Barca Blaugranes Q & A: The Answers: Part Two

Alex Livesey

The second part of our Q & A answers, answered by myself, Boštjan and Inder.

What do you think about this deadly trio of Fabregas, Neymar and Leo? Do you think they can provide the winning edge in upcoming difficult matches? And how do you rate this trio and the trios of other teams (eg. Ozil, Ramsey, Girourd etc.) from Barcacatalunya

Sam: I like having Fàbregas as part of the front three as it allows Barcelona to have more control in the centre of the field, where they are most dangerous. I think this has been shown in the City games. Compared to others, I'd say they're near the top. But the front three of Madrid and Bayern can't be ignored.

After Neymar's injury, do you think we now will see the full 100% performance from the duo of Messi and Neymar? Messi did say that before this January, he always had a little pain in his hamstring which didn't allow him to go 100%. Now that he is fully fit, do you think the Messi and Neymar duo will become even better than it was last year? from FCB4Ever

Boštjan: I think the duo can only get better, and I truly believe we haven't even scratched the surface of what these two can do together. Not only have they rarely played together, rarer have even been times when they played together truly healthy. I'm looking forward to the times when they will play together 100% fit to see how they will torment opposing defences.

What are the odds that Gundogan will join Barca in the summer? I know JBeck is very optimistic about it, but what do you (guys) think? from FCB4Ever

Boštjan: I would like to see him join, but I'm not very optimistic about it. I believe that if the board decided to actually go after him we would get him, but I don't believe that will be the case. His, what can now only be described as chronic back problems, are a serious red flag in my opinion and injuries like that have too many times cut careers short. I truly hope that I'm wrong and Gundogan will recover, but I don't believe Barcelona can sign him and "hope" everything turns out for the best.

Does Tata really need this Barca to play like the Pep one, or can he make a name for himself? from FCB4Ever

Sam: I think he is trying to adapt Barcelona into his own style. That doesn't mean he is completely dropping the Cruyff/Guardiola style though. But in my opinion he has made some seriously wrong tactical choices that just don't play into Barça's strength.

Who would you sell in the summer and who would you buy? from BartraFTW

Sam: I'd sell Cuenca, Afellay and Song providing their replacements have been brought in. In terms of buying I'd be happy with just a keeper, centre-back and possibly a pivot cover for Busquets.

Does anyone want to play soccer or be a coach? from pogis1991

Boštjan: No, not really. I rather just watch it on TV and be a couch coach :)

Sam: As a kid I wanted to be a footballer, now I just enjoy going to the games. I have been debating looking into doing some coaching courses, but that's just a side-project really.

Do you want Laporta back? from estebillaan

Inder: No. Personally I would prefer a fresh start. Elections this summer would be great but it seems that's not going to happen. I can't claim to know any of the potential candidates but I think our best bet(as idealistic as this may sound) is a president and board who take Barça back to the Cruyff way and back to being more than a club. We have justified too many moves by this board by saying "we need the money" or " we have to change if we want to keep up with clubs like Chelsea, City, Bayern or Madrid".

Boštjan: No. Barcelona needs somebody that will stabilize this club because Rosell miserably failed at this even though he said he will steady the ship. Laporta is not that man for this job, though that doesn't mean he won't be elected.

By what scoreline would you lose a Copa final to Real Madrid if it guaranteed we win the Liga? from Al Benson

Boštjan: I hate losing to Real and I wouldn't sign my name under any defeat to them, even if it would guarantee the League title. I'd rather just see Barcelona win the Copa del Rey Final and then fight for the league title to the very last round of play.

Inder: 1-0,2-0 or 2-1....Liga has priority for me. Always will. I think any league is a better way to judge a team than winning CDR or even CL. That goes for last year as well(especially last year).

If Toni Kroos is available next summer, Is it logical to buy him? Is he a player like Thiago? fromistiaquemahmud.songi

Sam: To start, I don't think there is any chance Pep will let him go. It would be logical to buy him simply because he is a great player who can provide something different but I think if he were to move in would be to the Premier League.

What do you think about our transfer options over the summer? from Cule4life

Inder: Interesting question because there are now other factors that must be included. If the Neymar deal was as expensive as they claim to be(transfer +salary + taxes) - btw that would put the Bale deal around 150 million euros I think - then that tells me(I could be very wrong) that Rosell chose to mark his legacy by buying a player(who we desperately needed and still do) by NOT strengthening other positions. Basically we put all our eggs in one basket(admittedly the best young basket out there). Which also tells me, that Barça will probably have funds to strengthen the other positions. I think Ter Stegen is all but done and one CB is a must. The latter is something the board simply cannot ignore simply cause fans/socis won't stand for it. That said, I'm against buying a superstar defender and generally against the idea of getting the "Neymar of centre backs"...meaning no 30 million on some young player. Would prefer somebody around 25 or 26 yrs old from a smaller team in Liga or Bundesliga...

With the new president and our ever present defensive weaknesses, is it likely that we might see some new faces in the team? from Cule4life

Boštjan: The transfer windows can be frustrating for Barcelona fans because of the lack of action, but I guarantee that there will be more action this season than there has been in recent years. I'd say Barcelona will have at least three new faces by the time the season begins, might be even four, as we could see all three lines get improved.

What do you think about a new attacking player like Isco, Aguero or even RVP? from Cule4life

Inder: No to all. Even though I'm a big fan of Aguero and in FIFA-verse, I could imagine a Neymar, Messi, Aguero front line. Fact is, another forward is a luxury. Alexis and Pedro are having unbelievable seasons and deserve renewals in my opinion. GK and CB is the priority.

Now that Puyol is practically coming to his "business end" who do you think will be able to provide that Hulk/Tarzan like presence in our team? Who do you think will be able to control our shaky defense and also be able to handle captain's mark? Or do you think Xavi is the rightful captain who can handle the team's morale? Also I think I'm being a bit sarcastic with it but don't you think team's gain glory nowadays when they have their captain from the defense; Lahm, T.Silva, Kompany or I'm just being crazy with this one? from Barcacatalunya

Sam: I think you can good captains in other areas then just defence, Gerrard springs to mind. Also I do think Xavi makes a good captain but it'd be interesting to see if adopts the barking orders approach like Puyol did. If not then Barça may need another strong defender who is not afraid to tell it as it is.

Which Defensive combination do you think will be at their best for i) difficult games ii) easy games:
-Piqué-Mascherano
-Piqué-Bartra
-Bartra-Mascherano
-Puyol-Piqué
-Puyol-Mascherano
-Bartra-Puyol
And why ? from Barcacatalunya

Boštjan: For difficult games at this moment I would prefer to see Pique and Mascherano, though toward the end of the season that might change to Pique and Bartra, even though both play a similar style. For the Almeria's and Elche's of the world I'd like to see Puyol and Bartra, but if Puyol is not fit, I'd rather see Bartra paired up with Mascherano than Piqué.

Would it be wise to go for Toni Kroos? from JoseM24

Sam: I don't think so. There are more areas of concern for me such as getting the defence sorted. They would be my top priority.

What do you guys think about a possible Isco transfer? from JoseM24

Sam: I love Isco. A smart, technically gifted, young footballer who may be the closest thing to Iniesta. But I think he made his choice last season. Had he moved to Man City, then I think they may be a chance he'd come to Barça but Madrid won't let him go unless an enormous fee goes the other way.

What striker suits Barça the best? from JoseM24

Sam: To partner Messi I'd say David Villa from a couple years back. He would make the perfect kind of runs for Messi, off the edge of the last defender helping to penetrate tough defences. I'm still sad Barça let him go, such a great player but at this stage in his career he needs regular minutes.

Musacchio or Balanta? from JoseM24

Sam: Would be happy with either but if I had to choose, I'd go for Musacchio just because of his La Liga experience.

Which, if any, B team player do you think should be promoted and made a full squad member from next season? from Som-i-Serem

Boštjan: Currently there aren't many B team players that would make a big impact if promoted, mainly because they are a year or two too young. Though expect Denis Suarez to get a long look in the preseason as well as Jean Marie Dongou and Sandro Ramirez, especially if Barcelona don't add a striker to the team. Outside of those three I'd be surprised to see anybody else make the team as the most promising players, Alejandro Grimaldo and Adama Traore, are just too young right now, however, a center back like Edgar Ie or Frank Bagnack could surprise and force the manager's hand.

What do you think is the outlook for the current players on the fringes? (Cuenca, Tello, Afellay, Montoya, Bartra, Puyol) from Som-i-Serem

Boštjan: Honestly, I'd keep just two from that list, and it pains me to say that Puyol is not one of them. Bartra has shown enough talent that he warrants extended playing time in the future and Montoya could develop into a good starter. I haven't seen enough from Tello and the fact that he still only has just a single move in attack ticks me off. Cuenca and Afellay probably have some of the worst luck among Barcelona players as both could've made a name for themselves had injuries not derailed their development. But that's the case sometimes and Barcelona can't afford a roster spot for players that spend six months injured. That is also the reason why I would rather see Puyol sign a coaching deal with the team and teach this back-line how to bloody defend!

Which team apart from Barcelona, do you like? And why? from Barcacatalunya

Boštjan: I've always liked Villarreal and I was incredibly saddened when the Yellow Submarine was relegated. Thankfully they returned to the Primera quickly and are now where they were always supposed to be - in the fight for a spot in European competitions. For the next team on my "favorites list" you'd have to go from Spain to Slovenia to NK Maribor who has dominated the stage here and has become a fixture lately in the Europa League.

Inder: Like? many. I like Arsenal for their perseverance(I think their fans are great in that they don't take shit from rivals fans and always support their team even to the point of arrogance. Pardon the French:)). Dortmund are great to watch when in form. I do not support any of these teams though, it's Barça and Barça alone(and Argentina).

Sam: I like teams that play smart football and make it interesting for the spectator. In terms of teams that I am actually a fan of, I'm an Ipswich Town fan as I was born in Bury St. Edmunds which is close to Ipswich. I was lucky enough to see the Tractor Boys on Tuesday night, a 1-0 win at Yeovil. Premier League here we come!

Which combination do you think, has been more fruitful this season: Messi and Alves or Neymar and Alves? from  Barcacatalunya

Sam: I'd say Messi and Alves, simply because they've been playing together longer so will know each other's game. I know Neymar and Alves play with their national team together but it's not the same as playing week in, week out. Give it a few more years and I think the two partnerships will be on the same level.

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