Football News

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mikel Arteta on why Arsenal signed him, says Fabregas is a legend

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta revealed that the Gunners wanted to sign him because of his experience and creativity as well because they needed someone who already featured in the English Premier League.

Speaking to The Independent, the Spaniard admitted that he knew that he would have been under pressure to deliver in North London adding that it was a turbulent summer for the Gunners after the departure of key players like Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri and the arrival of nine new players.

On the former captain, 29-year old explained that the players knew that they had to change their style as he praised the Barcelona midfielder, describing him as a legend and one of the best midfielders of the game.

And on the days as a trainee with the Spanish giants, Arteta concluded by saying that the Catalans prepare you not only for the game of football but also as a man as he praised the likes of Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol.

On the Gunners and Barcelona, Arteta said:
[Arsenal] made it clear they wanted me because they needed an experienced, creative midfielder. Someone who could fit in quickly in the Premiership.

For me it was the chance to stay in England, move to London, try a bigger club.
And a club that wants to play football all the time. I am from the Barcelona school and the football here is the most similar.

I knew there was going to be pressure. With some of those players leaving and others coming in there will always be a discussion about who is better.

But at the same time I thought I will have the chance to help the team and improve it.
Obviously two of the best players have gone and it is different. We cannot try to be the same as them, that would be a big mistake.

[Cesc] Fabregas was here for eight years. He is a legend, one of the best midfielders I have played against. Trying to compare yourself with them is never going to work.
It is impossible from day one. So just try to play your own game, improve the team and try to fill those holes.

[Barcelona] prepare you as a person and as a footballer. The way they do it is really interesting. You see it in the characters as well.

Talk about Iniesta, Xavi, [Carles] Puyol – nice people. Great players but very, very respectful people.

For me the best thing to learn from is an example.
We had [Pep] Guardiola, [Guillermo] Amor, [Jose] Bakero and when you see these examples you want to be like them.

All the young lads now are going to have Iniesta and Xavi as examples and now Thiago [Alcantara] is coming. The ball keeps rolling. It is such a clever method.

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