Cesc Fabregas hails Mikel Arteta efforts at Arsenal

The Arsenal hero says the “biggest accomplishment” Arteta has achieved at the Emirates Stadium has been the complete overhaul of the team’s identity.

When Arteta took the Arsenal reins in 2019, the Gunners were very much a shadow of their former selves.

The team that enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United for many years and won numerous Premier League titles – including the iconic unbeaten season of 2003/04 – had fallen behind.

Arteta needed some time to clear out the deadwood, reshape the dressing room and develop a squad with the right quality and the right character. And last season, things just clicked. Arsenal pushed Manchester City all the way in the Premier League title race, falling just short in the latter stages of the campaign.

This season, the Gunners remain firmly in title contention – they top the table after 28 games – and are also in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Fabregas, speaking on the Planet Premier League podcast, was asked by a fan what he felt was Arteta’s greatest strength as a manager and how he has galvanised Arsenal in his first managerial role.

“I think it’s quite simple,” began Fabregas. “Arsenal was immersed into a big mess.

“I think there were too many people talking. There was a lot of toxic, I would say, within the club, around the club.

“He just came in, he had an idea, he had his methodology, his style of play, and he put it all together.

“He had the bravery – even though he’s a young coach – to put it all together and to say, ‘right this is the standards, this is what I want to do.

“I think he keeps repeating the words – if I’m not mistaken, in press conferences – he talks about intentions, character, running, standards, this is what he put.

“Hard working people, young people that really want to play for the badge, be there for the club, make the club grow, and I think this is what he changed, the mentality.

“He took away all this toxicity around the club that was hurting the players, the managers, and he’s done really well. I think this is the biggest accomplishment he’s done.”