Fabregas’s stature diminished by switch to Barca

Cesc Fabregas has revealed that new boss Tito Vilanova wants him to make slight adjustments to how he played the role Barcelona assigned for him last season. Instead of being so “static on the inside left”, he is instructed to “be more mobile…and look for space, help my team-mates by playing the easy ball.” To anyone who saw him scale rare peaks during season upon season of increasing excellence at Arsenal, the mere suggestion that Barcelona have prescribed a role for Cesc that circumscribes and modifies his talent to the base requirements of the team is scandalous. A player of his potential should not be running around like a makeshift winger in a team whose pretentious attempts to make midfielders play like forwards contributed to their own downfall last season. In fact, it is difficult to imagine Cesc being denied the chance to fill the prime years of his career in the position that he was born to play: playmaker, dictating everything that happens on the pitch and treating lovers of the game all over to a demonstration of rare artistic talent and footballing intelligence.

However, it is fast becoming apparent that the freedom he enjoyed at Arsenal that was behind his rise as a footballer of rare genius will not be afforded him at Barca. Xavi and Iniesta’s occupation of the most privileged berths football has to offer is warranted, but Cesc’s love of Barca may well blind him to the point at which they begin selling him short and stalling his career through rigid tactical game plans and the evergreen presence of Xavi. The level of acclaim he commanded among the entire footballing fraternity has already diminished since he left Arsenal – not because he is among finer company but because his unmatched footballing intelligence is being circumscribed and starved of the chance to shine in his misplaced role at Barca. It is sad to see him being relegated to just another name amid players with greater technique but lesser vision in discussions of the best midfielders in the world today. It is a reversal of the path of thrilling ascent that Arsene Wenger set him on at Arsenal, and may well ensure that the second act of his career is not quite as luminous individually as the first was. One would not go as far to say that his accelerated return to Barcelona was a misguided decision, but Arsene Wenger’s assertion that the challenge of leading Arsenal to glory would have had far greater value for Cesc than being just another champion at Barcelona will echo around for him for as long as he takes to find terra firma at his boyhood club.

2 thoughts on “Fabregas’s stature diminished by switch to Barca

  1. Play with Xavi, Iniesta and Messi in arguably the greatest squad to be assembled or play with Song and Walcott to chase fourth place. Mate, there was no decision to make.

    Naturally leading Arsenal to glory would have had far more value but by that logic he should’ve moved to Stoke.

    • Haha, well obviously Arsenal were obliged to give him a team with a genuine chance of winning the title and on that front, I think that Wenger’s ‘lost team’ was hugely unfortunate with injuries. Had Van Persie, Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, Vermaelen and Wilshere (and yes, in combination with them, Walcott!) played together consistently, Fabregas would have been the jewel in a very impressive crown. It came down to whether he believed there was enough there to allow him to fulfill a much loftier challenge than the ones he faces with a team where his importance is still largely peripheral, and I guess him and Wenger differed on that point.

      I understand the collective glory to be had at Barca. But what about the platform to maximise his gifts as a player that he left behind at Arsenal and hasn’t been provided at his new club? In their system, he feels more like a luxury they can afford and often drifted in and out of games last season while Xavi remained omnipresent. I just feel a player of his talent should be the main feature of any team he plays in, rather than a third wheel.

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