FC Barcelona 2012/13 Season in Review: Cesc Fabregas

David Ramos

In his second season back in the Catalan capital Cesc once again started the season as one of the best players on the team, but his form dropped significantly toward the end of the year.

Report: The very first three weeks of the 2012-13 season were difficult for Cesc Fabregas as he was so unimpressive in all three games that he was subbed off early in the second half in each of them. He also didn't start either leg of the Supercopa de España, logging only ten minutes in the tie.

But then Cesc exploded. Over the next eight games teams struggled mightily to keep the Spaniard off the scoreboard as he tallied four goals and seven assists over that span. That was, of course, an unsustainable run, but Cesc remained in good form until about the New Year when his form plummeted. In the 2013 part of the season Cesc only featured on the score sheet in six games despite making 26 appearances. Interestingly, the drop of form coincided with a thigh injury Cesc picked up in December which sidelined him for two weeks.

When you round up the numbers of the entire campaign you would think that Cesc had an excellent season for a player that made the majority of his appearances at central midfielder, but it really was a tale of two seasons. While most of the scoring Cesc did came while playing as a false nine he was also quite effective when playing in Andres Iniesta's usual midfield position next to Xavi. There was a drop-off in team fluidity from Iniesta to Cesc, but when Fabregas was in good form it was barely noticeable.

For a midfielder on a team like Barcelona Cesc's passing success was "quite low" as the Spaniard only completed 89% of his attempts, but his ball retention was very strong all season long as he only made 39 turnovers.

Cesc also regularly featured on the international stage with Spain. He appeared in all six games at the 2012 European Championship where he helped Spain retain the title. Cesc was also part of the team that was runner-up to Brazil at the Confederations Cup. Overall Cesc made 20 appearances for Spain in the last year, scoring five goals and assisting on five more. Like Tito Vilanova Vicente del Bosque also used Cesc as a midfielder and a false striker.

Moment of the season: Even though Fabregas had many impressive performances in the first half of the season, like the three assist game against Deportivo La Coruña, this honor goes to a game from the poor stretch. In the 5-0 demolition of RCD Mallorca in April Cesc was involved in all five goals, scoring three and assisting on the two Alexis Sanchez scored. It was an outstanding performance from the (then) false nine who might have actually done more damage had he not been substituted off in the 65th minute.

Resumen del partido FC Barcelona (5-0) RCD Mallorca - HD - Highlights (via La Liga)

Stats:

Appearances 48
Games Started
41
Started on the Bench
13
Substitute In 7
Substitute Out 22
Minutes Played 3348
Goals Scored
14
Assists
15
Shots
69
Shots on Goal
32
Fouls Committed
41
Fouls Suffered
48
Yellow cards
10
Red Cards
0
BB Community Rating* 6.70

*BB Community Rating represents the average rating (out of 10) Barca Blaugranes community members gave to the player for his performances throughout the season

Record with Cesc Fabregas in the starting lineup: 31-6-4

2013-14 Outlook: As has been the case ever since he joined the club in 2011 Cesc will once again enter the season without a primary position. Expect him to log minutes as a false striker and in the midfield, where he figures to get the majority of his playing time. If Cesc can get through the entire season playing at a level he entered the past two seasons with it wouldn't be unrealistic to expect him to improve on his Barça season highs. If not then Cesc will probably end the season at a goals+assist number of lower than 30.

Next Up: Thiago

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