EYE ON LA LIGA : Sooner or later, Cesc will be a Barca Fab

I know not very many Arsenal fans will want to hear this but the truth of the matter is that, their inspirational captain Cesc Fabregas will sooner or later return to Barcelona. There have been wild rumours circulating recently involving Fabregas and possible links to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Milan, but the Arsenal captain has moved swiftly to quash all speculation.

I know not very many Arsenal fans will want to hear this but the truth of the matter is that, their inspirational captain Cesc Fabregas will sooner or later return to Barcelona.

There have been wild rumours circulating recently involving Fabregas and possible links to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Milan, but the Arsenal captain has moved swiftly to quash all speculation.

The playmaker has continued to pledge his future to the Gunners, actually only this week, he and Barcelona officially stated that no agreement has been reached between the two parties but it’s only a matter of time before the Barca academy product ends up back at the Camp Nou.

Just last week, as Arsenal continued to drop point in the race for the Premier League title, Fabregas dropped yet a strong hit about his desire to return to his old club.

“Do I want to return [to Barcelona]? I’ve never hidden it,” said the Spanish international, who left to join Arsenal as a 16-year-old. “I’ve spent all my life wearing their colours, but for some reason I had to leave.”

Fabregas’s very public display of affection for his old club has continued to infuriate Arsenal, who feel that Barcelona have opened a dirty war in their desire to secure the services of the player.

Fabregas has four years left on his contract and some reports indicate that Arsenal are drafting a new and improved £120,000-a-week deal in an attempt to keep him at the Emirates.

But in the end it might not be the money that is the decisive factor in his decision to stay or go, but the failure of the Gunners to win a trophy.

Arsenal have not won a trophy since their FA Cup success back in 2005, which remains Fabregas’s only winner’s medal to date, and for a player who’s not getting younger, the lure to win major trophies could force him to look elsewhere to achieve that.

With Arsenal’s trophy drought showing no sign of abating, it’s looking inevitable that the captain is off to Barcelona sooner or later, but the big question everyone would struggled to find an answer for is, where would he realistically fit in a Barcelona team that has Xavi and Iniesta as starters?

There’s no way the Iniesta and Xavi are going to have their partnership broken up, that only really leaves the holding midfield role free and Fab isn’t a holding midfielder. So he would probably end up rotting on the bench, would he want to waste his talent?

You could say a little change in formation by Guardiola could fit him in, with Thierry dropping to the bench or leaving (for MLS), which won’t be too hard to imagine with his injury problems and age, and Iniesta is played as the left forward, a role he has played many times, then Fabregas has a place alongside Xavi and Yaya Toure.

So, whether Wenger and all the Arsenal fans want to hear anything to do with their young skipper returning to his home town club or not, the bottom line is, the longer Arsenal takes without winning a trophy, the higher the chances of him (Fabregas) considering his option.

Oh, before I forget….. I don’t see him signing for Real Madrid or Milan. If he decides to leave at the end of this season or a season after, his destination is one…
Is La Liga a two-horse race?

With Valencia losing to Sevilla last weekend, an eight point gap now separates second place from third and the title hopes for both (Sevilla and Valencia) seem all but dashed.

That is not to say that there is a huge talent gap in Spain with respect to the rest of Europe’s big leagues. Any one of La Liga’s top two to ten teams would provide stiff competition for their respective counterparts in England’s top half of the table.

One needs to turn no further than the Spanish national team for evidence that football in Spain is alive, well, and kicking.

The talent gap in Spain is not all too great either as, outside the top four, each and every one of La Liga’s teams provide fierce competition. During a given week, the outcome of matches featuring teams outside the top four - and sometimes counting the top four - become more and more difficult to predict as a healthy competitive balance makes each and every point extremely valuable.

But comparing the rest of La Liga with the top two, the talent gap becomes a gulf. For so many years, Barcelona and Real Madrid more often than not lord over the rest of the division and this season is no different.

Last weekend, Guardiola’s team dominated a Sporting Gijon side that had, up to Saturday’s match, taken 18 of the 24 points available at home while, Real dispatched their bogey team by recording their first win at Deportivo La Coruna in 19 seasons.

nku78@yahoo.com

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