So Cesc is off then. So long and thanks for all the skill, the vision and the bushy eyebrows.
Is this an Arsenal crisis in the making? Wasn’t Wenger building that team around Fabregas? How can you replace a player as good as that? It takes a lot of money. But Wenger doesn’t like to spend a lot of money – almost nobly so in fact. So how is he going to fill that Cesc-sized hole in the side? Can the likes of Nasri actually play that role as well as Fabregas? It’s far from clear.
I wonder if the problem this has created for Wenger will make him question the point of staying on at Arsenal for much longer. Let’s face it he’s spent four of five years creating the side that was nearly really good this season but which once again won nothing. In reality he’s probably only got one more season left to get it right with a new era potentially dawning soon and the arrival of a new owner who will be keen to be seen as the new conquering hero.
Wenger has built up a massive amount of capital at Arsenal and it’s been slow to be diminished but slowly it is now draining away. Fans grow restless at clubs like Arsenal without silverware; they shouldn’t but they do. Another potless season would be the breaking point for many previously loyal Wenger acolytes and how much harder will winning anything be without Fabregas in the centre, dictating things? A lot harder, I would argue.
With the pressing need for a top class goalkeeper, cover at centre half and up front and now a play maker of the highest order, there is much work for Wenger to do in the coming months and whoever he brings in will have to work straight away if he’s to keep the fans on board en masse. Suddenly, it’s looking like a major rebuild at Arsenal, not just in the first team but as crucially in the squad in case injuries, as they seem to all too frequently do at Arsenal, wreck their season again. They badly need some added depth.
If making these changes proves difficult this summer might it be time for Arsene to walk away and to look for another challenge.
His best exit strategy would be to win something next season and then bow out on top. But with the rise of Spurs and City’s money and the continued strength of Chelsea and United, it’s all looking less likely than ever. If Liverpool ever get sold and get their act together surely they couldn’t be as poor as this season and will provide yet more competition for the north Londoners.
Is Arsene up for the fight? The next couple of months could be very interesting to watch at The Emirates. Revolution may well be in the air.