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Jamie Clarke - Wenger prepares for max exodus

Published: 04 Jul 2011 - 12:11:38

With Wimbledon now over and the David Haye show also coming to an end, football will return to the forefront once more – where some key issues were left unresolved.

Last week, or should we say the last two years, the Cesc Fabregas will he won’t he saga has continued to linger despite two failed attempts from Barcelona in the past couple of seasons. Fabregas has made it clear despite the odd loyalty pledge to Arsenal that he wants to return to his former club. His manager, Arsene Wenger, has gone to all sorts of lengths and made endless promises to keep the Spaniard at the club but it would seem that Wenger himself has succumb to defeat this time around. After a poor end to the season, which saw Arsenal drop from possible title contenders to a fourth placed finish and a shock defeat to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final. Fabregas may feel the time is now right to move on.

The fear for many Arsenal fans is that; if Fabregas goes, others may also. This is being played out in front of their own eyes right now, as Samir Nasri now looks set to leave the Gunners. Nasri has already stalled on contract negotiations with the club and has made it clear that he wants to be winning trophies. This has lead to both Manchester clubs eyeing up a possible move and there is a strong belief that this is looking more likely by the day. Losing Fabregas would be a huge blow but to lose Nasri also would be a disaster for Wenger. Nasri stepped up brilliantly during Fabregas early season injury and was at the centre of everything during his absence. Robin Van Persie has added to Wenger’s woes and has expressed his hurt at hearing that both Fabregas and Nasri could be leaving the club. If Van Persie were to leave also, than Arsenal would be in deep trouble. This is far more than simply adding a couple of players to strengthen the squad – Wenger would need to seriously dig deep and find not just good players, but world class ones at that.

Wenger’s dream of building a great Arsenal side looks to be in tatters and is set to collapse in embarrassment for the Frenchman with the inevitable departure of Fabregas and Nasri. Year upon year he has pledged that his young team (not so young now) would become one of the best teams in the Premier League and in Europe. A six-year wait without a trophy and a similar squad throughout the same period would show that things have not gone quite according to plan for Wenger. Fabregas was introduced to the Arsenal side on the backdrop of Wenger’s last great squad – the invincibles. The Spaniard, who took over as captain when Thierry Henry left (Ironically to Barcelona), was meant to lead Arsenal into a new era. This like Wenger’s dream, though, has not panned out, as he would have hoped.

Either way, Wenger had to rebuild this summer but not to the extent to which he may need to now. The emergence of Jack Wilshere may ease Wenger’s and Arsenal fans pain with the young Englishman putting in some fine performances last season. There were times when he outplayed the Spaniard and some may see Fabregas leaving as a good thing. This looks unlikely though. Wenger deep down still believes that a few additions to the squad could propel the club for another title challenge. Gervinho looks certain to sign, which is not really going to sort the underlying problem at Arsenal. It has always been about the goalkeeper or centre of defence. And with the likelihood of Fabregas and Nasri or worse, Van Persie also – Wenger may become distracted and look to improve these areas first before mending the key areas, which have been his undoing for some time now.

You can follow Jamie @jamiejourno


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As football grows more ludicrous by the minute and transfer fees continue to spiral out of control, there is never a dull minute in the most beautiful and controversial sport on the planet. Still young, at the tender age of just 22, I aim to write in depth analysis on the current issues in English football and with an admiration for other European leagues – I hope this can aid my writing with the increase of foreign managers and players in the top division. I have lived in Cambridge for my entire life with a brief stay in Southampton, whilst I completed my Sports Journalism degree at Solent University. As a kid, I was not forced to support my father’s team (as he did not have one) so I went for the glory route and picked up Manchester United as my favoured club. However, as I got older I began to figure out what football was all about and I decided to switch allegiances to yep, Ipswich Town. A club close to Cambridge, I saw this as the best choice. But you may still see me defending United as they are still a club I admire. Things I hate in football are: Chairmen who sack managers for no reason, players who demand huge wages when they quite clearly don't deserve them, players demanding transfers after signing long term deals, FIFA, deluded football fans (mostly Liverpool) and I am sure more will be added to the list. You can follow me on Twitter @jamiejourno

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