Following my last post about the transfer window, it struck me that there was one player who dominated the early part of it for Arsenal fans: Cesc Fabregas.
Last summer we had a lot of ‘will he/won’t he’ rumours about a possible return. I never believed he would come back then, it was too soon into his lifetime ambition of playing for Barcelona. And so it proved. But another season went by, he fell slightly further from favour at his hometown club and it was all back on again.
Suddenly the infamous buy-back clause was on everyone’s lips: would Arsenal exercise the right to repurchase their former captain? Would he want to come back if they did? It’s fair to say that opinion was divided on the possibility of a Cesc return. Some see him as a traitor who faked injury and forced Arsenal to accept a low valuation for him by his insistence on only one destination. Others say he did a good job and was bound to leave at some point, we all knew that. Which side of that argument you sit on might colour your view of a possible return.
Arguments for and against a return were put forward in the first issue of The Gooner this season. On the one hand, said Mickey Cannon in his column, Cesc is undoubtedly better than nearly every other player we have, so if he improves the squad why not buy him? If necessary sell another midfielder to accommodate him.
On the other hand, said Bernard Dowling, would we be so bothered if he weren’t an ex-favourite? There were clearly other gaps in the squad that needed filling first, so why spend a large chunk of resources on a player you don’t really need? Perhaps wanting him to return was driven more by emotion than it should have been, so let’s concentrate spending on what we need.
The thing is, that argument didn’t really work out, given that no defenders or defensive midfielders turned up at the end of the window to add to Calum Chambers and bolster the back line. Meanwhile more than enough money to buy Cesc and pay him handsomely sits in the bank still.
And of course Cesc going to Chelsea was not popular, even among those who didn’t want him back. Anyone but them.
Whether not buying Cesc back turns out to be a good or bad decision depends what happens between now and May. Chelsea win the League and Cesc is player of the season: Bad decision. Arsenal win the League and Cesc does his hamstrings again: Good decision. There are a million variations in between, but at the moment Chelsea’s squad looks to have a fair bit more depth than Arsenal’s so although I am largely happy with the best XI Arsenal can field, over a season Chelsea have the advantage.
Unless Arsenal do win the League, or at least finish above Chelsea, then with spare money still left NOT buying Cesc is going to look like a bad decision. I can see this being quite a bone of contention, mainly because we don’t really know the key fact: Did Arsène turn Cesc down or did Cesc turn Arsenal down?
Most seem to think Arsène turned Cesc down. And most were prepared to forgive him for that as long as he spent the ‘Cesc money’ to plug the holes elsewhere in the squad. As that hasn’t been done, some are going to be rather less forgiving if we don’t have a storming season.
But maybe Cesc turned Arsenal down. Jose Mourinho has claimed he did. And if Cesc really didn’t want to sign for Arsenal then a buy back clause is about as much use as a tin of Brasso at West Ham. Arsène has done nothing to clear up the confusion, as all he’s said is:
“I think people came out and said he wanted to go to Chelsea. I don’t know who tells the truth here or not. He landed where he wanted to go.”
But you spoke to him, didn’t you Arsène? Surely you of all people should know what was going on? Why be so cryptic about it? Just tell us the truth. And what does ‘He landed where he wanted to go’ mean anyway? Some in the media have taken this to mean that Mourinho is telling the truth and Cesc’s first choice was Chelsea. I tend to think it’s a reference to the fact that Cesc’s wife and child have been in London the whole time he was in Barcelona, as Mrs Cesc’s ex-husband won’t let her other children leave town.
So if Cesc was leaving Barcelona then for family reasons London was always going to be his first choice. But which club? There are two big clubs in London, Arsenal and another richer but less classy one with a much shorter history. Cesc is a good enough player to walk into either team, lucky him. So either was possible. You’d think they’d both want him, but then Arsenal’s manager can be a little idiosyncratic.
I can already see a lot of people projecting their own narrative onto what’s happened so far, just as they did with the departure three years ago. All I know is that now the season has started, the ‘Should we have bought Cesc back?’ discussion has already re-erupted several times. It’s likely to every time he has a good game and/or Arsenal drop points, or until someone comes out and tells the whole truth. So basically every time he has a good game and/or Arsenal drop points.
Oh yes. This one is going to run and run because at the moment there’s no definite right or wrong answer. This is one where I accept we will have to judge it in May as only the events of the season can even get near to answering the question.
ps: I’d have taken him back, assuming he wanted to come. Improving the team and stopping a rival improving comes above my annoyance at his suspect hamstring issues and the manner of his departure.
39 thoughts on “That Cescy Mother****er”
At the last fans’ forum Perry Groves said Arsenal didn’t need him. That’s good enough for me.
Did you have your sarcastic font on there? I can’t tell.
“….Arsène has done nothing to clear up the confusion, as all he’s said is:
“I think people came out and said he wanted to go to Chelsea. I don’t know who tells the truth here or not. He landed where he wanted to go.”….”
I dont see what the confusion could possibly here. Wenger is stating clearly here that Cesc wanted to go to Chelsea.
All that Wenger has done there is sidestep the question of whether he wanted Cesc to come. Which he would only do for one reason: that he didnt want him back. Not surprising as Wenger has stated before that you dont sell players and let them come back in their prime, as that sends to wrong message. He has taken the likes of Sol and Flamini and Henry back but only as backups – there is no triumphant “prodigal son” return. Note also that he refused to take Song back too even though Song can play the positons we want.
And in Cesc’s case, why would you ever put down 35 million on a guy who you KNOW from experience, is willing to go on strike and suffer injuries when someone else crooks their finger. That would be freaking irresponsible.
Also in the Arsenal system Cesc can basically only play the attacking midfield role, in which Wenger already has Ozil. plus veteran back up options of Rosicky (on a 3 yr contract), Cazorla (3 yr contract) and then emergency option of Wilshere or pushing Ramsey forward. Basically it is the ONLY position in which Arsenal actually has quality depth!
Personally I think in this stage in his career Cesc could play the DM role – at least inin the manner in which Wenger has Arteta interpreting that role – but clearly Cesc doesnt want to do that. And Wenger would destroy team spirit if he demoted Arteta in favour of a guy who when he was here before was captain and notable for leading nobody at all.
So really there was nothing on here.
Yes, Wenger should have spent the 35 million on a defender and DM, but thats an entirely SEPARATE issue from whether he should have accepted Cesc back. You cannot muddle the two issues.
As usual you know best – all the facts are at your fingertips without the need for further discussion. Thank God we have you around to clear everything up!
Wow Andy Kelly — the voice of perry is enough aye — well of course he’s right you don’t need him, arsenal are quite capable of finishing fourth without him — we however, you know that other big team with no class and no history — we need him, we have big title and champs league fish to fry baby — Happy moaning!
Remember he walked out on us when we needed him most, Really find it difficult to understand why Arsenal fans hold him in such high esteem, as far as I am concerned he is no better than RVP, so good riddance to him.
As a Chelsea fan Arsene was damned if he did, damned if he didn’t. Personally I’m really pleased as he seems to have struck up a great relationship with Costa.
Injury wise don’t worry we have the best medical tesm in the PL if not Europe and already Cesc is playing without pain in his groin for nearly a year.
Just pick you up on a point, more history? Is that pre or post franchise? Classy? Only one club has kept it’s home ground and it’s name throughout it’s history!
Post franchise, you say? You know Chelsea were the original franchise club, don’t you? There was an empty stadium there so they put a football team in it in 1905. The team didn’t do much for 90 years afterwards as it happens, but either way I wouldn’t have thought ‘not moving’ is a cause for too much celebration when your ground is a mess due to its history of dog racing and parking cars behind the goals until 20 years ago.
Thanks for reading by the way!
As the song goes ” we’re the only team in London with a European cup” repeat ten times and that’s the song although you might have heard it at last years league cup game when we had 9000 there ….and don’t forget your promotion fiddle in your history in 1915 …ha
That European Cup is the only thing that allowed me to include Chelsea as a big club. You’d be down there with Tottenham and West Ham otherwise.
Phil, Not sure you understand the meaning of a franchise. However since Chelsea were formed they have not changed their name, moved ground twice, (we’ll forget the franchise, it’s upsetting you) or been implicated (although unproven) in the bribing their way into being elected into Div 1 (when you’re neighbours should have been elected as per the rules of the association). P.s. The only club in European to have won every European trophy, erm you’ve won……. 1.
Like a lot of Arsenal fans you seem to hang the balance sheet as your European trophy, talk about finance and yet fail to grasp the concept that football is an industry. And as in all industry there are different mechanics to growing a product, brand, company. Some do it organically (I won’t say Arsenal as you guy’s conveniently forget the £50 million investment of dear Danny, just before Arsene came to help them compete with United. Was that money earnt organically?), other companies are financed to establish them in an already maturing market (if you wanna know what that looks like, take a look at 3Uk, telecom company). Try to grow up and understand we are not in an era of a leather football secured by a lace (oh did someone mention the Bank of England club?).
Actually it was an interesting read and a lot of valid points but unfortunately ruined by the Chav factor of having to try and put down your opponents to make yourself feel better (I have reciprocated). The reality is every club formed have a history, Villa, Oldham, Preston are clubs who have history as rich and as valid as any of Arsenal’s and Chelsea. Try to stay away from the childish digs and your posts will certainly improve. Looking forward to the next.
Peter you nicked the words I was going to say …..the former south East London team are very classy ,…not
Look back at highbury library in 1984 -85 season when a less than classy side came to your first or was it second ground and took 20000 plus fans to the game …that’s class
Let me get this straight: You’re claiming that in 1984, on August 25 when Arsenal played Chelsea at Highbury in a 1-1 draw in front of a crowd of 45,329, that over 20,000 of that crowd were away supporters?
Ha ha ha ha! The average HOME crowd at Chelsea in 1984-85 was about 23,000! And that was the highest average in the whole decade! But you think 20,000+ came to an away game?!
Ha ha ha!
I really need a bigger font here to emphasise this. I’ll have to make do with capitals: HA HA HA HA HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! (Repeat for several hours.)
Actually Phil, once you’ve changed your trousers from laughing. Roman is right, that day we owned Highbury, the clock end was fit to bursting, there were Chelsea fans all around the ground. Don’t believe me google Kerry dixon equaliser against arsenal and take a look at the photo, you’ll see numbers of Chelsea fans in the side stands. There was also running fights as Chelsea were in the North bank.
Pre 70’s Chelsea used to have big crowds, the era of Combat 18 and the NF changed the dynamic and many people stayed away from the club. Incidentally it’s acknowledge that Chelsea and United had the biggest away support in that period.
Be realistic. If he’d said 10,000 it would have been within the realms of possibility. But 20,000+? No chance.
I was there but I didn’t count them but have a look on you tube of our support in clock end and other stands including your famous north bank …..Arsenal can only dream of such support and only dream of winning all European cups including the one with big ears. Six nil last year also must hurt ….
Interesting article. Personally, I am a big fan of Cesc and don’t begrudge him anything. He served the club well whilst he was with us and, as you point out, was always going to move to Barca someday to fulfill his boyhood dreams. Arsenal knew this, the fans knew this, Barca knew this and unfortunately used that knowledge to negotiate a lower fee than what other clubs would have had to pay.
Should we have signed him? Simply, yes. If a player is available that we can afford and will improve the team, then we should buy them and not let them join a rival. Cesc has proven over many years just how good he is at picking out a killer pass and whilst other areas of the team needed improvement, the chance to sign someone who can provide so well should have been snapped up.
As it happens, we ended up without Cesc and without the DM/CB that fans were crying out for. We also ended up with a “striker” in Welbeck that could be seen as quite an underwhelming signing – considering we were linked with cavani/Falcao etc.
Every good game Cesc has will be compared to every game Ozil has where he is on the periphery of things too. At the end of the day, Chelsea got themselves one of the best distributors of the ball in the current game and whether that s due to AFC turning him down or the player turning them down is debatable. Whatever happens, Cesc is a Chelsea player and that will never sit comfortably with anyone who loves Arsenal – he doesn’t look right in the oil rich blue!
I think Arsenal has to move on and stop looking for who to blame because no amount of it can change what has happened. According to Fabregas, arsenal was notified about his availability but Wenger told him Ozil had taken up his position. If you don’t need him then why concerned about where he ends up. Our case is like that of a Jealous boyfriend…
Yes we should’ve brought him back because he is better than all our players and we still have 50 million available for transfers. Wenger will rue this decision for years to come because he has gifted Mourinho a player that he so badly needed and for the first time in Abrahamovic’s they’ve started playing some great stuff thanks to the creativity of Cesc. Fair play to Wenger for his generosity though, gifted RVP to Fergie in his last season so he could win the title and has almost gifted the title to Mourinho now.
It’s always simple. If Fab wants to come here he could have forced Barca to reduce the price as he did with us. He and his agent already have that experience. But he didn’t that says where he wanted to land himself.
But ofcourse I could loved to have him back in the Arsenal XI. He has class and he can play anywhere in the final 3rd. and also just for the fact that we could have denied his to Mourinho. But who has the money and energy. Let’s move on.
Wenger turned him down twice.
Phil a smashing piece there as i was quite surprised that not many of the other blogs, Are discussing this topic (me thinks it’s taboo ATM). Reading the Head Hunters (BNP,NF,Combat 18) comments on here makes me crack a smile. If i cant watch my beloved Gunners i take my frustation out on unsuspecting fan’s with The Bluebirds. And i have too admit these jovial sort i had the pleasure of meeting on Kings Road and i have too be fair we turfed up their best on there home patch they were finished in about ten minutes hiding behind the MET and all that palava. So Phil yes we are the pride of London and in my life i have seen the padlock put on your place CFC twice. Oh yeah CFC so called ‘Team of London’ 84-85 there was 8000 tops there honest.When have your lot had 300,000 turn up at any time at any given moment in the shistory that you lot claim too have even for your bore draw UCL campaign that you some how won lol. Greasing palms is how they won it not through the beautiful game you lot are crooks and i cant wait FOR ROMAN to chip then we will see if any of this Bravado gets backed up. And your fanbase CFC is an absolute racist disgrace COYG!!!!!!!
Well done buddy ticked all the boxes. You’re harder, bigger and haven’t won big ears because you can’t grease the hands of power. Plus you can’t wait for Roman to leave to see CFC’s demise. Top work work mate.
Also check out the biggest ever airlift of fans in two European finals ….ECWC in Stockholm and 19th may 2012 a date you will never forget….
That only deserves a chuckle Taff
By the way shouldn’t you be supporting Newport or Cardiff or maybe Swansea …take a look at you tube for the clock end it doesn’t lie and I was there
Wenger in !
A couple of points on the history of the two clubs.
The first implication of any bribery at the 1919 Football League meeting came more than 30 years afyer the event when Brian Glanville wrote a book about Arsenal’s history. No one at the time said that there were any underhand tactics employed before or during the meeting.
Incidentally, at that same meeting Chelsea were also elected to the First Division.
Danny Fiszman didn’t put any money into the club which is confirmed by the club’s audited accounts.
If FFP had been introduced 10 years ago Chelsea would still have just their two Cup-winners’ Cups.
Actually you are absolutely wrong. As per Martins Samuels interview with Tony Adams who confirmed Fitzman admitted to him he injected £50 million. How and when that wasn’t discussed. FFP is a crock to keep the established from losing out on their position locking out anyone who has the dream to invest and one day take a team to a title.
What is it that AFC fans cannot recognise that it’s an industry and investment and growth comes in many ways. You were known as the Bank of England club but when a club who has been under invested for 25 years it takes a shit load of investment to put them on a competitive edge. The classic is that Arsene and the board thought that their size and financial security would insure them against the current competition while they were building there ground. Unfortunately having a club in the best part of London proved an attraction to a billionaire. Abramovich is working round the clock to develop the bridge capacity. If he pulls that off there’s no reason we’ll fail to compete with AFC in the future.
As a pendant CFC were elected under the agreed process, the bottom 2 clubs of which Chelsea were one would stay in the league while the top two clubs from Div two would join them. Somehow Norris “persuaded” the league to vote 5th place arsenal ahead of 2nd place Tottenham. With no clear account as to why that happened.
BTW if Abramovich leaves he will do so in a good position
Actually I’m right. Unfortunately you believe everything that you read rather than doing some research and finding out what actually happened.
If you were to do this you would see that, as I said, the club’s audited accounts show that Fiszman did not inject any money into the club. Tony Adams is a footballer, not a financial expert.
As for 1919, you don’t even know that Tottenham finished bottom of Division 1, not 2nd in Division 2. If you were to do some research you will find that the lobbying for clubs interested in election to the First Division started weeks before the meeting. You will also find that a vote was held whether or not to elect Chelsea, which was carried unanimously due to the actions of Manchester United and Liverpool players before the war.
The account of what happened is very clear as it is minuted in the Football League’s records and in the newspapers of the time.
If you can find any contemporary proof that Henry Norris took part in any underhand tactics I’ll donate £100 to a charity of your choice.
Fair play okay I got the spurs bit wrong, did know about the Liverpool/United shenanigans ( memory going). Obviously Tony Adams misunderstood when Fitzman told him he had invested £50 million. He is after all only a footballer. “If I could dig up any evidence of why they went against their rules and voted the fifth place club in Div 2 instead of keeping spurs in Div1” I think it’d be worth more than £100.
Tony Adams believes Danny Fiszman put £50m into Arsenal, but Tony Adams is mistaken. Just give up that point, it’s not true.
Not to mention George Graham and his bungs at Watford gap ……….
It’s not to find out the reason why SIXTH placed Arsenal were voted up but to find out about any underhand tactics by Henry Norris.
Did you also know that Chelsea only applied for membership to the Football League after having been rejected by the Southern League, and that they had to pay towards the travelling costs of their opponents who were based in the midlands and the north?
Whether or not he wanted to come back will remain a mystery, Arsene’s comments can’t be taken literally. Had Cesc wanted to return to Arsenal and was rejected, Arsene is far to classy to throw him under the bus by saying so. Cesc moved to Chelsea, what’s done was done.
Seems to me that Mr Pete Borota knows (or professes to) a lot about Arsenal’s history.
One might ask why he has such a keen interest.
Another might argue it is because whatever Chelsea achieve since the Oil money came in, they will never have the class, tradition or history of a club like The Arsenal
Mere suggestions mind..
Both “North London ” clubs are in our shadows …watch out Spuds are on your tails and will soon be second biggest London club ….KTBFFH
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