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.