We always knew the day would come when Cesc Fabregas would leave the Arsenal and we all knew his destination would be Barcelona. We all expected it to happen when he was 27 or 28, but not when he was 23 – and if the media stories we are all hearing are to be believed then that day has come. It is hard to avoid the speculation surrounding the club about Cesc, but I strongly believe that what we’re hearing is purely fabrication.
Cesc has four years left on an 8 year contract and it’s been extended several times in that period. He is currently captain of Arsenal and he is our talisman.
He signed for us back in 2003 and choosing Arsenal was in respect to his progression as a footballer – Arsene gave him the chance as a 16 year old whilst he still had Vieira and Gilberto the mainstays of the squad. His debut was a Carling Cup tie, in pure Arsene style and he went on to feature more and more that year. The following season he broke into the first team and from there, he never looked back. His guile and creativity added something to our team despite his slight figure. The 2005/2006 was his season, after Vieira left to Juventus, he went onto make 49 appearances.
Why am I telling you all this? It’s not like don’t already know it… but I’m telling you because it’s a reminder of the belief we had in the player, at such as young age. It’s the belief that Arsene had that Cesc was “worth it”. Selling your captain to allow a 18 year old to take over in the team is a statement of faith and belief in that player. We may have had doubts with many players in the past, but even at the tender age of 18, we knew that this kid was special.
His early introduction to the team was at some cost. We were unable to mount the challenges that we had previously and we forwent our ambition for trophies to fast track a player whom had the genuine talent to build a team around. Cesc is a winner and followed his ambition to London, to become the Arsenal captain. More recently he has been moved forward in a three man midfield to devastating effect and you can see clearly that not only does he have skill, creativity and guile, but has now added goals to his repertoire.
Cesc is Arsenal and Arsene’s vision of the future of Arsenal is built around the player.
Does Cesc want to leave Arsenal? No. Does he want to play for Barcelona. Yes. One day. But the Spanish media are vultures – they are worse than the British – and that is saying something – but they are loyal to their own. The Spanish top two, Real Madrid and Barcelona will use every trick in the book to try and lure a player. They will ask all of their team mates to talk to the player. They will speak to his agent, they will put false stories in the press, they will make journalists squeeze people and take anything they say and twist it. And that is exactly what Barcelona are doing right now.
A simple interview to Cesc and the question of whether he wants to leave Arsenal and come to Barcelona was asked. Well, no it wasn’t. The questions were strategically asked to provoke a series of responses. “Do you see yourself ever coming back to Barcelona?” is the first question to which Cesc answered “One day, yes, I see myself returning”… followed by “Would you go anywhere else?”, to which he replied “If I do leave Arsenal, I will only join Barcelona”.
Cesc is loyal and you can see that in his answers. The wry smile that people suggest meant that he wants to leave, was in fact a wry smile at the questions being asked. The same questions, but a different year. If you believe Guillam Balague then let me remind you that he said in 2008 that Ronaldo was a certainty to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid – an eventuality, but it didn’t happen that summer, neither did David Beckham to Barcelona – another certainty.
Barcelona have ways of fabricating stories, involving statements from the president and manager, involving claims from the players and staff. Their stance is always that the player wants to leave and therefore it is up to them to hand in a transfer request and then the teams can negotiate. Why? Because the players Barcelona want are always the top ones which need serious mind games, tapping up and they want them at a lower than market cost, and what better way than to mix up the player’s mind. It’s even worse for someone like Cesc because he closest friends are at Barcelona at the moment and he is with them now.
But the difference between Cesc and other players is his loyalty. His choice to come to Arsenal was to further his footballing ability – to make a name for himself – and 7 years later, through the belief that Arsene had in him, he is now one of the world’s coveted players. Barcelona are knocking and they will continue to knock ever summer, and one day they will get their man. And in order to ensure they do, they feel they must knock every summer, to get closer and closer.
Cesc is indebted to Arsenal as a club and Arsene as a manager. He is a huge factor of the current policy, the current stance of the manager and one of the main reasons that perhaps we haven’t won a trophy – but he is our captain and we will fight to keep him for as long as possible. We want to build a team around him and are only a few players short of a world class squad. So, for all those of you who are worried about the news, yes, you have a right to be worried. But don’t second guess the situation, relax, stay calm and have trust in Fabregas. He won’t jump ship. He’ll be wearing the colours next season.
All I can say to Barcelona is what we’ve always known – beautiful football, horrible mentality and even worse personality. One day (in the not too distant future) when we are the richest club in the world, it will be us buying their players – with Cesc still in the team – rather than the constant speculation, or should I say Cesc Fabrication.