Today our captain, Cesc, released a statement to the press and to the fans regarding the speculation this summer. Here is the statement if you haven’t already read it:
“Firstly I would like to apologise to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment, I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me. This was the club where I learned my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing. There are not many players in the world who would not want to play for Barcelona. I have had many conversations with Arsene Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal. I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me. I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal. I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 per cent focused on playing for Arsenal. I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about. I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me.”
It’s an interesting statement and it’s not the heart felt, warm statement that I was expecting. There isn’t the classic “I love the club” and “feel at home here”…
Instead we’ve got lines like “I have always dreamed of playing at Barcelona” and “it’s Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me” and “will respect their decision”. It’s a professional statement, but for me, it spells the end of Cesc’s tenure at the Arsenal. It’s obvious that he wanted and wants to move to Barcelona – his desire is to leave Arsenal.
Having read it, and read it and read it again, I feel sadder that this statement reads like a transfer request for next summer – it sounds like he is being kept against his will. Am I wrong? What do you think?