Fabregas: We must make this a great time
Cesc Fabregas has revealed he is fed up with having to field questions on Arsenal's title credentials, and has maintained the only answer which matters will come at the end of the season.
The Gunners moved back up into second place in the Premier League thanks to a 3-0 win at ten-man Manchester City yesterday. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels the result, which lifted his team five points behind leaders Chelsea, will lift confidence within his squad following successive defeats before the international break.
The Frenchman also talked about his players' growing maturity, patience and intelligence as they made the most of Dedryck Boyata's early dismissal with goals from Samir Nasri, Alex Song and substitute Nicolas Bendtner, even affording a penalty miss by captain Fabregas. The Spain midfielder has heard it all before, though, and insisted May will be the only time to judge.
"It looks like after every win you have to say, 'oh, you are more mature than last year', but it is just one more game, let's not get carried away," Fabregas told Arsenal TV Online. "Now we have the [League Cup] game against Newcastle, which is the most important one at the moment.
"The time to talk about if we have matured or are better than before will be at the end of the season. In football, you know what people will say when you win, and you know what people will say when you lose.
"You just have to keep focused on what you do, in training and in the game, give everything for the team and the rest is not up to you. We have a very good team, with lots of young players. We have to make it a great time by winning things."
Events at Eastlands could have been so different, however, had stand-in goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski not made a fine reaction save from David Silva's close-range flick in the opening few minutes, before the dynamic of the match was altered when last man Boyata saw red for bringing down Marouane Chamakh.
The Poland international, who has grown in stature in his latest spell deputising for injured No1 Manuel Almunia, feels Arsenal have taken their clinical European form which has seen them chalk up 14 goals from three UEFA Champions League games back into domestic action.
"We are more ruthless now," Fabianski said. "We are creating chances in every single game and it's not just about making them, it's about taking them.
"That's what we have to work on and keep like this. Everyone knows we are playing well, passing the ball really well and creating chances. We just have to score more goals."
Fabianski, quoted in the London Evening Standard, added: "Now we are second and in touch with Chelsea. Within the team, there was always big belief, but it was still important to win a major game like this. City were trying to add a physical aspect to their game but we stayed calm, managed to stick to our tactics, played our game, and it paid off."
Arsenal now head to Newcastle United for Wednesday night's League Cup fourth-round clash. Wenger had named a strong squad for the win at Tottenham in the previous round, and is expected to again as they target a first trophy since 2005.
Bendtner and fit-again Theo Walcott could be included at St James' Park, while centre-half Laurent Koscielny was an unused substitute against City as he continues to recover from a back problem.
While youngsters Henri Lansbury, who scored his first senior goal at White Hart Lane, and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, a reported loan target for Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers, could make the squad for the trip to Tyneside, 21-year-old midfielder Mark Randall has headed to Rotherham United on a three-month loan deal.