Thursday 25 June 2009

Cesc gets stuck in for once

An interesting series of quotes can be found here at the Telegraph which apparently emanate from Cesc Fabregas whilst with the Spanish squad. The story is all over the other papers, but you can actually read the quotes at the Telegraph, rather than the spin that the media wants to whip it into.

The quotes reveal, I think, a lot of stuff that has been apparent to us fans for a long time. The Arsenal team is short of a cutting edge - Cesc calls us impotent - and everyone is pretty pissed off about it, the team moral is not good and the players don't get on that well together. And surprise, surprise, if Real Madrid offered Cesc a disgusting amount of money, then his Barcelona supporting family would forgive him for taking it.

The quotes were presumably generated from an interview with the Madrid friendly press, and its pretty predictable stuff. I am not the sort of person who expects Cesc Fabregas to declare his undying love for Arsenal, since that would almost certainly be untrue. In fact, I quite respect Cesc for saying it how it is. In this summer of make-believe money, where Gareth Barry tells us moving to Man City is for footballing reasons, where Ronaldo goes to Madrid because there is nothing else to win with Manure, I am pleased to see Cesc come out with some stuff that is pretty near the truth.

However, I also find it pretty depressing that things have got so bad at Arsenal. If I was lucky enough to be a professional footballer, I would have a whale of a time. Whilst Perry Groves' book does show how difficult it is to be on the fringes of success, and how out of control things were back then sometimes, the modern footballer is so well paid by average standards that a story like Perry's is never going to be repeated in the Premier League, especially not at Arsenal.

The senior players usually set the tone, and whilst we all hate them to bits, people like Terry and Lampard at Chelsea, or Rio at Manure, seem to be excellent leaders of men and build a good rapport with their team mates and their manager.

When I consider that Cesc's quotes are from one of our 'senior pros', indeed the captain of Arsenal, at aged 22, I really think we have a big problem. Can you imagine the captain of any other serious team coming out with this sort of stuff and getting away with it? Its unthinkable that Terry, Rio or Gerrard would even dream of saying this.

I have posted many times on this blog that a group of well organised, well motivated players can achieve things that seem well beyond their capabilities on paper. Conversely, a group of badly organised and poorly motivated players will always underperform.

I don't know who the bad-eggs are within the Arsenal dressing room, but Cesc, along with the other senior pros (Gallas, Adebayor, Kolo, Almunia, RVP) who have been at the club for a while must take the blame for this. And so must Arsene Wenger, whose man-management in recent years has been extremely questionable on occasion, especially when it comes to the captaincy and moving on good old pros like Gilberto, Pires etc, all of whom would have the respect of the youngsters and would help maintain the team spirit at Arsenal.

The only player I see as a real captain for Arsenal at the moment is Kolo Toure. Whatever his faults as a player (which I think are all over-emphasised), he plays with passion, motivation and determination. He is also our longest serving player. When Gallas lost the Captaincy last year, Kolo was my vote to take the mantle. Arsene knew better and appointed Cesc Fabregas as captain, in his usual way of trying to keep our so-called best player by making him captain (like that worked with Vieira or Henry).

Whilst Cesc may be saying the truth at the moment, its also worth remembering that Gallas lost the captaincy for doing a very similar thing, maybe in a more self-promoting way with his book deal (has anyone seen the book?). Frankly, they are about as bad as each other.


pravin said...

well said

Anonymous said...

yeah good post mate i think u have nailed it there as to the problems we have in our squad . i would have never given the armband 2 cesc as he is 2 young and not a team leader like terry or rio or stevie g . kolo i think deserved it , bye the way i wouldnt lose any sleep if cesc goes as everyone is replacable and yes i think cesc will be gone sooner than ud think . stevo dublin gooner

marcus said...

The translation of these comments came from the Sun. You're assuming you can believe these reports. The guy over at arsenalinsider just checked a source in Spain who was at the Q&A and his take on Cesc's comments is quite different. Also, one guy on a Spanish blog said Cesc actually said "important" not "impotent."

marcus said...

Also, it's very interesting that the original Sun translation ommitted this from Cesc's interview:

Q: But you can live without Wenger? Do you bind your future to his for always?
A: If he will not have to go, nor vice versa. He is a very important person, whom I consider a second father. He has helped and trained me. He has made me captain of Arsenal at 22 years. He has given me everything. As a person I rate him as a ten and I respect, appreciate and follow his advice because he transmits confidence. He is a coach is yet someone you can talk to if you have a family problem. I admire him, but each has his life and look for your interest.

BTW, all those Cesc quotes come from two separate interviews which Marca spliced together and picked out the more provocative bits. The Sun did the rest. You really should be more skeptical with anything coming out of Marca or the Sun (the Telegraph just selectively quoted from the Sun).

Ted said...

Thanks Marcus - useful and interesting stuff. As I said in the posting, I quite like some of the things that Cesc is reported to have said about Arsenal, I just wish they were not true. I also don't think Cesc is an excellent captain, but each to their own....

marcus said...

Ted, Cesc is not my choice for captain either but neither is Kolo. I love Kolo but he's never shown any leadership qualities on the pitch at all. I'll never forget early last season how he gave an instruction to Song for a free kick and Song shook his head and turned his back on him. Kolo didn't react. We don't have any players with natural leadership skills, except maybe Arshavin. And Cesc has come with a very forceful statement refuting today's press gossip about him:

Obsinho said...

There were no comments from Cesc of any interest. The press want a story around us and this is the one that will have the legs to run, so they spin everything.

"Adebayor says he's leaving" just won't sell papers as Gooners don't care, let alone neutrals.

In fact I don't care about anything anyone says about footballers in the press this summer as it is boring. Let's not get involved with giving some momentum to bullshit stories and stick to making up rumours about Alonso being twat.

By the way, I heard Alonso was a twat......

Anonymous said...

the summer stinks for everybody.
the team too.
they just want to get out there and win.
everything will be fine.
we just need to wait until august.
i am glad no one has left this summer.


Anonymous said...

You hit the nail right on the head. While being blatantly may (though not always) indicate good character, Fabregas is also the captain, and qualities such as discretion and diplomacy are equally important when it comes to communicating through the media. His 'impotent' mark may well be true, but as captain that's a conversation best held with Wenger and the rest of his teammates.

The spin in today's news reports that attempts to gloss over his latest faux pas miss the point. This is the third or fourth flip-flop in the last couple of months. There's way too much smoke for there not to be any fire. Fabregas's heart and mind simply aren't where they ought to be.

While Arsenal is admittedly light on the defensive side, offensive middlefield is an area where they have some surplus. If Rosicky makes anything close to a decent comeback, there are three top players who can play the same position -- Arshavin, Nasri and Fabregas. For a club that seems to be strapped for transfer funds, the 25-40 million euros he might bring from either of the Spanish teams would be most welcome, with the impact of having lost an admittedly top player minimized by the presence of more than adequate replacements.

I'd say 'thanks, good-bye, ... and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."

Anonymous said...

so, who would be buy in place?

hopefully someone with some attitude.


Uncle Mike said...

I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Spanish press lies more and is more irresponsible than the American press!

Hey, Spain, press THIS: Two-nil!

Not that there's a single player on the U.S. national team who would likely start for Arsenal...

Now, if Cesc can just show us that the game I just invoked was, in his case, a fluke, and he'll be ready to rock and roll come August 15...

Malikhan said...

Blogger, while i do agree with cesc not being the best choice for captain TODAY - for sure he would have been the captain in 3 -4 more years - and that gallas was stripped of his captaincy for the same blunt "Wake up Arsenal!" remarks, the scenarios and the players themselves are different and this in itself warrants alternative outcomes.At the time of the gallas incident, everyone, from the fans to the players to the press wanted some sort of change, with gallas unfortunately volunteering for scapegoat just as he did the previous season in the game against birmingham even though every sane Arsenal supporter knew that the problems lay much deeper than a mere sit out on the field.
With that being said however, i do think that Arsene Wenger, when opting for the 'shared leadership' tactic is most likely founding the structure for a culture of intelligent motivated and technical players, all of whom can take the bull by the horns at any given time in any given match.
Cesc, like every other Arsenal player, is in a period of soul - and form- searching.The added responsibility of captaincy may crush him, or it may produce a brilliant diamond from the rough.

Obsinho said...

Let's be honest here, it's a nothing story. However I do buy into a view that we are lacking leaders in the club on the pitch and behind the scenes. Gazidis is having some impact already but we need 11 players on the pitch who are capable of motivating themselves and their teammates.

1979gooner said...

can't see anything remotely controversial in cesc's quotes,

just shows how the media will spin nothing into something in this country and that so many people will lap it up without looking at the actual facts behind the story (or lack of them as the case may be)