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Fabregas´s return to Arsenal energises Wenger

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Aug 2008

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Arsene Wenger believes the return of Cesc Fabregas in Arsenal's 4-0 Champions League rout of FC Twente signals the real start of his side's season.

Fabregas was badly missed during Arsenal's first three matches as the Spanish midfielder recovered from a hamstring injury.

The Gunners laboured to a pair of unconvincing victories before slumping to a dismal defeat at Fulham on Saturday, but it took just 66 minutes of Fabregas's elegant influence at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday to restore Wenger's belief that Arsenal can flourish this year.

With Fabregas pulling the strings in his first competitive appearance since Spain's Euro 2008 final triumph in June, Arsenal were transformed and Steve McClaren's Twente had no answer to their movement and penetration.

Goals from Samir Nasri, William Gallas, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner sealed a 6-0 aggregate win in the third qualifying round and booked Arsenal's place in Thursday's group stage draw.

When Wenger took Fabregas off midway through the second half to save the midfield maestro for Saturday's clash against Newcastle, he departed to a standing ovation and it was the Gunners boss who led the applause.

“He brings calm and confidence to the side,” Wenger said. “Overall we had a good balance with him in the side.

“He could have stayed on, he was disappointed Twente didn't have a go because he always wants to test himself.

“I took him off because he has only just come back from the hamstring injury.”

Fabregas is close to the finished article and his new team-mate Nasri already looks like becoming another gem in Wenger's midfield.

The French winger, who came off with a stomach bug after being sick at half-time, has had no trouble settling in since his pre-season move from Marseille and broke the deadlock with a fine finish in the 27th minute.

Robin van Persie was the catalyst as he won possession on the edge of the Twente penalty area. His tackle ran to Nasri, who wrong-footed two defenders with a sublime turn before firing in a low shot that took a slight deflection past Nicolay Mihaylov.

Gallas enjoyed a moment of redemption after his mistake at Fulham when his rampaging run set up Bendtner in the 52nd minute. The forward's shot was blocked by Mihaylov and rebounded for Gallas to slot home.

Walcott got reward for a menacing display when he exchanged passes with Bendtner and curled a low shot past Mihaylov in the 66th minute.

Bendtner's close-range strike from Denilson's backheel in the 89th minute capped the rout.

“It was a big game for us,” Wenger said. “We want to play with the best and that means qualifying for the group stage.

“I felt we were well organised, disciplined and focused. We were never really under threat.

“I felt the whole team was sharp. Physically we were much better than Saturday.

“We have been struggling for goals but I was never really worried. It is difficult when you start the season with a Champions League qualifier and an international.”

McClaren admitted Twente caught the backlash from Arsenal's loss at the weekend. “I was here on Tuesday and they were talking about a crisis at Arsenal,” he said. “Someone said it was the best time to play them after they lost to Fulham but it was the worst time.

“Fabregas is a big player. He makes Arsenal tick. Once you see him on the teamsheet it's going to be hard.

“We played with belief and competed with them in the first leg. We didn't do that here.

“We are hurt and disappointed. It's not how we expect Twente to play. We must take that anger into Saturday's match when the season starts.”

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  • Patrick

    0 0

    As an Arsenal fan, I obviously love Fabregas, but I’m worried that we might rely on him too much. The team seems lost without him. I have this feeling that somewhere not too long from now someone will injure him, derailing our season,just like the injury to Eduardo pretty much derailed our title charge last season. I have a conspiracy theory that besides paying off referees, Manchester or Chelsea (probably Chelsea with their Red Mafiya ties) put a “hit” out on Eduardo last year and will do the same to Fabregas and RVP this year. They know we are an unstoppable team when all of our starters play, and they know we can’t even beat Fulham when only a few starters don’t play.

  • Patrick

    0 0

    As an Arsenal fan, I obviously love Fabregas, but I’m worried that we might rely on him too much. The team seems lost without him. I have this feeling that somewhere not too long from now someone will injure him, derailing our season,just like the injury to Eduardo pretty much derailed our title charge last season. I have a conspiracy theory that besides paying off referees, Manchester or Chelsea (probably Chelsea with their Red Mafiya ties) put a “hit” out on Eduardo last year and will do the same to Fabregas and RVP this year. They know we are an unstoppable team when all of our starters play, and they know we can’t even beat Fulham when only a few starters don’t play.

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