Wenger says pressure is “too much” for Cesc – whose fault is that then?!

Arsene admitted for the first time that the pressure of being a 23 year old captain that the rest of the team looks to “is too much for him at his age”.

This was Wenger’s first response to Fabregas’ outspoken interview with Spanish paper Don Balon a few weeks ago. Actually, that’s not true, it was his second response. His first knee-jerk response was to claim that Fabregas’ words had been “twisted”, but once Don Balon produced audio recordings of the interview corroborating their article, Wenger had to back down and face up to the fact that Fabregas did indeed complain about the pressure he’s under.

To refresh your memory, Fabregas had said this:

“We are all so young that there is nobody you look at and say, ‘wow’. The ‘Invincibles’ team is the best I have ever played in. Now a lot has changed, and I am the man that everyone looks to. I don’t like to say it, but it is true. It is not something I am used to but I am captain, so it is reality.”

In other words, the older, more experienced players that youngsters can look to in awe and admiration to learn from and imitate were there for him in 2004 when he was breaking through – Vieira (captain), Henry, Pires, Bergkamp, Campbell, Lehmann, Lauren and Gilberto. Players who could drag a team through a match they weren’t playing well in and knew how to win ugly if necessary.

Fast forward seven years, and the young Wilsheres and Walcotts look up to Fabregas (captain), maybe van Persie and… er, that’s it. So when things aren’t going well, the players, media and fans all look to Fabregas to single-handedly turn things around and lead us through the tough times.

Wenger says:

“It is too much for him at his age. But he is the captain of the team and Van Persie is vice captain and they put a lot of pressure on themselves. Cesc is a winner. When it does not work, he is frustrated. It is too much because it doesn’t go as well.”

Fabregas in a Barcelona shirt

I know who I'll blame when this becomes a reality

Damn right it’s too much for a 23 year old. And whose fault is that then Wenger? Who decided to sell off the experienced players and replace them with youngsters who had a better resale value?

For the last few years everybody who knows even the slightest thing about football has noticed that we need experienced players to compliment our brilliant youngsters. To show them how to cope with pressure and how to grind out 1-0 victories when you haven’t played well. Two or three leaders to cajole them through the tough matches and teach them the mental side of the game.

Stubborn Wenger ignored that and carried on with his youth policy.

The world and his wife also saw that Wenger needed a dominant centre half to counter our vulnerability at set pieces, preferably a proven winner who could take promising players like Koscielny and Djourou under his wing and bring through their undoubted potential.

Stubborn Wenger ignored that and carried on with his youth policy.

He has been warned time and again by ex-players, pundits, journalists and especially us fans that relying only on youngsters and cheap second-rate stop gaps will not win trophies for our beloved club.

Stubborn Wenger ignored that and carried on with his youth policy.

So who can blame Fabregas for losing patience and longing for Barcelona, where he can melt into the background and look up to the likes of Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Valdes, Alves, Abidal, Mascherano, Keita, Villa and be allowed to improve and flourish even further? It is unfair that he should shoulder all the pressure here and Wenger must take responsibility for that.

When he leaves for Barcelona, there will only be one man to blame and it isn’t Cesc.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-62">
    Gordy

    I agree, Wenger needs to change his ways or Nasri and Wilshere will be off soon to clubs where they can win trophies. I’m getting sick of it.

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