Arsenal - Cesc Earns Himself Some Much Needed Benchtime
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Cesc Earns Himself Some Much Needed Benchtime

Fabregas started off the season this year in blinding form, combining vision, assists, hard work, aggression, and goal scoring all in a 5 foot 9 inch frame. His contributions and value to this team at the moment is indispensable, and not a price in the world could see Arsene part with the young Spaniard. Wait now....what'd you say? Oh that was last year, wasn't it? My mistake.

Cesc was booked for the fifth time this season against Villa, compounding more misery to the weekend for Gooners. He will not be able to take part in the match against Manchester City next weekend, as he was also booked against Newcastle, Bolton, West Ham and Stoke earlier in this young campaign. Now whether he regains his place after the suspension should be in doubt.

Say what you want, but for me Cesc Fabregas' head is not at Arsenal anymore. Some might argue that its wandered on over to Catalonia, but I will not go that far. Many suggestions have been made to why he has displayed this lack of form including, but certainly not limited to: the departures of Hleb and Flamini, the lack of a true defensive midfielder next to him, or even the absence of a proper preseason for Arsenal. It may be one of these or a combination of many things, but one thing is for certain, his performances do not warrant an automatic starting spot anymore. He needs to spend some time on the bench. This might be detrimental in maintaining his loyalty to the club, but for me that is a risk that must be taken. Aaron Ramsey has displayed all of his exquisite attributes in the Carling Cup, and should get the call up to the creative midfield role come Saturday. Aaron Ramsey is not a better player than Fabregas, but on form right now, I think he could do a better job. An intervention must take place for Cesc Fabregas, and I believe this drastic step is what the doctor is calling for. Hopefully he responds to the medicine.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 17 2008

Time: 2:45AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think it is harsh to blame Cesc's poor form just on him. When Flamini was in the side, he could concentrate on his strengths which are attacking and creating chances. Now he has Denilson alongside him, he has to defend much more and, of course, the attacking side of his game is lost. If you want to blame anyone, blame Wenger for failing to sign a decent partner for him!
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17/11/2008 03:41:00

The scary thing is - I don't think he does need a rest. Watching the Spurs situation, with Ramos everyone thought the players were rubbish, and Surs were *****ed. It turns out, they're actually a very talented bunch! It needed a managerial change to bring out the best. I'm very, VERY afraid for Arsenal. Before this game, I was fine... but now I'm scared. Because Cesc is world class. He won the Euros with Spain. It's not down to him, it's - quite possibly - managerial decisions that are screwing with him. Gallas is also a good defender, but he's made to look pathetic in Arsenal. Would a Mourinho-managed Arsenal leak so many goals? I sincerely doubt it. I'm scared Wenger is losing the dressing room - for me it's the only rational explanation for this chaos. I hope I'm wrong. I really, really di.
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17/11/2008 04:09:00

Codchops, I'm certainly not blaming it all on Cesc. Look at the article and I mention both reasons you identified.
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17/11/2008 04:35:00

He's just playing badly, it happens. The lad will be fine, I think we're all trying to read too much into things and are coming up with reasons that aren't there. He'll get his form back soon enough, quality players always do.
Little Dutch
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17/11/2008 06:27:00

I'm with you on giving Ramsey his chance alongside Cesc, every time he has played he has been superb.
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17/11/2008 06:45:00

I know you mention playing Ramsey instead of Cesc but I personally think they are worth a try as a partnership.
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17/11/2008 06:51:00

I agree with Brice, it could well be a combination of factors leading to Cesc's loss in form. I keep hoping he's just having bad days in the office, as LD said it happens, and try not to be too obsessed with asking why or reading too much into it. But Cesc is a strong character, it's been a surprise that he hasn't recovered after 3 months. I hope there's not much more to it. For now, Ramsey or Diaby can do a job in the middle. (Actually Nasri too, but I don't want to break up the understanding between him and Clichy on the left flank, when we're without Rosicky and Gibbs aren't ready for league games.)
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17/11/2008 07:21:00

Cesc isn't playing as well as he has done or can do but he is only playing poorly by his own standards. The idea that 17 year old Ramsey, whatever his qualities, is developed enough to put in better performances than Cesc on a consistent basis is the sort of wishful dreaming that takes over supporters after a poor run of results but the expectations would almost certainly be squashed by the reality. Cesc will get back to form again because he is a very good player but we'll first have to find the midfield balance that allows him to play with confidence.
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17/11/2008 09:00:00

This has prompted me to look out Cesc's PL stats for this season. He has only 2 assists in the PL but looking at minutes played he is making many more passes per playing time (up about 10%) than either of the last 2 seasons and with the same amount of accuracy 79%. His assists are fewer but he is creating more goal attempts per minute played - one every 25 minutes this season compared to every 30 minutes last season and 29 minutes the season before. The number of shots and shots on target he has are only slightly down on last season but up on the season before. He is also winning slightly more tackles per minute played this season than last. Whatever the numbers prove it shows that the problem lies elsewhere other than mental commitment from Cesc.
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17/11/2008 09:46:00

Exactly Amos, while Ramsey has played well the past few times hes been on the pitch, he is 17 and will have many inconsistent games. In fact, that is exactly what our problem is, while I think the world of Walcott, Denilson and Nasri, they are too young and inconsistent to play in the same midfield at the same time. Replace any of them with their counterparts from last year, and you have a better team.
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17/11/2008 14:45:00

Its not about Ramsey being able to put in consistent performances week in week out, but him being on better form right now.
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17/11/2008 15:13:00

The struggle for consistency is not down to any one or two individuals but to the balance and cohesion within the team as a whole. Cesc is not a worse player now than at this time last year. Denilson plays with enthusiasm and commitment every match but his natural game is not the same as that of either Flamini or Gilberto. Gallas has made mistakes in the past and shown a strange attitude at times but in recent games he has been one of our best and most committed players and I don't think the second goal against Villa was his mistake, Agbonlahor made it very difficult for the defender with his pace, power and an intelligent header and then took his chance extremely well. The fault - if that is the right word - lies with the manager and coaches after all it is they who buy the players, coach them and then pick a team and I am sure they are now busy looking for answers to the one or two problems we seem to have. One rather worrying aspect for me is that Wenger starts to look a little nonplussed about what is happening with the team and it is almost as if he is resigned to an indifferent season. However we shouldn't be too downhearted because we do have some amazing talent coming through - I just hope that it isn't spoilt by being pressed into service before it is really ready. I am sure that Senderos's development was spoilt for that very reason.
norfolk dumpling
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17/11/2008 16:12:00

I agree with you nd, Denilson is not naturally a defending or holding midfielder. Additionally, Walcott is not a natural midfielder, sure he attacks well from the outside, but he doesn't have the requisite passing or close control or defending skills needed to play in our midfield, and neither does Eboue for that matter. Lets face it, we have good players playing out of position. Cesc needs players who he can exchange those little passes with which we know he can do so well.
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17/11/2008 17:47:00

Agree with Amos & LD. We are reading far too much into this. If Bendtner's 1st touch is poor, then he is a *****e footballer, but if its Cesc, then we HAVE to find another reason coz 'out of form' seems like a boring explanation. I would hesitate to go as far as Amos does with his stats, as they do not tell the full picture. Cesc may be having a better season statistically, but he is having a poorer season footballistically.
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17/11/2008 21:28:00

I do think that a break might do him some good, not coz Ramsey is ready to take over from Cesc, but coz Cesc needs a break to rediscover his football. There is no wishful thinking on that count, but I do think Ramsey can fill in for a game or two. I will admit that I thought the same thing would work with Ade & Bendtner, but a break for Ade has not resulted in Bendtner stepping up.
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17/11/2008 21:31:00

The other thing is he's still only a 21 year old, he's allowed to have a drop in form, especially the pressure he's been playing under as the fulcrum of the team. Last year Hleb did help in the creative side of things, this year it seems likes its just Cesc. The age of our midfield and forwards on Saturday was 19, 20, 21, 21
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17/11/2008 22:18:00

We are all just beating around the bush here! Our first team is as good as any in any individual game. Problem is over the long season our "young teamsters" will definately have more inconsistent games compare to the older more experience teams of our title rivals. I hate to admit it but the stupid football pundits are right, we either bolster our squad with 2 or 3 proven experience midfielder and defender (strike force is fine) or wait 2 years when the team will be fully ready. The second options just means we have to be satisfied with CL qualification, anything above that is bonus.
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18/11/2008 01:16:00

That is why we do need to sign new midfielders. Yaya/De Rossi/Inler/Polambo/Aquilani/Alonso/Barry would do.
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18/11/2008 07:48:00

I MENTIONED PALOMBO DURING THE SUMMER!!!!! speaking of alonso, it could well happen, as long as RBS and Bank of Wachovia decides to Reposess liverpool, i can so see it happening, one of the hicks/gillet is a banker, and aint a good time to be in the banking business.... speak of cesc? i think burnout, but hey, prove me wrong, and ill eat my shorts
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18/11/2008 15:51:00

We are always affiliated with good players but we never seem to follow thru on signing said players OR AW signs a prodigiously talented youngster with lots of potential. Methinks wit the monumental success of the above named Fabregas,Arsene has been a bit obsessed wit youngsters. Our woes in the transfer market also seem to coincide wit the loss of our erstwhile Director of Football watsisname?any thots? I wont be surprised if we dont sign anybody in January in spite of the obvious,especially if we have a good December,dats all the xcuse AW needs. We are always saying we have amazing talent coming thru,wat guarantees do we have that this players will stay esp if we dont win trophies and we continue experimenting wit youngsters only for the Milans and Barcas to poach the best of them and the players say they want to move bcos "it is a dream move or they want to win stuff",never for the money. we sacrifice titles,heartaches,money to develop these players and what,they leave to win trophies,enough of that,Flam,Hleb and even Henry (to a lesser extent)&maybe Fabregas next season. Sorry,got distracted end of rant.
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18/11/2008 22:19:00


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