Arsenal World Cup Finals: Fabregas Assists On World Cup Winner

Just a bit of housekeeping to kick things off.  As the World Cup has now drawn to a close, this will be my last article until the new Arsenal season begins.  Andy will take up the reigns again shortly, probably once he’s recovered from all his travels and so forth.  I’d like to thank Andy for the opportunity to write for AFCB during the World Cup, and especially thank the readers.  It’s been a real blast not only watching all the football, but keeping connected to the larger Arsenal family over the last month.  You guys have been great.  🙂

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The pomp.  The Ceremony.  The vuvuzelas.  The hot Dutch babes in orange getting arrested.  The uber-sanctimonious celebrities lecturing us all about our carbon footprints, yet chartering so man private jets for the Spain v Germany semifinal that all other flights were delayed into the airport.  And lets not forget all of Andy’s splendid updates over on Football Nomad! Yep.  The World Cup has had quite a run.  Oh…there was also some football played as well.

Spain did it.  By Paul the Octopus’ Lucky Tentacles, Spain pulled it off.  And in keeping with the tradition of the previous 29 days of matches, the Final didn’t start seeing some action until the whistle blew on regulation time.  Indeed, the first 90 was rather unremarkable.  I can understand that nerves are a part of the early going as no one wants to make the opening mistake.  But with Spain and the Netherlands, one would expect the match to open up a least a bit as things went on.  It wasn’t to be, I’m afraid, as we were subjected to 90 full minutes of lackluster attack and few moments of creativity.  I’ve touched on the refereeing situation during the World Cup several times over this last month, but I’d like to point out a stat from yesterday’s match:  Of the 53 total yellow cards handed out during the 2010 World Cup, 14 of them (roughly 25%) were handed out during the Finals.  It beggars belief.

Anyway, onto the match itself.  As I mentioned above, it was not the greatest display of football I’ve ever seen with the Netherlands going all Blackburn-y and Spain content just to hold possession and make the odd break.  While I hate to applaud any dirty football, I did get a kick (pun intended) of out Nigel de Jong’s boot to Xavi Alonso’s chest.  I hate to admit it (but if you can’t admit things like this to your friends, who can you admit them to?) but it made me giggle just a bit.  de Jong was worthy of dismissal though.  He wasn’t anywhere near the ball and his foot was at chest level.  How that isn’t a red card is beyond me.  Spain got an after-the-play free kick and did absolutely FA with it, which pretty much sums up the entire first 90 minutes of the match:  Netherlands committed some fouls & Spain ran around with the ball at their feet but did nothing with the possession.  It wasn’t until the introduction of Captain Fabtastic on 87 minutes that things finally started perking up.

The start of added extra time went positively for Spain.  There seemed to be more spark and fresher legs from the Iberian side and the Dutch seemed to be running out of gas.  It’s immensely hard work to play against a side that keeps as much of the ball as Spain do, and the Dutch had about run their course.  Spain’s first real chance in extra time came when Iniesta hit Fabregas for a break into the Dutch box, but net minder Maarten Stekelenburg came out of his area to shut the door on Fab’s effort.  The end for the Oranje came earlier than the World Cup winning goal.  On 109 minutes John Heitinga was sent off for the Dutch, and down a man against Spain after 109+ minutes is just too big a mountain to climb for any team.  The final blow came from a rather nothing run of play.  Cesc assisted in cleaning up on defense, Spain took possession and worked the ball forward with Cesc trailing along behind.  The ball was worked wide left, then centrally where it caromed off a Dutch player right to Cesc.  Man on the spot, he.  Quick one touch pass into the right side of the box to Iniesta for the 2010 World Cup winning goal.  Simples.  I have to say, originally it did appear that Iniesta was off side and I was begging that the Final would not be decided on a questionable play (after so many in this tournament).  But replay clearly shows Iniesta onside when the pass was made from Cesc, and the goal was cleanly taken.  Hearts ripped out, the mighty Dutch were unable to notch a tying goal and went down fairly tamely in the last minutes.

Congratulations to Spain, and to Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas on winning the 2010 World Cup!


van Persie Quality Man Among Dutch Negatives

Quality.  Yup, Robin van Persie has it in spades.  Among the Dutch rough boys, or Negatives (their new nick name), in yesterday’s Final, Robin van Persie showed quality.  Of course, he didn’t have too many opportunities to show it, mind, but it was there anyway.  And that’s been the rub this entire tournament, hasn’t it?  Yes, I’ve gone on and on (and on…) about the lack of opportunities.  So much so that many of you might think I’ve missed his quality.  But I haven’t.  It’s been there match after match.  The passing, the link up or holding play to allow other attackers to play off him, the vision on the pitch.  It’s all been there and it’s a good sign for The Arsenal that RVP seems back to hist best (we know the goals will come as well).  We all know that the Arsenal attack is designed with him central to mind, and the play will definitely be running at or through him this coming season.  It’s a heartbreaking loss for the Netherlands and van Persie, but I’ve a feeling Robin’s man enough to put this under his belt and use it for motivation upon his return to the N5.  Despite the loss, there’s valuable experience gained just getting to the World Cup Finals, and Robin will definitely be sharing that with his Arsenal teammates.


Fabregas Passes Spain To World Cup

It had to go this way, didn’t it?  Barely used, just 93 total minutes going into yesterday’s Final, and gathering way too many splinters riding the bench.  Cesc Fabregas publicly asked to be played, just for the chance to have an impact, for the opportunity to let his skill come to the fore in support of the Spanish squad.  On 87 minutes his wish was granted as the match stood drawn at 0-0.  The impact was immediate.  The passing was suddenly more crisp.  Spain’s attack, all too frequently one-off prior to the Arsenal Captain’s arrival, invigorated and sustained.  Spain looked a little bit more like…well…like Spain again.

On 95 minutes Cesc broke cleanly behind a weary-legged Dutch defense, collecting a beautiful pass from Andres Iniesta.  The Arsenal man was clear into the box for a 1 v 1 with Maarten Stekenlenburg, but the Dutch keeper was up to the task and blocked the shot well.  Cesc again took things into his own hands just before the end of the first extra period.  He took possession on the Dutch side of the midfield circle, made what can only be described as an Eboue-esque slashing run through the Dutch defense, finally getting off a shot from just inside the box.  The shot went wide, but still an excellent possession and threat from Fabregas.  There was little doubt on the quality Cesc brought to the match when, on 116 minutes, he calmly collected a rebounding ball at the top of the Dutch box, settled it and one touched it over to Iniesta who put home the winning goal.  It was pure Cesc…calmness on the ball, vision to see the open man and skill to make the right pass.  Well done, son.  Take a bow.

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Check out all of Andy’s latest on Football Nomad!  World Cup exclusive commentary, videos and world football culture!  Get stuck in!

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Have your say on Arsenal’s participation in the World Cup by leaving a comment.



  1. Ahh the world cup is over. At the beginning of the tournament I loved Spain and wanted them or Holland to win, but as the tournament progressed and Xavi etc continued to talk about Cesc, I started to feel it wasn’t Spain I was watching but Barcelona, and Barcelona are a team I loathe at the moment. Even as the goal was scored I could picture the two of them in Blue and Purple celebrating, and it made my skin crawl. I just feel that it’s a shame that a team with such amazing quality can act in such a shameful manner, and in turn put me off a nation that fully deserve to win this world cup. So although I say congratulations Spain, it is aimed at Casillas, Capdevila, Ramos and of course our main man Cesc, you are the ones that have made your nation proud!!

  2. For the first time in my history of watching World Cup finals i remained neutral, i felt ok if either Cesc or Van Persie lifted the trophy.

    Congratulations to our Cesc Fabregas for the contribution to the lifting up of the coveted price, his presence unlocked the deadlock, he saw the unseen, What a quality captain we have in our camp.

    Van Persie, we love you, i have enjoyed watching him all through, i have missed his quality in the Gooners camp, it was touching when he took that fair play corner straight to Casillas arms. i long for the season to kick of just to watch RVP because i know a season without injury for him translates to the leading scorer in the PL.

  3. Good catch on that corner kick, Nairobi-Gunner. I was going to mention something about that, but completely forgot. 😉

    It was a sporting play from RVP. Just shows his class and true spirit of the game. We’re privileged to have him at The Arsenal.

  4. Absolutely fantastic job covering the tournament Mike. I managed to read more and more of it as the games (and thus our travel) became less frequent.

    Hopefully I can keep hold of you for the new season?

    *flutters eyelashes*

    Shocker of a game though. Holland were overly aggressive and Spain just about did enough. I read an interesting stat that Spain has not conceded a goal in any of the knockout games over Euro 2008 or World Cup 2010 and that about sums it up.

  5. Help! I think I’ve just been tapped up!! haha

    Well, since you did ask nicely…I think I can sign on whatever fictional dotted line needs signing for the upcoming season. But I’ll be wanting Joe Cole type wages. 😉

  6. Hello you gooners out there. Hope you enjoyed the World cup in S.A. I thought some of it was slow some of it rubbish but over all i enjoyed it immencely. The south american showed good skill and excitement the africans were disappointing and the asians have improved. Europe did well except for France and England(shocking). I have been rooting for Argentina ever since Kempez or Kempes in ’78’ (sorry) and was sad to see them going out to the Germans especially after thrilling me during their earlier games. Nevertheless I was more than happy to see Spain win the final game because of the type of footy they tried to promote. They are such a great side even though ‘I feel’ they have to many skillful creative and tech players on the pitch at one time ‘who said that’. The Dutch were a let down (van-the bomb) because of the way they chose to go about their business and should have had at least 3 players sent off although what sort of a final would that have been had Webb followed the rules. I felt sorry for RVP because he didn’t really get much survice because the wingers were only interested in shooting rather that supplying chances for their forwards.
    I have not look at any of the discussions or comments over the last 5 wks because i have been watching every game and must say that i missed you boys.
    Finally, can anyone update me with new signings. Hopefully there might be one or two world class players in there some where. Up de ammers.
    PS, whats up shambo.

  7. I too was trying to be neutral going into the WC, but seeing the Netherlands play so well in their qualifiers made me think this was going to be their year. Plus, with all the Barca players yapping on and on about Cesc’s DNA, I felt that I couldn’t be happy if they won.

    Ultimately, I am satisfied that Cesc’s contribution was crucial and that a country that won had never won before. I didn’t care for the tactics that either the Dutch or the Spanish players used yesterday and hope that when Stoke or Blackburn take up their goonish tactics against Arsenal in the BPL that Howard Webb will brandish his yellow cards in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, I fear that his behavior will return to normal, like the attitude of the pundits who berated the Dutch for kicking the Spaniards but who comment gleefully when Arsenal get kicked all over the pitch because that is the way to beat Arsenal.

  8. In retrospect, Spain’s use of Cesc was brilliant: It gave him a taste of what life at Barca would be like (even though the bench might be a different colour) and they saved him until they really, really needed him.

  9. For a World Cup final it was very poor stuff indeed. Easily the worst I’ve seen – and I’ve seen more than I care to mention. Spain really were poor winners. They’ve hardly set the tournament alight with an opening loss to Switzerland followed by a series of dull 1-0’s. The Dutch let themselves down badly but having said that – the match could have gone either way so the rough tactics might have paid off. I also feel that although Robben made an ass of himself chasing after Howard Webb, whining for a free kick – he was definitely fouled as he bore down on the keeper by Puyol who basically attempted to rugby tackle him, yet got clean away with it. Amazing!
    Nope. I’m not impressed with the Spanyards – (except our own Fabregas of course). I thought Uruguay were probably the most exciting to watch and Germany the best team overall.
    Now bring on the real football and hurry up and sign us a GK, Arsene.

  10. Thanks, Nonny. Can’t take credit for taking the foto of course, but it was one of about 10 of RVP that I was able to pull after the match ended. Of the ten or so I grabbed, I thought the one above really stood out as being representative of Robin and his commitment as a player. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match where I could say “he left something in the tank” when it was all over.

    He’s my guy. 🙂

  11. One side of me can forgive pique, puyol, reina etc. for the barca shirt prank as they’ve just won the world cup…however, to them it wasn’t a prank, it was almost certainly serious and just another example of their disrespectfor Arsenal. If anything displays the monstrous, out of control egos that exist at Barcelona, it’s the fact that two of their players hijacked Spain’s World Cup celebrations for purely selfish Catalan motives. Cesc is just a trophy to them – they have spoken for him for months and now they hijack his personal moment in the world cup celebrations and take that moment away from him by embarressing him infront of Wenger, his Arsenal team mates and the fans who he loves. Disrepectful to Arsenal, disrespectful to Cesc.It’s just the latest episode from a bullying club who have acted appallingly all summer long. There is a right way and a wrong way to conduct yourself when it comes to a transfer and even though I thought they couldn’t get much wronger they’ve managed to achieve just that. It’s not too much to expect basic manners and decency from people, Barcelona have shown time and again that it’s simply beyond them. This will only strengthen our resolve, asking price will be up another 10 mill…unfortunately they’ve really put cesc in an uncomfortable position, how does he look his Arsenal mates in the eye now? Their childish disrespect may just work – if it does then they should be ashamed…

  12. This has really been an embarrassing world cup.I cant imagine Spain are the champions. Their style is good but they havent done anything exceptional to win it.It is just the usual Barca style of play which i am really fed up of.Its boring to be the same people winning the Champions league, Euro and the world cup.It really takes courage to send Brazil packing andf more so knocking out two south american sides.Netherlands to me where better and deserved winners if it wasnt for the stupid Webb to ignor a foul committed on the Dutch player in the Spanish box initially before the counter attack.That shows you the stupidity of English referees.How i wish Collina had officiated such a game. I hope they never make out to the last 16 in Brazil 2014. Apart from Fab i dont want to even hear of Spain. I just cant wait Arsenal thumping them in the Champions league should we meet next year.

  13. very very stupid action from reina n pique…all the gunners’ fans around the world hate your stupidity….so veryyy stupid….

  14. Reuters: South Africa. Fabregas is the best ever in the World. Without him, Spain is close to nothing. Fabregas, born in North London, sudden Prince Of England club Arsenal was raised by their manager, Arsene Wenger who single handedly coached him to becoming what he is now.

    Captain of Arsenal that single handedly won The World Cup 2010 for Spain scored 58 goals for Spain en route to winning their World Cup, was crowned the Golden Ball, Golden Boot and hailed as the World’s best ever ahead of Pele and Maradona.

    Upon this, Fabregas’s price has just raised up to 80 Million Euro’s. The World’s greatest player was seen shy when Carles Puyol and co forced him to put on a FC BARCELONA jersey. So much so, he really couldn’t wait to take it off. He wished that he brought the glorious colors of Arsenal to the World Cup.

    With him along with 9 other French young boys, 6 other Dutch boys, and an estimated God knows how many foreigners, North London club, Arsenal look to dominate the new season of The World Premier League held in England where only the best of the World Play.

  15. Florenz / Fiorentina bought Boruc from Celtic… It seems S. Frey is on his way to Arsenal 🙂

  16. @ice,
    How you keepin man?
    Havnt been on myself in weeks because of the World Cup and recently opened a pub with a mate of mine so all hands to the pump at the mo……scary stuff!
    Looks like the Hammers are getiin busy.
    As for us its more of the same….looks like were set to miss out on van der wiel after tracking him all last season and shoud really have nabbed him before the World Cup but I hear hes off to munich.
    And as for Laurent Koscielny……I welcome him and wish him the best of luck and hope he turns out to be a gem but I have to say im pretty angry because I really believe its time to stop gambling with french unknowns and move for the proven international quality.
    Can anyone name one Arsenal player that performed well at the World Cup?????Cescs assist for the spain winner was the only contribution I can even remember.

  17. We should indeed make life difficult for reina should he return back to England. Unless your are an imbecile and stupid how do u as a liverpool player instead of being proud about it rejoice to see another player put on Barca shirt.I just hope Liverpool fans see the stupidity in their keeper that he is infact not proud of them too. He shouldnt come back to England. Hopeless fool out of the top four even next season. I see mancity beating them to top four and Tores leaving them this season.

  18. Fabregas is staying. I’m right and I will be proved right. Arsenal Football Club hold ALL the cards in this sorry pathetic display by Barcelona and it’s players – however great their actions on the pitch may be, their actions off it are worthy of your average three year old. All along AW and Arsenal have largely maintained a dignified silence going right the way back to May. I fully expect that silence to be maintained whilst Fabregas goes on holiday. I also expect every Arsenal-hating moron in the country – from those pathetic Talk Sport commentators (you know the ones) all the way through to your average Spud continually living and breathing in the hope that he will go and that their bravado and boasts hold out. Unfortunately for them and joyously for us, they won’t. And here’s the simple reason……..Cesc is under contract. He’s an Arsenal player and we’re not prepared to listen to any offers. End off. I’m sure AW will also have no trouble in translating that into as many different languages as Barcelona may need. Footnote. Can’t wait for us to STUFF Liverpool at Anfield and rip the proverbial water out of their pathetic goalkeeper.

  19. @shambogunner is very harsh to judge arsenal player way u did.the performance of a team does not depend on individual talent,is a team work stuff.according to ur view are there any EPL champion chelsea and man utd player on the quarter final stage? That doesn’t mean they don’t have quality players in there team.believe it this year will not pass us by without a trophy.

  20. It’s amazing that some fans come up here to slate Fab for the disgraceful and disrespectful acts of Pique and Puyol(the barce cartel in the spainish team will be their undoing in the near future if they don’t handle it),what do you lots expect (Ugo and co.)that he begin a fight with them.You guys are even suggesting he drop the band for what?what has Cesc do wrong to lose the band because some idiot forced a barca shirt on him. First of all lets not be fooled into selling Cesc and them making it look like they do not need him and he is not going to get a place on the team that is a lie and a disguise to buy Cesc cheap the barce board is hiding behind Xavi and Iniesta to buy Cesc on the cheap and to make it look like they do not really need him when in essence they know he is a jewel and make no mistake they will build the new team around him as the focal point.Now they just want to complete the last piece of their mastermind jigsaw by putting the player at war with the fans and most of you who I thought should know better are falling for it.Cesc is a wonderful young man way younger than I am but I must tell you he has handled this transfer situation very well bearing in mind he is not a Ronaldo going to Spain he is a boy going back home even me as much as I want him to stay another part of me want him to return back home and live his dream though not quite now.For a young man who found love away from home and was not carried away by it and his own success we should give him plenty to cherish as his fan.We need him for at least two more seasons he has been loyal lets not use Puyol’s and co one minute of fame to ruin the services of captain.I saw him play with a broken leg for us that was more than anything to me,that was his statement so do not wait for adulterated tabloid news to know that he is committed.

  21. I hope barce no that what goes around comes around and concerning cesc if the price is right let him go he wants to go i just hope he doesn’t end up like reyes and hleb

  22. Kel, he’ll end up like Henry. Winning everything just except that he’ll probably win 3 times more =D

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