Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas will miss tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at Manchester United with a hamstring injury. It has been revealed that it’s a recurrence of the injury that kept him out of the three games prior to Arsenal’s midweek defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League. With the Gunners having been knocked out of two competitions in a matter of weeks, Fabregas’s injury comes as a major blow as the North London club seeks to win their first trophy in six seasons.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said of the injury, ‘He is very disappointed because it is becoming a bit of a problem but it’s very superficial. He will be out maybe for the next two games.’
The encounter with Manchester United will be the second major game that Fabregas has missed in recent weeks. The midfielder did not play in the Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham due to the same injury. In addition, he was almost a passenger in the Champions League game against Barcelona on Tuesday as he clearly struggled with his hamstring injury before he was substituted in the 78th minute.
However, although Fabregas has missed a lot of football of late, he holds the key to Arsenal succeeding. Without him, they look a completely different side. Not only is he their leader who drives them on and has the ability to dig the team out of a hole, he is the man they look to when they go forward. His creativity, awareness and passing ability is what makes him so important to the team. Without the Spaniard, Arsenal lack a central midfielder who can consistently create something out of nothing whether it’s a precise through ball or a charging run forward.
As mentioned before, he has the ability to win a game for his side single-handedly. He is simply a match winner. ‘Fabregas inspires Arsenal to victory’ is a headline that has been seen on numerous occasions and this in itself underlines just how important he is to Arsenal. It’s also why the club are trying their utmost to keep hold of him when Barcelona come sniffing each summer. Last summer, Arsenal spent most of time repelling the advances of Barcelona because they know that Fabregas will be near impossible to replace. He wouldn’t look out of place playing alongside with Xavi and Iniesta at the Catalan club and that in itself is a further indication to how good a player he is.
If Arsenal are defeated by Manchester United on Saturday, one of the first things that Gunner fans will ponder is, ‘would we have won with Fabregas in the side.’ That alone speaks volumes and shows that Arsenal can ill afford to lose him.