After just 16 appearances in half a season under Maurizio Sarri, which included only 1 Premier League start, Cesc Fabregas was forced to reconsider his future at Stamford Bridge. Ultimately, he brought his time at Stamford Bridge to an end after four and a half successful seasons, moving to Ligue 1 club AS Monaco in January.
Fabregas was a cornerstone of Chelsea’s Premier League title wins in 2014-15 (key passing creator) and 2016-17 (the 12th man and super-sub), but he could not convince Maurizio Sarri of his qualities — a rather ironic development considering that Sarri’s idealistic style is in theory a much better fit for Fabregas than Mourinho’s or Conte’s pragmatism. But Cesc didn’t think he would ever be given a true chance behind Jorginho (“like Sarri’s son”). He was probably not wrong.
“Well, [Sarri] is a manager with his own ideas and he doesn’t move from them much. He has an idea of how he wants to play and the football that he really wants to play. He doesn’t move from it. No matter what you tell him, no matter what you advise him, no matter what your opinion is, he will never change. He is very superstitious, he is very stubborn in this way.
”But he did it the way he likes it. He has his own vision of football and, in the end, he is where he is with it and you have to respect that.”
Things may not have worked out well for Cesc, but Sarri did eventually collect the Europa League trophy (and thus a medal for Cesc, too), as well as a third place finish. But now it’s looking like he’s leaving as well, which leaves yet another managerial vacancy at Chelsea.
Club legend Frank Lampard is the rumored favorite for the job at the moment, after just one season in football management, but Fabregas believes Lampard has shown enough qualities for the job already in guiding Derby County to the promotion playoff final.
“I think he has done a really impressive job. It’s his first ever job. He changed many things.
“I saw him in Russia with the BBC (when working at the World Cup) and he had a very difficult squad, an older squad full of players at the end of their contracts as well. He renewed completely the squad, took on young players. He played a really aggressive style, attacking football. Really for a first ever job, I think he has done really good.”
Fabregas may be keeping an eye on all things Chelsea, both as a fan and as an occasional pundit, but he also has his own career to continue.
Last season didn’t get any easier for him after leaving Chelsea, as Monaco barely avoided relegation, finishing just two points above the drop zone in Ligue 1. But there’s hope for a better tomorrow and Fabregas is targeting a return to the Champions League.
“It has been very tough, to be honest. People don’t talk about it a lot because it’s another league, it’s maybe a smaller league, but the challenge was so difficult.
“When I first arrived at Monaco in mid-January, the team had 13 points, they were second last. They were losing basically week in, week out and it looked like there was no way out. But, really, we made it in the end, we suffered a lot, we worked really hard and a new great experience for me. Now when I retire I can really say I lived every kind of experience – at the top and at the bottom.
“The club have already made it very clear. We need to be top two, top three. I still want to compete and go back to the Champions League.”
-Cesc Fabregas; source: BT Sport
Good luck, Cesc! Perhaps our paths will cross on the European stage before too long once again.