EPL

Fabregas: Everything has changed for Arsenal under Arteta

By Sports Desk January 23, 2023

Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas believes the club are unrecognisable from the side he represented, due to manager Mikel Arteta's impact.

A last-gasp Eddie Nketiah winner against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Sunday handed the Gunners a 3-2 victory, maintaining a five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Now considered to be the favourites for the title, Arsenal have enjoyed a remarkable resurgence under Arteta, who has made wholesale changes at the club.

Fabregas has revealed that a recent trip to London Colney showed "everything had changed" since his days at Arsenal, including an image at the entrance that highlights Arsenal's 19-year wait for Premier League glory.

"I was lucky enough to be at the training ground recently and it felt like I had never been there before because everything had changed so much," he told Sky Sports.

"The manager of the training ground told me that 95 per cent of the changes were Mikel's.

"He's changed the perception of the club, a lot of positive messages around the training ground, much bigger facilities, better equipment, the pitches are better. Everything, you name it.

"In the entrance they have a symbol of the Premier League, an empty Premier League. Arteta wants to send the message that: 'guys, we need to put the work in'.

"It's a message and inspiration to the players for them to really want to put the Premier League in there. He's changed the mentality of the club since Arsene Wenger left. It's fantastic what he's done."

Fabregas also highlighted the vast improvement on the field that has seen the Gunners quickly jump from top-four hopefuls to leading the charge for the Premier League title.

All three of Arsenal's goals against United came from academy graduates, with Nketiah's brace coming either side of a superb Bukayo Saka strike.

"Remember, they finished eighth for two consecutive seasons. To do what they're doing in a short space of time and doing it in the manner they're doing is quite inspiring," he added.

"Arsenal gave time to Mikel and this proves and shows to other clubs to not panic when things go wrong. Sometimes, finishing eighth and almost making it to the Champions League but just falling short, just having that process, and it is a process.

"The club understood that it took time to achieve it. I still believe they are way ahead of where they thought they'd be at this moment.

"Players like Saka and Nketiah, they came from the academy, they cost nothing to the club. And they've maintained that belief and the results are paying off."

Related items

  • Chelsea continue spending spree with Gusto signing Chelsea continue spending spree with Gusto signing

    Chelsea have continued their January spending spree with the signing of right-back Malo Gusto from Lyon.

    The France Under-21 international has signed a seven-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, but he will spend the remainder of the 2022-23 season on loan at Lyon.

    Gusto, who has made 54 appearances for Lyon since making his debut in January 2021, is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial £26.3million (€29.9m) plus various add-ons.

    He becomes Chelsea's seventh signing of the window following the arrivals of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, the latter joining on loan from Atletico Madrid.

    The 19-year-old attacking full-back will provide long-term competition and cover for Reece James, who has missed the majority of this season through injury. 

    Chelsea are also rumoured to still be in the market for a central midfielder, having so far been frustrated in their attempt to sign Argentina World Cup star Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.

  • Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought

    Erik ten Hag has no complaints with Manchester United's fixture schedule and insists his squad is deep enough to cope with challenging on multiple fronts in the second half of the season.

    United beat Reading 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup, while Wednesday's 3-0 first-leg win over Nottingham Forest means they are all but assured of a place in the EFL Cup final.

    The Red Devils are also still in Europa League contention, with a knockout play-off round tie against Barcelona on the horizon, and are fourth in the Premier League with 18 games to go.

    Ten Hag's side potentially have nine matches to come in February, but the Dutchman considers that a positive as United bid to end a six-year wait for a trophy.

    "I don't complain," he told reporters. "We know what the fixture schedule is; we have to deal with this.

    "At clubs we have to set squads and squads are big enough to deal with it and I think players like to play.

    "You can build and construct a good team when you play often and, in my perspective, when you play often the same you are getting the routines in."

    Ten Hag surprised many by naming a strong starting line-up against Championship side Reading, with Harry Maguire coming into the side as the only change from the Forest match, which followed on from a 3-2 league loss at Arsenal.

    "If you see everything in the perspective of the result, after a defeat we've bounced back," Ten Hag said. "I was happy with the performance at Arsenal, but we made mistakes.

    "We have to work on those mistakes but now twice we have had good performances and two good results."

    Casemiro's second-half double and a neat finish from Fred earned United victory over Reading, who had Andy Carroll sent off but pulled one back through Amadou Salif Mbengue.

    United lost key midfielder Christian Eriksen to injury prior to the hour mark, but Ten Hag says it is too early to determine if the Denmark international is going to spend any time on the sidelines.

    "It's always difficult to say in this moment so short after the game has finished," he said.

    "But it's an ankle [problem]. We have to see what the diagnosis is, so it will be a minimum of 24 hours before we know that and then I can say more."

    United are back in action on Wednesday with the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Forest, before returning to league action at home to Crystal Palace next weekend.

  • Rumour Has It: Tottenham explore move for Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Piero Hincapie Rumour Has It: Tottenham explore move for Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Piero Hincapie

    Tottenham are reportedly investigating a potential move for young Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Piero Hincapie, despite the hefty asking price for the Ecuador international.

    Hincapie, 21, is in his second Bundesliga season after arriving from Argentinian side Talleres, and has forced his way into Leverkusen's starting XI, earning 13 starts among his 15 total league appearances this campaign.

    He also has 24 senior international caps for Ecuador under his belt, playing every minute of his country's three group stage fixtures at the Qatar World Cup.

    Hincapie's emergence has not gone unnoticed, and Leverkusen are said to be informing interested clubs that any sale of their talented youngster will come at a heavy price.

     

    TOP STORY – SPURS KICK THE TYRES ON PRIZED LEVERKUSEN DEFENDER

    According to the Sun, Spurs boss Antonio Conte is desperate to add a new central defender before the end of the month, but the club were knocked back by a massive £80million price tag.

    The report indicates Hincapie would be in favour of a move to the Premier League, and to Tottenham specifically, but that it would be far more likely to occur at the end of the season.

    Interestingly, the Sun believes Leverkusen would be open to accepting as little as £20m if it meant Hincapie could spend the rest of the season on loan with the German side, but with his contract tying him to Leverkusen until 2026, it is hard to believe they would budge so significantly from their lofty valuation.

    It also mentions Tottenham's pursuit of Sporting right-back Pedro Porro is on the verge of falling through, but Portuguese publication Record is reporting that a verbal agreement is in place for a £42m (€48m) deal.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – GiveMeSport are reporting Chelsea will make a run at 23-year-old Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic at the end of the season, while Calciomercato adds Juventus are anticipating the Serbian's departure and will seek to replace him with 25-year-old Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman.

    – According to Sport, Barcelona are focusing on 25-year-old Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as their long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets after failing to land Real Sociedad talent Martin Zubimendi.

    Manchester United believe they are priced out of the Harry Kane sweepstakes, per the Daily Star.

    – Mail on Sunday are reporting Arsenal have returned with a second offer for 21-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo, but their £70m bid is still below the £80m demand.

    – The Telegraph adds that the outcome of Arsenal's push for Caicedo will not affect their desire to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice after the season, and they will try to secure both.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.