How many times over the past couple of years have we seen players and officials associated with Barcelona speak about Cesc Fabregas? We now have the manager of Manchester City pretty much begging Samir Nasri to join him in Manchester.
The first few times it is a bit irritating – after a while it becomes maddening – eventually it’s just humiliating.
Arsenal are powerless to stop it. Reporting them would get nowhere as these two clubs are feasibly the only two destinations for the players for different reasons. Personally I would keep Cesc and sell Samir, however much I would like to see him rot in the reserves for a year – the thing is we just can’t afford it and letting him go for free would blow next seasons transfer budget.
Barcelona officials are in London for this week on business, undoubtedly the main objective is to get some kind of agreement with Arsenal over Cesc. The fact is if they pay £40m they will get him, if they don’t they won’t. Barca have tried to dress up many offers to try and come up with something slightly appealing, but when it comes to claiming some sort of compensation in hindsight (we have signed Barca youth products Jon Toral and Bellerin), they are playing a stupid game. It is worth saying that Arsenal have already paid compensation for those two players, as we also did with Fran Merida and Cesc. All above board – nothing dodgy – unlike Barca’s conduct towards us over the past few years but lets leave that there…
One thing is certain and that is the next two weeks are absolutely huge . We are in the middle of one of the most important summers in the history of the club; it is under new ownership and with two of our best players looking to leave – with no direct replacements in sight – we are at a bit of a crossroads.
Someone – anyone – needs to start getting things into order. The wage bill is horrific in contrast to the quality of players we actually have. Nicklas Bendtner and Abou Diaby (as an example) earn £112,000 per week between them. Now, I am one who thinks that footballers wages are obscene but I understand why they are so obscene. However, understanding why those two players earn that sum of money between them per-week is something I will never understand in my lifetime.
Bendtner, for me, has considerable potential, as does Abou Diaby – but I would sell them just to release those funds. Speaking about Nicklas Bendtner the manager said that he was free to talk to clubs, finding a club to agree to his personal terms may just prevent him moving permanently though:
‘How many will leave the club? I said from the start I will fight to keep everybody. Nicklas Bendtner might go and Emmanuel Eboue might go. They can talk to clubs, but the rest I will fight.’
If a player has to take a pay-cut to move, but at the same time could just sit on the bench at Arsenal picking up huge wages, is there any wonder they are not exactly busting a gut to find a new club? Even if they leave on loan Arsenal will probably still have to subsidise a certain percentage of the wage. Look back to the Eduardo sale, Arsenal had to lower the fee they wanted because of Eduardo’s personal demands – Shakhtar couldn’t afford him otherwise. Taking a hit on the transfer fee is the only way we can rid the club of a couple of the leeches that are kicking about.
Looking at things rationally, Arsenal are a top four club and that is the expectation. Look at the money spent overall (wages + transfer fees) and you can see we just can’t compete financially, still. Premier League betting odds won’t have Arsenal as anywhere near the favourites next season for a variety of reasons, like I have said a few times though, I do feel we will spring a surprise. I won’t get ahead of myself though…
It does seem that things will take shape very soon though. Samir Nasri’s conduct has possibly made his stay a somewhat unrealistic prospect and you can’t imagine Cesc leading out Arsenal next weekend for the first games in-front of a home crowd since the slump at the end of last season. Either way, those situations should be ended shortly.
Not just for the sake of the team, but the club needs a little direction now too.
Some harsh, swift decisions need making along with some positive moves.