Thanks Willie, Cesc appeal could transform our season

The big Guns may be rested for tonight's Carling Cup match against Burnley, but all the talk is about the resolve Arsenal showed on Sunday.

In the dark times that climaxed with our tepid defeat against Manchester City, it was going to take something drastic to get our season back on track.

If Lee Dixon is right when he says Arsène Wenger feared William Gallas would have crumbled if he had lost the Arsenal captaincy during the summer, the situation we found ourselves in prior to his demotion must have made things easier.

In order to keep him at the club and to put the right person in charge of the team, Cesc Fabregas was the overwhelming candidate to take the armband once Gallas’s position became untenable.

If reports are to be believed, the Spaniard has done little tub-thumping in the dressing room – but his calm and respectful demeanour is bound to bring with it a sense of respect that Gallas lost over time.

Cesc is still not quite at the levels he reached last season, when he proved how incredibly talented he is, but slowly, he is returning to the player of old, creating openings and revelling in the responsibility that some feared would be too much for him.

Of course we won’t win every game with him in charge and of course he will have challenges to face, but by keeping the team’s rhythm going, he is showing what an inspiration he can be.

Even in his post-Ch*vski comments, Fabregas talked with the wisdom of a man way beyond his years:

“We have to be very proud of what we have done - we showed a great attitude. We have no excuse now not to do the same with other teams. Sometimes Arsène Wenger has been the only one to show belief in us and he showed he was not wrong.

“We want to look forward – we showed a different attitude today and need to keep it going. We have to be competitive every game and if we play as we did at Chelsea, we can

“The attitude of the team, the discipline and the character they showed – they are not scared to play against anyone and I am really proud. Hopefully we can keep going.”

Cesc was made to be Arsenal captain and, whether he stays for a long time or not, the club is in his heart, for sure.

Suddenly, even the greatest doubters can imagine him lifting a trophy in a way Gallas never seemed destined to do.