Cesc Fabregas has to be regarded as one of the most successful footballers in the modern era. A crucial part of Spain winning the World Cup and Euros, as well as gracing some of the biggest club sides in the game, Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal, he’s spending the twilight of his career trying to stop Kylian Mbappe in Monaco.
As a player who has been in the game for nearly the entirety of the 21st century however, he isn’t happy with the direction the game is going of late.
In an interview with Marca, Fabregas was asked if football itself was still the same as the one that took him to be champion of world with Spain. Fabregas didn’t hold back with his answer, leaving no doubt that he believes some aspects of the modern game have been taken too far.
“Football has changed so, so, so much. The change started about four or five years ago and now it’s quite notable. I’ve had various managers and it’s not just happened with one or two. It’s happened with four or five. This thing is here to stay.
“They are methodologies based on a lot a automatisms, in which the manager basically tells you where you have to pass the ball in every moment. The player has to be positioned in their exact place. It’s becoming a robotic game.”
For a player who thrived off creativity and the ability to manipulate the ball, the physical side of the game is taking over too much according to the Catalan.
“Then there’s the game of the GPS. Many managers are obsessed with the numbers. If you don’t get to these numbers, you’re not prepared to play, if you rest, you have to do these numbers in order to maintain your level…”
“Sometimes I’m a bit old-school’ in that respect. I have experienced great moments, great periods in my career in which I managed, without training, great seasons both physically and mentally. Now it seems like if you don’t train, you can’t be good. Everything is based on science, numbers and GPS.”
Regardless of what is preferable, as Fabregas says, this is here to stay.