Cesc: We must fill Vieira void
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Cesc Fabregas says Arsenal's current stars must step up to replace Patrick Vieira.Arsenal starlet Cesc Fabregas says it is up to the club's remaining midfielders to fill the void left by Patrick Vieira's exit and prove Arsene Wenger right in his decision to let the captain leave.
The 18-year-old played a substantial role in Arsenal's campaign last season, but following Vieira's exit yet more responsibility will be heaped on the talented midfielder's shoulders if Wenger fails to sign a replacement.
The Gunners have already missed out on Real Madrid new-boy Julio Baptista, and Mathieu Flamini, Gilberto and Fabregas are currently all in contention to step up to compensate for Vieira's loss.
The young Spaniard believes that whilst it will be difficult to cope with the loss of the French international, the squad, especially the youngsters, must justify Wenger's unswerving faith in their abilities.
"It is very difficult, I don't like the word impossible but it is really difficult," Fabregas told Sky Sports News.
"I am very young and Mathieu as well, but we have a player, Gilberto, who can help us a lot and we have been learning a lot last season, two seasons ago from Patrick, so I have learnt some interesting things so maybe I can show it this season.
"We have to keep going, we are very young, it is the boss's decision, if he chooses us for playing midfield so we will try to do our best for sure.
"He is confident in us, when we talk to him he looks really confident, so what we have to do is just to get the confidence back to him and demonstrate that he is not wrong with us.
"But of course Patrick was the captain, he was really important to this club, he was a legend, so it is really difficult to replace him.
"I am not scared of anything, of course Patrick has been great for the last nine years but now it's different.
"I am Cesc Fabregas there is Mathieu Flamini, Gilberto so I think we have those three players until maybe the boss changes his mind and signs a new player.
"But now we are all three so we have to keep going and demonstrate to everyone that the boss is not wrong and that we can play against everyone in the world."
Fabregas for one has already announced himself as one of English football's brightest talents and will be expected to continue his stunning rise next term.
Just two years ago he was rooted in the youth ranks at Camp Nou but has now voiced his desire to emulate Vieira and attain the same level of committed performance that so enamoured the Highbury faithful to their departed skipper.
"I always say in football you never know what happens," Fabregas continued.
"All I'm sure is that I want to be like him because he has been a great example for me and he has demonstrated that if you believe in yourself and there is a coach believes in you as well you are lucky of course.
"You can be the top for nine years as he did, and it means that if he could do it why not me, and [I will] just focus on this season and keep working hard, learning from the big players and we will see what happens.
"Of course I am ready."