An Open Letter To Cesc Fabregas
As Gooners continue to wait for those big-money signings they’ve been promised, Arsenal fans Jason Phillips writes an open letter to midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
As Arsenal fans continue to wait for those big-money signings they’ve been promised this summer, Arsenal fans Jason Phillips writes an open letter to former captain Cesc Fabregas to air his views on the state of the club.
A genius, magician, legend and talisman, you symbolised everything that Arsenal Football Club stood for. A young Spaniard, being nurtured by one of the finest managers to grace football, becoming a world-class playmaker who would captain his side with pride.
Yet after eight promising years at Arsenal, I could not blame you for wanting to leave for your boyhood club Barcelona. This moment didn’t only lose us a midfield maestro, but also hampered Arsenal’s majestic playing style. It was the season after you left, 2011/2012, that I realised something was missing. The electric spark that had once made me call every number under the sun to get a ticket at the Emirates had suddenly disappeared, much like the team’s morale.
It’s hard not to look past the Carling Cup final’s detrimental effect on the fans patience and Wenger’s faith, the Frenchman’s once solid transfer policy turning to ash with the summer’s rushed market antics. But this lack of ambition and lack of stars that Robin van Persie claimed were the reasons for his untimely departure from the Gunners in 2012 have been lingering way before that fateful summer.
It all started when the 2007/2008 season collapsed after Eduardo’s tragic injury at Birmingham. With Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb deciding to seek pastures new, the Frenchman was not adequately replaced, while a naturally silky player in Andrey Arshavin only arrived when it was too late on a dark snowy day – his Arsenal career following in the same manner. The departures of first-team players every summer in the form of Adebayor, Gallas, Nasri and yourself were disheartening as well. Yet the Arsenal I knew always had a back up plan.
Instead of the Chamakh’s, Squillaci’s and Gervinho’s of the world, players of Pires, Bergkamp and Henry’s quality would line-up in the famous red and white strip. Instead, my fellow fans and I have had to put up with mediocrity and the promise that one day, financial circumstances would allow us to spend big and be big. But what is more difficult to comprehend is the manner in which we fought on the pitch. Even the style of play that was renowned around Europe has gone out with a whimper! Horrific losses to the likes of Blackburn and Bradford last season gave clear evidence that a weak mentality has developed within the squad and that winning a trophy should be the last thing on anyone’s mind. Not to mention that your most natural replacement, Jack Wilshere, having to come back from an ankle injury that put him out for a season has hampered his gradual progress to becoming a world-beater.
What I need explaining, Cesc, is how the fans could have promises broken so frequently. For years we’ve been told that the money is there, the stadium debt is almost paid off and that this side will come to fruition. But with a 9 year barren run looming, the fans and I want to know where this reported £70 million “war-chest” is going. When I supported an Arsenal side with you at the forefront, I felt excited to go to games. I had the knowledge that when I stepped into that stadium, rose from my seat and pumped my fists, I would be watching a team of stars. A team of warriors. A team that would fight until the end to give the fans what they want; pride. Long gone are the days with the likes of Robin van Persie. Instead I feel as though I have been cheated. A team once full of world-class stars having to face coming to terms of starting the season with no new signings and make-shift rotational sides, who spent more time singing and dancing in Japan than actually preparing for the crucial season ahead.
No longer will the fans accept your father figure Wenger negotiating over a few million pounds when there is a whole lot more than that at stake. Higuain, Fellaini, Rooney and Suarez, all signings who have been touted yet the press seem more interested in signing them for Arsenal than the club themselves. With almost a fortnight until the season starts, there will yet again be uncertainty towards the club’s European status, as well as an unintegrated side who will be an unknown quantity based on their rivals movement this summer.
We have also been linked heavily with you Cesc, a reported clause in your contract allowing us first refusal if you decide to leave Barcelona. But as ever, Manchester United have become the owl peering over our shoulder, new boss David Moyes pushing for you to side with the reigning Premier League champions. With everything I have said; petty promises, tumbling tactics and arguable ambition there is one thing that makes me more angry and disappointed than all of the above. That if the genius, magician, legend and talisman who symbolised everything that Arsenal Football Club stood for was to move to our rivals instead of returning to us, I really wouldn’t blame him at all.
Do you think Arsenal will spend big this summer? Or will the fans have to accept another season of under-par performances? Share your views below.
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