By now you must have read the most important statement of the summer, probably more than once. In case you haven’t, it’s available on the official website. I don’t want to repeat the whole statement again so will just share the thoughts I had after reading the statement.
Firstly, I have to say I was really looking forward to what Cesc says. After what Wenger said all through pre-season there was hardly any doubt that El Capitan was going to stay. Even then, due to the incessant noise from the Vuvuzela Campaign by Farca, I felt it was important for Fabregas to say the right things. In that sense it was a disappointing and poorly worded statement.
I won’t break it up sentence by sentence because I don’t think Fabregas is a language expert and I don’t believe he would have been very particular about the exact words. Obviously, he was in a difficult spot and didn’t really want to antagonize either club or set of fans. That is understandable and to that extent the statement served its purpose.
I was disappointed because the statement wasn’t positive enough. And I’ve a feeling the Arsenal PR team (surely, they must have worked on this along with Fabregas’ agent and any other relevant party) didn’t do a very good job of it.
For instance, what is the whole point of mentioning that Fabregas has had a number of conversations with Arsene when no one is actually going to mention what was said in those conversations? And what is the point of following that up with something like, “the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal.” At best that portrays Arsenal as the villains.
Reading this statement gives me a feeling that there was a huge gap in communication between Arsene and Cesc. Why else would Arsene always insist that Fabregas was not for sale while Cesc didn’t know what he was going to do “until this moment”.
There are some tough questions as well; should Cesc continue as captain? Will the others look up to him knowing that his heart was elsewhere? Can we be sure the Vuvuzela Campaign won’t begin once again in December? In fact, I half expect it to continue unabated all through till December and even next summer.
Anyway, what matters now is that we get the same player back who was inspirational and indomitable on the field last season. Along with that, a signing or two should see us in a very strong position to challenge on all fronts.
That brings me to the question of a new goalkeeper. Contrary to popular opinion, I’ve always maintained that our keepers aren’t all that bad. If anything, the World Cup showed me that there aren’t many exceptional replacements available.
Joe Hart, Schwarzer, Stekelenburg, et al. are good Goal Keepers but I’m not sure any of them will improve out defensive performances on their own. They all have their positives but they will all make mistakes.
The main reason I support the signing of a new keeper is because it will improve the mood and confidence of the supporters and hopefully the atmosphere at the Emirates will get better. To be fair, so far the Emirates faithful have been pretty loyal and generous in their support. I hope that continues and we don’t fall into a negative spiral if someone makes an error or two.
This becomes important as Wenger seems to have hit a dead end in his search for a Keeper. His latest comments indicate that the No. 1 might come from our present group and is most likely to be Fabianski. One of Mannone or Szczesny is likely to go on loan.
I believe the Goal Keeper does a thankless job. It’s a difficult role and confidence plays a big part. Has Fabianski gained enough to move on from his horrendous errors and display his true potential? It’s a difficult question to answer unless you put the player in the deep end. It could be that Arsene wants to see a couple of league games before making the final decision.
If you say it’s a gamble I won’t argue with you. You could also say it’s not worth taking. I agree that it could be a very risky move but I’ve always felt these decisions are far more complex than just signing a cheque (unless you’re from the Redknapp ilk), so I’ll leave it to the boss and his trusted advisors.