Gamper Trophy LiveBlog
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.
–You see that face? The locks? Like it? Good, because bet cash money you’re going to be seeing it tonite, as the Gamper could turn into Kid Time. Gai Assulin 31 has been called up, as well as Thiago (yay!) 34, centerback Marc Bartra 26 and right back Martin Montoya 29. This is, of course, in addition to Johnny DS, Fontas, Muniesa and Jeffren, who should also see some time. The bold-face number beside each kid’s name is so that ye will know them by the shirt when they come on.
–Abidal and Henry are continuing their treatment, so look for that to be a match-time decision as to whether they see any time. Guardiola’s mood makes it abundantly clear that this is a pre-season match for the club, with the real emphasis being on the UEFA Super Cup that looms. Look for him to use players accordingly.
–“I am Mr. Rourke, your host. Welcome to Fannnntasy Island!” EMD says that we have struck a deal with Arsenal for Fabregas. They’re listing the story in the “top secret” file, as in “This crap is made up, but if we keep saying it, it might come true.” If Arsenal get knocked out by Celtic next Champions League match day, something about as likely as me sprouting wings and flying to Camp Nou for tonight’s match, Fabregas comes this summer. Otherwise he comes next year, for a number between 30 and 35 million.
As promised, here’s a news update from the club we all love sooooooo (damn, that’s a lotta o’s) much.
—Pep Guardiola, sez Sport, wants no more signings if they can’t be Barca quality. Apparently his top two targets are still Fabregas and Chygrynskiy. If they can’t come, he’s willing to stick with what we have. No shame in that, right? Know that the latter is cup-tied, and the former is common sense-tied, as in Wenger would be out of his mind to sell him.
–With this is mind, the kids practiced with the big boys for the Gamper match. Names worth noting from the list, as in people we are certainly going to see this season in Camp Nou, are Fontas, Muniesa, Jeffren, Dos Santos, Thiago and Assulin.
The face….the steely gaze that says “I will score”….the magic.
Ladies and gents, it was all about He Who Was Formerly Pedrito today, as he and Xavi combined to bail out what was really a desultory side today, with a few exceptions. Yes, it was the first, away leg of the SuperCopa but really, it was still pre-season for us and boy, did it show.
Guardiola rolled out a starting XI of: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, The Yaya, Keita, Xavi, Pedro!, Henry and Krkic. It was a semi-serious lineup that said “Hey, I’d love it if we could win this thing, but a draw would rock my world, as well.”
And things started out great, with lots of possession that, truth to tell, was a lot of the wrong kind of possession. Rather than triangles that dance about with evil intent, we got a lot of clunnky passing and the lads poncing about as though it was a practice session. Which is fine, because as I said, we should still be able to beat Bilbao with that side.
And so it came to pass.
There were a few things worthy of note in this match: