After the Spain v WhoCaresIt’sAnInternational match Cesc Fabregas gave an interview in which he stated his concern that Arsenal lack both the experience and the flair to win anything this season. Predictably the pundits are spinning this as either “Cesc criticizes Wenger” or “Arsenal has lost its flair” but for me it’s really neither of those two. Cesc statement is revealing, not about Wenger but about the character of Cesc.
Here’s the quote in question:
Our squad is a bit short on numbers and we are very young. Behind me there is Denilson, who is 20, or Alex Song who is 21. Theo Walcott is 19 and Samir Nasri 21.
It’s hard to imagine a midfield where I am the oldest member.
We find it very hard to win matches, as we do not possess enough experience.
I scored 13 goals last season but then I had plenty of allies. Tomas Rosicky (injured) was around, Mathieu Flamini (now at Milan) covered every blade of grass and Alexander Hleb (who went to Barcelona in the summer) was like a brother to me out there.
The team played with a lot of skillful touches, we were as solid as a brick wall and our opponents would not get a look in.
Now none of those players are in the side and I feel like a rare being. We are more defensive-minded and sturdy as a team but we don’t play so much skillful stuff.
First, I understand that Cesc would feel a sense of loss because he can no longer play with his close friend (Hleb). I also understand that he’s feeling more pressure on him to perform because, as I said and was criticized roundly for last year, he’s lost the cover that Flamini provided. But what I don’t understand is why he has decided to denigrate the contributions of his current teammates and himself.
As good as Hleb was (at not shooting) in his last year of playing with us he was shockingly bad for the two years previous. He wasn’t creative at all, he was more likely to dribble into a dark alley than to put in a proper cross or otherwise open up the opponent’s defense. And then, of course, there was his chronic inability to shoot when presented with open chances. No, I’m sorry, but Samir Nasri already looks a more than apt replacement for Hleb. Why Cesc is slagging off Nasri I have no idea.
On the Flamini issue? Yes. We need another Flamini. But given the rise of Ramsey and Wilshere and Wenger’s desire to play those two and bring them up rather than buying a player, I can’t see him spending the money on Yaya or Alonso this January. Unless Cesc threatens to quit or something.
But more than just the individuals, what’s really troubling with this statement is the way that Cesc sees himself. The team lacks experience? Wait, what about Cesc? Isn’t he experienced? What about all those finals he’s been in, the trophy he won this summer, don’t those count for anything? I disagree with him here, Cesc possesses the requisite experience, and it’s his job now to pass that on.
What I think we’re really hearing from Cesc is that Arsenal lack the leadership that someone like Flamini provided. We’re hearing, moreover, that Cesc lacks the leadership to transfer his own abundance of experience over to the others.
I guess that’s why Arsene didn’t make Cesc the captain: he’s too busy looking for others to provide the leadership and experience. I almost feel like someone should give him a “leadership coin” and say to him “Ok, Cesc, put that magic coin in your sock and it will magically give you the leadership qualities that you’re looking for in others.” Then, you know, he could lose the coin and show some leadership and we’d all say “that was just an ordinary coin! The qualities you sought were already within you!” and there would be a rainbow and birds chirping and a fucking trophy and Spurs would be relegated.
That’s my fantasy anyway.
I hope the manager has a couple of words with Cesc, at least, and tells him that he’s a leader now, that Denilson and Rambo and Nasri and Theo all need him to step up and play that role. Oh, and also, don’t slag off your teammates publicly, jerk.
Does Anyone Miss Seaman
Miss Seaman (lol)…
Anyway, David Seaman is having a hard time containing his schadenfreude over Spurs recent “drop” in form which is nice and interesting and all. But what’s REALLY cool about that article is that there’s a YouTube of Seaman’s greatest saves and if you can watch that video and not miss Seaman, well then you’re no Arsenal fan.
WordPress has included some kind of poll function and I thought I’d test it out!
Tomorrow there will be a match preview and square pie. See you then.