Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Is Txiki doing a bad job?

by: Han

A lot of people seem to think Txiki Beguiristan is doing a bad job. Nonetheless he has been in power as technical director since 2003 and his track record might not be so flawed as one could expect given the recent criticism.

So I have divided the players (I came up with) bought since 2003 and evaluated his dealings.

Taking into consideration the transfer fee (approx.) paid, importance to the team and the fee when sold, I came up with 4 categories.

(figures for fees are not “officially correct” use them as a good indicator)

A+ = Really good and cheap
Marquez = 5M
Pique = Around 5 M
Larsson = 0M
Giuly = 7.5 M bought – sold 4.5M
Sylvinho = 2m – sold 0M
Yaya = 9M

Total Spent = 28.5 M – Total received = 4.5 M

A= Really good
Ronaldinho 28M – sold 21M + clauses
Deco 12M + Quaresma (6M p/ex) - Sold 10M
Henry 24M
Eto’o 24M – Sold 20M p/ex
Belleti (couldn't find a fee, sold to Chelsea 5.5 M)
Alves 30M
Gio (stands here as I don’t recall the fee paid – sold 0M)

Total spent = 124 without Belleti – Total received = 75M without Belleti

B = Good but no bargain
Abidal 15M (good, just not really cheap)
Keita 14M (same)

Total spent = 29M Total received = 0M

C = Undecided (Not Good, No big Impact, Neutral, or just money-wise neutral)
Luis Garcia (bought 5M, Sold 7.5M)
Ezquerro 0M – sold 0M
Van Bommel 0M – sold 6M
Gudjohnsen 12 M (might be a Z, but that is too harsh)
Zambrotta 14M – sold 9M +2M clauses (might be a Z, but that is too harsh and we got money back)
Milito 17M
Rustu 0M – no idea, I believe a free transfer
Edmilson 10M – sold 0M
Albertini 0 M – 0M

Total spent = 58 – Total Received = 22.5

Too early to tell
Ibrahimovic 46M + Eto’o (too early too tell, Guess gonna be A)
Maxwell 4.5M (too early too tell, probably A+)
Keirrison 14M (too early too tell)
Henrique 8M (too early too tell)

Total spent= 92.5M

Z= little or big disasters
Maxi Lopez 6M- sold 2M
Hleb 14M - loaned
Quaresma 6M – sold as part of Deco transfer
Thuram 5M - retired
Caceres 16M - loaned

Total spent = 47M Total Received 2M

Lets take a look on the buying part, I have counted 6 A+ players, 7A and 2B rated players for a total something more than 180 Million € and from these we’ve sold for around 80 million with Alves, Marquez, Pique, Keita, Henry and The Yaya still on our books.

In contrast, we did have some rather mediocre dealings:

Edmilson (good not great, often injured and not cheap), Zambrotta (not really good, not too much lost), Ezquerro (apparently good character, no loss but nor any profit), Rustu (apparently bad character, no loss nor any profit), Milito (question mark but doesn’t look very good), Gudjohnsen (12m for a good character and a very occasional goal? U decide).

These players have costed 58million and besides an injured Argentine and Guddy they all left for a total of 22 million.

Nonetheless, Txiki has gone mad from time to time and imo more often the last seasons (Caceres, Hleb, Thuram) which have costed almost 50Million and have brought us nothing but misery and cheap change. Yet, we can still recover some from Hleb and Caceres, however loaning these players indefinately will not help (and we have done it before e.g. Robert Enke, Rustu, Henrique?,….).

I have the feeling that these last seasons with more money available, our transfers have become more expensive but not necessarily better.

For example, we bought at CF first Larsson for 0M then Maxi for 6M and later Gudjohnson for 12M. Same for RB Belleti (bought 10M?), to Zambrotta (14M) till Alves +30M. Offcourse inflation works bigtime, even more this transferperiod and that might make up the bulk of the analysis yet I wanted to mention this point.

Moreover, as the years have passed and the finances have grown Txike seems to have discarded or ignored cheaper opportunities on whom we used to rely, e.g. Albertini, Davids on loan, Van Bommel, Ezquerro,… . I suggest looking at opportunities like these, some of them might have included the Nedveds and Juninho’s of today. (I don’t want to go propagate this idea too much but they might have been able to help us out for 1 season untill the canteranos are ready).

We have a tendency to release players who have done their job, as Kluivert and Cocu come to mind, and Guddy seems another case. While maybe unfortunate and unprofitable it does give a good feeling and nine times out of ten these cases were not revocable imo.

About selling we should definately mention that it is generally lower than our purchase prices (we’re not a selling club) and it looks we tend to give in easily as a lot of people have mentioned this transferperiod. But if we look back on some of these deals (Ronaldinho, Deco, Giovanni Dos Santos, Luis Garcia, Van Bommel, Belleti, Giuly, Zambrotta,…) I would suggest we haven’t been blackmailed (as many fans believe) to say the least. Which is not to say we have always got fair value and the trend with LOANING everyone out these days worries me a little.


Anonymous said...

i think Thuram wasnt a disaster...

FCBarcaaa said...

I think you have to think about wages paid too. If the guy didn't perform for us, and we sell him for somewhat lower than the price we bought him for, that would be a bad deal in my opinion, as he didn't perform good enough, and we paid top wages for him, and we lost some of the transfer fees. So 3 points there, that makes it a bad deal.

I think you lack a category just above the "disaster" category. Ezquerro was just bad, bad, bad I think. He came for free, but he was just awful, a complete waste of wages.

Guddy was too high of a price for what we got. Bad deal. Didn't fit in our system, we thought we had bought a striker, but he was not a striker. Should have checked that out before we bought him, lol. Henrique looks bad, close to disaster, given that he was ruled out after just 90 minutes of friendly games.

Abidal and Keita I would consider OK, definitely not more, as we can't recoup much of their quite high transfer fees because of their age when we bought them. They have performed OK though.

Milito? That was a disaster, because of his injury. But we should also think about the age of the player when we buy, so as to make it possible for us to recoup some of the transfer fees if he stays with us for only a year or two. If he, after being with us for only a year or two, is on the wrong side of 30, then we have a problem to recoup some of the transfer fee.

I agree with you that he has gone more and more mad lately.

But look at the best buys. Marquez, Yaya, Giuly. They all came from the French league. Why haven't we looked more in that league lately?

Anonymous said...

Henry, 30 years old, 24m euros, really good? He might have one more good season left in him. So 1 bad season and 2 good seasons for 24m euros is really good? I don't think we could get any money for him after this season, so I totally disagree on that part.

I definitely agree with you that we should look more at players that are Bosman (Larsson, Van Bommel) or one year left on their contracts (players like Maxwell). Have we become too big-headed because of our money perhaps?

MohamedH said...

i guess monaco is a good place to do our shopping... Marquez, Guily and YaYa Toure all came over from Monaco...

skanjos said...

on henrique its not too early too tell ,its a disaster.

also you focus on transfers succeded but to see if he is succesful you have to count his transfer rejects too.only this summer its villa/mata/fabregas/filipe/masherano/crygnchinsky(till done) are the 100% deals rejected and who knows maybe others too...if you see other years too there were players that txiki failed to sign that maybe would help the team more(example if we had signed cannavaro instead of thuram),arshavin,buffon,beckham those are some i remember but surely if you check the rumors you will see that we were interested in tons of players we could have get.

generaly you cant judge the sports director only by his succeses......count the failures in too.i really think last year he had done great signing pique and dani alves were vital to last years success and i dont mind the extra cash for keita/caceres/henrique mainly for the teams success,you cant ask him to be faultless,also even with those expenditure we earned more by winning the trophies so it was a success cause pique+dani alves>caceres+keita+henrique failures.

but you cant argue that the other 2 years he was auful....and the year before awesome with the signings of eto/ronaldinho/deco.

thats how things go he had 2 awesome years and 2 very bad ones,now this year seems like a bad one,but maybe ibra+maxwell are as positive as last years pique+dani.we cant judge yet and it all will be showed after the season finishes,but i still think we have money for 2 good transfer "out of those if 1 becomes good then i will be happy"if we sign only crygitsky and he fails i still wont mind if we get trophies cause again the ibra+maxwell will have helped .

anyway sorry for the wall of text,too early to judge,i am strongly opposite of waiting till december for transfers,but i have faith in the players and the coach and think they can pull it off.i am routing for a bernabeu cl trophie that will be sweet :)

Han said...

As always these ratings are debatable.

Thuram was not really expensive, he sometimes was actually quite good. But I never felt comfortable when he was defending, often slipping up with ball on his feet. Moreover, the friendly guy rather slow, to the level where even my dead grandmother could outrun him. And he was expensive

Overall, certainly not a good buy imo, but a disaster may be a stern grading.

Wages do account for a lot of money but I have not been able to research the wages from the earlier days.

Ezquerro, well I heard the guy was really funny and a good character and all, but maybe the board could have just payed a clown a lower salary than what he got over the years.

Guddy, I honestly like him, though he is not quality enough. Was not good enough as a busbreaker and same goes for his change to CM. Too much money, but not a disaster imo.

Milito: I honestly raved about this signing. I even read an article about Madrid not taking him a couple of years earlier because of a failed medical (knees!!!). At that time, I believed that Madrid got delusional on that one, now I know better.

Henry: 24million for a worldclass striker, treble winner and merchandising wonder have taken me to his A-grade.

French league is an interesting point. Lyon seems to overpay a lot of times for Ligue 1 players but they get the job done mostly (8x in a row CL and 7 x champion). (watch out for Lisandro Lopez, guy is good!) Yaya toure actually started in Belgium ;-) (Beveren) but nobody saw his potential at the time.

Anonymous said...

But Rosell was responsible for Ronaldinho.

brazo said...

hleb and caceras are the biggest disasters ^^

SJP said...

good article. i think txiki has done an amazing job in a time when football trasnfers got more and more ludicrous. every team has players that dont turn out like they hoped and most teams find gems every now and then. to look at who he hasnt got is unfair, if we had offered arsenal 40mil for cesc or valencia 45mil for villa last season they would have bit our hand off to accept. madrid have completely screwed up the market thsi window, teams expect us, their direct rival, to play a similar game. as for beckham is was a great player but if we got him no ronaldinho, i know who i'd prefer.

the most important thing to look at it how successful we have been during his tenure - 3 leagues, 2 CL, 1 Copa. that is the most important factor for me, well done txiki.

Anonymous said...

In one word YES. I cant wait until Rossel comes back and gets rid of Txixi

Han said...

Thanks SJP.

I know that it is not fair to judge Txiki only on things he pulled off and not the ones he didn't managed, probably alot ;-).

But neither does one know which players he rightously refused to sign when offered.

But some renewed focus on Bosman players or almost Bosman players and Ligue 1 might help a little bit.

hawk_barca_4_life said...

he is doing a fine job .... B grading is totally wrong

keita has been among the best transfer he has scored goals when required and came as sub and done his job ...even guardiola has said he is the most improved player among the whole slot .....and wht do u expect 4m a sub at barca with limited opotunities he has been great
same for abidal he was the best player the season he came half season he was good after wards he got injured then also considering that season he did good.. ...
you all know abidal imp and his contribution for treble was equally imp... a defensive minded fullback that explains it all

hleb and caceras where regarded as greater looses but then if u consider all trasnfer and looking at there performances before we bought them there will always be ups and down ......and rem ppl they were bought the season were we needed drastic changes so eventually sme transfer as alves and pique produced results and the other did not it was a gamlbe coz we needed results!!!!

so for trixi works give him A

this season if u look we have gone for all big players according to coach needs and we scucceded in landing zlatan and offloading etoo
so he is working as our game play and our style demands high expectation so the criteria for finding the right player for our setup is difficult and then again after finding player we have to deal with the players need and transfer prises so its quiet complex and to add to the wories real madrid cr8 prob by inflating the market!!!

Gelson said...

Rosell is running for president. HE wont replace Txixi, its whoever Rosell picks to replace Txixi. Good Article, one mistake though. Gio now plays for Feyenoord.

Ulague said...

1) I actually thought that this blog is only about news and not editorials. But anyway.
2) There is no sporting director anywhere in the world doing a better job than Txiki.
The reason is that he has an incredible list of great signings for little money and the way he negotiates. He doesn't go all in, he doesn't offend partners but he keeps it smooth and goes for value-for-money, except if the coach insists on their signings(as in Gudjohnsen, Hleb and Caceres).
That's not easy if you run a big club and asking prices are higher. His team building has been excellent too, because the squad always had enough depth to battle it out in as many competitions as possible. Look at how many clubs in the past years have managed to win a double(national title and CL or even national title and cup), how much they spent and compare it again with what we have spent.
You mention Gudjohnsen. Gudjohnsen wasn't his buy, it was Rijkaard who wanted Gudjohnsen over Forlan, who would have been Txiki's choice. So I don't know what you want to blame him for.
You say that Edmilson has been a soso buy, while he was fundamental in 2006 for winning the CL with the way he took Kaka out of the game against Milan. He was often injured, but I don't think that you can predict the injury of any player, can you?
Same goes for Milito, who when he was signed, was hands down the best central defender in Spain and we got him for around 20 Million Euros, 15 less than what Madrid paid for Pepe and still less for what we want to pay for Chygrinskiy.
Thuram and Zambrotta didn't work out but who would have known?
Hleb was a player Guardiola insisted on, again not his thing.
Anyway, I said that no Sporting Director in the world does a better job than Txiki and I stand by it.
Txiki's performance over these years has been A+.

barca4life said...

I dont like Rosell, and I dont want him to come back as president. I'd much rather have a member of the current board.

Rosell wanted to remove laporta at the start of this season before we won the treble. How would our season have looked had Rosell suceeded in brining turmoil and chaos to the club at the beginning of a new season with no job security for Guardiola who had just been installed?

Aslo Rosell tried to disrupt our 2006 Champions League title run by releasing a book which was regarded as a direct attack against laporta just as we were about to play in the CL semi final.

How can you love barca and attempt to destroy barcelona's title runs just to get back at laporta? I pray to god he never sees the presidency of Barcelona ever.

Ramzi said...

Shakhtar will play today, 30 minutes from now. There may be some streams for the game. I thought you people may be interested to scout our guy ;)

hawk_barca_4_life said...

and ppl are cosider deals from the criteria of how much we would get for the players after we sell them .....but thats not barca way we buy players for there performance and not to sell jersey, or grow them and sell them for high price .... it is important to consider it but then also thats not our way
we pay salary more to player that to on incentive basis coz wht ppl want is beautifull football and results thats catalan way and barca style...thats wny its called we r not a selling club even though sme times its back fires but thats our way ..the way we play football and we will continue to play such beautifull football without compromising on results thats wht we promote!!

so we buy players who r experienced and have our style and we pay them not to get money back but trophys

FCBarca said...

Nice read...I've often thought about this very topic, myself.

For me, the two easily worst transfers in recent memory under Txiki has to be Milito & Caceres.

Hleb was the alternative to Arshavin when those talks broke down...Although, in retrospect, it can also go onto Txiki's resume as a failed deal to not get Arshavin, IMHO...Hleb, was not bought at a huge price considering his abilities and I continue to say he never got a real chance with the club.

Letho said...

You aren't saying that it's the coach who's asking after players. It seems like they make the final decision. Like now Pep asking for Chygrynskiy. Txiki just tries to make a good deal. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

Gudjohnsen wasnt cheap, but i thought he really contributed to the squad whenever he played. So i would place him in your B-category.

mario ch said...

@ Ulague exactly my point and good described

thank txiki for the titles in which he was heavly involved

Anonymous said...

Well first of all, most of the players in the first two category were Rossell's credit, not Beguiristain's; secondly you failed to take the floating fee which was paid afterwards into your calculation; thirdly I couldn't agree to the way some of players were categorized.

Kxevin said...

I like this editorial.

Ulague and barca4life sum it up best. Txiki has done an excellent job. As I said over at our space, sometimes players don't work out just because our standard is so high.

In addition, if we can sell a player for what he's worth or close to it, then we haven't used him properly because that means he still has some great years in him. Who'd want to buy Ronaldinho in the here and now?

Gudjohnsen and Hleb were both "alternatives," as has been stated before. Rijkaard was insistent on Gudjohnsen, so Txiki did an exceptional job in getting his coach the player(s) that he wants. That's a huge part of a sporting director's job.

Likewise, almost every player that Guardiola has wanted, Txiki has gotten. Successes have been Alves and Keita. Jury is out on Caceres, Hleb and Henrique. All could return.

There are so many intangibles that it is very difficult to evaluate a sporting director based solely on transfers. You have to include titles, "free" transfers (recent promotions, such as Pedro and Busquets), etc.

And in today's climate, we would have Arshavin, because we would have just paid the valuation and been done with it, rather than trying to play hardball with Zenit. Then again, where would Arshavin have played? 20+m for a bench warmer would have had the natives riled up, right?

Rosell is toxic. The club is going to be worse after six years of him at the helm. And he's the front-runner, though Laporta is working to try getting a member of the current board in there. Hence the Fabregas efforts, in an attempt to pull out a fundamental plank of the Rosell candidacy out from under him. The elections are going to be interesting.

barca4life said...

Rosell was in charge of signing players? He was our Director of Football?

Anonymous said...

what means ˝p/ex˝

Anonymous said...

Yes, now we can see what this Chygrynbauer is made of. :)

OK, let us not get our hopes up too high, if he is as good as Marquez or around that level, I will be happy, we will have a good defender for the next 10 years.

Anonymous said...

Streams showing Chygrynskiy for Shakhtar in Europa League on www.rojadirecta.com

Unknown said...

Kxevin is right. If Txiki's performance is directly related with what the coach wants, then he gets A+. But taking this approach means we will have to over-pay as all other alternatives are discarded. Here I see his hands are tied when bidding, there's just no leeway. All he can do is find a way to fund the deal as in Ibra's case.

When Txiki relies on his scouts, then his performance is mixed as with any sporting directors/managers. Yet here we can see his steadfast attitude in not wanting to give in to unreasonable prices. And it is here that Txiki gets pummelled by the fans for not getting their desired players and made fun of by the media for dragging his feet unlike our direct rivals, heavily in-debt free-spending RM.

So if I was to rate him, I would say he's a B+.

Anonymous said...

Ramzi: I don't think Chigri is playing this game? Shakhtar is pressuring all the time, but I don't see our Chygrynskiy on the pitch.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic play by Shakhtar there, incorrectly ruled offside. It was barca-class on that goal, great team play.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the off-topic, last comment by me. :)

tero said...

Oh man,was Ezquerro bad? He was awful,couldn't score even if one-on-one with goalie...

barca nike said...

when it comes to txiki alot of people just talk negative about him they never look to the good side the positive side, for me i thnk he is doing fine, i'm out.

Anonymous said...

ulague uve said iT!!!!

Kxevin said...

Word is that Chygrynskiyy isn't playing, because of the pending/looming deal. After all, we don't want them sending us a player who shows up needing surgery then gets a bit behind schedule, right?

We nicknamed Ezquerro (back in The Offside days) "Santi," as in should only be allowed to play on the odd Christmas. :D

fcbee said...

Chygrynskiy (and others!) are not playing because they won 0-3 and are focusing on the Super Cup. Has nothing to do with a transfer.

And barca4life (and han): Rosell did all transfer until he left. Albertini and Maxi Lopez were the first two Txiki transfers.

Anonymous said...

Kxevin: I went to the Shakhtar site (it is good), and they won 3-0 away to this Turkish team they are playing at home today, and Lucescu their coach says that the Barca match is now more important so they are probably resting Chigri in this game to be ready for the Supercup. They are leading 1-0 now so they seem to be right.

Unknown said...

Great analysis Han....But i believe an extla dimension should be taken into account here.. This is the current market value of existing barca players that we bought some time ago. For example Yaya is probably the best defencive midfielder in the world today and if sold noway that could be done without receiving any less than 40 mil (ie the money Fab is supposed to cost).I believe that Keita has alson increased his value as from the date we signed him and no question for Pique's value upgrade (sir alex is still crying for letting him go). Overall if we take all this in account transfers have not been all that bad

txikidracula said...


according to this c-nasty's on the bench.

Anonymous(1) said...

i dont understand why barca bought ibrahimovich, i'm not saying hes a bad player but 45m+etoo is too much for him....we could have rather spent those 45m on cesc n strengthened our midfield.

mike in africa said...

zambrotta was never as bad as ppl made out to be. stil remember how he marked christian completely out of the game in the semi-final? that was classic.

Eladir said...

Txiki is a disaster IMO.

Keano said...

Correct me if im wrong but on rossell isn't he against listening to cruff. Like him or hate him tho it is cruff(and michels) influence b4 him that have given barca their unique brand.Imo i would not like rossell coming in and trying to reinvent barca's dutch style football(i know theres alot more influences).Look at Madrid they look on in envy at the barca style trying to get the nxt best thing Wenger Dutch players,pelligrini. Somone said it b4 but i also think pelligrini's their best signing as they lack a clear philosphy.Take abramovich at Chelsea hes made no secret of liking the barca style,if rossell comes expect to c mourinho or benitez soccer ie hoof it long to drogba

bosnian_likes_barca said...

Txiki is the best in this job, there is no doubt. Laporta and him made revolution here, finaly we won 2 championsleague titles and 3 national, we could 4 very easy but players missed chance in last minutes against Espanol.

Revolution made by buying Ronaldinho and Eto, that was fantastic and brave job, beacuse than they wasn't on list of top 20 players in the world. Also, great job was giving a full confidence in young players like Iniesta, Messi, Pique.In all this years, we bought only one top world star, and that was Henry. And now Ibra.

Fantastic job was Yaya and Alves, our the best DM and RB in last 10 years. Board had exelent job with two young and unproved coaches Riykard and Guardiola.

Now, we have also the best team in the world, almost every important player is young, and for comming years we just need to buy Fabregas, some young fantastic LW and LB.

Last 5 years and comming years looks brilliant for me.

cedr barca said...

i'm sorry but milito isn't a C he's a very gd player its not his probleme if he was injured

jordy said...

milito is a very good player.
Ronnie is DEFINITELY an A+!!!!!!!!!! one of the best in barça history.
I can't believe people forget about this. The as eto'o. scored in 2 cl finals and he's not A+?who the hell is! those two are A+++++
deco was quiet cheap and player very good to A+

SamitierFCB said...

Great article. Really enjoyed it.

I feel that Txiqui is lucky to have such a great youngsters coming from inside the club.

rahul said...

alves was bought for 29m euros. maxi lopex sold for 3m. gio was bought for free. ibra went for 42.5m euros +etoo seriously at least a few right. gudjohnson for 10m. caceres 16.5m if u giving stats atleast be spot on. its awful that we let ronaldinho go for jus 25m. txiki is a flop. so many flops in a year plus i bet this chygrynisky guy wud be another flop. bringing henry for 24m euros was awful k fine he is good bt no way he is that good it took almost 2 years just to setlle in n just coz we won teh treble doesnt mean he is a success last year except teh real match i dont think he provided much in teh big matches. if this moron txiki hes gona rob suck teh club down its last juice. a pathetic sporting director a real reatard.
teh only reason he doest get critiscism is coz we won teh treble coz of guardiola. out of all teh transfers alves n pique were teh only ones who played in last years system. i wish rossel comes back.

Han said...

@rahul, if you read my post carefully I do mention this:(figures for fees are not “officially correct” use them as a good indicator)

Ba-Beka said...

Alves , Ronaldinho , Eto'o all of this guys are A+++ nobody can't prove me wrong , why?

Alves already showed his qualities , so today he can be sold for 40M to Chelsea or Man City , which means he paid himself with the performance from Last season.

Ronaldinho , if you think for Ronnie , was he good or not ? , you probably have problem with yourself and there is nothing i can help , he is Untouchable , he goes in history with Johan Cruyff , Maradona , Romario , Rivaldo , Ronaldo , Guardiola and even better then all of this guys i mentioned upthere.

Eto'O , NO COMMENT , Scored in two CHL finals , won pichichi , Scored over 100 goals , competitive every year for the best goalscorer so there is nothing to say for ETO'O together with Ronaldinho in the HISTORY and also the rest of them i already mentioned upthere.

The rest i can agree with few disagreements but not big deal .

sorry if i bothered somebody .

Ba Beka

Anonymous said...

It would appear that Txiki has a "nose" for talent but you have to realize he has a whole technical squad to supply him with information on players, his main responsibility is to close deals. While this must be a difficult task his track record this summer especially is total shit. He needs to be more aggressive.

Anonymous said...

It would appear that Txiki has a "nose" for talent but you have to realize he has a whole technical squad to supply him with information on players, his main responsibility is to close deals. While this must be a difficult task his track record, this summer especially, isn't great. He needs to be more aggressive if we are going to land players like fabregas mascherano or villa.

blaugranafan said...

Ulague makes the great point--Hleb was Guardiola's choice. If you've forgotten this, just look back at the posts from a year ago and read the comments about Pep praising Hleb's versatility and usefulness that versatility would be for the team.

It's unfair to say that the failure to sign Arshavin is a blemish on Txiki's resume. That Arshavin is a top class player may be the conventional wisdom now, but don't forget so quickly how much skepticism/uncertainty (among everyone--journalists, Barca scouts and hierarchy, and regulars to this blog) there was about his qualities last summer. We bid 15M, which is exactly the price that Arsenal signed Andrei for during the winter transfer window. Our valuation of the player looked to have been spot on. In retrospect, we should actually thank Txiki for not overpaying in that instance.

johann said...

txiki's job is to buy the players the coach wants and that txiki does excelent. but my biggest problem against txiki is that he is a terrible negotiator, everytime we are going to renew a player it aways drags out to this drama in the papers and it seems to me like he's not comfortable in the negotiator position. i also remember last summer when laporta had to finish the deal with alves because txiki couldn't finish. that for med is the story most of the time txiki screws up and laporta come and save his ass

blaugranafan said...

To play devil's advocate, Johann, such a pattern may suggest a "good cop, bad cop" negotiating strategy between president and general manager. The gm plays it tough and is stingy with the money, and the concessions come through the president.

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