The best thing about Cesc Fabregas’ brief statement today is its utter, simplistic honesty.
To an extent Cesc has made a rod for his own back in the past by his readiness to quash all transfer speculation almost the moment it hit the press. There have been times in the past where he has had a statement on Arsenal.com within hours of the latest nonsense hitting the News Of The World.
So his summer silence was as good as an admission that he fancied a move. There was no need for friends, family and seemingly everyone in the Barcelona first team squad to ram the point home.
Refreshing then that he hasn’t come out now with disingenuous nonsense like “I never said I wanted to leave” or “the press misquoted me”.
“I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me.”
Maybe the crafty double negative is even a jibe at Puyol and co.
In the past, other celebrated Arsenal captains like Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry have been able to emerge untarnished from summer flirtations with predatory Spanish giants by simply not commenting on the speculation at all – even though the shenanigans were played out in tedious detail in the media.
But we were used to ongoing speculating about Vieira and Henry and neither particularly felt the need to reassure the fans after every new story.
In the summer of 2004, it finally seemed that Vieira was about to consummate his dalliances with Real Madrid with £30 million seemingly winging Arsenal’s way. But the transfer broke down at the last minute – with Vieira apparently persuaded to stay after a late heart-to-heart with Arsene Wenger.
Whatever happened, there were no statements from the player – he just got on with the job, even if 04/05 saw the beginning of a visible decline in his performances.
At other clubs, even staunch badge-kissers like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have all considered moves away from their “beloved” clubs during various summers.
So we really shouldn’t make too much of Fabregas’s summer deliberations. And when he says “I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal”, we should take him at his word.
After all, there has been nothing in Cesc’s performances or words to date that suggest he is anything but honest.
Here is Cesc’s statement in full
“I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me.
“This was the club where I learnt my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing.
“There are not many players in the world who would not want to play for Barcelona.
“I have had many conversations with Arsene Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal.
“I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me.
“I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal.
“I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 per cent focused on playing for Arsenal.
“I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about.
“I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me.”