People We Should Sign

So, someone asked me to do a Silly Season post and, you know what? Let’s do this.

Priority A #1:

A serious left back prospect. There has been talk of Fabio Coentrão, but besides the obvious interest from Madrid, there’s no way we can get him. With his funny tilde (that’s a ~) over his last name’s a, I would have to copy and paste so much that it would make learning how to spell Chygrynskiy look like a simple piece of work. I mean, Coent¿¡Ñäáo works, but not Coentrão. Barça is hard enough to make since I have to use the stupid alt+0231 code.

So we’re left with, I don’t know, Bartra or something. Oh and Eric Motherfunking Abidal. Works for me.

Attacking midfielders:

We only have like 4, so let’s buy more and, uh, play them all at once. Puyol will have to retire soon, so let’s invest in the future and start to play a 1-8-1 with just Villa up front and everyone else within the center circle. Thiago? Get in there, son. Cesc? In. Jonathan dos Santos? Studs flying, mijo. Victor Sanchez? Hell, let’s do it. Hleb? Get out my damned sight.

Up front:

This guy:

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Puyol will have to retire soon, so let’s invest in the future and start to play a 1-8-1 with just Villa up front and everyone else within the center circle.

    Tee hee! The funny thing is, we would still win most every game. 😀

  2. If I had to choose between the 4 forwards we been linked to my pick first would be:

    1. Neymar

    and last Rossi

    Oh and Nasri isn’t renewing his contract a cheaper alternative to Fabregas? or a sub for the injury prone Iniesta? +

    1. Injury prone Iniesta? He just had an almost completely injury-free season!

      Anyway, no to Nasri. Not nearly good enough.

    2. For the love of all that is messi in the world, no Neymar!
      Been dying to use Kari’s new adjective in a sentence 🙂

      It looks like Arsenal is going to have trouble holding onto players this summer. Bendtner wants out, Nasri’s a doubt. Will this make it harder or easier to get Cesc I dunno, but I’m ’bout ready to say that if it’s inevitable, just do it and get it over with so we don’t have another summer like the last.

  3. carrying over from the last thread, I don’t want Keita to leave either. A player of his quality to start / come off the bench WHEN NEEDED is worth more than the 10 million or so advantage we could get by selling or trading him.

    Also apparently Coentrao only wants to go to Madrid. We should bid for him anyway to drive the price up 😉

  4. Barça B is soon to get a young GK in Andrada

    the ‘ç’ code in my comp is alt + 135

    It rained today

    weird things trend on twitter

    Justin Bieber is the 7th most popular ‘Woman’ searched on google so says abc(dot)com

    Oh and get Rossi!!! if only for the MessiRossi RossiMessi tongue twisters..
    25 mill worth those

  5. A quality left back, because Abidal will shift to CB next season. A quality winger (a la Henry) and… that’s it. And both guys have to be nice… we don’t want problems in the dressing room.

  6. Oh thanks, Isaiah! I never knew what the keyboard çode was before! Now I çan use it constantly!

    1. 😀

      çç <– Does anybody see a difference betweeen those two c's, one of them is alt + 0231 and the other alt + 135

    2. Most of the common alt characters have a three-number and four-number code. I know this because my name is actually spelled José and I have í and ñ to use too. They all have two different ways of coding them.

      I prefer the four-number, because I learned them first and it’s easy to figure out new ones (i.e., most of the “e” accents will be 023x, then the i’s are 024x and so on).


    1. thankfully:
      “Messi: “They didn’t even touch me, I felt nothing. It was just afterwards I heard about the commotion. Nothing really happened.” [ole]”

  7. @sccermom whats your issue with Neymar?

    Concerns over his attitude/arrogance have been an issue also and no European experience could also be a factor but with Dani and Adri I’m sure they’ll help him settle in.

    Between the 4 I say he has the most potential and truly could be a menace on the left of our attack reminiscent of Ronaldinho of 05.

    1. I have few concerns over his talent, although who knows what will happen when he starts to play at this level. So part of it has to do with the fact that he is too unproven at this level(Europe) to be worth risking the amount of money he would cost. I also wondered, when we picked up Ibi, if success in the Dutch league would translate into success in Spain, but as the price was sooooo low, the risk was worth it.
      But mainly I don’t want anyone rocking the boat in the locker room. Team harmony can’t be bought. Alves and Adriano should not be tasked with babysitting a potentially/seemingly immature, arrogant brat(my apologies if I’m wrong and he is truly sweet and just misunderstood).

      So basically- too expensive, too unproven, to much attitude 🙂

    2. I wrote my post before i saw this. 😀

      Neymar is only 19. Besides Messi, no players act the perfect way around that age. I doubt he’d disrupt the team harmony, he’d have fun with the chincharon four!

      It’s true that he gets so much space in Brazil, and in the copa libertadores, but I still think he’s an insane LF and would be idea if we fail on Sanchez.

      he’s not so much arrogant but he’s had a bad streak. again, given that much money and freedom, at 19.. either way I truly think the baby he’s having will calm him down.

    3. “either way I truly think the baby he’s having will calm him down.”
      Now-a-days, the baby thing doesn’t seem to tie a guy down much (the mom, yes). How much he calms down with the baby depends upon how responsible and involved with the baby he plans to be, which depends upon his maturity level of which, sadly, I remain unconvinced.

      Anywho- high price = high risk
      If it doesn’t work out, to whom do we offload him? Don’t want another BANGS.

      I wish him luck. I hope he lives up to his potential. I just don’t want Camp Nou to be the laboratory for this expensive experiment.

    4. I don’t know many other 19-year-olds who got their coach fired. Plus, he is a diver on a truly epic level. You think Dani and Busquets are bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    5. I’ve seen neymar live for the sub 20 south american cup, and he’s a real diva, he only plays for himself, he even celebrate his goals as Ronaldo does, only himself and maybe 2 others, if I would be forced to compare him with someone I think he would better relate with Cristiano o Contreao, I also don’t like Contreao, he seems a prima donna, and kind of brusque for the dressing room peace Pep requires, I really do think (correct me if I’m mistaken) that it really is important to be a good guy to be in Barça, so that means no complaints about minutes one can´t play, and a more collective mind. I hope for Adriano to give somewhat what our alves does in the righ wing, someday I hope…

  8. I don’t know though it seems like Rossi deal is at an advance stage but there is also Sanchez who is pretty versatile and has expressed he’d prefer to play for Barcelona.

  9. People are STILL against Neymar? this is all because what they’ve read, or heard right? does anyone actually watch him?

    1. I’ve only seen him in a few international games. I am impressed.
      I just go back to my high price/ high risk/don’t mess with locker room chemisty argument. I might be wrong. I am often. I’m not a risk taker. Maybe Pep is, and if a Pep-approved Neymar comes on board, then so be it because in Pep we trust. 🙂

    2. I watched his game against Scotland. Good first half , invisible second and, I have to say, not bothering his backside to chase anything. Too big a gamble for me.

    3. ^ Completely agree with Jim. The kid has loads of natural talent but no discipline. To be fair, Brazilian strikers aren’t asked to track back and get involved in buildup like the strikers we are used to. He has never played in a system like Barça’s. I saw the Brazil/Scotland game as well, and at times he was brilliant. His goals were lovely. But he also struck me as a very selfish player. If we could buy him for cheap and put him into the B team for a year or two, I’d be all for it. I just don’t see him having the work ethic and commitment to being a team player that Pep is looking for.

    4. I live in Brazil and the kid has a lot of potential for sure. The problem is here in Brazil he is already treated as the superstar and the next big thing from Brazilian football. He is better than Robinho for sure and I think he will become a great footballer but the media here and the fans are destroying his mentality by worshipping him.

      Eventually, he will grow up and become more mature etc., but agree that for the price Santos is asking it´s too risky for a family-club like Barcelona and its resources available. Chelsea, Man City and even Real Madrid would be the only places I can think of that could take the risk.

      Despite everything I like the kid, just not for the price Santos is asking. Aguero in this case would be a safer and more mature bet.

    5. As I said on the top, I’ve seen him in the southamerican cup under 20, and he seemed too focus on himself, he usually lost balls for his individualism and stayed there complaining for an inexistent foul, he didnt press enough and when he did an amazing play, (cause he’s pretty technical and has talent) and he scored, he would celebrate cristiano’s way, I’d hate to have a Cristiano kind of player in the squad, and I think that is important to Pep.

  10. Tim Vickery’s latest article in the BBC is entitled “Messi the perfect combination.” It ouches on both Messi and Neymar. You all should read it. He talks about the negatives regarding Neymar, but he says there are signs of improvement. Here’s an excerpt.

    The problem here is that domestic Brazilian football dances to its own beat. The defensive lines play deep, so there is space on the field. Today’s referees will give fouls for anything and diving is tolerated – a scenario which fills the dribbler with confidence. Take him out of the protective bubble and it can be a different story – Robinho is a perfect example, a player whose fighting spirit seems to shrink in front of your eyes when he does not get the fouls he used to be awarded in Brazil.

    The problem here is that Neymar is a child of the contemporary criteria of Brazilian referees, a fruit of the poisoned tree. I have never seen a player who dives so often and so theatrically. This is clearly an impediment in his quest to reach the level of play that Lionel Messi showed on Saturday, and there is another one.

    The Boy Prince of the Brazilian game, there is something of the spoilt brat about Neymar. He can scream and shout when he does not get his way, and also lose his focus. Against Argentina, in the big game of the recent South American Under-20 Championships, he was too busy diving and arguing to play much football.

    But this is a work in progress. The current Copa Libertadores campaign could go down as the moment when the boy prince shows that he is prepared to become king.

    This week Santos hope to book their place in the final. In the last few games Neymar has shown less petulance, done less diving and played some wonderful stuff – gliding past his marker on either side, showing vision and intelligence plus his trademark cool finishing.

    He is a special talent. The tests are going to get tougher as he moves up, but his journey will be well worth following. If everything falls into place, if he can keep learning and adapting, then he might be able to shine on the stage that Lionel Messi lit up on Saturday.

  11. Ahhh, transfer season, my favourite part of football.
    My take on things is simple; I will only include players of 1, sufficient quality 2, in their preferred position and 3, who are likely to stay – in order to assess our true squad depth

    GK – Valdes & Pinto for first team
    – Word on the street is that Esteban Andrada is all signed up for €4m and is showing promise – will start with Barca B then promoted next season I assume when Pinto moves into coaching or something.

    RB – Alves
    Adriano can cover

    CB – Pique
    Bartra and Fontas can cover along with Masch

    CB – Puyol
    Thiago Silva would be magnificent and if it does happen we’ll be even more unstopable

    LB – Abidal & Adriano
    Jose Angel seems a strange purchase and Coentrao has said that he wants to go to EE so now I don’t want him. Michel Bastos of Lyon maybe a better bet and he’s a freekick specialist which we don’t really have at the minute

    DM – Busquets & Mascherano
    CM – Xavi & Thiago
    AM – Iniesta & Keita
    Let’s face it, we will sign Cesc. Most of us don’t want us to buy him – it’s not we don’t want to have him, I mean, if he never left we’d be chanting his name every week – if he made the team. I see it happening for a big figure like €35m which I’m not pleased about but hey.
    It could spell the end for Thiago which I would be gutted about.
    Atletico are apparently trying to sign Keita who I can’t see us selling. It won’t happen but if it did I’d sign Javi Martinez of Athletic for a true box-to-box midfielder as a replacement and I’d love to have another Basque in our team again

    RF – Pedro & Afellay
    ST – Messi & Bojan
    LF – Villa

    We need 1 forward, 2 if Bojan moves on. What we need is a harder question. Alexis Sanchez, Neymar, Giuseppe Rossi & Kun Aguero are those mentioned above. Are any of them any different to MVP? I see lots of imagine ___ next to Villa and Messi but they need to be better than Pedro and his work rate is far better than the others. Also, all four of those players score the majority of their goals in counter attacking teams. We do not score as many counter attacking goals.
    Surely, the way to improve our team would be to have a striker capable of scoring goals when we are in possession for our usual, prolonged period of possession. Now that theory didn’t work with Ibra has he changed our plan A instead of giving us a plan B.
    In our position I don’t spend €25-35m adding another plan A player to our mix.
    I’d love to sign someone like Falcao of Porto who is a real poacher.

    1. not necessarily agree that we need a plan B type striker. If we get Rossi we can rotate any of the VPR who is on form and rested. Depth is key. Villa and to some extent Pedrito looked knackered the 2nd half of the season – and to go from them to Bojan / Jeffren the drop in quality is too big. Rossi is good, could become reaaally good and I think his attitude would be positive.

    2. ciaaaaarannnnnn! ciaaaaaraannnnnn! whenever you pop up it reminds me of the sweet, simpler times back at the offside.

  12. A question to the twitter experts:

    If I write a new tweet from my home page with “@username bla bla bla”, and the user is not following me, does he receive the tweet when he logs in?
    What is the difference between writing a usual tweet via “what’s happening” with @username … and writing a “Message” (on the menu bar, next to “Profile”)?

    1. I am by no means an expert, but I think I can answer your questions:

      The first: it doesn’t get ‘sent’ to the user, but if they check their mentions, then they should see your tweet.

      As for the ‘message’ option, I’m fairly sure that those are private, as in only the person who you send it to sees it, versus everyone.

  13. Quickly :

    Defense : If possible, Angel or any other LB – Maxwell -> Out.

    CB : Sakho, If we can’t get him then Botia, We can see the fitness of Puyol and Abidal next season, We can delay Botia till next year since the buy back clause extends.

    CM : Cesc can wait another year, We don’t need anyone else.

    FW : Rossi and Willian if possible -> Jeffren Out, Bojan buy back clause.

  14. Cool squad!
    I agree with all, but I think the negotations for Angel had stopped all together without a deal, and as others have said here, I don’t think we need a leftback, with Abi and Adriano and lamasia I think we’re covered there.
    For the forwards, yep we’re gonna need Rossi and William if we let go Jeffren and Bojan, but I think Bojan already has said he doesnt want to be part of another deal. According to sport we already offer 20M for Rossi and they want 30, maybe if we put Jeffren plus 20M (if Jeffren wants) that’s it, for William his transfer is worth 15M according to

  15. Important!

    Can anyone please tell me what sort of stats are available from Opta or any other source. I mean to say can, by using their stats, someone create their own chalkboard type thing? Is it possible to do something similar for La Liga.

    Secondly, does anyone here know German? (I think either Helge or Hilal do?) Could any of you guys tell me what the lines here represent?
    (^Everyone should see this, tells you the main attacking strategies of teams.)
    Also, you guys should check out a paper called “Der Standard” excellent tactical analysis there.

    After an overdose of Hector Pills, I don’t really care about the Silly Season. What is concerning is that who is deciding the players, if Rosell is still looking to prove his power we are in for trouble. Not to mention the fact Pep won’t play the players he doesn’t trust anyways.

    A World Class LB OR CB is what we need, if we can’t get that we should have a young talented LB AND CB as the back-ups. In addition, we need a top notch creative forward.

    1. Other than selling Chyggy, which was purely done for financial reasons, there is no reason whatsoever to think Rosell will try to prove his power and get players Pep and Zubi don’t want.

  16. Only one signing needed, the complete player, Cesc. Everything else is built around such players like Cesc, Xavi, Busi. The only other alternatives are Schweinsteiger, or Wesley Schneijder. If I have to watch pacy wingers, I can watch Porto play. If I want to watch strong men play, I can watch Chelsea/EPL. But I like to see a good “rondo”, and that is why I watch Barca.

    Puyol, Pique, Xavi or Messi are not stupid that they call for the signing of Cesc. \

    I have seen Thiago play the central midfield. In the matches I have seen so far, he does not have the discipline to keep the ball and make a safe pass, especially in the defensive midfield areas. He could essentially operate as a striker and I would not have a problem, he has a killer header, and a good shot from outside the box, he is also a good dribbler of the ball, always willing to take on players. But he is not a viable midfielder for the Barca A team, may be for the B team.

    But to play that role where Busi, Xavi and Iniesta operate, keep the ball moving from the middle and dictate play. Only one replacement comes to mind. Cesc! If I had to pay a 100Mil for that so be it, why, because it continues the tradition of the club, it preserves a way of playing, that Barca is, whose fulcrum is the team, but whose nucleus is a creative central midfielder. And the tradition will continue for the next forseeable future of 10 to 15 years because Cesc is so young.

    1. my opinion is that Cesc will be needed one day not that he can replace Xavi but he’s as close as we can get and he’s Catalan which probably means that if he comes back it’ll be until he retires…I love Thiago and I want him in our team but he is not a central midfielder nor is he the kind of player you would expect to be the leader or brain of the team..I honestly see him as an Iniesta kind of attacking midfielder who can roam freely dribble, assist and score.

    1. 😈 envy 😈

      And your last chance to get a jersey before the sponsor thing.
      I guess we can forgive you for liking a player and getting a named/numbered jersey because he stole everybody’s hearts this year (even hardened “I’m only about the club, players come and go” guys’ hearts 🙂 )


    2. Exactly. His is the first player name/number I’d wear, for obvious reasons. Doesn’t mean I’m a fan, but for me, his story defined this wonderful season, leaving my hard heart (mostly) intact.

      And yes, this is it before the shirt is sullied for at least three years.

  17. I already Bought an Abidal top last year :), if it wasn’t for injuries, he would have been our most consistent and bad ass player of the 09/10 season.

    as for the possible transfers I’m pretty sure Neymar is on our shortlist but he is not our first choice, if things don’t go through with Rossi, we will most likely shift our priority to Neymar and CO. But Rossi is FIRST choice for Pep i believe, clearly because he is the least risky and he is heading into his peak form at 24 he is still young, think about it, he is a few months older than Messi :), I don’t see how Neymar would be better because of his age.

    As for Cesc, just like with Willian, I think Barca are not too fussy about being patient, If we are getting Rossi/Aguero then we do not NEED Willian yet. We can wait another 6 months into next season and he will have six months left on his contract and Shaktar will be more easier to negotiate with. Patience is key here. As for Cesc, Arsenal are in a very difficult situation right now, things are not going smoothly over there and anything can happen, there have been rumours of players wanting to leave and there have been times last season where there was talk of Wenger on the chopping block. The longer we wait, the more we drive Cesc’s price down. We don’t need him as of yet. Rather I think Pep is the only one who wants to sign him early so that he can build Cesc up so that when the time comes for Pep to move on, the team itself can be self sustainable, Especially preserving the ‘Xavi’ role.

  18. Guys a bit off topic.
    -How come Abidal is not included in any team of the season list? Didn’t they watch him play prior to his surgery? And to make things worse, Marcelo is chosen on top of Abidal. I’m a fan of Marcelo, but he is no where close on Abidal’s level and I would never trade them.

    -Did any of you watch Santos semi-final? Where was that played? The field is superb! I remember last year Lev gave a link for a nice football pitch in S.AMerica but unfortunately I couldn’t open it. Was it the same?

    -I find it really strange. Before we played Arsenal this season and the previous one, Nasri was supposedly their main threat. But how come nobody wants him now? I would take him in a heart beat. His price is low.

    Thanks for the links!
    BUt why do you need so many languages for?
    I reckon you can speak Spanish. But Polish? Arabic? Can’t imagine it 🙂

    – @Blitzen
    This should get into your comment of the week award (if there is one)

    By psqd
    wonder if EE knows he’ll never be the same and want to pull a kaka on somebody.

    But seriously. Perhaps there is a slight chance that we could sign Higuain. He has a good chemistry with Messi and add Pastore to the mix. Hmmmmmm

    1. I love watching in different languages just to hear how the commentators react and stuff. Can’t understand what they are saying, but you can tell when they are excited and what not.

    2. Yes, me too. You get an idea of their bias as well. I will be downloading that game tonight. Looking forward to the Arabic commentary!

    1. Re: van Persie haters gonna hate… *must find Lio Messi puting on goggles gif..Kari help!!!*

    2. Yea, I’ve never been a fan of Van Persie. Even when Arsenal was probably my favorite team I never like him much.

      As for signing Nasri, he’s good, but we don’t really need him and it would hurt them. Who cares about them? well, he would just be a bench warmer and wouldn’t offer that much. I think Afellay is better and Cesc and Thiago are the future

  19. Got this Barcastuuf and optajose.This is how the La Liga table would have looked when Messi and Ronaldo did’nt score.And the winner would be………..VALENCIA.Now,this is what I call conspiracy 😉

    1. I don’t get this Barça without Messi is etc etc..Lio Messi is the Crown jewel of the Masia and the embodiment of the system..CR94 is a bought mercenary..
      So one can speak of Thong Boy and the EE being separate entities with their own priorities while a Barça sans Messi and vice versa is an absurd logic as Messi is Barça through and through..Barça made him and he in turn will make our future!

    2. Yes,what you said is correct.But I have never mentioned if there was no Messi in our squad.It’s just that IF he and Ronaldo were’nt scoring or assisting, the outcome would have been different.It’s just a funny stat.

    3. we also would have tried harder after the 4 clasicos and would have probably still won. Of course, then we probably would have been exhausted in London.
      Interesting stat though, thanks for sharing

    4. Yes, most teams would probably struggle if they had to play with 10 players for an entire season!

  20. ‘Efren Suarez (father and agent Jeffren): “We’re not interested in any offers, Jeffren doesn’t want to leave in the summer.” [rac1]’

    Seems like the only one who wants to leave is Milito. And does anyone else find it hilarious that Jeffren’s father’s name is Efren?

    1. I thought I saw a tweet from barcastuff quoting Milito’s lawyer that he doesn’t want to leave either. He said Milito has one more year in his contract and would see it out.

  21. OK I’m just going to ask right now: what does Hector’d mean? What are Hector Pills? Why the name Hector?

    I weep for lack of glossary/faq for slang around these here parts.

    1. Hector was, just like Euler currently is, one of the Bloggers who graced the blog for a little while and then decided to retire. But what he said was absolutely brilliant. And he would substantiate his answer with all the right data. So if somebody wrote something that was not quite on the right vein, Hector would Hector them. And the rest would be history.

      So, Hector’d means, that your message has been responded to in a way that has no reply to it.

      Hector pills are, well, pills you take to Hector somebody else.

      Hope it makes sense.

    2. this is inaccurate, so let me correct you on the BFB colloquialisms. Hector was like Euler in that his writing style was more formal, great grammar and the like, and great tactical analysis and ability to reference relevant historical and contemporary facts. He would write epic posts at The Offside which would often (with uncanny frequency) get covered up when a new thread was created by Isaiah. so, getting “hectored” means you spend a bunch of time writing a post, but then a new thread is posted and your post ends up at the bottom of the previous thread, to be ignored and to die in obscurity.

      ‘hector pills’ are a different matter, it means you go to great lengths (ie ingesting imaginary pharmaceuticals) to enable yourself to ignore rumors during the offseason, because it is really only a waste of time and a source of anxiety.

    3. Actually Hector wasn’t formal… He commentated all the time blabering about Argentina’s mess and lol’ing about random memes.

    1. Mata’s available? Really? Why aren’t we going after him? Or is the whole winger who can play like an attacking midfielder thing a little too redundant already in our team?

      Coentrao, pic 13/50. Let EE have him. Ugly legs- not what I’d expect from a footballer 😉 Bad judgement also. I mean…you know there are cameras all over the place and you pose like that!

    2. Mata is “available” in the sense that Valencia needs the money and could hardly refuse to sell if someone made a big enough offer. They don’t want to sell him, and as far as I know he is happy where he is for the moment. Remember that he is still very young and is in the starting 11 of the 3rd best team in Spain. He is a smart kid and won’t be looking to move to a big team where he won’t get much playing time…yet. I expect him to stay at Valencia for at least one more season.

    3. I’d rather have him stay at Valencia. I like Valencia. But if he had to leave, I’d rather it be to us than EE or City.

    4. Then again, City with The Yaya, Silva, and Mata would make for some pretty purdiful EPL football. Nah, still don’t want him there.

  22. I like the newest statements in the Sanchez chase, as long as we match the highest transfer bid (30-35m I’d assume) Sanchez’s first option is Barca. Fantastic news, we won’t get stuck with Rossi hopefully (cue hate)

  23. The Guardian’s Rumour Mill writer is in fine form today:

    Meanwhile Robin van Persie has told Chelsea to “shut the fuck up”. That’ll be a two-match ban for Wayne Rooney then. The Dutchman, exhibiting the sort of self-awareness that would shame Sepp Blatter, is fed up with Chelsea’s players always complaining about referees. Van Persie is managed by Arsène Wenger. Van Persie, of course, did his bit for the Respect campaign by calling his sending-off against Barcelona in March “a total joke”. Van Persie wasn’t finished there – he also hit out at Barcelona for trying to get opposition players booked, presumably for tackles like this.

    And: Real Madrid’s manager José Mourinho has told City he won’t give them £14m for Emmanuel Adebayor, last seen stomping around the Camp Nou karate-chopping any Barcelona player that dared to move.

    But especially: Everton’s David Moyes is closing in on Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who’s very good, although he’ll be a bit miffed if he ends up signing Bayern Munich’s Miroslav Klose, who’s very bad.



    1. the best thing about RvP’s comments is that 2 days ago Jack Wilshere said “We should pressure the refs more. It doesn’t work if it is only Robin Van Persie doing this.”

  24. Who’s watching Roland Garros? The first set just ended. Great match! Very tight

  25. Does anyone know why Keita hasn’t been called up for the Mali NT? Does the coach have some kind of problem with him? Seems like he would be a no-brainer.

    1. Keita took a break from Mali after the last African Cup of Nations and the coach didn’t like that. He decided he would return after about a year, but coach decided to speak with him and I’m guessing he wasn’t convinced or satisfied with what Keita had to say, so he hasn’t called him up ever since. He claimed that Keita’s return would cause disharmony within the group.

      Here’s a good article on it:

    2. And I must admit, I’m not a fan of these international breaks European based African players seem to be so fond of. Essien is another one. He’s back now, but I don’t know, I think this is a problem with African NTs. Too many players think they’re above their national teams and don’t seem to care enough.

      I don’t think you should be picking and choosing when you want to play.

    3. Plenty of European players do the same thing, though. Ibra did it when Sweden didn’t qualify for the WC. Several English players have done it that I can think of.

      Considering the punishing schedule Keita has had with Barcelona over the past 3 years I can’t blame him for wanting to opt out of international football for a while. He didn’t do it for “diva” reasons. And Keita is very popular in the dressing room, by all accounts. I would think the coach would want to play his best team.

      The coach is new to this team though–I suspect he is doing this to assert his authority and make his mark on the team.

    4. I don’t hold it against Keita, nor any other African player (or players from generally less developed countries like in CONCACAF or Asia), who decides to take a personal break from the national team during less important times in the 4-year cycle.

      The problems that our European NT players face with their FAs (too many friendlies, sometimes a bit heavy travel load) pale in comparison to the problems that African players have to experience. Moving/canceled match dates, poor communication from the FAs, having travel arrangements fall through, poor technical preparation for matches (especially compared to European clubs), shoddy–at times dangerous–accommodations…

      Many of the FAs in Africa, particularly poorer ones like Mali, do not make it at all easy on their players. Many of them stick to it through all the poor organization and incompetence, but I don’t blame the few who get frustrated at having to expend more effort fighting with their own FA than actually winning damn football matches.

  26. Snippets from Mourinho’s recent interview with El Larguero (thanks to unamadridista for the translation):

    It was a sad moment for Valdano and for everyone, and I’m not being hypocritical, because if there’s anything I’m not, it’s hypocritical. I’m not happy about his departure. If I’m happy about anything, it’s with the new organization of the club.

    It’s the only time where someone is sanctioned without knowing why. More than one month has passed. You don’t have the right to know why, you don’t have the right to defend yourself, you don’t have the right to argue… and as a person, I believe I have the right to defend myself. That’s why I’m going to the TAS and I will fight to the end.

    Are Higuaín and Benzema non-transferable?
    You won’t allow either one to leave?
    It’s not about whether I allow anyone or not. If the club wants to do something, I’m no one. We all agree about Higuaín and Benzema. We want to keep them.

    [Barcelona] won the final justly, with a lot of class and tranquility, but they didn’t win the quarterfinals and semifinals well. But in the final, my hat goes off to them, they deserve it. The best team won the final.

    I knew [Guardiola] as a player. Ten years have passed. Right now he’s the leader of his team, it’s different, I don’t know him. I knew a different Guardiola as a player, and he knew me as a different person. I thought he would be like this in the future, without knowing his desires or his motivations.

    1. erm, I know why he’s said the semifinals weren’t just (I still think he’s a giant bag of poo, but I know why he’s saying it), but the quarterfinals?

    2. Theo Walcott (Arsenal): “People forget we actually beat Barcelona in the first leg. But I think in the end the better team won.” [fatv]

      Straight from the horses mouth..

      via Pep @ Barcastuff..

  27. barcastuff:

    Pascal Boisseau (agent Keita): “Interest Atletico? Guardiola wants him to stay at the club and I think Guardiola’s in charge.” [rac1]

    😀 😀 😀

  28. Getting ready for my trip to Boston to watch the USA-Spain game – can’t wait to watch Iniesta, Pique, Busi, Villa, and Pedro! Maybe even a half for Valdes? Anyone else going?

  29. federer won.


    hoping he beats the matador.

    federer is simply class

    1. Pure class and style.

      The year he beat Roddick at Wimbledon, and is standing there in white slacks and jacket during the award ceremonies, was awesomeness. Full on.

    2. the most impressive thing bout him is that in this era of athletism,power and stamina federer still won cause of his pure technique,skill and mental resilience.

      when his age gets up with him ,he lost his invincible his prime maybe sampras or agassi have a chance.

    3. Class, technique, humble and cool. The way he played today was exceptional.

      I remember when we played Basel 2 years ago in the group stages of the CL and we won 5-0, he had attented the match. At point he was texting and my commentator jokingly said that he must have been sending hate mail to Nadal. Lol 😀

    4. Class, technique, humble and cool. The way he played today was exceptional.

      forget to mention the coolness of him.

      remember the days when he was a rebel?

    5. would be very classy, when he could finally beat Nadal in Paris in the fall of his career…

  30. gotta read this

    what they say bout us

    As often as this Barcelona have transcended modern football, it is probably their performances against their oldest rivals that have best defined them.

    Most impressively, the 5-0 win over Real Madrid in November 2010 illustrated the true potential of a team sport. It was a carnival of technique, a kaleidoscope of cohesion.

    In the same season’s Champions League semi-final first leg, then, Leo Messi emphasised the individual excellence that comprises the team with his coruscating solo run. And that was complemented in the second leg by Pedro’s precise finish to another dizzying passing move.

    Such performances, of course, have lead to talk of the greatest team of all time.

    Certainly, it is highly possible that Pep Guardiola’s stewardship represents the highest possible peak of club football. As reflected by their play on the pitch, the club is perfectly synchronised with the former captain i charge. He represents the top of a seamless pyramid; an institution that’s almost organic rather than organised.

    Because, at present, La Masia produces prototype players that perfectly fit the team’s approach. But then Guardiola has also enhanced that approach. He’s evolved their inherent passing philosophy with a vigorously implemented pressing game. In the rare periods of a match when Barcelona don’t have the ball, they work harder than any team to win it back. That stats show that no side in history has reclaimed the ball as often in the opposition half. And, obviously, no side in history has had such insane possession stats.

    The end result, of course, is that the side play virtually every game on their own terms. And that has produced some extraordinary achievements. As well as winning Spain’s first ever treble, Guardiola’s Barcelona have won a three-in-a-row and two Champions Leagues in three short years. Along the way, they’ve also been Spain’s most emphatic league winners in terms of points per game and provided the division’s best ever defence.

    And for those that say that was down to the poverty of the Spanish league, they’ve beaten every Champions League knock-out opponent except Chelsea by more than two goals.

    But such dynamism comes with extraordinary demands. For a start, the pressure on the obsessive Guardiola. Then there’s the fact that their unique philosophy makes it difficult for players to adapt. That has left them with a necessarily short squad and – occasionally – an overstretched one. Indeed, it was arguably that, above all, which cost them the 2010 Champions League – a trophy that would undoubtedly have put them top of this list. Unlike their rivals though, they still have time to rectify it.

  31. although they listed us at no 4,we still have at least 2 years 2 become the numero uno

    1. OMG, I just realised that you ‘replied’ to Kxevin above in the right place… not down here! So you CAN reply at right places at times huh? 🙂

  32. thats ramos,sometimes i do the right things but most of the time i dont.

    i often wonder how come u became eklavya?

  33. So Abidal finished expertly again. Too bad it was in his own net. I blame France’s gawd awful jersey..

    1. Yeah and apparently EE has a 1st option purchase clause for him, which they might use to steal him away from us or just raise the price up.

  34. RVP says he didn’t say it:

    “These reports falsely suggest that I recently made negative comments about Spanish and Chelsea players, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I haven’t done an interview with Sport 1 or any other outlet in recent weeks and I’ve certainly not been rude as the comments suggest.

    “I respect my colleagues of Spain and Chelsea and look forward to playing against them for many years to come. I sincerely hope that all football fans worldwide don’t take these misleading reports seriously.

  35. Sid Lowe writes a rather mean-spirited article on La Roja:

    Perhaps so, but for most players this feels more like an inconvenience than an opportunity. It is an imposition that, in many cases, the players resent. The fact that they are here at all is the issue that most occupies them. The mentality is hardly positive. After a long season and a clásico series that players on both sides privately hated, they just wanted to get away. Some had done so, only to have to report back once more. Del Bosque has talked about the “responsibility” of being world champions and the importance of not losing the prestige gained last summer, but most players do not agree.

    For them, this is simply a game too far.

    He refers to a “cold atmosphere” between the players (of RM and Barca, one assumes), but the only named source is El Pais. No verified interviews or quotes from named players. Sid is of course not in Providence with the team nor is he interviewing the players himself. An extremely poor piece of “journalism”, and not even very good as an opinion piece.

    Read more:

    1. What do you mean by “mean-spirited article” blitzen? I think this is a fine article by Sid, not great or anything but not bad either. As for the unnamed players or sources, he frequently does that in his weekly Spanish article. Nothing that hasn’t been done before.

    2. He may do it frequently. That doesn’t make it good journalism. 🙄

      By “mean-spirited”, I mean that he is taking a very negative view with really nothing to back it up. Every interview I have seen, every video, pictures of the players–they all look pretty normal and happy to be there. How does he know it “feels like an inconvenience”? He has not interviewed a single player to ask them how they are feeling. If he had, he would have published it. On the one hand he bemoans the media fixation on the fallout from the Clasicos, then he goes ahead and exploits that same fixation. It is cynical, and yes, mean-spirited.

    3. Well, I didn’t see anyone here complain about his journalism before the Busquets incident so it’s quite strange to see so many now.

      About the players’ quote, he could have heard it from other reporters privately. Or, he did interview the players directly but left the names out due to their request. I don’t know a lot about journalism (perhaps Kxevin can say seomthing) but quoting unnamed sources seem quite common for me. Perhaps you are implying that Sid fabricates these quotes which I don’t think is true because it would hurt his credibility.

    4. About the mean-spirited thing, I get what you mean :D. To each his own I guess, I think some may act a bit colder towards each other after all those matches.

    1. I WOULDN’T..

      His leaving paved the way for one of our best signings in history..

  36. If I’m being 100 I’d give Mascherano or Busquets with Milito and Maxwell thrown in for Y Toure.

    Curse his bastid agent he could have been part of the best team in history regardless he still was a huge part in that 08/09 treble winning team, wouldn’t have won without him.

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