Cesc Fabregas: Arsenal's Valiant Commander

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IAugust 1, 2010

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at The Britannia Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The Emirates Cup has been retained by Arsenal as they prepare to add more trophies to their cabinet by the end of the season. The young Gunners have been impressive in preseason and if they are to continue their form, much hinges on their inspirational captain, Cesc Fabregas.

Fabregas has been the subject of speculation of a move away to his homeland Barcelona all summer, but manager Arsene Wenger and Arsenal have been stubborn not to be bullied by the Spanish giants. Consequentially, Arsenal have not been involved in negotiations with Barcelona regarding their captain, making Fabregas' move very improbable.

The Incredible Midfielder

Fabregas joined Arsenal at the age of 16 and from then on, he has developed into one of the most exquisite midfielders. His vision is second to none and he controls the pace of the game in this Arsenal side.

Fabregas has grown to be the lynchpin in this side and playing with him has helped youngsters who look to emulate him in the future.  At 23, he is Arsenal's captain and is one of the most inspirational players in the team. The game against Aston Villa at the Emirates is proof as to how much value Cesc Fabregas is to the team. He came on carrying a slight niggle at the 57th minute and scored two impressive goals in a matter of 26 minutes to put the game beyond the reach of Aston Villa.

Fabregas does possess some flaws and he would do well to address some of them. He does not possess great aerial ability, which means he cannot win long balls. For someone who can tackle pretty decently, he does not effectively close down spaces and at times, waits for the ball to be recovered from the back, without harassing opposition midfielders.

Whilst he does have flaws in his game, he is one of the finest midfielders in the world and his presence on the pitch seems to invigorate his teammates who play much better when he steps up to lead the Arsenal. Fabregas has got great technical finesse and is a prolific goal-scorer in the Premier League, which is a great asset to Arsenal.

Captain Courageous

He was given the prestigious Captain's armband after William Gallas failed to impress as captain. Fabregas handled the responsibility with panache and was Arsenal's leader on the field in terms of assists and goals.

Fabregas is a silent, mature and responsible player, who is a valiant gladiator on the pitch. He is a winner, which is why he is desperate to win trophies. It would be a shame if a player of his quality leaves Arsenal without winning a major trophy. He loves the club, which has given him the stardom that he enjoys at present and shares a great rapport with his teammates.

Fabregas has been impressive as a captain and his mental toughness against teams like Stoke City and Birmingham City is testament to this. He is a tough nut to crack and carries the team with his spirit.

Minutes after the horrific injury to the talented Aaron Ramsey caused by the tackle by Ryan Shawcross, Fabregas was literally in tears. He wanted to show his emotion on the pitch by leading Arsenal to victory. His celebration after the penalty kick against Stoke City showed how much he cared for Ramsey and the club.

He sustained a knock against Birmingham but played the whole 90 minutes and even though Arsenal only managed to draw the match, he had shown his valour. In the game against Barcelona at the Emirates, he was clearly not 100%,, but he lead the team not only by his performance but also by his outstanding fortitude.

Even after he knew he had sustained a fracture, he tried to stay on the pitch to give Arsenal the numbers advantage. Similarly, he did not want to be substituted against Burnley until Arsenal had the lead, which was obtained when he scored with aplomb from a stupendous chip from Samir Nasri.

Expectations for this Season

The man gives his all when he dons the Arsenal shirt and is, arguably, the most valuable player for Arsenal. He respects the captain's armband doing justice by remaining calm in the tense moments and proving his worth on the pitch.

He shoulders the bulk of the responsibility for Arsenal's fortunes and is the heart and soul of this Arsenal team.  Fabregas is, undeniably, one of the most creative players of this generation and even though he does have such exceptional talent, he does not possess many titles won in Arsenal's colours.

Fabregas controls the game for Arsenal, who also have classy players like Andrei Arshavin, Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri, just to name a few. He will create a lot of chances and can destroy the strongest teams with defense-splitting passes. He brings with him, an eye for goals, which makes him one of the most dangerous players to defend against.

After all the speculation in the summer, the onus will be on Fabregas to prove his detractors that none of the unnecessary noise regarding his future has affected him.  Fabregas is a mature player, in whom  Wenger trusts, and the best way to avoid any criticism would be to perform on the field.

Wenger has thrown the gauntlet to  Fabregas to lead his team to a title.  Fabregas is the key ingredient to Arsenal's success and he has inspired the team and fans to believe in themselves.

Fabregas' fitness, the key to success?    

Last season, Fabregas was hampered by a lot of injuries and Arsenal did struggle in his absence. Fabregas is not one of those physically strong players, and though he is not weak by any stretch of imagination, he has succumbed to a number of injuries in his time at Arsenal.

If Arsenal's captain courageous can have a season bereft of any major fitness worries, then Arsenal are sure to succeed in their endeavours in trying to lift their first major trophy in six years.

If Fabregas is injured at some point in the season, does it mean the end of the road for Arsenal? The answer is no, simply because Arsenal have got quality replacements in Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey (though injured, at present) who have it in them to fill Fabregas' big boots.

Nevertheless, Fabregas' absence will hit Arsenal hard because Arsenal plays a style that revolves around their captain. Not only will Fabregas' creativity be missed but also his "never-say-quit" attitude.  It will help greatly if Fabregas can stay fit over the course of the season.

Even though Arsenal have world-class midfielders in their squad, it is on Fabregas that Arsenal's title hopes hinge on. If anyone can lead Arsenal single-handedly to the title, it is their inspirational captain Fabregas.


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