Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fabregas suspension planned in advance

Arsenal wrapped up a 3-1 victory at Reading yesterday on a bit of a sour note.

Cesc Fabregas, undoubtedly Arsenal's most influential player this season, was booked for the fifth time this season, resulting in a one match suspension.

Could it have been done on purpose?

To answer that question we should look at Arsenal's next few Premiership fixtures:

11/24 vs Wigan
12/1 @ Aston Villa
12/5 @ Newcastle
12/9 @ Middlesbrough
12/16 vs Chelsea
12/22 vs Tottenham
12/26 @ Portsmouth
12/29 @ Everton
1/1 vs West Ham

Of these eight fixtures, one stands out as by far the easiest: at home to Wigan. Of the remaining seven, only three are home fixtures (Chelsea and West Ham are nothing to laugh at), and only three (Newcastle, Middlesbrough, and Tottenham) are against bottom half teams. Of those three teams, Middlesbrough is the only team likely to face a relegation battle this season, with Newcastle and Tottenham both looking to challenge for European spots.

As a midfielder on four yellows, Fabregas was likely to get suspended eventually, and there would be no better game to lose him for than Wigan.

But would Fabregas stoop so low as to purposely get suspended?

The manner in which the yellow card occurred would lead me to venture a guess that he would.

My first reaction to the yellow was disappointment - how could our midfield maestro be so immature?

Truth be told, it may have just been another brilliant execution by Cesc Fabregas.

The midfielder held onto Fae's shirt for a good couple of seconds, so blatantly that even a blind refferree would be forced to book him. Nobody expects to get away with that.

Still, though, I was unsure.

The look on the player's face said it all though. No disappointment, no real argument... he had done it on purpose.

All he did was earn himself a well-deserved break...