Akshat has yet to fill out a bio.
Hi Akshat! Thanks so much for the message. I miss writing about La Liga. :-( If I get time from work soon, I'll try to put something out. Maybe a few end of the year pieces or something. I haven't had time to go through articles as much as I like, but I see that there are a few writers (like Tre Atkinson and Samuel Marsden) who are writing about La Liga more. I think that's great and hope more quality comes for fans.
I always expected Madrid to catch Atleti, but I still held hope that they would finish second. It would have just been HUGE for them financially and that would have helped the awful disparity between the two sides. Now Madrid will only get that much richer while Atleti get far less than they deserve for finishing in third place. Hopefully they will replace Falcao with a solid player if he leaves.
Martinez is very good. His small size (compared to the top CBs, that is) limits him sometimes, but he has great awareness and is pretty quick. He is probably as good as Pique in the air, but that doesn't mean much considering how poor Pique is for such a tall defender. He certainly has what it takes to make the NT since CB is one of the weakest positions for Spain. Not sure I could see him becoming elite (a term I rarely use), but he can become a top class defender perhaps.
I think there are some fine young CBs in La Liga, but there are a couple that are especially promising. Varane is obviously a huge talent and I think he could be a top 5 CB within 5 years. The other guy I really like is Alejandro Arribas. He has been tops this season and one of the best CBs in the league. He is probably the main reason Osasuna are no longer in the relegation zone.
There are a few other young defenders that I like in the second division, but I'll save that for a future article perhaps. ;-)
Always nice talking to you, Akshat!
Hey Akshat. Sorry, I haven't been able to post anywhere because something seems to be wrong with my account. I hope this finds you well.
To answer VERY briefly, Atletico already have those plans. They're a bigger, better club so the 'plans' are already well in motion which is why you might not know about them as much. The academy is great, a new stadium is on the way, and we're at least trying to get better sponsors now. Of course, the huge tax burden hurts.
Naw, I won't be taking over for the great Mike when it comes to Liga coverage. My schedule is too busy to do that. I'll stick with FC Barcelona stuff. :)
Much appreciated, amigo. I'll definitely tune in as often as I can and please feel free to contact me any time with questions, comments, or just to talk about football.
My Twitter name is actually MichaelCernaATL. I'll change that on my account so thanks. :-)
Hi Akshat! It is true, I am no longer with B/R. If you look at my Twitter page, you can see my other job where I have put all my focus now. I really appreciate your kind words and it means a lot to hear it from you, someone who has always been great to talk football with. I may still write occasionally, but it will be very infrequent now.
Big news and I love it. Great for Bayern, great for the Bundesliga to get such a high profile coach to draw more international attention to the league, and great for Guardiola. Bayern is elite, have a great organization that treats everyone well, has a superb academy, loads of elite talent, and a team that could be molded into Pep's style of play rather easily. Bayern were actually my first choice for him.
Thanks for becoming a fan!
Hey there Akshat. I'm very interested in youth thats for sure and I probably know a lot more than most so I'm happy to help.
In terms of Barca B, I wrote this article at the start of the season and I stand by it largely. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1270278-5-fc-barcelona-b-starlets-destined-for-the-lights-of-la-liga
I'll just list some players and my thoughts:
Deulofeu- Our best propsect, and you read my article so you probably know I rate him. He's the best player in the world of his age. The problem is he knows it. He's a bit full of himself but I think he's also a bit misunderstood and will mature. Lets hope.
Rafinha-Good player but I don't think as good as his brother and I think he'll find it hard as his positions are stocked already. He has a chance though, just has to keep working.
Grimaldo-Incredibly talented left back for his age. I've never seen a footballer so young play against men with ease. He's potentially one of the best fullbacks for a while. However, this season there has been talk of some attitude problems. Still young though and has plenty of years in Barca B to prepare him. Immense prospect.
S. Roberto-A personal fav of mine and a lot of coaches and players like him, including Xavi. Its been said his attitude is superb and he works very hard in training. He's a very well rounded player and looks to have a blend of the English/German game in him. I'd love him to succeed. I think he will keep developing and may be a late bloomer.
Dongou-Still young and has a lot expected of him. Hasn't been great for B, but not bad. I'll reserve judgment for a little longer. He killed youth levels.
The other player that has been excellent for Barca B is Luis Alberto, on loan from Sevilla but we have an option to purchase him which we will do. He's a false 9 but looks more comfy in midfield. Is scoring plenty of goals and really playing well. Should be an excellent player, but probably won't make it with Barca.
At other youth levels... I'd say...
Juvenil A- Sergi Samper, Sandro Ramirez, Adama Traore, Pol Calvet, Babunski and Bagnack all have promise.
Younger ages there are players like Takefuso Kubo, Lee Seung Woo, Sergi Canos doing well.
Feel free to ask me more or more specific questions about players.
Thanks for being my fan.
Thanks for the fan add, Akshat. :-)