by Mike Forrest

Young, good looking, a multi-millionare and blessed with footballing talent – what more could Cesc Fabregas ask for?

The subject of quite possibly the most boring transfer saga last summer of which the inevitable conclusion brought Cesc back to Barcelona, Fabregas was going to further improve an already utopian team and win an infinite amount of trophies. Well that was how the future was envisaged, anyway.

He left Catalonia and arrived at Arsenal in 2003 to bolster his chances of first team football – and what a time to join Arsenal and to be under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger who was at the peak of his powers and whose team was about to embark on a historical season in which they would go undefeated in the league and would later be remembered as “The Invincibles”.

So Fabregas at the age of 16 and 17 was surrounded by winners and very good players when in their pomp were considered world class. Surely some of this winning mentality would rub off on Fabregas?

However just as one achieves their ascent to the very top, a descent has to follow and this is what happened to  “The Invincibles”. The following ’04/’05 season saw Arsenal manage to win the FA Cup but this was to be their last piece of silverware, a barren run without trophies that still continues to this day.

“The Invincibles” were slowly filtered out of the side and replaced by younger players with a bigger appetite for success. They were hungrier for success than the players they had replaced but didn’t know how to win, resulting in having a succession of almosts and near misses.

Fabregas played a prominent role in all of these good but ultimately fruitless seasons. The winning mentality at Arsenal had been eroded and in its place a losing mentality had been adopted. Fabregas was at the heart of all these failures, evidently “The Invincibles” mindset that surrounded Fabregas had evaporated and in it’s place lay an inferior, “losing is ok” mindset.

Would it be so ridiclous as to cast aspersions over Cesc’s ability to win trophies? He has spent the majority of his career at club that consistently lost it’s bottle and surely that must have had a lasting impact on Fabregas? When you are at a club that time and again managed to snatch defeat from the cusp of victory, one would have to think that it least subconciously has a debilitating effect on his belief that he can win.

He joined Arsenal from the Catalan club in search of first team football, he rejoined Barca in search of trophies. However just like his Arsenal career, I wonder if his quest for silverware will prove to be just as elusive at Barcelona as it was at Arsenal.

His first season at Barcelona is going to end trophyless, Barcalonas first season without any silverware in years. I am not attributing Barcalonas failure down to Fabregas but there is a common theme appearing.

At Arsenal he broke into the first team just as the winners were leaving. At Barcelona his first season culminated in Barca winning nothing and one of the most successful managers in history leaving. Barcalona now have a squad that is dominated with players that have won practically everything there is to win in football – will they have the desire to keep on winning?

Sure Cesc has a European Championship Winners medal and a World Cup Winners medal but he attained those at national level and crucially through mere participation rather than pivotal contribution. What is more striking though is that Cesc has notched up another “almost” season onto his already extensive list of failures.

People say that Leo Messi can never be considered the worlds greatest ever player until he has won a World Cup, I say that Cesc Fabregas can never be considered a world class player until he consistently wins major trophies. Steven Gerrard, although not as good as Fabregas, will rightly be remembered as a world class player as he has driven Liverpool to so many trophies; this is in contrast to Cesc who has failed his “driving test” many times leading his teams to near successes.

So is Cesc a victim of circumstance or a loser? Each to their own but I am leaning toward the latter and even if he isn’t a loser, he certainly isn’t a winner.