By Milo Hewitt
First, thanks to The Gaffer I had the opportunity to attend this one-off exclusive show, a must for any Arsenal fan. My friend and I arrived at Fountain Studios in Wembley at approx 5:45 pm. While waiting in the queue we saw Paul Merson and Michael Thomas waiting by the stage door. Shortly after, Philippe Senderos arrived followed by Nicklas Bendtner.
Due to poor organization on the production team’s behalf we were waiting for what seemed like forever. After waiting some more, Arsene Wenger arrived and swiftly entered past the stage door. To make a long story short we didn’t get into the studios until 8pm.
Once in, we had to gather in a foyer area where we were given drink tokens and wristbands. There was a Pro Evolution Soccer tournament where the winner would face Cesc on the show. After that ended we were let into the main studio where there was a mad rush to get the best places (it was an all-standing show). After about 20 minutes of the production team shifting everyone around so they had the best camera angles, the show was ready to begin.
Our hosts for this evening were two guys. I cannot remember their names except for one guy’s surname was Goldstein. They cracked a few jokes with the crowd which was at or over capacity, I think. Then out came Cesc Fabregas to a huge applause and chant of “We got Cesc Fabregas, We got Cesc Fabregas.” The show kicked off with the presenters asking Cesc about how he started football and how his career progressed from Barca to Arsenal, and then we were shown a video package about where Cesc grew up. We then had our first guests of the evening, Francesc and Nuria Fabregas, his parents. They were asked questions about his life; his father couldn’t speak any English so Cesc had to translate for him in comedic style.
I glanced around to the side of the stage where there was seating for the guests of the show and I saw Cesc’s sister who is a double of him and his girlfriend sitting next to her, as well as his grandparents. The next segment involved a replica set of his bedroom when he first moved to London. It was very basic. The bed had an Arsenal duvet cover and there was a poster of his hero on the wall. I can’t remember who it was but it was a footballer. Also there was a tube map on the wall as when Cesc first arrived in London, he relied on the tube to get around and he told us a funny story of how he got lost in London and had to ask a stranger to take him home. Then back on the main stage there were more questions for Cesc and after that there was a comedy sketch featuring Paul Kaye as an American commentator.
It was then time for our special guest. Surprise, surprise… Arsene Wenger came out to the cheer of the Arsenal fans. He looked very happy and kept on smiling. He was asked questions about Cesc and then gave a theory on how footballers progress, his method from what I can remember is that a footballer is like a house and they have to start from the foundations and must end up with a roof. He went into detail but you will have to watch this on telly to see it. It was then time for him to leave again to the cheer of the Arsenal supporters and there were shouts asking him who he was going to sign. Some people shouted David Villa to which Wenger smiled and laughed.
By this point my feet were really hurting having been standing idle for over 3 hours. We were shown some more videos and then it was time for the winner of the Pro Evolution Soccer tournament to face Cesc. Chris Kamara was the special guest commentator. Cesc Played as Arsenal and the other guy played as Barca, with Cesc winning 3-0 much to the delight of everyone in the studio. Back again to more questions and then a game where Cesc had to face an aspiring young footballer who was selected by some footballing organization based on his all round skill. Nicklas Bendtner came out and was the judge in this game. The person who could control the ball the most within the small circle would win. Nicklas declared Cesc the winner.
After that we had the final segment involving Paul Merson, Michael Thomas and Philippe Senderos. Paul and Michael talked about the physicality of today’s game and how much more demanding and fast paced it is now compared to when they played. Paul Merson said that Cesc is a vital part of Arsenal although some have left like Flamini (to which the crowd jeered) and some of the crowd shouted what about Hleb and Cesc turned round put his finger to his lips (shhh) and smiled.
The final game of the show consisted of a large goal with a holes cut out for the ball to go through. The task was for Cesc to score a goal with his head through one of the holes, and if he did it everyone in the studio would win the new Arsenal kit. At this point everyone was ecstatic and gathered around the goal to watch. After about four attempts he finally scored and everyone ran up to him and cheered. I can’t wait to get my free Arsenal top Gaffer! Thank you EPL Talk!
That about sums up the show, we taped some more little pick ups for TV purposes and then we left the building.
Editor’s Note: Milo was one of the two winners of tickets to the Cesc Fabregas Show. Congratulations Milo and thanks for the review! The show will debut on Sky Sports on May 19, 2008 at 6:30pm and 9:30pm.