The Eccentric Genius

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Post Game

So far it’s been a good season for us. We’re on the track to willing La Liga, la Copa del Rey, and we’re still alive in the Champions League. Certainly the defense has been good, and Messi has been spectacular. However, one of the unsung heroes (or villains, however you want to look at it) for Barcelona this year has been the post. Love it or hate it, it’s had an impact this year. Never was that more plain to see than against Chelsea, in which Antonio Conte’s London side hit it four times. But beyond that, it’s become an important part of the season since it began.

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The Catalan Miracle

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

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Campaign for Coutinho

Here we go again.

Philippe Coutinho rumors are swirling once more as the Brazilian is reported to want a move to Barcelona. Amid claims he’s house hunting here and Nike advertisements that seem to be predicting the future, most fans want two things. One, they want to see Liverpool’s #10 in blaugrana. And two, they just want answers.

But is Coutinho worth the price tag they’ll inevitably slap on him?

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Golden Opportunities

A win is a win, no matter how you slice it. A draw isn’t winning, but at least it’s not losing. So far this season, FC Barcelona have won every game they’ve played but two, against Atlético de Madrid and Olympiakos, which they drew. Say what you will about the team’s form, its depth, or the tactics of Ernesto Valverde, they’ve had, at least record-wise, a tremendous start to the 2017-18 season. They’ve put themselves in a great position early on, especially in La Liga. Players like Lionel Messi, Samuel Umtiti, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are at a world-class level of form. And while Valverde’s tactics may rub some of us the wrong way, at least he’s willing to take risks. That being said, we can’t waste the golden opportunities we have now.

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D10S

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

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


Last game of the qualifiers for the World Cup. A win needed to make it to Russia. All eyes on Messi himself.

What happens next?

A masterclass.

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One Last Chance

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.


Growing up a Barcelona fan and witnessing Leo Messi’s arrival into the first-team and his eventual dominance of the world, I could never have predicted that there’d be a time where he would struggle to make it to the World Cup with his national side. A trophy that was inches away from his hands three years back is now one that looks like a fleeting fantasy.

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Barça’s New Face

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.


Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.

Estadio Montolivi.

Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Despite 500 kilometers lying between these stadiums (and a Portuguese border in the case of Estadio Jose Alvalade), the three of them have more in common than you would think.

Barcelona visited all three one after the other. First Getafe, then local rivals Girona, followed by a trip to the neighbors for Sporting Clube de Portugal. Barcelona won against all three as you’d expect. 9 points from a possible 9. But these weren’t typical Barcelona wins. In fact, there was something to these three wins, something about the three sides that set them apart, that made them unique.

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Ousmane Who? Semedo shows exactly why he’s Alves’ heir apparent

Let’s get one thing clear from the get-go: Ousmane Dembele is one of the most talented players in world football, and this writer’s first-choice signing to replace Neymar when the Brazilian announced his departure. The young Frenchman playing alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is a tantalizing prospect, one which, when Dembele adapts to his new teammates, will bear great fruit for Ernesto Valverde.

The fact is, though, that against Juventus FC there was another player, also signed this summer, who impressed in a position where Barca have had a lot of trouble over the past couple of seasons. Nelson Semedo was bought and presented at Barcelona without too much fanfare and early rumours surrounding the Portuguese full-back stated that he was ‘worse than Douglas’. It’s safe to say that the Juve game put such rumours firmly into the metaphorical trash can, where they belong, as Semedo was a key component in a comprehensive performance by Valverde’s men. To put into context just how impressive Semedo has been, and how much Barca have needed a player like him, there’s a need to understand exactly why the right-back role has been such a problem for the club. A big part of that problem, ironically, was Dani Alves, and just how good he was at doing exactly what was needed of him at the right time.

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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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