What better way to start the season than with a photo of a man who people are probably convinced didn’t even go out during the day, our own Tiny Vampire, Andres Iniesta, hanging out on the beach. Yee-ha!
I’ll be brief with all this, but no less opinionated, because that’s how I roll.
Guardiola had his first official news conference of the new season today, and there were many highlights. There were a lotta words, but I will boil them down into bullet points:
–It really sucks that The Yaya left. I wanted to keep him, but not at his terms. I don’t roll that way.
–I would love to have Ibrahimovic stay, but his agent has to stop talking crap. No guarantees, you play for your spot.
–I wouldn’t mind at all if Marquez stays, but again, no guarantees of playing time. Dude! Really?
–I’d love to have Cesc Fabregas, but there’s been a lotta crap, and not enough money. Ain’t gonna happen.
–We need midfield cover, stat, for Iniesta and Xavi, as well as the galaxy who I tried to convince to stay.
You can go here for the rest. And a big, giant shout-out to Pep of FCBTransfers fame, who is still doing exceptional work. He doesn’t have a blog per se, but he is kicking the crap out of everybody who does, and purports to have Barca news. His Barca elections site was brilliant, and if you don’t subscribe to his Tweets via Twitter, you should. Dude’s all over stuff, yo.
—Carles Puyol, who has never been shy about speaking his mind, has his own things to say on l’affaire Fabregas:
“Cesc is a really nice guy and desperate to become a Barcelona player. But he is not the sort of player to be ruthless and start using the media to get him the move that he wants. There are many players who would try all sorts of tricks to make it impossible to ever play for Arsenal again but that is not his style.
“I think Arsenal need to respect his class and show the same class by giving the guy who has given so much to them the move that he and his family want. He isn’t just being deprived of moving to the best club in the world. More importantly, he is being deprived of coming home.
“He has tried everything to win trophies at Arsenal and when he sees the success so many of his Spanish team-mates are having at Barcelona, it’s only natural that he should want to be a part of that. Arsenal can’t do anything to stop that. I have just spent six weeks with him and there is only one club he wants to be at.
“The worst-case scenario is that we have to wait another 12 months for him to join us – but Arsenal, Barcelona and Cesc know that is the very worst-case scenario.”
Wow. Jiminy cricket. As you can predict, the Arsenal blogs and other Gunner-centric spaces are all atwitter with that, and Guardiola’s words about Fabregas. I have to tell you that I’m so far beyond caring that words can’t possibly capture the ennui. Sandro Rosell is supposedly winging his way to London, bearing a briefcase containing 40-45m, but with a secret compartment that is hiding another 5-10m, just in case. Arsenal will laugh, then we can go on to signing somebody in positions that we need.
Here’s a photo for you, courtesy of the good folks over at Arsenal Action:
Words fail me. Some say he doesn’t look happy about signing the shirt. Others say why is he signing it at all. Some of us just say “Sighhhhh.”
—Gone Adriano (some call him Henrique) has replied to his call-up by Guardiola by saying “Nope. Ain’t coming. Not until my future is sorted. I’m not going to come and hang out with the big kids, only to be shuttled off to Racing or somewhere again.” Now, I’m not a genius or anything, but if you want to play for us, that isn’t the way to go about it. You bring your ass to camp, work like dog and show off, in the hopes that this time you will impress enough to stay. Sorry, but I am not impressed. Looks line Gone Adriano will stay thus.
–In one of the funnier rumors I have heard of late, we are going to move for Mathieu Flamini as the The Yaya replacement. (Sorry, I can’t type any more while clutching my sides and crying from laughter.)
–B-Teamer Miquel Luque signed on with Almeria this week. It’s no big loss, since the midfielder wasn’t able to play his way into a regular role for Luis Enrique. In other losses, it looks like Filipe Luis is going to sign with Pathetico. Can you blame him? He views himself as a starter, and we’d be signing him as a squad player, in effect. Players always make the decisions based on the future they would like to have. But if Eric Abidal gets kidnapped by flying monkeys or something ….
—Zlatan Ibrahimovic met with Guardiola for about 45 minutes before today’s press conference. Not sure how the meeting went, but Guardiola made it clear that he would like Ibrahimovic to stay, but added that the forward’s future is ultimately up to him and his forked-tongues mouthpiece, Mino Raiola.
—Gaby Milito will have a normal pre-season with the club, which makes me all giddy with rapture. We all know the injury-troubled travails of our favorite lock-and-load defender. He was excellent last season, and should be even better this one.
And finally, Messi, what are you doing, dude?! You can’t get booked in a charity match!