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The Art of Noise

The Art of Noise

It`s been a noisy summer so far. Even the constant drone of vuvuzelas have sounded less monotonous and irritating than the persistently grating noises coming from Catalunya.

If you want to be heard you have to make a noise I suppose and Presidential elections at Barca and Real have always called upon the nominees to make more noise than the other candidates. Ramon Calderon famously promised the signing of Fabregas and others, back in 2006 when running for Real`s presidency. Quite what noises Cesc had heard before issuing what amounted to a come-and-get-me plea prior to the world cup will be known only to him but he was aware enough to ensure that the sounds he made could echo comfortably when needed. "If I decide to leave Arsenal, it will be to wear the shirt of Barcelona. I don't know when this will happen though. I'm very happy at Arsenal. I'm in no hurry to leave the club" he wisely included no doubt with the noises he had heard from Wenger making it clear Barcelona wouldn`t get him on the cheap. Cesc kept his own noise production to a minimum throughout the summer. Other than his opening invitation and his eventual commitment to Arsenal next to nothing was heard from him though plenty of others spoke on his behalf. For a such a young man Cesc has discovered early that the art of making the right noises relies on the silences in between.

As it transpires Barcelona didn`t even have enough money to pay their players on time in June let alone come up with a fee that was ever likely to secure a player considered one the best in the world in his position, with a good 10 years of a professional career in front of him and already under a strong contract at a financially strong club. Empty vessels make the most noise it seems and Barca`s empty cash box is still making plenty of noise with the statement today that neither offer made exceeded (in other words they offered) €40m seeming to mock their own inability to deliver on their proud presidential boasts. They`ll look to do a deal next season when Cesc will probably be outside his protected period opening up the possibility of buying himself out of his contract. The problem for Barca within that scenario is that under Fifa statutes the club Cesc joins is jointly liable to pay the compensation to Arsenal. Much of Barcelona`s current liabilities are monies owed to other clubs for previous transfers, reportedly this summer still some £10m or so to Arsenal in respect of earlier deals for Hleb and Henry.

The noise that some clubs can make about their spending power is amplified by this practice of allowing clubs to pay on hire purchase. Even supposedly mega-rich Man City apparently owes almost £80m to other clubs a figure destined to leap higher this summer. A requirement for clubs to pay transfer fees in full on registration might have as much effect on financial fair play as anything in the laudable but wordy structure adopted by Uefa this summer. The noise Arsenal should be making next summer should loudly and clearly be heard as no payments by instalment for Cesc. Even €40m might not be easy for Barcelona to find in one go without some reflective silence among those grappling with their cashflow.

But not all football noises are unwelcome as it`s a game that benefits from some noise. More cheers than boos in the stadium always lifts the spirits but at least Robin van Persie seems to have the art of making the right noises as he demonstrated that some players can show more commitment than the current cynicism towards highly paid players would have us believe:

"I have never stopped believing in Arsenal. I love this club, this is my seventh year now. Arsenal gave me a chance to develop into a good player and I want to repay the Club and the fans and everyone with trophies.

"I love the way of thinking at Arsenal, the way of playing really stands out. I know two teams who play similar football; they are us and Barcelona. Some teams are trying but not really coming close. I speak to colleagues in the national team from different big teams which have a different way of thinking. But I prefer our way of thinking, very much. That's why I believe and I don't stop believing when things go against us."

Now, if he can only avoid making that noise of the ball hitting the woodwork quite as often as he seems to have done in the past in exchange for the softer sound of rippling goal nets, he will have us all making plenty of appreciative noise.

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Date:Saturday August 7 2010
Time: 11:31AM


I'm glad the he has FINALLY come out and said what he has said. It does seem as though he waited until the very last minute to give this interview. Just as Barca's hopes of ' forcing ' us to sell him flickered and died, Cesc reached for a microphone. I am drawing a line under the whole thing now. To my dieing day, I will NEVER have ANY respect for Barcelona, and will ALWAYS view Cesc in a slightly different light. Cesc, I will shout myself hoarse for you and the boys at Anfield, COME ON YOU GUNNERS. Nice work Amos btw, cheers pal.
Cockney Rich
07/08/2010 12:14:00
Great piece, Amos. I fear that, as the season wears on, Cesc's every gesture, miss, celebration, etc. will be scrutinized no end, by fans and the media alike. It could become increasingly, uncomfortable for all parties unless his fight is +100% and clear for all to see; or if we do win the title. He is our player and needs all the support now and I still feel he will have reason to remain longer than the much vaunted "one more season".

Now, RvP, that is one classy man there. I just wish he gets his heart's desire and really does stay fit for the whole season (a big ask, I guess, but possible). A certain 25 goals per season player.
07/08/2010 12:52:00
Catalan banks are Barca's fallback. The sympathies they garner as the biggest representative of Catalonia allows them to take out long-tem loans with lower rates of interest than those on the market, as well as provide less security for aforementioned loans. Without them, Barcelona would have folded a long time ago. My guess is they'll pull another loan out of their hat and try again next season, though they've probably blown the one chance they had now.
07/08/2010 12:56:00
Hoping that the noise next season will be all about how we won the title......great read Amos
07/08/2010 15:43:00
Irish friend of mine always says that the empty can rattles the loudest. I'm with what jaelle said on the last thread, fair play to the boy, he hasn't tried to bull***** anyone with his statement, he told the truth and it was what most of us could see. He wanted to go but isn't devastated not to be. None of this Adebayoreseque- my phone was turned off all summer and I didn't have the internet.
Little Dutch
07/08/2010 21:34:00
he told the truth, when, better late then never, hes gutted he wasnt aloud to leave an for any football fan can see that except arse fans of course, they believe in myths, 4 years and counting
08/08/2010 00:29:00
You're right - he told the truth - he's very happy at Arsenal and in no hurry to leave. I guess that's what you meant? Are you 'aloud' to count beyond 3 - 123spuds? I guess if you were as confident with your alpha characters you'd have been ABCspuds. Nice and easy to remember. Have you tried counting how many seasons since you last won a title? Let me save you the challenge - it'll be 50 at the end of this season!
08/08/2010 01:19:00
Good, insightful article. I echo Cockney Rich. Barca was the team I followed apart from Arsenal because I thought they stood for something special. But I've had a 100% u-turn and will be cheering for any team they play against - even Chelsea and Man Utd. And I'm going to throw away my Barcelona shorts that I play 5-a-side with!
08/08/2010 10:14:00
An even better article by Ben Fairthorne today quoting Xavi. "If Arsenal are way behind Chelsea and Man Utd by the January window and out of Europe, then Cesc will be even more disheartened with the club than he is now. If that is the case I don't see how they can stop him coming in January. You should never cage an animal that is meant to be in the wild and you can't cage a player of Cesc's talent. He needs to be at a club where he can win trophies."
Clive 49
08/08/2010 13:47:00
Just more noise (as well as patronising bollox). Whatever Xavi says doesn't alter the length or strength of the contract Cesc has with Arsenal or the money they'd have to find for the club to release him.
08/08/2010 14:16:00
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