Cazorla is good for Arsenal, and Arsenal are good for Cazorla!
He possesses everything you wish for in a footballer: bags of talent, stamina, enthusiasm, assists, goals, team player and football intelligence.
Arsene likes to build his teams around football conductors of the highest order, and he is still looking for the player who can take over from Fabregas. He tried Cazorla and Jack, and both had some good and some less impressive games in the ‘hole’ position.
After a phenomenal first season for the LLanara/Spain born maestro, all eyes will be on him next season: will he become the very fulcrum of the team?
Personally, I am not convinced Cazorla can play the game-controlling and orchestrating ‘Bergkamp/Fabregas role’ to full effect. Rather than driving the game forward from the centre of midfield, Santi appears to prefer playing close to the opposition’s box, where he is most dangerous in terms of producing assists and shooting at goal himself.
And what fine contributions he has made for us last season: 12 goals and 16 assists in 49 games – 0.57 goals/assists per game.
Without any doubt, Santi was our best footballer in 2012-2013, and my favourite performance by the Spaniard was the away game against Bayern: he was simply outstanding during that game!
But Arsenal have also been very good for Santi, and the main reasons for this seem to be Wenger’s great coaching skills and the freedom he is allowed by the Frenchman to ‘express himself’.
The stats tell their own story:
Santi’s career stats prior to joining Arsenal: 47 goals and 40 assists in 304 games – 0.29 goals/assists per game; so, he almost doubled his average goals/assists per game return (0.57) this season. He has also improved on his Malaga stats, where he played just one season: nine goals and five assists in 42 games – 0.33 goals/assists per game.
I reckon Santi performs best in a free role, in which he is allowed to move everywhere and the opposition never really knows where he will be next, or what he is going to do next. The ‘Bergkamp/Fabregas’ fulcrum role needs to give structure and impetus to the team: it requires a player who directs play and who bosses the centre of midfield to a large extent, and for that a player needs vision, pace, dribbling skills and a great ability to produce through-balls, and of course, create many chances for others and score regularly himself.
We have seen glimpses of this by Cazorla, but I believe the conductor role does not suit him as much as his free role (on/from the left or right wing).
It remains to be seen what Wenger will do with regards to the conductor role: will he hope that Jack will finally have an injury free(ish) season, or will he move Cazorla back in the ‘nr10 position’?
Given the continuous links – however tenuous in some cases – with typical (4-2-1-3) AM/nr.10 players like Jovetic, Rooney and Fabregas – and many, but not me, will argue Fellaini is also this sort of player – we can say that Wenger might not be convinced his current players are (right now) suitable for this pivotal position.
Let’s get Higuain (could we get any closer??), sign up a DM beast, and then maybe put the icing on the cake with a top class AM/nr.10 conductor. Somebody who can hit the ground running and make a difference straightaway. And over time, the likes of Jack, Ox or Eisfeld can be readied to take over.
But regardless of where Santi is going to play next season, I for one, cannot wait to see the Spanish magician in action again!
Written by: TotalArsenal.