Saturday, 7 August 2010

More on Cesc, a record bid for Reina and Legia Warsaw preview

The fallout continues regarding Cesc Fabregas' announcement yesterday that he's going to stay with Arsenal this season.

To be honest, the guy was in a no win situation no matter what he did with some sections of our supporters. I was glad he made a statement to clear the air and reaffirm his commitment to the club.

He talks about why Barcelona are such an attractive proposition.
"I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me. 
"This was the club where I learnt 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."
However I wish in his statement he would have told us more about why Arsenal is important to him.

He's turned from a boy into a man at our club, has developed into a world class player under Arsene Wenger, broken records with us, played some of the most attractive football this country has seen, won trophies with us and has made his home in our capital city. Cesc has also won trophies with us, reached the final of the Champions League and played European football every year since he's been at the club.

There aren't many players who would turn down a chance to join Arsenal if Arsene Wenger comes calling.

Fabregas' statement appears in a longer, less polished version than the one published yesterday, in The Sun.

It doesn't add anything new. You can see his head was turned by Barcelona, but I for one am confident that he won't give less than 100% for Arsenal this season.

And if we win a trophy, who's to say Cesc won't stay. And might there be a new contract signed within the coming season? Stranger things have happened.

If you feel we are better off without Cesc, you'll probably agree with Des Kelly who thinks he should be stripped of the captaincy.

Now if there is one way to humiliate a player and make him want to leave, it would be doing exactly that. Cesc is proud to wear the Arsenal armband, to lead the team on the field and to lead by example.

He has accepted that it is Arsenal's decision not to sell him, so I'm sure he won't give less than his all when he graces the pitch of the Grove.

Arsene Wenger is certainly happy about Fabregas' statement.

"I am over the moon Cesc is staying. 
"It is important for the whole of football that Arsenal are successful, so there is not only one way of success that involves just putting a huge amount of money in. 
"There has to be another way as well. It is important for football that players do not move when someone comes in and says 'we want him.' 
"We were never in a position where we wanted Cesc to go. We invested a lot of energy and work in creating a team of young players and we want them to stay at the club. 
"Cesc is our captain. You see in training how much he lifts everyone. 
"I met so many people at the World Cup and the first words were always 'don't let Fabregas go.'. 
"Cesc has cleared the air. It was very important he came out clearly and now we can move on. 
"We are only one week away from the start of the season and we needed everyone to be focused and settled."
Arsene is right. The saga is now behind us. We have to move on. Put what's happened behind us and support Cesc and the team. There is no point us taking umbrage with Cesc about what's gone on this summer. Yes he could have ended the speculation earlier, but he has apologised. 

And Barca come calling for Cesc next summer and Arsene wants to keep him still, we will go through this situation all again. I personally will put up with it, if it means we keep our best players and don't give in.

One crazy transfer story doing the rounds today is Arsenal supposedly bidding £23million Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, according to The Sun.

Now if we've bid £23million for any player I'd be surprised but especially a goal keeper. Chances of Arsene spending that amount on one player are zero, especially if we're trying to get value out of any deal we do with Fulham for Mark Schwarzer.

And later this afternoon we play Legia Warsaw. The match kicks off at 4pm (BST) not the originally advertised 3pm.

Arsene has said the team who plays later will have no baring on what his starting line up  against Liverpool at Anfield next Sunday will be.

This is because Arshavin, Van Persie, Fabregas, Song and Diaby have not travelled along with Almunia.

Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny are expected to play against Legia.

Wenger said of the goalkeeping situation:

"Still players fight for their place. Tomorrow Fabianski has another opportunity to show that he can play No 1.

"Wojciech is a goalkeeper of huge quality. At the moment we want to play for the title so I believe he needs some more experience to compete directly for the first goalkeeper position. 
"But it depends a little bit. We have four goalkeepers, one of them will go out on loan, three have to stay so we do not know yet who will go out."

I personally believe that Wenger will go with Fabianski at Anfield. I think he wants to give him the chance at stating his claim for the number one spot. Yes he's made mistakes, but he is still young. 

However my position is different on Almunia. The odd mistake you can forgive, but the Spaniard made too many last season, especially for a keeper of his age and experience.

I'll be on twitter whist watching the game later. Come and join we while we smash Legia 6-0. I know, that is wishful thinking.

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