Football FanCast guest columnist Jeff Webber feels that if Arsenal have any hope of
keeping Cesc, then a change of policy needs to be enforced in January.
I have to admit that when
news broke yesterday of Cesc's Barca dream, I took it all with a pinch of salt.
I felt it was just the media once again looking to stick the knife in, create
anarchy within our ranks and it wasn't until I read the actual article for
myself that the alarm bells started to go off in my head. This wasn't contrived
Fleet Street claptrap and Fabregas seemed very sincere with his views.
They say one player isn't
bigger than the football club and whilst that is true, we are a damn sight poorer
without in the team. He is the catalyst, the heartbeat and any ‘masterplan'
that Wenger may have in building this young excellent side that will dominate for
years, must have rest solely being built around Cesc Fabregas.
I have huge respect for
Arsene Wenger and what he has done for the football club, but I feel he has let
a few things slip. Maybe he has been naive in thinking that players (even those as honest and professional as
Cesc) would be happy to indulge in his long term vision, but the bottom
line is players want to achieve things and win the top honours in the game. Fabregas
has won nothing since he became a first team regular four years ago and after a
while that surely has to grate.
My biggest criticism of
Wenger, like most Arsenal fans share, is that he has seemingly lost focus or
remembered what is required to win trophies. If he looks back at all his title
winning teams then the average age of that team was nearer 30 than it was 20.
It is like Wenger is solely on a mission to prove his philosophy works and at
the same time we just have to go along with it. I admire the man for what he is
trying to do, but there is no reason why the nucleus of the side cannot possess
experience. I often wonder if Arsenal would have had to wait four years for a
trophy, had Viera remained alongside Cesc.
It seems to me that the
club is set to reach a crossroads with Cesc in the coming months and I fear
that unless a change of policy is enforced in January, then we will be losing
our talisman in the summer. While our prudency has won praise for being morally
correct, the bottom line is we have won nothing because of it, as we are
continually trying to blood potential stars. Reports this morning suggest that
Arsenal are looking to move for £8m rated French U21 international Blaise
Matuidi to add reinforcements to the midfield in January – hardly the type of
player that will strengthen what we have already have and hardly one to
convince Cesc that his future should remain at N5. We must go out and bring in
established quality in January, otherwise I fear we will lose the most gifted
player I have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt.