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Tom Erdenay

Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Spanish Supercup 2nd leg Ratings

Barcelona 4 - 0 Sevilla

Barcelona

FC%20Barcelona%20Crest.jpg

Valdes - 6.5 Spectator. Will be happy with best seats in Camp Nou and a clean sheet. He did show some nerves at the end, however.

Dani Alves - 7.0 Good match, overall, he got the assist and got well forward in the 1st half. Faded somewhat in the 2nd and wasn't threatening at all. However, when he's not not playing with absolutely best players in the world, you do start to wonder what happens to him (See friendly against against USA and 1st leg of Supercup).

Abidal - 6.0 How on Earth is he still starting for Barcelona? Had almost nothing to do and still didn't look solid.

Pique - 7.0 Quite solid, but not at his best. Improved later on and provided one amazing ball to Alves. His passing was still rather off.

Maxwell - 8.5 Superb - he was a man amongst boys. Completely negated any threat of Navas or whoever else tried on the right flank and contributed well to attack.

Busquets - 6.0 Spectator. Distributed passes well back to Pique.

Keita - 6.5 Covered a lot of ground and pressed Sevilla's midfield well.

Xavi - 9.0 Man of the match - superb. I take my words back - he's not fading at all. Consistent, superb as always. Standing cheerful ovation when he came off.

Pedro - 7.0 A real lime wire at the right. He constantly worked and earnt his side a goal. Good display.

Bojan - 7.0 Threatening. While he didn't get a goal, he came close several times and participated well in the build-up. He and Pedro got a standing ovation when being subbed off.

Messi - 8.0 much improved display, but still far, far from his best. 3 goals, but wasn't a constant thorn. Completely annonymous later in the 2nd half barring the goal.

Subs:

Villa and Iniesta - 7.0 and 7.5 Both were involved in some great link-up play. Superb assist from Iniesta, who was, played by a brilliant ball from Villa. Would have earnt better grades have they played more.

Adriano - N/A Didn't have enough time.

Sevilla

sevilla_fc_spanyol_foci.jpg

Palop - 6.5 Can't be blamed for either of the 4 goals. Also, made few good stops.

Konko - 3.5 horrible. Scored a terrible own goal and couldn't stop anyone from Barcelona. Sevilla probably wish really hard they still had Stankevičius.

Escude - 6.5 Best defender of the line. Wasn't completely solid, but made some great last ditch tackles and headers.

Dabo - 5.0 Didn't cope with the game, as the tempo was too fast for him. Always a second late.

F. Navarro - 5.5 Looked solid at times, but failed to stop Barcelona, when it mattered.

Zokora - 7.0 Best player of the Andalusian side. Worked hard and closed down well, but he was alone in that.

Romaric - 5.0 Was he even playing? Completely negated by Barcelona's midfield.

Capel - 5.5 Usually a big threat against Barca, but wasn't his night.

Navas - 5.5 not the same as in Seville. He may say that he is over his homesickness, but he's a completely different player when playing at home.

Alfaro - 5.0 Completely isolated.

Negredo - 5.5 Same as Alfaro.

Subs:

Fabiano - 5.0 Should've scored with one good chance he got. Didn't do anything else of note.

Cigarini - 5.5 Should have started. Had few bright moments, but too little, too late.

Perroti - 5.5 Couldn't change the game.

Also, I have to praise Barcelona players acting skills. It's nice to see that the young (Busquets, Pedro) has learnt a lot from the olders (Alves, Puyol) and now may even surpass the masters. Apart that, this Barcelona looked almost like sextuple Barca - rather fearsome perspective.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Noone answered here so far :confused:

However, Tom, my Lithuanian friend, keep it up. I'd appreciate it. Especially after 2 young talented Germans do now play in Spain this league will become more interesting for me again and I will follow this thread carefully.

I'll now go out on a limb and make a reckless prediction:

I'd predict that the top 2 teams in Spain after this season will be Real Madrid and Barcelona.
:D

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Gonna subscribe to this in case it becomes a hot thread in the future, as I like to hear what's going on in Spanish football (particularly if Tom's contributing with his incisive analysis).

Watch out for Marco Perez at Zaragoza this year. He impressed me immensely at Gimnasia La Plata last season with his pace, power and eye for goal.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Subscribing also.

Now with Mascherano, i have no idea how the ideal XI will be for Barca.

I can't see Busquets being a sub but that would mean only 2 strikers will play from Messi, Villa, Pedro and Ibrahimovic.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Subscribing also.

Now with Mascherano' date=' i have no idea how the ideal XI will be for Barca.

I can't see Busquets being a sub but that would mean only 2 strikers will play from Messi, Villa, Pedro and Ibrahimovic.[/quote']

Ibra looks like he's moving out on loan, doesn't he?

Personally, I don't think there will be a regular starting XI at Barca this season. Every position in midfield and attack is interchangable, with the back-up being more than adequate (and what I mean by that is friggin' awesome!). I think a midfield of Mascherano, Xavi and Keita would be strongest, with an attack of Messi, Villa and Iniesta - I think that team would provide the best balance. Busquets, Pedro and Bojan (and Ibra if he stays) can all come in when needed, like when a certain player is suffering from fatigue.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Ibra looks like he's moving out on loan' date=' doesn't he?

Personally, I don't think there will be a regular starting XI at Barca this season. Every position in midfield and attack is interchangable, with the back-up being more than adequate (and what I mean by that is friggin' awesome!). I think a midfield of Mascherano, Xavi and Keita would be strongest, with an attack of Messi, Villa and Iniesta - I think that team would provide the best balance. Busquets, Pedro and Bojan (and Ibra if he stays) can all come in when needed, like when a certain player is suffering from fatigue.[/quote']

Milan will pay 40millions for Ibrahimovic according to AS but i mentioned him because i'm not sure if he will stay or what.

That could be the lineup but Guardiola prefers Busquets over Keita so i guess that would be the only change.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Ibra looks like he's moving out on loan' date=' doesn't he?

Personally, I don't think there will be a regular starting XI at Barca this season. Every position in midfield and attack is interchangable, with the back-up being more than adequate (and what I mean by that is friggin' awesome!). I think a midfield of Mascherano, Xavi and Keita would be strongest, with an attack of Messi, Villa and Iniesta - I think that team would provide the best balance. Busquets, Pedro and Bojan (and Ibra if he stays) can all come in when needed, like when a certain player is suffering from fatigue.[/quote']

Keita, really? As much as I like and rate him, with the quality Barca now have I wouldn't find a place for him in the starting XI. If Barca do keep their current squad and assuming they sign Mascherano, I feel they will line-up like this:

Mascherano

Xavi - Iniesta

Messi - Ibra - Villa

(I feel no reason for Ibra to leave... I mean Villa was excellent on the left for Spain at the WC. If Ibra does move away then slot Villa in the middle and bring in Pedro on the left)

But I agree with what you say, I don't really think there will be a regular starting 11 as such.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Keita' date=' really? As much as I like and rate him, with the quality Barca now have I wouldn't find a place for him in the starting XI. If Barca do keep their current squad and assuming they sign Mascherano, I feel they will line-up like this:

Mascherano

Xavi - Iniesta

Messi - Ibra - Villa

(I feel no reason for Ibra to leave... I mean Villa was excellent on the left for Spain at the WC. If Ibra does move away then slot Villa in the middle and bring in Pedro on the left)

But I agree with what you say, I don't really think there will be a regular starting 11 as such.[/quote']

The reason that I chose Keita was because I thought he'd add more steel to the Barca side, and create overall a more balanced outfit. But, you're quite right - Barca have so much quality at their disposal that they don't necessarily need a balanced side, because that attacking intent will rip apart 18 of the sides in La Liga (maybe even 19).

I too would keep Ibra if possible, but it depends on whether Barca are in a position to afford him.

Looking forward to the Super Cup later tonight, between Atletico and Inter.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

I'd have Busquets in there. As much as he can be an odious little fairy he's hugely underrated and performs his role (both as a typical holding player and the specific requirements within Barca's system) with aplomb. He's almost the poster child for what's expected of the modern midfielder.

Also have the suspicion Barca will line up with a 2-1 in midfield rather than a 1-2, 3 or just orthodox 2, maybe push Iniesta to the flanks.

Edit: It makes sense for Ibra to leave on a few levels, mainly the bottom line of the balance sheet though. He's picking up an astronimical wage while he's probably not top tier player and his value only depreciates every year from here on out. It's good business to cut him loose if the offer is right.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

I'd have Busquets in there. As much as he can be an odious little fairy he's hugely underrated and performs his role (both as a typical holding player and the specific requirements within Barca's system) with aplomb. He's almost the poster child for what's expected of the modern midfielder.

Also have the suspicion Barca will line up with a 2-1 in midfield rather than a 1-2' date=' 3 or just orthodox 2, maybe push Iniesta to the flanks.[/b']

Are you talking in code there?! :D

Agree with your premise though, both on your Busquets and formation points. At the end of the day, however, Barca could line up with any formation and with whatever personnel, and still pick up three points nine times out of ten.

Is it even a bold statement to suggest that Barca could top 100 points this season?

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

I'd have Busquets in there. As much as he can be an odious little fairy he's hugely underrated and performs his role (both as a typical holding player and the specific requirements within Barca's system) with aplomb. He's almost the poster child for what's expected of the modern midfielder.

I'm a fan of his as well and he seems to get a lot of stick (on here anyway). I'm not sure why though' date=' as you quite rightly pointed out he gets the job done.

Are you talking in code there?! :D

Agree with your premise though, both on your Busquets and formation points. At the end of the day, however, Barca could line up with any formation and with whatever personnel, and still pick up three points nine times out of ten.

Well not any formation, they will still be playing with the 4-3-3 as it is the history of the club and they always stick by it. Which is a nice touch.

Edit - Read it again and only get your point now, you weren't suggesting they were going to use a different formation but rather they could use any and still win the game...

Is it even a bold statement to suggest that Barca could top 100 points this season?

No. Not at all IMO.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Are you talking in code there?! :D

Agree with your premise though' date=' both on your Busquets and formation points. At the end of the day, however, Barca could line up with any formation and with whatever personnel, and still pick up three points nine times out of ten.

Is it even a bold statement to suggest that Barca could top 100 points this season?[/quote']

I think my binary needs more practice.

I was trying to say I think they'll play 4-2-1-3 (still a 4-3-3 at it's purest level!) more than in the past without actually saying it incase I'm wrong. :D

I wouldn't rule 100 points out, particularly if Madrid push them as hard as everybody expects.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Well not any formation' date=' they will still be playing with the 4-3-3 as it is the history of the club and they always stick by it. Which is a nice touch.[/quote']

When I said, "any formation", I was more going by what Roko had said previously (i.e. whatever pattern of midfielders and attackers, whilst sticking to the usual 4-3-3 formation).

EDIT: I just read your edit. :P

No. Not at all IMO.

Then I won't say it then. I like my statements to by out-landish and extravagant! :D

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Prediction of 2010/2011 La Liga Season

la_liga_logo.jpg

  1. Barcelona
  2. Real Madrid
  3. Sevilla
  4. Atletico
  5. Valencia
  6. Athletic
  7. Villareal
  8. Deportivo
  9. Mallorca
  10. Getafe
  11. Zaragoza
  12. Osasuna
  13. Espanyol
  14. Almeria
  15. Sociedad
  16. Sporting
  17. Racing*
  18. Hercules
  19. Levante
  20. Malaga

*I'm really not sure about Racing - they could be a big hit again and come back to the upper table, but can also despair at the bottom. My guess is the latter one, but it is what it is - a guess. Racing are probably the most unpredictable team for me in La Liga.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Awards - Who Will Win (Who should win it)

Best Player - Messi (Xavi/Iniesta)

Pichichi - Higuain

Best Spanish Scorer - Villa

Zamora Award - Valdes

Best Youngster (U-21) - Oriol (Canales)

Best Transfers - Soldado to Valencia ; Godin to Atletico ; Pedro Leon to Real Madrid ; Cigarini to Sevilla ; Nelson Valdez to Hercules

Worst Transfers -Andel Di Maria to Real Madrid ; Nacho Novo to Sporting ; Alexis to Sevilla

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Round 1 - Predictions

Hercules 1 - 1 Athletic Bilbao

I can see a tight and a bit dull game where Hercules take a point.

Malaga 2 -3 Valencia

I'd expect Valencia to dominate the game and be the better side, but concede 2 late goals at the end of the game.

Levante 0 - 2 Sevilla

Don't really think it's a contest even with Sevilla's form.

Espanyol 0 - 0 Getafe

Should be an interesting match for spectators, but I'll go against my gut and will predict a 0-0.

Osasuna 1 - 0 Almeria

Not much to watch, but I'd expect Osasuna to take a home win.

Deportivo 2 - 2 Zaragoza (GotR)

IMO, should be the game of the round. If you're thinking of watching 1st round of La Liga, should be a great choice.

Real Sociedad 1 - 2 Villarreal

I'd expect Villareal to just nail it in the end after the weak 1st half.

Racing 0 - 4 Barcelona

Shouldn't be a contest.

Mallorca 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Probably a tough, hard win for Madrid with Mallorca putting a challenge.

Atletico Madrid 5 -1 Sporting

Atletico should be just too hot to handle and I'd doubt that Sporting would park the bus, so you can expect a big scoreline.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Atletico Madrid also just won the European Super Cup against Inter with the goals from Reyes and Aguero. Man of the Match - Simao. Atletico may be unpredictable as hell and unstable as hell, but this year they definitely have a good squad, so expect them to put a challenge.... or fall dramatically.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the ongoing Barca first XI debate, this is what I think would be the best XI:

Valdes

Alves - Pique - Puyol - Maxwell

Mascherano

Xavi - Iniesta

Pedro/Bojan ------ Messi

Villa

However, I don't think we'll see this too enough and I'd expect a lot of rotation. Personally, I still think that Busquets is way overrated and that he's not good (although, admittedly, he was better this season and improved quite a bit). From what I've seen, Oriol has all the attributes and talents to become much, much better than Busquets. Busquets is a quite average player, but he's still young has time to prove it.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the ongoing Barca first XI debate' date=' this is what I think would be the best XI:[/font']

Valdes

Alves - Pique - Puyol - Maxwell

Mascherano

Xavi - Iniesta

Pedro/Bojan ------ Messi

Villa

However, I don't think we'll see this too enough and I'd expect a lot of rotation. Personally, I still think that Busquets is way overrated and that he's not good (although, admittedly, he was better this season and improved quite a bit). From what I've seen, Oriol has all the attributes and talents to become much, much better than Busquets. Busquets is a quite average player, but he's still young has time to prove it.

Yeah, I agree with this. I personally think though Bojan will mainly be used in the middle in my opinion, and Messi will play to the right and Pedro to the left (sorry for beeing picky about that :P).

I just hope Mallorca don't lose to much players now. I mean, they've already lost Aduriz and Mario Suarez, Mattioni and Borja Valero (although he was only on loan), four important players for them last year, and with several other important players rumored to leave them, I just hope they don't get relegated. And also they've lost their ''wonder coach'', Manzano. Emana is rumored to come in though *fingers crossed* :D They've also signed (Edson Ramos and Joao Victor). The funny thing with this, is that Rivaldo (yes, the footballer) recomended that Mallorca should sign them, and after about 2 weeks or so of trials, they were both permanently signed by Mallorca. But Mallorca has also tried (and successfully) signed cheap and quality in De Guzman (free-agent) and Cavenaghi (on loan), and they're trying to land Wellinton of Spartak Moscow on loan, hopefully they'll manage to do that. I just hope they get relegated now, beacuse if they do, I personally think it will be very hard for them to get back for a while to La Liga. Why? A) Beacuse they're in deep financial trouble now, and if they'll get relegated, they'll be in more trouble, as you are losing loads of cash when you are getting relegated, meaning that they cannot buy quality players who can take them back to La Liga (think wages and price-tag for buying a player) and they'll also most likely lose their most important players beacuse I'm sure they don't want to play in the Segunda. B) In the worst case, they can go into bankruptcy. Point A is most likely going to happen though in my opinion if they ever get relegated.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

It's certainly going to be intresting to see how big a role Mascherano has at Barcelona,I've never rated him myself but I can see him been good at Barcelona due to the fact he can win the ball back well and then let Xavi and Iniesta do the attacking work,however they now have 3 players in Iniesta,Pedro and Villa who can play from the left hand side and of course Villa and Ibra can play upfront,Barca have such an array of options going forward that it's scary to be honest,I think this side is better than the one last year and I can see Real Madrid still putting in a big challenge,Mourinho has bought well with the money at his disposal and every player he has bought can do a very good job and will make an impact,Ozil and Khedira add to the central midfield which was probably one of there weakest positions last year,Di Maria offers them an out and out left winger and Pedro Leon also gives them an out and out right winger as Ronaldo is playing as forward now,Carvalho gives them experience at the back and I think Mourinho will improve the defence of Real Madrid although it wasn't very bad last season to be honest,the signings Mourinho has made has given Real more of a squad that they need if they are to compete in La Liga and the Champions League.

And by the way were have Hercules got all this money from? I'm guessing Valdez and Trezeguet will be costing them a lot in wages.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

So Ibra moves to Milan on loan with there been an option of a permanent deal of 24 Million euros agreed,as much as Barca overpaid for him Milan have got an absoulete bargain there,to bring in a player of his quality for that price is awesome and they will be getting the majority of that back as Huntelaar looks like his off to Schalke for 14 million euros.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

1-1 currently between Levante and Sevilla. Ruben scored a penalty for Levante before Konko scored an equaliser a minute later. Luis Fabiano and Fredi Kanoute both on the bench.

Penalty to Sevilla, Perotti fouled by Levante's number 2 (sorry for not knowing names) From replays, the foul looked just outside the box. Negredo scores.

2-1 to Sevilla.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

So Ibra moves to Milan on loan with there been an option of a permanent deal of 24 Million euros agreed' date='as much as Barca overpaid for him Milan have got an absoulete bargain there,to bring in a player of his quality for that price is awesome and they will be getting the majority of that back as Huntelaar looks like his off to Schalke for 14 million euros.[/quote']

Can't believe a player losses 40M € in worth within a year! (They did pay 40M € in straight cash to Inter and I assume Eto'o' worth at that time was 30M-35M €). Guardiola is a crazy man in my opinion. First he kicks out Eto'o from the team, so they could get Zlatan into the team and make the team 'better', according to Guardiola, but in reality, they became worser. Now he kicks out Zlatan, so next year, will Villa get kicked out? :D (Just joking).

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Can't believe a player losses 40M € in worth within a year! (They did pay 40M € in straight cash to Inter and I assume Eto'o' worth at that time was 30M-35M €). Guardiola is a crazy man in my opinion. First he kicks out Eto'o from the team' date=' so they could get Zlatan into the team and make the team 'better', according to Guardiola, but in reality, they became worser. Now he kicks out Zlatan, so next year, will Villa get kicked out? :D (Just joking).[/quote']

Really, that's a bit much.

And it's also strong stuff that they'll off-load a player of the quality of Ibra in a loan deal. That's a clear sign: "We don't need you anymore. The main point is, that you'll leave."

However I can't believe that a team maladministers on a way Barcelona is doing. Just like you said, Pazzano, the whole Ibra-deal was a loss-making business worth about 40M €.

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Re: Official Spanish La Liga Discussion Thread

Really' date=' that's a bit much.

And it's also strong stuff that they'll off-load a player of the quality of Ibra in a loan deal. That's a clear sign: "We don't need you anymore. The main point is, that you'll leave."

However I can't believe that a team maladministers on a way Barcelona is doing. Just like you said, Pazzano, the whole Ibra-deal was a loss-making business worth about 40M €.[/quote']

This also shows how much power Pep has in Barca. Despite Barca beeing in debt at the moment and despite that they couldn't even afford to pay the players wages at one point, they are listening to what Guardiola wants and are ready to lose 40M € on this deal.

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