What a signature, what a coach!

Has it been 3 years already? And does anyone remember when?

Forgetting for a moment about how much Pep Guardiola has aged in three seasons, let’s look back a ways, shall we?

After two trophyless seasons suffused with partying superstars, poorly timed red cards, collapses and rumors that he had lost the locker room, coach Frank Rijkaard was fired. At that time, debate raged, about not only the propriety of the firing and whether he deserved another chance, but who would be the best candidate to lead FCB into the future.

The club announced that it would be the then B-team coach, Pep Guardiola, and everyone wondered.

I post a an excerpt from a comment at The Offside, from a poster whose handle was Citizen:

Not to deflate everybody’s optimism about Guardiola as the new manager, but there’s a problem with it that hasn’t been mentioned here yet: as former captain under Cruyff, and seemingly getting the majority of his support from Laporta, who seems to worship Cruyff, just further extends Cruyff’s strange stranglehold over the club’s operations. In the past couple of years, I think that we’ve seen Cruyff offer his bucketloads of “opinions” whenever the team starts to struggle a bit. What’s Pep going to do when that happens, when his main backer turns into a critic? Cruyff is probably my favorite player and I also loved him as a manager, but I think his influence on the club is starting to have sour effects. If he wants to offer all those “opinions” on how things should be done, then he should just stand for the presidency (he’d probably win) or become the technical director (like he almost did at Ajax) or manager. He does the same thing for the Dutch national team, by the way, I think. The way things are now, Cruyff can be said to be de facto running things — do you really think they could have named someone manager without his approval? –, without being held accountable at all.

Now I’ll be ecstatic if Pep could prove me wrong and bring some discipline and drive to this team. For his own good, and the club’s, I just hope he knows what he’s getting into and has the balls to cut ties to Cardinal Cruyff and go about his job independently.

I’d say he did that, and then some. And just think what might have happened had Joan Laporta and the board not thought that Jose Mourinho’s demands were extravagant, eh? For those curious about what we had to say about things back in The Offside days, you can go here.

Guardiola, before signing on the dotted line three years ago, presented a resume that included his Way of Dealing With Things, that included bringing the medical setup into this century. We didn’t know what that meant at the time, but now we do: preventive training, improved fitness, specialized diets, etc, etc. The result has been, if not fewer injuries, fewer debilitating ones, players coming back more quickly from injuries and a mostly intact core that has led us to, during his three-year tenure: 3 Ligas, 2 Champions Leagues, etc, etc.

When we were debating Rijkaard and Guardiola, the latter was busy plotting world domination, and he seems to have succeeded. Everyone is saying that this will be his last season with the club. I remain unconvinced, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. But for now,

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

302 Comments

  1. Eklavya
    June 5, 2011

    Whoa, Pep from barcastuff and fcbtransfers.blogspot.com used to comment on The Offside?

  2. K_legit
    June 5, 2011

    lol at the vid..brought back memories of that Flintstones episode and 88 fingers Louie 😀

  3. blitzen
    June 5, 2011

    See! His hair was already thinning when he signed! 😉

    Visca Pep! Long may he stay! I suspect after next season he may take a sabbatical year, leaving Tito in charge, then come back. Assuming the club is smart enough to agree to that.

  4. PhepheSa
    June 5, 2011

    I admit i was worried when they appointed Pep but my word that was the best decision the club ever made since i started following this beautiful team. I hope he doen’t leave anytime soon and i believe it will be up to the pleyers whether he stays or not as he stated that the day he feels the team is no longer motivated that’s when he’ll leave.

    Way off topic, anyone watching the tennis? Knew it was too good to be true to be so happy two weekends in a row. Can’t Fed just beat Rafa atleast once at Roland Garros pretty please! I’ts so frustrating.

    • Jim
      June 5, 2011

      Not likely at Roland Garros but if he carries his form into Wimbledon it could well be different. Nadal played the big points unbelievably well today.

    • PhepheSa
      June 5, 2011

      Yeah he did didn’t he, it’s just amazing how competitive he is. Hopefully Fed wins Wimbledon by beating Rafa though i know it’s a huge ask.

  5. Whatever
    June 5, 2011

    What a decision from Joan Laporta. I still remember that first game in Guardiola’s first season against Numancia when we lost… After that, we conquered the world.

    Visca el Barca!

  6. June 5, 2011

    For being my longtime idol, I was aware I might be a bit bias when I was excited when Laporta decided to give him the chance to lead the team. A loss and a draw at the start and not a very convincing performance in the first few games didnt help his case, but afterward, it was all history. How blessed this club is to have this group of players and this coach all at the same era. There are lot of spetial coaches, but there is only Unique one , and he’s ours.

    Will paste it with all the spelling flaws, as its one of the statements I am mostly proud of:

    “Pep , if it clicked for him, can write himself in the honor book of barcelona, and it will need more than one difficult game on a difficult field, to make me change my mind.”

    October 1, 2008 on FCBtransfer (pep) blog, at a time where Guardiola was the easy target of angry fans.

    Its scary to imagine the situation of the coach who will take Pep’s place. Really. In three years he is as unreplacable at Barcelona as Sir Alex at Manchester united. That tells a lot.

    • PhepheSa
      June 5, 2011

      “Its scary to imagine the situation of the coach who will take Pep’s place. Really. In three years he is as unreplacable at Barcelona as Sir Alex at Manchester united. That tells a lot”

      Couldn’t agree more. Just wish people give him the respect he deserves like they do with SAF but i guess that’s wishful thinking. Can’t believe how people just turn a blind eye when it comes to his achievements it’s like they started watching Barca now and don’t realise how different the team has been under Pep.

      And how come you always get your predictions right!

    • June 5, 2011

      Well… Ibra spoiled my records 🙂

    • PhepheSa
      June 5, 2011

      Hahaha that is so true. But good call on almost everything. You talk with such conviction and you are almost always right. Guess i have to take your word on the Sanchez issue cos i’m now confused as to whom i think would be good for us, Rossi or Sanchez.

    • PhepheSa
      June 5, 2011

      He’s really giving it to EE Bad. Love his passion and honesty and coud listen to him talk football all day.

      I looove Xavi

    • Whatever
      June 5, 2011

      Man, what an interview.

      He really is my favorite Barca player ever.

    • Vj
      June 5, 2011

      This is part of the glory. Years ago we fought with Rivaldo’s goal to win the fourth place in la Liga. People should remember it. It was 7 years ago. We won 4th place and we celebrated so hard, we felt like we’d just won the Champions League! We got into the UEFA with Antic, ended up 6th, playing at home. Today people don’t remember how hard we fought to get to this level.

      And last season was a failure to some :O

  7. hammeronmessi
    June 5, 2011

    What an interview by xavi.he is sharp,may be one day he can come back to coach us ofcourse after his retirement.

    the person that translated that had done a terrific job.

    and nadal is such a physcial beast ,a great yes but to me federer is still the last graceful and the greatest.This graphite tennia bat and power is not to my liking.

    kudos to rafa and also to federer

  8. hammeronmessi
    June 5, 2011

    @JNICE

    can u provide me some good books on barca.

    i just cant thank you enough for all the links.

    can u provide me a torrent file for the 2 6 game

    • K_legit
      June 5, 2011

      I could reco you some book titles:
      1. Barça: A people’s passion by Jimmy Burns
      2. and not quite related to FCB but Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      wow u also read George Orwell.hats off to you.

      only read the animal firm

    • June 5, 2011

      It’s not on Barca, but “Brilliant Orange” is a great, great book on Dutch football that gives you a much greater appreciation for Barcelona. The entire book is about the Dutch/Ajax model, their way of playing, and their way of seeing and thinking differently about space. You can see so much of Barca in the way he describes it, and it’s got a lot of fun little nuggets too.

    • Barcaleya
      June 6, 2011

      Agree. One of the best football books around. Talks about spatial awareness and intelligence which the Dutch have loads of since their geography is flat. This flatness even affects and is reflected in their art as well as football.

      Read this far too long ago to remember much else but I highly recommend this to everyone who haven’t read it as it does explain much of how Barcelona plays.

  9. hammeronmessi
    June 5, 2011

    I rembered the day when barca announced the pepster will be the gangsta of barca,i was releived and told my barca loving friend that instead of that poison mou the barca board made a good and risky option,that friends was crying that we didnt get mou and replied that wahts the meaning if we dont wining,i said i had gone through six barren years so i can go another six but there will be no compromise.

    looking back at that time and now we r one of greatest team of all time.

    have got a little complain though his transfers are not always good but seems he also is getting good at that respect.

    did anyone know if dani is his or txikis signing?

    • K_legit
      June 5, 2011

      should be Txiki’s

    • June 5, 2011

      The whole team buildup was the work of Txiki more than anyone else. And that’s during Rijkaard and Pep time. Its a shame that Txiki’s work will go unfairly underrated. Not sure if this team would have reached this level without him. Not only he built this squad over and over again, but he also re-engineered the initial salaries structure that helped the club to recover its initial financial setback at the same time while rebuilding the first winning squad. Laporta always insisted that hiring him as a sport director was the best decision he made at the club. I agree.

      Mind you, it was his idea to employ Pep as a B-team coach in the first place.

      Now that we’re giving credit for the team builders.

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      thanks for the info.

      i also think that txiki didnt get the recognizition he deserved.

  10. hammeronmessi
    June 5, 2011

    Thanks jnasty and illegit k.

    hmm i think i might have to ask jose then

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      thank u mate.

      i already got a HD one of that 2 6 match but unfortunately that was with spanish commentary.i need a HD with a prefably sky commentary.dont know why i like kevin keatings,armstrong and rob palmer,may be i m used to them.never heard the commentary of hudson though.

      thamk u again VJ

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      that should be

      thank u again VJ.

      u r from india?where in india?

    • Vj
      June 5, 2011

      Mumbai.

    • Vj
      June 5, 2011

      Yeah, about that one how’s the speed?
      I was getting 0 seeders -> O kbps. Hope you have better luck.

      I’d downloaded that match 2 years ago, and it was the first time I did/could do so, so I didn’t mind the Spanish feed. It seems a loooong time ago though 🙂

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      i also didnt mind back at that time with the spanish commenatry.

      may be i m getting too greedy

  11. ciaran
    June 5, 2011

    Thanks for that link Kxevin.
    Those were the days, 18 replies to a post. How things have changed
    Just reading it there I spotted this gem of mine:
    ‘Pique would fill the void left by Oleguer like a full body cast for a papercut.’

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      i also noticed the no of comments.

      simply wow

    • June 5, 2011

      Wow, trip back through Memory Lane. Here is Isaiah’s first ever post:

      http://barcelona.theoffside.com/team-news/welcome-to-the-barcelona-offside-blog.html

      And that’s me (Mac, back when we had to manually input our names every time, “Mac” is a play on my surnames 😛 ), with the second comment! Different name, but if we can get one of the Barca Offsiders to confirm that it’s from a West Philadelphia IP… 😀

      Good… and very different… times.

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      rumour has it that u have a torrent file of that 2 6 game with more seeds and leechers then the link king jnasty.

      can u provide it for me?is it english commentary

    • June 5, 2011

      I don’t have the original torrent for it, and the only ones I can find have only 3-4 seeders on there. I downloaded it back when it was the most recent Clasico, so the # of leechers and seeders has decreased significantly…

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      my bad.

      thank u though.

      guess i have to rewatch that with spanish then.

    • June 5, 2011

      This is funny: Isaiah’s first ever comment. Forshadowing, anyone?

      “Nolan, of course it’s with an S. I’m an idiot. Hopefully that’s the only mistake I ever make! (actually I also didn’t include the é)”

    • Ryan
      June 5, 2011

      And now the blog usually gets 18 comments as we wait for the liveblog to load 5 minutes after it’s posted. 🙂 I started reading right as the team moved over to BFB, although it seems there have been several Ryans over the years. 😆

  12. Jnice
    June 5, 2011

    Spain u21-Russia u21 1-1 FT. Thiago played well & had an assist. Montoya was solid. Bojan only played 45 min, but he was fairly lively.

    Miño made a couple of fantastic saves, but should’ve done better on the shot that led to a goal. Jeffren didn’t do much in his 45 min.

    Botia looked solid all night in defense. Hope we buy him back from Sporting. Also, Jose Angel played 10 min, didn’t do much but was played as a left winger, not a left back.

    • hammeronmessi
      June 5, 2011

      hey dont u wanna sleep?

      my wife dont let me enter to our room.she is angry.

      whats your reason?

      and exactly how good is botia?

      wish if we could sign thiago silva

    • Jnice
      June 5, 2011

      Sleep? It’s 4 pm lol. LOL at your reason. Sorry, mate.

      Botia is really good. He always looks solid and sure of himself. There’s a reason he’s been a starter for Sporting for 2 years now. Outside of the big two, I think most would agree he’s top 5 amongst CBs in La Liga.

      I wish we could sign Thiago Silva too, but that’s nearly impossible.

    • June 5, 2011

      Yup. And for 2m? I still can’t believe we haven’t already done that. It’s a no-brainer if you ask me, particularly for a club that is going to have to answer some defensive questions, sooner rather than later. Unless Guardiola is thinking that one way to get Mascherano more playing time is to use him in the back line, until next season, when Keita’s time will surely be up.

  13. Ryan
    June 5, 2011

    How quickly Pep’s 3 years have gone!

    And did anyone else go to Boston for the USA-Spain game? I was just 8 rows behind the keeper, so I got a great view of Pique. He looks so much more serious than his twitter/FB persona. Maybe it was the lack of Cesc and Puyi around him, hehe. He has a real calmness despite enemy players closing in on him right in front of the goal. And Villa always made the USA defense tense up, more than the other Spanish forwards. His movement brought to my mind a wolf scattering a flock of sheep. 😆 Even with my trying to focus on Busi, he’s very good at being quietly good at what he does. I can see why so many people downplay his abilities, as he makes quick and painless work of his position. At least we know Xavi will be there to remind people how awesome Busi is. 😀

    I can’t wait for the DC game and getting to see 100% Barca!

    • just listenin
      June 5, 2011

      I was in Boston for the match, and have tickets for DC too. Spain supporters represented in a big way up there, continuing celebrations for the WC. Agree with your observations. It was a good example of how Villa causes chaos in the opposition box, I liked your analogy and you can see how he incites confusion well in the live match. He had some good chances and opened space for the others. Pique was very solid and anchored the back line, cleans up most messes. The more focus you put on Busi, the more impressive he becomes. I think he is misunderstood and underrated. Barca players look very odd in white.

      Thought that it was interesting that on Barcastuff over the weekend they noted that the relations between “those whom we shalt not mention” and ours in the national team are still at a low after the Claiscos, noting that the major problem was Arbeloa and Villa’s falling out. The two of them were warming up together, and it looked uncomfortable like two guys grudgingly kicking the ball “at” each other – it looked professional, but not very friendly, could be projecting, but it didn’t look collegial. Similar dynamic in my opinion between Busi and Alonso. Interesting to watch the interactions after all that’s gone on.

  14. Jnice
    June 5, 2011

    hammeronmessi, I’ve found one that is apparently HD with 8 audio tracks, Sky Sports being one of them. Problem is, it’s megaupload, not a torrent. I’ll post it anyway.

    Firs Half:
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=D16K1RI6
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=NGAG7YIE
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ZWK0KL42
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WTI6OH1O

    Second Half:
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=P66JTCJX
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6UE0E00T
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=K0O1OTWN
    /http://www.megaupload.com/?d=335NSOAW

    Credit to adnanthebest501 at fbtz.com

    If you do decide to download it, here’s some instructions: Join with Split & Joiner File and unzip the RAR

  15. Jnice
    June 5, 2011

    barca96… I think it’s time for you to stop being mad at Thiago and Mazinho:

    Mazinho “Exit rumours? Thiago has a contract with Barcelona and he’ll stay next season. The boy is working hard, he made significant progress this season and hopefully the next one will be even better.” via barcastuff

    Don’t wanna say I told you so, but…

    • June 5, 2011

      I opened the page knowing that Jnice posted this comment already 😉

    • Jnice
      June 5, 2011

      LOL, of course.

      BTW. check out the new banner done by Patrick. Great work.

      Now I’m off to get some groceries. Adios.

  16. June 5, 2011

    What’s with the stories about RoSELL crying about how the club isn’t getting the recognition that it deserves?

    “I’m sad that some people around the club haven’t known how to enjoy the Wembley win and the great work we’ve done.

    “I want to speak up for this squad, this team and this coach. I’ve got the best team in the world, we’ve won the Champions League and the important thing is how we won it. I’m happy to speak up for the team. If this had happened anywhere else, they’d still be talking about it.”

    Wow. I’m gobsmacked. The praise and effusion that has rung down from hither and yon for this club is, even for one who loves it as much as I, verging on the absurd. If there were a story with the headline “Watching Barca gives you orgasms,” it wouldn’t shock me.

    What RoSELL is really saying, if you ask me, is “Hey! This is my club! I’m da president! Recognize meeeeee!”

    But here’s the thing. As others have noted above, build a club, then talk crap. And you will have you chance next season, if the Guardiola rumors are true. Also, Puyol and Xavi won’t be getting any younger, Keita will be gone, as well. So Mr. RoSELL, shut your face until you do something other than skate on somebody else’s coattails.

    Just sayin’.

  17. June 5, 2011

    And big, giant ups to Patrick for the new banner. Some astute eyes have already noticed it. For those who haven’t, do so. Now. Then bow down. 😀

    • June 5, 2011

      ^ This!

    • Ryan
      June 5, 2011

      Very purty!

      /bow

  18. June 5, 2011

    Allas has banged out a Rossi v Sanchez video.

    http://youtu.be/1MXQe2jgmrg

    Consensus in these parts is Sanchez, right? I keep thinking about defenders, myself. Both players look the business. I think it will come down to which club is the easiest to deal with. And I’m sure that had Villarreal been easier to haggle with, the Rossi deal would already be done. Now that Sanchez has entered the picture, seems like the folks at Villarreal should contact the folks at Deportivo about what happens when you try to screw around too much. Ask Filipe Luis where he’d rather be right now. His club screwed him by being silly.

    • Vj
      June 5, 2011

      Which would lead to a battle for Sanchez with Inter, who are definitely interested. Not what one would hope for. Besides I don’t think he’ll come cheaper than Rossi. Now where did I keep my Hector Pills? DAMMIT!

  19. Cesc Pistol
    June 5, 2011

    Since we’re talking about which forward to buy I’ll post this gem from Hector a few years back

    Messi to me is the prototype Barca winger/forward hybrid which we use on the wings. Why? These to me are the requisites for a Barca “hybrid”. Note Messi has all of these is spades.

    1) Work Rate.
    One of the tenets of our philosophy is ball pressure. You have to work like a mad man when you don’t have the ball to pressure, force dangerous turnovers in the opponent half, and delay opponent attacks while the fullbacks and mids get back upon losing possession. Not every winger/forward in the world is used to this work. I’d like to see Robben or Cristiano Ronaldo be forced to do this. By Henry’s own admission, this was the part that cost him the most to adapt to.

    2) Versatility.
    We switch our forwards all over the place so they must be able to play multiple positions. All our first choice line can play the 9. Henry is VERY useful because of this attribute. Iniesta, on the other hand, has had a very hard time the few times he’s been on the right and I have at least never seen him play the 9. His versatility is related more to midfield.

    3) Finishing.
    Our forwards must all score their fair amount of goals. Henry has done this in spades. Messi does this. Iniesta… he reminds me of Messi circa 2005 with seemingly all his shots magnetically attracted to the post or the GK’s gloves. That doesn’t mean he can’t score more. I’ve noticed that Pep has apparently encouraged him to shoot more and he’s had much more quality shots on goal this season. He just has been unlucky in shots and injuries. He can score more but he will never be a Henry who is a natural 9 (one of the best in recent history).

    4) “Desequilibrar”.
    This means “destabilize”. They must take defenders one on one and consistently win. With all due respect to Kevin, Henry wins 1 out of 5 of these matchups. How many times have we seen his seemingly trademark “fake outside, run inside, and let off a bad cross” move. You leave Iniesta or Messi one on one and 90% of the time that defender is a dead animal on the road. Must say that Ramzi is dead on regarding the diagonal cover. Kevin says Henry drags 2 defenders making it easier for Messi and Eto, I say Messi and Eto drag multiple defenders, giving Henry space.

    I’d like to add a fifth to his:
    5)Creativity
    To create chances for other forwards, have one-two’s in tight spaces to beat their marker. To deliver low hard passes either through the last line or one across the face of the goal.

    From what I’ve seen of both Sanchez seems to suit the criteria better.

    • momo
      June 5, 2011

      Henry fanatic much?
      Good points though 😀

    • Cesc Pistol
      June 5, 2011

      Nah. I’m neutral on Henry, as I said, Hector posted that a few years ago.

  20. Para
    June 5, 2011

    The new banner is most excellent.

    • June 5, 2011

      Thank you! And everyone who had nice things to say.

  21. June 5, 2011

    Dude Wayne Rooney has confirmed vit twitter that he got a hair transplant…happiest moment of my life!!!!!

  22. Blow-Grenade
    June 5, 2011

    Xavi is done for. He has tendonitis. He plays the games that he is playing through his pain barrier. I do not forsee him playing a full season like the previous years. Barca can come up with all the wingers they want, but, without an able midfielder who can replace Xavi, I do not foresee trophies in the locker room.

    • Jnice
      June 5, 2011

      From Xavi’s interview in Sport:

      Perfect. It hurts a bit sometimes, but it’s nothing. But yeah, I tend to avoid confrontations because the punctures hurt like hell. But that’s what cured me. I have Cugat, Pruna and RIcart to thank for it. The medical staff has been with me 100%. It was like I had something constantly weighing on my tendons, I couldn’t even walk. I didn’t think the pain would ever stop, but I kept playing. I suffered playing, and that was the first time it ever happened to me. All this pain was worth it, though.

      I know you want Cesc at all cost, but come on now. Let’s not make things seem worse than they are. Xavi is an honest guy and if he was in pain every match, he would’ve said so.

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 5, 2011

      schweinsteiger would fit the bill too.

    • June 6, 2011

      We need players to give Xavi some rest in the matches where we can afford benching him (at least 40% of the matches we play we can have a Xavi-light selection. We dont need someone to take Xavi’s place, not in the coming two years. Regardless of the fact that such player is not available.

      Thats why, I prefer to buy Afellay (quality CM), Thiago (very talented and can develop to a world class CM), use busquets as CM leaving the DM to Mascherano, or move Messi there in two years after re-engineering offense. Oh wait…

      I think Xavi will have enough time to heal now compared to last year. National team coach need to be reasonable as well, and I think he is showing so.

    • mei
      June 6, 2011

      Mascherano is a world class DM. But he cant bring the one touch that busquets has and is vital to our midfield.Against teams that will request as to circulate the ball in a lightning fashion mascherano cant be our starting DM , sadly, for all his qualities.

    • June 6, 2011

      @mei

      Busquets is better than Mascherano as a DM? Most of the time, thats true, based on game requirements.

      Is there anyone better than Mascherano as a DM for Barcelona -beside Busquets? No.

      Is there anyone in the market better than Busquets as a future Xavi? No.

      Is a Busquets+someone else in the midfield beside iniesta better than Mascherano+Busquets+Iniesta? No. Not for me at least.

      Thats how I make my case.

    • Ryan
      June 5, 2011

      Xavi has said he wants to play in the next World Cup, let alone next year for Barca!

    • 145culegirl
      June 6, 2011

      From Barcastuff,

      During Xavi’s visit to a racing circuit, multiple MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi kneeled down and kissed the player’s feet. [sport]

      Is it real?.It’s really nice to hear.It’s quite funny.

  23. Eklavya
    June 6, 2011

    Nice to have a fresh banner! What do the subtitles mean? “El Blog, Et Torna,El que, Li Dones”.

    • Helge
      June 6, 2011

      Well, according to translate.google.com it means:
      The Blog, You Back, What, We Women
      So, there you go! 😀

    • blitzen
      June 6, 2011

      😆

      I think it means “The blog gives back what you give to it.”, ie. “You get back what you put in.”

    • Vj
      June 6, 2011

      How did it come up with Women? 😛

    • Eklavya
      June 6, 2011

      That’s why I was asking, I Google translated it as well but it made no sense.

  24. Eklavya
    June 6, 2011

    Hahahahahahahaha, look at this GEM I found:

    Kxevin (2 years ago):
    Iniesta is a strong player who is still improving. Ditto for Hleb. Both will be great for Barca.

    I would say that often, people mistake laudatory or comparative comments about a player for a slagging of that player. Iniesta is the goods. No question. But Hleb does bring attributes that Iniesta doesn’t have. That’s why you have many different players on a team. And there will be sides for which Hleb is better than Iniesta, just as there will be sides for which I would rather see a Hleb/Keita/Yaya midfield. Other sides would have me very much into a Xavi/Iniesta/Keita midfield, etc.

    Some others tried to argue with him, but this what he said:

    Kxevin 2 years ago
    That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. The season will tell, gents. The season will tell. You’ll certainly see Iniesta more often than Hleb, but mark my words:

    At this time next year, I expect a lot of “You were right, Kxevin.” And this is what I will do: 😀

    ^FAIL! ^^

    • June 6, 2011

      Hehe! Well to give Kxevin some credit Hleb did bring the brand new Hlebbed atribute!
      Seriously though, no one could forsee the utter failure that Hleb would be and for me it remains sort of inexplicable the HUGE fall in career. I mean the guy failed even at birmingham. I Actually thought he would fit in well 🙁

    • June 6, 2011

      If Messi scores every time he takes a long shot we would need no other forwards in the selection.

      I’ve seen people hailing him as a god when he dribbles a whole team and score, then label him as selfish when he loses a ball he could’ve passed.

      C’est la vie!

  25. June 6, 2011

    Apparently R. madrid are a step away from coentrao…25 mil + Garay =35 million. I don’t think that even moumou is that arrogant and so afraid of losing to us AGAIN to have 2 very good players for one positition. So do you think he might try to employ marcelo in another position e.g the middle?

    • Lev
      June 6, 2011

      I wonder how much money they will spend this summer. If they think Coentrao is better than Marcelo, why not? I don’t know where he would start in the middle, especially since he just bought Sahin and Altintop also.

    • blitzen
      June 6, 2011

      Altintop was a free transfer, I think. So no big outlay there.

    • June 6, 2011

      I think for someone who is distanced from the club, this all sounds like a big mess. For us following this closely, it makes more sense. Don’t get me wrong, I’m against the Coentrao signing. Against the Altintop signing. A 100% WITH the Sahin signing. I’ve been following sahin for 5 years now. Always loved him.

      To make it seem simpler. Garay is leaving. Canales and Pedro Leon are leaving (Canales on loan as Mou has told him he likes him but Canales wants a starting spot: Ozil > Canales). Lass is also gone. And so is Gago. Those have not been sold, but they are leaving the club. You also have to take into account that Kaka is injury prone and has not played more than 1 month straight without an injury in 3 years. You also have to consider that Carvalho is turning 34 and can’t handle playing 40+ games a year.

      The idea from the Coentrao signing is that Mou believes he can play at right back and link up with Di Maria very well. Mou likes Ramos at center back and wouldn’t mind using a pairing of Pepe and Ramos. I personally fail to see how this is considered the way to beat Barcelona, as it only makes our defense not as strong and our attack better. Arbeloa is a decent defensive full back that I’m sure Mou will use against Barcelona if Ramos is not available on the right.

      As for the Altintop signing, i highly doubt he will be starting games. I think he will be used as a utility man in desperate situations or in the case of extreme injuries. He can play RB, CM, AM and as a winger. So he covers for a lot of spaces. Sahin and Khedira will probably share the starting spot.

      I hope this clears some stuff up.

      And just to make life better for everyone, it seems we won’t be keeping Adebayor. Thank god!

    • Srini
      June 6, 2011

      The signings seem to be intriguing. They make Real Madrid (an already direct and sharp counter attacking team) even more sharper in what they specialise in. Question is will they play to their abilities and skill levels – in the true sense – against the Barca squad or will they prefer to park the bus and play Arbeloa instead of Coentrao to kick the living shins of Barca’s magic midgets? Will Mou translate his ‘la puto amo’ shtick from the media room to the ground? Or will he continue to Darth Vader and depend on dry grass and thickets to stifle Barcelona.

      Here is hoping a true encounter between the Barca, Madrid styles. And therefore for the entry of a Coentrao into a direct minded Madrid. And therefore for the entry of a Sanchez and a Rossi into Barca’s own carousel.

  26. mei
    June 6, 2011

    @ ramzi well I doubt anyone can disagree with this. My only concern with busquets as a future xavi, although he is the player that is the closest to what the maestro brings to the game, is his body. However most likely thats what we said about xavi in the past and look at him now.
    I pretty much thing that this club is blessed that had xavi in its ranks.Not just because of his qualities, but because of how he imposed them to the teammates : he infected them with a way of playing that is spread out throughout the team.
    Can someone be as precise and consistent as him?obviously no, but the philosophy is there and I believe that at this point it can actually work without him.Not right away, and not without a cost but eventually I think that by the time he retires he will have cemented it to everyone.
    And thats just how great this player is; he may print a style into this team’s brain that doesnt really require his presence to be evident.

  27. K_legit
    June 6, 2011

    As long as we are doing the ‘first comments’ on the offside page thingy, this is one of my first posts at the offside page..not the first one mind but you might find this interesting.

    Krish 2 years ago
    Valdes deserves at least a 8…I think it was he coming out to meet Kanoute that stopped him from scoring…
    very good game for the custodian…

    Henry was dog shit in the first half…constantly slowing the game down and at one point i was bellowing out for SPF45 but he proved me wrong in the 2nd half

    Messi was marked out of the game in the first 60 min but he shifted to the center and raised hell,,,a new number 9 anyone.. 😀

    Busquets has this great habit of getting guys sent off…hmm…this makes it two for the season

    right here
    http://barcelona.theoffside.com/la-liga/sevilla-0-barca-3-aka-most-impressive-to-date.html

    Don’t say I didn’t call the shift of Messi to the centre and Busi’s ability to get under the opponents skin 😀

    I also remember that I was the poster who got the highest rating on Isaiah’s spam filter..900 something it was..so proud I was 😀

  28. June 6, 2011

    No, you’re judging Hleb in the now, rather than the then. He was bigger and stronger than Iniesta, and had the ability to keep the ball while being hammered from behind.

    His pre-injury performances were excellent. Then he picked up the knock against Betis, and by the time he returned, the team was flying, and he didn’t seem able to make the effort to get his place back. Then came the attitude problems, and that was that.

    But I suggest that you spend as much time watching matches from back then as you spend perusing old comments, for some perspective. When you don’t, THAT for me is a fail. Huge.

    Had Hleb not gotten injured, his play probably would have proved my point. Who knows. But as with so many players, once cules make their minds up about him, that’s that. In that regard particularly, cules need to grow up.

    • Josep
      June 6, 2011

      Whoa relax man, he’s just having a go and reading old posts. It’s fun to look back, he in no way said you’re an idiot or anything. Sure maybe if Hleb stayed healthy you’d have been right but as it stands your “At this time next year, I expect a lot of “You were right, Kxevin.” And this is what I will do: 😀 ”” was way off. No problem with that.

      But you’re right, Eklavya is a huge failure. 😀

    • June 6, 2011

      Oh, I’m very relaxed. Usually always am. And what I said still stands. There’s a reason that Hleb was getting so much playing time before the injury. But memories are selective when it comes to players who have come to be a dictionary definition for failure.

      Hleb screwed himself, but we helped him. Who knows what went on in practice. There had to be a reason that he never got a shot after coming back from the injury. And he defo talked himself out of town.

      But circumstances changed regarding that situation. And without mentioning the different circumstances, it’s an incomplete thought.

      I take stands on a lot of things. I recall saying that Villa wouldn’t have many more goals than Ibrahimovic. I don’t see anyone saying “Hey, you were right. It IS hard for a first-year striker in our system.” Instead it’s “Yesh, but Villa isn’t an asshole.” Which is true, but neither here nor there.

      I take a stand, and don’t mind at all being called on it when I’m wrong. Just put it in the proper context. We will never know what would have happened had Hleb been healthy, and developed right along with the rest of the club.

    • Eklavya
      June 6, 2011

      Hmmmmm, you’re talking way too generally. Like Josep said, I was pointing out that the “At this time for the year […]” comment, which didn’t work, that’s all.

      “you’re judging Hleb in the now, rather than the then”

      Well yeah, I am. No one could have known how he turned out, I certainly didn’t think he wouldn’t work. I remember the very well his injury, Kxevin, and I recall you talking about it at the end of that season as well, and I (somewhat) agree with you. Infact, I quoted what you had said to some of friends who were bashing Hleb. I remember reading his interviews at fcbtransfers.blogspot, I remember him wanting to succeed. I don’t have a selective memory, you’re using me as a “typical culé who remembers only the end products” to prove your point (which is correct overall) but not with me, because I know his whole story (which you narrated above). I think if he had a more like Keita attitude and professionalism he would have eventually gotten his chance. Maybe he would have worked out, maybe not, but he would have gotten his second season which is so vital players in our system. But in the end, he didn’t succeed (and his future is pretty much over with us, so it’s safe to say that he won’t), period.

    • June 6, 2011

      I don’t think that a Keita-like attitude would have saved him. The side left him behind, and he wasn’t willing to bridge that gap. Recall that Keita didn’t get gapped because he stayed healthy. When Hleb talked himself out of town, that ended any chance that he had to stay on with the club.

      Maybe he thrived more in a less-stringent and demanding environment, ultimately. What we do know is that his time with us started a spiral that his career before coming to us would have argued against.

  29. barca96
    June 6, 2011

    I’ve been away for the past 2 days and now it looks like Sanchez is closer to us than Rossi is.

    Again I read that Thiago might leave. There must be something going on Jnice. These rumors start from somewhere. It’s been days already. Perhaps nearly a week already that Thiago rumors are flying around.
    I also read that Mazinho said that he’s sure Thiago is staying next year but why are there rumors in the first place?

    • June 6, 2011

      Further, if the rumors are surfacing with the speed and frequency they appear to be, there might be something going on that we aren’t aware of.

      And now, we wait, but we’ve seen lots of names come up in rumors, including Keita, Thiago, Dos Santos, Botia, Maxwell, Bartra, etc, etc. Usually they’re just rumors, or something where someone makes something up then the rest of the baying hounds run with it.

      I’m on the record as being against selling or trading Thiago for anybody right now. But maybe Guardiola knows something we don’t. Or maybe Afellay is kicking so much ass in practice that Thiago has become expendable. Who knows, except the club? All we can do is have fun speculating.

      For me, an awesome summer would be promote Fontas, bring back Botia, buy Willian, pick up a cheap utility midfielder (a De Guzman type) and an attacker (Sanchez, Rossi, whoever). I also want, even though I know he won’t, for Guardiola to give Keirrison a look. And so does Keirrison.

    • messi_fan
      June 6, 2011

      I agree totally with the last paragraph.

    • Josep
      June 6, 2011

      no one in the de Guzman family should be allowed near the Barcelona camp. 😀

      However, Giorgino Wijnaldium is pretty versatile.. and Keirrison’s agent asked that Pep include him in the first team preseason (can you seriously just ask that?)

    • Jnice
      June 6, 2011

      My point wasn’t that Thiago won’t be sold or go on loan or whatever. You said you were angry at Thiago and his father because of a silly rumor saying they wanted guaranteed playing time and all of this nonsense.

      If that was the case, Mazinho wouldn’t have made the statements he made yesterday. He has no problem speaking his mind. If they were thinking of leaving, he would’ve said so.

      The rumors are coming about because he’s one of Barça’s most promising and attractive players right now. A lot of teams are interested in him and many of the teams would love him to be included in deals for their players. Plus there’s still a bunch of Cesc speculation, so the papers try to put 2 and 2 together and figure that if Cesc comes, Thiago’s time would be very limited, so that must mean he’s leaving.

      That’s on Barça side, not his. He’s not the one going out saying he wants to leave nor is he including himself in potential deals. That was my point.

  30. blitzen
    June 6, 2011

    Did anyone watch the Real Madrid/Bayern Munich legends game yesterday? Wondering if it is worth downloading. If I do it would mostly be for Zidane.

    • Jnice
      June 6, 2011

      I saw a bit of it, but I can’t really say. Maybe highlights would suffice? There were a few nice goals, but the pace of the game was really slow, obviously.

    • June 6, 2011

      I saw it. I’m biased, since most of these players are my idols. But i can say one thing, Zidane can still start for any club in the world. He was amazing!

    • blitzen
      June 6, 2011

      Zidane is one of very few RM players that I can say I admire wholeheartedly. One of the best players ever, really, and a very decent person as well. I hope that his increasing involvement in the management of your club will help offset the “Mou Factor”.

    • June 6, 2011

      “I hope that his increasing involvement in the management of your club will help offset the “Mou Factor”

      My thoughts exactly!

  31. June 6, 2011

    Cruyff article (translation TotalBarca)
    “Midfielders? If the choice is Cesc, a likely starter, then there will be four of them (Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc) for three places, which also means everyone gets to play a lot of games. Mascherano? He’s the lucky one: he gets to play in two departments.”

    Interesting how he fails to mention Thiago in the midfielders…I really hope we don’t sell him, however I think that If we do it would be more for behavior problems and him wanting more playing time than ability concerns.

  32. Josep
    June 6, 2011

    Thoughts on Lucho?
    I love the move, in fact I was looking for a Serie A team. New American owners, Landon Donovan too arrogant to come there, Lucho and SOME Barca B players posssibly? Thats my team. plus I always loved Totti’s story.

    But the thoughts on he wanting to take Jeffren, Montoya, Oriol Romeu, and someone else (forgot who). I’d love him to take the first three. It’d be valuable playing time for all involved, but Romeu’s future is here. The others would be great loans.

  33. ooga aga
    June 6, 2011

    kxevin will like this picture:
    *http://www.fcbarcelona.cat/web/castellano/noticies/futbol/temporada10-11/06/06/n110605117885.html

    because it shows that even during the CL celebration, keita still had the “huh? what?” look on his face.

    • messi_fan
      June 6, 2011

      So true 🙂

    • JoachimD
      June 6, 2011

      lol. classic.

    • Eklavya
      June 6, 2011

      Wow, that’s crazy. I have the SAME poster of 2009 with the team in the same position in front of the CL cup and Keita ALSO has the SAME expression. Wow

  34. blitzen
    June 6, 2011

    And speaking of Bayern, rumour is that Miroslav Klose is off to Valencia on a free transfer. Interesting.

    • Ryan
      June 6, 2011

      If they can make Klose play in a German shirt that might actually be a great signing!

  35. June 6, 2011

    For Blitzen and he who is interested, here is a download link for the charity game from yesterday. I found it enjoyable to watch. Slow paced game, but the goals make it better. Zidane and Figo looked like they haven’t stopped playing together for a minute! And zidane is too damn technically gifted. It was nice seeing Makaay for Bayern as well. Elber too.

    http://forum.rojadirecta.es/showthread.php?127091

  36. hammeronmessi
    June 6, 2011

    I may be wrong, but one of the best if not the best barca bloggers has no sense of humour.dont take it personally kxevin.

    eklavya is not a failure,he even realized that i can properly reply.

    bout hleb i think given the chance he could had been an asset for us,now it may baffels to the new cules but at the begining abidal was pretty ordinary, but he stayed healthy,worked hard and now he is the best in our backine.

    correct me if i say somethibg wrong,

    • June 6, 2011

      My sense of humor functions perfectly, last time I checked. I’m one of the funniest guys I know. But who are you to suggest that I lack a funny bone? You don’t know me. You don’t really know anything about me or how I function. It’s the same reason I don’t make personal presumptions about people on this board. I. Don’t. Know. Them.

      And “Don’t take it personally” is usually is meant to deflect the blow of an insult. Further, any words that follow are usually intensely personal, as yours were. It’s why I stay clear of such phrases.

      Now, what I don’t have a lot of is tolerance for unwarranted attacks. Nobody should, but my sense of fairness is particularly acute. It’s led me to stand up for other commenters in this space, as well as players, coaches, even purportedly evil ex-presidents. That isn’t going to change. And if that makes me humorless, so be it.

      I’d also suggest that you go back and read the exchange more carefully, if the meaning that you got from it is that anyone is suggesting that Eklavya is a failure. Far from it.

    • Josep
      June 6, 2011

      What I read from the whole exchange was Eklavya playfully reading old posts.

      You make a very bold prediction that people will be eating crow regarding their criticisms of Hleb. You then threw out the “At this time next year, I expect a lot of “You were right, Kxevin.” And this is what I will do: 😀 ””

      He was just bringing up a past comment you made, thats all. It’s funny. It wasn’t an attack on you (seems how you took it). Everyone makes wrong predictions, like your “United won’t sell Cristiano, you can bank on it.” The whole fail thing is uncalled for but its just Eklavya’s youthful exhuberance! 😀

      and I don’t think Hleb stands out still if it doesn’t get injured, he still wouldn’t have learned the language and turned out to be an idiot. Also without Hleb we are one insult short 🙁

    • soccermomof4
      June 6, 2011

      Time for a group hug?????
      🙂

    • Eklavya
      June 6, 2011

      How about we close this case? No one attacked nor was attacked. The end.

    • ciaran
      June 6, 2011

      ‘don’t take it personally’ is just like starting a sentence with ‘not being sexist but…’ – it’s guaranteed to be a sexist comment next. I always enjoy those sentences.

    • hammeronmessi
      June 6, 2011

      my eyesight is quite good,i dont need any spectacles.

      I’d also suggest that you go back and read the exchange more carefully, if the meaning that you got from it is that anyone is suggesting that Eklavya is a failure. Far from it.

      yah,i get that thats why i say eklavya even realized that i can reply in the proper place.

      to me eklavya comment is just to remind the old days.it was not in any way to belittle u.

      insult no way.if i want to insult anybody then i can do that in an western way not in an asian way.

      thats that.and i think both of us can forget the matter and look forward to who is better?ibra or villa?

    • hammeronmessi
      June 6, 2011

      dang again misplaced my reply.

  37. soccermomof4
    June 6, 2011

    A few things:
    1. Someone said something like “that’s the fun of Silly Season”. Well I don’t think it’s much fun. It’s like waiting for your final grade in college. You’re not sure how you did on the final exam, but you wish you were just able to get the suspense over with and know the result for better or worse. Maybe I’ll be calmer when a get a few more of these under my belt.
    2. I have the best hubby in the world. He made sure that on our anniversary we went to a happy hour at a pub that had ESPN coverage of the US v Spain game before we went out to dinner. So hard to keep from rooting for our guys when I’m supposed to be rooting for my country. Oh, and I found myself scowling each time I saw an EE player. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to enjoy La Furia Roja the same as BCO (before clasico overload).
    3. Finally, thanks for being here, BFB. I just had the misfortune of being stupid enough to read the comments on soccernet. I think I’ll stick to here. Some guy went on and on about how Messi shouldn’t play because of the HgH shots. I guess diabetics getting insulin shouldn’t be allowed either, after all, insulin is a hormone. It’s surprising how much hatred and ignorance abound.

    • Obii
      June 6, 2011

      Theres a part of me that enjoys reading those comments over on soccernet. I’m not entirely sure why. That HgH guy is a massive troll, and all he ever does is copy paste his previous comments, baiting other people to reply to him. He could also be one of the soccernet reps trying to stir up some controversy so their absolutely shoddy reporting gets more hits. Conspiracy theory. I’m turning into Mou! Noooooo!

    • Josep
      June 6, 2011

      happy anniversary 😀 lol I used to peruse soccernet like the player below says its entertaining to read the stupid comments and pure vitriol that is unfounded.

    • Eklavya
      June 6, 2011

      I’ve never been there, from the likes of it, it’s even worse than goal.com

      -Abidal on the bench for France NT vs Ukraine. Well, that way he can’t get injured.

    • blitzen
      June 6, 2011

      Or score an own goal. 😉

    • Para
      June 6, 2011

      I’ve never really watched Abidal play for France- does he always play centre-back for them? Is he as awesome as when he plays for Barca? 🙂

    • Eklavya
      June 6, 2011

      He always has a weird moment.

    • Vj
      June 6, 2011

      So the happy anniversary song is for you!

      Sometimes its not worth losing your cool. Otherwise going ballistic is natural. Going through ontd during the Busi fiasco was a nightmare. So many ‘Culés’ wanted to hang him going by just a video. Shouldn’t they believe in the players a bit more?

  38. Helge
    June 6, 2011

    Marvin Martin, ever heard of him? He plays for FC Sochaux.

    Goal.com introduced him as the little Xavi, the new hope for the playmaker role in the French national squad.
    And guess what?
    In his 15 min lasting debut, he scored 2 goals for France! 🙂

  39. June 6, 2011

    Since I guess I’m the one who always brings up non-Spain/USA internationals, I guess I’ll leave this here…

    World Cup Qualifiers begin less than 10 days from now, on the 15th of June. Yeah, that’s right. In little over a week the sure and steady process of whittling down 200+ associations to the elite 31 that will join Brazil will begin when Montserrat takes on Belize :mrgreen: Two weeks later, Asia will begin its qualifications by eliminating 8 teams in two-legged ties.

    And soon enough, we’re rolling…

    Also, Africa has come up with the most absurd qualification scheme ever. Seriously, this has to be the most half-baked qualification system ever since back when they just invited countries willy nilly. So after some quick knockouts amongst the bottom teams, there’ll be 10 groups of four (40+!) teams duking it out, UEFA style. That’s not the bad part. The bad part is that the group winners will then square off, the fall before Brazil 2014, in FIVE two-legged knockout ties to determine Africa’s entries into the tournament. Getting the right draw in that battle will be worth millions. Imagine making Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire match up for a place in the finals.

    • Jnice
      June 6, 2011

      Imagine making Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire match up for a place in the finals.

      It would be 5-0 to Ghana :mrgreen:

    • Jnice
      June 6, 2011

      In all seriousness, it really is absurd. A real head-scratcher, that one.

    • Ryan
      June 6, 2011

      5-0, plus or minus YAYA!

  40. tutomate
    June 6, 2011

    Does anyone know where I can get a blau-grana tie with no Barca shield or with the Barca shield not visible?

    • blitzen
      June 6, 2011

      I’m sure you could find a blue- and red-striped tie at any upscale mens’ clothing store….

  41. June 7, 2011

    Apparently some “journalists” at sport feel rosell was hard done by the complaint filed by the 3 presidenty candidates concerning the announcement of the closure of some sections of Barca. One of them (Joan Vehils) implies that by defying Rosell in like defying Pep and wonders if the 3 losers of the elections as he calls them (disgrace!) will make a complaint if Pep does actually decide to sell Thiago!
    I think Pep after leaving Barca should go to a journalism school in spain and start teaching some ethics!

    • K_legit
      June 7, 2011

      Pep? after leaving barca?
      SELL missingpage now!

    • June 7, 2011

      hehe..forgot to write the sentence “at the age of 80” 🙂

  42. Jnice
    June 7, 2011

    Bored? Watch a 12 minute Alexis Sanchez compilation. Not saying you should judge him by this (watching full matches is best), it’s just entertaining: http://youtu.be/YMylCSaEGLU

    • June 7, 2011

      iTs a good compilation he seems to have quite good final pass right outside the area. He seems quite creative as well. From what I’ve seen I’m not so impressed with his shooting/finishing. From what I’ve read he appears ro be a good kid as well.
      What I still don’t like though is his pricetag he seems way too expensive.

    • Barka
      June 7, 2011

      AS and Marca are saying that Sanchez is very close to joining us. Sport and EMD are more quiet about this though.

    • can_we_go_Xalvies
      June 7, 2011

      you can watch player vs team videos of Alex on youtube, he looks very interesting playing down the right wing, he never stops running and he can pass really well. Could Pep be thinking he could be the next RWB/RW hybrid?

      Alex’s work rate and dribbling skills stand out the most. He always looks like an outlet on the RW and funnily enough he reminds me of Alves.

    • barca96
      June 7, 2011

      Does he track back and pressure the defenders?

    • Jnice
      June 7, 2011

      He works his arse off. There’s a reason Bielsa recommended him to Pep. He knows what Pep wants. He wouldn’t recommend some lazy, prima donna type player.

    • barca96
      June 7, 2011

      You should help ROsell and the club out in India.

Comments are closed.