Cesc Fabregas moves to Barcelona…Distastefully


After over 12 months of continual and migraine generating speculation, Arsenal captain and former Barcelona youth prodigy Cesc Fabregas has returned to his boyhood club.

Arsenal fought off the Spanish and European champions as long as they could but eventually conceded the issue was only going to burden the team.

I am not going to rehash my earlier statements of the severe illegalities and injustices Barcelona presented in so many forms over the duration of the saga, nor am I going to talk about the disgraceful ethics and character of their board members and players, but I will talk about the main at the very epicentre of this man made disaster.

Cesc Fabregas remained largely silent throughout the entire ordeal. Many thought it was out of respect to Arsene Wenger and the club that gave him a chance and made him one of the best footballers in the world, but his actions spoke much louder than that. I need go no further than the final game of last season.

Arsenal were away to Fulham and were out of range of winning the title. They had experienced a turbulent and tumultuous 8 week period which saw them crash out of every competition, suffer season ending injuries and condemn the club to another year of barrenness. Fabregas was included in the injury toll but as the captain of the club you would have expected him to still be a huge presence amongst the team and at the very least be there to watch their final game.

Instead Fabregas decided to go to the Spanish Grand Prix with his soon to be teammates Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique, two players of which I have lost every last bit of respect I had for them because of their actions over the course of the transfer fiasco.

There are so many things so seriously wrong with that decision I could not fathom anything but his departure. No one was going to forgive that and honestly it shows so much about his character that he would even consider doing so. Forget the fact he did it in the company of two individuals that had helped make life so difficult for Arsenal, the fact the captain of the club would choose to go to a Formula One race over watching his team’s final game of the season is just baffling.

I don’t want to dwell on that any longer because it’s just unfathomable that a captain of a top professional team, let alone a top European team, would do something so insulting.

Barcelona got their man for a fee believed to be around 35 million pounds, the same amount Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll. Need I say anymore? I’m going to anyway. Barcelona made their intentions very clear over a year ago, but not once offered anything at all respectable to Arsenal’s asking price. They continuously gave reasons as to why they should not pay a fair fee, citing truly ridiculous reasons such as ‘wear and tear’, ‘a year older than last season’ and ‘rightfully our player as a former youth member’ as reasons why they should get him in a cut price.

In the mean time they spent 20+ million pounds on Alexis Sanchez, a man they described as their no.1 target for this transfer window. If you can’t see the contradiction there then you are wasting your time reading this. They spent over a year chipping away at a vulnerable club and continually kicked at Arsenal when they were down until they finally cracked and gave in to a fee that is at least 20 million pounds lower than his true value in this current transfer market. I will argue with anyone that says that is not true.

In his press conference today he seemed to have forgotten all about his club as he made no reference to the team or it’s fans that had stood by him since he was literally a kid. He gave a nice paragraph of recognition to Arsene Wenger but really showed nothing of humility or gratitude in the situation. It is sad that this is the character of the modern day footballer.

As an Arsenal fan I am bitterly disappointed at the outcome of the entire ordeal and the toll it has clearly taken on the club. Despite his clear lack of class he was an incredible player and there are few if any in the world that can move a football like Cesc Fabregas. He will be impossible to replace and the future of the club now rests upon the shoulders of another teenage prodigy, Jack Wilshere.

It is a relief that it is finally over and that both sides can move on. Perhaps it will have a settling effect on the club and allow them to move forward in their progression, as we saw following the classy departure of Theirry Henry, ironically to the same club.

Henry spent just a year longer than Fabregas at the club but his impact, influence and legacy is 100 times stronger than anything Fabregas could have hoped to achieve. Henry led Arsenal to the very top of English football and in the mean time produced one of, if not the greatest Premier League career in history. Upon his departure he left a most sincere and humble video message to the fans of Arsenal. He regularly returns to the club in any capacity he can and promises to return in some role in the future. He even cut short his celebration of winning the Emirates Cup last month with his team the New York Red Bulls to participate in a most receptive and heart warming lap of honour upon what could be his final playing appearance at Emirates Stadium.

Class is something much more valuable than talent. Theirry Henry had both to the fullest extent of each word’s meaning. That statement is only half true for Arsenal’s former captain Cesc Fabregas.

Enjoy the bench at the Nou Camp.