Posts Tagged Cesc Fabregas

Outraged Arsenal fan takes extreme measures


Cesc Fabregas’s £30m move to Chelsea has left many fans heartbroken. But the bad guy, according to one long time Arsenal fan, is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal had first option to bring the Spain international back to the Emirates, but even though Fabregas wanted to return to North London, Arsene Wenger felt he already had enough players in that position.

This decision has prompted long-term Arsenal supporter John Eastman to take drastic measures.

The 55-year-old Eastman, who has been a Gunners supporter for the last 45 years, was so outraged by Wenger that he had an Arsenal crest tattoo on his chest covered with another design before binning club memorabilia.

After Fabregas completed his move to Chelsea, Mr Eastman decided that he no longer wanted the tattoo or club souvenirs that he had collected over the many decades of supporting Arsenal.

‘Wenger won’t put his hand in his pocket to buy players, he’s too tight,’ Mr Eastman said.

‘He’s broken my heart.’

Love hurts…


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World Cup Preview: Spain vs. Honduras

This is a must win game for tournament favourites and European Champions Spain. No one could have predicted that Spain would lose to Switzerland 1-0 in their World Cup opener leaving them not top of Group H but sharing space at the bottom with Honduras making today’s game crucial to their World Cup campaign.

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Ranking: 2

Spain have top-class players and they did very little wrong in their match against Switzerland except that they couldn’t score and conceded a cheap goal to Switzerland due to a miscommunication between the defenders and Iker Casillas in goal. La Roja would have sorted that out and will be raring to go against the Honduras. Vincente Del Bosque’s team knows that this is a must win game for them and they will put their shocking defeat behind them. Also, unlike Switzerland, Honduras cannot afford to draw this match either and therefore cannot sit back and just defend. They will have to go forward and attack which will leave space to the Spanish and everyone know what happens when you give the Spanish team space to play their game… they score plenty of goals. Vincete Del Bosque will probably go with a 4-4-2 formation, with both strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres starting for Spain. This means Sergio Busquets is most likely to be dropped. Another change could be the incorporation of Jesus Navas on the right wing rather than David Silva in attacking midfield. Cesc Fabregas might once again find himself on the bench, awaiting to make his World Cup 2010 debut. Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Joan Capdevila  will retain their positions at the back. Andres Iniesta who suffered an injury during the Switzerland match  is still not a 100% fit and will most likely not start for Spain.

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Ranking: 38

Honduras are the weakest link in Group H. They lost only by a goal to Chile and are level on points with Spain as they go into this match. Theoretically they have as much of a chance as Spain to qualify for the knock-stages of the tournament. In reality, Chile’s 1-0 scoreline over them does not tell the entire story of a match where Honduras did not create any chances and in fact they managed only one touch  inside the Chilean opposition penalty area over the entire duration of the game. Secondly, Chile have very limited resources and are struggling with injuries, it would be impossible for them to beat a top-class team like Spain. However, one can never underestimate confidence and belief in football and the Spainiards loss to Switzerland must have boosted the Hondurans in to believing that anything was possible. Reinaldo Rueda’s team are without striker David Suazo and midfielder Julio Cesar Leon who suffered an injury before the Chile match and is still recovering. He will be replaced by Jerry Palacios, who has set of a record of sorts by playing in the same World Cup with two of his brothers Johnny and Wilson. Spain are one of the scariest of all attack minded teams and the Honduran defense lead goalkeeper Noel Valladares will have to remain very focusedor else risk finding out just why their opponents are nicknamed La Furia Roja.

Manager Speak

“They are going to play football, it will not be easy to beat Honduras. We will play our game, take the initiative.” -Vincente Del Bosque, Spain manager

“We know we can give more. We have the strength to withstand the demands of Spain.” – Reinaldo Rueda, Honduras manager

Stars to Watch Out For

Spain: David Villa, Fernando Torres, Xavi Hernandez

Honduras: Noel Valladares, Jerry Palacios

Go Figure!

Honduras are winless in their last six matches, failing to score in five of them.

Spain had won 45 games out of 48 prior to their opening group defeat by Switzerland.

Honduras have only ever beaten two European nations – Slovenia and Latvia – in 14 attempts.

Spain’s only loss in 14 matches against a north and central American nation came a year ago at the hands of the USA in Bloemfontein.

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Barcelona and Real Madrid – Saviours or Destroyers of La Liga?

La Liga is one of the football’s most exciting domestic leagues. So it is easy to see how the news of the indebtedness of the league in which footballing giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona play would make a football fan cringe.

According to a study carried out by Professor Jose Maria Gay of the University of Barcelona, it was revealed that La Liga’s debts have grown and at are at an all time high of  €3.53 billion (£3.03 billion) this year.

The study also revealed that of the 20 clubs that play in La Liga,  the  top two clubs in terms of exposure and income – Real Madrid and Barcelona – and the relegated Numacia made an operating profit.

The reason for this imbalance it seems are player wages, which are said to have made up  85% of the total operating cost of the clubs. In many clubs like Valencia, Sevilla and Atlético Madrid the outgoings on wages were way higher than the income.

The issue of  player wages driving clubs into debt becomes increasingly disturbing when you hear about Barcelona latest purchase of David Villa for £34.2 million and the anticipated signing of Cesc Fabregas for a similar amount, showing that the top clubs have no intention of curbing their spending.

Another fact adding to the imbalance is probably the fact that unlike English Premier League clubs who have a collective television deal with the broadcast income being divided equally among the 20 clubs depending on the number of  appearances and final league position, the Spanish clubs negotiate their own media deals. This once again means that top two – Barcelona and Real Madrid get the best deals. They were able to rake in Barcelona half of their incomes from media rights.

With more income coming in from media deals and exposure, the top two have much more spending power than the rest of the league. This in turn makes it possible for them to pay whatever it takes to bring the player they want to their club, raising the wage-rate higher for the entire league and thus pushing the others further into debt. It also makes the league lopsided, as was seen this season with Barcelona beating Real Madrid to La Liga title by three points, and Valencia finishing a distant third, 28 points behind the champions.

La Liga’s problems are further highlighted by the fact that Real Mallorca, a club which only narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Champions League on the final day of the season and finished 5th in La Liga had to file for voluntary administration after failing to find buyer  to take on their €85m debt.

Jose Gay who feels the current model is unsustainable warns that the league would be in “death throes”. “Barça and Madrid will have to make an effort, sacrificing today so the league can flourish”, he added.

It looks like it is time Barcelona and Real Madrid sat down and watched Spiderman, the movie… ” with great power, comes great responsibility.”

Article first published as Spanish Game in Crisis as La Liga Debts Soar on Technorati.

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Cesc Fabregas to Leave Arsenal for Barcelona

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Arsenal’s season had started with such promise. The free scoring Gunners had the added advantage of being maturer than they had been in the past and in many games put up a fight when the going got tough. Unfortunately, the season ended in the same fashion as the last, in disappointment. Arsenal were unlucky enough to have drawn Barcelona in the Champions League knock-out stages and were given a master-class in football by the La Liga Champions in their 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp. Just like their Champions League dream died, Arsenal’s title ambitions also fizzled out leaving them third on the league table behind champions Chelsea and second place, Manchester United.

With the north London club failing to add to their trophy cabinet this season, fans must have felt that the worst disappointments of the season were behind them. Unfortunately, the  the final blow was to be dealt by their captain Cesc Fabregas who told  his father figure and mentor Arsene Wenger in a face-to-face meeting that he wants to quit Arsenal and rejoin Barcelona. Cesc had joined Arsenal as a 16-year old from Barcelona’s youth teams where he had played alongside Lionel Messi and has enjoyed the privilege of captaincy and  a demi-god status at Arsenal.

It couldn’t have been easy for the mid-fielder to tell the man he feels he owes his career to that he no longer wanted to stay at the club. A decision that stems, it seems  from the fear of losing out on the higher accolades since Arsenal haven’t come any closer to winning in Europe or in the domestic league in the last few seasons. Barcelona on the other hand are a team on fire. They are the reigning La Liga champions and Champions League winners (till March 28). Barcelona’s manager Pep Guardiola has already proven that his success in his first season at the club was not a fluke and that he knows how to build a champion team.

Arsene Wenger, it is believed, took the news calmly and asked the 23-year old Spaniard to stay for one more season but Fabregas has his heart set on returning home to Barcelona this summer. It is believed that Barcelona would be willing to offer £30m for Fabregas who was signed for nothing by Arsenal in 2003.  Arsenal however, would be looking for more than £40m for the player who they consider irreplaceble and undoubtedly one of the world’s best midfielders. Reports from Barcelona have also suggested that Yaya Touré could be used as a makeweight in the deal.

Fabregas has already said that he wants his future decided before the World Cup and unfortunately for Arsenal fans, it it seems that his belief Arsene Wenger’s vision has suffered a few knocks over the years while his belief in Pep Guardiola’s ability to win silverware is minty fresh.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is PFA player of the year; Cesc Fabregas gets PFA Young Player of the Year

I just knew it! But I guess so did everyone else who even remotely follows football. Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year for the second time in succession at a star studded ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Sunday night. Ronaldo was not present at the event to collect his award but was shown on screen accepting his trophy from Sir Alex at United Carrington training ground.

Ronaldo said “I feel very happy. When you work all season to play good, to do something for the team, to do your contribution for the team and then at the end of the season the PFA give you this award, it is a great moment, it is an honour, a pleasure.”

“It is a great motivation to carry on like that, to work more and get better. I feel very good but it is not just my award, my team-mates have helped me a lot this season. They give me good passes to score goals – and I score – but it is a good moment for me.”

The talented Portuguese star said “I am sure I am better player than four or five years ago. Than last year? I have improved a little bit better still. This is my ambition to learn more and play better and I think I am in the right place. I want to carry on and this for me is a good moment to stay at the club and play at the best level.”

United were preparing for the second leg of the Champions League Semi-final in which they play Spanish giants Barcelona at home after having drawn 0-0 at Nou Camp in the first leg.

Ronaldo added “I look forward to Tuesday against Barcelona, it is the biggest game of the season in my opinion. If you win you are in the final. It is a good motivation for me, for my colleagues, for my friends, everyone. I hope to win and the two league games are very important as well, if you win you are champions as well.”

Ronaldo admitted that he had voted for Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor. He said: “I voted for Adebayor because I think he has had a great season as well. But you have many players who have had a good season – Torres, Fabregas, many players. But I think I deserve to win!”

Former England and Blackpool full-back Jimmy Armfield, 72, still involved in the game as a broadcaster, received the Merit award for his services to the game.
Cesc Fabregas was named the PFA Young Player of the Year. The other nominees were Ronaldo, Micah Richards, Torres, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young.

“I’m very proud. It’s a very prestigious trophy.Football is a collective game and you prefer to win trophies with team-mates but it’s always nice to have this type of award. I dedicate it to my team-mates because without them I would not have won.” said Fabregas.

It was strange to see that none of the Chelsea players featured in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year :

David James (Portsmouth), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

The ceremony was attended by Fabio Capello who speaking publicly in English possibly for the first time proposed a toast to PFA.

I am just so glad that two of my current favourite EPL players won. Next awards season, watch out for Fernando.

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