Getcher Crazie Out

Last night I watched the lamest horror movie. I won’t tell you the title because you will watch it and hate me and remove your BFB bookmark. It was about a radio wave that turned people into homicidal maniacs. The not-maniacs turned homicidal to protect themselves from the real maniacs, and everyone kept asking each other if they were maniacs. The code word was “crazy”: “Do you have the crazy? How do I know you’re not a crazy?” We think the script probably spelled it “crazie”.

Now, rewind your noggin-bobbin to the Audi Cup. Ho hum, although I do love a Chivas tailgate. Anyhoo, at one point the Hunky Soccer Husband muttered, “I don’t know if Affellay’s good enough.” “My god, man,” I cried. “Are you out of your mind?” Then Thiago made some insane curlie-cue. “Wow, that’s crazy,” we said. But it was more than crazy. It was crazie. And maybe that’s how good you have to be.

Not everyone is crazy, let alone crazie. Some people are crazy without being crazie, and some are crazie even though there’s nothing particularly crazy about them. Let’s review, and then I’ll leave it up to you maniacs to decide.

Take Mourinho. He’s mentally unstable. He calls himself these crazy names, and makes these crazy accusations, and goes on these crazy shopping sprees, and then indulges this crazy power trip, and he’s still got just one (busted) Copa del Rey in the cabinet. So he’s crazy, all right, but he’s not crazie.

You can have crazy attributes and not be crazie. You can have crazy tattoos, like Guti. You can have crazy eyes, like Oezil (“Like” them on Facebook!) You can have crazy parents, like the Dos Santos brothers. You can have crazy height, like Zigic. All are really good players. They have some crazy *&%$#. But none of them are crazie.

On the other hand, you can have crazy attributes and be crazie. You can have crazy hair stacked atop a mountain of unstoppable sinew. You can have crazy legs that dig in and kick out and make lesser men go splat. You can have a crazy girlfriend (I know, you can do that too) and make dashing upfield runs (no, you can’t). You can wear crazy stuff, like fuzzy wristbands circa 1973 Wimbledon, and then kick out some stamina. You can have a crazy complexion, like that nutjob with the bodega.

You can have crazy, be crazy and have the crazie. Cristiano Ronaldo, I am convinced, is just as personality-disordered as his diagnosable mí­ster. He drives the Paris Hilton set crazy because he makes Michelangelo’s David look like Davey Jones. But his pace, his stride, his sheer fluidity on the ball, that’s just *&%$#@ crazie. (That’s for you, Bassam!)

But my favorite crazie is stealth. You wouldn’t know him if he walked past you on a B-movie set waving a chainsaw. It’s a guy who wears stonewash denim, out, and then makes a crazie percentage of perfect, invisible, almost impossible passes. It’s the lanky fellow who endures diagnosis, illness, recovery and training, only to dominate the backfield as if he’s endured nothing more than a facial. It’s the stumpy dude who commands the ball into an astronomically-small orbit around his crazie ankles.

So back to Affellay. He’s crazy young. And he’s got a crazy run.

But is he crazie?

Fabregas. Coaches are crazy about him. He’s crazed with desire to moc moc with FCB.

But is he crazie enough to convince BFB?

Thiago. He’s young too. He’s got some crazy FCB blood.

And I think he just might be crazie.

Categorized as Nonsense

By SoccerMom

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. So you don’t really need the “Barca DNA”, you have to be crazie!

    You could also say that Pedro and Busquets made it into the first team because they are Crazie! too. One runs around endlessly towards the opponent with his arms flailing about that give the awesome inflatable flailing men in the camp nou a run for their money. The other does so well in getting under everyone’s skin and at the same time deploys his massive talents on the pitch with the illusion that he is putting no effort in at all.

    1. My god, I forgot how much I loved Guily. Almost worth resigning him for the fire on the bench, although I guess Pinto provides that.

    2. I know it’s the last years of his career, and he has to earn money, but I really dont understand this move, it seems to be a bad environment.

    3. Hey! No put downs. 😀

      Sammy, why? Must have been the money, but what happened to the Mallorca return? I guess there’s still time, but… Sigh.

    4. It’s pretty sad really..Arguably he just came off his best season ever by scoring his biggest tally in a season ever (37) and almost single-handedly carrying Inter through the CL,Serie A and Coppa. He could lead the front line of any CL team.

      The stranger thing though remains, how exactly do Inter think selling Eto’o and Sneijder could be a good idea?

    5. Maybe but selling your 2 best players after the season has already started in Italy is a bit weird for me.

    1. I sure hope so! I don’t really want him but for the sake of everyone’s mental health just pay the 40 million so we don’t have to go through this again!!

    2. Does that article say August 10 2011 or August 10 2010? 🙂

      Although my cynicism for Sport knows no bounds, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they’re right this time. See, they just kept running the same article, knowing eventually it would come true!

    3. Don’t care much for him coming and anyhow I’ll believe it when he’s wearing the shirt. I just want to take this opportunity to express what might be an unpopular opinion here:

      It’s comical the level to which Fabregas’s price has fallen. I recall back when his valuation in the open market was estimated at 60M pounds (Man City price). And Wenger’s valuation of 50M last year. This is the captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world, arguably the best young midfielder in the EPL and the man with the most assists (60) in European leagues over the last five seasons. His contract runs for longer than many contracts being signed today. That Arsenal is talking about selling him for 40M (more than he’s worth to us, but let’s ignore that) and that it has become the de facto “big number” that even the most homer of Gunners is clam happy to have us pay for him is ludicrous.

      I understand all the reasons for which the price has fallen so much. But in the end, even if Rosell caves and gives Arsenal a deal that reaches just over 40M (with variables, of course), it still feels to me like we’re robbing Arsenal blind. Am I alone in this?

      P.S. Linda and SoMa spoil us 🙂

    4. I said something similar a few posts back.

      We should count ourself lucky for a number of reasons;
      -He only wants to come to us
      -Our players can communicate with Cesc anytime and relay the message to the board or Pep.

    5. 40 mil in my mind is a good deal for Cesc. But from a PR perspective, I think a deal before the end of the transfer market is not good for either club – Barca folks for not bargaining hard enough, Arsenal folks for no trying to hold on to their captain as long as possible.

  2. SoMa is back with crazie stuff!

    bring in El Clasico, and you’ll see people becoming crazie again. 😀

  3. and Cesc signing is just a matter of hours, I mean it guys.

    8.760 hours a.k.a 365 days later.

  4. you guys remember Ignasi Miquel?

    an ex La Masia, now playing as Arsenal reserve team captain. he went to Arsenal when he was 16 years old. sounds familiar?

    he made a vow last night on twitter, that he’ll never come back to Barcelona again. at least not when he’s 24 years old.

    @IgnasiMiquel : And I only give for the team that has given me the most opportunities to learn and develop myself which is Arsenal F.C.

    @IgnasiMiquel : And for all the questions, I will not say I want to go back to barcelona when I am 24, I owe nothing to them.

    1. How many years did he spent with us? If I’m not mistaken, he wasn’t even with us when Arsenal took him.

      In any case, nobody should ever say such things!
      Of course you owe something to the club even if you spent a few days. Be thankful in life.

  5. TBH he left Barca when he was 12 years old – so no wonder he owes us nothing….

  6. “Arsenal attacker Andrey Arshavin has made it clear that he would never go to Real Madrid as he’s a fan of the club’s arch rivals Barcelona.

    The Russia international scored the winner in his side’s 2-1 Champions League win over the Catalans last term and although Barcelona eventually beat the Gunners 4-3 on aggregate, Arshavin is not holding a grudge against the Spanish champions.

    “As for Europe, there’s only one club I would never go to and that’s Real Madrid, because I’m a Barcelona fan,” Arshavin said to Sport Express.

    The 30-year-old was recently linked with a move away from Arsenal as Anzhi Makhachkala are reportedly interested in signing him, but Arshavin is only interested in joining Zenit St Petersburg if he decides to return to Russia.”

    Nice to see we have a fan.

    1. That didn’t stop his agent from trying to get him a move to Real Madrid in 2009 when Juande Ramos (who had earlier tried to buy him for Tottenham) was in charge.

    2. Here’s what I found when I searched for “Andrei Arshavin Real Madrid” on Soccernet:

      Arshavin plays down Real Madrid link
      November 12, 2008

      “To be honest I don’t really want to talk much about this (Madrid), it is only a rumour and I cannot say much more,” said Arshavin in AS.

      “How could I not want to go Madrid? The only thing I’ve said is I want to leave Zenit in the new year. I have not made an declaration in favour of any team.

      “The most important thing now is not whether Real Madrid want me or not, but if Zenit will allow me to go.”

      He added about Madrid: “Of course I like them, they are a great team, one of the best.”

      To be fair he could very well be a Barca fan. Oezil was apparently a Barcelona fan too, but I don’t hold it against him that he went to Real Madrid. Players have to do what they think is best for their career.

      I just find it amusing when players make such declarations, do they think there are no records of their previous statements? (And I don’t like Arshavin).

    3. barcastuff
      Arshavin (Arsenal): “Club I would never join whatever they pay? Real Madrid. That’s 100% taboo beause I’m a long-time Barcelona fan.” [s-e]

      Does this mean that Blitzen will have to like(or dislike less) the “HLH” now?
      That’d be crazie!

    4. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! The HLH must never sully the shirt of my club! Anyway, he’s not good enough. Maybe for the B team.

  7. “I used to play for Barcelona, the world’s best team, but was not happy. When you’ve had an experience as bad as that you understand what is really important.”

    Did something seriously happen in the background that we don’t know anything of? Don’t tell me just because Pep didn’t talk to him he really had a bad experience. Wasn’t he well received with the rest of the players
    or what? I’m starting to feel sorry for him.

    1. My take on it is that Ibrahimovic has proven in the past that he is a bit of an egomaniac. When you put a person like that in a situation where they aren’t the center of attention and they are on the periphery then they are out of their element and could very well be unhappy.

      Barcelona was the first and team where Ibrahimovic wasn’t the focus of the attack since he played for Juventus. When you also look at the fact that he was benched by Bojan at the end of his first season and that had to sting his ego and confidence. He also was asked to curtail his explosions in the press – taking away one of his favorite forms of entertainment.

      Call me harsh, but I don’t think Ibra was mistreated in the slightest. He just found himself in a place where he had to act as the sidekick and he didn’t like it.

    2. Exactly this,

      I have a good friend who is an AC Milan fan and he said that ibra is in his opinion the most confusing player in the world.

      He is incredible, but he needs to be the focus of the attack and is a selfish and reportedly terrible teammate.

      It is my view that Ibra causes a conundrum because he is good enough to win a league with as your best player (especially in ITaly, where you can play defensive and rely on ibra to create goals from nothing) but not quite to compete in the champions league, so having him on your team makes you too good to adjust things but not quite good enough to compete on in europe.

    3. SoccerMom’s back, oh!

      Yeah, Ibi isn’t Ibra crazie, but atleast he’s not Ibra crazy.

    4. When you say you had a very bad experience you could mean it as having one terrible experience, like say ‘all the Catalans beat me up and branded red and yellow stripes on my cheeks’. Or it could be a longer spell of time that was just unpleasant, like ‘I was miserable working in this dead-end cubicle job so I quit after a year, the experience was bad’.

      I think he means a generally unhappy year or half-year as a bad experience, so Pep not talking to him or feeling out of place or on the periphery or misused or whatever he felt would be a bad experience. A ‘Tevez last year in Man City’ kind of ‘bad experience’ not a ‘Etoo in Zaragoza game’ kind of horrible event.

    5. Tevez last year in Man City

      I think so too! For the exact reasons that Calvin pointed out.

  8. Ibra has to move on already, he has already spoken enough to plead his case, there is no need to go any further. He is looking silly now

    1. This is amazing!
      The only thing he missed are these lines;
      I zizn’t see it” and
      building a team for the future

      I hope Eminem gets to hear this. He would be really proud!

  9. It’s comical the level to which Fabregas’s price has fallen.

    I’m mixed on this. His purported price has fallen but I think that speaks to how badly he wants to leave and the dynamics that happen when you can’t sell into a competitive market but are instead forced to sell to one buyer. Arsenal’s has limited leverage now due to his desire to leave and go to one team.

    Man City reportedly were willing to pay 44M up front in cash for Sanchez. Chelsea a similar amount. Ultimately, Udinese didn’t come close to those figures because the player would only go to one club.

    The other dimension to this is injuries. Since two years ago Fabregas simply hasn’t played much. He’s always hurt. Over the past three years he’s only played around 60%/ 55%/ 60% of all possible minutes for Arsenal.

    He’s functionally been a half time player. That’s absolutely going to drop his value because it now has to be taken as a major characteristic of his play. Many very talented footballers lacked the most important skill you need – the ability to stay healthy.

    And Fabregas’ injuries aren’t necessarily the kind that would occur from playing in the “physical” EPL. He gets recurrent muscle tears. So one can’t be confident that simply getting him to other physios is going to fix him. That’s just pure speculation.

    Finally, let’s take a look at how the market is evolving. Sure if you make Kaka or Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll the baseline for valuation then Fabregas appears to be worth an infinite amount. 60M, 80M, whatever.

    But what if you actually look at what the price is for players most comparable to Fabregas?

    Chelsea has offerred 30M pounds for Modric. He’s Fabregas’ age and has none of the injury worries.

    Manchester United is reportedly close to a deal on Wesley Sneijder for 33M pounds. While he’s older than Fabregas he’s still only 27. And he’s led his teams to far more success than Fabregas – both at the club and country levels. He was the key player on teams that won the treble and got to the WC finals. Fabregas hasn’t come close to either of those levels of success. And he hasn’t recently had the injury problems Fabregas has had.

    Fabregas is a very “illiquid” asset. He’s very difficult to price.

    1. While Im not really for fabregas transfer, I think labeling him as an illiquid asset and a player that has not led his team to much silverware(and that defining his price) is misgiving.
      Modric hasnt led Tottenham to much silverware either and 30 m pounds werent enough to prize him away ; also fabregas has the same injury worries as all of Arsenal team does. it speaks more for the club’s medical team rather than the player.
      Same goes for what has he captained arsenal to.
      Maybe he has done his best leading an underachieving team – that arsenal has been for the past six seasons.
      Anyway the above have little to do with his price.
      If this was an auction, I am certain fabregas price would be at the level of kaka’s. Or Torres’.
      Kaka and torres had similar injury woes at the time their transfer was negotiated – or worse – and their price did not drop one bit.

    2. Fabregas is “illiquid” in the sense that he can only be sold to one bidder. That’s what I meant. That makes him illiquid by definition. There’s only one potential buyer. And when that’s the case it’s very hard to come to any kind of equilibrium price. That’s the problem Arsenal and Barca are having.

      And I do think he is very comparable to Modric and Sneijder and while neither have been sold it’s also true that we haven’t even heard of a price close to 45M for either.

      You can compare Modric this year to Fabregas last year. Player wants to go. Club doesn’t want him to. Modric has taken it a step further and handed in a transfer request. Who knows if it’s true but what’s being said is that if Chelsea increases their offer past 30M it will be very difficult for the Spurs to keep him. His price isn’t even being remotely discusses at 50M to 60M. That’s not even in the conversation. And he’s very comparable to Fabregas and does not get hurt.

      Sneijder is being auctioned. Two of the biggest revenue clubs are after him. He’s very comparable Fabregas. There’s a very good argument to be made that he’s a superior player – particular given that he’s actually on the pitch and not in the physios room.

      There’s been no discussion of Sneijder even coming close to what Kaka commanded. None. The number being rumored is 33M pounds. That’s not even close to the 60m euro or 80m euro some people keep projecting Fabregas to be worth in an “open market.”

      Transfers like Kaka’s, and C. Ronaldo’s and Ibra – all of those deals from that time have proven to be very remote exceptions not generalizations of new market price points.

      Torres is a striker and their market is always competely different – it’s by far the most over priced position on the market.

      I agree that if Arsenal could sell him on an open market they would get much more. But the point is that’s purely hypothetical. It’s not possible. So when Arsenal and supporters claim Fabregas is worth 60M or 80M or whatever they are making arguments that only hold in imaginary worlds. That’s not the circumstance Fabregas has placed them in. He has actively made himself a relatively illiquid asset and that completely changes what price can be commanded.

    3. “making arguments that only hold in imaginary worlds” thats a spot on assessment .
      That is even more significant because the financial terms only apply to existing scenarios and not hypothetical ones.
      However I get kind of itchy when what im reading tends to undervalue Fabregas – especially comparing to other players-.
      I dont really want the player to come,for my own reasons that could as well as be really wrong , but as far as his attributes are concerned he is for me the best midfielder after our own magicians.
      Sneijder or modric dont even come close.
      His stats hints at that too even if he’s injured for half of every season.

    4. Your point (and the one Jose I think was making earlier) are very well taken and I agree.

      Fabregas really is an exceptional player. There’s no question about it. When he’s healthy he’s really wonderful.

      My main point was just that when there’s only one buyer pretty much anything can happen and in general the seller is going to get hammered. It’s just to be expected.

      And Rosell knows this – he’s known he ultimately can work off of the leverage Fabregas’ desires have given him. And Rosell has done well in the negotiations.

    5. My main point was just that when there’s only one buyer pretty much anything can happen and in general the seller is going to get hammered.

      Exactly. I made this point a few posts back, and I understand why the price has dropped so much. There is no “fair market” price because there is no fair market, only Barcelona.

      That’s why I think that even if Rosell goes with the price that Arsenal are demanding now, at 40M pounds (which I don’t think he will), it’s still a hell of a bargain, and way less than I would have told you we would have had to pay for Cesc two years ago. I agree that Rosell has, financially, handled it brilliantly.

    6. wow what a comment. someone should mail this to pep and rosell just to make sure they are aware of this. these exact points, if they are not already. they should bring it up, i hope they are and thats what’s taking all this time..

      wow man, just reading your comment makes me want sneijder now.

    7. “You can compare Modric this year to Fabregas last year. ” I know you are referring to their position vis a vis their clubs but to me apart from that there is no comparison. I think it was Kxevin in a previous post who said that while he admired Modric and thought he was a good player he wasn’t a real game changer. I would agree with that assessment.

      In the last two seasons Modric has scored 7 goals compared to Fabregas’ 28. Fabregas’s assists over the last two seasons are unmatched by anyone. This is from someone who, as has rightly been said, hasn’t played anything like the number of games he should have ( my one real concern ).

      As you rightly say Euler, Fabregas has placed his club in a position where they aren’t going to get nearly as much as they could for him. If he turned round tomorrow and declared he was willing to go anywhere his price would rocket imo.

      Fabregas is that rarest of beasts – a midfielder who guarantees you goals from midfield every season. We are ( or seem to be) getting him for way below what we would pay in an open market. I sometimes feel that the circumstances of his leaving, the protracted nature of this move, our lack of money and the quality of our midfield have all combined to cause us to talk Cesc down as a player. I do understand the questions about whether or not this is our most urgent need though.

      As I’ve said before, I’ll grab him with open arms and I’m sure he’ll make a great contribution if he comes. We haven’t had any players I would be confident of making a difference from the bench in the past while but if he is certainly in that category.

    8. Oops, just noticed Mei and Euler’s posts above – weren’t there when I posted the above. Agree with both 🙂

  10. Fun article soccermom 🙂 What was the movie?
    This is totally off topic: I think you guys should add open thread fridays or something for FCB fans to discuss different things at the club. I feel bad commenting on things that have little or nothing to do with the entry. Just a suggestion 🙂

  11. you know i laughed when i read this article. not because of the article itself but because of HOW MUCH i get it! Really soccermom, i get the enormous difference between crazy and crazie. so much so, that i am disappointed with why you stopped short. you could have gone on to mention who in barca, is crazie, crazy and those who try to be crazy. make no mistake the just ‘crazy’ are those that try to be. the ‘crazie’ are those who are either ‘crazy’ and dont know it or are crazy, know it and are f@#$%king good. you are right when you say that there can be those who are crazy and not crazie and how mou rightly is only crazy. Xavi is Crazie, messi is crazie. but where i disagree with you is when you say that some can be crazy and crazie. yes they can, but are very very very few. in fact ‘crazie’ itself is dependent upon the lack of ‘crazy’. you know? thats what makes the ‘crazie’ come out more. the very few are those that have worked f***in hard to live up to ‘crazy’ and ended up being remembered as ‘crazie’…

    i donno what this article is about.. if its about fabregas, then i think he can be ‘crazie’ and he has the skill and perceived image to become crazie. and also cos he is not ‘crazy’..

  12. The buses here have Thiago’s face along with Pujol and Pedro. It sure didn’t take long for him to get included in the marketing!

  13. I had a really crazy dream last night. In my dream, it was mid season and the usual nonsense about Pep’s contract started again. And this time Pep was saying that just like Rosell has so many conditions and variables in his negotiations, he too will have variables in his contract. So Rosell asked him what conditions he wants, and Pep said he’ll remain coach BUT if Barca reach have to play Madrid in any knockout stages of any competition (Copa or CL), he won’t coach for that one week before the game. His reason for this was that it’s too much stress and he doesn’t want to have to deal with Mou. So for that one week, Tito would take over. Rosell did not find this condition acceptable and so Pep did not sign the contract.

    Then the next day EMD and Sport had headlines/cartoons about how Mou has finally defeated Barcelona by making them get rid of their coach.

    Then I woke up.

    Any thoughts on this?

  14. If this Cesc deal does go through as has been reported for 29M + 6M variables + 5M from Cesc (total valuation of 40M euro) it’ll be interesting to see reactions.

    I’d guess somehow Arsenal supporters are going to “blame” Barca for this price with outrage rather than hold their own club accountable for agreeing to sell.

    Somehow they will think it wrong for Barca to have tried to get the best price possible – a tactic that Wenger himself follows to extreme degrees in any transfer.

    Ultimately, that’s just how businesses function. Buyers almost always look to get the lowest price they can. It’s just logical.

    Arsenal raised expectations far too high through the press and public statements. They basically created a pathway where they would be defining the sale as a failure if they got anything less than their threshold price.

    They had very limited leverage in these negotiations due to the position Fabregas placed them in. All they could do was keep the player. And it very possible that the situation finally came to the point where keeping the player was simply not feasible.

    Regardless, they will have made an enormous profit on Fabregas while also deriving significant benefit from his performance.

    There was no reason for them to define success as meeting their line in the sand price. They have done remarkably well given how little they acquired the player for.

    Now it’s up to Wenger to reinvest.

    1. Did you mention they are now totally screwed for the new season? I’ll be interested to see what happens now with Nasri and RVP.

    2. Well, if they can nab Mata and a defender, they should be okay. That’s even with Nasri and Fabregas potentially leaving.

    3. Yeah, but everyone will now know they are desperate and we know what that will do to prices. Their style of football also relies on the quality of their midfield. Not sure who they have apart from the youngsters.

    4. 100% sure that Mata to Arsenal won’t happen this year. Valencia is standing very firm on the price (buyout clause) and the player isn’t desperate to leave.

    5. i think , as soon as the player poses next to the crest for the customary photo and the prices are the ones we read reported in various outlets, arsenal will have taken a huge blow.
      Which they should not have, and this has nothing to do with the fabregas situation.
      Their overall transfer approach especially this year has been ludicrous.
      It should all have been sorted before their preseason , and yet now they stand with
      -a weakened defense even by last year’s standards
      -their captain and best player leaving for what would be seem by other clubs a bargain and certaintly way below their valuation of the player
      -some other players like nasri , bendtner etc with futures hanging in the balance and demoralised.
      However they will try to rectify these situations , for example by aggressively moving into the transfer market they will never get their team ready for the early stages of the season – where they will also get to play against Udineze in the qualifiers , and this will be far from an easy game.

  15. You can’t call Mourinho crazy Soccermom, Madrid will go up in arms. With him you have to use the politically correct diagnosis, which is “paranoid schizophrenic with a severe napoleonic complex. He is also afflicted with frequent bouts of tourette’s syndrome’ Great piece.

  16. A SoMa post!!!!!! Life is good! We need more of your brilliance around here, especially since that verbose biased idiot Kxevin won’t be posting so much. 😀

    This article just came up on The Guardian, so a Cesc deal looks close (cue rejoicing or gnashing of teeth per your preference):

    Eto’o to Russia? Seriously? Is he going to take his family with him? This can’t end well.

    1. Just what the Cesc saga needs, last-minute leaks at the Barça board’s “excitement” and “delight”.

      A good chunk of the issue for Arsenal is public relations, not looking like they have been robbed, not looking like they are not a “big club”.

      The best we could do is act very solemn and talk about what a good deal Arsenal got out of us. If we start giggling to the media that we’ve totally robbed them, they’re liable to pull back into their shell and start Cesc against Udinese just out of spite.

      Who knows where these leaks are really coming from, of course. But we really need to keep our mouths shut until Cesc is smooching the crest.

  17. A club that has relatively quietly gone about making the best of a difficult situation has been Athletico.

    Their best player wanted out. And rather than dragging it out forever and letting it drag the club down they executed the transaction quickly and then reinvested.

    Remember – Man City bought Kun for a bargain price. They bought him for around as much Andy Carrol was sold for. Just think about that.

    Athletico could easily have decided that they would use Carrol and Torres as the baseline valuation for Kun. They could have said that Kun is worth 60M euro and demanded that from Man City. That would have been absolutely appropriate if they follow the same logic that has guided the notion that Fabregas’ value should be based on Jordan Henderson, Carroll, etc.

    But that’s not what Athletico did. They just decided that we’ll take 45M euro and steer him away from RM. That’s fine. Let’s get a deal done.

    And by acting quickly they’ve actually started rescuing the summer.

    They are using the money from Kun now. They pulled off a great deal in signing Arda Turan for 12M. They are reportedly close to signing Griesman as well – which will be a great singing for them.

    Losing Kun really hurts. But using that money to get Turan and Griesman really helps make the best out of that bad situation. Those are two very dynamic talents attacking from wide positions.

    They signed Adrian as well. They’ve reinforced their midfield and backline.

    Sure they are still aren’t going to be great – but they’ve done a very good job in the transfer market after being really hemmed in by their best player. And the key for them was understanding opportunity cost – waiting and holding out for every cent can really hurt you in the end because it prevents you from doing deals in the meantime.

    Athletico evaluated a bad situation with Kun for what it was – not what it should be in an ideal world. And then they moved on to maximize what the club could build back.

    1. And thats precisely the opposite of what Arsenal did too .
      Athletic madrid answered the question “What should we do in order to get the team ready by the start of the season?” : they sold kun and started signing replacements.
      Arsenal seem to ask another question ” how can we get hold of the players that want a transfer away from us?” .
      Thats how they played themselves into the position of having an unclear first team that is not ready for competing while the season is imminent, and no matter what they do right now they wont get ready for the season start.
      This is embarassing.

    2. Great post.

      Difference to me between Arsenal and Atletico here is self-perception.

      Arsenal sees itself as a big club. They are a big club. But they haven’t won lately. Everyone associated to Arsenal is afraid the sale of Cesc sends a message that they are on the decline.

      If they have to sell him, they really want to send a statement that they did it on their terms. That they are not a second-tier club who has to sell their best players to the real big boys.

      Atletico aren’t having an identity crisis. They know who they are; a team that’s not about to win the Liga, but can qualify for Europe and snag a Europa title now and again. They didn’t need to send a message; they just got on with it.

    3. Very much agree. For whatever reason Arsenal seems very insecure right now with their perceived status in the world of football.

      And as a result they turned a matter of business into a symbolic issue. And that’s almost always a terrible thing to do.

      Arsenal is a big club. Much bigger than any one or two players.

      But they themselves seem to be having an existential crisis of sorts and wound up putting much more import into these sales than was warranted.

      I think this is also why the whole notion of “disrespect” came up so much again and again. It’s the symbolism that they really got caught up in.

    4. I think Kxevin articulated it expertly on twitter:

      Was Wenger serious when he said that if they lose Fabregas and Nasri, that Arsenal isn’t a big club? How do supporters feel about that?
      If Barca lost Messi and Xavi tomorrow, it would STILL be a big club. A club is tradition,trophies,history and value,not players.
      Players come and go. It’s the club that matters, it’s the club that people support. Arsenal big club, no matter what.

      Couldn’t have out it better myself to be honest.

    5. Wenger is just not the manager for Arsenal anymore.
      When these stories broke out he should have sold Fabregas and Nasri from the get go , and invest this kind of money in replacements : Get a solid central defender , replace fabregas and sign a proven left back, and get them into rhythm for the start of the new season.
      That would be an improved Arsenal. However being deluded much , he lead the team to the unbelievable position where no matter what they do they will at least not be ready/settled for the start of their campaign.

    6. Exactly..Wenger is basically toying with the supposed ‘loyalty’ of his charges when he should realise that he should have cashed in on them way before this fiasco..
      Nasri leaving on a Bosman next season should be the straw that breaks Arsene’s back at Arsenal

    7. The problem is that if they sell him now at a price below the asking price they will have sort of fufilled their own views about not being a big club.

      The narrative of the summer has been can arsenal win? should Wegner go are they a big club? Now if cesc leaves (and nasri leaving would only add to this) they sort of confirm to the world that maybe they are not a big club, while this is not true (biggest team in London, wonderful stadium, huge international following) the perception may linger and this could hurt them in the future, and it really is of their own making.

    8. This is why it’s in Barça’s negotiating interest not to giggle to the media about how great the deal is. Act all respectful and say Arsenal negotiated well. Help them crawl out of the public relations hole they dug for themselves — while not giving them the deal they wanted.

    9. I should also add – if Athletico can actually be successful in signing Falcao (and i really don’t understand why he would go there…) they really will have had a great summer.

      They would have turned Kun into Falcao, Turan and Griesman.

  18. Oh, and ON topic, since SoMa started it, if you are looking for a decent horror movie, check out “Aaah Zombies!”. It is told from the perspective of four friends who don’t realize they have been turned into zombies and think everyone else has gone crazy. Low budget, but great fun.

  19. Eto’o to Russia is surprising. Sad even. But then again, thats a lot of money being thrown around. He could potentially make $100 million in the next 4 years! Thats NBA money.

    On one hand, you want to see a player like him continue to perform at the highest levels in the best leagues, but on the other hand, can you really blame an athlete for cashing in on that one last big paycheck?

    He has won everything there is to possibly win at club level in europe, and Inter are on a downward spiral as it always happens to Mourinho’s teams once he leaves.

    Not to sound arrogant, but once you have played with players like Iniesta, Xavi and Messi, you can’t possibly enjoy how Inter play. You would only do it for the money. And if you are at that point, why not play for a team that pays double? Let’s face it, he will never be a coach or an executive of any team once his career is done, so he might as well make as much money as he can now, before riding off to the sunset.

    I don’t agree with that move, but I can’t blame him for doing it.

    1. Sums up my view, and maybe he wants to be the unquestioned star somewhere for a change.

      Although the racism may be appalling to him when he gets there.

  20. Speaking of Crazie, we play Maulaga on Sunday the 21st then turn around and play the Joan Gamper on the 22nd then we play Porto on Friday the 26th for the EuroSupercup then we play then we play Villareal on Monday the 29th.

    Four games in about one week.

    Oh yea, and we will play EE twice before that week even starts.


  21. Well until he’s standing under the crest who knows, but there are now reports coming out of England from reputable sources saying the Fabregas drama is close to an end.

    This from Dan Roan who is a reporter for the BBC:

    danroan Dan Roan
    Fabregas is indeed on verge of leaving Arsenal for Barca. Board member I spoke to expects it done by w’end and adamant all funds reinvested

    I doubt Roan is just making this up. This is a direct leak from an Arsenal Board member.

    This is the kind of leak that a club sends out to condition it’s supporters for what’s coming.

    1. Yes, I agree. The buzz today sounds like the real thing to me.

      Barça just has to be careful not to screw things up before the signatures are on the dotted line.

  22. Did anyone watch the U20 games yesterday? The ARG/EGY game was a total heartbreaker, absolute highway robbery. That first ARG penalty was rubbish and should never have been given. Argentina has been terrible this whole tournament, and Egypt showed immense heart, trying right up to the final seconds. Very sad for them.

    Costa Rica/Colombia wasn’t much better. Colombia was clearly the better team, at least in the first half, but they play SO dirty I can’t possibly cheer for them. I hope Mexico walks all over them in the next round.

  23. This nails it, the stupdidty of Wenger:
    PaulHayward_gnm Paul Hayward
    40m euros were on the table for Fabregas 12 months ago. The deal was much simpler then but Wenger begged him to give it one more year.

  24. LiveBlog is up! I have a feeling the Fabregas convo is going to continue there. Fine. But only in the first half — Thiago debuts in the second.

  25. Enjoyed the post! But you didn’t mention the new guy, Alexis (?!) – puts crazy energy into defense, got some crazy step-over one on one moves, and got a cristy-r.-crazy physique. If Alexis scores some crazy goals this season – he could be crazie!!

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