News of the Day: August 19, 2010 [Updated]

The team is back to training regularly and Piqué is talking up the quality of the team, deft jabs at RM being thrown in for the hell of it. It feels like April in that way. The Supercopa second leg looms and a recent interview with Chygrynskiy left it clear that Guardiola wanted him and Rosell discarded him for momentary financial reasons that scored momentary brownie points with some fans. Feels like July in that way. Ibra is going to Milan, but also isn’t going anywhere. Feels like any given day in that way. Hum-drum, piddly-pum. But it’s getting on now towards the end of August, towards the first match of La Liga proper and there’s little left to wonder about other than tactical approaches and lineups. Feels good in that way.

There are 5 B-teamers continuing to practice with the first team Thiago, JDS, Andreu Fontàs, Víctor Vázquez, and Oier Olázabal and 3 others all got to hang around while their fellow B-boys prepared for a friendly against Sabadell tonight (takes place at 2pm EST, or basically an hour after this post goes up; how’s that for warning?). There’s a closed-door training session in which the 22 first teamers and 5 B-teamers are going to learn about how we’re so going to beat the snot out of Sevilla on Saturday and win us a freakin’ Supercopa. They’ll be told to deixerem them some pels (again–I’m assuming it all grew back since May) and, in the immortal words of Kevin (or perhaps Kxevin takes responsibility here), get knee deep in that ass.

And with that I must leave you all to ponder the fortunes and fates of the good ship Barça as I finish packing my house for a move all the way to other side of…well not even the other side of town. Like 15 blocks away. Your second leg preview is coming to via Luke “Never Heard That One Before…” Skywalker. Settle down, folks, I’ll be returning on Monday with extra doses of chocolate-eating fun.

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Categorized as Team News

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.

75 comments

    1. “Y es que el hecho de que el Barça B juegue un partido amistoso este jueves ante el Sabadell ha provocado que Fontàs, Víctor Vázquez, Oier y Masip se hayan entrenado con el filial en lugar de hacerlo con el primer equipo como venía siendo habitual.”

      so far i don’t see any links on myp2p nor on rojadirecta for the b-team friendly. if anybody runs across anything i’d appreciate it if you posted it on this space. thanx in advance.

    2. Ah, I’ll correct this. The problem is that I read the English version of the official site:

      “The Blaugrana boss has utilised many of the rising starlets throughout the pre-season, but they are now required by B side boss Luis Enrique for a game against Sabadell at 20:00 in the Miniestadi on Thursday evening. Andreu Fontàs, Víctor Vázquez and Oier Olázabal have remained with the first team squad, however.” [emphasis added]

      The Spanish version says:

      “A diferencia de los últimos entrenamientos, y debido al partido amistoso que el conjunto que dirige Luis Enrique disputa esta tarde (20 horas) en el Miniestadi contra el Sabadell, tanto Fontàs, como Víctor Vázquez, Oier y Masip no se han ejercitado con el primer equipo si no que lo han hecho con el filial.” [emphasis added]

      Slight discrepancy there, eh?

    1. i have been lurking this site since Pep’s place disappeard, but i have never quite understood the meaning of ‘being hectored’ (which by the way sounds like a arty movie).

      Could someone please give an explanation?

  1. I hope we see a big-boy line up against Sevilla. Kinda, like a preview of what we will see in La Liga.

    Valdes
    Alves-Pique-Puyol-Abidal
    Xavi-Busi-Iniesta
    Messi-Ibra-Villa

    If there are concerns of Sevilla trying to out-muscle us in the midfield we can start Keita over Iniesta, but I honestly think if we can move the ball correctly [Xaviniesta style] it shouldn’t be an issue.
    I have confidence in Adriano, Mexwell, Keita, and Pedro! to take care of Racing the following week.

    1. Indications are that we aren’t going to see all the Spanish internationals in the lineup. Maybe Valdes if Pinto isn’t fit, either Pique or Puyol, not both, and definitely not all 3 in the midfiel, but Busi for sure. And in the frontline, sources are saying it will be between Villa and Pedro.

    2. Can’t find it now, but Sport had a couple of articles on it and so did another Spanish journalist on Pep’s twitter.

    3. *http://www.sport.es/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=44&idioma=CAS&idnoticia_PK=724151&idseccio_PK=803&h=

      here’s the article. it’s not scripture pep’ll omit xavi-which they lead you to intuit-but their rationale is that el mister doesn’t want to run any risks in this game. you know, because it’s a glorified friendly. & we’re already losing 3-1. & we’d much rather kick ronaldinho’s ass in the gamper.

  2. There’s a Fifa date in between the 1st and 2nd Liga jornadas? WTF, way to ruin any attempt at regularity and rhythm…

    1. There are actually TWO(!) matches, as far as I know…
      including a friendly against Argentina

    2. And surprise, surprise, Gaby gets called up for that one.

      (Although, if I’m honest–which I am, of course–, I’m really happy for him. 2 years after a horror injury and he comes back to the NT!)

  3. DTguardian (twitter): Hearing that Bebe has been decidedly unimpressive in first few #MUFC training sessions

    That’s what happens when you buy a player you have never seen live or on video, Ferguson.

  4. The parallels between Ibra and Henry’s first season and subsequent treatment are uncanny, now that I think about.

    Of course Ibra did “better” than Henry did in 07/08, but this bodes well for this season. Now, if only we could get Iniesta on Messi’s treatment plan…

    1. Hopefully Ibra can play better with Villa and Messi as there will be less pressure on him.

  5. About the SuperCopa: Sevilla actually has other things to worry about (*cough* Braga *cough*)

    I wish for both Spanish football and us that they will line-up a B team just like we did last weekend. That would simply be fair, and the likes of Navas, Fabiano & Co. could be rested for the CL Quali which is WAY more important. If they can overcome Braga, I predict Sevilla will reach the quarter-finals.
    On the other hand, I don’t think that Valencia will be a serious force in the CL this season, RM will go out in the round of 16 as always… so it would be all on Barca again to represent la Liga -.-

  6. I like Graham Hunter too, I think he’s a good journlist and seems to be a bit of a Barca fan too.

  7. Random crazy stat I read on another blog; in the last two years Barca has not lost a single game that Iniesta has played in.

    Can anyone confirm or deny this?

    1. I can’t confirm this but I wouldn’t be surprised. We haven’t lost that many games have we

    2. I don’t know .. But from one of the commentators last year said that we did’t lose a single game that Pique participated in 09/10 except for Inter at San Siro ..

      I think we only lost last season to Rubin Kazan,Inter,Atletico,Sevilla ..

  8. Question – so when do we start seeing all of the protests of moral outrage in the British press over Chelsea’s flagrant “tapping” up and “unsettling” of Neymer?

    1. Euler, the cases could not be more different, though. While Neymar and Fabregas are both good players with loads of potential, the manner in which Chelsea pursued Neymar is very different than the way Barca pursued Fabregas.

      When Chelsea’s administration was gently bypassing Santos to get Neymar to forgo his contract and sign for Chelsea, they were doing it while being British. On the other hand, when FC Barcelona, the Catalan government and Overlord Xenu were all conspiring to manipulate Cesc Fabregas by constantly getting all the Barca players to say evil and hurtful things like “Cesc has always been a Barcelona fan; as a close personal friend of mine, I would love to play with him”, they did it while being Spanish–or at the very least, not British.

      Black and white, my friend.

    2. “Wow. I expected a nice, balanced response and I get this?

      You lot are hysterical.

      I guess even the fans lack class, but that’s to be expected. After all, the classless Pique, Puyol and Xavi said that Fabregas “wanted to come”. Who cares if that proved true! It doesn’t matter now; he’s The Arsenal Captain, so that means he has class. What you should be more appalled about is how they lack class and said Fab had “Barca DNA”!

      Oh no, that’s not all!

      Unbelievably they said that they’d be “happy to play along side him”! Messi and Iniesta too. They said the same classless thing! How dare they say they want to play beside him?! The c****s!

      The fact that all of our information comes through the BritPress doesn’t matter! Those classless Catalans.

      You know what? Just because of that, I’ll be pulling for Madrid this season. Obviously, you all care about that and that makes you so sad. I’m sure you’ll all cry huge tears–and look classless doing it–when Jose beats you like he did with Inter! He played you four times and he won all of them, of course! That’s why everyone says he’ll get the better of you.

      I hope to face you in the Champions League. I’ll be laughing while you lot get outclassed.

      –PS. Who says fans can’t make you dislike a club that you used to sympathize with?

    3. LOL Kari, that was a perfect summary.

      To be fair though it could also be summarized like this:
      Blah blah blah, classless, blah blah, cunts, blah blah blah Mourinho, Blah BLAH.

    4. I freaking hated arsenal beforehands anyway.
      They are “playing like us” , “promoting youth like us” and now theyre said to be pushing for a “fan based club” like us.
      Only they’re not really playing like us ,are they? : they’re trying. Plus they’re always snatching someone else’s talent and throwing it in the first team.
      I would like to cross them in knockout stages again : iniesta , xavi , busquets messi villa ibra?they ‘ll feel the last time was just a gentle touch.
      Loved your comment kari btw.

    5. I want to print this and frame it for whenever I feel down, jajaja

      This just summed up what has been a crazy summer for us 😀

    6. The EPL ! The Best League in the world ! They won the Champions League 3 times in the Last 25 Years !! Which of the Other Leagues can do that ?!?!

    7. How dare you? I am appalled.
      How dare you state facts?

      Which brings me to the old proverb/conundrum:
      If an event happened outside of Britain and there was no British media present to report it, Did it happen at all?

  9. You really begin to appreciate what a glorious last two years its been when you can seriously remember EVERY SINGLE LOSS in that time span. 😀

  10. I think we forget too soon. We went out in the Champions League knockout stages to Liverpool one season, and United the next, on a 1-0 aggregate scoreline.

    Hating doesn’t become us. This space is better than that. We had two trophyless seasons that spawned a cule mutiny, including people shrieking “Off with his head” at the president who will, only now, go down in history as one who presided over one of the most successful periods in this club’s (overall) sporting history.

    We should have some humility, some compassion, and some memory of how the shoe fits on our foot. Because we won’t always have the best team in the world. Failure will come. Who can remember what it was like to have Inter celebrating on the Camp Nou pitch last season? I can. It made me want to vomit. But the memories of our lack of success was all too fresh for me, so I just fired up the United victory from the year before, and smiled.

    We have something rare, in an amazing collection of talent wearing the Blaugrana right now. Let’s spend our time celebrating them. If Arsenal fans want to hate (and they all don’t …. trust me), let them do it. We should be better than that.

    Because remember, this beautiful game of ours isn’t just about brilliance, it’s also about luck. Rafa Marquez’ career turned on a wrong foot plant. Who’s to say it won’t be Xavi? Or Messi? Or, heaven forfend, Xavi AND Messi? And then what? Maybe people are giggling at us, reminding us of a trophyless season or two.

    My mother always said that the best view is from the high road. I tend to believe that.

    1. Kxevin, I don’t see this as hate (ok, some posters do), but rather as venting. I don’t hold anything against Arsenal, and I actually hope they win big this year (minus the Champions League, of course). But I guess you could say we’ve let many of their idiot fans unsettle us with the accumulated stupidity we’ve had to read over the last month. Trying to vent our frustrations out in a humorous way is healthy.

      Ever hear that old joke, “I don’t hate God, it’s his fan club I have a problem with”? 😛

    2. Oh, I understand. But prima facie, you can see how it might look to someone else. And I think that “hating” was an incorrect word choice. From a journalist, no less. “Smugness” is a better one. All I have to do is fire up the DVDs from the Rijkaard seasons, and wins that turned into losses, red cards and a club that found a way to lose crucial matches. Players getting red carded so as not to have to take part in the honor guard ….

      Ouch.

    3. Right. So that was what I was tried and failed to say.

      It’s top hat that makes you so eloquent ,isn’t it? Or is it the mustache? The monocle? All of the above?

      Hmmmmmmm.

    4. Overall, I do agree with you Kxevin. It’s what we should do and I always tell myself whenever I read trolls–Barca trolls (they know who they are, and trust me, they ain’t pleasant), Arsenal trolls (again, they know who they are) and any other kind of troll you care to mention.

      My first two years being a Cule coincided with the post-WC trophyless era. Tamudo’s last minute equalizer at the end of 06/07 still hurts, so does Bellamy’s goal in the Camp Nou, and Scholes’ goal in Old Trafford. Believe me; I remember very clearly.

      However, I do believe in “an eye for an eye”. Respect is a privilege, not a right. If people want respect, they should earn it. That goes both ways, as well.

      On a club level, I have absolute nothing against Arsenal. They can do what they like. I think that all clubs should aspire to play “that way”, and it’s not like it’s our divine right to play the way we do and that no other team should try to play “that way”. They field youth? Okay by me. They haven’t won a trophy in six years? Meh. Since when do I support a team based on trophies won?

      If I don’t like them, then I don’t follow ’em. Period. It’s not like they kicked my puppy when he was down or anything, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to attack or ridicule the club. In fact, sucks to be them right now. They lost Nasri for what? a month and Frimpong for 9+.

      I do, however, have something against some–not all— of the “classless”-calling fans of theirs–unfortunately, there are many of them. Whenever people makes such statements, they should be prepared to be mocked for it. Just like our club and their “Barca DNA” BS.

      I really do like GoonerInBarca whenever he visits. I respect him and the way he carries himself (well, as much as I can reading his comments) and he represents his team really well. I just wish there were more of him.

      I can’t honestly apologize for what I commented above, as that how I feel about certain Arsenal fans, but I will hold back next time, or better yet, ignore it and talk about something else.

      P.S. The word classless or any variation of it should be banned.

    5. Okay, so I read Jose’s post that’s half as long and way closer to what I was trying to say, then have a look at mine.

      Blarg.

    6. Never look for the truth in your mother eyes.

      I wont look away when fans of various teams , ignited by mostly the britpress shit downgrade our club and comparing it to EE ; I will go medieval on their ass.

      Its not about hating for hating , trophies or just being better than them(looking from the high road).
      Its about spotting hypocrisy and being fair.
      Poaching away youth talent , bragging about it and then calling the club , the fans and our living legends horrible suff when this very own talent openly requests and admits to wanting his return to the team.

      Barcelona is more than a club , but its first and most important obligation is towards its own fans and vice versa .

      So yes , I will watch pleasantly and smile while they are trying to play the beatiful game, I will applaud their courage to promote the youth(even if its the youth from our club and some others, snatched) but dont expect me to sit here and look the other way ,while they spent a summer fetishing the idea of bringing down barcelona any way their media offered them to .

  11. Meanwhile, I’ve been watching some Oriol Romeu highlights via YouTube, including one that just compiles some of his work vs Sevilla. Impressive. Quick, physical and aggressive. Hmmm. I don’t know if comparisons to The Yaya that some have made are entirely apt. He looks a lot closer to Busquets with a bit more pace and physicality to me. Which ain’t a bad thing, it must be said.

    1. Yeah, he looks really strong and the technical staff thinks he might even grow a couple of more inches. He could end up being a beast. And to think Espanyol let him go because they thought he was too small.

  12. i think he will be better than busi (when Busi came up), seems to be more sound and less flashy than biscuts, with a bit of Messi (not really)esque control. I will take him as the second DM

  13. Barca compete for talent and supporters globally. They are a global business with 500M USD of revenue per year. Much of that revenue is derived from supporters spread across the world.

    The entire Fabergas issue was nonsense from the start for so many reasons which we’ve discussed at lenght.

    But the English media’s coverage of the story as some seeming outlier of moral bad faith was at best disproportionate to what actually happened and at times at worst fabricated. That coverage did some damage to Barca and it’s brand.

    The world of professional international football is arcane and filled with bizarre machinations. Mangers and leadership from other clubs routinely discuss their desire to acquire players who are under contract to other clubs as do players from other clubs. This is done all the time as common practice. See Ariedo Braida comments about Ibra or Roberto Mancini’s over the past day.

    It is worth asking why that same standard for moral outrage is not applied by that same media when EPL teams are flagrantly trying to pry a player under contract

    The Brit press coverage of Chelsea’s attempt to sign Neymer despite Santos and the Brazillian National Team manager adamantly opposing it have been particularly eye opening in light of all the ink spilled over how Barca was “tapping” up and unsettling Fabergas and how wrong it was. Really eye opening stuff.

    Chelsea is arranging secret meetings with an 18 year old under contract to a much lower revenue club from Brazil in NY and Ancelotti is publicly making comment about how wonderful Neymer is even after Santos threatening to report them to Fifa and the Brit Press – even the guardian columninsts find nothing wrong with it at all. Not even worth a mention about the ethical issues they pounded all summer long.

    Instead the media is commenting on what a great acquisition Neymer would be for the Blues.

    The contrast in the media narrative around both those stories to me is a significant and legitimate story as it’s the Brit Press that drives so many of the global perceptions about clubs and players.

  14. “That coverage did some damage to Barca and it’s brand.” -Euler

    “[…]’hating’ was an incorrect word choice. From a journalist, no less. “Smugness” is a better one.”-Kxev

    it’s true. barcelona has become football’s toyota prius. you can’t hate on the board for selling the club as that, nor can outsiders talk shit for us having mother fucking shaolin for an academy. whatev.

  15. hah! neymar just signed a new 5-year contract with santos. good move for him i must say. good for his development.

  16. I read in the Telegraph that Real have now put both the diarra’s, gago and benzema on sell list and one of their options if they succeed is to get mascherano. I hope it does not happen.

  17. Guardiola: “Ibrahimovic? I repeat that it’s better not to talk about that right now.”
    Can anyone read between the lines because I dont get this at all anymore.
    It was just yesterday I think that ibra’s agent stated the player has a contract and wants to stay , in fact he says that ibra’s staying is more certain than that of guardiola(guardiola has 1 year left , ibra 4).
    Has Guardiola backed off his signing?Isnt he supposed to be pushing for his stay?

    1. I can only suspect that he is thinking that anything he says will be misinterpreted, so it’s best not to say anything at all. After all, the press seems to print what it is going to, irrespective of any input from anyone. The player has said he is staying, the player’s agent has said he is staying, yet the press keeps offering scenarios via which said player will leave.

      Sometimes, the best option is silence. Dignified silence.

      His comments become clearer in context when you realize that the precipitating question involved the comments of Raiola that Ibrahiomvic’s contract was longer than Guardiola’s. Hence his comment that “It is better for everyone to be quiet about this issue.” I think there was some pique (as opposed to Pique) in the comments of Raiola, who must be getting sick and tired of every day, having some other Catalan journalist trying to run his client out of town.

    2. haha 😀
      Well one only hopes that Guardiola sets the trends ; but that would never happen with any barcelona board.
      I really hope youre right ; Not feeding them at all until the end of the transfer period might do some good to the club , and to them (remote chance) .

  18. Some really strange media banter going on about Ibra the last couple of days. I have no idea what to make of it to be honest.

    1. I think it is the traditional press stupidity. Now, for example, EMD is talking about how difficult it is going to be for Guardiola to decide how to play Ibrahimovic and Messi together, as if it would be any more difficult than playing Messi and Eto’o together.

      I wonder how it feels to, in a season, move from “Hallelujah, he’s here!” to “He sucks, get him out of town.” I can’t imagine.

      P.S. No, this is NOT meant to start any Eto’o vs Ibrahimovic wars. So please don’t.

  19. yes, but if you don’t read the newspaper and just follow the press-conferences then there is no sign of him leaving.

    Especially over the past month and a half Txiki, laporta, rosell, zubi, new vice, Ibra’s agent and even Ibra himself have been quoted that Ibra is staying. I don’t see how constant stupid news headlines can be any more reliable.

  20. Guardiola does keep making references to “one more possible signing,” so my guess is that something on the hush-hush is in the works, something that journalists should be trying to suss out but instead are too busy making up stories that cause player agents to lash out.

    I have truly grown to loathe Sport and EMD. Raiola was right in his assertion that they aren’t good for much more than toilet paper surrogates.

    Yes, they cover the club as regards matches, friendlies, etc, and are much less stupid when it isn’t transfer season. But from June 1-August 31, they are obsessed with plumbing the nadir of rumor and innuendo.

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