Cesc Fabregas' decision (or rather Wenger’s stubbornness to sell him) to pledge his immediate future to Arsenal fans has been celebrated by Gooners all over the world. FC Barcelona tasted defeat at the hands of the Frenchman.
Arsenal supporters might see this article as proof that Culés are still bitter about the protracted yet ultimately failed transfer of Fabregas.
Would Barca fans love to see Cesc wear the Blaugrana colors? There is no doubt about it. Is Cesc a player that would fit in with the current crop of players FC Barcelona have? Yes, yes, and yes.
Is there an urgent need to buy him? No. Is there any valid reason to buy him now? No.
Maybe it is hard to process, but Cesc wouldn’t even make the starting 11. Yes, the Arsenal talisman/best player wouldn’t command a starting position with FC Barcelona. Do you want proof? You don’t need to look any further than the Spanish national team.
What does this prove?
It proves Arsene Wenger’s inability to assemble a balanced squad. Why else would the otherwise shrewd Frenchman hold on to Cesc? Because he knows that allowing Cesc to leave London and become a benchwarmer in Barcelona would have significantly weakened his squad.
Andrei Arshavin and Robin van Persie are quality players but not world-class players…yet. The only player that Arsenal have who would fit the bill is Cesc.
Nobody expects Wenger to splash 50 million Euro on one player just for the sake of it. But he isn’t even willing to buy a quality goalkeeper. Ten to 15 million Euro would buy him a rock solid goalkeeper, something that Arsenal desperately needs.
In 2007/2008, when Arsenal were seriously challenging for the Premier League, he failed to reach an agreement with Mathieu Flamini (or Flamoney depending on who you are talking to), who formed a very fruitful partnership with Cesc in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield. Mathieu Flamini left for the greener pastures of AC Milan where he mainly warms the bench for old timers like Gattuso.
If reports are to believed, Cesc earns a whopping £120.000/week, yet somehowWenger failed to offer Flamini acceptable terms to accommodate him.
For the sake of argument, let’s say Flamini demanded £80.000/week; is that an unreasonable demand for a (then) key player who didn’t cost a single dime?
Quality players don’t come cheap
The average footballer's career only lasts 10 years. Therefore, it is quite understandable that they want to earn as much money as they can.
Cashley, I mean Ashley Cole—arguably the best left-back in the world—demanded better terms, yet Wenger even managed to waste this opportunity. Ashley Cole, a genuine Arsenal youth product, has to move to Chelsea to feel appreciated (read: paid).
What does Cashley earn at the other side of London? Somewhere around £100.000/week. Is that sum somehow familiar? Yes. Let’s recall—how much does Cesc earn? £120.000/week.
So it is possible to pay your best players.
Cashley Cole and Mathieu Flamoney didn’t ask for unreasonable terms. Have they been adequately replaced ever since? Flamini, maybe, but in the case of Ashley Cole—there’s no contest; he is the best left-back in the world.
Sure, FC Barcelona have racked up massive debt (so has every other major football club) but then again, it’s a football club. It is not supposed to turn out profits anyway, especially in the case of FC Barcelona, which is owned by the socios.
Canteranos like Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi are rewarded handsomely for their exploits on the field, thus there is no chance that they will switch alliances just for the sake of money.
In comparison, Nicklas Bendter earns somewhere in the neighborhood of £50.000-60.000/week; under no circumstances does he warrant earning so much.
Arsene Wenger knows how to make a shrewd buy but he isn’t brave enough to sanction a 20-plus million transfer. Not that he should splash the cash on just about anyone, but Karim Benzema would have added much-needed quality up front.
Mourane Chamakh is a good player but Benzema is a whole lot better. Yes, he flopped in his debut season in Spain, but he didn’t stand a chance against Gonzalo Higuain’s (who has cost Real Madrid 20 million Euro) form and Cristiano Ronaldo anyway.
Another player Arsenal have been linked to forever is Felipe Melo. Yes, he flopped too, but who didn’t for Juventus in 2009/2010? He is the type of player Arsenal definitely need, a no nonsense hardman who would provide the Gunners much needed steel in midfield.
Yet again, Wenger's refusal to pay 20, 24 million Euro has seen Juventus snap him up.
Over the years, Wenger has managed to convince Gooners that it is okay to be second, third, and fourth, because the Gunners are always in the top four and thus qualify for the Champions League every time.
Since when is it okay to settle for second?
If a mid-table club qualifies for the Champions League, I’d say that’s a valid reason to celebrate, but for a supposed big club like Arsenal, that should be never enough. At the start of each and every season it’s always the same “This year we’ll win the EPL, we have matured."
For how long can you mature? When do you reach adulthood?
Arsene Wenger has noble intentions—to play the game beautifully, but at what cost? He has gone on for five years without winning even the Carling Cup.
Sure, his teams always qualify for the Champions League, but for how long? Manchester City are seriously looking to unseat one of the supposedly big four teams. Tottenham Hotspurs for once are looking strong, so where does that leave Wenger and his boys?
The truth is, never has qualifying for the Champions League been so tough. Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, and a resurgent Liverpool side will make this EPL season the most entertaining one in years.
One has to wonder where this will leave the Gunners.