¡Hasta la vista, Cesc…

Cesc Fabregas - header 

It’s another sad day at Arsenal football club with the club captain’s departure (and with it the famous no. 4 jersey).

Arsenal fans would point out (correctly, it seems, in hindsight) that Cesc engineered his own move to his childhood club this time around. He neither reaffirmed his commitment to the club, nor asked to partake in the club’s East Asian tour and pre-season friendlies, the former of which was crucial in his ambassadorial role of club captain. He was also meekly left out by the club for the weekend Premier League clash with Newcastle which reinforced the belief (or to the diehards, disbelief) that our (foreign) club captains always wanted to leave the club on their own accord and desire, a precedent which started with Patrick Vieira and firmly established by Thierry Henry. 

We do know, however, that Cesc has always been transparent about his return to Barcelona – that his friends and family are there – and so, is more of a question of when rather than why.

Plus, Wenger had already persuaded him to stay on for another fruitless 2010/2011 season and, while it may be a question of honouring contracts and so on, keeping unhappy players at the club is unnecessary when their minds are already floating somewhere else.

Likewise, some fans would brand Cesc as a ‘glory-hunter’. In return, just as you would seek better employment opportunities, enrol in courses to improve your CV, or stride out into financial independence, it’s not too much to reason out that footballers are human too. It may be coincidental that his favourite club was last season’s best European team but Arsenal is nowhere near winning anything this time around. We are in the slow, painful process of rebuilding and a best bet would be to finish 3rd or 4th this season. Can we blame him then for wanting to leave?

But, let’s be clear that nobody at Arsenal wanted Cesc to leave.

Additionally, we also won’t wish him luck at Barcelona, the club that conducted its transfer affairs with media manipulation and other sorts of underhanded tactics to lower the transfer fees which the Arsenal rightly deserves. That’s expected from a club which is facing serious financial trouble even with the trophies they have won last season and which won’t pay top dollar for top talent, instead relying on Cesc’s well-known intent of heading home someday to exert pressure upon the selling club to yield. Barcelona is going bankrupt soon – most Spanish clubs are, by the way. There could be additional boost to the eventual transfer fees if Cesc does well, but what would that matter to the Arsenal which doesn’t use its money to buy experienced players and instead choosing to focus on youth?

Now, for a little reminiscence of the captain –  We remember the sprightly 18-year old who played intelligently against Juventus and scored the first goal for the club in March 2006 during Arsenal’s progress to the Champions League final that season.

fabregas juventus celebrate                                  

 fabregas juventus goal

We also remember the mentor-protégé connection with Wenger which was not commonly (and publicly) accorded to some of the lesser-known players of the club-


  fabregas_milan goal

How could we forget the awesome pair of goals against the Spuds in 2007 and 2009 respectively (the first with a sublime rocket and the second, after a silky run which evaded the clueless men in white who had earlier been bewitched by Robin van Persie’s goal) –

fabregas goal tottenham 2007                                  

  fabregas goal tottenham 2009

He was also quite fiery when provoked, first spitting on Michael Ballack and then pushing another Bayern Munich player away who had apprehended him for the mouthful aimed at the hapless Ballack – 

fabregas spitting 1                                  

  fabregas spitting 2

But above all, Gooners will also remember his combative spirit in playing through the pain barrier (having had a broken leg) to score a strong penalty against his hometown club in 2010 to salvage a respectable (but ultimately meaningless) 2-2 scoreline –

fabregas penalty broken leg barcelona

Thank you for the memories, Cesc.

Your departure home may have been a long time coming but we will remember the good times, which will last.

Now, bugger off home and erase as much as possible from your memory that you have ever come to the Arsenal (since you have won nothing with us anyway and don’t plan to win anything either way). Samir Nasri, the no. 8 rat can follow you out of the door as well. Make doubly sure that the door don’t hit your asses on the way out.

The Arsenal will come back stronger from all of these.

Wenger will sign a replacement for Cesc and this new player will bring us more joy than the homesick Spaniard. In Wenger, we (still grudgingly) trust.

Above all – hail Robin van Persie, the new club captain and the One who will lead us to glory!

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