Cesc Fabregas; the sort of player you couldn’t trust as far as you could throw him. The Spaniard’s general form is about as unpredictable as Wayne Rooney after eight pints, and we can’t actually remember the last time the 29-year-old strung consecutively solid performances together over a substantial period.
What’s the problem? The Spaniard doesn’t know his best position, and his manager is just as clueless as where is best to play him. 10? No. 8 or 6? No. And, the system of Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 adds to this dilemma, creating a bigger predicament for the Spaniard than Tom Hanks received during that film at the turn of the 21st century…
Fabregas, to be fair to him, has put in a couple of decent performances of late; and this created the deluded fans to put him back on a pedestal. But, his actual impact in games is still very minor. The performances almost reflect a budget, Juan Mata; can go missing in games, but the Manchester United man has phenomenal statistics which Fabregas couldn’t hold a candle up to.
Ok, yeah, Fabregas’s recent glimpses, include that beauty of a pass to set-up Diego Costa’s opener against Manchester City, and the No.4 had a brilliant finish in Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Sunderland. But, other than that, the Chelsea man has just one assist to show for. Effective? Not really. There’s no real identity about the Spaniard; in seven appearances this season, he’s made just five tackles. Five! We don’t care if he’s not a 10, he’s certainly no six, shying away from his defensive duties like that.
Compare this to a natural six – Nemanja Matic – yes, the Serbian has had more appearances, but Matic has his identity; 23 tackles won, 25 interceptions and the added bonus of six assists. The guy is doing Fabregas’s job for him, whilst also doing a very good job of his own.
As well as performing poor statistically, Fabregas can’t even put his hands up to say he has attributes of pace and strength like his Chelsea colleagues who play alongside Costa. Pitting your Pedros, Hazards, and Moses of the Blues, would be like pitting Bolt against Sam Allardyce, and even then, I think we’re being harsh on Allardyce…
There are just these sort of qualities missing in the No. 4’s locker that you need to become a regular in the Premier League, whilst also having a decent outlay of impact on goals. At the end of the day, he’s a very similar player to, Oscar – and look where that’s got the Brazilian. The Spaniard is better off joining his fellow Chelsea man for one final pay check somewhere, where Demba Ba is made to look like he could win the Ballon d’Or.
It’s not going to get any slower or easier in the Premier League, and turning up for a ratio of one performance in seven games a season doesn’t quite cut the mustard as a decent midfield player.
The players whose clubs held them back from success…