Friday, 28 August 2009

Mata hoping for last-minute Barcelona move

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Valencia left wing attacker and Spanish international Juan Mata (21) hopes that Barcelona will make a last-minute attempt to sign him this summer.

Although Barcelona will almost certainly not sign any more players if the transfer of Shakhtar centre-back Chygrynskiy would be finalized this weekend, strengthening the left wing has been a priority for the club over the past months and a transfer is still not totally excluded.

After the failed attempts to sign Bayern Munich attacker Ribéry, Mata would have become the first option for the left wing (read more here). Barcelona reportedly still has to decide if they will try to close another transfer operation this summer, but if they do, they will probably go for Mata, although nothing indicates that Valencia would this time be willing to sell the player.

Read more:
Barcelona not giving up on Mata
Mascherano, Chygrynskiy, Mata: Two out of three
Mata could buy his freedom


hawk_barca_4_life said...

he shld rather force his way out if he wants to join ... coz only prob here is valencia not willing to sell him !!!!!

Humankind said...

This is just a report to sell the paper. I don't pay much attention to them because we haven't heard anything from the club to justify this claim. It's a tabloid article.

We should have tried to sign him right in the beginning of the summer. We were too late once Real had bought Kaka and Ronaldo.

Ramzi said...

We dont need him, out flanks are well covered.

tero said...

I agree with Ramzi,we have many promising players in the flanks.And Henry just keeps going ;)

Moltisanti said...

He's played in EL. Two players who can't play in the CL would be too much.

bosnian_likes_barca said...

If we buying left winger, we must buy somebody who is world class, even if he cost 40 millions. Mata is not that man, it is better to wait one year and buy somebody like Hulk, Ribbery, Van Persie, or Robben, and than sell Henry. For this year its better to buj some young player who can play LW and CM like Ozil. Good job would be also Mancini, Suarez, Babbel.., somebody good but for less than 20 millions.

Barca4Lyf said...

I don't agree with Ramzi because what happens if Henry is injured who's there to back him up? Barca need a replacement for Hleb and personally I don't think Mata is the best choice firstly because Valencia is reluctant to let him go also there a better players in that position and he doesn't seem to keen on a move. Barca should sign Luis Suarez it's his dream to play for Barca he's a winger but can play in the centre also he's a proven natural goal-scorer.

Gelson said...

Yes we dont need a left wing. We can look into this in the winter.

fcbee said...

Henry is too injury prone and it will only get worse, Iniesta doesn't score, and Pedro and Jeffren - let's not fool ourselves - don't (yet?) have the quality. So we need someone for the left wing but we won't get it because we don't have money left.

It will be crossing our fingers that Henry keeps his level of the last six months of last season and that he stays fit.

Shekhu said...

Do we really need a 22 year old winger? I dont think so.. we probably need a winger for 2-3 years max..

Andréssibraviqué said...

LOL Pep voted his 3 points for best defender to Dima :P
That's may be because he was so awe-struck with the dude's technique. But still it's a li'l weird

Ramzi said...

fcbee, Iniesta on the flank is as good as Henry on the flank.

I will not argue about it tactically, first because it will be (rightly) considered as an opinion that may be right or wrong, and secondly because the respond is the same "How many goals Henry scored, and how many goals Iniesta scored?" The numbers make it impossible to discuss things more reasonably. So lets only talk numbers:

Last season Iniesta played 14 times on the wing (4 times in Messi place and the rest in Henry place). Henry played 22 times on the flank. The team average scoring rate per game was the same in the two cases.

What makes Henry a brighter option on the left is that while Henry is a goal scorer himself (so his work seems more obvious), Iniesta presence there increases the whole team scoring abilities, so the scoring impact spread on Various players.

So if we will only talk numbers (scoring potentials) numbers say they drive the team offense identically when any of them play on the left.

Which lead me to point out how underrated some players are (Like Keita) who usually plays in midfield when Iniesta plays on the flank.

@Barca4Lyf, beside the main two options (Henry and Iniesta) we have Bojan, Pedro, Jef, and even Maxwell if needed. Mata will not add much to the mentioned names contribution on the flank. At least he will not add what worth

fcbee said...

Stats can be read the way you want. You cannot compare 10 Iniesta starts on the left wing with 22 of Henry, first. And you should also take into account the rest of the line-up. In the long run the lack of goals of Iniesta will cost you.

We also need Iniesta in midfield since we don't have back-up there, which makes it even more necessary to get a left winger.

skanjos said...

i dont think its only for sales,we were intersted for robinho and now we are in mata in the last week.we focused on chrits and now we can focus on another target,since no official statment for jeffren was made i believe there is space for a LF rumor.if jeffren stays we wont sign anyone but i think we will try to sign someone in these days,rooting for suarez :)

Los Galacticos said...

HAHA Silly Barca fans, you seem to struggle to even get bench warmers on your 2nd tier team LOL!!!!

Ramzi said...

"Stats can be read the way you want."

I fully agree on that. Lets put all stat aside, Henry scoring rate and Iniesta Assists rate as well when they both play on the flank. Either all stat aside, or all stat in, right? ;)

I am comparing 14 starts to 22 starts, which is completely valid. Yet we can compare when they both played on the flanks together against the same teams. I think that helps to show the output of each one of them Against the same opponent, in the same game and having the line up. Fair enough?

They played 4 games together on the flanks And in the 4 games Henry contribution on the scoring board was not better than thats of Iniesta.

And while next season, Henry will has a challenge to meet the performance of last season. NO one can argue that Iniesta is only getting better with time.

All that, will not lead me to say that Iniesta is better than Henry on the flank, but its only to point out that Iniesta is at least as good on the flank.

As for iniesta need on the midfield instead of the flank, based on what? We never had a problem when Iniesta played on the flank. The most difficult games we played last season we won with someone else in the midfield beside Xavi, while Iniesta/Henry played on the flank(s).

Numbers doesnt show, events doesnt prove, and Tactical observation oppose.

So no reason to consider underrating Iniesta on the flank as a valid critic.

Andréssibraviqué said...

@ ramzi
Don't think counting on Iniesta as a back-up for Henry & messi is a right option. First off Iniesta's been a li'l injury-prone... may be like Xavi previously. And secondly we don't have back-up for Xavi also. I can see only Iniesta filling those shoes if Xavi need to be rested or he's not available or worst case he's injured. Xavi definitely needs to rest a lot because he's been playing hell of a lot of games. So counting Iniesta as a back-up for Xavi would be an intelligent option rather than him counting for wing. Keita & Toure would share Iniesta's position some times.
If Iniesta is not counted as back-up for henry & Messi, only then are we content in mid, or else we are in fact very short in Mid-field depth as well. So the best option would be to buy a winger/striker

Ramzi said...

skanjos, talking about transfer targets, there is a reason why Mascherano was the primary target for Pep and for his comment that (finally) he think it may be a good Idea to play Yaya on a more advanced role. Where would that put Iniesta?

Mascherano transfer news (related to Pep comments on Yaya) were more reliable than all the daily paper-sales news like this one regarding Mata.

fcbee said...

"Most difficult" games?

Guess Iniesta showed in the CL final how crucial he is in midfield.

And no, not fair enough, because we were comparing Iniesta and Henry on the left, which should mean the rest staying the same (Eto'o in the centre and Messi on the right last season). Drawing conclusions based on four games they played together in some way is even more "you can read stats anyway you want"-wise. It's not about playing together on a different wing and it's not about four games.

fcbee said...

There has been confirmation by Valencia and the player's father that Barcelona has made a formal bid, so apart from this report probably not being reliable, they were looking to sign Mata earlier this summer.

Talks on Mascherano, by the way, were also confirmed, even by Benitez. Although there wasn't a formal bid there.

tero said...

Hey galactico,remember what happened in Bernabeu? I wouldn't run my mouth too much if I were you

Ramzi said...

Andréssibraviqué, Good logic.

Yet, Iniesta as (only) a back up for Xavi is a waste of resources. How many games do you think he will play this way?

See it this way (little theoritical assumption but just to clearify) we will play a max of 60 games this season:

If Iniesta plays 15 games in Xavi place, 15 in henry place, and 15 in Messi place, thats 45 games (thats a lot). Take of 10 out of the 15 for Pedro/Bojan/insert-youth. And do the same for Henry and messi. you end up that every player plays arround 35 games, and give the chance for youth as well.

Against half of the liga team, we can win with a front line of Messi-Ibra-Pedro with a complete midfield. Or a Yaya-Xavi-JDS with a complete offense (and so on with all rotation templates).

Giving the opportunity for youth is vital, not to take responsibilities, but to be involved.

I cant see how far Mata can improve this team so we pay millions and burry our own youth just to get him.

Ramzi said...

"fcbee said...
"Most difficult" games? "

Review the season Fixtures, December schedule. And btw he also proved what he can do when he is less tied tactically on the flank in the game against Chelsea, 2nd leg.

As for the rest, again, the numbers mentioned above carry more diversity than just one Variable (Goals scored). I am not drawing conclusions based on all the numbers that could be taken anyway (reasonably) and will lead to the same output. I am actually demanding not to draw conclusions from "one number", that’s goals scored.

Andréssibraviqué said...

@ Ramzi
Yeah let's say we are playing 60 games this season.
I'd like it to be like this if injuries & suspensions permit :
X6 at CM - 40
I8 at CM - 20(all the times when Xavi is not playing)
I8 as CAM- 20(all the important games)
Y24 as CDM-20(all the important games)
Y24 as CAM-30
K15 as CAM-10

These numbers are the number of starts. Now this way I think we'd reduce the chances of players picking up knocks. From our MID, I don't want Xavi to pick up any kind of injuries at all, that would be just unbearable. The CM position in Barca is the heart, soul & every thing. So I'd like Xavi to be fit all the time, & Iniesta to be fit whenever Xavi needs to rest. It's not like I don't care about rest of the players, but I think Xavi should never be unavailable for Barca to win matches & if at all Xavi is not available only Iniesta can handle the job up to the mark. So just limit Iniesta to mid-field if we are to sustain the up-coming hectic schedule.
I hope Pep thinks the same way and not to use Iniesta in wings

fcbee said...

You're too much of a theory guy, Ramzi, while you're missing the crucial things about the game.

Boat Forever said...

Even I agree Iniesta is very good when playing from wing. He if not scores, presents a lot of opportunities for our mid to score; while Henry plays from wing he himself manages to score. There won't much of an effect in the game if indeed Iniesta is played from wing. BUT we do need him a LOT in mid. And that's where I agree with you we need a new winger/striker who could cover all the front 3 positions & Iniesta needs to restricted in mid. Come on dude, don't be harsh on ramzi

Andréssibraviqué said...

BTW Llorente just closed the doors for Mata from joining Barca, reports EMD.
I think we are better off with Suarez than Mata, because the guy can play at all front 3 positions, so would be cover to Ibra as well while Mata doesn't offer that option. But I don't think the board would now consider that option, it's too late in the transfer market :(

Ramzi said...

Well, we can make a review how many times my theories turned to facts. My articles and comments are all there my friend ;)

Lets review some, and this blog is here to witness (points that now sounds obvious, but if you review it back in time, it wasnt):

- Abidal as a 3rd back after buying Alves. (Accused being theoritical back then, and that Abidal sucks, and Barcelona means Attack).

- Predicting last summer that Iniesta will be used on the left wing if henry didnt improve on the left, and that he will do great (as he no doubt performed, theoritically, statistically, practically and football wise)while he was barely labeled as a supper sub back then. (Including some of who are still critisizing just for the sake of it). Right?

- Predicting that pep will be a great coach in the history of the club if given patience and time (after being attacked here when the team lost and draw the first two games). I also wrote it in the article back then.

- Renewals and contract status of many players, and analysing the Yaya situation where the common belief was that pep doesnt trust him and he will be sold before transfer period end, then after it closed he was going to be sold during winter break. right?

- Hailing Keita signing, which some people till the moment didnt figure out his importance (Pep does). I explained his role when we signed him exactly as he performed later. (which was considered theoritical as well). Right?

- Messi acting more as a "10" than playing on the flank, so he open the path for Alves on the right.

- Yaya ability to play in an advanced position (which was also considered theoritical) till Pep one year later mentioned it.

- If you watch the game against Bilbao 2nd leg again you will see the exactly same scenarios I mentioned in the article I wrote few days before. Which was again considered by "some" as being theoritical.

There are much more (yet I failed to predict Pep modifications on Henry role who is by the way playing more as a second striker than a LW if we want to talk proffessional football). And I was excited (the same as pep-if thats make him theoritical) when we signed Hleb. But Hleb didnt click for reasons there is no place to mention here.

Yet for being actually a football coach since 4 years(In practice). Applying all what I write (as long as the teams I coached allow). With a good performance that offered me the chanceto start studying UEFA B (Still in the primary courses though). Man needs to wonder what makes someone theoritical and the other Practical. May be agreeing with the common belief? (like earth is flat as once we truly believed).

I used reasoning to explain a case, you took it personal instead when you failed to prove a point. So lets not argue, and agree to disagree.

The bad thing is that while in every other forums ideas are discussed to exchange knowledge and improve the common understanding of the game. Things are not improving here at all. Either people attack each other, or practicing passive attitude.

This is an off reccord comment, but just to release it.

Ramzi said...

Boat Forever, he is not harsh, Its all fun for me so I dont take things personally. He is just not fair at least to admit later what he opposed before when it proves right lol

NOw in a serious note, I really wish arguments to go more indepth, rather than being as a tennis ball bouncing from one side to another. Something I enjoy on many other forums while its the only thing this great blog lack. And for all the quality this blog provide (beside my theoritical articles Fcbee), it worth more relaxing open discussions.

fcbee said...

If you say 100 things about football matters, you sure can in the end make a list of 20 things that are supposed to be "right" (in your opinion, there's a lot of twisting to make them "right" there). I can make the same list and I'm sure all of us can. So that doesn't prove anything, Ramzi.

How many courses you might follow, you'll never get there because you miss the essence of the game. And that's not learnt in the books. But you're a smooth talker, so I guess at least some people will buy it. Which is also a talent, by the way.

Andréssibraviqué said...

@ Ramzi
'With a good performance that offered me the chance to start studying UEFA B'
Sorry, didn't get what you meant there... But being a coach for four years now, man didn't see that come! I guess I'd be following more of you now onwards :)

clive said...

good discussions going on here.
i am thinking Mata is not quite necessary. Strengthening the left wing position means to have a huge threat from the left like messi does on the right(as we are already playing very attacking football all year long), but can Mata be the guy? I don't think so. He is good, but not good enough to produce a lot of damage like iniesta does. he showed it in confederations cup. without iniesta, spain looked average in attack. and Mata played and made no surprise for the team. we need a bigger player like robben or ribery if we really need that dangerous man on the left.

Andréssibraviqué said...

Of all the points to you have told, you are missing some possibilities IMHO. Imagine we have el classico; Henry got injured & Xavi picked up a card so got suspended from playing the match or vice verca... Then we do need Iniesta at CM, Keita playing CAM & Bojan of all playing at LW. I think we'd most probably lose in such a scenario. And these things do happen for real and not just hypotheticaly, if not during el classico but some other tough match against a very big club, like we got Alves & Abidal suspended and Marquez injured for final. I'm pretty sure none would have foreseen that when the season started this time last year. And we had to endure that in probably the most important match for a club!!
So, I think considering Iniesta only as a mid-fielder and not a cover for wing positions would be the best option. And of course signing a player like Luis Suarez who can cover all front 3 positions. If not a young player like him, some other player say like Joe Cole so that the development of kids like Bojan, Keirrison & Pedro is not hindered

Anonymous said...

I dont agree, we need another winger. Pedro, Bojan or Jeffren(maybe loaned out) are not good enough yet.

groga said...

The thing is not only having a back-up for Henry. People sometimes forget that the problem is the same on the right, where we don't have a back-up for Messi.

We don't have forwards who can come off the bench and change a game in my opinion. That's a little worrying.

Andréssibraviqué said...

We can manage 2 simultaneous injuries like i) 1 in attack & 1 in defense or ii) 1 in mid & 1 in defense against strong oppositions.
But not the cases like i) 1 injury in attack & 1 injury in mid; ii) 2 injuries in attack; iii) 2 injuries in mid-field.
So the squad is really small and needs some more depth imo. I'd prefer winger/striker to singing a mid-fielder in the present circumstances for the reasons discussed

Ramzi said...

Probably, for a change I must not pass this one. As it seems people take their last comment seriously when I let it go.

"you'll never get there because you miss the essence of the game"

Fcbee, obviously your comments quality is not helping me to learn.

Beside, most of the examples I mentioned proved you wrong during last season. From the "100 thing" I said; pick where I was right and where I was wrong in return. To judge me means that you followed.

I have to say it, and I apologize in advance, but In brief, you failed to argue numbers Vs numbers. And you didn’t show your football wisdom proving why Iniesta is a bad option on the flank. So you turned it personal (from your behalf) the same as it went in that discussion where you considered Sandro-the panic as the reason behind Barcelona success in the past few years. while Laporta has nothing good to point out. (Without giving any reason for that).

I am mentioning all this to give you an advice (I am sure you will not take, you are too good for that). In a debate, contribute where you can handle difference in opinions, or else avoid it.

I didn’t judge your opinions quality nor evaluated it (or else I will be harsh). Nor I claimed being superior. I discussed a specific point from a fan point of view which obviously differs from your view (don’t see anything bad in that). I don’t need to agree with you to become the new Rinus Michels, no matter what kind of football geniuses you believe you are.

Believe it or not, I am not offended, just disappointed.

Andréssibraviqué, to become a professional coach in the big leagues, you need have this licence. It doesn’t make you a good coach, but to be involved you have to tick some boxes.

But I don’t consider it a reason to follow me, as the studies barely add anything on the football overview (which they test before you study by the way), its more about the details covering drills, Team Building, Psychology, etc...

Sometimes its not easy to be understandable.

Ramzi said...

And for the record, I am not criticizing the approach to sign one more player though I prefer if he is not a wing because we have lot of youth who need a chance and I trust them. Especially Pedro, I think he is less risky to use than Mata. We must not see the neighbours’ garden as the most beautiful all the time. We have our own plants. My argument was about how underrated Iniesta is as a left wing.

Busquets for example, he was not rated last summer as high as Pedro is rated now. The guy played the CL final, perfectly. This year no reason to doubt he may not get better. What about Bojan? He played on the flank many games, he had his ups and downs but either keep a space for the guy or offload him.

If 3 players get injured we are in a big troubles no doubt. But we dont plan our squad for the scenario that we get 2 injuries and two suspensions. How offten will it happen at the same time for the same position. Even against Man Utd we were able to manage, nothing worse to happen.

Yet, I would accept the case if we will sign a player who can deliver the same quality Henry or Iniesta deliver. But from all the mentioned names I cant find one. I prefer sticking to Bojan and Pedro rather than buying Mata.

I want JDS, Thiago, Pedro, and Bojan to step in. To get the next Iniesta,Xavi, Messi, Puyol you need to take risks. Call me crazy and theoretical, But I will take it.

My opinion about Cesc is well known, but I would have welcomed him for reasonable price being one of the best Mids so inista play upfront (for the record, no one in the world can cover Messi absence better than Iniesta). I supported signing Mascherano for being the best DM because it will have the same impact. Hell I wouldn’t oppose signing Villa to rotate on the flanks and the middle upfront. But Mata type of players? No.

fcbee said...

"proving why Iniesta is a bad option on the flank"

You didn't prove the opposite too. Which was my point. Which was by that proven.

"Beside, most of the examples I mentioned proved you wrong during last season."

Duh, most of the thing you mention in that list were generally accepted things that you want to make look like 'master moves' or something. Keita? We all knew he would be a good back-up. But when it matters, he's on the bench. Touré advanced postion? He played there in Monaco, what's new? Iniesta on the left? He played there under Rijkaard, what's new?

I'm sorry, but it's a lot talking, Ramzi. A nice package, but basically we all can make up our own little theories. And if we all make 100, we'll all be able to say in a year, that 20 of them were right.

Anonymous said...

@ ramzi
I agree now with you that we need a proven talent if we sign some one for wings, and I do agree that when you are ready to trust Mata you should show the same faith in Bojan as well since he's been around for almost same time as Mata & he's from our own Cantera. I'd have loved to get a Van Persie, a Robinho or a Joe Cole. But now that they are out of market and we do need a reinforcement for that position I wanted us to sign Luis Suarez so much. Once Bojan is ready to take over we could easily sell that new player you see. And I don't see Bojan to be any where near being a final polished product for 2 more years, same with Pedro.

Andréssibraviqué said...

@ ramzi
I agree now with you that we need a proven talent if we sign some one for wings, and I do agree that when you are ready to trust Mata you should show the same faith in Bojan as well since he's been around for almost same time as Mata & he's from our own Cantera. I'd have loved to get a Van Persie, a Robinho or a Joe Cole. But now that they are out of market and we do need a reinforcement for that position I wanted us to sign Luis Suarez so much. Once Bojan is ready to take over we could easily sell that new player you see. And I don't see Bojan to be any where near being a final polished product for 2 more years, same with Pedro.

Ramzi said...

Fcbee, some one was using your nickname before in these comments about Yaya (just as an example):

This one was the most recent of many.

Its the same regarding Iniesta and others. I just got confused.

But I agree with you, I do not worth your time. You dont need to read what I write.

fcbee said...

I don't see your point in the Touré discussion. I just say that it wasn't a revolutionary thing to propose that he would play higher because he alreay played there.

And so far, apart from a little trial, Touré is not playing as AM, so that could rather prove me right than you...

Ramzi said...

Right right:)

fcbee said...


meho fužine said...

Look at henri saivet 16 years on youtube and promising as barca for next decade of total football in meanwhile we could rather go for guardado(both wing back and attacking winger) from deportivo this kid knows to defend and impact threat to opposition, mata is just good because of valencia other players and they go well together but hey for 25 or more millions that's not good enough. On the other hand we can get those two for 20 both or even less depands on ciko's(txiki)negotiating skills

Anonymous said...

I really respect you,Mr. Ramzi Tanani ! U once again got ur "theory" right when u said that Pedro should be given a chance.He proved himself today in the final.How do u predict these things ? Anyway,hope u are successful like this always.Barca needs more fans like you ! :)

Ethan said...

Los galactecos can suck it. Get the **** off our blog

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