Agent Zero

One of the most difficult – and overlooked – positions in all of sports is the goalkeeper. In many ways, they are the most important player in the defense. In a team like FC Barcelona, they are important tactically as well. As they can see the whole pitch, the keeper is often called upon to play the ball just like a midfield player. Being a keeper is an important job. Which is why I’m proud to say ours is Marc-André ter Stegen.

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Back in the Hole

Note: This is a post by our new writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.

All the passmap graphics come courtesy of  @11tegen11 who kindly gave us permission to repost them here.


The role “centre-forward” is used interchangeably with “striker” nowadays and the term “False 9” is thrown around frequently in discussions without many knowing what it is really is.

To understand it better, false 9 needs to be seen as a role rather than a position. Only a handful of players in the world are able to execute it as required and that too within a stable structure around them. Wayne Rooney was tried as a false 9 by Sir Alex, Totti played this role as well at Roma and even Cesc Fabregas was deployed in the hole for Spain at the EUROs. But it is Messi who performs the role to perfection.

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Player Ratings: FC Barcelona vs. RCD Espanyol

In the end Barcelona ended up dominating Espanyol in the Catalan Derby, but not after a a few early visits from lady luck. All four of the squad’s new summer signings took part in the match and all four showed glimmering glimpses of what Culés can expect in the coming months. Critics may argue the club is missing a player the caliber of Philippe Coutinho but currently the squad sits first in La Liga four points in front of Real Madrid.

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Crisis? Disaster? Just how bad was this summer for Barcelona?

This is a guest post from Gerry Johnston. Johnston is a 32 year old writer from Ireland. He currently writes about La Liga for www.laliganews.co.uk. Gerry has been a Barcelona fan since 1996; you can follow him on Twitter @gjsportsblog. 


Much has been made of Barcelona’s summer with words like crisis and disaster being the most used adjectives to describe what went on at Camp Nou. However, are things really as bad as is being made out in the media and by the grief loving element within Barcelona’s online fan base?

There can be no doubt things didn’t go as the club planned this summer or in fact over the last twelve months or so but for the purposes of this article let’s take a look at some of the main factors so we can consider if things are just as bad as they are being portrayed.

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The Rise of Samuel Umtiti

Note: This is a post by our new writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.


If I ask you to name Luis Enrique’s best signing for Barcelona you’ll most likely to answer Luis Suarez.

A rare breed might say Marc-Andre Ter Stegen instead. And while you’re not wrong and it’s your opinion, the point here is that none of you will say Samuel Umtiti, a player whose rise to Barcelona’s and France’s starting eleven has been absolutely phenomenal. A signing made with the future in mind.

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Benedito Offers Barça a Glimmer of Hope

While hashtag trends are gaining popularity on social media and messages are reaching the club, there’s something else going on behind the scenes – something that’s part of the bigger picture.

Back in June this year, Agusti Benedito (the man in the photo above) told the media that he was starting a vote of no-confidence against Barcelona’s board due to Sandro Rosell’s and Josep Bartomeu’s institutional mismanagement of the club. The Rosell-Bartomeu era has been full of corruption, shady deals, and a murder of the values of the club. This can be clearly seen from the fact that Sandro Rosell (president from 2010-2014) was thrown into jail for money-laundering in May after stepping down from the club due to the everything that happened during the Neymar transfer. (Rosell hid the cost of Neymar using false contracts – something that can put you in jail in Spain for up to 6-years). When Rosell resigned, his vice-president Bartomeu stepped up and nothing changed for the club.

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Player Ratings: FC Barcelona vs. Real Betis

We are all Barcelona. The city needed a victory and the club delivered in the fashion of a two to nil victory over Real Betis. Incredibly the thing the match missed the most was a goal by the great Lionel Messi. FC Barcelona dominated the match, but things could have been much different if not for a world class tackle from Javier Mascherano.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

Note: This is a post by our new writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.

 

The defeat to Madrid in this year’s Spanish Supercup hurt more than any other previous defeat. Not because we lost to Madrid – El Clasico is always a 50-50 affair – but because the signs of a decaying squad were on full display. Los Blancos have players like Isco and Kovacic available to bring off the bench, while we’re stuck with Alcacer and Gomes.

And this is where the problem starts.

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It’s a matter of perspective

FC Barcelona, for all intents and purposes, is a desperate club right now. The Neymar transfer debacle has ended, and now the team wants to sign players to reinforce the squad and replace him.

So why are they so bad at it?

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Barcelona: don’t repeat the mistakes of the past

Barcelona is about to make the same mistake it made when it signed Neymar 4 years ago. And it’s painful to watch.

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