You are no legend, Cesc

I’ll miss your sheer quality and class but don’t kid yourself, you’re no legend Cesc Fabregas!

Saqib Dadabhoy August 23, 2011
Dear Cesc,

It seems that you’ve decided to return to Barcelona, your boyhood club where you took your first formative steps in football, which also happens to be the place of residence for your family. Fair enough.

And who could blame you? Who wouldn’t want to play for the world champions, the team that plays the ‘most attractive football,’ the one that is being heralded as ‘the greatest team in history’ by pundits world over. The team in which more than half your World Cup winning Spanish teammates play. Kudos to you for attracting an interest from a team of that stature.

I would like to first off thank you for the amazing eight years you have given to Arsenal football club. From the time you first dictated that game at Cardiff against Manchester United when you were only 16, the world knew you were a rare gem waiting to be unearth. You were a player who played with maturity and grace beyond his years no doubt.

I will never forget that European night at Highbury, when at just 17, you humbled the legend Patrick Vieira against Juventus. I will never forget that away goal at the San Siro against AC Milan, nor will I forget that amazing 20-minute cameo against Villa at The Emirates. I’ll never forget that strike from long range at The Lane against Tottenham, and I certainly won’t forget that solo goal from the halfway line straight from the kick-off! And I definitely won’t ever forget that penalty you took against (ironically enough) Barcelona with a broken leg. I feel lucky to have watched you grow up under the tutelage of Arsenal all these years.

Most of all Cesc, I’ll miss your sheer quality and class.

You made ridiculously difficult passes look ridiculously easy. You even somehow managed to ghost passed defenders – without even being a dribbler. You were definitely a cut above other Premier League players of your era. And for all that, I must say Cesc - thanks for the memories.

But despite doing all that you have done for us, I have to say – don’t kid yourself, you’re no legend!

Cesc, first and foremost, I hate the way this whole protracted transfer saga has dragged on for the better part of the last two years. The one’s who got the worst deal out of your transfer are undoubtedly the club and the fans (who happen to be fans of you as well). And though there were many factors involved in the whole fiasco, I firmly believe that you had a huge hand to play in it as well.

It seems you have forgotten that Barcelona deemed you persona non grata when you were just 15! That’s right, your boyhood club willingly offloaded you to the highest bidder, who turned out to be Arsenal, back when you hadn’t even been given a chance to prove yourself to the first team. Instead, Arsene Wenger spotted you, groomed you and gave you first-team chances the very next year.

Secondly, contrary to what others might think, you’ve done a huge disloyalty to Arsenal by making your love for Barcelona clear and essentially ruling out a chance for potential interest from other clubs. There is no doubt in my mind that you are aware that the £35m being dished out for you is an absolute steal for a player of your value. Instead of doing Arsenal a service by at least putting yourself on the market (even if you had your heart set on Barca), we might just have received a proper transfer fee for a player of your quality.

Which actually brings up another interesting point – why would you want to go to a team that isn’t even willing to pay your actual value? A lack of funds is no excuse either, seeing as though they’ve already dished out a similar package for Alexis Sanchez, who no doubt exceptional in his own light, is not on your level Cesc.

What is most distressing Cesc is that even as club captain, you did not do enough to safeguard the interest and integrity of the club. You must also (no doubt) be aware that your departure right now, when first team football isn’t even promised in Barca, leaves Arsenal and the man who made you what you are today (Arsene Wenger) in a very precarious situation. Whether it was refusing to rule out a move in public, reiterating your love for Arsenal albeit wanting a move to essentially get Barca to loosen their pockets, or just simply being unable to tell your Catalan mates to tone it down a level, the way you’ve acted has been absolutely treacherous.

Which makes one think – you probably wanted all this speculation in the first place, as it served as a smokescreen for your real intentions and served as the perfect tactic to engineer this sort of move while keeping your integrity with Arsenal and it’s fans intact.

And therefore Cesc I must say, thanks for the memories, but you’re no legend.


A Gunner for life
Saqib Dadabhoy An intern for The Express Tribune in Karachi
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Raza | 12 years ago | Reply Some of the facts are off, but an excellent article nonetheless. Cesc did behave dishonorably; Nasri is even more culpable. Having said that, Wenger and the board are also much to blame; players don't want to stay at a permanently losing team, and lets face it, they simply aren't willing to spend, for whatever reasons, and its showing even more now. Difficult times ahead. Another Gunner
Wasif saeed | 12 years ago | Reply Blame Wenger! His rigid transfer policy along with sheer arrogance depicted in his tactics on the pitch, it is no surprise that cesc and Nasri left for else where. For fabregas, he wouldn't have shifted clubs at a much better time. In a matter of just few days he has earned 2 trophies, and that is solely the reason behind his departure.
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