Barcelona’s Gerard Pique has lashed out at his team mates over their attempts to unsettle Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.
The furious 24-year-old Spain international told the Spanish newspaper Sport: “We must leave Cesc in peace and let things run their course.”
His midfield colleague Xavi was the latest Barcelona player to go public about Fabregas earlier this week, earning a stinging rebuke from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Other players from the Blaugranes to have made unprompted comments include Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves and Pedro Rodriguez.
Even the mayor of Fabregas’ home town got in on the act this week, suggesting the Arsenal stalwart had been ‘kidnapped’ by his club.
Many observers see the barrage of comments as an orchestrated campaign by Barcelona FC to unsettle Fabregas and force Arsenal to sell him at under his market value.
There is growing speculation that the blatant nature of the campaign is alarming the European game’s top echelons, with UEFA preparing to step in to remind Barcelona of their responsibilities. If the Catalans ignore the warning sanctions could follow.
Rounding on his colleagues Pique said: “Any player suffers when there’s so much talk about his future.”
He added that although Barcelona’s players had always talked with respect, their comments were damaging the Arsenal number four and they should stop immediately.
End of news story.
Note to Readers:
This story accurately uses the same quotes that were used in yesterday’s coverage of Pique’s remarks.
It’s quite clear that while Pique was offering a partial defence of Xavi, he was also saying that his team mates should stop talking about Cesc.
Strangely the British press chose only to focus on the former interpretation, with not a mention of Pique’s “shut up” message to his fellow players.
A typical headline was “Pique defends Xavi comments” (ITV Football).
There’s a simple reason for that. The media has decided that Arsenal are in crisis, that Fabregas and Nasri are going and that “big” players don’t want to join us.
Once their pack mentality kicks in, they willfully ignore facts that contradict this over-riding narrative (such as the second half of Pique’s comments). In fact, once Fleet Street decides on its narrative it’s harder to turn than a supertanker.
If you want further evidence, just look at the garbage written by Sam Wallace in The Independent, under the headline “Jagielka snub shows Arsenal’s fading appeal.”
Regulars will know I have banged on about this a lot, but it really does my head in.
And by writing the Pique story the way it could quite reasonably have been presented with exactly the same facts, I hope it will go some small way towards helping Arsenal fans realise they should pay less attention to what they read. Most of it is made up and the rest is twisted to suit whatever agenda the journalists and their paymasters want.
Ignore the bullsh*t. Wait for the facts.