Arsene Wenger, the Pot, and the Kettle

I’m sure that this will get me into hot water with a few Gunners fans, but it’s worth discussing. It’s a fairly important part of not just Barcelona’s plans for the future and Arsenal’s plans for the present, but also the entire concept of how teams approach the concept of a transfer season. Politics, as always, play a huge part in this little game, especially from Barça’s perspective.

Apparently Arsene Wenger sent a message in writing to both Barcelona and Real Madrid demanding they cease discussing any potential Cesc Fabregas transfer in the coming summer, saying that he isn’t making statements that Messi or Kaka should sign for Arsenal in the coming weeks. There are, of course, interesting side notes to be made about such a statement, which, on the surface, is a perfectly valid statement coming from a manager attempting to protect what he and his club view as their primary asset.

Naturally such a statement from Wenger makes most cules laugh because of the obvious point that Cesc is a product of Barça’s youth academy who, because of a discrepancy in laws between Spain and England, jumped ship for the opportunity to earn more money at an earlier age than he otherwise would have. Exploiting a loophole in the law is, of course, perfectly legal and can sometimes be perfectly acceptable from a moral standpoint, but if that’s what Wenger did in luring both Cesc and later Fran Merida from Barça’s youth ranks–if it’s merely exploiting a loophole–then unsettling Cesc Fabregas is nothing more than exploiting a situation for personal gain and as long as no laws are broken, I find it laughable that Arsenal is on any firmer territory than Barcelona.

That personal gain I mentioned is, at least for Barça, in the form of a presidential election coming up this summer. Cesc, because he’s a native Catalan and a Barça youth product who made it big, has become the dangling carrot for those who want to take over from Joan Laporta. It just happens to have a back end tax of thirty plus million euros, of course, but hey, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? What’s apparent from Wenger’s statements is that he’s afraid that a richer club with a strong connection to a player can actually unsettle someone who has been made captain at a club he’s contracted to until 2016. Sounds like Arsenal swooping in for a young player who has questions about his future at the club and wants to earn money in the immediate future, right?

Another part of Wenger’s fear, beside losing a key member of his squad, may be that he’s obligated to spend a large portion of whatever money he receives, meaning that the sale of Cesc would lead to several new players arriving and that would further unsettle his squad, which he appears to have a lot of confidence in. Personally, I’m inclined to pass on Cesc because, while he’s a fantastic player, he’s prohibitively expensive, is obviously being used as a political tool, and chose to make his name beyond the confines of the Camp Nou. Let him, then, continue on his path to whatever glory he believes awaits him with Arsenal (and I’m the kind of guy that wishes him plenty of it). Instead of spending more than €30m on a player from our own cantera, let him become an Arsenal legend and we’ll promote JDS and Thiago over the coming years at the massive cost of €0 in transfer fees. Perhaps they are not as good as Cesc and perhaps they never will be, but loyalty to the club should be paid back in this case with loyalty to the player, especially considering the talent those two have exhibited. It makes good business sense and is also a good example to set for our young ones.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

177 Comments

  1. Adam
    January 10, 2010

    How do you know why Cesc left Barcelona? Could it have been that he wanted to fulfill his potential at an earlier age? Let’s face it, this article is based on bias, conjecture and the sort of warped rationale that clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid employ all the time to justify their underhand ways. The man who wrote this is a moron.

  2. Steel Reserve
    January 10, 2010

    People please, its not the fact thata you are not local catalans that has us rubbishing your idiot opinions it is because you are yanks.

    Everybody knows what idiots you americans are and how proud to show everybody what idiots you are. We will never listen to your saccer opinions because you do understand the game.

    You even held a World Cup in your country and 70% of your population did not even know what the World Cup was let alone that it was on in your country at the time. Go shove another few Big Macs down your gullet and pipe down.

    Cesc will be at Arsenal for several more years, he will have been playing regular football ie 60 odd matches a season for 9-10 years before ARSENE WENGER decides when he goes much like all the other burnouts he has sold Barca(Petit, Overmars, Henry, Hleb etc), at this stage the ugly Madrid monster with all the cash will still be interested and you will have to outbid them making one all round winner THE ARSENAL.

    • Catalanblood
      January 10, 2010

      Hey I’m not a yank. Actually, a lot of us here aren’t yanks.

    • England sucks!
      January 10, 2010

      Too bad Yanks hold a majority stake in Man U, Liverpool, and hold a stake in Arsenal. If it wasnt for us Yanks, the premiere league would be in Bankruptcy!

  3. January 10, 2010

    As, usual I dont get into the erritated troll/Ranting ordit for those who visit another club blog just to intult. But I still cant see the reason for all this madness.

    1) If Arsenal doesnt want to sell Cesc, and if Cesc is loyal to Arsenal, then there is no case here. Let Wenger and “The Sun” claim all day and night that they want Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Puyol (you name it), I will not care less as I know that the team will not sell them and they are loyal enough to the club that they will not force their way out. If thats not the case at Arsenal, thats not Barcelona problem. I didnt even blame Arsenal for tempting children to leave their home and move to London, the boys made a choice, they carry the responsibility of it. Period. So there is no way that Arsenal have the right to blame Barcelona for dealing with grown up.

    2) Arsenal is trying to sign a player from westham at the moment. The same kind of news talking about Cesc to BArcelona is taking place regarding Cole and Arsenal. He tried the same think when he tried to hunt a player who is approaching the end of his contract in Frace (Shamakh or however you write it).

    3) Adam said:”How do you know why Cesc left Barcelona? Could it have been that he wanted to fulfill his potential at an earlier age? ” fair enough. But then “How do you know why Cesc want to come back to Barcelona? Can it have been that he want to fulfill his potential at this stage of his career? ” thats if he wants to move. If not, then as I mentioned above, there is no case.

    Calm down, and have some common sense.

    • January 10, 2010

      *As, usual I dont get into the erritated troll/Ranting orbit for those who visit another club blog just to insult. But I still cant see the reason for all this madness.

  4. JL
    January 10, 2010

    In your article you conveniently skate over the fact that what barcelona and real madrid do every couple of days with the newspapers marca and as is contrary to both FIFA and UEFA regulations. When signing Fabregas, Arsenal were within the rules. Cry about it being immoral if you want but, unlike barca and real, Arsenal is not a club funded by the government (another direct contravention of FIFA regulations) or by oligarchs. Arsenal is a viable business which operates at a constant profit, admitedly to the detriment of the trophy cabinet. Essentially the way real and barca behave detracts from the great football they play. They are now seen in the same light as chelsea…do anything to win…break any rule if necessary. Fines are pointless for clubs like these. If the authorities werent so afraid of you they would ban you from European football and place transfer embargos.

    Until they grow a pair, this blatant cheating wont stop. It is tapping-up…plain and simple.

    • really?
      January 10, 2010

      true jl. The authorities won’t do anything about it Platini is a tosser.

      chelsea are ruining the game he said and those evil citeh lot too – really? what about real madrid and barca being able to spunk cash when they are in serious debt? – apparently that’s ok cos they are not in the English League.

  5. really?
    January 10, 2010

    got no problems at all wherever you hail from but if you don’t know where greggs bakery is in relation to Arsenal you are not a fan – unfortunately that is geographical fact and would affect overseas supporters – proximity is important but not everything admittedly.

    every fan is biased but not to the point of blinkered stupidity – this article is so not what the headline suggests and highlights the author’s obvious shortcomings.

    Supposedly one of the greatest clubs in the world and they show little class – such a shame that you would defend such behaviour.

  6. gooner82
    January 10, 2010

    if cesc was going to leave i would much rather he went to real for free than sell him to you c**ts for £100 million

  7. GoonerC
    January 10, 2010

    VJ, frstly you talk about the Socis and how wonderful the tradition of them owning the club is and then you accuse them of waving the white flg and booing the players!

    I personally see Lady Arsenal’s point to a degree. I think to TRULY support a club you need to go to games. I think this about Arsenal fans who live in London but never make any effort to go and support the team but sit in pubs moaning at Wenger and the team. Obviously you can support a club in as much as you want them to win, and read up about their history to use in online arguments, but you will never truly know what it means to support your club, to go home and away to support them through thick and thin. There is no point getting all angry about this, it is just a fact.

    I really think Barca fans who “don’t want fabregas” really haven’t seen him play enough. He would certainly push Xavi and Iniesta and is younger. Obviously those two are unbelievable and I took great pleasure in seeing them dick all over United in the Champs League this year, but you are being a little short sighted dismissing Cesc.

    I agree that these things happen, but it is surely fair enough for Wenger to get a little pissed off?

    On a different note I personally love watching Barca play and sincerely hope you win the league ahead of Real Madrid’s mercenaries. I think Barca vs Arsenal in the Champs League would be an incredible tie pitching the two best footballing sides in Europe against each other.

    One more thing – can’t beat Everton? We beat them 6-1 at Goodison Park earlier this season. I believe you drew with Villereal recently but I certainly wont be going around saying you “can’t” beat them. To be honest the only person on this site who I take issue with is VJ, who is clearly very misguided.

    • Vj
      January 10, 2010

      I said ‘some’.. read before you post! There was a class of supporters called Boixos Nois, who would go to all the games, create a ruckus and had the audacity to attack Laporta! You think those people are fit to be called fans? God help you if you think so..

      As for Everton, that’s exactly my point, you put in way too much Jekyll and Hyde performances to even think about winning in the Champions League.. One time Arsenal blows away the opposition, then gets blown away when it really matters – against Utd in the CL semi, and against Chelsea at home..

      I’m not going around telling all these things but when someone comes up with a phrase like ‘King gooner’ did, I’m obliged to tell them that the team he/she supports has not won anything for a long time to be that cocky..

      • GoonerC
        January 10, 2010

        The English league is an exceptionally hard one. Every team is droping points home and away (Chelsea drew 2-2 at home against Everton a couple of weeks ago). I agree with the point about inconsistency, but it is important to put it in the context of every team being inconsistent.

        As for not even thinking about winning the Champions League, that is a ridiculous comment. It is a cup competition, Porto won it a few years back, and Liverpool won it when they came 5th in the League! We have a chance of winning it. I am not saying we will, but it is certainly within the realms of possibility!

      • Vj
        January 10, 2010

        The point I’m trying to make is (if you still can’t get it) is that Serious Cl contenders raise their game when they need to, Chelsea did it against you, Real did so against Valencia, and I could go on.. Arsenal have this distinct lack of consistency(spine?) to not come up with the goods when they need to.. And putting the blame on something else (look below for an example).

      • really?
        January 10, 2010

        We can be as cocky as we want. I suppose when barca go away to other grounds the fans of the opposition simply stay at home because their teams are not worthy to be on the same patch of grass as messi.

        Clearly a blinkered individual. We actually lost 5 first team players when we played against man u. You on the other hand lost at home in the first leg of the copa del rey with your full strength team out.

        jog on.

      • Vj
        January 10, 2010

        Um.. jog back to the Barca-Sevilla liveblog, check our starting lineup and see how many players really are from the first team..

  8. Laporta
    January 10, 2010

    Dont worry. We will not pay that amount of money to buy the whole club of Arsenal 😀

    • really?
      January 10, 2010

      Success is not the sole reason why people support a club.

      Come out of Madrid’s shadow after a seriously long wilderness and all of a sudden these”fans” are berating so called poorer clubs.

      Do you live anywhere near the ground? and how good is your Catalan?

  9. Jimmeny Bean
    January 10, 2010

    Your english is really exceptional for a spaniard.

  10. Helge
    January 10, 2010

    Wow. Who the hell linked this article on newsnow.com? I guess it wasn’t the best of ideas… or is newsnow.com searching the whole world wide web automatically?

    • Vj
      January 10, 2010

      Any story with Arsenal related keywords in it gets linked in Arsenal Newsnow – A link aggregator.. Again, Not our fault!

  11. gooner
    January 10, 2010

    i bet you’re all playing FIFA/FM and reading tranfer-rumours every day, with your girlie/gay-haircut after your heroes and with your beloved barca-shirt with Messi on the back.

    do you know what football is? Football is England, not USA. you dont know how to support a club. ever heard of hooligans? 20 000 yesterday? Arsenal always sell out.

    • Catalanblood
      January 10, 2010

      I agree 100%. Football is England. Everything outside of it, is just plain imitation.

      I find that there is completely no point in arguing here.

  12. Boat Forever
    January 10, 2010

    That would be more fine for us… Real dooming into eternal depths of debts!? SWEET!! And we would still have our JDS & Thiago, not to mention Iniesta & Busi 🙂

    • Boat Forever
      January 10, 2010

      This was in reply to some gunner fan wishing they should cash in on Fabregas by selling to Real Madrid, thereby leaving us c**ts(:P) bitter!!!

      • jnelson
        January 11, 2010

        HAHA all too funny. But really, who says “cloud cuckoo land”? Is that some sort of pop culture reference or what? Ha..ha..ha

      • ScotchEggsRule
        January 13, 2010

        Vj & Jnelson, your two kids are nothing more than a very poor pair of wind up merchants. As for “Cloud Cuckoo Land” it is a very often used term in the UK for adults who don’t want to swear when they are talking about people who “don’t have a clue” allow me to give you an example “jnelson you are living in cloud cuckoo land!” Simple eh? Well for most maybe, your level of understanding on the subject will probably require a little more explaining, run along sunshine.

  13. Bundy
    January 10, 2010

    tbh the arsenal fan based posters seem to show no class at all.

    I am though a little confused as to what Arsenal fans are really complaining about.

    Is it the media articles or players/staff comments?

    I would like to point out, is it a coincidence that most of the time the Barcelona players comment about Cesc are during international breaks? maybe Cesc is a human afterall and he actually spends time with some of the players from the Barcelona and maybe they are friends. I don’t think friends intend to lure their own friends illegaly, tbh I think in general barcelona players intend to complement Cesc on the fact that he is good enough to improve at team that is winning everything.

    Also, Newspapers do their job, they are part of the media NOT barcelona. IMO, people once again are hooked by the media and don’t realise that.

    I beleive Wenger is a great coach , a visionary, but tbh he gets involved with the media and he has created his own problem and same goes with Arsenal. The signing of Cesc is not the problem, actually falling for the media is the real problem.

  14. really?
    January 10, 2010

    Bundy you don’t get it. Barca have a press machine which operates in the same way as Real Madrid a fact and you would know it to be true if you have been to either city.

    Nobody is falling for the media – the fact that these ludicrous stories and rumours are copied and pasted everywhere are the problem. They are designed to do one thing and that is to unsettle a player.

    The special catalan DNA and all that jazz is crap. It is barca’s elevated position in World football that they feel gives them license to act irresponsibly. Using players and the press to do it is pathetic. I’m sure all the americans saw footage of that kid who was supposedly in an air balloon or something – story was false family got found out and punished.

    Barca leak shite to the press all the time and ought to be punished for falsifying correspondence – yes they do and yes they are not the only club to do it – I was there for a couple of months so I know what I’m going on about.

    I wonder do you ever hear about Bilbao leaking stories about all their basque players at other clubs having basque DNA and needing/wanting to come home – no you don’t.

    Bloggers who want to provoke something better have been through the Nou Camp to chuck it this much – if not shut your bandwagon jumping gobs. An armchair supporter is one thing but an armchair supporter in another continent/time zone whatever know your level.

    • Clarence
      January 10, 2010

      You are a joke. What difference does it make if they are in a different timezone? So listen, Spain and most countries in the Middle East have nearly the same timezone. So does that mean it is better to be an “armchair supporter” from the Middle East than an “armchair supporter” from North America? MORON!!!!!!

    • Bundy
      January 11, 2010

      sorry mate but I think you are going a bit crazy there.

      Yes, I already know how certain newspapers work for and support certain clubs yadda yadda. But mate the newspaper is not part of the club at all.

      I recommend you don’t react to what the media do, plain and simple, the media wants you to react and especially in a bad way, full stop, all people have to do is ignore it full stop, that is exactly what Wenger is not doing.

      I’m sorry but media articles are more than likely not illegal and stories like you aparently say occur happen everywhere and in all genres.

      Also, there is no reason to start calling me belittling names, especially when I don’t give a damn, I would send you 50 cents if I could so you can call somebody who cares. Hey I happen to enjoy watching football, especially when Barcelona fc play and I also like Arsenal too tbh.

  15. adam
    January 10, 2010

    As a fan of pure football teams like Arsenal and Barcelona, I can see both sides of the arguement.
    Cesc was taken at a young age before signing a contract and Arsenal got away with it, whilst Barca got some compensation for Fran. Catalans are proud people and see Cesc as their own.
    All I would say bigger problems are out there like the Manchester City of this world that could pay £100M for Messi or Cesc and dwarf the amount of future spending from our great clubs.

  16. David H
    January 10, 2010

    It’s appalling how many glory hunters are on here. I am 100 % sure that when Barca decline to the point where they are not in the cl (it’ll be a long time before that happens), 90 percent of the fraud “fans” on here will stop supporting them. And anyone who calls this game “soccer” is not even a football fan.

  17. January 10, 2010

    Hahaha!

    Isaiah, this post was just begging for a troll invasion. (Its due to the newsfeeds we are signed on to BTW). I’d say something but its happened before in the past and its useless to even try to argue with someone not willing to rationalize anything. We asked for the invasion though. How DARE we even talk about Cesc and Wenger?!?

    – Lets just get to the Live Blog for today’s game and skip this shit, huh?

    • January 10, 2010

      Your wish is my command.

  18. Jim
    January 10, 2010

    This thread makes pretty depressing reading. Time for a new topic Isaiah to take attention away from it 🙂

    What I would say to Arsenal fans is stick around and you’ll see that we have our disagreements about our own team ( and are often quite hard on them ) but try to conduct them in a reasonable non abusive manner. We’re not particularly proud of the politics that surround the club at this election time but we are proud of most of what goes on at FCB, whether its the UNICEF shirt tie in, the bringing through of our own youngsters or the type of football that our club plays no matter what.

    For what its worth, there are a lot of people on this blog, myself included who have a lot of respect for Arsenal and the way you play the game. Stay and debate football with us and you’ll be welcome but please try to avoid abuse or aggressive comments.

  19. mike in africa
    January 10, 2010

    whoever wrote this article is missing the point. wenger is not saying that he’s angry that barca or madrid want cesc; but is not happy about with the usage of media as the channel… got it?

  20. Keano
    January 10, 2010

    Best post ever!

  21. Kevin
    January 10, 2010

    Reading the sequence of comments generated from this post was depressing. There are people from both camps who should be ashamed of the vitriol and mean-spiritedness of their comments.

    Arsenal fans know that Fabregas is a lifelong Barcelona fan and we all understand/accept that one day he will play for Barcelona. We just want to delay that as long as possible.

    What we get really angry about is the constant “release” of reports that he join Barcelona. We recognise that this is often a political ploy for a presidential candidate to garner votes. Regardless it is annoying and reflects poorly on the club. Having said that Real Madrid are far worse.

    One additional comment regarding the media. While English clubs and agents use the newspapers to start rumours, the Spanish sports papers, Marca and El Mundo Deportivo, as widely considered (at least outside of Spain) to be the “official” mouthpieces of Real Madrid and Barcelona respecitively.

    VJ: So you get nauseated by the phrase “Arsenal play beautiful football”. Well, I am sorry about that. However, the reality is that it is not just a few youngsters. It is now a philosophy, established by Arsene Wenger, within the club from the youth teams through to the first team. Having grown up watching the “Boring, boring Arsenal”, I am overjoyed to watch and support a team that now plays football the way it should be. Are we happy that they do not do it every day (like yesterday’s Everton match), absolutely not. We are greedy and want to see victories using glorious football every time.

    All I will say is that fans of football should relish the opportunity of watching teams like Arsenal and Barcelona that strive to play football as it should be rather than the clogging, agricultural style of football as personified by the teams managed by people like Sam Alladyce.

    • January 10, 2010

      Thank you Kevin..as i can see you are removing the totally out of line comments

  22. January 10, 2010

    all i can say is that fans well be fans

  23. January 10, 2010

    I fine you Gooners should worry about your african players who are in the ACN than Cesc who is home safe…They are more pressing issues to argue about than all this.

  24. basil faulty
    January 10, 2010

    why is your blog not in spanish? glory hunting english boy.

    • nope
      January 11, 2010

      Because people all over the world speak English and it serves as a common language between fans of the club.

  25. Keano
    January 10, 2010

    I remember that catchphrase ‘1 nil to the arsenal’-in 1997 they decided to get some culture. So don’t talk about “Arsenal play beautiful football”. Arsenal are far too soft and get bullied way too easy.Spice boys

  26. Clockendrider
    January 10, 2010

    Barcelona, a brief explanation of why Fabregas won’t be going to your provincial club for a few years.
    1. Fabregas is under contract at Arsenal and understands the value of integrity and honour. Clearly he would be the only person at your football club who does hence would be somewhat lonely.
    2. Arsenal are not interested in selling.
    3. We only sell players to you when they are past their sell by date (Overmars, Henry) or no longer of use (Petit, Hleb). Fabregas does not fall into this category.

    Now cut along, there’s a good boy…

    • majatt (Maximus)
      January 10, 2010

      As much as your argument makes sense, I can’t help but shake the feeling that Barca has won the champions league 3 times, including beating Arsenal in a final and Arsenal haven’t won the EPL in years.

      So yes, we are all happy to cut along and thank you for calling us good boys we appreciate the recognition. Thanks for Henry especially, not sure we could have won 6 titles in one year without him. Oh and thanks for Sylvinho as well he was quite useful in winning the Champions League Final. Even hleb we should thank you for he was good for rotation during the season.

      You didn’t mention it but you are welcome, we know you appreciate the money to pay off the debt from the stadium.

  27. majatt (Maximus)
    January 10, 2010

    Wow, I think this thread is a stern argument for making the comments section authenticated so there must be a sign up. I’m all for discussion but this got well out of hand.

    Such a simple issue at the end of the day, if the media keeps asking Barca player’s “would you like to Cesc to play for Barca?” they will keep saying “yes”. Cesc responds with a polite as possible “I’m happy at Arsenal and I want to win things here”. The real impropriety is Presidents/Potential presidents going on about it. Even in that case, Moratti has said he would like Messi, City/Kolo Toure have said they would like Yaya. It happens but the MEDIA keeps pushing the Cesc issue with questions and posits so it seems like a ‘big issue’.

    All of that being said Messi, Fabregas and Pique played together as kids so there being a link there is only natural.

    On the issue of fans from other regions, I think that is a silly argument. Wenger is French, Barca was founded by an Englishman, Arsenal’s Captain is from Barca etc.

  28. LOL-at-Arse
    January 10, 2010

    HAHAHAHAHA
    STUPID GOONERS HAVE ONLY ONE PERSON WHO CAN WIN THEM ANYTHING AND HE IS FABREGAS.
    SO THEY ARE SCARED HE MIGHT GO HOME AND THEY MIGHT GO ON TROPHY-LESS.

  29. Kxevin
    January 10, 2010

    I think that Ramzi’s comments summed things up best.

    But fans are, by their very nature, myopic. That means Arsenal fans and Barca fans. They say we’re tapping up Fabregas. We say that Arsenal snatched him away thanks to a loophole, and if he wants to come “home,” and people talk about it, what’s the harm?

    There’s no common ground, so things will remain as they are. As has been noted, people have talked openly about how nice it would be to have Fabregas in the colors. Fabregas has said “I’m with Arsenal, and happy here.” So that’s that, until it isn’t.

    Press foolishness is precisely that. Wenger’s letter writing has esclated the matter to a point that makes it more serious than it was, really. As I posted above, success keeps players. If Fabregas wants to leave for another club, he will make those desires known, and he will depart. Until then, it’s all just speculative nattering.

    And any club who pays 50m for him, including Barca, I will label as having done a bad bit of business.

    One last thing about the fan/bandwagon hopper, etc business. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has the right to dictate who is and isn’t a fan. I live in Chicago, get to 3-6 Barca matches per season (my best year was 8), and speak Catalan with growing facility. Does this mean that I am more of a fan than someone who lives in Barcelona, but doesn’t care about the club? Or someone who lives in India, and loves the club but can’t get to matches?

    No. Hell no. As for the comment about taking my multi-culti football fandom theory to bars in Barcelona, where I will find myself laughed out of them, actually the reverse has happened. People are fascinated when they find out where I am from, how much I love the club and that I am a soci. One La Vanguardia article about a piece that I wrote called me a “cule Americano.” Note, not “Dipshit American who doesn’t know the country or the language and hence, can’t be a REAL fan.”

    Fans are everywhere. You just have to love the club that you support.

    • Helge
      January 10, 2010

      Couldn’t have said it any better – not even in my native language.

    • Eduard
      January 12, 2010

      Can you send me a link or post a link to that article?

      I can’t believe people are getting all worked up about all this media articles. There’s no reason to be derrogeratory toward anybody. Even calling Arsenal fans Gooners, they are Gunners.
      the Arsenal fans that have come in an started insulting Cules and generalizing them are no better. This is a blog and not all bloggers represent the thoughts and opinions of all cules. Just

      chill out.

  30. UAI
    January 10, 2010

    “jumped ship for the opportunity to earn more money at an earlier age than he otherwise would have. ”

    This is pure speculation and opinion on your part Isaiah, you stated it like it was fact

    • January 11, 2010

      No, it’s not speculation. What I was talking about was him leaving Barça for a professional contract at the age of 16, which is against the law in Spain. I don’t see what’s speculative about that.

      I have to assume that what you were talking about were all of Cesc’s motives, which are, of course, unknown to me. But it is fact that he had could not make money in Spain at that age, whereas in England he could. Perhaps the problem you’re having with the sentence is the word “more” before “money”, which was perhaps a bad choice on my part.

  31. January 10, 2010

    Goddamn, other than a couple of reasonable Arsenal fans (this Kevin chap for one), the vitriol coming from these people is a little disgusting. There’s no point arguing — we’ve had some very vehement disagreements on this blog amongst ourselves, but we tend to keep it civil and don’t use the language and tone that apparently comes naturally to this subset of fans.

    Also, not everyone here is American. Not even close. I’m from Pakistan where football is hardly played! (And when it IS played…yikes). As I said earlier, football is a global sport today…I follow American basketball teams (who unfortunately don’t win anything) and the Pakistan cricket team (ditto) and Russian tennis players (too bad he recently retired and never fulfilled his potential) and Barca (who make up slightly for the disappointments the other three give me regularly). Is that so bad?

    • Helge
      January 10, 2010

      What about Davidenko? He kicks ass recently 😉

      • January 10, 2010

        Safin is/was my guy. If he had taken the game seriously, he could’ve won 5-8 grand slams, I have no doubt about it.

    • Vj
      January 10, 2010

      How did you all conspire to lose the second test against Australia? My jaw was on the floor when I saw the result..

      • January 10, 2010

        Let’s not talk about that.

      • January 10, 2010

        Was it a math test or a geography test? What was the first test on? 😉

      • Vj
        January 10, 2010

        What else? Predicting lineups and stuff.. 🙂

      • January 10, 2010

        Haha. The test was basically “Can you keep your brain farts to a bare minimum for the next three hours after dominating Australia in Australia for three days?”. And sadly the answer was no.

        For the non-cricket fans here, basically there are three forms of cricket: T20 (last three and a bit hours, the newest form), 50 overs (lasts about 7-8 hours) and tests (five days). Test cricket is what Americans etc make fun of when they make fun of cricket, but for cricket fans, it is the highest and purest form of the game.

  32. king gooner
    January 10, 2010

    keano you wanker-stick to your MANURE blogs!!!

  33. king gooner
    January 10, 2010

    lol -at arse-stupid barkers!woof1woof!have only one player-messi-scared he might piss off to some clubs with money i.e-real madrid(now that would be sweet!)or perhaps man city or what about chelsea-money talks as you bunch of pimps should know,hey???

  34. Cesc Pistol
    January 11, 2010

    While I don’t really care for foolish and pointless arguments nor for trolls (surely some of the ‘gooners’ were!) I have to mention that Arsene Wenger doesn’t always do what is legal. Or perhaps you have forgotten that Arsenal was sued and lost the case for tapping up Merida?

    Personally, I don’t care much for morality, the law or Cesc (I’d rather he not come) but just to get the facts right, what Arsene does in tapping up younger players from other youth systems is neither morally nor legally correct.

    As a side note to Kevin (and everyone else): I’m (Cesc Pistol/CP) different from another poster on this blog “Cesc Blanc”.
    (BTW Cesc Blanc/CB: your nick seems like you want Cesc to be a Madridsta?)

  35. ScotchEggsRule
    January 13, 2010

    The simple fact is the directors of Barcelona and Madrid are world reknowned for being the biggest bunch of tossers in the world game. They ARE breaking the rules of football by constantly trying (and failing) to tap up Fabregas, that IS against the laws AND spirit of the game but nothing is done about it. Arsenal have maintained a dignified stance while LaPorta et al are hitching their skirts and grabbing their ankles for the collective sheep that believe thier constant lies just to keep hold of their seat of power. Just to note, we paid for Merida and it was all above board and legal. If your management and coaches didn’t have the intelligence or foresite to see his ability and nurture it then more fool them. Shame it will cost them £80 million plus to rectify that problem. Cheers Catalunyan’s, we cannot lose in this situation.

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