Was this Cesc's best ever Arsenal performance?

By Avenell Dave

As football fans, it's easy to lose sight of the level of expectation we come to have of players in our team.

Cesc Fabregas, captain, dynamo, playmaker and symbol of Project Youth has not appeared to be himself in some games lately and with speculation about a return to Spain refusing to go away, I admit I have wondered how committed he is to the club this season.

Of course, players are human beings - they have all sorts of distractions and worries just like the rest of us and just because they are paid huge sums of money or have reached certain standards in the past does not mean they will maintain those levels forever.

At half-time yesterday, I said to a fellow Addict that we were watching true Harlem Globetrotters football - this was Brazil 1970, Holland 1974 or Barcelona over the past few years.

Was there ever a moment when anyone seriously feared Arsenal wouldn't win yesterday? Not even after each Rovers goal did I feel a sense of anything other than mild irritation.

There were so many inspiring performances - Tomas Rosicky showing us why it was right to keep faith with him despite his fitness malaise; Andrey Arshavin for making such a difference without ever appearing to break sweat; Thomas Vermaelen scoring an 'anger' goal after being hacked down moments earlier; Nick Bendtner and Theo Walcott getting in on the party with clinical finishes that show us what they can do.

But there was a reminder, if reminders are needed, of how special a player Cesc Fabregas can be.

He may face more tenacious, constraining midfield opponents in future, he may face tighter defences and more frustrating opponents.

But he showed us all yesterday that when he is on his game, there are few playmakers to rival him in the world. This was his best performance as El Capitano, without question.

This was up there with the victory over AC Milan a couple of years ago; the win over Juventus at Highbury in 2006; beating Bolton two years ago when he single handedly inspired the team to turn a two goal deficit around when a man down.

I've heard a lot of chatter lately that no one is bigger than the club, that Aaron Ramsey or even Jack Wilshere will be the new Fabregas and they may well prove to be so in future.

But Cesc reminded us all yesterday that he is truly world class.

His goal was magnificent, his eye-of-the-needle passing was awesome and even his tackling was something to admire.

Kissing the badge? Time will tell if it really, really means something, although the fact that he and Theo Walcott both ran to Thierry Henry after scoring has more than a little significance.

Where will Wilshere, Eduardo and Samir Nasri fit in this team? Have we missed Denilson at all? Will Abou Diaby always start when fit, regardless of his impact?

Another fortnight without a game to look forward to but at if we can maintain this level of form against the stronger sides, this season is going to get very interesting indeed.