The Cesc story…
Our Captain has been opening his big Barca pining gob in the papers again (Guardian). He reckons his words have been twisted, I’d be inclined to say they haven’t. If someone takes actual quotes and attributes them incorrectly, you just sue whoever wrote them. I doubt there will be a lawsuit filed anytime soon.
The jist of what he said was pretty much bang on the money. It was a well thought out interview, highly political and painfully true. He doesn’t want to be part of a club that doesn’t value winning trophies as a number one priority, he doesn’t want to be part of a business model that is about player development more than trophies and he clearly doesn’t like the fact he’s the most experienced at such a young age.
“You felt that if you had a bad game, nothing happened because your team-mates helped you. Now, a lot has changed, and I am the man that everyone looks to. I don’t like to say it but it is true. If I play badly, I take responsibility and the pressure of the supporters. Only me and [Robin] Van Persie remain of that generation, and we have a lot of responsibility. Me and Van Persie learned from the best. Now it is different because we are all so young and there is nobody you look at and say: ‘Wow.’
It’s quite incredible that a player of 23 feels he and a 27 year old are the last of their generation. If you think back to when Thierry was 27, there was still an abundance of older top quality players to look up to. It’s also amazing that he’s almost stating the pressure is too much for one so young. At his age, he should just be focused on his football. He’s not a natural leader, he clearly doesn’t relish the burden and the above text sounds like a cry for help.
“Young players learn from the older ones. Now, it is more complicated. If you put [Jack] Wilshere in the team that played before … it is different. I am not saying better or worse. Before, there were reference points, winning and strong players and playing with them, you learned faster.”
Again, how can you disagree with any of the above? I wrote an article about Killer Elephants in December 2008 that basically highlighted the problem of youth teaching youth. Winning breeds winning, everyone loves to train with Champions. There have been countless examples over the past few years of our players benefitting from dressing room additions. Sol Campbell was taken too by all the players, surprisingly Mikel Silvestre was a big voice in the dressing room and then there were the 3 months Beckham trained with us a few years ago.
“But from 2007 on, I started to say: ‘We don’t win but we play very well.’ And after that you realise that it doesn’t work. You enjoy it, during a part of the season, like this year when we were in four different competitions and you say: ‘Here, I have it all.’ But then you cannot make the final step and it is here where a decision has to be made: to go out to win or to develop players.”
… and there is the crux of the interview. Cesc was always going to be a great player, we all knew that. Wenger didn’t make him the talent he is today, he just gave him the chance. Cesc has been patient, he’s been grateful but now he’s at the age where he needs to be playing with top quality. He only has a 10 year top flight career, he can’t waste that being part of a pet project.
He’s basically setting the board an age old ultimatum… show me you share my ambition on the football pitch.
Absolutely bang on.
Fan sentiment fully echoed.
Finally, a dissenting voice.
The poster child of project youth is sick of the system that built his career. How ironic?
I fully understand where he is coming from, stability is a beautiful thing, massive profits are fantastic, knowing your team mates are earning really good money for doing very little must also be nice… no one ever has an excuse for not buying a round at the pub. At the heart of it though, we’re a football club, not an investment bank or a training centre for under-talented youth players.
Whilst Cesc isn’t saying Wenger should be sacked for his lack of on the pitch achievement lately, he is perhaps tentatively asking why a club like Arsenal are so unwilling to pressure the manager into making the relevant additions to the squad?
Is Cesc sending a message to Stan Kroenke who he knows values having the best players in the world?
I hope so. I hope Stan hear’s the message and does all he can to make the Spaniard happy again. If he leaves, we’ll deal with it and I’ll tell you on Friday how we can adapt to his departure.
The timing of the interview isn’t the best… we’re either going to come out fighting tonight or Cesc is going to be proved right.
This years Premiership season is a bit like Jesus… it just keeps on giving. Just as you think you’ve sinned for the last time, it turns to you and says,
‘Have another chance, all is forgiven and please, help yourself to some fish’
Tonight, we have an opportunity to repent for our early season misgivings. The Lord did not shine upon our defence that day and we did but concede in copious amounts considering a hefty half time lead.
Right, I’m going to stop writing like that. Not because it’s boring but because I’ve run out of big words.
Last night, Newcastle did us a massive favour. Pardew didn’t bend over and play the ‘rip me apart’ formation and Newcastle made an average United side look very average.
The run in now looks a little more exciting. Same scenario, it’s not in our hands but what we can do is put all the pressure back on United. We can rouse the crowd at the Emirates, perhaps even encourage Ivan to open the cheque book and buy in a batch of flags for us to wave live the special brigade.
First though, we have the unpleasant task of taking apart our North London rivals at their hunting ground. The good thing about the game tonight is that Spurs only know how to play one way… and that ain’t defensive. They’ll come to play, they’ll attack us down the flanks and they’ll hope one of their lumbering strikers can put the ball in the net. Gareth Bale, the most average PFA Player of the year ever will take left centre stage. Van Der Vaart and Modric will occupy the middle of the park. We have to be careful not to expose ourselves too early and we have to make sure we fight like there is a title on the line.
We really need to spice up our play. Our game has become too predictable and our approach has become a little too lasizez faire. This is Spurs, I want to see a blood and guts performance out there. I want to see Jack Wilshere smash a Spurs player nice and early and I want to see the boys defend each other like they were going into battle.
I’m not talking a corporate battle over spread sheets, I’m talking King Leonides at the Battle of Thermopylae… I’m talking Napoleon at the battle of Austerlitz … I’m talking the Starship Trooper’s final battle on Planet P…
Tonight, we need to put to bed this myth that Spurs are our equal. We need to show the world that our team has a spine and that they do care about winning trophies. Cesc Fabregas needs to do his talking on the pitch and show that he has what it takes to deliver on the big stage. I’m still thinking about that retarded back heel Barcelona in the Champions League… you need to give me a new short term memory tonight.
Arsenal fans have had a rough couple of months, nothing galvanises the fans quite like a storming victory over the muppets from down the road. Nothing kick starts a winning run quite like beating a Spurs side that out performed us in OUR competition. Nothing would set up United in 2 weeks quite like spanking Spurs into 5th place.
Buckle up Gooners, this is going to be a night to remember!
The league as I see it…
If we can kick-start the next 6 games with a win, we’ll face United off the back of Everton and Schalke away. If we can turn United over they then have to play Schalke away 3 days later, followed by a nightmare tie at home to Chelsea. The simple fact here is that Torres has to score a goal at some point and Chelsea will be desperate to have a say in the title challenge. If United drop points against the Chav’s, that puts the title firmly back in our grubby little hands.
The biggest test of our character and our season then comes away at Stoke. They are a horrible team and we owe them big time. They’re this generation’s Bolton. If we can go up to the North West and take three points there, the Premiership Trophy could be sleeping somewhere it’s never slept before…
I appreciate this is the stuff of dreams, but I’m a football fan first and foremost, a realist second.
Summer has arrived in April, hopefully our first trophy will arrive in May, let’s all nail three shots of hope and one of belief and look forward to fantatstic game of football tonight!
COME ON YOU GOONER’S!
Follow us on twitter @LeGrove
Follow us on Facebook
Subscribe to our daily e-mail