Wednesday 13 July 2011

Barcelona - More than a club? / Does Cesc need to speak up?

So Xavi tells the media at his football camp about how Cesc is ‘suffering’ at Arsenal and Barcelona put it on their official website.

Theo Walcott tells Sky Sports News that we want to keep our best players but he'd rather not get involved in other players’ futures because it’s their decision. Arsenal does not put this on their official website.

Spot the difference?

Barcelona say they are more than a club but in my opinion they are not showing the class one would expect.

I have been checking back at quotes and trying to get any sort of line from a few journalists I know along with listening to radio shows and without question, Graham Hunter got me the angriest.

Hunter says Cesc is ‘determined’ to leave Arsenal. Erm hang on Mr Hunter, if he's so ‘determined’ then surely a transfer request would have come in?

Hunter then said one of the reasons why Cesc wants to leave is because the medical team have not dealt with his hamstring injuries well enough.

Hunter said Xavi is well within his right to say what he wants and I agree with him, but I did not expect Barcelona to put the quotes on their ‘official’ website.

Hunter hinted that if Arsenal do not let Cesc go to Barcelona, he may consider other clubs like Manchester City; now Hunter may be the expert but I cannot agree with that.

I have never seen Arsenal putting up quotes from players unless they have spoken directly to the website, to the online TV channel or in a press conference where the club were present.

If Cesc is suffering as much as Xavi says he is then perhaps Barcelona need to pay the money Arsenal want.

Usually if a buyer wants to buy something, they ask the seller if they are willing to sell and ask the price. The seller then tells them the price and the buyer has to decide if they will meet the asking price, try and negotiate or refuse to buy. Barcelona tried to negotiate and I think Arsenal have dropped their asking price a bit but now comes a time where Barcelona need to decide how serious they are about Cesc Fabregas and either pay up or shut up, rather then posting their players' quotes on their website.

Now, this may upset Arsenal fans too but if I am honest with myself and fair, then maybe its time for Cesc Fabregas to do something.

I think it may be time for Cesc to speak up; either speak up about wanting to leave OR speak up about Xavi, Valdes and the rest of the Barcelona players' quotes. For over a year, we have had Barcelona players (and Pepe Reina, what it has to do with him, I do not know!) telling us what Cesc Fabregas wants and is feeling and it may have reached boiling point.

If Cesc did come out and tell the world he wanted to leave Arsenal, we would see just how desperate Barcelona are to get him and how much they respect him by meeting our asking price and buying him. After all, they did pay millions and millions of pounds/euros to buy Ibra and even threw in Eto. They have or are close to reaching a deal with Sanchez so they clearly have the money.

I understand Cesc's close bond with Barcelona and genuinely understand why he wants to re-join Barcelona and would not stand in his way if an offer came in but if it doesn’t, I think Cesc has to understand he is under contract and how Mr Wenger has built his team around him.

Before Thierry Henry left, he poured his heart out to Arsenal TV online and wanted to speak directly to supporters to avoid the chance of being mis-quoted and made it crystal clear on why he has to leave Arsenal. I am not saying the same will work for Cesc but it shows that speaking from the heart can help. If he chooses to do that, but Barcelona still do not meet the asking price then that tells him how much Barcelona want him.

It seems like the Barcelona players are using the media to get Arsenal to sell on the cheap and Cesc is refusing to speak up.

Cesc Fabregas did choose to come to Arsenal and also agreed to sign a long term contract and even pocketed £3m or so from a loyalty bonus last summer.

I know some people may not agree with my views above but I think it’s very tough to plan for the season ahead when you have questions over not only your best player but your captain too. I rate Cesc Fabregas so highly and desperately want him to stay because I think with his first proper summer off from football in a while, he may just be the Cesc Fabregas we all want next season so keeping him would be such a boost. We all understand that Cesc Fabregas does love Arsenal but we also understand his bond and his love for his boyhood club Barcelona.....

But, something needs to be done, Arsenal need to know.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

AST Meet

The Arsenal supporters trust survey was released yesterday evening as many members, including myself attending the meeting in Holborn. I along with a few others tweeted many of the results but a full set of results can be found on the Arsenal Supporters Trust website.

Many interesting points came out the meeting. The current tour in Asia is worth about 2-3m to Arsenal which does not sound like much but it is about increasing the brand in Asia and is considered a long term plan.

In terms of revenue, going further in competitions is very important. Just going one round further in the Champions League can be worth about 2-3m (with match day revenue, TV Revenue etc).

The future of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri is still slightly in the air despite Arsene Wenger saying Samir Nasri will stay and he is ‘hopeful’ Cesc will stay too. The Nasri debate was in full flow and it’s estimated that losing him on a free will just cost the club too much. The club may have to keep 20 odd million for a replacement next season which may mean it will not be spent this year. It does look likely Arsenal may gamble and hope they have a good season which will convince Nasri to stay. It’s a massive gamble. If he does not sign then selling him makes the most financial sense.

I do think Samir needs to think long and hard about players that have left Arsenal and where they have ended up but at the same time, he may be waiting to see who else is signed before committing his future. Time will tell.

As for next season, all the club level season tickets are sold out but 2000 season ticket holders did not renew and these were offered to people on the waiting list. From the list, only one in four took up the offer hence why so many people got offered season tickets. Many people who did not take up the offer have either forgotten they were on the list OR have started to share a season ticket (an option that has become quiet popular).

We welcomed Gervinho to the club officially yesterday and I have a punt that this may mean Theo Walcott may just have a chance to play up front this pre-season as Gervinho is not an out and out striker but Theo has the composure and pace to be one. Just a thought.

Up the Arsenal.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Farewell Gael - Thanks for the eight years.

After eight years, Gael Clichy has moved on and has joined Manchester City.

It’s a bit of a strange one because most of the concerns is on the future of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri however; Gael Clichy has been a loyal player for the club.

I think it is fair to say he turned a bit stale in the last few years (some blame the team’s form, some blame Arshavin playing in front of him and some just think his on the decline) but he has still been a player who to me, looked like he gave 100% every time he played for the Arsenal.

I know he was apart of the Invincible squad however, he played second choice to Ashley Cole but regardless has won a championship medal.

I wish him all the luck in the world….JUST NOT AGAINST THE ARSENAL and hope he plays well but City don’t win much!

Up the Arsenal !

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