For Every Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

About seven hundred years ago, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ did not refer to a Pat’n’Vanna megasquirt of game-show CheezWhiz (am I the only one here old enough to remember when you had to buy the ceramic dog?), but an oversized accessory for the hippest gal in the galaxy. Her name was Fortuna, and she dangled men from her wrist like a giant charm bracelet, turning them round to glint in the sun or to tumble into shade. When you’re down, there’s nowhere to go but up, and if you’re up, well, don’t look down. Who’s in, who’s out, who’s hot, who’s not … it’s the September Issue. Let’s see who’s taken a ride on Fortuna’s wild Wheel this summer.

1. World Cup Wunderkind

HOT: Mesut Özil. The World Cup is like a class reunion: It’s fun to see the cool kids again, but even better to see who they bring to the party. After a standout summer performance that made the big leagues drool, Özil cooly hung fire until Big Bad Mou made the call. See ya in La Liga, lucky dog!

NOT: Franck Ribery. Less Özil, more Oz. The scrappy survivor who scored his way to the top of the Bundesliga now finds himself in a thicket of clumsy club relations, national team disasters, marital woes and criminal charges. Will he play his way into the clear, or stay stuck in the Woods weeds? Only time will tell!

2. World Cup Crack

HOT: El Guaje. Valencia implodes and David Villa catapults into Camp Nou alongside other two-syllable greats like Xavi, Ibra and Messi. Tapped as a back-up for Torres, he-shoots-he-scores Spain’s way to the semis. His torero celebrations, even if inspired by megasponsor McD’s, struck the perfect balance between patriotism and self-parody. If he can keep Fortuna’s cool, look for Brad to shave that Gandalf beard into a soul patch.

NOT: El Niño. Spain’s EuroStar gets injured, goes dim, gets benched. Torres kits go cold, Liverpool fans shiver and ESPN commentators befuddle themselves trying to figure out who’s cool now that Fernando’s on ice. His boyish charm buys him time, but a good-luck charm wouldn’t hurt either.

3. League

HOT: MLS. My undergrads blew off their summer minicourses catching matches at the bar. Landon Donovan gets an ovation on ‘Letterman’. And I can’t get Chicago Fi-yah on my DirecTV Package UltraEspecial without an upchuck of thirty bucks. Phil, Ray, help a SoMa and broadcast a couple of local games between the Coppa / Cupa / Copa matches!

NOT: Equipe de France. I’m sorry, I just can’t do justice to this. Or do this to Kxevin. It’s like rubbernecking a crash. A meteor crash. A meteor that’s crashed at full speed into a volcano, on top of a uranium vein, situated along a fault line … well, yeah. Sorry, Kxev.

4. Wise Old Man

HOT: Vicente del Bosque. The Man from Madrid had plenty silver stacked in his cabinet, but when he doubled-down at midfield, stuck by Torres, benched Cesc and crushed on Busquets, he proved to be made of steel. He then re-collected his starting XI in Mexico, demonstrating total commitment to the Selección as well as an understanding of the deep and complex relationship between the former Empire and its greatest Colony. The Supercopa be damned, ¡a por la revancha!

NOT: Johan Cruyff. You may very well be Barcelona’s total-football father, the coach’s mental mentor, the club’s honorary president and a bag of papas too, but in a given moment Laporta’s gone, Rosell’s in, and you’re out. If he stays quiet for a while, el Flaco can rise again to give Rosell his comeuppance, but the stars have him haunting the Camp Nou as a hoary old ghost.

5. Club President

HOT: Fiorentino Pérez. If what you are trying isn’t working, just … try harder? Fifi throws further funds at Fortuna and awaits the payoff. The salaries of Mou & Co. aren’t chump change, but Fifi’s no chump. He knows that if you keep buying a ticket your number will one day come up, and meanwhile fans empty their pockets to see soccer supernovas like Cristiano and Kaká and Khedira. One trophy and Fifi finally cashes in.

NOT: Sandro Rosell. This guy has bad vibes seeping from his pores. Plus, he’s a klutz. In a simple summer he’s trashed Laporta, stripped Cruyff and bullied Pep. Barça’s books look cooked and the bench has holes big enough to stick a Yaya through. Fans are rightly wary. This year will read in spite of, not because of. Bad news for Barça’s bungling boss.

6. Club Captain

HOT: Iker Casillas. The Madridista Barça fans hate to love will have to hate even harder now. He’s outlasted fickle Fifi, crazy coaches and galácticos galore to go from Raúl’s heir apparent to … Raúl who? He lifts Worlds after Euros as the against-sheet stays clean (Spain only won by one, true, but the opposition lost by zero). His post-triumph smooch transformed Succubus Sara into Spain’s Sweetheart. Fortuna, clearly, crushes on Casillas.

NOT: Cesc Fabregas. Not to set the flamers alight, but Cap’n Cesc comes across this summer as the anti-Iker. According to the press, he’s either a clueless kid caught in a web of Catalan conspirators, a tapped-up captain wrapped in Arsenal’s red tape, the butt of Pique and Pepe’s whoopie-cushion of a joke, or a wayward boyman taken to task at dinner with Big Daddy. Answer the Fabrephone, baby, it’s London calling.

7. Club Coach

HOT: Arsene Wenger. The Quiet Man of the Emirates kept his peace throughout a media frenzy, a flapjawed daddy, a Catalan campaign and a couple of wasted WorldCuppers over the course of a tumultuous transfer window … and in the end kept his cool, his cache, and his captain. Even if Fabregas is still in a fit, or Arsenal fans in a snit, I’ve no doubt the Loafered One will have all Gunners gung-ho for the season ahead.

NOT: Pep Guardiola. Rosell chucks Txiki. Wenger wins over Cesc. Mou makes waves in Madrid. Del Bosque bites his thumb at you, sir, from Mexico D.F. And Seville pounces in the first leg of the first trophy on deck. In Pep we trust, because right now, we must.

8. Club Approach

HOT: Farmer Teds. World Cup years tend to separate national wheat from overpaid chaff, but so many Barça babies on the final podium brought tears to the eyes of more than one blaugrana lifer. While Mou scavenges superstars, Pep harvests local boys. It cost him some Supercopa, but I’d rather sacrifice a season to see what sprouts at the Farmhouse than make uncertain hay with forty million big E’s. Achoo!

NOT: Galácticos. I just said Fifi may end his misfortune by forking over so much of his fortune, but in terms of what’s new, the move itself is so 2000. We’re all in crisis, we’re all tightening our belts, and Fifi’s on another binge at Soccer Saks. It may be effective, but it’s tacky.

9. Club Kit

HOT: Inter. This is edgy-Euro-Asian cool. It’s skater-dude-meets-soccer-star. And maybe the Milanese won’t feel pressured to tattoo themselves from wrist to pit. Which looks bad when you’re hairy. And when you’re old. And you forget what all the glyphs mean. Just ask Guti.

NOT: Barça. I liked the neon yellow a few seasons back. It was like a giant flashing ‘Caution!’ sign on the pitch. And the Pink Puker, well, I just pretended it was the yellow kit’s photo negative, like when you stare at the American flag too long and then close your eyes and the colors go all psychedelic. But this season’s minty-green monstrosity has got to go. It looks like the television screen when PBS signs off at 3 a.m.

10. Cool Club

HOT: Sevilla. We pinched Dani. Then Adriano. Navas? Off to the Bernaboo. And Kanouté has seen better days. But with a corker of a season (including silver) behind them, Betis in the Segunda, first leg up in the Supercopa and everybody in black fedoras, Sevilla is poised to outmuscle the rest of the Liga to an easy three-spot on the table.

NOT: Valencia. Phew! What happened to the Jewel of the Levante? Wherefore art thou, Che? Where are the Batmen of yesteryear? The team crashed and burned from Cúper to Koemer only to skid along and burn some more. The Davids have all jumped ship, César’s looking to fade into the sunset, and Mata floats along hoping for a lifeboat.

Big Money!

Categorized as Barcelona

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. Another fun post SM 😀 y

    That Rosell bit is worrying though. Hes been in office for near 2 months and things are still chaotic. Can’t even keep the official getting hacked! lol

    1. Which match did you see? Every match I’ve gone to except when we were thrashed 5-1 by Morelia has been amazing. I was at the NYRB match too the atmosphere was outstanding.

  2. Yeah what’s up with Rosell hating on Cruijff so much? Cruijff has twice advised Barça to hire unproven coaches who ended up winning the CL…Wooooh what a negative influence, let’s get rid of him! To me it seems that since he knows Cruijff doesn’t agree with the direction he wants to take the club on a sporting level he’s trying to backdoor el salvador out of the front door.

    @Jaime although some of us understand spanish not all do. Regarding your post in the last thread concerning Cruijff and Rosell, you might want to translate it to english if you want people to respond. My question would be though, which meeting were they referring to?

  3. lol Kxev pero tu entiendes hasta catalan jaja

    btw 18 ban for Anelka and he says that the Chelsea blue is enough for him. If you ask me they should have banned Evra more severely for refusing to train. For be it from me to defend Anelka, but all he did was call Domenech a fils de pute which probably ain’t too far from the truth, although I would add that la pute was mentally handicapped as well…

    1. adquirit/adquirido literally

      but I guess humillat or derrotat do it better… humillado or derrotado in spanish. but we say “ownear”, con dos cojones 🙂

  4. More information:

    Sport says that the four promotions have already been settled upon by Guardiola, and they’re pretty obvious. Dos Santos, Thiago, Fontas and Romeu.

    1. Really funny post.
      Are these the newly registered with the first team kxevin , or just the ones that guardiola is gonna give a shot to play in there and cover for the first team while their original place remains the B team?

    2. I think they will train with the first team everyday, but still be available to play with the B team. So not fully, fully promoted, like Pedro was 2 years ago.

    3. woohoo! good news, but i’d still like to hear that cáceres is staying & that we’ve signed an old, experienced, vieira type player for the dm slot. shit, why not vieira himself?

    4. senna preferably, but something leaves me wondering why we haven’t made a move yet? i think you mentioned something about fontás playing dm back in the day. doesn’t sound bad. i’m not saying i don’t like what i’ve seen so far from romeu, i just rather barca not put all it’s eggs in one basket :v/

    5. Fontas was a DM before Luis Enrique moved him back to CB, which explains why he is so comfortable on the ball, but I think Pep would rather keep him at CB.

      I think we haven’t made a move because Pep has faith in the canteranos, at least that’s what he is saying, anyway. Dunno…

  5. bravo!

    “And the Pink Puker, well, I just pretended it was the yellow kit’s photo negative, like when you stare at the American flag too long and then close your eyes and the colors go all psychedelic.”

    yeah, even the polarization of my vision isn’t making those jade jerseys any prettier.

  6. “Com sap que i no entengui Catala? I estat prenent llecons, per a meves visites a Barcelona.”

    mmm ok i think i understand, and if i do it doesn´t make sense lol. is it “how do you know i do NOT understand Catalan? I am taking lessons, because sometimes I visit Barcelona” Is this a correct translation? (including verb conjugations and all)

    cause i wrote you EVEN understand Catalan, which I think you understood which is why the word i NO entengui messes me up. Anyway I speak french and spanish, sometimes i feel that if i mix the two my Catalan is near perfect LOL. Either way I am impressed, i can only imagine how difficult it is to learn a foreign language when you are not living amongst speakers of that language!

    1. and well… that “i” makes no sense. has to be a direct translation of the pronoun “I” – “me”. ‘Cause in catalan “i” is and. So: — how do you know “and” don’t understand catalan? — 😉 The second “I” in the sentence has to be “Hi” to fit the context, another pronoun… or just skip it, where I come from we don’t use “hi” it brings no information whatsoever

      please feel free to correct my lame english 😀 I sure need it.

    2. More correctly, “How do you know I’m not struggling mightily with Catalan?” 😀 My French is a lot better, also learned because of frequent visits to small-town France, where nobody speaks English.

    3. What helps is Skype, headphones and a Catalan chat room. But my head is often a jumble of French, English and Catalan, so rather than “Molt de gust de coneixet,” I find myself saying “Bien a faire …. no wait! I mean attendez!”

      I have a friend who is fluent in 7 languages, and I just don’t understand that kind of mental acuity. It amazes me, like great athletes.

    4. it has to be real hard to learn languages that are so similar to one another… I’m thinking specially about the verbs. People that speak spanish catalan italian and french and hardly miss a verb time amaze me, I don’t know how they manage.

    5. Nor do I, poipoi. It’s crazy. And American English is a screwy, screwy language, believe you me. And yet, a friend from France flew over, and learned English by watching television. Goes without saying that she’s really smart.

      I have TVE so that I can listen to Spanish, and TV5 for French-language programming sans subtitles. And Genis (I still want to know what happened to him) sent me some DVDs, and Lluis Llach recordings.

      And on it goes. I wish I had more time. And my language skills get a lot better when I’m there and dealing with it. For sure.

    6. lluis llach! lol … I listen to hip hop to not loose my accent, every day it gets weirder

    1. you know, i mentioned vieira mainly because of man city’s proliferation of holding mids & box-to-box dudes this year. de jong, the yaya, barry, & now milner. i’m just saying we could probably get him for dirt cheap is all. tough crowd, tough crowd.

  7. SOMA point on fortune and the world cup is an interesting one. Usually we see active deal making after the cup. Not so much this year however.

    It’s pretty much been Man City operating in their own sphere and a largely quiet market otherwise (31M euro for James Milner???). Even EE has announced that there will be no more signings despite their need for a left back and Mou Mou wanting another striker. And it was clear even EE was being price sensitive in who they bought.

    There seems to be a break between buyers and sellers and the market hasn’t reached an equilibrium position. Last year’s transfer season madness still has sellers valuating their players according to those inflated rates (e.g. Maicon) but buyers seeing a very different price climate they are willing to operate in. What Liverpool gets for Mascherano will be particularly interesting.

    Given this environment is probably good that Barca didn’t get Fabergas because the market will likely continue correcting downwards in the near future.

    Also – in this kind of climate where there isn’t a solid equilibrium price point, it’s a huge asset to have a strong cantera to utilize.

  8. Tweet that we’ve contacted an English club about a 35m midfielder. No names yet, however. Stay tuned.

    1. And NOT Mascherano, apparently. The Tweet came from Pep, but was originated by Quim Domenech, a radio broadcaster who covers our matches.

    2. Which other EPL midfielder is that good?. Only one i can think of currently is Essien, who i really doubt if Chelsea will sell. Arteta maybe but he is not worth that much and he anyways signed deal with Everton for 5 years recently. I cannot think of any one else.

      Good post SoMa.

    3. Hmmm. That does make me quite curious. A 35m midfielder who isnt MAscherano…. is it definitely in the EPL?

      Essien and Lampard are the first ones that come to mind but I REALLY doubt that either of them are for sale. Arteta isnt worth anywhere near that much. Gerrard? Dont think so. Are there any other 35m mids in the EPL?

    4. Haha. Noooooooo dont say his name… they will come!

      What about Modric? He could possibly be worth that much. He certainly has the quality..

    5. Redknapp has adamantly stated that Modric is not for sale. And the Spurs already played in their qualifier yesterday so Modric is out for the CL.

      Yaya? j/k

    1. I think we all just have to get used to them as usual, and when it happens nike will change them.

    2. So do I, Barcamancini. They look much better in person, and in long-sleeve. The “mes que un club” just below the TV3 patch is also nifty keen.

  9. @ euler i think the rules have changed. Being used in qualification games doesnt exclude any player from being registered with another team afterwards in the group stage and onwards.

    1. I’me a bit unclear on that. I’d read in different places that the rules had changed and in others that players were still barred if they played.

      That was part of the issue with Ozil needing to be signed before today when Werner was playing. Also likely why Mascherano isn’t playing in Liverpool’s first Europa game.

    2. Yeah I heard that too. Is that definitely the new rule?

      Although Tott would be pretty daft to sell him, he is like their key creative force. Palacios is decent, not worth anythwere near 35m tho.

      I am pretty stumped! De Jong?? God i hope not!

    3. According uefa’s pdf, it seems that the player can be registered after playing qualification games, only if his team dont qualify for the group stage, i.e its still a gamble where you let them play and hope their teams lose. More here under Player Eligibility :


    4. This is the section (18.07, pg 25): “As a rule, a player may not play in a UEFA club competition (i.e. UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, but not UEFA Super Cup) for more than one club in the course of the same season. Exceptionally, however, a player who has been fielded in the first, second or third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League is entitled to play in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League for another club as from the group stage, provided that his former club did not qualify for the group phase of either the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League; moreover, as from the start of the round of 16 (round of 32 for UEFA Europa League), a player can be registered in accordance with paragraphs 18.17 to 18.20 below. For the avoidance of doubt, a substitute player who has not been fielded is entitled to play for another club competing in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League in the course of the same season, provided that he is registered with the UEFA administration in accordance with the present regulations.”

  10. 35 MF who is not Masch???? mmmm….Lampard, Gerard and Essien are good but don’t fit. I would laugh my ass off if we buy Cesc after all! :p

    @Kxev and Poipoi interesting thing is that studies have shown that the amount of languages one can learn is independent of one’s intelligence. Agree with the difficulty of not mixing up languages. Since I have learned Spanish my French is a whole lot worse. My Dutch and English are fine, although having left Holland 10 yrs ago I can speak my vernacular but do not write it well, nor would it be advisable for me to speak it in business situations. Also speak a bit of Arabic, Turkish and both Haitian and Surinamese creole (emphasis on a BIT). Learning Criollo (venezuelan ghetto spanish, which btw i find incredibly difficult! lol). And yeah, Kxev, American English is definitely screwy, but then English is very screwy to begin with.

    1. “studies have shown that the amount of languages one can learn is independent of one’s intelligence”

      There goes my last excuse …. 😀

    2. I speak 3 maybe 4 (getting to speak italian ’cause I love its sound) and I can’t tell the right from the left lol

  11. Busquets on Romeu:

    “Romeu is a physical player, very strong, loses few balls, covers very well, changes the game easily. Very complete.”

  12. Sevilla were not that great. By the end, they were getting desparate. Braga are quite good defensively so i think Sevilla have a uphill mountain to climb. Sevilla did miss some one to create in middle. Having two defensive minded mids and not having any one like Alves to bomb forward is hurting them. Their attacking outlets are limited and teams can stop them. I hope they go through as i like them.

    1. They became predictable with Navas just trying to cross the ball and Perotti just trying to cut inside. Booo.

  13. What’s your opinion about the new Home Kit ? I’m having my doubts because of the yellow collar .. I’m thinking about buying it but It’s expensive here so Does is look good or should I wait for next Year’s ?

    1. I like the home shirt as well, Diego. But I automatically get our shirts every year (thankfully, that dedication doesn’t extend to the keeper’s shirts).

      Having said that, my favorite shirt of ours is still the last non-UNICEF shirt, that you see Messi in on the right of this blog’s page.

    2. my opinion, in terms of aestetics last year’s jersey was cooler but the thing is that a culé gotta get the historic year right. I bought the “camp nou 50th anniversary” one, like 4 years ago and I think that year we didn’t get a single trophy 🙁 🙁 🙁

      The bicolor one is the historic one, the triplete one. Even I don’t like it much. Or the yellow one in which andres scored in stamford bridge are my favourites.

    3. I have the historic one , Messi’s Orange jersey .. What I’m asking is “Does the new home kit look cool or Should I save my Money for next year as it could be better” .. I loved last year’s home kit .. The stripes looked good but I couldn’t buy it ..

  14. looking over to the Batville, I think they did very well in signing Soldado, who I think will be scoring a basket of goals for them. Losing the Davids may not be too bad for them considering one of the Asian-looking Davids was never fully fit when the bats were still on his shirt. Thanks for the great post, SoMa. But seriously, Dragon for Serie A?! or just going East?

    1. they touched bottom already. I feel like, also hope that they’re gonna take off from now on, lowering expectations and trusting more the young bats

  15. In follow up to a prior discussion in this thread –

    Quim Domenech is now reporting that the 35M midfielder that Barca was supposedly looking into from the EPL was… get this:

    Wilson Palacios.

    Who knows if there’s any truth to it but Domenech said on twitter that Barca asked about Palacios and were told that was his transfer fee – 35M pounds. It wasn’t even 35M euros. 35M pounds.

    Earlier in this thread I made a comment about the transfer market being broken because sellers were still valuing players at last summer’s prices and buyers were looking for the market to correct downwards so no deals were getting done. This is what I was talking about.

    We now know why we couldn’t come up with a mid in the EPL who would be worth 35M that Barca would want. There really isn’t one.

    1. Lol. I did say Palacios, although he def aint worth 35m. Also he would have the same problem as MAdric wouldnt he? I am pretty sure he played for Tott yesterday and they are probably going to qualify..

    2. this thought makes me queasy. Modric and Cesc and Essien are the only midfield players of sufficient quality in the EPL who could command anywhere near that high a fee, and even that is pushing it in an overinflated market. if we (inconceivable, really) effectively traded Yaya Toure + £10m for Wilson Palacios that would have to be the single worst transfer in the history of the game.

    3. We dodged a bullet here with them pricing us out, palcios is not good enough for barca.Why cant they just sign senna? :^/

  16. /

    I guess it’s Marcelo at LB for them. Muhahaha!

  17. yes! official site recovered!

    Good signings…

    1. Awwwwww!

      This should be the picture in next post we have no matter if it has nothing to do with what is being said that post.

  18. A Tweet, courtesy of the indefatigable Pep:

    Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres – last season on loan with Juventus – will most likely stay at Barcelona this season. [calcionews24]

    1. I guess all the people who were saying we were light at CB didn’t consider the possibility the club might actually count on one of the “Forgotten and Forsaken Ones” a.k.a the Loanees.

      Or maybe they had considered, but felt it was unlikely (I am in said group).

      It’s not fo’sho , but it looks like we’ll have: Pique, Puyol, Milito, Caceres (who can also play LB), and maybe Fontas.

      If Pep’s claim that we probably won’t be making any more signing holds, then we’ll see Romeu promoted. Not sure how I feel about that, honestly.

    2. Craziness, I didn’t for one second consider that Caceres could feature for us this season. Now that I am thinking about it, I think it’s great, if for no other reason than it indicates Pep is being a bit more flexible.

      Doesn’t necessarily mean Romeu would be promoted would it? I expect JDS to play there some, and honestly would like to see Fontas play in the DM slot.

    3. It could be that Rosell told Pep we are not going to sign, and then Pep make do with what he has…

      But on another note, Caceres did improve quite a bit in Juventus, no? But I doubt he will ever pass the ball as good as any of our CB. That’s the problem with him.

    1. Thank you for that, Jnice. It makes me a little sad to read it, though. He sounds like a gentle, classy player who was ready to work hard and try to make a difference.

    2. No problem.

      You know he’s a classy guy when he continues to talk about the club in a positive light even after he got done wrong.

      I like how he praises Jonathan and Thiago as well as the fact that Maxwell spoke with him and kept in touch. He’s a nice guy as well.

    3. You can teach positioning, work on reading the game, do exercises to improve your foot speed,

      But you can’t teach class

    4. He has the right attitude to be a Barca player.Someone classy like that doesnt deserve the treatment he got.The amount of times hleb bad mouthed the club and pep last year i wouldnt have minded if told him fuck off a cliff, but dima has learned the language, put his head down to work hard and improve, and let the whistles and insults roll off his back and sandro sells him.And after all that still nothing bad to say about the club.Scratching my head here.I cant wait till pep is president some day, maybe we can clone him somehow.

    5. classy, gentle, positive, well-behaved. he has a good mind and reflects it with what he says.

  19. Anyone watch Copa Libertadores Final? Guiliano from Internacional is quite a player. He tore Chivas up with through passes in the first leg and beat them on the dribble in the second.

  20. If we offer -or just think about offering- 35 M to get a Palacios while the best defensive midfielder in the world is out there begging to join us for less than that, not even a full bottle of Hector-pills will prevent me from doing a Poipoi record breaking transfer rant while smashing my favorite Barca mug to the floor before collecting the pieces and trying hopelessly to glue it back together.

    For me to pause my transfer-period-mental-vacation just to post this comment, is enough to tell how serious I am.

  21. IBRA se queda! the latest from sport. Hope its true, I thought it was a good answer he gave to the media about whether he is compatible with Villa. Hope he proves it to be right! 🙂

    1. And note as well that Villa, during his press conference, was effusive about his compatibility with Ibrahimovic, as well. He, Messi and Ibrahimovic can all play any position at the front.

      Something else to think about: With Villa, Ibrahimovic, Pedro!, Messi and Krkic, our strike force accounted for 142 goals last season. Wow! And Ibrahimovic is always better at a club his second year, statistically.

      With only 11 days left in the transfer window, we just have to wait and see.

    2. On Facebook, Alfons Godall posted a link to the Sport interview, saying it was a shame that they had to tell lies to work the plot to sell Txigrinski, a player the coaching staff wanted to keep.

      One commenter derisively says hey, at least Rosell kept his promise to rehab the ladies’ loo at the Camp Nou.

      Just FYI.

  22. These journalist and papers are really shit.
    Sport says milan has contacted barca to declare interest and mundo says the complete opposite.
    Like the garbage journalist who linked us with palacios yesterday.
    Cant they DROP DEAD?

  23. Hleb apparently has offers from Spurs and Sevilla. He wants to play Champions League, which probably means Sevilla. Stay tuned.

  24. Crazy question, given that we seem to still be rummaging about the DM market for a short-term solution, since we have a Romeu In Waiting, and Mascherano has for whatever reason been deemed inadequate, as has Senna.

    What if EE fire-sales either of their two Diarras?

    (I know, I know ….)

    1. And for that matter, can anyone explain to me what the hell EE plan to do with Kaka, VdVaart, Granero, Ozil AND Canales?

    2. Well apparently they are going to sell VDV and Kaka is injured for a few months. Tbh I can see them selling Kaka eventually as well, especially if Ozil ends up being any good.

    3. I really wish for Ozil that he fails to succeed at the EE. He should have stayed at Werder Bremen, signed a 3-year contract extension and could have been transferred for some money to whatever club in 2 years.
      I believe that the switch to such a high-ambitious and under heavy pressure standing club comes too early for him. If Kaka wasn’t injured I’d have said that Ozil has no realistic chance of a bigger amount of playing time. But well, probably even the EE wouldn’t have been stupid enough to buy Ozil if Kaka was fit.
      As for vdV… wow! He should finally realize that the EE doesn’t care about him, doesn’t treat him with any respect and leave. That’ll be the best for both.
      Granero is playing a slightly more defensive role, doesn’t he? So the real contest will be betweeen Ozil and Canales, battle of the new superstars(?).

      I don’t know what line-up José will choose, but the 4-2-3-1 might be really popular after the WC.
      Then I predict this line-up:
      back 4
      Khedira – Alonso
      Crynaldo – Ozil/Canales/(Granero/Kaka) – Di Maria

      Independent of the exact formation, I definitely expect Crynaldo to play more on the right wing, as he did during his ManUtd times, because Angel Di Maria is a true left winger (and I want him to play on his natural position because I’m a fan of him – yes I’m a fan of an EE player, shame on me!).

      By the by, since I’ve been in holidays the last week, I’d like to know your opinion about Ricardo Carvalho. Could he be the weak link in their backline?

    4. you never know one of those Diarras might feel they have a better chance to play more regularly at Barca and madrid will be forced to sell. who knows

    5. Diarra is not in a tempting form to buy. plus: Old, injury prone, and is not cheaper than Senna (who is?).

      lass is a headless chicken when he plays as a holding midfielder. He is a better quality as a CM IMO, something Pep do not need.

      Its simple:

      If we will not add a new DM, it doesnt mean that Romeu is the automatic option (even if he is heading the list now. Fontas may surprise us all. Both have quality, but…

      If we will buy, it has to be either a short term solution, and I can only think of Senna (for 2 to 3 M), or a long term solution with Busquets next season and Romeu in the future (Busquets taking aging Keita’s role next season). Mascherano is my obvious choice-surprise surprise! Only the impossible transfer of Essien can counter that option. Cant think of anyone else in the EPL who can make this team better (Thanx Palacio but no thanks). The rest are hyped.

      I still think the club is just playing bargaining tricks at the moment. Less than two weeks and this will over.

  25. The Kaka story is sad, he’s a nice bloke. Think about the stinking press coverage we would have had if we bought someone for 60m and then he was on the treatment table or never fully fit. Just goes to show “I belong to Jesus” and “EE” isn’t really compatible 🙂

  26. Agreed with Ramzi, either of the Diarras is good for us.

    Never really liked what Mahamadou has to offer, plus old.

    Lass can’t hold the ball and has been inconsistent of late.

  27. Mino Raiola on the odds of Ibrahimovic leaving, to Sky Italia:

    “The words of respect of Milan director Braida make us happy, but things start and end there. The player has repeated his position since May. Zlatan has a contract for four more years and will stay at Barça.”

  28. Mmm problem with Essien is there is no way that he would accept being 2nd choice behind Busi and fight for his place. Masch seems to be more willing to be part of Barça.

    Read the interview with Chiggy that was linked by jnice. Damn I kinda thought it made sense to sell him but when in light of his class and our lack of defensive options, if Pep really did have confidence that he would have stepped up this year it could be a huuuge mistake having sold him.

  29. btw Hodgson is now saying Masch won’t leave Pool unless they receive a large amount of money for him (check

  30. don’t you guys think keita can do well at DM? besides there’s oriol romeu fontas pique. whoever we sing will look as a nobody, an insect compared to yaya

  31. “maybe pep doesn’t want an argentino clan ;)” yup. never put all your boludos in one basket 😛

    As for Mino Raiola at last he is not sprouting ignorant sh·te.

    And finally I encourage all of you to read the following article on the guardian about Craig Bellamy. I for one am a fan of his as af now: //

  32. Barca may or may not be interested in Mascherano, but Hodgson right now is just trying to talk up Masch’s value given that Liverpool otherwise has little leverage.

    Most of this talk is aimed at Rafa and Inter. Hodgson knows that Rafa wants Masch and knows that they have the money from the Balotelli sale but have yet to make any kind of offer. It seems like Liverpool is anticipating a last minute, low offer before the transfer window closes from another club to see if Liverpool will sell out of desperation. Hodgson is now trying to make it seem like Liverpool is desperate.

    The ownership situation there is a mess. Practically speaking, Royal Bank of Scotland owns that team due to the default on the debt. The bank has been trying to take a hands off approach so as to not further damage the value of the club.

    The current owners are in serious financial straights. A baseball team one of them owned in the U.S. just went bankrupt and was sold in court. They are asking for a ridiculous amount of money to sell LFC – 600M pounds. But none of the bids seems even remotely close to that. So now they are at a loss for what to do.

    The problem for LFC is that I believe in September they are going to have to start paying large penalty fees if they don’t sell the club. Whether they have the cash to cover that is unclear.

    1. wow, beggers can be choosers. i had no idea they had defaulted on their debt. they really don’t have any leverage. scary times. what happened to kenneth huang’s bid?

    2. LFC owe over 470M pounds in debt – and that’s not the usual kind of debt a business owes. It’s nothing like all the debt figures we keep hearing about for Barca. Their debt was from the highly leveraged purchase of the club.

      The large debt holders is Royal Bank of Scotland – which is effectively owned by UK citizens after it received a massive bailout during the financial crisis. RBS has pushed off a number of deadlines to give LFC more time. But RBS lost money last year and they are in no position now to keep LFC afloat. They’ve given them a hard deadline to sell the team by the beginning of October otherwise they are going to charge them massive penalty fees and take over the club.

      The problem is that none of the bids received so far (including the Huang group’s) has been evaluated as a viable bid. There was a report this weekend (from the Times IIRC) that none of the bidders could prove that they actually had all of the money lined up to buy the club.

      On top of all this LFC has no Champions League money coming in. This is a big problem because part of how LFC’s owners have stayed afloat is by taking revenue out of the team to meet some of the debt payments they were forced to.

      They are a mess. They were bought like so many other assets were during the bubble. Highly leveraged deals involving shell companies set up in the Cayman islands, etc.

      If they can’t find a seller who has a viable bid with solid money behind it by October they are going to be very pressured for Cash. Their problem now is that they only have until the end of the transfer window to raise money.

    3. thanks for replying.

      “Their debt was from the highly leveraged purchase of the club.”

      “Practically speaking, Royal Bank of Scotland owns that team due to the default on the debt. The bank has been trying to take a hands off approach so as to not further damage the value of the club.”

      i know about/remember rbs’ bail out, but is there any way that bank can take a “hands off approach” to selling the club, in that lfc’s image is already severely tarnished from all this crap? fucking mess is right.

  33. Euler so let’s say nobody buys LFC and the bank charge massive fees and take over the bank. What scenario are we looking at here? Would the club cease to exist? Would they end up in 3rd division like what happened to Leeds FC?

    1. If they can’t find a viable owner and they can’t make those penalty payments, then they will likely have to declare bankruptcy or go into administration through the bank. It’s going to be a mess.

      What impact that has on the sporting project depends on whether the bank forces the team to have a firesale of their talent to pay off debt. LFC revenue without CL play is going to be limited.

    2. Wow. I cannot imagine what is worse. Such a storied club to fall from grace through a debt cause by the American owners or being bought by Kenneth “rumoured representative of the Chinese government” Yang…. thnx for your insights!

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