The king is dead. Long live the king. Well, not dead exactly. Rather, removed from the Arsenal. Yes, Cesc Fabregas has finally moved to Barcelona. The news broke last night and he is undergoing a medical in Spain now. The fee is around £35million but the money isn’t important because we probably won’t spend it.
The new king, of course, is Jack Wilshere. Think back to last season and it was evident that, arguably, Wilshere delivered his most polished performances when not accompanied by Fabregas in the heart of our midfield.
Fabregas’s departure should allow the young England midfielder to flourish further, as if unburdened now that Catalonian we crowned as captain just a few years back has been dethroned. We certainly missed Wilshere’s creative flair in Geordieland that’s for sure.
Just as Fabregas was schooled and nurtured in the Arsenal way, Wilshere has graduated with top marks and he can only get better. I predict he will wholeheartedly accept the extra responsibility in the wake of Fabregas leaving. The depressing thought is, though, that this time next year he will be the subject of interest by Manchester City. Until or unless Usmanov gains control of the club and backs us with his billions, we can’t really compete with the fincnail clout shown by City, United and Chelsea. The rub is that if that happens we’ll be owned by a man with a decidedly dodgy past. Who would you prefer, him or Silent Stan?
Meanwhile, Andrey Arshavin reckons hothead Joey Barton’s provocation led to Gervinho’s sending off in the 0-0 draw at Newcastle in the Premier League opener at Newcastle — as it did last season when Abu Diaby was red carded after a clash with the Toon thug.
Russian winger Arshavin tried to appease Barton. He told his personal website: “I was trying to calm him down. He is famous for his hectic nature, temper, provocations. The players often get red cards because of him and he also gets them quite often. In principle, the last year’s story repeated itself today; he managed to provoke our players.”
And Arshavin says he thought the Gunners would still go on and win the game despite the dismissal of the Ivory Coast striker. He added: “When the referee showed him (Gervinho) the red card, I had a feeling strikingly different from the one I had experienced last season. A year ago I would have thought that now we could concede. But this time, on the contrary, I felt that we would manage to press on and win in the minority. Of course, now we are upset that we didn’t get enough points. What can we do now? Let us move on.”
Arshavin has also revealed that AW didn’t address the players after teh game at St James’ Park. He said: “In general, he said nothing. Tomorrow (Sunday) we will be preparing for next game at the training ground; he will talk to the team there.”