–The Cecs Fabregas and Javi Mascherano rumors will not die, probably because Hector keeps SMSing Txiki B. “Dood. Masch=$$$$! Bet!” Txiki B. says that the signing of either member of the midfield tandem of joy is “something the club has left for later.” He said that fiscally, it just didn’t make sense to try nabbing them in the climate set up by some Evil Empire tossing Euro banknotes about like confetti. Hmph.
Benitez still says that Mascherano isn’t for sale, and Arsene Wenger is said to be working up a “right smart” Gallic snit, before he comments further. Personally, I think that all the club has to do is send him the above picture from his Barca past, with a note: “Still winning, you could be here.”
–The future of Carles Puyol is up to him, according to Txiki B., but it will definitely involve a reduction in minutes. As he said to EMD, “Gradually playing less doesn’t seem to convince the captain.” Shot across the bow? Doubtful. But Puyol’s agent has been nattering some rather inflammatory stuff. I think that the club, when you hear such statements as “Puyol must decide his own future,” is talking back. And what they’re saying is that the future is closer than you think. We love and respect what you have done for the club, but this game, at this level, is about youth and realizing potential.
Or something like that. Puyol deserves to retire with the club and Txiki B. agrees, saying that “He is the model of a player who starts and finishes at the club that he loves.” Whether he chooses to will be another question.
—Sport will not let the Robinho business die, speculating about his unhappiness at Citeh, and desire to take his career in a new direction, or some such palaver. He’ll have plenty of time to contemplate his navel, as he sits on the bench, recovering from his latest knock.
–Ah, words. In the run-up to Wednesday’s Champions League tie with Inter at their home, there’s been a passel of shite-talking, that started with Zlatan Ibrahimovic saying, in effect, that Inter had won bog all until he rolled into town. Now it’s Muntari’s turn: “I was one of those players who used to run for him, yet he thinks that he won here on his own.”
Inter striker Samuel Eto’o, who went the other way along with a big bag of cash when Ibrahimovic moved to the Camp Nou, is ready. “Up until now I had not thought about playing them, but now I am and that is what I am focusing on,” the Cameroonian said to Sky Italia. He added that, although he appreciated the praise of Inter boss Jose Mourinho, who called Eto’o the best striker he has ever worked with, came back with class, saying “I want to thank him for his words, but I will not compare him to Guardiola.”
Oh. Some dude named Maicon has received the all-clear to play for Inter this week. Is that good news for them or something?
There is, has been and will be a lot of stuff going on before this match, upon which you would think the future of the free world was resting or something. Mourinho has said “Hey, they sold Eto’o to us, so don’t look at me.” And fool that I am, I just want everyone to assess the clubs on their own, with their current personnel. But I reckon, Pollyanna that I am, that such things are impossible, given what each swapped striker represents for his former employer. There will always be the “We were crazy, Eto’o was the greatest,” or “Why did we ever sell Ibrahimovic,” even if the respective striker scores 4 goals, defends on 4 more and grabs a couple of assists.
History is a strong thing. In my view, however, history is the past. History, so to speak. So I’ll be over here in the corner, looking forward. Cuz that’s how I roll.
Is looking forward denying the past? No. It’s just that….well….what’s past is the past. We’re into this season, with new faces and players trying to integrate themselves into a history-making squad. That will be quite an adventure, and following it, for me, takes all the energy that I have. 😀
–Don’t look for the UNICEF logo to go away anytime soon, but betting site Betfair has inked a two-year deal with the club, including promotions, special member mailings, much love on the Camp Nou signage, etc. Terms were not disclosed, but I’m betting the penny was rather pretty.
–Quote of the day: “He’s the best coach I’ve ever had.” Xavi on Pep Guardiola.
–Ex-VP Ferran Soriano has revealed his intention to take part in the upcoming election, but is coy about whether he will be a candidate for president, or part of someone’s board. For those who don’t recall, Soriano stomped off in a huff during the failed censure vote against current President and would-be Emperor of Catalunya, Joan Laporta.
–Finally, Laporta has said that he expects the Messi renewal to close this week. “We just have to get a special computer that will handle that many zeros,” said the Prez. “But we’re having one brought in from The Yaya’s home planet.”