Cesc Fabregas’ man of the match performance for Spain against England raised more questions than it gave answers.
The player has been missing whenever he’s pulled on a Chelsea shirt this season yet he looked back to his best against players he sees every week.
It should have been good news for his struggling club manager, Jose Mourinho, to see one of the key players from Chelsea’s championship winning year back on form. But instead it will leave him feeling uncomfortable. Is it a sign that Fabregas is one of the men that’s had enough of Jose?
There’s a long standing claim that Fabregas can only ever give a team half a season. Unless he’s flipped his usual routine, and plans on a post-Christmas run of form, it usually occurs when he’s fresher during the early round of fixtures. Last season he tricked thousands of Fantasy Football managers by racing ahead with an impressive assist tally before grinding to a halt.
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This season he’s called their bluff again by not even attempting to perform at the same standard. His lack of form sums up the season Chelsea is currently enduring. It should come as no surprise that they are off the pace when such a key component has been missing.
The lack of goals has been cited as Chelsea’s main problem, Fabregas was instrumental in so many last year that his dwindling contribution has had a direct impact on the team. It’s been made worse by Diego Costa’s inability to score as much as he misbehaves.
Players suffering from a drop in form is nothing new. No footballer has a complete season. What is strange is the manner in which Cesc has been getting through Premier League matches compared to how he performed for Spain against England. Due to Spain’s match with Belgium being cancelled we’ve not been able to see if his return to form was a blip.
Worryingly for Mourinho, if it proves to be a one-off it shows he has lost a key member of his dressing room. If the decorated Portuguese manager is going to turn things around at Stamford Bridge he will need players like Fabregas firmly behind him. Any doubts that certain individuals have tired of Jose will push him closer to an exit.
Even if Fabregas is behind his club boss, if the Spain match proves to be a one-off, Roman Abramovich will query why his manager is no longer able to extract the best from his squad. It’s clear now that Cesc Fabregas isn’t struggling for fitness or confidence.
It can’t even be argued he’s was around better players than at club level. Of course the Spain squad is impressive but Chelsea are the reigning champions. His club mates are of a high standard, too good to pretend he needed better players to help elevate his game.
It appears the problems at Stamford Bridge are deeply rooted to such an extent that players’ ability is being suffocated by the Jose Mourinho circus. U
nless Fabregas can perform his old tricks in blue sometime soon, Jose will be made to take his distractions elsewhere.