COBHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23: Oriol Romeu talks to the press during the Chelsea new signings of Oriol Romeu and Romelu Lukaku press conference on August 23, 2011 in Cobham, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Oriol Romeu is an interesting player. When he came over to Chelsea from Barcelona B in the summer, very few people had much idea what he was about because a) it's difficult to watch Barcelona's reserves on a regular basis and b) defensive midfielders never get much love in highlights because they never do anything exciting. All we knew was that he was one of the B team's better players, he was blocked by Sergio Busquets, which is no shame, and Barcelona built two buyback clauses into the deal, which was annoying.
We've since got our fair share of Romeu - he's played in the Carling Cup, the Champions League, and had a couple of cameos in the league - and he's been an impressive destroyer. He doesn't have Mikel's passing range (that was a weird sentence to write) but he reads the game well and is a brilliant tackler, and that's probably good enough to get him in the discussion as a real part of our future. And that means people are even more concerned about the buyback clause.
Don't worry, though - Romeu will ease all of your fears!
Q: Do you think that one day you might 'do a Fabregas' and return to Barcelona?
A: I'm not thinking about going back, either now nor in the future. I have a great opportunity with superb team-mates. I'm trying to focus on getting better in London. Hopefully things will go well, I'll get a lot of time on the pitch and then we'll see what happens.
Has any thought of Romeu fleeing back to Barcelona left your mind? Because they sure as hell haven't left mine. That answer is just pure PR-coached fluff. 'I'm not thinking about going back' is not the same as 'I will stay at Chelsea'. 'We'll see what happens' isn't really particularly comforting either. In other words, while it's great to hear that he's not actively plotting a return to the Camp Nou because he thinks Frank Lampard smells, this is exactly what any young man with an agent would say if he was posed that question. It's not really very encouraging that Romeu isn't stupid.
So why is the general reaction so pleased? Either I'm missing something entirely, or everyone has been seduced by pseudo-heartfelt public relations nonsense. I'm going with option two (I would, wouldn't I?). Essentially, it comes down to this: As fans, we believe what we want to believe. We see Romeu saying he's happy in London and treat that like gospel, because we want it to be. We see John Terry denying racism and want it to be true, so it is. We see Vanessa Perroncel saying that there was no affair, so there wasn't*.
*NB: I'm not saying the reverse is true either.
Believe whatever you want, of course, but ultimately Romeu said nothing of any import today. Ah well.