Some news has been emanating from Spain that a former Arsenal midfielder is not happy at the moment at the prospect of not playing 90 minutes for his team Barcelona. Instantly the first name that springs to mind is that of Alex Song though even the most arrogant player would not be complaining at lack of minutes after three weeks at his new club. No the player in question is in fact our former captain Cesc Fabregas; although the midfielder has started every game for the Catalan giants he has been slightly perturbed by the fact he has been hauled off in nearly every game so far and has broken his silence on the matter.
A strange outburst, surely something must be in the water over there in Spain as it was only a few days ago that Cristiano Ronaldo was voicing his frustrations over something within the backroom at Real Madrid. I know the last time I visited Spain I was advised not to drink the water there and stick to drinking the bottled water only surely with Barcelona DNA Mr Fabregas would be immune to anything suspect about the quality of the h2O flowing through the Catalan taps.
I feel part of Cesc’s outburst could be linked to the different personnel in charge of the first team at Barcelona, initially the Spaniard attributed part of his reasoning for cutting ties with Arsenal was down to his admiration for the man in charge at the time Pep Guardiola. Now that his former idol has moved on from the hot seat you do wonder if all is well in his relationship with Tito Vilanova. I am only speculating here but I hardly believe that Cesc would ever speak out if Guardiola was still in charge. His respect for the man would ensure anything he disapproved would be kept in-house, to speak out like that is a clear sign that 100% respect for the manager is not there.
The outburst itself was not damning of the manager directly and I suppose he was careful to not upset his fellow professionals at the Camp Nou. He did however say:
“There’s no such thing as a great substitute in the world of football. I couldn’t tell you what makes a great substitute.”
Again I find it strange to find a player not happy despite starting every game; surely to start on the bench would be more frustrating for any player. I know players love to play every minute of every game and especially if you are a striker on two goals chasing a hat trick the last thing you want to see is your number come up on the assistant referee’s board. As a midfielder who has given his all and contributed to the team performance you just have to accept a change in tactics may be required; it’s not always an attack on your abilities but as a team player you have to accept the manager sees a need for change. If the team collapses and concede three goals after you come off then you may be justified to hold your hand up and give it the ‘I told you so’.
This news has sparked rumours of a return of Cesc to Arsenal, that’s a move I can never see happening until Cesc has long passed his peak. The moment he signed the contract to join Barcelona was the very moment he was priced out of any possible move to Arsenal. We could never afford him now, unlike us Barcelona know how to tie down assets and it would take a hell of a lot of money to get him. Despite the place arsenal has in his heart even he knows it could never happen unless it was some sort of loan deal. I wouldn’t read too much into the unrest, I’m sure he will kick on at Barcelona and get over his current irritation.
Andrei Arshavin is again in the news as uncertainty over his Arsenal future will linger until all the transfer windows are closed. I believe the Russian transfer window closes on Thursday and it seems our diminutive Russian attacker will be linked with moves until it closes. He has been named in our 25 man champion’s league squad though it would be suicide not to name him in case any move was to break down last minute, so him being named should not carry any weight to the possibility of him staying at the club.
I would like him to stay and believe he can still contribute to our team over the coming season, there is a place for him in the squad and he offers a different type of alternative to our attacking options. The telegraph paper has gone as far to suggest Arsenal are willing to let him leave on a free to get his wages off the payroll. A ludicrous suggestion, I know we have not been the best at getting money closer to the true valuation for some of the players we let go but the idea of a free transfer is enough to slap who ever wrote that article.
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