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Jan 17, 2010

Fabregas fires Arsenal title bid

Just fab Fabregas. A brilliant goal, a wonderful display of his enormous array of talents, and Arsenal could be top of the Premier League when they take on Bolton Wanderers again at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

• Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Arsenal

The Arsenal captain scored the first and made the second as the Gunners continued to emerge as realistic title contenders with a win at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday, although the acid test will come after their second meeting with Bolton.

With encounters with the top two, Chelsea and Manchester United, looming the question of whether Arsene Wenger can truly mount a championship challenge will be answered. It promises to be an interesting few games with some quality football on the agenda.

This season has been fascinating so far, and the 'Big Four' have become the 'Fab Three', with Fabregas one of the prominent contenders of Player of the Year, in this a World Cup year when Spain will be, as European Champions, second only to Brazil as favourites to win in South Africa.

Fabregas already has 13 goals this season and he continues to develop into an even greater all round midfield player, no doubt, one of the best in the world.

Still only 22-years-old, this summer's tournament will determine if he really is one of the best in the world. First, he has to find a place in the Spain team, whose midfield is currently populated with the current world elite from the Nou Camp - Xavi and Andrés Iniesta.

Fabregas is the foundation upon which Wenger is attempting to rebuild Arsenal into a trophy winning side.

The evidence of the Spaniard's importance was there for all to see at the Reebok, where Owen Coyle's debut as their new manager was overshadowed by the flair of Fabregas.

Inevitably the lure of Arsenal's slick football and Coyle's unveiling as the new boss meant a record turnout, but it was disappointing, yet hardly surprising the Trotters fell to Arsenal.

Hardly the time to judge Coyle, far too early, and the same might be said after the midweek contest at the Emirates, where no one will give his team any chance, so even a point would be a great achievement.

Arsenal, though, will hardly be in the mood to surrender the momentum they have gained under such difficult circumstances. Even though Wenger has conceded he might need a striker, he has still managed to get by. Robin van Persie was thought to be a momentous loss, it is remarkable his team still look full of goals.

However, the fact that Wenger has put it all together despite the multitude of setbacks is an astonishing example of management skills; with so many players out injured and so many coming back from long term problems.

If Arsenal follow this two goal victory with a win at the Emirates on Wednesday, when the clubs will be playing the second of back-to-back games, they will be top for the first time since August.

Really, how could any one doubt the Professor?

However, I personally don't see them beating Manchester United and Chelsea in the real crunch games, but they are making a fight of it, so who knows, maybe they will prove me wrong and be real title contenders at the end of the season.

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