The Best of the FC Barcelona 2010/2011 Season: Best BuyBy: Ade C. | June 10th, 2011
We’ve given a look at the best goals, but since it’s summer and the air is rife with transfer rumours, our season-reviewing eyes will alight now on the players who joined the blaugrana family during this season.
The club forked over the cash for several new pawns for Pep’s toy-box on the 2010/2011 season, but which was the best? See our candidates and then cast your vote in our interactive poll! (or ignore our opinions and cast your vote, that works too…)
Pedro: Villa or Mascherano, take your pick. Although realistically naive, David Villa would have won for me if he hadn’t suffered that long mid-season drought, although the drought offers no indications to his new-found selfless work for the good of the team. Having said that, Javier Mascherano does take the crown this time. As I have said previously, the wrong purchase, the wrong midfielder, the wrong midfielder-turn-defender, certainly the wrong height and lacking in the prerequisite technique. Rumor mongerers and short-thinkers would have you believe that it would have been better to kick him out mid-season. But in today’s modern game, substitutes and initial second choice players prove their worth, or lack of, from January onwards. Mascherano did just that in a remarkable manner.
Isabella: For me, Mascherano deserves this accolade. He came to Barcelona after such transfer controversy that the Anfield cries of ‘Traitor’ must still have been ringing in his ears whilst he posed for his first photo, but he did not let overblown English vitriol get to him. At the beginning of the season, he warmed the bench with not a word of complaint, accepting the pecking order and simply trying to do his best when Busi was rested. When the defensive crisis struck, and continued to strike as defenders trudged off to the physio one by one, Masch truly stepped up, often playing in unfamiliar positions with a skill and presence that calmed the frenzied cules watching. He ended up playing a whole lot of games this season, started and ended the CL final, and earned Pep’s complete trust in his ability. Masch didn’t just answer his critics: he did the footballing equivalent of gagging them, tying them up, and yelling in their ear ‘How d’ya like dem apples!’ with a megaphone while clips of his tackles and clearances replayed on a giant HD screen in front of them for days on end. Crack.
Ramzi: Mascherano (better than YAYA ) -Editor’s Note: OH NO YOU DIDN’T!!!-; Bojan is not qualified here for being underage.
Brandon: With our hare-brained transfer policy there’s less to choose from than there probably should, but it would be hard not to pick Villa. He worked hard, tired himself out, but came back and worked hard again, and became something of a different player in the process. A testament to the infectiousness of Barca DNA – proves you don’t have to be born that way.
Ken: oddly, all the buys were good. Afellay was helpful and promising and Adriano nearly invaluable. But where would the team have been without David Villa or Javier Mascherano? Villa’s long scoring slump notwithstanding, he was a great addition to the team, and next year could be even better. But I’ll take the Monster Masch, whose play at center back (and even, at times, at his own position) got better and better and better.
Ade C: I thought I’d have to defend Multipurpose!Masche, but he obviously has lots of fans; even Villa, for all his romance with the offside position and his unfortunate slump, gets some love. So I’m going to go with the predictable route and vote for the babyfaced forward, albeit the one who is not Bojan. Ibi Afellay gets my vote for buy of the season, if only because he was so ridiculously cheap; for a club that tends to be awful at negotiating for players, getting Ibi, and his talent, and his willingness to make an effort, and his immense potential, all for just a couple of million euros, deserves a vote and maybe even a statue.
Now, cast your vote!