By Walter Broeckx
After my bit of nonsense yesterday about the official Arsenal statement I come back to this tonight. I certainlyhad the feeling after the official statement that it was a very straight forward statement that was not up to much interpretation. But some people and media think otherwise, or try to make us believe that we have to think otherwise.
Now it could be that I don’t understand the English language well enough. Tony does write such things (like press releases and so)among other things to make a living, and maybe he could try to tell us what is hidden behind the words. But as Tony is on a well deserved holiday somewhere and maybe looking for a new French wonder kid to bring under the attention of Wenger , so you have to do it with me. So I will try to go over it again to see if I missed something and I just want to repeat the statement and give my interpretation of it.
“Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is under contract with the Club until the summer of 2015. He is a highly-valued member of the team and part of our future plans.”
In fact this sentence came a bit as a surprise to me. If an Arsenal players signs a contract with Arsenal they usually say ‘signed a long term agreement’ and they normally don’t say how long he has agreed. So the fact that they name the end date of his contract is very un-Arsenal. But maybe it is becoming a sign of the new Arsenal that we will see in the future. A team that comes out and tells what it is about.
The second part of these lines is a very clear message and signal to Cesc himself. The fact that the club openly praises him in the fact that he is highly valued and the corner stone to their future plans is also maybe a bit of an open question : will you be that highly valued in Barcelona as you are over here?
“We have followed recent speculation linking Cesc with a move away from the Club but as there has never been any official approach for him, only two informal exchanges, in which we made it abundantly clear that we have no interest in transferring Cesc, we have refrained from publicly passing comment.”
Here is a public answer to all the fans that have asked why Arsenal did not react to the media reports. Arsenal could have come in the open and denied it official but there was nothing to deny before yesterday. It has never been the habit from Arsenal to answer to any article in the press before so why should they change this now. I really don’t think that Arsenal should react to every bullshit article that comes out of any reporter’s imagination. Or maybe Arsenal could do something. They could reprint this article on the website every day till the end of the transfer window. But surely they don’t have to do this in fact. It would be better for the fans to use their brains themselves.
“However, yesterday evening we received an offer from Barcelona for Cesc and in response, we immediately and resolutely told them once again that we have no intention of selling our captain.”
And this tells us why they now did react and made this statement. From the moment that they do got an offer they came out in the open. And again this is something completely different than the Arsenal we used to know. Until now when Arsenal did a transfer they mostly didn’t talked about it until it really was a done deal. But until now players left us, like Henry and in those days there was a lot of rumours but Arsenal did not say anything until it was done. In those days Arsenal negotiated secretly and said nothing in the open. Or when they said something they left it rather open. That is the way I remember it from those days anyway but I could be wrong on this. But again I have the feeling that something is changing in the way Arsenal is approaching their transfers dealings when it comes to players that are linked with the exit.
“To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion”.
And then we come to the final sentences in this statement and I really think this is the most important part of it all. They kept the best part for the end. They just say in the open that they will not enter any discussion with Barcelona. Now I know some think that this is only playing the game but can you give me any proof that Arsenal doesn’t mean this? But let us suppose they would be starting negotiations behind everybody’s back. How on earth can any decent person in the board or the manager come out later and say : “hey we just sold Cesc and it all was just a joke that statement.” Now we may think of our board what we want and we may think of Wenger what we want but I never saw them as some kind Rowin Atkinson or John Cleese or any other comedian.
No way can the board or the manager come back on such a statement. And if they would do this I think they will see a revolt from the fans. It would make their position impossible for the future. No fan would ever believe the board or the manager again if they would do such a thing.
It also would mean that if they did such a thing it would undermine the position from Arsenal in relation with the rest of the clubs in Europe. If they would break their word the other clubs in Europe would say: “never mind what they say, they don’t mean it and we keep on playing games until they give in.” The board and Wenger would be the laughing stock in football and every time they would open their mouth they would be laughed away. The way I have seen Wenger during all the years with us is as a man who is not the person who wants to be the laughing stock in football. So I really don’t think he has any ambition to become it from now on.
” Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word.”
And to give the final deathblow they use the words that has been spread by the Barcelona media in the last weeks. On the Barcelona website Begiristain himself has said in May: “Cesc has a contract with his club and we have to be respectful “ This last sentence in the Arsenal statement points at this declaration from Barcelona and it tells that Arsenal is having enough of it. And this also means that if Barcelona continue their pursuit of Cesc we can call them disrespectful and give them a bad name. And we can expose them as people who break their words and this would make them look foolish. Now it could be that they like it to look foolish but that is not our problem but theirs.
So this is it. That’s what I make of it. A very hard statement for Arsenal and one I have never seen them make before. I think the times are changing. Arsenal will not let the other clubs run over them like in the past when it comes to players who are under contract and that we don’t want to sell. And because we are in such a good financial shape we don’t need the money like in the last years anymore. The Arsenal is on their way not only to dominate football in the next years but maybe also to tell other clubs that enough is enough. We set out the way how football and the business side of football should be done.
Last temporary editor’s note: As Tony is going away for a few days to get a well deserved rest, I have agreed to take over the operation of the site during his time away . If you have something that cant wait to be published you can send it to this email address email@example.com. If you want to wait for Tony’s return you don’t have to wait that long anymore.
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