Cesc Fabregas vs. The English and Spanish Media

By on October 13, 2009

Cesc and RosickyBrett Chase is a guest contributor to Arsenal Station. He is the Vice-President of the New York City Arsenal Supporters’ Club and has supported the Arsenal for a decade. Here, he talks about the position which Cesc finds himself in regarding the media and the constant speculation surrounding his future. He is also a regular contributor to both  The Modern Republic, a blog which comments on football, music, and fashion and The Modern Gooner.

As we while away the hours of yet another seemingly interminable international break, there are certain things that we Arsenal supporters have come to expect from these weeks without proper football: Ridiculous transfer rumors, Arsenal players returning with injuries (Psycho Stu Pearce to blame for about 25% of these, all to Theo)… and stories about Cesc Fabregas’ imminent return to play in Spain.

Oh no, we couldn’t forget those.  It seems that for every tale our El Capitan Catalan Fantastico rebuts about a move to Barcelona, for every time that Cesc reaffirms his commitment to and demonstrates his love for Arsenal, there is always another story in the tabloid sports pages to contradict him.

I am bothered less that the stories are written; the papers exist to sell themselves, and there will always be transfer rumors about the best players in the Premier League, particularly those who hail from countries other than England.  What irks me the most is the constancy of such stories, and the appearance that these are encouraged or even started by other clubs, presumably to unsettle Cesc.

Cesc kisses badgeThe biggest culprits of this in my mind are the Catalan newspaper SPORT, who have a rather cozy relationship with FC Barcelona, and the Madrid newspaper Marca, ostensibly controlled by Real Madrid.  It is from these two newspapers that the majority of the “Cesc to Spain” stories seem to originate, yet no one seems to question the validity of these reports despite a seeming conflict of interest.  But the English papers are far from blameless in this scenario, creating a great number of these baseless stories on their own.

In fact, the stories have become so plentiful that on a number of occasions, the Spanish papers have put out a story, which has been picked up on and reported by the English tabloids, and then in turn picked up on and reported by the Spanish papers, basically using the English papers’ ineptitude at fact-checking to validate their own fabrications.

Perhaps it is my background in American sports showing.  After all, if the New York Yankees traded away a young player, and once that player became a star began to flood the Daily News and other papers with stories about the player’s need to return and his “Yankee DNA,” the offended team would file tampering charges faster than Pavlyuchenko downs vodka.  It’s just not tolerated.

Perhaps the saddest part of this situation has been played by Cesc himself, and to illustrate I will contrast his situation with another high-profile Spaniard plying his trade in England, Fernando Torres.  Both Fabregas and Torres grew up playing in the youth systems for the clubs that they and their families supported growing up, F.C. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, respectively.

Their paths diverge in that Torres played for several seasons with the Atletico senior squad, whereas Cesc was plucked from the obscurity of Barcelona’s youth team by Arsene Wenger and became a star abroad with Arsenal. But the biggest difference is that Cesc has always been forthright and honest about his desire to someday return to play in Spain, whereas Torres never had to make such a claim.

It is this personal honesty on the part of Cesc Fabregas, repeated time and again in his denials of an imminent departure of Arsenal, which has made him an easy target for the sports press in both countries

Cesc at Barca

In the end, what I see as particularly conspiratorial and sinister in this situation are the persistent reports from Barcelona players and personnel talking up how badly Cesc wants to return and how much he is wanted there.  We have seen Barca defender Gerard Pique (who particularly needs to shut his tapas-hole) admitting that he continues to personally appeal to Fabregas during international duty to leave Arsenal, and then recently the comment by Xavi Hernandez that I mockingly alluded to earlier, about Cesc having “Barcelona DNA.”

This last seems to have prompted Cesc’s most recent denial of a move and his badge-kissing celebration after scoring in an otherworldly performance versus Blackburn (after which, prouder of El Capitan I cannot remember being).  However, none of this has slowed the Barca media blitz.  The latest comments came on Sunday from Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain himself, claiming that Barca “will sign Fabregas.”

Comments such as these are largely the result of clubs like Barca and Real Madrid holding presidential elections, wherein the candidate who promises the most in terms of signings is generally the victor.  What I do not understand is how such comments, particularly those by a director like Begiristain, do not constitute tapping-up or tampering in the eyes of UEFA or FIFA.

Much is made by the likes of Michel Platini about Arsenal signing young players, and plans are in the works to prevent this.  But nary a whisper can be heard regarding this far more egregious and blatant actions on the part of Spanish clubs.  I have in the past made the case that Platini has an anti-English bias; this, I contend, is just another example to support that argument.

It occurs to me that we Arsenal supporters will need to put these stories out of mind, and leave such newspapers as we would any other tabloid: unread, or taken with a grain of salt.  There may come a day, years from now, when we won’t be barraged on all sides by rumors of Cesc leaving for Barcelona.  Sadly, however, I expect this to be because Cesc will already have departed.  In the meantime, we Gooners will have to appreciate the player that we have, and not worry about the future.  I believe that Cesc loves Arsenal; I know that Arsenal loves Cesc.


  1. stonroy

    October 13, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Look your missing a simple point here, the club and Wenger need to come out in strength and say something. We are a richer club than Barcelona, and we are that way because we are such a popular club world wide. We are a massive club and we need to start acting like it. I know that we are fairly new at these worldwide responsibilities and Barcelona have been a massive club for many more years, but we meaning the board and Wenger need to let go of this moral highroad crap, and start acting like the powerhouse that Arsenal FC is. Splash some cash, send a message to the world that Arsenal FC is not to be messed with. It’s time to make a statement.

    • BendyTheViking

      October 14, 2009 at 4:40 am

      And what exactly does splashing cash have to do with telling Barca to fuck off our player?

  2. Harry Barracuda

    October 13, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Stonroy you need to understand that Barcelona can outbid us for anyone. Do you not realise they are the only top European club that don’t even need to sign a shirt deal? Their fans won’t have it, yet they could bank 30-40 million pounds a season from it!

    Personally I find it heartening to find out that the richest clubs are interested in our players. It means they’re that f**king good!

  3. josh khor

    October 13, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Excellent article! Accurate and sensible. On the part of Fabregas, it is best he entertains less the media the better. He should not allow all this hype to unsettle him and his focus on football. The media often create their own versions with ulterior motives for sensationalism or misquote, more often purposely than unwittingly.
    The fans and his team-mates love and enjoy his footballing and he himself loves and enjoys playing for Arsenal.
    Not withstanding what the media say, I believe in Fabregas’ intent to continue to stay with Arsenal for a long period of time.

  4. Joze Wilcox

    October 13, 2009 at 3:01 am

    The barca low lifes.This just goes to show how much cesc is likely to stay a gooner.If he was going to go the would be no comments from the barca camp but by trying to pressure him through thugs(who claim to be his friends) to unsettle him they are scared.But by pushing him they will get not him.For this reason I think by Hleb saying that moving to barca was big mistake(which it was) he is warning cesc of how things might not go as planned.Cesc please don’t we will be great together

  5. ASNLthruNthru

    October 13, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Seeing Cesc holding up a major trophy at the end of the season would certainly help ward off the underhand tapping up of our Captain by the Bars- Tards.They are deliberately aiming for his heart knowing that he has a very strong bond with his Mentor,Wenger.He is made of strong stuff but we all have a breaking point.
    This season is crucial in maintaining a long standing,stable squad in order to prevent us from remaining in the so-called “selling club” category.
    It’s time to make history again!!

  6. Kodus

    October 13, 2009 at 3:37 am

    The article is just perfect and i personally consider barcelona approach arrogant and defeatist. Come to look at this, a team with Xavi, Alonso and others still making so much illegal noise about our committed captain is just a way of distabilising the player and our lovely team. All i can say is Cesc we love you and the club loves no one no one i repeat can love you best. UP GUNNERS

  7. g0on3r

    October 13, 2009 at 5:14 am

    maybe british journalists, many of them not arsenal fan. thats why they printed those stories so that fabregas unsettle and eventually leaves arsenal. they all know how good fabregas is and if he leaves arsenal, job done to weaken arsenal. they don’t even care premier league lost one of its finest player.

    • Comrade23

      October 13, 2009 at 10:03 am

      On the English side, this is precisely why such stories gain traction in the first place. It goes back to my long-standing belief that there is a palpable anti-Arsenal media bias in England, most pointedly among the red-tops (Old Twitchy himself is a regular contributor for the Sun!). As such, anything that could be seen to weaken Arsenal, especially among our top players (see the stories about Arshavin angling for more money due to higher taxes, subsequently rubbished by the player) gets top billing in the sports pages.

  8. ArsenalStation

    October 13, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I think we should be honest about Cesc to ourselves… yes, of course, he loves the club. He’s been here since he was 16 years old. Does he also love Barca? Yes. The time is not right for Cesc to go to Barcelona because he would not walk into their starting midfield. Cesc is not stupid… he’s going to stay at Arsenal until either Xavi or Iniesta are gone and he can go to Barca and walk into their starting XI and not a second before that. Barca want him now for depth purposes but Cesc is not going to do that and hence all the stuff in the media.

  9. aklilu

    October 13, 2009 at 10:39 am

    arsena IS MY heart felt always.i like wenger from
    deep of my heart.DON’T GO FABREGUS.

  10. sauel t dubagari

    October 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    i think fabregas is a fantastic player but arsenal should make good preparation to retain him in the club for atleast another season or two.

    • Comrade23

      October 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

      @Sauel, I don’t think Cesc will be going anywhere for at least three seasons. That said, I definitely agree that we need a plan in place for his eventual departure. I think the most logical candidates to replace Cesc in the future are Ramsey and Wilshere. Personally I think Jack has the more promise of the two, and possesses a game that is more like to Cesc’s. Not to say Ramsey is a lesser player, far from it. His game is just slightly different.

      • ArsenalStation

        October 13, 2009 at 7:29 pm

        Cesc isn’t going to Barcelona until he can be assured that he will be an immediate starter.

  11. Pingback: Blogobest » Архив блога » “Барселона”, “Реал” и Сеск — пока забудьте

  12. Kurtis Powers

    October 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    The worst and most ridiculous media lies stemmed today when the Spanish press has said Man Citeh is said to make a bid for Cesc. Desperation is an unattractive quality. I think the press should all f*ck off!

    • ArsenalStation

      October 16, 2009 at 8:32 am

      Some of the Man City blogs seem to think that Fabregas would choose them over Barca or Real Madrid. Talk about delusional!!! Selling Adebayor and Toure was one thing but Wenger would never sell Cesc to another Premier League club and I can’t see Cesc wanting to join another Premier League club.

  13. The Modern Gooner

    October 16, 2009 at 9:12 am

    What’s even funnier is that Robinho was all i the press yesterday saying how flattered he was and would love to go play for Barcelona alongside Henry. The best thing about that shit team in the Middle Eastlands is that the team has no security. Hughes could offer them more money but he’ll never be able to truly maintain a squad when the squad is full of self-seekers.

  14. Cesc Fabregas

    December 16, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Fabregas is one of the best players ever! He is so young yet so talented. He should be winning much more awards than he already is. At this pace, by the time he’s in his early 30’s he’ll definitely be crowned the best footballer.

  15. Рустам Карпин

    January 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Вообще, когда видишь такое, посещает мысль, а ведь это ж так просто, ну почему я это не смог придумать Респект автору 🙂

  16. aklilu

    January 18, 2010 at 9:20 am

    look how much important player for arsenal Fabre is.
    last day before his injury he scored 2 goals over astonvilla;yesterday after return he is able to score.

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