'Highbury was special' says Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas admitted he was a worried man watching Arsenal flirt with elimination from the Champions League - and that the club may have suffered from their move from Highbury.
Fabregas, speaking ahead of Barcelona's UEFA Super Cup match against Europa League winners Porto tomorrow, repeatedly used the word "we" when talking of his former club and said the Gunners would take huge confidence from remaining among Europe's elite.
The issue of the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium, said by Samir Nasri to "lack passion" after his move to Manchester City, was confirmed by Fabregas. The midfielder said Highbury was a "special" place - and Arsenal have not won a trophy since their move to the new stadium.
Fabregas watched on TV last night as his old team initially struggled against Udinese, going behind before hitting back to win 2-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate.
Wojciech Szczesny also pulled off a stunning penalty save to prevent Udinese levelling the tie before Theo Walcott snatched a late winner.
Fabregas said: "I watched it and became a bit scared when they scored and got the penalty, but I think after we saved the penalty the game became more comfortable for us and I think we played very well.
"I'm very happy for Arsenal and their fans because they deserve to be in the Champions League.
"It's a big boost for the club and the players, because it is a very difficult season and I am sure from this they will get so much confidence they can move forward."
Asked about the stadium issue raised by Nasri, Fabregas spoke in glowing terms of the club's previous home.
He added: "I think you should ask the proper fans that pay every year for season tickets. I have never felt at home as I was at Highbury at any other stadium in the world but it was not my decision, it was the club's decision, it was what they needed in that moment.
"Highbury was a special thing that I don't think will happen any more, but we have to make... Arsenal have to make the Emirates their own home now and with their own cabinet of trophies to start all over again."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Manchester City: With Arsene Wenger missing a number of key players, who could start the Community Shield clash?
Chelsea transfer news: Didier Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge on one-year deal
Manchester United: Five things we've learned so far about Louis van Gaal, including his ability to accommodate Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney
Liverpool transfer news: Reds 'in talks' to sign Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan as summer spending threatens to exceed £100m
Manchester United transfer news: Angel Di Maria set to choose between Old Trafford and PSG in next few days
- 1 Calum Chambers: Southampton's latest example of Generation X-factor
- 2 Crash victims in car flattened by shipping container emerge with just minor injuries
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Joey Barton and Yossi Benayoun become involved in Twitter row over Israel-Gaza conflict
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains