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Emirates diary: The days of Cesc

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

LONDON – DECEMBER 21: Francesc Fabregas of Arsenal evades Steven Gerrard of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on December 21, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Needless to say, every Arsenal fan can still feel the emptiness at the Emirates without the legend. Arsenal today is deprived of its greatest legends and truly, Arsenal wouldn’t have been what it is today without them.

The 16 year old from La Masia, sensing his limited opportunities at Barcelona, came to the English capital. When he joined the club, he did not even know the English language! But with the help of a Spanish speaking team mate, he managed to settle down.

Being just 16, he had to face many hardships at Arsenal. He had to concentrate on training as well as learn the English language.

He signed for the London side on 11th September 2003 and it wasn’t too long before he made his debut for Arsenal on 23rd September 2003 in a league cup tie at home against Rotherham United. He was Arsenal’s youngest player, aged 16 years and 177 days. He then became the youngest goal scorer in Arsenal’s history in a later round of the league cup.

Unfortunately during his nine year campaign, out of which he was the captain for four years, Arsenal did not lift the silverware. Adding to this, he was not even given a medal even though Arsenal won the 2003-04 season unbeaten since he did not even play a single game in the league.

With Vieira serving as a role model as well as a mentor to Cesc, he went on to play as the starting central midfielder following injuries to fellow midfielders Vieira, Silva and Edu During the 2004-05 season.

As mentioned earlier, he was exposed to a lot of criticism, and called “an unproven featherweight” in Ashley Cole’s autobiography.

It did not take long for Fabregas to be the most coveted personalities of the beautiful game with his success at Arsenal. Between 2006-07 and 2010-11, Fabregas created the most chances in the top division leagues of England, Italy, Germany and France.

At Arsenal, he did not taste much of the sweet fruits of success except for the FA community Shield in 2004 and FA cup in 2005 and was a mere part of the team which won the 2003-04 premier league unbeaten. But his pursuit of individual triumphs began at a very young age where he lifted the FIFA U-17 world championship Golden shoe as well as Golden ball in 2003 and also the UEFA European U-17 Football championship Golden player in 2004.

Arsenal v Udinese - UEFA Champions League Play-Off

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 16: Arsenal fans show their support for former captain Cesc Fabregas ahead of the UEFA Champions League play-off first leg match between Arsenal and Udinese at the Emirates Stadium on August 16, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Despite his conflicts with the manager, he still did not give up his aggressive style of play. Combined with efficient playmaking, it makes him the most praised player of the squad and also a worldwide eminent player. “The Fab Four” (nicknamed by the Spanish media) however could not play the last few seasons due to consistent injuries and truly Arsenal cannot find a substitute for a player like Fabregas. He will always be honoured by all the hearts of the North London Fans.

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