May 192010

It has all kicked off today, hasn’t it?

We always knew this would be the summer of Cesc, or more pertinently, the summer of incessant transfer rumours surrounding our captain, irrespective of whether any truth lay within the articles. Barcelona’s presidential campaign ensured that, and our end to the season allowed the assembled hacks to play their ‘Arsenal in crisis’ trump card.

Today’s rumours began from a fairly innocuous source. Spanish paper AS carried a story in which Joan Laporta (who, remember, will not be Barcelona president much longer) claimed both Cesc and David Villa had expressed a desire to move to Barcelona, with Villa’s negotiations progressing more smoothly of the pair. The Guardian followed up by reporting the story as fact.

Since then, it has been rumour and counter rumour. Various media folk are suggesting that the story is well-sourced, but there is little concrete evidence to suggest that this is anything other than the overblowing of another Spanish media attempt to unsettle a player.

In short, most of us do not know the facts.

What has been incredibly frustrating to watch is the hysteria that has surrounded the story. The day has essentially followed the following pattern:

  • Stage 1 – denial. The story written off as garbage.
  • Stage 2 – hype. More and more people jumped on the bandwagon, giving the story far more credibility than it had previously – whether or not the story turns out to be true, this is the surefire way of legitimising a rumour.
  • Stage 3 – panic. A slew of articles about Arsenal in meltdown, calls for Wenger’s head and the complete removal of the board.
  • Stage 4 – abuse. Suddenly Cesc is disloyal, contemptuous of the fans, and not even that great a player. Worse still, his sister gets a torrent of disgusting abuse on Twitter.
  • Stage 5 – claims of knowledge. Certain members of the written press actually have some knowledge, as do perhaps 5% of bloggers, but most are simply inventing a unique angle on the outcome. Yaya Toure is a makeweight. No, hang on, Ibrahimovic is coming the other way. Or maybe they’ll give us a keeper. Or Xavi.

I have to be honest – it has been truly awful to watch. Fans turning on each other, the management, the players – anyone they can turn their anger on. Hype has turned into hysteria, worry into panic, disappointment into the worst kind of abuse. I have had absolutely no desire to even attempt to add reason to the debate – those who have tried have been comprehensively drowned out by the wailing of the masses.

In the absence of concrete quotes (from reliable sources, at least) or a desire to invent a brand new angle (we’ll have Iniesta, Bojan and £60m please), I thought it wise instead to return to the facts.

Cesc will return to Barcelona at some point. We all know that, and that knowledge ensures that we cannot simply write off these sorts of rumours as complete garbage. One summer, they will be true.

That said, Cesc’s most recent quotes indicated that he intends to stay at Arsenal for a while yet. Of course, his mind could have been swayed by a number of factors – the end to our season, Barcelona’s superiority in the Champions League, or even something as fundamental as missing home.

If any of those reasons have driven him to request a transfer, then I fail to see why we can possibly hold it against him. A return to your hometown would be appealing to any man or woman in any profession, especially if that homecoming included a hefty payrise and the joining of perhaps the biggest name in your field of work (the analogy’s getting weak here, I know).

However, Arsenal are in better financial shape than they have been in years, so Barcelona cannot drive a hard bargain. Cesc will understand the economics of the situation – if Arsenal do not receive an excellent valuation, he won’t leave – it really is as simple as that. He has four years to run on his contract, and seems level headed enough to realise that if Barcelona under-offer, the transfer will not occur.

The key difference between this potential transfer and so many others is that Cesc’s value is not going to drop – he is young and miles away from the end of his current deal. Under normal circumstances, clubs are forced to cash in to avoid losing their star men for free, but we have no such worries.

If Cesc leaves, it will be a bitter blow, but we will recover as we have in the past. If he stays, he will continue to lead in his inspirational fashion.

Either way, I’ll support him from the rafters. Unlike so many raising their voices today, the man has acted with class throughout.

  25 Responses to “The internet can be an unedifying place at times – Cesc thoughts”

  1. What was written on her twitter?

    • I honestly wouldn’t want to repeat it. Just imagine the worst of the internet and you’re probably there.

      • Thats just fucked up. Someone should write her and apologize on behalf of all the real gooners. Maybe its already been done? Her last tweet looked like it. Im not a member but if someone who reads this is, please write her and apologize, I feel so ashamed!

        Great post and great blog! Finaly some peace and calm! Thanks man!

  2. At long last thank you Pete. The fact remains that Cesc is an Arsenal player and under contract for four years. Barcelona should be censored for this deliberate use of their man in the media to create a story out of nothing. Today has been mad I have freinds telling me that contracts can be broken by email for gods sake! Jeeeze was it Stalin who said that if you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth? When Cesc does go home he will do it with style a la Liam Brady in 1980. One more year and an injury free Arsenal fulfill their potential then what? HE may delay his departure but concrete fact at the moment is that Cesc is an Arsenal player on a long term contract and only Arsenal will decide if and when he goes, Why doesnt anyone see this?

    • I think it will be a joint decision between Cesc and Arsenal from the point of view that is Cesc really does want to leave, he will be allowed to for the right price, but at the same time he will not leave if Barcelona fail to stump up the cash.

      For once, we are the ones with the bargaining trump cards.

      • If Barclona want Cesc so badly then they must pay the appropr
        iate price at least 60 million Euros/Pounds ,so let,s wait and see ?

  3. good post
    i know hes not gone yet but, we all knew fabregas would leave at some point (i thought 2/3 yrs away) but no point having a captain who would rather be at another club, it is disappointing but hes not bigger than the club, he was never in our future as we knew he was going to go, true ramsey and wilshere can replace him in time but not just yet… BIG year for arsenal next year not sure what will happen i’ll support them no matter what. we win something next year ir goes down in our history as one of greatest wins but not sure if i can take another trophyless year if we dont win anything

    • No player or manager is bigger than the club – it can be hard to rationalise that when you have such a special talent but I remember thinking the same of our legendary back line – how could it ever get better? And then it did.

      • what do you think wenger will do if cesc does go?

        • Would it be flippant to say ‘sign a replacement’?

          In all seriousness, I think Wenger is very much his own man. Cesc’s decisions are unlikely to have any bearing on the manager’s, certainly regarding his own future.

          • tough one for wenger, we have many playmakers and many good young midfielders that you would imagine he will want to give a go, but we haven’t won anything for 5years, losing our best player and captain doesn’t help strengthen the team, and if a replacement isn’t bought many fans will not take too kindly.

            i always thought in say 2 years cesc would replace xavi and cesc would be replaced by wilshere and or ramsey, but is it too early for wilshere? and we know ramsey will be out big chunk of next year. maybe arshavin will play in cescs role next year but will arshavin/rosicky and nasri be as consistent as cesc is?
            as i said big year for us next year ( sorry if that was very long mate)

  4. Thank you for a great read. I was starting to go mental from reading all the trash talking or definitely this and definitely that. Your article was very straight forward to the point and lacking useless unsupported statements.

  5. I think this time Cesc is definetly going to leave Arsenal, the stories I’ve been watching on Sky Sports News seem pretty creddible, there story says ‘Fabregas has told Wenger he wants to join Barcelona’ Sky Sports aren’t likely to have such a clear headline and for it to be false, so I think it’s official. Sorry boys but he’s definetly going, I wish it wasnt true, but we’ve got Aaron Ramsey who will fill the hole but I swamy atleast 50mill for him

  6. To be honset I have thought the worst since the first “stories” of a transfer to Barca for Cesc started in the media. However as you pointed out; no concrete evidence has been presented and perhaps my overly pessimistic nature has got the best of me. I sure hope so as I would hate to see us loose our captain and most prolific/creative force just when Arsene perhaps is starting to get a bit more money at his disposal to add that last, special touch to our squad that it so desperately need. The touch that could see us winning the Premiership and the Champions League.

    Should Arsene see it fit to sell Cesc THIS summer I for one will start questioning the man a bit. Of course no man is or will be bigger than the club and if Cesc wants to leave while we get +£50 million I could see how he could be tempted of doing business. However I feel Arsene should for once tell Cesc that he will have to give the club one more year. Should we not win anyting during that year and Cesc still wants to leave, he would be allowed to do so. Sort of what Sir Alex did with C. Ronaldo.

    Also by that time Arsene should have had plenty of time to form a new plan to keep moving this club forward. A plan that hopefully doesn’t see us selling our best players on a regular basis and going trophyless for 5 years.

    • I’m pretty certain that Wenger will do everything in his power to keep Cesc, and only sell if the offer from Barcelona is absolutely fantastic. And if he does sell, some of that money has to used to sign a replacement – it is too early for the mooted long term replacements we have within the club.

      One thing I would like to think is that if Cesc really wants to go, Wenger has had advance warning, so that he can make plans.

  7. Sorry but I think its time UEFA did something about tapping up of players. Barcelona and Real Madrid are the worlds worse at doing it. It’s no good fining these clubs the ideal fine would be to dock them points in their own league then perhaps they will think twice about doing it. .

    • Agreed – but most of the time they are sly enough to do their tapping up through their affiliated papers, and their president/manager are slightly more careful what they say.

      They certainly are experts in tapping up without being accountable for it.

  8. Well said Pete. Think that you and Tony Attwood at Untold Arsenal could do worse than compare notes. Time for the positive Arsenal blogs to kick a few butts.

  9. This ought to be quite simple – AW should dig his heels in and explain to Cesc that leaving now would be a mistake – as he has come very close but not achieved what he wants to with this club. That can happen in the next 2 years and AW should be clear about key signings and the regret Cesc will face in the future – always wondering about what if he had stayed.
    I’d do what Fergie did and get a promise of at least one, if not two more seasons from him and then allow him to go.
    Finally I would back this up by saying if you insist on leaving this summer it will be on the clubs terms – if we do not get an appropriate price then you will be forced to stay playing or otherwise. Otherwise these long term contracts are a waste of time.

    • For once, we certainly hold a few cards, and in fairness to Cesc he is a loyal character. I really think that if Wenger believes he isn’t getting the offer we deserve, he will ask Cesc to stay and the player will understand the situation.

  10. Well it looks that there are still people with some brains left.
    Great article.

  11. I see some other blogs have decided to run with “I told you so” on the project youth campaign, as they have negativley slated the project for some time, that now Wenger has decided to buy some experienced players that they are some how correct and Project Youth has failed.

    Surely folks cant be that daft??? The project has infact worked in repsect that we have been able to challenge for the first few years of the stadium move, have reaped the rewards of CL money and are on a sound financial footing in the property developments baring fruit and can now re-invest in the team on a more significant scale. Failure to win a trophy, undeniable, failed to set the club up for the forseeable furture. Undenuiable a success, fruck tha haterz!!!!

  12. is there a podcast this week ?

    • There will be a podcast next Wednesday – there wasn’t one this week because prior to the Cesc ‘story’ (which happened too late), nothing happened. Zip.

  13. Bye bye Cesc

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