Manchester City will need time says Fabregas

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has warned Barclays Premier League title rivals Manchester City they cannot just buy the spirit of champions.

The Gunners will head to Eastlands for Sunday's televised showdown with confidence restored after victory over Birmingham was followed up by a 5-1 Champions League demolition of Shakhtar Donetsk at Emirates Stadium.

City are currently just two points behind leaders Chelsea as Roberto Mancini's unprecedented spending spree appears to be paying dividends.

However, Fabregas insists building up a side capable of challenging for honours is not only about cold, hard cash.

"Everyone chooses their own politics and everyone decides how to win," said Fabregas, who scored from the penalty spot against Shakhtar in his first appearance since mid-September because of a hamstring injury.

"They have a lot of money. They are taking advantage of it, and that's it.

"It is not our style, but we respect everyone's decision."

Fabregas maintained: "You cannot buy the spirit in one year.

"You need a few years to get everyone together and to get to know each other well, and it's not easy.

"You don't make a team in one season or two.

"But, of course, they are in a very good position.

"They have all the ingredients to become a great club and we have to fight hard against them.

"We have our style, we have the football we want to play and we want to try to win every game like this, whether it is against the richest club in the world or the poorest."

Czech winger Tomas Rosicky feels Arsenal must now show their "clinical" side in the Premier League having taken every opportunity which came their way against Donetsk - the opening goal a gift following a blunder by goalkeeper Andrei Pyatov.

Much of the Gunners' attacking threat was channelled through Fabregas and Jack Wilshere.

The 18-year-old - sent off for a studs-up challenge on Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic at the weekend - made headlines for the right reasons again with an all-action display which was capped by a well-taken second-half goal.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes the duo can develop a formidable partnership at the heart of his young side.

World Cup winner Fabregas, 23, believes Wilshere can only get better - given the right support.

"We are trying to help him and he is developing really well, but let's not put too much pressure on him," said Fabregas, who holds the record as Arsenal's youngest first-team player when aged 16 years 177 days in a League Cup tie against Rotherham during October 2003.

"Jack is just 18. He knows he was wrong, but sometimes these things happen.

"I remember being sent off at Everton for violent conduct against Tim Cahill when I was only 18. You learn from it."

Wilshere will serve a three-match ban for his red card, so Abou Diaby and Denilson are in contention to come into the starting XI against City.

Theo Walcott - out since injuring his ankle when playing for England in Switzerland on September 7 - looked lively in his 20-minute cameo off the bench last night and could feature again on Sunday.

Midfielder Alex Song feels the impending return of Arsenal's key men will make an impact.

"We showed again when Cesc is in the team we are stronger," he said.

"We want all our players back. We need Robin [van Persie], Thomas [Vermaelen] - and when everyone is back in the squad, we will be even stronger."

Arsenal, meanwhile, will hold their annual general meeting at Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is again expected to attend, with both Wenger and other members of the board set to field pre-submitted questions from the floor.

Last month, the club's parent holding company announced record pre-tax profits of £56million and increased group turnover of £379.9m, while also seeing all the debt on their Highbury Square development paid off.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice