Fabregas has never been better says ex-Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson
PUBLISHED: 18:39 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:29 07 September 2010
Arsene Wenger will be hoping his captain Cesc Fabregas won t be spending too much time with his pal Xavi Hernandez as Spain prepare for Saturday s World Cup qualifier in Armenia. The Barcelona midfielder s assertion that Fabregas has Barca DNA did not g
Arsene Wenger will be hoping his captain Cesc Fabregas won't be spending too much time with his pal Xavi Hernandez as Spain prepare for Saturday's World Cup qualifier in Armenia.
The Barcelona midfielder's assertion that Fabregas has "Barca DNA" did not go down well at the Emirates.
Not that it seemed to affect the man in question.
Fabregas's performance in Arsenal's 6-2 win over Blackburn on Sunday was quite possibly his finest in an Arsenal shirt.
He played a role in five of the home goals, scoring the fourth with a majestic sweep of his left foot, setting up four others - including a pair of killer passes to Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin - and earning a well-earned rest just minutes before Nicklas Bendtner wrapped up the scoring.
One paper even dusted off an 'Absolutely Fabregas' headline for another outing. He was that good.
Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson, the club's player of the year in 1986, watched the Spaniard's display from the stands.
"He was excellent, absolutely exceptional,' Robson tells Ham&High Sport.
"Cesc links the defence and the attack so well. He's been given a free role to go forward and he can be so effective, as he was against Blackburn.
"He's a creative force who can dribble past players with ease, play killer balls and score goals himself when he finds himself in those advance positions.
"In addition, his workrate is immense, although people sometimes don't recognise that because he looks so one-paced, but believe me he really puts it in - we saw all of these qualities on Sunday."
But Xavi's comments to El Mundo Deportivo still hung heavy over Arsenal's sixth successive win in all competitions since those two defeats in Manchester.
Previously, Xavi crowed: "I've always said I link up with Cesc very well in the national team despite many saying we can't play together. We demonstrated in the final of the European Championship that isn't true.
"I especially hope that Cesc comes (to Barcelona). He is showing at Arsenal that he is on another level.
"I would love him to sign and that we could play together at Barca. Clearly, a lot of his career is ahead of him and I think that in the future will be at the Nou Camp."
Fabregas, for his part, has done his best to allay Arsenal fans' fears. After miserably raising an arm after scoring against Wigan last month he was forced to justify his meek celebration in his programme notes after yet more tabloid speculation that his body language meant he wanted out.
On Sunday, he gave his public what they want when he sprinted to the corner flag and kissed his shirt after scoring, a trite gesture normally but one that was welcomed in Islington, maybe not so in Catalonia.
"I am committed to this club, it is my seventh season here," Fabregas said afterwards.
"It is hard to hear people saying I am not committed or something. It was a good time to show I love this club."
His team mates certainly remain in awe of his talents.
"If he plays like he did against Blackburn, nobody will be able to stop him this season," said the returning Theo Walcott, scorer of the fifth goal on Sunday.
"He is fantastic to play with. He is only 22 but he has been around for a very long time. He is our captain and he is doing a great job."
It is almost a year to the day that Fabregas, who began his career at the Nou Camp and remains an avid Barca socio, admitted: "It would be a dream to return to Barcelona one day".
But he has five years remaining on his Arsenal contract and despite rumours Barca president Joan Laporta is lining him up as his marquee signing for 2010, his manager Arsene Wenger firmly believes he is going nowhere.
"The best answer is to play well on the football pitch and to show that you are happy to be where you are," said the Frenchman.
A word of caution comes from Robson, who left Highbury when he was 22 and admits he has regretted it ever since.
"Cesc is a wonderful player," he continues, "he makes the team five per cent better on his own.
"But don't think he is irreplaceable. Even Liverpool could live without Steven Gerrard.
"We have a great team here at Arsenal and, actually, we went on that long unbeaten run last season when Cesc was injured - that is well worth remembering.
"He needs to improve defensively too. One player does not make a team..."
Fabregas, for his part, was curt with the Spanish media when he arrived in his homeland this week.
"I cannot even talk about Barcelona," he shrugged.
But for how much longer?