Cesc Fabregas has defended his recent performances and has told frustrated Chelsea fans that it is unrealistic to expect an assist from him in every match.
Fabregas has failed to set up a goal in any of his last 10 appearances in all competitions, culminating in criticism from the fanbase after bagging an impressive 19 in his first 31 games for the club.
The former Arsenal captain was reportedly jeered by some sections of the Stamford Bridge crowd on Sunday for another perceived sub-par performance in the 1-1 draw with Southampton.
But the 27-year-old says that he is simply a victim of his own stunning early-season form for the Blues and admits that he was never going to be able to maintain that standard.
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t even know if it’s been eight games, five or 10, there are so many more aspects,” he told The Standard.
“I don’t expect from midfield, from nearly getting the ball off John Terry, to get an assist per game.
“If I was playing next to Diego Costa, Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard every game, then I’d say maybe [I could do that].
“But for me, now, it’s about making the team play, making the team click, passing the ball to Hazard, to Oscar, Willian and Juan Cuadrado, all these players. I try to make the team move forward and make runs when I can.
“The position I play is where you have to be more of a complete midfielder, you have to defend well, attack, control midfield, you have to pass well, you have to know when to go forward and control the tempo of the game. It’s more difficult, but I enjoy it more.
“If I was playing regularly as a No10, I’d say judge me on my assists. But in a midfield pivot like we play at Chelsea, where I’m much more behind the strikers — I’m 10 metres behind the No10 and 20 metres behind the striker — of course I’m not going to get in the same position as many times as when you’re No10. It’s more difficult to get assists.
“That’s why the number of assists I have is a little more impressive. But I’m happy in the position I’m playing and, hopefully, I can learn a lot more from Jose Mourinho.”
Jose Mourinho’s son, Jose Mario, leapt to Fabregas’s defence with an Instagram tirade yesterday as he branded Chelsea fans as a “disgrace” for booing him.