Age Before Beauty: Barcelona 2019-2020

coremiller

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Jul 14, 2005
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Barcelona are rumored to be selling 23-year-old Arthur to Juve for 80m while buying 30-year-old Miralem Pjanic from Juve for 70m. This doesn't make any sense, so why would they do this? Accounting gimmickry!

The SwissRamble explains:

View: https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/1276039133396373504


An added twist is that, if the club's profits are too low, the Board of Directors have to personally guarantee 15% of the club's annual budgeted expenses, and if the club loses money, the Board members are personally on the hook for the losses. So the Board is desperate to show a book profit to avoid this situation:

View: https://twitter.com/DianaKristinne/status/1276111185352458240
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Reading that thread, the accounting system makes no sense. You're comparing lifetime profits, 2010-to-date, to the next year's budgeted expenses? And furthermore, not making any allowance for the fact that profits sitting around over the last decade would have grown substantially, even in the Spanish market? Just seems bizarre.
 

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
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Barcelona are rumored to be selling 23-year-old Arthur to Juve for 80m while buying 30-year-old Miralem Pjanic from Juve for 70m. This doesn't make any sense, so why would they do this? Accounting gimmickry!

The SwissRamble explains:

View: https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/1276039133396373504


An added twist is that, if the club's profits are too low, the Board of Directors have to personally guarantee 15% of the club's annual budgeted expenses, and if the club loses money, the Board members are personally on the hook for the losses. So the Board is desperate to show a book profit to avoid this situation:

View: https://twitter.com/DianaKristinne/status/1276111185352458240
That's interesting, thanks for sharing. But for me, the headline doesn't change. Barca is trading a valuable PLAYER AND ASSET for poor value. In other words, you could basically say this deal is inflating the value of the players by 40M and it starts to make a bit more sense. Arthur at 40M and Pjanic at 30M gets you closer to their actual MV, but what's lost in that is that Arthur is a younger, more promising, and potentially already better player who fits what Barca traditionally tries to do. To only make 10M on his sale to let the BOD off the hook (and TBF presumably finance a Galactico purchase this summer) shows how the club is doing from a management perspective SMGDH.
 

67YAZ

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Dec 1, 2000
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Still think this is a shortsighted move by Barca, but will be interesting to watching Sarri to mold Arthur into the next Jorginho.

And poor Pjanic. He lost his free kick role to Ronaldo and now gets to slot in behind Messi.
 

SocrManiac

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Apr 15, 2006
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And poor Pjanic. He lost his free kick role to Ronaldo and now gets to slot in behind Messi.
This is my fault. My most recent shirt purchase was Pjanic. Either way, watching Messi score on free kicks is infinitely preferable to watching Ronaldo punish the chest and stomachs in the wall.
 

Zososoxfan

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Aaaaaand that's likely the La Liga season. Barca draw @Celta 2-2 and give Real some breathing room down the stretch. Setien used a pretty close to ideal XI:

MATS
Semedo-Pique-Sam-Alba
Vidal-Rak-Puig
Messi-Suarez-Fati

Rak at DMF made the team more mobile and they pressed up high. This created chances but also left them weak in the back and Celta had a couple of quality opportunities to put in a couple in the first half. But they didn't, and Barca struck first with a brilliant Messi FK assist for a Suarez header. Shortly after halftime, Rak had a baaaad turnover in MF, but it was Sam who was mostly at fault IMO. He overplayed the ball carrier high up the pitch rather than retreating and they passed around him. That was bad, but rather than bust ass to get himself back in the play, he lollygagged back and the Celta striker crossed for his mate for a tap in with Sam and Rak trailing him. Just an awful display. Barca pulled ahead again with good team pressing and a world class finish from Suarez. When he's on form, he's still one of the best number 9s in the world, it's just that his good form is rare at this point. Anyway, Barca got caught out again and Pique gave up a FK on the edge of the box. The wall either wasn't lined up right or Griez tried to cheat in, and he was beaten around the side to MATS' near post to draw Celta level at '88. And that's how the match, Barca's La Liga season, and likely Arthur's Barca career ended. If it weren't for Messi, it would absolutely be time to tear the sucker down and start over. But since Messi is here, they will sell off parts for what they can to bring in Ney/Lautaro and give this group one last shot before a new Chairman takes over and the club can finally begin planning in earnest for the post-Messi/Busi/Alba/Pique era.
 

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MDLzera
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Aaaaaand that's likely the La Liga season. Barca draw @Celta 2-2 and give Real some breathing room down the stretch.
I saw this and said "wait, when did RM overtake the lead in the La Liga title race?" But looking at it now, I guess Barca still has ATM at home and Villarreal away, while Madrid's only remaining matches they might plausibly drop points are home vs Getafe and Villarreal. I guess they have Bilbao on the road, but have kinda had their number the last few years.

Celta Vigo might be in 16th right now but they have one of the most consistently entertaining, positive, attack-minded styles, so I always catch their highlights. And Iago Aspas is just super fun to watch - not a lot of players would have tried that wall-bender that tied the game, and precious few on teams that aren't world-class. It's amazing to me that Aspas has spent all but 2 of his 16 pro seasons at Celta and never really gotten a look at higher-class clubs (Liverpool tried him for 15 appearances in 2013-14 and then sent him back to Spain).
 

Zososoxfan

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I saw this and said "wait, when did RM overtake the lead in the La Liga title race?" But looking at it now, I guess Barca still has ATM at home and Villarreal away, while Madrid's only remaining matches they might plausibly drop points are home vs Getafe and Villarreal. I guess they have Bilbao on the road, but have kinda had their number the last few years.

Celta Vigo might be in 16th right now but they have one of the most consistently entertaining, positive, attack-minded styles, so I always catch their highlights. And Iago Aspas is just super fun to watch - not a lot of players would have tried that wall-bender that tied the game, and precious few on teams that aren't world-class. It's amazing to me that Aspas has spent all but 2 of his 16 pro seasons at Celta and never really gotten a look at higher-class clubs (Liverpool tried him for 15 appearances in 2013-14 and then sent him back to Spain).
On the Barca Talk pod this morning, they nailed it--when a club sitting in 16th is bringing on Rafinha and Nolito at the end of the match, it's not your typical 16th place club. What's wild is 2-3 seasons ago I think they were competing for a UEL or UCL spot. Not sure what happened.
 

Zososoxfan

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Welp, Barca draw with Atleti 2-2 all but conceding the title to Real. Barca lined up like this:

MATS
Semedo-Pique-Lenglet-Alba
Vidal-Busi-Rak
Puig
Messi-Suarez

It's actually an interesting idea to match Atleti's 4-4-2, but didn't quite work out as planned. Puig was the only one other than Messi providing any creativity or dynamic play, as Rak rarely got forward and Vidal's runs weren't as useful with Semedo making runs forward. Vidal was also responsible for a clumsy pen protecting the space vacated by Semedo, although Pique also just got beasted on that run too. I'm a total Rak stan but he was dreadful today. He didn't create any overloads with his workrate, he didn't do anything particularly well, and he had a couple of horrifying turnovers. However, I still think he was outdone by Suarez, who didn't do shit all match. The biggest problem with this team right now is that Suarez is considered a given for 90 every match, when Martin would be a much better choice. Vidal also getting as much PT as he has is puzzling. Grizi can do most of the same stuff and so can Roberto. Vidal is not young and was mostly redundant with Rak today.

While I really like Semedo (earned a very soft pen), asking both him and Alba to push forward left gaps for Atleti. I imagine the idea was to have Rak and Busi almost as a double pivot and protect the space in behind, but neither is spry enough to cover that much space. When Roberto came on for Rak at '63, it was really interesting--him and Alba took turns going forward. But it didn't amount to much.

The only notable sub was Roberto, which leads to the fact that Grizi is officially persona non grata. While he hasn't shown himself to be as versatile as I thought (he's basically only useful as a SS/AMF), he's still easily one of the best XI and the team should be built around him at this point and not vice versa. Either both he and Messi should be setup behind Suarez and/or Martin, or he can be used instead of Messi when Messi needs a break. Fati came on for Busi for 10 minutes and instantly made the team's spacing better and he was willing to at least try to take players on.