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Thanks and goodbye, Cesc. 15 August, 2011

Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.

Well today has been a long time coming but no one can really be surprised about the departure of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona. The biggest surprise really is that it has taken this long; I was convinced he’d go last year and even more surprised that we left it this late to finally accept Barcelona’s measly offer.

We’re receiving just €29m that could rise to about €35m which means he’s left for little more than Andy Carroll cost Liverpool. The extra fees come from €1m over 5 years from Cesc himself and the extra cash is paid if Barcelona win something like two La Liga titles and a Champions League.

As rubbish as the fee is we’ve received for one of the best midfielders in the world, this transfer has never been about money. We never at any stage have been desperate for cash and unlike so many transfers recently the player himself has not left for wage reasons, in fact I believe he’s on less money at his new club. This transfer has always been about the simple request of a man to return to his home town.

We’ve always known that Cesc would one day go home; maybe some of us just hoped it wouldn’t have been so soon. His departure is nothing against Arsenal in any way, I believed him when he said in today’s press conference that he will always have Arsenal in his heart, he will always be a Gooner and will continue to watch Arsenal play whether it be on TV or in person. Call me a sucker but I believe that.

Some people are a little pissed off about Cesc’s actions but put yourselves in his boots. Imagine you joined the Arsenal academy as a youngster, took up an opportunity abroad and loved it, developed well and became their best player. Then halfway through your career Arsenal came calling back asking you to come home, you’d jump at the chance wouldn’t you? Seeing Cesc kissing the Barcelona badge today hurt, but I’m not mad at him for that – it’s his club and his home town.

So today instead of anger and resentment I’m full of sadness and thanks. We’ve been lucky to have Fabregas at our club, we’ve been lucky that we managed to pick him from Barcelona and have him develop to our benefit. Those 8 years have included some wonderful memories. From the early days watching this Spanish kid break into the team with all this potential, to putting Vieira on his arse in his comeback game, to all the performances and goals against Tottenham, the massive goals in the Champions League vs. Milan, Barca and others, the 3-2 winner over Bolton and the late equaliser against Sunderland, these are all just a few things that come to the top of my head, there are countless more special moments to look back on. It’s not just the goals and the highlights that you can look back fondly on but every single minute he was on the pitch for Arsenal, with or without the armband he gave everything and it was that spirit for which he was so loved.

Cesc also said today that his biggest regret was not lifting any trophies as Arsenal captain and I think that is echoed by the fans. It would’ve been great to see Cesc of all people lead us to our first piece of silverware since 2005 but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

So thanks for everything, Cesc. As much as I loathe your new employers there will not be any bitterness from me towards you. Just please, don’t turn into a cunt like some of your new colleagues.

So, time to move on. After losing your best player, for any club attention must turn to who you are going to bring in. Unfortunately, tonight is not that time because there are more departures on the cards. Samir Nasri could also leaving in the next few weeks and what a tragedy it would be to lose both he and Cesc in one summer. Well it’s a terrifying reality. It seems Samir ‘Na-Na-Na-Na’ Nasri has already lost his favour with the fans as a section of away fans this weekend turned his chant from, “Samir Nas-er-i – Nas-er-i” to, “Samir you’re a cunt – you’re a cunt!” To which he has replied to on twitter today:

I heard what the fans were singing about me on saturday and it is really disrespectful because i’m still a arsenal player

I can’t condone the chants myself. Samir is right actually, while he remains a player of the club we should be more respectful. I’m not saying those fans should be silenced because they can sing what they like they’ve paid to be there but I think they should consider their words. I don’t think he’s a cunt, I just think he’s very money hungry and shallow. I’m gutted about Samir I really am because he showed for a couple of months last season how good he can be but he’s got a bit big for his boots requesting the kind of money he’s after. Maybe we’ll let him have his wish and move him on to City or maybe we’ll keep him, move him into Cesc’s vacant position and hope he and the fans can repair their relationship. We’ll wait and see.

One more departure looks close to completion this week and that Emmanuel Eboue to Galatasaray. The club have confirmed they are in negotiations so unless anything drastic happens I reckon this will be done in the next couple of days. With Eboue going and Traore going off injured for the reserves tonight it highlights just how weak we are in the wing back positions. And I don’t care what Arsene thinks Carl Jenkinson is not ready for regular League and European action.

That should do it for tonight, more on who we need to bring in and who looks to be going out soon. Sorry about lack of updates recently, it’s been a difficult period for me. I’ll be back tomorrow for an Udinese preview.

Until then.


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