Finally the long running saga over the future of Cesc Fabregas came to a close today with his completed signing to Barcelona. I don’t usually comment on these transfers on the blog, but there’s something about its conclusion and reaction that was noteworthy.
Commentators and observers have been pointing out how poor Barcelona behaved in this whole affair with rumours, then players making comments and the hassle in the negotiations. Some have looked to absolve Arsenal of the bulk of the blame as it is Barcelona’s behaviour that has been unhelpful.
To that I suggest – balderdash!
I don’t believe I’m missing anything by pointing out the following key factors. Fabregas loves Arsenal. He has loved playing for the club since he joined 8 years ago. More often than not he has bust a gut to help his side in their quest for trophies and for at least two of the 8 in which he played, it would be fair to say he was their best player. It did not escape his notice, however, that he was wanted by his first love, the place that he left – Barcelona. Who in their right minds would turn that down? In all that has transpired I’d hardly blame him for his public conduct. At no time recently has he expressed a desire to join Barca. In fact he has kept an admirably low profile under the trying circumstances.
The spotlight falls on the Catalan club, yet here too when you consider it they haven’t really done that much wrong. They express an interest in a player. They make a bid. The bid is too low. Negotiations take place and take time. To a large degree as long as the player was open to the move and the club engaged in negotiations they could take as long as they wanted. If Arsenal were serious about holding onto their top player – they would not entertain any bids. That they did and kept the door open left them at the whim of the suitors especially as they evidently could not persuade the player to stay. Barca were in control of the situation, they played the piece out to perfection. They’ve paid the negotiated fee, probably for less than the demanded figure. They have their player. They have not disrespected Arsenal in the process. The Gunners could have forced the situation if they wanted, but really all they could hope for is to get what money they could, thank their captain for his years of service and now hope they can bring in their own reinforcements.
Those bleating on about Barcelona’s behaviour are being silly. Nothing is wrong in expressing a desire for a favoured player to join you. Nothing is wrong with making the most of the time available to getthe best deal possible. Get over it. Move on.