Author Topic: Champions League Quarter Finals 2nd Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday  (Read 209238 times)

Offline a treeless whopper

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2400 on: April 1, 2010, 12:15:49 PM »
That was some performance from Barcelona but, in my opinion, its the type of Football that only a Spanish side could play. Its fits into the way you imagine them to be, in terms of technique, being laid back and all that.

Their pressing is not a new thing but one thing that impressed me most is the level of flexibility each player has. They are not restricted to being put in a set position and actually move about all over the place, including their supposed holding midfielders.

One thing about Barcelona that is common to most good teams is that they don't worry about the opposition and impose their own playing style on the game. I think that is something we really should be doing, especially in the Premier League.

Offline Zizou

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2401 on: April 1, 2010, 12:16:08 PM »
So many what ifs.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/5078450.stm

I think Johnson's in a similar mould..just not of the same class.

Offline Daranoza

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2402 on: April 1, 2010, 12:33:42 PM »
Can't wait for the return leg. I think we have a chance though nearly everyone is writing us off. We need to expose Barcelona's back line. Walcott needs to run at players more...

I can't see you scoring two and I can't see them not scoring...

But, I do have this bad feeling. Hoping it's wrong.
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Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2403 on: April 1, 2010, 12:34:24 PM »
They hunt to get it back and it's controlled aggression.  You could Arsenal were not used not having the ball because they didn't have a gameplan to win it back.

Credit to the Barcelona coaching because to get a set of players who are so talented with ball to work so hard when they do not have it is quality.
Yup, and it's not that Arsenal simply do not close down whatsoever - it's the organisation you allude to. I was struck in the first half one bit where Puyol was on the ball, Bentner, Arshavin and someone else all ran straight for him, and he passed it to a wide open Alves. With Barca, like with us, they press in such a way as to close down the angles, and none of it's in isolation - if the attackers push up, so do the midfield, full backs and centre backs. The whole team presses and covers as a unit, up and down and across - it's that defending as a unit, that hunting in packs and defensive organisation that Arsenal are totally missing, and have missed since Graham's back 4 retired. It's actually something Campbell gives them - a bit of that organisation. Wenger needs a Campbell because he can't/won't organise a defence himself, so he needs a defender capable of doing it for him, a job I don't think Gallas or Vermaelen are capable of.

As for Alves - I feel a lot less sad about it now that we have Johnson, or at least the idea of Johnson! The big difference between the two at the moment is confidence. At not much more than half the price I feel GJ actually has a lot more potential even than Alves:

Alves  -------------------  GJ

Pace                            Better in the air
Set Pieces                     Less predictable due to being...
Confidence                    Very two footed 
                                   Best shot/finish I think I've ever seen on a full-back, again, will be better with time and confidence.

I honestly think GJ can be the better player, but he seems to lack a little belief in himself. Then again, I think Rafa's the perfect man to bring it out - I think the insecurity comes from doubts in himself as a defender and I think given time those doubts will be ironed out - say what you like about Rafa but even his worst critic would have to concede he can improve any player defensively.

Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2404 on: April 1, 2010, 12:36:09 PM »

Barcelona paid 23.5mil for him not worth it in my opinion. He would get exposed  for attacking too much in the english league.
Yes, and you predicted a 3-0 win for Arsenal in this match, just to put your Alves 'analysis' into it's proper context.
I remember when Liverpool was playing at the nou camp. Everybody wrote them off but they were magneficent.
There's a world of difference though. Rafa had a plan, he knew (knows) how to tactically approach all sorts of different opponents. We executed that plan perfectly, yes, we attacked them, but we were able to do that because we pressed them aggressively as a team, never gave them a moment to settle into 'their' game. Arsenal NEVER do that to anyone they play - you can always play 'your' game against Arsenal, because they won't try to stop you. They have no organised way of getting the ball off Barca in the first place, and if you can't win the ball from talented opposition it doesn't matter a jot how talented your team is on the ball. Barca's famous 'dream team' got absolutely dicked by Capello's AC Milan for pretty much exactly the same reasons - Barca maybe had more talent, but were pathetically inferior in terms of winning the ball in the first place. Unfortunately for Arsenal, you're not even close to having the advantage, talent-wise - and Liverpool remain the only English team to win at the Camp Nou.
« Last Edit: April 1, 2010, 12:40:44 PM by hesbighesred »

Offline sinnermichael

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2405 on: April 1, 2010, 12:42:28 PM »
Interesting to see how much Barca have spent on this team when you see the likes of Real Madrid spending 250m euros in one summer.

Valdes - 0

Dani Alves - 23.5 million
Pique - 5.5 million
Puyol - 0
Maxwell - 4.5 million

Busquets - 0
Xavi - 0
Keita - 14 million

Pedro - 0
Ibrahomovic - 40 million + Samuel Eto'o
Messi - 0

Grand Total is 87.5 million Euro's. That's including Iniesta and Bojan who both came through the academy aswell.

Offline Daranoza

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2406 on: April 1, 2010, 12:43:04 PM »
I remember when Liverpool was playing at the nou camp. Everybody wrote them off but they were magneficent.

That was before this new lease of Barca life, when their manager was on his last legs and there was disharmony in the team.

You can't compare that team to this team, even if a lot of the same players exist within it.
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Offline Daranoza

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2407 on: April 1, 2010, 12:44:21 PM »
Interesting to see how much Barca have spent on this team when you see the likes of Real Madrid spending 250m euros in one summer.

Valdes - 0

Dani Alves - 23.5 million
Pique - 5.5 million
Puyol - 0
Maxwell - 4.5 million

Busquets - 0
Xavi - 0
Keita - 14 million

Pedro - 0
Ibrahomovic - 40 million + Samuel Eto'o
Messi - 0

Grand Total is 87.5 million Euro's. That's including Iniesta and Bojan who both came through the academy aswell.

It's mad when you see how many of them cost absolutely nothing at all.
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Offline Simon C

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2408 on: April 1, 2010, 12:46:35 PM »
Interesting to see how much Barca have spent on this team when you see the likes of Real Madrid spending 250m euros in one summer.

Valdes - 0

Dani Alves - 23.5 million
Pique - 5.5 million
Puyol - 0
Maxwell - 4.5 million

Busquets - 0
Xavi - 0
Keita - 14 million

Pedro - 0
Ibrahomovic - 40 million + Samuel Eto'o
Messi - 0

Grand Total is 87.5 million Euro's. That's including Iniesta and Bojan who both came through the academy aswell.
This is the scary part how many players they bring through the youth system, not to mention the players that are no longer there Fabregas, Pacheco, Reina etc they must have one hell of a youth set up.

Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2409 on: April 1, 2010, 12:47:42 PM »
Their pressing is not a new thing...One thing about Barcelona that is common to most good teams is that they don't worry about the opposition and impose their own playing style on the game. I think that is something we really should be doing, especially in the Premier League.
That's a contradiction in terms K_H. It's their 'worrying about the opposition', IE their pressing game, that allows them to impose their style so effectively. Barca's attacking style has been very similar for a very long time - but it's only really this vintage that has succeeded in 'imposing' that style against the best opposition consistently.

In fact, Arsenal are probably the only team that matches your description and doesn't 'worry about the opposition', which may go some way to explaining why they get so regularly humiliated by teams that, on paper, should be on a very similar level. Look at the line up Man Utd put out against Bayern, for example. By standard RAWK logic, that team featured THREE holding midfielders, a 'defensive winger' in Park, only ONE attacking full-back, and even Rooney is very Kuyt-like in his work-rate and tracking back (though obviously miles ahead in terms of skill). Funnily enough, they conceded two shortly after deciding to try and, I presume, 'impose their game' on the opposition by bringing Berbatov on - a story familiar from the CL final last season.

Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2410 on: April 1, 2010, 12:52:17 PM »
This is the scary part how many players they bring through the youth system, not to mention the players that are no longer there Fabregas, Pacheco, Reina etc they must have one hell of a youth set up.
Yup, but it's handy when, like Real, you can pick from the whole of Spain plus Latin America plus Europe plus Africa without having to worry about catchment zones or work permits like we do. Also handy when you have a staggering financial advantage allowing you to offer obscene wages in comparison to the rest of the world thanks to negotiating your own TV rights - a difference in Income that could make the top English clubs around £80 million richer per season:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8545202.stm

Offline jotirori

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2411 on: April 1, 2010, 12:52:30 PM »
This is the scary part how many players they bring through the youth system, not to mention the players that are no longer there Fabregas, Pacheco, Reina etc they must have one hell of a youth set up.

Agreed.What makes it more valuable is that yesterday for instance, there were 8 barsa Academy players-If I am not wrong- in that pitch.
« Last Edit: April 1, 2010, 12:54:03 PM by jotirori »

Offline deadlybuzz

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2412 on: April 1, 2010, 12:53:20 PM »
yeah. it was arbeloa's debut for us and he was marking messi. he didn't give him a kick. sissoko was also a monster in that game.

I remember the amount of replays from the spanish network focusing on Ronaldinho, Deco, Rijkaard & co. with astounded faces on the lot of them. An amazing sight to see.
Ahh, pressing refresh and waiting for news... just like the bad old days.

Liverpool porn, this.

anyone who's negative can fuck off

Offline a treeless whopper

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2413 on: April 1, 2010, 01:08:27 PM »
That's a contradiction in terms K_H. It's their 'worrying about the opposition', IE their pressing game, that allows them to impose their style so effectively. Barca's attacking style has been very similar for a very long time - but it's only really this vintage that has succeeded in 'imposing' that style against the best opposition consistently.

In fact, Arsenal are probably the only team that matches your description and doesn't 'worry about the opposition', which may go some way to explaining why they get so regularly humiliated by teams that, on paper, should be on a very similar level. Look at the line up Man Utd put out against Bayern, for example. By standard RAWK logic, that team featured THREE holding midfielders, a 'defensive winger' in Park, only ONE attacking full-back, and even Rooney is very Kuyt-like in his work-rate and tracking back (though obviously miles ahead in terms of skill). Funnily enough, they conceded two shortly after deciding to try and, I presume, 'impose their game' on the opposition by bringing Berbatov on - a story familiar from the CL final last season.

I would not class their pressing as them worrying about the opposition. They press very quick and very high up the field for the exact reason to win the ball in dangerous areas and ultimately get the ball back and retain it. If they worried about the opposition then its quite likely in some games that they may see that the opposition has quick players in the final third and play a bit more deeper or get men behind the ball at other times.

But they don't, which is why I meant that they play their styles and tactics irrespective of what team they are playing.

I should have made it clear when I said the Premier League because thats exactly what I meant. Not every team is Barcelona and as such its perfectly fine to adjust your team to combat the oppositions strengths, just as other teams have done including Utd, who have been playing a more 'negative' style in European games. I think the quality of European Champions League teams are such that there must be some level of caution.

But I specifically said the Premier League because I feel that on a whole, the teams who are more likely to stick to their beliefs and worry less about the opposition are better equipped to win the league.

Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2414 on: April 1, 2010, 01:19:39 PM »
But both Man Utd and Chelsea change it up regularly in the Prem too, maybe not as much, but they do change tactics and personell. At the very least, their basic approach to a home game is different to an away game.

Fair dos on Barca though - I don't watch them enough to know if they do/don't vary it up (though I suspect you are right) so I see what you mean. I would agree that Rafa changes his approach more than anyone else, but then I don't think you can really judge how successful that would be unless we had a squad as good as Utd/Chelsea's. Personally I honestly think that if we had a comparably deep and expensive squad with a big enough wage bill to keep top, top players happy spending significant time on the bench you'd really see the value of Rafa's approach - I think he could do a lot better than either of the top two with their resources, but of course it's a moot and untestable point.

Two things I don't like though:

1) The idea that we can beat our rivals by effectively employing their methods with less cash, lower wage bill and a weaker squad and...
2) The idea that we can 'stop worrying about the opposition' while at the same time keeping Rafa's tactical nous against the 'big teams' - we wouldn't be as effective using different tactics against bigger teams if we didn't also employ them in the league every now and then, much the same way that Spurs and Villa fall apart when they meet teams that put 10 behind the ball and look to gain a point - Spurs especially will have an interesting challenge next season, because they're going to find that their direct, pacy, wide and countering style is suddenly going to be employed against a lot of teams that will hardly bother to attack them.

I know you didn't directly say those things - it's just I honestly think they kind of go together. If you want Rafa to stop 'worrying about the opposition' then you might as well ask for a different manager, and I also think you'd be nullifying our biggest strength.

That said, I see your point - the more successful managers in England have perhaps tended to have a defined style that they've stuck to more often than not, but I think perhaps teams have been effective due to more money and better players rather than that being, tactically, the best approach.

EDIT - this is probably a debate best had elsewhere though, you should totally reply, but I probably won't answer again (at least not at any length) because it's obviously getting way off topic.

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2415 on: April 1, 2010, 01:25:15 PM »
Oh, and what a cringeworthy article:

Selfless to the end, Cesc Fábregas embodies the spirit of a leader

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/apr/01/cesc-fabregas-arsenal-barcelona

Haha. If anything, it's the opposite. When Fabregas carried on playing through the pain barrier, he was doing it only for himself, nothing more.

Offline Chakan

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2416 on: April 1, 2010, 01:26:31 PM »
Haha. If anything, it's the opposite. When Fabregas carried on playing through the pain barrier, he was doing it only for himself, nothing more.

He has to impress his new teammates

Offline sinnermichael

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2417 on: April 1, 2010, 01:28:21 PM »
xavi is a phenomenon though. i could never get tired of watching him play. yesterday he completed half as many passes as the entire arsenal team did in 90 minutes.

Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2418 on: April 1, 2010, 01:28:44 PM »
Oh, and what a cringeworthy article:

Selfless to the end, Cesc Fábregas embodies the spirit of a leader

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/apr/01/cesc-fabregas-arsenal-barcelona

Good god. I skimmed to this bit:

"Fábregas rose from his disappointment to soldier on and in the final minutes of the match crowned a performance not far short of the one delivered by Roy Keane in this competition 11 years ago."

...and can skim no more. Hyperbole at it's absolute worse. The tabloidism of the Guardian is absolutely pathetic. C P Scott would not be impressed.

Offline the_prodigal_s0n

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2419 on: April 1, 2010, 01:32:05 PM »
This is the scary part how many players they bring through the youth system, not to mention the players that are no longer there Fabregas, Pacheco, Reina etc they must have one hell of a youth set up.
The fact they spend €13.5 million annually of global scouting helps.

Offline the_prodigal_s0n

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2420 on: April 1, 2010, 01:38:54 PM »
Arshavin out for up to three weeks. That certainly doesn't help Arsenal's cause.

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2421 on: April 1, 2010, 01:44:09 PM »
Arshavin out for up to three weeks. That certainly doesn't help Arsenal's cause.
I honestly think they've got more chance without Arshavin. With Arshavin that's one less player they have capable of winning the ball in the first place. Eboue doesn't have a fraction of the talent but at least with him they've got more chance of actually getting the ball to do something with it - there was a clear difference when he came on for Arshavin, and if it's Walcott instead then he also works much harder off the ball than Arshavin does.

Offline DangerScouse

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2422 on: April 1, 2010, 01:53:03 PM »
I take it i'm in the minority with regard to Alves. One of the most over rated footballers on the planet imo. He put in a good performance last night but most of the time i've seen him play for Barca he's been very hot and cold. Shots and free kicks into row z, dreadful deliveries and sheer laziness to track back at times, this clearly isn't always the case but most of the time i watch him, he rarely impresses me as a world class right back that many make him out to be. I'd take a fully fit Johnson or Maicon over him any day of the week.

Offline sinnermichael

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2423 on: April 1, 2010, 01:56:35 PM »
Arsene really needs to learn the lesson from this match. You need ball winning mid-fielders when the team you are playing is Barca... possession in the first half was something like 70% AWAY from home? amazing. The pressing by Barca was relentless how do they manage that throughout the season?

It begs the question whether Barcelona ever needed to be prepared to spend £30m on Mascherano? Barca work their bollocks off as it is. He'd offer nothing they haven't already got .

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2424 on: April 1, 2010, 01:59:51 PM »
he's miles better than busquets, keita and yaya toure - plus it would mean Maradona would only have to go and watch Barcelona
People still underrate Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2425 on: April 1, 2010, 02:02:40 PM »
I don't know if Mascherano is 'miles' better than Yaya Toure. Toure looks very, very good and seems much more comfortable going forward, as well as being very strong in the tackle and defensively, so no surprise that he has been played at centre back.

Offline Livid

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2426 on: April 1, 2010, 02:07:46 PM »
Busquets is a superb midfielder. He can shield the defence but he's also excellent on the ball.
I remember him going past two Arsenal players last night with a lovely piece of skill you don't normally see from ball-winners.
He's only 21 too, so they've got that position covered for years if he carries on improving.
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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2427 on: April 1, 2010, 02:17:10 PM »
This is the scary part how many players they bring through the youth system, not to mention the players that are no longer there Fabregas, Pacheco, Reina etc they must have one hell of a youth set up.

Their immigration system is more relaxed for these stuff compare to UK
01111001 01101111 01110101 00100111 01101100 01101100 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 00100000 01110111 01100001 01101100 01101011 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101111 01101110 01100101

Offline Mr Boat

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2428 on: April 1, 2010, 02:41:28 PM »
Can't wait for the return leg. I think we have a chance though nearly everyone is writing us off. We need to expose Barcelona's back line. Walcott needs to run at players more...

Do you like the fact that people are underestimating Arsenal? ;)
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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2429 on: April 1, 2010, 02:57:29 PM »
With Fabregas and Rooney injured our competitors for fourth spot will have it a lot more easy to beat Arsenal or the Mancs.

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2430 on: April 1, 2010, 03:06:36 PM »
Yup, but it's handy when, like Real, you can pick from the whole of Spain plus Latin America plus Europe plus Africa without having to worry about catchment zones or work permits like we do. Also handy when you have a staggering financial advantage allowing you to offer obscene wages in comparison to the rest of the world thanks to negotiating your own TV rights - a difference in Income that could make the top English clubs around £80 million richer per season:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8545202.stm

This is only half true. Out of the Barca products yesterday, ONLY Messi is from outside of Spain, and yet, you list Africa's and South America's of the world. Indeed, right now we have kids from there, but VAST majority are locals and Spanish ones.

You also exaggerated about the wages. We have and had some players on high wages like Ibra (undeservedly, IMO), Messi and Xavi. However, these are established players. This has nothing to do with the wages of youth academy players. In fact, I believe our Academy stars wages are probably much lower than most English ones. They are on stipend.

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2431 on: April 1, 2010, 03:09:06 PM »
Barcelona last night were so unbelievably brilliant and awe inspiring and played like the greatest team the world has ever known, that my television actually wept with joy. 

Full time 2-2
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Offline Xxavi

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2432 on: April 1, 2010, 03:14:08 PM »
Their immigration system is more relaxed for these stuff compare to UK
So are Arteta, Pacheco, Reina and Fabregas immigrants in Spain?

Offline El Rey, por favor

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2433 on: April 1, 2010, 03:19:16 PM »
Barcelona last night were so unbelievably brilliant and awe inspiring and played like the greatest team the world has ever known, that my television actually wept with joy. 

Full time 2-2


I think they was shite if that's any consolation? ;D
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Offline 70400

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2434 on: April 1, 2010, 03:35:35 PM »
Interesting to see how much Barca have spent on this team when you see the likes of Real Madrid spending 250m euros in one summer.

Valdes - 0

Dani Alves - 23.5 million
Pique - 5.5 million
Puyol - 0
Maxwell - 4.5 million

Busquets - 0
Xavi - 0
Keita - 14 million

Pedro - 0
Ibrahomovic - 40 million + Samuel Eto'o
Messi - 0

Grand Total is 87.5 million Euro's. That's including Iniesta and Bojan who both came through the academy aswell.

Barca pay the third highest wages in the world sport after the New York Yankees and Real Madrid. 
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Offline GBF

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2435 on: April 1, 2010, 03:38:49 PM »
So are Arteta, Pacheco, Reina and Fabregas immigrants in Spain?

Im talking about the south americans talents.  They do have a good youth system anyway and so does West  Ham
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Offline Daranoza

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2436 on: April 1, 2010, 03:42:58 PM »
Im talking about the south americans talents.  They do have a good youth system anyway and so does West  Ham

We have as many South Americans (Insua, Fabio, Mascherano) as they do (Messi, Maxwell and Alves) who play any sort of regular role in their first team squad.
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Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2437 on: April 1, 2010, 03:46:25 PM »
This is only half true. Out of the Barca products yesterday, ONLY Messi is from outside of Spain, and yet, you list Africa's and South America's of the world. Indeed, right now we have kids from there, but VAST majority are locals and Spanish ones.

You also exaggerated about the wages. We have and had some players on high wages like Ibra (undeservedly, IMO), Messi and Xavi. However, these are established players. This has nothing to do with the wages of youth academy players. In fact, I believe our Academy stars wages are probably much lower than most English ones. They are on stipend.
Someone posted earlier that Barca have the 3d heighest wage bill of any sporting team in the world, behind the NY Yankees and Real Madrid: http://major-league-baseball.suite101.com/article.cfm/richest-sport-stars

It's a lot easier to keep academy stars on whatever wages they may be on if they know that if they progress they will be awesomely well rewarded. West Ham have historically had a very good youth system - if they had the capacity to pay the wages you do they could well be the best team in England right now.

The academy stuff - I know your academy isn't stuffed full of 12 year old Africans - though that doesn't change the fact that it could be, and that an English club would struggle hugely to produce a Messi thanks to our work permit laws - that's why I also pointed out that, also unlike English clubs, you get to pick freely from the whole of Spain, which is a big reason why so many La Liga players are produced by Real or Barca. In England (though the rules are bent quite often) players must be selected from a cathment area within a '90 minute drive' of the city.

In Liverpool's case, this radius includes Everton, and overlaps with some of Man Utds, covering a metropolitan area with a population of maybe a couple of million - still, on the flip side us and Everton have first choice on any mermaid Wayne Rooney's that might be uncovered under the Irish sea.

Tell me, how many of your youth academy kids and graduates are actually Catalan?

Of course, there is a flip side in that English clubs can offer pro contracts sooner, but this only gives us an advantage when players hit 16, and even then it only applies to EU players. Compared to any given English club Barca and Real enjoy staggering advantages - advantages which Platini and Co seem oddly quiet about when talking about issues like financial doping, considering that Spanish clubs enjoy (by English standards) extremely dubious relationships with Goverment (with goverment effectively subsidising wage bills http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8W4H85AFqXwC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=Barcelona+wage+bill&source=bl&ots=iznLceh2s5&sig=odxQkvGk2hKXcx7mBvziQvMBI2M&hl=en&ei=ca60S7SJI5H20gSayu0r&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CBMQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Barcelona%20wage%20bill&f=false) and of course the aforementioned and staggeringly unfair TV deal, without which your top academy products would very likely be tempted away by the far greater earning capacity of English clubs.

So not really 'only half true', is it? The advantages are exactly as I've described. The fact that Barca don't happen to be stuffing their academy full of foreigners at the moment doesn't change the fact that they could do if they wanted to, an option we don't have, just as we don't have the option to cherry pick from the whole of England like you and Real can and do, while negotiating your own TV rights thus making it impossible for the rest of your league to even remotely compete with you.

Offline hesbighesred

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2438 on: April 1, 2010, 03:47:52 PM »
We have as many South Americans (Insua, Fabio, Mascherano) as they do (Messi, Maxwell and Alves) who play any sort of regular role in their first team squad.
Note that Insua, Fabio and Lucas all have 2nd nationalities - we wouldn't have been able to sign them otherwise.

Offline GBF

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Re: Champions League Quarter Finals 1st Leg - Tuesday & Wednesday
« Reply #2439 on: April 1, 2010, 03:48:43 PM »
We have as many South Americans (Insua, Fabio, Mascherano) as they do (Messi, Maxwell and Alves) who play any sort of regular role in their first team squad.

was talking about youth in their academy who went to become regular first team players...
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