Fabregas : Lost in Translation


Another week and another foreign player returns to his homeland to give an interview and then after it appears embarrassing, decides that it was misreported. It is funny how frequently players find themselves misquoted when they are conversing in their own tongue rather than the language of their adopted country. For once it was a statement of clarity from the North London side. Cesc said that it is time for Arsenal to choose between developing players and simply winning. What he said was only what every true football fan in the country and the majority of Gooners believe. He should be applauded for his honesty, if not his tact. But it will give him something to ponder on the plane to Barcelona in the summer. He also said that if Wenger had been manager at either of the Spanish giants, then six years trophy-less would not be tolerated. Probably two years to be honest, but there is more chance of Jose Mourinho dispensing with all the mirrors in his house than a serial managerial loser hanging around long at one of the big two in La Liga.

It is beyond dispute that Arsenal are good to look at, but so is Kelly Brook and you wouldn’t fancy her turning out as a midfield enforcer for your club on a wet night in Blackburn. Less easy on the eye, is Stan Kroenke. ‘Silent’ Stan, as he is known, has taken the controlling interest at the Emirates and he may demand results after his investment, because at the current rate of progress Arsene will be dribbling into his porridge in a nursing home muttering “unbeatables” before a trophy rolls up. Hopefully Stan’s business acumen is better than his judgement of a hairstyle, or is it hairpiece? It is a rare man that can appear more like a 70’s porn star than ex-Chelsea keeper Ed de Goey, so hats off to him, although he would be well advised to follow the advice of Joe Cocker/Tom Jones and “Leave your hat on”.

United visited Wembley for the cup semi-final and when they deservedly lost, took it very badly. This is no surprise as this club are far from just bad losers, they are incapable even of winning with good grace. Mario Balotelli, with a wink and a tug at his badge at the final whistle, provoked a hilarious response from Rio Ferdinand who felt he was ‘dissed’, proof positive that you can take the boy out of Peckham, but you can’t take Peckham out of the boy. There was reportedly also damage to the dressing room wall found in the management area after the match. No suggestion was made as to the identity of the vandal, but there is no truth in the scurrilous rumour that there were red wine stains found in the vicinity. It is more probable that the offending marks were caused by Zabaleta’s blood dripping from Paul Scholes’ studs. But, good old Scholesy…. salt of the earth…. doesn’t mean it…. clumsy tackler…. nice guy…. AARGH!!!!

The Red Devils were unable to accept being outplayed and then waving goodbye to the dream of a treble. They would do well to count their blessings as they are still in the box seat in the premiership race and in the Champions League semi-final. Although if they cannot beat Man City at Wembley and are torn to pieces by Yaya Toure, what chance do they have against a brilliant Barcelona side in May? But, let’s face it, some people are never happy, for example, I saw a Japanese guy on the news this week, bemoaning his luck post-tsunami and appealing for donations, whilst quite clearly behind him he had two boats in his drive!!  

Harry Redknapp has called for a date change for the Man City – Stoke fixture that has been rearranged for after the Cup Final. The effect of this is that Stoke will qualify for Europe if they are Cup runners-up and City secure a top four place, so it could well be in their interest to lose. Harry, not for the first time, was a bit twitchy at the press conference, “No-one would say that Stoke would go there and try not to win, but ….” That is rubbish H, I would definitely say that and so, clearly, are you.

And finally, a couple of quick questions for you. Who is the most anonymous – Torres in a blue shirt or Nick Clegg in an election campaign? And who is approaching the season’s end most nervously – Arsenal’s back-four or Neil Lennon’s postman?

Enjoy the break and ignore the wedding.   


Sean Mathias

Leave a Comment