Monday, 15 August 2011

Fabregas to Barcelona and Fantasy Football

Morning all,

The dust has settled on the weekend’s action and we have seen other teams drop points on the opening weekend of the season and one, in typical fashion, managing to sneak a win. We are level on points with Chelsea and Liverpool so apparently they are in full blown crisis too.

The dust hasn’t settled on the protracted transfer of Cesc though. As I write this he has had his first medical and looks to be delighted in what he calls home. I have covered in the past week quite comprehensively the pathetic nature of the entire Barcelona Club so will not revisit that nor will I talk any more about our inability to either keep him or get the right money about him for two reasons. One it is too depressing and the other is Arseblog's piece is great today on it so it would be pointless for me to do so.

I will however do a quick summary of his career summary just for the hell of it. In the Premier League he made 212 appearances, scored 35 goals and had 69 assists. More than anyone else during this period. He managed to create 527 chances passed 13,367 at a pass completion of 81%. Even In his last season, one many argue was a poor season for him (by his standards), he managed to maintain a passing accuracy of 81% and create 72 chances, this just in 25 appearances. This is both good news and bad news for us. As it can be argued that he didn’t play many times so we will not really miss him. In fact one of our best runs was when he wasn’t in the team and Nasri was being touted as a Cesc beater. To highlight his importance we can see that with Cesc we won 59% of games and only 44% without him. That is all, I am going to put a line under the situation and hopefully not have to talk about it again… Ever.

What I will say though, is that Fabregas is a phenomenal player who has been as committed to us as anyone that has played for us. I hope we don’t forget that when we remember his time here. I know his behaviour this pre-season has not been of the high standard we expect of him but remember for him, this transfer was never about money.

Nasri on the other hand must be contagious as I now am feeling sick at the sight of him. It is imperative that if we sell him that we must do so in the next day or so or we should draw a line under it and accept we will lose him for free. I do not care if we lose him now as long as it is quick and we have time to recover. These two situations have by no means helped our preparation for the season and as such need to be resolved by close of play tomorrow. One piece of advice I have been given in the past could well have benefitted Le Proffesor this summer; “There is more harm in indecision than wrong decision”. While not always true, it is clear that had we just sold them at the start of the summer we could have prepared unhampered and already had replacements ready to go.

Today it seems that the transfer of Jadson may be completed. That would be if we were not shit at concluding deals. So expect this to drag on to the point of utter boredom. Seriously though, it sounds like an agreement is in place to sign him and terms need to be agreed with the player which I’d imagine won’t be too much of a problem. Whether he is good enough is something I genuinely cannot answer. I have heard very mixed reviews but the very few times I have seen him play he has looked assured, quietly confident and tidy. He certainly is nowhere near the quality of Cesc from what I have seen but that is not to say he will not be a welcome addition. I’m tempted to say “Arsene know’s best” but unfortunately cannot bring myself to say that at the moment without feeling slightly nauseous. There are also murmurs of Tevez again which I find strange but given the amount of money we have there is no reason we cannot buy him. Still, definitely will not happen in my opinion, although if the club did go out on a limb it would do much to restore faith in Arsene Wenger, the board and lift the spirits of all around the club.

Let’s play a game of fantasy football for a moment and maybe you can tell me if we don’t have the money to fund this. I am not saying it will happen, I am not saying Arsenal are likely to even consider such spending but lets be creative shall we, even it is for my own sanity. We have sold Cesc for £29m up front. If we add that to the £20m or so we have already we are looking at around £50m just to have a nice round figure. Add to that the sales of Bendtner and Eboue and we have another £10m (minimum) taking this to a juicy £60m. Now what could we buy with that?

If we start at the back we can look at a top class defender. Unfortunately there aren’t many around that are available and even less with premiership experience. The one I would personally go for is Gary Cahill just due to size, age and potential. He is a good player that would help improve the squad and cost around £15m at the most. £45m left. The next one is really shooting for the stars I know but given the money at our disposal there is no reason we cannot do this: Wesley Sneijder. A fee of just £30m has been touted all summer with wages being the major stumbling block but with many outgoing players we could afford them. I know it sets a potentially dangerous precedent but I don’t care about that. So we secure Sneijder for a measly £30m we have £15m left. We then decide that Nasri needs to get the boot so we shove him to City give them £15m and take Tevez leaving us with no money but two world class players and a good centre back. Aaahh, life is so easy when you’re in the know.

I shall spend the rest of the day playing football manager and winning all competitions going using my awesome recruitment skills. Enjoy your day.


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