This hurts a lot. Cesc Fabregas was Arsenal. Even when he left, he was always a Gunner. While his exit back in 2011 was messy, there was some solace from knowing that he still loved the club that gave so much to him. Unlike Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie, Fabregas departed with some dignity. He wasn’t leaving to win trophies necessarily. He was leaving to go home. And you can never fault someone for that.
But today, Cesc has left home to return to London. But not to his beloved Arsenal. He is going to Chelsea – the antithesis of Arsenal. Mourinho’s style of soccer will see the end of the Fabregas that grew up in La Masia and developed at Arsenal. Gone will be the beautiful, graceful player that we all love. In its place will be a shadow of our captain – a player no longer driven by love for his club but rather by greed.
To a certain extent, you can’t fault a player for wanting to win trophies. But Barcelona will always offer that. Even in a down period, a team with Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and a slew of other stars will compete for every trophy there is. I would argue that in the sense of potential to win trophies, Chelsea does not top Barcelona. So why is Fabregas leaving?
He is quoted today as saying: “I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time to return. I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice. They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies.”
So much about what he said there annoys me. For one, the unfinished business was at Arsenal. Winning anything at Chelsea will not complete anything he failed to do for the Gunners. And second, his saying the desire to win trophies drove this move is ridiculous. As I said above, Barcelona is still a top club. It seems that he is hiding his real reasons. I’d like to hear him speak about why his dream return to Barcelona didn’t work out. Was it because they lacked ambition? Or was it because he just wasn’t good enough to get in the side?
I won’t fault Arsene Wenger for not resigning Fabregas because clearly he has changed from the boy who loved his clubs for what they meant to him. But I will fault the man himself. You made the wrong choice, Cesc. You could have done great things for Arsenal, restoring them to the top of the Premier League. But instead, you were greedy.
I hope when Chelsea visits Arsenal next year, Fabregas sees the error of his ways. I don’t want the crowd to shower him in boos, because our former captain deserves better. But I hope nobody acknowledges him as a hero. Because this is not the same Cesc Fabregas that loved Arsenal and Barcelona. Goodbye, Cesc. You were once a hero of mine. But now, you are just another unlikable Jose Mourinho pawn. I don’t wish you luck. You made the wrong choice. And you just broke my heart.