Cesc Fàbregas has been dominating the Chelsea headlines this week, first for being left out a lot by Antonio Conte, then for putting in a game-winning Man of the Match performance against Leicester City midweek, and now for the upcoming Premier League showdown against the team that gave him his big break, Arsenal.
That last bit is fairly interesting and not just for the match itself. Thibaut Courtois recently revealed his forever love for Madrid and let's just say it was not well received, in general. Now here's Fàbregas talking about his undying love for Arsenal. Loyalties in modern football can be quite confusing!
"I lived moments there that I have probably not lived elsewhere in my career. It was a very special place for me and that's it. No matter what I hear, what they say to me, Arsenal will always be a fantastic special place in my heart. They gave me everything. I will repeat it until I die. No matter what, they are always in my heart."
"It's too early to know whether I will start or not. Hopefully, I will. I'm not going to deny that I want to play every single minute, this is what I work for. But the coach chooses the 11 he feels is best suited to win the game."
"Whatever I am, I will support the team, inside or outside. When my time comes, I will try to perform, as I have been doing over the last few weeks."
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Evening Standard
Cesc has never denied this of course, and perhaps because of Arsenal's rejection when he was looking to leave Barcelona, the now Chelsea man has always seemed to up his game whenever facing his old team. He's hoping to have that chance again on Saturday, though even if we disregard Conte's preferred tactics so far, that's far from a given considering his grueling 120-minute shift on Tuesday.
Despite this "new situation", Cesc so far is the model company man, saying all the right things about his commitment to the club and the new head coach. In an interview with Spanish radio, he rubbished the exit rumors from the summer, redeclared his happiness at Chelsea.
"I never planned to leave Chelsea. Real Madrid? Maybe they called me or maybe not. But I didn't think to leave Chelsea, not even for a second. I'm tired of the news that says that I'm offering myself to other clubs. I'm one more of the team and I will keep fighting to play here."
"If I knew that I have no level to play in this team, I would leave, but I'm happy here. It hurts a lot not to play, but I know that I have enough level to play here and I will give my best."
"I spoke with Conte. We like him very much, he's a great coach, very hard and he says the things very clear. We are very happy with him."
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Cadena COPE via FourFourTwo
As long as the team plays well and wins, we'll probably all manage to get along.