12 June 2014

Cesc, I'm sorry for this whole sordid saga.

> So the unthinkable has come to pass. True, it's not quite the direct betrayal of seeing van Persie cross over to Man U, but seeing Cesc end up at Chelsea by way of Barcelona hurts on a different level. Over the next few days, not to mention during the upcoming season, we're going to wrestle with some bitter feelings—a sense of betrayal, of despair, of jealousy—and these may eventually subside somewhat, but they'll never cease. To lose such a talismanic player, not once, but twice, is almost too much to bear. The pain it's inspired is going to linger for some time. In in the interim, there will be some harsh words hurled at the man, and, on behalf of as many Gooners as I dare claim to speak for: Cesc, I'm sorry.

He's going to be called a Judas. Some will burn jerseys; others will change screen-savers. A feeling of hatred and loss will pervade it all, but such feelings will be, by and large, misplaced. We had our chance to reclaim a prodigal son, even if he might be superfluous to our needs, and we waved him on as casually as if we were waiting for a nicer taxi.

There's more to it than that, of course. Caught in a tug of war between two remorseless, soulless teams, Fàbregas at last forsook the sentimental ideals and went where the cold, hard cash would flow. Baited and bullied away from Arsenal, he ended up at Barcelona, so completely superfluous to their needs that he couldn't find time on the pitch, at least not at his preferred position. Bouncing around from position to position, his form struggled so much that Barça's fans, displaying all of the patience and sophistication of three-year olds, booed him. No wonder he wanted to leave. We step in, and all the talk is of Arsène's genius master-stroke, inserting not one but two clauses that would all but guarantee that we could have him back, perhaps with Barça losing money in the process. Instead, we apparently turned our noses up at the opportunity. So now he's at Chelsea. Are we really going to accuse them of stealing him away? Can we blame him for wanting to leave? It's not as if he turned his back on us or refused to return.

In a way, I'm relieved at how this has turned out. It once again gives the lie to the notion that players play for anything but themselves, not when they can earn six-figure weekly salaries. Yes, once a season, maybe twice, he might have to face the awkwardness of returning to the Emirates, but there are still 37 other Prem matches for him and a raft of league cup and FA Cup matches to play in front of the latest batch of fans who will chant his name and buy jerseys with his name on the back. Yes, we'll have to endure a boatload of gloating from Chelsea fans, but that doesn't change what's going on around our squad.

First and foremost, I worry about what this ordeal suggest about Arsène. He may have decided that we don't need Fàbregas, that Fàbregas would hinder the development of players like Ramsey, Wilshere, or Ox, and he might have a point there. However, in so thinking, Arsène seems to have underestimated how much Fàbregas means to Gooners—and I refer to more than mushy sentimentality when I say so. Yes, Fàbregas represented one of the last meaningful links to a glorious period in the club's history, but, dammit, he's still one of the best midfielders in the world. Clamoring for him to come back to Arsenal wasn't just pinheaded nostalgia; it also stemmed from an understanding that he could and more than likely would launch us toward the top of the Prem. We could have had him for what amounts to pocket-change for a player of his caliber, and we passed. Arsène passed. It's a risky game he's playing, toying with our hopes to this extreme, raising up our hopes with those clauses only to dash against the rocks.

I'll say this: this had better be Arsène's way of clearing the decks before bringing in some major, major signings. Forget Vela and Remy and Schneiderlin. Nice players, all, and I'm sure they'd be useful. No. After so blithely dangling the return of Fàbregas in front of us, only to let him slip through our fingers to Chelsea—Chelsea, FFS!—Arsène had better have some major unveilings to prove to us that this all part of a master-plan. Yes, we have Özil, but even he can't quite heal the hurt that many of us feel. Coming on the heels of a season in which we finally slayed a trophy-drought, the optimism was finally starting to feel justified, and the idea that Fàbregas might return to help build on that foundation was, well, too much to ask for. We Arsène is going to have to prove to his critics, who have probably multiplied in number and deepened in intensity that, yes, he knows what he's doing. At this point, it's hard to feel like he does. A hated and well-heeled rival has just strengthened its squad in a manner so easy to stop it boggles the mind that he let it happen. It beggars belief. I want to believe that Arsène knows what he's doing, but it's hard to resist the suspicion that this is just another example of a stubborn, obstinate commitment to his own persnickety policies.

Fàbregas is no traitor. He went home, they treated him like trash, and he could have come back to Arsenal.  Arsène said no, and so it is up to Arsène to set things right. There had better be a slew of signings, each more jaw-dropping than the last. Let's start with Diego Costa. Start. If we don't see several new Gunners and soon, it won't be Fàbregas's jersey we're burning.

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  1. Move on man.. He has moved on long time back why are you still stuck with him.. I dont hate him.. I just ignore, forget and move on.. Support our boys who wear the canon and no one else.. Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere and Ox are the new crop, the right age and will prove that Arsene took the right decision by not buying that guy.. Trust me..

  2. Uuuum, Diego Costa is a no-go. He ALSO went to Chelsea. Good as done.

    I for one am disappointed that Fabregas isn't with us. BUT: he was the one who put us in a shit position back in 2011. His departure left us in a position where Nasri and eventually Van Persie decided to leave as well. The person who's been loyal in these hard times was Arsene. He rebuilt and dug us out of that crisis (because it was a crisis) without dropping out of the CL somehow and actually ended the trophy drought. The page has turned. We don't crave for Cesc Fabregas anymore like we used to in those first 2 years after he left.

    Yes, Fabregas would be a fantastic signing on the face of his ability. I wanted us to get him simply because he's world class. But we don't have a huge Cesc shaped hole in midfield anymore. The mix of Ozil, Ramsey, Jack and Cazorla as our main AM options is one I have complete faith in.

    I also believe Wenger is right to prioritize our needs in other positions over a signing like Fabregas. That comes with a big IF of course. IF we sign those players we need for those positions, players of the sufficient quality to take us to the next level, his decision to pass up on Fabregas would be validated. Of course, if we kick our heels looking for bargains and end up lacking in quality or quantity, that's something he needs to take responsibility for. We're filthy rich at this point, there are no excuses not to strengthen.

    And lastly, I kind of like that we refused him easy passage back to Arsenal. We are not a stepping stone, and you could see this as that kind of statement by Wenger. Of course, recently we welcomed players like Flamini and even Henry back, but in both those cases we didn't pay a transfer fee.

    Cesc Fabregas has betrayed us once, it didn't work out for him and thought Arsenal were his easy backup. Well, he thought wrong. And the fact that HE chose Chelsea - CHELSEA FFS! - and Mourinho - MOURINHO FFS!! - shows you how much he values his Arsenal heritage and past. He doesn't.

    But that's alright. He's now just another guy who must be defeated. We have licked and healed the wound he caused us last summer already. Bring it on.

  3. Is Wenger secretly working for Abramovich? Fabregas would have fired us up. The return of Arsenal's prodigal son. Worth MORE than his excellent ability on the pitch.

  4. As you said Jon, Arsene had better produce something much better than Cesc to appease the Arsenal fandom. If not they will have to rebuild The Emirates in two years after the fans burn it down.

  5. I watched the game yesterday on French TV and Wenger acting as one of the commentators.

    Whenever the others were talking about Fred, Wenger would shut up. I hope he's not after that one, he would be a Bendtner II.

    And on that topic, does Wenger have nothing better to do that punditing for the French? like working his arse off for transfers?

    Some clubs already have done their job on good players: Dortmund with Immobile, CFC with Cesc...

  6. "Baited and bullied away from Arsenal"? Eh?

    1. in reference to how Pique, Puyol and others made Fabregas wear a Barca jersey at the World Cup I believe.

  7. Wenger has never beaten Mourinho in 19 league matches! Is it with Fabregas on that side now that he will?

    1. Are you sure it is 19 league games. That should make Moureen the manager of Chelsea for 10 years at least. Or is it 19 games(league and others together)

  8. Not to forget we've got Zelalem and Crowley who will take the step up to the first team.. massive prospects them two..

  9. Regret of signing will paiful, seeing him light up another london club will huant every arsenal fan, dissapointment is an understatement!
    How could you Arsene, how could you?
    No reason can justify not buying cesc...
    I hope am wrong for Arsenal FC sake!

  10. We have no way of knowing that we turned him down.
    All the clauses in the world count for crap if the player has no intention of signing for the club.
    Personally, I think either his wage demands were ridiculous, or else he never wanted to come to is in the 1st place. Absolutely no way on earth that Arsene simply didn't want him. 2 clauses to ensure that we'd get him back one day, suggests that Arsene, and the owners who desperately would have loved to parade him for the fans, always wanted him.

  11. Arsene wenger should of left arsenal at end of season he promises the world he keeps saying im going to spend big and bring in big names he never filled rvp's place when he left for united he always says it and goes for young cheap players that have no impact weve won nothing in over 9year exept a shitty fa cup Wow if thats something to be happy about think we should be really worried weve lost good players carnt see arsenal being title contenders next season wenger is an absolute joke far from being the best manager more like the worst FACT

  12. "......a sense of betrayal, of despair, of jealousy", ".....others will change screen-savers."
    Dam I don't know what to do to protest, I haven't got a screensaver of that cheapskate Wenger!

    Some bloody economics degree he must have - wonder what lesson taught him to sell at under market value and then not take advantage of any corresponding cheap opportunities. Arsenal football club has been well and truly shafted.

  13. get off wengers back he did nothing wrong, hes not the guy who left arsenal when the club most needed him, and then decide he wanted to come back when the club didnt need him. fabregas is living his life and doing what he wants to do. arsene wenger lives his life for arsenal football club.

  14. Agree that Cesc left at a really poor time and his behaviour was a disgrace - but in his defence he went back to his childhood club, something I suspect EVERY player / fan would do given the opportunity.

    Wenger helped fuel that opportunity by releasing him from a contract and selling him on the cheap. The manager was as culpable as the player in this instance - people need to stop pretending that Wenger is somehow the innocent party. Both player AND manager let the club down.

  15. Cesc engineered his own move to Barca, We didn't need him and subsequently our style of play and system suffered in order to accommodate him somewhere. His problem has always been impatience. Impatience for 1st team football which led him away from Barcelona, impatience to get back to Barca and take over the mantle of Xavi and impatience to wait his chance when he was here. Tata Martino left Barca with the parting shot that Cesc was "a bad apple". It seems him and mourinho perhaps deserve each other. That's assuming he doesn't warm the bench at Chelsea.

  16. There is no evidence that he had any intention of coming here. I've little doubt he followed the money to Chelsea.
    Remember his quote 2 years ago "If you see me in a Chelsea shirt, feel free to kill me!"

  17. No one on the outside can know for sure whether Arsenal chose to reject Cesc or whether his demands, aside from coming back were "unaffordable". However, it still seems that AW is operating on his traditional path, i.e., do not spend more than you, personally, believe a player is worth, do not spend too much in weekly wages, make sure there is a large "rainy day fund" in the Arsenal coffers even if it should be spent on getting the best team, wait until the very end there may still be a bargain or two and, anyway, the suckers will still overpay for tickets and we, Arsenal, can still qualify for something.

    Someone indicated he should have been gone at season's end in lieu of signing for a few more years. Maybe that is true since, despite being a briliant coach when it comes to developing players, he fails to win the critical games any more as was evident this year, he fails to recognize that just because gasoline (petrol) once cost 50 cents per gallon (true in my own lifetime BTW), you will have to pay $4 per gallon now and you wont find a station selling for 50 cents anymore or else face the prospect of walking when your auto runs out of fuel.

    Cesc may not be the shining star that would have moved Arsenal to the top of the PL next year, but who will. Rumors aside, what we do see in black and white is Fabergas having been missed, Sagna signing today, Song available (would we take him back) but not rumored for Arsenal, and the only "deals" (Vela, Pepe Reina) are the cut-rate deals that will improve the bench but not the starting eleven.

    Aside from blaming AW for this situation, the entire Board should also take some responsibility. They have been charmed by Arsene's ability to make them money, pay off the Emirates and stay in the first round or two of the CL. They lack, IMHO, the hunger to want to win it all, i.e., PL and CL. The have their money, their comfortable box seats, probably a nice clubhouse, bar and other amenities, and that is enough. You need an owner that has an intense desire take all steps necessary. I suspect Roman has spent his vast sums, not just because he has enough but because he want to own a champion. A better example was the late George Steinbrenner, an owner, who seemed driven to have his Yankees win every time. Arsenal and AW seem satisfied with winning just enough, but not everything nor willing to take the chances, spend the money and do all that is needed. Sadly, the FA cup this year was a sop but not the first step.

  18. No one gives a damn if u burn arsenal jerseys in the USA


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