Fabregas frustration is justified + Win an official Arsenal home shirt!

Hello again. Nice to see you. Sort of. The ‘see’ bit, not the ‘nice’ bit by the way. If you catch my drift.

I had a pretty good day yesterday despite the lack of Arsenal happenings. I went to Suncorp Stadium to watch Australia give Qatar a 4-0 thumping – in the pouring rain I might add – to move to the top of their Asian World Cup qualifying group. I thought it was an excellent performance by Australia against a half-decent Qatar side, with Josh Kennedy and Tim Cahill the standout performers and incidentally, both grabbed a goal.

Cahill’s performance was a little worrying for the simple fact that Arsenal come up against his Everton team this weekend. He always seems to have a goal in him so I’m just hoping he gets affected by some serious jetlag from his trip back to the UK. Sorry Timmy.

Although no Arsenal players took part in the Australia-Qatar match, there were a handful of players who took part in other World Cup qualifiers. However, none of them really did anything so I’m not going to waste your time going into what they didn’t do. I hope you understand.

What I will speak about (before moving onto the shirt giveaway – woo!) are some rather candid comments made by one of the players who did do something for his country last night, Cesc Fabregas. Speaking about the apparent lack of experience and quality in the current Arsenal midfield and the way it might be affecting his individual game, young Fabregas had this to say:

“I scored 13 goals last season but then I had plenty of allies. Rosicky was around, Flamini covered every blade of grass and Hleb was like a brother to me out there. The team played with a lot of skilful touches, we were as solid as a brick wall and our opponents would not get a look in. Now none of those players are in the side and I feel like a rare being. We are more defensive-minded and sturdy as a team but we don’t play so much skilful stuff.”

These are very interesting comments for two reasons. One, because they’re exactly what every Arsenal supporter bar Arsene Wenger himself has been saying since the transfer window closed and two, because they’re coming from our best and most important player. If Fabregas, the spiritual leader and undoubted future of the Arsenal Football Club, is making comments like this than I think we as supporters have every right to feel a little worried.

Fabregas has been so faithful and positive during his time at the club but for the first time I am genuinely concerned that he might be looking else to continue his football education. Whether he moves on or not is another thing entirely, but what matters is that what he is saying about the decrease in quality in the midfield from last season to this season is 100% true.

The most striking comment Fabregas makes is about the effort that Mathieu Flamini put in last season and there is a clear undertone from the Spaniard that noone else at the club is quite up to his old buddy’s standard, a point I tend to agree with. I am a firm believer that if and when Abou Diaby gets back to full fitness we will have a central-midfield partnership worth crowing about but his body is so unreliable that it’s almost irresponsible for Wenger to be counting on that solution to the problem. Which is frustrating.

Cesc’s admission that the side has become more defensive is down to the fact that he is having to defend more. Last season Flamini’s boundless energy and enthusiasm freed Fabregas up to be deadly going forward but this season it has just not been possible. Denilson has struggled in the more defensive role while Alex Song – a far better fit alongside Cesc, in my opinion – has been used sparingly.

Anyway, that’s all I’m going to say about it now. Sorry to come off so negatively but I’ve said time and time again that Flamini was an exceptionally important part of our side last season and it’s frustrating that he has not been replaced. Granted, Diaby might prove to be the long-term answer but if his long-term development comes at the huge cost of Fabregas losing patience and leaving the club then it will prove to be the biggest mistake Wenger has made in his career.

Arsenal Shirt Competition

On to the competition! The kind folks at SoccerPro have kindly donated an official Arsenal home kit for me to giveaway to one lucky reader of the blog. Woo!

There is one tiny eensy weensy catch to this competition and it is that only subscribers of the Arsenal FC Blog mailing list are eligible to enter. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I just changed my mailing list software to AWeber and, as a result, this competition will only be available to those who have since signed up to my new mailing list. It is, of course, free and you can read all the details of how to sign up to the Arsenal FC Blog mailing list in yesterday’s post. Or just sign up here.

Once you’ve done that all you have to do to enter is answer the following question:

Which former Arsenal and Nigerian player is Emmanuel Adebayor’s footballing hero?

So, just send your responses to SoccerProComp@arsenalfcblog.com to be in the draw to win. I will be announcing the winner in next Friday’s post to allow for any technical issues with subscriptions and give as many people as possible the chance to enter. Good luck.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Thanks for reading and I’ll speak to you tomorrow.

Have your say on Cesc’s comments or the Arsenal Home Shirt Competition by leaving a comment.



  1. Hope what stated in the papers is plain fabricated stuff… But it might be the reality Cesc comment on this… It might be blessing in disguise for AW & our blind board if he left us in the summer… No one wanna spend endless time with AW & our board in their never ending transition or experiment in trying to win silverwares with unexperience players… Season comes, season goes & what happened is that our calibre players always choose to GO!!!

  2. I don’t blame Cesc, even if he chooses to leave this summer. It must be higly frustrating for him.

    One season you have arguably the best midfield in the country the next you have it all slip through your fingers and leave Cesc with the burden to work Magic.

    In my opinion selling Flamini could be more consequential than selling Henry- in that it was easier to replace Henry at his form at the time.

    It would have only cost a few thousand pounds.

    By the way Arsenal where actually trying to bargain to sign Ronaldo a few years ago before Man U nicked him (but for a few thousand pounds.

  3. I was so furious when I read an article about Walcott by a c***t Chris Waddle.
    Walcott already has half goals this fellow scored in his whole carrer for English team. An under achiever and a low profile footballer and commentor is speaking about the selection of England team. Capello is a winner and he has proved this at top level for a long time, he knows how he will use Walcott. Walcott is a kid of age 19. Just 19. He has exceptional talent and can be a world class player in years to come. He needs time. He cannot score hattricks in all games or 2/3 assists every game. I think English media is one of the factor football level has been poor in this country. Commentators like Waddle and Gray are joke.

  4. Cesc was absolutely to the point. Still I can’t see him leaving Arsenal untill Wenger will be here. Cesc might want to play for Barca but he might have to stay in bench. So why would he want to leave. Cesc top gun.

    Wenger grandpa does not listen to anybody cause he has kiddyphobia. He loves kids so much he never hurt kiddy players.

  5. The amount of pressure weighted on Cesc’s shoulders is immense…the young lad has matured so quickly ..he is intelligent and just as clever of the field as on…he learnt his english within 6 weeks of coming to the country. He has recently bought a plush pad in Hampstead and has declared many times his love for our cleb…i cannot blame him for his comments and i so want him to enjoy his football but it must be torture when you have played with the best quartet in the league to then see two dissappear and the rest plagued by injuries!!

    I say give Ramsey a go….a top night for him with the Welsh U21 (albeit the team lost) ..hey SF got any links for his 30 yrd wonder strike!!

  6. Also, thanks to everyone who has entered so far. I’ll be putting a mention of the comp in tomorrow’s post as well as each post next week. Good luck everyone!

  7. I’m pretty sure Cahill is suspended for another two games. My mate is a Cahill/Everton fanatic and he said something about that… So don’t be too concerned about him scoring against us :-p I could be wrong though – haven’t checked it myself…

  8. If Cesc goes it proves that Arsenal is a selling club. A developmental team for the rest of Europe, where we buy youth talent, and when they fulfill their potential they leave for bigger clubs in Europe. It comes down to what Wenger said in the summer and he needs to clarify if that is the truth. If Arsenal don’t have the money just say “we don’t have the money to buy these star players” and if its his policy then put his pride aside and change the way he is or get out. His way is clearly not working and hasn’t been for years now. Buying youth and letting them leave in their prime is not going to win anything. We need to forget buying nothing but youth and concentrate on getting some experienced players.

  9. yup cahill is suspended up to 26th october so please take back the jetlag curse lmao. Disappointing last 2 games in the premier league. Go on lads show us what you are made of.

  10. Sagna, Toure and Bendter out of the Everton game and most probably the champions league match against Fenerbahce, Djourou and Van Persie will both have fitness tests as both picked up knocks but should be ok. Fabregas has a broken nose but is still able to play and Diaby is back and will be named in the squad this weekend.

    I hope:
    Walcott-Fab-Diaby-Nasri(is he fit if not then Denilson)

  11. But the main source apparently for cesc’s comments were the barca l’quipe? or some spanish newspaper like it so I think it’s all bollocks and untill I see cesc saying these things on fox sports or something of the like I’m not going to read anything into it as 2 months ago he said he was loving it here.

  12. Far out, I just heard about Bacary and Bendtner… Hopefully Djourou, Fabregas and van Persie will be fit for Saturday. They still have to pass fitness tests. Bloody Interlull.

  13. Just to make it slightly worse….for me….Cescs comments made it to a “third world” television station website…..Globo is huge in brazil and his comments made the front page…..i hope im able to post the link, even if i can its all it portuguese…..the gist is as above in SF’s words…


    Hes an important guy for arsenal and for football.

  14. @ LuxinBrasil – Yeah, I posted it in the ‘Asides’ section. Check out the front page of the blog 🙂 Just under the Pikum stuff…


    I cant seem to find it, help?

  15. Cesc Fabrepass knows what he’s saying,we’ve said it so many times that a lack of Flamini’s replacement is affecting Asenal than anything else.Abou Diaby is wastefull,sluggish and doesn’t always show his presence in crucial games.Song is coming up;marks well,passes good but still slow in recovering.

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