Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has vowed to “fight to the end” to secure the signature of Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas. This is the latest in a long list of attempts from the Catalan club to publicise their intentions regarding the Arsenal captain. Its about time that everyone involved in football said enough is enough.
Now, I should probably preface this article by stating that I am not an Arsenal fan, nor do I have any prejudices towards Barcelona. But having written a fair bit recently on the potential transfer of Luka Modric to Chelsea, I sensed that the mood amongst a lot of Spurs fans was that Chelsea’s relentless pursuit of the midfielder, coupled with their discussion with the media about him (which captain John Terry today labelled “a bit disrespectful to Spurs”) is wholly inappropriate.
That being said, it must simply be stated that Barcelona’s behaviour for years now regarding the potential transfer of Fabregas is absolutely disgraceful. Repeated assertions to return the player to the Nou Camp have not only disrespected Arsenal’s stance, but totally ignored the reactions of Arsene Wenger and the club’s board.
From the ‘practical joke’ of covering Fabregas in a Barcelona shirt during Spain’s World Cup celebrations, to attempting to dictate not only the value of the player but the time framework of the transfer is unacceptable. It makes an absolute mockery of Barcelona’s Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta’s claims that the club do not “have a style of doing things by force”.
Inflammatory Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho, accused football’s governing bodies of favouring Barcelona, citing their affiliation with Unicef as one possible reason for this. I don’t want to get into the semantics of Mourinho’s mind, for it is more than likely this view was tainted with sour grapes, however, you do have to wonder why there has been no official warning about their actions, let alone punishments.
This week saw Arsene Wenger slam Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini for saying he hoped to complete the signing of Samir Nasri before the end of the month, claiming the Italian’s comments were “against the basic rules of football”. To my knowledge, no such dissent has been forthcoming from Wenger to Barcelona. Why is this?
Either Wenger is falling foul of Mourinho’s idea of giving undue favour to Barcelona, or, Wenger is in fact willing to sell Fabregas. Either way, the course of action seems fairly simple. Either Barcelona pay what Arsenal want for their captain, or they shut up and leave it all alone.