Written by Mando | Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | La Liga Weekly |
I’ve been holding off on commenting at all to this story because while it has been in the works for over a year no one really understood the dynamic of a club and a player so at odds that they would terminate a 5 year relationship that had led to titles, trophies and glory for both parties involved. Yes, Samuel Eto’o will be leaving Barcelona, for 40 million euros or 45, with or without another player like Aliaksandr Hleb as a make-weight, and a splash of cash on top to sweeten the pie. Joan Laporta says it will happen, Pep Guardiola agreed to take the job on the condition that Eto’o leave and now has the clout to make it happen, there are even suitors available but the player is dragging it, keeping it from happening, turning down astronomical wages and transfer fees from both Manchester City and Inter Milan. It begs the question: what is really happening behind the walls at the Camp Nou?
Joan Laporta is a competitive person. He criticized the new Real Madrid project on grounds that it distorted the market and that it made it difficult to sign players. Now he’s been found out, signing Zlatan Ibrahimmovich to an astronomical contract. People called it hypocritical considering his earlier stance but this isn’t about stoking the fires of the age-old conflict. Without coming out and saying it, Laporta is stating his case to the public. He and Guardiola both are couching their words, explaining their reasons for selling Eto’o.
When Laporta says that it’s not like a Real Madrid signing, and I paraphrase, that this is about addition by subtraction, that the deal is more complicated than mere spending requires, don’t believe for a minute that this is about eliminating a player with one set of problems and inheriting another. When Guardiola says that it’s not personal or about business, and that it’s strictly a gut feeling he has that it’s just the right time to sell the player, don’t believe for a minute that it’s about anything else than the fact that he has a player he can’t work with. Eto’o was caught numerous times arguing with him and questioning his tactics, his positioning both in training and ultimately even in games. When an employer says they’re firing you, but that it’s not personal, that it’s just business, and that it’s mutual, don’t believe it. It’s always personal. Don’t believe me?
Look at what Eto’o has been doing. Smiling. Offering to work with Guardiola, standing on his record and devotion to the club, cultivating his relationship with the supporters. He’s even asked to stay, he’s happy in Barcelona and doesn’t see the need both personal and professional to move to England, with Manchester City, and lose the spotlight of the Champions League in the year before a World Cup. Don’t doubt that as a man looking to hold onto the prize of a starter’s role for Cameroon is important. More importantly though, for Eto’o, is that this is about one thing and one thing only: and it’s not money. He has one last contract available to him at his age. The club would prefer to sell him now. The player on the other hand would rather wait until next year when he can leave on a Bosman and spit in the eye of Laporta and Guardiola as he left out the front door. This is about ego pure and simple. Don’t think he’s capable? Look back at how he perceives his treatment when he was a Real Madrid player in their cantera. He never got a chance there, blaming the club and directors, but hinting that it had to do with a pervasive racial bias. Remember his taunts to Madrid as Barcelona were celebrating their 2006 title? Madrid, cabrón! Salud al campeón! Remember the arguments he had with Ronaldinho and with Ryjkaard when both were still there?
This isn’t an isolated incident. The club are done with the act and they’re willing to buy Zlatan and sit Eto’o to cut losses. It won’t get to that. Eto’o will leave. Zlatan will enter and while he brings his own problems both personal and professional, he won’t be considered a “ticking time-bomb.
- Eto’o content with decision to move 10/29/09 |ESPN Star | Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o has...
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.