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Fabregas dilemma highlights tough times at Arsenal

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Dan Roan | 09:28 UK time, Saturday, 25 June 2011

Two weeks ago, Ivan Gazidis, all too aware of unprecedented levels of dissent among his club's fans, promised a stormy meeting of the Arsenal Supporters' Trust that the time had finally come for change.

"We're going to see some turnover of players, some new signings coming in. I expect it will be a busy close season for the club," the chief executive insisted.

Gazidis knew he was under pressure. Having at one stage been fighting for trophies on four fronts last season, the team's prospects fell apart following the shattering Carling Cup final defeat by Birmingham City and they eventually finished fourth in the Premier League, and trophyless for a sixth consecutive season.

That, combined with a controversial decision to increase ticket prices and the uncertainty created by elusive American billionaire Stan Kroenke's effective takeover, left the bond between club and fans as fragile as many AST members could remember.

"We're working hard, very hard. We need to correct failings that we have, and there'll be some new signings and some departures," said Gazidis, heralding a watershed summer.

Since then, Arsenal's fans have had to sit and watch while champions Manchester United have strengthened with the big-money acquisitions of Phil Jones and Ashley Young, Liverpool have spent similar amounts on Jordan Henderson, and Chelsea have completed the most expensive managerial signing in history by recruiting Andre Villas-Boas from Porto.

Meanwhile, at the Emirates, they've had to make do with the £1m capture of Carl Jenkinson from Charlton - and the focus of transfer activity is now on the possibility of their captain leaving, rather than any incoming new faces.

Barcelona's reported bid for Cesc Fabregas is no surprise, given their long-standing interest in bringing the midfielder home. Equally, the player himself clearly wants to return - but what may have shifted is Arsenal's attitude.

Fabregas was in Indonesia earlier this week, presenting medals at an under-14 tournament - photo: AP

My understanding is that Barcelona would like to conclude a deal when Fabregas is back in the city next week, visiting friends and family.

They would prefer to do business before he is forced to return to pre-season training in London on 5 July, enabling him to go on Barca's tour to the US, and avoid the messy, late negotiations that did little for relations with Arsenal last close-season.

So what should Arsenal do if and when a raised bid comes in? On the one hand they are well within their rights to follow the lead of Spurs when rebuffing Chelsea's pursuit of Luka Modric, and ignore Barcelona again.

Fabregas still has four years of his contract left to run so Wenger has no need to panic yet. Perhaps most decisively, if Gazidis and Kroenke think the mood among the fans is hostile now, just wait until they allow Fabregas to leave for less than his worth. They know this and may not dare countenance such a move.

However, Barcelona have other transfer targets and their maximum spend of £35m falls significantly short of Arsenal's valuation for their midfielder, and until this gap closes any deal remains unlikely.

The Spanish club knows it will get its man one day, perhaps at a time in the future when he would fit more easily into their stellar side, so their president Sandro Rosell may simply say the right things to please the club's members, but then fail to raise his offer sufficiently.

And yet, for the first time, Arsene Wenger may be prepared to think the previously unthinkable. Fabregas' recent injury problems, (he scored just three league goals last season), the emergence of Jack Wilshere and the problems associated with retaining an unsettled player may mean the manager allows his captain to leave.

Wenger may look at the way United and Liverpool have survived and then thrived following the painful departures of icons Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres respectively, and begin a much-needed revamp in spectacular style.

But Arsenal have another problem. The harsh reality is that despite being 95% owned by two billionaires, Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov, and boasting a fantastic stadium, the club is no longer in the same financial league as the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City when it comes to player wages and transfer spend.

To some extent this can be put down to a noble emphasis on sustainability at a time when loss-making has become the norm in the Premier League, and with Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules on the horizon, the club's foresight should be recognised.

But just like on the pitch, Arsenal are also guilty of financial underperformance. In the 2009-10 season, for instance, the club's commercial revenue of £44m was almost half of that of United's £84m.

Seven years ago, rather than issue equity but dilute their highly profitable stakes in the club, Arsenal's principal share-holders sold long-term naming rights for their new stadium and struck a shirt-sponsorship deal as part of the same agreement.

Today, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Aston Villa all have more valuable deals, but Arsenal are locked in, hence the club's commercially-driven pre-season tour to the Far East next month, which will go ahead despite Wenger's reservations.

"We're well behind the clubs we're expected to compete with in revenue," admitted Gazidis a fortnight ago.

"We're competing with clubs who spend a lot more than us, so our spend must be as efficient as possible."

This all matters because as well as the uncertainty over Fabregas, the club has also allowed the contracts of players like Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri to run down, and both are now deciding whether to stay at the Emirates.

Arsenal are now in advanced negotiations with three key targets, with Phil Jagielka, Gervinho and Ricky Alvarez all linked with a move to the club, but many fans feel that Wenger, due to his distaste for the kind of "financial doping" he sees at other clubs, is too loyal to the principle of developing talent rather than simply buying it in.

Certainly, rival clubs have become equally familiar with the French talent pool of young players that Wenger has traditionally scoured for value signings.

Others believe Wenger badly misses the guidance and decisiveness of his friend, former vice-chairman David Dein, the man responsible for many of the club's most successful signings in the first decade of the manager's tenure.

Four years after he left the club, Dein's return would perhaps help when it comes to the issue of Fabregas. His son Darren is the Spaniard's agent, another twist in a long-running saga. Certainly, the bitter battle between Kroenke and Usmanov, who recently criticised the board for the recent lack of silverware, can hardly help when it comes to a consistent transfer strategy.

Usmanov now owns close to the 30% of shares required to be granted access to the club's detailed financial accounts under Premier League rules. He is expected to take up that opportunity in order to highlight where mistakes have been made over player contracts. Some feel that Gazidis is struggling, that Kroenke is too distant and needs to communicate directly with the supporters for the first time since taking control.

Perhaps no other club in the Premier League better demonstrates the tension between ambition and responsibility. There is tension between the main shareholders. There is tension between the board and the fans. And there is tension between Arsenal and Barcelona over what to do about Fabregas.

Arsenal's decision over their captain will set the tone for the club for seasons to come. But whatever Arsenal now does, the saga has highlighted challenging times for a traditional club struggling to adapt to the modern footballing landscape.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Fabregas will stay one more season at least. Perhaps even two seasons. Barcelona will then buy him for a cheaper amount when his contract is running down.

    As for Liverpool and Man Utd blowing nearly £60 million between them on hugely overated and over priced payers, well as a Liverpool fan I just hope that our spending on English players has stopped there!

  • Comment number 2.

    It's all gone wrong at the emirates since David Dein left. Love him or hate him, he ran the business end perfectly. Letting vaulable players contracts run down in the modern game is unforgivable and this isn't the first instance (Flamini??).

    This coupled with the fact we have allowed average players to sit pretty when they should have been shipped out (Denilson, Bentner, Vela etc).

    Let Cesc go now. Since he has made his intentions clear, there has been as spectre hanging over the club. Take what they offer and get fresh blood in. It's long overdue.

  • Comment number 3.

    Barcelona are claiming they are broke. They wont get Cesc for anything less than £45M, personally I wouldn't release him for less than £50M, thats the market right now. Arsenal are in a good position in terms of the contract, so unless Rosell can persuade Cesc to demand a move he isnt going anywhere this summer.

    Arsene needs to take this summer seriously, previously after ending a season poorly he has vowed to make changes but backtracked and stuck with mostly the same squad after regaining his 'belief'.

    My impression is even he wouldn't dare try that again.

  • Comment number 4.

    Fabregas will leave this time. Wenger begged him to stay one more season, and that season ended in dismal failure and rock bottom morale. Why would he want to stay?

    I'll wager that Arsenal are going to drop out of the CL qualifiers and PL top for this season, then Wenger will finally get the boot.

    JamTay1 needs to remember that Liverpool are not in the CL and will therefore have to pay more money to sign decent players - something that Arsenal will face before long.

  • Comment number 5.

    Something needs to be done about Barcelona and other big clubs constantly trying to unsettle players at other clubs.

    I think Arsenal should sell Fabregas but not to Barcelona and put in place a stipulation within the deal that the buying club must sign him on a six year contract and that they cannot sell him on to Barcelona.

  • Comment number 6.

    Here is the problem in a nutshell. Arsenal need a regular goalscorer, a 20 goal a season man who can take the pressure off RVP and the midfield. At Arsenal's level, only a world class will do. So what do they do? Sign a guy who scored 15 goals last season in France for £12m. Not good enough. And Fabregas is gonna know that more and more.

  • Comment number 7.

    How much is Ronaldo worth ? Rooney ? Torres ? Messi ?
    Fabregas is one of the finest midfield players in the world, Barcelona are dirty players, propoganda for two years, tug at their heart strings, get him for a song !
    If Wenger and Gazidis let him go for less than £45m he'll incurr the wrath of the fan's that have been genuinely loyal to him, Abromavich would buy Fab tomorrow for £50 million ?

  • Comment number 8.

    Fabregas is one of the top players out there but last season I thought he wasn't particularly great. Barcelona are correct that his value has gone down with the injuries and poorer form that he has shown this season. I feel he just needs a new challenge and cashing in on him would be the best thing to do. I've no doubt that he will be one of the top 5 players in the world. Would playing in Spain be good injury wise, I'm sure there is less chance of injury, Torres said he wanted to move back to Spain to prolong his career before he went and joined Chelsea!

    Arsenal really need to sort these youngsters out though, yes they have great youngsters but once they fit into the team they go to get paid bigger wages eg Flamini. This will keep happening. They produce the best young players only to sell them on. I will let Fabregas off on this one - He started at 16 I think for Arsenal and is now 24, he's given it 8 years and has seen Arsenal become a feeder club

  • Comment number 9.

    For all the rubbish, all Barca are doing is tapping up Fabregas.

    But of course being UEFA's darlings, nothing is being said.

    How can they come out with half the stuff they do and NOT be found to be breaking the rules, unbelievable.

  • Comment number 10.

    If Jordan Henderson is worth 20mil then Fab is worth at least 100mil. He'll still be on Barca's bench.

  • Comment number 11.

    Its time it was done and dusted. I appreciate the arguments that Fab's is worth a lot more on the basis that (as yet) average performers like Henderson are fetching 20 Million, but i do feel that his true value is about 32-35 Million. Its right that Fabregas's performances last season were at times lethargic albeit partly due to injuries but he is a really good player. Ive always honestly felt though, that hes a little overrated. I speak as one who has seen the majority of his games. He badly lacks speed and also some physical power.

    Let him go home Mr Wenger. Hes maybe got 6-7 top years in him and hes been here 8 years. Its time and our Club is at a level that its unlikely to improve upon seeing what we re up against. Hold him for much longer and you ll be selling him for Hendersons price by which time much disillusionment will have set in.

  • Comment number 12.

    If Wenger is thinking of selling Fabregas to replace him with Nasri then he should forget because although Nasri had an outstanding season he is not in the same class as Fabregas in terms of midfield control and passing.
    I'm not sure Wenger will use the Money from the sale of Fabregas to reinforce the squad either because about 2 years ago Adebayor and Toure were sold for a combined fee of about 40million and almost none of thata was used what makes Arsenal fans think he is going to use Fagregas' transfer money to reinforce ..

    Until Wenger goes out and buys top class players to reinforce the squad and replace Fabregas , Arsenal are never going to win anything ..

    Barcelona have won an average of about 3 trophies a season for the past 3 years and are still buying players such as mascherano for 18 million and sanchez for 35mil ...

  • Comment number 13.

    Fab has held back this season (prospect of a summer move in mind?). Wiltshire has stepped into his role more and more. Do Arsenal really need a less than 100% committed Fab? I don't think so. Let him go, get the money in and spend it. The later this drags the less time Arsene will have to get a replacement/other players.

    Also its a distraction for the team (the will he or won't he). He's had 6 odd years at Arsenal, time for him to go to barca. And who is to say he'll get into the team anyway.

    He can also come to Villa on loan if you like for the season. ;-)

  • Comment number 14.

    Get rid of him. Liverpool let go of an unhappy Torres and neither they nor his replacement, Suarez have done too badly.

  • Comment number 15.

    Surely Wenger realises that he needs to invest in his team. Every season there are question marks over his defence and goal keepers. It's plainly obvious to every observer outside of the club. Maybe the problem is that Arsenal just can't afford to compete. But not competing in the champions League will cost Arsenal more. There are now 6 teams vying for the top four.
    All that being said. Arsenal should not let Cesc leave on the cheap. In fact Arsenal should get him to sign a lucrative long contract as United did with Ronaldo meaning he cannot leave on the cheap.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well this is all 5 years too late, and the blame should be equally spread between the board and Wenger. The noises have always been that he had money to spend but hasn't done it. Quite simply the last 6 years show a lack of ambition from a club that should have pushed on to be one of the top 4 in Europe, not scrape fourth in England.

    What other top club would tolerate a manager who doesn't win things? Harry Redknap has a better recent record than Wenger.

    The "youth policy" is admirable in one respect but seems almost as short term as less noble transfer policies. It is not a commitment to homegrown talent that the club can build teams around, it is the plundering of other clubs' youth systems for players who leave as soon as they get a good offer.

    Does Wenger make all his players leave before they turn 30? Or do they find they have to look elsewhere? Modern footballers are actually at their best in their late 20s these days and there is an obvious lack of a Terry, Gerrard or Giggs type player at Arsenal.

    Unless they look to build a team over 5 years, based around players who will want to stay into their 30s, Arsenal will always be a footnote to the story of other clubs' dominance like they were with Liverpool and are now with Man United.

  • Comment number 17.

    why will nasri stay if fabergas leaves?

  • Comment number 18.

    There is no dilemna.

    If Barcelona meet Arsenal's valuation then Fabregas will be sold, if they don't then he won't be going anywhere.

    My view is that Barcelona can't afford him at the moment unless they fund the move with player sales. Perhaps Arsenal should start talking publicly about wanting to buy Messi and then put in a bid of £20m saying that;s all they believe him to be worth?

  • Comment number 19.

    I'll be glad to see the back of Fabregas.

    There is no doubting his talent, but when he gets frustrated he turns into the biggest cheat in the PL.

    Should fit in perfectly at Barcelona then ;o)

  • Comment number 20.

    re 2 richarddegreen

    Absolutely correct. I am sure that they remain the firmest of friends but in my opinion and clearly yours, it is no coincidence that Arsenal have won nothing since David Dein was ousted.
    Wenger/ Dein was a great partnership, one complimenting the other. Wenger's achilles heel is that he is too nice. Dein provided the steel and negotiating skill par excellence. The big question is how do we re instate him. He's certainly got Arsenal blood in his veins.

  • Comment number 21.

    4.At 11:29 25th Jun 2011, dogeared wrote:
    Fabregas will leave this time. Wenger begged him to stay one more season, and that season ended in dismal failure and rock bottom morale. Why would he want to stay?

    I'll wager that Arsenal are going to drop out of the CL qualifiers and PL top for this season, then Wenger will finally get the boot.

    JamTay1 needs to remember that Liverpool are not in the CL and will therefore have to pay more money to sign decent players - something that Arsenal will face before long.

    ............................................................

    I don't mind Liverpool spending big money on quality players (Suarez, Mereilles). It's when we are spending big money on mediocre players (Carroll, Henderson, Johnson etc) that I worry!

  • Comment number 22.

    The figure of £35m quoted for Barcelona's budget is nonsense, on winning La Liga and the CL their head of finances announced that they had "40-50m euros, plus what is brought in through transfers", given they have already sold 40m euros of players (Ibrahimovic, Caceres and Bojan) and have a number of other players up for sale (Hleb, Henrique, Jeffren) they have a formidable budget, add in that Rosell announced that if an "exceptional player" (ie. Cesc) became available additional funds would be provided on top of the specified transfer budget, so Barca pretty much have a blank cheque to sign him, they are also chasing one of Sanchez/Rossi and atleast one more defender (Angel from Gijon strongly linked) and a young Argentine being brought in. Barcelona have as much money as they want in this window id Cesc is their real target, the fact that they value him at less than Arsenal is no suprise as their motivation to sign him is double edged, on one hand they would love to have him in their squad as seemingly the natural successor to Xavi and is from the city, on the other paying over the top for a player that they let go reflects badly on the club in the views of some members and the need to spend such money on what is pretty much a luxury given as they have the best midfield in the world currently, there is no guarantee that Fabregas would be first choice in the big games, in fact I'd go so far as to say I'd be pretty sure that if everyone was fit and Cesc signed he would be on the bench in the Clasicos and the CL knockouts.

  • Comment number 23.

    Sell Fabregas, for the last two seasons he's played about half of the games. As mentioned in the article he's scored very few goals. He was out of the Carling cup final, did nothing at the Nou Camp (sorry gave the ball away for a goal) and little afterwards. Wilshere and Ramsey will no doubt fill the space he leaves, but money needs to be spent. All Arsenal fans know Wenger has rarely bought a decent centre back (Stepanovs et al). Nasri is the important player to keep, as well as finding the Holy Grail with Indiana Jones to keep Van Persie fully fit!

  • Comment number 24.

    Arsenal are now at a crossroads we have bought into the philosophy or developing players whilst balancing the books following the new stadium. The sponsorship deals will start to be renegotiated in the next few years as the original 10 year agreements come to an end and you get more when you are winning trophies. The current squad has become stale and the players do not even believe they are good enough to win the league. The position of Fabregas is largely symbolic but I would not blame him for wanting to go to his home club when he looks around at Arsenal and sees further future talent being bought when the glaring shortcomings in the first team remain unresolved. We need a 20 goal a season striker something that has only happened once since 2004. We need defenders that can defend and are big enough. Wenger established the mould with the Invincibles but has backed away from it ever since.

    Financially off the pitch the board needs to improve as we are conceding too much and this is being addressed with things such as the Asia tour and Kronkes record suggests more of this will happen and do not be surprised to see a greater push in the US.

    Arsenal need to purchase some proven talent otherwise we could be having this discussion next year as we embark on a season in the Europa league then the value of players will be less! It will be much harder to bounce back once out of the Champions league look at Liverpool the prices they are spending and the players they are buying!

    We need to establish a culture again of winning a trophy every year and not be content with a top 4 finish and a run in the cups.

  • Comment number 25.

    Fabregas wont be leaving Arsenal this season, next season I would say he will. Wilshere has grown tremendously this last season but is not quite there yet. Another season alongside a player like Fabregas will complete Wilsheres game, and would become time for him to improve alone.

    How United and Liverpool have just inflated the transfer market for rather adequate English talent, Wilsheres price would be in the region of £50m, with Wilshere still way behind Fabregas in terms of final ball, tactical awareness and general ability, anything less than £50m for Fabregas would be very bad business on Arsenals part.

    Arsenal need Fabregas for one more season at least, if Fabregas leaves this summer you can be sure that Nasri will. Keep Fabregas, tie down Nasri and let Fabregas leave next summer. Arsenal cannot afford to lose the two best midfielders in the league in the same summer.

  • Comment number 26.

    If cesc wants to go, there's only one thing he can do, hand in a transfer request. This will force arsenal to sell an unhappy player and barca to buy for about £35m

  • Comment number 27.

    Bring back 606!

  • Comment number 28.

    wenger and gazidis need to think carefully and not forget the bigger picture. Letting cesc for for anything less than 35m is criminal, if we can get more then great. His value will only decrease and he will not sign a new deal (unless he is desperate to earn more) but against that they need to balance morale. Also his sale funds good free up money for purchases, it is claimed wenger has 35m or so (this includes wages so in reality it is not that much may 20-25m on transfers) and this could be used to really drive improvement in the defence, look what liverpool have done with the torres money (they did overpay for carroll but that was a panic buy in the last hours as was chelseas purchase). I fear wenger is backing away from cahill and going for cheaper options, saving 3-5m on cheaper options pales into nothing when we miss out on champions league. they also need to swallow their pride with bendtner, clichy and denilson and not expect unrealistic fees, another season of these sub apr players chewing up 2-3m in wages is not preferable vs selling at more realistic prices (clichy 5-7m, bendtner 8-9m, denilson 6-8m)

  • Comment number 29.

    We suffer this pantomine every year from Barcelona, playing games with Arsenal and destabilising Fabregas. If they were genuinely sincere about recruiting Fabregas, then £50 million would immediately be on offer. Instead we have to endure their immature behaviour, claims that they "have no money" reports that they "have their man" counter reports stating "they've changed their minds" It's all part of Barcelona's summer ritual and game-playing which feeds the media, fuels speculation and rumour. Wenger is right to ignore and resist responding to this yearly charade, he's the manager and for him keeping Fabregas is a top priority.

  • Comment number 30.

    The Barcelona guy said Fabregas' value had gone down, which is as good as saying he's not the player he was, in which case, if I was Arsenal, I would be saying, "You don't want to buy him then." The guy is taking the proverbial. The bottom line is, "How influential has Fabregas been for Arsenal?", and "How much will it cost to buy someone who will be as influential?" I would say way beyond 35m, especially with the profit you would feel entitled to make on allowing someone to steal your captain. Who is there that Arsenal can bring in that will fill his shoes?! I'm struggling.

    The guy himself seems to want to go home, but I would say 70m, take it or leave it. Arsenal are in the driving seat, not as they would like to portray it, Barcelona.

  • Comment number 31.

    Still can't believe the lapse of judgement that allowed the likes of Flamini, Nasri and Clichy run down their contracts. Still can't believe the naivety of our long-term commercial contracts with Emirates and Nike or the failure to explore our commercial potential in foreign climes with pre-season tours in favour of friendlies with Austrian minnows while all our rivals trot the globe looking to boost their profile.

    So much naivety at all levels from the board to the players. There's so much wrong with this club at the moment and something has to change. It could be a lot worse but hiding behind that ignores the fact it could be a lot better too.

  • Comment number 32.

    20-25m + david villa and we should be talking not one of their tippy tppay players who would not cut in the prem such as bojan. we should have forced the deal harder with yaya toure last year that would have been a good deal but we did not drive and yaya went for the cash of city

  • Comment number 33.

    Messi wins medals, Fabregas is an also ran by comparison, sell, sell, sell!

  • Comment number 34.

    Hello. I cannot stand Barca, ever since that 2010 FIFA World Cup celebration when they showed their obvious arrogance and disrespect to Arsenal FC in that 'Barca & Cesc Jersey incident at the conclusion of the World Cup. Enough about those Wind-Bags.

    In February 2011, the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee from the House of Commons began an inquiry into the governance of football. They kicked off their Inquiry at the Emirates.

    I watched a video clip inside Arsenal.com titled FREE VIDEO: Gazidis - How Arsenal are run...As slick as Ivan Gazidas sounds when he speaks...He demonstated what a Hypocite and Forked Tongue person he is. He wanted the government to address the Ticketing Issue as he said that due to Player Transfer Fees and Player Salaries (both are inextricably linked), the young fans are driven and priced out of the Sradiums and he wanted to make it an objective of his to get the youth back into the stadium...That was Great to hear him espouse that, but then a couple of weeks ago...Arsenal raised the Ticket Prices and Liverpool FC announced they would NOT be raising their ticket prices because they did not want to price their young fans' out of the stadium.

    As for Senyor Fabregas, Arsenal should add on 50 million more pounds call ...its a Payment of Good Will for the Transgression over the jersey incident

    Cheers




  • Comment number 35.

    David Villa is better than Fabregas, why would they trade him + money for someone they don't need?

    At the minute Fabregas is a luxury that they'd like but in no way need, therefore they don't need to throw as much money at it, and he isn't worth €50m anyway, he's spent a lot of the season injured and has a year left on his contract from last year.

  • Comment number 36.

    The first thing to do now is to get rid of Arsene Wenger as quick as possible. It is rather surprising and difficult to understand why Arsenal keeps someone who has failed for 6 consecutive years. His religious and fanatical belief in his young players, his stubbornness, his poor vision has led the team to a disaster. Having failed to buy the right players during the Christmas period (to replace injured Vermaelen, to have a performant centre back etc.) have caused this disastrous situation with another trophyless season. Now not only no great player wants to play for Arsenal (the prefer to go to Manchester, Chelsea...), but the talented players are leaving. The only solution is to sack the lazy Arsene Wenger and get some ambitious and motivated manager.

  • Comment number 37.

    You cannot blame the owners for taking fans for a ride. the problem is Arsenal fans lack the gut to voice their concerns unlike the fans of other clubs. Why would a fan spend so much money season after season and see their club perform badly. fans of other clubs wont tolerate that yet Arsenal fans will suffer in silence and continue to spend on the club,,,,,,,,,thats what I will call extreme stupidity. i want Aesenal fans to respond to this charge. I dont think they will because they are too timid

  • Comment number 38.

    I believe Cesc will go to Barca in the next two years, but I do not agree that he will stay with us with a half hearted effort. IMO he wants to do a job to be proud of and will give his all with us until Barca make their move for him.

    As for his value, were he at a club who said they would sell him to anyone for £35m then how many clubs would bid? I think even Arsenal would.

  • Comment number 39.

    With respect, where's the proof that Arsenal are in 'advanced negotiations' with Everton for Phil Jagielka? There doesn't seem to be any foundation for this, other than a stupid link to a Daily Mail page.

    It's no wonder the smaller clubs and their fans hate the BBC, your lazy journalism undermines the efforts of clubs to retain their best players.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm a LFC fan and I thought our fans were crazy. More than 35 million for Fabregas? Do me a favour. If you want to assess a player's value it's no use citing another transfer where the player was ludicrously overpriced. That doesn't mean that the whole market shifts, it means that someone somewhere got ripped off. The market didn't change after Ronaldo cost 80 million, nor when Liverpool took Chelsea's pants down over Torres.Liverpool had the brains to tie Torres down and they knew how bady Chleski wanted him. Man Utd also had Ronaldo nailed to his contract, meaning that Real Madrid had to make a ridiculous offer to get him. Fabregas has a good way to go on his contract, but the one thing you don't have is a club that will pay an absurd fee. Stamp your feet all you like, but the best deal you can get is clear. Either he goes now for 35 million or you play hardball and demand more. If you do that then Barcelona will wait, spend the next 2-3 seasons winning everything in sight, then come back and get him in the last year of his contract for a song.Face it chaps. Your captain is leaving. He might go now for a very good price or he'll go in a few years and you'll get hosed down over the fee. It might appear to you as though possessing the player means you have the power, but in reality you have an asset that is worth 35 million now and which will depreciate every year, therefore the onus is on you to get the best deal, and that will happen if you sell now.

  • Comment number 41.

    You mention that Arsenal are doing badly in terms of commercial revenue compared to Man Utd, but how are they doing when compared to the other top teams? Chelsea's commercial revenue 2009/10- £56mill, Man City- £47mill, Tottenham- £31mill and Liverpool- £62mill. So in reality Arsenal are pretty much level with Tottenham and City, and slightly behind Chelsea and Liverpool. What a surprise. Arsenal though are currently 5th in the Deloitte Football Money League 2011, with Man Utd the only English team placed higher (3rd), but how? It seems ridiculous to me that you are trying to paint Arsenal out as the poor relation of the Premiership. You only mentioned match day revenue in passing, perhaps because it completely negates your points. So I'll do it for you. Man Utd- £100mill, Chelsea- £67mill, Man City- £24mill, Tottenham- £37mill and Liverpool- £43mill. Arsenal's was £94mill, more than making up for the discrepancies in commercial revenue. So it seems that the decision not to water down the stock was a good one, as the commercial deals will be renegotiated at the end of their 10 year contracts. And this is without the hefty profits from the property side of Arsenal's business. All of this means that Arsenal are easily the most comfortable team adhering to the new Financial Fair Play rules, while it looks increasingly unlikely that the other Premiership teams will make them. And at the end of the day, isn't that the most important thing with the new rules coming in? Don't you think the other clubs' might see something of a drop if they are not eligible to play in Europe? So explain to me why we would consider selling one of our best players for less than Luka Modric? Do you honestly still believe Arsenal are struggling financially?

  • Comment number 42.

    i think you should test how much barca want fabregas by asking for david villa plus cash for him and if they say no then dont sell him.

  • Comment number 43.

    I don't know about "unprecedented dissent", fewer than 5,000 turned up to an Arsenal home game in the sixties in a stay-away protest against Billy Wright's management. When I last looked 60,000 were still turning up week in week out at the Emirates.

  • Comment number 44.

    Barcelona are in a strong position because they know Fabregas doesn't want to play for any other club.

    There is no way they will pay the 50 million Euros Arsenal reportedly want for him because he wouldn't be a first-team regular - he has the same problem for Spain. Despite being a fantastic player, there is no way he can break up the Xavi-Iniesta partnership unless Barca and Spain change the way they play.

    I think Fabregas is more desperate to join Barcelona now than Barca are keen to have him immediately. While those rumours and photo opps with Barca players continue, it's difficult for Wenger and Arsenal to plan ahead. It's a horrible position to be in for all parties apart from Barcelona. They have a dream team which will not be broken up to accommodate a guy who is not first-choice for Spain.

    Good luck Arsenal!

  • Comment number 45.

    £30 million for Cesc from Barcelona is more than reasonable since we stole him from there. Any other club should be paying at least £40 million and i think Wenger should take the money and invest in a few experienced players.
    It's no coincidence that Cesc's 6 years commanding the midfield has left Arsenal trophiless. Fabregas's slow and sideways passing style gives the opposition enough time to organise their defence compared to Viera's direct and pacy style which has won us trophies.
    We need to let Fabregas go and bring in a new conductor of the Arsenal orchestra who will let us play our old quick, precise and forward passing style.Fabregas only signed an extended contract because he wanted Arsenal to get something when he moves, so Wenger don't be a greedy man. Let him go !!!!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Of course our captain will leave us, it's what he can do for us until that time that counts.
    If he help the club move forward to success and does another four years then Arsenal could consider letting him go for nothing after twelve years service, having cost nothing.
    I expect the actual event will be somewhere in between.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think Fabregas will think that a move to barca may seem like a step up, but in fact deep down he knows that he'd just be their utility player; rightly behind in the pecking order of the midfield maestros they already have there. Fab, would be better to stay with arsenal for another season, at least to see which players Wenger will bring in this summer, to much bolster our squad.

    Wenger will also know that this coming season is really make or break, and hopefully arsenal have entered negotiations with Pep already,a manager I'd love to be the successor. This all brings round the thinking that Wenger and Fab will give it one last season to win something big for us!

  • Comment number 48.

    Gooner here:

    a Blog on Arsenal at long last! i know the season is over but has AW and Arsenal gone into hiding to try and cover thier shame of last seasons diabolical efforts on all fronts apart from the CL.

    Personally im fed up with fabregas and think we should get rid of him, hes having a detremenatal effect on the team and many of the surporters. I think we should let him go! the guy says one thing " i want to win trophys with Arsenal " then next he's courting media attention about wether he should go or stay.

    I also think AW needs to bring far more disipline to these press interviews given by Arsenal Players, i am getting very very fed up with what I keep hearing about trophys but seeing a lack lustre performance and tired of Wengers excuses or reasons for failure.

    It is now the closed season, Wenger? get your act together! along with the complete Arsenal set up, including players and staff.

    stop yapping about winning trophys! stop yapping about " competeing on all fronts "

    and GET ON AND DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    or leave

    simples.

  • Comment number 49.

    i forgot to add:

    hello to all fellow Gooners i have seriously missed many of you and reading your comments!


  • Comment number 50.

    Arsenal have gone through a few tough years financially, and have sold players to fund their purchases in those years. It seems that some people (and clubs) have now got the idea that we remain a selling club. They forget that those sales were for a purpose, and largely were players that the club were happy to see leave.

    As things stand, Arsenal have no need to sell Fabregas. He has around four years left on his contract, has not publicly pushed for a move and in fact has publicly said he is happy to stay, at least for now. Under those circumstances, why on earth would Arsenal allow him to leave for anything less than their own valuation of the player?

    That valuation has to be based on: 1) The cost of effectively replacing the player. 2). An added cost to compensate the club for selling a player against their wishes. With that in mind I find the idea of £35 million as being overpriced as amazing. For those suggesting this, I would like to see who they suggest as replacement.

    The bottom line is until Barcelona offer close to what Arsenal think the player is worth; nothing is going to happen.

  • Comment number 51.

    If Arsenal can get £40 million for him they should sell him.

    Afterall they have a better player in Jack Wilshire ready to step up...

  • Comment number 52.

    Adam - Poster 40 is spot on.

    The only way that we could get more than 30-34 Mill for Fab's is if there were other Clubs in for him with a chance of signing him who are daft enough to pay the cash. This is the thread upon which Barca sit on in negotiations and you cant blame them for 'sticking' where they are. We re selling to a 'market' with only one buyer. Fabregas shd be told that if he really wants out of Arsenal, he should be agreeable to going anywhere. It wdt worry me if he joined another PL Club for the right money (provided it was reinvested in the team).

  • Comment number 53.

    Here we go, another article with loads of comments "If X is worth £20m then Z is worth atleast £100m". Very tedious.

  • Comment number 54.

    test

  • Comment number 55.

    Crow4England -

    Jack's very good and one for the future, but he's only had one season to bed into the team and lacks experience, especially on the discipline front. Could he take over from Fab one day yes, but it would be surely too much of a burden to lump on him just now. Whereas with fab going, this could mean that nasri agrees to sign long term, with the promise from wenger of filling fabs boots. Nasri was awesome last season, and IMO if it was a toss up between the two right now, nasri would win and fab would be packing.

  • Comment number 56.

    blogs screwed bye

  • Comment number 57.

    55

    Sorry my friend. Cant agree there. Nasri was good till Xmas. He wilted like a daffodil in March after the New Year. Nasri lacks what it takes to boss a midfield in my view. He dissapears v the very best sides. No way is he a Fabregas in waiting. In 3 seasons hes flirted with consistency and been consistent in his propensity to hide when the going gets tough. For the cash thats been mentioned, id consider selling him whatever happens on the Fabregas front. Hes not near the quality of player he seems to think he is.

    Just my view, but i know its one shared by quite a few.

  • Comment number 58.

    If Barca are as desperate to sign him as they claim, why won't they break the bank to do so? Apparently they're willing to for Sanchez, so if I was Wenger, I'd definitely be pointing it out to Fabregas. They clearly must not actually want him all that much. And anyone who says Fabregas is overvalued at £35mill, I think the best player for comparison is Modric. Similar length of contract and age, but which would you rather have? Can anyone honestly tell me they believe these two players are worth the same amount?

  • Comment number 59.

    If he goes others will definitely follow, nasri, clichy and a few others with rvp next season. Arsenal fans have every right to feel fed up, the players return back to pre season soon and still no world class keeper, decent central defender and another striker signed.

  • Comment number 60.

    the reason his valuation is falling is quite simple;

    he was unable to put in a full shift, just like many of the others

    Wenger and Arsenal are talking a good game as ever but are unable to deliver when it matters and i am rather perplexed about the signing of another youngster for all of 1 million who happens to have been a boyhood fan of Arsenal. apparently its is viens realy? where have we heard this clap-trap before?

    we wont win trophys relying on that sort of buisness thats for sure

  • Comment number 61.

    @58.
    Based on last season modric

  • Comment number 62.

    57. Bergysdeftflicks -

    IMO Nasri was miles better than fab last year, and made a much more telling contribution to our team. I will agree his form dipped second half of season, but so did the whole teams. He was the guy everyone was watching last season, and given the captaincy, I think he's got it in him to only get better and take the team forward. I will agree to disagree on that one...

    58. Nick -

    No, honestly I can't tell you they are the same player/price. Modric is worth 22 million last rag I read, while Fab is worth 30-35 million - which is a difference of approx 8-13 million. Also one has won a world cup and euro cup with country,to quote a recent line -"not fit to lace his boots"

  • Comment number 63.

    Fabregas will eventually end up back at Barca, there can be no doubt about that. But, at this particular moment, Arsenal simply cannot afford to sell him and certainly not at anything below their asking price.
    People talk about his real worth, but he would walk straight into the midfield of virtually every club side in Europe, let alone the Premier League, with the current Barca side being the only exception.

    The difficulty for Arsenal is that they are trying to show that they have a real determination to get back into the winners circle, whilst balancing that against managing their finances.
    Samir Nasri has been quoted as saying that he wants to see what Arsenal do in the transfer market before committing himself to an extended contract. Nasri was outstanding up until Christmas and then pretty average after that, but you have to question whether he really wants to stay as well.

    As others have said, if Febregas leaves, then so does Nasri.

    Arsenal then face the near impossible task of replacing both.

    You also have to consider the attitude of some players too. Take Odemwingie at West Brom for example. He has been reported as saying that he turned down a move to Arsenal because they didn't offer him enough money!!

    I mean no disrespect to West Brom, but I would have thought that if a player's motivation was based around improving his prospects as a player, rather than lining his pockets, he'd jump at the chance to join a top 4 club.

    I do have some reservations about Arsenal's prospects, but there are so many different stories that bounce around in the press, I'll stick to my policy of waiting until I see a player pictured in his new club's shirt before believing the news.

  • Comment number 64.

    Fab wants to go home and win trophies......FACT. He's doing neither at Arsenal. He's been there 8 years. How long do you want him to stay Wenger? He's not unhappy, and unhappy players however good they are need to be sold!

    Spurs to overtake Arsenal as No1 team in North London!

  • Comment number 65.

    For me I don't think there's any doubt that, in the current market, Fabregas is worth more than £30 million. The trouble that Arsenal will have though is that if Cesc has finally decided this summer is the one where he wants out and they don't let him, they could end up with their captain not really having his heart in it next season which would lead to A) the team suffering and B) his value dropping even more. If Arsenal do decide to take the money, it's hardly going to help convince the likes of Nasri to stay seeing the club selling it's best player.

    It's a tricky situation.

  • Comment number 66.

    the team which won thier league in some style and made the best the premiership had to offer look like a sunday pub 11 do not need mr CF thats for sure.

  • Comment number 67.

    Fab is the next replacement for Xiavi, he is now 31, maybe 2 more seasons. Wenger must know this, and at some point Fab will go for less, if i was Wenger he should cash in now.

  • Comment number 68.

    Cesc is a world class player, that much is obvious. For his age, he's probably the best midfielder in the league. But if he wants to leave then there's only so long we can keep him. What's important now is to buy players in preparation for his move, since that's probably inevitable. I think Nasri was our last quality signing and that was almost 3 years ago.

    Arsenal basically need a player in every position. We need two other strikers, good ones this time. Another right back since Eboue can't cover for Sagna now, and a quality midfielder. We also need to keep the meat and lose the fat which is pretty much Arshavin, Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky, Vela(?), Diaby, Djourou, and Squillaci. Bringing in players that can not just cover these positions but are time proven, players who'll play aggressively and not just beautifully.

  • Comment number 69.

    " lose the fat which is pretty much Arshavin "

    nothing at all wrong with Arshavin, the rest i agree with

    especially that blank Bendtner.

  • Comment number 70.

    Do Barcelona truly think Fabregas has gone down in value, or is just because his contract has a year less to run? The wages they offer him might be the better yard-stick. Fabregas may not have had a great season, but it's still less than a year since he made the last pass to create the goal that won the World Cup. (Torres hasn't had a good club season either, but he was the last Spanish player to kick the ball before Fabregas for the same goal.).

    Even without recent silverware, many neutrals think Arsenal play football that is attractive to watch, and that will help attract the best. And if he does leave, Arsenal fans can remind themselves that not long ago Wayne Rooney was publicly bleating about the prospects for Man Utd.

  • Comment number 71.

    the team which won thier league in some style and made the best the premiership had to offer look like a sunday pub 11 do not need mr CF thats for sure.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What if he doesn't want to be at Arsenal though? Like I said if his hearts not in it he'd be more of a hindrance to Arsenal than an asset. He's a Catalan through and through, maybe it's time for Arsenal to cash in.

  • Comment number 72.

    71.At 15:15 25th Jun 2011, We all follow United wrote:

    ------------------

    I agree but not solely due his apparent worth and " profit " at the end of the day
    the apparent love fest with this individual should cease and cease quickly.

    its not good for Arsenal as a team.

  • Comment number 73.

    Another "blog-about-nothing".
    Barca don't need him but they will in a year or two. Then he will go.
    End of.
    Snore.

  • Comment number 74.

    What if he doesn't want to be at Arsenal though? Like I said if his hearts not in it he'd be more of a hindrance to Arsenal than an asset. He's a Catalan through and through, maybe it's time for Arsenal to cash in.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree with the sentiment, but so far he has done nothing to suggest that he wants out. OK he has repeatedly said that he would like to go at some point, if the circumstances are right, but he is happy at Arsenal.

    If he did want to go, yes we should cash in, but how do we do that if we ignore the value that the club places on him and just take what Barcelona offer. People have used the idea of value as if it is objective, Arsenal value him higher than others would because of what he means to the club. That does not make their valuation wrong.

    It is interesting that other transfers have been mentioned in comparison where the player went for an overvalued price (guessing Torres and Carrol most recently), and it being said that Fabregas' price should not be dictated by those players. In all of those cases the situation is exactly what we have here (Club not wanting or needing to sell) so surely they are exactly the transfers we should be using to compare with Fabregas.

  • Comment number 75.

    I really don't see where Wenger is going with this.

    Like I [and many other fans] said back in 2007, Wenger's philosophy is one that ruins players both physically and commercially.

    His approach on the pitch wears everyone down and makes them prone to injury much too early. They are nearly always playing 'catch up'. His lack of winning mentality makes them look like losers well below reality. By the time a player wants to move on he is in fact of no commercial or championship consequence to both Arsenal and the recipient club.

    Who in the world would like to break his bank just because he wanted to buy a player who has spent nearly all his carrier 'improving' or 'maturing' and has never won a single trophy in his entire peak period?

    Just sell the man and lets get over with it. Buy some brute defender and a good striker, and lay off the over-passed style of football so that our buys can work effectively. This experiment has gone on for much too long.

  • Comment number 76.

    why not offer him free to Barca - and Arenal get Iniesta in an exchange. Thereby we're both happy

  • Comment number 77.

    " He's a Catalan through and through "


    rummour has it our latest aquasition is Arsenal through and through im overjoyed at such news if however this is the case lets hope he actually proves it on the pitch.

    i now wait for the next press conference where i hear " i want to win things with Arsenal "

    so far they are very empty gestures indeed and im no longer convinced by such mantra very much the same im not at all convinced by Wengers reasons for last years capitulation following another run in with Birmingham City only this time it was not a leg at stake it was a trophy and we didnt even manage that.

  • Comment number 78.

    I am personally sick to the back teeth of fans of other clubs and the hard of thinking Arsenal "fans" who insist that Cesc Fabregas is "not worth more than £35m."
    Who says? You? Your mum? The guy down the pub? The hack from the tabloid rag you read?
    So what? Who cares what you or anyone else thinks?
    These are the only people that matter in the case of what Cesc is worth:
    Cesc Fabregas himself, Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis, the manager of the club who match the fee that Arsenal Football Club place on their captain. Anyone else, including Rossell or any other club chairman, president or manager can take a long jump off a short pier..!
    If the buying club match the fee of a world class midfielder with 4 years left on a contract, a player who has already won every international honour in the game at just 23, then they get the player.
    If they dont, then they wont..simple as that.
    As for Barcelona, you can work out how honest and trustworthy Barcelona are by just listening to quotes from their club president: "We have a transfer fund of 45m Euros and no more."
    Then, in the same fortnight, they sign Sanchez for a touch over £30m, then offer Arsenal a derisory £27m for Fabregas! What happened to 45m Euros??
    This of course from the club that have pillaged Arsenal of Overmars, Petit, Henry, Hleb, Silvinho, etc but want you to feel sorry for them because they lost Cesc to Arsenal...big deal. Cesc has now actually spent the same time at Arsenal as he spent at La Maisa with Barca..
    As for the question of his real worth..some facts that seem to have eluded some of the "experts" quoted on this blog:

    Fabregas completed 38 through balls in the league last season which was 15 more than the player in second place. This in just 22 starts. An assist every 172 minutes. This made him the league’s most creative player by a mile. In an injury hit season!!
    Cesc Fabregas also has more assists in top 5 leagues in last 5 seasons than any other player, ahead of every other player including Barcelonas Dani Alves, Messi & Xavi etc etc...yet hes not worth £45??
    Absolute rubbish..
    If cesc leaves it will be because someone has paid what he is worth and his real worth seems to be around £45m according to club insiders, whether rival fans, rival clubs or anyone else for that matter, including mis-informed or indeed mischievous journalists like it or not.....!

  • Comment number 79.

    Wenger has kept on claiming there's a crop of young talents in the team. Tell me who are the proven ones, except Wilshire? Wenger has been too lenient with all the deadwood in the team, they should have been off loaded long ago and spare the money for necessary reinforcement. The problems with the bean-curb defence had cost us chances to win trophies in the last few seasons, but Wenger had done nothing - this is unforgivable.

  • Comment number 80.

    First off "Still can't believe the lapse of judgement that allowed the likes of Flamini, Nasri and Clichy run down their contracts."
    Arsenal have been pursuing a frugal financial line by not throwing huge chunks of cash at the transfer market and paying over the top wages, have invested in a new stadium and cashed in on their world-wide 'brand' as well as receiving some nice layoffs from good positions in the CL and EPL. That is why they have the best financial position of all the top clubs ( sugar daddies notwithstanding!)
    These players contracts stall because they ask for more money than Arsenal are prepared to pay. There has not been any mention of Fabregas' wage demands just that he " wants to go back to his boyhood club"

    Although not winning anything recently, Arsenal have established themselves financially for the near future and have better prospects than other clubs. But the time has come to up the ante. The squad is now 2 or 3 players away frombeing a 'dynasty' team and Cesc will be part of that if we get, as others have mentioned, a goalscorer, a commanding DM ( yes Song does not count) and a CB. I can understand fans frustration at Wenger picking up 'almost' good players, but the clubs strategy of not joining the 'silly money' people WILL pay off.

  • Comment number 81.

    And if the season starts with Cesc still in the team he will play with all his heart. Anyone who thinks he will not be into it is a numptydump!
    He does not want yo leave otherwise he would be gone!

  • Comment number 82.

    Sell Fabregas for whatever the market will bear. Strengthen the defense and buy a top goal-keeper. Trim the team of periphery players that are just not good enough and bring in players who want to play football rather than cash the pay check. Four trophies, four failures this season. Not good enough.

    It may be time to think the 'unthinkable' and consider replacing the manager. Perhaps a manager who is not scared to spend on star names will attract the sort of revenues from sponsors we need. It would be unforgivable for Arsenal not to qualify for the Champions League. But then it is unforgivable for them to qualify and then squander the chance.

    As supporters we want to see big games with big names. We do not want to watch the likes of Man U, Chelsea, Man City buying big and playing ordinary football. We love the flowing football Arsenal is famed for. Open you eyes Mr Wenger before you walk blindly through the exit!

  • Comment number 83.

    Every year we hear Arsenal are gonna drop out of the champs league and in response to 64, u spuds drop that one every year too, never quiet seems to happen though, keep dreaming son.

  • Comment number 84.

    American Gunner here. Is it just me, or does anyone else see a bigger problem in losing Clichy than Fabregas? we have other Midfielders, and frankly speaking, I suspect that the mileage on Fabregas is just about up (think of the other "big names" that Wenger have cut loose, and what they are doing today). But Arsenal ALREADY have a leaky defense-- losing an experienced defender like Clichy seems more damaging season-wise. Now, I like the idea that they are trying to sign Samba-- that is the type of defender we need-- but, if it were up to me, I'd be taking the Barca money for Fabregas AND a quality Defender from their ranks (say, Abidal), then use the money to find a decent goaltender and replacement for Cesc. We've got to fix the base problems in the team first, then worry about how to replace Fabregas.

  • Comment number 85.

    i'd keep Arshavin any day


    he works! he trys! he makes mistakes but then who dosen't now this is a guy we should all rally around i sincerly hope i see his puffy red cheeks next season he might be small but in typical russian style is as tuff as iron and can cause damage.

    at least we dont need to spend bucket loads on a keeper, we are already in possession of a very good prospect indeed!

    and we have the virminator, nasri is needed! and so is erm Kon wats his name

    rosisky, bendtner need to be put out to grass, the later will feel well at home hes got less grace than a wilderbeast on the serengeti plains even a nile crocodile will spot his obvious weakness and drown the MF.

  • Comment number 86.

    Yes, some transfer fees are silly and ridiculous. But when some clubs are willing to pay, that becomes a market price. If Arsenal are not willing to pay, that means they're out of the market or non-competitive in the market; then ended up in no trophy any more. It's true this is not a fair or realistic market, but the fact is you pay peanuts, you get monkies.

  • Comment number 87.

    64.At 14:54 25th Jun 2011, IndiaWorldChampions2011 wrote:

    ------------------

    much as it pains me to mention chelsea in fact were ahead of us both as for THFC being ........................whatever THFC are or you percieve them to be i can only offer;

    dream on!


    83.At 16:10 25th Jun 2011, vavahume wrote:

    ------------------

    and a lil polite reminder to you, Arsenal as yet, are not in this years CL memory serves we have to qualify and the reason/s?????? fit on the palm of my hand.

  • Comment number 88.

    Fabregas is personally half the problem, he will not say he wants to leave and nor would he ask for a transfer.....and yet lets it known to all and sundry that he wants to go. You have to move on, let him go and be done with it, I am not sure quite why Barcelona want him but take the money and run.

  • Comment number 89.

    you are all having a laugh

    1. we have people from opposing teams taking the mick with stupid comments

    2. If barca want him then they should be willing to pay minimum 40million even if he not having great season e.g. torres not having great season but sold to chelsea for stupid money thus same should apply for fabregas. Also they are quting stupd valuation for modric when Fabregas is an alround better player. If modric worth such & such Fab is worth double.

    3. David villa coming to arsenal would be great buy & would give arsenal a plan b & not just rely on on van persie because he can not do it all on his own.

    4. We definately need get rid of rubbish such as bendtner (can't hit barn door & is too greedy thinking he is better than he is way too much) & denilson (weak & gives balls away)

    5. 2014 will be a major year in my opinion when lots of sponsorships & contracts etc need renewing etc.

    6. We need good & bulky players e.g. GK: Buffon, (world class), Paul Robinson, Given, DF: Jagielka (everton's John Terry, Samba or cahill. Striker: Villa or someone pacey (well known) Benzema might find it better in prem as arsenal might suit his style more.

    7. Either wenger buys/sells what we all know he needs to or he goes & we get someone who doesn't mess around & gets job done (even if little messy) e.g. mourinho = he certainly knows how to win & seems to have cracked the champions league code.

    Rant over from this gooner phew!

  • Comment number 90.

    Surely this next season is gunna be a make or break one for Wenger, I've been frustrated in recent seasons but I've never once called for his head, if next season ends like this last one will any fellow gooners here still find a case for backing him ?

  • Comment number 91.

    90.At 16:40 25th Jun 2011, vavahume wrote:

    ------------------------

    no.

  • Comment number 92.

    he does not want yo leave otherwise he would be gone!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So if Arsenal accepted a bid, you think he'd choose to stay? Really?


  • Comment number 93.

    To be honest, I wish these two clubs would just get it over with. This has got to be the most tedious, prolonged transfer saga of all time. It's pitifully obvious the player wants to go. Equally as obvious Barca want him. Just get it done and at last we can all move on.

  • Comment number 94.

    91.
    At 16:42 25th Jun 2011, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:

    No

    Me too, For me if we had won the carling cup that would have eased the pressure temporarily and I'd have said that he should be given two more seasons but we didn't, so one season to sort it out or leave

  • Comment number 95.

    94.At 16:51 25th Jun 2011, vavahume wrote:

    -----------------

    hi fella.

    its not the loss that bothered me it was the manner in which this happened and also subsequent events that unfolded IMHU AW has had enough warnings and seen the glareing problems to make amends, I am not expecting mega money signings, what i wanto to see is application, dedication effort the last few seasons have seen a very woeful attitude the manager needs to accept responisbilty not blame it on poor referees or numbers of games. these excuses are wearing very thin.

    its about time he acted decisivly to redress these problems .

  • Comment number 96.

    Dan- There is an old adage about "staying too long in one place", especially when you have made it clear that at some stage you will move on!..... and that situation surely now relates to Cesc Fabregas?
    Cristiano Ronaldo had always made it clear he eventually wanted to go to Real Madrid and he left United, more or less at the right time and the rightprice (for United)...although there had been rumours of his leaving the season before!
    Fabregas has made no secret of his desire (eventually) to return to Barcelona and (assuming he doesn't go!) this will be the third season with rumours abounding.
    This 'will he, won't he' cannot be good for the player or the club and in particular with two of the brighest prospects in mid field in Wilshere and Ramsey, Arsenal could now confidently release the reins and book Fabregas his ticket back to Spain and still get a decent price for him. However if this 'waiting for the other shoe to drop' syndrome continues, Arsenal will continue in turmoil and silverware will be even further away than it is already.
    Its a 'no brainer' really, even for the most deluded Gooner!

  • Comment number 97.

    95.
    At 16:56 25th Jun 2011, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:

    94.At 16:51 25th Jun 2011, vavahume wrote:

    -----------------

    hi fella.

    its not the loss that bothered me it was the manner in which this happened and also subsequent events that unfolded IMHU AW has had enough warnings and seen the glareing problems to make amends, I am not expecting mega money signings, what i wanto to see is application, dedication effort the last few seasons have seen a very woeful attitude the manager needs to accept responisbilty not blame it on poor referees or numbers of games. these excuses are wearing very thin.

    its about time he acted decisivly to redress these problems .

    Yep, totally agree mate. I'm HOPING but definitely not expecting that all will come good this coming season, once AGAIN! just like last season

  • Comment number 98.

    Fabregas does not want to be at Arsenal, he could have played through the injuries but did not have the commitment. Now his presence just unsettles the rest of the Team. Sell him and move on.

  • Comment number 99.

    Barça wants Fábregas, but aren't willing to pay more than €40 million.
    Fábregas wants Barça, but not willing to hand in a transfer request to Arsenal.
    Wenger wants Fábregas, and won't be satisfied with less than €50 million.

    In the end, it is pretty much a mistake from all parties. Barcelona know Cesc is valued more than what they are offering but in Catalonia, it is a popular belief that Cesc is their gem who was stolen from them and you don't pay to get back something that was stolen from you. Cesc's mistake was signing a ridiculously long-term contract extension which in modern football is obsolete if not ridiculous. And Arsenal's mistake is holding a player hostage at a club his heart doesn't belong to any more, referring to the contract in place between the player and the club.

    In the end, in my humble opinion, Arsenal's problem isn't all about money, Emirates or Nike. I for one believe Arsene Wenger is a great person in finding talent, his philosophy of football and club management. But as a football coach, he lacks authority, charisma and is too stubborn to change his mind about a lot of things that have been Arsenal's cause of failure in the last 6-7 years. If Arsenal want to succeed, he should step down and become a Sporting Director for the club because that is what he does best.

  • Comment number 100.

    @#2 Richarddegreen (can i call you sir Richard de Green) your comment..spot on...best comment i have seen here. Period!

 

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