Tag Archives: Santi Cazorla

Taller Cazorla is a Baller

It usually takes a foreign player a few weeks, even a few months to acclimatise to Premier League football.

Players coming from Spain have often struggled with the higher paced, more physical side of English football.

Dani Ceballos has not needed time to settle. He has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. His man of the match performance against the Burnley Bully Boys was one of the best home debuts I have seen from an Arsenal player.

Ceballos was everywhere. His performance was all action. He attacked with intent, and also defended soundly. He covered every blade of grass.

The way he controlled the game in the middle of the park reminded everyone of Santi Cazorla.

Taking the ball in tight spaces, a drop of the shoulder and he was away.

No need to take a touch, his passing was on point;, it was quick, it kept the ball moving.

Shorts passes and long passes, he opened up space where there seemed to be none. Switching the ball from one side of the pitch to another to set up breaks. He was simply fantastic.

https://twitter.com/willow1886/status/1162974317816221696?s=21

Ceballos now gives Unai Emery two fantastic options depending on how the manager wants to set up, who the opposition is.

In though away games against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, play Ceballos in the number 10 over Mesut Ozil. In behind him play Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira.

That 3 man set up gives the side defensive stability in the middle, high energy for the press, and still

Has plenty of creativity in it.

At home against the likes of Burnley, Ceballos goes deeper alongside either Xhaka or Torreira, with Ozil playing ahead.

That set up is then more attack minded, with Ceballos able to create and support Ozil in attack, but can sit alongside a more defensively minded midfielder in defence.

Ozil was at his best when he had Santi Cazorla behind him, supporting him.

Cazorla was able to get the ball to Ozil in space quicker than any one else in the team. He was also able to take some of the creative burden off the German. He also created space for his teammate.

Cabellos will be able to do similar. He will be the perfect deeper foil for Ozil. Do not be surprised if the German returns to his best form this season.

Arsenal have missed Cazorla since he picked up that injury against Norwich a few years back. Jack Wilshere – his natural replacement – became too hampered by injury. In Cabellos we finally have another Cazorla.

Just a pity there is no option to buy next summer.

Keenos

Unai Emery to “get the band back together”

Good morning and Happy New Year to you all.

Not only are we in a New Year; but it is also the opening day of the January transfer window, and clubs can negotiate free transfer deals with players abroad.

So who could Arsenal look to sign?

Starting in La Liga, Santi Cazorla‘s one year deal with Villarreal is set to come to an end. Pairing him with Lucas Torreira would be brilliant in 5-a-side if we could find another couple of midgets to join them.

The Secret Billionaire Mathieu Flamini will also see his one year deal with Getafe come to an end. It will be the 6th time in his career the Frenchman has moved clubs. His career combined transfer fees is exactly ZERO.

Arsenal could reinforce their defence for free in the summer if they sign Barcelona centre back Thomas Vermaelen. Laurent Koscielny and Vernaeken at the back together. The Achilles Brothers.

We then have Johann Djourou. The Swiss centre back will be 32 in January. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Fellow Swiss defender’s Phillippe Senderos is curreenlty a free agent. His contract with MLS side Houston Dynamo expired last night.

There is only one man who deserves to partner Flamini in the middle of the park. His former partner in crime Cesc Fabregas. Also Unai Emery should give the prodigal son the captains armband.

Making it a midfield trio is Lassana Diarra. The midfielder somehow found his way at PSG; despite causing trouble everywhere he went. Having signed him a year ago, I am sure Emery will be delighted to link up with him once more.

One player available already is Alex Hleb. His contract expired on New Year’s Eve. Although he is likely to sign an extension with BATE Borisov before facing Arsenal in the Europa League.

Every team needs a top striker. Back a year ago Chelsea handed Olivier Giroud an 18-month deal. Could the French World Cup winner be set for an Arsenal return?

And sometimes there are two top strikers available – jailbird Nicklas Bendtner‘s contract with Rosenborg expired yesterday meaning he is available on a free TODAY.

Sadly, to complete the XI we need a goal keeper, and despite extensive scouting, it seems non are available on a free. As David Ospina is currently not playing for the club, we will take an advantage of a loophole known as the Ospina Rule and he will be between the sticks.

What an XI we could have…

Santi Cazorla opens up on “lack of belief” at Arsenal

Really interesting interview with Santi Cazorla on Football Focus last weekend

“We needed to believe in ourselves more,” he told Football Focus.

“To believe that we were capable of competing with the big sides in the Premier League and not just settling for third or fourth.”

“We needed to have made that leap to try and battle it out for the title. There were seasons where you felt like we were in with a shout but then through various circumstances it wasn’t to be,” he said.

“But I think it’s all about having that self-belief, that right mentality. To say ‘We believe in this team, we know we have a great squad and we can go toe to toe with the big English clubs.’

“I believe that they will do that and for sure they will keep on improving in the future. They are going to have a great season, they have a great team and I wish them all the best.”

Santi Cazorla opens up on “lack of belief” at ArsenalSanti Cazorla opens up on “lack of belief” at Arsenal

What he highlights is that Arsenal lacked the belief that they could compete with the best in England. Both during the 90 minutes and over the course of the season.

What this highlights is that Arsene Wenger became defeatist in the latter years. That he started to feel he could not build a team that could compete, and he projected this negative mindset onto the players.

It was poor man management.

Arsenal not being able to compete with Manchester City, Chelsea or Manchester United was a valid opinion. We had a lot less to spend both in the transfer market and on players wages then these teams. But from a managerial point of view, Wenger should have been protecting his thoughts from the players.

He should have been telling the players they are brilliant, that they can become champions. Not trying to soften the blow of a defeat by pointing out that we can not expect to compete with Man City / Chelsea / Man U as we can not spend as much as them (transfers & wages).

Imagine being told by your boss “we will never be as good as our competitor because we do not have similar financial clout”. It creates a defeatist attitude leaving staff to accept second best as an achievement A good manager shields his staff and coaches them to compete – regardless of industry.

This is not just about football, but about management in general.

Managing people is no different in football to a sales office, a hedge fund or any other industry.  A managers job is to motivate and coach to improvement. No matter the industry. Projecting your negative opinion into staff will not motivate them but lead them accepting the excuses.

If players “lacked belief”, then it was Wenger’s job to motivate the players, to install that belief. If Wenger was not motivating his staff, installing belief, then it is poor management.

Keenos