Former Arsenal captain Fabregas shows frustration at Barcelona

Fabregas Barcelona

The 'dream return' for Cesc Fabregas after leaving Arsenal is proving to be a mixed experience for him.

When Fabregas signed back with Barcelona in 2011 the transfer was hailed to be like the return of a prodigal son.

Having left Catalonia at the age of 16, after eight years he was re-signed by the man he grew up idolising at Barcelona; Pep Guardiola.

So it would understandably have hit the midfielder hard when Guardiola left Barcelona last year, but the 25-year-old has been displaying good form this campaign.

The midfielder has made five more La Liga starts than Andres Iniesta, and the same number as Xavi. He also has six goals and nine assists, a combination higher than his more established teammates. (Xavi five goals four assists; Iniesta one goal, 12 assists).

Fabregas has also helped Barcelona rack up an impressive eight point lead over second placed Atletico, and a 15 point gap over champions Real Madrid. Surely he is on his way to what he has always craved, a title winner's medal.

Yet life isn't a bed of roses of Fabregas right now, report Marca, who wrote about his 'strop' at being substituted this weekend.

They write: "Two games in a row, Cesc has walked off the pitch with a scowl on his face... At Malaga Fàbregas’s irritation was so apparent that his friend Piqué ran half the length of the pitch to try to cheer him up, patting him on the back.

"When Fàbregas got to the bench, Vilanova was waiting to congratulate him, but he walked past him without stopping, totally ignoring his manager."

Earlier in the season Fabregas complained at spending so much time on the substitute's bench:

'I've always said that I play for the best team in the world, but I came here to compete, to learn and enjoy, not to sit wracking my brains. The manager knows what I can offer. But across the three positions that I can play, I am competing with the three best players in the world. I'm delighted to be a part of this team but when a coach tells me I have to go, I'll go."

Since then he has established himself with a run in the side, and some excellent performances. it is likely that his unhappiness at being substituted simply comes out of fear at going back to the sidelines.

He was substituted on each occasion for Thiago Alcantara and Javier Mascherano, both players who can stake a real claim for the midfield positions. Cesc clearly knows he cannot rest on his laurels, and his frustration at being substituted is likely a mixture of displeasure with the decision and annoyance with himself.

Cesc knew when he went to Barcelona that dislodging Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets wouldn't be easy, but his 17 La Liga starts this season shows he is doing pretty well so far; so he should stop giving himself such a hard time.

Long-term, he has the opportunity to take the mantle in midfield from Xavi, who is 32, but if he cannot be patient, the option of joining Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich may just tempt him, but only when he gets a title medal or two secured in his trophy cabinet.

Will Fabregas stay at Barcelona forever, or will he join Guardiola's Bayern revolution?

image: © ins11thiago

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