Date: 20th July 2014 at 6:55pm
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Continuing the series with Francesc Fabregas’ perceived strengths and weaknesses.

STRENGTHS:-

1. Pass master – Fabregas is extraordinarily gifted at threading killer passes from the deep and defence splitting passes just in the final third. With the movement of Diego Costa and Torres, clubs parking the bus against us, to grind out results because we are one dimensional, will simply not work anymore. His arrival will help since he will look to give the killer pass unlike Oscar who wants to score himself all by himself.

2. Scoring Ability – Playing out wide and as a false 9 for Barcelona over the past seasons has improved the scoring aspect of his game. With the exit of Lampard, he should supply goals from midfield. In comes Fabregas. He may not possess Lampard’s knack of arriving late in the box nor long rangers but he is a better finisher, has better movement and finishes one-on-ones more than the legend.

3. A Drive and a Heart – When skills and tactics fails to win you a match, games are won by the heart at such stages. Fabregas offers that drive as he has the fight in him. There are many a match that such virtues will be needed and with Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, F. Luis, Matic, Hazard and Costa, we will be ready for war in matches where needed.

4. Leadership Qualities – At a very tender age, Fabregas actually carried Arsenal on his shoulders through the wilderness as club captain. With the exits of Lampard, A. Cole and D. Luiz, this seriously needed to push the team forward.

5. Tactical Nous – The job of the coach is made much easier with players that understand the tactical part of the game. La Masia and the Spanish League is much tactical than the EPL. This will help in Champions League matches and against top tier oppositions in the EPL especially the likes of the Manchester behemoths, Liverpool, Arsenal; teams that actually play intelligently.

6. Set Pieces – Blessed with players that pose aerial threat during set-pieces, our goals scored from set pieces dropped the past season because of poor set-piece takers. Fabregas has a wonderful ability from set pieces, be it corner kicks and free kicks; he could actually score some from promising positions.

WEAKNESSES:-

1. Temperament – He has clashed with Frank Lampard many times while at Arsenal and even during his Barcelona days. He could be hot-tempered sometimes which may not be forgiven quite easily in the EPL considering the fact that we’re Chelsea. Being fairly hot-tempered may actually cause us some harm particular in matches against the Newcastle and West Ham of this word that like to kick players around.

2. Playacting and Diving – Diving (or dare I call it flying) is treated leniently in the Spanish League. Press hunting and bookings follow it in England. He needs to stay on his feet a little under minimal challenges, as referees may learn to overlook even genuine fouls that could earn us vital free kicks and heck spot kicks.

3. Stamina – He starts seasons on fire, banging in goals and assists but wanes as the season pushes to the business end. In one off matches, he tires off towards the later part of matches too; this may not be exposed in Spain so much because most teams tire out as well. These does not apply in England were players sweat blood and tears till the last minute. He needs to work on his stamina ASAP.

4. Defence – Even a CF defends in England, Fabregas has shown to be short in that department of his game. He seems slow and tackles poorly and does not make many interceptions. If used in the double pivot against high profile teams, we might be dangerously exposed since only Matic will be left to defend. His aerial abilities are also not up to scratch, this might make him struggle when the West Ham of this world enters the route one mode.

Let’s discuss!

KTBFFH.