I’ll never understand the grief that Arsene Wenger gets about eight trophy-less seasons and not bringing in any silverware since the FA Cup in 2005. It may have escaped people’s attention but ‘Le Professor’ is actually on course for delivering his third title in as many years should the Summer rumour mull be true.
According to reports, former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas is unhappy with his lot in Catalonia and is prepared for a move back to the Premier League. The main contenders for his signature are United and City…. in the words of Morrissey: “stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before.”
Flashback two Summers ago and a diminutive French midfielder was linked with a move away from the Emirates and United were seemingly favourites to land him. City flashed their substantially bigger wallets and Samir Nasri decided he’d rather play in front of forty odd thousand fans for a club that hadn’t won the league since the 1960s rather than turn out in front of 70 odd thousands fans each week for the reigning champions. Almost unnoticed by many the same Summer Gael Clichy – who’d previously stated “if you only think about money you join Manchester City” did exactly that. Fast forward to the end of the 2011/12 season and City are crowned Champions on goal difference with Clichy by all accounts having a stormer of a season and Nasri playing a vital part, particularly towards the end of the campaign in ensuring the noisy neighbours are louder than ever. Thank you Arsene Wenger.
Last Summer we saw a similar tug of war with both City and United desperate to sign Robin Van Persie, after it was obvious he’d had enough of vying for fourth place each season. Fortunately for the Reds, RVP listened to the little boy inside him rather than his bank manager and came to Old Trafford where he promptly helped United regain the title at a canter. Thank you Arsene Wenger.
Fabregas may have been schooled in Barcelona, but he developed into one of Europe’s top midfielders at Arsenal and there’s little doubt what signing him could mean for either Manchester club. United’s main weakness has been a lack of truly world class central midfielders with Michael Carrick often having to make do with the useless Anderson or the erratic Tom Cleverley alongside him. Should United sign Cesc, with Wilfried Zaha already joined – the wings was another weakness we needed to address- then the future looks a lot rosier. By the same token if Fabregas ends up at City then a midfield featuring him and Yaya Toure is enough to make anyone put a few quid on the noisy neighbours at the very least mounting a better title challenge than the one they’ve just mustered.
For two seasons we’ve seen Arsenal players make a huge difference in the title race and although Fabregas will be coming from the Nou Camp, let’s not kid ourselves, it’s his time in North London that’s made him the player both Manchester clubs covet.
Arsenal may not be champions but they’ve certainly helped win the title in recent years and this coming season may just be the third in a row..
Would Fabregas really make the difference for either club? Is he likely to be that disloyal to the Arsenal fans? Am I overstating his importance?
Answers, suggestions, comments and abuse below please: