Monday, 23 May 2011

Cesc Fabregas says his goodbyes to Arsenal staff - Time to rebuild

Morning Gooners.

Well that's it. 277 days of league football have seen us suffer highs and lows but the final feeling I'm left with is one of frustration. We were so close to ending our six year spell without a trophy this past season. But we couldn't get ourselves over the line.

The Carling Cup final was lost on a freak incident and that led to our downturn in form but to finish the way we did in the league with two wins in 11 games is criminal. The rot should have been stopped and that is down to the mental fragility of the squad, something that Arsene Wenger has instilled in them.

And whilst the manager is right that not many people in the footballing world can teach him about the game, you would have thought there would be someone who could have helped lift this group of players from their disappointment and got them back on track.

There is something seriously wrong with this group of players and the current Arsenal coaching staff.

If the run of results had been achieved by any other club we would be laughing and joking. I saw a statistic yesterday which I believe said that since March 1 we have the fifth worst league record since March 1. The only clubs who performed worse than we did were the ones who were relegated and Newcastle. Absolutely shocking.

This is now the time that Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis can put things right at the club. We have a period of time between now and the start of pre-season in seven weeks that the necessary changes can be made behind the scenes to get the right players in and move on some of the current squad to pastures new.

I would like to see our transfer business conducted early. The manager should know by now where we need to strengthen. He has already sat down with some of the players and conducted his end of season performance reviews with them.

The two biggest issues he now faces is to tie down Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy to long term contracts by the end of the week. If they don't agree to sign on for another four years they both will have to be sold. We cannot be held to ransom. If either of them indicate they want to leave us for free and run down their contract I think we'll have to get tough and explain they won't want to not be guaranteed first team football in a European Championship year.

It should not be forgotten that both players need Arsenal as much as we need them.

The other issue Wenger faces is over Cesc Fabregas. He's already said his goodbyes to many of the staff at the training ground, much like he did last summer. I don't believe however his transfer to Barcelona is a foregone conclusion. They still have to meet our valuation of a player who at 23-years-old still has the best years of his career ahead of him.

If they come calling with the same derisory offer as they did last summer I hope the club tell them where they can stick it. We know Fabregas is a world class player and he demands a fee which reflects that.

Today is the start of a busy week for Arsene Wenger, Dick Law and Ivan Gazidis. I hope they work quickly to resolve a number of situations and start signing up the players we need for next season. Otherwise we are in for a very long summer.

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