Author: Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

September 9, 2009 / / Barcelona

Welcome to the new look of Barcelona Football Blog. You’ll immediately notice several new things, of course, but there are some things I would like to point out in addition to the visual differences (background image, sidebar).

First, I’d like to point out that this new look is the work of our IT man, Tarun, who is a juggernaut behind the scenes. He’s the hidden gem behind the Messi-like qualities of our mercurial poster, Kevin, and our deep-lying midfield maestro, Hector. I suppose that makes me the Hleb of the group. Shit.

September 8, 2009 / / Statistics

bojangoalBojan Krkic is an interesting question in our lineup. Not necessarily from a talent perspective, but rather from an efficiency and capability perspective. There are those who question Bojan’s abilities and his place within the squad. Those are legitimate questions, so long as they’re framed in the right way with the requisite information available. Naturally, I’m here to provide some decimal points for you to look at when comparing Bojan’s current contributions to the team with his previous contributions.

I previously posted this as a comment on his birthday post, but I’m going to repost it in an easy-to-read table so that it’s clearer what’s going on. I’ll draw my own conclusions at the end of the post, but I’d like to point out here that 1) you should draw your own conclusions as well, 2) these stats are from all three of our competitions last year (I haven’t weighted the value of the competitions simply because that would require me to qualify the competitive differences between the competitions), and 3) I haven’t included all the available stats, partly because that’d be a lot more work, but mostly because I don’t believe in the assists stat and don’t want to sully my “scientific study” with that hoodoo.

September 3, 2009 / / Fantasy
September 2, 2009 / / El Banquillo
August 31, 2009 / / Preview

Team09-10

I previously covered the entire league in preview format, but what of Barcelona’s particular chances? We’ve got our transfers to fully integrate and our schedule to parse. Because there are enough matches to go around with a small squad (20 first team players as of this writing, but probably going to fall), time on the field will not be a problem for anyone. Anytime there’s an injury, there will be a Copa del Rey match to play in or a league match before a CL match. There are also the canteranos who will step up and the veterans (is Leo a veteran by now? Is Bojan?) who will play as many matches as their bodies will allow.

The league, then, is the priority, as always. I know that some readers will say “No, the Champions League is more important!” but I disagree fully and completely. I love the CL as much as anyone, I think, but La Liga is the title that matters. If I’m going to choose one to win each year, it would, without question, always be La Liga. I would never sacrifice the league in order to win the CL, not once. Sure, it might shut the EPL fanboys up a bit if we did win the CL continuously, but, again, it’s not as important to the identity and history of the club–at least from my perspective. So, because I value the domestic campaign more than the European campaign (attentive readers should go back to my older writings and cherry pick a few choice lines stating the opposite of this, especially when I argued for a Europe-wide league, a true Champions League; I deeply regret anything I said that would remove teams from a domestic league even if it was just for one year), I find it worthwhile to focus on the games themselves.

August 28, 2009 / / Liveblog
August 28, 2009 / / Barcelona
August 27, 2009 / / Preview

The second trophy of the season is up for grabs at a neutral venue: Monaco’s Stade Louis II. It only holds 18,500 (if it were any bigger, it wouldn’t fit in the principality), so the crowd won’t be quite as raucous as you might expect for a match pitting the defending Champions League and UEFA Cup champions. The UEFA Super Cup, a one-off match designed as a pseudo friendly that gets everyone’s blood pumping before the domestic leagues are in full swing, is an excellent way for those who won the UEFA Cup (now Europa Cup). I’m not convinced of the need for such a match, but it’s fun nonetheless and offers up some extra silverware for the cabinet.

FCB last played in this match in August 2006, when Dani Alves and Sevilla beat them. So only our little Brazilian hummingbird has ever won this trophy. There are connections to AS Monaco as well that are documented here, the most notable of which is The Yaya’s stint there before he began playing for us.

August 27, 2009 / / Barcelona

The UEFA Champions League group stage draw will be held today at 12 noon EST. Here are the pots:

Pot 1 Club (Nation) Coefficent
1 FC Barcelona (ESP, holders) 121.853
2 Chelsea FC (ENG) 118.899
3 Liverpool FC (ENG) 118.899
4 Manchester United FC (ENG) 111.899
5 AC Milan (ITA) 110.996
6 Arsenal FC (ENG) 106.899
7 Sevilla FC (ESP) 100.853
8 FC Bayern München (GER) 98.339

Pot 2 Club (Nation) Coefficent
9 Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 91.033
10 FC Internazionale Milano (ITA) 87.582
11 Real Madrid CF (ESP) 78.853
12 PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS) 71.525
13 FC Porto (POR) 68.292
14 AZ Alkmaar (NED) 64.826
15 Juventus (ITA) 63.582
16 Rangers FC (SCO) 56.575

Pot 3 Club (Nation) Coefficent
17 Olympiacos FC (GRE) 52.633
18 Olympique de Marseille (FRA) 48.033
19 FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) 46.370
20 VfB Stuttgart (GER) 45.339
21 ACF Fiorentina (ITA) 42.582
22 Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP) 41.853
23 FC Girondins de Bordeaux (FRA) 40.033
24 Beşiktaş JK (TUR) 32.445

Pot 4 Club (Nation) Coefficent
25 VfL Wolfsburg (GER) 21.339
26 R. Standard de Liège (BEL) 21.065
27 Maccabi Haifa FC (ISR) 17.050
28 FC Zürich (SUI) 14.050
29 FC Rubin Kazan (RUS) 9.525
30 AFC Unirea Urziceni (ROU) 8.781
31 APOEL FC (CYP) 4.016
32 Debreceni VSC (HUN) 1.633

August 27, 2009 / / Barcelona
August 26, 2009 / / State of the Liga

The dawn spreads its wispy fingers over the roofs of the neighboring buildings, sliding casually down Atlantic, splaying sideways at Flatbush. It dims the street light that shines through my window at that perfect angle where any attempt to block it from my eyes causes me to lose the air circulation in my room. I shift and try to sleep more, longer, anything to get rid of this feeling in my stomach. For once it’s not last night’s rounds with the boys that is causing me this insomnia. I look at my watch: 5 more hours to go. I roll over, pressing my face into the pillow. I roll over again, pulling the sheet over my legs then flipping it off moments later. I look at my watch: 4 hours, 59 minutes to go. I roll over, exhale.

“Stop tossing around, honey.” We love each other, of course, my girlfriend and I, but at 6am on Sunday morning, there is no such thing as empathy, just mumbled hatred. I try to hold still, but it’s too hot. I sit up and take a drink of water from the cup on the nightstand. I plop back down, exhale. “Stop tossing around, dickhead.”

I can’t explain it to her, she’ll never understand. It’s August 30 and I’m waiting as patiently as I can. I think she knows, intuitively, without having been reminded, that it’s Jornada 1, it’s el primer dia de la primera. It’s kickoff, it’s the beginning of another obsession. It’s gameday. No wonder I can’t sleep.

August 25, 2009 / / El Banquillo

[Author’s note: The idea for this was taken from the amazing The Dugout over on Progressive Boink. You should read it and love it, even if you don’t like baseball. However, if I took any of the names from The Dugout, that was entirely unintentional. -Isaiah]

Episode 1: In which the team meets up for the first time after the off season to say goodbye to those who are leaving and hello to some of the new guys.