Adios Azpi!By: Richard | August 25th, 2012
When Cesar Azpilicueta was first announced to be on OM’s radar he was a relative unknown to me. A top prospect from Ossasuna wanted by top clubs in Spain notably Real Madrid has been snatched up by DD?! A player with so much promise we all praised Deschamps for finding a diamond in the rough. We all could not wait to see Azpilicueta or Azpi as he came to be known prove himself in the Velodrome. Things were very rocky for Azpi in his transition to Ligue 1, the familiarities of teammates, La Liga all gone. Many became skeptical even more angry especially when Azpi sxored an own goal during our Champions League match with Spartak Moscow. Things went from bad to worse when while playing Montpellier, Azpi received a horrible ligament injury to his knee sidelining him for six months a tremendous blow.
This of course forced DD to recruit the services of Rod Fanni who in the long term has prove to be a valued player (funny how things work out like that right?). Finally overcoming his injury it was time for Azpi to once again reintroduce himself to OM fans. Yet with Fanni, Cesar no longer had the cushy role of the go to starter. Yes Deschamps had to give him a chance but there was very little room for error now as out 2011 season was anything but smooth. His performances were somewhat underwhelming until perhaps he had the greatest game in his career as a Marseille player. Le Classique in November a visiting PSG were sent home in shambles. Azpi ruled the flank stopping all attacks and in turn joined in on the attack. Who the hell was this guy? A near 180 Azpi had arrived and thats how it was for the rest of the season. Despite how bad last year was and it was bad, Cesar remained stalwart in defense he seemed to improve game by game. This was the player we wanted, we needed and fans rejoiced.
The the rumors and honestly I did not want to hear them but to think Azpi wold have been a career OM player was wishful thinking. Combine that with no Champions League play it was only a matter of time. Yes Chelsea stayed persistent in their offerings and when you are short on money unpopular decisions have to be made. However this is what Azpi wants and while he knew he was destined for London he still gave us all he had on the pitch these few games. I honestly wish him the best, the standing ovation the fans gave him truly showed how OM fans are eternally grateful to their players. Should he return with Chelsea in the near future, without a doubt he will be warmly received. Au revoir et bonne chance Azpi!