Lets talk about Cesc…

by Keith O'Connell

Friday, June 25th, 2010
 

I’ve had such a bad feeling about this whole sorry saga that I haven’t wanted to share my thoughts on it until now.  My decision to finally do so may or may not be because I am stuck in monsoon hit southern Poland with a dearth of alcohol or understandable television.  Oh, or football.  I’ll let you decide.

It had previously been my opinion that Captain Cesc would give us at least another two years of finally silver laden service before the call from home became too strong and he decided to pack his case for Catalunya.  And off he would go with a tromp tromp tromp.  Ahem.

It stood to reason didn’t it?  Loved in London, rewarded handsomely and with his best years yet far, far ahead of him.  By that time Xavi and Iniesta’s powers would be on the wane as they shuffle past 30, and young Cesc would head home to the Camp Nou, with fanfare and fireworks, ready to assume his pre-ordained role as master of ceremonies at the club of his dreams.

All of these carefully made and logical conclusions appear to be woefully inaccurate however, as recent events inspired in tandem by the Spanish press and Gimp Beard Guillem Balague have paid the way by disrespecting our great club and unsettling Our Captain.  Add to this menagerie of tools the likes of Xavi (repeatedly), Puyol (incessantly), Messi (disappointingly) and Pedro (Vote For Pedro!) constantly rattling on about Cesc’s Barca DNA whilst at the same time stating that they do not want to disrespect Arsenal and the whole operation stinks the high heavens.

I won’t waste my time calling a spade a spade (or a cunt a cunt for that matter).  It is a practise Arsenal have repeatedly been victims of, and Barcelona perpetrators of, sullying their “More Than A Club” reputation, with FIFA too inept, starstruck and intmidated to do anything about it.

In all of this it cannot be forgotten that Arsenal chairman Peter Hill Wood’s comments suggesting that Cesc wasn’t ready to usurp either Xavi or Iniesta will not have helped matters.  One school of thought is that the unfortunately public thoughts of an ageing chairman would have had little impact in the grand scheme of things.  My immediate fear upon reading these thoughts was that this widely held sentiment is seen as something of a challenge by Cesc and part of the allure of a move, not to mention an affront to his pride.

He is a man who is constantly seeking challenges and striving to improve.  It is a challenge he is meeting head on in the national team, and why should it be any different at club level?  He has started Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 playing second fiddle to the constantly creamed over Xavi and Iniesta (and for some unfathomable reason Sergio Busquets), while never failing to transform Spain from a frustrating and pedestrian outfit into a incisive and effective attacking machine.  For all their passing and pretty patterns, Xavi and Iniesta do not have the attacking dynamism which Cesc possesses.

And what of Cesc on a personal level?  Now I didn’t watch as many Arsenal games as I would have liked this season, but of those I did see, there was a sadly similar current running through each one.  His constant inspiration to his colleagues and provision of a multitude of goals and assists lead to his being targeted by the opposition and kicked up and down the pitch week in and week out.  He did sometimes receive protection from the referees, but glaringly little from his team-mates.  This was at least the case until Big Sol arrived and reminded us Gooners what team spirit, desire and will to win truly meant.  The fact that it took an ageing centre half on a temporary contract, whose first stint at the club ended somewhat acrimoniously, to expose the mental and physical limitations of a good many of his colleagues, would have been seriously eye opening for Cesc, as he sat injured on the sidelines grimacing as Arsenal’s season imploded once again.

The worries are that these combined factors result in a played disillusioned with the direction his club is heading in, and worrying that his colleagues do not share his hunger for silverware.  While his Catalunyan contemporaries bathe in the reflected glory that only trophy after trophy can provide, is it any wonder that Cesc may feel that he should get in on the act while the going is good?  Couple this with a latent homesickness, missing his family after seven years abroad, and it becomes a question of when, not if.  And it looks like that ‘when’ is now coming faster than we had ever expected.

It will not be the first time that the club has had to survive the departure of one of it’s gems, and whilst the likes of Barcelona are allowed to run rough shod over whomever they choose, it most certainly will not be the last.  The question we have to ask ourselves is, what would we do if we were in Cesc’s position, and we had the chance after years abroad to come home via fanfare to an all-conquering Arsenal team?

It might just be a point worth remembering as the vitriol of the few spews forth when his transfer eventually comes to pass.

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  • dexylongshot

    I can’t blame Cesc to be honest, he has done his time at Arsenal but the trophy cabinet is bare and his boss doesn’t seem to be helping the scenario with big signings even though they supposedly have the wedge to spend. His boyhood club knocking with some of the best players on the planet and a heaving sideboard of gold trophies. It’s no brainer for me, I’m surprised he didn’t jump ship last year.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    it all comes to down to lack of big signings and ambition. We have been 3 players last 2 season and it’s cost us dear.

    No signings so far, we have been linked with every one as per usual yet no activity what so ever, all sounds a bit familiar!

    I hope Joe Cole chooses us now he’s blown out United.

    You can’t blame Cesc, playing along Eboue or Messi, you do the math

  • Keith O’Connell

    As long as the money received is reinvested, I think it could actually be a good time to sell. If we try and hold him against his will with the promise of a move next summer we run the danger of him having a half-hearted final season much like Henry and Vieira, culminating in a depreciation in his value. I also think anything £40 Million plus would be decent business.

    the sad fact is that it is only reasonable people who will share the view that you can’t blame him for wanting to go. You only have to look at the half brained turds who besieged Cesc’s sister on Twitter for a taste of what might be to come.

  • stevie

    we’ve never recovered from the sale of Viera, that’s obvious.

    I would love to see Arteta replace Cesc, and a Melo coming into the midfield too. I can’t see but surely Wenger must now release these kids aint actually that good!!

  • Darren

    if Nasri can get some consistentacy and a real hard nut playing along side him he’ll be a future Ces and beyond! He has already been dubbed the new Zindane, big mistake on the French for not taking him to the world cup IMO!

  • Keith O’Connell

    Vieira was definitely a one off, special talent. I haven’t seen anyone with his combination of defending and attacking skills before or since, and the constant stream of players dubbed “the new Vieira” are just being saddled with unattainable expectations.

    In retrospect now, Edu and Gilberto were two major losses, especially seeing Gilberto still performing at the top level in South Africa.

    Melo would be interesting, and seems to fit the bill, but as much as I like Arteta he would just be one more injury prone player.

    Biggest surprise for me today was seeing Alex Song is only valued at £4m by Galatasarsay. What the heck is that about? He was outstanding last year, and our poor form at the tail end of the season was as much a result of his injury as Cesc’s.

    And I do like the sound of Nasri toughening up and having a decent enforcer next to his. He still is a tremendous prospect if he continues to get to grips with the prem.

  • Darren

    We’ve let way to many decent center midfielders go, Diarra was another, ok, he has a massive ego but, but a great player.

    I like Song but he is to naive, his job is to protect the back 4 yet he will is caught of position way to easily, same can be said for the enigma that is Diaby.

    I can see Wenger making a fresh bid for Melo, problem being, so will everyone else.

  • Keith O’Connell

    Yes, I think there was a major clash of personalities between Wenger and Diarra. On a purely footballing level letting him go made no sense whatsoever, but as mild manner as Arsene comes across, if you cross him and/or disrespect him, he is as cut-throat as any manager.

    I think Song still has much to learn, but he is young and improved massively last season. A similar leap this year and we potentially have a World Class talent on our hands.

    Diaby however has much to do to convince me. So talented yet so frustrating.

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