Watching Italy against Croatia on Thursday, I could only admire the silky skills of Pirlo, the Italian Playmaker. Especially in the first half, Pirlo gave a demonstration of what the Conductor role is all about. He always makes himself available by cleverly, and constantly, finding space. As soon as he gets the ball, he already knows what he wants to do next. He possesses a great first touch and can move forward, and if necessary past a player, quickly and with great close control.
On top of this, and it’s his most valuable skill and so rare in a footballer; he has a great overview of what is exactly in front of him, and what needs to happen next – and he can pick the pass that pulls a defence apart in one move. Of course, not every ball by Pirlo is a killer-pass, but he always seems to know how to move the play on with real intent and effectiveness. He gives shape and purpose to a team and Pirlo has been brilliant this season for both Italy and Juventus, with whom he just won the Italian league.
His is not the youngest, and once Croatia had levelled he did not have the energy anymore to drive his team forwards in order to get the all important winner. At an age of 33, I think he can be forgiven for this.
I love this kind of player though. They lift football to a higher echelon; they make football into poetry in motion, and they make me want to watch games of teams I do not support, or even like.
Whilst watching Pirlo, I could not help but think back about our former Spanish Maestro, our ex El Capitan: the one who left us because his home town was calling him.
Some of you might recall, I wrote an ‘open-letter post’ to Cesc last year:
I still love watching Cesc even though he plays no longer for us. I guess I still feel a bit of man love for him, a purely platonic one mind you! I am not bitter though, unlike some Arsenal supporters. He was young and felt a strong urge to return home, where they finally seemed to want him, and where they are playing the best football in the world: I probably would have done exactly the same.
When Fabregas scored his goal though, after he came on late on Thursday, I could not help but think he is not fully happy at the moment. There seemed to be some frustration there – maybe as a result of having to come on as a late substitute, or maybe because he is not being played in the position that suits his talents best.
Having watched him play at Barca in a new role this season, for which he needed to adjust considerably, I feel he has been underused by Guardiola. The now departed manager played him far too high up the pitch, where he did relatively well, but could not play his best football.
The Conductor has been asked to play the double bass, or the first violin, and to a certain extent this is fully understandable. Cesc decided to join Barcelona when they already had two of the finest conductors, and they also do not play the sort of football where there is a pivotal role for a classical playmaker. And this is where he might have made an error of judgement.
If he had stayed at Arsenal for at least another year, he could have continued in the hole – in the ‘1’ of our 4-2-1-3 formation. That is where Cesc belongs. If a player is blessed with the same skill-set as described above for Pirlo, and Cesc has these in abundance, and he finds himself in a position where he is not required to use his strongest assets, then football is being done an injustice, and a player is effectively denying himself – is not fulfilling himself. Good Playmakers are rare and they need to make the play.
And that is a great shame. Cesc is no longer cooking on gas and I wonder whether he has any regrets about his early move to Barcelona now.
Despite Cesc’s two excellent goals at the Euros and all his impressive goals and assists for Barcelona this season, he still left at least one season too early in my opinion. And I think he realises this as well at the moment.
Just imagine him last season: in front of Arteta and Song – what a season it could have been for us, and certainly also for him.
Fabregas is such a good footballer that he can be played almost everywhere and do well. But that is not the point. Barcelona and the Spanish National Team are confronted with an embarrassment of riches, and in the process a great talent is being wasted, whilst the clock is ticking.
[…] Still cooking on Fabregas? […]
No matter what, d guy is still a gooner. Though is not playing for us, but remains a good player better than Nasri
‘I still feel a bit of man love for him, a purely platonic one mind you’
Though obviously you could have shagged Cesc if you had wanted…
A very well written post TA, as always. Thank you.
While I agree with what you say, however speculative, I have no feelings for Cesc whatsoever.
There are players like Paddy and Lauren who did not want to leave, whereas Cesc always had his DNA issues.
It merely highlights for me how little I would care if some of the present 1stXI’ers were to be flogged, which I happen to think will happen.
To clarify that mush-mash, I really do hope that for his sake, he wakes up every morning thanking his lucky things that he plays for Barca, the team he loves. As you say, I certainly don’t blame him. As a Gunner myself, I couldn’t care less about him anymore.
Have to agree-I thought that he looked dejected at times throughout the season and although his heart’s desire was to go ‘home’, I’m not sure if Fabby knows where that is. He was angry for Spain the other night and I think that there have been many ‘angry’ moments at Barca this year. Would I have him back? In a heartbeat! Will he come back? Well, everyone can dream can’t they?
He did lose a lot when we found out he’d refused to play some preseason friendlies for the club,a club playing his wages.
Yep,he lost a fair bit in my eyes,andi held him in the highest esteem possible.
I reckon Barcelona spent so much time tapping Cesc up,they never stopped for one second to think where they could play him,and funnily enough,it’s been to their detriment.
The best thing for them will be the day Xavis retires.
MickyDidIt89…your second post was good, your first post was great.
I have nothing to add, your statement of “…how little I would care if some of the present 1st XI’ers were to be flogged” is exactly how I feel…
We all have to admit that when a player leaves he’s a whore,but when we get rid of a player,the clubs doing the right thing.
Also,If we buy Giroud is he not a whore??
No,of course not,he just wants to better himself,right lol??
Seriously,it really is about the players attitude to leaving,and how he handles himself after the event,but it still makes you think,doesn’t it?
Its a fairly mercenary business from the point of view of both parties club:player/agent, so I take your point a little. However, it appears clear to me that even a player like Arteta, who will have a very short Arsenal career, is genuinely pleased to be wearing the shirt.
Song for example, could not even be bothered to go over and thank the away fans after the last game.
Off out for day. Later fellow Gunners.
He left us in february last year.
He didn’t have the decency to tell us
he didn’t try a leg for the last 3 or 4 months
He left us in a most public and despicable way.
He was cheating on us with a new set of fans.
Then he left and tries to tell us that he still loves us and maybe someday he will come back.
I am not a14 year old girl, i do not buy his guff.
And i have no time for Bad boys
He refused the shirt.
He never won anything for us.
He was happy to be our love simply to bide his time while a space opened up in the Barca Harem
He refused the shirt.
He refused the shirt.
He refused the shirt.
He never won anything for us.
He never won anything for us.
He never won anything for us.
He was obviously not frank and clear with Wenger because he didn’t request a transfer.
that would have cost him money
he was worth over 60 million on an open market, but he unmanned us by acting on behalf of barca and manipulating the move.
So in short:
He never won anything for us
He used our club
He used our love
He stopped playing for us
He betrayed us by working against us in the transfer negotiation
he refused the shirt in our moment of greatest need
and y’all still love him?
Nasri asked for a transfer request and we got well over the odds for a player in his final season
Nasri took part in the preseason and didn’t refuse the shirt when asked
and y’all hate him?
I despise fabregas, the only player who’s name i had printed on the back of a shirt.
When someone i loves treats me like dirt then i hate the bastard – that’s my policy
I bear no animosity to Nasri other than he is a city player and tehy are all equally hateful
I can’t stand fans who talk about fabregas in the same tones as Bergkamp or Henry
He never won anything for us and he refused the shirt
great post on a player I truly despise, but in terms of a footballer he is one of the best.
Scott sums it all up for me, i had the utmost respect for him until all of his shenanigans. He let the fans down, disgraced the captaincy and left leaving a lot of people with a sour taste in their mouth. Would i have him back…no, no way in hell. I don’t care if it’s in your ‘DNA’ that’s fine, but when you are the captain of this great team you shouldn’t leave in such a manner.
His ‘injuries’ (funny how they no longer exist at Barca) and the grand prix say it all.
Wilshere WILL be better than Cesc, and when that happens i’ll be glad to say ‘Cesc who?’
Fabregas to me is the best complete midfielder in the world. He has it all. His loss was the greatest (for me) in the history of our beloved club..
bloody well said 98. The Mrs’ parents went over to London last year and brought me back a Fabregas shirt (not knowing he was going to Barca), i didn’t tell them but it was rubbished quick smart. It sickened me seeing it
Bloody glad my children take some damn long to saddle up, or I wouldn’t have seen D98’s comment until much later.
So good, it should be set to music 🙂
Makes my little rant sound pathetic.
Spot on Double98!
You can’t have been supporting Arsenal that long then Udehsam, because for me, Ray Kennedy, Charlie George and Liam Brady were all bigger losses than Fabregas.
My 6 y.o. Wears the #4 on the field because of Cesc.
He still idolises him,and yes,I even bought him a Barca shirt…..didn’t that bloody hurt.
He’s 6,so there’s no need to bring a boys hero down,and until a week or so back,I still adored the guy.
What Gazidis said on his refusal to play killed it for me,and there is absolutely nothing to be gained by Gazidis for lying.
On Nasri though 98, people ae pissed off not because he left,but because he totally lied about his reasons.
Why did he ask Arsenal to up their offer if it wasn’t about money????
If it truly wasn’t about money,he’d have simply handed in a transfer request…yes or no??
Well written TA but fuck fabregas, He’s a dirty little traitor. Would his barca dna have been so strong if they were a midtable team?
We made him the player he is and he forced a move for shit money. I would hate him to come back. He should shut up talking about us.
It’s so funny that he’s won nothing and his manager has pissed off.
I have more respect for Nasri
Fabregas GAVE THE BEST PASS TO INIESTA for messi goal in arsenal shirt then after the match he said he was emotionally torn apart,as a captain???? Denilson waz proven right, he refused to train with us,
Bloody hell TA I had just got over the little scrote and there you go making me love him all over again.
He had his head turned the pulls were too strong, but I wish he was still an Arsenal player…watching him playing second fiddle is annoying as we would have fully utilised him. But maybe there is the rub, he had started to feel the toll of playing 40+ games a season from the age of 17. Maybe he feared a couple more PL seasons and he wouldn’t be ready/fit when Xavi gives way, better to sit on the bench and wait for his dream than risk losing it all together.
Quality player, and I miss him.
hi scott – yeah Nasri may have lied about the reasons but its hard to admit that you are leaving for the money
you do convince yourself that its for some other reason, ambition or whatever.
Anelka probably thinks he is fulfilling a childhood dream
but we never loved Nasri, we liked him but he never owed us the truth
We as fans, as a club and particularly in wenger, made cesc. he would have spent the last few years in Barcelona B as a xavi replacement, and when the time came to replace xavi – they could very well have brought in a modric or guardiola is gone so the new guy may do away with the whole system of play altogether
I think great player though he is he was a shit captain and his head dropped to easily. We are stronger now.
Well said Double,well said.
Michael,it takes a certain character to be captain,and brilliant individuals usually arent great ones,as everything on the field comes easier,so they never truly understand what it takes to get average players to rise.
Cesc would never have been my choice,nor RVP…tough Robin has surprised me.
Vermaelen will make an awesome skipper….
For Cesc it was like a marriage he no longer wanted to be in, but he didn’t want her family members to know that he wanted to leave for the last year and a half (He went missing the season before in the game vs Barca) His then wife of 8 years had apparently lost her glamour days of years gone by but his childhood sweetheart went from being fairly pretty and not wanting him, to the most beautiful on the planet and publicly declaring her love for him through other family members… So instead of cheating he just lied and refused his wife any playtime til the marriage broke down, then he fucked off…
To be honest I would have done the same if I was at Barca and Arsenal came calling, Arsenal is the club I love, but whilst I was still contracted to a club and fit to play, I’d play… Fuck I’d play for free for this club!!!
But that’s what happens when a player says he wants to leave and his club agree’s to talk prices, it’s a mutual agreement between both parties, becuase if he breaks his leg in a nothing pre-season friendly he goes nowhere that window, and after the club pay all his medical fee’s he moves the year after for £10m less…
imo if we missed anyone this year it was Jack Wilshire
I suggested that clubs should have it written into a players contract that their last the last season will be on half wages.
Imagine how early they’d want to get things sorted out then!!!
Steve, he never said he wanted to leave… that would have cost him alimoney 🙂
Double,I forget how good Jack is…..reckon I’m not the only one lol.
Nah,I think people underestimate how much we missed him.
Scott, i forget about him too…
I think our love affair with cesc coloured our views on a lot of players.
His role in the club denied Arshavin, Rosicky, Denilson (even) the chance to shine
Luckily for wilshire he never got to be overshadowed by cesc
The best thing i remember from Wilshere was his tackle on zigic. Ok it was malicious and he got a red card for it but it was after zigic whacked him across the face causing him to bleed from the mouth. It proved that he will not be bullied, and he can give as good as he gets (something our midfield lacks at times)! That and his great games on the big stage against Barca
Forget everything else,we missed Jack more than anything.
It may take him some time to get back to his best,I’m sure it will in fact,but it will be great just to have him back.
should we be worried that your #1 first keeper good even keep his place in the Euros
Frankly, I couldn’t give a toss about the “Homesick Spaniard” he’s gone and good riddance to him. The same applies to any player who leaves Arsenal for another club, with one exception, Thierry Henry who I think genuinely, and I do mean genuinely, loved the club.
The same will apply to RvP if he goes, all the schmaltzy badge kissing and declarations of love are just bull-shit when opportunity comes calling. Whether that is opportunity to win trophies, play in the Champions League or earn obscene amounts of money they all raise two fingers to the fans and f**k off with not a backward glance.
In today’s world, we the fans, can expect no loyalty from players purchased in the marketplace whether we’re shopping in Harrods or Poundland. We can only enjoy the talents they bring with them for as long as they care to remain and then, in most cases, with a shrug of the shoulders, forget them.
It was not because he wasn’t good enough, it was because of the red card (not to mention him not being 100% because of his shoulder injury)
So no we shouldn’t be worried!
Some players are sold when they aren’t wanted by the club. I’ll always love Dudu
cesc is very stupid, down to his inner thought , i am sure he is regretting the move early ,but act likewise, he is no longer popular & not playing to his standard & the position he liked.he his thinking to come back, but lost it completely to the next generation of welshere,ox, ramsey, campel,mayachi,afobe & the rest no arsenal player will succeed out side the gunner ,examples are many,
I was refering to players who left of their own accord, I wish Dudu had been able to stay and I wish him well in his career.
Thanks for the post TA.
Ime not going to go into the reasons why Cesc left, or atempt to make judgements from afar on the guys charachter or personality, frankly i find the debate to depressing. Players leaving the Club is like a knife to the heart and i dont want to stab myself today.
Keeping in spirit to TA’s post, there is no question that Cesc is a wonderful player. A midfield maestro who sees the play ahead of others, lovely touch, scores goals and makes goals. The comparison with Pirlo is fascinating. The Italian is a conductor, he pulls strings and orchestrates the play, its great to watch players like that, you can almost see the brain at work as opposed to the feet.
Can Cesc reach Pirlos heights? i think he can. The time will come when on reaching further maturity he will conduct Barca and Spains play and captain both sides. Ime grateful to have watched him play. He is a wonderful talent.
Damn, now ive depressed myself again. Weres that bloody dagger? hahahaha
Should say check the twit address before you get excited and who it was Retweeted by.
GiE, great news. Ive seen him many times and he looks a top player. No need for the dagger now.
Mind you, hope hes not a replacement for RVP?, Damn, weres that dagger? hahahaha
He never said anything officially but his body language said it all, he probably said it to Wenger in an off-the-record sort of way, everyone knew anything in writing would have meant missing out on a “Loyalty bonus” that he didn’t get anyway… So once the club knew what he was thinking could they set the ball rolling with regard to him leaving, still pretty sour about the price though, £30m + his “loyalty bonus”, I still think we got fucking robbed!!
ARSENE has molded cesc to be a conductor & to suit the way arsenal play this is a major factor, where he will get this skills?, Arsene system is difficult to find, look at helb & flamini, they know only what they taught & they didn’t find it, same would be for cescArsenal’s way is pass pass pass & forward pass & bang. barca pass back pass & pass back pass & then attack.there is a different between cesc & xavi,
cesc is a conductor xavi is a marauder, so here we go.
It seems I’ve been put in moderation.. I know I tend to ramble on when I should just leave it at a few sentences. I promise I’ll be good.. Let me through 🙂
Afternoon to all! 🙂
I wont be around much today, but many thanks for the comments until now, and it comes as no surprise that some of you have responded in strong terms regarding Cesc’s decision to leave us.
The post was a ‘quickie’ and thinking about it again, it is about loss. Loss of a phenomenal player for our club, but also loss of talent – waste of a great player.
Everyone deals differently with such a loss, and it wont come much as a surprise that I am in the camp of Terry, GiE and Iceman.
Haider ‘cesc is a conductor xavi is a marauder’: interesting comment. Please can you expand a bit on it?
Hi Shard, I have no powers to release your comment, but I am sure it will be done shortly by one of the site administrators.
TA, No worries.. Be warned.. It’s LONG.. I’m sorry.. Can’t help it. Mostly it is just angry about Cesc. You take a far more detached view than I think I am capable of. As such, I admire your post for your rationality, and the love of watching football at its finest that you express. I just disagree on Cesc deserving either a leading role, or our love. Maybe one day I’ll become ‘meh’ enough towards him to admire his talent. Right now, even though I’m not really angry about him leaving, the fact that he doesn’t get universally censured for the manner he did so, irritates me.
Ahh..Cesc.. The only difference between Cesc and Nasri, is that Cesc has more PR sense. He says all the right things, and knows when to say nothing. Arsenal did more for him than we did for Nasri, what he did to us in return was much worse.
While Barca (mes que un cunt) were disrespecting Arsenal everyday, and Cesc’s Spanish teammates did the same (remember the shirt stunt?), what did our captain do? Did he defend us. Did he make statements to say that this sort of thing doesn’t help, and should not be done. No. If he had stayed, no problem. He would have spoken with his actions. I can only conclude those statements had his backing.
If Nasri was about the money, so was Cesc. He was only too happy to sign a contract extension with ‘golden handcuffs’. Except, his mutual ‘love’ for Barcelona meant Arsenal were denied the only advantage they had in having a player on a long term contract. We paid him more, we received less for him, and we fucking gave him a loyalty bonus. Loyalty?
Look, I understand the pull. As the post says, if I were at Barca and Arsenal came calling, especially if Dennis was manager, I would want to go too. But I would not force my move through in such a manner so as to completely leave my current team in the lurch. Sure, clubs are cutthroat too when they don’t want a player (clubs however do have to honour contracts). But what of our manager. Cesc still thanks him, but I wonder how hollow it must ring to Arsene (though I suspect he’s a bigger person than me)
There is also a point of view i heard about Arsenal letting Cesc down by not buying better players. We paid him handsomely, built a team around him, and continued the emphasis on youth that gave Cesc HIS place. Why shouldn’t Ramsey be allowed the same opportunity? Cesc is the last person who can legitimately complain about the youth policy.
His attitude at the Nou Camp when players surrounded and held Robin by the throat, was terrible. If I were in his position, I’d have stood between Robin and those players and dared them to go through me. Test their friendship. Not go all cuddly with them trying to calm THEM down. That sickens me.
I just don’t understand how people can still hold Cesc in high regard. He disrespected us, lied to us, and left us in the lurch. Does he regret what he did? I don’t know, and I don’t care either. He can do whatever he wants. Just tell him to stop talking about Arsenal with subtle implications of how everything at Barca is soooooo much better or sophisticated..But leave a footnote of how he still loves Arsenal and is grateful…. Move on Mr.Fabregas.
A player of Fabregas’ skill deserves to be given his chance in the spotlight. A person of his character does not. He gave up that right when he moved to Barcelona just because they came calling. He showed no sense of self worth. Why should they prize him?
Sorry Shard, your comment is out of spam (I don’t know why it went in there?)
That is a fake GIE. I follow the official twitter and that’s not it
Thanks for the post, TA.
It seems like a different lifetime since he was an Arsenal player.
Fabregas – excellent player, fantastic skill – but weak minded and a complete wanker. I’ll never welcome him back but if he does come back I’ll cheer him as I do any Arsenal player.
Did ye guys read what Arshavin said to Russian fans in the airport: “It’s not our problem we didn’t meet your expectations. It’s your problem”.
Ashavin – excellent player, fantastic skill – but an arsehole and a complete wanker. I’ll never welcome him back but if he does come back I’ll cheer him as I do any Arsenal player.
Love Cesc and always will.
And if Chas wasn’t a miserable old git, he would include a few vids of what Francesc did for us 🙂
Great post TA, thank you.
Irish w’re on the same wavelength. Are you supporting England now Ireland are out? Most Irish will I imagine 🙂
Evonne – Bad luck last night, but the coach was shocking. IN the 3 games he sent to team out to run around like headless chickens and they were wrecked after the first half.
As for “Cesc” he can fuck off and when he gets there, fuck off a little more. I agreed with what D98 wrote on him, and Nasri. I’ve no time for Nasri but least like the mercenary should – he played till the end.
I’m 100% behind England GM – every team I support are crashing out 😆 I hope the Ox and Theo do well (I cheered his goal the other night) but a squad containing Stevie Me, Terry, and other such gobshites cannot be supported. The Germans for me, and has been since the start.
I did get England in the sweepstakes at work though.
England could really do with Jack.
Anyone else think theo is off? I do
Where would you see him going GM? Don’t see any of Man U or Citeh interested. Chavs could do with some speed but Theo seems too much of a nice boy to do such a thing. Off to Spain/Italy?
Tennis is a dangerous old sport 😆
Chas can you put up vids of Adebayor and Nasri please?
Monster 🙂 I wish you didn’t though (no pleasing some people), I am all gooey now. Brilliant, sheer brilliance
Irish – I am not really into internationals, so I wasn’t terribly upset, but my family and friends were. At least they understand now how I feel when we lose a home game. My almost ex said he’s supporting England now, which in doubt will make his dad turn in his grave
GM – you are terrible!!! Asked mum, she wants to be buried with her dentures. I might keep the spare set though 🙂
Could have been worse, ye could be beaten 4-0 😆
That’s a great thought altogether! Cheers Irish! On home soil, that’d be nice for the fans.
The way I look at it is – there is progress. Football was dead in Poland for the past 30 years. They need a decent coach and reclaim a few great players from Germany, and world cup is ours.
One of the Polish fans told me last night that Podolski has played underage football for Germany but then wanted to switch back to Poland for Senior games and the Polish FA refused – so he scored 2 goals against them when they met in competition – I’m presuming its true, I’ve not checked.
Podolski: “Arsenal fans can watch me play in [the Euros] and realize what I’m capable of. Very soon I will also show that in London.
Irish – that sounds about right. I think the same happened with Klose. I told you what I think of Polish men
Irish – this vid is from Belfast, really funny
😆 That’s one special dog
Pugs are all special, born comedians
Theo clocks off training early with a hamstring problem.
Dear fellow Gooners, especially those who castigated Sesc Fabregas for leaving the club. The vitriol expressed says more about your selves than it does about Sesc. I fear you have been to easily conned by the press and television pundits. Fans like you and me should concentrate more on what happens on the pitch rather than what happened in the mind of the player. Too many wonderful experiences have been enjoyed watching Sesc play his magic for Arsenal. Don’t denigrate it by spewing out this rubbish.
Reddawn. Then surely the same goes for Adebayor, Nasri or Ashley Cole then!
Reddawn – ” Don’t denigrate it by spewing out this rubbish.” – I’m entitled to my own opinion, as is D98, as is GM, as are you and Evonne who have only good memories of him. We are conned by the media? 😆 So basically coming in here and saying people who don’t agree with you “spew rubbish” and are basically idiots – classy!
GM – Exactly. I still don’t get why Fabregas is put on such a pedestal. He is a phenomenal player, the best in his position, so too was Ashley Cole for many a year. Neither showed loyalty to Arsenal.
Hi TA, 🙂
A really meaty Post, and all the more credit to you that it was done at short notice.
The sentiments that you expressed in the Post mirror My own views too, pretty much.
I was worried when I read the comments of so many bloggers regarding their hatred of Cesc, because I made me reflect on why I did not feel the same way and, if I am honest, I do not even understand such strong sentiments, about him or any other player.
But then it came to me. Hatred is the other side of the coin to love, and when human beings stop loving someone it can all too easily switch to hatred.
And there is the rub. You see, I believe, in so far as I can tell, that I love Arsenal, the club, as much as any man (or woman).
Like the rest of you, I am besotted about the team, and revel in their exploits when they win, and I am put into a great fugue when they lose.
I also greatly admire our players who have special gifts, and brag endlessly about them to non-Gooners, given half a chance.
But, do I love them? No!
Therefore, if they sod off and play for someone else, I can be baffled as to why they should want to leave a great club; I can mourn the loss of a great talent; I can be cheesed off that their leaving can weaken the team; I can be angry with the Arsenal management for not being able to prevent it happening, but I cannot find it in myself to hate them.
Love and hatred are two way streets, and by definition is an emotion shared by people who know each other personally. It is hard/impossible for most of us to love someone who does not reciprocate that feeling, and the same should be true with hatred.
Cesc does not know me from Adam, we are strangers, our relationship is exclusively public and based on an arms length exchange of money for skill.
To him, I am just a faceless fan, to me, he is just a gifted player.
There is no intimacy between us, and therefore there is no room for a deeply personal emotion like love or hate.
(I know Oz, you are going to say that I am too rational and unemotional.) 🙂 Sorry!
RA – I didn’t mean to upset you yesterday, I hope you didn’t get the wrong end of a twig xx
Hi Evonne, 🙂
I do not know why you should think that.
You certainly did not say anything to upset me at all.
I think you are too nice a person to intentionally upset anyone. 🙂
RA, and others,
Just to clarify, I don’t hate Cesc. I hate how he behaved towards Arsenal. For the rest, I am mostly indifferent to him.
Shard – yup, its not like an incessant rant I go on, on a daily basis. I just don’t get the Fabregas love in. He did nothing for the club for months before he left, so how could he care for it? Each to their own, but I’m not exactly pining for him to come back.
At home to Sunderland for first game.
Not only am I pining I am holding a 24 hour candlelit vigil for his return.
Isn’t he bored yet of living in that parochial town, hasn’t that itch been scratched?
He has been there long enough, it is time to come home and quickly.
But sadly he won’t, he may be wasted right now but he knows that he will get more and more game time in the position he prefers when age starts doing what age does to Xavi. That position has been promised to him and he will (understandably in my opinion) wait for that time to come.
Great read TA
See you in the Tavern around 1’ish then Irish?
I think we have two good games on our hands tonight. Me is focussing on Podolski.
Fine post Total.
As far as Cesc is concerned, at the moment I sit on the fence.
Haha, a fixture, how do you know Irish?
By the way that is a really clever title, is it yours TA or is it the work of Rasp; he is rather good at titles.
Yeah. I don’t get why people think he’ll come back. Though Arsenal did insist on a buy back clause didn’t they? The most I hope for Fabregas is that he does really well, but Barca go bankrupt and have to sell him to Real, like they did Figo, for a world record transfer fee, half of which comes to us. Heh..
Xavi’s position should have been Thiago’s, not Cesc’s. Who knows, maybe it still will.
Ok, tracked it down on twitter 🙂
Tomorrow we know the full list ………. can start to plan our visits to the home of football aaahhhhhhh
I wish MIDI – but I’ll be over before Christmas 🙂
Peaches – RedAction released it on Twitter and said they’d been right the last 4 years.
LB – when I put TA’s post into drafts I had a real hankering for seeing Cesc in an Arsenal shirt again 😦 As you quite rightly say, he will get his chance to play the role of maestro for Barcelona and I will enjoy watching him.
Welcome to the site I have enjoyed reading your comments.
On a slightly aside note – I’m going to Liverpool for a few days in July and I keep seeing the Anfield tour as something worth doing even if you hate the club or have no interest in football. Has anyone done it? Is it worth going just to ask questions about 1989?
Hi LB, Thank you. I’m happy to have found this great community of Arsenal fans.
I’ve mentioned before that I have every newspaper from May 27, and the best pic is of GG coming back into the stadium under the “This is Anfield” sign above the tunnel. Therein lies the photo opportunity 🙂
TA , nice post. You really know how to bring out peoples emotions. Still a sore subject, of course. My view is this on Cesc:
He was still a little to young to make his inevitable return tm Barca. The right time would have been slightly older, near the end of his contract with us. I think that was the plan originally. But, he just watched Barca and Pep win everything in Spain and Europe, and didnt want to miss out on this golden period of trophies. Which im sure he expected them to continue this past season. I dont want to be vindictive, or a hater, but i was sick of barca winning already, so im happy to cheer maurihno, and anyone aginst barca. I guess pep never told Cesc he was getting tired of managing as he was tapping him up. So they will win some trophies im sure. But at least its not too easy. Im sure cesc has no regrets as he is home. It certainly wasnt about money for him. I still hate Barca, and if the unlikely, that cesc returned to us one day, it would be kind of sweet. But, By then he will have missed some of our trophies! 🙂
Do I recall you saying there may be an appearence from you next season?
Fine sunny day in Cornwall.
From my neighbours house, who are away ( I dont get on with the them, she thinks she`s the Queen ) , I could hear giggling females, so out come the trampoline. Boing……. boing…… boing……3 semi – naked 20 something`s….boing…….boing……yesss, the tops coming off…..boing……boing…..morning….boing….nice day…..boing….”is that an Arsenal top , one girl said “….boing…..yes…..boing…..” I`m a gooner “,she said ….boing……whose your favourite player…..boing……” used to be Cesc, she said “…… boing…..mine too…..boing…..” why dont you come over and talk Arsenal “….boing, boing,boing,boing….luv too….THUD…..ouch. Did you have too remove the trampoline Mr`s glic ?. ” You can get down the bottom and finish that wall , you perv ” she said !.
Bloody Fabregas ! 😦
Why will we need Cesc when we’ll have Oscar 10 !!!
I thought the fixture lists come out tomorrow !.
I wanted a fixture list party, sat in front of Sky sports news !.
Do you mean to England? I don’t know. It’s possible. I’d love to of course.. I was there this previous season, in the English winter. Went to 4 matches. Blackburn 7-1 (still fuming at the FA taking that goal away from Thierry) , Spurs 5-2, Milan 3-0, and Newcastle 2-1.. My only previous match was a 1-0 win against ManCity in 2007 where RVP missed a penalty but Cesc scored the winner towards the end. 5-0 record with a Goal difference of +14 isn’t bad eh? 🙂
MIDI – Would I get mobbed if I brought something Arsenal – like a clipping of that day? 😆 I wouldn’t like it if someone did it at Arsenal ha ha
I think I might go.
Loved the Toon 2-1 game.
Hope you do and drop in for hello’s, drinks and nibbles.
Is Shard, an Indian name meaning ” lucky charm ” !. 🙂
I shall now choose my games linked to the one`s Shard choose`s !. 🙂
Just have your photo taken on the pitch giving the Steve McMahon “one minute” sign 🙂
😆 MIDI – Or make a dash for the pitch and re-create Thomas’ celebration.
Good point GliC,
Could you kindly make both Manchester games next term? Thank you.
glic, yes..I hear they are even naming a skyscraper in my honour 🙂
Micky, what would your regular pre, and post match haunts be?
A nice view of the Emirates from Shard Towers. 🙂
Super read TA
I can’t find it in myself to be angry with Cesc. He is a great player who had the misfortune to be at Arsenal during a period of enforced frugality and team transition. I also think we was a terrible captain and, by all accounts, was not universally popular in the dressing room.
I don’t like the fact that he refused to play in friendlies when he was still being paid as an Arsenal player, but I suspect the whole situation was difficult for him and well as us.
He will inherit the captaincy and lead role at Barca – but whether their golden period will continue remains to be seen.
Sorry, keep getting sidetracked.
Quite a few from this site meet up at the Tavern which is a 15min walk from the ground. I go to 6 or 7 games a season because of distance and family commitments. I’m guessing the usual meet up is about 5 of us, although I think the record was set last season at 12 (Is that right?).
You would be so welcome, unless you are an accountant, as we have enough of those 🙂
I’ve never been to Anfield, but it’s a famous stadium that featured in one of the greatest moments in Arsenal history so you should go, but (a) don’t do the Micky Thomas “inverted leaping salmon” celebration or you’ll dislocate your shoulder. And (b) keep a close eye on your handbag.
Ooops… I meant Irish (red faced emoticon)
I’m trapped in the dark void. Let me out!
Ha ha RL – when I ask anyone if there is anything I should do in Liverpool “Watch your handbag” everytime 😆
I’ll try and convince my friend to do the tour as well, I’d say she will.
Going to watch Holland vs Portugal.
Sorry Shard, I did respond, but I’ve just spent a few minutes talking to myself in moderation.
For Total, I’m with Holland.
For Raddy, I’m with Denmark.
For me, I’m with Germany, and
For the Tournament as a whole, I’m with Portugal and Germany.
That’s a wonderful image of Irish legging it from her Tour Guide and doing the “salmon leap” 🙂
TA – I am going Dutch tonight xx
Mr DidIt – I’ve let you out, don’t know why you were trapped except that the email address you’re using looks like spam 😉
TA – best of luck to your guys tonight and to our RvP
“Just imagine him last season: in front of Arteta and Song – what a season it could have been for us, and certainly also for him.”
blame AW, who’d buy a player like Arteta long time ago. Cesc was tired of being alone and carried the team on his back.
Rocky, I am red -faced for you – makes a change! 😳
TA, I am rooting for your guys — and RVP — unless he leaves – in which case sod him! 😀
Good strike from the Spud
I want the Portugese out as they have been the biggest play actors I have seen. I always thought Ronaldo was bad, but have seen a lot worse from his teammates!
1-1 in both games – exciting
Greek Pro-Euro party wins election.
I’ve been signing in with a dummy email address since WordPress went wonky. Hence no Pink Panther.
Might we see Germany and Denmark treading water, so to speak?
RA – deliberately – no, but my faul temper sometimes gets the better of me
That Ronaldo is just annoyin;, is he or Messi the best footballer?
I thought they were expecting something close, and therefore no result until monday/tuesday. Either result will cheese off many in Germany.
Still projections Micky.
New Democracy Party, projected, 29.5%; Syriaz (?) party projected, 27.1%; Others 43.4%.
Not exactly a balanced or secure political situation.
TA, if/when you get on AA, I am really surprised at how ordinary the Dutch defense is.
Won’t matter Holland win, but it makes Portugal look dangerous every time they go forward. 😦
Sorry, wrong about the treading water, I thought Denmark were in 2nd. Games on!
I think the biggest political fallout will come in Germany.
Is Syriaz the right wing party (or the anti-austerity left wingers)?
I’m surprised if the Greeks have voted, effectively, to continue the path of austerity.
Biggest fallout in der germs, no way peeps, biggest is in me bubbles innit, when me unc` zorba puts too much ov der chilli sauce on der kebab !.
It means more bailouts, but also there must be a real fear of the unknown despite the hardship of austerity.
Given up watching Germany. The constant monotonous drone from their fans is too much.
The diving Portuguese should be ashamed of themselves.
OK, I now hate the Portuguese. Enough’s enough.
Lets just hope Arsene hasn’t got his eyes on any Dutch defenders
The worse thing about Holland going out is that RvP will now be free to concentrate on his decision…..i was hoping to at least have to put off thinking about it for a few more weeks, expect speculation to ramp up as of midnight tonight
RvP will go off on holidays so no decision for another 2/3 weeks I’d say
Evening all, we’ve just bought 2 strikers – what are the chances of RvP staying? It’s Theo that is the one we should be wondering about now
Frankly, my only regret is not reading this earlier in the day. fantastic read….
I agree with every word.
Watching Pirlo has been a joy…and the parallels with Fabregas (of old) are very clear.
Excellent work Total.
I still love Fabregas, like Pirlo he reminds us that football really is a simple game
Midnight tonight Irish..?? Look on NewsNow. 9.45 for first article !!
Lets start a collection so that w can fund Shard’s attendance at certain games throughout a season.
Whilst my forst thought is 38 PL games, the second a ndcheaper option is 11 (or 13?) CL games.
I’ll start us off with £50, plus my Fantasy Euro winnings..??
Oh…. and commiserations TA.
2 strikers Rasp?
Concerned about Theo? Maybe a little bit, would be good to keep him but I don’t think many will worry if we don’t. And the question remains where would he go. Does anyone rate him that much in other clubs to hold us to ransom? I think we should rightfully play hardball.
I know it would be a massive departure from recent years but there is no reason why Pod and possibly Giroud’s arrivals don’t mean the end of Cham and Parks time at the Emirates. If RvP does go I will on reflection see it as good business if he goes for over £25m, two years ago we would have been lucky to get £10m for an injury prone player.
He hasn’t been that great for Holland but he is not alone in that. In a years time he will be 30, and unlikely to attract wage offers over what we are offering now, would we want to be lumbered with a player on £130k+ per week?
A thought for RvP tho, if he backs himself and of we give him say 3 years extension taking him to 33. That’s 4 more seasons at the club, if he backs himself to get 25 goals a season he could overtake Thierry. That would be his greatest trophy.
Hi GiE, I pray we don’t keep cham and park – what a complete waste of the wages. I do hope we keep RvP, but with Campbell coming back sometime, I can’t see us having so many strikers and keeping them all happy, some will definitely have to go.
Podolski isn’t an out and out striker though. We don’t have Giroud yet either. Walcott would go to a mid table club.
podolski is an out and out striker, it is his best position. He is showed out wide for Germany because he’s too good to not be included in the team. He doesn’t have the speed to be a naturally wide player.
now when i read posts like this I try and do the rational approach like you but I just can’t. You by any chance don’t write on AA after you’ve meditated and aligned you Chakras whilst listening to zen-like music?!
* shoved out wide
My guess is Campbell will stay out another year unless we can get an “exceptional talent visa”. He can’t make HG status so there’s no reason to bring him in if we have the squad we look like having.
Ryo has to stay in the UK and he will become HG, providing he gets a full visa.
Someone mentioned earlier how much we missed Jack last season, will be good to have him swaggering around the midfield again.
Rasp I don’t want RvP to go either but I am preparing to justify it to myself if he does. We just cannot let him go to an English club, so for that reason it’s one case where I hope the board play hardball and forget the lost revenue. 😦
If he does go how much should we offer City for Adebayor?
Thanks for all the comments guys. I watched the H-P game with Dutch friends in deepest, darkest Suffolk and only just returned. They had reception of Dutch tv and the interviews with manager and players after the game were close to funereal. Van Bommel was close to tears, Robben looked like he had aged another 10 years and Sneijder was boiling with anger and disappointment.
3 games, 0 points, 2 goals with the German and English League top-scores in the prime of their football life. What a waste! Dark clouds are gathering above my little country, and the next few weeks won’t be pretty.
LB – Cheers. I always choose my own titles for posts.
It’s the old adage coming true again.
A great team will often beat a team of great players,and that’s what the Dutch have.
I just read your post TA and haven’t had time to read the comments, but that was brilliant, it expresses my thoughts better than I could. Too early? I’m not sure. But I agree that Cesc was brilliant as the conductor, the man who created order in the Arsenal attack and kept entropy at bay. However, I think that he was already playing higher up the pitch his last year at Arsenal — making the final pass more, the one that opened the line of attack less.
Wins for Italy and Croatia would be nice if you want Spain to go home.
True Micky. But after a very disappointing night I am going with the favorites …. Italy and Spain for me.
Having seen a lot of the games I can’t look past Germany, Italy, Spain and unfortunately Portugal as possible winners. And I have a sneaky suspicion the Portugese tumbling team will do it.
Hi California G, I agree with your observation. I reckon that is the difference between being a Playmaker in 4-2-1-3 or in 4-4-2. Probably an interesting area for a future post. 🙂
Hi Raddy, Micky, Exile, for me Italy and Spain as well. I also think that England will get far. The combination of low expectations, Hodgson’s pragmatism, Rooney coming into the team now, and a squad wanting to work for each other could be good. 🙂
But will Rooney ruin the team spirit?
4 away games from 6 games…..conspiracy?!?!
Gets worse in October:
West Ham A
So of our first 9 games 3 are at home?
Scott. Does Ronaldo? (not that there can be any comparisons between the Fat Scouse Granny Lover and the Greasy Diver – no offense to any Grannies or Divers out there)
It could be all or nothing with Rooney, Scott. Let’s hope for England he has learned from his stupidity and is fully focussed now. The prospect of Rooney working with Theo and/or the Ox to create attacks is very appealing imo.
GIE. That must mean that we have a very nice run of home games later in the season 🙂
But to play 3 of our major rivals away in the first few weeks of the season is a very tough assignment. I fear we will be playing catch-up again
Worse still by end of November we have played 14 PL games and only 5 at home! Thank goodness for CL to get our fix
GiE, you’re joking, right?
Ahhh the Chelsea Away was a misprint now corrected and is in fact at home….slightly better.
Here you go TA
They’ve now corrected Chelsea.
We strike balance after the first two games of December.
Liverpools first 3 home games are City, Arsenal, United….welcome to Anfield Brendan
Proper Boxing Day Fixture – West Ham at home
Thanks GiE, that is a very tough start and here is hoping for a calm pre-season! At least the fixtures around Christmas and NY are relatively kind to us.
….. New post …….
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