Arsenal World Cup Match Day 19: Fabregas Again Surplus As Spain See Off Portugal

A bit of an Admin note here to start things off.  Yesterday, reader Dave M asked in the comments why Arsenal FC Blog haven’t been covering the Laurent Koscielny news.  It’s a good question, and there’s a simple answer.  Rather an Occam’s Razor-type thing, really.  Before Andy took off on his wild, Football Nomad World Cup adventure, he asked that we keep the blog focused on Arsenal players who are engaged at the World Cup.  Andy didn’t want to have the blog spend the summer hashing out all the transfer potential ins & outs as a running topic of the articles.  But, we did agree that when any transfer is officially announced on the, we’ll give it full coverage.  Now, that’s not to say we don’t want to discuss transfers, especially seeing as how we’re down to the last two Arsenal players at the World Cup now.  So, while I might not write any articles concerning the 119 players or so who’re linked with a move to the Emirates, I am just as interested as everyone else.  If you’ve got a viewpoint, comment, news or what have you on transfers, by all means let ‘er rip in the comments section and we can have our deliberations there.   🙂

Spain met Portugal yesterday in an Iberian slug fest.  Well, there wasn’t too much slugging from Portugal, really, as David Villa put them to the sword midway through the second half for the 1-0 Spain win.  I was really hoping for a display of attacking football excellence from this match.  A scintillating visual orgasm of positive football.  Instead we got a rather tepid affair after a promising opening to the match.  Ronaldo was almost nonexistent for Portugal, Spain were content to consume as much time as possible by keeping possession at midfield and looking for the opportune break on occasion and in the end, an Oscar-worthy bit of acting by Capdevila to draw the red card against Portugal’s Ricardo Costa.  Looking at the statistics, Spain should have had this in the bag early, controlling 61% of the possession, out shooting Portugal 19-9 and leading 10-3 in shots on goal.  The lone goal came on 63 minutes by way of some very nice link up play between Xabi Alonso, Iniesta and Xavi at the top of the box, with Xavi having the final touch to David Villa who put home the match winner after his initial shot was thwarted by the Portugal keeper.  Spain now move on to face Paraguay in the quarterfinals on Saturday.


Cesc Принимает Роль Как Более теплая Скамья

You can stop rubbing your eyes now.  The headline above reads, loosely, “Cesc Assumes Role As Bench Warmer”.  In Russian.  Hey, how many times can I write that Cesc didn’t even get on the pitch and have you not fall asleep?  I have to spice it up somehow!  In any event, yes, Cesc again was surplus to requirements for Spain.  And while I’m sure he’s happy they’re advancing to the quarterfinals, it’s got to be grinding his last gear that he’s played roughly 60 minutes of football so far in this World Cup.  Hardly the marquee performance we all know he’s capable of.

The first foto below is the only proof that we have of Cesc actually being at the match.  Or so I thought.  The second foto clearly shows that Cesc has been tasked with the uber-important role of helping the Spain supporters keep good spirits in the stands.

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Get yourselves over to Football Nomad.  Sharpish!  Andy’s posted his latest video from Durban, and you’ll really want to check it out!

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Have your say on Arsenal’s participation in the World Cup by leaving a comment.



  1. Cesc not playing for Spain could help us really. If he sees what things could be like at Barca then there’s a possibility that he may decide to stay with us for another season (though, personally I’m almost definite that he’s gone if we get the right offer)

  2. I think that game will really open everyone’s eyes to the fact that Cesc is going nowhere at least for the coming season. It would be exactly the same for him at Barca and he is WAY smarter than to want to sit anywhere on a bench. Cesc is the m****rf***in man and he will provide for the mighty arse this coming season. We believe in you Cesc. Please remember, this is one intelligent young man we are blessed to have on our team, which is really abnormal for most young men we know, let alone footballers who get paid more in a week than we make in a year. Well most of us anyway, myself included!

  3. Too be honest Andy, Cesc is very similar to the midfield trio used by Spain and thats why I don’t think he’s getting a game. I unfortunately think that if he goes to Barca he better get used to sitting on the bench! On a positive note, the Argentinian ref was great last night, he took no crap form the divers on both sides, however I’m glad Spain went through, Portugal were so negative. This negative approach sadly has been adopted by a lot of teams during this tourament. Not my idea of world cup footie I’m afraid.

  4. F’gas will sit on the bench if the money is right – he should care if he plays or not if the Euros are the right number! Remember Wenger is his tutor who himself prefers making money to winning trophies!
    Perhaps you have not noticed as yet the the game is all about money with ability the product for sale.
    The Arsenal boss… Wenger!
    Have you guys not learned that Wenger is a player trafficker rather than a trophy hunter!
    He gets paid to make money not to win trophies!!!
    We shall again be stretching our arse to stay in the top 4 this season… in fact My money goes to Arsenal being outside the top 4… Wenger has to spend on players rather than setting up a pre league playschool… this he is not known for.

  5. I agree with Hans,if we make the top four next season i think that will be the best we can hope for

  6. Top four? That’s really all you guys are expecting?

    We were 10 points off the pace this year without van Persie for nearly 6 months, Bendtner for 3 months, Cesc was in and out of the lineup the second half of the year, Arshavin was in a total mental funk after Russia failed to qualify for the World Cup, Theo was out / recovering from injury almost all year, Song was out at the end, Diaby was out at the end, Denilson and Nasri were on and off the pitch at the end of the season and we were down to 2 CB’s whose combined age was 70 years old.

    And we still were ONLY 10 points off the pace.

    Given a fit RVP, a fully healthy Bendtner, Chamakh, Vermaelen with a year of EPL experience under his belt, Arshavin back and rejuvenated about football, Cesc in the middle (as I don’t think he’s going anywhere), Koscielny and maybe 2 more additional CB’s (or 1 CB and a CB/DCM hybrid player to cover for Song) I think we’ll have a shot at challenging for the title. Yes, like any team we’ll have to have some things go our way, but getting everyone back from the WC in good health should see us starting the season in the strongest position we’ve seen in a couple years. The key, as always, is to maintain that health throughout the season. That’s why I think there are more additions coming to the squad than we’ve been led to believe in order to have cover for potential injuries.

  7. Every team has injurys and hard luck stories mike. Arsene just cant make the big signings we need to push on.

  8. I’m also glad that Fab is warming the bench as the less he plays, the better it is for us next season. Ok, you’re right, if the right offer comes in he’s gone. And that’s a BIG hole in our midfield. But if he stays and I think we can avoid the injuries of the past 2 years we certainly have a chance for the Prem. It’s fantastic to see Van Persie doing what he does best and almost singularly, he was our downfall last season getting injured. I know, I know, we will get injuries again and possibly blame them AGAIN on our failure however we DO have new faces and to be honest, buying well known faces doesn’t always bring success. Ask Man City. Look at Man Utd bringing in that Mexican forward BEFORE he started scoring goals in the WC. Great business and he looks sharp. Chamakh, Van Persie, Arshavin, Walcott and Fab: what a mouthwatering combination. And a new kit to boot. Chin up boys, it’s going to be a great season.

  9. Mike Urbanski
    Do you know what mate? Virtually word for word, your points are what I have been trying to drum into the doomers and gloomers for weeks. Well said! If only every Gooner could see it as you do clearly do.

  10. jim bob –

    It’s not about “big” signings. It’s about the RIGHT signings. AW will have more freedom to shop this summer and has spoken about the money in a more positive way than I can ever recall him doing. Not in a way that he’s looking at how big he can go, price tag wise, but that he has the financial freedom to buy the players he wants. That has not been the case the last few years.

    If it’s really your assertion that Arsenal’s injuries last year were every bit as manageable as every other Premiership squad, well, you’re just not giving credit to the players who took us so close to winning. We had EIGHT players with broken bones last season. Yes, EIGHT. Sure, injuries are normal, and they must be managed through squad depth. But that does not mean buying guys with huge price tags just because they have huge price tags. It means adding depth to the squad and effectively managing playing time when there aren’t injuries so that when the injuries do come, the squad is prepared. We simply haven’t been in the financial position to add too much in any one transfer window these last couple years.

    If you’d like an excellent, detailed view of Arsenal’s financial situation I’ll direct you to visit Untold Arsenal ( There are quite a few articles on Tony Attwood’s site that deal with the financial side of things.

  11. jaygooner –

    Thanks. 🙂

    I really don’t know where some folks find joy in following Arsenal if their comments only consist of: The manager sucks, the players suck, the transfers suck, we never buy anyone (or anyone that I want!), youth project has failed…etc…etc…etc…

    Thankfully, this site does not see the D&G Brigade to a great extent. The folks who read and comment here usually take a pretty even handed approach about things.

    Personally, I feel privileged to be a Gooner. When we win, I’m elated. When we lose, I’m gutted. But I always feel joy when I watch Arsenal play. I want to win trophies as much as any Arsenal supporter. But Arsenal do not have a “right” to a trophy. Every season is new, and the squad that takes the pitch from the preseason to the last match in May gets my support no matter what.

  12. The Russian line actually reads: “Cesc assumes the role as a warmer bench”

    What, did he used to be a cooler bench recently? *LOL* Online translators suck, you know.

  13. I see we have been linked with the german centre back per mertesacker today,he looks like a good player and i’d be happy if we signed him. I’ve been very impressed with juan,the brazilian centre back. I know lucio is their main man at the back but Juan looks excellent. Seen a report today saying we are looking to sign Ozil but barcelona are also interested,if barca are looking to sign Mascherano,fab,torres and now Ozil surely they cant sign them all. I think we could have a chance at getting Ozil.

  14. Nice post Akram,i think you could have a future in commentary with comments like that ha ha ha

  15. Lately Cesc is talking of posssibly staying at the Emirates.I think he’s a bit dissapointed with being on bench at the WC and fears same may happen at Barca,considering Xavi,Iniesta,Bris starting with Spain n they’ll still be he’s team mates.The only difference is experience n i don’t c Cesc playing first team immediately at Barca,it may take one or two seasons due to Xavi obviously.He has seen what being on the bench is like for a full captain of a big club like Arsenal n i’m sure he won’t let this happen again considering he’s age.He gud n hitting form at his peak.This some how gives me hope,he may stay,if he goes those might be the demerits he may face.

  16. It’s good that the world cup took place before the start of the new season. Now our captain Fabregas can see for himself that he will always be a surplus in Barcelona with Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and sergio busquets in the team. He will end up warming the bench most of the time. I don’t mean to say that Fabregas is less skilled than the other three, what i mean is that those guys will always be preferred ahead of him.
    Just tell me how many of our player that left for the so called greener pasture actually did well? Henry ? No. Hleb? No. Flamini? No. Sol? No. Viera? No…Pires? Yes!! to some extend… what abt the others??
    So i’ll advise Fabregas to stay at Arsenal for few more seasons and see how it goes..

    Another news is that 24 year old David Silva from Valencia had agreed on a four year deal with Man Shits for 26m pound. I believe he is a very good player and would have done us good if we could sign him. But i guess 26m would have been too expensive for Arsenal..

    Just waiting for the new season to start and see what new players we have signed…

  17. @ Hans.I think its un fare to labelled AW a player traffiker who does not want to win trophies.Going down memory lane we all know how many trophies he has won for Asernal.I believe every contributions on this blog should be done educatively and intelligently.Mike I commend well thought write ups on the WC.Let us support the club with our positve contributions.

  18. hey guys vanpercy has only scored 1 goal i think he should keep his mouth shut an hit the net just thought u should no

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