Why signing Fàbregas and keeping Thiago makes sense for Barça

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Post by Khaled Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:27 am

When any club wishes to make a splash into the transfer market, it obviously stirs a certain amount of debate. When that club happens to be the one who have it all according to many, it stirs up an even more significant amount of debate. The Cesc Fàbregas transfer to Barcelona has been a long drawn out process as it is, but there is a deeper issue amongst it all. Here to look at what the future holds for the club, is Barcelona fan Miguel…

`Beginnings

When Barça appointed Josep Guardiola in 2008, the debate was if Xavi and Andrés Iniesta could play together. Now, three years later, we are debating if Cesc Fàbregas and Thiago can play alongside them. Well, actually, the debate is about Thiago and Fàbregas.
Barça fans are always looking for rivalries. When Xavi was promoted, it was Xavi or Guardiola. Then it was Iniesta or Xavi. Now it’s Thiago or Fàbregas. It has been like that since the days of László Kubala or Luis Suárez; Barça fans always have to make a choice.
It’s not only a Barça problem; we are always discussing if certain players can coexist in the same team or in the same squad. It happens in Europe, in South America and in American sports too. With football being more and more global, this has become a hot topic, so I thought it would be a good idea to explain why it makes sense for Barça.

`The end of an era

I don’t believe we are there yet, but the team has completed a cycle. They did so in Wembley, against Manchester United.
One of the consequences of winning, and they have won a lot in this three-year cycle, at club level and internationally, is losing the desire to play, to compete. Even Michael Jordan, known for his competitiveness, announced his first retirement for that reason after winning his third consecutive NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in 1993, although the death of his father also had an impact on his final decision.

While Thiago is a very promising talent, he won’t be seen as a threat to the team stars. Fàbregas, on the other hand, is a wakeup call to them, because he won’t sign for Barça just to warm the bench. He will do everything to be a starter.
Fàbregas is also a hungry player with something to prove, like David Villa was last season. A player that probably feels that his career is lacking medals and to a certain extent, recognition, especially in Spain.


`Xavi

I believe Xavi is a player that will extend his career because of his style of play. He’s not an explosive player. But being 31, his decline could start in a year… or in three. It’s something you can’t control, so Barça need to be ready for the day he hangs up his boots.
Thiago and Fàbregas, with their own styles, are seen as perfect replacements for Xavi. Some people say that Thiago is more similar to Iniesta or that Fàbregas is too direct because of the Premier League influence, but every footballer is different and there won’t be another Xavi anyway.

Also, when Thiago has played for the first team or more recently for Spain U-21, he’s actually been more similar to Xavi than to Iniesta. That’s the role he’s been given by Guardiola and Luis Milla.
Fàbregas is a different player now, but we cannot forget his first seasons at Arsenal, when he used to play deeper and not so direct. The ability to adapt is there and I think he’s more comfortable in that position.

`Different generation

Xavi is 31, Iniesta is 27, Fàbregas is 24 and Thiago is 20. Fàbregas would fill the 11 year gap between Xavi and Thiago and the 7 year gap between Iniesta and Thiago.
It would help Thiago to keep improving without the pressure of having to replace the two most important midfielders in Barça’s and Spain’s history. Fàbregas, being the more experienced player of the two, would share that responsibility with him.

`Barça can afford both of them

I know there is a lot of talk about Barça’s finances, but we are talking about a club that generates €420 million a year, not including the recent €30m-per-year sponsorship deal with Qatar.
With the club saying that they are going to invest €45m per season in the next five years, it gives us a total of €225m. That’s a lot of money compared to Barça’s needs in that period and considering the players
Barça produce. Isn’t it?

`Small Squad

Four players for two places could be too many, right? But what about 18 outfield players for ten places?
Guardiola likes small squads and barring a surprise I don’t expect Barça to make more than four signings. Although like they always say, the market can offer you a good opportunity. Those four signings would be Fàbregas, Alexis Sánchez, José Ángel and Kiko Femenía. With José Ángel currently considering a Roma offer, it could be three.
That would give Guardiola a squad of 20 (2 being goalkeepers) + 2 (José Ángel and Kiko Femenía, as they would be registered with Barça B) players.

Since I don’t expect Barça to sign a centre back, and I know it may be controversial, but it’s only an act of valuing talent over need, Mascherano would play many games at centre back. Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol would be the starters, although the latter is 33 and has a knee problem, so the club should look after him to extend his career. Éric Abidal, Andreu Fontás and Javier Mascherano would also cover that area.

With Mascherano playing games at centre back, Guardiola would probably give Fàbregas games as a deep-lying playmaker, rotating him with both Sergio Busquets and obviously Mascherano.
Barça would have five options to rotate in attack plus Iniesta, and I expect Barça to rotate a lot more next season after pushing the players to the limit in the last two seasons. Those six players are Messi, the only one that will have a say in the amount of minutes he plays, Villa, Pedro, Ibrahim Afellay, Sánchez and finally Iniesta. With Iniesta’s presence there, it would have an impact in the play time of Thiago and Fàbregas too.

There is Seydou Keita too, but if he stays, and I think he will, he’s not
a player that will complain about having a small role in the squad. Last season, he was the player with the most appearances, but many of them were coming off the bench. Also, if we make Keita or Afellay part of the problem, we are crazy!

It will not be a surprise if we have this same debate next season about Sergi Roberto, a player Guardiola loves.

Source: http://www.spanishfootball.info
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Post by Albiceleste Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:37 am

Can Cesc play as a DM?

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Post by sagnik92 Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:30 am

there is no question of playing cesc as DM.

if cesc plays it would be instead of xavi/iniesta in the midfield as a rotation player or he can play in place of pedro/sanchez as a AM.
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Post by Albiceleste Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:40 am

I agree, it just said in the article that he could rotate with busquets, but I'm a bit skeptical about that.

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Post by billy_gr Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:41 am

Khaled I’m with you all the way
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Post by sagnik92 Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:44 am

whatever happens i dont want to see keita entering the field after the 70th minute in every match.
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Post by ChollaVille Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:45 am

If we sign Cesc I wanna see Keita in Malaga!!!
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Post by messixaviesta Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:37 am

khaled, I may not agree with everything in the article but it's an interesting read. Thanks for posting.

cholla, a cool suggestion. It might be a complete win win for all concerned.



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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:16 am

Khaledbarca wrote:When any club wishes to make a splash into the transfer market, it obviously stirs a certain amount of debate. When that club happens to be the one who have it all according to many, it stirs up an even more significant amount of debate. The Cesc Fàbregas transfer to Barcelona has been a long drawn out process as it is, but there is a deeper issue amongst it all. Here to look at what the future holds for the club, is Barcelona fan Miguel…

`Beginnings

When Barça appointed Josep Guardiola in 2008, the debate was if Xavi and Andrés Iniesta could play together. Now, three years later, we are debating if Cesc Fàbregas and Thiago can play alongside them. Well, actually, the debate is about Thiago and Fàbregas.
Barça fans are always looking for rivalries. When Xavi was promoted, it was Xavi or Guardiola. Then it was Iniesta or Xavi. Now it’s Thiago or Fàbregas. It has been like that since the days of László Kubala or Luis Suárez; Barça fans always have to make a choice.
It’s not only a Barça problem; we are always discussing if certain players can coexist in the same team or in the same squad. It happens in Europe, in South America and in American sports too. With football being more and more global, this has become a hot topic, so I thought it would be a good idea to explain why it makes sense for Barça.

`The end of an era

I don’t believe we are there yet, but the team has completed a cycle. They did so in Wembley, against Manchester United.
One of the consequences of winning, and they have won a lot in this three-year cycle, at club level and internationally, is losing the desire to play, to compete. Even Michael Jordan, known for his competitiveness, announced his first retirement for that reason after winning his third consecutive NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in 1993, although the death of his father also had an impact on his final decision.

While Thiago is a very promising talent, he won’t be seen as a threat to the team stars. Fàbregas, on the other hand, is a wakeup call to them, because he won’t sign for Barça just to warm the bench. He will do everything to be a starter.
Fàbregas is also a hungry player with something to prove, like David Villa was last season. A player that probably feels that his career is lacking medals and to a certain extent, recognition, especially in Spain.


`Xavi

I believe Xavi is a player that will extend his career because of his style of play. He’s not an explosive player. But being 31, his decline could start in a year… or in three. It’s something you can’t control, so Barça need to be ready for the day he hangs up his boots.
Thiago and Fàbregas, with their own styles, are seen as perfect replacements for Xavi. Some people say that Thiago is more similar to Iniesta or that Fàbregas is too direct because of the Premier League influence, but every footballer is different and there won’t be another Xavi anyway.

Also, when Thiago has played for the first team or more recently for Spain U-21, he’s actually been more similar to Xavi than to Iniesta. That’s the role he’s been given by Guardiola and Luis Milla.
Fàbregas is a different player now, but we cannot forget his first seasons at Arsenal, when he used to play deeper and not so direct. The ability to adapt is there and I think he’s more comfortable in that position.

`Different generation

Xavi is 31, Iniesta is 27, Fàbregas is 24 and Thiago is 20. Fàbregas would fill the 11 year gap between Xavi and Thiago and the 7 year gap between Iniesta and Thiago.
It would help Thiago to keep improving without the pressure of having to replace the two most important midfielders in Barça’s and Spain’s history. Fàbregas, being the more experienced player of the two, would share that responsibility with him.

`Barça can afford both of them

I know there is a lot of talk about Barça’s finances, but we are talking about a club that generates €420 million a year, not including the recent €30m-per-year sponsorship deal with Qatar.
With the club saying that they are going to invest €45m per season in the next five years, it gives us a total of €225m. That’s a lot of money compared to Barça’s needs in that period and considering the players
Barça produce. Isn’t it?

`Small Squad

Four players for two places could be too many, right? But what about 18 outfield players for ten places?
Guardiola likes small squads and barring a surprise I don’t expect Barça to make more than four signings. Although like they always say, the market can offer you a good opportunity. Those four signings would be Fàbregas, Alexis Sánchez, José Ángel and Kiko Femenía. With José Ángel currently considering a Roma offer, it could be three.
That would give Guardiola a squad of 20 (2 being goalkeepers) + 2 (José Ángel and Kiko Femenía, as they would be registered with Barça B) players.

Since I don’t expect Barça to sign a centre back, and I know it may be controversial, but it’s only an act of valuing talent over need, Mascherano would play many games at centre back. Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol would be the starters, although the latter is 33 and has a knee problem, so the club should look after him to extend his career. Éric Abidal, Andreu Fontás and Javier Mascherano would also cover that area.

With Mascherano playing games at centre back, Guardiola would probably give Fàbregas games as a deep-lying playmaker, rotating him with both Sergio Busquets and obviously Mascherano.
Barça would have five options to rotate in attack plus Iniesta, and I expect Barça to rotate a lot more next season after pushing the players to the limit in the last two seasons. Those six players are Messi, the only one that will have a say in the amount of minutes he plays, Villa, Pedro, Ibrahim Afellay, Sánchez and finally Iniesta. With Iniesta’s presence there, it would have an impact in the play time of Thiago and Fàbregas too.

There is Seydou Keita too, but if he stays, and I think he will, he’s not
a player that will complain about having a small role in the squad. Last season, he was the player with the most appearances, but many of them were coming off the bench. Also, if we make Keita or Afellay part of the problem, we are crazy!

It will not be a surprise if we have this same debate next season about Sergi Roberto, a player Guardiola loves.

Source: http://www.spanishfootball.info

Cesc as a deep lying playmaker/dm?, Thiago is going to wait another 5 years at least to take over from Iniesta when he could start at one of the giant's of european football somewhere else?

C'mon get frakking real this is not going to happen, theres two scenario's here a tinkering in tactics to fit Cesc and Thiago into the same line up.......

Why signing Fàbregas and keeping Thiago makes sense for Barça   1311847677857052

Or Cesc will come in and take all of Thiago's minutes and Thiago will leave.
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Post by billy_gr Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:39 am

So let’s say Xavi stops playing as a starter in 2 years (I for one don’t think he can play a full season at this level the next year) and you have Thiago and Iniesta in the starting 11. Who would be your game winning sub in the midfield?

I believe that Thiago can do for 3 years as a super sub as long as he gets decent playing time (no Keita please)
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:41 am

@billy_gr wrote:So let’s say Xavi stops playing as a starter in 2 years (I for one don’t think he can play a full season at this level the next year) and you have Thiago and Iniesta in the starting 11. Who would be your game winning sub in the midfield?

I believe that Thiago can do for 3 years as a super sub as long as he gets decent playing time (no Keita please)

Thiago wont stay for 3 years as a sub when he knows he can start somewhere else, as i said get real he is not a cule he will not sit on the sidelines and wait years for his chance.

As i said get frakking real.
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Post by billy_gr Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:47 am

As I said, it depends on how much playing time he gets.
If he plays a decent amount of time and Pep (or whoever) gets to show him that gradually will be part of the first team I think he might prefer to stay at the best team in Europe.

Anyway all this is just theory. Tweet him to see what he believes…..
:king:
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Post by BarcaKizz Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:07 pm

I don't know if JD will scold me for this, but its interesting everyone thinks Iniesta will stay with Barca forever. He's said he'd like to, but he's not in the same boat as Xavi or Puyol. I think he might like to test himself somewhere else into his 30s. No hard feelings either, he's already achieved enough with us.

If this happened it would certainly allow for transition into a Cesc-Busquets-Thiago trio (hopefully with Roberto as the rotator guy, remember before Pep we always had more than 2 quality CMs eg. Deco, Iniesta, Xavi).

Like Free has said before, I want Cesc to come now. Not actually for any footballing matters, but because its just such a distraction and circus at the moment and I want it to end.
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Post by The Franchise Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:22 pm

"It would help Thiago to keep improving without the pressure of having to replace the two most important midfielders in Barça’s and Spain’s history. Fàbregas, being the more experienced player of the two, would share that responsibility with him."

Really? Thiago will be happy by the fact he gets to wait longer?

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Post by The Franchise Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:26 pm

Immaculate_Mole wrote:

Why signing Fàbregas and keeping Thiago makes sense for Barça   1311847677857052


What I would like to know, if this is Pep's idea, who is running in behind in this formation?

Or are we just going to play with 6 midfielders, every one of them playing in front of the back 4?
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:37 pm

@The Franchise wrote:
Immaculate_Mole wrote:

Why signing Fàbregas and keeping Thiago makes sense for Barça   1311847677857052


What I would like to know, if this is Pep's idea, who is running in behind in this formation?

Or are we just going to play with 6 midfielders, every one of them playing in front of the back 4?

One i made up, its the only way i see Cesc, Thiago, Iniesta, Messi, Sanchez and Busquets all playing without playing terribly out of position....

It's basically a 4-3-2-1 with Sanchez and Iniesta as AM's kind of like how Milan lined up in the 4-3-2-1 with Kaka and Seedorf as the AM's but with Sanchez and Iniesta instead.
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Post by The Franchise Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Oh yeah, I understand that, not taking a shot at your formation. Its the only one that make any sense.

I get the similarities to Milan, however there are two main differences.

1. Milan had at least one worker (Gattuso) and sometimes two (Ambrosini) to allow so many ball players to play at the same time and still not suck defensively. We wont have that need because possession is our defence.

2. The biggest thing for Milan was while they had alot of creative players playing, they had someone as a number 9 (Inzaghi, Tomasson, Crespo) who were real number 9's. They didnt get over involved in the build up play, they stretched the defence by making runs in behind.

We have Messi, he doesnt do those things at all. Noone will be running in behind.

Better might be Sanchez and Pedro on the bench, Villa as a 9 and Messi with Iniesta or Thiago as attacking midfielders.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:08 pm

@The Franchise wrote:Oh yeah, I understand that, not taking a shot at your formation. Its the only one that make any sense.

I get the similarities to Milan, however there are two main differences.

1. Milan had at least one worker (Gattuso) and sometimes two (Ambrosini) to allow so many ball players to play at the same time and still not suck defensively. We wont have that need because possession is our defence.

2. The biggest thing for Milan was while they had alot of creative players playing, they had someone as a number 9 (Inzaghi, Tomasson, Crespo) who were real number 9's. They didnt get over involved in the build up play, they stretched the defence by making runs in behind.

We have Messi, he doesnt do those things at all. Noone will be running in behind.

Better might be Sanchez and Pedro on the bench, Villa as a 9 and Messi with Iniesta or Thiago as attacking midfielders.

Naturally, but it was the only one that made sense when it came to this discussion and who know's maybe it could be altered slightly to fit Barca's style of play.

But the lack of 9 and worker's in midfield will obviously mean it's not a Milan clone only an adaptation on that system.
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Post by Albiceleste Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:10 pm

Depending on Xavi's fitness level this year, Cesc might be a good buy, I believe he could play as a deep lying playmaker better than Thiago since he is more experienced and could adapt more. Just a thought

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Post by messixaviesta Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:29 pm

@BarcaKizz wrote:I don't know if JD will scold me for this, but its interesting everyone thinks Iniesta will stay with Barca forever. He's said he'd like to, but he's not in the same boat as Xavi or Puyol. I think he might like to test himself somewhere else into his 30s. No hard feelings either, he's already achieved enough with us.

No kizz I won't scold anyone. I will just bid all of my friends at this forum a final good bye if and when that happens. In fact I don't think I would have the same passion left after Xavi is phased out. For me it's Messi-Xavi-Iniesta together that defines the passion and the magic. Take even one of them out and it's just not the same - perhaps won't generate the same feelings for me. I am not a traditional Barcelona fan of many years unlike most of you. I am mainly a fan of this current team and even more the crux of it.


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Post by messixaviesta Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:39 pm

@The Franchise wrote:
What I would like to know, if this is Pep's idea, who is running in behind in this formation?

Or are we just going to play with 6 midfielders, every one of them playing in front of the back 4?

Brilliant point. Just illustrates once again the huge amount of at times thankless work Villa and Pedro do to make this team as great as it is.

About Thiago I would like to add a couple of points. One is if we look at the history and consider players like Xaviesta themselves. Xavi became a regular starter very early but in his first few years he was treated like a utility player who was used to perform various roles. It's only many years later that people realized how brilliant a player he was. Iniesta matured at a time when we already had a great team and he found it hard to become a starter. He did get enough minutes as a substitute but he hardly got to start games for some time. Suffice it to say neither of these maestros of today became superstars at a young age. Thiago on the other hand has become a talk of the football world at a very young age. Also we have said many times before that he is nowhere near as humble as Bojan for example. If by the end of this season he does not see a clear future for himself playing an important role in the first team then it's likely that next summer he will insist on leaving.

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Post by messixaviesta Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:51 pm

@The Franchise wrote:Oh yeah, I understand that, not taking a shot at your formation. Its the only one that make any sense.

I get the similarities to Milan, however there are two main differences.

1. Milan had at least one worker (Gattuso) and sometimes two (Ambrosini) to allow so many ball players to play at the same time and still not suck defensively. We wont have that need because possession is our defence.

2. The biggest thing for Milan was while they had alot of creative players playing, they had someone as a number 9 (Inzaghi, Tomasson, Crespo) who were real number 9's. They didnt get over involved in the build up play, they stretched the defence by making runs in behind.

We have Messi, he doesnt do those things at all. Noone will be running in behind.

Better might be Sanchez and Pedro on the bench, Villa as a 9 and Messi with Iniesta or Thiago as attacking midfielders.

Once again excellent. The first point didn't come to my mind immediately but the second point I thought of as soon as I read that post - Milan didn't play with a false number 9. I agree with your solution as well - make Villa the true number 9 and Messi a roaming second striker. What I can say in a nutshell the way I see things is that Fabregas coming into our lineup to do anything other than replacing Xavi is either going to take away something from the best role for Messi ( assuming he plays further ahead behind strikers ), lower the fluidity and symphony of the team ( assuming he replaces Iniesta ), take away something from the cutting edge ( assuming Iniesta moves to the front line ) or make the team defensively vulnerable ( assuming he replaces Busquets - least likely to happen ). That said of course he is not going to give us the kind of quality Xavi gives but at least that's a role to which he at least to an extent naturally fits. I don't see any other role for him in our system for which he would be a natural fit. I mean I can't see him do Messi's, Pedro's, Villa's, Iniesta's or Busquets' role which means that we need to change the formation and tactics to accommodate him. Every single alternative that any of us have thought of so far to accomplish this seems inferior to what we already have. That said we didn't think of moving Messi from the right to the center. The genius Pep Guardiola did. So it's best we wait and watch what trick he has up his sleeve next.

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Post by CBarca Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:38 pm

Barca is targeting the wrong person. Barca will always have some gem midfielders, it's in the blood of La Masia, where did Xavi and Iniesta come from? La Masia.

Where is Thiago from? Where is JDS from?

Xavi has a good 3 years at least left in him. His job in the midfield is hard on the legs, by running, but other than that, he's never really going to be injured like Messi or Iniesta.

In 3 or 4 years, one of Thiago or JDS will be ready for the starting spot, with the blood. If not both. And we've seen the potential of both, despite JDS fading a bit perhaps.

If not even that, Busquets is capable- not like Xavi, but he sure is capable. If we sign Fabregas, he will sit on the bench half the time, and after Xavi is done and he's starting, Thiago will sit on the bench half the time. It's just not a smart allocation of 40 million euros.
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Post by messixaviesta Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:13 pm

@CBarca wrote:
If not even that, Busquets is capable- not like Xavi, but he sure is capable.

Good you brought this up CB. It's an option that has sort of slipped our minds. One more way of playing could be to put Busquets in Xavi's role and Mascherano in Busquets' role. Busquets has played this role a few times before and has certainly not done badly.

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Post by free_cat Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:02 am

@messixaviesta wrote:
@BarcaKizz wrote:I don't know if JD will scold me for this, but its interesting everyone thinks Iniesta will stay with Barca forever. He's said he'd like to, but he's not in the same boat as Xavi or Puyol. I think he might like to test himself somewhere else into his 30s. No hard feelings either, he's already achieved enough with us.

No kizz I won't scold anyone. I will just bid all of my friends at this forum a final good bye if and when that happens. In fact I don't think I would have the same passion left after Xavi is phased out. For me it's Messi-Xavi-Iniesta together that defines the passion and the magic. Take even one of them out and it's just not the same - perhaps won't generate the same feelings for me. I am not a traditional Barcelona fan of many years unlike most of you. I am mainly a fan of this current team and even more the crux of it.


You still have time to become a long time fan, you are young. Very Happy

Ah, and after Xavi,there will be Cesc, after Iniesta Sergi Robert, and after Messi, Deulofeu!
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