Introduction – Barcelona Football Blog
This guest series is written by my good friend Harry, who chose to make himself miserable for your enjoyment. Let's go for the ride on what is sure to be a roller coaster ride to the top or bottom of European football mountain. -Isaiah Chapter One - Introduction Throughout my managerial career, my name has […]

This guest series is written by my good friend Harry, who chose to make himself miserable for your enjoyment. Let's go for the ride on what is sure to be a roller coaster ride to the top or bottom of European football mountain. -Isaiah

Chapter One - Introduction

Throughout my managerial career, my name has sounded in many forums and has been shouted mournfully by opposing supporters: heads turned when my Orlando City team won the Fan Shield by 25 points; 'Neymar' became the name of a popular boy in Yorkshire when the 18-year-old joined Sheffield Wednesday, then League One, and became their all-time leading scorer en route to a Premier Leagues hat-trick; bloggers have been furious in recounting my exploits as Coventry won Ligue 1, conceding just 16 goals, and followed with a Champions League three years later; people gasped when the Kaiser Chiefs knocked out Milan to win the Club World Cup; and fans had to come up with a whole new lineup of vocals as Tonton Zola Moukoko and Cherno Samba helped Arsenal knock Man Utd off their pole at the turn of the century.

And, of course, if any of you point out that this was all on a computer simulation and not in real life, then that is violence.

But there comes a time in a manager's life when they wonder if everything is getting a little too easy. Wouldn't it be better to launch myself into a real challenge? Take a suitable basket case from a club and try to do something with it?

And so, with an air of overwhelming inevitability ...

In the third strangest thing that happened to Barcelona in the summer of 2020, Ronald Koeman is kicked out of the hot seat after a day and replaced by me. As we all know there is a lot of rebuilding work to be done and I cannot guarantee immediate success. It will be a long and rocky road and I think we should all calibrate our expectations to an appropriate level. So I'm happy that the board is completely behind me. Well, let's go around the team, okay?

For the purpose, I am not too worried. Ter Stegen is number 1 and Neto is a big step back, but I'm not too worried. He'll be pretty good for the first two months while MATS is out and can then find himself a nice, comfortable place on the bench. Also, the second choice goalie is a pretty tough position to buy and I want to avoid shopping there until I have to.

The right-back is a bit trickier. Sergi Roberto works hard and is nice to have around him as a mascot and reminder of when the team used to win European matches by big margins, but I'm a little more suspicious about his ability to play soccer. Sergino Dest is a bit more of an unknown quantity. My coaches rate his potential quite high, so we hope he will reach it soon enough.

Jordi Alba is a bit of the opposite of Roberto: talented but his physical qualities mean we're going to need a good cover for him. Firpo is doing well but is not going to improve. Some room for improvement.

Oh dear. Pique is the better defender but he can't run which could be a problem. Neither does Araujo, but he's not even a good defender in the first place. Umtiti is practically dead at this point and I need Frenkie de Jong for the midfield. Lenglet is, well, Lenglet. Another well-defined item on the shopping list, although I'm not sure if going back in time to sign Carles Puyol to 2008 is possible in this edition of the game.

Wait a minute, listen to me. The midfielder looks… okay? It's kind of like one of those Brazilian or Argentinian national teams where everyone is either a veteran or a youngster, but there is definitely something to work with. Pedri, Alena and Puig seem to turn into something special, with an emphasis on could. I have strong doubts about Busquets and Pjanic, especially for the following season, but, to borrow a phrase often heard in Barca's conference hall recently, we will cross that bridge when we get there.

A few points to ponder here. Griezmann is great and Messi is Messi so we'll just have to find a way to keep them away from each other. Ansu Fati is good and will only get better, but I still wonder, all these hours later, what exactly Martin Braithwaite is. We could definitely do a cover here, although I guess that's how we ended up with Braithwaite in the first place. I wonder what Olivier Giroud is doing these days?

There isn't much available in the kitty but I guess Coutinho's salary doesn't grow on trees. A center-back and a left-back for the starters, I think, and then a forward if there's anything left. It shouldn't be too difficult.

But first let's meet the players. They drag themselves around, take their places and discuss among themselves. "Where's Xavi?" I hear them say. "Who is this guy?" Is there a warm-up number?

I am touched by their good humor as they turn their waiting little faces to me.

Was that something I was saying?

Next - Transfers and pre-season

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This is a beginners guide to betting, written by a beginner ! You might not know this about me, but whilst Ian is a betting professionnel with a long history of placing bets, I am not ! I know the web and how to make things on it, but I don’t know a lot about .

I do love this site though, so I wanted to learn more about betting so that I can better contribute to the conversations on it. I have been researching things for some time and thought I would write them up as a guide to football betting.

You might wonder why I didn’t ask Ian to write this guide, him being the expert, the truth is I thought it would be better coming from someone picking up the ropes. Ian knows so much he might assume you know something you don’t, I don’t know anything so that can’t happen !

These are the two most common way to place bets these days so I wanted to cover them in a little detail. We don’t hide that fact that Ian prefers singles but that doesn’t help you if you don’t know the main differences.

When you bet with an accumulator, all your bets need to win in order for you to be able to claim the money. This makes it much harder to win but évidemment the reward is far greater. As a new bettor it is very tempting to bet on accumulators because you could see your £10 stake spiral into big bucks pretty quick.

Beginners Guide to Football BettingThis is a beginners guide to football betting, written by a beginner ! You might not know this about me, but whilst Ian is a betting expert with a long history of placing football bets, I am not ! I know the web and how to make things on it, but I don’t know a lot about . I do love this site though, so I wanted to learn more about football betting so that I can better contribute to the conversations on it. I have been researching things for some time and thought I would write them up as a guide to football betting. You might wonder why I didn’t ask Ian to write this guide, him being the spécialiste, the truth is I thought it would be better coming from someone picking up the ropes. Ian knows so much he might assume you know something you don’t, I don’t know anything so that can’t happen ! Something that you might benefit from is our free tipster fax course. It is a free fax course that takes sept days to complete and by the end of it you should be a bit of an professionnel ! Some Football Betting TermsI figured I would start off with some football betting terms. Stake – This is the amount of money you place on a bet, in other words the amount of money you stand to lose if you don’t win. Accumulator – A accumulator is a series of solo bets grouped together, if each of the bets comes off then the odds accumulate together. Normally when you hear of people putting a fiver on something and winning a couple of thousand it is because of accumulators. Because each bet needs to win though they can be risky. Handicap – This is a bet that is offered when one team is the clear favourite – Think Brazil vs your local old boys team ! The handicap gives a small advantage to the underdog. For example, there may be a one goal head start given to the underdog. I am going to explain Handicapping more later in this article. Half Time/Full Time – This type of bet is split into two, when you predict the winner of the first half then of the entire game. So you could predict a draw at half time but for the home team to win by full time. Banker – This is basically the closet thing to a certainty as you can get, the tipster is very sure that the bet will land if they consider it a banker. For example we give banker tips to our members. Scorecast – This is when you bet on a player to score the first goal along with predicting the correct score. Wincast – Very similar to a scorecast but you bet on a player to score and then predict the winner of the game. 90 Minute Betting – This is mentioned a lot when people bet on individual players ( maybe as goal scorers ) normally if the player doesn’t make an appearance the bet is called off, but if the player appears during the normal minutes of the game they are eligible for the bet. 24 Hour Rule – Most betting websites have a rule like this where if a match is postponed the bet only becomes void if the match doesn’t get played within a 24 hour period. So for example if a match was just put back 2 hours the bet would still stand. Over/Under – Overs and Unders are when you bet on the amount of goals being scored, normally it will be over or under an amount, for example over 2. 5 means if there are 3 or more goals. Under 2. 5 would be 0, 1, or 2 goals being scored. DNB – This stands for Draw No Bet. What this means is if the score is a draw you get your money back for your bet. This can be seen as a safer option but you should understand that the odds are usually lower when this is selected. Double Chance – A Double Chance bet is one where you pick a winner and if they win OR it is a draw, you win the bet. If the team you pick loses then you lose the bet. Like DNB the odds are generally lower but it is a safer bet as a result. Bankroll – how much money you have to bet with. We’ve written more about what the bankroll is. HandicapsHandicaps are something that confused the heck out of me for the longest time, so I want to spend a while looking at them in detail. This is such a common question that I have written up a guide to the Asian and European handicapping. Want to learn how to be an expert bettor for free ? JOIN OUR EMAIL COURSEAccumulators Vs SinglesThese are the two most common way to place bets these days so I wanted to cover them in a little detail. We don’t hide that fact that Ian prefers singles but that doesn’t help you if you don’t know the main differences. When you bet with an accumulator, all your bets need to win in order for you to be able to claim the money. This makes it much harder to win but évidemment the reward is far greater. As a new football bettor it is very tempting to bet on accumulators because you could see your £10 stake spiral into big bucks pretty quick. Singles on the other hand are not effected by other bets. So if I place £10 on three different matches as singles and 2 of them come in, then I make money on those two bets. The odds aren’t as good if I was to role up all my bets into an accumulator, but the odds of me walking away with some money are much higher.

The main advice here is to find what it right for you. Just because some people swear by accumulators and others swear by singles doesn’t mean you should listen to the loudest voice. Do some research, maybe put some small stakes on a few different ways and see what felt good and what had a good return on your investment.

Beginners Guide to Football BettingThis is a beginners guide to betting, written by a beginner ! You might not know this about me, but whilst Ian is a football betting expert with a long history of placing football bets, I am not ! I know the digitale and how to make things on it, but I don’t know a lot about . I do love this site though, so I wanted to learn more about betting so that I can better contribute to the conversations on it. I have been researching things for some time and thought I would write them up as a guide to football betting. You might wonder why I didn’t ask Ian to write this guide, him being the spécialiste, the truth is I thought it would be better coming from someone picking up the ropes. Ian knows so much he might assume you know something you don’t, I don’t know anything so that can’t happen ! Something that you might benefit from is our free tipster fax course. It is a free fax course that takes 7 days to complete and by the end of it you should be a bit of an spécialiste ! Some Football Betting TermsI figured I would start off with some betting terms. Stake – This is the amount of money you place on a bet, in other words the amount of money you stand to lose if you don’t win. Accumulator – A football accumulator is a series of single bets grouped together, if each of the bets comes off then the odds accumulate together. Normally when you hear of people putting a fiver on something and winning a couple of thousand it is because of accumulators. Because each bet needs to win though they can be risky. Handicap – This is a bet that is offered when one team is the clear favourite – Think Brazil vs your local old boys team ! The handicap gives a small advantage to the underdog. For example, there may be a one goal head start given to the underdog. I am going to explain Handicapping more later in this article. Half Time/Full Time – This type of bet is split into two, when you predict the winner of the first half then of the entire game. So you could predict a draw at half time but for the home team to win by full time. Banker – This is basically the closet thing to a certainty as you can get, the tipster is very sure that the bet will land if they consider it a banker. For example we give banker tips to our members. Scorecast – This is when you bet on a player to score the first goal along with predicting the satisfaisant score. Wincast – Very similar to a scorecast but you bet on a player to score and then predict the winner of the game. Minute Betting – This is mentioned a lot when people bet on individual players ( maybe as goal scorers ) normally if the player doesn’t make an appearance the bet is called off, but if the player appears during the normal minutes of the game they are eligible for the bet. 24 Hour Rule – Most betting websites have a rule like this where if a match is postponed the bet only becomes void if the match doesn’t get played within a 24 hour period. So for example if a match was just put back 2 hours the bet would still stand. Over/Under – Overs and Unders are when you bet on the amount of goals being scored, normally it will be over or under an amount, for example over 2. 5 means if there are 3 or more goals. Under 2. 5 would be 0, 1, or 2 goals being scored. DNB – This stands for Draw No Bet. What this means is if the score is a draw you get your money back for your bet. This can be seen as a safer option but you should understand that the odds are usually lower when this is selected. Double Chance – A Double Chance bet is one where you pick a winner and if they win OR it is a draw, you win the bet. If the team you pick loses then you lose the bet. Like DNB the odds are generally lower but it is a safer bet as a result. Bankroll – how much money you have to bet with. We’ve written more about what the bankroll is. HandicapsHandicaps are something that confused the heck out of me for the longest time, so I want to spend a while looking at them in detail. This is such a common question that I have written up a guide to the Asian and European handicapping. Want to learn how to be an spécialiste football bettor for free ? JOIN OUR EMAIL COURSEAccumulators Vs SinglesThese are the two most common way to place bets these days so I wanted to cover them in a little detail. We don’t hide that fact that Ian prefers singles but that doesn’t help you if you don’t know the main differences. When you bet with an accumulator, all your bets need to win in order for you to be able to claim the money. This makes it much harder to win but évidemment the reward is far greater. As a new bettor it is very tempting to bet on accumulators because you could see your £10 stake spiral into big bucks pretty quick. Singles on the other hand are not effected by other bets. So if I place £10 on three different matches as singles and 2 of them come in, then I make money on those two bets. The odds aren’t as good if I was to role up all my bets into an accumulator, but the odds of me walking away with some money are much higher. The main advice here is to find what it right for you. Just because some people swear by accumulators and others swear by singles doesn’t mean you should listen to the loudest voice. Do some research, maybe put some small stakes on a few different ways and see what felt good and what had a good return on your investment. Getting your way with the bookiesSomething you will encounter when you start betting is a range of different online and offline bookmakers. All will have their own way of dealing with things and all will want you to work with them differently. This can seem daunting but we’ve written up a guide on what to look out for and how to state your case if you think a bookmaker has wronged you.

There are two things I have caught myself doing related to being greedy, the first is adding extra teams into an accumulator just because it will bump up my maximum payout. This is almost always a dramatiques idea ! The second thing I have done is bet more money on a team than I initially was going to. You should have a plan for how much you are going to bet and stick to it.

You are not going to win every bet, if you want to become successful at betting on you need to be patient and pick the right bets for you. Never bet more than you can afford to loseBefore I place a bet I always think about the money I am going to be placing on it and think, if I were to lose this money right now would I be OK with that. If the answer is no I won’t place the bet.

They are too unpredictable, you don’t know how much effort the respective teams are putting in and reserve players may get an outing that you weren’t counting on. If the friendlies are before the start of a new season ( they often are ) players will be very aware to not pick up any injuries so might not play as hard as they normally do.

What I mean by this is that two teams can look a certain way on paper, but if one of those teams has already won the league and the other is fighting to stay in the league there is a very good chance that the team good on paper will be on auto pilot whilst the team playing to stay out of relegation is going to be fighting for their life !

If ever there was a post to comment on with your questions this would be it ! The only stupid question is the one not asked. We’re also really keen on hearing where we can improve this article, so if you still have questions or something wasn’t clear, it was because we’ve done a bad job and we would love you to tell us how to do better. If you’re hungry for more, I can highly recommend our free email course.

Unfortunately a lot of money is wasted because people place bets without really knowing too much about what they are doing. If you know someone like that please feel free to share this with them. The social media share links are below if you’d like to share on Facebook etc.

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