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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Fabregas is reason why Arsenal can afford to let Vieira go

Pat has gone. The man who spearheaded the Wenger revolution departs after nine seasons of service. I wish him well at Juventus as he embarks upon his new challenge.

He arrived at Highbury in August 1996 as an unknown AC Milan reserve. He leaves as Arsenal and French captain. This sums up his impact in the Arsenal shirt. His legacy is that he will go down as one of the all-time Arsenal greats.

Two doubles (one as captain); one more league championship; two more FA Cups; captain of the Arsenal 49ers. But more than that: a pivotal part of the best pure footballing team I have witnessed.

To win is great. Too win in style is awesome! Pat was key to this.

20 million Euros (£13.7 million) is about right for a 29 year old who increasingly suffers from niggling injuries.

The emergence of Fabregas is the reason why there is no need to fear the departing of Vieira.

Fabregas and Vieira did not entirely work as a partnership because both needs a defensive partner a'la Gilberto/Petit/Grimandi to mind the defence so to allow them to do damage further up the pitch. Fabregas' performances demanded first team status; but Pat played best with Gilberto.

In the FA Cup final Arsene tried to use all three of Gilberto, Vieira, and Francesc in the middle. But this is not the game Arsenal is used too and they got congested playing a system alien to the one that has bought Wenger his success.

Now with Pat gone the dilemma of 'three into two' also goes. Gilberto and Fabregas complement each other and are a partnership that I believe in.

A commentator on EFT last night suggested Kolo converting to a back-up utility midfielder, and I like this suggestion. His first season at Arsenal was played in midfield; and he has the energy and distribution to perform well at this task.

Wenger will use the Vieira money to strengthen our side. Personally, I would love it to be used to help fund a bid for Shaun Wright-Phillips. With a talisman figure gone, it will be positive if a 'future great' came into the club. As an Arsenal fan, and son of an Arsenal legend, he is made for the club. He will be a lock-on success in an Arsenal shirt.

Today is about the departure of an Arsenal legend. Tomorrow it will begin with Thierry as captain and Wenger plotting a new era of success with a couple of big names joining the club. I look forward to seeing who is bought in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Old Lady thanks you. forza Juve!

Good luck fighting for 4th spot

7/14/2005 7:11 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

errr .... juve my arse.

You just spent up to 14 million pounds on a player approaching THIRTY .... thats just about all your budget this year, for a 29 year old way past his best that suffers from constant niggling injuries.

Looks like we'r not the one's who are gonna be fighting for 4th spot. Besides, the vieiri shevchenko partnership will rip you apart in serie a for the next few seasons.

7/14/2005 7:18 pm

Anonymous re:Yes! said...

oh dear, you must be bored to death by the italian football...

7/14/2005 7:20 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article is the biggest amount of trash I've ever seen written online.

1 - Fabregas is still a kid - he doesn't have the phsique or fitness to be a regular first choice - he played too many games last season, without being a regular, and was clearly burned out long before he got a break.

2 - Playing in midfield is a lot more than about energy - you need composure and intelligence in distribution and awareness to play in the middle of the park. Kolo has none of this and will NEVER be a great CM.

3 - Shaun Wright-Phillips (hereafter SWP) is the most overrated player the Premiership has seen since David Beckham. If he wasn't related to Ian, no gunner would want him, but as it is most think he's the second coming of Maradonna. And what's this tosh about 'future great'? He's 23 (24 just after the start of next season). If he was going to be great, he'd be quite a way along that road by now, whereas in reality he doesn't hold a candle to genuine footballing talents (Rooney, Robinho, Torres, Joaquin). He's a good player, no doubt, but he's not that good, not worth the money he'd cost, and we don't need a winger.

Vieira now needs replacing. We STILL need a striker who can bring us something different. We STILL need some extra cover in the centre of defence. We STILL need someone to play in goal for the first two CL games. And when I see gooners getting gooey over some overrated winger who will be very little improvement on an already massively overcrowded position, I feel nothing short of sick. He's decent. Nothing more, nothing less. He'll never be world class, and I don't want him at Arsenal now or ever. If Wenger somehow thinks that this guy can replace Vieira, he's misguided. If he signs him now, he's apologising to the fans for letting one of our greatest and most important players go when he wasn't able to replace him. I, for one, won't be appeased. Vieira needs replacing with a PROPER player, not somebody who knows somebody.

No SWP, I don't like you.

Yes, I'm sad, yes, I'm angry, but right now, Wenger has my trust going into the next season. It was his call to make, and he's carried us through times like this before. SWP, Ricardo, or maybe even Jenas, with no new striker or cover for the defence would DEFINITELY be a breach of that trust, as far as I'm concerned.

One upset, and confused gooner.

7/14/2005 7:21 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, I think we need Ballack, he is 28 & in the LAST year of a contract so would go for about 3-5 Million.
What do you think as I cannot believe his name has not come up yet?

7/14/2005 7:26 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ballack won't leave for 3-5 million. Sorry, just won't happen. Bayern would rather let him leave on a free than take that little. He'll cost 15 mil, and for a player that old, no matter how good he is, I don't think he's worth it.

7/14/2005 7:29 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever been to turin?

Thought not... Too bad there are no longer any trophy winning clubs in Manchester, eh...

7/14/2005 7:34 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ballack was at Colney today, official, this is probably why anonymous above is suggesting him?
15 Million? Tin Bath!! He will go for under 7Mil

7/14/2005 7:36 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jealous are we?

Don't worry mate, it's not trophies that are important, it's moral victories that count.

What a sad little world it must be up north.

Ballack at Colney? My arse. He'll sign a new contract with Bayern before coming here.

7/14/2005 7:40 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and if something's 'official', it means it's been made official by the club. Not by you, on a message board

7/14/2005 7:41 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the above anonymous - chill out, he's not a Juve fan, he's a manc, a spud or a Chav on the windup, I wouldn't worry too much.

Or he's just one of those fans who supports 'whoever's winning'.

7/14/2005 7:50 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess our friends in Turin haven't seen Paddy's play the last couple of season's. I thank him and wish him well. I also suggest the Turin boys talk to Barca and Real Madrid about what successful steals Anelka, Petit, and Overmars.

The only transfer I would weep is Mr. Wenger.

7/14/2005 7:51 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys, haven't Team Manchester got a guy named after a city in Brazil who wants to go work as a wide reciever for the Moscow Allstarts?

7/14/2005 8:01 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that Vieira was babysitting for most of the season. Check out his performances when Gilberto came back in the team and he had a partner he could rely on defensively (save the FA Cup final, but then the whole team was crap that day), he was at his best then.

7/14/2005 8:14 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like many am sad to see him go but life goes on, and although I hesitate to use the old cliche 'nobody is bigger than the club', it is and always will be absolutely true.

Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wish Patrick the best of luck for the future.

7/14/2005 8:19 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah hes a wanna be juve fan/manure supporting wanker. see we got rid of our midfield general now that hes worth sumthing before he further declines, unlike the mancs who have past his sell date keane running around with a walker. keane is older than viera right?

anyways, on to elite talk. maybe wenger thought it best to cash in on paddy now than wait two years when hell be worth less. this wasnt his best year, and i didnt see him really improving. i dont see fabregas replacing him, more like gilberto to take over his spot and hopefully flamini doing the durty work while fabregas and hleb push forward. this is the only way its going to work. has SWP commited to mancity? if he hasnt i see us getting him. wenger has something up his sleeve, and im sure hes itching to spend the 20 mill he just got.
i wish i could say the silence from robinho and real means we still have a chance, but i doubt it.
im thinking torres? recoba? saviola? i have a feeling its a striker. ..

7/14/2005 8:41 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty sure I read somewhere that Ballack was going to sign a new contract at BM. Viera going is a major dent in Arsenal's title challenge unless they sign someone of his quality though.

Fabregas and Flamini are excellent players but are yet to properly establish themselves as world class players the quality of Viera. Wenger knows this and will surely bring someone in.

Doubt it will be Ballack though - too big a name for Wenger imho.

7/14/2005 9:11 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Arsenal will definately need to replace Vieira with someone class. Someone in the 23-26 age range. (PLEASE DON'T SIGN GUTI!!!!)

I don't see how Ballack would be coming here. He is a good player, but at 28, I don't know how he would cope with the physical elements of the Premiership.

I agree with the sentiments of the poster who disagreed with the Kolo to CM position. I can't see him playing there. Lets get him sorted at Centre-Back first.

He definitely need a Striker. Now it looks like Baptista will be going to Barca, but he wouldn't have gotten a passport anyway, so who will it be now?

I also don't think that Fabregas will be the answer just yet. He will keep getting better, but I am not sure about playing against Keane, or any other physical midfielder in the Prem, at least not yet.

Flamini will be good as well, but not yet, so we clearly need a replacement.

It should be interesting.

7/15/2005 12:13 am

Anonymous Kutz said...


Kolo, not a CM. Only a backup in case of injury, and in that case I think I'd play Ralph and put Kolo on the right of defense. (But haven't thought that through.)

Yeah, we really need a Striker, and another CM. 3 CMs, with only 1 of them proven and toughened, is not enough.

Let's see what Arsene's got in the bag...

Ps. Rumours are we're looking at a Uruguayan keeper named *honestly* Viera.

7/15/2005 4:21 am

Anonymous JJ ON HIS WAY??? said...




7/15/2005 11:01 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need a central Defender for obvious reasons: Sol is too old and injury prone, the sight of Kolo playing CD in champions league footbal sends shivers down my spine, Senderos is promoising but still youg and lacks experience, as for Cygan... I can hardly believe that we still are not looking for a proper CD.

Midfieldwise, Fabregas is great but he is still young, frail and certainly cant play for the whole seaon (premier league, champions League, FA cup..). We therefoe need a proper replacement for Viera. Jenas might be the man although I'd rather go for Baptista.

As for goalkeepers, the reaon why we are not in the market is I presume cause none of the decent ones are available. Also, Jens is not that bad provided he's got proper cover in front of him.

7/15/2005 11:42 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its obvious that Wenger will make another signing to fill in that so-called 'gap' in the squad, but as many have noticed, Arsenal played some of their best football with Cesc. Questions raised over whether he's ready are not an issue, because he did it last season and still contibuted with a fair share of assists. Having tasted regular first team football in the heart of midfield, don't you think he's probably trained harder over the summer period to build on his physique. He's a magnificent talent and some have already seen him as a future Zidane. Goals will start to fly, as he has one hell of a killer shot that wasn't really tested last season. Sky sports have announced on their website that Seville want to sell Baptista this summer and with Barcelona reluctant to make a bid, it might be the right time to spend the cash on a midfielder that has such great versatility. Shaun Wright-Philips would also be a good signing, but i do have a feeling we need a physical presence at the centre, who can intimidate our rivals. In my opinion the 'BEAST' fits the bill.

7/15/2005 12:11 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the guy that feels SWP is the "most over-rated player since David Beckham", that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life.

SWP is one of the best wingers I have ever seen, every1 at Man City knows it and its why managers like Wenger and Mourinho are trying to sign him.

If you watched an ounce of football last year, you would have realised this, the boy is incredible. Hes got pace,strength, a cross and has a fantastic finish. If you watched him tear up our team at Highbury this season you would agree with me, I've never seen anything like it in my life.

I think signing Ballack is a very good idea. Firstly, 28 is not old by any means, he still has a good 4 years at the top, hes the same age as TH14! Secondly he would be a good compliment to Gilberto and is a world class replacement for a world class player, whereas I'm less sure that Jenas is in this calibre.

Whatever it is, Im sure le Boss has a few up his sleeve

7/15/2005 2:07 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vieira has been Arsenal's most important player in the last nine years. No other player has contributed more to Arsenal's overall game. To say we can let Vieira go because we have Fabregas is nonsense. Fabregas is very skillful and a great passer but he cannot cover the ground Vieira can and he will never be able to dominate a game like Vieira. Midfield was Arsenal's weak spot last season, Gilberto was out as was Edu and Parlour was gone. This left Vieira and Fabregas, Vieira was forced to cover and tackle for two players because as I said Fabregas lacks physical presence. It was no coincidence that we regained some form when Gilberto and Vieira were reunited. Your views show how unappreciated Vieira was and how fickle some Arsenal fans are. Last season we missed Parlour, Gilberto and Edu so imagine how much we will miss Vieira ? This is Wenger's biggest gamble mainly because it is going to be impossible to replce Vieira.

7/15/2005 3:28 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No mention of Hleb! He is a central midfielder/wide player, I wonder if he has made such a big impression on AW he sees him playing with Gilberto? I look foward to the friendlies!

7/15/2005 8:05 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, we played some of our best football when Gilberto was paired with Fabregas. This season in particular, Paddy was much less defensive-minded, scoring his highest total goals ever. He and Fabregas just weren't balanced. In fact, he's always played with a more defensive midfielder - Petit, Grimandi, Parlour (he played more defensively with Vieira). I agree, though, that we'll miss Vieira, and that our midfield strength is obviously far less than the past two seasons. It's still a tribute to the team though that we were able to finish second without Parlour, with Edu in a cameo role, and Vieira off form for most of the season.

7/17/2005 6:41 pm


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