Arsenal: Old Worries Rise as Arsene Wenger Mutes Barcelona's "Noise"

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer IJuly 28, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 17:   Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal smiles during the pre-season friendly match between Barnet and Arsenal at Underhill on July 17, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Phil Cole/Getty Images

Like a plague that won't go away, or a cockroach that won't die a miserable death no matter how much you stomp on it, the rumours of Cesc Fabregas' "impending" move to Barcelona will not go away.

Gutter rags masquerading as newspapers in Spain and Britain claim that Barcelona and Fabregas have agreed upon a five-year deal. This, of course, despite Arsenal's refusal to let their skipper talk to his hometown club. As you well know a manoeuvre like this is quite illegal, so once again these "articles" are cast into doubt.

Barcelona have emerged from this whole debacle looking rather silly.

In a statement earlier in the summer, Arsenal clearly stated they had no interest in selling their captain at any price and would not enter negotiations with Barcelona. The statement called Barcelona's bluff, as they said they would respect Arsenal's wishes and let Fabregas stay.

On a daily basis various Barcelona board members and players whine that Arsenal will not sit down with Barcelona to discuss the matter. Maybe the memo should be sent in Spanish, English, French, Japanese, German, and Portuguese in the hopes that Barcelona will finally understand it?

Some sections of the Barcelona faithful look no less silly. They claim Fabregas was "stolen" and is being "blackmailed" by Arsenal.

First off, Arsenal brought Fabregas to England according to the rules of the game. Perhaps he would have stayed if he had been guaranteed a starting spot with the club at age 18? Or perhaps Barcelona didn't fully recognise his talent until now, seen as they were so caught up in making Lionel Messi the best player in the world.

Speaking of Messi, I wonder if he feels "stolen" and "blackmailed" just a thought.

It would be more to Barcelona's benefit if they sought fewer arguments with Arsenal and instead sought ways of paying off all those debts. While we're at it boys, where's the rest of the money for Alex Hleb and Thierry Henry?

Yesterday, Arsene Wenger put a true line under the whole "Cesc-gate" by insisting Fabregas will be at Arsenal next season and dismissing Barcelona as "noise." If only we could actually put them on mute.

Wenger has more to be worried about than those noisy lot in Spain.

Sol Campbell has resisted efforts to keep him in North London and has signed a deal with Newcastle United. With Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas out of contract, Arsenal are extremely short at the back.

New arrival Laurent Koscielny has no experience at this level, and Havard Nordtveit is still learning his trade, which means Arsenal's only trustworthy center back comes in the form of Thomas Vermaelen.

Despite Wenger's promise that the defence will be strengthened, we have yet to see this happen.

Swiss defender Johan Djourou will be looked at to step up this season, but last night he suffered an injury, which once again raises worries over his fitness.

Its not only Djourou's fitness that will be questioned, as already Arsenal are suffering from what seems like a never-ending catalogue of injuries.

Nicklas Bendtner has been ruled out of the season opener at Liverpool, while Tomas Rosicky was withdrawn from last night's friendly victory because of a groin issue.

With a little over two weeks to the season kickoff, Wenger has a lot of work to do should Arsenal want to challenge for honours this season. At least Arsenal fans know they will be challenging for them with Cesc Fabregas leading us from midfield.

As for Barcelona, Arsenal fans do hope they enjoy having Jose Mourinho around as much as the Gunners did.

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