Arsene Wenger: “I love Fabregas and I want him to stay, that is basically it.”
This Fabregas transfer business is officially at rock bottom. It doesn’t work with soon to be ex-wives or girlfriends, as any guy will tell you. It didn’t work for Mars Blackmon, either. “Please baby please, baby baby baby please!”
Will it work for an attacking midfielder?
As astute Twitter follower, mesqueunprofile, notes: Both sides are acting as though its about proving that Cesc loves them more instead of thinking of what is best for the teams.
Exactly. It’s also incredibly stupid, not just Wenger’s declaration but the whole business.
And the life-affirming beauty of stupid is that there is always enough to go ’round. And in consideration of the Fabregas transfer affair, which looks set to end this summer and resume the next, it’s worth having a right smart look at what is enough stupidity to power a small country, were jackassery electricity. Two clubs don’t want to lose face, so they face off and bray like jackasses over a player. “Cesc should come home.” “We love him, and think he should stay.” Stoo-pid.
Let’s start with us, since we’re the home team:
–We’re stupid because we refuse to come sufficiently close to Arsenal’s valuation to even raise the possibility of a deal.
–We’re stupid because we’re putting all our eggs in one wishy-washy basket, and whistling past the graveyard of a back line that is old in key positions. But we’re so busy chasing a player that we don’t need right now, and are, in my opinion, ignoring other needs. Some will say that we’re a deeper squad than last season because we have better players at all positions, who are also versatile. Whatever.
–We’re stupid because we’re playing a game of brinkmanship, betting that Arsenal won’t want to keep a want-away captain, thus facilitating a deal on our terms, or as close to them as possible. But Arsenal is happy to keep him, because this isn’t just business, it’s also personal, made so by comments and other blather about tapping-up, hijacked young’uns and other silliness.
–We’re stupid because we aren’t exactly making ourselves known as a delight to deal with in the footy world. Will teams really want to dance around with us if the player a club is trying to sell has other options? Gijon didn’t, and Roma now have one hell of a left back for a very fair price that they set, rather than our “We’ll give you 1.5m, some Barca Xips and a squirrel. Deal?”
–We’re stupid because we look stupid for letting this thing drag on and on and on and on. We also look cheap. Arsenal’s valuation of Fabregas, in the current transfer market, is very fair. This is a statement which, it must be added, has nothing to do with my personal valuation of Fabregas to the club. We’re looking for a bargain, which is stupid, particularly since the other party has made it very clear what the price is.
–We’re stupid because we’re frittering away a dwindling transfer window, even if Guardiola has said that if we don’t sign Fabregas, we aren’t signing anyone else.
And now for Arsenal:
–They’re stupid because this matter is not strictly business for them, just as for us. And it should be. This is like a 2 million dollar house sale being scuttled because of not being able to agree on whether a 9k fridge stays or goes. Fabregas wants to leave. What is the point of keeping him? But they don’t want to “lose” in this deal. So it’s X number or get lost, which is their right. But that right makes them no less stupid.
–They’re stupid because they’re standing pat with a lineup that finished fourth in the Prem last season, while all around them have improved. 38m, or whatever in the hell we last offered, buys a hell of a lot of talent, talent that could improve a club to the extent that gets it over the hump. Instead, they let this thing drag on, missing the Juan Mata “sensible price” deadline. And now they pretty much have to keep a player who doesn’t want to stay, to have any shot at all.
–They’re stupid for adhering to their valuation of a player who doesn’t want to stay, taking a HUGE risk that he is going to be every bit as excellent and fully committed as he has been in the past. No matter someone’s intentions, can he be, really? Good question. There are some consummate professionals who, after mentally quitting a job, continue to perform at the same high level as when they started. Yup. There must be, somewhere. Fabregas could well be one of them.
–They’re stupid for not taking the money and running to improve the club. Wenger ‘as zee ‘ope that doing the same thing the same way will bring about a different result this time. Because it always does in the rosy glow of footy pre-season, right? Fans are full of hope that this season, it will all be different. Gervinho really will be the cut-rate Henry that everyone thought Chamakh was going to be. Yup. You betcha.
And Fabregas doesn’t get off easily here:
–He’s stupid because it’s only his future. If he wants to help resolve it, he’s stupid for sitting on the fence. So as it is, two clubs are haggling for the rights to pay him millions of dollars for his services, each one thinking it’s negotiating from a position of strength, because it knows what the player wants. Maybe Fabregas doesn’t really care, and would be fine with either club.
–He’s stupid because he’s taking fans and their love for granted. Yes, some fans will embrace him and the lack of a deal because they will delude themselves into thinking that he will stay because deep down, he loves Arsenal. Whatever. Were I an Arsenal fan, I would boo him until I fainted. Upon revival, I would continue to boo him.
–Is he injured or not injured? Travel with your damned teammates. Or are physios afraid to fly? If you’re injured, tell me that a football club worth hundreds of millions of dollars doesn’t have the wherewithal to continue your treatment at any location on the planet. Go ahead, so I can call you a liar.
–He’s stupid because he has a contract. That he signed. A long-term contract that gives his scads of money and security. It’s a contract that I believe he should honor. In the last year of it, all bets are off. But right now, he is under contract to Arsenal for at least two more seasons. Even if he honors the contract to its full term, he still leaves Arsenal while in his prime as a player.
All of this is why everything, everyone is stupid. What would I do to make this less stupid? I would remove the antagonists from the affair, and have a neutral party ajudicate the matter, as with mediation in a labor dispute. When both sides are too riven to continue negotiating in good faith, it’s time for a third party, who might say “This is what I would do to resolve this,” or “You people are just too stupid to be helped.”
And that’s what I (don’t) know. What do you know?