Maturity Brings A Different Perspective On Loyalty
For once, I haven’t been upset at there not being a game this weekend, Number 1 son’s 10th birthday falling on a convenient weekend. I suspect Mrs YW is not upset at me disappearing off to football today either although she would never admit it…!
There is a media bandwagon edging out of first gear at the moment for Cesc to return to the Camp Nou this summer with the latest fuel to that fire coming from his father. Apparently, the youngster will decide his future once the World Cup is over, a hardly unsurprising statement since every player apparently does the same, according to the media at least. The Presidential elections at Barcelona fan the flames with each candidate making Fabregas a key plank of their manifesto. Poor old Juan Laporta will see his ego damaged if his annointed one loses and another candidate succeeds in securing the deal.
There is a sense of deja vu over the whole situation, reminscent of the lead up to Thierry Henry’s eventual departure to the same city. The constant dripfeed of stories to the media from those at the Catalan club or those reportedly in the player’s inner circle (normally an agent but this time Fabregas’ Mr20% has been strangely subdued); the unsubstantiated reports of househunting in the city; assertive denials from the player.
In the end though, the player will do essentially what he wants. If he is unhappy at Arsenal, so be it. He has put in good service to the team, he must believe that he and the rest of the squad can win silverware and satisfy their personal desires in this respect to be happy, a ‘miraculous‘ occurrence according to some.
A major factor, you suspect, will also be that he can satisfy those ambitions elsewhere as well as being a first team regular, an option by no means guaranteed elsewhere but one that is conveniently ignored in reports.
Solutions are proferred, assumptions made that Barcelona will not sign anyone else to neuter the suggested formations. Arsenal will receive a fee – although nowhere near the £80m that was commanded by Cristiano Ronaldo – and move on; clubs survive all players, particularly those who offer Champions League football. That is the nature of the sport / business.
A crucial thing about Arsenal which is often overlooked is the loyalty to the club. There is some to the manager, without a doubt, but as the players mature, the father-son footballing relationship diminishes. The draw is Arsenal Football Club. The change is subtle. Following the defeat at Stamford Bridge, Nigel Winterburn noted that pride in playing for Arsenal added an edge to his performances.
Fabregas was the highest-profile of the younger players to also note the change last summer. Interviewed about his plans, he rebutted this aspect of his relationship with Wenger, proclaiming that he had but one father. It is not a conscious snub to Wenger nor should it be interpreted that. Simply, the players are maturing, their relationships and understanding of the bonds is changing with age.
Robin van Persie has further confirmed that change:
It is good that four teams were really interested in me but I had to turn them down. It’s not as easy to leave Arsenal as you maybe think.Even if you want to leave, as a player, I don’t think it is easy because when you move to Arsenal you are led there by your heart.
The Dutchman’s absence has been adverse, there is no argument. Wenger did not sign anyone in the January window partly because deal’s could not be completed but the suspicion has also to be that he was not convinced about fitting them in once he had everyone available. van Persie slotted into the central role quickly and looked as if that was his natural position, pivotal in creating and scoring seemingly for fun once his duck for the season was broken. Such long-termism is more in keeping with Wenger’s methods than a short-term solution of making the big signing that was craved.
van Persie acknowledges that he has a particular barrier to overcome before being considered a ‘great’ player:
When you look at great players, they are always fit, always sharp. When you play 50 games a season, you can score more goals and get more assists, so it follows that you are more important to the team.Everything starts with your fitness and some players are lucky like that. I hate it but I can’t do anything about it because this is my situation
It is a harsh situation for him. Few of his injuries have arisen in training, the recent major ones have been suffered in matches for his country. There is not much which can be done about those. Phlegmatic that may seem but asking van Persie to change the way he plays will rob you of some of the spark which makes him an outstanding player.
Maturity will bring different assessments of passages of play in any case; managed changes can influence this but to suppress the spontenaity of a gifted player is frequently to the detriment of the club.
Getting him back to fitness is the key with rumours surfacing that he is back and jogging. Returning to action in an Arsenal shirt will help satisfy his desire to appear at the World Cup. Ignoring the crass demands of the Dutch FA is crucial in this, Arsenal surely has a case for refusing to release the player come March even if the KNVB demands it.
Posted on February 13, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas, Football, Premier League, Robin van Persie, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.