Close to a decade after leaving Arsenal, former team captain Cesc Fabregas says he regrets not gingering the team to be more ruthless and ‘ugly’ with a view to winning trophies.
The Spaniard insists he is partly to blame for the Gunners lack of success in during his term as captain under former coach Arsene Wenger.
Fabregas, 33, spent eight years with the Gunners after emerging from their academy ranks in 2003.
The Spaniard racked up 303 appearances under Wenger and was named captain in 2008, but their FA Cup win three years earlier was the only time he claimed silverware in north London.
After coming up short in his bid to win the Premier League, Fabregas sealed a dream move to Barcelona in 2011 and got his hands on the Spanish title in his debut season
Yet when his time at the Nou Camp came to an end in 2014, Arsenal’s reluctance to use their buy-back clause meant London rivals Chelsea swooped in – and it was a move that proved highly successful.
The midfielder got his hands on two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup at Stamford Bridge – and he believes the west London club had a better understanding of winning at all costs than Arsenal
“Some teams I played in at Arsenal and Chelsea were similar in terms of talent, but the difference I felt straightaway is that at Chelsea we were ruthless,” Fabregas told The Telegraph.
“At Arsenal there were fantastic, top, top players, but at Chelsea we didn’t really care if one day we had to win 1-0 by not touching the ball for the whole match.
Fabregas, who joined London rivals Chelsea in 2014, highlights the Blues’ desire to win at all costs as the main difference between the two clubs
“At Arsenal, and it was maybe partly my fault at some point as the leader and captain that I was, sometimes we forgot that to win leagues and Champions Leagues, you need to win ugly.
“When I was young I always wanted to play the beautiful game, but there are always five or six games a season that you need to struggle but win.
“At Chelsea we did that. We were very competitive and very experienced. That’s the main difference.”
After calling time on his four-and-a-half-year stay at Chelsea in January 2019, Fabregas secured a move to Monaco.
He has since made 37 appearances for the French outfit, who were in ninth place at the time of its curtailment in April.