Posted on Saturday, 30th April 2011 by Vivek Arulnathan
One of the reasons for Arsenal’s failure this season has been the performance of their big players in the big matches. Only Robin van Persie looked comfortable as it was left to youngsters Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny to carry the team forward.
Most notable among these failures is that of our captain Cesc Fabregas’ performances.
I would be extremely harsh if I were to say that he has failed to live up to expectations, but he doesn’t look right.
The captaincy is something that you do in the latter stages of your career when you have years of experience under your belt. Just Look at who captains the best teams around Europe. John Terry, Nemanja Vidic, Carles Puyol, Iker Casillas, Steven Gerrard, the list is endless. These guys had already gone through the ups and downs of a professional footballing career before leading their teams with distinction. The same cannot be said of our beloved Spaniard.
When asked about the burden placed on Cesc Fabregas’ shoulders, Arsene Wenger was quoted in the Daily Mail saying:
‘It’s too much pressure for someone his age. But he is captain and [Robin] van Persie is vice-captain so they put a lot of pressure on themselves. It’s all self-inflicted. Cesc is a winner. He wants to win, he is desperate to win. And of course when it does not work, he is frustrated.’
When Fabregas came to Arsenal he had experienced players alongside him, players like Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry to look up to. This side that Fabregas leads is so young that the Spaniard himself said that this team has no one to look at and say ‘wow.’
He took over the task of leading a young squad when he himself was only 21. As Wenger says Cesc is a winner. He is a World Cup winner, and when there are repeated failures to deliver trophies at the club, he is bound to get frustrated. Also being arguably the team’s best player, Cesc puts a lot of pressure on himself. He has just tried a bit too hard this season; this is due to the added pressure of the captain’s armband.
The stats show that the need for a trophy, and also being the club captain, has taken its toll on Fabregas.
The Carling Cup defeat to Birmingham City was such a huge disappointment, and our players have struggled to recover from it. Fabregas as captain (though he did not play in the match) would have been the most devastated of the lot. Some people have taken a swipe at Cesc claiming he is not a leader. But many forget that he is just 23 years old!
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