Barça v. Racing – Match Preview

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe

Sunday, August 29, 2010. 1 PM EST, 7 PM Barcelona time. ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

So this is the new year? Yes, yes it is. And isn’t it about damn time we get down to some La Liga games? As far as benedictions go, this is a good one. On Sunday, FC Barcelona begins its 80th La Liga campaign and another league championship title defense at Racing Santander. For a squad that many are predicting will win its 21st league title this year, Barcelona certainly faces a number of questions ranging from the starting front line to depth concern and the prospect of youth and young manhood taking over in the midfield. Then again, the club also sports the greatest amount of talent in the league, and likely of any club in the world. So… let’s preview shall we?

A little housekeeping first. Normally Isaiah dutifully handles the previews and Kevin deftly rolls out the reviews but this year we are doing things a little differently and I will be handling a few of each to relieve the workload. I do my previews and reviews differently, so there will be less talking about the histories of cities and more of me waxing prophetic, cause that’s how I roll.

Ignoring the giant purple elephant in the room for a moment, we find ourselves on the road in Santander to start the year. You’ll forgive me if I am none too afraid I’m sure. Last year Racing took a big step back after approaching the middle of the table in 2008-09 and giving our boys a ton of trouble, regression set in and they barely finished above relegation, and were made to look bad on both occasions by our Blaugrana. Sadly, they look to be doomed to relegation now.

The team has done very little to improve after selling Sergio Canales to Madrid and somehow not getting sure guarantees that he would be sticking around on loan this year too (although it is unlike that their poor showing are 100% their fault since all the big clubs in La Liga keep all the money with no revenue sharing that might make the minnows spend a dime or three, but I digress). Instead, they rely on the ageless, and sometimes toothless, Pedro Munitis for goals (although he did get a ton of assists last year). So yeah, it’s not looking good. This does not even mention that Barcelona will be looking to put an ugly offseason behind them and Pep is likely going to beat the boys to death so that they will not underrate the Cantabrian side. In short, this one is going to get bad, and it’s going to get very bad early.

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe
I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I leave off the prose in relation to Santander and tend to our own mountainous and nebulous concerns that have been piling up, since oh, hoisting number 20 last May. Call it a preview distracted by external factors, but that’s where we are, I cannot help it. As if to make matters more hectic in regards to any preview that was going to be put up, everyone decided that 4 days before the end of the transfer window is the appropriate time to buy a highly-coveted MF from Liverpool in Mascherano and sell last summer’s big swipe, Zlatan for more than $40M.

Then there is the possible World Cup hangover that Valdes, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, and Villa might suffer from. Such an affliction may also hit Messi… And where does Villa fit now? Is he playing on the left with Messi in the center and Pedro on the other side? Vice versa? How does Pep fit everyone in? How will the team react with actual, perceivable depth at every position? What is the meaning of life? Will Thiago, JDS, or Fontas make lasting contributions? Should we build a Captain D’s 2 blocks from the BP oil spill? Many of these are unanswerable. However, as your gallant and epic preview writer, I will make some seemingly bold predictions for the upcoming season.

Thiago will make a huge impact
Huge by degrees obviously, but still. I am a foremost proponent of our Brazillia-Spanish (ok, maybe Ramzi has me), but I think the chances are going to be there for him to step in. He played very well in the U-19 Euros and seems to be tailor-made to step in in the event that Iniesta is injured, or for Xavi as well in a pinch. The fact that he scored his first and only first team goal against Racing is just icing on the cake.

FC Barcelona will have to deal with increased cynicism from all sides
Face it, when you are involved in 4 high profile transfer sagas, one of which involves a most beloved EPL player, and 2 more involve asshole agents publicly bashing your manager, things are going to be very public all summer (if you’re counting it home, the blame lies as follows, that one kid-media/FCB/his club; Yaya-agent/himself; Mascherano-player; Ibra-FCB/agent). All of this following a disastrous trip to Asia, in terms of PR (although I think that’s horse shit, when everyone is exhausted that stuff happens, you’ll move on I am sure), means one of the most well known clubs in the world with a reputation for being fan-centric is going to have its rep besmirched, mostly through its own doing. The way this Zlatan business has ended up just makes us look worse, as Kevin alluded to here, is only going to further damage our reputation. When you win, it also makes it worse. Rightly or wrongly, it’s coming.

Maxwell will continue to impress, and Adriano will fill in that role as well
The unheralded Brazilian left back that we signed for $3M last summer has been more than a revelation, he’s been a savior. When Abidal was injured last year, he filled in. He played up front on the left. He provided pace, skill with the ball, and defensive alacrity when needed. He fits Pep’s system perfectly and does what is needed. The perfect signing. Likewise, Adriano can play roughly 5 positions on the field, maybe more. He’s never going to score a lot, but he will fight for the ball, cross well, and use his pace incredibly. What’s better is that he will provide a break for Alves, something we could definitely use without moving Puyol out.

The offense will be better, somehow
Subtract Ibra, add Villa. Another year of maturity for Pedro, plus World Cup success. Xavi is who he is. Iniesta had an amazing World Cup and can hopefully be healthy. Jeffren, well, he’s still alive I think. And Messi, well, he exhibits all the powers of Cthulhu, with none of the awful tentacle-ish side effects of godhood (and as well all know, just like Cthulhu, Messi waits…). And then there’s Bojan, cute little sweet Bojan. Of anyone who is going to benefit from Ibra leaving, it is our midget 11. Running the 4-3-3, the offensive front is going to look like this:

Villa (Iniesta, Maxwell, Adriano) – Messi (Bojan) – Pedro (Jeffren, Alves)
Iniesta (Thiago, Keita) – Xavi (JDS) – Busquets (Mascherano, Keita)

Last year Messi flourished as a false nine after acclimating, and this year, we likely have the trident back with Villa and Pedro on the wings, cutting inside and providing their scoring flourishes. The midfield is equally stacked with the earth, wind, and fire combining. All of these players know their roles, where they fit in, and how to play with the other players. The only one that we may worry about it Villa, but at home on the left with Iniesta and Xavi feeding and Messi providing space and passing lanes, he won’t have trouble acclimating I am sure.

Season Predictions
La Liga CL Spots: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico, Villareal
Europa League Spots: Sevilla, Bilbao, Valencia
Relegation: Hercules, Racing Santander, Levante

Champions League: Barcelona (lose in Finals); Madrid (lose in Semis); Sevilla & Valencia (into Europa after Group Stages)

Copa del Rey: Barcelona (lose in the Semis)

Oh yes, I remember why we were here in the first place: Santander. Predicted score: 4-0. Goals by Messi (x2), Iniesta, Pedro.

Starting Lineup
Valdes
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Villa

Get excited about the new year, cause here, we, go.

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.

427 comments

  1. hope ibra leaves ’cause if not we’re gonna have discussion for long, some people still think he’s the best and some other people think he’s more like a drag. that is too bad for us. not any other FCB player does that, even keita has won the cules love. even busi has won the FCBlogger’s love, but ibra is a whole different subject. hope they do reach an agreement

  2. Honestly, if you were Ibra and considering how the last week has gone, wouldn’t you be a little snarky?

    1. I reckon, but is that really the time to make that kind of statement? I’m certain that he isn’t entirely blameless in this situation. If he didn’t want to take a pay cut, he should have manned the hell up and made up with Guardiola. This situation was salvageable at any point. All somebody had to do was say “Stop. This is stupid.”

      Who is most macho? Dunno. But I do know who got screwed. The club, who is taking a loss, and the player, who is taking a pay cut to leave town, and go back to a league that he left in triumph, to play with a bunch of coots.

  3. If he didn’t want to go he could sit where he is and there’s nothing we could do. He’s heading into oblivion in Milan and good riddance.

  4. How could he not be sold to man city ? Someone at minimum needs to be accountable for this. This is why I was so concerned about barca nit even trying to build a market of two teams. If you only have one buyer it’s almost always going to be a bad deal.

    And as great as pep has been he also needs to be accountable here. And by that n
    I mean nit simply using the agent as the scape goat.

    Pep wanted ibra. This was his player. If you want the club to invest 69m based on your wishes you are personally responsible for making it work. That the bottom line. No “feeling” no agent. You have to be accountable.

    When is there a pattern here also. It’s not only ibra. If pep has this much trouble getting along with players ot integrating them into his system the club shouldn’t spend large amounts in the transfer market because the risk of it nit working I’d too high

    1. I was under the impression Pep wanted Villa, and assented to Ibra when the Villa deal was unobtainable.

    2. Pep was calling for Ibra when he first took over, wanting Eto’o out along with Dinho and Deco. Nothing happened, and Eto’o stayed. next season, They began negotiating with Inter for Ibra, but they couldn’t reach an agreement, so he turned to David Villa and that deal was sabotaged, and finally they were able to get their man in Ibra.

    3. The only thing I can think is that Ibra refused to go to City. If he had no interest in going there then there isnt much the club can do about it. Milan will have known that Ibra is only interested in them and so what would be the point of negotiating with City. The situation wouldnt be any different than it is today because at the end of it all the player has to agree to personal terms with the club.

    4. The other part of the pattern is making demands at the very end of the transfer season. Last season, it was saying he wanted either Chygrinskiy or no one after the first round of negotiations failed with Shakhtar. This year, after couple of weeks of saying we would stick with youth, he all of sudden started saying we may need someone. Then, in the last week, there has been the Ibra stuff.

    5. I repeat many say that ibra was behind 2 other strikers in Pep’s list. The sure thing here is that he did not want eto’o anymore (the feeling stuff) and did anything to get rid of him. He did get rid of him at a high cost I think.

  5. And this is why I respect Txigrinski so much. He got dicked over by the club and took I like a man.

  6. Hurry up, Ibra. I’m due to go out for a meal in 25 !!! Mind you, what my good lady will make of me attempting to engage her on the merits of a more flowing tika taka without Ibra over a Mexican meal remains to be seen.

    1. What wound?
      We just took a financial wound that we will obviously withstand with no problem.
      He just got back in italy in a lesser team that is supposedly being revamped yet the youngest player they signed is him!haha

    2. It is but the player wanted to leave and the coach wanted to let him. Not much to be done about this , unless if rosell interfered something that he didnt.

    3. “Not much to be done about this”

      How about getting appropriate compensation? That’s Rosell’s job isn’t it?

  7. @kxevin,
    the most obvious big money signings that come into my mind in the last decade for barca are R10,DANI,DECO and IBRA(henry dont fall in that category).what R10 and Dani did was above excellent and we cules remeber them,its not ibras fault that he was purchased at a high rate,but when u demand 12m salary a year u ought 2 perform excellently and quickly.sorry ibra did good but not the standard we cules hope for,when he agreed 2 join he should have known that(CR knew that and he did that@RM,though i dnt like him).

    plz for the last time,dont compare ibra 2 bojan,ibra has experience,has the money,a definite starter when he joined us,not bojan.and for the last time compare CR 2 messi,that is acceptable,but dont compare ibra with messi.

    1. Ronaldinho went out the back door, with his transfer value damaged by bad blood with the club. As a result he effectively went on strike, leaving us no option but to sell him.

      I don’t believe that anyone could perform at the standard “we cules” demand, even Messi if he were a new transfer, announced tomorrow. It’s an absurd standard. We might as well promote canteranos. No attacking transfer will ever measure up, unless they cost about 12 Euros.

    2. if you sum up the transfers he made and we never used its a pretty big shocking chunk of money.Not that theres much wrong with that , but txiki was far from a transfer wizard only making wonder signings.

  8. 4-year deal with Milan. Best of all, because we don’t get paid, we can’t even go out and sign anyone, not that there’s anyone worth having who’s available for 25m.

  9. I’m not believing its that low a sum until I hear it officially.

    Then I’ll probably weep.

  10. I just want this to be over. I’m tired. I want the season to start and get our matches underway again.

    This is just a farcical way to do business. I can only say there was a titanic fall out between Guardiola and Ibra over the course of 2 weeks, especially after his agent’s sh*t stirring. The board have handled this despicably…

    You know what? I don’t even care anymore. I can’t wait for this to all be said and done and start our season again. We can moan about this later… Sigh. At least Barca Atletic won today.

  11. pep is alo culpable in this situation.u have 2 integrate ur signing(especially when he is worth so much).he couldnt do that and now he didnt have the patience

  12. I can’t not care, Kari. It’s unbelievable. however, you are right. Season starts tomorrow.

  13. I agree with Euler.

    How the fuck can Pep, Ibra, Rosell, Raiola actually do this.

    -Pep wanted him.
    -The club paid the highest fee in their whole history.
    -Ibra broke Ronaldo’s record.
    -Ibra already took a pay cut to come here and didn’t do anything against the club.

    Above all he scored 21 freaking goals and 9 assists!!!

    To all Ibra haters: F*CK YOU. Thanks to you, who, make no mistake also played a big part in this thing, leave us looking like idiots. Well done! Bravo!

    1. To ibra lovers : fuck you .Support your club not the players.
      I never hated zlatan but what the fucking kind of fan are you if you go by his side , especially when the fishy parts on this transfer seem to mostly have come off him and his agent.

    2. (I’m not a Ibra lover BTW, I’m a neutral … like Switzerland.
      )

      – I support the club by watching their matches, buying their jerseys and therefore through their players.
      I thought Barca was “owned” by fans.

    3. You can support the club and disagree with some of its actions. Blind subservience =/= support.

      True support is disagreeing but still showing up to root for the team game in, game out.

    4. I know things are emotionally testing right now, but let’s not descend into total filth on this site.

      I don’t care if you love Ibra, hate him, or couldn’t give a crap, this sort of back and forth hitching is not acceptable.

    5. You can support the club and not agree with everything that they do. This was bad business pure and simple. Fiscally irresponsible and very shortsighted in the sporting sense. We won’t ever know exactly how this all came to pass, but it’s just bad all around and we should have no problem saying that no matter how much we love the club.

    6. I heard pep didnt want ibra as 1st option, only as 3rd. And he was all old Laporta could get him. Now that we have one of the two 1st options, ibra out if he loathes the bench.

  14. @kxevin.
    Ronaldinho went out the back door, with his transfer value damaged by bad blood with the club. As a result he effectively went on strike, leaving us no option but to sell him.

    after effectively playing 3 yrs(without last 2 yrs ).

    but didnt R10,Deco and dani performed fr the very start?did the cules have so much conversation about whether they r bad,good,avg or outstanding transfers.no,coz without doubt they performed the very standard that we cules demand fr the 1st season.

    1. Alves is a defender, and double threat. He didn’t have to work his way into a very difficult offense.

      Ronaldinho scored 20 goals and no assists his first season with us. One less than Ibrahimovic, who is a failure?

      Deco’s job was different, so he gets a pass for not scoring goals, as does Iniesta. The malleable, absurdly biased standard that cules have is indefensible, so don’t even try.

    2. Kxevin ronnie cost 26 million , and was a midfielder.
      No comparison to a 70 million striker transfer , obviously plus ronnies flashy playing style was the absolute attribute for marketing .

    3. r10 was the only shining light at that season,ibra was already @ a history setting team.now u consider who is a failure.

    4. Ibrahimovic was not a failure , at all.
      Did he let us down due to his transfer fee , competition with evil signings(ronaldo) ?Even if it wasnt his fault , since he didnt slap that transfer fee on his back and he has never scored more than 29 goals , he didnt live up to his overrated fee.
      But no comparison to ronnie , at all.

    5. i remember R10 didnt win anything in the 1st season,ibra did win the la liga.so 2 the naked eyes R10 will definitely be a failure. but thats to the naked eye,we all know who is the failure.where is ur that view that everything cant be measured by simple statistics(such as keita having a 10)

  15. Gone Adriano: On loan (15m, loss TBD)
    Txigrinski: Sold (10m loss)
    Hleb: Loan (17m, loss will be huge)
    Caceres: Loan (15m, loss will be huge)
    Keirrison: Loan (15m, we’ll take a loss)
    Alves: Kicking ass
    Keita: Ditto
    Adriano: Oh, yes.
    Maxwell: Wow
    Ibrahimovic: Um …. never mind. (21m loss)
    Henry: Released to dump salary (Loss? Gain? Champions League value?)
    Abidal: Kicking ass
    The Yaya: Sold for great value (20m gain, dumped salary)
    Villa: ????
    Mascherano: ????

    Am I missing anyone in the last few years?

    1. How about YAYA-0. With Messi, Bojan, Villa, Iniesta, Xavi, Pique scoring hattricks; Puyol going caveman on their asses; Valdes stone-colding them; Pep giving them his best b*tch face

      ROARRRRRRR!!

      /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs1dCW4VzPg

  16. Ibra the player and Ibra:the transfer are two entirely different things, Eklavya. A mediocre performance ( in my view) didn’t bring this about. He was set to start the season until a few days ago.

    Until we know the reasons behind this we’re just whistling. Doesn’t do any good to add to our woes by falling out at this point.

  17. I’m beginning to question whether Ibra really was Pep’s signing..

    It’s like Pep didn’t want him, maybe it was forced on him by Laporta. This is the only logical conclusion I can gather from all this..

    BTW, every time I see that goal Pippo scored against us, I wish he joined us.. He’ll accept time at the bench, could be brought on as a Super-sub, but more importantly, Bojan could learn from him considering they have similar physiques.. Apart from the “Born Offside” jokes, that man is a legend..

    Is any of the above making some sense or is my mind shot from that appalling transfer fee?

    1. first of all, pippo is a 1000 yrs old. he’s got jock straps older than ibra.

      second, ibra was pep’s transfer. he’s always wanted him ever since he played w/him/against him in a friendly years ago. that was all him, that was his “feeling.” a “feeling” i, & probably most of you, shared.

    2. 1000 yrs old or not, he still made a mockery of our defense..

      I still have ‘feelings’..

      Rivaldo
      Ronnie
      Eto’o
      Ibra and the list goes on.. We’re never for a clean break-up are we? All of them must be messy. Pun. not. intended.

  18. “Milan is deciding who will announce the transfer: Galliani and Ibrahimovic at the Camp Nou or Berlusconi at Milanello.”

  19. @kxevin,
    in case of
    Txigrinski: Sold (10m loss)
    Hleb: Loan (17m, loss will be huge)
    Caceres: Loan (15m, loss will be huge)
    Keirrison: Loan (15m, we’ll take a loss):

    are they given the enough chance 2 play?nope.so i m with u on that.in case of ibra is he given enuf chance 2 play?.yes.did he perform like the super signing we cule demand?.no.end of story.

    and u miss my point.i talk bout big money signings.apart fr txi none of big money signings.

    1. mei ibra isnt gone because he didnt perform, pep already said its not ibra the “player”.

    2. I know this , and have already highlighted it.
      Ibra caused a stir amongst the squad , im sure of it.
      And pep obviously wanted this out , thats why he okayed the transfer.
      I remember ibras agent going to the press since january , badmouthing the whole team and pep.
      Something about not being assisted much , and attributing to pep for not using him the title crazy.
      Now , today raiola said that the only ones that can ask him to shut ap are his client or his family , and hes got a point.
      I never bought the independent agent view that has nothing to do with the player anyway.

    3. But what does big money mean? For 30+m, Alves his first season had 5 goals and 12 assists. Is 30+m not big money? It’s why I say that “standards” are malleable, and no attacking player will ever live up to them. Keirrison wasn’t a big money transfer, but it’s 15m that we have, at present, thrown away. Where’s the value in that?

      And if we transferred Messi, what then? His first year as a first-team regular, he had 19 goals and 3 assists. Ask yourself, given what he would have cost in a transfer fee, even that first season, if cules would have deemed that adequate. And think carefully before you answer. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

      Henry’s first year brought 16 goals and 11 assists. Yet everyone said that his first year sucked. Why, and compared to what?

    4. And if we transferred Messi, what then? His first year as a first-team regular, he had 19 goals and 3 assists. Ask yourself, given what he would have cost in a transfer fee, even that first season, if cules would have deemed that adequate. And think carefully before you answer.

      ur question is like what if the ref allowed that goal against IM,lots of its and buts.taking some sime time will say that if nessi wasnt injured for a long time he would have definitely scored more than that amount of goals and assists.

      ps.in his 1st injury free season messi scred 38 goals and i think have 12 assists

    5. But Ibrahimovic wasn’t injury-free last season, either, right? Nor was Henry. Yet both were deemed failures, and never recovered from that label. It’s what I mean by malleable standards.

    6. there is two things,truth and partial truth.in case of messi when he was injured he was ruled out for the season and only returned late @ the season.h many games did ibra miss through injury,not very much.

      i didnt consider henry a failure in his 1st season.so i guess i didnt raise the standard like the other cules.but even to my standard ibra was ok,just ok.

      btb,why r u forgetting ibra was already in an all conquering thing?(no the hexa didnt blind me or didnt raise the bar for me)

      i dunno but i think i m one of those cules here who witnessed and suffered those terrible 6 trophyless years.so i know what the barca standard was and is.and 2 me ibra just did ok

    7. This is a difficult one. Some of us saw Ibra as hindering our playing style, some saw him as Plan B. The way I see it, if you win 6 trophies you don’t need a plan B and certainly don’t mess with perfection. Ferguson never messed with greatness – until he saw it decline. We are just starting out with this team – even Xavi has a couple of years at least.

      Different way of looking at it – no rights no wrongs but for whatever reason Plan B didn’t work.

      I’m happier without him.

    8. according 2 me henry did good,considering the situation of the team(that team was falling apart still he did that,the armchair fans will say he sucked,not me).the important thing is the situation of the team when he arrived @ the time.compare henry,r10,dani with that of ibra and c for urself.

      u asked what is big money transfers.IMO.
      GK-5-10m.
      BACKLINE->20M
      DM->25M
      AM->35M
      ST->40M

      IN TODAYS MARKET.
      when R10,Deco were signed their value was of the highest order at that times transfer markets

  20. Jim makes a very good point. Ibrahimovic the transfer and Ibrahimovic the player are two very different things. And then there is what’s best for the club, which is yet another thing.

    We are a family here. Families can disagree, but be sure on what we are disagreeing about. There are fans of Ibrahimovic and what he can do for the club, who were for the transfer, at the right price. There were people on the fence about the player, who were against the transfer at any price.

    Understand the issues, and most importantly, do not forget the standards that we have in this space.

  21. Guys, this transfer may suck but let’s not forget that we still have an fantastic team and an excellent crop of youngsters knocking on the door. (Barca B was the only Segunda team to win away today). We’re not by any means doomed.

    Bring on Racing! After all this transfer noise I can’t wait for the start of the Liga.

  22. I`d bet ibra will be “whistled” in Camp Nou if he ever come to play here… big time. Not only my wishes but what I think will happen also, after his declarations and Raiola`s.

    1. I would learn to whistle, just to whistle him. 😀 But I booed Eto’o at the Inter Champions League match that I attended last season, because of the fact that he was the enemy, as well as the circumstances of his departure. Another one that didn’t have to be as it was.

  23. Yet again “our” fucking media win.Its not about ibra, they can turn on any player just as quickly, and they will.Shaping public opinion and transfers one year at a time.Im enraged really.

    1. Seriously. If there was an award for best piece of transfer business, Milan would walk away with it hands down.

      Fortune handed them a great situation, and to their credit, they took complete advantage of it.

  24. Not sure how this degenerated into a pro ibra vs anti ibra thing. This is not really about Ibra leaving. Let him leave. Clearly there is a problem between Ibra and Pep so Ibra leaving is probably for the best. That is not the issue. The issue is selling him for 25m which is about as laughable as it gets. Since it is not official yet we cant be sure, but all signs point to 25-30m, which is disgraceful.

    We will continue to be successful without Ibra, who knows, maybe we even get better, but taking such a big hit from his sale is not really an acceptable way to do business.

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that something really bad happened between Pep and Ibra, so bad that Pep refused to have him in his locker room anymore. This would be the only scenario I could see that would make the club so desperate to sell that they would take such a huge hit.

    1. Spot on, Hilal. Hopefully, Guardiola will explain things in a way that makes us go “Oh! Okay. All better now.” I want something more than a “feeling,” which for me was insufficient justification for the removal of Eto’o (which I know will shock some people, who believe I am fully anti-Eto’o).

    2. It’s a catch-22, though. If he had gone into detail as to why he didn’t want Eto’o, then we would have been faced the spectacle of Eto’o being obliged to respond to defend his honor and the media circus that would have surrounded the whole affair (in a year when we ended up playing Inter 4 times, no less).

    3. i don’t care that he booted eto’o’s ass out. he had just won the triplete. he had the leverage to do what ever the fuck he wanted. i was fine w/it. but that guardiola didn’t stand up to rat face’d rosell when he put first chignasty, then ibra on the chopping block is not cool. stand by your decisions. don’t cower before some weasel. guardiola gave up the high ground w/out a fight. that’s the issue.

    4. The only conciliation here that I can see is that it appears Rosell has done Pep’s bidding. I had originally thought this was all Rosells doing, but that doesnt really make sense, as we are taking such a huge hit on this. It actually makes Rosell look REALLY bad, especially after spending the whole summer talking about poor finances. A deal like this makes him look pretty damn bad. If it is indeed the case that Pep was demanding Ibra’s departure and Rosell made sure that happened no matter what, well at least it means we know who is in charge. I can imagine a lot of presidents might have turned around and said tough luck Pep, this sale doesnt work, deal with it. Clearly Rosell is willing to take the hit.

      As you can see I am trying my best to find something positive out of this whole mess.

  25. Further no other club in the last few years fell for ‘master’ negotiator Galliani’s tricks.Which is why they didnt buy anyone , but of course we have to get bent overr.When is Robinho signing?

  26. Right. I’m hungry, and there’s not much going on. Let’s all play nice, and I’ll pop in once I’ve made a dent in my 6,000 calorie per day requirement.

    😀

    1. laudrup says cruiff blamed mainly him for the loss in Athens (4-0 vs milan), but he also says that as a star it is your job to be the one to blame. “You know, it’s how they treated him” said laudrup about cruiff in an interview.

    2. (no you’re not)
      at least Ibra is not going to EE (then again Laudrup did have the decency to almost break down crying when he came to play us in the Camp Nou 😉 )

    3. yeah, but i was alluding to the mister-player aspect of things. lack of comms and “feeling”.

    4. True that…I guess we will have to wait and see

      And you are right to point out this isn’t the first time this sort of thing happens, that we know about…personalities, eh it’s life you know!

  27. Come on people lets not turn on each other.
    Lets turn on Rosell, :-,If it is in fact 25m. If its 40M then lets just move on.

    1. agreed.
      since when we fans are concerned about our finances or the net profits fr transers.(are we becoming the gunners fans?).

      if i m the financial adviser i would be since i m not i should nt be.and our finance is not that bad as rossel portrayed.see swiss ramblers blog for barcas actual financial condition

  28. @poipoi armchair fans are those who just watch the match,enjoy the goals,the assists and nothing else.

    1. I watch every minute of every game. If I can’t watch it I download it, and let me tell you I would have injuried titi with a kick to the knee if I bumped into him in the street in the last 3 or 4 years.

    2. i live in that region where every barca game starts usually 1 am local time.i still watch that and when there is no tv coverage i download the games for a week 2 watch.coz in the region where i live the net speed is nt fast enough 2 watch live streaming

  29. “Milan-Barcelona: 25M, first year on loan, obligation to buy next year. Milan-Ibrahimovic: 4-year contract, 8M a year.”

    Ibra for peanuts..

  30. Also there’s a lot of blame being assigned and we have no idea what actually happened. What we do know are the numbers, the last minute transfer. We may never know the full details. So for people saying x must have surely done this and y must have surely done this…all speculation, at this point

  31. i m against the transfer of ibra.

    but looking back at his transfer history its obvious why and how it happened

    1. Really? As someone who knows this history are you sure it is that obvious? One thing is stories another thing is…well speculation

    2. may be i speculated.after reading his transfer histories i hope my speculations are right.but dont know may be i m wrong

  32. anybody thinks milan with their old squad and ibra is going to haunt us in the CL?

    i guess nobdy thinks that way

  33. On a really serious note – I know a lot of us check Pep’s twitter, but if you repost quotes from him make sure you give him credit (as Vj did above)

    I only say this because someone on twitter was reposting Pep’s tweets without giving him credit, so let’s not be those people.

    1. No worries Nik. I’ve forgotten myself at times. Pep provides such an awesome service to us, for free, so let’s make sure he gets the credit.

  34. @poipoi

    sure it is on fire ,coz when u compare barca stars r10,messi(to me they r barca legends)2 the technically gifted,tall,giving barca another dimension ibra it sure gonna be on fire

    1. sorry but I’m spanish and a little dumb… don’t understand and I would like to 🙁 😀

  35. We are seriously selling Ibra for penuts.Didnt Chygrynskiy cost about 25 mill. Oh the horror

  36. many fans i c here are turning against PEP regarding ibra.in this reagrd i have 2 remind in the quote of the self proclaimed special one”pep is the perfect coach for barca”

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