Tag Archive: Cesc Fabregas

The most expensive man in football - but is Gareth Bale enough for Real Madrid to overturn their arch-rivals, in Spain or in Europe? (Image via faniq)

The most expensive man in football – but is Gareth Bale enough for Real Madrid to overturn their arch-rivals, in Spain or in Europe? (Image via faniq)

It has to be said – we are all relieved that the football season is now back in action. A lot of transfers have occurred this summer with a lot of teams willing to spend immense sums, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona (on Gareth Bale and Neymar respectively), and others choosing not to break the bank such as Manchester United.

The Armchair Pundits takes a look at the potential fortunes of the big 3 in Europe and offer predictions of who will be league champions in their respective countries.

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Eight seasons, one trophy | Robin van Persie looks set to depart north London in the best form of his entire career. (Image | The Telegraph)

Robin van Persie has shown Arsenal none of the respect the club and its supporters deserve. Perennially injury-stricken, the 28-year-old only demonstrated his full potential during last season. Until then, van Persie had missed at least 10 games every year.

Despite this, his goalscoring record for Arsenal is hardly shameful. 96 goals in 194 league games, more or less a goal every two matches. The frustration and disappointment of Gunners supporters is entirely understandable, as on so many occasions over the past year, van Persie has been carrying the team.

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A big loss | Robin van Persie, at many times last season, carried the Arsenal team. (Image | Soccerball 365)

When the news about Arsenal captain Robin van Persie was released last week, it was to be expected that Gunners supporters would take to social media in their droves to bemoan the impending departure of their hero.

A personal friend of mine referred to van Persie as “spineless” for leaving the club in its current state (without a trophy for several years and following a considerably poor season) and as current captain.

What he is forgetting, however, is that Cesc Fabregas, a former Arsenal skipper, departed when the Gunners were in a similar situation. He argues that the Spanish midfielder’s decision to leave was more justifiable, as he was moving on to his childhood team, FC Barcelona.

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Narrow victory | Spain have hardly set Euro 2012 alight, and many have poured scorn on their relatively painless route to the final. (Image | The Guardian)

It is quite shocking that current world and European champions, Spain, have been criticised for adopting a boring playing style. Despite reaching their third final in as many tournaments and continuing with their famous tiki-taka football, critics have unleashed a wave of attacks that has seen the tide of opinion go against Spain. A team that are one game away from a record third successive tournament win, who were once admired and celebrated among football critics and fans alike, face increased pressure to not only emerge victorious over Italy on Sunday evening, but to do so in a manner that will silence the critics.

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They might be getting used to this feeling, but will Spain be standing atop another winners’ podium come July 1? (Image | http://www.9footballshirt.com)

After last night’s nervy performance from Portugal, we already know one of the four teams headed to the European Championships’ final four. After Germany presumably cruise past Greece tonight, the last two places will be set by the two most intriguing quarter final encounters.

Spain, reigning European and world champions, have failed to reach their own heady heights thus far at this tournament. They will face a France side looking to bounce back from an unlikely defeat at the hands of Sweden, while the last quarter final features the resurgent England and the ever unpredictable Italy.

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Germany international Lukas Podolski has agreed a deal to join Arsenal at the end of this season

Arsenal pulled off a major coup this morning, announcing that they have a deal in place with Bundeslige club 1.FC Köln to sign experienced German international Lukas Podolski.

The deal, reported by the BBC to be worth £10.9m, brings another major name to an Arsenal squad which has ditched a long-standing refusal to sign established players. And Podolski, the sharp-shooting forward who can play up front or out wide on his preferred left flank, brings another valuable asset to the Emirates as a man who attract some of a defence’s attention away from Robin van Persie.

The two should make an enthralling strike partnership next season. If, of course, van Persie is still at the club by the time Podolski makes his Premier League debut.

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