Fabregas vows Arsenal will never change how they play
Club captain says that it is just as important to play the beautiful game as it is to win trophies
Cesc Fabregas has vowed on the eve of the first north London derby of the season that the team will never compromise their playing style just to win silverware. "I know we are capable of winning things," he told Shortlist magazine. "I can never accept that we must change our style to win. Trophies are important, but so too is the style in which you play the game. I disagree with the argument that good football can't win trophies. We are desperate to please the fans with success, but we also want to make them happy with the way we play."
As he faces up to the challenge of leading the Gunners for the first time against Tottenham, one of the most fearsome rivalries in European football, the Spanish international midfielder also cheered Arsenal fans up by unequivocally stating that his immediate future remains at the Emirates. "I have always said that I am happy at Arsenal," he said. "No matter how many times I say I am content here, there are still stories about me going back to Spain. This is my home and I have no plans to leave."
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger must choose between Vito Mannone and Manuel Almunia in goal. The young Italian took over the gloves while Almunia was injured earlier in the season, and initially impressed, especially during a 1-0 victory over Fulham where he made several outstanding saves. However last week he committed a howler against West Ham, palming the ball into the path of Carlton Cole who subsequently scored, that allowed the east Londoners back into a game that ended 2-2, so Almunia may return tomorrow.
The goalkeeping strength in depth at Arsenal is illustrated by the fact that the club can afford to lose Lukasz Fabianski and still have no major worries. "We lost him with a thigh injury [after the Carling Cup win over Liverpool],” said the manager. "He will be out for three weeks. Of course it is big disappointment because he has just come back from injury." Joining Fabianski in the treatment room will be Jack Wilshere (ankle), Theo Walcott (knee), Denilson (back) and Tomas Rosicky (knee).
One player who may make an appearance tomorrow at the Emirates is Samir Nasri, who returned from a broken fibula to start against Liverpool on Wednesday night. The Frenchman impressed during the game and is now eagerly awaiting his first Premier League action of the campaign. "There is nothing better than a derby against Tottenham. It has been a while since both teams met each other while so high in the table." ·
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