Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

Arsenal Reeling: Captain Cesc Out for Four Months

cesc_fabregas_victory_650949Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas will miss four months, after partially rupturing his right MCL during the club’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool.  Spain teammate Xabi Alonso injured Fabregas, during a robust, but fair challenge at the end of the first half.

The 21-year-old will miss a minimum of twenty-five Arsenal matches.  Should the club be in contention, he could return for the FA Cup Final and the semi-finals and finals of the Champions League.

Arsenal fans were pondering how the season could get worse.  It just did. 

No replacement exists for Fabregas.  Arsenal have few options, given they are already jamming central midfielders into wingers positions on the left and right sides. 

The most obvious, but uninspiring, stopgap solution would be to plug Nasri into Fabregas’ play-making role and to bring Diaby to play on the left wing.  Another option could be playing Robin Van Persie on the left and bringing Carlos Vela to play off Adebayor.

With the current squads, objectivity would now tip Aston Villa as favorites for the fourth Champions League place.

Arsenal already needed, at least, a defender and another midfielder.  They now may need to incorporate three to four new players, and quickly.  Many potential replacements will be cup-tied for the Champions League.

The club faces an imposing debt on the new stadium.  Missing the Champions League next year could be an unaffordable £40m mistake.  January is not the time to be bargain hunting.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, ,

Headlines: Giovanni Dos Santos Can’t Hold His Drink

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Tottenham’s Giovanni Dos Santos is a bit of a lightweight. (Off the Post)

Jermaine Defoe dates another busty, fake blond of questionable repute. (Dirty Tackle)

Gattuso is out for the season. (101 Great Goals)

Fabregas isn’t leaving any time soon.  Get over it. (SoccerLens)

Here are the 16 racist, homophobic Spurs fans.  (Unprofessional Foul)

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Headlines: Cascarino Believes Keane Bottled It

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Tony Cascarino has no sympathy for Roy Keane. (The Times)

Cesc Fabregas is “100 percent committed to Arsenal.” (Arsenal Mania)

Real Madrid fill their hole at Dutch striker, by adding Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. (101 Great Goals)

Freddie Ljungberg associates with a bunch of losers in Seattle. (The Beautiful Game)

Curb Your Enthusiasm Sunderland fans.  The bookies are taking a shine to Alan Curbishley for your next manager. (Chickendinner)

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Cesc Fabregas Appointed Arsenal Captain

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Arsene Wenger has named 21-year-old Cesc Fabregas as the new Arsenal captain, replacing the deposed William Gallas.

Wenger was notably gracious to the media after informing them of his decision.  “I have given you the information, I don’t have to explain every decision I make to you,” he told reporters.  “I think you need to respect the privacy of the club a little.”

Fabregas seems the consensus replacement.  He’s guaranteed to play in the first-team.  He’s even-tempered and popular.  A bridge to the last generation, he understands what it means to play for Arsenal.

He has been out of form and rumored to be considering his options.  The captaincy might refocus him and further tie him to Arsenal.

The one knock on Fabregas seems to be his age.  However, his experience should overcome his youth.  He may be twenty-one, but he is twenty-one with over 200 caps for Arsenal, 37 caps for Spain and a European Championship on his CV.

Fabregas has been touted as a potential captain for a while.  It’s not the ideal situation, given the turmoil.  However, it is the best option.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, ,

Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-1, Salvaging Title Campaign?

 

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Arsenal inspired little on Saturday, but two Samir Nasri goals, one legit and one lucky, produced a gratifying win over Manchester United, seemingly restarting Arsenal’s stalled season.

The Gunners sustained their previous problems in this match.  Gallas and Silvestre anchored  a still shambolic back-four.  Almunia again looked the clown, stupidly picking up a back-pass at the start.  As with the Tottenham match, Arsenal could not compose themselves with the lead.  No one at the Emirates, including the eleven wearing red on the pitch, felt assured in injury time.  Manchester United, however, facilitated their task, squandering numerous chances that could have changed the result.

Paradoxically, facing United seemed easier for Arsenal than lesser opponents.  Man U open up and get forward, leaving them vulnerable to quick counterattacks.  With Hargreaves out, United had no one to break up Arsenal’s passing in midfield, exposing their stalwart center-halfs to long chances, adeptly exploited by Nasri.  This, perhaps, bodes well for future top four pairings, where Arsenal must pick up points.

Wenger will keep Bendtner until Adebayor returns, but he should consider giving Vela a trial up front.  Though technically proficient, Bendtner looked out of sync and toothless much of the match.  He’s not a bad player, but he would not sniff a Manchester United or Chelsea squad.  While Vela may struggle to hold the line, he could account for it with his dangerous presence.

Fabregas also needs figuring out.  He has played awfully the past few weeks.  His passing has been Gerrardian in its wastefulness.  His forward runs are indecisive and he has failed to track back effectively.  He’s hurt, either physically or in confidence.  It will take more than motivational handouts to revive him.

Arsenal’s victory certainly revived the squad, but it was hardly a resounding corroboration of Wenger’s vision.  The club should celebrate but should retain no illusions.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , ,

Headlines: Delayed in Transit

Two Red Bulls suspended for performance enhancing drugs (Soccer By Ives)

Heskey may return to Liverpool (The Guardian)

Free Beer in Bolton (The Beautiful Game)

Arsenal’s censors got to Cesc (Arsenal Mania)

Platini Doesn’t Stop for Booing (FourFourTwo)

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Fabregas Comments Not Yet a Disaster, But a Concern

Cesc Fabregas caused a stir, with statements from his website, recently removed.  Fabregas’ website said the following.

Our squad is a bit short on numbers and we are very young. Behind me there is Denilson, who is 20, or Alex Song who is 21. Theo Walcott is 19 and Samir Nasri 21. It’s hard to imagine a midfield where I am the oldest member. We find it very hard to win matches, as we do not possess enough experience. I scored 13 goals last season but then I had plenty of allies. Rosicky was around, Flamini covered every blade of grass and Hleb was like a brother to me out there. Now none of those players are in the side and I feel like a rare being. We are more defensive-minded and sturdy as a team but we don’t play so much skillful stuff.

How do we interpret this?  Guillem Balague has two interesting points in his blog.  

First, this isn’t a “stunning attack” on Wenger and Arsenal, but, given their poor form, a “perfectly rational belief” about the squad’s youth and inexperience.

Second, Fabregas, not surprisingly, does not write the website himself, but a family member does.

It’s imprudent to overanalyze something Fabregas, himself, did not articulate.  Therefore bolstering claims of a Barcelona trade demand with it would be foolish.

However, Arsenal should not ignore this sentiment.  Fabregas is clearly the club’s talisman.  With Aston Villa and Manchester City getting stronger, losing Cesc could easily be a game changer.  

Is Fabregas going to pull a Ronaldo in the summer?  He probably won’t, as long as Arsene stays.  But, even the hint that he doesn’t foresee himself assuming the Arsenal captaincy for the next six to seven years should be worrisome.

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , ,

Fabregas Moving to Barcelona?

In a damning indictment of recent Arsenal impotence, Cesc Fabregas told a Spanish radio station he would like to play for Barcelona again, possibly next season.

“I would like to try to win more titles here at Arsenal,” Fabregas said, “although next season, we’ll see.”

Fabregas originally played in Barcelona’s youth system.  He signed an eight-year contract with Arsenal in 2006.

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , ,

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