A former Arsenal captain was impressed with Arsenal and Mikel Arteta after their win in a 3-2 thriller against Manchester United.
Cesc Fabregas was among the pundits in the Sky Sports studio after the derby between Arsenal and Manchester United. Not only was he impressed with his former side’s performance, but he was impressed with the whole change in mentality and the way Arsenal approach games nowadays. Furthermore, he thinks that a lot of it has to do with Mikel Arteta and the changes he’s made.
Cesc Fabregas – “Mikel changed everything.”
“The perception of the club over the last few years, a lot of positive messages around the training ground, much bigger facilities, better equipment, the pitches, you name it.” – he added.
Everyone remembers the revolution that Arsene Wenger started when he came to England, starting with changing the diet and upgrading the training facilities. In such a tightly contested league as Premier League, every little detail can be crucial in the long run.
Mikel Arteta had to change a lot of things since he came. One of the things he talked about in his first interview was the culture and environment at Arsenal and the need to change it, in order to improve.
“I want to start to feel the environment and the culture around the club [to see] what is going on. And start to make small adjustments to try to get quick improvements.” – Arteta highlighted in his first interview.
Fast forward three years and the results are speaking for themselves. The Emirates is becoming a hostile environment for everyone, with fans enjoying themselves and looking forward to every game. The connection that had been lost, is now found again under Mikel Arteta.
But not just the fans, as we see the players now speaking how they are excited for every game, especially at the Emirates. They are enjoying their football and within this system that Arteta created, they have a freedom to express themselves on the pitch.
Cesc Fabregas mentioned this as well when talking about Saka and how much he has improved this season and why.
“You can see the togetherness, the happiness, and the joy they [Arsenal players] put in. Not only working hard and discipline, which is what Mikel brought back to the club and to the team. Obviously when you do that and you enjoy yourself, you have the passion and the right desire to achieve what you’re doing, and it’s working on the pitch – it’s the best feeling a football player can have” – he argued.
It starts at the training ground.
This season we’ve heard a lot of players speaking after the match about the intensity at the training ground and how that helps them prepare for every match. Once again, the former Arsenal captain thinks Arteta is responsible for a lot of good changes at London Colney.
When describing the change, he said:
“I was lucky enough to be at the training ground recently. It felt like I was never there before because everything changed so much. The manager of the training ground told me it’s 95 per cent Mikel, who’s changed the whole thing.”
We saw in the Amazon documentary, and in a lot of Arteta’s interviews that some of the non-negotiables he has set at the club are dedication and team-effort. Mikel Arteta is trying to instill that kind of approach in his players not only in games, but in training as well.
And speaking about the mentality Fabregas mentioned another interesting detail that perhaps can reveal some of the reasons behind all the hunger and belief that this young Arsenal team has.
“I think as well at the entrance you have a symbol of an empty Premier League trophy, and he wants to show the message ‘guys, we just need to put it in there.’” – revealed the Spaniard.
“Every day the players go in there, they see it without it only being the symbol so it’s like a message and inspiration every day to go there and prove yourself that you want to put the Premier League there.” – he concluded.
As mentioned, so many little details can prove to be crucial at the end of the season, with margins being so small. Mikel Arteta has obviously found a working formula as his side sit top of the table with a five-point lead from Manchester City, with a game in hand.