There are relationships that don’t work due to unresolved matters that one from the couple has had with his/her ex. Now, don’t worry, this is not going to be another Dr Phil-blog about how you can improve your relationship or how to get in touch with the woman inside you. It’s about one of those transfer stories that will make your fingers clickin’ and clickin’ until September 1st arrives.
If it is true that nomen ist omen, then there haven’t been too many omens written better than the one that makes Francesc Soler Fabregas’ short name “Cesc” similar to word “sex”.
He was 17-year-old when he showed that he can cope with much older people (yes, there is a cheap reference to his love life) and even impose himself as a true class player. His maturity when it comes to passing game seemed abnormal, as his pass completion was around 90 percent when he led Arsenal’s midfield on the Gunners’ way to Champions’ League Final.
During his time in Arsenal, hopefully the one we will refer to as “The First Time Cesc Was With Us”, he took the starring role from the very beginning. Arsene Wenger gave Cesc the keys of our midfield and sold Vieira to Juventus and, later, even our formation was changed to exploit Cesc’s abilities. He took those keys and led the team on the pitch with assists and goals that it made you proud that such a player plays for your club (just remember that goal he scored against Spuds or that drive that knocked out reigning champions of Europe, Milan, on their soil).
Arsenal with and without Fabregas weren’t the same; a brief look at the stats in the last season of The First Time Cesc Was With Us tells it all. Would we have had him against Birmingham in Carling Cup Final… When he was at his best, Arsenal played silky and classy, sexy football that could be called ‘Cesc-y football’ as well. And that was some consolation for the fact we have failed to win a single trophy ever since we won the FA Cup in 2005; one of two trophies Arsenal won with Cesc in senior squad (the other was Charity/Community Shield 2004).
However, there was always a story about Barcelona. Cesc is a child of Barcelona that was adopted and nurtured by Arsenal. Barcelona gave him a birth; Arsenal raised him to world-class level. Barcelona was his first home; London was the place where he built his own (metaphorical) home.
The transfer saga about Cesc’s inevitable return to Barcelona made a lot of web-site owners happy, as they had a lot of to write about. Finally, after an ugly summer of negotiations, silent strike of Cesc, and Wenger’s reluctance to accept the fact he’ll have to sell both Fabregas and Nasri, Barcelona managed to take Cesc back in their ranks. I was angry at our manager that Barca got the player of his class so cheap – especially, after knowing that any possible replacement for Cesc would cost a lot more.
So, Cesc couldn’t resist to the call of Barcelona and he has been there for two seasons. He has already won European Supercup, Club World Championship, La Liga, Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercup. Five trophies in two years – don’t sound bad. His statistics haven’t been that bad either – 20 goals and 24 assists in 60 matches in Primera is a very decent return…except something is missing. That magical thing that made Arsenal and Cesc capable of making the other one special hasn’t recreated at Barcelona. That special thing is reserved for Lionel Messi; and even Andres Iniesta, who can arguably be called one of the greatest European players of all times, can’t come anywhere close.
Arsenal – on the other hand – went through two tough seasons without Cesc. Sure thing, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, and to a certain extent even Song, in his first season…replaced Cesc in terms of goals and assists, but it seems like there have been no signs of sexy football at Emirates since Cesc left the building. Arsenal have been on a 11-game unbeaten streak in all competitions – with 10-game unbeaten streak in Premiership – but most of the games in that streak were as sexy as pulling your teeth out with rusty pliers and no anaesthetics.
Obviously, all three sides can find something for themselves in Cesc’s return to Arsenal.
Barcelona have their hands tied regarding Cesc’s sale to third club, due to first option Arsenal have and a 50%-sell-on-fee clause; so selling Fabregas to Arsenal for say £10m would be a better option for them than to sell him somewhere for £15m. And it would also free up space for Thiago Alcantara, who has been labelled as the next big thing from La Masia for some time.
Cesc would get a chance to return to the place where he truly belongs and where he would get the starring role that his talent deserves. He would get another chance to win a trophy as a key member of Arsenal team, as he was still a youngster when Patrick Vieira lifted the FA Cup in 2005. He didn’t get too much credit for Barcelona trophies he has won, so he might have an additional motive: “I don’t want to be remembered as the one who was part of the squad that won trophies; I want to be the one that leads his squad to the glory!”
He doesn’t need trophies; after all, he has already been a world champion with both club and national team. He needs trophies which are won mostly as a result of his contribution: that’s something that divides excellent players from legends.
Also, this Arsenal might be more appealing to him than it was when he joined in 2004. Unlike the Arsenal that was predominately built around French players and manager, this Arsenal have Spanish flavour with the likes of Arteta, Cazorla and Monreal with important roles in the squad, not to mention youngsters like Bellerin and Toral.
What is most important in the whole story is what Arsenal would get?
Arsenal would get a fantastic player who would add creative dimension needed to play proper Wengerball again. With newly found solidity in defense, Cesc’s connection with Arteta and Cazorla in creative department would propel us to title challenging heights, and probably clean the dust from Emirates’ trophy room. Also, Cesc would come as an experienced midfielder who won a championship with his best years yet to come.
Finally, let’s not forget one important fact – Cesc didn’t play any role in 2003-04 season but he participated in 49-match-unbeaten streak that ended through the well-known circumstances at Old Trafford in 2004-05, which makes him one of the rare “Arsenal 49-ers” (this one is my own coin that I use for Arsenal players that participated in 49-match-unbeaten streak – maybe it loses its worth when you know that it’s something that players like Pascal Cygan and Jermaine Pennant can brag about, but what the hell!) who are still playing at the highest level. And that might be a symbolic connection of Arsenal history (Invincibles) and future team, the one that is still, hypothetical, built around Cesc, Wilshere, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sczszesny, Cazorla, Arteta, Walcott…that might spoil plans of Manchester duopoly and Mourinho’s Chavs next season.
Who knows, maybe at this time next year, every proud Gunner at their deserved vacation will order “Cesc on the pitch”-cocktail!
Written by: Admir.
For some Fab Cesc pictures, check out this link (TotalArsenal):