal.

  44. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    Whats the biggest quality fab has that attracts barca?
    he is catalan

    • June 28, 2011

      I think the biggest quality(ies) attracting us is the fact that he’s one of the world’s best midfielders. Yes, the prodigal son/Catalan stuff is smearing the lens, but if Fabregas weren’t the player that he is, we wouldn’t care is his name was Barca Camp Nou Fabregas, right?

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        Yeah, he’s very very good. But the ooooooooh moc moc factor is fun to joke about!

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        I think the biggest quality(ies) attracting us is the fact that he’s one of the world’s best midfielders.
        in fact the fact that he is one of the worlds best midfielders is so obvious i didnt bother mentioning that.

  45. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 28, 2011

    He played alongside Messi and Pique within the youth ranks

  46. June 28, 2011

    One of the reporters who first broke the Sanchez to Barca story last week is still saying that Sanchez will only play in Barcelona. If he doesn’t – he’ll go back to Udinese.

    This was reported in MD today as well – so perhaps he’s sourcing it from there. But it’s interesting to hear.

    One of the guys on BBC5 also said the same thing yesterday – Sanchez is insisting on Barca but Udinese are determined to sell to the highest bidder. He also said Villas-Boas personally called Sanchez three times since taking over.

    Man City is one thing. Chelsea another – they could be a much more attractive place for Sanchez to play given their London location. I would have to think that if Chelsea did make this enormous offer and Sanchez is interested in playing for them this would get wrapped up quickly.

    We’ll see. One thing is for certain – if Sanchez does wind up in Barca it will only be because he really wanted to wear the shirt. He will have turned down million and millions and resisted what was likely enormous pressure from the team that signed him when he was 16.

    Let’s hope for Udinese does finish this one way or another this week. Interesting that Pozzo hasn’t upped the price again this week.

    The team’s biggest need right now is for another striker – and it’s not even close.

    • mei
      June 28, 2011

      I would really like to know how the hell are Chelsea gonna justify the enormous transfer fee spending throughout this year.
      If they sign sanchez for 45 along with torres’ 50 million , they will, as sure as hell, not gonna comply with uefa’s impending financial fair play rules that are kicking in next year.

      • June 28, 2011

        Rumor is that Chelsea may functionally ignore the fair play rules and see what happens.

        In other words – they may just conduct business as they want and see if they will be suspended.

        The actual language in the fair play requirements for the first two years is very vague. It may be relatively easy to still qualify.

        And that actually gives teams a major incentive to spend now before things get stricter.

        This is one of the reasons why RM is signing so many players now and are signing such young players. They may not get the chance to use their money as much later.

  47. June 28, 2011

    A few things:

    –It’s almost become common knowledge that this deal is done, pending a thorough medical exam, because the club is concerned about all of Fabregas’ recent injuries.

    –Ramzi’s Tweet cracked me up about them removing the Fabregas stuff from the brick-and-mortar because they were dusting the shelves. You got quite the rise out of @josepcapdevila, of Sport:

    El Arsenal ya ha quitado de la tienda las camisetas con el 4 y el nombre de Cesc. Ahora saldrá el listillo diciendo que estaban sucias… 😀

    Those saying that Fabregas not being in the promo video should note that Van Persie isn’t, either. I repeat, until he is kissing the crest in the Camp Nou ….

    –Buzz is that there isn’t some kind of super-secret Fabregas fund. We used up most of last summer’s transfer kitty on Villa, if everyone will recall. I think that RoSELL was setting the table when he said that we might use some of next summer’s monies to get the deals done that we need to get done this year.

    I think it’s also part of his push to keep Guardiola for more than one season, by giving him what he wants. dennise is right in that the Fabregas push is Guardiola. RoSELL only sells players out from under a coach. 😀

    –If Chelsea is in for 44m for Sanchez, we’re out, and we should be. I love that we’re sticking to our best offer. The only question will be how effective Udinese is at convincing him to help them by letting them take the highest bid. I think if they were having success at that, he’d already be dead to us. So we see.

    –Anyone arguing against the quality of Fabregas is misguided. He’s a hell of player, stupid backheels on the edge of his box notwithstanding (did that count as an assist?). My sole issue is price. I think we have other, greater needs.

    –J Dos Santos apparently isn’t making the cut. His name is coming up in transfer/loan rumors, which is a bad sign. Yes, so are Thiago’s, but that’s clearly BritPress craziness. The club has absolutely zero intention of doing anything except keeping Thiago. And as someone very astutely pointed out on Twitter, Fabregas could also be an insurance policy to “Bojan-proof” Thiago from the burden of expectations (something I didn’t think of).

    –dennise is also right in that we aren’t going to buy a single player that Guardiola doesn’t approve of and want. It’s why the Neymar rumors are nonsense. Guardiola has already rejected that transfer because of (valid, I think) character concerns about the player. Could RoSELL have said “We’ll be back next year if Guardiola leaves and Neymar stays?” I wouldn’t put it past him.

    –The Sport journo, Josep Capdevila, says that EMD is the official RoSELL mouthpiece. Not sure if that was stated out of envy or scorn. 😀

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      And as someone very astutely pointed out on Twitter, Fabregas could also be an insurance policy to “Bojan-proof” Thiago from the burden of expectations (something I didn’t think of).

      Well, yes, exactly. Thiago is an amazing talent, but Pep has been very clear that he doesn’t want to rush him into the first team. He has only just turned 20, remember, and we have all seen that he still needs some development in his game skills. As he improves and fits more perfectly into the team, he will get more responsibility. He is a long-term project. Fabregas will get plenty of playing time as well, especially in the second half of the season, I expect. My only real worry is that this will leave Keita sitting on the bench or even in the stands too often. But he seems pretty OK with that, and he will probably be the linchpin in the midfield for the Copa games at least.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      The Sport journo, Josep Capdevila, says that EMD is the official RoSELL mouthpiece. Not sure if that was stated out of envy or scorn

      I said that last summer. A lot of people noted that.

  48. blitzen
    June 28, 2011

    So JDS is one of the Mexican players who was robbed in the latest scandal involving prostitutes. Apparently it was one of the coaches who arranged the party at the hotel. Skeezy.

    • June 28, 2011

      Eh? I thought it was GDS?

      I’m torn between 😆 and shaking my head.

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        The story I read said JDS, but maybe they got it wrong. *crosses fingers*

        • June 28, 2011

          I read on barcastuff that GDS was one of the 8 players robbed, but I don’t know if JDS was even called up for the Gold Cup…

          • blitzen
            June 28, 2011

            OK, it was the U-22 squad, and it was definitely Jonathan. It was after they played a friendly in Quito.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        Kind of sucks, though, because apparently he’s been kicked out.

        • blitzen
          June 28, 2011

          If he was stupid enough to let hookers into his room he deserves to be kicked out. No sympathy from me. Of course, the coach should be fired as well.

        • Soto
          June 29, 2011

          From what I read on a few latin american news sites and Soccer by Ives, the players have been booted for six months and fined a chunk of change. So, it’s a good reprimand with consequences (no Copa America opportunities, if there were any) but no international career ending consequences. Hopefully Two Saints learns from this.

      • It’s such a smae I hope its the older brother of the family. Jonathan seemed to really wanted to play for mexico and now this?
        Their coach is the one most responsible though I wouldn’t kick the players out

  49. June 28, 2011

    “Borderline erotic”? “White girl bleaching”? What is Silly Season doing to you people?

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Second time I’ve seen “white girl bleaching.” Whether it was by the same person, I’m not sure.

  50. June 28, 2011

    Valentin Botella (president Hercules): “We hope to close the deal on Kiko Femania this week. Barça signs a gem.” [com radio via barcastuff]

    Hey look, a signing!

  51. June 28, 2011

    And as someone very astutely pointed out on Twitter, Fabregas could also be an insurance policy to “Bojan-proof” Thiago from the burden of expectations (something I didn’t think of).

    I very much agree with this. I think Fabergas arriving will actually help Thiago develop as long as Pep is fully committed to rotating both Xavi and Iniesta.

    Playing CM for Barca is arguably the most cognitively difficult position in the world to play. Just the sheer number of decision that have be made due to how often the play is run through you is astounding. You are literally taxed with making one decision after another after another and needing to do it very quickly.

    Thiago was bar none the best player in the u21 championships. Easily the best player in that tournament. And even then – he did not read the semi-final game optimally and did not utilize space for the team as well as they needed to.

    That’s might be an unfair burden to place on a player so young – but that’s the nature of the position. It’s very daunting.

    We all know how long it was before Xavi and Iniesta were truly in charge and running the team. Both were far older than Thiago. One can argue perhaps that both Xavi and Iniesta were actually blocked and should have been playing more earlier – but it’s hard to know.

    There’s nothing wrong with Thiago learning over the next 3-4 seasons how to fully run the team. There is no reason to rush him or to thrust huge amounts of responsibility on him now.

    To be honest – it’s not even clear if the “Xavi role” is Thiago’s best position. From what we’ve seen – it very well may not be. The “iniesta role” may be.

    From what I’ve seen of the youth players I almost feel that Javi Espinoza is the one who may be most naturally suited to that “xavi role.” He’s so composed on the ball. Thiago is more dynamic and direct.

    There’s nothing wrong with giving Thiago time to understand for himself what his game truly is and how it fits into the sysetm.

    Pep once said that he completely believes in Thiago – perhaps even more than Thiago’s own father does. I don’t think he would say something like that lightly.

    I don’t think anyone believes in the youth players more than Pep. But what’s become very apparent is that while Pep believes in them he wants them developed and integrated very , very slowly. Far more slowly than we clues often want.

    And I do think what happened with Bojan is a telling model of what to avoid. Too much, too fast is not helpful to the player. And that’s much more the case with the CM position.

    As long as Pep rotates the midfield regularly and Thiago stays patient there’s having Cesc is not going to kill Thiago’s career at Barca.

    I think my greatest worry is Thiago staying patient. Can he show the same patience for playing time that Xavi and Iniesta did? I don’t know. That’s the biggest open question for me. And it’s that issues of patience that will be all important for every youth product to stay.

    There are simply too many expectations for trophies now to thrust significant responsibility on players who are 19-20 in most cases. This is particularly true for the positions where more decision making is required.

    • xavi
      June 28, 2011

      People talking up the pressure as if Thiago is handed the responsibility to lead the club towards glory… Remember that’s not what it is. He isn’t even going to be the first player to be called up to play if any of Xavi or Iniesta isn’t available. ‘A game here & there’ pressure? Well he did show he can cope well with that! Villarreal game. And the home game against Levante, he was brought to be the difference maker and he indeed just that. He changed the game without feeling the pressure!!

      Okay may be I’m thinking really too much into it. May be Pep does have plans to integrate Thiago even in the presence of Cesc. But Thiago would probably have this question for which I’d like to hear the answer.
      ‘Cesc Fabregas is some one who couldn’t show patience as a 16 year old and left & you are happy to buy him back. Why would I have to be patient and stay back when I’m a 20 year old, ready for first team… no been with the first team for over a season now and have numerous clubs clubs to offer me just that?’

      • June 28, 2011

        The pressure would come if Pep is truly concerned about how many minutes Xavi is playing and/ or Xavi’s risk for injury.

        If Pep’s plan is to heavily rotate Xavi – which I think he very well may need to do – it will be a lot to ask of Thigo. It won’t be a “game here or there.”

        And it’s not even an issue of pressure primarily. It’s an issue of decision making. And part of that comes from experience.

        Pep seems to want to integrate youth players very slowly – again, far slower than many cules do.

        There’s a legitimate argument to be made that having Cesc here will help Thiago – but again, that depends on Pep implementing heavy rotation.

        Even with Cesc here Thiago will develop as long as Pep is committed to heavy midfield rotation. If Pep isn’t going to heavily rotate both Xavi and Iniesta – well then there’s going to be an issue.

        • Gogah
          June 28, 2011

          And that is the key isn’t it? Rotation. We have often wondered this past season why Pep chose to field a strong 11 even for bottom table league matches and the Copa notably. While it may seem we have become increasingly extremely efficient, stringent in defense in the 3 years, the above fact is an evidence of Pep also worrying more, over analyzing more and putting more than necessary into matches. this is why a “burn out” situation worries me. your logic of cesc as backup for xavi and thiago the backup for iniesta makes sense to me and also very attractive. But will Pep rotate? with Mourinho’s famous second year approaching, and Pep’s track record in worrying and losing hair strengthens, What if it becomes a “galactico meltdown”. Sanchez, cesc, thiago, xavi, iniesta, busi, afellay, pedro, masch are all important players and deserve minutes.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      I think my greatest worry is Thiago staying patient. Can he show the same patience for playing time that Xavi and Iniesta did?

      Thiago actually strikes me a very level-headed young man. Of course he wants to play as often as possible, but I don’t think he is the type to start sulking if he doesn’t play. His father may get pushy, but for Thiago’s attitude look no further than his lack of complaint when Pep sent him back to help out the B team. He seemed happy to do it.

      • xavi
        June 28, 2011

        That’s because he was assured he was going to be promoted the following season, after explaining how Afellay would eat his time which would not be beneficial for him.

        Now he will understand that the presence of Cesc would diminish his time even more!!

        • xavi
          June 28, 2011

          not just ‘time’ but ‘playing time’ of course 😀

  52. barca96
    June 28, 2011

    The new Arsenal away jersey sure looks nice as hell.
    It’s on par with the ones from 1996/97 with Bergkamp.
    Damn!!! Why can’t we get nice jerseys like that??

  53. June 28, 2011

    You know all this talk aboout Thiago being patien while Cesc was not is a little unfair. First of all the situation at Barca 6 years ago was completely different. Right now Barca is the best team in the world, perhaps the best ever, any player would want to stay, even if they could barely play. World class players are willing to take reduced salaries and bench roles in order to don the vest. That was not even close to the case when Cesc decided to leave. Would Thiago be as “patient” if we werent as successfull as we are? I think that is a valid question. Would Cesc have left if we were the team back then that we are now? Another valid question.

    Point is, the situations are completely different so I think it is a bit silly trying to compare the two.

    Fact is, looks like we are going to get Cesc and probably keep Thiago so me thinks Pep has big plans for both and I think the long term vision is to have Thiago and Cesc as the core of the team, with Messi, Sanchez and Pedro leading the line. Not too shabby if you ask me 🙂

    • xavi
      June 28, 2011

      Thiago had an offer from Chelsea in 2008… We were in as much a slump as we were when Cesc was offered a contract by Arsenal. Just saying

      • June 28, 2011

        Hardly. The slump in 2008 was not great, but we were still coming off the back of 2 league wins and a CL. When Cesc left in 2003 we hadnt won anything in years and frankly the outlook was pretty bleak. Laporta came in and completely transformed the club. 2008 was also the year that Pep was coaching Barca B and was promoted to the first team, Thiago would have been an idiot to leave, especially after working under Pep in the B team.

  54. Justin
    June 28, 2011

    I agree with Euler, honestly with thiago/cesc/keita there is no reason for xavi/iniesta to ever play two games a week until the CL knockout rounds. THis means a much better rested xavi and iniesta without a gigantic dropoff.

    • June 28, 2011

      Yes. This is exactly it. I think what Pep is trying to do is to make it so that the players don’t need to play two games a week.

      The Barca midfield runs so much – we often talk about Dani but Xavi winds up running in his position enormous distances.

      Villa and Xavi definitely should not be required to play two games a week. It would be beneficial for Iniesta not to have to either.

      A midfield of Cesc, Thiago and Busi would be more than enough to handle the vast majority of teams in la liga.

      The player who I think needs to be rotated the most is villa – he was clearly exhausted. The difference between his play to close out the season and then the CL finals with two weeks of rest was so dramatic.

      But for that matter – so was the entire team’s. Finishing up the season their off the ball movement just withered away across the pitch. This is why they had difficulty with RM trivote formation. They just didn’t move dynamically enough.

      Then with two weeks off they completely changed back into the team we were watching in November. That’s not an accident.

      • mei
        June 28, 2011

        I can distinguish two types of running : sprinting and overall distance covering. Second one maintains a steady rhythm and is quite hard to master; however the first one consumes much more energy and leaves you exhausted at the end of the game.
        So I guess you are spot on about villa needing rotation even more than xavi. Its just the nature of the position he plays in and the demands of his role.

  55. mom4
    June 28, 2011

    Whoa, Guti isn’t as dumb as Crackovia makes him out to be:

    Guti (ex-Madrid): “Cristiano is a decisive player but in the important games he so far wasn’t up to it. That’s why Messi is better now.”

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        he is dumb ass and quite an arrogant one.

        but on his day and when he was in mood there is absolutely no one better than him,not even xavi at passing the ball.

        fortunately for us he was way too irregular to be judged.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      Burning his bridges rather nicely, isn’t he? 😆

      I always had a soft spot for Guti.

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        you do.

        your choice of man is not very impressive.:))

        • mom4
          June 28, 2011

          Nah, Blitz’s heart is for Xavi from what I recall. We’re discerning soccer girls. After all, we’re cules. Ergo, if we were to to all fangirl on someone, it wouldn’t be Guti.

          • blitzen
            June 28, 2011

            Yeah, I only like Guti, not like like him. 😛

            Xavi is the true midget master of my heart. 😆

  56. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    i agree with kxevin.

    he is 2 expensive.

  57. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    the cartoon caption of EMD cracked me up

    “Cesc and Thiago are completely compatible!…Thiago can play that part of the season where Cesc is always injured.”

  58. Whatever
    June 28, 2011

    It looks like we’re going to end up bringing Sanchez, Fabregas and Jose Angel. Bojan and Jeffren are likely to leave. A solid transfer window, if you ask me.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      What about Kiko Femenia? Seems to be almost a done deal.

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        He’s supposed to be B team (w/ some call-ups probably)

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Dunno about Jose Angel. I read an article yesterday and Roma are serious about signing him. We’re going to have to move fast and improve our rather low offer.

      • hammeronmessi
        June 28, 2011

        you are a sanchez fan and u watch football a lot.so how good sanchez actually is?whats his strongest and weakest point?i have seen youtube clips,but cant judge him on that.

        i m certain that he will upgrade baca?m i wrong?

        • Eklavya
          June 28, 2011

          Haven’t we been talking about him in the past few weeks?

          • hammeronmessi
            June 28, 2011

            if by we u mean me,jnice and others then no.

            if by we u mean jnice and others then maybe.

        • Josep
          June 28, 2011

          Eklavya is saying go read some old threads.

          Anyways his pros are his speed, dribbling, pace. He’s so tiny he is an immense dribber, and his one-on-one’s are amazing. he’s been less selfish recently, and can shoot decently well.

          the one jnice talks about more than others is his defensive abilities and tracking back. someone likened him to pre-pep Messi with potential.. I think the kid has all the tools to be a super star here.

          • hammeronmessi
            June 28, 2011

            got it from eklavya,just want to irritate that man.

            pre pep messi potential?????????????messi was not a potential.messi injured himself every year before pep take over.all cules know that he will be WPTY if he had a injury free season.look at the evidence.in all his injury free season he was chosen as WPTY.and he will be the WPTY for this season too.

            sanchez to me is always the no 1 target for this season cause of his 1 on 1 abilities.he will upgrade this barca,which i think very few player at such an early age can boast of.just wanted jnice opinion,cause he watches full matched most of the time.

            thank u though

  59. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    leisure time.so was reading some old articles.

    this two are especially nostalgic.



  60. Eklavya
    June 28, 2011

    JDS banned for 6 months according to barcastuff.

    • Josep
      June 28, 2011

      from the national team…

      kinda different from what you wrote.

        • mom4
          June 28, 2011

          Now boys…
          I know we are all suffering from Silly Season and Soccerless Distress Syndrome but don’t get chippy w/ each other 🙂

          Anywho, if you do stupid things there are consequences. 6 months away from the NT, I personally think Barca should suspend him for a while(if we’re even keeping him) for idiocy if for nothing else(and hopefully he’s not bringing anything nasty and contagious back with him).

  61. hammeronmessi
    June 28, 2011

    so why was he banned?

    can anybody enlighten me?

  62. June 28, 2011

    It’s been funny to see Sport and MD now start to write all of these articles and editorials about how Thiago and Cesc are “compatible.”

    For weeks they were the ones pushing Thiago out the door. Rosell. Austerity. Cesc, cesc, cesc, home, home, home!!!!

    And now after the u21s when everyone got to see how brilliant he is (which was readily apparent before) and both papers have seen the results of their on line polling – they’ve completely changed directions and story lines. So typical.

    Now they are making it out as if it’s so strange where did all of these ideas come from that if Cesc came Thiago would have to go? How silly and foolish! Of course they can play together… let us explain to you how!

  63. Jnice
    June 28, 2011

    We look set to miss out on Jose Angel to Roma.

    @ricardorosety: Preacuerdo entre el Sporting y la Roma por José Angel… En 24 horas se pulen los detalles. Hay que plasmarlo en la oferta por escrito.

    El Sporting recibiría algo menos de 4,5 millones de euros, y la noticia ya está en la Gazzeta.. http://bit.ly/l6W3sX

    Good job by Zubi, Rosell and co. Missing out on one of Spain’s brightest defensive talents because they refuse to offer more than 1.5m up front. Nice.

      • K_legit
        June 28, 2011

        well there goes my prediction out the window

    • June 28, 2011

      I hope this is not true. Barcastuff just had a quote from Sabatini on rac1 saying they were interested in Angel but that he was closer to Barca:

      barcastuff barcastuff
      Sabatini (sports director Roma): “We’re also interested in Sporting left back Jose Angel, but he seems closer to Barcelona now.” [rac1]

      That said – the way they’ve conducted these negotiations has been silly.

      These Angel negotiations seem like they’ve been Rosell’s transfer market version of no more color copeies. The whole things just seems to be about making a point of Barca and “austerity.”

      Angel is well worth 4M. To be honest – if I were Gijon I would ask for more.

      But for Barca to basically make this ridiculous offer to try to get Gijon to buckly under is ridiculous.

      This isn’t some 40M deal. It’s 4M. Just be reasonable and get the player signed.

      Now all that said – it sounds like Angel really wants to come to Barca and that he felt a deal was close. Not sure why he would approve a deal to Roma.

      Left back is one of the few positions where Barca doesn’t have clear player for the future and have a relatively immediate need. It’s a great opportunity for him. He said something to the effect that playing for Barca is an opportunity that only comes across once.

      We’ll see. It would be very unfortunate to lose him, especially for nonsensical reasons. A bid of 1.5M + variables was ridiculous and just a waste of time. Just get the deal done rather than trying to make a point out of Gijon.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        We’ll see, unless we change our offer, he’s off to Roma.

        These Angel negotiations seem like they’ve been Rosell’s transfer market version of no more color copeies. The whole things just seems to be about making a point of Barca and “austerity.”


      • Leckan1
        June 28, 2011

        You haven’t seen Alejandro Grimaldo play? He’s the LB of the excellent Cadete A team. He also played in the recent U-17 torunament where they lost against Corinthians. I’v seen about 5 games from him and he was by far the best player in the team even though he’s only 15! Maybe it’s too early to say but I’m going out on a limb and say that he’s the most promising LB La Masia has seen since Sergi. Very, very skilled and quick and complements it with a real Puyol-esque fighting spirit.

        Early days yet but we’re talking about a player than can pretty much dominate a flank by himself. I have big hopes for him although there’s still a few years left to really know for sure obviously.

        • Jnice
          June 28, 2011

          Grimaldo is excellent (I’m really impressed by him), but the kid is 15. He won’t be part of the first team for another 3-5 years. We still need someone in between then.

        • June 28, 2011

          The club cannot make decisions about what the senior side needs in the near to intermediate term future based on 15 year olds who play for Juvenil A.

          We don’t even know if he’s even going to be with the club in a year or two.

          Grimaldo was picked to play for Spain’s u16 team. Who else was picked for that team – Toral Harper. How did that turn out?

          He’s much too far away.

          If Barca is not going to reinforce CB then they really need another LB – and that’s a need they have next season and on into the immediate future.

          • Leckan1
            June 28, 2011

            You’re misunderstanding me. You said that we didn’t have a clear player for the future and I wonderered if you had seen him unless you meant really close future.

  64. K_legit
    June 28, 2011

    Oh god its so stressful silly season and the effort it would take to write a long post would be great but I am willing to take a shot…

    1. In the last season the players were extremely fatigued (due to the extra part of the WC) but their superhuman efforts in combination with our medical staff made it possible for them to continue at the high level for an extended period without suffering any burn out (or significant one anyway). We’re blessed in the fact that we possess players who are versatile and therefore can adapt to a variety of positions and although adaptation comes at a price, of that then not being as effective in one position as they would be in the other, the versatile players we possess i.e Adriano, Mascherano, Abidal, Busquets and Afellay have shown to not only play but also excel in their different positions. So, the buys we have made last time around have been totally justified and have delivered their brief fittingly.

    2. Now on to this season. The expected transfers out of the club are Milito, Maxwell, Jeffren and Bojan (in the form of sale, sale, loan and loan respectively) and thus we see a distinct lack of depth in the defense and attack departments..In case of defense we can rely on Mascherano and Busquets to provide cover, in addition the expected promotion of Fontas (for me) suggests that we are just about covered on that front..first choice backline would be:

    Alves Pique Puyol Abidal

    with backups, Adriano for Alves, Fontas for Pique, Mascherano for Puyol but Adriano again for Abidal..even though Adriano provides that versatility it’d be foolish not to recognise the obvious lack of a LB cover and thus the transfer of Jose Angel is a well needed one (not to the B team but to the A team)
    Also, it’d be excellent if we bought back Botia but he seems not to be in the plans of the transfer dept and both Henrique (whom Kxevin lovingly dubbed Gone Adriano) and Caceres sold, it’d be bad business not to get a covering CB..I’d be tempted to retain Milito but he seems to be only a shadow of his former self sadly..
    Thus, a CB and a LB are needed…Jose Angel for the LB spot and for CB I guess we need to rely on Fontas.

    3. In attack, the departures of Jeffren and Bojan will not leave as gaping a fissure as expected but it does address the issue of depth…we play with 3 forwards and with the transfers going as expected we’d be left with 4 (Messi, P!, Villa and Afellay) for those spots and therefore, reinforcement is needed and hence, my dream buys would be Sanchez (because between him and Rossi,I believe Sanchez offers more as a destabilising force) and (if I am permitted to suggest) Llorente of Athletic..Llorente provides a reference point for Messi to hower around and gives us genuine aerial threat which we lack miserably at..

    4. Finally, regarding Cesc…I believe it is in FCB’s best interest to wrap up this deal one way or the other..the publicicty this pseudo-transfer has garnered is just so damaging to the club’s image..we’ve offered a price to Arsenal and let us say, this is it..take it or leave it..if Cesc wants to pay Arsenal his way out so be it but this posturing and trying to please both clubs nonsense that he has been carryng out the last 2 years is getting to my nerves..do I want him here? Personally, Yes…I believe he offers us a lot as a genuine goal scoring midfield player who we lack at the moment (apart from Messi ofcourse..Iniesta just scored his three seasons worth goals this time around) but Pragmatically thinking, I do understand that this can set a false precedent and also provide vindication to Cesc leaving the club..and although I would love for Cesc to return to the Camp Nou, it is in FCB’s best interest that he stays at Arsenal because I honestly feel he lost his chance of return when he signed two contract renewals (ok one renewal and one improvement) in the space of half a season..This, I truly believe, is the season of Thiago..

    There, this is what I feel about this season..God I need some sleep

  65. messi_fan
    June 28, 2011

    “These Angel negotiations seem like they’ve been Rosell’s transfer market version of no more color copies”


  66. Humphrey Bogart
    June 28, 2011

    Ah, on German TV they have the german games from last WC, at the moment Spain vs Germany, and to see Puyi and his header in this game, it just gives me the chills, nobody (apart from Ini, but he got his big moment in the finale) was more deserving to score such a vital goal, Puyi, always and forever, in the heart of every cule

  67. Leckan1
    June 28, 2011

    Whatever happens though we really need a new LB. Preferably relatively young.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      I really don’t understand the obsession with left backs around here. We have a healthy Abidal, who had the best season of his life until he had to have surgery. We have Adriano, who did a fabulous job filling in. We still have Maxwell, who may be on the way out…or may be staying. We don’t seem to be shopping him around very hard if we are planning on selling him.

      We have Muniesa on the B team, who is ready to play more minutes with the first team. Fontas can (and has) also play LB as needed.

      • June 28, 2011

        Second that. Lets hope we do not end up buying all the players beside the ones we need.

      • Ryan
        June 28, 2011

        Seriously! We lost all 3 of our left backs at one point in the season, that’s why it looked like we had a crisis. Isn’t Adriano in the mid 20s anyway? I liked how he was playing after several games in a row; I’d be happy relying on him for 1st LB as Abidal transitions into a full-time CB role.

  68. Leckan1
    June 28, 2011

    Why aren’t we looking at Jose Enrique? Has only one year left on his contract, is only 25 so he hasn’t his his prime yet and has been among the top 3 LB’s in the Premier League this season. I liked him way back when he played for Villarreal which is a team that plays technical ball-empasized football lest we forget. He’s too good for Newcastle.

    Would probably cost around €10m but he’s far more proven than Jose Angel and very good defensively as well as being very fast and decent technically. I like him alot and don’t understand why we aren’t looking at him (or maybe we are sercetly who knows).

  69. Miguel
    June 28, 2011

    Am I supposed to keep abreast of the JDS scandal for the B-team write-up? And if he’s sold before July 6th do I still have to write it? You’re killing me, Jonathan.


    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      Must be extra hard for you since you say JDS looks like your little brother. 😛

  70. June 28, 2011

    Good arguments about why we should sign Cesc. None is realistic, but keep them coming, as it seems we will need them in the coming days. Spending that amount of money on a player we dont need -at all- is stupid. He played his cards right. His friendship with influential players in the dressing room and the fact that he is Catalan. The “achievement” roSELL can claim for signing the chosen one. Thats why he is coming. Period.

    At least he has quality when he is not injured. So yea…

    regarding JDS… HBNIPUBC ECNOJ !!!IN3F*!!!

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      As much as I would like to, let’s not overlook Pep’s role in all of this. Aside from the other things you’ve mentioned, It’s clear that he really wants Cesc.

      • June 28, 2011

        Coach’s decisions depend on different factors, including dressing room moral, influential stars demands (to strengthen the relation with), getting players who will surely be welcomed in the squad (not the players whom because of them the club had no money to buy Cesc), and maybe his own emotional drive beside many other factors.

        In a world with no such factors, no reasoning behind buying the player. In fact, even for the midfield there are better players the club can buy for the same or cheaper price.

        I was right about few things and wrong more often. I’ve never been as certain about something as I am regarding this one. This is not a pure (coach needs) issue. Far from it.

        • Jnice
          June 28, 2011

          This is not a pure (coach needs) issue. Far from it.

          Hence the reason I said: Aside from the other things you’ve mentioned, It’s clear that he really wants Cesc.

        • June 28, 2011

          But I am still hopeful. Counting on Arsenal resistance:) Which is a wrong thing for them if you ask me (if they ask me I’ll say you are right, dont sell him for the money of the world!)

    • mom4
      June 28, 2011

      “regarding JDS… HBNIPUBC ECNOJ !!!IN3F*!!!”

      can’t decipher at all 🙁
      maybe that’s a good thing?

      • Eklavya
        June 28, 2011

        Maybe he means: “Happy But Not Incredibly Particularly Unhappy Because Can’t Eklavya Chips Nachos Onion Jam !!! I Nonsense 3x F*ck!!!”

  71. June 28, 2011

    After a great deal of perpetual, nearly daily squawking from Pozzo and company, things have gone very quiet out of the Udinese camp.

    No recent boasts or public demands.

    My sense has been that the Sanchez deal would get done once Udinese went quite.

    I wonder if we are near the endgame now, especially with the Copa America coming up.

    Udinese has now gotten Inter, Juve, Man City, Chelsea and Barca involved with the bidding process. There just isn’t many other parties to involve that could even in theory afford the player.

    It’s time for them to make a deal. Holding onto him longer may see diminishing returns, especially if he gets injured.

    Man City and Chelsea have made enormous offers per report. Still nothing has been finalized.

    And perhaps most interestingly, we have not heard Pozzo try to drum up what is by far the most obvious and beneficial possible auction in professional football – get Chelsea and Man City to bid against themselves.

    I wonder if this is coming to a close. Let’s hope.

    • June 28, 2011

      Looks like you are right..

      Via Barcastuff
      A deal on Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez (22) is close. Barcelona would pay 27M+13M variables. Last discussions about variables. [sport]

      • mom4
        June 28, 2011

        OK, time to educate me. I keep on hearing about variables. What are these variables?

        • Jnice
          June 28, 2011

          Examples of variables:

          -If Sanchez appears in 35 games for us, Udinese will receive 1.5m

          – If we win the Champions League, Udinese will receive 4m

          – If Sanchez scores 15 leagues goals, Udinese will receive 725k


          • June 28, 2011

            Good examples. The middle one, if I recall correctly, came into play in summer of 2009, when Sevilla received a hefty suitcase of several million euros upon our winning the Champions League with Dani Alves.

            Worth every penny. 😛

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      On the show El Partido de las 12 on Cadena Cope, they are claiming Sanchez is close to signing for us… even closer than Cesc is right now.

      Sky Sports Italia say Mancini has said Man City have withdrawn from the race to sign Sanchez.

      We’ll see what happens.

    • June 28, 2011

      Who knows what is going on at any moment with this nonsense!

      Sport keeps printing these ultimatums – and they still haven’t been right.

      But 27M + 13M variables sounds about right. It’s still working off a 40 valuation with Udinese absorbing much more risk in the deal then they probably want.

      The Sky Sport Italia stuff is interesting – they are also not very accurate. And not sure why an Italian source would have it first as that’s a statement that would have to come from Mancini himself. Not sure why an English source hasn’t gotten it first.

      But all that said – I do think the quiet from the Udinese side is noteworthy. I commented on this yesterday as well – stark change and it continued today. The only statement from them was via Quique Pina yeseterday saying a decision could be reached this week.

      I think (hope?) the Udinese sideshow is over. The bids are on the table and they need to sit down and make a feasible deal – not the optimal deal they are looking for – but the deal that is going to work for both them and Sanchez.

      Let’s see. If Sanchez does come to Barca – it will be a lot of money.

      But it will say quite a bit about Sanchez because he will be giving up millions to come to Barca. Millions he will never be able to directly recoup again because these are the years in his life when his earning potential is maximized.

      The quiet from Udinese is telling.

  72. June 28, 2011

    In follow up to JNice’s post above – Goal.com Italy is also reporting that Mancini said that City had pulled out of the bidding for Sanchez.

    If the quotes are accurate – then City is definitely out. City has made almost no public comment on the nature of the Sanchez deal. Don’t think Mancini has said anything at all about the player.

    That would leave Barca and Chelsea. And it seems like City already had made the definitive high bid. Chelsea may have matched but don’t think they went past.

    Seems like things are indeed coming to closure with Sanchez.


      • June 28, 2011

        You are the source!

        There we go. Mancini would only make this kind of statement publicly because either Sanchez is basically signed or if he feels that City is being used to drive up the price and the player really has no desire to come there regardless of how much money they throw at him.

        Under Mancini City has not missed a player they wanted often. They’ve been persistent in going after a player they want.

        All reports states that Mancini wanted Sanchez desperately. He would have fit into the system he’s trying to run very well. He would have been perfect for them (as he would for Chelsea).

      • beeeef
        June 28, 2011


        Relieving to know that this transfer saga is almost over.

        Exciting to know that, despite the heaps of money City and Chelsea are throwing at him and the pressure of Pozzo, Sanchez has been adamant about coming here and here only.

        If the reports of City backing out are true, than he’s as good as ours no?

        • Jnice
          June 28, 2011

          There we go. Mancini would only make this kind of statement publicly because either Sanchez is basically signed or if he feels that City is being used to drive up the price and the player really has no desire to come there regardless of how much money they throw at him.

          Yep, just saw him say it.

          If the reports of City backing out are true, than he’s as good as ours no?

          Dunno. Chelsea may still be in the mix so we’re just going to have to wait and see. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up by now although it’s encouraging to see that City are out of the race.

          • beeeef
            June 28, 2011

            If it’s between Barcelona and Chelsea, the former is the option that guarantees the most even level of satisfaction for all parties involved. Would be very surprised to see Sanchez move to Chelsea at this point, but you’re right about being cautious. The transfer could still fall through for any number of reasons.

  73. June 28, 2011

    Chelsea is definite still a real threat. It’s not a done deal yet until it’s official.

    That said – if this was simply a matter of City vs. Chelsea I don’t know if Mancini would have just bowed out like that.

    If Chelsea were still in the mix that would suggest Sanchez was open to playing in the EPL. I’d think Mancini would want to stay in just to force Chelsea to spend as much as possible as they will be locked all summer on the same players.

    We have to wait – but it does look promising. It does seem like Sanchez wants to play for Barca.

    • Dani_el
      June 28, 2011

      In the end the player will sign for the club of his liking right?, I hope in the end is up to him, and I hope he says “if I have to go I’d go to Barça, If that doesnt happen I’d rather stay here” as Cesc said… Do you think other negotiations are open? I havent heard anything about Rossi or Willian…

    • beeeef
      June 28, 2011

      And given that Chile’s first Copa match is six days away, I think we’l hear an announcement soon. Everything feels very last minute with this deal.

  74. June 28, 2011

    As JNice posted before, it does look like Jose Angel is very close to signing with Roma.

    La Voz De Asturias is reporting that Sporting has agreed to terms with Roma and that Angels has given his ok. I think the deal is for 4M + 500K in variables. Roma is also offering Angel a higher salary.

    They are also reporting that the deal will be done in 24-48 hours.

    Basically this is now getting leaked most likely to send Barcelona a message – match the offer now or he is going to Roma.

    This is Sporting telling Barca that this is your last chance. They may be waiting to finalize the deal as a favor to the player – giving Barca one last chance.

    Barca is really being ridiculous in these negotiations. It’s absurd to spend 40M on a player you don’t have an immediate need for and then turn around and try to put the screws to a small club like Sporting to try to squeeze down their demands with a low ball offer.

    4.5M for Angel is a completely reasonable deal. Sporting has now received three or four separate offers for Angel that were for 4M or so – Fiorentina, Udinese, Malaga and now Roma.

    Angel didn’t move prior because he had reservations about playing for a smaller club in Italy. Roma is a different opportunity.

    Barca cannot just bid 1.5M + variables on a very talented young player who has now gotten 4 different bids at 4M. That is clearly his market rate.

    I really hope they just get this done and do so quickly. Angel and Sporting are giving Barca one last opportunity.

    It makes no sense for Barca to want a 21 year old player if he cost 1.5M + variables but no 4M + variables.

    If he’s not worth 4M then he has no place in the club to start with.

    And Angel is worth 4M. This is Rosell just being ridiculous and trying to show La Liga who the “boss” is.


    • June 28, 2011

      Fixed it for ya.

      And yeah, these negotiations are just shameful. We have good relations with Gijon so to see us treat them so shoddily makes me angry.

      • June 28, 2011

        That’s what bothers me about this as well really. It’s just completely unnecessary.

        4M is one of the largest transfer fees Sporting has ever gotten for a player. It’s that big an opportunity for them. Just think about that – 4M is one of the largest transfer sums you’ve ever gotten.

        I’m sure that’s why Angel is in part agreeing to the deal. He clear, sincerely wants to come to Barca – even if it means playing on the B team.

        To try to strong arm sporting over 2M or so is just awful.

        Rosell is trying to use the “Mascherano is the model” for a transfer even with Sporting and Angel – because the player wants to come to Barca we will offer less money and less salary – take it or leave it.

        It’s one thing to do on a huge deal – there you have to be firm.

        But on a 4M deal – that’s where you are going to flex your muscle as a large club?

        Just shameful.

        And another thing – Angel has a chance to be the future LB for Spain. To force this player out of the country over pocket change is even worse.

        I want to see Barca act appropriately and get this deal done.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      I was just going to post that article. If we are going to improve our offer, we should see some movement on that front tomorrow. Otherwise he’s gone. Shameful indeed.

      • June 28, 2011

        They need to get on the phone tomorrow and close this deal.

        It literally should be a 10 minute phone call to agree on parameters and then follow up on the contract details.

        It’s very concrete what this players market value is. Pay it if you want him. There’s no mystery here.

        And they can really use him both now and into the future.

        It’s embarrassing.

  75. goodkindagoon
    June 28, 2011

    i am canadian so i am kinda allowed to have arsenal as a first team and barca as a close second, as the former, taking the article´s price of 35 for Cesc, is pretty insulting! in his position who is really better than him in the world barring Xavi of course, it is just not market value, torres for 50 2 years older and i can name 5 strikers i´d rather have over him taking into account his lack of form this year, also, is Cesc really willing to go from captain of a side built around him to a place on the bench? the entire thing is very weird bc any other team in the world he´d walk into that role, forgetting perhaps snjeider and milan, but it is the only team he wants to, and i believe, will go to, the problem is barca is broke from having too many good players and paying them market value, if Cesc goes for anything less than 50 it is a joke, remembering of course market value and we are children, like he was when he signed, saying well he used to play around here with all his friend in the playground

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 28, 2011

      Hey, Im a Toronto based Canuck as well. Totally agree with all your comments. I am first a Barca supporter and then an Arsenal supporter. I believe Cesc is a masterclass. I believe his correct value is 50 million. I believe that is what Arsenal will end up getting. $39 million plus variables(another 10 to 15 mil) for winning competitions. The transfer is not official yet.

    • blitzen
      June 28, 2011

      I am also Canadian and I disagree with you completely. So there you go.

      • Nav
        June 28, 2011

        Two Canadians disagreeing?! :O

        Naw but seriously, what does your nationality have to do with whom you’re allowed to be a fan of?

    • Ryan
      June 28, 2011

      Let’s say that he’s worth 50 million. He’s also injured about 40% of the time – so 60% value for the time he’s actually able to play, of that supposed 50 million, comes out to 30 million! But seriously, most of us really don’t want Cesc. Our midfield is our greatest asset; let Fabregas come back when his contract is closer to expiring.

    • June 28, 2011

      The best player in the Bundesliga left for 10m. Ozil for 14m.

      If anything, Torres and Carroll show how inflated the British market is, and that they sign players based on reputation, Englishness, and highlights.

      • barca96
        June 29, 2011

        Kari, both Ozil and Sahin were on their last years of their contract. How can you compare them with Cesc? Take your anti-Cesc glasses off for a bit :p

  76. just listenin
    June 28, 2011

    If it weren’t for history and price (what else is there in this case?… oh yeah, a player) there is no way I believe Cesc Fabregas would not be at the top of our potential midfield target list – that’s what makes this so complicated.

    After you get past all that – this is clear. Thiago is a gem, who isn’t ready yet, and shouldn’t be rushed. If successful, We have something on the order of 60 games to play, that’s almost two full seasons for most midfields – what’s the problem? We need a full high quality rotational midfield to win all competitions – liga, copa, CL, fifa club WC, super copa,… and while we’re at it, let Spain keep it’s Int’l dominance (more games for Xavi; Xavi to Cesc: “can you handle the bottom of the table, we have Euro championship match next Wednesday).

    The Fabregas deal makes a lot of much sense to me in light of the schedule and not prematurely inject-ulating Thiago into the first team so he can become the star he is going to be in his own time, and won’t buckle and get demoralized trying to carry a club the weight of Barca – it makes a LOT of sense. There is a lot of stuff clouding the view – We need support between now and 2014 or so when Thiago is really ready. He’s not next, there is supposed to be someone between him and Xavi. At that point in 2014-15, when many say we should take Cesc for free or cheap – I think we really wouldn’t even be thinking about him, he’d be a non-issue. What do we do in the meantime… We actually need him now.

  77. Jnice
    June 28, 2011

    Euler, do you have an actual twitter account or do you just search and what not?

    • June 28, 2011


      For various reason I’ve really tried to avoid getting a Twitter account.

      That said – I may have to break down and do it! We’ll see.

      So much of the footy world has shifted from blogs to twitter and it’s just seems to be increasing.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        So much of the footy world has shifted from blogs to twitter and it’s just seems to be increasing.

        Yup. Massive movement right now. And although it’s a little crazy right now because of the transfer window, it really is informative. It’s also fun to discuss stuff with different fans, bloggers, journalists, etc.

        I created mine about 10 months ago with the intention to really only follow people and lurk, but now I have 11,000 tweets, lol.

      • blitzen
        June 28, 2011

        Urgh. I just went ahead and got an account. I blame Eklavya.

        • Jnice
          June 28, 2011

          Hooray! Let me see if I can find you.

          Next in line is Kari, Euler, Jose, mom4, and the entire blog. 😀

          • blitzen
            June 28, 2011

            I have my first stalker follower. Oh joy. 😛

          • mom4
            June 28, 2011

            Oh dear dear dear…
            and I just figured out blogs. :roll:

            Think I’ll lurk around your accounts before comitting to twitter. We old folks are scared o’ technology. 🙂

          • Jnice
            June 28, 2011

            😀 Just block Eklavya and you’ll be fine.

            mom4, how did I know you were going to say that 😛

        • Eklavya
          June 29, 2011

          SoMo4, you know the whole LOTR saga but you’re too afraid to join twitter? Whaaa

          • mom4
            June 29, 2011

            How’d you know I liked LotR? See what happens when you do things on the computer. Everybody knows your business. Back in the day…
            Do not meddle in the affairs of soccer moms for the have mini vans and are craky during rush hour.

          • Eklavya
            June 29, 2011

            Haha what? You don’t remember the time you scarred all of us? Someone was comparing all our players to those in LOTR and you came and totally corrected the guy who doing the comparisons. It was crazy.

  78. June 28, 2011

    Pftt. I have fbtz. Which Jnice needs to check, s’il vous plait.

  79. blitzen
    June 28, 2011

    Have I mentioned I love Christine Sinclair?

    Female soccer players, it seems, are pretty darned tough indeed. They don’t dive like some of the boys, flopping around in fake agony, and when they’re really hurt, they still get up and try to keep going, even against doctor’s orders.

    “I know my teammates,” Sinclair said, ice bag in hand. “We would play through anything to stay on the field. You might not see that in the men’s game.”

    Sinclair, of course, then went on to score Canada’s only goal, on a perfectly struck free kick, in what wound up as a heartening 2-1 loss to the two-time defending World Cup champions, who surrendered their first World Cup goal since 2003.

    From the Globe & Mail.

    Proud Canadian right here! 😀

    • June 28, 2011

      Women’s game is brutal. I can attest to that. #battlescars.

    • Jnice
      June 28, 2011

      Every time I went to a Maryland women’s game, there were always some tough clashes. You girls don’t play (well, you do, but you know what I mean…).

  80. June 28, 2011

    Sport reporting that Barca’s last offer for Angel was – 2M + variables.

    They increased their offer from 1.8M to 2M during the negotiations.

    And in response Sporting got fed up, agreed to a deal with Roma, got Angel to agree on accepting Roma’s offer and leaked a deadline to Barca to get serious with the negotiations.

    Barca is going to commit to spending 80M on Cesc and Sanchez.

    To build squad depth the team is going to need 4 signings given all the players who are likely leaving.

    If you can get a potentially useful player for 4M – especially one who could be with the team for years – it makes sense to get him given how much you’ve concentrated on two players.

    The team needs either an additional CB in addition Fontas or a LB so that there is depth at FB when Abidal needs to play CB.

    In the CL final neither Abidal nor Adriano were fully fit – and the LB position of Barca was defending Valencia, arguably United’s most dangerous attacker. Despite that Maxwell did not even make the final squad. That’s how little confidence Pep had in him by the end of the season.

    Back to you Rosell.

    • barca96
      June 28, 2011

      Why is Rosell being stingy over 2m??

      But I’m kida disappointed with Lucho for messing with out transfer target.

      • Jnice
        June 28, 2011

        But I’m kida disappointed with Lucho for messing with out transfer target.

        I’m not. He’s doing what’s best for his team. While we’re playing games and messing around, he saw the opening and went in with a serious bid. Well done to Lucho and the higher ups at Roma.

        • blitzen
          June 29, 2011

          Yes, exactly. Lucho will always have Barcelona in his heart, but right now he has a job to do and I would never expect him to put Barça’s interest over that of the team he is managing.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 29, 2011

      I think Jose Angel is the only defender that heavily linked to us,
      and now we will lose him to Roma? sucks! 🙁

      I will feel very nervous if we enter 2011/2012 season without buying any defender, tbh…

      • barca96
        June 29, 2011

        I know it’s his right, but it kinda sucks to steal a player that we’ve been targeting all summer long using his inside information.

  81. barca96
    June 28, 2011

    – Euler, thanks a lot for sticking around here and commenting a lot. You went missing a lot during the course of the season. And to have you commenting multiple times per day is just awesome!!

    -Nice comment that I found by KulesKuleros

    you have to wonder about the Masia, growing up with all those eunuchs around. They teach you the Taka, they teach you the Tiki, but where you gonna learn the Chiki-Chiki?

    • Soto
      June 29, 2011

      Ditto on the thanks to Euler, whose insights are always great to read.

  82. Apparently the offer for Jose Angel is 2m fixed + 1.8 variables so in total almost the same amount of money as from Roma. There’s also probably an under the table agreemnt to not buy back Botia just yet so our offer is eventually better but this is Sporting Gijon damnit!It’s a modest (yet utterly cool!) liga club and we are stealing those clubs with those horrid tv contracts!
    I think this whole variable scheme in all our transfers has to do with the 45 limit that Rosell placed on heads. In the end the total amount will be 45 + all those variables which will probably be placed on next season’s transfer budget. Thas why we are not announcing any transfer so other teams negotiatiors don’t know excactly how much money we have left…*LOL*

    hey blitzen whats your twitter account?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 29, 2011

      wait, I think I’ve followed you on twitter, but I forget your ID… what’s yours? 😀

      • barca96
        June 29, 2011

        Barca Girl, please bring outerspace back here.
        It looks like Euler is going to be gone to twitter land too soon.

        • barca96
          June 29, 2011


          No. I’m really ol’school. I don’t even have a FB account yet.
          I’m not into these time wasting things.

          • BarcaGirl_Indo
            June 29, 2011

            not wasting time if you use it wisely…
            it’s very informative and faster than blogs…

            like Euler said :
            “So much of the footy world has shifted from blogs to twitter”

            it’s really fun to discuss football with other fans, bloggers, and journalists… 🙂

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          June 29, 2011

          @nanda59, that’s me… 😀

    • blitzen
      June 29, 2011

      Everyone else seems to have found me easily, but if you really need it, I am @blitzen13.

  83. Eklavya
    June 29, 2011

    So, let me get this straight. I try to make Blitzen join twitter by making a little push. Nothing happens. Jnice gives some lame history and speaks about some random mouvement and now blitz is on twitter? What?! AND on top of that I get the blame?!!? 😀

  84. K_legit
    June 29, 2011

    Yaay..blitzen joins twitter land…follow follow 😀

  85. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 29, 2011

    WOW! Never have I seen so many players being valued at 45-50 mil at one time before. I mean it must be some new trending scheme, it all started with Pastore and his agent or club pres dubbing him the 50 mil dollar signing, now everywhere there are young promising players being thrusted all over the news valued at 45-50mil so far I have seen Pastore, Neymar, Sanchez, Modric and Aguero. Obviously these players are way overpriced, but there seems to be some kind of universal marketing scheme these club are using, they are taking advantage of club owners like Chelsea’s and Man City’s who are happy to outbid everyone on the “next big” marketing product, and this issue is getting massively out of control.

    The reason why Thiago lets say is being valued by the press at only 15 million is because we are not intending to sell him. I can guarantee everyone that if we wanted to sell Thiago now, we would be calling the owners of Chelsea and Man city and slapping a 30-40 mil dollar price tag all over the press. But we ain’t because we are not intending to sell him.

    This is why I fell that we should keep our interest on Sanchez and be patient, we should wait and see what moves Chelsea and Man city will make, because once the heat starts to die down on Sanchez, potentially Udinese marketing scheme becomes useless and our bid 30-35mil becomes evermore likely.

    As for Fabregas, eventhough 35-39mil is a lot of money for en ex-canterano, we are faced with a very fortunate opportunity because we are the only club in the market for him, otherwise in an open market he would be valued a lot higher then he is right now. if we are to go after another midfielder right now from elsewhere that is even as good as Fabregas right now we would never be able to buy them for anything close to 35mil and thats a fact!

    • barca96
      June 29, 2011

      otherwise in an open market he would be valued a lot higher then he is right now

      You damn right it is!!
      I am pretty sure if there was a bidding war, it would easy go over 50mill. If Sanchez and Neymar are worth 40mill plus, Cesc can easily topple them.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 29, 2011

      As for Fabregas, eventhough 35-39mil is a lot of money for en ex-canterano, we are faced with a very fortunate opportunity because we are the only club in the market for him, otherwise in an open market he would be valued a lot higher then he is right now.

      indeed… while I agree that 35M is too expensive for Barcelona, that’s an insulting price according to Arsenal fans…
      gooners are really furious to hear their best player will be sold for ‘only’ £35M…

      we live in a world where Andy Carroll worth £35M, Torres £50M, and then there are people like Pozzo/Zamparini who claimed their best player is worth €50M…

      If this is an open market, I really think Arsenal could get 50-70 M from Chelsea/City… why not? Chelsea bought Torres (who had a bad season and maybe even more injury prone than Cesc) for £50M…
      this is an unfortunate condition for Arsenal, to be honest…

  86. Jnice
    June 29, 2011

    via James Horncastle (@JamesHornecastle)

    Gino Pozzo on Alexis #Sanchez “The talks with #Barcelona are going forward + we’ll find a solution with calm.”

    Pozzo asked if #mcfc have pulled out of running for Sanchez: “You should ask them, also because we’ve never dealt with City.”

    Pozzo: “The lad’s wish is to go to #Barcelona . We’ll talk again with Barcelona and then we’ll see. It’s not true that Jeffren refused Udi

  87. June 29, 2011

    Sounds like the copa america was in fact the forcing needed to close the Sanchez auction.

    Feels like a deal is close. Pozzo publicly admitting that Sanchez wants to play with barca. No way he gives up all leverage if a deal wasn’t very close. Remember last week udinese were insisting Sanchez had no preference. He’s also now trying ro make it look like jeffren didn’t reject them (despite the fact that he publicly stated something very close)

    The nonsense about man city not being involved is just great. This after just a few days ago pozzo saying man city were back again favorites. And mancini admitting they made offers This is udinese trying to help City save face. Udinese wants to be able to sell to City in the future due to their wealth. He’s willing to make himself look blatantly silly in an outright lie to spin this to make city look better.

    And mancini’s comments from yesterday about pulling out from the Sanchez deal are also spin. He is trying to make it look like city “snubbed” Sanchez and not that Sanchez wouldn’t play at city or the EPL.

    Make no mistake about it- if this deal does go through it will have happened largely because Sanchez really wanted to play with barca. He cost himself millions and forced udinese to accept a bid that was not only much less than city/cue seas in terms of gross cash but probably much less in terms of net present value due to how the barca money was structured.

    We have to wait until it’s offiial. But this has been driven by sanchez’s desire to only play for barca. It’s good to see.

  88. Leckan1
    June 29, 2011

    I think going forward, every big money signing will be a “Masherano case” where the player has to make a sacrifice financially in order to don the shirt in order for it to become feasibly. There will be no more Zlatans where Messi had to get a new contract in order to remain the best player in the squad.

    I just wonder if this strategy will work if one day we aren’t as successful.

  89. Lev
    June 29, 2011

    “I just wonder if this strategy will work if one day we aren’t as successful”

    Hmmm…interesting question. I think Barça will always have a pull on a lot of players, and even though people like to say that footballers only care about cars and money, footballers are people just like us, so there will always be those who dream of playing for one club or another.

    I think teams like Barça, Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal, Milan and EE will always have a special pull other than salary due to their history, their fans, and the legends who have worn the uniform before.

  90. June 29, 2011

    If the MD reports on the money are correct – 26m and 11m variables- it will be an expensive transfer but that said barca will have done well in terms of negotiations

    Doesn’t sound like barca increased the offer much in response to all Of udinese auctioneering. They must have been confident that sanchez was only going to sign with them.

    Given that man city, Chelsea, and inter and juve were all bidding on this player he was going to be expensive. Add on top of that the last summer before fair play – it was going to be heated in terms of market demand. So while Sanchez was expensive the alternatives were as well. And the team needed another striker One pep could play and not worry that there would be a large drop off in quality.

    Given villa’s age and the adjustment period strikers go through at barca it makes sense bringing in a 22 year old. It makes the amortization on his transfer much easier to handle.

    Sanchez doesn’t have a large track record givdn how young he is. But he is quality. Extremely talented. He adds a skill set that barca does not have , especially his explosive pace. That pace combined with his touch, skill on the ball and ability to defend are a rare combination. And even over the last season he was getting better and getting better at a rapid rate.

  91. Lev
    June 29, 2011

    “Add on top of that the last summer before fair play”….

    what do you guys make of Rosell saying we might spend (part of) next summer’s transfer budget?

    At first I thought mmm might be good. If we need the players now, better get them now then next year.

    Then again, what if next summer we need reinforcements? What if Pep leaves – the new coach does not get any good signings?

    And even more so – the simple BS of it all – if we need new players next summer can we use the summer after’s transfer budget?


    • June 29, 2011

      This budget talk is overblown. The club had over 480m in revenue last season I believe. And I’m not dvdn sure if that accounts for the CL victory.

      And that definitely does not count the 30m per year they get from rosell selling the shirt.

      While messi is on the team the club has s chance to expand it’s global fanbase that they will not get again. And messi just happens to be playing when there is enormous economic growth in china, India and brazil. Those three countries ate around 2.5 billion people.

      Winning now with messi will do more to ensure the clubs financial future than anything else.

      Rosell has set up a narrative about him “saving” the club economically since he took over.

      I don’t buy it. And you don’t spend 80m in a summer if you are that strapped fir cash regardless of next summer’s budget

  92. June 29, 2011

    More Pozzo quotes (various sources, Tweeted by @barcastuff):

    “We only talk with Barcelona. We never opened talks with Man City because the boy only wants to join Barcelona.”

    “Jeffren included in the deal? We have not yet talked to him.”

    “The talks with Barcelona on Sanchez continue. We’ll see, it’s quite complex. He could still stay.”


    Wenger (coach Arsenal): “You had a Champions League final and only one team has beaten both of them and that is Arsenal.”

    • Eklavya
      June 29, 2011

      That Wenger quote made me laugh. Whats he’s trying to say?

    • Lev
      June 29, 2011

      hahaha. “You had a League Cup final and pretty much half of the EPL clubs have beaten both of them and those are….”

      Then again, what is he supposed to say? It is his right and duty to talk up his team as much as possible. Arsenal did beat us very well in London and they beat Man U well also.

      @Kxev – my last post got me thinking.

      I was against getting Cesc this summer but pretty much for getting him next summer. If I am not mistaken this is an opinion you share.

      So…if we are using next summer’s transfer kitty to get Cesc – isn’t it better than waiting until next summer to do so?

      Would it not be worth the 5-10 million we spend extra to have him with us one year sooner, have him learn from Xavi and Pep one year more, cure him before the way of the wenger rids him of every winning attribute in his organism?

  93. lea_terzi
    June 29, 2011

    Re: Cesc
    Mentioned many times before on this page, but it seems he is trying hard for his transfer to be win-win for both clubs he loves:

    Arsenal is getting a heap of cash for player development (and let’s admit, Wenger did give him trust and opportunities to polish his talent on the highest stage he might not have gained otherwise), but not as much as they would get from a sale in an open market;

    Barca is getting a fearsome reinforcement in midfield (and let’s admit, it was stretched a bit thin when Barca was one injury away from failure), already suited to the club’s way of play, at much cheaper than such players usually come. Not for free as they could have him if he stayed, but then again, Barca coaches didn’t have a Bojan-sized headache with player development during all these years. We get Cesc fully-baked, although a little worse for the wear due to injuries.

    For a neutral, this is classy behaviour from a top player who loves both is childhood club and the club that gave him an opportunity to shine. The bad blood around this transfer mostly resulted from the media hype, not Cesc’s words or actions.

    Unfortunately, I’m not a neutral, and for a cule to see the club splash cash on a youth product is a bitter pill to swallow. But I’m trying to look for positives 🙂

  94. Jnice
    June 29, 2011

    It’s funny because you have Mancini pretending as if Sanchez didn’t snub them. Then you have some British journos saying things like:

    #MCFC ending Sanchez interest another sign of club abandoning money-no-object policy, a year ago they would just have added £££ (@DTguardian)

    Umm, I’m pretty sure City’s offer was better than our offer to Udinese. Clearly the player’s desires were the reason City pulled out of negotiations.

  95. blitzen
    June 29, 2011

    Official: There’s a deal on the renewal of the contract of Barcelona player Thiago Alcantara (20) for two more years, until 2015 #fcblive

    YAY!!!!! Break out the cava!!!! 😀

  96. Colby
    June 29, 2011

    Just a thought on United’s summer so far:
    They have spent 60 million Euros (roughly 20 for each of their signings), and have come out of it looking no better than last year. They brought in a centre back who won’t immeadiately make them better, a winger who will fight for a starting spot but most likely won’t provide too much of a boost, and a goalie who is going to have some adjusting to do, and is going to be a step down from VDS. That’s a pretty rough summer, if you are a supporter that wants to win the Champions League.

    Kind of ironically, we are probably going to end up with two players that actually could make them considerably better and probably won’t even start on our team.

    • blitzen
      June 29, 2011

      To be fair, almost anybody would be a step down from VDS. I expect De Gea will do very well once he settles in.

    • Lev
      June 29, 2011

      What I reaaally don’t understand is the following:

      the last 3 yrs their biggest need has been a creative midfielder.

      2 summers ago Ferguson did not even make a bid for Sneijder.
      1 summer ago he did not even make a bid for Ozil.
      This summer he has not even made a bid for Sahin.

      All of them were sold for cheap. All of them would have made Man Utd a lot stronger. All of them would have been a better signing than any of the players Ferguson has signed.


      • privateeye
        June 29, 2011

        Remember Veron. After that Fergie has not tried that experiment again. He doesnt play that game. Apart from David Silva no other English team has a pure creative midfielder.

        • Lev
          June 29, 2011

          But Veron is very different from both Sneijder and Ozil (haven’t seen enough from Sahin to judge).

          Sneijder would have been the perfect replacement for Paul Scholes, imo. Would still be, actually.

  97. blitzen
    June 29, 2011

    Time for a new post? How about one for Thiago’s renewal?

  98. Lev
    June 29, 2011

    thiago’s release clause is 90M. I guess we can make a swap deal for Cesc now….(+ RvP + Nasri + Wilshere)

  99. Judas Pissed
    June 29, 2011

    We have just secured the services of one the most promising young players in the world. And we are on the verge of signing 2 of the best young players in the world. So stop moaning about us not signing a left back from Gijon!

  100. blitzen
    June 29, 2011

    U21 coach Luis Milla has come out and said that he didn’t use Bojan as a starter in the tournament because all the uncertainty about his future affected his performance.

    Regarding the placement of Bojan Krkic as a substitute in the tournament, Milla said, ”he was a great player in the squad, yet he was concerned and distracted about his future. This along with his arrival a bit not into the rhythm of competition, resulted in less minutes played”.

    This makes me sad, but it also shows just how much Bojan needs to get away from Barcelona for a while. He has been under huge pressure all season and he clearly doesn’t handle it well. He needs a fresh start without that enormous burden of living up to the expectations that have been put on him. A new club, a coach that doesn’t have a previous relationship with him, fans that will see him as a man rather than a wunderkind, a chance to shine on his own merits (and he does have them) and build his confidence. It’s what he needs and I hope he does really well at Roma. I expect we will see the official announcement in a day or two.

  101. blitzen
    June 29, 2011

    Off-topic: Federer has been eliminated from Wimbledon after losing his quarterfinal match to Tsonga.

    Did not expect that! It’s Rafa’s tournament to lose, now.

    • Eklavya
      June 29, 2011

      WHAT THE FUDGE!??!??!?!????!!!!! Damn, I was gone was 4 hours and this is what happens?! 😯 I’m devastated. 🙁

    • Ryan
      June 29, 2011

      Spain wins yet again over the Swiss then?

    • Jim
      June 29, 2011

      Ahem, are we forgetting a Scot, perhaps?

      • Para
        June 29, 2011

        Ah Jim, you forget–he is British until he loses, and only *then* is he Scottish.

        (I am joking, of course).

  102. June 29, 2011

    Or Thiago for 20 Arsenal mid, just like Wilshire….Oh wait, we have that waitings in the wings too!!!!!!

  103. Colby
    June 29, 2011

    Does anyone have an idea who made the 50 million euro bid for Pastore? Is that just baloney, or did Chelsea/City spring for him?

  104. Eklavya
    June 29, 2011

    Is it me or there was a Thiago post which came and went away?

    • June 29, 2011

      You saw nothing. NOTHING, I say.

      ….I took it down because someone else is doing it and I figured you’d want to here it from someone else. My post was basically:

      Thiago renews. OMGOMGOMG. And the deal with it .gif to haters.

      • Eklavya
        June 29, 2011

        Yeah, I had enough time to read it. I guess your coordination still isn’t top notch yet? 😀 Just kidding

  105. lea_terzi
    June 29, 2011

    Neither Thiago nor Alexis nor Cesc is a defender. Just sayin.

  106. hammeronmessi
    June 29, 2011

    feel so bad for federer.

    may be the end is near for the classiest and greatest tennis player.

    but ali played with verb and cojones.i feel tsonga has all the quality to become a great player,he just has to sort out his mental toughness,me think.

  107. ElJefe
    June 29, 2011

    While I don’t agree with the logic here or the assessent of not wanting Fabregas, particularly given the prospect of playing behind Xavi, Iniesta, and Deco (and Van Bommel & Edmilson ) when he left…the logic does hold true on this being EXACTLY why we want Sanchez. To have a player of that caliber with a passion and death bed Cule promise is too good of an opportunity to pass up in today’s free agent market.

    In other news, does this mean we are destined never to have any size at midfield or forward? Go Busi???

    Bienvenidos a Thiago!!

  108. This Barcelona is already one of the greatest squads of all time. And I see Cesc Fabregas as one of only a few players who can immediately add significant improvements to the overall versatility and quality of the team’s play.

    Cesc could do more for our attack than Alexis Sanchez. It’s nice to think of all these fancy players to add up front but our forward line could hardly be improved. Sanchez isn’t exactly the big target plan B striker that many think we need to counter “anti-football”. And bearing in mind that there’s no set eleven that will play every match of the season, with Fab in the team Iniesta gets more games in an attacking role. And Don Andres is pretty good at that the last time I checked. Pedro, who would still get a substantial number of starts, could be a great option off the bench – one of the things we’ve been lacking.

    As far as the tiki taka goes, it should be just as fluid with Xavi-Busi-Fab in the middle. It may even be more mesmerizing since Iniesta would also join in. For me, one of the most noticeable shortcomings of the team is the midfielders’ low scoring output. As legendary as Xavi and Iniesta are, Cesc is a by far a better goal scorer. Against teams that sit back and defend (which seems like almost everybody these days), it’s getting harder and harder for the forwards to find space. Where XavIniestaBusi sometimes hesitate or take weak shots, Cesc will surely test the goalkeeper if not find the back of the net.

    Now I didn’t love the fact that he signed the second contract extension either, but he certainly wants to go back home to play for the club he clearly loves with Spanish teammates,friends and a coach who obviously admire him. And I surely don’t hold any grudges against him regarding his past decisions. The fact that he was once our player shouldn’t have any bearing on what we should be willing to pay for him now. The fact is he’s an Arsenal player today and if we are serious about getting him we should pay them what he’s worth. While I don’t think Barca should spend more than €40m, expecting to get someone of his quality for less than €30m is unrealistic and insulting.

  109. barca4eva
    June 30, 2011

    I am going to be a minority here-as I have always being- on the subject of Cesc. I cannot disagree with you more even though I recognize your reason and appreciate your passion. And here is why.
    The whole argument against Cesc, which is his premature departure from Barca is unconvincing to me. This lad was 16 at the time and two factors triggered his departure:economic factors and the guarantee of making it to the senior side. He got none of that.You may say that is greed, impatience etc and I will agree with you. But is Barca also not being guilty of pussy footing as well? We do let go countless number of players who never made it to the senior side, should those players become calcified foes of the club? The whole point here is this: Barca never identified the gem he truly is and never made the necessary moves to relieve him of his anxieties. So, as we blame him for leaving in the first place, let us also recognize the sloppy job the club did.

    Am also amazed that given the disappointment that Barca felt about the Cesc saga, the club has not been very aggressive in preventing similar situations from developing by urging soccer authorities to curb the preying tendencies of teams like Arsenal.

    Lastly, this lad is a great player who will seamlessly fit into our game. Adding him to the squad is an instant boost and an insurance policy against the aging Xavi.

    So, despite the disappointment, I believe it is a good move.

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