BYE BYE CESC
Cesc Fabregas has played his last game on English soil. The 31-year-old has struggled for regular first-team opportunities this season under Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, playing just six games in the Premier League, five coming as a substitute.
The Spain international captained Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Saturday, and the midfielder appeared to wave goodbye to Blues supporters when substituted in the closing stages of the match. very emotional stuff.
So, after eight years at Arsenal and five with Chelsea, how will Fabregas be remembered in this country?
One of my favourite players to watch and he changed English football in two ways: Arsenal spotted him at Barcelona and realised he was running out of contract. They then brought him over and a star was born,-Suddenly all the clubs, thought we have go to Barcelona and Real Madrid and pick Talents who are wasting away.
Most of them after him were failures and because Fabregas was so good, everyone thought for about 10 years, that this was the model – go and sign up all the Barcelona players at 16 and that influenced Premier League recruitment for about 10 years. And it took about 10 years for people to realise that it was Fabregas who was special and not the model that works!
Secondly, 15 years ago we were all talking about how football was changing towards power and big midfielders, Patrick Vieira was the prototype. And he came along and opened the door to English football to that type of player, even before Pep Guardiola came along and changed us, as Fabregas and Arsene Wenger were doing that 10 years ago.
He is one of the greats. He is probably the best player of Arsenal’s Emirates stadium era because of the way he almost singlehandedly took that ‘Invincibles’ team that got broken up and for three or four seasons, he was the heartbeat of that side.
And because he is 31 now, people forget just how startling it was for an 18, 19-year-old kid to be running a Premier League midfield. He was quicker than people remember, he was dynamic, he could pass and tackle, he was one of the great Premier League midfield generals of that era. It was really astonishing for someone his ageand size.
When he came back from Barcelona, he was never quite the same player in 2013 – he won a couple of Premier Leagues with Chelsea, but not as a pivotal player. And when we remember Fabregas, it will be that 2006-10 period when he was genuinely a player who could challenge to be one of the best in his position.
As a Chelsea fan i wish him the best wherever he ends up. He may not have acheived legendary status with Us but we shall not forget him either