Archive for August 6th, 2011

Only one number counts when it comes to the Cesc deal

540 comments August 6th, 2011

According to reports in Cataluña, yesterday’s meeting between Arsenal and Barcelona officials ended without agreement on a fee for Cesc Fabregas.  Barca’s latest offer still falls short of Arsenal’s £40m valuation, and the saga looks set to run on in to the start of the season.

Whilst Arsenal are undoubtedly right to push Barca to pay as high a fee as possible, the truth is that I don’t think it matters too much exactly what the final amount is.  What difference does a few million euros make, really?  The fact is that Arsenal are losing their captain against their will.  Having a little bit more money in the bank won’t make that blow any easier to suffer.

The only figure that matters to me is how much is reinvested in the squad.  Cesc Fabregas cost Arsenal less than a million pounds in compensation.  His sale will generate an enormous profit, and one that, if we’re serious about always planning to keep Cesc, is not one we’ve factored in to any budget.  Without going in to the economic detail – mainly because I don’t know enough about it – it’s money that we should be able to go and spend.

And boy do we need to. Partly to fill the gaps in the squad that remain from last season, but also to put a positive spin on what has been a horribly draining story for the football club.

Arsene says he understands the fans’ frustrations, and is doing his best to recruit new signings, adding that “next week, something might happen”.  It’s hardly definitive, but it’s something.  We can hope.

The preposterous nature of Fabregas situation reached new heights yesterday when, after showing off the fact he was training like a good boy, the club elected not to take him to Lisbon.  Arsene said:

“Everybody is free to think what they want. We cannot stop people raising questions.

He is just coming back from injury and is not ready to play in a game. But he is not injured.”

I have to say I’m amused by the idea that the solution to Cesc’s lack of practise is to stop him playing in, well, ‘practise matches’.  It’s clear there’s more to this than meets the eye, and sooner or later Arsenal are going to have to be honest about that, otherwise Arsene will find himself facing some very difficult questions if and when the skipper is left out of competetive games.

Also missing from the 19-man squad are the injured Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby, Carlos Vela, and Laurent Koscielny.  Youngsters Frimpong, Miyaichi, Lansbury and Miquel are included.

So tonight an Arsenal team will line up without either Fabregas or Nasri.  Might have to get used to that…

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