Captain Cesc’s appointment is no surprise

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta

The news of Cesc Fàbregas’ new role as leader of Arsenal wasn’t a surprise.

Following William Gallas’ outburst last week, Arsène Wenger will have looked at his squad and thought: “realistically, he’s the only candidate for the job.”

The only surprise in this whole debacle is the timing. Many will have pictured Fàbregas leading Arsenal in future years, maybe four or five from now. Few would have predicted it as early as 2008 – don’t forget the kid’s still only 21.

But for a player of his age, his footballing experience is vast. He moved to north London aged just 16 and was already starting Premier League games a year later. In his six years at Arsenal he’s made over 149 appearances in all competitions.

The Cesc Fàbregas Show

At 21 years of age, Cesc Fàbregas is Arsenal’s most important player – and has been for a few seasons now. People say he’s not on form this season, but football is a team game and even when a player of Fàbregas’s stature is surrounded by under-performing team mates he can’t run the show on his own.

The departures of Mathieu Flamini and his good mate Alex Hleb over the summer certainly haven’t helped proceedings – Arsenal are patently missing Flamini’s unrelenting effort this season, and whilst Hleb didn’t score goals anywhere near as often as he should have, he had a way of taking control of games.

Last year, Fàbregas himself said of Flamini: “When I see Mathieu [Flamini] running for every ball, I think to myself: ‘look at him, I’ve got to keep running too!'”

So whilst Arsène Wenger has without doubt made the right decision in appointing the boy from Barcelona, questions need to be raised as to the strength and depth of this current young Arsenal side.

Fàbregas is an intelligent, composed and loyal footballer. And he has always been committed to Arsenal’s cause. On Monday he said:

“I will do everything I can to make us successful again. By becoming captain it shows how much I’m committed to the club. I actually feel I’ve shown commitment since I arrived here.

“Each year people talk about me leaving yet I’m still here and I want to be part of the future of Arsenal. I love the club and I’m totally committed to it. I’m not looking to play anywhere else.”

So Monday’s news wasn’t a surprise for most Arsenal fans. It simply came sooner than they expected.

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