Darling, you look Fabregas

“He’s only 20.” Just keep telling yourself that. “He’s only 20 years old.” Yeah, 20 years old and already a veteran of over 200 matches. He’s been to the Champions League final, Carling Cup final, and this year he pushed Arsenal to within a few games of the Premiership title and another Champions League final. He’s only 20, but he has the vision, ability, and (most importantly) a patience that belies his 20 years.

I often hear the criticism that Cesc is not a goal scorer. Well, he wasn’t a goal scorer before this year. But who will ever forget his winner at the San Siro? Or how about his run of 6 at the start of the season which included a goal against Spuds, at White Heart Lane? No, he’s not a goal scorer, but so far, he’s scored 13 goals in this campaign: more than triple his output of the previous season. He’s not a natural goal scorer but what gives me hope is that “he’s only 20” and he’s still working on it. And he’s getting better, faster than any player I have ever seen.  For example, when Christiano Ronaldo was 20, he scored a mere 7 goals and only racked up 6 assists.

See?  Now say it again — “Holy crap, he’s only 20!”

As you would expect, in the assist department Cesc has only gotten better, already netting 22.  That’s only 5 more than last year but Arsenal still have Derby left to play, so that number could grow quite substantially.

To show you how far Cesc’s season has come, Theo’s even pointed to Cesc as the person who might next captain Arsenal. You might think that’s impossible, but then again, on May 4th the kid will be 21and we’ll all be saying “Holy crap, he’s only 21!”

News: The Anfield turmoil has finally struck Arsenal: Chairman Peter Hill-Wood was snubbed by Liverpool’s management/owners/lunatics. Take solace Peter that you’re chairman of a club that’s not rife with hatred of foreigners — especially Americans.

Meanwhile, Wenger speaks out about the “Webster Clause” which is a ruling that anyone under the age of 28 isn’t really in a contract even if they signed the contract as long as they stay with the club for 3 years of their contract. Confused? Me too but it looks like basically if you’re under 28 and you sign a 5 year deal, you really only have to honor the first 3 years of that deal.  After the third year you can “opt out” of your contract by paying the club the amount that your salary would have been over the next two years.  Like a sort of “reduced calorie transfer fee.”

This is important because Hleb is 26 and he signed a 5 year contract 3 years ago. Jesus, Wenger must be sweating bullets. Half the team could leave under the Webster Clause. If that happens we can all sing our new relegation theme song:

He’ll raid you of your youth
their contracts don’t mean shiat
Hleb went to AC Milan
and the Itais didn’t remit
HEY! Webster Clause is coming to town!

Rumor has it Fabianski might play in the last two away games v. Derby and Sunderland. Ok, he’ll probably do just fine against lower division teams.

Anyway, I have stuff to do. Can’t lounge around here talking football all day (unfortunately). Heh, I think I’ll take the Ducati to work today; there’s only a 60% chance of rain, which is pretty good for this time of year.

ashita!

3 Comments on Darling, you look Fabregas

  1. The “Webster Clause” makes absolutely no sense. Why would any club ever bother to offer someone a long term contract if it essentially becomes invalid after 3 years? Sounds like one of those idiotic things to encourage “parity” that drove me away from the NFL. I simply got tired of having no idea who would be playing or what kind of team we would have from year to year.

  2. The deal with the Webster Clause is that it’s part of FIFA having to play within the laws of the European Union, which requires free movement of workers between member nations and doesn’t exempt sport from this clause. The rule itself was a compromise (it was adopted as part of an agreement between FIFA and the EU in order to keep the otherwise not legal transfer system). Football in Europe doesn’t get the same antitrust benefits most sports in America does.

    I should note their is one additional part of the clause: the player has to move to a league in another country in order to invoke it. As I also understand it, the transfer fee is technically set by a ruling panel at FIFA, but that can be appealed.

  3. Thanks Jeff, that really helps clarify things. I kinda wondered why they required a move to another country. Now I know.

    I still don’t like the idea that you can sign a contract and then not honor the terms of the contract. But I guess the argument that could be made is that one of the “terms” of the contract are that the player can move after 3 years.

    Anyway, thanks for the insight.

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