The Emirates Cup Preview – And More From Arsene…

Morning All,

It was a very busy Friday in the World of Arsenal, and all ears were on Arsene “pre-Emirates Cup” press conference. I write that in inverted commas, because to be honest, the media weren’t interested in speaking about the Emirates Cup – they were more interested in Arsene’s view on Cesc Fabregas and whether he was going to stay or not – and of course, if we were going to sign more players – two questions which all the fans wanted to know the honest answer to.

And the responses regarding Cesc Fabregas were very positive. Let me start by running through what Arsene had to say:

“We do not negotiate. If I want to buy your house and you don’t want to sell, you don’t negotiate with me, that’s completely normal.”

And that for me was a statement and a half and a baby giraffe – why? Because it is loud and clear: we are not going to negotiate. Cesc has five years to run on his contract, and we want to keep him at the Emirates. He is not for sale, and it’s as simple as that.

“I have spoken to him directly [over the summer]. But I believe it’s important that meetings between me and the players remain secret. I never come out with the words I exchange with my players.”

The conversations between Cesc and Arsene will probably remain a secret for a long while, but ultimately I think it’s clear that Arsene made Cesc the player he is, he educated him to become one of the world’s best and demands that loyalty back. With Spain being filled with quite a lot of Barcelona players, there is going to be a certain commaradory that happens when Cesc is on International duty and those Barcelona players have been very disrespect about Cesc, about Arsenal and have shown that they have the highest disregard for people, persons and sporting behaviour.

On quizzed on whether he will stay “for one more year”, Arsene said:

“Look at the length of his contract and you will see he has five or six years to go.”

And one thing I don’t think Cesc will ever do is buy his contract out. He has more respect to Arsene and the club to do that and if Arsene extends his stay with us beyond his current term, we may not see Cesc leave us for some time.

Arsene continued:

“I always said Cesc Fabregas will be our captain next year and that we want to keep him. Despite all the speculation last season and the whole summer, nothing has changed. There’s a great attitude and spirit inside the squad and Cesc Fabregas can help us achieve these targets. He’s now at a good age, 23-years-old, and he has just won the World Cup. I believe he will grow in authority again for next season. The biggest achievement for him now is to help us win the title. I have known players who want to leave and then after they don’t want to leave any more. There are all kinds of situations but I believe what happens after is that when a player stays it is about how much he focused on playing football. It is always in the interests of the player to perform. If he is a champion, he goes on the football pitch and wants to be the best he can. All the rest is a poor excuse for a football player.”

But the interesting thing I can take from that is that Cesc did want to leave at some pont – as Arsene said above “I have known players who want to leave and then after they don’t want to leave any more” and that is the worrying fact. But if Arsene has changed his mind, then that’s obviously great news for us and great news for the club - I just hope his honestly wants to stay and play for Arsenal. I hope he forgets this whole situation, signs an even longer contract and stays for a long time. I hope he comes out and says to the world that he will never leave or contemplate it. One thing that Arsene has most likely reminded Cesc is that the future at the Emirates is the best forecast of any club – financially and player wise, with one of the best setups in the world and of course, a very rosy financial future.

Outside of the Cesc stuff, prior to the interview, Arsene did declare that he wanted to bring in another defender into the squad, citing the fact that you need 4 top defenders in the Premiership to be covered and the fact that we’ve only got three. I presume we are quite far down the line for a defender as it’s unusual for the manager to tell us he will buy someone if he is not close – I have a feeling that it’s between Zapata, Tasci or Metersacker – although having brought a foreign player in Koscielny, would an English one be a preference – a home grown? A rule that Arsene hates, but it’s something that is in force this season… the key thing for the future is to bring in re-enforcements and make sure the likes of Cesc never even think of leaving again!

But back to today’s big game and it’s the start of the Emirates Cup and the games today are:

Celtic v Olympique Lyonnais
at 2pm and

Arsenal v AC Milan
kicking off at 4:20pm

It should be an exciting affair with some a “proper” friendly to look forward to after the three slightly easy trio of Barnet and the two Austrian teams we played when on tour. I’m very glad we’re not in America trying to make money – we have seen the likes of Sp*rs, United and City suffer already with long flights, loads of games and injuries too, whereas our build up is rather inspiring – football is also about the make up and fitness of the team rather than just a money making business.

In all honesty, I really do feel like we’ve got a very good group of youngsters in players like Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Emmanuel Frimpong, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey that will the future of the Arsenal. If we can get a few re-enforcements here and there and realise the mistakes we made last season, then there is no reason why we can’t challenge. Arsene did mention that this weekend’s tournament was for players like Frimpong and Wilshere to show if they are ready for the Premiership and ready for Arsenal’s first team.

Being an Arsenal fan is a tough one, sometimes it is very painful not seeing the team get re-enforced in the way we think we need, it’s painful to always be so close. I’ve written many a blog asking Arsene to buy and fill the gaps – but when we look at the quality of the squad we have, and you look at the quality of the youth, coupled with the general style of Arsenal Football Club, we have to realise we’re lucky to be part of a steady, sound, well managed and well directed club. Amen!

For those of you going down to the Emirates cup today, have a great time, cheers on the boys and let us know how it went… WOA writer Debs is down there today and we’ll hear from her tomorrow on the first day of the tournament… Arsenal vs Milan, it’s going to be awesome!

  • Arsefan101

    It should be a nice day out to see if the squad youth have improved since last season… I am excited to see Wilshere and Frimpong today…

    Denilson, Song and Diaby are all injured, so it’s the kids time to show what they’re made of!!!

  • Berth

    I hate the way we casually get injury. Now Denilson, song and Abou Dahbi re all injured next you here another trio are injured. we all hope for better days with injury but that doesn’t seem forthcoming. Wenger is talking about one more signing,but what becomes of the most important position (GK).

  • Tom G

    amen dev!!

  • Sam

    I’m stuck on a cruise ship in Sweden, anyone know which TV will show games?

  • Flamez

    sky sports 3

  • Shawn

    Mark Randal!!!!

  • ny

    1-1 . We dominated by far and still drawn.Chamakh,Wilshere,Rosicky,Nasri,Gibbs and Pato were the star performers

  • goonerman

    @dev
    im sure i saw it reported that the thing about cesc fabregas being able to buy out his contract is a no go anyway so i dont think we even have that to consider and i do agree im sure he is clever and respectful enough to not go there!

    ac milan game was good, wilshire and frimpong in the middle done very well against the experience and class of the likes of flamini, gatusso and seedorf. there really were no players that had a bad game and i know we are ahead of milan in pre season preperations but they had a very strong team out compared to our very young one. all in all a very good game to watch and we can look forward to celtic tomorrow

  • Berth

    I don’t like the way Wilshere played today-I feel he was too laid back and uninspiring in midfield. On the defence we played ok but we still need to work work work on our overall defending. I did enjoy Frimpong though, he seems a better player than Eastmond.

  • Kodjo

    i hope mark randall learns from his mistake..too casual in front of goal…instead of smacking the ball in he tried to be kool and smart!in the end wasted a glorious opportunity..

    was flamini trying too hard to prove a point????? the fans were on his back everytime he had the ball…to be fair he had some decent shots on goal…..

    the manner in which we conceded the goal was sloppy to say the least…sagna tangling unecessarily with a milan player…and neither the defenders nor the keeper took control of the free kick swang into the box….

    decent work out though…

  • Goonerman

    @berth
    I think you will find the reason wilshire looked different today was because I think wenger was playing him in a bit more of a defensive role with frimpong so he couldn’t go forward and express as much! Hopefully wenger let’s him play the attacking role tomorrow!

    I like the way wenger has yet again publicly told Barcelona to do one, and I was seed how he come our and told cesc to commit to the club. I really hope cesc does just that and ends the whole saga

  • Pete

    hey guys. For those who didn’t get to see the game today, highlights of the AC Milan game can be seen here:

    youtube.com/watch?v=naXU6iAUl3U

    Extended highlights: dailymotion.com/video/xe7syx_full-time-1-1_sport

  • vj

    just watched the highlights and pretty impressed with arshavin chamakh. Vela looks to be a much better and more consistent player this year, i hope he steps it up, hell get some games in the carling cup for sure. Chamakh should play in the central role i think with van persie and arshavin. nasri again did well in the centre, along with cesc and song that is a strong midfield line up. The milan goal though annoyed me. Just as they got a free kick, i pleaded that they not score from a set piece. Why do we always concede from set pieces i hope the other centre back we bring in can help out cause koscielny and sagna and clichy just can’t deal with fast whipped in balls from free kicks and corners