Serious Cesc + Arsecast 168, Arseblog meets Peter Storey

I suppose it’s symptomatic of the football world we live in that Arsenal can win a game 6-0, playing some truly beautiful football, and the headlines are all about how Arsene Wenger is tricksy and mean and how Cesc Fabregas didn’t celebrate his goals enough.

Regarding the first, anything Sam Allardyce says can be dismissed as the rantings of a ignoramus and Goodplaya excellently sums up his latest verbal vomit. As for Owen Coyle, who has also decided to try and stick his knife in, must try harder you sub-Clooney lookalike twat. He’s given the manager a bit of a rub with a butter knife, suggesting Arsene’s generous post-game text differed from the opinion he gave to journalists.

What was he expecting?

‘U r cnts m8 and dat davies iz a fkn anml’

Idiot. Also, it’s rather difficult to say something to someone’s face if you don’t actually see them. Remember, Coyle was the man who complained, rightly enough, about the Gallas tackle last season then backed down because he wanted Jack Wilshere on loan. He got Jack Wilshere on loan as well, as folks thought he’d bring to Bolton to style of play he brought to Burnley. He we are some way down the line and I don’t think that’s true in the slightest.

As for Cesc not being happy enough or not celebrating his goals enough, I despair. I could show you a range of pictures from Wednesday night when Cesc looked very happy indeed. Pictures from training. Pictures from the Bolton game. Do they want him to kiss the badge before asking the tannoy man to tell everyone that he’s very happy that he’s just scored a goal?

If there’s a seriousness about Cesc this season the easy thing to do is say it’s because he wants to be elsewhere. Let’s face it, there’s probably a small element of that to it, but it does the man a great disservice. If he’s serious it’s because he wants to win trophies. It’s because he knows as captain of Arsenal Football Club that he’s got to set an example to the rest of his team.

That’s why he chases somebody down to win the ball back when we’re 4-1 up. That’s why he runs 70 yards tracking the winger into the left back position to cover and do a job for his team. That’s why he takes the unselfish option and sets up Carlos Vela instead of going for the goal which would give him his hat-trick. That’s why he demands more from his teammates because he expects from them what he gives to this team – and that’s 100% commitment and a desire to win every single time he steps out on the pitch. That’s why players who are content to coast through their career will not be tolerated and carried.

He knows that the only way to win things is to concentrate, to take football seriously, to chase back, to defend from the front, to be unselfish, to create for others and, every time, to do nothing less than your best. That’s why we’re seeing a serious Cesc Fabregas, not an unhappy one.

And he’s laying down a marker for fans and the team alike saying there’s nothing to get carried away with yet:

I’m not going to read too much into our beating both Blackburn and Bolton – in previous years we might have done the same thing before collapsing against the big sides, so it’s best that we just keep going, keep improving and keep making things difficult for whoever we face.

And that is exactly the kind of attitude that has to rub off on the other Arsenal players. It’s not even the end of September yet and we’ve achieved nothing. The wins, the goals, the football, all very nice and thoroughly enjoyable, but still just small pieces of the bigger picture.

Frankly, I don’t think about next summer, we’ve just about gotten over this one. If people want to look at his every movement, every celebration, every post-match interview, and nit-pick it to pieces then fair enough. It’s like some kind of self-harm but to each their own. I’ll deal with next summer when it comes, until then I’ll get right behind the captain and if people can’t see why there’s an edge to his game and to his attitude then that’s their loss.

To be perfectly honest, it’s what this team has needed for a little while. Gael Clichy talks about how Cesc is the best in the world knowing that they nearly lost him this summer and that his long-term future remains uncertain. It should serve as a wake-up call to some of them who have potential and ability coming in spades, yet let themselves and the team down with a lack of application and desire.

To say Cesc is sulking is nonsense. He’s doing his job as well as he possibly can. So far this season, in just 3.5 games, that’s 2 goals and 5 assists. Football players who sulk generally don’t produce like that. Hopefully we don’t have to go through this ritual examination of his demeanour after every game. They can, I won’t.

Last night Arsene met some shareholders for a Q&A thing. Arsenal Insider has a fairly lengthy report on it and there are bits and pieces across the official site too. He spoke about not buying a midfielder, saying he wanted to develop the players he had. The emergence of Jack Wilshere this season is something I think all fans are enjoying and obviously will be of huge benefit to the club. He’s playing well, learning from someone like Cesc, and at the end of the day we know if someone were to examine Jack’s genetic make-up his D*A is 100% Arsenal.

Then there’s the goalkeeping situation and he gave his full backing to Almunia. I’m reluctant to say anything really. Too much was probably said during the summer and in the wake of the transfer window closing and I’m loathe to start it all up again. The bottom line is that Almunia is our number 1, most likely for this season, and regardless of what we think of the manager’s decision not buy another keeper we should all want him to do well.

Aaron Ramsey speaks to the official site about his return and says he won’t be holding back when he does start playing again. I think, having seen how little niggling injuries affected both Diaby and Eduardo after their serious injuries, the club will take their time in bringing Aaron back, ensuring he’s fully rehabilitated and his fitness is 100% so his career isn’t blighted any further by Shawcross’s thuggery.

And just before we move on to the Arsecast, a reminder, if you haven’t seen it already, about the history of the Verminator. Thanks to everyone who has bought a t-shirt so far. There are just a few left of this limited edition shirt so if you do fancy one the link to get one is here.

Right then, on to this week’s Arsecast and I’m always privileged to have former players on, this week I’ve got a lengthy interview with a proper legend – Peter Storey. He was an integral part of the double winning side in 1971 and a man who played over 500 games for the club after joining as an apprentice in 1961.

He’s got a book out at the moment called ‘True Storey’ (available from Mainstream Publishers or via Amazon) and we discuss that and all things Arsenal. Obviously there’s another side to Peter Storey’s life but to find out about that you need to buy the book. A tip of my hat to the fantastic Goonerholic for his help with the interview too.

Also in the show Arshavin, Internet Joe and the usual waffle.

You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too. To download this week’s Arsecast directly – click here (30mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.


And that’s about that, more than enough to keep you going on this last working day of the week.

Till tomorrow and a proper Sunderland preview.


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