Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cesc and Nasri, don't let door hit you on the....

Fans of football, Barcelona and Arsenal are all waiting for the soap opera that is Cesc to come to an end. All signs indicate that the Arsenal captain will be heading back to his former club shortly. This has been long time coming and the soap opera for the past few seasons has been a distraction and quite frankly nauseating. Add to this all the horse bleep that has come out of Barcelona and the likes of Puyol and Xavi doing their best impersonation of John Calipari on the UK recruiting trail. I said this a few years ago when there was all kinds of smoke around Titi Henry and his leaving Arsenal, at some point it is better to sell the player rather than force him to stay. That is if you have a plan in place to leverage the revenue from the sale to back fill the position...

Chasing each other out of town
When it comes to Cesc, I can understand the desire to head back to where his heart is. While I cannot blame him, I still feel slightly bitter towards the Spaniard. I will admit, much of this is linked to his being anointed as he replacement for Vieira, he was even given the #4 shirt! My respect for Pat is nothing new and to me the way Vieira was shown the door at Arsenal is directly linked to the arrival or Cesc. From a footballing stand point I understand what Wenger was doing and seeing Vieira's career since leaving Arsenal indicate that Wenger was slightly vindicated. Or would Vieira's steel resolve been valuable the past few seasons? Cesc doesn't want to be here anymore, let him go, thanks for your time here, too bad you couldn't lead us to any silverware.

As for Nasri, his reputation as the "Petit Prince" has not been diminished in his demands for more money and subsequently forcing his sale, most likely to Manchester City. One characteristic that should never be criticized (not because it isn't criticize-able but just because it is a simple reality) is the desire of an professional footballer to seek more money.  I do not discount the frustration that must be felt by the likes of Nasri at a legitimate inability to challenge for silverware by Arsenal. But I am sure that if Arsenal met Nasri's pay demands, the lack of silverware contention would be quickly forgotten.

I would ask Wenger to get these two out of town as soon as possible, and with as much time as possible left in the transfer season. Not that Wenger or Arsenal will take advantage of that time. The Gunners have become the epitome of a club that is more concerned about the cash flow and balance sheets rather than the score sheets and trophy case. Granted the most recent transfers have Arsenal in the red:

Arsenal FC Arsenal FC -15.474.800 £

Gervinho (Lille) 10.560.000 £
Francis Coquelin (Lorient) * -
Pedro Botelho (FC Cartagena) * -
Armand Traoré (Juventus) * -
Carl Jenkinson (Charlton) 990.000 £
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Southampton) 12.144.000 £
Jens Lehmann (End of career) -
Mark Randall (Chesterfield) free transfer
Gaël Clichy (Man City) 6.820.000 £
Denílson (São Paulo) * ?
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Ipswich) 1.100.000 £
Pedro Botelho (Rayo Vallecano) * 299.200 £
Total: 23.694.000 £ Total: 8.219.200 £

However, if they sell Nasri and Cesc, receiving the expected to add close to 60m £ that would rapidly swing the negative into a 40m £ + positive. Now if Wenger is
willing to take that windfall and actually invest maybe I will be play with all this. 
But I fear he will buy a few bargain basement players and 
call it a day.

Alas, we might be looking at another season of no silverware and maybe even, 
gasp a place in the Europa League! Wenger's war chest must be quite 
healthy, unfortunately that money sitting in a bank does not score goals, make
tackles, dribble defenders or make passes.

Use it Wenger, otherwise what's the point?


josemanes said...

Cesc's heart may be Barcelona, but I think he missed a great career opportunity at Arsenal. He was given the captain's band at a top flight English team and now he is giving it up. I am not sure that he will be given the same opportunity at Barcelona. He will have to prove that he can be a leader and be more secure with the ball in the midfield. I think players like Iniesta have earned their stripes and are in more of a position to inherit the Barcelona captain's band.

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