Gunners can laugh off Mourinho’ Cesc claim
Jose Mourinho’s claim that Cesc Fabregas never really wanted to return to Arsenal this summer will quite rightly be laughed off by most Gunners fans.
Mourinho says his transfer business is now complete after he followed up the capture of Fabregas from Barcelona with similar eye-catching deals for Atletico Madrid’s star duo Diego Costa and Filipe Luis.
The Chelsea boss has the look of a contented man but his latest somewhat inflammatory comments about Fabregas should – like a lot of his outpourings last season – be taken with a big pinch of salt.
As we know, the Portuguese coach likes nothing more than winding up his opponents in the media and this year it appears he is starting early. Seasoned observers of the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager are well aware he revels in taking often snidy, underhand swipes at other clubs, their managers, and tactics. For Mourinho nothing is really off limits – he’ll say what he wants to try and get what he thinks is a slight psychological advantage.
The problem he has, however, is that most of his fellow coaches, players and fans are now totally wise to his so-called mind-games and will generally dismiss his trash-talking with a wry smile. He attempted to get under the skin of both Arsene Wenger and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, amongst others, last season without too much success and the Arsenal manager will not be bothered by his latest outburst on Fabregas.
For what it’s worth, Cesc’s first choice was clearly to return to the Emirates when it became clear Barca were willing to let him leave. It is widely known he had plenty of input into the clause in his contract that meant the Gunners would be given first option and he was very happy with the arrangement. The fact Wenger decided to pass on the opportunity to bring him back should be seen as an encouraging sign – he knows he has quality in abundance in central midfield already – and couldn’t guarantee Fabregas a regular starting role in the new season. Wenger is blessed with plenty of options and will rely on Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta so, after weighing up Fabregas’ potential return, he simply decided there was no room for him in his squad.
Plenty of Gunners fans would, of course, have welcomed him back but many would also have been aware Cesc’s return would probably mean someone else being shown the door. Arsenal moved on after Fabregas’ departure and some would have seen his return as taking a step back.
Fans, though, are not stupid, especially the ones who know how to bet on football, and Mourinho’s comments will not fool many.
Mourinho is putting a positive spin on the transfer for the benefit of Chelsea, but to suggest the player only ever wanted to go to Stamford Bridge when Barca called time on his spell at the Nou Camp is stretching the truth even by his standards. Fabregas made it clear several times in interviews while in Catalonia that he would one day be open to playing for Arsenal again so Mourinho’s attempts to pull the wool over people’s eyes now only end up making him look silly. Again.
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