Is The Ship Sinking?

Of course it isn’t but to the outsider that could quite easily be construed from the stories surrounding the club at the moment. Tacky auctions for shareholdings; players out of contract looking for new clubs, including one we might rather stayed. All adds up to public chaos even if the private is serene. Well, not serene but certainly not panic-stricken.

Arsene may well have been hoping for a quiet time before the World Cup but his plans seem to be unravelling with player power being flexed. The speculation over Cesc going to Barcelona is no longer guesswork – not that anyone doubted he wants to return to his former club – but Cesc’s father has never been reticent to comment on a return to the Catalan capital and it is simply inconceivable that his comments on Spanish radio were made without Cesc’s approval or do not reflect the player’s wishes.

Add into that mix, Sol Campbell and rebuilding the squad may well be a more involved job that Wenger originally hoped for this summer.

First off, the comments made by Fabregas Senior are of no surprise. His son moved to London at a young age and he acknowledges the contribution of Arsene to the young man Cesc has become. There was also an element of ‘We let him leave to grow as a person you should do the same‘ although the familial bonds are entirely different to the professional. And for the desire to be close to his child, no-one should chastise Papa Fabregas.

However to believe that because the player wants to leave, he should be allowed to is entirely wrong; matters are not so simple. Arsenal is entitled to be recompensed handsomely for pushing the player’s development quicker than would have been achieved had he remained at Barcelona at sixteen.

Trying to put pressure on Arsenal to sell is a tactic which is failing to work, even the Catalan club recognise this. Papa should be turning his desires onto the suitors, telling them to back their words with actions. Failing to see any action on their part should send alarm bells ringing in Team Fabregas rather more loudly than the stubborness of Arsenal. As Phil Oakey crooned, “Don’t you want me?“.

Carlos Vela though put into words the perspective of the player:

He will be going back to his country and it is good for him. It is difficult for big players, they want to win trophies and play in games like the Champions League final. I’m sure he’s disappointed we have not won anything for five years. Of course, it will be sad to see Cesc join Barcelona. He is the star of the Arsenal team and it is better to have him. But it is a decision for Cesc.

There could be some who take issue with Vela’s words but all that has happened is that a view has been stated: It would be better if he stayed but it is up to him. Perhaps Vela could do more, as could the rest of the squad, to persuade Cesc to stay or at least make the decision to go tougher. Barcelona’s players have had no reticence in publicly airing their views about his future, perhaps Arsenal’s could do the same.

It seems that all of the speculation is having an effect with reports suggesting that Cesc is quieter than normal. One wonders if all of the pressure is getting to him, particularly as Captain Caveman noted:

It’s very unusual to see Cesc nervous, but all this is a bit problematic for him because we are talking daily about this topic; his fans, his manager and his teammates must all be respected.

These boys have got more respect than Aretha Franklin. One wonders if the persistence of their desires may actually backfire, the seemingly constant demands may well impact upon his World Cup preparations and if that is the case, there is time for him to be dropped from the squad by Del Bosque and replaced with someone more focussed. And then when the blame game starts, fingers do point back at his potential employers.

Sol Campbell is a tricky situation, once more highlighting the scenario of older players only being offered a one-year deal. In Campbell’s case, he played more frequently than he probably expected and was fitter than many expected. At this stage in his career, you might expect him to be looking for a final deal to see out a playing career that he believes has two years left. In those circumstances, he can hardly be criticised for seriously considering a move that fulfils that desire on paper.

Another aspect is playing time. Wenger is looking for another centre back to replace the seemingly soon-to-be-departed William Gallas and a new signing is likely to be ahead of Campbell in the queue for a first team place. Add Johan Djourou into the mix and Campbell is suddenly the fourth choice, a bit of a comedown for a man who harboured ambitions of being on the plane to South Africa as a playing member of the England squad.

It could be that Campbell has also noted the pace of the Premier League and the quality of his opponents, judging that he might be able to handle the Scottish top flight more comfortably. We shall see.

However, this instance once more highlights the potential pitfalls of the one-year policy at Arsenal. Whilst the fitness concerns about ageing players are not misplaced, there are plenty of examples of over-30s who have played thirty or more games in a season without any noticeable injuries arising. Arsenal will no doubt claim that they have reviewed each case on its merits and someone with the injury record of William Gallas may be unreasonable to a certain extent in expecting an improved contract.

Yet in the case of Gilberto and Robert Pires, was the decision right? The latter is clouded by his injuries early on at Villarreal but they were sustained in challenges and cannot be indicators of definite problems had he remained at Arsenal. With Gilberto, his departure came at a time when Flamini left for Milan. However, with the belief that Flamini strung Arsenal along until deciding to go to Italy, would Gilberto have been tempted to stay with a deal.

In some cases Wenger has got it right but as with the younger players, there are examples of it going wrong and will be more in the future. It appears that Arsenal is the only club that overtly applies this policy, a knock-on from the cultivation of younger players. A balance should be found with more flexibility for excellent players.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 26, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 404 Comments.

  1. First?

  2. 2nd the best

  3. In regards to the Campbell situation, I seriously think Arsene should do whatever it takes to keep him here. As is common knowledge, he is vastly experienced, has played at the top, and most importantly (for us at the moment anyway) has won trophies. His attitude and drive this season has been fantastic and is something his young comrades could learn from. Best Campbell moment this season – his celebration after Bendtner scored vs Wolves. Absolutely inspiring.

  4. Furious Styles

    man i can imagine arsene is getting pretty fired up right about now, the tapping up is reaching new heights every day. expecting a glorious rant from him with the passion of 1000 suns later in the summer, no matter if cesc stays or goes.. on that note: Cesc please dont go!

  5. Check out the celebration here! One of the season highlights for sure!

  6. Totally disagree. We cannot build a backline around Sol Campbell. He may have looked like a lion with a thorn in its pad at times but his organisational skills at the back are not great, his pace is hanging by a thread…..and frankly I don’t trust him.

  7. Alex Ice Cream

    Why doesn’t Vela just shut the f*** up with regards to Cesc.

    He also went on to say that the WC could offer possibilities other than Arsenal.

    We gave this guy a 6 year contact worth millions on the basis of a couple of chipped goals and a lot of dives and this is how he talks about the club.

    To be fair, I would have expected him to play more after the new contract but coming out with rubbish like this is not what the club needs.

    Arsene also said that Vela was the reason that Adebayor was not replaced and then didn’t pick him. What a load of bollox from Wenger, utter rubbish.

    Personally if we can offload Vela to a Spanish club for a few million I would take that. He is too weak to play in the Prem as a centre forward. Play him on the wing? Well we already have one expensive young centre forward struggling on the wing in Theo.

    Carlos is just another overhyped, overpaid youngster who has won nothing and won’t make it at Arsenal.

  8. Alex Ice Cream

    Frank,

    I agree about Sol. He was great last year but how long has he got left?

    I don’t trust him either – he lied to us about going abroad and thanks us for relaunching his career by talking to Celtic.

  9. Frank, I don’t think we should build anything around him at all. I think he can be a valuable squad member that’s all. And he has also shown this season he can step in and do a job if necessary, and a good one at that. For me he was one of our very best players the last two months.

  10. In regards to his pace, we can only judge him by what we’ve seen…his sprint vs Bale shows that maybe there’s more left in him than we think

  11. Alex Ice Cream

    Boss,

    I like Sol but a cut price 1 yr deal is all that he is worth.

  12. Alex Ice Cream, Vela is a young man. Give him a break. If he has a lack of maturity there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s growing up!
    As for Sol and the older players it comes down to our above 30 years rule. It’s quite arbitrary as people don’t age at the same pace. But Wenger could not be blamed then as science wasn’t up to scratch and an average age would be used. In our case 30. But with the new GPS system being installed the rule may be changed – hopefully!

  13. As Alan Sugar once so memorably said “If you want loyalty, buy a dog”.

  14. Never forgiven him for walking out at half time against West Ham.

  15. Yes I would imagine that is the only form of loyalty that Alan Sugar commands. Revolting man.

  16. AIC, maybe you’re right. Although with the millions being spent on new contracts for many of our youth, based purely on potential (Gazooners words @ AGM) I would say that Sol is definately worth a gamble :p

  17. Alex Ice Cream

    Frank,

    Me neither.

  18. I’m not sure about all these 20 yr old centrebacks we’re being linked with. Subotic, Kjaer, Sakho… great prospects I’m sure, but a ready made replacement for William Gallas?

    I had a dream we signed James Collins from Aston Villa. Strange one perhaps… but he’s captain of a promising young Wales side, premiership experience, plays with lots of passion… just a thought.

  19. AIC

    You thought the same with Song, Denilson, Bendtner and many more. Yet these youngsters keep coming back to prove you wrong. When will you ever learn?

  20. Alex Ice Cream

    Kenyon,

    He is a young guy who earns millions having done f*** all at Arsenal.

    We “bought” him 5 years ago and have been subsidising him ever since for virtually no return.

  21. I think given what Sol Campbell has recived from Arsenal he really should stay.

    Arsene let him train with us for months. Then we sgined him, gave him games. And now he wants a better deal at Celtic? If he is seriuos about Celtic he is not serious about football and maybe we shouldn’t take him on anyway.

    COME ON THE GUNNERS

  22. I doubt if AW will buy a young centre-half. Johann Djourou may well step up in the coming season…and we may see Havard Nordveit too.

  23. Sol on a 1 year, being 3rd or even 4th choice CB. He should take that opportunity rather than head off to Celtic, Wenger gave him the platform to redeem himself, he should stay out of courtesy to him and us fans.

  24. Alex Ice Cream

    Chris,

    I did not think that about any of those. I don’t think Denilson is good enough to partner Cesc (which may not be a problem for long).

    I haven’t been convinced by Arsenal since Flamini and Hleb left and nothing that I have seen has made me change my mind.

    If Cesc goes it will be another cycle of rebuilding until the next great player or players leave and then it will start again.

  25. Don’t be too hasty with him there, AIC.

    His progress last year wasn’t helped by playing in an international tournament just as our season was starting. He came back with an injury and sort of hovered around on the fringes for the rest of the season – jetting back for international fixtures every few weeks.

    We just haven’t been able to count on him enough. Check out Mexico’s schedule:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_national_football_team_schedule_and_results

    Hopefully he’ll get a proper break after the World Cup and the next couple years will be relatively free from interruption.

  26. AIC

    Vela was part of the Carling Cup team over the last few years which has consistently knocked out Premiership opposition, and progressed to the latter stages. He has shown his promise but has yet to get a run in the team.

    How can slate him on any basis, you have no grounds. His season has been full of injuries.

  27. We could build an old-people’s home around Sol.

  28. Alex Ice Cream

    Frank,

    If we are serious about winning the league Nordveit and Djourou won’t cut it.

  29. Carlos Vela lit up the FA Cup with two stunning assists in one of the most memorable moments of the season for me… the incendiary comeback at Wet Spam. Magical evening.

  30. Alex Ice Cream

    Chris,

    I am slating him for his comments about Cesc and the other option the WC could give him.

    Oh and his lack of contribution apart from diving,

  31. AIC you can take that view if you choose. I don’t understand how you can see it as a cycle which won’t allow us to develop. SONG is probably the best DM in the Premiership, you cannot argue against that.

    With or without Cesc we have a very good team which will still challenge. Stop fuckin whining all the time.

  32. Chris Goona – Your a bit naive about Sol, I don’t think he is type of person who thinks he owes the club anything. He is looking for the best deal for himself, that’s all, and he will probably get more playing time at Celtic.

    AIC – I agree with you about a Vela, an absolute lightweight waste of space

  33. If Carlos was English I suppose AIC wouldn’t be bitching 😉

  34. Alex Ice Cream

    Chris,

    Song has done very well – no doubt about it.

    I don’t weant to contemplate what losing Cesc will do to the team..

  35. AIC I’m glad you touched on Denilson, I don’t understand why people can’t appreciate him! You can’t compare him to Song or Cesc (as most tend to do) because in reality he is somewhere in between. One fault is that defensively I don’t think he has worked hard enough, the FA cup game with Stoke being the perfect example. His technical qualities are obviously there, he just needs to mature a bit in my opinion. And also, he’s one of very few Arsenal players who can score from range!!

  36. i hear the possible departure of campbell to celtic will free up some much needed funds for us to bring in david o’leary on a free so you should have no qualms about this season’s ticket.

    i don’t know if it’s just me but we seem to be linked with fewer and fewer players with each passing day. there is a school of thought that arsenal go about their business in a quiet way and then out of the blue we strike and sign somebody. that thought keeps me going every year but ultimately we never do.

    arsene knows. does he? then he should have known that we have needed a new keeper, a new centre half and a new dm for the past 3 years. cesc knows. that’s why he’ll be playing for barca next year.

  37. Alex Ice Cream

    Chris,

    I can start on Theo if you want!

  38. theBigM

    AIC – I agree with you about a Vela, an absolute lightweight waste of space

    << Your comment about Vela, you are a tad more naive it looks. Nobody got near Vela when England faced Mexico, he just needs to get his chance in the team. Problem this season was the 4-3-3 didn't suite him, he plays better up top with another striker. Vela has scored quite a few alongside Bendtner in a 442.

    Its not a coincidence that both Eduardo and Vela have struggled in this formation.

  39. Sol’s been magnificent this year. Lets not judge him on the past, the man got his head strait, his fitness up and excelled, being our best player in more than one game. I think his hearts at Arsenal, which is more than can be said for one Carlos Vela. Campbell is a valuble squad asset for both morale and experience. I thinbk he’ll make the right choice and sign the one year deal.

    Vela’s comments are bitterly dissapointing.

    And they display a nonchallent detatched attitude that is being shown by to many. Arshavin on the regular, Cesc at the moment now this?

    Nigel Winterburn said it not long ago, that when he was at Arsenal there was a real sense that you are playing for a special club and you must give 110%. I refuse to believe that has diminished, and players like RvP, Clichy, Theo show that it hasnt with their attitude.

    Those who are immune to caring about Arsenal can get the fuck out of the squad.

  40. AIC

    I bet you can start on the whole team.. You don’t seem to take much joy out of supporting Arsenal do you mate?

  41. I think this should be ended as quickly as possible. Cesc needs to come out now as he has said he wants it sorted before the world cup. The comments of his father is a disgrace and a total disrespect to our club. Its essentially a shameless threat to arsenal and should not be tolerated.

    We will struggle to win anything if cesc does leave, which I have to say seems inevitable now. If he is hell bent on leaving, Arsenal should dig their heels in, under no circumstance should he go a penny under 50 million plus. If it means benching him then so be it, its time for the club to put our foot down against the pungent machinations of these spanish clubs.

    Carlos vels can go, he is a decent player but I always felt that many gooners have simply over rated him. With the arrival of chamakh, he is expendable.

    I think sol should stay, the passion he brings to this team is valuable and he is not asking for a starting slot anyway. Simply put, his legs may be gone but he cares for the club.

    Things seems to be falling apart for our club at the moment and this is the time for arsene to earn his salary.

    Cheers all!

  42. Alex Ice Cream

    BigM,

    Vela won’t make it at Arsenal. The balance of the sqaud is too skewed – we have too many youngsters and not enough quality experience.

    Vela is 21 – hardly old but not so young either. Anelka was brilliant at 18, so was Cesc. Messi at 22 is one of the best in the world. Ronaldo was world player of the year at 19. Shrek was good by then.

    Why do people use age as an excuse. He is on very good wages so if he is not good enough he should get lost.

  43. Alex Ice Cream

    deano,

    Well said. Vela’s comments are a disgrace.

  44. rellends

    Transfer window shuts end of August, plenty of time to go so don’t get your knickers in a twist just yet.

    Whatever your opinion is of our manager, he won’t let us go into a new season with only 2 or 3 CB’s.

  45. Vela said this a few days ago – “It was difficult for me. I didn’t have many opportunities when I was fit…. Having a good World Cup can open many doors. If not at Arsenal, we’ll see where.”

    I rate him but I wonder if he has a future with us. I also wonder if wenger thinks he has a future with us.

    I have always had my doubts about a lot of the latin american and spanish types because very few can truly be inspired by the challenge of the premier league. cant really blame him when you compare the quality of life in southern spain to that of the suburbs of liverpool etc. La liga is less disciplined and there is probably more licence for freeflowing playful football.

    Only special characters (combative and independent) like alonso, arteta, reina, torres, valencia, fabregas… and then the more attributed argentines tevez, mascharano, Gutiérrez have really been able to commit and impose themselves in the long term.

    Many of the young ones these days seem to use the renowned PL as an advertisement board to spring load their careers. Either that or they simply run out steam/ get homesick. Its been a bit like a gap year for merida.

    There have been many failures in recent times and even more so when you go back in history. morientes, pique, forlan, reyes, dos santos, ricardo… lots more I can’t think of.

    Many of the old skool galacticos would have not have even considered a move in the first place. Can you imagine figo raul guti fat ronaldo ronaldinho etc etc ever playing in the premier league in their peaks?

    We are so proud of our tough physical manly play in england and are quick to dismiss the failures as weak minded. I completely sympathise with anyone who finds this thugish mentality tiresome.

  46. Thank you Deano!! Glad someone agrees about Sol. And my opinion on Vela…he’s class. Just needs to be a bit more focused and work harder, like most of our squad actually. His cameo vs West Ham after coming on as a sub was awesome I thought, he even crossed for the Eddy’s winner! Shows what the man can do.

  47. Looks like the transfer window gets too much for some

  48. I reckon sol is skint and needs the 2 year paycheck. He would hugely missed tho considering we could do with him installing some arsenal mentality to the new CB signing and potential new partnership at the back.

  49. bossman

    Vela has the quality and time on his side to become a really special player for us.

  50. I rate Vela as a player,

    The “maybe I’ll find another club after the WC” is what got my goat.

    It a lack of gratitude to the club that I find hard to swallow.

    Why not fight for his place at Arsenal? Is it somehow beneath him or can’t he be bothered?

    Now as far as the balance of the squad goes I am still optimistic regardless of what happens with Cesc. We have hungry players now good in the air, pace, technique. Still a great midfield. The defence will be stengthened I’m sure.

    Which subsequently I think Wenger will stand firm and the player will not go for anyless than 50 mil.

    Who knows? Him going may have a galvanising effect.

  51. CG I concur. And speaking of Mexicans, anyone see Dos Santos vs England? What a player! Lord knows how Barca sold him to spuds.

  52. Early on Vela showed so much promise but sadly he just hasn’t progressed and judging by his comments he knows his time at Arsenal is up.

    I’d be surprised to see either him or Eduardo at the Emirates next season

  53. ChrisGoona – Not convinced by Vela at all, I know he hasn’t had many chances in the first team, but to me his attitude isn’t right and I’m not sure he has the attitude and application to back-up his talent.
    If he doesn’t go this summer, I think he has one season left to convince Arsene

  54. bossman

    I couldn’t work out if I was watching the same Dos Santos!

  55. Cesc Fabregas

  56. As much as a soft spot I have for Eddy with his injury, I really think it’s time for him to go. He’s a shadow of the player he was. And I would much rather see him revive his career elsewhere than rot on the bench with us, as he seems destined to do if he stays.

  57. Yeah whts the deal with Dos Santos? Is he staying at Galatasaray?

  58. theBigM

    You may be right, its up to Wenger, I do feel it is a bit crowded up front now.

    Chamakh, Bendtner, Van Persie, Eduardo, Vela

    There were so many points this season where Wenger could have slotted Vela at LW.. it just never happened, Eduardo we can excuse because he ain’t looked right. His talent is there for all to see, would be a shame if Wenger couldn’t get it out of him.

  59. I was just checking out Theo’s contribution in the last eight games of the season.

    At a time when the whole team was really struggling, he scored two and set up three, contributing to 5 out of 12 of the goals scored during that difficult patch.

    That’s not bad for a wide player in a struggling team.

  60. Of two things we can all be certain

    1) Arsenal will extract advantage from any Cesc transfer if it happens – Wenger will exert control, something we saw over Hleb, Adebayor, Toure. He has a ruthless streak. That may mean just saying ‘never’, until he is certain of a few things. I find the quietness of Wenger very re-assuring.

    2) The future doesn’t hinge on Campbell, or Cesc, or any player, but on the combination powered by the core group of around 15 players and their synergy, the way the team works.

    The thing is you can unpack the strengths and weaknesses of any one player, and develop and compensate accordingly.

    It strikes me that IF these stories are true, and are we now saying they are gaining traction (?) poor Cesc is emotionally leaping towards a tragic misjudgement, for the wrong reason, at the wrong time and slowing his career momentum down (under the illusion he is speeding it up by having what he feels is more assurance/control); something his career may well be associated with henceforth. We’ll see what we will see.

    What goes around comes around. It’s all stating the obvious, but still …

  61. Sol Campbells performances at the end of the season put the rest of the teams to shame especially at the Lane.He was our best player for the last 6 weeks of the season.I would put him above an injury prone Djourou and a mistake prone Silvestre anyday of the week.

    As for Carlos Vela he is just a Mexican version of Reyes.Too lightweight for the premiership

  62. 1 loose cannon

    Quoting Alan Sugar on Arsenal blog is a crime.

    Today Fabregas has gone of my head instead I kept thinking about Bendtbner and Chamakh upfront and RVP just behind finishing off the loose balls that is a frightening thing for teams to think about. I think a very good crosser of the ball will be instrumental in feeding those 2 monsters upfront. I guess they will be complaining we have too many tall players next season

  63. …to 5 of the 12 goals scored…

  64. “Nothing is fucked here dude, nothing is fucked”

    “Nothing is fucked?!! The god damn plane has crashed into the side of the god damn mountain!!”

    Of course, nothing was fucked. There was no plane and no mountain. There wasn’t even a kidnapping and as we all know, “without a hostage there can be no ransom, those are the rules.”

    We have a brilliant manager, sate of the art facilities and a super talented squad. Some may leave over the summer, others will arrive, happens every year.

    You can be sure, on the basis of a decade and a half of quality, that when the game sstart being played again, the real ones, that Wenger will put out a team of top, top quality that will be a joy to watch. We will challenge strongly at home and abroad and fans will enjoy the ride.

    4 years out of 5 with at least a QF in the European big league is a remarkable run, it will continue.

  65. He’s been on loan at Gala since January I believe. He played under Rijkaard at Barca of course and I believe Rijkaard has the option to make the move permanent this summer.

  66. Chamakh does look a quality player, nice to see his comments on the Arsenal site too.. There are many many players who dream to play for our club like him. Its nice to have another talented big striker on board.

  67. If Cesc leaves, RVP will play in that position with no drop in quality and we have 50+ million to reinvest on talent elsewhere.

  68. One Of Us.

    The media bashing of Theo perplexes me to the point of despair.

    Every paper I read yesterday took him to pieces despite him being Englands best/most productive/hardest working player by a long fucking way.

    And his contributions in general are ludicrously underrated.

    Sometimes he makes the wrong decisions, that will improve with time.

    One thing I will say is that he never stops trying. And an attitude like that goes a long way.

  69. arsenehollis

    If Cesc leaves, Van Persie will give him a good talking to and a few back handers you can guarantee.

  70. Interesting to hear Chamakh already saying he loves Arsenal. Hopefully he’s not just playing with our hearts like a certain badge-kissing Cesc…

  71. Not even June yet and some people seem to want to sell half of our squad. It is all so mind-numbing.

  72. cheers bossman

    I rekon he’ll be a big player in a couple of years.

  73. Chamakh has been an Arsenal supporter for a whille.. thats what he stated in his interview.

  74. dupsffokcuf

    Just the ones that don’t want to be here.

  75. Arsenehollis, I think van Persie can play as a deep lying forward/playmaker only if we play 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 with Chamakh up front of course. No way he’s playing in the mid in a 4-3-3.

  76. Deano. and how do we know who they are? It all comes from the media and we know how truthful they are.

  77. Carlos Vela aint going anywhere. The Telegraph twisted his words to make a story about discontent in Arsenal. The whole thing is getting beyond ridiculous. But of course no one is going to stop this shit not the FA UEFA FIFA or even the Mighty Arsenal FC. I think it was Stalin that said if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Next up will be the Wenger leaves saga followed by the FatboyFat Usmanov takeover deal. Its all part of the anti Arsenal campaign.

  78. If Cesc leaves then it’ll be interesting to see if we revert back to playing 4-4-2 as the current 4-3-3 seems designed to get the best out of Cesc.

    I can’t see Chamakh and Bentner playing down the middle together so we might be looking at one of them partnering either Van Persie or Arshavin

  79. bossman

    I wouldn’t rule it out

    – – – – – Chamakh/Bendtner – – – – – –
    Arshavin – – – – – – – – – – – – – Walcott
    – – – – – – – – Van Persie – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Song – – Ramsey – – – – – –

    Life without Cesc won’t be end of the world, I still don’t believe there is much truth in these rumours. I will wait to see it on Arsenal.com

  80. Cesc wont leave anyway, they don’t really want him, not seriously.

    Laporta would like to do a deal, but the lack of bid, public waffle, all point towards the fact that they want it done cheap. This just wont happen.

    The more time passes, the closer it gets to Laporta leaving and the harder it gets for him to spend huge money. It would tie the hands of the new president, who will want to make his own mark anyway rather than continue old plans.

    They probably hope that they can lay the groundwork now for either a quick cheap deal, which we wont allow, or a future move when it suits them at better terms, after Laporta’s role has diminished.

    This may all wind up turning Cesc off the idea, if they keep using him as a pawn, failing to act their part of the play, and encouraging a classy young man to degrade his own image and standards for nothing.

  81. JayGooner

    They all a bunch of cun*s.. cant believe anything anymore

  82. Deano, anytime mate. He reminds he of ‘Dinho, and he may well turn out to be a star.

    CG, he did indeed say he has supported us for a while. I’m just questioning his honestly as most footballers’ words have to be taken with a generous pinch of salt!!

  83. I suppose. But Vela’s was an interview and Cesc, well, lets be honest. If I’m a player playing for the greatest club in the world, I’m in love with club, I care for anxiety of my team mates, my manager, my fans you know what don’t do?

    I dont take over a week to quash the horrible speculation with a simple official statement.

    If he wanted to stay we would know by now.

  84. As T. Pratchett put it:

    “A lie can run around the world before the truth can put it’s boots on. If the truth is female the lie can go around more time while she chooses which boots to wear”.

  85. Deano – he probably did say he wants to leave, he may well do right now. However, it isnt that quick or easy and as things develop he might change his mind.

  86. CG, I do think he could do a job in midfield, he’s got the skill and vision. I just feel we have enough quality there to compensate, and combined with his emergence this past season as a serious world class striker I can’t see it happening! You never know though…

  87. I wonder how Bendtner feels on the arrival of Chamakh. Bendtner has been a very good stand in to Van Persie this season, he will have direct competition with Chamakh now for a spot in the team.

  88. Other than Cesc, RVP is the player with the vision and passing to open up the best defences.

  89. We said the same thing when PV Henry and Pires left.Dont worry they will be replaced and we will keep on winning things.We were wrong

  90. I agree with you all about the newpapers.

    I know they you cant trust them one bit.

    But ask yourself this….despite being heavily linked to Barcellona and Madrid have we never been in a sweat over Gael Clichy?

    Because the man comes out, says thanks but no thanks, pledges his loyalty to Arsenal Football Club in no uncertain terms.

  91. Competition for places is essential in a squad.

    I doubt Bendtner thinks Chamakh is better than he is, he doesnt think that about anyone.

    Bendtner is one of those superb young players we have who has a tendency to get complacent without pressure form senior players or on his place in the team.

  92. Indeed Ken, that’s the worry many of us have lurking in the back of our minds.

  93. Agreed, Flamini had a one- off season, behaved like a dick and we were well shot of him.
    Gilberto was a big mistake. You don’t play first choice Brazil’s midfield and be a mug .! An excellent pro our young men could of looked up to. Terrific at set pieces, with him in we looked solid, how many times did we bring him off the bench at 60 mins or so and close out games..?
    We are missing this big time, and it has cost us. Sign Melo from Juventus.. Now.! He’s a younger and more agressive Gilberto type, perfect for the premiership.

  94. “I’m loved more at Arsenal than I am in my own home.” Official, not bullshit, qoute from Cesc himself. Maybe he has just twigged that Barca dont want/dont need/cant afford him? But he does go on to say that he isnt certain he will be at Arsenal next season. Maybe we should fuck those catalunyans right over and flog him to Real for peanuts. Just lost all respect for Cesc

  95. ChrisGoona

    I think Bendtner and Chamakh will actualy play alot together. Arshavin is injury prone and Robin excells on the left as well as the centre.

    It will be takey turns for the right between Walcott and Bendtner both offer something different.

    We have fantastic attacking options.

    I hope against hope that Eduardo gets sorted. Remember how exciting he was when he first arrived?

    Impossibly cool in front of goal. I realy hope he isnt considered surplus to requirments.

  96. I’m not entirely convinced by Melo. He does well for Brazil, but that’s in a very regimented system. De Rossi might be a better shout. He’s a leader, can offer more going forward and he may be better priced considering Romas financial difficulties. And younger than Melo too I believe?

  97. Even I’m not sure about the 21year old CBs we are being linked with. Someone here mentioned Heiko Westermann once. He is the captain of Schalke FC which finished 2nd in the Bundesliga this year. Someone here also mentioned he had a stellar year. But I’m not really sure if Westermann is a great player or a good player who had a great season. So does anyone have more info on him?

  98. @bossman

    De Rossi won’t leave Roma. Not even for Inter, AC or Juventus. There’s a player with true love for his club

  99. Personally I would like Wenger to sign 2 CBs, a GK and a CDM and keep Campbell, but knowing Wenger he’s probably looking for just a CB and maybe a GK, another CB, or a CDM.

  100. bossman

    De Rossi is ace….too good I think to be on the bench when fit.

    Therein lies the problem. Alex Song if fit must start, and unless we turn into liverpool overnight we are not going to ever start 2 DM’s. …..Any cover we bring in needs to accept bench time.

    Thats why I agree letting Gilberto go was one of Wengers very few mistakes.

  101. Antony, you are right he is a true Roman. Although I’ve heard he could well take a page out of Kaka’s book and leave in order to relieve Roma of some of their financial troubles.

  102. Laporta cannot lose his game; If Cesc goes to Barca, it was down to Laporta, if Cesc decides to stay it was because Laporta was not there to see the deal through.

    It’s not a paticularly clever game and Barca come out looking like cunts yet again. For all those who say Barca are your second team: I urge you to think again, Leyton Orient would not stoop to such levels and their football is as honest as the day is long.

  103. And it’s great to see something other than the stupid Cesc to Barca rumours being discussed here 😀

  104. arsenholis – “4 years out of 5 with at least a QF in the European big league is a remarkable run, it will continue”

    You are right, we are so used to qualifying for the champions leauge that we take it for granted, but the quality of some of the teams in the CL means that is not difficult to get beyond the group stage anymore. Yet, as soon as we meet one of the stronger teams in the last eight, we usually go out.

    I don’t mean this as negative, but I think the greater achievement is managing to qualify every year rather than getting to the quarter finals

  105. chris goona,

    we went into last season with just 3 centre halves. i comfort myself every season thinking that august 31st is a long way away and then lo and behold a week before the window shuts aw comes out in the press with his usual “we are not close to signing anybody at the moment but i believe the squad i have here is good enough to challenge”.

    we are stagnating. we should have kicked on after the invincibles year. that team with 2-3 quality additions could have gone on to win more premierships, fa cups etc but it was broken up far too early and since then all we have got is 1 very lucky fa cup win to show for it.

    i’m not in the arsene out camp but this summer is crucial for us. if rvp has a good world cup then the inevitable stories involving him leaving will start to circulate especially if we get overtaken by man city or, heaven forbid, that lot down the road. when cesc goes it is going to be very hard to replace 15 assists/15 goals a season when you refuse to pay top dollar for proven quality.

    i hope i’m wrong.

  106. Fabregas said: “I will say only one thing – I have got massive respect for Arsene Wenger, Arsenal football club and the Arsenal fans. Even in my own house I have not felt as loved as I have at Arsenal. I had a long conversation with Arsene and it was the greatest [longest] conversation I have had with anyone in my life.

    “I respect him, so, so much and I don’t want to say anything more. Wenger said to leave it in his hands and he will deal with whatever happens in the future. It is now all about Arsenal – it is not in my hands.

    “Now I just wait: it is up to Arsenal. Right now all I am thinking about is the World Cup: everything else is the future and I am not going to say anything else

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/26/arsene-wenger-cesc-fabregas-barcelona

  107. Not that it would ever happen, but a 4-3-2-1 Christmas tree formation would be very interesting to see if Cesc indeed does leave. Van Persie and Arsh behind Chamakh would be devastating, and we are also blessed with the fullbacks required to give us width. Even though this formation might seem defensive, if played correctly could actually be quite fluid and attacking. See Milan throughout the decade..

  108. Its in his hands if he wants to stay.

  109. deano

    Gilberto’s lack of pace in his last season was evident. It’s also why Flamini was picked ahead of him. I have seen him perform a few times playing since he left and you can tell he isn’t the same player as before. He would have been good to keep around, but to be honest a player with that calibre who wasn’t delivering like he use to, there was only one option for Wenger. We are not AC Milan who keeps their players playing till they are crippled and 40 yr olds.

    We need to constantly improve, its why Song is the player he is today and there is still room for improvement. Denilson is solid cover, Ramsey is looking to be a real player, Nasri is looking good but neeeds consistency, Diaby proved he can be a top top player too.

    Wenger may have not known on the Flamini situation if he was staying, but he knew he had talented players coming through.

  110. “Now I just wait: it is up to Arsenal.”

    Yes, it is, and always has been.

  111. rellends

    3 CB’s… are you having a laugh. Go learn how to count!

  112. Arsenal… slap a 80m fee on him…. thats all we have to do.

  113. Cesc will respect his contract if Wenger tells him to

  114. Rebuilding process with the fans has begun it seems. A bit more decent and mature statement from Cesc. Looks like he’s going to stay.

    So who’d like to see RVP or Arshavin linked to Madrid or City? Hacks need to get back to work.

  115. Ateeb

    pleeasse no more!!

  116. So, reading between the lines, he would go if Arsenal can reach an agreement with the scum, but would also stay if not.

  117. Good post.

  118. chrisgoona

    i guess you must mean 1.gallas, 2.vermaelen, 3.senderos never going to be played again, 4.djourou injured for season in july, 5.the majestic silvestre. oh and song could fill in there and wouldn’t leave a gaping hole in our midfield when switching position.

  119. solsagooner
    Thank you for supplying the exact qoute from Cesc. Still pisses me off that he has said it is in Arsenal’s hands whilst even the dishwasher at the Nou Camp is saying Cesc has Barca DNA etc. Would have liked a denial from him about whether he has formally requested a transfer. If not and then it is down to the board at Arsenal. Only some waffle from Hill-Wood which frankly I cannot believe because that man is at best senile. Beyond that? nothing. Strange days indeed Hope Spain crash and burn at the World Cup, Barca go bankrupt and Arsenal get Messi in the firesale lol

  120. rellends

    So you actually counted 6 CB’s then.

    Thats more than United, and Chelsea.

  121. For me the cesc stories are just boring me, hope they write us a big fat cheque so cesc can realise he’s made the biggest mistake of his life in a team that won’t play for him.

    Indeed maybe people don’t recall but for the last few months, Guardiola changed from the traditional 4-3-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Messi behind the lone striker in a 2nd striker/n°10 position. So cesc might be able to take iniesta’s position (on the left of the line of three) but not messi’s place who is just untouchable which means cesc will play out of position.

    Regarding Chamack I am looking forward to see him play he is really a fighter and he plays for the team which will just fit in our style of play and give that good header technique we have been lacking.

    We need to keep Vela and Dudu it might seems a lot of strikers but remember this season when we had the same amount bar Chamack and we ended up playing Arshavin because of injury, with the amount of games we play we need to keep most of our players.

    As for the defence, I hope we get everything sorted soon so that Vermalen knows who will partner him as soon as possible. If Gallas leaves, I believe we need an experienced CB coming in with an EPL experience being a plus but for names I will let Wenger be judge.
    I think Djourou will be the first back-up which leaves place for Campbell to stay and even a young CB like Sakho to come in, plus bartley and Hangveit to starts getting first taste of top level football in the Carling Cup.

    As a next season line-up:

    Almunia/Mannone (Arsene won’t get a new goalkeeper)
    Sagna/eboue New CB/djourou Vermalen/New CB Clichy/gibbs

    Song/Denilson/Eastmond

    Nasri/Ramsey/RVP Diaby/Rosicky/Denilson

    Walcott/Eboue/Wilshere Arshavin/Vela/Dudu
    RVP/Chamack/Bendtner

  122. chrisgoona,

    i didn’t include those ones not coming through the youth system either. of the ones i mentioned, how many, when fit, would get in to utd or chelsea’s team? that was my point which you seem to be deliberately missing.

  123. Senderos did play for AFC this past season.

    “djourou injured for the season in july”

    A lie.

  124. Cesc’s statements are coming from pressure of being around the Spanish squad and media, not to mention the constant nagging from the little cunts like Pyol and Xavi. He has said he is happy at Arsenal and owes a lot to Arsenal, he even went as far as saying he feels more at home with us, BUT he would be open to move if Barcelona came and Arsenal wished to sell.

    The question is whether he is saying this to get the media off his back, or he has actually approached Wenger asking to see if he can make it happen.

  125. rellends

    The real question is how many CB’s do you think Man Utd have. Not a question of quality. We started this season with Gallas, Vermaelen, and Djourou plus backups.. Them 3 are very capable.

  126. Furious Styles

    so chris, after cesc explicitly said that he had a long conversation with wenger, and answering “no” to the question as to whether he would be with arsenal next season.. you are unsure about if he actually approached wenger about going to barca next season?!

  127. chrisgoona,

    i believe senderos played maybe once in one of the carling cup games. i remember there being some debate as to why he couldnt even make the carling cup squad given that he wasn’t officially injured. djourou got injured playing in a friendly late july/early august and resurfaced in may. i haven’t joined this debate to make up lies chief.

  128. Furious Styles

    He said NO… hmmm please share to everyone where you got that from

  129. Doesn’t seem clear now that I see My post so.

    GK: Almunia (1st choice) Manone (Back-up)
    RB: Sagna (1st) Eboue
    CB: Vermalen /New experienced CB (first choice)
    CB: Djourou, Campbell, New young CB (back-up)
    LB: Clichy (1st) /Gibbs

    DM: Song (1st) Denilson/Eastmond
    Right AM: Cesc (if he stays) otherwise Nasri (1st choice)
    Right AM: Ramsey/RVP (as a number 10)
    Left AM: Diaby (1st) / Rosicky and Denilson

    RW: Walcott (1st) / Nasri, Eboue, Wilshere
    LW: Arshavin(1st) / Vela/Eduardo

    CF: RVP (1st) / Chamack /Bendtner

  130. Very diplomatic words from Franny. Means hes not going to come out publicly and asked to be transferred, which is good news.

    Having said that, its not good news.

  131. Mean Lean @ Arsenal Vision has the most definitive response from Arsenal on the Cesc issue I’ve read so far: http://u.nu/67pra

  132. rellends

    That is why Vermaelen and Campbell were brought in. We had more than enough CB’s to cope, some getting way too many minutes because of injuries.

    You said we only had 3 CB’s which I found very funny to be honest … Man Utd were using Fletcher and Carrick at the back at one point, they have far less options than us in this position.

  133. Furious Styles

    chris

    he was asked if he could make any guarantees and he said no. i guess thats the same as he’s been saying all along, but i cant really comprehend it if you still are in doubts about whether cesc has talked to arsene about leaving during the summer or not.

  134. The Cesc saga is like one of those crappy songs you cant get out of your head! It still comes back to simple fact that he signed a long term contract, has not put in a transfer request, no approach – legally – from the catalunyan cunts and in any event, clear indication that Arsenal WILL NOT sell him for less than 80 million, which soon to be bankrupt Barca certainly cannot afford. Cesc stays, until Arsenal NOT the media decide to sell him.
    As for next season, we are The Mighty Arsenal, decent keeper needed for sure, add a centre back yeah, give Eduardo time to realise that not every player he comes up against is Taylor (who should have been jailed in my opinion.The thug actually laughed and mouthed “done him”) Van Persie fit, Rosicky back to his best, Theo fulfilling his promise, Ramsey recovered, things are looking good. EIE Gooner for ever

  135. Many thanks for your email.

    The Club, of course, understands the frustration felt by supporters at the current transfer speculation surrounding the future of Cesc Fabregas.

    It is not our policy to comment on unfounded media speculation. We have received no official approach from any club for the signature of Cesc and with this in mind, it would be remiss of us to engage further on reports linking our captain with a move away from the Club.

    However, as I am sure that you know, Cesc has a long term contract here and he is very much part of our future plans. Our focus is on keeping our bright and talented young squad of players together in order to make strides forward next season.

    Thanks for your continued support.

    Kind regards
    Communications Department
    Arsenal Football Club

  136. Cesc’s comment are some of the vaguest I have ever heard. How I interpret them is that he wants to leave, has made his intentions clear to Wenger and Wenger will work out the best deal for Arsenal. If a deal cannot be worked out he will obviously not be sold.

  137. Damn it, Passenal. You shouldn’t have read between the lines. His rebuilding process was working on me. Oh well.

  138. furious

    As an Arsenal fan I am quite reluctant to believe many a story I read on the Internet. You should have plenty of experience reading many articles and comments which have been “adjusted”. Cesc is quoted as saying NO, thats because maybe its not up to him – if this interview is legit.

    Everyone should put themselves in Cesc’s shoes, you are playing for a foreign club, you are captain, regarded as one of the best CM’s on the planet, been there since you were 16, and your boyhood club comes along calling year after year. On top of that your boyhood club has an amazing team, and just won the Spanish League. All their players are hounding you, your family, and the press too. There are many factors what could make you want to go back. Who would not want to play with Messi and the other cunts.

    All he is doing is keeping his options open, Cesc has not gone to Wenger and demanded a transfer like some people are lead to believe.

  139. 1 loose cannon

    He has made those statements because there are no other reasons for him to say anything bad. He has been treated like a king at Arsenal by the club the fans and the Manager. he will never get that feeling anywhere he goes. At Barca he will feel small next to Messi, Xavi and the rest, he is not going to walk into the first team and the same people who have been on his case wanting him to join them will be competing with him. Once he leaves it will not concern me what happens to him.

    At least I can sense he still deeply respect Wenger. It appears to me he has been pushed hard by the Catalan clan to make the move. He knew he would join Barcelona one day but I think he wanted to win something with us before leaving. And there was absolutely no sign from him wanting to leave so soon. I put it down to that injury that made him spend too much time at Barcelona and they managed to turn his head.
    Because Laporta is going he wants to make this deal happen and claim the glory before leaving so Fabregas was given an Ultimatum its now or never sort of thing.
    There is a small glimmer of hope that he might stay. It will depend on Barcelona not paying the asking price.

  140. These Spanish idiots make transfers act out like cheap soap operas.

  141. I sincerely hope that Cesc goes…and for the right price. Not interested in grizzling about boyhood dreams. He signed a long term contract a few months ago. He should have the courage of his convictions. He is a much smaller man in my eyes now. He is now a Barcelona player not an Arsenal player…and as such he should fuck off instead of expecting Arsene Wenger to sort his life out for him…

    Barcelona and Cesc will look like the dishonourable shits they really are as a result of this whole stinking, greasy, shady pile of crap…

  142. If Cesc leaves Diaby and Denilson can take his place. Ofcourse that means reverting to 4-4-2. But a midfield of Song, Denilson, Diaby and Nasri can hold it’s own. With Cesc out they’d improve their game as they’d be no maestro to fear – remember how the other players said they feared the Henry stare? Also with such a midfield players like Wilshere, Ramsey, Lansbury, Eastmond and Thomas would have a look in. Is such a midfield good enough though? Well Inter won the champions league without a midfielder of Cesc’s stature. Yes, it can be done!

  143. Furious Styles

    chris

    not sure what the two last paragraphs of your post was responding to, but whatever. Just watch the video of the interview if you think he’s been misquoted. Anyways – I’m just saying that I think its pretty obvious that he would leave us this summer if it was up to him. No he hasnt filled out a transfer request, I suppose that would fuck him out of a shitload of money, but that doesnt mean he didnt talk to wenger about leaving.

  144. Furious Styles

    As I understand it, the question was not whether he was going to be at Arsenal next season but whether the love he felt from everyone at the club *guaranteed* that he would be at Arsenal next season.

    That is a subtle but crucial difference.

    YW

  145. Naaaah…cluthcing at straws. He has said enough to make his tenure at Arsenal an insecure prosect. That is just not good enough.

    Cesc just blew it…

    I am looking forward to Robin van Persie’s Arsenal beating all before them next season.

  146. prospect

  147. I don’t know what kind of a man, Fabregas senior is. And certainly my dad would not have minded one jot if there was another father-figure during my career who I had so, so much respect for. But it is possible that some might take Wenger’s huge, fatherly influence as a threat. Hence Snr Fabregas’ inclusion in the narrative.

    I still think Cesc will stay. But if he does go, I think we need look no further than Denilson to be the heartbeat of the team and pull the strings around him. His technique is perfect, his passing-vision is good and he has the ability to impose the tempo of our game on the match as a whole. With Cesc there, he has been asked to play a different role, which he has done uncomplainingly. But (big) IF Cesc goes, Denilson will be freed up to play his natural game.

  148. LimparAssist

    OOU, if you’re around… were these comments in Spanish initially? And if so is the bracketed interpretation of the word ‘greatest’ here Sid Lowe’s own interpretation, or is the Spanish/Catalan he used not directly translatable.. “I had a long conversation with Arsène and it was the greatest [longest] conversation I have had with anyone in my life”
    … I know I’m being pernickety but it’s the only real quote we’ve had in so long I want to make sure I’m reading it right.

    Also, the way in which Sid Lowe has bookended his article with the quotes from Cesc Senior makes me think he’s trying to wind us all up. If that’s the case, Sid Lowe, then you’re a complete tosser.

    I still fully expect him to still be with us next season. Well done, Cesc.

  149. Furious Styles

    yogi

    yeah that may be, and as i said he’s been saying the ‘no guarantees’ thing the last few summers so no biggie about that i guess.

    What im trying to get at is that I think its pretty obvious he has talked to wenger about leaving and, from what I can gather, chris doesnt agree. Im trying to understand his view on this.

  150. arsenehollis

    YES!!

    SO Cesc will not aggitate for a move away and he will respect Wenger’s wishes.

    If we can get 2/3 more years then brilliant and who knows how succesful they will be and what that may lead to.

    This is a derious blow to a campaign to force the club to sell and do so cheaply and to unsettle the player.

    This is brilliant news.

  151. Furious Styles

    heres the interview if anyone hasnt seen it yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B9_Mh9lGL4&feature=player_embedded

  152. just watched the interview with Cesc on SkynotSports news. How the fuck did they manage to spin a denial that he would be at Arsenal next year? Unbelievable! Then two seconds later Torres says virtually the same thing and that is reported as Torres leaving decisions till after the World Cup? Fucking anti Arsenal media spin

  153. arsenehollis

    Is that all tongue-in-cheek Frank…

  154. arsenehollis

    No guarantees anyone will be anywhere next year.

  155. 1 loose cannon

    Frank- I agree with you I had enough of this shilly-shally nonsense. the ideal scenario Barca to cough up the money and they leave us alone. Get some players who want to play for Arsenal without any extra bullshit.

  156. I hope Sol stays on as 4th or 5th CB. No one can blame him or Gallas for wanting to get as much financial gain and security out of their careers as possible. They have 2 years to play and then the rest of their lives to live without that paycheck. Any of us would do the same. I hope Sol stays, but if he does not I certainly do not blame him at all. Loyalty does go both ways.

    This over 30/32 policy we have is stupid. It certainly lends credibility the idea that our organization has become too stubborn for its own good.

  157. Cesc has put a spiritual aura around his supposed conversation with Wenger, which I am sure was nothing more or less than asking for a transfer. Seems he has already picked up Barca mannerisms.

  158. furious…

    Read JayGooner’s comment above you mug, never believe what you read too. Maybe today you learnt something 😉

  159. JayGooner

    What were the exact questions and answers, dont have speakers here!?

  160. Limpar:

    Agree completely about the 20 year old CB we are linked with. A mid 20’s with EPL experience would be absolutely ideal. James Collins would be awesome.
    I would also love to add 1 of those promising 20 year old and let him and JD fight it out for 3rd CB spot.

  161. ” He was also asked if he could guarantee that he would be at Arsenal for the new season and he replied ‘No’ ”

    Oh really Sid?

  162. No player is or will be bigger than the club!
    People said we would crumble after the loss of Viera and Henry but we didn’t, so why it would be different with cesc?
    Someone will step up and soon we will have a true arsenal loving captain lifting trophies for Arsenal.

  163. If Cesc does go we need a new captain who is a leader of men like TA6 and PV4 and unlike the captains we have had since PV left.Henry Gallas and Cesc great players but not great captains.

    Some will say RVP but how many games will he play?.Give the captaincy to TV whether Cesc stays or goes

  164. Bleeding hell….James fucking Collins!

  165. Speaking from the Spanish training camp, Fabregas told Sky Sports News: “I will only say one thing, I have great respect for Arsene Wenger, for Arsenal football club and for the Arsenal fans.

    “Sometimes not even in my house I felt more love than I felt at Arsenal.

    “I had a long conversation with Arsene, it was probably the greatest conversation I’ve had with someone in my life and I respect him so much and I don’t want to say too much about this.

    “He told me to concentrate on my football, he told me to concentrate on the World Cup, he told me to leave it in his hands, he will deal with whatever happens in my future and that’s what I’m doing, just concentrating on football.

    About Arsenal
    “It’s not up to me anymore and it’s just now about Arsenal and wherever it has to be and that’s it.

    “I don’t want to say anything else, I just want to be focused for the World Cup because it is the most important thing – the rest is the future and I’m not interested in the future.”

  166. Furious Styles

    chris

    Thanks for not contending my point and calling me a mug instead.

    Also please explain how jaygoonas post is relevant to me?

  167. <<< As you can all see quotes were being adjusted.. Cesc has stated he is going nowhere and all he is doing is IGNORING the spanish press and playing football, getting ready for a World Cup.

  168. If Cesc leaves we can go back to playing a 4-4-2 and get the best out of Eduardo. We have added one striker so far this season, and if cesc leaves we would have subtracted 1 midfielder. That would be perfect change in personnel to switch to 4-4-2 from 4-3-3.

  169. >b>Future out of my hands… its funny how SkySports chose to use that as the Title for the news report.

    Should be more like..

    Fabregas told to play and respect his contract

  170. LimparAssist

    The boyhood dream stuff always comes out when he’s trying to fit in back at home while sat in front of a bunch of Catalan hacks. He’s only 23 and his situation is unique. I’d lose all respect for him if he walked away now but he’s not going to so I’m backing him all the way.

    He was never going to be Paolo Maldini. I’m cutting him some slack.

  171. LimparAssist

    Sorry… James Collins might be my fault.

  172. AIC:

    Vela is barely even 20. How can you call him a failure. He clearly has huge talent. How many goal scorers have ever produced at this level at that age. Drogba? Henry? C. Ronaldo? RVP? It takes time, especially in the pressure cooker that is Arsenal or any team which every year is fighting for a title. Same with Walcott. The fans have asked way to much way too soon of these young players.

  173. ”He was also asked if he could guarantee that he would be at Arsenal for the new season and he replied ‘No’ ”

    Oh really Sid?

  174. Hi, LA. I’ve consulted with GF and she’s not sure either. She doesn’t know why Sid Lowe interpreted “greatest” as “longest”.

    This part of the press conference was done in English, and she reckons Cesc’s use of “greatest” here probably means “best” – you know, smooth open, with no doubts or lingering resentment afterwards.

  175. arsenehollis

    Cesc is under massive pressure to please everyone both at his current home and his past one that he will one day return to, even if it is when he retires at 42 as Arsenal captain.

    In his only public statement on the matter he said that he will allow his manager and club to decide his future, nothing more.

    He has never publicly said that he wants a move.

  176. We both have time on our hands this week, you see!

  177. I was not expecting him to be at the club for the next 17 years either…..

  178. arsenehollis

    Did anyone watch Serbia in World Cup qualifying, how good were they?

  179. arsenehollis – if you don’t want to move you just say so. only when you want to move clubs do you deliberately try to sound vague. at least that is way i see it. so his quotes tantamount to saying he has asked wenger for a move, the fact that he has not stated this in black and white is irrelevant.

  180. Uhoh, moderation. “Greatest” here means “best”, not “longest”.

  181. I saw Serbia against France…home and away legs. They’re quite solid and they play some good football.

    I see them as an outsider for the World Cup on account of the fixtures.

  182. Nice that Cesc can focus on the World Cup and leave it all to Arsene Wenger to sort out.

  183. Hi, LA. I’ve tried to answer, but it’s in moderation.

    The quoted part of the press conference was in English. By “greatest” Cesc means, “best”, not “longest”. We both think Sid Lowe’s trying to make mischief with his interpretation.

  184. Frank,

    You could read it both ways. Is it Arsene again playing father to these young men, and telling Cesc. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it out, allowing Cesc to not have to face the consequences of wanting away from the club?

    Or is it Cesc putting pressure on Arsene by making it seem he’s willing to let Cesc leave and will now work on convincing the club?

  185. Seems to me that as Arsenal captain on a long term contract he has a duty to help us to reinforce the squad and to lead us in the seasons he has been contracted for. In other words he is on the staff and is part of the process. He is the link between players and manager. Not doing that well at the moment is he?

  186. All these rumours about Cesc and Sol leaving.But nothing about Almunia and Silvestre leaving what a crazy world we live in

  187. On a completely unrelated subject, I do hope Spain are knocked out in the second round by Brazil and Portugal to put a stop to all the gushing going on everywhere that is making them out to be the best team ever or something. fact is in Euro 2008 they were not even the best team in the tournament, Holland was till they came up against a freak Russian and Arshavin perfoemance.

  188. I agree with that. Oranje were completely knackered in the Russia game. Looked very tired.

  189. The interview with Cesc is more than crystal clear and a little dishonest too. All the gushing respect is simply saying, sorry chaps, I must go, I agree with Frank. Cesc must go now. Arsenal must get the deal it deserves. We must move on.

    Now I can say what I wanted to last week: we will, I would hope, be without Cesc’s weaknesses next season, while we will cover for his strengths (the fulcrum of passing, control, an eye for goal). His major weakness: his tendency to slow the momentum of the game (to re-assert control when faced with a spirited opposition midfield), which removed a key advantage built in to Arsenal style, especially on the counter.

  190. LimparAssist

    Good man, OOU… thanks. ‘Best’ is how I would’ve read it had Lowe not stuck his oar in midsentence. Prat.

  191. chrisgooner
    Glad you managed to get Cesc’s actual comments. SkynotSports news are despicable but then its 24 hour news and a Cesc statement killing what was never a story isnt in their interests. Next up will be Wenger and how drained he looked when signing Chamakh, then they will roll out the Lady Nina shares crap, then it will be FatboyFat/Dein takeover, then it will be another obscure Nigerian scammer and on and on.But we are the Mighty Arsenal and will always rise above I hope Cesc is beginning to realise that his home might be Catalonia but once you give a bit of your heart to The Arsenal you will always love this great club. Maybe he should talk to Thierry Pires Adams Charlie George list goes on and realise staying might be the best option.

  192. Limpar:

    I thought Collins and Dunn did well for Villa this year. Whats the real story on him? I do not follow Villa closely enough to have a real idea about him but what you said sounded pretty good.

  193. I can’t take either of them seriously….I’ve seen them humiliated too many times…..messrs Collins & Dunne.

  194. Also the answer at the end about making guarantees wasn’t “no”. It was something along the lines of “no comment”.

    Has anyone actually seen the video? I’ve tried to post it a few times.

    http://tinyurl.com/3x7vbkx

  195. OOU:

  196. LimparAssist

  197. OOU,

    I went into mod for trying to post a link,
    but if anyone adds the prefix for Youtube to the following incomplete address:

    /watch?v=5B9_Mh9lGL4

    they should find it!

  198. Nope, can’t post the link, but if anyone’s desperate, there are a few links on some other blogs.

  199. OOU
    How did they turn that into a simple “no”? Media never ceases to amaze me.

  200. Jay Gooner

    He did look tired didnt he? I’m not sure if it was because I usually see him with a suit on, but he looked pretty feeble too.

    I have a sneaking feeling we will be seeing Cesc at the Emirates next year.. and not as a visitor in a Champions League game!

    I’m not sure Barca will be able to put up whats necessary for our glorious Fabregas

  201. Ole:

    Realistically who do you think we should sign. Clearly we need at least 1 and probably 2 CB for next year.

  202. The sensitive side of Andy Townsend!

  203. It’s quite clear that nothing is going to happen in relation to Cesc’s transfer before the World Cup and it seems unlikely that anything will happen after the World Cup. Cesc is leaving it to Arsene and as we all know, Arsene knows best and Cesc will stay.

    This story has upset most of us for the last fortnight. Let’s all relax and allow England to upset us for the next month or so.

  204. hi OneOfUs
    exactly! Cesc has clearly killed the story by saying it isnt up to him, he has love for Arsenal, for Arsene and definitely said “about what? I have no comment” at the end. Once again, that is not enough for SkynotSports news, they have to turn it into a Cesc to Barca story. This is now getting beyond illegal, Blatter and Platini have lost all credibility, no doubt the gutter press will spin the interview so the redtops tomorrow read along the lines of “Cesc demands to go!”

  205. LimparAssist

    I try not to watch Aston Villa if I can help it… too dull by half… but I have watched Collins play for Wales a number of times while checking up on Aaron Ramsey. He’s a good, uncomplicated centreback who loves to defend and leads by example. Maybe he steps it up a gear playing for his country, I don’t know. Seeing as he just joined Villa last summer and they can afford to overprice him… I don’t think it’s on. I was just thinking of Premiership centrebacks that might appeal to AW. There aren’t many.

  206. Just listened to it OOU. Thanks for posting it, the media does really love to twist things about.

  207. @ Ole 2-59

    So either way Cesc goes??

  208. Serk Da Turk

    I still don’t know how any of this is going to work out. But up until I heard these comments from Cesc I was relatively calm about it all. Now I can’t say that to be the case.

    If Cesc wants to leave then I’m with Frank on this one. The simple fact for me is that (if he has asked for a transfer request) he didn’t have to do this now. He’s got enough time left in his career to move to Barca in a year or two when we would have found it easier to replace him with the youngsters coming through.

    I’ll be very disappointed in him. We deserved a lot more than this. And quite honestly I thought that he was better than this. If all of this bullshit is true then the simple fact is that he was never the character I thought he was.

    Any Arsenal player that will repay the time patience and belief that we have given them by leaving at a time when their departure will do the most damage was never worth the respect I gave them to begin with. And as such he really won’t be that big a loss for me. We will adapt and become stronger for it. We are the Arsenal.

  209. OFF TOPIC.

    I was checking UEFA’s webssite for the “financial fairplay rules” and stumbled across an amendment for the 2010/2011 european competitions.

    Players will be no longer “cup-tied” in European championships if their previous squad has been eliminated.

  210. I don’t know why people feel optimistic about Cesc’s interview, whatever it is in actual form. To me, if he was not to leave he would say that I will be with Arsenal next season and be done with it. All this beating around the bush suggests the contrary.

  211. Cesc should have read ‘Lord Jim’ before allowing Barcelona to turn his head. He will find this very difficult to live with.

  212. That’s a nice way to put it, Frank.

    Arsenal’s is a Patna, not a Titanic.

  213. – is

  214. Exactly, Big Al

  215. Bill,

    Naldo & Zapata are 2 centre backs that should fit into our game.

    Lucio isn’t a bad prospect.

    I’d take Alex from Chelsea. He’s unsettled there.

  216. JD Gooner,

    It could be either way he stays too.

    The focus was on whether Cesc is comporting himself well.

  217. Limpar:

    Thanks. I have sworn to not start or get involved in any arguments about DE fense. I hope we do get someone who is no nonsense type defender who loves to defend. That sounds like criteria 1 – 10 to me. To me Vidic is the prototype. I’m not sure how important our “high line” really is to our attack and how much it contributes to our vulnerability to the break. I understand the concept, but is the potential reward worth the risk? I would think our midfield is good enough to maintain possession without that risk.

    Did the Tony Adams and Co. and the Invincibles play a high defensive line? If they did, how did they defend so well?

  218. Keysersoze on May 26, 2010
    at 3:46 pm

    He didnt come out and say he wanted to leave. This is optimistic in some way.

  219. BillikenGooner

    If you remember, Cesc’s comments about having his future sorted before the World Cup coincided with Wenger’s statements about getting his transfer business done before the World Cup.

    That can just as easily be interpreted as Cesc saying, “I’ll know what is up before the WC because I will know what Arsenal has done to improve themselves and if I will want to stay or not.”

    This meeting could have been to confirm that. He would prefer to go home, but if Arsenal (ie Wenger’s hands) dramatically improve the squad or if Barca try to shortchange Arsenal, he is willing to stay.

  220. One thing I was thinking about the other day was how Fran Merida and Cesc relate to each other..

    Don’t you think AW wouldve said to Merida, look, it appears that Cesc is gonna go to barca this summer so if you stay they’ll be more first team football.

    I’m really starting to think Cesc will be with us next campaign.. here’s to wishful thinking

  221. Bill,

    Tony Adams wasn’t one of the invincibles.

    It’s impossible to play an offensive game without holding a high line. There’s a question of how high a line, but it’s fundamental.

  222. Sorry to butt in Bill and Limpar. The crucial issue is the space between the defensive line and the midfield, not how high the line of defence is. Defenders have to judge that, so that there is no space to counter-attack behind the midfield.

  223. LimparAssist

    Who’s to say Cesc’s behaviour – which as far as I see it amounts to a missed opportunity on his part to pledge himself to his club… in the face of a lot of media horseshit – who’s to say this isn’t a charade he felt he had to perform in order ingratiate himself to the Spanish national setup and earn himself a starting berth at the World Cup from Del Bosque? Maybe Nike asked him to drag out a little game of footsie to raise his profile before the World Cup… It would still be shitty behaviour but as far as I can see his hearts with Arsenal. Nothing he’s actually said has ever made me doubt that.

    The truth is noone knows Cesc’s thinking on this, apart from Arsene Wenger. It’s a million miles away from the behaviour you want… but he’s innocent until proven guilty in my eyes… there’s too many complexities and unknowns just out of view and the bottom line for me is that he’s never actually said anything to piss me off.

  224. What Cesc confirmed was that the matter of a transfer to Barcelona is “ongoing” in some unspecified way, but for contractual and personal reasons (and potentially the strengthening of Arsenal through purchases) it is best left under the guidance of my current club, Arsenal.

    Therefore, I would surmise, an informal communication has been made direct to Wenger, to be formalised only when agreement has been reached out of “respect” to Arsenal.

    Or in plain English, “the ball is now in your court Arsene”, who has said OK, I’ve listened, we’ve talked, now give me time because this is a delicate matter.

    Cesc may stay. But it is not secure. It “depends”. There is something behind his words.

  225. just reading back over a few comments and noticed collins mentioned. Where has he pooped up from. As I also think he’s one of the better CB’s in the EPL at the moment.

  226. Ole:

    I know that Tony Adams was not one of the invincibles. Sorry if my question was not clear.

    Do all the “attacking ethic” teams play with their defensive back 4 as high as ours? Mancs, this years Chavs, Bayern, Real Madrid? Did Tony Adams and Co. move further up the pitch after the arrival of AW?

    Zimpaul:

    I understand that but it seems like the further forward your back line moves the more space to counter attack between the back line and our goal. It seems to me that trying to defend while running backwards at full speed is nearly impossible. Is it just a matter of our position sense, or our anticipation and ability to read play is not as good and we get caught out? I don’t know.

  227. Mingus,

  228. LimparAssist

    Bill, our high line also has to do with the tactics employed by visiting teams nowadays. We keep the ball better than we ever have done, and teams defend deeper against us than they ever did before… Arsenal must constantly look to take the initiative and one of the ways we do it is to have our defenders push high up and be able to play a pass from a midfield position. They double up at the back, so we double up in attack.

  229. Mingus, Denislso,s natural game is DM I would guess, since he’s been playing that role his whole career.

  230. *Denilson. Aaargh!

  231. Good point Bill. Never-the-less, the default position would usually be the defence in relation to the midfield; highly mobile. In fact, yes I think we get caught out.

  232. Limpar:

    Makes sense. Still not sure if there is a positive risk/reward ratio when we play good counter attacking teams like the Mancs or this years Chavs.

  233. Kitchen Sink

    I sensed that also LA (4:30) that in the spanish interview Cesc seemed to want to keep his options open to be chosen for the 1st team squad, his nation would want to know where his loyalties lie, with the added pressure of his father also bieng a barca fan.. as playing outside of spain has in the past made it considerably more difficult for him to get in the 1st team.. the indecision adversely doesn’t lie well with Arsenal supporters but as with any player who has the opportunity the world cup comes 1st..

  234. I wonder what supporters would’ve preferred Cesc do over the years. Sign 1 or 2 year deals with Arsenal, then leaving for free whenever he so had chosen? Or sign a long-term contract giving the club the opportunity to at least cash in quite handsomely when he was to inevitably want to go home to Barcelona? His intentions have never been secretive, right? So why be up in arms? Be pissed at Fabregas if Wenger decides to keep him one more year and he becomes a pouting, ineffectual twat.

  235. As Arsenal Captain I would expect him to leave no doubt as to his loyalties.I would expect him to help strengthen the squad, to be an ambassador for our playing style. I would expect him to feel responsible for the morale of players and supporters.

  236. LimparAssist

    KS, cue ‘Mikael Arteta won’t deny move to Barcelona shocker’ headlines in the Liverpool Echo.

  237. LimparAssist

    Bill, I think lessons will have been learnt from the games you mention… but ultimately we are set up to play on the front foot, and I wouldn’t have that any other way.

  238. As for the EWorld Cup. Could not agree less. His primary responsibility is to his club. I am assuming that his club is Arsenal. I should not have to assume.

  239. The eWorld Cup..there’s an idea.

  240. Limpar @ 4:51.

    Hope your right.

  241. Bill,

    If all teams sat back what would football look like?

    Imagine a game where Chelsea came to sit back, and Arsenal also sat back.

    Think of the Man City v Liverpool game in February that the entire media called disappointing

    That was what happened.

    Holding a high line does not mean not defending well. You can defend well with a high line.

  242. Do not Man U’s and Chav$ki’s counter attacking abilities depend upon the pace of Rooney and Anelka, as well as their defenders, their positioning etc.

    Another reason why loosing TW14 for so long was a loss to the squad, and why Chamack is a good signing; another speedster.
    Well, he looks quick on Youtube.

  243. Small but helpful technical hint – if you go into moderation, be a bit patient and let me release the original post because reposting it only goes into moderation as well.

  244. *

  245. *coughs*

    Sorry YW.

  246. Yes! I win moderation war. 3 failed attempts to Finbury’s meagre 2.

  247. LimparAssist

  248. After watching the interview. I think the key is in “I leave it up in Wenger’s hands”

    It simply means, it maybe be now, it may be next year till Wenger finds a replacement or feel comfortable letting him go now.

  249. Ole @ 5:03:

    “If all teams sat back what would football look like?

    Imagine a game where Chelsea came to sit back, and Arsenal also sat back.”

    What you say is absolutely true. I do not know the answer. It just seems like we are the ones who sacrifice the result for the sake of good football. Thats frustrating to me.

    “Holding a high line does not mean not defending well. You can defend well with a high line.”

    I hope we can solve the equation.

  250. Bill,

    It’s not sacrifice for the sake of good football. It’s actually trying to win games. Chelsea are the only ‘big’ team that plays catenaccio in all the big names. Most people concede that a big team has to take the initiative and be positive in trying to win the game as opposed to simply not losing.

    As Limpar pointed out, we lost a similar number of games last season in comparison with our rivals so you might very well be wildly exaggerating the extent to which we ‘sacrifice results’.

  251. Arrrssssseeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  252. Ole:

    Your right. Bad choice of words.

    Any thoughts about who would be good CB targets? I know what we think does not make any difference but its fun to speculate.

  253. Cesc’s statements in2008

    “Right now I’m fine at Arsenal but I cannot deny that to return and play for Barca would be a dream come true.

    “I chose to stay at the club last summer and right now I’m totally focused on the reason for that decision which was to try and win trophies.
    “We’ll see how things have gone by the end of the season. The fact is that Barça are playing cinematic’ football right now and it’s fantastic to see that the other day when they beat Atlético Madrid 6-1 they had seven or eight guys who, like me, came through the club’s youth system.

    “Messi is the best player in the world and he has been for a long time, never mind what people used to think about Ronaldinho in his prime. During Messi’s football life I’ve seen him do incredible things on a football pitch, as a kid or now as a leader of the Barça team.”

    “Every week I chat to Alex Hleb on the phone because he’s the guy I most miss at Arsenal. He’s a friend and I also loved playing with him.

    “He always looks for you with a pass and if you give him the ball you can always count on getting it back at the right time.”

  254. Apart from our stellar finances, things are not looking good for AFC right now.

  255. Silver Gunner

    so we finally have some news from the Cesc camp and it was not the denial that some expected.

    well the man has played his heart out for arsenal for the past 7 seasons and those of you that would chastise him for now wanting to leave to go back to his boyhood club are plain deluded.

    I hope Ramsey’s rehab goes well because in my eyes he is the perfect replacement and not denilson who is good but not as good as denilson my opinion only.

    Wenger certainly has a headache if he wants to entertain cesc leaving with Gallas and Sol also looking elsewhere.

    If we do sell Cesc we MUST hold out for his true value not this cut price “well he used to belong to us and you stole him fee”.

    As always well written YW.

  256. “for the past 7 seasons”. You suggesting he was a MAJOR player from 6 to 19? I dont think so man. I think he was a hot prospect until he was 20 then he starter to show real promise. He did not even play every game the first 3 years of his Arsenal carrer. How can he then have played his heart out for 7 years? that is madness to say that.

    That said. If he stays one more season, and we end up trophyless i can see both him and AW giving up and leaving. If AW leaves we do have trouble. who els can creat a top 4 team out of a transfare budged on less than 25M?

  257. sorry i mean 16 ofc.. not 6 😛

  258. In isolation, Cesc’s value to Arsenal on the pitch over the next four years would certainly equate to a transfer valuation at the moment meaningfully greater than what Barcelona would likely want to pay. But can we really see a scenario where Cesc stays for four more years and utters nary a peep and causes nary a distraction or bit of ill-feeling in the locker room? If your answer to this latter question is “no”, and/or you are Arsene Wenger, perhaps an Arsene Wenger who cares deeply for the well-being of a Cesc Fabregas, then you are unfortunately forced somewhat to discount this “true value or price”.

  259. Hopefully my last comment on the cesc situation until we know something concrete either way, but I have been mulling this over based on todays’ information. It’s possible cesc and Arsene discussed his future in relation to the former feeling torn between loyalty to Arsenal and the pull from the scum. The content and likely outcome the conversation will probably never be revealed so we just have to wait to see where we are at the end of August. Everything else is just speculation. I would not be surprised if there is some moral blackmail of the ‘either come now or never’ variety involved either as they are low enough to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

  260. shotta-gunna

    ACLFers – I am trying to be mature and not over-react to the Cesc interview (which I have only read here).

    Obviously Cesc has not been categoric and pledged his love for Arsenal. Neither has he denied or confirm the Barca transfer rumors. His motives for not doing both are not clear but from a distance it is obvious that he fucked-up. But which 23 year-old doesn’t? In fact he is a weathy, talented 23-year-old with a a lot of psycophants around him; there is even more temptation to act as if he is a lord and master of his domain. But the shit storm from the transfer story has has forced him to have his greatest talk ever with
    Wenger. In conclusion he decided to put his future entirely in the hands of Arsene.

    I think by putting the matter in the hands of someone whom we all know and trust will act entirely in the interest of the club, it is a very positive thing. For that reason it is entirely a positive development for the club. Barca has been screwed, as we all wish. If they want Cesc it is at least 50 million, it could be more. The bottomline is, for the foreseeable future, he is our player.

    Sure Cesc fucked-up. But which one of us haven’t. There is no need to crucify him for this. In fact I am very happy that some of our illusions about him as a man have been removed. He has weaknessess and he can’t walk on water like some of our fans believe. But as long as he is our player and captain, as long as he gives his heart and soul to us, we should support, not alienate him.

  261. It seems Cesc will go unless Barcelona’s valuation of the player doesn’t match Arsenal’s. I’d say 50/50

  262. Limestonegunner

    Cesc is a real professional. I have confidence that if he stays he’ll continue to play well next year. However, there is a bit of moral damage in the implicit suggestion in his press conference that he is willing to go now to Barcelona and, perhaps, that he wants to go. Why should he go so soon (as opposed to in a couple of years after winning with Arsenal) unless he has some concerns personally and professionally about staying with Arsenal to achieve his goals of leading us to victories?

    However, he is handling it in a responsible way–he isn’t going to let Barca suppress his value if he is transferred. I think he has realized that Barca are only willing to get him on the cheap. They are undervaluing him again and, perhaps, that rankles.

    But condemning him for not saying what we want him to say, even though he isn’t saying what we don’t want him to say, is a bit unrealistic. What will you do if he is back with Arsenal next season, and as captain to boot? This loyalty test approach goes a little too far.

    He has shown his mettle on the pitch. He has played with risk to injury, has played on a broken leg trying to lead Arsenal to victory over Barca, and kept the team together as captain when Shawcross assaulted Ramsey.

    He’s a great player, and I’ll be thrilled to see him in a new Arsenal shirt at the Emirates cup in August.

  263. Limestonegunner

    Nice perspective, shotta-gunna.

  264. Excellent and balanced analysis of the 09/10 season by Stewart Robson on Arsenal.com

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/robson-my-take-on-the-2009/10-campaign

  265. I don’t expect him to walk on water. I expect him to act like a captain. I thought he had more about him than this.

  266. If he is back next season he is going to have to earn his stripes. I would rather he was not captain in that case because we will go through the same again in January and next summer.

  267. These kids are getting a bit annoying. The goofy Mexican should keep his freaking opinion to himself. We already have a dozen Barca c***s, trying to lure Cesc to fruity land.

  268. Limestonegunner

    The quotes from summer 2008 suggest to me that Cesc is concerned about the progress of the club. Perhaps leaving it in Arsene Wenger’s hands means also giving him the chance to make the right preparations and transfers over the summer to advance. Very unclear, but he has been thinking about this for a long time.

    Should he have been made captain, given these circumstances?

    What does earning his stripes mean now, Frank?

  269. He is going to have to play every game as if it was his last. He has lost a huge amount of kudos over the last week or two. You can’t have a captain flirting with a main rival for most of the season. This is the worst kind of fuck up.

  270. I have to question the current AW/AFC Board’s methods if Cesc does leave

  271. Limestonegunner

    Fabio Capello was apparently a bit bemused by how important the role of captain as a figure of moral significance was in English footballing culture during the controversies over Terry’s behavior. Apparently, this is rather unique and not common in other European footballing nations to the same, symbolic extent.

    Is this why some have such high expectations for how Cesc conducts himself, perhaps in ways he wouldn’t appreciate?

    On the pitch though, I think Cesc will come through. I certainly hope so, as we need him at his best. Otherwise we would be better off selling for a high price.

  272. If he was concerned about the progress of the club he should not have accepted the Captain’s armband. By accepting it he was aceepting a great deal of responsibility for getting it right. Not exactly supporting the club at the moment is he?

  273. Frank, Cesc almost always gives his all when he’s played for us

  274. Liked that LA:

  275. You clearly have no idea of the tradition that Herbert Chapman created at Arsenal, Limestonegunner.

  276. It just doesn’t make sense for a club in our position to sell their best player, no matter how much we make from it

  277. Yes he did, Henristic. Means fuck all now though.

  278. RvP is our best player

  279. I hope AW refuses to sell, or quotes unrealistically high price they could never match

  280. Careful about saying that, Frank. Real Madrid might find out and decide its the boy wonder they want.

  281. This is a terrible interiew for Arsenal supporters. I dont know how one can take anything positive from it.

    The problem is these players getting paid great sums of money and then cannot even respect a contract that they signed. I mean he just signed it.

    I disagree with Shotta that its a good thing for him to put his career in Arsene’s hands. Arsene has never said that he wanted to sell him. This means after saying all blinking season that he is staying at Arsenal and how he is tired of answering that question, him leaving was the focus of the discussion. How does that make sense and how can that sit wrll with anyone.

    Its not up to him to say he is staying its up to Barca and Arsenal to work out a good deal.

    He is trying to dissassociate himself from his decision so he doesnt look like a punk before the Arsenal supporters. That is very slick. Some of you have been hoodwinked with a very political statement in my view.

    The only professional thing for him to do is stick by what he said and see out his contract.

    Cesc must NEVER EVER captain Arsenal again. The Captian is the last one to jump ship, or so it should be.

  282. Limestonegunner

    Frank, what do you think Cesc’s comments from 2008 mean? There are other interpretations, of course.

    I wasn’t around in Herbert Chapman’s day, so that is quite true. But I was wondering if making Cesc captain was a mistake given these circumstances and that perhaps the traditions of captaincy weren’t passed down so thoroughly to him.

    Clearly that tradition has waned, Henry, Gallas preceded Cesc. You should have noted that, Frank, rather than just judge Cesc so harshly.

  283. I agree, RVP is Arsenal best player. Goals went down after his injury.

    Love that guy, you never hear him talking about another team.

  284. “I think by putting the matter in the hands of someone whom we all know and trust will act entirely in the interest of the club, it is a very positive thing. For that reason it is entirely a positive development for the club”

    I disagree with this part Shotta, Arsene will have the interest of the club as priority number 1, but also the player – he brought-in as a kid – interest as close as possible to number 1.

    It’s a one more year kind of statement, if any. If Wenger finds the replacement now, Cesc is gone, if not then next year when Wenger will be ready.

    I know most of fans think there is no emotional aspect when dealing with players buying & selling, but it doesn’t work this way with Arsene. The fact of the matter is, even the players that he didn’t want to give two year contract to when they reached 30 like Pires for example, still love him. Arsene Wenger always work for the interest of Both Club & Player. Why he cares about the interest of a player, because it also serves the future interest of the club.

    The only one to blame in this, is Barca. I think the only reason is, they’re so muffed about losing him to Arsenal in the first place and they want to unsettle him at any cost. Barca have enough players, they can get a lot of other players….why Cesc? It’s just a matter of ego for Barca..Why pay 30-60 for a player who left you?

    On the other hand, you can’t blame someone for wanting to go back to his home. Spain is Fabregas home. Why aren’t we so mad about Merida going back to Spain? His homeland? He had very similar circumstances, he was taken from Barca at a young age, and didn’t renew his contract with us. Maybe because he didn’t play so much for the first team, but he was a great prospect and eventually my end up in Barca too.

    I agree with Shotta though, it’s in Wenger’s hands now….He will do the right thing.

  285. Limestonegunner

    It is a conundrum, Paul N. I wonder what Wenger will do if he brings Cesc back next year? Will removing the armband be a solution or cause more problems?

  286. Limestonegunner

    Can only agree about RvP. Fantastic player and full of spirit.

  287. Well what about Cecs many comments, this past season? There is no doubt that he wanted to go back but now? after all he said? Would he have wanted to go to Barca if they were not winning trophies?

    Come on now! Barca didnt want him until Arsenal made him a star. Why didnt they fight to keep him from the beginning?

    Sorry but this is a load of bull. I dont know what the sentiment is all about. He is not too concerned about your feelings!

  288. You don’t have to have been around in Chapman’s day to know that Club captain is important to Arsenal…I would conjecture that it is important to most big clubs in Europe too.

    William Gallas was a fucking hopeless captain. PV was a great player but started flirting with other teams shortly after accepting the armband. TH was a great player but poor captain. Cesc is following in their wake. His behaviour over the last few weeks is about as unprofessional as it gets. Excellent player sadly doesn’t seem to be destined to be an Arsenal legend.

  289. G4E, Its good for “him” but who else it is good for?

  290. “Love that guy, you never hear him talking about another team.”

    That’s probably because he’s almost always injured and no top team is interested in him? who knows what he would do if admiriers start lurking. After all Cesc used to kiss the badge and say how much he loves it at arsenal. I’ve come to the conclusion that players just aren’t that loyal anymore these days.

    Sorry, but i’m in a shit mood and can’t see much positives right now.

  291. You cunt, Henristic. You fucking cunt.

  292. Limestonegunner

    You are confirming what I said. These traditions have clearly waned. Why judge Cesc, the youngest of the bunch, when he has not inherited these traditions? Are you expecting Fabregas to know about what Chapman established when there hasn’t been strong continuity in the role since Tony Adams or so?

    That’s the point I am making.

    Anyway, it also shows that having some continuity and senior leadership is important to the team. Having such quick turnover and starting with young and new players has its costs, and we have suffered a bit in this area since the invincibles.

  293. Limestonegunner

    There has been interest in RvP from other clubs in the past, though. RvP has committed himself to Arsenal in a strong way when he signed his recent contract extension. No question, he could have gone elsewhere.

  294. Limestone, the Armband must be worn with honour. We cannot have a player giving us gaurantees that he is staying and then being off once the season has ended. I am soo dissapointed as he struck me as someone cut from a different cloth who would fight for his club.

    This statement was drafted because of the situation but there is nothing sincere towards Arsenal about it. We all have individuals in our lives that we respect.

    Now, I say sell for atleast 70mil because we will have to go through this crap next season if he is here and its just too damn tiring!

  295. No they haven’t waned. It is just that the last few encumbents were not good enough. The next one will be.

    Of course they know about the tradition. It is inherent in the customs of the club. The changing room is even laid out so that the Captain is in a central position regardless of playing position. the fact that some of them have spat on it is neither here nor there.

    Cesc just failed his biggest test. It started two months ago. We nearly pulled it back against Barcelona in the first leg. Cesc broke his leg. nevertheless he realised that his team would need him around for the remainder of the season to provide support, bolster morale.

    So he mustered all of his effort ……and went to Barcelona for the next two months.

  296. RVP has scored for Holland v Mexico. Vela is on the bench.

    Robin’s goal is another of his leg breaking goals reminiscent of the game against Man poo in 07

  297. RVP scored

  298. We are all humans Paul N, we do have our wants and needs and we seek our own interest the majority of our life time.

    It’s not like we bought him for 15-20 million and then he started flirting with other clubs like Adebayor or Hleb. He’s been with us since 2004 and he gave his all during that time.

    I’m not defending him, because Arsenal is who I will always defend…players & managers will come and go all the time, but I won’t crucify him because he wants to go either. He doesn’t want to go to AC Milan, he doesn’t want to go to Chelski, he wants to go to his hometown, not even Real Madrid. He was tempted, yes, he sees the glitter of gold in 6 trophies last season and one or two this season, yes…Who wouldn’t get tempted?

    If he came to Arsenal it means he believed in the project that Arsene sold to him when he signed. So did he gave up on this project now? Maybe, but why not when a big portion of his own fans don’t believe in the project anymore?

    I would prefer if he leaves Arsenal after winning a major trophy…it would look much better for him to leave saying I won something with Arsenal, the project I came for works and now it’s time to do something else, but not give up and leave now, it’s weak and it feels like failure.

  299. Same to you frank.

  300. The capataincy is no longer important at Arsenal, its just a tool to try and stop a player leaving, its a poison chalice now. give it to Silvestre.

  301. ..if that is the case we have a major major problem

  302. The inexplicable performances right at the end of the season now start to make some sense. Undoubtedly the rest of squad were aware of this stuff after Cesc went back to Spain nursing his leg. I wonder how quickly it got around the squad that Cesc, the captain wanted out?

    This is possibly the worst let down this club has had to suffer and some of you think that he is being reasonable. Unbelievable.

  303. Robin has scored two magnificent goals for Holland. Fantastic

  304. 2nd goal for RVP

  305. As usual, Van Persie with a great first touch — straight into the goal! He is going to score bags and loads for us next season!

  306. shotta-gunna

    Frank/Paul N. – He is 23, for crying out loud. A fucking 23 year-old Catalan amongst a bunch of 18-22 year-old kids in the 1st team. Remember he only got the armband by default because of Gallas’ royal chip on his shoulders. We have got to be the ones dragging Cesc kicking and screaming to understand what being an Arsenal captain is, not the other way round. This applies to any new captain if Cesc should leave in the future.
    We should aim our fire at Barca scum and the their sense of entitlement to go around tapping up players. Cesc is our player; if you want him stump up the his true worth, not freaking 30 million.

    Let us not .

  307. The one thing I’d agree with is that if he stays his position as club captain might have become untenable

  308. G4E, yes we are all human. I just want the situation and interview to be seen for what it is, trying to make the path easy to go to Barca.

    I am not upset because he wants to go, I am upset beause he said a million times that he would stay, big difference.

    What we paid for him, shouldnt factor into this.

    I dont want him to stay and win anything with Arsenal if he wants to go to Barca. This is bull, I would prefer us play the reserve team with youth who love the club and not win the PL than to have people on the team who as soon as they get an offer they want, leave even if we would win something.

    Again, his decision to leave it Arsene hands works only in his favour, it does nothing for any Arsenal supporter. Its a load of bull.

    Trust me, he is a great player but i dont want Arsenal to get the crap end of the stick all the time!

  309. Excellent

    Robin Van Persie…clickclickclick

  310. If he stays then his position is untenable, catian or not. That is why I am angry.

    …and Shotta-Gunna please don’t belittle 23 year olds. You don’t have to look far to see some pretty incredible ones who earn virtually nothing and who have a lot less to lose than possibility of dropping everything to play with their mates.

  311. cliclclickcliccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    can you hear it frank Can you can uuuu????

  312. …that will be captain or not. Never written ‘captain’ so many times in one day.

  313. Don’t jinx him EvilFiek, although it’s damn time for him to get the opportunity to show the world what we all know – he is the best!

  314. Frank,

    Cesc had disgraced the club, agree on that with you. But frankly, one should point the finger at Arsene for making him the captain. You can’t make a 22 year old immature guy a captain, whose been stating his love for another club for quite a time.

  315. I guess Cesc is in a really bad position right now. He wants to go to Barca, but they obviously don’t want to pay his price. So now he will stay at our club and get a lot of stick — something he deserves, because despite saying a hundred times in interviews that he wants to stay and that he is in no hurry to leave, his hehaviour tells us something different.

    I don’t think he will kiss the badge if he scores for us ever again..

  316. Thank you Frank, I usually agree with Shotta, you know.

    Shotta, funny but I would think that would be a reason to show more honour as the youngsters are looking up to you. He wanted to be captain and was honoured so please dont make it look as if Arsene put a gun to his head and forced him to take the captaincy. He was offered it above senior players also, no? Others couldve been made captian.

    I do hate Barca but that means you let Cesc off the hook entirely. He has no responsibility to his word and signature? seriously.

    Again, he said time and time again he would stay so for me he cannot be trusted to be captain.

    Mi done!

  317. In the end it’s his own fault. He was at a club where everybody loved him, but he was naive enough to think that Barca would break the bank for him. ANd now, well, he is knee-deep in shit. I know that my new Arsenal jersey I get as soon as our new jerseys are unveiled won’t have his name on the back anymore..

  318. It all really depends on ones expectations Paul N, if one expects all players to sign for Arsenal for a life time or till 30 years old, you will be disappointed a lot.

    Players say what that fans wants to hear, they kiss the badge with every goal, they run to the fans and hug, but when the time comes, it just comes.

    He didn’t pledge his life to Arsenal when he signed, and no one will. I just think we still need to take it easy because he may still be playing for us next year. No one really knows what will happen yet.

  319. Don’t exaggerate, G4E. No-one expected him to sign for life. Nice if he had seen out a full year of his five year contract though.

  320. France should sack Dumme-nech at half time.

  321. You guys will be blaming it on his mother for giving birth to him next.

  322. Ok, maybe should sack him after the game.

  323. usa are so shit losing 4-2 against czech republic. This is why they will get embarrased against england and algeria will beat them as well.

  324. I’m more relaxed about the prospect of Fabregas leaving than I have been for several years. That’s not because he has been playing badly. Quite the opposite. Somehow, though, he doesn’t seem as important as he used to be. If he has to leave, maybe now is not such a bad time. For myself, I would still love him to stay. I don’t believe his position is untenable. I don’t consider him to be of bad character. He just goes along with the custom in football. That’s what most people do: go along with the mores of their own group. His behaviour is not due to his age. Looking to the main chance is not the preserve of youth. On the contrary, youth is accounted the age of idealism. Don’t expect the pragmatic young man to become the middle-aged idealist.

  325. EF, NO MORE STUPID BADGE KISSING, PLEASE!

  326. That’s alright Frank, I’m just trying to take it easy and let things run course before I make a judgment.

    One thing is for sure right now, and that’s

    RVP…is Click Click Click

  327. That I’d agree on Paul N 🙂

    I think they should ban kissing the badge, maybe they should give a yellow card for it too, It’s becoming ridiculous

  328. Pz, if this is what to just expect from football players every year then it is sad. I dont think this is just the norm or should be accepted as the norm, so lets just get on with it. Not when the supporters are the ones who really have to pay and then turn aroung and be crapped on.

  329. shotta-gunna

    I am not trying to excuse Cesc, I simply want us to accept the compromise he offered. We should embrace the compromise because it is in our interest. He threw himself into the arms of Wenger, not the Barca scum. We are the winners here. He may have let us down but he is not the first and not the last. Flamini and Hleb screwed us royally are leading us on for months.
    Come on guys, this is not a cult where you are either with us or against us.
    Finally Cesc will pay a price, if he hasn’t done so already but let us not back him into a corner by rejecting his compromise.
    Many of us are adults here, I think.

  330. If Cesc goes he goes. If he stays he will be an Arsenal player and I will support him.

  331. Do we not meet every day with behaviour that is sad, Paul N?

  332. Shotta, I dont get what you are saying really, I dont agree but i still think I am an adult.

    We can agree to disagree with all respect. I dont hate Cesc, he is a wonderful player but I know political bull when I see it.

    “I am staying at Arsenal but I need to get everything worked out before the world cup”

    “I am leaving my future in Arsenes hands”

    “It is between Arsenal and whoever else”

    Arsenal has never said they want to seel him did they? so what is to be workded out.

    He has to play the game right so he is not hated by Arsenal supporters if he “has” to stay.

  333. We sure do Pz, but we also hope for better and try to do better. I hope so atleast.

  334. Great play by Diaby to set up France goal.

  335. What’s the current score OOU?

  336. It’s 2-1 to France with a couple of minutes left.

  337. Van Persie and Bendtner: Players who really love our club.

  338. You make it seem as though we are in some way arbitrating, shotta-gunna. We are just speaking our mind. You know mine on the subject of Cesc. I am not an idealist. But I expected much better than this.

  339. 1 loose cannon

    fantastic finishing from RVP on both legs. TOP TOP class. He is the best finisher in the premiership without a doubt, its a shame about the injuries he suffered over the years. Also Diaby had a very good game for France.

  340. silver gunner

    there is no question that cesc loves our club u only have to see how he has single handedly dragged us through some games this season he has just come to the conclusion that he has to leave arsenal to win trophies.

  341. silver gunner

    i pray rvp can stay fit for the next season

  342. Oh fuck off, silver gunner.

  343. We don’t want him to fucking love the club. We want him to do the job he agreed to do.

  344. Thanks OOU @ 9.45 pm. I hope Diaby has a good world cup it will be great for his confidence as an Arsenal player next season.

    Thanks for the link to the RVP goals pg – was that one with each foot? That chocolate leg is definately for more than standing on! Just goes to show what we missed last season. It would be fantastic if he has the opportunity to finally show his quality consistently. I won’t jinx him by mentioning the ‘I’ word!

  345. Really great content on the blog this evening. Thank you. This is what this site is all about. SO much better than when it is polluted by the likes of SUGA 3 and James and Howard etc…. Shame Consolsbob is away. Would be interesting to read his thoughts. For my money, I am trying to find the positives and I think it is another painful part of our great club’s growing pains. But grow from it we will. It will certainly be the biggest test in AW’s managerial career. And I am glad I am not in his shoes as I don’t know what I would do if I was him. I suppose, reluctantly, I would see that keeping Cesc would cause more damage than losing him….certainly as captain. So he should try to get something close to 50 thousand for him and move on. For me it is a sad, disappointing and ill-judged final chapter in Cesc’s time with us. I am sure he is aware of it, too.

  346. @ Henristic, Denilson of course has been playing DM for us and has done a good job doing that, but unleash him further forward, with a license to dictate the game and you will see his true potential.

  347. 1 loose cannon

    Apparently Arsenal are all aware of laporta’s courting of Fabregas behind the scenes and have blocked any communication with Barca at the moment waiting for that sleazy Laporta to leave . this is the funny bit in this article “Yet Arsenal’s refusal even to go to first base with Barcelona — no offer was made on Wednesday — could test Fabregas’s current dignified silence”
    Dignified silence ? am I missing something here? Despite the desrespectful low class behaviour from the catalans Arsenal and Wenger behaved in a dignified manner. Wenger could easily resort to their sleazy ways but we have a better class than them.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1281703/Cesc-Fabregas-Barcelona-approach-blocked-Arsenal.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  348. Queen of Suburbia

    I’m 100% in agreement with Frank.

    Cesc has a responsibility to act in the interests of Arsenal FC.

    If he wants to leave then fine, none of us know whats in his mind.

    But by behaving in the way he has, in particular by narrowing the field of suitors to just one, he has only acted in the interests of Cesc Fabregas and Barcelona. You’d think he worked for them already.

  349. mingus

    Denilson and their likes is the reason we’re suffering. Low class players who are not fit to wear the shirt now calling themselves Arsenal players.

  350. Queen of Suburbia

    I can’t even be bothered.

    Just go away, you hapless cretin.

  351. You are wrong, Adamson.

  352. BarneyStinson

    Adamson and their likes is the reason we’re suffering. Low class supporters who are not fit to support the the club now calling themselves Arsenal supporters.

  353. Excellent piece of skill from Denilson in the midfield on that clip Barney. If any other player had executed that drag back, they’d be lauded to the skies! That boy has got skills. He just needs to be injury free and to play with confidence because it is all in there just waiting to explode.

  354. Adamson is just Howard. Ignore the little turd.

  355. I agree with Frank.

    1. Arsene Wenger has gone on record saying that Fabregas is not for sale. If Fabregas is not for sale then there is no issue, nothing to sort out at all, unless the player wants to leave.

    Therefore it has been confirmed he wants out.

    He kissed the badge this season. Why?

    He had undermined everything, EVERYTHING by engineering this move.

    Wenger’s whole policy.

    The Club.

    The Fans.

    The value of the Captaincy.

    The quality of his team mates.

    Ill never forgive him for this. Moreseo because I never thought in a million years he was capable of such ungratefull behaviour.

    And because I know we all thought he was different.

    This is by far the biggest disapointment ive ever felt with a player.

  356. Also, i must plead ignorance with this “long negotiations” tripe.

    How can it be more complicated then Arsene saying if you want him 65 mil if you havent got it fuck off and dont call me until you have?

  357. Deano, it is just more rubbish from people with no more information than you.

  358. “You make it seem as though we are in some way arbitrating, shotta-gunna. We are just speaking our mind.”
    H’mmm.

  359. Having watched the infamous Cesc video several times, I’m not at all clear what has provoked all the moralising about his behaviour. We have known for years that he would like at some time to return to Barca. He has recently signed a long term contract with Arsenal. If anything at all is evident from his interview it is that he will honour that contract. So, unless he is released from it, he will not be leaving yet.

    In the interview, he has clearly expressed his respect for AW, for Arsenal and for the fans. If we interpret that to mean that he has no respect for AW, for Arsenal or for the fans, then we are as much at fault as all the journalists who have twisted his words to mean the exact opposite of what he actually said.

    If he is equivocal about his future, we may wish to factor into our thinking the disappointment which we all felt at the end of the season and try to imagine the disappointment which Cesc himself (not to mention AW) must have felt. But he is content to leave his future in the hands the club, and in particular in the hands of AW. Nothing in this whole, convoluted story could be plainer than that.

    He has been an inspirational captain this season. If Arsenal decides that he should stay, then there is no reason why he should not continue to be an inspirational captain. If he does leave, then he will leave with the blessing of the club. Given the relative financial positions of the two clubs – thank you, AW – it is hard to see why Arsenal would agree to release him. But we know so little of the circumstances – we don’t even know whether he actually wants to leave, let alone why – that we are in no position to make a judgment.

    The behaviour of Barca in all of this has been beneath contempt. But if they succeed in turning Arsenal fans against Cesc, they will be well on the way to achieving the destabilisation they are seeking. We know we cannot take anything they say at face value. Until events prove otherwise, let us at the very least take what Cesc says at face value.

    And, though it may be small comfort, while we’re agonising over Cesc, at least we’re not being bombarded with lists of the 500 mediocre players without whose signing during this transfer window we will never ever win a match again.

  360. 1 more year, just like Ronaldo.

  361. Maybe I’m being cynical or maybe Frank is being less than worldly wise.

    Assume for a second that Cesc’s preference is to stay with an almost equal preference to go to Barca.

    He knows Barca are going to bid for him. Can he really say he won’t go if Arsenal accept the bid?

    Seriously, if PHW and AW tell him, Barca bid 60M quid for you, we’re considering it…..do you think he’ll scream NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Not Barcelona and run screaming from the room?

    I’m not saying that’s what happened. I’m just illustrating why the player can’t always be as definitive as we fans would want

  362. I’m 100% certain on this one. Cesc will go to Barca this summer for 45 million.

    I really think his future was sealed when they signed Villa (I’m sure you remember that conversation, Frank..). Villa is always the player Cesc mentioned when asked who he would like to see at Arsenal.

    I could live with 45 million.

  363. I agree with Merlot. We are playing Barca’s game by winding ourselves up and starting to turn on Cesc.

  364. His future was sealed when he broke his leg.

  365. Queen of Suburbia

    I don’t see what that demonstrates Ole?

    If his preference was to stay at Arsenal, he wouldn’t be feeding stories to the press and he wouldn’t have invited a staged question from which he could subtly indicate his intentions.

    We have to face facts, he wants to go and he’s worked quite hard to secure Barca the best deal they can get by indicating that he’d only go to them.

  366. I don’t think that Barcelona have changed in the last 10-15 years. They are a known quantity. The way to protect the club against marauding pirates like Laporta is to have players who, if not loyal to the club, stick at least for a short while to their contracts.

  367. Queen of Suburbia

    He already turned on us Bernard.

  368. QOS,

    Your absolutely correct in what you say.

    Cesc wants to go and has made his wishes known, otherwise the club would have categorically denied it. Even his father is being quoted now. AW has never stood in the way of any player, especially one who’s served us so well. All thats happening now is a protracted negotiation with AW remaining poker faced.

    But Cesc has handled this very poorly. And the fact that he has nullified the market for the club by refusing to go elsewhere makes the situation even more difficult. He really should have shut up until he spoke with AW.

  369. I’m actually with ZimPaul on Frank. Cesc should be recruiting this summer not being recruited.

    Having said that, with Villa, Messi, Xavi and with a new enemy in Mourinho, it’s hard to see Cesc elsewhere this season.

    Arsene has a track record here. He will sell a player that wants to go. The length of the contract will mean Arsene will squeeze Barca up to 45 million (above the 30-36 million they want to pay), but I can’t see it going higher. But I would love to get them above 50 to send a clear message we won’t be bullied into letting him go on the cheap.

  370. “Assume for a second that Cesc’s preference is to stay with an almost equal preference to go to Barca” – Difficult to make such an assumption, a player would either want to stay or go. In the above scenario it seems it does not matter to him whether he stays or goes, and I can’t imagine that a player won’t have a clear opinion on such an important matter. It is not as if he has not had time to make up his mind on this one. By what has gone on, I thin Cesc prefers to go to Barca at this moment.

  371. mm…Zimpaul and Frank, not Zimpaul on Frank. Freudian slip…

  372. People might criticise Wenger on why he gave Cesc the captainly. But I can see how it went, Wenger would have offered Cesc the captaincy with the understanding that if he was not sure of sticking with us he woudl reject it. Cesc accepted it but had no intention of sticking with the club. Wenger was sort of duped here.

  373. “The length of the contract will mean Arsene will squeeze Barca up to 45 million (above the 30-36 million they want to pay), but I can’t see it going higher. But I would love to get them above 50 to send a clear message we won’t be bullied into letting him go on the cheap”

    I think the situation is queered by the fact that Cesc is captain.

  374. It is a little bit rich to claim that any supporter is turning on a player who walked out the door two months ago and has to be talked into coming back. What a disappointment.

  375. Maybe Arsene thought that he prolonged Cesc’s Arsenal career (and induced him into signing a long-term contract) by handing him the captaincy.

    Not sure if I agree with it, but an argument could be made…

  376. I think it is safe to assume that AW gave Cesc the captaincy and also extended his contract because he valued the player and his position in the squad very, very highly.

  377. It is possible that the long term contract provided Arsenal with some insurance. But I doubt they expected to call in that insurance as soon as this, and at such a critical time.

  378. Of course this will now drag until the World Cup, during which Cesc will play his heart out, get injured and Barcelona then won’t want him.

  379. OK last word….

    Robin Van Persie….clickclickclick….Robin Van Persie…clickclickclick

  380. I agree. I’m sure Arsene thought he had at least another two seasons out of Cesc and that Ramsey would seamlessly take over in 2012.

  381. Merlot,
    I think you wrote an excellent comment at 1:34. I especially agree with you about the possible effect of our end-of-season collapse. There has been a sombre atmosphere around the club since then, and it is conceivable that as a result Fabregas has made some hasty decisions. With the passage of a few weeks, perhaps he will realise his mistake.

  382. Unless Cesc’s problems had a hand in the collapse.

  383. “Unless Cesc’s problems had a hand in the collapse.”

    I hope that is not the case.

  384. It is probably media BS but some reports that we are chasing Laurent Koscielny, a French defender also eligible to play for Poland. Guy is 24 years age, quite unknown and French, anybody seen him play?

  385. Bloody hell… D&G sounds like le fucking grove over here this morning.
    Tapping up matalan scumbags doing the usual.
    Journos whipping it up.
    The only new thing in this situation is the people are playing along with em.
    Say something in the national media enough and it becomes *the truth*.
    FFS seriously look at yourselves.
    Where’s the dignity? Pride? Fuck the doubters and le haters. We are the ARSENAL!

  386. IF that John Cross article is true, then Gazides is playing a good game. Cesc will have found himself in limbo, with his position with us increasingly uncomfortable. At that point, Cesc himself, his dad, Puyol Xavi etc…will come crying to the new Barca president, with emotional pleas to pay what Arsenal are happy with and do all that’s necessary to bring Cesc “home”.

  387. Silver Gunner

    Cesc stays …….

    We hope ……….

  388. “I hope that is not the case.”

    Really.

  389. Wise old heads like to hedge their bets. Very sensible. How very passionate.

  390. Cesc is in a unique situation.. I understand everyone who says captains should not behave like this and put the come first, last man to jump ship etc…

    But this is not a Tony Adams, this is a guy who is Spanish, grew up in Barca, grew up aspiring to play for Barca, and Wenger snapped him up. Wenger gave him the platform to become the best, we cannot hold a player against his own will even if he is our captain. I am not saying let him go, we should get him to stay for as long as we can. This is not an injustice to us as fans with having a captain who ultimately dreams of playing for another club. He loves Arsenal just as much, but theres that burning desire inside of him to play for his hometown club.

    I fully understand Cesc’s diplomatic stance, and I fully understand that when the time is right he will leave – this has always been the case, and will be the case with most foreign players. You can’t not give your best most inspirational player the captaincy because one day he may leave, if thats the case we should have gave the captaincy to Theo! I ain’t going to worry too much about it anymore, Cesc is very likely to return and captain our team to glory next season because Arsenal won’t even bother speaking to them cun*s now. Barcelona will then try do what they always do next season, but we don’t have to along with it, Cesc has no choice but to stay until the time is right and Barca pay up. SIMPLE.

    We cannot blame the guy for being diplomatic, he has always been like this, Wenger has always known of his intentions. The day he hands in a transfer request is the day we should worry. But worry only for Rambo to step up, and Wilshire – 2 class players who will give Arsenal many more years than Cesc in all likliness.

    Whatever happens Cesc for me is a legend, he is a player I have enjoyed watching every game, and I hope still to watch. I will cheer for the Arsenal captain in August as always. IF he leaves it will taint slightly the journey he has been on with us.. that I must agree, as I think many Arsenal supporters will see him as a failure for leaving at this point.. Surely this is more important to him than returning to a club who show no respect to anybody.

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