Villa, Villa, Maravilla.
That’s the chant you can hear sometimes at the Mestalla or during La Furia Roja matches. Will we hear it at the Camp Nou in the next week, though? The Spanish newspapers/rags are all reporting that Laporta is pushing hard for David Villa‘s signature before the coming week is out, but it’s hard to put much stock in any of these rumors (€40m! €50m! €20m + Bojan + Hleb!) which circulated constantly throughout last summer in the exact same manner as they are now. Remember when Goal.com’s “source close to Camp Nou” told them Villa had agreed to a move? Yeah. About that source: “close to Camp Nou” turns out to mean literally close, as in, standing outside the stadium while letting go with verbal diarrhea. This time around it’s mainly €40m and a 4-year deal that’s being bandied about, but I’ll believe it when I see Villa holding his blaugrana #7 shirt and juggling for the cameras in the Camp Nou.
I don’t know whether Villa would fit in with Barça’s system or if his signature would create tension among the front line and produce fights for minutes and I don’t know if his arrival would bring about the departure of other players. I do know that he’s a fantastic player and is extremely popular throughout Spain, but his arrival at the expense of Pedro, Jeffren, or Bojan would be a step backwards in our youth development. Still, Laporta seems to think it’s a good thing to sign here and now before the new presidential candidate comes in, just as a legacy thing, you know? What’s important to me isn’t what Laporta and his ego want, but rather what Guardiola wants. If Pep is the one pushing for Villa’s signature, then all’s good in the BFB ‘hood, but that’s not something that we can know.
The other side of this coin is, of course, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The rumor mill is tossing out friggin’ hand grenades and seeing what sticks, including that we’re going to drop Ibra, but the giant Swede is taking almost no notice as he had rolled to training in his million dollar Ferrari. Sport, somehow stepping up and being the paragon of journalistic ethics for once, obscured his license plate number in the picture they took of it. EMD? Not so much. Regardless of what the rumors say (he’s going to Juventus, he’s going to England), he’s not going anywhere. If he does move, I’ll change my posting name to Queen Elizabeth for a month.
Apparently The Great Yaya‘s agent is claiming that the player is almost certainly gone this summer because Sergio Busquets has taken over his playing time and that’s unacceptable, seeing as Yaya is the best defensive midfielder in the world. You all know where I stand on this: squarely in the shadow of the Yaya, happily scared witless by his size. If he leaves, we’re utter, utter morons. That’s all there is to it. I don’t know if the man deserves a raise along with more playing time, but give him what he wants because he’s worth it. He should play more than Busi, should earn more than Busi, and should be treated with the respect he deserves. Also, he should fire his agent, who is an obvious jerkturd. Yeah I said it.
In other, you know, actual news, Andres Iniesta training normally with the squad, which is fantastic news, but Seydou Keita has apparently been training separately because of a slight knock. Let’s hope he’s fit to play on Sunday. Xavi‘s 5th yellow of the season has not been rescinded by RFEF, which is about as surprising as the sun coming up in the morning. That means we’ll need Iniesta to fill out the bench even though Thiago has apparently been performing well in practice this week.
If you love statistics and records, check out The Guardian’s little bit of trivia about how many records are set to fall this week in La Liga thanks to the stunning points total between the top two sides. Beware, though, of points percentages and whatnot and the number of teams involved in the league at the time of the points hauls mentioned.
What say you?