It’s funny the effect a new manager can have. Since Guus Hiddink returned to Stamford Bridge in December, a plethora of previously underperforming players have rediscovered their form with Cesc Fabregas proving a fine example.
The Spaniard appears revitalised after the managerial switch with the ex-Barcelona man thriving now that he has been let off his leash. Once again Fabregas is pulling the strings at the west London club and his side is reaping the benefits.
However, the midfielder remains far from his form that saw him dominate the league in 2014-15 despite recent improvements.
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Amidst the club’s calamitous defence of their Premier League title this season, Fabregas was little more than a spectator. By November, as the Spaniard phrased it himself, Chelsea’s campaign was “f**cked.”
Alongside Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, the ex-Arsenal playmaker received the brunt of the criticism, as support for Jose Mourinho seemed to never truly wane. By December last year, Fabregas had been reduced to the bench and his influence continued to decline by the week.
However, the ‘Special One’s’ departure was exactly what was needed for Fabregas and the majority of the squad. The Spaniard is no longer tethered down to strict tactics and has been allowed football’s equivalent of ‘artistic license’ under Hiddink.
This upsurge was exemplified by his immaculate showing against Manchester City in the FA Cup with the Blues running out comfortable winners. Fabregas received a deluge of praise for his showing and his role in Costa’s goal was simply genius.
Work in progress
Despite this substantial improvement, he remains far from his Chelsea best.
While it certainly says something about Fabregas when his current form is still considered as a slump, the Spaniard’s resurgence remains a work in progress. It’s exciting for Chelsea supporters as they know he still has so much more to give, it just depends on when he decides to rediscover this evasive extra gear.
Besides, the 28-year-old amassed an incredible 18 league assists last season but has only garnered six in all competitions this campaign. You’d certainly have a task on your hands arguing that that isn’t a monumental decline.
Furthermore, although goal-scoring has never been Fabregas’ strong point, his 2015-16 tally remains just half the amount he amassed in Chelsea’s league winning season.
His killer instinct and extensive football brain remain, but the cutting edge passes are inconsistent in their appearances. Fabregas is getting closer to his best, but Chelsea fans may have to be patient.
This week has seen Fabregas continue his progression back to one of the Premier League’s most formidable midfielders and it’s refreshing to see.
However, there is still a long way to go for the Spaniard to clamber back to the dizzying heights of 2014-15.
Will Fabregas continue his resurgence and help Chelsea continue their recent good form? Leave your comments in the opinion box below!