Monday, 27 July 2009

The Scapegoat in Failure, The Forgotten Man in Success - Txiki Begiristain

The man under fire, the guy with a bull’s-eye mark on the back of his head, let me present, Txiki Begiristain.

Some called him a flop, some called him blind but that does not change the fact that he played his part in our treble winning season.

5 players came in, some excelled, some struggled and some flopped, let’s review what these players did last season.


If you could grade his performances last season, then he definitely gets an A+. The marauding fullback, the best right back in the world. Just one question - who brought him here? That’s right, Txiki. But does he get some credit for signing the best player in his position? No, it's simply forgotten. We all remember when Madrid, Chelsea, Milan and Man U(teams with open cheque books , barring Milan ;D) wanted him, but he went and got a personal agreement with Dani so that he doesn’t choose anyone but barca. Some would say a bit overpriced due to Txiki's bad negotiation, but let me ask one last question - would any of the clubs mentioned above signed him for less than 35m+ euro? I don’t think so.


Another master stroke. Sir Alex is still weeping over the loss of one the best defensive prospects in the world. When Ferdinand spent half of last season injured there was no one to replace a defender of his calibre. There was no Pique, because he flew back to Barcelona. Sure some would say we paid a lot for our own youth product, but after seeing Pique last season, does 6 million Euros seem expensive? No.


Here's a guy who struggled to make an impact in the first stages of the season due to lack of playing time but his confidence grew with time. He scored important goals and gave Xavi & Andres to roam free because they knew that someone's got their back. He might not be a Yaya but he's good enough to fill the void if Yaya is injured. He's another good signing for a good price, and credit goes to Txiki, again.


A young defender who was once dubbed as the new Sergio Ramos had a catastrophic first season with Barcelona. He never really got going because of little playing time and some disastrous mistakes, but don't all young players do that? Rafa Marquez makes the same mistakes and he's a veteran, so should we sell him? Of course not because he's the best defender in Mexican history, and like him Caceres needs to learn. He's only 22. How many people had faith in Henry after his debut season, not many, but he learned, improved and he was 29, and besides, if you're a sporting director who gets excellent scouting reports about a young player wouldn’t you have signed him for 15 mil? Of course.


Now here's a player who has the word flop engraved on his forehead. After amazing seasons with Arsenal, everyone thought that he would hit the ground running at barca. But the truth was cruel for Alex as he was greeted to La Liga with a tackle that ruined his career with us. The only thing I can thank him for is his pass to Henry in El Clasico and that it wasn’t someone else who got that tackle. But would you rather buy a 15 million euro flop or buy a 30 million pound Berbatov, a 40 million pound Shevchenko or a 30 million euro Quaresma? The answer is obvious...

In short, there is no sporting director without mistakes. At least Txiki's mistakes were the least costly ones. So there you have it, a guy who didn’t spend the summer chasing a Ronaldo and wasting a Robinho. A guy who did not spend 150 mill on two players. The guy who brings what the coach wants. Txiki.

Posted by hamad_ali.


FCBlaugrana said...

Excellent story!!! People seem to label him as a flop, saying he was slow in the transfer window but as Txiki has proven, it's quality and not quantity. Never doubted him for a second and I'm sure he will continue to bring success to Pep and Barca.

Barca>madrid said...

wooooooooo!!!! txiki you rule

Anonymous said...

Yes, we are Barcelona, we buy proven Hlebs instead of unproven Arshavins. Imagine if we had gone for Arshavin instead. His pace, dribbling and great goalscoring would be just what we would have needed on the wings, he can play on both sides. Instead we buy a player who never scores and cant play on the wings. And why do we buy a guy like Caceres, who obviously has no ball control, when the most important aspect of a Barcelona defender is the ability to control and pass the ball fluently? It is no coincidence that Pique does so well with us.

It really is boggling how fantastic our scout system is for La Masia, and how bad it is when we pay big money for players for the first team.

peter said...

"He might not be a Yaya but he's good enough to fill the void if Yaya is injured."

Why write something like that? Keita is not used asa defensive midfielder in Barcelona. Do you even watch the games? The only game where Keita had the pivote role was the last one of the season, when everything was already won and the whole first team was out celebrating. He isnot listed as a defensive midfielder on either.

Our defensive midfielders are Yaya and Busquets. Also listed as defensive midfielders on are Henrique and Marquez. Sure, Keita can play that role but it's clear that Pep wants him in the offense making deep end runs to open up the defense.

Could everyone just PLEASE stop referring to Keita as Yayas backup and as a defensive midfielder?????

hamad_ali said...

@ peter , maybe your right , keita is a box to box player kinda like essien , but he starts the match in DM , i'm sure about.

@anony a player who fits perfectly at arsenal needs a hell of a time to adapt to barcelona (hleb - henry ) , and i'm not saying that arshavin is a bad player , he's great player , probably arsenals best player behind fabrigas , and remember that zenit refused to sell him to us for less than 30 mil while they sold him for arsenal for a little less than 15 mil

SJP said...

good article. visca txiki! lets hope ibra turns out to be his crowning jewel and not the most embarressing transfer in our history.

OLALEKAN said...

txiki is great,i dont know why some od u guys just hate him,he is an human being like u and no human does not do mistakes,besides,he has nevr done any costly mistakes in his yrs here.he bouhgt a youngstar for just 15 million at the age of 21,i mean twenty one.dont u know caceres would be a promising canter back even if he dont seems to have the confidence now.he is now 22 and he was fantastic in his first match against tottenham.HLEB can never be called a flop despite not playuing to our desired standard,he is still a top class footballer if not a world body on earth can blame txiki for paying just 15 million euros for one of the best offensive mildfielder in england.(ask any EPL follower).keita was fantastic at the needed time,at the end of the season when we needed him the most,he was fantastic.i think we got guddy,why is pep not using him ven when andresito is injured?and instead he ws using keita in the offenssive aspect of the mildfield. and i dont there is any body that can comment on the transfer of dani.! just lets accept that txiki is one of the best sporting directors in the world.not like peter kenyon of chelsea.

barca nike said...

Txiki is the man who is never given credit, well i see him one of the main reasons for winninh the treble because of the players he bought not only this years but since Laporta took over.

peter said...

"@ peter , maybe your right , keita is a box to box player kinda like essien , but he starts the match in DM , i'm sure about."

Are you for real? He has only played ONE match as a defensive midfielder in all the season. Just read the official site, where he is NOT listen as a defensive midfielder.

He has always started as a left midfielder behind Henry. In all games except that one last game where everyone else got the day off.

Yaya and Busquets are the only ones who have altered on the DM position during last season. And Xavi Torres in a few games.

alcantara said...

it was actually laporta who closed the deal with del nido on daniel alves.

i don't think txiki is a good sporting director he always uses a lot of time never get the deals closed and allways overpays. 15mil€ for caceres is way to much although i like him but he isn't a right player for barca. just look at the filipe saga you could blame that on the deportivo president also but i'm pretty sure our old sporting director sandro rossel could have closed that deal for less than 10mil€.

for me the problem with txiki is that he came to fill the void left by sandro rossel and he was just the best!

Marcos said...

Peter is right about Keita, he is never a DM.
Also, you're wrong to say Ferguson had no cover when Ferdinand was out injured. Evans played and did very well as United won the league, world champs and got to a second consecutive Champions league final, where they lost to us WITH Ferdinand.
Pique was a great signing for us, but don't get carried away.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you wanna change your last bit about not spending €150m on two players after we just signed Ibra for a ridiculous amount.

prathsBarca said...

@@sbah Very nice article, you are spot on in most cases except for hleb's case. I think it was a costly mistake because he wasnt a good prospect in arsenal either. Also we shouldnt be wasting money by just comparing other club's wastage. Atleast we should have given him a contract which was fully dependent on performance rather than 6 million flat every season.

Barcaliator said...

Txiki did good committments in signing the good players who all in all, helped us win the treble, unlike Hleb, the best scenario for him is to go on that loan to INTER.The rest are just thumbs up perfect, also, who brought up Pep's name for the 1st team ?

AJ said...

sorry, hamad_ali, but you get my thumbs down here..

first, this article seems like its trying to defend/promote Txiki as our SD by judging our new signings' performances and Txiki's roles in their signing.

I don't think so Alves was brought in by Txiki. We haggled for 2-3 seasons only for del Nido to be forced by Dani, who was influenced by Laporta. So Txiki gets the credit?

Piqué wasn't missed by Manchester. Evans played there and played real well. Not even once did Manchester shed a tear for Geri.

Seydou was a good signing, I agree. But what's up with the Yaya comment? That's sick bro. It's like TengkuAmir10's "He's nothing. Coz he's not Messi" comment.

Caceres. Now that's a really bad signing. Based on your writing, we should spend 15million on every young player with good scout reports huh? Sure he showed potential and still does, but his failure is simply down to our system. Caceres can play in a fanny assed defence sitting deep past the goalposts, but not in a high pressured high-lined defense. Caceres looks like just a reaction signing to Garay. We were so sure we were gonna sign him, that when we didn't we just had to get Caceres, hoping to achieve the "Beckham rejects, get Ronnie" effect.

I dont understand how you justify wasting 15 mil by comparing that to others. It's like "I've got shit but I'm happy coz you got piss". And we did spend nearly a fucking summer chasing a Ronaldo and wasting a Robinho. Heck, we chased two Ronaldos (Villa and Zlatan) while publicly whoring our Robinho (Eto'o). You might be able to defend Txiki saying it was Laporta's or Pep's doing, but it's not their jobs. It's the guy who is the Sporting Director. Tsk Tsk Tsiki.

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