FC Barcelona - The New Era

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  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    We were now in December, only a few weeks away from a crucial transfer window. We had players like Semedo and Denis Suarez who would be leaving us, but it wasn't a crisis as of yet. Paulinho and Gomes has shown that they are more than capable of filling the void of Suarez, and Munir has done well at LW, where Suarez often played, after Alcácer came back.

    I had made a few arrangements for a right back on a loan. It's a player that I really like and believe can be a big part of our comeback. I'm sure that if he is doing well he will push for a move. The deal was sorted after a long period of thinking from the other club. But during the game they called my assistant to let me know that they would fly him over to sign a two-year contract.

    I was informed about it and I went down to the café for some food and a coffee after the game for a well deserved break from everything. The feeling was amazing. We were about to sign a great prospect for two years. After an hour I got a text from my assistant saying "Hope I don't disturb you but the deal is done, check the website!"

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    The Ukrainian right back from Manchester City hadn't gotten a lot of playing time, not surprising. We spoke earlier in the season about a move and he was very keen on it. This would be a great move for him to show City that he is a great talent but for our sake, if he does well we will do everything to keep him. He would join the squad as soon as the transfer window opened.

    I didn't have much time to think as it was time to move onto the next few games in rapid succession.

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    The game was very focused on tactics from Osasuna and we dominated the game, but didn't really have any dangerous chances. In the 54th minute Munir ran down the left side but the Osasuna defender got there before him and Munir ran straight into his leg. Camp Nou got silent and Munir was devastated. He saw the red card and no one complained. He went straight down the tunnel almost in tears and after a long break the game continued and ten minutes after that they scored.

    Every single one of us quickly forgot about the injury and we played one of the best football I've seen this season. Their keeper did too. Suárez although outsmarted him late in the game and in the last few minutes we pushed harder than ever for a winning goal but the bar was as close as we came. A frustrating way to end our winning streak.

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    Another frustrating game. As Aleñá scored we thought we could ride the momentum but Alcorcón scored instantly. Arthur came through with a great equalizer but we didn't get closer and that and looking at the game, a draw was fair for both sides. Gomes on the other hand got his second yellow in the 89th due to what it seemed to be pure frustration as he furiously lashed out at a player and got us a red card for the second consecutive game.

  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    It was the last game of 2018 and we hadn't done all to well this month. We really needed a win in this game to get the morale back on track and also give players like Ruiz, Alena, Suárez and Semedo a worthy farewell.

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    It wasn't the greatest atmosphere in the locker room after the game. We had a great run and they all come to an end but we had teams close to us in the table now and we put a lot of unnecessary pressure on us.

    "I want to say thank you to Ruiz, Alena, Suarez and Semedo. You all know individually how much I appreciate you and you all have done a terrific job this year. I'm sad you guys decided to leave but I also appreciate how much you never stopped fighting even if you knew you weren't going to be here for the rest of the season."

    Arda Turan was the only one who didn't greet them when everyone was leaving the arena. Atalanta had approached me on the phone a few days earlier telling me they were interested in a potential transfer and I'll tell you right now, he's going no matter what this transfer window.
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  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    What's going on? It's hard to believe that the promotion is in danger, but the late results and the red cards show that the team isn't fully calm.

    Surprised with the signing of Zinchenko... I don't know if he adds anything to Barcelona's future, but I wish the manager knows what he's doing.

  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
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    We got right back up. I decided to give a player from La Masia a go and did he return the favor? So he did. He played with an amazing amount of confidence and really showed me that I have the capacity that's needed for the rest of the season.

    "Thank you so much for believing in me. This was fun!" he said after the game as we finished up in the dressing room.

    A few hours passed as my assistant called me. Turan had flown to Italy as expected but didn't sign for Atalanta. I honestly couldn't care less which team he joined. I get his view, he gets called back from his loan and doesn't get to play but he would've if he kept his cool.

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    All good. We now had a squad that I knew all about and I knew we were going for not only promotion, but the title as well. But only a few hours later someone knocked on my office.

    "What's up, Munir?" I asked.

    "Uhm, you know about Köln right?"

    "Yes. They triggered your release clause shortly after we renewed your contract last week. Why? Thinking about it?"

    "That's the thing. I'm going. I'm sorry, but I want to play in the Europa League now and not in two years. I'm very thankful for everything and you've been amazing for me".

    I didn't bother to ask him more. I thanked him. But why? The guy was almost the top scorer in the league and with big players leaving he had almost a guaranteed spot in the starting eleven. I knew that I had to find a player on a short notice for a 6-month loan now to cover up if Alcacer got injured.

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    My assistant came in with a few suggestions. Alexander Isak, the young Dortmund player, used to play for my main rivals. Insanely talented but after a quick call to Dortmund we came to the conclusion that they weren't interested at all. So it went. But we found one player named Sergio Córdova and I asked if my assistant manager could go and try to seal the deal as we went on with the next game. "No worries, Lyktan. I'll sort it".

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    Zinchenko had the game of his life so far. Starting at left back in a new formation, 4-4-2, as we now didn't have enough pace on the wings, he made great runs about every single time. I decided to bring on Miranda as a left back and put Zinchenko as a left midfielder allowing him to be more attacking.

    "You're crazy" he shouted and laughed as Miranda gave him the instruction. In the following attack he got the ball from a corner and put on a magical display running almost the full pitch before blasting it bottom corner. Ten minutes after he did the exact same thing but this time it rebounded off the keeper onto Paulinho who tapped it home.

    We were back at our best where no one could stop us and my assistant manager called me shortly after the game about the news. Córdova agreed on a 6 months long loan and would be available in our next game against Extremadura.

    "Sent you a pic, this will be going up on the social media channels tomorrow" my ASM texted me right before I decided to call it a night.

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  • Wyojasond
    13852 posts Has That Special Something
    A bit of a rough stretch to end the year but you responded well. Anything but the league title will be a disappointment at this stage
  • Stlducks
    1781 posts Play-Off Hero
    The team bounced back from the rough end to 2018 well. It's sad to see so many players leaving but it is expected. Hopefully the remaining core can continue to build.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    Deadline day. Usually it's something I enjoy but this year it's not. We were short on players that were proper experienced but in todays game it showed that you don't need an awful lot to be outstanding. Zinchenko played as a LW most of the game and stood for yet again a fantastic game.

    But this deadline day would at best be quiet. We wouldn't bring in anyone. It's the last time this is happening before we can start going for real in the summer, most likely promoted as well. It was fun, saying that, just observing other clubs from the distance.
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    But it became a new year and we still had most of our squad intact. Now we could focus for real. No more losing players because they want to play in the big leagues. In 6 months we're in Primera Division, it looked more and more likely. Hopefully my players didn't party too hard, or at all most preferably, during New Years as we had a game only a few days later.

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    I went to my office to read the monthly report from Liga Segunda, this time a bit delayed due to the early games of the month and sat down, enjoying the league table.

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    "Hmm.. will be interesting to see how Numancia will be doing after that. They're 18th in the league. Who knows?" I mumbled to myself. I was in a good mood, so was the rest of the team.

  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    A bit of a rough stretch to end the year but you responded well. Anything but the league title will be a disappointment at this stage

    Yeah, I'd be surprised if I don't win it. Yep, was a tough period that :'(
    Stlducks wrote: »
    The team bounced back from the rough end to 2018 well. It's sad to see so many players leaving but it is expected. Hopefully the remaining core can continue to build.

    It genuinely made me sad! I was impressed by how involved I was when I realised. Munir leaving honestly made me furious. He was doing great!
    subpop wrote: »
    What's going on? It's hard to believe that the promotion is in danger, but the late results and the red cards show that the team isn't fully calm.

    Surprised with the signing of Zinchenko... I don't know if he adds anything to Barcelona's future, but I wish the manager knows what he's doing.

    Bad spells that can't happen at this stage! But let's see how Zinchenko is doing, good start so far!

  • Chris
    5401 posts Big Money Move
    Done well keeping a lot of your best players despite the relegation, you'll be back in no time
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Promotion is looking very likely now with such a big gap at the top of the table
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
    JoshDFC wrote: »
    Promotion is looking very likely now with such a big gap at the top of the table

    Would surprise me genuinely!
    Chris wrote: »
    Done well keeping a lot of your best players despite the relegation, you'll be back in no time

    Quite curious on who I should go for in the summer. Will be exciting!
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
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    "I really want to say a big thank you to Lyktan. Guardiola told me to play my absolute best as I got here on loan and I've been doing that but not many managers would give a youngster like me these chances. I have played most of my games now at left wing, he just knew I'd fit right in there. He's a great manager and I'm learning stuff everyday, can't wish for anything else right now" Zinchenko said in the press conference after the game and to be fair to the lad, playing like this is only going to give you more games.

    ----

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    Malcom has been outstanding this season, or saying that is an understatement. Without him we would not be where we are right now and today we were under a lot of pressure and I thought we wouldn't get more than a point from this when I gathered the team at half time. But what Malcom did is something the opposition can ever prepare for. What a goal that was and the pundits seemed to agree.

    Who else agreed? Well, it was the last game of the month so he scored just in time to get the number one spot in Goal of The Week. Have a look!

    Post edited by Lyktan on
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    Great run of results as the team open an important gap on the rivals.

    I don't know if it's me... but I can't open the link (?).
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited October 2018
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    "That's one of the best debuts I've seen. You look a bit knackered now, is that right?" I asked Miguel as he was subbed off in his first ever game for the main team, and he started in it. Putting someone on the spot like that can be scary, but not for him.

    "..yeah. I am" he said and laughed and I couldn't blame him. He was one of the best players on the pitch if not the best. His goal wasn't the most advanced one but he stood exactly where he needed to be and Vidal just passed it sideways for an easy tap-in.

    Córdova is trying his best but that's about it. I talked a bit about it with my ASM the other day that the guy just isn't good enough. The guy is huge and very strong but rarely uses it to his advantage. "Good thing we only have him for a few more months" my assistant manager said under his breath whilst covering his mouth during the game after another misplaced pass from Cordova.

    I had a talk with him after the game saying I expect more from him but that he did good to get a goal, "but just make it easier for yourself out there alright?".

    It's been another month of great success and we are now in March. The players got the news update on their mail after the game and Zinchenko threw his bottle jokingly at Malcom shouting "Come on, let me win it for once! You scored a worldie and you aren't satisfied with that?". He had settled in nicely with the team and was one of the biggest clowns in the group but also one of the most professional ones. I went to him and patted him on the back saying "You'll get there in no time"

    "Thanks Lyktan. But just drop Malcom the next game" he said and was responded with Malcom throwing back Zinchenkos water bottle at him.

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    Post edited by Lyktan on
  • Stlducks
    1781 posts Play-Off Hero
    It's not just you @subpop, I'm not able to either.

    The team looks like it is going on a run, would be nice to create space from the rest of the table.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    subpop wrote: »
    Great run of results as the team open an important gap on the rivals.

    I don't know if it's me... but I can't open the link (?).
    Stlducks wrote: »
    It's not just you @subpop, I'm not able to either.

    The team looks like it is going on a run, would be nice to create space from the rest of the table.

    Should work now! Thanks for the heads up.
  • Stlducks
    1781 posts Play-Off Hero
    Great goal, really like the commentary added also!
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Stlducks wrote: »
    Great goal, really like the commentary added also!

    Good fun to do! Bit of a shame Malcom is my star man, he's played almost nothing so it's not much commentary in English from his goals and not many pictures of him in a Barca-kit so I'm kinda hoping someone else will steal the darn show :D
  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    Build a solid gap up front with this run of games. Malcom is playing fantastic..
    And then good signings. Letting go of Turan to calm down the locker room and bring in young talented players. They now get the chance to adapt and deliver in the first league later on. Expect Cordova who will be leaving after the season. But for now they can enjoy some play time.
  • Danimal5981
    2503 posts Fans' Favourite
    14 games to go; Once returned to La Liga this one will get really interesting, unless a sudden change in the story might throw us all aback.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Promotion is looking almost certain now Malcom has been exceptional is helping the club return to La Liga six POTM's in a row got a feeling he might get player of the year :lol:
  • Wyojasond
    13852 posts Has That Special Something
    Just cruising now. I’m sure plans are already being put in place for summer transfers as well. Will be interesting to see how quickly you can get back to challenging the two Madrid sides.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    "Lyktan, I gotta say that I, and I probably speak for everyone else, are surprised by how well Zenchenko is playing. Did you expect him to be this good?" a journalist asked after the game.

    "To be honest, I knew how good he could be but I wasn't sure if he would be able to achieve those levels this quick. He has surprised me too and especially as he is playing a completely new position for him in half the games. I'm going to love to have him in my team for two years".


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    I spoke to Malcom after the game. I asked him how he was feeling as he has played almost all of our games this year but he told me that he has never felt better in his career. You could see how excited he was for the big leagues and eventually the Champions League. And yeah, most people would tell me to stop take the victory out in advance but I have full confidence in the squad at the moment.


    "Gallardo. You've done very well in Barca B this year and I think it's time for you to get the chance with the first team.". The look on his face was at first a surprised one but eventually it faded to a very determined look. The guy was sixteen but almost two meters tall and had shown in training that he could go on to be very, very good.

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    And did he return the favor? He had 8 saves, most of them easy ones but he seemed.. I don't know, experienced somehow. One thing that was sure is that he would get more games under his belt playing like this.


    It was time for most of my players in the national teams to go away for their duties and it's not as bad anymore as it used to be (even though the Spanish Federation gets it fair share of comments about the matter all over social media). Ter Stegen and Cillessen were called up but I felt very confident in having Gallardo in goal.

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    To be honest, I'd be stupid not to after this game. He played out of his mind but couldn't do much about the goal. Despite an early penalty save he looked furious in the dressing room but I told him "If anything you showed me that we now have more goalkeepers to choose from. I'm going with Ter Stegen next game but trust me, I would've even if you had made a hundred saves. Great game, kid. Really."


    We had to bounce back quickly from this game and not lose momentum and I let the boys know that it's important to not ease off now. They knew that we all believed in promotion and it looked about 100%, but that's when you gotta step up.

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    "This is what I mean guys. Come on. We almost blew that one for some reason. When we're 4-2 up we can't ease off. I told you this before and I know you're better than having a crossbar saving your back in the 90th minute. I want to see a much better game next week."

    My bigger concern would be a few days later at training when Vidal made a quick turn and fell to the ground crying in pain. The exact reason will be known in a few days but we all know his season is over.


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  • Stlducks
    1781 posts Play-Off Hero
    I think the league is won and promotion is secured at this point. It would take a massive collapse to lose it now.
  • Danimal5981
    2503 posts Fans' Favourite
    9 games to go, 27 points up for grabs; you're 15 clear for the title, 17 clear for promotion and secured play-offs already. Meaning you could be there by round 37, or 38.
  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    As others said this seems to be done. League promotion nearly a certainty now. Malcom is cruising through the league.
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    Yes. I think it's done. Now it's time to think in the future to come. I think the club enough muscle to be among the best next season, but it definitely needs to reinforce certain areas.

    Is there any plan for the near future?
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    The team seems to have wrapped up promotion and it would take an extraordinary twist for the team to collapse from here
  • Ashy
    10620 posts Has That Special Something
    Caught up, lots of wins there and I'm quite surprised Zinchenko is scoring so many, looks like the title is won really and now I look forward to next season where the real challenge begins
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    ASdoZeR wrote: »
    Build a solid gap up front with this run of games. Malcom is playing fantastic..
    And then good signings. Letting go of Turan to calm down the locker room and bring in young talented players. They now get the chance to adapt and deliver in the first league later on. Expect Cordova who will be leaving after the season. But for now they can enjoy some play time.

    Yeah, very happy with Malcom. As you said Cordova is leaving and thank darn for that. He is the worst player I’ve played with.
    14 games to go; Once returned to La Liga this one will get really interesting, unless a sudden change in the story might throw us all aback.

    I really look forward to CL-football so I’d hope we are done with the shady business for now lol.
    JoshDFC wrote: »
    Promotion is looking almost certain now Malcom has been exceptional is helping the club return to La Liga six POTM's in a row got a feeling he might get player of the year :lol:

    It’d be a disgrace if he didn’t haha. Still a bit odd that he won it so many times in a row, he scored but didn’t always play good in games.
    Just cruising now. I’m sure plans are already being put in place for summer transfers as well. Will be interesting to see how quickly you can get back to challenging the two Madrid sides.

    First season will be intense for sure during the transfer windows. Hopefully I can get an early game against the Madrid sides so I know how it feels to be back!
    Stlducks wrote: »
    I think the league is won and promotion is secured at this point. It would take a massive collapse to lose it now.

    I’ll eat my shoe ;)
    9 games to go, 27 points up for grabs; you're 15 clear for the title, 17 clear for promotion and secured play-offs already. Meaning you could be there by round 37, or 38.

    I’m very bad at calculating these things so appreciated! Yup, I’ll get there soon!
    ASdoZeR wrote: »
    As others said this seems to be done. League promotion nearly a certainty now. Malcom is cruising through the league.

    He has been wonderful! Bit worried I’ll get a huge bid on him.
    subpop wrote: »
    Yes. I think it's done. Now it's time to think in the future to come. I think the club enough muscle to be among the best next season, but it definitely needs to reinforce certain areas.

    Is there any plan for the near future?

    Definitely more experience in the team. Malcom is carrying us in the front three and he is basically a kid so I’d want at least a few more star players who will get Barcelona back to the prime years.
    JoshDFC wrote: »
    The team seems to have wrapped up promotion and it would take an extraordinary twist for the team to collapse from here

    I agree! Should be confirmed any day now.

    Ashy wrote: »
    Caught up, lots of wins there and I'm quite surprised Zinchenko is scoring so many, looks like the title is won really and now I look forward to next season where the real challenge begins

    Yeah, he has been amazing. Low driven shots from the wing with him is mad. Glad you look forward to it, going to be very fun indeed!
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