The “most famous couple of Instagram” is what the Spanish edition of Vanity Fair call Cesc Fàbregas and partner Daniella Semaan in their October issue, and with a combined follower count of over eleven million, they’re as good a candidate as any couple, especially since their posts are almost all about family — either Chelsea, Barcelona, or first and foremost their actual family.
But while the majority of the magazine’s interview concerns itself with balancing public and private life, there’s a quote from Cesc in there that’s been making the rounds in an attempt to fill the void of actual news during the international break.
Cesc previously left Catalonia at 16 to play for Arsenal, returning a few years later.
“A few times my team-mates were sent to play with the older ages and me, who was the captain, stayed with those of my age. I saw they had more faith in them than in me. For that, and other reasons, I decided to move to England,” he said.
“I’ve found absolute happiness at Chelsea. The family is loving it, totally adapted to London life, the fans love me, I’m too happy to [move back]. From Barcelona I only miss my family and friends.”
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Vanity Fair via SPORT
Fàbregas has been tipped to leave multiple times since Mourinho was sacked in 2015, but all the now twice-winner of the Premier League (in addition to the zero league titles at Arsenal) has done is entrench himself in Conte’s 3-4-3/3-5-2 just as much as he once did in José’s 4-2-3-1, reinventing himself as a more complete midfield than at any point previous in his career.
He won’t ever be confused with a defensive midfielder of course, but whether as a starter or off the bench, as a deep-lying playmaker, an advanced playmaker, or at least attempting some sort of box-to-box role, Cesc has been one of the first names on the teamsheet all season.
That could change as the season rolls along with Conte looking for new solutions and tweaks to the tried-n-true formation of last year’s title-winning season, but if the Manchester United game is any indication from just before the break, Cesc will continue to play an important role regardless of formation.
After that important win, Fàbregas expressed his happiness with the team’s recent emphasis on playing on the front foot rather than any sort of emphasis on counters — then again, given the suddenly shaky defence, that’s almost by necessity rather than design, though it’s also something that Conte has maintained ever since his arrival.
“We prepared for the game in a certain way because we know they like to defend. We know they like to close one side and move across, and we felt if we maybe left the interiors open, and attacked in the space, we could create problems, and that’s what we did.”
“We had more possession than usual which, for me, is something we’ve been lacking. We had the personality to play and we said before the game that it’s fantastic to defend well, in a block, but we need to play. This is a team, in my opinion, with fantastic players and we need to take advantage of that. We had a lot of the ball, we created chances and we played like a big team. We should be proud.”
As we slowly turn our attentions to the weekend and the return of the Premier League, we will need (to continue) to be at our best to avoid another massive disappointment like the last time we came back from an international break and we lost to bottom of the league Crystal Palace.
Chelsea have won three in a row in the league and we must keep that streak going.
“If you play for Chelsea Football Club, you need to win every single game. There is no game bigger than another. I understand that for the fans and the media, Chelsea against Manchester United will always be a big game, but you go to any stadium in the Premier League now and it’s difficult, we experienced it at Crystal Palace.”
“We just have to keep going.”