Pass-master Arteta admits it will be tough task to replace Fabregas

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The Independent Online

Mikel Arteta is confident he can fit in quickly at Arsenal as they look to finally deliver some long overdue success this season.

The 29-year-old Spaniard is said to have accepted a pay cut to force through his £10m deadline-day switch from Everton.

While Arteta does not claim he can fill the void left at the heart of the Arsenal team by the sales of captain Cesc Fabregas and playmaker Samir Nasri, the midfielder is confident he can have an impact for Arsène Wenger's side as they look to first recover from the 8-2 mauling at Manchester United, and then win a first trophy since 2005.

"I know Arsenal's philosophy is always having possession of the ball and to be a really nice passing team, it's the type of football I like to play, so I can't wait," Arteta said. "I am going there to help the team to make things better and to see if we can win something.

"Fabregas has been a terrific player, one of the best in the Premier League and [replacing him] is a big ask. What I want to do is start helping the team, start showing my abilities and see where we go from there."

Arteta, though, admits that it was far from easy to leave Everton after six-and-a half years on Merseyside. However, the midfielder believes his sale will help ease the financial burdens which currently surround Goodison Park.

"It has been hard saying goodbye to everyone at Everton and seeing some of the reaction of people with whom I've shared so many good moments," the former Rangers player said. "I think the club is in a situation where they need to sell someone. They don't want to put the team and the club in a situation when in one or two years' time this club is in bits."

Arsenal were one of the busiest clubs over the final days of the transfer window, as deals were concluded to bring in South Korea captain Park Chu-young – who scored a hat-trick in yesterday's 6-0 World Cup qualifier win against Lebanon – and defensive pair Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos. Israel captain Yossi Benayoun was another arrival, joining on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

Wenger also had plenty of other irons in the fire, with Lyons' president, Jean-Michel Aulas, claiming the Gunners made a late bid for attacking midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

Arsenal may have secured a place in the group stages of the Champions League with a play-off win over Udinese, but they have lost two of their opening three domestic fixtures and have been struggling for form.

Czech winger Tomas Rosicky, however, is in no doubt his side, who host Swansea after the international break, will soon be back to their best. "We are at the very beginning of the season and there is still plenty of time to turn things around completely," Rosicky told the Czech newspaper Blesk.

"Up until now we always had good starts and finished badly. Maybe it will turn around and we will have a successful season. We must shake it off and respond in the next game."

Rosicky admitted the squad will analyse just what went wrong in "the worst hammering I have experienced in football" when they return to Colney next week.

"There is probably no sense in commenting on the game after such a hammering. The best you can do is to forget and start from scratch," the 30-year-old said. "We will definitely discuss it when everyone returns from international duty and there is no point about speaking about it now."

Someone else looking forward to a "fresh start" when the Premier League campaign resumes next week is the Blackburn manager, Steve Kean. His club have had a difficult start to the season and are second-bottom of the table having lost all three of their opening matches.

However, the Rovers manager reinforced with the deadline-day signing of Birmingham centre-back Scott Dann and Everton striker Ayegbeni Yakubu while crucially hanging on to the likes of centre-half Chris Samba and midfielder Steven N'Zonzi.

Once the international break is over Kean believes a new-look team will emerge. "It is going to be like a fresh start as of next week," he said. "We have managed to hang on to the established first-team players, do some great business, and it is onwards and upwards as a group.

"There is always pressure to get results, what is more important is we have players to select from. I said that when the window closed we had to have a competitive squad and we certainly have that.

"We were frustrated at the pace some of the transfers were taking but I think the fans will see we have got two genuine players in every single position and it will be very cut-throat to get on the pitch.

"There is always going to be competition fighting for points and it was difficult for the first couple of games because we were missing most of our defenders. Now the defenders are coming back from injury, we have added quality throughout the squad, and it is going to be an exciting time."

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