By Walter Broeckx
Vicente del Bosque is the name of the manager of the Spanish national team and he just maybe the most important player in the saga of where Cesc will be next season or even next seasons.
Del Bosque is what we could call a Real Madrid man. He played there the main part of his career and after he stopped playing he became first a youth coach and later on he even became a rather successful coach of the first team. Until president Perez found that he didn’t have enough charisma to lead the galacticos.
But from his past it is normal that Del Bosque keeps a soft spot for Real Madrid in his heart. When you spend about 20 years of your career somewhere you keep that in your heart. It’s in his DNA, Xavi would say.
And so it is interesting to see that now Del Bosque is in charge of the Spanish national team and in this world cup he is going the Barcelona way. His 3 most important midfield players are the players that are mostly picked by Guardiola at Barcelona: Xavi, Iniesta and Pique.
And this is giving a signal to Cesc of what to expect when he should leave for Barcelona. I’m not saying Cesc is not as good as those players but the fact is that those 3 players are well established in the Barcelona team and if they are fit, they will be on the field. Why would Guardiola put one of them out of the team for the moment? Together with Messi they form a great midfield partnership and can destroy any team on the day. So it would be fair to think that even Cesc would struggle to get in the team.
And if we know one thing from Cesc is that he hates it on the bench. He always wants to play. Sitting on the bench is the worst thing you can do with Cesc. It has been said by many players and coaches that Cesc would play every day if needed, he just loves it so much. And now he is sitting on the bench when Spain plays and even when they were struggling to create an opening against Switzerland Del Bosque kept Cesc on the bench. I think Cesc was dying on that bench over there and was frustrated not been given a chance. And even when Iniesta had to come off, he still didn’t get a chance.
So if Cesc wants to go to Barcelona he will realise by now on that far from being the first player to put on the team sheet he will be somewhere 4th or 5th choice in midfield. He will play his games whenever Xavi or Iniesta need a little break and then he will go back to the bench. He will come on in the last 10 minutes when the game is won by Barcelona and Xavi or Iniesta are called off the field after a standing ovation.
That will be his role in Barcelona for now. And Del Bosque is giving this message to Cesc for the moment in South Africa. He only was brought in to replace Xavi and that is what he will be at Barcelona for as long as Xavi is delivering : a backup player.
So the lesson being taught by Del Bosque could have Cesc thinking what to do. Stay at Arsenal and be the most important player in the team or go to Barcelona and be a squad player for the moment. Given the way Cesc is feeling about wanting to play at all time the experience of sitting on the bench could mean a lot to his chances of staying another few years in the Emirates.
But could it be that Del Bosque is doing this deliberately? Is he putting Cesc on the bench because of his Real Madrid past? Because if Cesc were to go to Barcelona to sit on the bench it would mean that whatever happens to Xavi or Iniesta they have a player on the bench that is as strong as they are or even better. To have a player like Cesc on the bench would be the biggest luxury for any team. And if Cesc were to stay at Arsenal this would mean that Barcelona hasn’t got a replacement of the same quality as Xavi or Iniesta.
And so it would weaken Barcelona if Cesc were to stay in London and thus help Real Madrid. Remember, Real Madrid being the team Del Bosque spent most of his career with.
And let us imagine for one second that Perez, the president of Real Madrid would be thinking of getting Cesc to Real Madrid. Well I’m rather sure it will have crossed his mind on a few occasions. Because this would be the biggest insult that he could give the old enemy Barcelona.
Imagine Cesc playing for Real Madrid. The player that Barcelona couldn’t hold on to when he was young and the player that the Real Madrid fans use when they want to taunt the Catalans. That player playing for Real Madrid would be one of the biggest achievements for the team from the Spanish capital.
Never going to happen? I’m not so sure you know. Remember that almost all the captains or best players from Barcelona ended up in Madrid after a while. Remember Shuster, remember Ronaldo, remember Figo,… at some stage they would have told you were crazy if you would have said that they would go to Real Madrid some day but they went there. Money can make a man do strange things (or a woman off course) and suppose Real Madrid offer him a certain starting place in the team… do you think Cesc wouldn’t consider it for a moment? He can be 100% Catalan but when money talks AND he is guaranteed a starting place on the field…..I wouldn’t bet against it.
Some could argue that Del Bosque would not risk his own career by putting Cesc on the bench to do such a thing. But in fact Del Bosque doesn’t risk anything. We, as Arsenal fans, would put Cesc on the field but Del Bosque can point at the fact that he is playing a midfield that is made out of the midfield of Barcelona the best club team in the last seasons. Why would he risk interfering with the understanding those players have build in the last seasons. He doesn’t have to risk anything because no one will blame him for playing Xavi, Iniesta and Pique.
Anyhow Del Bosque is not doing a bad job by putting Cesc on the bench if you ask me. It will keep him free from injury, he can rest a bit and he can think about his place in Arsenal and his possible place on the bench in Barcelona. And if he still wants to go and if he would put in a transfer request I think it would be fair for Arsenal to tell Cesc that if he wants to go he will be sold to the highest bid and this could maybe open the door for Real Madrid if they still can get a loan somewhere.
For those who say that Cesc will not be playing with his heart in the Emirates I can only say that the football animal Cesc is, he will be playing with his heart in whatever team he will be playing. He just loves the game too much to just be a passenger in a team. In Dutch we use the expression for a football player full of passion for the game a ‘football animal’ and Cesc is one of them.
So I think Cesc will be considering his chances and will hold on to his Arsenal shirt for a while. And maybe Del Bosque is not thinking about this at all but he still is doing a great job then for us so maybe we could whisper a silent: Thank you, Vicente, muchas gracias.
Every article you ever wanted to read. Well, almost
The history, the origins, the sex, the blood, the fighting. Well, history anyway.
The fun, the laughter, the jokes, the takeover. The book
- Arsenal’s finances: another loss but going the right way
- WSL 2022-23 Arsenal v Everton – Match Preview
- Which Arsenal transfer tale is being repeated the most often?
- How much have Arsenal’s rivals spent on transfers in recent years?
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?