Chelsea Balls: Fabregas’ Arsenal return only highlights Wenger’s failure
In the build up to Arsenal’s Premier League match with Chelsea, the tabloids are focusing on the Blues’ Cesc Fabregas. The match will be the first time the Chelsea player has faced his old club on their home pitch.
The Daily Star leads with news that Fabregas “snubbed” Arsenal. The paper says Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has “muddied the water” by saying his former captain had no intention of returning to the Gunners:
“I believe his decision was already made. I personally believe that deal was done a long time ago, in early 2014… I was intriguded that he might go to Chelsea, but when I was informed I thought the deal was already done.”
But what about the contract deal stipulating Arsenal’s first refusal should Barcelona sell Cesc? Did Barcelona break that contract? Or did Arsenal reject the chance to buy Fabregas? Wenger says:
“It’s not as clean-cut as that, I cannot speak to you about that now because it will not help us win on Saturday.”
It’s debatable whether a press conference helps a team to win anything. Why not just spill the beans? Is Wenger bound by a confidentiality contract not to speak? Or is he saving it for a book?
The Sun leads with more of Wenger’s words:
“I’d be uncomforrable to have to justify why he’s not here. I’d rather it was the other way around. The regret I have is that Cesc wanted to leve her four years ago. I don’t know if he regrets going. You will have to ask him.”
Why bother asking. Fabregas left Arsenal to win things. He won them. He went to Chelsea for more money than Arsenal can off, and he won more things.
The Sun says Wenger “has never forgotten how his captain pulled out of the club’s pre-season tour of to the Far East in 2011, citing injury, to accelerate his transfer back to Spain.”
But the Mirror leads with news that Wenger is “reluctant to stoke up any bad feeling before a London derby”.
Wenger is quoted:
” I want every player to be respected, and for Cesc Fabregas, when he comes to the Emirates, to be respected like he deserves.”
Arsenal fans will see Fabregas as their captain who kissed the badge then left to kiss another club’s badge. Having vowed never to play for an English club other than Arsenal, Fabregas now plays for Chelsea, whose shirt he has also kissed.
Chelsea fans won’t care about fickle Fabregas; they know they have a very good, resiliant player in their side. And if his presence irritates Arsenal fans, then so much to the good.
But Arsenal fans should take a moment to review what they think has gone? Was Fabregas really such a great Arsenal skipper? Former Arsenal midfielder Denilson told a Brazilian TV station: “Fabregas is the captain, but he is not a leader to me.” It was only Wenger, who described Fabregas as an “outstanding leader”. He became Arsenal’s best player when the Invincibles were gone and the Gunners were in a new stadium and balancing the books. But Fabregas was never a great captain. Wenger was wrong. Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira were fantastic leaders. And that’s the heart of the matter: it wasn’t Fabregas who failed Arsenal – it was Wenger who built him up but was unable to make his star creation stay and buy into his vision for success.
Fabregas hurts Wenger because he symbolises Arsenal’s failures…