Barcelona have given up on signing Cesc Fabregas…for now. Joan Laporta’s successor, Sandra Rossell, has conceded on Catalan TV that we are not prepared to entertain an offer for our captain, certainly not in their ideal price range. Apparently we were upset about the way the negotiations were handled – go figure. And so ends the conveyor belt of quotes from every single player in the Barca squad about Cesc going back to his boyhood club. I wonder if Thierry was next in line and that his real motivation for moving to New York was based on that. Well it wasn’t for the football was it?
Anyway, we can all safely return to our favourite footy sites without having to bang our heads on the keyboard over the incessant ramblings from Puyol, Xavi, Pique and co (I won’t name all 22 players who have commented on it). There was a limited doubt that he would go from an Arsenal perspective, but the constant and, frankly, insulting words coming from Barca turned the whole thing in to a shambles. This wasn’t helped by the fact that Cesc had to spend the summer with those schemers in South Africa. Who else saw the clip of Pique spitting at one of his national team coaches for the giggles of it? Class act huh?
I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday who is also a sp*rs season ticket holder (give him a break, nobody’s perfect). He was asking me how I thought the Arsenal faithful would treat Cesc next year after everything that’s happened. I put it to him like this – being as passionate about Arsenal as I am, if I went through our youth academy and somehow ended up in another country, playing for a great team that made me into a great player, I would always have a soft spot for them. My dream would be to play for Arsenal because they are my team but I would feel indebted to the team that made me into the player I became. I would feel no shame in admitting I would one day want to return to Arsenal but this would not change my feelings about the club that took me on at 15 and turned me into a World Cup winner.
We’re not talking about an Adebayor scenario where he basically tried to ditch us for Milan or Barca after having one decent season. The Cesc situation is completely different and it has never crossed my mind that he would play with less commitment or passion for the shirt than before. And when the same person dedicates his World Cup win to Arsenal and its fans, you know you’re dealing with a gem of a player. In short, I am sure that Cesc’s excellent relationship with the fans will remain intact next season.
Today is the first day of what will be a long season stretching right through until May 2011 – the traditional curtain-raiser against Barnet. Those who have ATVO will be able to tune in live and should hopefully see first glimpses of Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny. All the first team players, save Ramsey and those at the World Cup, were named in the squad. I think there are still tickets available so if you need your Arsenal fix and don’t have ATVO head down to Underhill for the 3p.m. kick off.
No fresh transfer news since yesterday. I really hope Arsene’s not planning on keeping us waiting until 23.59 on 31st August for one or more of his classic bargain basement deals. Here’s hoping for a complete squad come August 15th at Anfield.
Enjoy your weekend.