I've been watching Fabregas play football since he first moved to Arsenal at just 16 years of age. I have watched him grow into one of the most intelligent football players I have ever seen. Over the years I have been a huge fan of his passing ability that is second only to Xavi. However the thing I most admire about him is his professionalism, that is until this season.
Fabregas is considered to be the perfect role model for young footballers. The way he conducts himself both on and off the field are something to admire. He is incredibly grounded for such a young age and has coped well with the tremendous amount of pressure put on him by the Arsenal faithful. He is the heart beat of the Arsenal team and every successful Arsenal move comes through him. He is also considered to be the most honest professional playing in the Premiership. I believe the pressure on both Fabregas and Arsenal to deliver a trophy after an incredible barren spell lasting over 5 years has finally taken its toll on Fabregas.
This season Fabregas has, in my opinion, lost all credibility as an honest player. He recently dived in a match against Ipswich in an attempt to win a penalty, he has been showing a complete lack of respect for officials and he has also been telling the ref to book or sent opponents off. He has also put in some late, reckless challenges through frustration or malaise.
Firstly, I have no problem with foreign exuberance when it comes to football, in fact I think it brings a lot to the English game, but one thing I cant stand is when players wave imaginary cards at the ref in an attempt to get an opponent booked or sent off. This seems to be a thing thats been brought over from foreign players and there should be no place for it in the English game. I recently saw Fabregas do this in a game against Huddersfield and it's sending the wrong message to people who consider him a role model. This can then become a problem at Grass Roots level and it all comes from Fabregas being a dishonest professional.
When it comes to diving in football there is no other word to describe it other than cheating. Now, Fabregas isn't alone in this as even English players do it, most recently Theo Walcott. However, as both a Captain and a role model, Fabregas should be speaking up against diving not diving him self or even sticking up for divers- regardless of whether or not they are a team mate. Again this has lost him credibility in my eyes.
A recent example of Fabregas showing disrespect for officials is in last weeks game against Everton. Everton had a goal allowed when it was clearly offside. This lead to Fabregas accusing the officials of accepting bribes from Everton. This not only disrespects the integrity of the officials but also Everton as a football club. Again this is not the kind of actions I should be displaying as a role model for young children.
Now, as for Fabregas making late, reckless tackles I actually quite like to see this is football to an extent. It shows he has passion for the game and that he wants to win. It's the same qualities shown by Alan Smith and Roy Keane. It is a known fact that nice guys get nowhere in football so to see a bit of bite to Arsenal after years of being push overs is actually nice to see and are some of the qualities a leader and captain should show. But like I said, I only like it to an extent as we wouldn't like to have another Eduardo on our hands. As long as his tackles are kept passionate and not petulant I have no complaints.
To conclude, I think Fabregas has lost all credibility as a role model and as a model professional, but I think he had to lose all that to become a better leader and a winner, he was never going to win trophies through being nice and neither were Arsenal. So as far as Arsenal fans are concerned it is a welcome change,but to me and young kids its a bad example to be setting...but what ever wins you trophies, right?