Thrills & Bellyaches Over Cesc, Pills No Longer Required
The weather is unsurprisingly grim this morning, the clouds that have hung over Arsenal for a while have burst as Members Day arrives. I wonder if there will be booing from the stands if a pass goes astray during the training session. A certain levity would be brought to the proceedings if the players barracked each other for every mistake. Or gave the crowd grief if a round of applause was not up to the required standard.
Attention turns toward Cesc Fábregas, whose fitness is apparently open to question. The player’s hamstring injury is morphing to his hip as if following the lyrical path of a song. The saga is as unsettling as the weather. This has been the hallmark of Arsenal’s summer.
And I have to say, this is all rather bizarre. Not the occurrence, simply that a saga can continue unabated with no apparent let up in its’ reportage. There are some (un)expected twists. The ‘threat‘ to play Cesc in the Champions League qualifier is a perceived one; it is no threat, if he is at Arsenal, failure to include him in the line-up could be considered dereliction of Arsène’s duties. Such an eventuality has occurred to them, the latest deadline is the Spanish SuperCopa.
However, if the Arsenal captain is cup-tied for the Champions League, you know that the wrangling will go on, with more heartfelt bleating that the transfer fee is too expensive, especially as they cannot use him in one competition. Hopefully Arsenal will maintain their stance that £35m including incentive payments, is nowhere near enough. Except it’s €34m according to the Spanish media. Little wonder Arsenal never disclose the fees paid.
Whatever the case, it is obvious that either the player is returning to fitness or quite simply, the well of excuses for not playing this pre-season has run dry. At least the club quashed the ludicrous suggestion of taking photos today with or without the captain. Some aren’t giving up although was Vic Akers annoyed with the brouhaha or an Arsenal captain on club duty, turning up in his decorating jeans and t-shirt. Not too sure.
August is a testing month, Arsenal need to be ready to face some matches which will play a huge part in this season’s outcome. Obviously there is the financially crucial Champions League Qualifier but more important longer-term, are the Premier League fixtures. This is the test for the squad. A new season, a new hope, a new mental approach or the same head spinning frailties?
Fábregas‘ circus is an unwelcome distraction and I hope the other players are putting it to one side. The kerfuffle over Nasri has died down with his commitment to the club although most would prefer he be sold for £20m. It seems that Arsène’s spendthrift moment is not approved of, despite years of bemoaning the fact he will not use the club’s funds. This time it is the opportunity cost of which he falls foul. No, monsieur, you cannot win!
Barcelona don’t let up either. They talk of not talking anymore and then their Sporting Director tells the world that negotiations will resume, whilst not mentioning the details out of respect for Arsenal. The same Arsenal that Gerard Piquet respects but orders them to listen to the player. Speaking of his love for Shakira might have been more interesting for the player but apparently not.
Elsewhere, Emmanuel Eboue is off to Galatasaray for about £2-4m. Part of me hopes that this deal does go ahead, just so someone will sign for the Turkish club having been linked with so many of the Arsenal squad in recent seasons. Nicklas Bendtner is apparently holding out for a hero to pay his missing £2m, he would probably would even listen to Bonnie Tyler belting out her hit if she had a suitcase of used fivers making up the shortfall in his wages.
Kyle Bartley‘s new contract means a new loan spell in all likelihood, perhaps as bait for Gary Cahill? Or not, since Lucho Gonzalez is the new centre back on the block according to this morning’s Daily Mirror. All the while Karim Benzema is a ghostly presence, his haunting siren call of 6 goals in 6 pre-season matches having no effect on Arsenal whatsoever.
Finally the ACLF Fantasy League is up and running here, the code to join is 820625-204250. Not sure what the winner’s prize will be yet but there will be one.
Posted on August 4, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 330 Comments.