Cesc to Barca? Stuff and nonsense…

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by CARL ELDRIDGE The back pages are dominated by the oh-so-interesting England friendly win against Egypt at Wembley last night but there are bits and bobs pertaining to the Royal Arsenal in this morning’s papers.
 
The Daily Mail says that the man who discovered Cesc Fabregas for us is confident that the we will hold on to him. Francis Cagigao, responsible for finding talent in Spain and Portugal, has given short shrift to interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid in Fabregas, says the paper.

‘All the fuss about Barcelona and Fabregas is simply an invention of the press, to engage in this type of speculation is absurd,’ said Cagigao. ‘Even when he was 15 I was captivated by his intelligence. He was mature which is hard to find in young players. It seems he has GPS in his head.’

The Mail points out that Cesc admits Barca boss Pep Guardiola was his childhood idol, but Cagigao says Fabregas is fortunate enough to be already working with someone who shares a love of proper football. I think the philosophies of Wenger and Guardiola are similar in shaping what they want on the field.’

Meanwhile in the same paper reckons Felipe Melo remains on Arsene Wenger’s radar as we come to terms with the loss of Aaron Ramsey. With Rambo out for eight months after breaking his leg AW could go back in for Melo.

He tried to tempt Melo from Fiorentina in the summer but was priced out of the market by Juventus. But the paper says the 26-year-old Brazil international has struggled in Turin and Wenger could be set to try again.

He said: ‘We were interested in Melo during the summer. We watched him in Brazil’s international at the Emirates, against Italy [in February 2009], when he had an outstanding game. Then he went to Juventus and that team has struggled and certainly he has not had the season that everyone predicted he would.

‘We still think he is a very talented player and with Gilberto Silva, Brazil have a very useful pair in midfield. We are still looking at Melo.’

The Mail adds that Alex Song sits out our next two matches through suspension but AW could have Abou Diaby back to face Burnley on Saturday after the midfielder returned to full training following a calf injury. 

In the Sun, Bolton boss Owen Coyle has dismissed AW’s claim our players are singled out by Premier League opponents for rough treatment.

He said: “They are special players, no doubt about that, but there is no way in the world that anyone would go out to intentionally hurt or maim any player.

“Ramsey is a terrific talent and is going to be a top player but there’s no way that was intentional to hurt him. If you’re not motivated to go out there and be aggressive to begin with, then you’re going to be made to look foolish.

“We all take pride in trying to make our players competitive, to go and earn the right, as we say in football, but there’s no way you’d say ‘Go and smash this and that’.”

The paper says Coyle had cause for complaint in January over a William Gallas challenge on Bolton midfielder Mark Davies but he admits he saw things slightly differently after a few days’ reflection.

He added: “I was angry and disappointed at the time — your emotions do take over — but with hindsight I don’t think Gallas intended to hurt Mark, to do damage.

“It was badly timed, just like the other day. The boy Shawcross took a bad touch and I’m not even sure if he knew Ramsey was there.  It’s horrible when any young player gets an injury but it’s wrong when people start posting blame and saying that they meant it.”

And finally, in the Bugle, Henry Norris doesn’t appear to share Coyle’s views. “Coyle should keep his trap firnly buttoned,” he writes. “He is clearly deluded by saying no-one intentionally hurts anyone else. His Bolton team are particulalry good exponents of roughing up opponents. Furthermore, if he wants to keep the only decent player he has — on-loan Jack Wilshere — then he should issue a grovelling public apology.”{jcomments on}


Arsenal fan for 40 years. Schoolboys, North Bank, Clock End then East Upper. Then Emirates. AFC dream team: Wilson, Dixon, Sansom, Adams, Pates, Brady, Williams, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry, Wright. Subs: Seaman, Eldridge, Wilshere, RVP, Ball. Manager: Arsene Chapman.