I Scoop The Sandro Rosell Interview (Pt 3 of a 2 Pt Trilogy)
Continuing from “The Summer of Weasels“. Part 3 of this 2 part Trilogy that got made into 3 parts:
THE SANDRO ROSELL INTERVIEW
A Fictional Event ensues:
Sandro Rosell. President of Barcelona Football Club, recently held a press conference to introduce his new book:
In Spanish: “Barcelona: Més Que Un Club by Sandro Rosell”
In English: “Barcelona: More than a Club, They’re a Pack of Weasels by Sandro Rosell”
Note: Original Spanish Title was translated into English by me.
Inexplicably, the audience was packed by Arsenal journalists and ITKs exclusively. Senor Rosell approaches the microphome to speak:
Senor Rosell: Welcome, welcome. I thank you for showing so much interest in my humble book. May I first say, I notice on this banner with my book title that you have written something about weeezels? What are these weeezels of which you speak?
Me: Errr… they are…errr…Superstars. You know, like Real Madrid have Galacticos. You guys have Weasels. The Weasels of Barcelona.
Snr Rosell: Ah, very good, very good. Most pleasing. We are a pack of weeezels. I will use this often when speaking to your English Press.
Me: Yes, please do. Please, please do.
Announcer: OK ladies and gentlemen. Could we have the first question for Mr. Rosell.
Tim Payton: Senor Rosell, as I stated recently, handling Summer Transfers is not rocket science. Arsenal football club and Arsene Wenger really screwed up their dealings last year during the Summer Transfer window. Could you give your perspective on the dealings from your side of the negotiating table.
SR: With all due respect, Mr. Payton, you will have no comprehension of the difficulties of managing these transactions. This transaction was simple only from a distance, a very safe distance.
You, Mr. Payton, are all spreadsheets and meetings and “Any Other Business”.
Did you not say once that old Harry what is his name, the one we say looks like an old wrinkled Escroto, bolsa que contiene los testículos, yes that is it, scrote-bag, that he had done more with Tottenham than Wenger had with The Arsenal? Is this not a strange way to be a “Supporter?”
John Cross: What did you think of that black Bin Bag protest I started with that 1 fan on Twitter?
SR: I thought it was steeeoooopeeed and embarassing. You are not fit to lick Arsene’s cats balls. Is this also a saying in English? No?! Then you should adopt it. Just as I have adopted “Barcelona: More than a Club, they’re a pack of weasels.” Let us call it even.
John Cross: But Senor Rosell, I was defending Arsene Wenger when many of the fans, the Keyboard warriors as I like to call them, you can adopt that if you like, anyway, when many of the fans were calling for Arsene to go or were strongly undermining his position through piling on their criticisms.
SR: Meeester Cross, you dismiss everything you don’t like on Tweeeeter as “keyboard warriors”, yet strangely, you use anything that suits your opinions and talk as if you know the mind of the fans but you spend too much time talking with this Meeester Tim Payton. You think he is the fans. You are not fit to form a receptacle with your bottom for Arsene’s loving-making.
Journo #2: So what could Wenger have done differently last Summer.
SR: Nothing. That is what was so beautiful for us. It is like a chess game where one player starts without the queen. Both players know the game is lost but there are still many pieces on the board. It was over before the Summer started. Cesc wanted to leave and best of all, we didn’t need him. Arsenal was screwed. We had them by the Cojones and we squeezed them slowly because we wanted it to take all Summer long. This suited us perfectly.
Football is a business. This was a negotiation but your best player was leaving and would only go to one club that didn’t need him. So we had what we call “Mana” or you call “hand.” Lots of it. And so the dice were already cast. Alea iacta est as Caesar said when he crossed the Rubicon.
Journo: So Arsenal should have told Cesc he had to stay?
SR: No. Arsene did well to persuade Cesc to stay an extra year in the Summer of 2010. If Arsenal had won a big trophy the following season then perhaps they would have had more “hand” going into the Summer. You gave Barcelona a huge scare in the CL. You were challenging for the PL title. But with Cesc’s and van Persie’s injuries leading to the Carling Cup failure and the end of season collapse, Cesc and the squad were becoming a toxic mix. Cesc’s body language was showing that as the team dropped out of the various competitions his mind was leaving the Emirates. Cesc was desperate to get back to Barca. He felt the train might leave the station without him. He was determined to leave that 2nd year and Arsene had told him he could leave if he still wanted to. Arsene said “Leave it to me, Cesc. You just play football and I’ll take care of the business.”
Journo: Arsenal should have told FCB and Cesc they needed an early Summer decision
SR: Of course Arsenal did that. And they were desperate to get it done. But of course this desperation was our strength. We wanted Cesc but we didn’t NEED Cesc. Our top priority was Sanchez so we went after him first. Then we made low offers to AFC to wind down the clock. The later the deal the more we had them by the cojones. So we kept presenting unacceptable offers to drag it out. Arsenal couldn’t walk away because they needed to move Cesc on whereas we needed a last minute deal.
Journo: Did Cesc cause this? He held the club hostage. He forced the move,
SR: Well, to be fair, Cesc asked to leave the previous year. He’s from Barcelona and they have the best team in the world, the best team in history, arguably. It happens to be full of his footballing heroes and his childhood friends. It’s the team his family support. You can’t ask him not to want this. He was patient and respectful.
Journo: So are you implying Cesc didn’t give a full effort in the 2010/11 season
SR: No. Not at all. I don’t know if you remember being 24. It’s a very emotional age. Very idealistic. Cesc loved Wenger, Arsenal and his team mates. Nothing would have been sweeter for him than to win with them in his final year. It would have cleared his conscience. And a 24 year old footballer is desperate to win, to win anything! But as they fell out of competition after competition in quick succession you could see that Cesc’s soul was leaving his body and moving to FCB.
Journo: If Arsenal had won a competition, would it have changed Cesc’s mind
SR: Winning always changes things, though not always in the way you expect. But it would have needed to be the EPL or the UCL. The FA Cup or what is the name of that other funny little competition?, the Carling Cup?, that would have changed little. But winning a big competition would have given Arsenal “hand” in negotiations. It would have cleared the air with the squad and perhaps would have given Cesc 2nd thoughts for another year especially as FCB would not have paid a lot more for Cesc this year.
Journo: So isn’t it Cesc who “did in” the Club as an unwitting accomplice of FCB
SR: Cesc is a boy. He is very idealistic. And he loves Wenger as a father. He knows nothing of conspiracies and intrigue. He was just desperate to play for Barcelona. Promises were made by Arsene during the previous Summer and Cesc was determined to take up his option to leave. It is not complicated. It is true that he loves Arsenal and Arsene Wenger but the Catalan who doesn’t want to play for THIS Catalan team does not exist.
Tim Payton: Whatever dude, this can’t be Rocket Science. Sir Alex and Manchester United had an identical situation with Ronaldo and Real Madrid in 2007 and 2008. Cristiano Ronaldo wanted out; SAF made him stay an extra year. Ronaldo would only consider one team just like Cesc. SAF threatened to sit Ronaldo in the stands for a year. SAF got 80M for Ronaldo. We got 35M for Cesc. Identical situations. Arsenal fucked it up. Arsene fucked it up. It’s not Rocket Science.
SR: You say it was the same situation, but it was not. Real Madrid needed a Galactico. Ronaldo was their Galactico. They wanted the Best Player In the World because they were unable to win the CL and they were terrified of Lionel Messi. Ronaldo had just won the CL. Ronaldo was a statement. Real were the more desperate. They couldn’t wait till the end of the Summer to find out if they had their Galactico. They were building a team around him. SAF had “hand”.
With Cesc, he is a great player, but he is no Ronaldo. He doesn’t have that kind of a profile. He will replace Iniesta some day. He will not replace Messi. And, to be honest, we thought we could wait another year if we needed to before bringing him home. But we knew Cesc was coming.
Journo: Should Arsenal have held on to Nasri
SR: Nasri is good but he is not great. He would be fighting to get into our reserves team. Arsenal had already played for a year with a leader who wanted to leave. They couldn’t have a repeat. It would be too toxic. They needed to move forward. 24M for Nasri with one year on his contract? You take it. It is a shame though, as he could have been good if he stayed at Arsenal.
Journo: Should Wenger have bought replacements in advance.
SR: You mean, Arsenal should have spent the 35M before they sold Cesc? Maybe lined up Juan Mata, you are thinking. Then you would see the smile of a shark leering at you from the other side of the table. Not only would we have had sex to you. We would have sex to your wife and to your daughter. And all the while we would have been boiling your, how you say, “Bunny?” in a pot in the kitchen.
Yes, FCB buys with a credit card. We have 500M in debt and we don’t care. Muwahahahahaha. Our Government will not let us fail. Neither will UEFA. AFC on the other hand acts like it is spending its own money, because it is. So they have to sell before they buy. AFC had already bought Gervinho and the boy you call the Ox. He is most interesting.
If AFC had tried to replace Cesc first, they would have been even more desperate for a deal. And then we would have reeeeally screwed them over.
Journo: Shouldn’t the Club have Signed Juan Mata as soon as the Cesc deal was completed?
SR: The Mata deal was a decision made in July but finalized in August. The Cesc deal was completed in mid-August. Juan Mata’s father was his agent, so it was going to be a practical choice. They were talking to most of the top clubs: Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. Juan would have preferred Barcelona over them all, ironically. Money was a big factor. Chelsea and Liverpool looked to be the clubs spending money and ready to compete. But only Chelsea had it all.
You still had a perilous away game at Udinese and your CL qualification was in the balance. And the Arsenal club looked to be in disarray. Cesc was going out the door and Nasri was just after him. Journalists were writing off Arsenal’s season. You drew with Newcastle and you lost to Liverpool at home. Perhaps you forget how bad it was for Arsenal in the month of August.
At Chelsea it was all excitement. AVB was to be the Second Coming. He was the love-child of Jesus and José. He was there to win the UCL. He was from the Iberian Peninsula. Look it up on your maps. Fernando Torres was to be an exciting partner for Mata. AVB was going to play attacking, possession football – the famous high line, with pace and mobility. They have Abramovich determined to spend as much money as necessary to win the UCL. Chelsea are a big club over the last 10 years. They offer more money, and their UCL position was seemingly assured every year.
Simply, Chelsea had “Mana.” You did not. This is one more thing you can thank Barcelona for a little bit, I’m afraid.
To mis-quote your William Shakespeare:
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in ourselves,
But in our stars, that we are underlings.
I can tell you that I heard that Mata knew he joined the wrong club when he saw Arsenal play their real football. Now, he helps Chelsea park their bus on the pitch for the games.
Journo: Was some of FCB’s Behaviour driven by revenge?
It was sweetened by revenge. But don’t be fooled. This is cold hard business. FCB is obsessed with Real Madrid, and retaining the UCL, not Arsenal. But we didn’t lose any sleep over Arsenal’s troubles. Yes, we enjoyed it.
Master of ceremonies: Is there anything else you would like to add, Senor Rosell?
SR: Meeester Tim Payton, please remember who brought you to the dance. Arsene is one of the finest managers in football. He is why Cesc came and why he stayed so long. The same is true for van Persie. And why they play for half the money. The “S” in AST stands for “Supporters.” I think you are starting to get confused in your significance and know-how. Managing a World Class football club is much harder than coaching your daughter’s under 11’s Sunday League team, which I hear got knocked out in the 1st round of the cup this year. Hard luck, my friend. Hard luck.
Let me add, that all of you who pushed against Wenger when the team and Arsene needed your support are a bunch whinging cry-babies. victoria concordia crescit I believe is your club motto. You did not live up to your own values. Did you not see the anguish on that man’s face during that difficult period. Did you stand up to support and defend him? I hope you did.
And also, I want to talk to all of you about your English women. We Catalans don’t not like your English women. They are not attractive to us. But, and this you should know, we find your Goonerettes to be extraordinarily attractive, refined and of the finest moral standing. They are regarded in my country as the finest delicacy that a man can savour. The caviar of women. You should know this. That is all! You should all leave now.