Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Tuesday July 13 2010
You will doubtless be aware by now that Barcelona`s scummy tactics to regarding their public masturbation over Cesc Fabregas reached DEFCON 5 last night. Like a vacuous bronzed little skank throwing her knickers at a rock star, Barcelona will plum the lowest depths imaginable in this public charade. Last night`s latest instalment in their creepy, curtain twitching, stalkerish behaviour was for Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol to try and plant a Barcelona shirt on an unsuspecting Fabregas as Spain (yes, that`s Spain, the national side, not Barcelona, the club) celebrated their World Cup triumph. It said everything about Barcelona`s sickening vanity as a football club that they would choose an occasion of national celebration to make their little esoteric gesture and it also says everything about their desperation. The complete lack of regard for Fabregas himself in the whole affair, as he squirmed uncomfortably- patently not wanting to damage relations with Arsenal or his "friends" and Barcelona, aware as he is that the move would invite forensic public scrutiny.
It`s amusing to think that for the days and days and weeks and weeks of Barcelona soliloquies, lovelorn asides and coveting of Cesc`s DNA (anyone else find Xavi`s obsession with Cesc`s DNA a bit creepy?) that they have only taken one course of concrete action with a derisory bid of £29m, nearly two months ago. It seems almost laughable now that in Arsenal`s flat and public rejection of the bid, they said, "Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word." What Barca`s incredibly base actions since that missive show is that, in the absence of further concrete action in the form of an improved bid, they do not have the fiduciary means to improve their offer. Lest we forget that Barcelona had to go cap in hand to the banks for an emergency loan just to pay their players. The pre meditated actions of their players last night show that they have scant regard for Cesc as a person, he is simply a trophy for them, a vehicle for their own vanity.
But there are more Machiavellian machinations too. The stunt was part of a very public attempt to make Cesc`s position at our club untenable. It was an attempt to drive a wedge between Fabregas and the Arsenal fans. They knew full well that seeing Fabregas snapped in a Barcelona shirt, even if only fleetingly, would have Arsenal fans crying, "Traitor" up and down the Marble Halls. I implore you not to fall for these tactics. The worst thing we can do as Arsenal fans is yelp like Pavlov`s dogs and have our bellies tickled by the Barca hierarchy and turn on Cesc in the way they want us to. Be smarter than that. Recognise Cesc`s distinct discomfort as he took the shirt off and be intelligent enough to appreciate Barca`s gutter tactics for what they are. That Cesc would like to go to Barcelona is beyond doubt but his behaviour has been dignified this summer, do not associate him with Barca`s knickers around the ankles act. The fact is, short of Cesc making a transfer request, Barca haven`t got the readies to pay for him, so a move, this summer at least, looks unlikely. That means Cesc will probably line up as our captain at Anfield and the Catalonian objective is for our affection for him to distinctly cool. Don`t fall for it.
For Arsenal`s part, I realise that the club only comment on concrete action, but I really think it`s time they prepared some more communications towards Barca. Publicly. Barca`s behaviour has been unseemly for some time, they have flagrantly ignored the request for respect from Arsenal, but until now, it`s all been a bit desperate. Last night was an act of war by Barcelona and its players. To borrow a phrase from David Dein, they parked their tanks on the lawn last night. They might just as well as urinated on the bust of Herbert Chapman so disgusting and disrespectful were their actions. Our pre season training has already begun and I think it important that Arsenal denounce the behaviour and make it clear once and for all that the player is not for sale and the actions of the Spanish club are reprehensible. Football fans, collectively at least, are not intelligent people and they will fall for Barca`s tricks the longer we allow them to go unanswered. Pandering to the mouth breathing masses is not something I`d usually advocate but I think refusal to respond will see the tactics work eventually. As for Barca themselves, I think they`ve managed the previously unimagined. They`ve made want Mourinho to succeed.LD.
Date:Tuesday July 13 2010
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