Jul 072010

It has been quite some time since I last wrote about Arsenal, and without wishing to sound ungrateful to the club it has been a welcome break. Summers are always trying – there is inevitably a dull transfer saga that lasts for three or four months – and after the flat end to last season I needed to recharge to get my enthusiasm back.

The first part of that particular plan was to occupy myself watching a thrilling World Cup, but unfortunately it has been a tepid affair, devoid of star talent, stunning goals (barring tonight’s semi) and miraculous against-all-odds comebacks. Defences have won out, and even the eyebrow-raising results (Germany walloping Argentina, for example) can be easily explained by analysing the men at the back of the beaten team. As for England, it was woeful on and off the field.

There is still time, of course – Germany and Spain clash tomorrow night in what promises to be a cracker, but already my mind is switching back into domestic football mode, to the tweaks that would make Arsenal challenge next season, and yes, to the Cesc story that refuses to go away. And whisper it quietly, but the season is fast approaching – the players returned to training today and the first friendly is only eleven days away.

So where are we? In central defence, we’re officially four down – Gallas, Campbell, Silvestre and Senderos – although the latter hasn’t really been an Arsenal player in years. With Koscielny training with the youth teamalready, it is clear that the French defender is the first replacement – the official announcement is likely once Wenger returns to the country. That leaves us with Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny and kids. With Djourou penned to be a first team contender last season, and Koscielny costing so much (a reported £9m), you would expect both to feature heavily, so another signing in this area is only likely as a backup option. I have a feeling that’ll be it for the back four.

Up front, we’re stacked with options – Van Persie, Bendtner and Chamakh can all lead the line (although the latter may be relied on initially thanks to continued Dutch involvement in the World Cup and Bendtner’s groin injury), while Arshavin, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Rosicky and Nasri are all options in a withdrawn or wide role. We are top heavy in attacking midfielder and strikers, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two leave before September – the prime candidate is clearly, and unfortunately, Eduardo. Time will tell.

Last, but not least, we come to Cesc. The facts we know – Cesc has mooted the possibility of moving to Barcelona (how strongly, we do not know), and Barca have very publicly courted him, in an exceptionally annoying way. And had a bid strongly rejected.

We have all speculated on how Cesc feels about the very public comments made by everyone connected to Barcelona – the president, the players, the tea lady – but realistically, if he was frustrated by it being played out in public (as an Arsenal player, with Arsenal ethics, he might) he wouldn’t say so until after the World Cup. Right now his priority is Spain, and if he is irritated by his teammates talking about his future he will resist saying so until Spain are on the way home.

I will be very interested in Cesc’s first few days back in England. They will be telling.

New Barcelona president, Sandro Roselli, meanwhile, is continuing to talk nonsense:

“The signing of Cesc has become difficult, because the expectation levels have been driven up the seller. We will never pay 50 or 60 million (euros) for Cesc.”

“It’s a topic that has become so public and that’s the worst thing you can do with a transfer, because it makes the selling club raise their expectations and you end up paying over the odds.”

The laughable thing is that he talks as if it is not Barcelona’s fault the transfer has become public, despite their own players mouthing off on a daily basis. It is remarkable arrogance to suggest that just because they want Cesc, they can get him without paying the asking price.

Make no mistake, the standoff will continue – Barcelona are banking on Cesc getting frustrated and handing in a transfer request. If he is to do that, he’d do it soon after coming home. I doubt it’ll happen.

So, that’s it for the first Arsenal post I’ve done in a couple of weeks. In retrospect, not a lot has changed, has it?

  22 Responses to “Cesc’s first few days back in England will be interesting”

  1. Have you forgotten the most important position for AFC to change??????????
    We need two new ones!!!

    • There’s no way we’ll sign two new keepers – Wenger doesn’t like to make that drastic a change. One may arrive, but I’m not convinced.

  2. With Barca tapping up Cesc Family, I hope RAsenal fan would be nice, and supporting him. I don.t know how spanish culture or value, but where I from family is important, espeially if you parent is very old. A nice and lovely request from your parent is treat like a command. So with Barca Tapping Cesc Family ( that new right, here barca go ” we don’t tap the player, we tap his family, so you cannot report us”) Cesc really in great dilema, and only a strong conviction ( hell he might be disown by his family) that make him stay with Arsenal.

  3. im not sure how relevant this is, but iv been spending a lot of time on arsenaltv (in an attempt to fill the red and white gap), and basically i came across an old question and answer interview of cesc and rosicky. one was directed to cesc where he was asked if he followed football gossip and even blogs..to which he replied no hes not too interested in it. now im sure hes heard about most of the things thatv come out of barca but what im wondering is how much does cesc really know about this whole transfer bs. is he aware of how far barca have taken this..is he even aware that the barca players are saying these things. like you said it will be very interesting when cesc is back in london..hopefully a good interesting

    • I’m sorry arsene-al, with all the due respect I think your comment is quite naive. The Fabregas story has been so publicised that Cesc is definitely aware of every move. He definitely would like to go back to his country with his own people (Catalans), but Barca is full of stars and he’s afraid he will stop being the centre of gravity of any given club.
      His situation at the World Cup hasn’t really helped since he’s been warming the bench for the bigger part of the competition. Seeing that Xavi and Iniesta are preferred, what would his role be and how big would it be if he had to try and fight it out at Barca?
      What still disappoints me is that if he decides to stay (which I think he will….. his comments about leaving Arsenal are already u-turning), he won’t be doing it out of a bigger love towards Arsenal but out of the need to be playing more.
      Whatever happens, Barcelona have been a piece of sxxx in the way they tried to lure him away. Do you want Cesc? Fine…. pay….. and being so central to Arsene’s plans…. pay a lot. If you’re not ready to do so, then look elsewhere…. that’s what our coach does.

      • Spot on – there is undoubtedly a price on Cesc’s head. Whether Barcelona know what it is yet is unknown, but it is clear what they have offered so far does not meet our valuation. Cesc knows exactly what is going on, but even Wenger told him to stay quiet during the World Cup. Until Spain come home, he’ll be silent.

    • I guess i had a momentary lack of judgment haha, this has been going on for so long now its feeling more like theyr targeting us fans than him. but ya i completely agree with you guys. the way barca have been dealing with this is disgusting to put it lightly. im very surprised nothing has been done about this and even more surprised arsenal havnt said anything about it. im confident that cesc wont be going anywhere because arsenal wont sell him for shit-all. plus did you see how many times this guy kissed the badge this past season..and how many times he said hes not going anywhere. we cant really accuse him of anything because he hasnt even really said anything yet (i know hes said something but not enough to really base a judgment on). he obviously loves arsenal and im assuming hes just caught up in the heat of the moment now. i think once he gets back everything will be cleared up and barca will end up looking like fools again. at the end of the day cesc is more arsenal than barca would ever dare to believe

  4. Defensively we are light on especially if Campbell and Gallas go. Djourou is like a new signing, and Koscielny is a replaces one. This means we need one more and Hangerland or Mertasacker would be great additions IMO.

    Not that I think Wenger will but at around 10mil we could get Neuer. He has been immense for Germany in South Africa and for his club Schalke 04 last season.

    To midfielders: if we do infact part with Eduardo and/or Rosicky then replacements like Ozil, Hazard or a Gourcouff would be very worthwhile.

    Finally, Wenger has been financially shackled by the Emirates Stadium costs and the redevelopment of the old Highbury. But we are now told that the debts are now managable and we can compete for World Class players in the transfer market.

    This club needs players that are WINNERS not WANNABE’S.

    I for one am sick of hearing Arsenal being labelled as the club that talented youngsters go to and make a name for themselves, and then go to a club that actually wins trophies.

  5. What will happen if Cesc decides he is not going to start training and wants the transfer to go through but not put in a transfer request

  6. In the EXTREMELY unlikely event that Cesc requests a transfer on his return, The Mighty Arsenal can simply say no. He is under contract until 2015 and he WILL honour that contract. This guy played for us with a broken leg! He has a love for The Arsenal, which he has repeated many times. So, lets assume Cesc asks to be put on the transfer list. Do you really think the Arsenal board will roll over and allow him to leave for Barcelona for the equivalent of a bag of rice and a couple of beads? Of course not. As every Arsenal fan is furious about the daily tapping up of our Captain, the directors and people that run this Mighty Club know the consequences of letting Cesc go for next to nothing. Worst case scenario, he asks for a transfer, Arsenal agree and put him on the OPEN market, Real Madrid offer something like his true value, we agree and Cesc refuses to go to the Madristras, Arsenal are in a WIN WIN WIN position over Cesc. He will play and give 100% while he is at Arsenal, he aint going anywhere anytime soon.

  7. If fab could stay,i wil b happy because i belief in him.

  8. Sandro Rosell has his agenda and Wenger has his.

    I know who I’ve got my money on.

  9. Albeit all the “news” regarding Cesc, in the event he does wanna leave via a transfer request, I doubt he’ll do a Gallas-I’ll-Score-Own-Goal kinda thing.. Cesc has too much class and respect for the club, for the fans.. He’ll take his time and let the club go about it via the normal manner of transfers..

  10. let arsen sign a DM first and other two deffenders out laurent whom we believe is on ready then let him be very quiet from cesc saga. We are tired with this

  11. Cesc has heart breaking news for you on his way to Spain after the world cup, this week, for I am certain they will not go beyond the semi in Soth Africa

  12. I think AW sees Song as the 4th CB and wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a DM as cover for him.

  13. If Barcelona will not pay 50 or 60 million euros for Cesc, then they will not be paying anything for him. When are these mongs going to get it through their thick, Seventies-style-hair-covered skulls that he isn’t leaving Arsenal?

  14. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

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