The former Gunners captain says he felt that only two of his Emirates Stadium teammates were on the same ‘mental and technical’ level as him in his latter period at the club
Cesc Fabregas says the lack of quality in the Arsenal dressing room was one of the reasons he ended up leaving the Gunners, as he only deemed two of his teammates as being up to scratch.
The stylish midfielder left Arsenal to return to boyhood club Barcelona in the summer of 2011, and would come back to the Premier League three years later with Chelsea.
But in a detailed interview with the Arsecast podcast, he detailed his frustration and anguish during his final couple of seasons at th Emirates, as he felt that just Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri were at his level.
“I was the captain, I always felt so much pressure on myself,” said Fabregas.
“I had to lead this team to win something. I gave everything.
Fabregas says he struggled emotionally during his final couple of seasons (Image: Kent Gavin Daily Mirror)
“Sometimes, I used to go home after we lost and I used to cry, I used to suffer, I used to spend sleepless nights suffering.
“And then you lose a game, youre in the bus like this destroyed and then you hear some players laughing, thinking about where they will be going out later. This was going on for a few years.
“Yeah, we were playing beautiful football and I enjoyed that side of things but I was putting pressure on myself to lead, to do everything and at one point I felt kind of lonely.
Nasri was one of the players Fabregas looked to (Image: AFP/Getty Images)
“Especially in the last two or three years, I felt Robin and Samir were the only players its not an arrogant thing to say, its how I felt at that time I felt they were the players who were at my level mentally and technically. ”
Fabregas was ultimately the fist of the trio to leave the club in 2011, with Nasri joining Manchester City a matter of days later and Van Persie going on to win the Golden Boot at Arsenal before a move to Manchester United in 2012.
Van Persie was another player Fabregas relied on (Image: PA)
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“Robin, I couldnt count on him unfortunately for many points of the (2010/11) season because he was injured,” continued Fabregas.
“He was a world class player, a leader but he couldnt help me on the pitch for many seasons unfortunately, many parts of the year.
“When I first left and I saw the season he made after when he was not injured at all and at the peak of his level, I was like ‘are you serious, man?’.”