A smorgasbord of stupid, aka “L’affaire Fabregas”

Arsene Wenger: “I love Fabregas and I want him to stay, that is basically it.”

This Fabregas transfer business is officially at rock bottom. It doesn’t work with soon to be ex-wives or girlfriends, as any guy will tell you. It didn’t work for Mars Blackmon, either. “Please baby please, baby baby baby please!”

Will it work for an attacking midfielder?

As astute Twitter follower, mesqueunprofile, notes: Both sides are acting as though its about proving that Cesc loves them more instead of thinking of what is best for the teams.

Exactly. It’s also incredibly stupid, not just Wenger’s declaration but the whole business.

And the life-affirming beauty of stupid is that there is always enough to go ’round. And in consideration of the Fabregas transfer affair, which looks set to end this summer and resume the next, it’s worth having a right smart look at what is enough stupidity to power a small country, were jackassery electricity. Two clubs don’t want to lose face, so they face off and bray like jackasses over a player. “Cesc should come home.” “We love him, and think he should stay.” Stoo-pid.

Let’s start with us, since we’re the home team:

–We’re stupid because we refuse to come sufficiently close to Arsenal’s valuation to even raise the possibility of a deal.

–We’re stupid because we’re putting all our eggs in one wishy-washy basket, and whistling past the graveyard of a back line that is old in key positions. But we’re so busy chasing a player that we don’t need right now, and are, in my opinion, ignoring other needs. Some will say that we’re a deeper squad than last season because we have better players at all positions, who are also versatile. Whatever.

–We’re stupid because we’re playing a game of brinkmanship, betting that Arsenal won’t want to keep a want-away captain, thus facilitating a deal on our terms, or as close to them as possible. But Arsenal is happy to keep him, because this isn’t just business, it’s also personal, made so by comments and other blather about tapping-up, hijacked young’uns and other silliness.

–We’re stupid because we aren’t exactly making ourselves known as a delight to deal with in the footy world. Will teams really want to dance around with us if the player a club is trying to sell has other options? Gijon didn’t, and Roma now have one hell of a left back for a very fair price that they set, rather than our “We’ll give you 1.5m, some Barca Xips and a squirrel. Deal?”

–We’re stupid because we look stupid for letting this thing drag on and on and on and on. We also look cheap. Arsenal’s valuation of Fabregas, in the current transfer market, is very fair. This is a statement which, it must be added, has nothing to do with my personal valuation of Fabregas to the club. We’re looking for a bargain, which is stupid, particularly since the other party has made it very clear what the price is.

–We’re stupid because we’re frittering away a dwindling transfer window, even if Guardiola has said that if we don’t sign Fabregas, we aren’t signing anyone else.

And now for Arsenal:

–They’re stupid because this matter is not strictly business for them, just as for us. And it should be. This is like a 2 million dollar house sale being scuttled because of not being able to agree on whether a 9k fridge stays or goes. Fabregas wants to leave. What is the point of keeping him? But they don’t want to “lose” in this deal. So it’s X number or get lost, which is their right. But that right makes them no less stupid.

–They’re stupid because they’re standing pat with a lineup that finished fourth in the Prem last season, while all around them have improved. 38m, or whatever in the hell we last offered, buys a hell of a lot of talent, talent that could improve a club to the extent that gets it over the hump. Instead, they let this thing drag on, missing the Juan Mata “sensible price” deadline. And now they pretty much have to keep a player who doesn’t want to stay, to have any shot at all.

–They’re stupid for adhering to their valuation of a player who doesn’t want to stay, taking a HUGE risk that he is going to be every bit as excellent and fully committed as he has been in the past. No matter someone’s intentions, can he be, really? Good question. There are some consummate professionals who, after mentally quitting a job, continue to perform at the same high level as when they started. Yup. There must be, somewhere. Fabregas could well be one of them.

–They’re stupid for not taking the money and running to improve the club. Wenger ‘as zee ‘ope that doing the same thing the same way will bring about a different result this time. Because it always does in the rosy glow of footy pre-season, right? Fans are full of hope that this season, it will all be different. Gervinho really will be the cut-rate Henry that everyone thought Chamakh was going to be. Yup. You betcha.

And Fabregas doesn’t get off easily here:

–He’s stupid because it’s only his future. If he wants to help resolve it, he’s stupid for sitting on the fence. So as it is, two clubs are haggling for the rights to pay him millions of dollars for his services, each one thinking it’s negotiating from a position of strength, because it knows what the player wants. Maybe Fabregas doesn’t really care, and would be fine with either club.

–He’s stupid because he’s taking fans and their love for granted. Yes, some fans will embrace him and the lack of a deal because they will delude themselves into thinking that he will stay because deep down, he loves Arsenal. Whatever. Were I an Arsenal fan, I would boo him until I fainted. Upon revival, I would continue to boo him.

–Is he injured or not injured? Travel with your damned teammates. Or are physios afraid to fly? If you’re injured, tell me that a football club worth hundreds of millions of dollars doesn’t have the wherewithal to continue your treatment at any location on the planet. Go ahead, so I can call you a liar.

–He’s stupid because he has a contract. That he signed. A long-term contract that gives his scads of money and security. It’s a contract that I believe he should honor. In the last year of it, all bets are off. But right now, he is under contract to Arsenal for at least two more seasons. Even if he honors the contract to its full term, he still leaves Arsenal while in his prime as a player.

All of this is why everything, everyone is stupid. What would I do to make this less stupid? I would remove the antagonists from the affair, and have a neutral party ajudicate the matter, as with mediation in a labor dispute. When both sides are too riven to continue negotiating in good faith, it’s time for a third party, who might say “This is what I would do to resolve this,” or “You people are just too stupid to be helped.”

And that’s what I (don’t) know. What do you know?

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Written by:

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

179 Comments

  1. Gogah
    August 6, 2011

    ohh my god..whatever gave you the courage and energy to post this article, i’ll never know 😀
    i know a lot of fans have squabbled before me about who the lesser evil is – barca or arsenal. It is extremely tiresome. for me its clear, and it always has been that all this fab’s doing. you CANNOT please everybody in the world of football. that is just it.

    1. We are doing the right thing by letting this crap drag on.
    I’m with Rosell on this. not really with Pep on this. I am a little paranoid about his intentions for our squad this season.

    2. Arsenal are not doing the right thing by letting this drag on.
    sure they dont want to be bullied, but come on, are you thinking about your team at all?

    3. Cesc is doing a very bad thing / right thing (financially) for himself. he gets to watch two big clubs fight like idiots over who gets to keep him.

    note that it is barcelona who are at the pinnacle right now. they just won a CL and a league, this whole fab business is a real luxury for them. Arsenal, on the other hand have just completed ANNNOTTHERR disappointing season. if i were Wenger i should be deeply concerned about my team. Fab’s unwillingness should not be taken as “oh my god, arsenal cannot look like a team that loses its best players” and instead not be afraid to start from scratch if need be. In any case, even selling fab for 35 M is still good business, considering they bought him for what 600,000? then there is the fact that arsenal are financially one of the most sound clubs around. for them it should be about sporting successes. and there is no way you can get that with a captain whose heart lies somewhere else.

  2. ciaran
    August 6, 2011

    It is really simple because it’s how you should buy/sell.
    I manage a sales team as part of my job and /i teach them all how to haggle for a better price.

    In a normal deal, each side should have 50% of the bargaining power.
    If one party needs more then they lose some of the power.

    In this deal, Barca WANTS Cesc but could walk on the deal. Arsenal NEEDS Cesc so don’t want to sell. Cesc really wants to come so is trying to force the deal without upsetting anyone.
    Barca have the upper hand on Arsenal so are dealing like they do.
    If Barca buys Cesc then Arsenal are in a very very weak position. It could come to a point that Arsenal flat out refuse to do a deal. If I were Arsenal I would put a deadline on the deal and completely refuse any offer after it as it will cost them a whole season if they lose him too late.

    For Barca, Rosell needs to continue negotiating as he is as close to the end of the transfer window as possible as it will drive a better deal.

    Me personally, I’ve changed my mind from the past couple of seasons. I actually want us to sign Fabregas now because this will never go away until it happens

  3. manchair
    August 6, 2011

    Oh and yeah, this is my first time, n I already know ill be a regular on this site. The post seemed so reasinable and bold(barca site posting dis is brace), where have u been? How come I’m just discovering this site??? Well done.

    • barca96
      August 6, 2011

      brave?

      Welcome!

      • Bill
        August 6, 2011

        Barca96, you are a better man than I am. I can’t d honestly welcome dis guy if dis guy d’uses d’s and dat lyk he is on d twitter when dis guy can actually rite d words very well like dat! 🙂

      • nzm
        August 6, 2011

        Yeah this text-speak/Nigerian-speak-from-goal.dot.com is tiresome, but I’m willing to let a newcomer have a chance, given that, at this stage, I’m not even sure if English is a first/second/third language for him. 🙂

      • manchair
        August 7, 2011

        For d record, neither nigerian nor do I visit goal.com, but I understand.

  4. manchair
    August 6, 2011

    Oh and yeah, this is my first time, n I already know ill be a regular on this site. The post seemed so reasonable and bold (barca site posting dis is brave), where have u been? How come I’m just discovering this site??? Well done.

    • August 6, 2011

      Welcome manchair. Glad to have you. 🙂

      The truth is Kxevin’s style, at least as he sees it. That you see a Barca site posting an article critical of Barca’s behavior as brave reflects the generally juvenile state of most soccer blogs. Going to most Barca blogs or Arsenal blogs (YankeeGunner being an exception), you see a childish inability to see the other side and assess the facts soberly.

      • manchair
        August 7, 2011

        Thanks Jose. Least someone uunderstands my ‘brave’ comment.

  5. Vj
    August 6, 2011

    Wenger: I love Fabregas.

    Xavi: We’re expectant.

    😆

  6. hammeronmessi
    August 6, 2011

    Dont want to comment on this tiresome cf saga.but few points

    pep wants him.

    pep wanting him doesnt mean we have to buy at the sellers price.remember the ibra price.

    40 m is a reasonable price.

    we can haggle,cause we r the only buyer,and the product only wants us.

    for this haggling there is an organizationl instability in arsenal ,not barca.

    cf is not a sporting need,its a catalonian need.thiago is no catalan.

    if cf really honours arsenal he should say publicly i m staying unless my valuation is meet or put in a transfer request.

    we r stooopid only because we r chasing him though we dont need him.

    biggest culprit in the 3 parties involved is cf.

    it is arsenal who is the victim in this hole saga,not cf.

    one request to bfb,no more cf related post.

    @euler and luke,
    why not a post on the whole european league thing?how come such a huge thing missed everyones radar?

  7. hammeronmessi
    August 6, 2011

    Welcome manchair.

    thats a weird nick

    • manchair
      August 7, 2011

      Thanks. Long story dat nick.

  8. kinukinu
    August 6, 2011

    I agree with Kxevin that this is all so stoopid. And I completely agree that Cesc never should have exteneded his contract til kingdom come, but I don’t understand those insisting that he is behaving dishonorably by not handing in a transfer request:

    1) Whether or not he makes a formal public statement, isn’t it implicit that Cesc wants to leave? Just because he hasn’t handed in a request doesn’t mean that Arsenal isn’t clear on Cesc’s desire to leave–after all, this wouldn’t still be going on if he wanted to stay.

    2) If it weren’t for the media making such a spectacle of this, mightn’t we be saying it is actually honorable for Cesc to try to keep his conversations with both clubs private until a deal is done? Transfer requests tend to imply that the player has bad blood with the club–I think Cesc is trying to avoid exactly that.

    3) To me, a transfer request would make sense if Cesc just wanted out and would consider many options, because then Arsenal could sell him to the highest bidder. But with a single buyer, I don’t know how this would make any difference.

    4) A transfer request can’t force a transfer–if Arsenal wanted to reject the request, they could. If Fabregas went as far as to air all the dirty laundry in public and was then forced to stay, where would that leave him? Where would it leave Arsenal? How could he remain captain and lead an already hurting team after such an ugly exchange?

    His refusal to take a public stance might be misguided and futile, but I don’t think it is dishonorable. He is trying to protect himself and his club (which consists of many other players who don’t deserve to be affected by this nonsense), should he be forced to stay. I actually think that’s pretty fair.

    • Bill
      August 6, 2011

      This, Kinukinu, is what I have been trying to tell people in this space. I admire how Cesc has handled this. His coach and club leadership know his true desires, his closest friends know his true desires, Barcelona knows his true desires, but he has kept it completely out of the press.

      Thats the definition of a professional. None of this stuff should ever be brought up in the media. You gain nothing by it. If he had aired his desires two years ago, and the transfer didn’t work out, he would have been forced to:
      A) Endure 2 years of being crucified by the fans or the media of the rejected party, or
      B) Seek an alternative but less desirable destination if he had chosen to leave and Barca couldn’t afford him.

      I think all players should learn from him and keep this stuff out of the public eye. I don’t think Barca need him, and I’m not a big fan of his, but I respect how he has handled it. His true feelings will come out when all this is over.

      It’s not fence sitting, it’s being professional about how to handle things.

      • cantbelievebarcabbbbb
        August 6, 2011

        Except that if he doesn’t ask for a transfer he (and is agent) are entitled to a 4 million pound loyalty bonus.

        If he is texting Rosell, liaising with barca players and -as has been alleged- been more or less on strike then he has found ways of ensuring it remains in the press and has been humiliating the club of which he is captain and who pays him extremely good wages every week.

        A good solution for Arsenal and Barcelona would be that Fabregas moves quickly for a fair price- I myself don’t think it will be a good solutionn for Fabregas, but that’s his call.

      • kinukinu
        August 7, 2011

        Cesc just offered to put his loyalty bonus toward his sale. And he did it without handing in a transfer request. That’s all I’m saying.

  9. Diego
    August 6, 2011

    Welcome to all the new members, Hope you come regulars.

  10. dennise
    August 6, 2011

    Do not try read too much from one transefer saga.( or from press quote, or..)

    It is a typical fan mistake, by the way.

  11. Calvin
    August 6, 2011

    After avoiding this post like the plague I have to say it went much better than I would have imagined.

    • August 6, 2011

      Registration is awesome. Some good points here, and I see where people are coming from. Still maintain my position on the matter though.

  12. barca96
    August 6, 2011

    Don’t you guys think that we are lucky that Cesc has friends in Barca so the board, Pep and our players really know Cesc’ intention.

    I mean, after all, that is all what matters. Not if Cesc pounds his chest and declares his love to Barca and hands in his transfer request.

    It would’ve been more complicated if we don’t have any insiders so to say. It is really beneficial to us that he is close to many players from our team.

  13. Josep
    August 6, 2011

    I think Cesc is doing this clearly so these whiny ass Arsenal fans will troll Barca boards. here’s a list of things you need to realize.

    1. A LOT OF BARCELONA FANS ALSO SUPPORT ARSENAL
    So there’s no point to most of your article painting Barca as bad guys. It’s annoying and petty. Where’d the one kid go after the business class, kidnapping, etc. quotes were refuted? You just make yourself look damn foolish.

    2. Don’t say 40m is an undervaluation.
    It’s not. do you not realize how much 40m is? and where it would put Cesc on the history of transfer fees all time?

    3. Don’t cry victim that’s our job.
    Don’t complain about refs, or UEFA. If you want to be taken seriously here or anywhere steer away from ridiculous statements. Don’t say we clearly convinced the ref to send off RVP. We all agreed it was a harsh yellow but within the laws of the game.
    And don’t complain about hard tackles, personally I don’t remember any. You were dominated. destroyed in the second leg, and lucky in the first. Messi’s disallowed goal, AA handball, and other things you always fail to mention.

    4. When talking about youth systems, as outerspaced mentions, you don’t have one.

    What Arsenal do is buy young players from other youth systems and RUSH THEM to first team action. What we do most of the time is pick up the kids at 10-13 or so, and groom them in our way. With Busi, Pedro, etc. they came here at 17. At arsenal they may be rushed to first team..but at barca that’s most likely Juvenil A-B level. They still go through all the processes they just skip the Benjamin level.
    Barca don’t shell out big tranfser fees for youngsters. If we purchased Neymar he wouldn’t be our youth product, but you lot might take it as that.

    5. Just shutup.
    No one cares about the whiny rehashed points. No one cares about Fabregas’ most assists. Ever think its because there’s no other creators on your team? And for us that Xavi, messi, and alves split enough assists?

    6. If you’re going to get ignorant, have the silverware to back it up.
    You’ve made no purchases besides Gervinho, to a team that is getting worse. Fab is constantly playing when he shouldn’t, due to injuries. Your physios are terrible. You have a big club and your team continues to underperform.

    What I want to know is, if Cesc leaves, how do the gooner faithful feel? will he be booed when he returns?

    My thoughts are kinda scrambled…the godfather is on

    • Eklavya
      August 6, 2011

      Josep FTW!

    • cantbelievebarcabbbbb
      August 6, 2011

      They sure are scrmable

      you obviuosuly weren’t watching the game if you don’re recall a numebr of reduction tackles on Nasti by alves-

      here’s one

      http://vodpod.com/watch/5725055-dani-alves-tackle-samir-nasri-from-behind-barcelona-arsenal

      youll note the scissor action in an attmept to deliberately injure the Arsensl player.

      And within the rules of the game Abidal should have been sent off in the first half for placing his hands around van Persie’s throat. A straight red card offence. What was outrageous about the refereeing in that game was that Arsenal had five yellow cards and one double yellow and Barcelona had none.Noone can say on the balance of play that was justified.

      That’s bias. But I guess you can’t see it. You feel entitled. Becausue Franco mistreated barca back in the 40’s you still feel you have a right to behave as you want, to simulate when tackled , and to be morally righteous.

      The English Premier league is different- much more physical with a far higher percentage of competitive games – every club and not just two shares in the Tv rights.

      You may have been able to keep a flock of youngsters and play them forever whilst the highest paid first team inthe world until recently inclusing such bargain signings as Chygrynskiy Ibrahimovic ( becasuse of the financial indulgence Barca received from the banks Every team has its own style there own circumstances and their own way of developing players. You don’t for example have to deal with two clubs with boundless oligarch budgets. When you show a little respect and understanding then maybe you will get what your football (mostly deserves)

      THins like “When talking about youth systems, as outerspaced mentions, you don’t have one.”
      show your immense arrogance.and your ignorance often the two go together. It’s a shame that this comes out of what I thought was an excellent article on a blog that I might revisit but won’t comment on if the arrogance you show is typical

      • Josep
        August 6, 2011

        the video you posted isn’t even a foul.

        I thought the English game was tough? I do recall, however, a play in which RVP stamps directly on Messi’s ankle with no foul.

        do you think that maybe the yellows just mean you guys fouled more? the game isn’t all stats. So whiny.

        “That’s bias. But I guess you can’t see it. You feel entitled. Becausue Franco mistreated barca back in the 40′s you still feel you have a right to behave as you want, to simulate when tackled , and to be morally righteous. ”

        okay, just shut the fuck up and go to your own boards. you’re an idiot. but i’m the arrogant one. fuck off. I hope you read this before its modded you whingy little fuck.

      • cantbelievebarcabbbbb
        August 6, 2011

        You’re as classy as your club Josip.

        The only reason you could possibly consdier that wasn’t a foul was because it was committed by a Barcelona player at the Camp Nou. in any other jurisdiction or committed by a player wearing any other jersey it’s a yellow card.

      • August 6, 2011

        Hodor.

      • Josep
        August 6, 2011

        HOW HARD IS IT TO SPELL A NAME CORRECTLY.

        OR WORDS.

        No, that’s not the case. Can’t I say the only reason you consider it a foul is because it was against your club away? Hmm..it seems the announcers didn’t see it as a foul.

        Or the official. But wait, he was paid off too, right? Just get the fuck out of here. You’re here to accuse us of arrogance, cheating, and the like and you think you’re going to be respected? You think coming here and telling us how we are and then ridiculing us we’ll just be like “oh gee, I see it your wear. up the arsenal!”

        fuck outta here

  14. Bill
    August 6, 2011

    How come no one thinks this is just Barcelona taking the pledge on Fabregas?

    Because the media, fans and players love him and want him, Barcelona management keeps pretending that they want him by making half-hearted overtures. Here is why I think management really doesn’t want him.

    -When Barcelona wanted Ronaldinho, Laporta and group flew to Paris to negotiate and hash out the details of the contract. If my memory serves me right, they even went to wherever Ronaldinho was vacationing to finalize details.

    -When Barcelona didn’t want Eto’o, they simply sent a fax with an offer for a million dollar raise to his current salary. His agent rejected it, as he is supposed to do, and waited for an improved offer. None came. What came out was a statement about how his camp rejected the offer, and how Barcelona had a wage structure they had to adhere to (sic).

    -When Barcelona wanted Ibrahimovic, Laporta diverted his plane from wherever it was going, to Milan, sat down with the owners there, and did whatever he had to do to make the deal work, regardless of how ridiculous his valuation was.

    -When Barcelona didn’t really want Rossi, they found out how much Villareal wanted for him, then sent an offer below the asking price, claimed their asking price was too much, then didn’t do much negotiating after that.

    -When Barcelona wanted Sanchez, there was a lot of back and forth negotiations going on. His overstated value didn’t stop them from pushing on with negotiations and finding a way to make it work. Rosell even made a trip to Argentina during the Copa to try and finish things off.

    I’m not bringing up old stuff just to start another debate, I’m just pointing out past behavior to predict future actions with regards to Fabregas.

    In 2009, Barcelona made an offer for Fabregas, but Arsenal were genuinely unwilling to sell at that point. Arsene pleaded with Fabregas to stay one more year so they can win. Negotiations didn’t even take place so we can’t tell if Barcelona were really serious about their offer then.

    In 2010, Barcelona asked Arsenal about Fabregas, this time, Arsenal valued him at 45 million. Barcelona simply sent a 40 million counter offer, then went silent. They didn’t negotiate, they didn’t send any top guns, just silence.

    In 2011, Arsenal are now really willing to sell Fabregas. He had fulfilled their wish to stay longer and they had found enough cover for him. So they were careful to reduce their valuation to 40 million expecting a quick resolve of the issue. Barcelona then claimed his value has now dropped (how????), sent a 35 million dollar offer, then went silent again. No negotiations, no big guns are going to England for the negotiations. Just silence.

    This is why I think Barcelona don’t really want Cesc right now, they just have to satisfy the fans, the players and the media that they are making an effort to get him. I think it is also a protective cloak over him. As long as all other teams know Barcelona wants him and he also wants barcelona, no other team is really going after him even though they might need him.

    • nzm
      August 6, 2011

      Yes Bill, your logic is sound. This would also explain something that I’ve found hard to fathom – why Cesc signed the extension to his Arsenal contract.

      Maybe Cesc knows that Barcelona doesn’t really want him, and he’s using the media hype as an opportunity to cement his place at Arsenal, and up his price.

      In that case, Arsenal has been duped by their captain, and the media has most likely been played by Fabregas as well. Going further, he’s also probably deceived his best mates and taken them for the ride too. And all the while, he remains quiet, only raising his head now and then to repeat how much he loves Arsenal, respects Wenger like a father and admires Barcelona. Just enough to keep the media fires burning!

      • dennise
        August 7, 2011

        at the time of extending his contract with Arsebal – Laporta run office in FCB – so Fabregas had every reason to believe – Laporta buys him – the price does not matter.

        It has been her under discussion – longer contracts are “sources” for hefty buyouts – can’t really blame fabregas.

        In my opinion:

        Fabregas wants to go to FCB
        Pep wants to see fabregas at FCB but neither Rosell nor Wenger

      • nzm
        August 7, 2011

        Fabregas signed his contract renewal in April 2010. Laporta’s tenure at Barcelona was almost finished at this stage, with new elections in June 2010.

        It was naive to think that anything was going to happen quickly – especially after Cesc made it harder for negotiations to occur, given his fresh contract renewal with Arsenal, and a significant rise in his salary and value.

        Laporta had to act quickly before his term ran out – and he did, going for the low-hanging fruit in the form of David Villa, who was his last signing (May 2010) before leaving office.

        By signing the contract extension, Fabregas effectively took himself out of the running where Laporta was concerned.

        If Fabregas had wanted to come to Barca under Laporta, he should never have signed that contract.

    • nzm
      August 6, 2011

      Except that the Catalan press is reporting that a fresh offer from Barca will be made to Arsenal on Monday. The veracity of that will have to wait until then.

  15. Humphrey Bogart
    August 6, 2011

    Just follow the game between Tottenham and Bilbao, and Bilbao is looking very, very good, Seems Bielsa hit the ground running, their pressing and passing is impressive

  16. blitzen
    August 6, 2011

    Oh goodie, a trollbaiting post! Thanks for this, Kxevin! How classless of you! 😉

    No, really, it wasn’t that bad. Registration is a good thing. Admittedly I skipped most of the comments because I am sick of this issue. Just END already!

    • nzm
      August 6, 2011

      someone better post a good comment after this one by blitzen, otherwise there’s a high percentage chance that she’ll be hectored….again. 🙂

      • nzm
        August 6, 2011

        and most likely by the most cerebral new post of all – a LiveBlog/LoveBlob for the Texas game!

  17. blitzen
    August 6, 2011

    I have important news! Luis Enrique is back on twitter! You can follow him at @LUISENRIQUE21.

    😀

  18. cantbelievebarcabbbbb
    August 6, 2011

    Agreat blog Kxevin and a great analysis of the Fabregas situation. US based soccer-blogs are often far superior to their European counterparts in knowledge analysis and sheer quality of writing -I’ve really enjoyed reading your article.

    Meeting some of your readers – not so much

    • Josep
      August 6, 2011

      you come to a barcelona board and your SECOND SENTENCE starts with
      “Barcelona who cheated their way to the Champions league against Arsenal”

      and you want respect? you came here, we didn’t recruit you. then you call us classless. god people are so damn clueless you don’t deserve respect, it’s earned

      • cantbelievebarcabbbbb
        August 6, 2011

        I was talking to the adult person who runs the blog not the dirty little monkey who hangs around inthe gutter.

        This one’s for you Josep since it seems to give you a hardon to hear the bad words the big boys use – fuck off you foul mouthed little toad!

      • Josep
        August 6, 2011

        did you call me a monkey?

        RACISTRACISTRACISTRACISTRACISTRACISTRACIST

      • cantbelievebarcabbbbb
        August 6, 2011

        Not racist, though possibly speciesist. So I apologise unreservedly to any monkeys who were offended by the comparison.

    • August 6, 2011

      This is one of the best soccer blogs on the internet, in my opinion. As far as team-specific blogs, I’d even say it is the best I’ve ever read. Our community here is also one of the smartest, most diverse ones you’ll find on the internet. We treat the outsiders we receive, such as madridistas and gunners, with respect and courtesy–at the minimum as much respect and courtesy as they show us.

      You have been nothing but disrespectful and hateful in your comments here. Look back at your posts: you should be ashamed of the way you have behaved.

      Please feel free to come back any time to give your point of view as an Arsenal fans, but hopefully next time you will do so with much more maturity and respect than you have displayed today.

      • cantbelievebarcabbbbb
        August 7, 2011

        AS I have said repeatedly, I think its’ an excellent blog. however if you think that some of your members have shown respect to other teams on this blog then you are close to delusional.

        Your team is behaving arrogantly and destructively in the transfer market such that many people who liked the team (as I did) and admire the wonderful football you can play are starting to find it repulsive that a club that considers itself morally superior to others behaves with such smallmindedness, lack of class and ignorance of the spirit of the game.

        Your teams record of fortunate refereeing decisions in Europe and persistent simulation is losing you the respect that your football should bring.

        A shame.

      • mintmocha
        August 7, 2011

        Well, if you’re going to come here and insist that Barcelona are a bunch of divers, cheaters, classless pieces of gutter scum then don’t be surprised if none of us are going to be converted to your opinion. You’re wasting your time.

      • August 7, 2011

        You’re confusing the situation. Nobody here has any responsibility or obligation to respect Arsenal, nor any other club. What we as a community do have is the expectation to respect other commenters, be they cule or not. I personally think that Arsenal is embarrassing itself as a club right now, and is generally one of the more hypocritical clubs in football: touting “financial responsibility and youth development” while these are based on exploiting child labor laws to poach continental talent, to the detriment of clubs all over Spain, France and the Netherlands. But that should not prevent us from having a dignified conversation on the subject.

        As to Barcelona behaving arrogantly in the transfer market, you need to grow a business sense. Barcelona has a responsibility to seek the best price possible for Fabregas. As the only possible buyer, Barca should not expect to pay anything near “market” price for Fabregas because there is no market, only Barcelona. Barcelona is under no obligation to pay Arsenal’s asking price, no more than Arsenal are obligated to pay Mata’s price. Valencia also has no obligation to continue hearing offers for Mata, no matter how much Wilshere and Wenger talk him up. Same with Arsenal and Fabregas. If Arsenal doesn’t want to continue hearing Barca’s offers, it doesn’t need to. That’s their right. That Arsenal, though, have focused almost exclusively on whether Fabregas is leaving or not and not made necessary movement in this transfer market this summer is Arsenal’s fault not Barcelona’s. Stop deflecting your own club’s incompetence toward our club’s hard bargaining.

        As for refereeing decisions, Barcelona has had as many decisions go against them. Chelsea: Henry penalty non-call, Ballack handball penalty noncall, Abidal red card; Inter: Milito offside goal, wrongefully disallowed Bojan goal (which would have put us in the final); Arsenal: Messi goal disallowed incorrectly, Messi penalty in the second leg… I could go on. Hell, we had an offside goal scored against us in the CL Final which no one seems to remember. Look them up on Youtube, because I’m not going to bother. But it’s Pep’s policy not to talk about refereeing decisions after the match (instituted after the first Chelsea leg years ago). Just because Barca as a team doesn’t throw a crying fest after a loss (as it could have done against Inter) doesn’t mean we are not affected by refereeing mistakes. Managers like Wenger and Mourinho like using such decisions as scapegoats–because it is better to bitch about a technically correct yellow card against my striker than trying to explain how my game plan failed to produce a single shot on goal.

        This blog’s motto is El blog et torna el que li dones. You get from this blog what you put into it. Put in disrespect and immaturity and you should expect it back. When somebody tries to correct your factual errors and you answer them with accusations of blind bias or delusion, you shouldn’t expect this community to sympathize with your complaints of being attacked.

      • Jnice
        August 7, 2011

        I love you, Jose.

      • SteveHK
        August 7, 2011

        Very intelligent and well written post!

      • Brosep
        August 7, 2011

        “The members of this blog are delusional for thinking they respect other teams. Look at the way the players and administrators act!”

        Before we get into the details of the actions of the players, you are presuming to judge this community based on things other than this community. You have come and antagonized us, and then acted as though you’re actually some diplomat interested in an exchange of ideas. We support FC Barcelona with irrational fervor, but we are neither the players nor the administrators. Take your grievances to them, but you should understand the frivolity in arguing with innocent (mostly non-Catalan) fans on their own site.

  19. August 6, 2011

    lol @ the Goooners.

  20. August 7, 2011

    Barcelona / Real Madrid Camiseta de fútbol, precio: 16 euros cada conjunto
    Si usted está interesado en él, por favor póngase en contacto conmigo, puede imprimir cualquier nombre (por ejemplo: Kaka, Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, David Villa,Pedro Rodriguez , Alexis, Xavi Hernandez, Ronaldo etcétera) e incluso su propio nombre y número personalizado
    MSN: soccer-facebook02@hotmail.com

  21. August 10, 2011

    Its true Barça don’t have enough money, so they bargain with what they can afford, Arshavin joine Arsenal by paying for his own transfer, Chamakh joined for free when Arsenal refused to pay for his price tag, “player’s interest” plays a “major” role in transfers, and lastly, Barça knows that they have Thiago,Sergi Roberto,Riverola,JDS, and more coming up and coming up very fast, do you notice Thiago wearing No 4 during pre-season, Cesc did not perform as much as Aguero and was sold for £38m, common £35 or £38m for Cesc is fair negotiation, Arsenal refused to buy Mata, because of price as well, thats how transfer works, take it or simply say no, but sorry for Cesc, he is the looser, but Barça are FAIR.

  22. cantbelievebarcabbbbb
    August 12, 2011

    So your low-class club continues its low-class behaviour right to the very end. The same disrespectful players who tapped up Fabregas- including placing a Barcelona jersey over his head whilst he was contracted to another team conclude the farce by announcing the deal is completed before it is.

    No doubt the denizens of this blog will consider it appropriate behaviour as they have applauded the chiselling and disrespectful behaviour of the last two years because it may have saved the most successful club in the world a couple of million quid.

    What you don’t realise is that for a team to be respected and admired it needs to behave with class. And unfortunately the current team and management lacks class in their attitude to the spirit of the game both on and off the pitch.

  23. cantbelievebarcabbbbb
    August 12, 2011

    IN so doing I believe they have broken a non-disclosure agreement. On the pitch and off Barcelona behave as though the laws of the game, of business, or of common decency don’t apply to them.

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