Sorry Arsenal, At Chelsea Cesc Will Finally Be Playing To His Strengths
It would be hard to imagine anything that could be special enough upstage the opening game of the World Cup. Save for Jose Mourinho, who as it happens, is a little bit special himself.
Chelsea and their boss decided that they could keep their good news to themselves no longer and announced to the world that former Arsenal turned Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas would be joining the club – for around £30 million if anyone actually cares about that part.
Cue a total and utter meltdown from Arsenal fans and a fair bit of gloating from their wealthier, more recently successful blue neighbours.
Showing Liverpool fans that their protests about Fernando Torres and indeed Steven Gerrard were nothing, the Emirates Stadium faithful not only took to burning their shirts but also managed to compare the move to a fate worse than death and get the obligatory #WengerOut trending on twitter.
This is an Arsene Wenger who turned down the chance to resign the player and instead let him trundle down to meet Chelsea representatives, agree a move and put on a Chelsea shirt – incidentally a Chelsea shirt that in his own words, if he wears, Arsenal fans would have ‘permission to kill me.’ Well Cesc, you better hope your former legion of fans (who have unfollowed him on Twitter after abusing him of course) don’t decide to grant you one final wish.
In the 27 year old’s defence, he made it clear Arsenal were still in his heart, but Chelsea were the ones who swooped for him and offered £200,000 per week at that. They also offer him the chance to complete his ‘unfinished business’ in the Premier League which presumably is code for winning it – and we all know that wouldn’t have happened at Arsenal.
Arsenal fans may lament the fact that anywhere but Chelsea would have been preferable – but they clearly failed to think that through.
Would they really want to see Cesc and Robin van Persie celebrating a goal together at the Emirates – wearing Manchester United shirts? Probably not. Really Chelsea did them a favour - they’re nice like that. They even released Ashley Cole, another former 'Arsenal fan favourite' turned 'money grabbing c***' just so Cesc can’t pat the Chelsea badge in unison with him.
The actual footballing consequences of the move have been somewhat overlooked because of the emotion surrounding the situation – which Chelsea themselves have not helped, publishing a statement written by Cesc upon news of his move being announced, but ‘forgetting’ to put in the paragraph where he talks about Arsenal. Oops.
However if you consider this purely as a technical move, Chelsea now have someone they think will fit in perfectly with their plans for next season – and even potentially replace Frank Lampard and his goals from the middle of the park.
After seeing a total lack of goals kill them last season, the Blues have sold a player Mourinho did not want for £50 million and gone out and spent £30 million on one he did. Previous clashes whilst both were in Spain aside of course. That was pantomime. This is business and Cesc represents a very good piece of it for Mourinho.
Some rather bitter Arsenal fans – and Barcelona ones – have even claimed Cesc was a flop at the Catalan club and indeed not needed by the Gunners. Well that’s not strictly true is it?
He may have been criminally underused as a player and overused as a scapegoat on more than one occasion during his spell in La Liga, but in the last three years, Fabregas has managed to be involved in more goals than any other midfielder in the Spanish league - assisting 32 times and scoring 28 goals – that totals involvement in 60 goals in case you weren’t counting and that is not too shabby considering Fabregas more often than not failed to play 90 minutes and on occasion, was out of position.
Former Barcelona coach Tata Martino wanted to utilise Cesc and Alexis Sanchez more – and play in a far more direct style – but was overruled by the board and players, with the ever-present Xavi and Iniesta still running the show at the Camp Nou.
Ironically for all his love of Barcelona and their tiki-taka, Cesc has always been more suited to the style of play on offer in the Premier League and will relish the chance to return to it and play to his strengths - and all of that will come as a massive plus for Chelsea and Mourinho.
Oscar, Willian, Hazard, Cesc, Schurrle, Torres (only kidding) and forward elect Costa will make the attacking part of Chelsea’s line up next season. Mourinho thinks there will be goals and plenty of them. After all, how else is he going to give Cesc the opportunity to bond with the Chelsea fans and kiss that badge?