The First Cut Is The Deepest

A guest post today from Rickaaaaay!

I’ve wanted to write another piece on ACLF for a while now but only so much can be said about performances, results and board room battles, all of which are more than covered by far better bloggers than myself. So I decided to wait for some inspiration and this week it arrived with the departure of our mercurial little Russian, Andrei Arshavin…who ironically on many occasions, gave the impression he was doing much the same.

Now if you’re expecting this to be either a staunch defence of, or indeed vitriolic epitaph for him, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. As this won’t be either, in fact it’s not actually about Arshavin at all.

Its about second chances and if we as football fans are really able to give a player one, once we’ve made our mind up…something we seem to want to do as quickly as possible nowadays, and all within 140 characters of course. Anyway, there’s obviously plenty of case studies I could pick from over the years but I’ve chosen a few recent ones in the hope that both younger and more recent followers of the club are able to relate.

I’ll start with Adebayor, a player who despite his natural offsideyness was at times absolutely outstanding. Adebayor (perhaps alongside Nasri) left under the darkest of clouds. My personal belief is that talk of dates with Beyonce were just that, talk as he tried to play the negotiation game (a la Vieira & Henry) and failed miserably. See, he had never won a trophy and a spell of average form leading up to a very poor show in a CL semi-final against Man United at Old Trafford, meant he was afforded very little patience despite scoring 46 goals in 86 games in his last two seasons.

Some seemingly couldn’t wait to see the back of him, a certain mock Michael Owen style brochure was even created whilst he was still on our books which despite being ‘spit your tea out’ funny, was simply damning and yet was in fact a fair reflection of the wider opinion of him as both a player and a man.

His for me is now something of an indefensible case following his appalling on-field antics during a 4-2 defeat at the Etihad, not to mention the fact that he currently wears a cock on his chest…but these are the crimes that stop me wanting him back and they have been committed since he left the club. So the question is, had we brought a few less burning torches to his door for wanting an evening with the bootylicious one and actually kept him, what might we have achieved? Theres been long periods in the last couple of seasons when I think we could’ve really pushed on with him in the squad.

Should we have given him another chance? In hindsight, I think its hard to argue anything other than a yes.

Then there’s Denilson, our shakey-headed crab like Brazilian. A player whose main attributes will always split opinion amongst English football fans, who tend to prefer quick, direct, powerful attacking play. He didn’t do anything to disrespect the club. Much like Adebayor and most others that have gone, he did have a watershed moment with the fans and the gavel seemed to hit the block even quicker for him after a home game against Everton at the end of January 2010.

Filling in at DM, in an incident similar to that of our big f-ing German at Sunderland a couple of weeks back, Denilson, under very little, if any pressure collapsed in a heap in the middle of the park, allowing Pienaar a clear path towards goal to give Everton the lead. The anger directed at him within the ground at the time and even online hours later was again widespread, very strong and for me, unjust.

Now I know he stayed for another year but he lived on the fringes of the first team last season. Admittedly the emergence of a certain Jack Wilshere didn’t do him any favours but he started an incredible twenty less league games than in each of the two previous seasons, so the writing was on the wall long before he eventually joined Sao Paulo on loan in the summer. Again, there’s been plenty of occasions this season when we could’ve done with his ability to read the play, position himself well and most importantly maintain possession and recycle the ball. He of course is only on loan, so the question here is ‘could’ we give him another chance?

The answer is obviously yes we could and I actually think the club might but would those that hounded him out truly offer a clean slate? Or would human nature dictate that they would simply wait for the first opportunity to satisfy their own ego with an ‘I told you so’ moment?

To my mind there’s only three players I can think of that have been afforded a second chance of sorts, namely Sol Campbell, Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue but they are slightly different cases.

Campbell doesn’t really need justifying, he left suddenly during a game against West Ham at Highbury due to what I can only imagine were personal demons and only came back as a stop gap. None the less, his return certainly served as a reminder of what a truly world class centre back looked like and his will and desire in the games he played removed any ill feelings harboured in the Gooner ranks.

Throughout Alex Songs rise to what I believe is one of the best DM/CMs around, its become patently clear that in the lead up to and including that awful night at Craven Cottage, he didn’t lack ability or desire, he simply wasn’t ready. Whilst being massively melodramatic, I distinctly remember turning to my old man during the game and saying ‘he’s got to be the worst player I’ve seen an Arsenal shirt’. His name is now on the back of mine and many others, but how many of us would have batted an eyelid had he signed permanently for Charlton rather than going on loan? I know I wouldn’t.

As for Eboue, his second chance was in the guise of a cult hero amongst the fans following the shameful booing after he was substituted against Wigan. It was as if he were permanently wearing his tiger costume for the rest of his time here and sadly, it was only a collective sense of guilt that went someway to repairing the broken heart of a grown man. Once more, there’s been plenty of games this season when he would’ve come in more than useful but the club knew he was living on little more than a sympathy vote and he was moved on in the summer.

Now we return to Arshavin who following a barrage of criticism, has finally gone. He like Denilson has only on loan but unlike the Brazilian, I’d be absolutely amazed if he were ever to wear a our famous colours again. His departure seems to have been met with a mix of astonishment, anger, frustration, indifference and relief, with three of the five relating to the clubs precarious position in the league more than public opinion of him, so its a hard one to pull apart.

What has become clear, is that the majority of people who would’ve happily paid for a one way ticket to St Petersburg a little over a month ago, would in fact be more than willing to offer him a second chance now it suits them now because we were offered immediate hindsight of sorts due to the Russian transfer window closing sometime after our own.

On Twitter, countless fans timelines will read like this over the space of two months > he’s sh*t > he offers nothing > don’t take off that kid I complained about signing for this lazy so and so > sell him in January > good riddance > what, he’s leaving? > we’re doomed. Heh.

I for one am not the slightest bit surprised that he forced a move (which is the only logical explanation) and perhaps we are doomed but maybe it’s our own fault to a certain extent. There seems to be this insatiable appetite to be right all the time, we over analyse, we’re over critical and I believe in a lot of cases we’ve hounded out players that could’ve improved our fortunes in recent times…some efficient, some quietly effective, some magical and some, well simply un-playable.

It even extends to the manager. If Wenger were to win the league or a European trophy next season, would those that suggest his time is up change their minds? Id suggest its very unlikely.

So in closing, I think once fans are finished with a player, thats it. All we can do is urge the more impatient amongst us to be careful who they boo for because, well…we just might need them.

Right, I’m off to take another bubble bath with my pants on. If all the fighting stops, well, next time I’ll do it sooner.

Peace, Ricky

Follow me on Twitter @geezypeas

Over at Arsenal On This Day, a day Clive Allen will enjoy forever. ’til Tomorrow.

376 thoughts on “The First Cut Is The Deepest

  1. Evil.

    If I were Torres, I’d be ashamed of even sitting on the bench. £50 million in transfer fees, I don’t know how much in wages and how many goals has he scored for Chelsea again? It’s not even embarrasing any more, its humiliating.

  2. Robben is one footed. He will always try to put the ball on his left foot because he can do sh*t with his right. And when he is in that inside right channel, he will ALWAYS go for the shot. Why is it that hardly any defender seems to realise that?

  3. That Walcott is shit he should go play for Arsenal and be teh inconsistent twat that he is. Could you ever imagine him being world class, all he does is create and give assits for goals.

  4. Darius:

    Agree completely about TR7. He is a very valuable asset to the team and I really hope he stays. I will not begrudge whatever he decides to do this summer even if he leaves. Hopefully that loyalty you describe will trump getting more money or a longer contract somewhere in Germany.

  5. Interesting discussion today on the wages.

    Our struggling with offloading players like Bendtner, Denilson and Almunia suggests that the theory of the squad players being overpaid at Arsenal is more that just a speculation. And the reasons for that have less to do with the wages inflation and more to do with the intentional managerial decisions:

    1. Arsene’s view that smaller differences between players’ earnings would contribute to more harmony in the dressing room. One may argue that the other side of the coin was more complacency on the squad players’ side.
    2. Arsene’s expectation that the 2009-2011 squad was ready to win a major trophy. In the light of it, big extended contracts were handed out to prevent possible targeting of the emerging stars team from the richer clubs. As it happened, the expected team’s triumph did not materialise, and the new contracts did not prevent the high quality players from leaving while reducing the clubs flexibility in refreshing the squad.

    I think Arsene realises that he got the wage structure wrong. The correcting measures have already started with the attempts to offload some players, but they will take time. So patience is required from the club’s management as well as from the fans.

  6. Cheers MGK, backatcha sir.

    Darius why bring wages into it? I honestly don’t see the relevance. Did you think the tears over/with Wenger were crocodile tears? Did you ever get the feeling the decision was not awfully hard for him?

    Everyone is different – Cesc is a very sensitive soul and should be managed, understood and judged and forgiven as the type of individual he is. He loves the club and that should never be forgotten – I bet he feels sad about how it turned out too but Wenger could have managed it differently also.

    TBH, I could no sooner be furious with a snowflake.

    Amazingly there are many who would sooner defend/see Bendtner back than Cesc. I’d rather remove my skin and swim in ‘Salt and Lineker’ crisps than see that cunt in an Arsenal again! 😉

    That football game went mental. Bad defending from Baines at the end…

  7. Completely unrelated (well, was talking about Cesc and he’s Spanish) but I’ve just stumbled across this:

    Real Betis’ club motto is “Viva er Betis manque pierda!” which translates as “Long live Betis even when they lose!”

    Don’t ask me why or how I’ve come across this but isn’t it a great motto!!

    Viva er Arsenal manque pierda!!

  8. SV – “I think Arsene realises that he got the wage structure wrong. The correcting measures have already started with the attempts to offload some players, but they will take time. So patience is required from the club’s management as well as from the fans.”

    Yes – that’s about my feeling too.

  9. @Jonny
    Cesc can be forgiven for leaving us. He can’t be forgiven for how he agitated for the move in the background and how he behaved in his last season with us. That Sp*rs handball and the Barca backheel, that’s something that can’t be forgiven. Those weren’t genuine mistakes, it was pure stupidity.

  10. ITV Interviewer to Pearce:

    “So, do you think you’ve proved something to the F.A today?”

    Pearce

    “Errm, I don’t think I’m here to prove anything….”

    What’s the interviewer on about? England have just lost, what’s been prooven? What a stupid question!!!

  11. The Barca back heel was both stupidity and a genuine mistake – the two are not mutually exclusive.

    Guess I’m just more forgiving than you…

    but then you ARE called ‘Evil’. 😉

  12. @ mgk

    Totally see it differently. We had eight years of a wonderful player who I truly believe would have only ever of left and eventually did leave for one and one club only. Yes, the fact that Barcelona were dominating both domestically and in Europe clearly made the decision easier for him but such is life (and we only have one after all).

    He was here for eight years, is a very gifted player, but in no other way does he compare with Henry. Henry stood up when it counted. We built and rebuilt a team around Cesc. We let good players go because they did not complement his style and compensate for his weaknesses. All that was wasted because he would not see the project through to the end. He took the money, the adulation and most importantly the armband and tossed it all aside when a more attractive offer came along. He didn’t have to love us best – he just had to be a man and show some commitment. His last year was just going through the motions or worse. If Robin leaves (God forbid!) no-one will be able to say that he did not give his utmost for every minute he was on the pitch. Cesc didn’t show us enough respect – he could easily have told his mates at Barca to stop talking so offensively about us. All the speculation undermined us. And his refusal to even pretend like he was prepared to go somewhere else meant that we didn’t get full value for him just as he came into his prime. did he suddenly start loving Barca so much after the first few years? did he not love them when he signed a long contract and then extended it a couple of years later?

    How did you feel about Henry’s exit and eventual return? Not the same granted (it was Henry’s time, the team he was a part of had all but disbanded) but not entirely different and the destination was certainly the same.
    It was entirely different. While Henry wasn’t the greatest captain either and was beign a bit of a prima donna at times just before he left, he had given us eight years of himself at his peak. As Frank said the other day, we gave CF as much as he gave us. He was a Barca reject and we turned him into a world superstar. It rankles with me that he never took responsibility for the fact that a team that was built to his strengths ad style underachieved, he just scarpered. Henry left for new challenges, having magnificently met those of the Premier League. The only sore point for me was that there was no chance to say goodbye but that wound was healed by his magical return visit.

  13. I’m glad Walcott got on – I think it was good for him to have some game time after coming back into form.

  14. Der Spiegel reports to the Podolski to Arsenal story:

    http://www.spiegel.de/video/video-1181714.html

    Warning: incomprehensible German dialects !!! (Sounds like Koelsch).

    Briefly: the FC Koeln manager seems to accept that they lose Podolski in the summer. The fans say that Mertesacker already at Arsenal makes the deal easier.

    Looks like a done deal to me. The question will be how much we underpay.

    Good signing for me.

  15. @SV

    brillant signing ecspecially since we already have Mert who will help to ease the transition which wont take long. I think it is a done deal i ahve complete faith that he will be wearing the greatest shirt ever that red and white!!!!

  16. “As Frank said the other day, we gave CF as much as he gave us.”

    I think he said that Arsenal gave him more than he gave Arsenal and I think so too. Arsene sacrificed a lot of points in his early years to give him time on the pitch to learn and grow. His development into the player he is was greatly helped by the opportunity afforded to him to play regularly at the highest level.

  17. Well it is true. Cesc would be nothing without Arsenal. The way he pissed us about over the last couple of years and was frankly embarassing in his enthusiasm for being around when Barcelona Borough were on the scene was utterly disrespectful. We made him into a super player and he made himself into a total wanker.

  18. @ Passenal
    True. And for a while he seemed to appreciate that, but then he started to take it for granted. I also find it pretty offensive that just because the club he left for was Barca, we are supposed to excuse him. We aren’t some piddling little club. We are The Arsenal.

  19. @ Frank | February 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I almost cried with joy when I saw Huntelaar appear for Holland.

    ha ha
    And when he banged his head all I thought (to my shame) was “Thank God that wasn’t RvP”. Because it could well have been if he hadn’t been substituted.

  20. I agree with Evil. Robben and Sneijder are great individual players but t really unlikeable. RvP has no chance when those greedy little bastards are in town.

  21. Haha, Solbakken just sounds foreign, but those older punters have got some thick accent going on. Didn’t get a word. One of the dudes sounds a bit fed up with him or the whole situation in general.

  22. The fact that Sneijder and Robben don’t pass to RvP has been evident, at least to me, since the World Cup. Several of us were posting on here that it was absolutely criminal the way they hogged the ball and took pot shots from distance when RvP was open in and around the box. RvP was constantly making brilliant runs that were never rewarded, and he only go the ball when VdV came on from the bench or from the fullbacks. Robben and Sneijder only ever passed to him when they were in trouble and never when he was in a good attacking position.

    It was disgusting. They could have won the WC if they had played as a team. Sneijder is clearly a very jealous person who harbors a grudge with RvP from their youth days and Robben is just terribly selfish and self-indulgent.

  23. Blimey Bill

    Where to begin.

    OK cash is not profit; it’s entirely separate. Mortgage repayments are not profit related – only the interest charged on the debt is.

    Player profits are calculated:

    Sale Proceeds less Cost of Player (Net of Amortisation)

    As for the rest, it’s supposition, smoke and mirrors. Ultimately, Arsenal are proving to be self-sufficient, that’s all that matters. They could be making more money if they had better commercial deals but that is a couple of years away at this moment in time.

  24. Fungunner (10.16)

    Exactly right, from start to finish, perfectly summed up.

    To me it was inconceivable that CF could possibly leave after all AW did for him.

    I also thought he was more ambitious than that; where’s the challenge in joining a club already at the top, what credit can he possibly get for simply continuing the tedious dominance of an over-bloated club in one of the dullest leagues in Europe?

    ***

    I think I must have hallucinated Walcott’s assist!! – Truth is, the tv was on, obviously, being ITV, the sound was on mute and I just happened to look up at a bit of positive England play and assumed it must have been young Theo … Soz.

  25. Nice one, FG. Not much to add to that for me.

    Fab4 dropped quite a bit in my book with the way he handled the peer pressure from his compatriots (both Barca and non Barca players). They shouldn’t have had to disrespect the Arsenal in the manner they did if everyone knew Cesc was leaving at some point as Jonny pointed out. They should have thanked Wenger, but they chose to disrespect one of the classiest managers and clubs around. I don’t think Cesc was torn at all, either, as Jonny opined. I think he knew Nasri was going, and didn’t have the guts to try to see another rebuilding year through and win something.

  26. I said what FunGunner said about Cesc the other day ,Well perhaps their was some more colourful language.

    A fucking weasel he turned out to be . he had us all fooled for a time though,Quite the little politician that boy.

  27. The Cesc discussion has brought out some very legitimate points and I have felt that he let us, AW, and the club down. However, the attitude is quite exaggerated in the bitterness shown. Henry really was a similar case in lots of ways, however he won loads of trophies and was forgiven as he was older when he left. Cesc, however, played the same length of time practically. AW developed him earlier but both Henry and Cesc benefited enormously from AW’s management and development at Arsenal. Henry, despite being a recognized talent, was languishing on the bench as a winger at Juve until AW rescued him and transformed him into the world’s greatest striker. Cesc wasn’t a Barca castoff, exactly. He was a very gifted 16 year old with two sets of world class players in his position. He would ultimately have developed but much more slowly. Only now would he be breaking into the side regularly but he would have been part of their squad the last three years or so. He wanted to play and at that time Arsenal came calling at the very height of the club’s success with the promise of playing alongside the best players in the world. Henry played the best part of his career with those other great players: Vieira, Bergkamp, Campbell, Pires. Cesc is a follower, not a leader. But all those players were gone so quickly and Cesc became our best player at 19.

    I wish he had shown greater determination, resilience, commitment, responsibility and patience too. He does have something serious to answer for here. But, if Arsenal had won nothing between 2000-2006 and those great players weren’t in the side to play with, would Henry have stayed as long as he did? He stayed one year after we were still at the very top–in a CL final. And it wasn’t a great year at all–Cesc’s last year was actually somewhat better.

    Anyway, he’s gone. If he came back, I’d be glad because we can see the difference in quality this year because JW has been injured and Ramsey is just growing into the side. Rosicky hasn’t been fit and Arteta just doesn’t have that level of talent, as great as he has been. Talents like Cesc’s are rare as is the chance to play in a quality side like Arsenal’s at such a young age. Arsenal did as much for Cesc as he did for Arsenal. The tragedy is that RvP was not fit enough, other players abandoned Arsenal much earlier, and we did not have the financial wherewithal to replace them much less the legends they had already replaced. But the difference is Cesc would not be coming back as a legend; he didn’t live in the golden age of Arsenal heroes but in the silver era of the sugar daddies/the stadium/ and the youth development. Alone he was not up to the task, and few would have been, which hardly salves the wounds of the genuine disappointment he was, morally speaking.

  28. Amongst many others, Joel Campbell gets a mention, The Ox does too. AA gets a mention, Hector Bellerin, Ryo Miaichi and Ozyacup get mentions. But despite two good goals for the U-21s, no mention of Henri Lansbury on International round-up on Arsenal.com. Looks like he’s the forgotten man. I’d like to see him get some first team action next season, but hey, what do I know? I thought Barazite was destined for greatness.
    Who goes to England internationals? (Friendlies or otherwise?) Just wondering cos Theo got a great Wembley Welcome when he came on at the end!

  29. FG

    All very good points which most I don’t necessarily disagree with but I can’t see how Cesc can be blamed or held responsible for Arsene building teams around him or letting players go (not sure who?) in order to accommodate his style or weaknesses (surely this is the case for most star players – strengths out way weaknesses?).

    The project was not wasted as we’ve come close to big things on many occasions (could have realistically won the league twice in the last 5 years) and it’s success or failure should not be levelled at one player. I for one would not blame Arsene for “wasting” these last 6 years or for getting the project wrong per se and I’m not going to blame Cesc Fabregas for not seeing Arsene’s plan through to the end. He wasn’t the first and he wont be the last.

    Cesc is from Catalonia and as much as we develop players, mould players and give to players, the boy, regardless of their rejection (not making the grade at 15 can happen anywhere – not really rejection) is Barcelona through and through.

    With Jack, Frimpong, Jenkinson etc we now potentially have a group of players for 15-20years – these are the type of players that such long term projects will now be built around, players whose biggest honours are to someday captain and win things with Arsenal.

    When we let players go / sell players who don’t particularly want to go, do they have a right to hate us or should they be thankful for the time they have had with us? Can we only except a player’s exit if it is 100% on our terms? I’m not sure I agree with this way of thinking.

  30. mingus, that is interesting if Henri didn’t get a mention! I would have liked to see him get a chance, but if he can’t get into west ham’s team on a regular basis, there is little chance of making it at Arsenal especially when places are limited.

  31. Btw, out of curiosity, who were the good players the club sold off because the couldn’t play with Cesc or weren’t suitable for 433?

  32. Weasel or Meerkat?

    Don’t have to go to compare the market to work out which one I’d rather have back.

  33. LG – I started writing some of what you said and gave up. Very sensible – especially the point about exaggerated bitterness – it’s out of all proportion.
    Was there not a protracted saga about Henry leaving the summer before he actually did – he did naff all to quell speculation.
    Didn’t he also accept a massive signing on fee (£5Mill?) for a 4 year contract and then leave a year later?
    I just think Fab deserves more leniency for the differeing circumstances and relative youth – much of which LG has explained far better than I could.

  34. Passenal. True. there’s not much room for him. He did well at Norwich the previous season, But as you say, not first pick for the Hammers so what chance does he have with us. Campbell’s getting some good praise tonight. v Wales.

  35. Great post, FunGunner (10:16pm); agree with that 100%.

    What is it with all this “bride burning” today. Is this some kind of pagan ritual only performed on 29 February?

    goonerkam at 9:20 am

    All brides back to the ARSENAL have been burnt.

    Aman | February 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Not all brides’ve been burnt u know…

    So, which is it – have all the brides been burnt or not?

  36. The camp nou leg of our first CL game against them pg. I remember seeing him watching the game in the barca end with his catalan mate when he should have been sitting behind his team. We had half the team missing through injury and the youngsters had actually held their own until the referee obliged by dishing out some strategic yellow cards thanks to the usual barca play acting. Our players could hardly tackle thanks to the risk of a second yellow and the rest is history. I also thought at the time that his ‘heroics’ in the first leg had more to do with his own profile and trying to impress barca as he had been yellow carded and would not be able to play in the nou camp. By the time of the return to the nou camp last season he was a barca player at heart and should have never been playing as he was not fit and was actually a hindrance to Arsenal.

  37. Well put Limestone.

    Cheers Jonny – I think we’re a minority on this one but I just don’t have any ill feeling towards him and would love it if he one day returned.

  38. Tbh, I do have some ill feelings. His behavior in the tunnel with the Barca players was inexcusable and nauseating. I was seriously upset when I saw that.

  39. @mgk
    I can’t see how Cesc can be blamed or held responsible for Arsene building teams around him or letting players go (not sure who?) in order to accommodate his style or weaknesses (surely this is the case for most star players – strengths out way weaknesses?).

    He knew very well that we were building the squad around him. If I knew it, he must have done. They would have talked about all that when negotiating such a long contract. Who else has ever signed for 8 years?

    The project was not wasted as we’ve come close to big things on many occasions (could have realistically won the league twice in the last 5 years) and it’s success or failure should not be levelled at one player. I for one would not blame Arsene for “wasting” these last 6 years or for getting the project wrong per se and I’m not going to blame Cesc Fabregas for not seeing Arsene’s plan through to the end. He wasn’t the first and he wont be the last.

    I am not blaming AW – I think you are well aware that I am blaming Cesc. The sacrifices AW made were wasted because the core of the squad left at 24 – so we have had to rebuild and alter our style. Cesc was the lynchpin and the heart of the team and he was found wanting.

    Cesc is from Catalonia and as much as we develop players, mould players and give to players, the boy, regardless of their rejection (not making the grade at 15 can happen anywhere – not really rejection) is Barcelona through and through.

    So what? Walcott comes from a family of Liverpool fans. Arsenal was Cesc’s job and he made a commitment which he reneged on.

    When we let players go / sell players who don’t particularly want to go, do they have a right to hate us or should they be thankful for the time they have had with us? Can we only except a player’s exit if it is 100% on our terms? I’m not sure I agree with this way of thinking.
    IWe’re not angry because he left, we’re angry because of why, when and how he left.

    Anyway, I don’t hate Cesc. I despise him. He gave us countless wonderful footballing moments, but ultimately soured his own legacy and the implication that because he was a brilliant footballer we should just be grateful and not question his conduct is distasteful to me. I like to think I have a little more pride than that.

    ****
    @ Limestonegunner
    Vieira was let go to allow Cesc to flourish, Gilberto sidelined and let go because flamini’s defensive grafting helped Cesc.

    ***
    Anyway, off to bed now. Good night all. Or (you never know) gute Nacht.

  40. LG – agreed, I have some ill feelings too, but I prefer to keep a sense of perspective and forgiveness. Hate, despise, (big difference!) cunt, betrayal, wanker are just a few of the words used on here recently it all just seems disproportionate.

    I’m sad it ended the way it did and yes I agree that we should and can question his conduct but Wenger got things wrong as well, but seems to be completely blameless and beyond question.

    As ever we don’t know what was said behind closed doors – what was promised & what the full personal story was.

    Ah well me an’ MGK can welcome him back as a party of two… 🙂

  41. FG

    1) “He knew very well that we were building the squad around him. If I knew it, he must have done”

    Still the boss’s choice – when did a player become so important in shaping the whole club decision – not the players responsibility.

    2) “I am not blaming AW – I think you are well aware that I am blaming Cesc”

    But the decisions were all Arsene’s – my point is if I’m not blaming Arsene for building the team around one player then why should you blame Cesc – why is it anyone’s fault? I’m a AKB at heart but if there is blame to be attached then AW’s insistence in pursuing with project Cesc must surely be in put into question before blaming Cesc himself.

    3) “So what? Walcott comes from a family of Liverpool fans. Arsenal was Cesc’s job and he made a commitment which he reneged on”

    Not remotely the same and if it was, would any player ever be a one club player? Why do we love it when we find out players are genuine gooners? Also, if it was a question of just being a job then what is the fuss about – surely the let down is because we hoped it was more than a job to Cesc. If it was just about being his job, then who in their right mind wouldn’t go for the promotion that was Barcelona? Confused point at best.

    4) “Anyway, I don’t hate Cesc. I despise him. He gave us countless wonderful footballing moments, but ultimately soured his own legacy… I like to think I have a little more pride than that”

    O.K. you’re a lot more invested in this than I am.

    5) As Johnny as highlighted previously, Arsene sold Cesc, at the beginning of an eight year contract and on the fucking cheap. Luca Modric is still at sp*rs, fucking Tevez is still at Citeh and they can afford to give him away – but they played hard-ball and told them both that they are staying put. WE SOLD CESC.

    Like I said, I can hear some of what you’re saying but you clearly feel stronger about this than I do, so we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    I miss Cesc, I’d have him back in an instant and hope that he comes back in a few years when his Spanish adventure has come to an end and we have built a team around Jack ; )

    COYG

  42. If Cesc were to ever come back, be it visiting us in the CL with his Barca buddies or as a player, I don’t think he would deserve the heroes’ welcome we reserve for players like Henry. He wouldn’t deserve the booing that Ade etc. get, either, because he has been a fantastic servant to the club for 8 years and it was really only in his last year that things started to get sour. And for him to be ever forgiven, he would obviously have to resign for us and work hard to re-earn what he lost this summer.

  43. Cesc, a good player (not a great playe, mind you), but haven’t done enough for us to deserve any special reverence for. Certainly no Cesc bronze statue is merited.

    Just like any other good player, he has moved on after being seduced back to where he felt he belongs. He is undeserving of any special treatment of a prodigal son should he returns for a match against us, or to play for us. Enough said of Cesc. It bores.

  44. Oh yes, and Ryo has been voted Bloton’s ‘Player of the Month’,

    Not so shabby for a manager who is reputed as having lost his transfer mojo!

  45. Fun’s take on Cesc should be rolled out every time this ‘debate’ comes up. Spot on.

    Plus the poster, ZP? who called him quite the little politician. Also spot on.

  46. 1. Proper LOL Irish – that’s the way for me to start my day! I’m SUCH a sucker for slapstick. If there is anything funnier than someone falling over I’ve yet to see it.

    2. Rickaaay – I must have been blurry eyed when I read your piece yesterday morning – I completely missed the Prince line from ‘Dorothy Parker’ at the end – great line, great song about a great woman off one of the greatest album’s ever written.

    3. MGK – yup totally agree.

    4. Evil – correct no ‘heroes welcome’ but I hope that people wouldn’t boo him either. Judging by some of the vitriol here though, it seems as though I am in the minority. That would be a real shame for me – hopefully we won’t meet Barca again for 5 years and by then ya’ll will be feeling more magnanimous and forgiving.

  47. Simple fact is, if Cesc was ever to wear the Arsenal shirt again most would support him anyway. They may not like it but they would support him.

  48. From a guy on twitter

    “Davey Jones of the Monkees is dead. The missus just told me. I thought she was joking. Then I saw her face. Now I’m a believer ☺”

  49. Eh Passenal – same level of support as who? (Genuine question)

    Dups – yes, always classic.

    Can’t believe the Farrelly brothers have made a movie of this –

  50. @cbob
    why, thank you, sir.

    @ dups, Passenal, Evil
    Quite right. I support every player who is currently wearing the shirt. And if Cesc came back (highly unlikely) I would swallow my resentment and start with a clean slate. It doesn’t change what he did, but it would be forgotten, if not forgiven, for the sake of the team.

  51. Sincere apologies that I’m not able to get involved in any sustained dialogue due to the demands of work and 2 young children. I really enjoy the site and most of your discussions, so thanks for reading & commenting.

    Anyway, phones ringing…Jonny, whoevers calling, cant be as cute as you 😉

  52. Denilson was actually kinda disrespectful, he made constant digs at the team when he stated his desire to leave, as for his playing ability, the guy is poor. His link-up play was apparently his strong point, all he ever really did was make short sideways passes, he only got about 40% of them right. You could maybe argue he was pushed into a regular first team spot quite prematurely at his age, but he seemed to feel he was ready for it. The only fond memory I have of him is that freekick against Hull City, other than that, he was way below par.

    Eboue shouldn’t have been sold, he was a very good versatile back-up player, we missed him this season with injury problems on the rise. Arshavin’s spark went out rather quickly and was probably at the end of the peak of his career at the Euro’s.

    I’m sure Bendtner’s name has come up in the comments but I’m not going to read them all, but he is the guy that needs another chance. I don’t really see what wrong he has done at the club, his positives are hugely outweighed by his negatives by 90% of people. There is no doubt he has ability, people who disagree with that either haven’t watched him play that often or are slightly deluded, you can’t judge the guy’s ability on the press he gets which in turn is extremely unfair and often taken out of context. He used to revive out title hopes all the time when he had a regular run in the side, he also scored the winner in the North London derby all them years back (remember that?!) oh and he scored at the Nou Camp. Needless to say, I would love to see him back here. Please don’t tell me Chamakh is doing a better job.

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