The re-writing of Cesc Fabregas’ Arsenal history

LadyArse started in August 2008 as a single writer sharing their love of Arsenal.  Since then it has grown to become a collection of writers who all do the same.

The re-writing of Cesc Fabregas’ Arsenal history

Arsenal v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League


It seems you can’t have a sensible conversation about Cesc Fabregas these days. The former Arsenal captain certainly divides our fanbase, for some he is a hero, a true Arsenal great, and to others he is the disloyal traitor who forced his way out of Arsenal to sit on the Barcelona bench.

Last week, as he scored the first hatrick of his professional career, my entire twitter feed was dominated by either hatred toward Cesc, or a yearning jealousy that he no longer belongs to us.

Personally, I feel Cesc is a bonafide Arsenal legend. The hatemongering that seems to swell amoung some of our fanbase is completely misplaced and misdirected.

Firstly, Cesc may not have won the trophies that some other Arsenal greats have, but the young Catalan guided the club through extremely choppy waters, and carried the team through one of the most important periods in the clubs history.

Arsenal’s financial structure after the move to the Emirates stadium relied very heavily on securing Champions League football every season. With no trasfer funds available, Arsene Wenger assembled a squad of promising youngsters, the best of which was Cesc.

He’s a special case in world football, and there are no other transfer scenarios similar to his. Arsenal were good to Cesc, they gave him a platform as a 16 year old to showcase his talents that no other elite club at the time would have done, certainly not Barcelona, who didn’t even have Messi in their 2006 Champions League Final squad. But Cesc was also good to Arsenal. In addition to his general talent, he gave us some fantastic moments; his goal at the San Siro to knock out holders AC Milan, and scoring THAT goal from the kick off against Tottenham weren’t just great Fabregas moments, they were great moments in the history of Arsenal Football Club.

Cesc was the fulcrum of the team and he carried us during the most unstable period in the club’s modern history.

Cesc didn’t leave for more money like Nasri, Adebayor or Hleb. He didn’t demand salary increases or give ultimatums like Alex Song. And he certainly didn’t stoop to the momentous lows of the Dutch wasteman.

We celebrate Thierry Henry as one of Arsenal’s best ever players, and rightly so. Yet the summer before he left, Henry collected a huge £5 million loyalty bonus for signing a new contract. One very mediocre season later he was gone, citing his reasoning that he wasn’t willing to wait for Arsenal to develop, and he wanted to join the best team in the world. Is what he did any worse than what Cesc did?

For me it’s a miracle that Cesc stayed at Arsenal as long as he did.

It leaves a sour taste in the mouth watching him now, he rarely plays 90 minutes and Barcelona certainly don’t adore him like we did. He isn’t the centrepeice of their team like he was at Arsenal, and that makes his abscence a bitter pill to swallow.

People say you should move on, focus on the present and forget about the past, and to an extent I agree with that. But part of the beauty of following a football club is reminsicing, of re-living former glories and great memories. I can’t re-watch the goals of Van Persie or Adebayor, I can’t enjoy Ashley Cole’s place in the Invincibles, such was the herecy they commited when leaving Arsenal. Yet Cesc is different to those players. He’s still one of us, still an Arsenal legend, his goals still belong in youtube compilations of great Arsenal moments. He obviously still holds a lot of love for the club, and maybe one day he’ll even return as the prodigal son. We witnessed with pride his transformation from a talented but raw teenager into one of the best midfielders in the world. He gave us so many great memories and he really was such an integral part in ensuring Arsenal remain where we are today. It only takes a sobering look at Liverpool’s plight to realise how important Champions League qualification is to an elite club.

Enjoy Cesc, celebrate his victories, be proud of him. He dedicated his world cup win to Arsenal in 2010, so let’s enjoy him as one of our own. Hate Barcelona all you want, I certainly do, but don’t hate Cesc.

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