When Cesc Fabregas was distributing assists left, right and centre at the beginning of the season pundits were quick to praise the Spaniard for his almost instant impact after his £30 million switch to west London.
In fact, almost all Arsenal fans unanimously began to bemoan Arsene Wenger's refusal to activate the buy-back clause in Fabregas's contract on the evidence of his fine form.
He was hailed as the best creative midfielder in the Premier League and his lethal partnership with Diego Costa was singled out by many as the reason why Chelsea were favourites to re-claim the Premier League title this season.
How fickle football can be...
Unfortunately for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea fans, this fine vein of form has grounded to a halt. After another worryingly anonymous performance on Sunday, the Spaniard appeared to be whistled by Blues fans during their stalemate against Southampton at the weekend, actions which particularly infuriated Mourinho's own son.
However, Fabregas has spoken out about his apparent dip in form and insists there is nothing to panic about regarding his failure to add to his tally of 20 assists since Chelsea's 5-0 demolition of Swansea in January.
In fact, he believes that people should stop judging him solely on the number of decisive passes he creates during matches.
More to my game than assists
The playmaker also believes that there are fare more responsibilities in his midfield role, particularly when he sits deeper than usual to aid with defensive duties.
According to him, his position as more of a "complete midfielder" means that "you have to defend well, attack, control midfield, you have to pass well, you have to know when to go forward and control the tempo of the game". Indeed, it seems distributing assists like hot cakes.
He feels that he has grown into a more complete and less two-dimensional midfielder under the guidance of Mourinho, citing his new-found defensive discipline and positional awareness as areas of his game on which he has improved massively since joining Chelsea in the summer.
Getting back on track
It is no wonder that the Blues' recent slump in form and laborious attitude to games has coincided with Fabregas' lack of assist and attacking drive in midfield.
However, with the Premier League title race entering its key phases and twelve games to go, Mourinho will be hoping that his Spanish maestro re-discovers his scintillating form...
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