Jul 232010

Just a few short months ago, Barcelona could do no wrong. Relentless in La Liga, the press were fawning over Messi’s brilliance, the hatfuls of goals they scored every weekend, and how entertainment was winning out over pragmatism. That they were heated rivals with Real Madrid, whose stock had fallen with the resurrection of the Galacticos, only enhanced their reputation in the eyes of the neutral.

No more. Their quest to retain the Champions League was brutally exposed by Mourinho’s Inter, Busquets committed one of the worst acts of simulation in the same game to tarnish their puritan status, and even Messi’s stock fell after a disappointing World Cup. Then, of course, they fluttered their eyelashes in Cesc’s direction.

Fast forward to today, and most neutrals want Cesc to stay in England, if only to prove to Barcelona that their ugly and relentless tapping up can be resisted. The way they have systematically gone about destabilising him at Arsenal has been reckless to the point where even the previously admiring media have turned on them.

One thing is for certain – if our captain does return to Spain this summer there will be widespread calls for a tapping up investigation. In theory, it should be an open and shut case – Barcelona have shown zero regard for Arsenal, the player or his contract, and have conducted their business in public despite calls from Arsenal to cease.

Unfortunately, while their approach seems scattergun, it is actually more calculated, and as such a tapping up enquiry may not result in the punishment they clearly deserve. The footballing authorities have only acted in a few instances (notably, those given high coverage in the press), and then only when club officials have been the worst offenders.

While the saga is certainly getting enough media coverage to force a cursory look from the authorities, the issue becomes cloudier when you analyse who is saying what. There is no doubt that Joan Laporta was guilty in the extreme, but he is no longer tied to Barcelona and as such his words are likely to be ignored. Rosell, since being elected president, has been more circumspect – most of his comments have been along the lines of ‘we want him, but have to talk to Arsenal’, which is no different from the ‘I admire him, but he is unavailable’ angle you hear from all managers, week in week out.

Instead, the blatant disrespect has come from the Spanish media (or at least, those under Barca’s control) and particularly the players themselves. But here is the key point – the players are not club officials. Technically, they could be found guilty of tapping up on an individual basis, but Barcelona are not liable for their words. And individual charges are exceptionally unlikely.

All of this makes it very difficult for FIFA to justify charging Barcelona as a club. Of course, common sense should allow them to see the bigger picture, witness how the media and the players have become the club’s mouthpiece and bring them to rights. But common sense doesn’t sit well with FIFA – they removed every referee’s option of applying it long ago and the goal-line technology farce proved how little they have of their own.

The good news is that Barcelona are finally being exposed – after years of forcing the availability of targets and driving their price down with underhand tactics, the wider world has seen them for what they are – a disrespecting playground bully whose off-field antics are the antithesis of their on-field aesthetic.

But negative exposure will change nothing – their tactic works. If it fails this summer, it will be the exception made possible only by Cesc’s refusal to behave in the antagonistic way they desire. With punishment so unlikely to come their way, they have no reason to give in.

  67 Responses to “Barcelona’s tapping up tactics are more intelligent than they seem”

  1. the world knows what barca are all about, they are a dirty bunch of scum, the goalkeeper restraining jose mourinho for celebrating at the finalo whistle in the nou camp, then the sprinklers being turned on withing minutes of the game ending while inter players celebrate their achievements, the ball boys going home at half time when barca are winning but having to work double time while barca are not winning, this club is a turd, its a stadium full with prostitutes and pickpockets, and i am yet to talk about the boardroom or dressing room

  2. There is little point in Arsenal making any official complaint because even if found guilty Barca will only be given a slap on the wrist by FIFA. Just as likely would be for Barca to use the dispute to drag up their grievances about how Cesc was ‘stolen’ by Arsenal as a boy and how they are only helping him return ‘home’. Already Barca have sullied their reputation by their approach over Cesc while Arsenal have enhanced theirs by behaving with quiet dignity. Everybody knows where the blame lies.

    • Quite – much as I would love us to chase up a tapping up charge, the reality is that it will not end well.

  3. Yes, and Arsenal are a class act right, not like they’ve never done anything to barca… besides poaching their youth. What aresnal? Never! Well you did not only did you poach Cesc but also Fran Merida. The only reason you got away with Cesc is because we didn’t have a pre-contract with him yet and you guys offered us Van Bronckhorst to let go of the matter. Hopefully this will teach you guys to stop poaching players from top clubs and maybe actually get a decent youth system.

    • dude you cant have a pre contract with a minor in spain, arsenal did not poach nothing from barca, we just made an offer to mr fabregas senior and he sent his boy across sea’s to us, look closer to home for the reason cesc left, bunch of tight gits, broke as hell

    • Ha, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Cesc had the the choice between signing an adult contract with Barca or joining us, and he moved to England. I don’t think any Barca fan would argue with his reasoning – it is a compliment to your central midfield to say that he would have developed less in Spain.

      The point is – we have never broken any rules, yet the public tapping up conducted all summer has been ugly to watch. Even some Barca fans (clearly not yourself) have winced at some of the behaviour.

      At the end of the day, Arsenal have developed Cesc since the age of sixteen. Where he would be today under Barca’s tutelage is a moot point – we have given him every platform to grow as a player and a man. If you want him back, pay his value.

      What irritates many about your tactic is that you try to undermine a player’s relationship with their club to drive the price down. It is an underhand tactic that is against every rule that FIFA create, yet they do nothing to enforce it.

      For a club that claims to be so classic in nature, it is beneath you top behave this way.

      • The reason Cesc come to Arsenal because Barca told him that no way they give him first team football unless he is 21, But Arsene told Cesc Sr. that if he is good enough he get it, and the rest is history.
        Also if Cesc stay at Barca he won’t be as good as he is now.

    • Barca4life are you aware you sound like a helpless bitch? Seriously don’t blame Arsenal for the way your country handles their league. So cry somewhere else maricon.

    • Fabregas joined Arsenal because he felt it was the right club for him to learn and grow up to become a fine player.
      Barca let him go bcoz, they thought he’ll never make it that BIG. And now that he had become one of the best midfielder under the guidance of Wenger, you guys want him back and talk all crabs and B”hits about Arsenal poaching on their youth.
      Barca never talked abt Fran Merida joining us. Why only Cesc??
      Barca as a club and all it’s players should start using that little bit of brain that they have on their heads and start behaving and not keep on annoying Arsenal FC.

    • Barca 4 Life

      Which town in Spain did Messi come from? I heard you took him when he was twelve.
      Interesting how he plays for Agentina though… hmmmmm

    • EXACTLY!!!
      Arsenal could have a case on them when they are poaching players from elsewhere

  4. We paid compensation, didn’t break any rules. How is that poaching you knobhead?

    If we poached Cesc and Merida, you poached Dos Santos, Assulin, Messi etc.

  5. i agree that barca have destabilised cesc , but fifa have been reporting on its web site the comments made by the barca players, .so they see it as o\k
    also what papers have been against barca, i know of none,all are reporting the “transfer”,only die hard bloggers can see the bigger picture.F.A should getting involved to protect the EPL because the press wont…

    • In fairness, many of the neutral media are picking up on Barca’s behaviour, but you’re right – FIFA should be acting rather than reporting on this nonsense.

  6. They’ve run out of money and their time is up. They’re ass holes and they don’t like crosses and headers and we will **** them with a first eleven. Cesc isn’t going anywhere and as Arsenal are coming of age, he won’t go next season either. What’s the point? they’re arrogant dissrespectful twats that need a slap and will get one. Come to think of it they got one already by a so called lesser time wiv SIMPLE TACTICS. **** Barca. Arsenal are on the rise, and Barca are fizzling out.

  7. Oh yeah Arsenal’s tactics are MORE INTELLIGENT THAN THEY SEEM FOOL!!!!

  8. All this barca DNA rubbish comes down to barcelona wanting to complete the transfer before Xavi needs a replacement. At 30 xavi probably has two years before fabregas becomes the obvious better player for both club and country. Barca realize he longer we keep fab the more absurd the 30 mil offer really becomes. Arsene know this and won’t give these shit scanvengers a free meal

  9. Glad I stayed up to watch. Thierry Henry scores against the spuds! Again! HAHAHAHA

  10. Don’t forget to sign the petition to urge AFC to report Barca.


  11. A short time ago the manager and board were adamant that Cesc will NOT be sold. “He’s an important part of our plans”, so Wenger stated. Now it looks like he’s CAVING IN and has changed his position. Hosting a meeting with Barca’s Rosell, sends out a “strong” message, doesn’ t it ? Although he’s our best and key player, and we don’ t need to sell, we’ll forget our principles – and he can go for the right price. If this wasn’ t the case, then why even agree to have a meeting AT ALL ?
    I thought we were supposed to be building a championship winning team ? If this goes ahead, it would be like Liverpool selling Gerrard, or Chelsea selling Lampard. You don’ t let your best players go, you ADD to them* * ( something else we haven’ t done, either ! ).
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  12. Great read, & bang on the mark. Barca are a pack of $#@&s

  13. Remember FIFA actually run the story of Xavi’s attempted tapping up on their very own website. I think we know where their’s and UEFA’s loyalties lie!! Have notice though that a few hours later the page was unavailable, so do FIFA think somethink dodgy is going on after all????

  14. By the way, notice the subtle change in tactic now. They are trying to make Fabregas hand in a transfer request but saying they can’t do anything unless Fabregas makes the first step.

    They are sheer scum!!!

    • Purely down to money – they can’t afford him and they rightly believe that if Cesc hands in a transfer request his value will drop. But I don’t think he will.

  15. Ah it doesnt really matter, put Arsenholes first XI against Barca’s 1st XI.

    Valdes vs …… who is your keeper anyway?
    Pique vs…… do you guys even have a CB. Oh yeah Vermaelen pfft!
    Dani Alves vs…… Sagna hahahaha
    Ebidal vs Clichy ok yeah Clichy isnt bad, but nothing compared with the greyhound.
    Xavi vs Fabregas… well look at Spain, Fab loves that bench.
    Busquets vs Song…. thats about the only spot you guys have got us.
    Iniesta vs Arshavin…. World cup winning goal, vs lazy little spoilt russian boy who cant defend.
    Villa vs Nasri…. No contest here, Nasri is shite
    Messi vs Rosicky/Walcott…. Best player in the world vs two peices of crap.
    Ibrahimovic vs Van Persie… Easily Ibra, Van Persie is crap, injury prone and a whinger.

    So you can say all you want about ‘tapping up’ and whatever but dont start saying ‘with our 1st XI we would whip your ass’ because that is bullshit.

    Bunch of Cockney bindiggers

    PS: We dont need Cesc, keep farming for us, good little farmers :D

    • I don’t believe anyone has claimed that our first team would ‘whip your ass’, I think you must be comprehensively misreading the article.

      I’m not debating that your first team is stronger than ours, although I would disagree with a couple of your comparisons – notably where you claim Van Persie is a whinger, while comparing him with Ibrahimovic, with no trace of irony.

      But this is about your horribly underhand tactics in player acquisition. It has gone on for years and it is about time someone stood up to it. FIFA won’t.

    • hahahaha u actually think pique is a good defender….ibra better than van persie no way and abidal better than clichy hahha u muppet

  16. viscunt

    You forgot to mention the one thing you want most CESC FABRIGAS.

    Oh how frustrating is this.

    If our players are so very poor then why bother try buying them each year, oh yeh I forgot you havent even paid for TH14 yet. Fucking get the bailiffs in on the team funded by a third world country full of pikeys.

    For all your wonderful football and great players you still resort to cheating.

    You think you are the best club in the third world country but you sell your greatest players to your worst enemy. How many come the other way?

    Wont be long before the Galacticos get their rightful place back.


  17. Barca 4 life-what a nerve you have …This tapping up and destabilising of Arsenal players is an annual event- how many of our best players have Barcelona FC poached after tapping up over the past 10 years? At least 6. This started the year after Wenger came here. He develops stars so that Barcelona can use its captive media outlets to destabilse and just just help themselves to . Its not only Cesc that Barcelona have tapped up this year- its Gael Clichy also.
    Barcelona FC thinks it has a god given right to treat Arsenal football club as a supplier of cheap talent. Lets get it right-Cesc was a 16 year old prospect when he chose to leave Barcelona- 7 years ago. What twisted logic have Barcelona and their idiot players used to claim that somehow he still belongs to Barcelona? The twisted logic that is Spanish nationalism- whats yours is mine and whats mine is my own.
    Who will it be next year-Van Persie? This has to stop – and it might as well stop now. The answer is simple- Cesc Fabregas is not for sale. I hope Arsene Wenger gives this message to the over-bloated ego maniacs running and playing for Barcelona- because if he doesn’t they will be back next year- and the year after that.

    • The smalle teams in the EPL feel the same way when you prey on their players. No one likes it. Arsenal is a minnow when compared to Barca. Bitter FACT!

  18. Arsenal is tapping up Mark Schwarzer. Flamini was snatched for Marseille like Cesc and Fran. Why don’t you groom your own talent and also mention DNA in future? You are a weak team that was thrashed tryingto iimitate Barca.

    • I agree there has been a lot of media talk about Schwarzer, but it’s all been media talk. Very different to the Fabregas issue.

      Have you heard a single Arsenal player mention Schwarzer? have you heard any board members mention Schwarzer? Have you heard the tea lady mention Schwarzer? In fact, has anyone even heard Wenger mention that he wants Schwarzer?

    • Wrong – completely wrong. There has been no tapping up of Schwarzer. All the talk has been from the press (not Arsenal aligned like in Spain), and any negotiations have been done in private.

      Arsenal players are not coming our daily to talk about him, or claim he has Arsenal DNA. It is completely different, and has been conducted properly.

      As for grooming our own talent, you do realise how much we invest in our youth system, right?

  19. there is a lot of misdirected anger here, of all the captains in the world i cnt remember there being so much controversy concerning a leader of a team.

    Fabregas cannot be tapped up, hes a grown man who knows wat he wants, bt he jus wnt make a stand. WHY?

    Pique, xavi etc are letting him eat his cake and have it.
    Let the man speak!

  20. I disagree that Barca can escape a Tapping up charge based on the fact the players, rather than officials have been spouting disrespect. It is important to note that many of the comments have been through the official website, thereby making it the responsibilty of the club.

    • True, but I doubt they’d get penalised for things on their website. Besides, if they did, our Transfer Linked section would cause us grief. I wish we’d remove it, I really do.

      • The Transfer link is a load of bull – if we want to read ifs and maybes there are plenty of blogs on which to do so.

        Whilst I agree it is unlikely Barca would get penalised, it can be argued that the comments on the website are direct from the players, as oppsed to the rubbish peddled by the Arsenal site that is simply rehashed news.

      • The Transfer Linked section on the Arsenal website clearly expresses that the view are not those of the club, and even state the gossiping source from which they came e.g. Daily Mail, the Sun etc – Arsenal are just trying to keep their fans entertained in the transfer period with spculation and don’t generate any of the rumours themselves.

        • Still, I hate it. The site is supposed to report official news, not speculation from elsewhere – there is enough of that garbage around already.

  21. Spectrum
    Ermmmm what meeting was this? Was it the one in South Africa where Rosell was told in no uncertain terms that Wenger and Gavidis were not not even interested in talking to him? Or was it his idiotic trip to London on the day Arsenal, Wenger and Gavidis were in Austria preparing for the Sturm Graz game? The only person he would have been able to talk to in London on Tuesday would have been the groundsman or whoever was taking taking the Arsenal Legends tour that day. Charlie George would have told him to eff off and John Radford would have just nutted him. Why do people come out with crap?

  22. Barca 4 Life

    What’s Spanish for

    spud in disguise?

  23. @ Spectrum,

    My good friend you are a tool of the highest order.
    Who said Wenger is actually meeting with that Catalan inbred Rosell. Caught Offside? Tribal Football? If it appears on Arsenal.com you can believe it. If not it is almost certainly bollox (along with the 46,236 players we have been linked with this summer).
    You go from blog to blog spouting negative crap about our club and manager.
    We have made a decision to do things a certain way. The right way.
    We have moved to the best ground in Britain and had to allocate funds accordingly. Yes this has been at the expense of the playing budget. During this time our manager has consistantly kept us in the CL, earning vast sums of money for the club.
    What other manager in the EPL would have done it. I will tell you none.
    Ferguson, Benetiz, Rednapp, or any muppet Chavski have had managing their club since the Russian gangster showed up. The reason I say that is because they are all chequebook managers. They can only buy ready made talent. Not potential.
    Our debts are getting smaller and smaller whilst the other top clubs (who still have new grounds to build) debts get bigger and bigger.
    We will challenge for, and win the top prizes in the future. Maybe not this season nor even next, but we will.
    You were obviously not around in the pre AW era when we would go ten years with maybe a league cup, mid table football or even (however rarely) a flirt with the drop.
    Stop behaving like a spoiled brat and get on with supporting your club. If you don’t want to f*ck off to Man City. The can buy any player they want you know!

    In Arsene We TRUST

  24. maybe arsenal shud get there own youth instead stealing everyone elses. How many youths players do you have in ur first team squad?? 1 maybe 2? get ur own youth and then u wudnt hav to deal with this in the first place. Cesc wants to cum home so just let him, its the only way hes gunna win any club honours anyway. arsenals squad is bollocks compared to top teams in europe. remember champo league last season. Arsenal where played off the park in both legs. so i hope cesc leaves and you have fun with ur pathetic club and keep losing as usual!

    • Maybe you should learn the difference between there and their and where and were before attempting to write in public again. Good luck looking for your lost letters too.

      It helps in having your points taken more seriously and goes some way, although not all the way, in preventing you looking like a complete tool.

    • ‘Stealing’ is an interesting definition of our youth system, and completely false given how much we’ve paid respective clubs for our players. And since we develop them from such a young age, they are certifiably ours.

  25. primero… its all a mess. We want Cesc. Apparently Cesc wants to come. (so all out players say). Arsenal dont want to sell. now i know we havent gona about this the right way to bring Cesc to Camp Nou, but we need to hear from the man himself so maybe we can strike a deal and clear this up once and for all. i mean the earlier it is done. then we pay Arsenal the millions (we dont have)! and then they can buy 2 or 3 good players and carry on. and we can carry on with our preperations for La Liga. Would Cesc rather play 15 games a season and win trophies or would he rather play 40 games a season along side Denilson and Diaby and win nothing? we dont know until Cesc speaks!!! so hurry up Cesc… SPEAK! so we can all carry on with out new seasons preperations. on building bridges with Barca and Arsenal, after this saga. i think it will take some time to repair. but as a Catalan, i would like 2 c Cesc playing 4 Barca someday but personally i think its to soon. we have Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and a couple of others. i honestly dont know where he is going to play!!! it makes no sense. but Cesc has said that his childhood here was Pep Guardiola and he wants 2 play under him. and Pep wont b a Sir Alex and stay for 20years! so i can understand why he wants 2 move… but he needs 2 speak so Arsenal and us can move forward.

    dont u all agree?

    • While that is undoubtedly what Barcelona want to happen, I don’t believe it will, not this year at least.

      Cesc will return, we’re under no illusions, and when he does most of the sane Arsenal fans will wish him the best at Barcelona. But it really is up to your club to come up with the money required to sign him. £30m simply isn’t enough, and is the only offer you’ve come up with so far.

      This should not be resolved by destabilising Cesc, forcing a transfer request and a drop in price. It should be resolved by you paying his true value. Then you can have him.

      That is what irritates many – you could have him this summer if you’d just come up with the cash to begin with.

      You’re right that relations between the two clubs have been badly damaged – Rosell is understandably trying to fix things but after the way the saga has unfolded, we’re unlikely to sell this summer as the perception will be that we’ve been bullied into it.

      My money’s on him going next summer.

  26. Folks, I’ve had to delete a couple of comments that were overly offensive and abusive. I welcome all debate in here, be it from Arsenal fans, Barcelona fans or anyone else, and I don’t expect us to agree very often, but please try to keep it civil. Thanks.

  27. In my eyes Cesc was out of contract. You don’t see Chelsea complaining about how Liverpool stole Cole. Barca “steal” players as well. The only time anything remotely similar happened was when Chamakh mentioned Gourcuff. I watched for Paddy V and Givin’s reaction to Milner and they were very clever to show respect.

  28. What barca is doing is a great demonstration of la liga and spanish society at large. a highly disorganized society that has great disregard for civility, decency and respect. real madrid is not in any way different from the way they pursued the ronaldos figo, and beckham. i am not convinced that spaniards have the understanding of conducting oneself in a modern civilized society. I like their football because i am a great fan of the total football created by ajax (not barca) under rinus michels and englishman jack reynolds which was later exported to spain via johann cryuff, but their blatant disrespect for arsenal has left me sour and disgusted.

  29. Sigh….

    Look, the club has done nothing to destabilize Fabregas. Recall that it was Fabregas’ comments about wanting to return to Barcelona as a player that set all of this off this time, Couple that with the fact that there was a presidential election going on, featuring the top two candidates trying to out-Catalan the other, and suddenly your captain because a cause celebre.

    And now we have this. I honestly don’t believe that Fabregas meant “this season” when he spoke of returning to Barcelona. Now, I don’t think that any of us know what’s going on. The one person who could end all this, Fabregas himself, won’t say much of anything beyond:

    –When asked if he could guarantee that he would be wearing an Arsenal shirt next season, he said “No.”

    –Before leaving for his vacation, he said that he still stood behind what he said about a move to Barcelona (whatever is is that he actually said).

    The blogger said that we use destabilization tactics to drive prices down? I believe that we paid top dollar for Thierry Henry and Alexander Hleb, and Gunners fans were crowing about what a good bit of business it was. We’ve paid top dollar for David Villa, and crazy dosh for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In looking back over our transfers in the past decade, I can’t find a single instance in which we have paid less than top dollar for a top player.

    As for “tapping up,” that occurs when the player breaches his contract. If that doesn’t happen then technically, according to the FIFA regulation, tapping up hasn’t transpired. And rest assured, Fabregas has every intention of honoring his contract.

    As far as organized campaigns to “destabilize” a player, such things are impossible, unless the player is already leaning in a particular direction. It wouldn’t matter who approached Messi about leaving Barcelona. He wouldn’t. Same with Iniesta, or Xavi, or Puyol. Yes, players do want to leave. Toure Yaya just left the club, in search of more playing time and money. He got them with Man City, even if he might have ultimately less success. It happens.

    But rest assured that if Fabregas’ trophy case were stuffed with silver, none of this would be happening. He would laugh, and say “Why would I leave this club?” Instead, he says nothing.

    As for the Spanish press, they are as stupid as the British sporting press, quite possibly even more so. Anyone who follows the game knows that. They align themselves with a team, but aren’t a mouthpiece of said team. To imply that Barcelona press, players and management are colluding to lure Fabregas just doesn’t hold up to level-headed scrutiny. The press is as silly as they have always been. Club management was babbling, trying to win votes and the players are being players. What does anyone here reckon Arshavin would say if he was asked how he would feel about playing with Messi?

    “Well, I won’t say anything, because I wouldn’t want to destabilize a player.” No.

    Xavi and Puyol have been outspoken, and inadvisably so. They shouldn’t have said what they did. But they’ve always been outspoken.

    I think that the name-calling and such that goes on regarding Barcelona, doesn’t suit the supporters of, in the words of Arsene Wenger, a “massive” club such as Arsenal. If you want your captain, make it impossible for him to leave. That would be a lot more effective than insulting a football club, its players and its fans.

    • Interesting that you didn’t mention any of Laporta’s comments. I expect because you thought they were out of order. The fact that he was the outgoing President is irrelevant – he was the President of the club. Who made unacceptable comments.

      I’m glad you didn’t deny that fact.

      Also – why should Fab say anything? I believe in Fab’s ideal work Arsenal happily sell hin to Barca for a good price this summer, and he gets a guaranteed midfiedl starting spot.

      However, I also believe he’ll be perfectly happy staying at Arsenal, trying to captain the side to an overdue Premier League title… or the Champions League.

      So why should Fab come out and say he doesn’t want to join Barca? There are thousands of players who would love to join Barca – however, they are also perfectly happy staying where they are, honouring their contracts. I believe Fab is one of them, even if he has closer links to Barcelona than almost all others.

      His silence actually gives credence to the fact that he’s happy staying with Arsenal. So all’s good. Because they shouldn’t consider any offers under £50 million. And even that’s too low.

      I just wish someone like Mancini would offer £60 million for Fabregas. Arsenal could then turn it down, and tell Barca that Fab’s asking price is at least £60 million – as proven by the fact that the club has recieved that offer for him. It wont happen, and most Premiership managers would love to see the back of Fab, but I would love to see it happen.

      • I do think that Laporta’s comments were out of line. I understand the context, but that doesn’t excuse it.

        Fabregas should speak out to quell the fears of Arsenal fans, who are wondering what their captain will do. Because people on the other side of the aisle will believe that his silence indicates that he wants out.

        • He doesn’t know what he’s going to do because he doesn’t know if Aresnal are going to sell him. If they are, he’ll join Barca. If they don’t, he stays at Arsenal.

          Why do we care what people the other side of the aisle think? It’s not Fab who’s keeping the transfer talk going – if the Barcelona players (and Fab’s dad) shut up this would eventually quieten down to where it was six months ago (i.e. a weekly report that can be easily ignored). Fab is rightly staying out of the transfer speculation, and letting the business be done between the clubs, as it should be.

          It is this attitude which will allow him to leave next summer (hopefully for a decent transfer fee of more than 3/8ths of Ronaldo’s fee) with the blessing of all Arsenal fans.

          And you never know, he might actually be able to get into the Barca team the following season.

    • First off, thanks for being so reasoned – generally when people disagree on blogs they descend into name calling and idiocy. Nice to have some intelligence around.

      As Alan said, Laporta was certainly out of order, although we all saw that coming when we realised it was election time – this sort of thing always happens and that anyone falls for the ‘if I’m elected I’m sign X, Y and Z’ nonsense amazes me.

      Tapping up is an issue with us because we’ve seen it work before with less intelligent players, namely Ashley Cole, who had his head turned and eventually left in poor circumstances.

      Fortunately for us, Cesc is more intelligent and respectful, but where he not, the lure of his hometown club would have resulted in a transfer request and a lower price. I don’t really buy the argument that the daily comments from the Barcelona camp weren’t aiming directly at this result.

      As Alan says, Cesc won’t come out and make his stance clear, because he doesn’t want to burn bridges either way. He does probably want to return to Barcelona soon, and Wenger’s line is likely to be ‘fine, once they stump up the cash’.

      I’m also in no doubt that Barcelona are aware of this, so if the cash isn’t there (after the Villa signing), the whole issue should be closed. Comments like ‘he’ll effectively be on loan for a year’ from Xavi are inflammatory.

      Also, Rosell did say ‘he’ll come next year, you’ll see’. Given that Cesc will still have four years left on his contract at that point, those sort of comments simply should not be made.

  30. arsenal worst club in the world they thief fab and we want him back simple arsenal crap we taught you a lesson in paris camp nou london tht is y fab want to come back home keep quiet you ANGRY MOB

    • That’s the most well put together argument I’ve heard. Thanks for underlining the issue.

  31. You all are just disturbing ur asses. Arsenal, in the next 5 years with their stupid kid-policies can never give fab any major trophy, while barca has every possibility of winning him as much as he wants. Henry needed only one more trophy, the champions league to complete his collection and barca have him six just in the space of three years. So, if u were fab, what would u do? Tell urself the gospel truth. And who says he won’t see matches to play? Every player wants to play with the best in the world b4 retiring and that is what fab wants. Arsenal is just a bunch of babies. Take it or leave it

    • You’re forgetting one thing (if I read your comment correctly, which isn’t an easy task in itself) – Cesc loves Arsenal and is captain of the club. Lifting a trophy before he leaves is quite the reason to stay. If he does that, I’m sure he’ll leave happy, and with our blessing.

    • well put together henry got it now fab wants it you play football to win trophies not to look good like arsenal you look good and win trophies like barca and that is what fb wants

  32. nice article, now you should write one on arsenals tactics of stealing yth players from clubs before they are legally allowed to sign pro contracts by tapping up the players family and bribing them even the the players have verbally agreed to sign for their respective clubs or doesnt that fit into your propaganda? You’ve done very well out of Barca by stealing Fabregas and Barca are the only club losing out on this transfer even if they do get him. They can apply any tactic they want as they are justified due to arsenal original actions siging him so get off your high horse you whingers…… o and btw you lot tapped up chamakh, nasri, diaby and were found guilty of tapping up lescott and agbonlahor or have you forgotten????? POT KETTLE BLACK….. tho who hasnt sinned and all that…..lol you make me laugh

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