The Cesc Affair

There is no doubt that Cesc Fabregas’ commitment to Arsenal, for this season at least, is a major boost to the club, players and fans. That said, one must look at the negative effects the whole affair has had on preparation for this season.
Arsene Wenger said that he would like to have his new signings place before the World Cup.  No sooner had he shared this desire, Barcelona began their campaign to lure Cesc back home. The whole “Fabregas to Barcelona Affair” has lasted for 2 months now and has no doubt given Mr Wenger many sleepless nights.  Le Prof must be commended for how he has dealt with the situation; with respect, dignity and also a firmness that many Arsenal fans are delighted to see. However, while Barcelona blatantly courted our captain, Wenger’s plans have been put back.  That is why, in my view, we only have 3 central defenders at the club right now, with a week to go until the start of the season.
I highly doubt Wenger was 100% sure Fabregas would be here this season, despite his insistence to the press, and to Barcelona, that he would.  Therefore, transfer business may well have been put on hold, or at least been given less priority as Wenger waited for a finite decision from Cesc himself. Now he has returned from holiday, Wenger can rest easy with the knowledge that Cesc is here for this season and finally get on with signing a new defender and, rather more unlikely now, a goalkeeper. Wenger has been left without a full squad for the start of the season and any new signing may take some time to adapt. That is not ideal for a team that needs a good start to have any chance of winning the title this year. Understandably, Fabregas’ future was main priority but it has put a delay on other business.
Although, I can understand Cesc’s dilemna and applaud his honesty when making his statement, I can’t help but expect it to have some sort of effect on the squad.  There was no way he could deny his desire to move back to Spain after some of his antics, and Barcelona’s disrespectful pursuit and PR campaign. But if I was part of the squad, you would wonder whether their leader really wants to be there. Fabregas doesn’t seem like the type to sulk and I am sure will give his all for the team. However, the thought that his departure is on the cards may well linger for a while. This week should have been about the squad’s final preparation but it has turned into a circus surrounding one player and a 2 month soap opera.
Fabregas’ extra long holiday has also left me baffled. I understand the one given to Robin Van Persie seeing as he was injured for a long time last season and played pretty much all of the World Cup. However, Cesc played very little of the tournament in the end and should be fresh for the season after a lay off at the end of the season. The sooner he was back, the earlier this mess may have been cleared up, the earlier he could train the squad and maybe he’d be closer to appearing at anfield.  This is not Fabregas’ fault but it does seem someone’s missed a trick here.
I hope that these negative effects either don’t transpire or don’t cause too big a problem but I can’t help but worry that it already has. A new centre back, keeper and winning goal from Cesc at Anfield would go a long way to quashing these worries.

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