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The Cesc dilemma: the real reason why we should not let him go

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Walter Broeckx

The questions surrounding Cesc and to a lesser part Nasri are very important issues for Arsenal.

Some supporters are ready to drive them to the airport themselves. I can understand them for a part. After all the tapping up from his Spanish team mates Cesc is in real doubt. And the fact that a part of the Arsenal supporters are turning against the manager and the players will also have him thinking why he is doing it. If you don’t feel supported by the supporters it gets even more difficult.

In a previous article I showed how important Cesc and Nasri have been when it comes to goals.  For those who have missed it I give you the numbers of the goals and the statistics again.

Fabregas 3 11 14
Nasri 10 1 11

And if you let those numbers sink in please take notice that with Cesc injured almost half the games he was involved in 14 goals and Nasri in 11. That is a total of 25 goals in total from those players.  And in fact because of his injuries this was one of the lesser years for Cesc.

But there are other numbers involved also and as I found the goals and assists I also found the numbers of chances created.

Just have a look. These chances did not lead always to a goal. But this does hint at the fact that those players were creative and could create something on the field which could have lead to a goal.

Player Chances created Total
Van Persie 37
Walcott 16
Chamakh 36
Arshavin 44
Song 30
Diaby 9
Wilshere 57
Fabregas 61
Nasri 57
Rosicky 26
373

There are no numbers for Vela, Ramsey and Gervinho because they hardly played or played in another league/team.

And then you can see even more the importance of Fabregas for Arsenal. Remember once again that he hardly played in half the games last season but still managed to create most of the chances for Arsenal. 61 chances and he played 22 games. This means that he is responsible for some 3 chances per game!!! If you can find another player who can do such thing please let me know.

And yes we have other players who created a lot like Nasri and Wilshere. But they come near Fabregas but have played more games. 28 games and 31 games to be precise.  Still creating some 2 chances per game but there is a big gap between Fabregas and the other.

If you take in account that we need around 5,5 chances to score a goal this tells us that we need a player like him and Nasri and Wilshere around.

So losing Cesc would be  very, very hard to face. It would take away some 16% of our chances. Combining this with Nasri and you will lose around 30% of our chances.

So I can understand Wenger for not letting go  these players even at the risk of letting Nasri go for free next summer. I also would not let them go and certainly not both of them.

And this brings me to another point. As much as I can understand Cesc for wanting to play for Barcelona in his career, and as much as I can understand Barcelona for wanting Cesc back,  with these numbers in mind I can only come to the conclusion that Cesc is priceless for us.  What is the right price for a priceless player? What is the right price of Barcelona to let Messi go?

So if I would have anything to say to Cesc I would tell him to get on with his job and to start playing for Arsenal as he is supposed to do after signing his contract. Only a super, super amount of money can be enough to let Cesc go. And if Cesc don’t like it, than this is all too bad for him.

When a grown up person, an adult, signs a contract which earns him a lot of money he can only do what he is supposed to do and that is play for the club he signed the contract.  And if he really doesn’t want to play again for Arsenal then he should come out with this in the open and accept the consequence and that would be that Arsenal will sell him to the highest bidder they want. And I have a slight feeling that this would not be Barcelona.

Only then and for a new transfer record sum I would let him go. Cesc is priceless for us and losing him would throw us back. That is a fact as the statistics show.

Oh and I think it also showed on the field this weekend I think. With a fit Cesc in this team with the players we have… we could be unstoppable.

Love and football

Will we score more?  Looking ahead to the season

Want to be treated like an idiot? Try ESPN.

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34 comments to The Cesc dilemma: the real reason why we should not let him go

  • Philbet

    Dont be too down on losing Fabregas, I believe there is around a 60% chance he goes,which means we will lose 16% of attacking options but he will be replaced and even if thet player is not as prolific, should be able to provide assistance in over 12% of our goals,its not as if we wont have an attacking midfielder or were playing with 10 men !!!
    A 4% reduction in output probable means 3 points in a season,these three points could be the differance between winning the championship or even qualifing for the CL, what the side needs is to add players who will improve us by 4-5% to turn us into challengers,thats the target set the management of the club not worrying about life without Cesc.

  • I guess we could know who will be there and who will leave by tomorrow’s team photo session. I guess we might be losing Fabregas for a bargain price to barc*unts 🙁

  • Frankisek

    If you lose them somebody else will filll their boots. So you might lose 3 to 4 % for a few months and after things will balance. Some of the players in the squad could rise to the occasion. You never know…

  • nicky

    Statistics can be made to prove almost anything. At the end of the day, we have a player who, quite legitimately wants to return to his birthplace, after a number of years in the employ of the Club which has nurtured him so well. So far, he has kept his wish private between himself and his manager, which is to be commended.
    If Barcelona will meet the valuation set by Arsenal, IMO, he should be allowed to leave now. In the event that a deal is so late that it prevents Arsenal signing a replacement in time for the start of the new season, then the sale should be delayed until the January Window.

  • critic

    one point i agree on is cesc, if to be sold, should fetch us 60m pounds. If arsenal don’t get that money then he should be kept. Barc-ha ha ha ha can keep their 35m.
    He clearly is valuable for us and that’s why wenger’s stance baffles me. Arsene should come out public about cesc price. If anyone wants him then they should pay the money.
    40m buys u henderson and carrol with 10m debt nowdays.

  • countryboy

    @gooner_114, that blog post is probably the best I have read all summer. Its so balanced that doesnt jump on the bandwagon of the the dominant view of the press. At the same time, its sincere enough to tell us the truth without unreasonably criticizing and being sychophantic. A must read for all gooners. A favorite part of the blog is whre the writer reminded us who tge enemy was – the team wearing the other jersey.

  • shakabulagooner

    Walter,
    Your points may be valid in terms of the football stats but the reality is that Cesc, for this or that reason, NO LONGER want to play with the club. The same may equally apply for Nasri.

    In the circumstances, Wenger has done his best to represent Arsenal well: to ensure we are not bossed around by other clubs that may have more money or greater emotional hold on the player than us. To the surprise of everyone, he said NO! last year and it stuck.

    This year, he set the terms for his exit and, if the news yesterday are to be believed, Barca may be very close to meeting the terms. So, stats or no stats, contracts or no contracts, the fairness or unfairness of it all or not; now is the time to say goodbye to the bloke.

    As to the stats, wait until the end of this season and you will see the fulfillment of the dictum: nature abhors a vacuum. The goals scored may well dip or even increase but the club will find new ways and new players to get the numbers to the usual high levels for the simple reason that the total is always greater than the sum of the parts or, in other words, there is much that the “Arsenal system” contributes to the performance of each player that is difficult to quantify or identify when discrete player performances are reviewed.

    This is why as yet, no player has been missed in Arsenal as much as fans had anticipated the player would be missed and why most players leaving Arsenal had seemed to perform less in their new clubs than they did in Arsenal.

    I don’t go on to say it will be same for Cesc (or for that matter for Nasri, if he leaves) but much as I wish him (nad Nasri) luck in Barca (and for Nasri, in Manc or ManU), as an Arsenal fan, I wish Arsenal greater success upon his (or Nasri’s) exit…new players emerge each new season.

  • Why all these Cesc crap? Yes Fab is a good player but so what? Henry was very good too and so was Veira and others. They all left and Arsenal is none the worse for it. So why do we keep mourning about Fab’s unhidden desire to leave for Barca? The more we mourn and cling unto him the more our anguish. Arsenal will find no rest until he leaves for Barca. So the sooner he goes and ends all these talks the better. In fact we made a mistake last season. We should have allowed him go last season but i don’t know whether Barca came up with the right price. The hulaballo about Fab is beclouding everything including perhaps our preparations for the new season. Bye Fab. So long. Go now and allow us some peace of mind.

  • Ed

    the real worry is that Cesc will come back and be uncommitted.

    Im sure he loves Arsenal, but he seems to love Barcelona as well, and if he is looking forward to a move (this year, next year, future years) hes going to think twice about going into a 50/50 challenge or if he has a slight twinge in the calf or hamstring the friday before a game.

    I agree with Philbet above. We have coped with losses of world class players before, and even last year, we did reasonably well considering cesc was injured for alot of it, and i am sure if he was sold, we would buy someone, or one of our young players will step up and perform.

  • critic

    You guys are morons. Loss of cesc will be HUGE because whole team is built for him. Losing him means blowing up the current team. It could well mean losing our CL spot, forget about challenging for anything.

  • Adam

    It seems pretty obvious that, in the case of Nasri, he doesn’t want to be at Arsenal otherwise he would surely have signed a new contract. Cesc’s situation might be different but I have a feeling that there is some crossover even here. Asking why Nasri doesn’t want to stay will take us into territory that is uncomfortable to confront. For me the smart move would have been to move them both on much earlier this transfer window and use the money for the benefit of the team.

  • Ian Trevett

    On matters Spanish – does anyone know anything about Jose Rodríguez? The Mail website reports we are trying to sign the 16-year-old from Real Madrid. If true, we are building a bit of a Spanish enclave in the youth squad – not a bad thing looking at the technical quality from that country at the moment.
    Unusually the Young Guns site doesn’t mention Rodriguez yet – usually they are the first. By the way, Walter, I assume that is you on the young guns site giving it the the Le Grove set?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Take a look at the Cesc situation from another point of view. He’s been trying to play football non-stop since the start of the 2009 season. Our win percentage without him in the side is worse than with him in the side. If I were the manager I would want to do two things:
    Decrease our reliance on Cesc (by learning to win without him) even if he stays;
    Give our best player a proper rest.
    If he stays and we reduce our dependence on him, he won’t have to play every game, which increases the chances of him being available when we need him most.
    If he goes and we don’t necessarily need to replace him (who on earth do you replace him with who we don’t already have on our payroll? Xavi is about the only comparable midfielder in the world and he’s hardly an option) then our opponents will spend the season trying to figure out how to stop three creative players rather than one.

  • Shard

    Walter.. That is indeed the right thing to do..But I’m afraid it isn’t as simple as that in real life. I just think Cesc is pushing this through or else there is absolutely no reason for Wenger and Arsenal to be so meek about this whole thing. Pay up or f*** off would be a very easy message to send with Cesc being under a long term contract. So if the player doesn’t want to play, what are we to do? Would I be happy if Cesc stayed? Obviously. He is a player of exceptional quality, and I cannot think of ANY replacement for him. We would need to change the way we play if he goes, and try and distribute creativity around the team. Which actually may not be a bad thing but will surely cause some growing pains, and with patience as short as it is, it could lead to disaster.

    Ideally, Cesc stays at least another year, and we sell Nasri for 20m now and bring in a replacement. Otherwise, if we are holding on to Nasri because Cesc will go and we can’t afford to lose both this year, that means not only have Barca low-balled us by about 20m of Cesc’s market value, they also cost us 20m of next year’s budget because we lose Nasri on a free. That is a huge hit to take.

    Either way, Cesc cannot be Arsenal captain next season. RVP and Vermaelen are better candidates.

  • Naren

    Mr B,
    When Arsene says Cesc is unsettled, there is really no way out once Barca offer the money Arsenal are looking for. To quote Arsene himself,”It’s like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn’t want you, what can I do about it? I can try to help you, but if she does not want to marry you what can I do?”
    I remember Arsene commenting on the Rooney saga at Man Utd last season saying that if Ferguson had not wanted to sell Rooney, Ferguson would have never come out with the news that negotiations had broken down.
    By the same yardstick, Arsene too would not have come out with the news on Fabregas and Nasri were he adamant that they would not be sold.
    The only surprise is that Arsene has let this continue for so long, right into August.

  • PatAgen

    Walter,
    what makes a great player tick? Money? desire? If one person is earning 50k a week or 90k or 150k do you think it makes a difference? Only businesses’ operate to maximise profit not individuals. Give input from agents perhaps some individauls – like Nasri – are behaving like businesses and trying to earn the maximum, because their agent will get a bigger amont if the player’s wages go up. Fabregas is obviuosly not in this particular game and is willing to play where he wants even if it means less money, but as I said what’s less between 90k and 50k that a normal person would notice? There is a limit to how many houses, cars etc you cvan personally own and use, afterwards it’s just a status symbol saying you are worth more than somebody else but the figures themselves lose all meaning.
    So he wants motivation from something else and that appears to playing for his hometown team which, unfortunately for Arsenal, happen to be the best team in the World currently and are full of Cesc’s mates from the one team in which he plays which does win things – the Spanish national team.
    Outside of the Emirates this all looks glaringly obvious. It is a real pity because he is the jewel in the crown that Wenger has built around and as your stats show he is something very special. But how will you make him play, with a gun to his head? threaten to hold him to his contract and make him train with the kids for the next three years?
    Better would be to hold out for the 40£ mio or whatever Barcelona will cough up, wish him the best – because he has given Arsenal bundles – and move on. It is a pity but the League cup final followed by the spineless performance at Old Trafford in the FA cup probably convinced him that the cause was up.
    As for Samir Nasri take the money on offer and let him pay for the taxi to the airport himself. The guy didn’t do the business at the money end of last season and since then has just caused Wenger problems with this drawn out saga.
    Move on, find people who want to play for Arsenal and who want to win something. There are great players in the squad/team, Arsenal under Wenger play great football, the league and league cup were up for grabs last year there is no reason why they can’t be won this – even without Cesc.

  • Stroller

    I wouldn’t disagree with you on purely footballing terms, but the situation has gone beyond that. This Barca saga has been dragging on for over a year and is at the heart of the negativity surrounding the club at present. Here is our captain, our leader clearly wanting away while Barca toy around with a series of media leaks that male us look weak and indecisive (which we have been). How many ‘deadlines’ have passed about sorting this out? Instead we seem resigned to losing him at some point, when Barca deem it appropriate to pay the right fee. From their point of view it makes sense to drag this out because it’s not at all clear if and when they really want him. It might be this summer, but equally it could be in the January window, next summer, or the season after. What they don’t want is for the door to be slammed on their options, so the sad and disruptive process is allowed to continue.

    It would have been preferable if Cesc had put an end to it all at some point, and committed to seeing out his contract. But clearly he is only interested in looking after himslf. Probably there is an agreement with Wenger that he can leave if an acceptable offer is made, but there doesn’t seem to be any time element involved in that.

    The time has probably passed when Arsenal should have played hardball with both Barca and Cesc. It’s gone on too long now. While it’s understandable not to want an unhappy player around, there comes a point when indulgence goes too far. It’s no surprise that Nasri (or more likely his agents) have seen how vulnerable the club has allowed itself to become to it’s top players.

  • walter

    Yyes Ian, I admit it was me.

    I go a few times a day to the young guns blog as I like to know what is happening in the reserves and the youth and the last thing I want over there is some persons moaning about the first team. I normally don’t comment much on the young guns blog but sometimes too much is tooooooo much. 😉

  • walter

    I maybe didn’t mention it my article but I must confess that I feel a deep love for Cesc. If he would be my son I would have some words with him. But I’m not his father and can’t really give him some fatherly advice.
    I just liked him from the first time I saw him playing his football. And I know no player is bigger than the club I do admit that losing Cesc would be a bitter personal pill to swallow for me. He is the only player I ever thought about buying a shirt with his name on and this is something I never have had in my gooner days before.

    If he leaves (and I still hope that tomorrow he will come out in the open and declare that he still will be an Arsenal player next season and then shine like he has never done before) it will depend on who will take his place but it will be a big big responsibility to carry for who ever will have to do it.

  • toto

    I almost didn’t write this because I felt everything that could be said about Cesc has been said, yet I couldn’t resist adding my own take on it. Naturally, we are not all going to agree on whether he should be sold or not. My view is that it is the right time to let him go for the right price, the right price being whatever the club values him at. We do not need any stats to show how important Cesc is (was)to the way we play, because that is plain obvious for all to see. However, it was also plain to see last season when he played that his desire is gone. He didn’t hold his head high at all, always looked down eyes fixed on the ground and had some his worst games in an Arsenal shirt last season. He looked like a heavily burdened man who no longer has the motivation to put shoulders to the wheel. Maybe I read too much into this but that’s how I felt when I watched him last season and he certainly didn’t look right as player, much less as captain. Depending on how Arsene remoulds the team, we could be stronger yet for selling him and investing in the right players.

  • Paul

    so much for people saying that Cesc didn’t play with his heart last season cause his mind was in Catalonia, makes me laugh. I know he wants to be in Barcelona one day, but it absolutely doesn’t mean that he hates to be an Arsenal player. He understands the situation and that is why he doesn’t talk to the media how much he would like to go to Barcelona and win trophies with them like Denilson did. He’s a clever guy and knows that if Barcelona can’t afford him then he will have to stay at Arsenal. As for the weekend Walter, spot on! I was there myself and I could exactly see that Arsenal lacked Cesc’s creativity.

  • Oberon

    Dear Walter!
    Could you kindly give me some explanation? How did you count these chances? How did you differentiate that chance from no-chance? What kind of sources did you use?
    Thank you in advance.

  • toto

    @Paul
    You may laugh but it is true. You are right that he is a clever guy and that we missed his creativity at the weekend, just like we missed his creativity when he didn’t play last season. I don’t think he wants to go to Barca “one day”, I suspect he wants to go a little sooner than “one day”. I don’t think he hates to be an Arsenal player either, afterall he still gladly collects his pay cheque every week! I just think that in his case the soul is unwilling and the flesh is weak. But let’s not get bogged down about players loving clubs; they all do, or say they do. But for the sake of our club, the sooner Arsene plans for Arsenal without Cesc the better. When he goes we will have lost one of the best midfielders in world football, but Arsenal will survive, that’s for sure.

  • Paul

    toto,

    I agree with you that it’s time for Arsenal to learn how to play without Cesc, it’s been the case for concern whenever Arsenal played badly without Cesc. But who can actually replace him? Nasri is not that sort of player for me, Ramsey is not fully ready yet and Mata? Don’t think that’s happening anymore if this clause in his contract is true. Well I don’t want to speculate on future transfers, but I’m just wondering whether anyone has noticed that Spanish clubs tend to bitch around a little bit? 🙂

  • toto

    The discussion around player contracts, motivation, ambition, greed etc is very interesting, and is one of those that people will hold different views. How much money is enough or too much? There isn’t a simple answer to that, as it is all relative to many other factors, such as how much other players are getting or how much a player can get elsewhere, or how desperate his current club is and so on. There are many players who claim to play football for the love of the game, which is probably true. Does money have anything to do with this love? I am a professional and I like my job, but to be honest the salary plays a big part. But footballers are no ordinary professionals are they? And talking of winning trophies, maybe if we win something next season Mr Samir Nasri might not have reason to leave? I would like us to be in a position to challenge for the premier and champions leagues, but do so within our means without spending silly money like 17 mil for Jags. Remember Leeds and Portsmouth? Winning trophies is an important objective in the life of any club, not its reason for existence.

  • RedGooner

    I really hope we keep Cesc I think for Cesc its an issue of not winning trophies as much as anything. I would rather he stayed and we gambled on winning something to give him belief in team again.
    Nasri though should go. Its a sickening situation brought on as far as I am concerned by the lack of punishment chelsea recieved on the ashley cole tapping up affair.
    It means clubs like Chelsea, Man City and others are free to break rules and tap up who they like.
    If the governing bodies cant see that they adhere to financial fair play the least they could do is see they act with some respect when it comes to other clubs players.
    Maybe if we bought Mata incase nasri walked on a free and kept everyone for one season gambling on winning so they would all want to stay and if Nasri still walked next year well atleast his replacement would have a year of EPL experience behind him.

  • toto

    @RedGooner
    I quite agree that not winning trophies has a lot to do with some of our top players wanting to leave, but is it not those very players that should have won us the trophies? I was going to say such players are glory hunters but maybe that’s a bit harsh. On the subject of players running their contracts down, I think we are going to see more and more of this sort of thing in professional football. An increasing number of good players are realizing how lucrative it is to do it that way. Once a player has 2 years remaining, the club should be saying sign up or be sold. That’s of course much easier said than done and the players hold the balance of power in this. Is it true that Arshavin has 1 year remaining and and RvP and Walcott 2 years? You can see how difficult it can be but that might change with the first trophy.

  • walter

    Oberon,
    the chances and also the other statistics came from the Guardian website. I thought because of the assists and the goals were spot on I would be able to trust the rest of their numbers also.

  • M.V

    In would be very interesting if you could make a games/chances ratio thing! Rosicky made 26 chances but how many games did he play?

  • Jas777

    This situation is no different (well in terms of how much one is paid it is) than the situation where you work overseas or in a different city to where you spent most of your life born and one day you get the desire to go home.

    You mind may or may not won’t to stay (ie money matters etc) but your heart wants to leave and when both are not in sync your job performance and/or life normally suffers.

  • gt

    I personally won’t be too pessimistic if either Cesc or Nasri, or both, opt to leave this summer. Bottom line: give me less talented yet 100% committed players over talented but want-to-leave players any game. I strongly believe we can thrive with both players departing, but AW will have a huge responsibility to coach the players so that they know their roles and duties on the field.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @gt
    It’d be just like Henry leaving all over again. I think we can all agree that turned out alright (though not as good as it should have) in the end.

  • C4

    I also don’t see us suffering too much if both Cesc and Nasri left. I think there would still be enough quality in the side to mount a challenge for any trophy. We play half the season wothout Cesc anyway, and half without RVP, a whole season without Vermaelen, etc. We’re actually used to not having a full strength team, and the more the guys play together in the absence of Cesc and Nasri, the better they get. Just look at how Djourou and Koscielny stepped up when our defence was depleted.
    I’d expect a bit of a dip in form, but that would last less than 1 season, I think. We still have tactical tweaking options, like switching to a 442 formation to address the reduced ability to keep the ball in midfield with Cesc and Nasri absent. Or pushing our high line back a bit. I think it would only really hit us hard if we lost ALL our good midfield players to “the rigours of the English game” for an extended period of time.