News of the Day: Guess Who’s Joined BFB?

That's me, a newbie!

Not that guy~! Surprise! It is I, Kari, who has joined the BFB team! Yaaaay me! Yaaay team! And no, I can’t believe it either!

You may ask, “Just what do you bring to the table that  isn’t already there?” and I would say, “No intelligent discussion or contributions, bad grammar, long useless polls on the LiveBlog, and a virtual smiley face 😀 ” You may reply, “How does that help anything?” and I would retort, “….Well, my mom’s better than your mom!”

And the conversation would end there.

On a more serious note, I’ll primarily be a news gatherer here on BFB meaning I’d be the gatherer of news (same thing idiot). The news will be Barca-related, of course, and from a variety of sites (or barcastuff, whatever). My posts would be “News of the Day/Week” depending on events. If one day is particularly eventful, I will post a news of the day. If news is slow, news of the week will probably be the post. All in all, I’ll just be relaying information to you .

I’ll also (try to) add some interesting articles that are on the web today. What I find “interesting”, you may not find interesting, but I’ll try to keep it as appealing/amusing/astonishing(-ly amazing) as possible. An example could be a Sid Lowe review of a Barca game, or a Zonal Marking article. You may (read: will) see a La Liga Loca article at some point. I may also post an article to spark some football-related debate among BFBers and get some lesser known articles to your attention.

Don’t expect any reviews/previews/tactical awareness/SoMa goodness/etc. from me. I’m the clueless one on the team who leans more towards the “Ooooohhhhh, purty football! Moc, moc” side of the football scale than the tactical knowledge side (credit tnyatu for the analogy). If I try my hand at those things…

This is what would happen to me.

I have some ideas of what I could do, but I dunno if I could make it a constant thing. Some of the “maybe I could do that” ideas: uploading the BFB “game of the season” on YouTube ( after a poll), uploading a Revista de La Liga on YT, posting the post-match comments of Pep and the players after a game and before a review… Yeah. But I don’t want to get your hopes up though. I may not have the time to do that. I’m already taking an age getting the second leg of Barca-Arsenal uploaded (I’ve uploaded the 10-minute pre-match if anyone cares).

What I will do for sure though, is give you a little long monologue of how I became a Barca fan later. Because you’re all dying to know, right? Right.

I am so honoured to be part of the team. If this was a shock to you, it was even more of a shock to me (I’m surprised I even manage to string words together, let alone post something. I still can’t really believe it)! I hope to keep up the BFB standard and make supporting Barca that much more fun.

Published
Categorized as Barcelona

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

152 comments

  1. You know what’s weird? I was just this morning thinking they should make you a mod for all the work you do with the LiveBlogs.

    Congrats, Kari!

  2. enbuenahora, kari

    i just wanted to mention again, if you didnt catch it the first time, watch messis first goal vs almeria and see how he makes the defenders crash into each other and one of them goes down. soooo funny

  3. We’re very pleased to have Kari on board. Of late, we’ve been expanding the team because frankly, it’s hard for 2 or 3 of us to maintain the quality and posting frequency that you all demand. So here’s the team, moving forward:

    Isaiah: You know who he is.
    me: Villa and Krkic hater extraordinaire
    Luke: General excellence
    Euler: Tactical jams kicked out
    VicSoc: LiveBloggage, generalist
    Kari: (see above, yo)
    Tom Johnson: Business, tactics, whatevs
    SoMa: General genius
    Linda Hui: Her website is here: http://black-white-and-grey.blogspot.com/

    Hopefully, between the lot of us, all intensely time-constrained, we can continue the excellence that everyone has come to expect. Rock, and welcome, Kari!

    1. oh my goodness, that black and white and grey blog, wow. can’t wait to see Linda Hui and her posts.

  4. Oh my good laugh at Goal.com got Hectored.

    Anyway here it is: http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/01/27/2326189/guardians-gareth-bale-twitter-exclusive-shows-social-media

    Scrolling down and seeing the first (and at the time only) comment I laughed my head off. If it has more comments now maybe the effect won’t be funny anymore. Going down to scroll and expecting a comment that was funny would also probably not make it funny since it was just not expecting anything and seeing that which made it funny. Anyway though.

    And congrats Kari ;D

  5. Well there goes the blog!

    Just kidding. Way to go kiddo, but don’t forget to get your studying done!

  6. Some day I’ll be a poster too… 😀 Maybe a year or two (or three, or four) down the line I’ll be at poster-level.

  7. Thanks so much for the congrats, guys! And there is a nice edit button beside all your posts, so if you didn’t congratulate me, I’ll make you 😀 . I have the power now! <—May become power-hungry in the future.

    It actually took me a little while to post this because I had an internal struggle whether to Hector Kxevin or not. I decided not since that would be pretty ballsy for a newbie 😀 Next time though…

    @Eklavya, the Ban Hammer jokes will never go away. Watch, there will come a time when I can't post anything…

  8. First poll idea, Kari, and it actually was Blitzen’s idea is:

    Who does Adebayor get into a fight with first at EE? (although something in me has a small soft spot for Adebayor ever since the Togo bus incident, so sad).

  9. These “pundits” Shaka Hislop and Janusz Michallik on twitter claiming Mascherano isn’t a good player, comparing him to Felipe Melo and when I ask them if they’ve watched him play for Barça, they act as if I’m saying something ridiculous. I said Mascherano has been great for Barça and Shaka says “Eh?!” as if he knows more about Barça than me.

    Seriously, I despise these journalists who watch maybe one or two games and claim to know everything about our team. If they actually watched Barça matches, then they would know how good Mascherano has been.

    This frustrates me.

    1. Who are these people? Who do they work for?

      I just watched yesterday’s match this afternoon, and Mascherano was brilliant! The way he steals balls is a joy to watch, his passing is as good as any (except Xavinesta, natch), and he has adapted beautifully to Barca’s possession/attacking game. He even took a couple of shots on goal–I guess he figures if Abidal can score, he can too!

  10. A few more thoughts on the game while it is fresh in my mind:

    –we don’t need a tall forward when he have flying Pedro!! Yes, he can fly now. Awesome.
    –Adriano didn’t have a bad game at all, aside from a couple of mistakes. It’s just that he’s not Dani Alves. He’s not fast enough to advance up the right wing and then dash back to cover for an out-of-position Pique. And he got fouled a lot. Would they have fouled Dani like that? Don’t think so. They wouldn’t have been able to catch him, for one thing.
    –Pique wasn’t good in the first half, but improved a lot in the second.
    –ABIDAL! Not only was he an absolute beast, he also had to do part of Pique and Adriano’s jobs.
    –Pinto managed not to scare the heck out of me for once. Good game.
    –Afellay looks better and better the more minutes he gets. He should play the whole game in the second half of the tie.
    –Villa had an excellent game, too. This Villa-Messi-Pedro trident is almost unbeatable. Poor Bojan.

    1. Oh, and I forgot to add:

      –I sometimes feel almost sorry for Rosell. It must be hard to have to sit there stone-faced next to the opposition president and not be able to celebrate how well your team is playing. 🙂

    2. In terms of pure pace, Adriano is faster than Alves. Watch ’em both. And Alves doesn’t have the full-on pace to get back, either.

      And I wouldn’t say poor Krkic. He brought it on himself.

    3. Alves has the stamina to get up and down. Adriano doesn’t.

      I just think Adriano has to improve his decision making when he has the ball. If Xavi is telling you to keep it moving and asks for the ball, then give it to him. No need to switch the fields or blast a pointless shot.

    4. Maybe you’re right, it’s more about stamina than speed. Alves knows he can run all day and night so doesn’t hesitate to make that run, while Adriano needs to conserve his energy more.

      And with regards to decision-making, watching Milito trying to decide what to do with the ball was downright painful at times. He wasn’t bad, just slow to make the pass. He needs more game time to get back in his rythm

    5. “Alves has the stamina to get up and down. Adriano doesn’t.”

      Adriano appears to be a bit heavier (thighs for one). The official listing says by around 7lbs. That might be the reason for somewhat lesser stamina.

      Whit this ‘extra’ weight, Adriano is more effective during ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ contact. His tackles appear to bring more force too.

      As for decision making process, it takes time to develop ‘chemistry’ and mutual understanding. Such things come with repetition.

      For now, the most important thing is that he is where is supposed to be (for the most part). Making himself available to receive a pass. The more time he spends on the pitch the more calm he is going to be and will stop trying to do ‘too much’ in an attempt to impress.

    6. Well regardless of Adriano’s weight, I struggle to name many players who have the stamina Alves possesses.

      That said, Adriano does look stronger when he goes into challenges with his body, but I also think he can be a bit reckless when it comes to throwing his weight around. Against Betis he was practically asking the referee for a second yellow with some of his senseless challenges.

      And I know the chemistry and all that will come with more game time and what not, but if you look at Afellay for example, he is doing the right thing. Pass the ball and keep it simple. When the midfielders ask for the ball, he gives it. Some of that stuff Adriano is doing should be cut out by now.

    7. Just because Bojan has only himself to blame for his performance doesn’t mean I can’t feel sorry for him! 😀

  11. @Jnice

    “Against Betis he was practically asking the referee for a second yellow with some of his senseless challenges”

    Thats a part of ‘trying too hard’ to impress.

    “…but if you look at Afellay for example, he is doing the right thing. Pass the ball and keep it simple.”

    I didn’t get impression that he is struggling with simple passing. However, his decision making is a bit skewed because he is under ‘pressure’. Again, he is trying too hard instead of letting the game ‘come to him’. He is being jittery out there if you will.

    Jittery is what Afellay has been too. I agree with you that he is keeping things simple. But to me most of the time he looks like he is rushing the pass. He is trying to get rid of the ball too quick even though he is not under pressure.

    At times when he is holding on to the ball and is trying to dribble, it again strikes me like he is doing it too fast. Even his movement strikes me as somewhat chaotic. He would pick up the ball and make two dribbles then pass it. The same thing he could have achieved if he just moved a step or two in the right direction and properly shielded the ball with his body.

    Another detail, while playing in the middle he usually have options available to his left and right to choose from. More than Adriano who is confined to the right side line and 90%+ of events occur to his left.

    Afellay does have better vision and is more comfortable on the ball. I guess that would explain why he plays in the midfield and not at RB in first place.

    1. Oh Adriano: Dude’s just started getting first-team reps. Match fitness is something that you just don’t have. Alves has a huge advantage in being permanent, etched-in-stone first team. Adriano has more pure pace, and as has been noted, is significantly more physical. He is still learning where to be in our system, one that takes some time for attackers (which is what our right back really is) to learn.

      On Afellay: That is the best 3 million this club has ever spent. I think that he just plays stiff. There again, it’s hard for attackers, particularly mids, to fit in. But he looks significantly more comfortable than any recent offensive signing. I like his passing and constant movement, so that he’s always looking for space to take the return ball.

      Once he settles in, we’ll see what his playing style is. Tom notes his dribble/passing, rather than just moving a proper step or two, shielding and passing. I’m careful not to apply the WWXD (What Would Xavi Do) rule to Afellay, which is really, really hard. I think he has his own style, and I really like what I see.

    2. I should have explained myself better.

      It wasn’t about the radius of his movement. That I have no problems with. On the contrary.

      It was more along the lines that he would go and make a movement with the ball only to end up passing it to a certain player where a more experienced player would asses the situation and, maybe after a step or two, pass the ball to that guy right away.

      He looked like a pinball that first game he got in up there on the left side.

      When I was talking about how he looks to me like he wants to get rid of the ball too soon, it happens a lot of times to players who either didn’t play for a while or are new to the system.

      Especially in the midfield, one of the most important things is to get the feel for the ‘game speed’ and set the timing right.

      a. One doesn’t want to panic and give the ball too soon when there is enough room to work with (turn, head up field, dribble)

      b. Hold on to the ball for too long allowing the opponent to close down and make an attempt to disposes, intercept the pass, foul or generally slow down the play

    3. Affalay’s movement off the ball is not as strong as Xavi/Iniesta/Keita. I hope Pep fixes that issue soon with him.

  12. Congratulations, Kari! You know, you are always my favorite. Except when it’s blitzen. Or EBF. Or eklavya. Or Isaiah. Or Kxevin. Or…

    Research has been weighing heavy on me this last month and will be for the next few weeks, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to post much. But I have been catching all the matches since Christmas, all the while being eternally grateful that we are living in a period where we get to watch this squad play football.

    Now back into the shadows…

  13. So has anyone noticed that at the last two matches, ZubiZa has been sitting next to Alves, and both look like they’d rather be having a proctology exam than sitting next to each other?

    1. I think that’s just the way Alves’ face is. Xavi always looks unimpressed when he watches matches too.

    2. Exactly. When they showed Alves during the last match, it looked to me like he was physically restraining himself from jumping out of his seat and getting into the game. 😀

      And Jeffren just looked depressed. Poor guy.

  14. Milan are actually starting to look like genuine UCL challengers now. When football sites predicted Milan to reach the semis or finals of the CL at the start of the season and win trophies I had a good laugh at it, considering how old their midfield was, their awful full-backs, and how the defense sucks when one of Silva or Nesta is missing, and that Inter still had the much deeper and stronger squad. I even thought Spurs, with their very fast wingers, would cause Milan serious problems at the back and had a good 50-50 chance to progress.

    But now they look favorites to win Serie A (of course, part of it had to do with Inter being so god-awful) and they seem to be really tearing it up on the transfer market. Got Cassano for a steal, van Bommel for free, the Ajax wing-back/winger/left-back/atleast-someone-not-slow-as-molasses-to-deal-with-fast-wingers Emanuelson for 1.7 million, and now looking to agree a deal with Espanyol for their left-back. Specifically the getting fitter midfielders- now Seedorf won’t be in attacking midfield and van Bommel is still in good shape- and a better defense I’d say poor Spurs, their chances are considerably lower now.

    As for La Liga, the Boca president has apparently said Gary Medel is going to Sevilla, who are also reportedly (from persistent rumors) close to signing a deal with Rakitic from Schalke before he leaves when his contract runs out I think. That’s good for me in two ways, imo- makes Sevilla stronger, and makes Valencia’s next CL opponents weaker. I want Valencia to at least make the semis. If they beat Schalke and then get the winner of Roma/Shakhtar or a surprise winner from one of the other legs they have a pretty clear shot.

  15. Ps. Now that pretty much all the positions for BFB itself are covered, I call dibs on whenever you guys decide to give someone the ‘BFB Facebook Page (or BFBFB) Updater and Runner’ job. The FB page never posts the links up when they come out.

  16. From Soccernet comment threads:

    ‘jordifromflix (1/28/2011 at 10:06 AM) Report Violation
    Its funny, a lot of the comments labeled at Busquets are reminisent of the ones labeled at Makelele. Busquets may not be at that level yet, but is there another 22 year old DM that’s remotely close to his skill?

    All of this criticism of him and the rest of the Barca team is quite the compliment for Barca. If they weren’t a threat no one would say anything. The great thing is that they are pushing people out of their comfort zones. Gabriel Marcotti said it well in the Journal –

    “Barcelona is defying much of the conventional wisdom of modern soccer, which calls for physical, athletic players, a balanced team and ability to vary one’s style. All of which points to the fact that if Barca keep this up, we will have witnessed something truly extraordinary. Barca isn’t just breaking records. It’s shifting paradigms.”

    Revolutions like this are rare in the game and most people don’t realize the impact until much, much later.’

    Mostly that excerpt from The Journal.

  17. Awesomeness!

    You know what would be more awesome? If someone could compile season highlights *eyes the new team member*

  18. Not a fan of Adriano yet. Almeria is at the bottom with a minus 14 GD and their attacks on goal came from his position. Center mid gets caught out and then trouble. He has a lower center of gravity which Ronaldo with his quickness is going to be licking his chops. He is not as clean with his touches which leads to more counters with him out of positon and most of all I’m worried that he might not be that smart with all his one man dribble attacks and long distance blasts.

    Much rather see Puyol shift over and Fontas jump in. That way Abidal can reap havoc on the left and Busquets plays where he’s been groomed.

    1. Why do you keep mentioning Ronaldo? Alves isn’t going to be out all the way until April. He is already training with the team and will probably get the green light in a day or two.

    2. It’s fine to not be a fan of Adriano, but don’t let that blind you to the skill sets that he brings to the side, namely pace and physicality.

      As you said, if the center mid breaks down we have trouble, but that’s true irrespective of who’s in there. Never forget that teams loveto exploit the space behind Alves, because he gets so far forward. That is a problem, as well, that our defensive scheme can usually cover for.

      Puyol no longer has the pace to play RB. Montoya is a brighter prospect there than Fontas.

      No question that Alves is a brilliant right back. But the defense saves his bacon a lot, just as it does for Adriano, and will have to for any RB that gets forward as Guardiola demands.

  19. Because of the ongoing uncertainty of his staying and the increasing certainty that the season will come down to the next games with madrid. And because it is so hard to beat a really good team 3 times in a row.

    If Alves is healthy and committed great but even he had a bad stretch at the end of last season and it hurt Barca.

    1. I don’t get what you are saying. Alves will be fit in a couple days. His contract situation is not going to change the fact that he is our starting right back. Period. What, is he going to be sold in February? He is our starting right back when healthy. No need for these alternate scenarios for a match that’s 3 months away.

  20. Yeah sure I guess I’m still reminiscing about his performance in the CL final 2 years ago

    1. Who can photoshop Messi, Villa, and Pedro’s heads onto Mike (thesituation), Vinny, and Pauly D’s bodies?

  21. I hope our friends in Egypt like Miguel are ok. Their government has shut down their internet so that they can’t organize for protests.

  22. With all the talk about Alves, we are seeing Van der Wiels name thrown around again in the media as someone we are considering as a replacement. I think we could do worse.

    Here’s what he recently said (via barcastuff):

    “Barça interested? That’s what the internet says. But over the past years there have been 80 reports like that.”
    “Barcelona is definitely a nice club, but I know absolutely nothing about any interest in me.”
    “Even if Alves leaves, I still don’t know what will happen at that club. I just assume that I will stay at Ajax.”

  23. This is sort of a side note on Kxevin and Tom_Johnson’s discussion of Afellay.

    In the middle of Ray Hudson’s expressive discussion of Afellay against Almeria, he made a very good point. He pointed out that Afellay is going to help the team so much because he provides something that no one else on the team really does. It’s not that he’s a better dribbler, or a better scorer, or better at defense, it’s that he has a unique style on the team.

    This is why he sometimes looks out of sync with the team when he plays – he doesn’t have the same effortless flow that Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi display in their play. At times he almost looks disjointed – but then you realize that that is just how he carries himself and that is just his style.

    This whole thing harkens back to a discussion long ago here where it was discussed how important it was to have some players who can fit into the system while still remaining somewhat outside of the system. The way I look at it is that teams have an incredibly hard time defending against the slowing football played by our youth team players, but there is still a general flow to their play. With a player like Afellay he can maintain the flow during the game, but he can also remove himself from the flow and play a more distinctive style. This is beneficial as defenders over the course of a game or a season will settle into defending the normal flow of our team. When all of a sudden Afellay bursts out with his unique style defenders are going to be dumbfounded.

    I couldn’t be more happy with his play right now. He needs to maintain the dynamic tension between fitting in with the team and maintaining his own distinctive style. This will result in him looking awkward on the field at times, but if you go back and watch his last game you can see how effective he was on the pitch.

  24. News from club site:

    “Dani Alves has recovered from his muscle injury and has been included in the squad that faces Hercules on Saturday. Bojan is out with stomach bug and Barça B’s Nolito and Fontàs are also named.”

    That must be some stomach bug if CT still has it! Would like to see Fontas get some time if we’re comfortably ahead. With Puyi out and Pique’s foot problem we may need him eventually (Abidal can’t play all the time- he’s 31ish and if he plays constantly he’ll be the next one down with some kind of itis.).

    1. I have a cynical feeling that Bojan’s stomach bug is really the psychosomatic presentation of his stress.

  25. A former colleague asked where she can buy some of “this Barcelona stuff,” as apparently her daughter is obsessed with “some Messi oerson.” Ha!

    1. When I forced my Dad to watch the Barca/Rubin Kazan game when I was home, he asked me, “Who’s that little guy there? he’s quite good, isn’t he?”

      Oh, I don’t know Dad, no one important. I think his name is Messi or something.

    2. You know, we’all fell in love with this team by very different means (some of us by being forced to watch a game) and it’s a very unlikely love affair (especially for those of us who are from the US and are supposed to be watching baseball (ugh!) or if our kids are highly involved in soccer we may be cultured enough to follow the EPL). A goog thread may be “tell us how you were introduced to this obsession”

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