Arsenal - Cesc could be here for years
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Cesc could be here for years

For a club that hasn't won a major trophy for a few years, supposedly a unique position if the current media determination to remind us is anything to go by, there's a strong air of confidence around the club. Certainly the atmosphere at today's AGM is one of assured expectation.

Only a couple of seasons back as the banking crisis and resulting property crash threatened to undermine years of planning and put back the clubs anticipated financial progress under the weight of property development debts the caution at the club was evident enough. While the noises coming out of the club were that the property developments would pay off in the end the speed with which they would do so wasn`t at all clear. In the summer of 2008 former chief David Dein was encouraged to announce that the club faced 'a bleak future' without significant outside investment. Twelve months later and less than 15 months ago cohort Usmanov was insisting only a £100m rights issue would get us on track financially. In the event market conditions over the last year have given a significant boost to the club as sizeable short term debt has been virtually eliminated and the long term debt will be allowed to run down comfortably over the next 20 years or so.

With our own financial uncertainty allayed while upcoming Uefa financial fair play rules begin to impose constraints on less financially ordered clubs and a decade of investments of almost £500m in physical assets; training facilities, academy and stadium behind us yet still in front of a number of others the doubts have been removed.

"We have earned our independence. We do not have to rely on anybody but ourselves for future success." declared Gazidis as he pledged that future significant property profits still to come over the next few years would be ploughed back into the squad and not used to reduce long term debt.

Perhaps it's that confidence that allowed Wenger to express the belief that Cesc could stay for a 'few more years' yet despite popular forecasts that he`ll be off next summer. Financially there seems to be no need for us to lose players earlier than we need to and every prospect that we'll have the strength to make it a hard decision for them to leave and an easy one for others to come in.

Does all of this reduce the pressure to get 3 points this weekend? Not a chance. It's true more than its ever been that, in the modern game, successful football can only be as a result of a successful business but that success still has to be delivered on the pitch. If we can take that boardroom confidence onto the playing field then anything is possible.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 21 2010

Time: 3:13PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Sounds good. However i am worried Vermaelen. Looks like we might not see him in a while
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21/10/2010 15:24:00

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21/10/2010 15:28:00

Whilst it's true that we're in a position where we don't have to sell ou best players when big money offers come in ... but when that player's heart obviously lies elsewhere there's little point in pretending he's not leaving us next summer. If he is still Arsenal captain at the start of the 2011/12 campaign I will be astonished.
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21/10/2010 15:31:00

Agreed, Rocky. Am also very struck by AW's comments re Vermaelen. Rumours are we won't see him until next year.
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21/10/2010 15:34:00

Largely depends on the strength of his contract. If the protected period expires next summer, not summer 2012, and Barca's financial position doesn't impose any barriers then the best bet has to be that Cesc will go in the summer.
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21/10/2010 15:41:00

It makes no sense whatsoever for AW to make such a definitive statement about Cesc if it's supposed to be written in the stars that Cesc will go next summer. Who says that it will definitely happen. Six months ago if anybody had predicted that Rooney would be heading for the exit door of ManU come January, that person would have been laughed out of town. A lot can change in football, very quickly.
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21/10/2010 15:43:00

Wenger is doing his usual positive, jumpers for goal posts analysis of the situation, which is fair enough, but let's be brutally honest here, this is very likely to be Cesc's final season as an Arsenal player, it has nothing to do with how good we are or what we can offer. He just wants to go home. I love Wenger but he borders on patronising sometimes, it's not intentional and it's partly due to his forward, positive thinking, but we all know Cesc loves Arsenal and wants to win things here, what Arsenal fan doesn't think that? These things have nothing to do with him staying or leaving, can we just keep it at "Whilst he is here he will give his all" and leave it at that.
Professor Calculus
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21/10/2010 15:47:00

Not sure what our strong financial position has to do with Cesc leaving or not next summer, sure it's nice to be able to compete with contract offers but I don't think that's the point here....
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21/10/2010 15:49:00

The only thing that will change Cesc's mind is if we win the PL or CL. Anything less and I think he's 99% certain to be off. He clearly sees potentially one of the best sides in history, with an extraordinary generation of talent, and wants to be part of it. But I doubt he'd be as eager to leave if Barca were struggling to make CL each year.
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21/10/2010 15:52:00

If not for a certain amount of financial muscle Cesc might have gone this summer so it has a role to play. If his protected period expires next summer then there is nothing other than Barca's finances to prevent him going.
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21/10/2010 15:55:00

OT: You might be interested in the poll results on this Brazil fan blog (English language) re Denilson:
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21/10/2010 16:34:00

Julie - Wenger "promised" the Arsenal fans that Henry was not going to Barcelona and then 3 months later off he went. Wenger will always say what seems right at the time, whether it's true or not. You invested a lot of emotion into last summer with regards to the Fabregas rumours before you finally accepted he wanted to leave ..... don't let yourself start believe he will stay now, I don't think I could take your disapointment. Just assume he's going and that way if he does stay you'll feel on top of the world.
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21/10/2010 17:17:00

Exactly, just assume Cesc is gone at the end of the season, anything else is a bonus, enjoy him whilst he's here and hope that Jack gets to play alongside him as much as possible because he will be the one taking the baton. It is a shame, Jack and Cesc is a dream partnership.
Professor Calculus
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21/10/2010 17:45:00

Well, as Wenger knows more about the inside story than either us or the media, I think it is very much wait and see. My "emotions" as you say are well and truly out of my system after Barca's shenanigans this summer. If he stays, he stays- if he goes, he goes. Either way, it's all crystal ball gazing and no one can claim to KNOW. How do YOU know Cesc hasn't told AW that he's changed his mind and wants to stay? People said that if AFC didn't let Fab go in the summer that his head would be down and we'd be stuck with a mopey player (ahem Mister Rooney) but that hasn't happened, has it? I follow Cesc on twitter and he sounds positive to me. Why does nobody choose to believe "positive" news? Why be cynical?
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21/10/2010 19:04:00

I don't buy this whole 'Cesc's heart is clearly in another place' stuff. I'm pretty sure I saw him lead Arsenal out in the CL earlier this week It is possible that he likes playing for Arsenal still (even if its not his first choice). And until he starts acting like a**** (like Rooney or Mascherano), I don't really see why he should be sold. And the Henry example doesn't really apply here as our financial security was unknown a couple of years ago.
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21/10/2010 19:53:00

Obviously Cesc loves Arsenal. But just last week he was quoted defending his choice to want to move back to Barca, saying it was right for him to express that desire. He didn't sound like he'd changed his mind at all.
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21/10/2010 21:38:00

More OT: AW has been chosen best manager of the decade by the Int'l Federation of Football Statistics:
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21/10/2010 21:40:00

Even if you lose Cesc, Wenger has a seemingly ready made replacement in Wilshere. What else is new?
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22/10/2010 03:27:00

What else is new?... Well, i'm hoping Aaron will be like new. A ready-made replacement for, erm, himself. Then, of course, we have a brazilian prodigy called Wellington Silva returning to london colney in a matter of days to be fit and ready to take his place in the first team squad by January. That's new! Jay Thomas is tearing new holes everywhere he plays - actually that's not new, the holes are but the news isn't. Anyway, nice to see this healthy interest in the Arsenal.
insider says
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22/10/2010 04:43:00

What isn't 'new' is that AW hopes Cesc will be at the club for many years. What did you expect him to say? He had 2 choices - "He's giving his all this season bc he's desperate to win something with us and he's leaving in the summer", or "I hope he stays longer, he can if he wants too, he knows he loves it here, a few more years yeah why not, just sign here!"
insider says
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22/10/2010 04:48:00

Agree with insider Wenger could say anything different. I think we will see many more twists and turns regarding player transfers and club finances in the next 6 to 8 months and I would not be surpriced if cesc stays as I am not convinced that Barcelona will have the financial muscle to buy him next year.
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22/10/2010 11:23:00

I frequently suffer from Arsenal daydreams. My current one is for Cesc and Jack to become the new Inniesta/Xavi combo, but playing for Arsenal.
Sir Henry
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22/10/2010 14:07:00

That's no dream Sir Henry, that my dear fellow is reality =)
insider says
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22/10/2010 14:19:00

I also suffer from Arsenal nightmares where Barcelona use Cesc and Jack to replace Inniesta and Xavi :-(
Sir Henry
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22/10/2010 14:51:00

Freud would say you have issues of abandonment. Has your mother recently left your father and the family home?
insider says
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22/10/2010 18:20:00

Thanks, Insider, I guess, But I think AW maybe had a third choice in: "He'll give it his all every year that he plays for Arsenal because he knows he is an integral part of my team and would be a great help in the trophy hunt." That gives the impression Cesc is appreciated as well as that he will stay longer.
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22/10/2010 20:36:00

It is such a shame there is a cloud over fabs future at the club the season that young Jack is forcing his way into the first team. I would love to see these two growing together in that midfield over the next few years. I agree with above, there wouldn't be a more potent midfield partnership in Europe apart from possibly DNA and iniesta. A strikers dream to be playing in front of these two making beautiful football together. I can but dream.....but hey... I would take the booby prize of young jack and Aaron making beautiful football together...oh what dire straits we are in :)
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25/10/2010 01:43:00


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