Multiple Injury Setbacks For Gunner

Captain Cesc Fabregas, who had been a doubt for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona after suffering severe bruising to his knee and leg at Birmingham, sustained the small fracture when fouled by Carles Puyol for the crucial late penalty which earned Arsenal a 2-2 draw. He will be out for at least six weeks with a cracked bone in his right fibula.

It means the Arsenal skipper will miss the rest of the Premier League season and is a serious doubt for the World Cup finals. The midfielder will still be injured when Spain have to announce their provisional squad on May 12.

While the loss of Fabregas may not be quite so damaging for Spain, with the 22-year-old starting only three of his country’s World Cup qualifiers, Arsenal will surely find it difficult to challenge for honours at home and in Europe without their talismanic captain. Although he was able to get up and fire home from the spot he was immediately in discomfort during his celebration. Fabregas left Emirates Stadium on crutches and had admitted he feared the worst.

Arsenal trail Premier League leaders Manchester United by four points, and while they may have favourable fixtures the loss of Fabregas, as well as William Gallas, for the rest of the campaign will make their task difficult. Andrei Arshavin also went off injured against Barcelona and will be out for most of April.

Two Say The Long Goodbye

Yesterday we’ve had two more members from my team serving their very last in the office. Both of them had kept me informed well in advance that they wanted to leave this job and gave me their personal reasons for doing so. Manoj, my MIS spoc, had told me casually last year that he was planning on moving back permanently to his hometown and take his wife & baby to his family house & farm.

With most of his and consequently wife’s & baby’s needs being met by the profits made out of their farm, he just needs to find some local work and yesterday he was telling me about some freelance work that he could do and mail it online, which will pay him well and let him stay at home. He felt that the demands & requirements of his folks and his new family would both be met by doing so.

Riju on the other hand, much younger and free as a bird at only 25 had a different but similarly required family reasons. His mother hadn’t been feeling well recently and she required lots of much needed rest. She lived alone in their home in Kannur while Riju lived & worked in Cochin, his sister studied in Cochin and their father was away in Oman where he worked. With the financial situation, Riju and other newly promoted employees who had moved together from the entry level weren’t given hikes as expected.

This caused him some concern as currently what he was paid took care of just his immediate needs, his room rent, travel and food. While he needed to take care of his mom, he wasn’t able to do so physically by being there or financially. His father had a talk with him and it was decided that he would quit by April and go home to spend a month or so with his mom while she recovered. By then his father was working on getting him a job in Oman and that is almost done at this point.

So I was losing two valued members from my team and the company, although I do not know if they know it, was losing one proven asset and one who was showing all the signs of developing into a strong one. Personally & professionally I was quite upset but I was prepared for this day as I knew way back in February that this was coming. So, we got them a nice big cake that you can see here, gathered everyone who could join us for 15 minutes while we said goodbye.

A lot of employees who could join us came down to the ground floor pantry area and wish them well. I said a few words about each member, as the duty of their immediate manager, and the on behalf of the team I handed over to them their farewell gifts. Last night, just as I was reaching home, I went to a local gift shop/stationary store near my apartment at around 9pm and after checking at their sparse selection, saw a few extremely cute looking coffee mug sets (of 6 mugs each). I chose two designs that I liked a lot and we had them wrapped at the office.

The others who had gathered around said their few words of best wishes & good luck and then we asked Manoj & Riju to cut the cake, which they did together. Then my team spent a few more minutes with the two and opened the gifts. Then the inevitable feelings of personal loss comes. I had to get ready to go for a client sponsored function and so said my goodbyes and then went to my system to shut down and then board the company cab headed for the event.