Search The Blog

Jun 27, 2008

Guus HiddinkUsually I don't write articles not related to Barcelona F C in this blog, but this time I am tempted to do so. Guus Hiddink, probably could be the only coach whose name gets chanted by the fans every time him team plays. The recent Russia - Dutch match it was his name the Russian fans chanted in the beginning not any of the star players. That should talk as a testimony for the tremendous impact of this wonder coach in modern day football. If it was anyone else than Guus, who has taken Russia to the semis, then the world would have dismissed it as a pretty lucky coach. But then Guus has done it earlier, not once but many times. Guus Hiddink started his stint as a full time football manager in PSV Eindhoven. He has coached the bigger clubs like Real Madrid, Valencia etc , but it has to be said on a club managing level his best record belongs with PSV. His managerial record with national sides has over shone all his success with PSV. In 1998 world cup he took the Dutch team to Semis where they were knocked out by eventaul winners Brazil. He followed the same success with South Korea in 2002 world cup, when again he took the team to Semis. In his next stint as the coach of Australian National side, he took the team to the 2nd round where again they were controversially knocked out by eventual winners Italy. And now again he took an unfancied Russian side to semis of Euro 2008.

As a coach his success has been attributed to his calm nature. He has been regarded as a person who will never become nervous even in the difficult of situation. This nature could be well described by the way he handled the Australian Goal Keeper Mark Schwarzer before the crucial penalty shootout. This is being described about a person who used to tremble among his players in his first season at PSV. There was a story that he once was so nervous that he lit the wrong end of his cigarette. Guus Hiddink's playing system is very simple - he has a preference for the 4-4-2 formation where he organizes his attacks using wingers. Usually Coaches of lesser talented teams go for a much more physical approach, but not this man. He always believes in playing the beautiful game with all its beauty. So even in the toughest of situation you can expect him to play the game beautifully.

With such a simple and straight forward approach to the game, it always intrigues me how he is able to carve all these success. That has to be attributed to the intense loyalty he commands from his players. His players will testify anywhere that he is the toughest coach. But like the many peers in footballing arena, he does not display the toughness by abuse of opponent coaches and players via press meeting and term it as psychological warfare. He is stern as a rock and does not hesitate in taking the tough decisions. He showed no mercy in dealing with players like davids, arshavin, pavylchencko etc. This no-nonsense approach made him so popular among his players; Romario once delayed a kick off at Camp Nou so that he can run to the sidelines and kiss his old coach on both cheeks. So is the case with Park Ji-Sung, Arshavin etc, they all adore him.

For all his success his critics could very well highlight his inability to go past the semi final stage as his weakness. They might term him as unsuccessful for the lack off trophies. But he is not bad at those too; with a very competitive PSV team he has won the one European cup and many Dutch league. How can some one forget the performance of his PSV side in 2006 champions’ league semifinal against A C Milan? Yet, it could be argued that with his latest failure to take Russia to final, he can't be put in the company of the greatest. But all these team whether it was Korea or Australia or now Russia, never was expected to script such great things. He could inspire a bunch of average players to perform tremendously in the toughest of all tournaments will testify for his greatness. If you look the way Russia and Australia qualified for the tournaments that alone will say the fragility of these sides. But still he is able to drive his boys to achieve greatness in these tournaments.

Guus Hiddink for all these feats is loved and admired by fans around the Globe. He is worshipped in the countries where he worked. An Australian newspaper famously suggested imposing Guus tax (in order to pay his wages) so that they can hold on to this guy. South Koreans renamed the World Cup stadium in Gwangju in his name. Russians may surpass these when they have let go him after 2010. Guus Hiddink can be described as the only minimum guarantee coach in world football - "The Guarantee that He will not fail you.”

Keita official PresentationGuardiola during the official presentation of Keita as a Barcelona player gave some hint of the impending signing of Arshavin. He described the Russian as a quality player and emphasized that "In the end we’ll get what we want". Txiki Begiristain also gave positive hints regarding this saying that there could be three more signings. The three players who are linked with the club are Arshavin, Hleb and Adebayor. Barcelona expect some difficulty in signing of the Russian, as they expect Zenit to ask a bigger price than the initial 15 million euros. The bunch of English clubs which are linked with the striker also will not help Barcelona. anyway reports of Zenit sporting director Konstantin Sarsaniya confirming that Barcelona has made an offer for the 27 year old Arshavin.

The club could be in for some trouble with the fate of the fantastic trio of Ronnie, Eto and Deco. Out of which Deco is the only person, for whom there is a genuine interest existing from Chelsea. he can be expected to sign for Chelsea for the coming days. But Eto's case is a bit complicated. Barcelona looks like have an informal agreement with Inter for the player, but Eto has emphasized that the club will not be the one who take the final decision. If this is complicated, Ronaldinho case is some thing like a whirlpool. A C Milan who was genuinely interested in him is not ready to match the price Barcelona is asking. Manchester City is ready to match the price, but Ronaldinho may not be interested for that move. reports a story in which it is stated that Guardiola might be interested in having Ronaldinho in the squad. How much can be trusted, is a question? Whatever if Ronnie stays participation of Ronaldinho in Olympics is going to be a big problem for the club. As in the case of Messi, Guardiola has insisted that Ronaldinho skips the National duty. As far as I am concerned, Guardiola does not have the moral authority to ask such a thing. Messi should represent Argentina in Olympics, what will Guardiola do - fire him from the team, he must be kidding. The worst what Guardiola could do is relegate him to the bench, but then Messi can use the Fifa clause to get out of the contract. Come on Messi, Show some character, your country reckons you!

Jun 26, 2008

Arshavin Rumours Gets StrongerAs I wrote in my last post Arshavin - Today's Hot Dish there was no official bid for Arshavin from the Club. But everything might be in for a change. has reported that Barcelona after reinforcing their defense and midfield has made the signing of Adebayor and Arshavin as the highest priority. It also reported that Josep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain have agreed on this and are waiting for the Euro to complete before making the official bid for the Russian. The report suggests that Barcelona was aware of this Russian sensation before the Euro; especially Rijkaard was reported to be interested in him. The two reasons why they never made an official approach were due to the fact that his experience outside Russia was minimal and he used to play in a position occupied by Messi. The Euro campaign has dispelled both these problems, with Arshavin emerging as a player who can play in a variety of position. Arshavin is reported to have approached by seven major clubs in Europe but is expected to prefer Barcelona over others. More Over Barcelona board is interested to move in for Arshavin before the Vote of No Confidence against Laporta. This move would give Laporta the confidence to easily overcome the vote.

The reports of a Barcelona bid for Arshavin excite me, but the same cannot be said for Adebayor. I don't believe that he is the one striker we are looking at, may be then I am wrong. Whatever the club expected to endure a long negotiation with Arsenal in order to strike a deal for the tall striker. All the Barcelona fan blogs and forums are dominated by the call for not signing the striker, everybody fears a repeat of the Henry signing here. With Arshavin coming into the picture, Barcelona might be ready to drop the Hleb bid if Arsenal insist on the insame amount. But there are more troubles for Pep and the board to ponder. They still have not found a club for Eto. It is clear that he features no where in Pep's scheme of things. Barcelona is desperate to find a club for him and the latest one interested is Marseille, but I don't think Eto will jump in to that deal. Another big trouble for the club would be dealing with Ronaldinho. He is reportedly unhappy with the fact that Pep doesn't seem him as necessary. He has demanded answers when he return back from holidays.

Jun 24, 2008

Arshavin interested in Playing for BarcelonaOk, there is no rumour yet about an official Barcelona bid for this Russian striker; but all the Barcelona fan blogs, forums are dictated by the 5 feet 8 inch Russian. All things are discussed - where should he play, should Guardiola change the system, is he that good etc. After the Sweden- Russia match, the only big club which was interested in making bid for him was Arsenal (apart from Everton and Manchester City). But now after his destruction of Holland - Milan, Chelsea all are interested. Nobody is making a decisive approach because of his stated affection to Barcelona. His affection started with the club at the times of the great Brazilian Romario. It was the former Russian Football Federation president Vitaly Mutke who dragged Barcelona into the plot when he stated that the two clubs which are close to Arshavin's heart are Zenit and Barcelona. Barcelona fans might be thanking Vitaly Mutke for bringing the club into the race to sign the talented Russian. Arsenal manager Wenger along with Milan's Ancelotti have openly praised the 27 year old. He might have bloomed a bit late but have taken the world by storm with his performance in Euro. Barcelona maintains a great chance to sign him even though there could be some possible trouble with his signing. The biggest will be where he will be fit in, he is a natural winger and can play at the place of Ronaldinho - but it is proven that he does wonders in that floating strikers role. Second is the price, he might come cheap but will be very expensive to be kept in the team. Zenit pays some 60,000 pounds per week and some bonuses are also involved, add to this the fact that in Russia football players are taxed less. But thinking of a possibility of seeing him play along with Messi excites me. Anyway there is a rumour doing the rounds that Abrahmovich has asked Scolari to prefer Arshavin ahead of Deco. Who ever signs him has to be careful in dealing with him, he has a history of being a bit wayward. He lost the Russian captaincy for an alleged assault on an Andorran player and it is said he lost the captaincy of Zenit because he partied till the morning (sounds similar to Ronnie!). But there is still hope, he has shown a tendency to fall in line when pulled up - this was demonstrated by both Dick Advocaat and Guus Hiddink.

Roman Anatolevich Pavlyuchenko, was the first Russian to be linked with Barcelona in this summer window. Eventhough Arshavin has taken all the news spot, the rumour regarding Pavlyuchenko simply refuse to die. He could form the leathal partnership with Ashravin at Barcelona. And one more thing he will come much cheaper. It looks like Barcelona can count on the service of maybe Ronaldinho and Eto next season. Atleats in Ronaldinho's case, it looks rather unlikely that he will find a club to suit him. Last week when the press questioned him about the transfer, he replied that his current contract will run till 2010. Both these players are pretty unhappy with the way Guardiola has treated them, they are basically not sure whether they are in the scheme of things for next season. This may be good, these two guys should be fired up to prove the world that they are no push over and regain their places back.

Jun 17, 2008 has reported that Barcelona management is very much keen to bring the Spartak Moscow forward Roman Pavlyuchenko to Nou Camp. Roman Anatolevich Pavlyuchenko performance in Euro 2008 is reported to be the reason why the club is interested iun him. It is also reported that Real Madrid and Sevilla are both intersted in signing him. Barcelona could sign the striker for 10 million euros and that makes him more favourite than the 38 million Euro Adebayor. He is not a bad striker either. He joined Spartak in 2003 and has scored 67 goals in 136 appearance.I think he was the one who scored both the Goals against England in their Euro qualifying match. Apart from these reports, the transfer rumour regarding Barbatov is emerging as the front runner.

Barcelona sports chief Txiki Begiristain is supposed to fly to Brazil to continue talks with Hernanes club Sao Paulo. It is reported that barcelona has already struck peronal deal with the player, which will see him pocketing £1.5 million per year. Ok, Now to the biggest surprise - La galaxy is interested in signing Ronaldinho. They will table an offer which will result in Barcelona getting £18 million for the striker. Ronaldinho will be pocketing £12 million-a-year PLUS another £12 million for his image rights.

Jun 16, 2008

Berbatov to move to BarcelonaThe Mirror published reports about a possible 25 million pound bid by Barcelona for the Bulgarian,Dimitar Berbatov. Report suggest that the Totenham star striker prefer to a move to Camp Noyu rather than to Madrid or Trafford. Both these clubs are repostedly interested in him. But Barcelona believes their sale of Dos Santos to Totenham may already have put them in driving seat. Inter Milan is also keen to sign him.

Guardiola's ex-team mate Hristov Stoichkov is the one who recommended the striker to Pep. Totenham anyway are reluctant to let go their favourite player; but Berbatov wants to leave.This one news excites me as I like the striker very much. He could be the perfect centre forward for Barcelona as he is more creative than all those name which were being linked to Barcelona. And more over he comes with a proven goal scoring record. The other news in transfer market is the interest of Lyon to bring back Abidal.But this will only be materializing if Barcelona is able to find a similiar quality Left Back.

Jun 14, 2008

Barcelona Going for Hernanes Have to admit that i haven't got any serious news to report on after the Euro has started. The transfer market has suddenly went a bit quiet and there was serious shortage of rumours. Anyway got hold of the some happening rumours. If you carefully analyse the rumours, Barcelona haven't shown great interest in changing the midfield too much. This may have been due to the fact that we still could not find a club for Deco. But with Scolari taking over from Grant at Chelsea, there is a high chance that Deco would move to Chelsea.So with Deco expected to move, Barcelona have approached the Sao Paulo midfielder Hernanes. It is rumoured that Barcelon would approch with a 10 million Euro bid for him. He may not be playing in the first team from the first year. So as an immediate replacement for Deco Barcelona looks more than interested in another Portugese midfielder Moutinho. Moutinho has welcomed Barcelona interest and only time will tell what will emerge from these two rumours. In case of Hernanes, Barcelona could end up spending a bit more as both Milan clubs are also interested in him.

With Scolari taking charge Chelsea has revised their interest in Ronaldinho. But Manchester City looks more determined to sign him as they are more than willing to match Barcelona's asking price. Inter Milan is interested in signing Xavi, Mourinho was not able to sign lampard and it is rumoured that he seems Xavi as an excellent prospect in that midfield. But I can write off this rumour as Barcelona will not let their hands off the club's next captain. Next in the line is the news that barcelona is going to approach valencia with a 40 million bid for Villa.

Jun 6, 2008

Dani Alves close to moving to BarcelonaAfter weeks of considerable and hard negotiations, Barcelona might be close to signing the Brazilian Right Back. Reports from Spain suggest that Jose Maria del Nido, president of Sevilla, might give go ahead for Barcelona signing Alves. Jose has yesterday suggested that Barcelona's interest in the player makes it difficult for him to keep the player happy in the club, especially in the wake of not qualifying for Champions League. suggest that Sevilla demanded 35 million euros but the final deal agreed is aroud 32 million Euros.

MundoDeportivo reports that the club might have agreed to leave the player for 32 million as there was a chance of the player invoking the Article 17 of Fifa rules. From the outside 32 million could be considered a bit high for a right back, but Barcelona was desperate to sign a quality right back as Zambrotta will be leaving this season.

Jun 5, 2008

Martin Caceres has officially become the third player Barcelona have signed this season. The young Uruguay defender was signed for a whooping 16.5 million euros. The 21 tyear old signed a deal which will keep him at Nou Camp for the next four years, which also include a buy-out clause of 50 million euros. Caceres becomes the 11th Uruguayan player to represent Barcelona. Caceres started his club career with Defensor Sporting Club in Montevideo, Uruguay. In february 2007, he was signed by Villareal for five years. Villareal subsequently loaned him out in the 2007-08 season to Recreativo de Huelva. His performance at Recreativo was enough for Barcelona to take notice of him.

For Barcelona he represent a long term investment. Usually defenders improve with age and this 21 year old is set to guard Barcelona defense for sometime. With his signing Barcelona can consider to have covered the void left by an injured Milito.

Jun 3, 2008

Inzaghi coming to BarcelonaOk, this one is the latest edition, MundoDeportivo reports that barcelona would be making a surprise move to sign Inzaghi from Milan.The reports suggest that the club is looking forward for signing an alternate striker, who could play the role of an alternate scorer and would come cheap also.The club is planning to sign either Inzaghi or the Argentinian Julio Cruz to fit in to that role. Compared to Cruz I believe Inzaghi would be a better option. But one have to ask about the sense in such a move (if it takes place).

Barcelona is reported to be in the last stage negotiations to sign Martin Caceres.His signing could give the cover for Milito who is injured and will be missing the majority of next season. One also have to question the amount of defensive minded signings. Gives me the impression that we are trying buy out our way of trouble like last season. Last season we bought Milito, Yaya and Abidal. This season Pique, Keita and most probably Martin. Barcelona under Guardiola would be expected to play a 4-3-3 formation, which will not give space for both Yaya and Keita. Whatever happens Barcelona could be in dire straits as far as signing Alves is considered. Alves is a must as Zambrotta has already signed for Milan and Villareal will not let him go cheap. To make matter worse ManU an Chelsea is also reportedly interested in him. If we don't sign him the RB available in the club is Oleguer, think that?

A C Milan looks like no more interedted in signing Ronaldinho, instaed they have taken serious interest in signing Eto. This put them in collision path with Inter who has been interested in signing him. But the fact that A C Milan would not be in CL next season may tilt the deal in Inter's favour.By the way if Ronaldinho leaves there is a high chance that he would be goint to Manchester City.

Jun 2, 2008

Dos Santos Moving to Totenham for 8 has broken a story of Barcelona accepting Totenham's bid for the talented Mexican - Giovani Dos Santos. It is reported that Barcelona will receive 8 million Euros from the sale of this wonderful kid. From the beginning of the transfer window, there were lots of rumours of Gio not being in the plans of Guardiola and would be moving on. As a Barcelona fan it saddens me to see one of the Gem from the Barcelona youth system being discarded like this by the club. He has been singled out by Barcelona fans for some rough treatment and the management seems to have overcome by the fan feelings rather than wisdom. I am pretty sure that this kid is going to make Barcelona pay for this stupidity. Juande Ramos, the Totenham Manger however has a different opinion to Barcelona management. He was keen to sign the kid from the moment the news broke out that he may not be in the plans of Guardiola. Giovani is currently recovering from the ankle operation he had in May.

Barcelona is very much interested in strengthening their defense. Inter Milan's Chivu has been linked many times, but now there are claims from his agent that Chivu would be moving to Barcelona for 20 million Euros. Mourinho's arrival in Inter means there would be a huge amount of players who is going to be off loaded; Chivu could be one of them, anothe one could be Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It is certain that Mourinho will bring Drogba from Chelsea and he would be the No.1 striker also. This has unsettled Ibrahmovic and he looks like keen to move to Barcelona. For all the initial link ups with strikers like Benezema; Ibrahmovic looks the only possible signing in the striker role this summer. Any way signing Benezema would be difficult as Manchester United is reportedly interested in him.

Another player Barcelona would be trying to sign is Martin Caceres. Barcelona's initial offer for the Uruguayan central defender was rejected by Villareal. But with A C Milan signing Zambrotta, Barcelona might be going all out for Dani Alves. In the midst of all the stories emerging, one has to wonder why there is no link up with any attacking midfielders - who could replace Ronaldinho and Deco. Deco and Ronaldinho were reportedly keen to move away from Barcelona, but now the scene looks like they might stay back.

Jun 1, 2008

There is no news about this in Barcelona site; but A C Milan has posted on their site that they have officially signed the player. Zambrotta was keen to move to Italy and there was more than usual interest when A C MIlan approached him. Barcelona might be taking their time to announce the signing as there is no positive news about Dani Alves signing. Now with Zambrotta leaving Barcelona may have to buy-out Alves from Sevilla. Zambrotta has been a great player for Barcelona scoring three goals from 80 odd games. But for me his best performance was in Champions League semi finals against Manchester United particularly against Ronaldo. It is rumoured that Barcelona has signed a three year deal in which Milan paid 8.5 million euros to Barcelona. The move to Milan effectively means Zambrotta will miss next season Champions League. Anyway wishing him all the best in his endeavour.

But another rather strange rumour which is spreading is due to the apparent failure for Deco and Ronaldinho to find a suitable club. This may result in both staying in Barcelona to try to get their careers back on track. For all the initial rumours and linking with all the players, Barcelona now look desperate. They may not have raised any good money from Transfers in order to go after Alves, Banezema etc. This is a seriously tricky situation.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Random Post Script