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,