Losing Henry meant the end of an era. We saw what happened last year for Arsenal without him. They had trouble scoring, but still managed to keep a Champion’s League spot.
When he was sold this summer to Barcelona, the blow was lightened by the fact that we had already survived a season without him. Many pundits were saying that Arsenal were going to fall apart and that Henry leaving meant the end of success.
This is not the case, however, and there have been less articles saying this since the dust settled. Obviously, losing Arsene Wenger would be the hardest thing ever for Arsenal to take. Then we could assume that Arsenal are in crisis.
I believe that Wenger is going to sign a new contract, so I’m not necessarily worried about that. He has waited until the end to sign new contracts on all previous occasions in the past. In terms of players, the biggest loss for the Arsenal would be Spanish midfielder Francesc Fabregas.
With Schuster signing on as coach of Real Madrid, he has opened the rumor floodgates of Arsenal players leaving yet again. Apparently on his shopping list was Arjen Robben from Chelsea, Kaka from AC Milan, and Fabregas. It seems now that AC Milan have issued a “hands off” warning on Kaka. According to Marca, Schuster is now focusing on Fabregas. Apparently he believes that since Thierry is gone, Fabregas won’t stay because he feels the team will be unsuccessful. The only way the team would be unsuccessful is actually if Fabregas did leave.
Arsene has essentially built the team around Cesc since he emerged as a very worthy replacement for Patrick Viera. Almost every attack is started through the young midfielder. His amazing vision of the field and uncanny ability to piss every opposing coach and player off is something that money can’t buy. He is irreplaceable. Sure Arsenal has very talented backup in Diaby and Denilson, but no one compares to Cesc.
With Cesc being in the center of the field, he plays a much more active role in the team than Henry did in recent years. Thierry had a few games where he just completely disappeared, but Arsenal were still able to pull through for the victory. When Cesc is having a rare off-day, Arsenal seems to lose a large part of their creativity. Luckily, Cesc has the stamina to play what seems to be 100s of games in a row without taking a day off. This actually shows a large weakness in the way Arsenal play. What would happen if Fabregas were to get hurt at the beginning of next season? Or worse, what would happen if Fabregas requested a transfer to Spain?
It is well known that Fabregas wants to play back in Barcelona some day. And who can blame him for wanting to play for his boyhood favorite team. But if Arsenal were to lose Fabregas this transfer season, we would be in BIG trouble.
I don’t think Cesc will leave this season. I don’t think Arsenal will go into a crisis. I actually think next season will be a very successful one for them, even though everyone seems to think they won’t even get fourth. Why? I don’t know. But, you never know what could happen in football. I could blink and before I knew it Cesc could be feeding those sharp passes to Ruud van Nistelrooy. Here’s hoping that that doesn’t happen.