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Former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas has praised Mikel Arteta for wanting to impose his own style on the team, but has reminded him that some Jose Mourinho-style pragmatism could be useful early in his spell in charge.
The Gunners have looked good in some contests this season, but have also struggled for consistency in the Premier League.
Early defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool were understandable but losses to Leicester City and Aston Villa have followed and Arteta’s side are just 11th in the table.
The Spaniard is trying to stamp his authority on the team and is imposing a ball-playing style on the side, which has caused mistakes in defence and has seen them struggle to create chances going forward.
Fabregas has faith in the tactics Arteta is employing, and has urged him not to abandon them entirely in search of results, but the former Arsenal and Chelsea man knows that results must be found and the Gunners manager must find a balance.
‘That’s they key nowadays, especially from what I’ve seen in the last four or five years with coaches that I’ve had,’ Fabregas told 90min.com.
‘They come with an idea, they try to start with that idea, but as soon as something goes wrong, they become a little bit… not scared, but they prefer to get results and get confidence, rather than keep going with their philosophy or their ideas and lose.
‘Like [Jose] Mourinho always used to say, you need to be pragmatic. Maybe at the beginning nowadays, you do need to get results first, I don’t deny that, but you have to have the personality.
‘For example, someone like Patrick Vieira at Nice. I followed him at New York City and now at Nice for a few years. He has a young squad but he goes with his philosophy no matter what. He likes to play.
‘He knows that the kids will make mistakes, but he says ‘If you make a mistake, it’s on me’.
He has the personality to not change. You will not see Vieira going 4-4-2 in a defensive way or something like that because he always believes in his players and his methodology. It’s very nice to see coaches like this.’
Arsenal return from the international break on 22 November with a trip to Leeds, followed by clashes with Wolves and Tottenham, which could all prove very tricky for Arteta’s developing team.