Friday 6 June 2014

'Non' is not an option for Arsenal

FA Cup winners Arsenal should not be saying 'non' to the chance of signing one of the world's greatest midfielders, Cesc Fabregas.

According to The Metro, Arsenal will not be exercising their buy-back option, paving the way (and I can see the concrete slabs of gold being laid all the way from Barcelona to London as I write) for Chelsea to nab him for £30m.

The paper is also reporting that Wenger vetoed the move for the 27-year-old Spaniard, who was keen to return to the Emirates. If that is true, it's one of the most hair-brained decisions I've ever heard. We all know Mikel Arteta is not getting any younger and even in his pomp was described as 'Cesc Lite'. So why don't we bring in the real thing?

Instead, we hear talk that Wenger's not afraid to spend money but little action to back it up. I'm not saying spend big just for the sake of it, but when there's an Arsenal great on the market, who still hasn't reached his peak, why not bring him back?

The only possible reason I can think of is that some people allege he left Arsenal in acrimonious circumstances: refusing to play in friendlies and so on. To be honest, I didn't really believe those stories. I always felt the club were just trying to make it seem we had no option but to sell Cesc for £35m: a laughable sum for a player with such prodigious talent.

Had we taken a former stance, fortunes on the pitch (as opposed to off it) could have been much improved. Even if a player 'throws a strop' that doesn't mean he should get his own way. Did Luis Suarez get a move from Liverpool last summer? No. Somehow they convinced him to stay.

My question is why do we always cave in immediately to players' demands at Arsenal? That's why I believe the blame for Cesc's departure lies with the hierarchy. Cesc probably did want to leave, but he'd signed a long contract not so long before that, so it's still incomprehensible to me to do a cut-price deal with Barca in those circumstances.

Coming back to the now, I see the aforementioned Liverpool are busy strengthening their squad, while we rest on our laurels from a transfer-market point of view. They've signed Rickie Lambert and are on the verge of bringing in Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Alberto Moreno.

Even Aston Villa are strengthening, allegedly, with the acquisition of Philippe Senderos on a 2-year-deal. I'll say no more on that, as regular readers will know my views on the committed but sometimes calamitous defending of the Swiss defender. At least Arsenal haven't said 'oui' to that deal. Good job as otherwise I'd be oui-ing myself every time we played against a burly centre forward.

Finally, it's bad news on the injury front as The Ox gets pole-axed in an England friendly. The prognosis is 10 days to 3 weeks out of action. From Arsenal's point of view, it may be a blessing in disguise, as the Ox might get a decent rest during the summer ready to start a new campaign in earnest. At least he's not torn his knee ligaments, so we should breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Sent from my iPhone

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