Best of the 2011/2012 Season: Best Signing!By: Ade C. | June 4th, 2012
The season has ended on a high note with our Copa del Rey win, though the two most important trophies of the season escaped Barça’s clutches for now, and now it’s time for reflection. Well, you could say now it’s time for the Euros and the World Cup qualifiers and what-have-you, but if it’s not Barça playing, it’s hard to rouse our enthusiasm, so instead we’re going to cast our eyes back on this past season.
Today, let’s talk about signings. No, not the ones coming (or not coming) in this transfer window, but the ones who arrived to make Pep’s last season more interesting.
Don’t let the fact that we only had two signings lead you to think that this blog’s writers had nothing interesting to say about them! Under the jump, read our opinions and cast your own vote!
Natasha: Based on the first half of the season: Cesc. Based on the second half of the season: Alexis. The joys of only signing two players! Overall, I think Alexis wins. He had a slow start to the season after that injury that put him out for 8 weeks, but Cesc has had a slow end to the season, and the final few months of the season are the crucial ones. Knockout rounds of the CL, decisive Liga matches, the CDR final…that’s when you really need your players to step up and take the challenge on. I don’t think Cesc did that. However, now that they’ve had time to adapt, I think they will both be better next season.
Kage: Cesc was great and then not so great, Alexis was very good but injured on multiple occasions. For me the GREAT signing was… Eric Abidal. You’ve got a 32 year-old defender who’s had liver cancer. We all know how often people with liver cancer go on to long football careers; even Rosell, steeped in ignorance, must know. But Barca signed King Abi to a two-year contract in January. Three months later he had a liver transplant. Barca was showing its gratitude for a man who’s given his all. Can you imagine Man City, Chelsea, or even Real Madrid doing the same? I can’t. There are reasons to cheer for Barca.
Yazan: We had two signings for this season, Cesc and Alexis. Alexis start to the season was a bit hampered by injury and Cesc stole the spotlight with goals galore in the first half of the season. However, Alexis wins this award in my opinion. The way Alexis stepped to the plate when both Villa and Pedro were out either injured or out of form was to say the least admirable. Coming from a different country and league, and into a totally new philosophy of football, his performances were just great. I think Pep’s continuous rotation of Cesc’s position had it effects on his performances eventually. On the other hand, no matter where Alexis was asked to play by Pep, on either wing or as a striker (Bernabeu) his tireless running and superb movement was fantastic. The kid just need some break from injury and he will be on fire next season. With 15 goals in his 31 games in all competitions this season he definitely gets my vote.
Fcbfandrivel: I think we ought to have a new rule – not to definitively judge our signings in the first year. They invariably start off brightly enough, Sanchez with his dream start in Supercup Clasico impressing one and all with his ability to be in multiple places at the same time and using his generously endowed football brain to good effect, and Cesc scoring and assisting in every game like he’s been infected with some kind of Messi virus. Cesc tapered off towards the second half of the season and hinted that his physical condition might have something to do with it, and Sanchez remained very impressive when he was not getting injured and causing Pep to tear his hair out (whatever is left of it anyway) in frustration. I think we should go a year back for Best Signing, because Mascherano deserves to be mentioned as the best signing two years in a row. He has been phenomenal (again) this year, waltzing into center back position like he’s played there all his life and making it his own with his Gandalf-like “You shall NOT pass” presence. Super Masche is always there when you need him the most, even filling in for Pinto when Pinto feels the urge to step out for a stroll. Super Masche can do everything, except score a goal maybe, but even that is bound to happen next season surely… right?
Ramzi: To look for the best out of two is a tough call, especially that one of them started good then faded, while the other one was good when in form but not consistent. So, I’ll try to put it the other way as who proved being more needed and who produced less disadvantages. I think the absence of both Pedro and Villa made Alexis a more needed player and he stepped in there, while Cesc was not able to cover Xavi/Iniesta absence where needed. Of course, Cesc did well
at some point as a forward, but the team could have done way better with a natural forward instead of a fabricated one. Besides, I think signing Cesc ate some of the playing time Thiago could have got and if rumors are true Keita didn’t play enough to avoid losing him for free this summer (based on his contract conditions), all as an outcome of overcrowded midfield.
Ade C.: anyone who follows us on Twitter will know by now that I’m not Cesc’s greatest fan; while I admit he’s talented, the seasons-long agony of his transfer to Barça soured my usually-pleasant disposition towards him and he has done very little this year to change my mind. On the other hand, Alexis has come in very handy and, in spite of his Jeffren-like propensity to injury, broke his personal season-scoring record and was offside almost enough to fill the David-Villa-shaped hole in our hearts.
So, now it’s time for your votes… is it Cesc? Is it Alexis? Is it someone else? Let us know and, if you’re feeling eloquent, give your reasons in the comments!