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.
“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!