Has Cazorla been found out?

Maybe it is time to let Santi go

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Santi Cazorla was a great signing two seasons ago. He hit the ground running and had a great first season in which he earned an incredible 10 MOMs (man of the match) performances, scored 12 goals and produced a juicy 11 assists in the Premier League. Santi added real value to the team all over the pitch, and many of us were very disappointed he had not made it to the PL team of the season in 2012-2013. He played in all 38 PL games, with 37 starts.

But his second season was significantly less impressive. He still managed to play in 31 PL games, with 30 starts, but it seemed that teams had figured out what Santi’s qualities are. For a start he was no longer allowed space, and especially time, to do his characteristic Santi ‘dances’ in front of the ‘D’: ‘shall I shoot with my right foot or shall I shoot with my left foot, or shall I shoot with my right foot, before eventually shooting with one of his feet’. In his first season he scored many a goal like that, but not any more so this season. He reminds me a lot of my dog Henry, as in when he keeps turning and twisting until he finds the right spot to do his, with glee anticipated, daily dumps. 🙂

The goals and assists have dried up in 2013-14: only four PL goals (a third of his total tally the year before), and eight assists (down three); and just three MOMs performances.

I must add, I really got the hump with Santi when I watched him at the home of football against Swansea. We had just been humiliated by the Chavs and we needed a performance by the team; and it was up to the likes of Cazorla to pull the team through. He had a very disappointing, laboured performance and I came to realise he is not one to carry our team forward when the ships are down (although he was not the only one who disappointed, it is fair to say). Most subsequent performances were not very inspiring either.

On top of that, Santi never hit the heights in the CL, with 13 appearances in two seasons but no goals and just one assist. In four months he will be thirty and with the arrival of Sanchez, and Theo’s return not far away either, plus space needed for Ox, Gnabry, Rosicky and one or two youngsters, it might be a good idea to let Santi go this summer. I cannot imagine him wanting to be on the bench a lot, where he could still add value to the team with 20-30 minutes cameos; and we can still get a decent amount of money for him now.

Of course he could still have a fabulous third season, but I would not be too sorry to see him go, as I believe he has not got enough qualities to get back to his excellent 2012-13 performances and impressive key stats.

But what do you think, fine fellow Gooners: should we let him go or keep at all cost? 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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90 Responses to Has Cazorla been found out?

  1. Arsenal_VCC says:

    Good question TA! and nice posting. 🙂 Sentimentally, I really wish that Santi would reclaim his first year form. However, I think that you may be a little harsh on him. I think that injury and being played out of position were more responsible for this than anything else. he was often in the wings needing to provide defensive cover (something that is not his strength) and speed (not his strength either). However, with Ozil being there it presents a formation dilemma. Chances are that he may get the odd chance int he PL and may get a chance to really come onto his own in the FA cup playing in his favored central position. I think the success of his third season will depend rather heavily on the tactics that Wenger is going to go with on a game-game basis.

  2. Arsenal_VCC says:

    Whoa! am I the first to respond! That is like Jenks scoring a goal for Arsenal (may never happen again)! 🙂

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points Arsenal_VCC and good to see you back here 🙂

    My question to you is what is Santi’s best position? And did he not get a licence to roam and make things happen for us?

  4. BertieMee says:

    Possibly a one season wonder…and we’ve had few of those in our time. He’s play is laboured and predictable, and he requires too much time on the ball. His attitude, when he loses the ball, seems to be one of frustration but without the conviction to get the ball back. I’d be very happy to see him go.

  5. goonermaze says:

    We should keep him

  6. AFC says:

    TA, I say keep him.

    He is a really good midfielder who still has a lot to offer. He is experienced, ambidextrous and fits our system like a glove. The likes of Chelsea and City would be more than happy to have Santi in their squad.

    I agree that he might not have the qualities and/or enough quality to be a regular starter but he is definitely good enough to be a squad player. Can you imagine Santi coming off the bench? I can’t think of a better player who can come off the bench in any EPL side and that includes United, City and Chelsea.

    We shouldn’t even think about selling him. If you had been talking about Podolski then yes. Podolski is probably someone worth selling and replacing with someone like Reus. He adds very little apart apart from goals and goes invisible in matches. We could
    easily sign an upgrade and improve the left side of our attack. I see Santi as back-up to Ozil.

    Why sell Santi but keep Podolski?

  7. john says:

    I think Mertesacker said something about him being really tired when he came back from the confederations cup last year. Certainly that is what Mertesacker thought had caused his slump. I did agree with you at a point last year, but I’ve come to realise that he is still an exceptional player, and I was simply taking him for granted. However, those comments he made about leaving really didn’t sit with me well, especially when that was at the time when he was the lead man anyway, due to injuries. Regardless, there will certainly be an attacking midfielder leave us this summer, and I would prefer it to be Santi rather than Podolski, because I think that when you get Podolski playing well, he’s unplayable, whereas you can stop santi with a well organised defence.

  8. Jammathon says:

    I would say worth keeping another season, given last season was affected by injury to an extent.

  9. H Bo says:

    One key thing to remember is he played a completely different position last season so when out wide you can only play one way passes are less key it’s more about hopeful crosses and it’s harder to score but if you look at when Ozil was injured and Santiago came back central he was a lot more effective again, for someone as small as Santi and not particularly quick it’s difficult to play wide in such a strong league all though his tennasity helped carry him he won’t have the same impact on a match look at Ozil in the World Cup not very helpful on the wing he’s a a central player

  10. ruelando says:

    His game was affected by the introduction of Ozil to the team, he had to change his game taking up a more defensive position on the left, so his assist and goal tally was affected. He would have been far better last Season if he was given the role behind the striker where he had less defensive work and was growing nicely in.

    I have always said he and ozil should not be on the team at the same time, it takes away the defensive structure of the team.

    More than likely Cazorla will be starting in the position behind the striker for a couple matches let’s see how he operates there, I actually think he is better there than ozil, but let’s see

  11. JM says:

    Cazorla for Koke (midfield all-rounder) @ Atlético Madrid
    Podolski for Reus (attack all-rounder) @ Borussia Dortmund

    Yes.
    (The two mega blockbuster acquisitions …. next summer TW, 2015/2016)

    Otherwise, No.

  12. shrillex says:

    Hey guys, just landed in London. Still waiting for my dang luggage….

    Anyways, good post Total. If it were me, I would let Santi go, especially with the reports that Juan Quintero of Porto set to join us. Don’t get me wrong, Santi is a magnificent player who still has a lot to offer. But he is aging and his contributions are getting lesser and I feel he doe not have the qualities needed to carry our team forward anymore. Also, I doubt he wants to be a bench warmer and only get 20-25 minute cameos. Now might be the best time to let go of him,now that he is 29 and we could let him go for a decent price. And if Santi leaves, I doubt Poldi would be allowed to stay.

    This is me dreaming —> if they both leave, there is finally space for Reus on the team 😉

  13. geoffchase says:

    TA

    Could the difference be that more teams parked the bus against us last year than the year before. We were more threatening all around last year and that was seen in the goals going to others. But, the first year, not nearly so much nor so early in the season anyway…

    When the field is open and flowing, it favors his style I think where it is less about pace than about taking advantage of mispositioned opposition and/or working them into that misposition. When a team parks the bus, it sits still and a guy like him is “found out” where a pacey strong, run at them with the ball type (JW, Ox et al) does better because the bus has to respond.

    Just a thought to consider… Thus, I would think some tiredness and also perhaps JMs very intriguing (one must ask about *his* sauces 🙂 ) ideas would be more my take on it.

    cheers — jgc

  14. omgarsenal says:

    The jury,imho, is still out. Many top players have had lesser 2nd seasons for any number of reasons. Cazorla has what it takes to have another great season and with the new chemistry in the team and the talent level we now have, he could prove to be more than a one hit wonder. Both he and Podolski have a lot to contribute to the Arsenal and need to be given that opportunity for the next season.

  15. Philippo says:

    When the ships are down everyone drowns!

  16. Kc says:

    Hope Cazorla does not turn out to be another arshavin. Last season his play reminds me of the small Russian, trying tricks and when it does not work just hangs his tongue out and laugh, instead of chasing back. He really needs to up his game and be much more hardworking. But he looks like he will be a benchwarmer next season with the players we have in the squad.

  17. Gunner6 says:

    Knee jerk article. You used his assist and goals as comparison. You also mentioned his laboured performance but admitted he wasn’t the only one. In addition, he state he doesn’t carry the team.

    From this, you conclude that he is no longer good for us. Have you considered maybe he was playing in a different position and set up due to returning (Ramsey) and new players (Ozil)?

    Should we add Jack Wilshere into the equation? Or Vermaelen? Or whoever whose stats no longer look better than the previous season? Thank goodness you are not the manager.

  18. Gooner87 says:

    Some of your issues are correct with santo but I can’t believe there are actually gooners out there saying let him go! WTF!! Seriously! Ok so santi went missing in the big games (who didn’t!) also at times we needed him to stand up and help the team, but santi has moments of absolute brilliance, like his goals against Tottenham and Liverpool pure quality finishes and with him and ozil in the team with sanchez and Walcott we could be deadly next year. Just really can’t believe some peoples views on santi his one of our best players FFS!! Anyway in my humble opinion santi should at least see out his contract with the club, it was only second season syndrome for him and I’m sure he will get back to his best! COYG

  19. GoonerDave says:

    Great article , and I totally understand why you suggest it, as I’ve thought the same myself . However , we need strength in depth. If Santi loses his place on the wings and becomes a player challenging Ozil for his spot, that’s excellent for arsenal. Imagine Ozil going through a dip in form and being able to rely on Santi to play instead. We have finally got a great starting midfield(Ozil – Ramsey – Flamini(khedira)) and an good second midfield as well(Cazorla – Wilshere – Arteta(Flamini)) and we’ve even got Rosicky and Ox to play there out on the wings. Not to mention Diaby (fingers crossed). We lose santi and we lose our strength . Playing out second midfield against spurs when we’ve got champs league midweek won’t seem that frightful !
    Same argument for Podolski, Walcott and Sanchez backed up by Podolski and Campbell only means we can never field a bad team . Poldi and Santi stays !

  20. Gunner4life says:

    I agree with Gunner6..

    Just using Jack as an example.

    he has neither recaptured his 2010-2011 form or push one from there. Reminds me of what Paul Scholes said about him and who incidentally was berated by Arsenal fans across the globe for those comments. He is regarded as the golden boy but has never lived up to that billing. Does he have the potential? Yes, definitely. Barring injuries, has he grown in the last 3-4 years? No.

    If Santi is not good enough for our team as per you article then Jack is most certainly not good enough..

    You mention above that in the game against Swansea you realised about Santi that ” he is not one to carry our team forward when the ships are down”

    Somehow you seem to forget the FA cup Final when our team had dropped their shoulders and all but accepted defeat in the first half that it was Santi that started the revival. And it was long before the goal, when neither Ozil nor Rambo could apply a significant grip on the game it was Santi that stood up and accepted responsibility and drove the team forward.

    I think your assessment of Santi rubbish and like Gunner6 said – Thank goodness you are not the manager.

  21. GoonerDave says:

    Great article , and I totally understand why you suggest it, as I’ve thought the same myself . However , we need strength in depth. If Santi loses his place on the wings and becomes a player challenging Ozil for his spot, that’s excellent for arsenal. Imagine Ozil going through a dip in form and being able to rely on Santi to play instead. We have finally got a great starting midfield(Ozil – Ramsey – Flamini(khedira)) and an good second midfield as well(Cazorla – Wilshere – Arteta(Flamini)) and we’ve even got Rosicky and Ox to play there out on the wings. Not to mention Diaby (fingers crossed). We lose santi and we lose our strength . Playing out second midfield against spurs when we’ve got champs league midweek won’t seem that frightful ! Plus he brought us back into the FA Cup final.
    Same argument for Podolski, Walcott and Sanchez backed up by Podolski and Campbell only means we can never field a bad team . Poldi and Santi stays !

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    Well I am very pleased with the responses, including those who passionately defend Santi’s performances last season. I just have an opinion based on what I see and feel in my Gooner gut; and the stats, in my eyes, don’t lie too much. I’d love him to have another great season at Arsenal as I take no pleasure in being right on a negative player assessment, which, btw, I seldom or never do.

    He annoyed me against the Red Bulls with some woeful set pieces, but I gave him the benefit of doubt due to ‘start of the season syndrome’. Comparisons with Jack, who scored just one PL goal less than Santi in less games, are misplaced. One is at the start of bReaking through where the other should be carrying the team – which I agree he did at times during the FA cup (fair point made). However, the coming season is a big one for Jack and we will need to see further improvement. Jack is by the way a far more gifted player than Santi, but that is for another discussion.

    The idea that Cazorla is number two for Ozil’s in the hole position is a fair point. I don’t agree with that as I would play first Sanchez there (as per previous post), then Jack and then Rosicky who all link midfield with attack better in our 4-2-1-3 system, whereas Santi stays to close to the box. But I respect that point of view nevertheless and maybe it is worth keeping him for that reason.

    As I said in the post, which meant to lead to discussion, I think his limitations – lack of speed, ability to take on players, chance conversion, ponderousness, lack of defensive discipline – could make it hard to get back to the required level. And yes there is something about his attitude I don’t like – but that is personal.

    I would not be surprised if Wenger will sell him this summer but nice to see there are plenty of Gooners out there who want to give him another season. And if he proves me wrong, I happily write an egg on my face post at the end of the season. 🙂

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Goonerdave, yes Santi offers strength to the bench, but can you see him accepting such a role on a more permanent basis?

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Jgc, second paragraph is spot on. We have plenty of players who thrive when space is available, but the likes of Sanchez, Ox, Wilshere, Ozil, and even Rosicky, are much better at making things happen when the busses are parked up firmly. That’s when Santi’s limitations are exposed indeed.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Shrill, welcome to the UK. Enjoy the tournament and your stay in London. 🙂

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Ruelando, last paragraph makes sense. Let’s see who will start in the hole in the next few games, and if it’s Santi let’s hope he’ll do well. For me Santi had his best possible role last season: the free one from the left with added defensive responsibilities; but that goes for the hole position too to a large extent: every position needs to help out defensively.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, good points. But why did the Chavs sell Mata, despite him also having a great first season? I reckon Mata and Santi are pretty similar…

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    And I would keep Podolski as his chance conversion is phenomenal and he is happy to be the quintessential super sub! 🙂

  29. Tester says:

    The premise of the article is good but the points raised against his form make no sense. Santi played every game in 12/13, then went to confederations cup & in between went to play inane friendlies for Spain all the way to South America & back. Not just him, the entire Spanish team looked knackered which lead to the injury in the early part of the season. Plus, Ozil being in the team means his favorite central role is taken. All this has lead to Santi’s influence diminishing.

    But that’s not a reflection on the player.I’d say it’s more a reflection of the way the game has progressed in the last two years. It’s almost mandatory to have two quick wingers on the flank to protect the defense & to avoid opposition fullbacks pushing on. And as much as we love to see Cazorla & Ozil play 1-2, it’ll only mean we’ll lose the games against big teams who will ruthlessly expose that left wing.

    Should we sell him? I’d say yes but only & only if Jack Wilshere becomes an understudy to Ozil in that #10 role. There is no way Jack will get a starting role if all of OG,Sanchez,Walcott,Ozil,Rambo,New DM are fit. The #10 role will also mean less mental,flying tackles on Jack ‘coz he’s not bringing the play from the halfway line. You tackle Jack as #10, you’re giving away free kicks around the box.

    For the price we’re getting, 20m apparently, it’d be a good deal for all parties. It could also help us bid big money for Reus or Cavani & pay for their wages. I can see the move happening as Santi is 29 & there is no way he’s going to start games like he did in the past 2 years. I love him,his skills,his smile. But if it isn’t to be,then too bad.

  30. GoonerDave says:

    TA , I think a lot can change within a season. Ramsey’s surge in form came from a longer stint in the team in his favoured position whilst Wilshere was out for 17 months. Same could be said for both partners in our wonder defensive duo. They both had shoddy form that saw them out of the starting. Now they are possibly one of the defensive partnerships in EPL. . . If I was santi , I would be happy to sit on the bench and seize my opportunity. We are obviously intending on competing on all 4 competitions this season. There will be games to go around. City usually have less games than us , as they don’t make Champions League last 16 normally but still have game time for all their stars.
    International wise , he was never a starter and with Isco et al coming through and their World Cup display I don’t think he will be thinking much of France’16. I think he’s a great versatile player, can play on the wings as well as the hole.
    I hope we keep him Santi , Poldi and Verma (why doesn’t he play him as DM?! Aerial threat both attacking and defensive . Could easily cover CB and drop into a back 3 when attacking. Plus leadership) . Happy to see Jenko go on loan , Gnabry should go to Southampton , and I think Sanogo should go out as well.

  31. Gunner4life says:

    @TA

    How is Jack more gifted than Santi..?? In my opinion, what Santi has done in two seasons Jack has not even gotten close to replicating in four.

    I’m all for Jack recapturing some of his earlier form and pushing on to become the player everyone hopes he will be but performances on the pitch don’t lie.

    But please do elaborate.

  32. shrillex says:

    Total, thanks dude. Enjoying my time here already 🙂

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    TEster, all fair points and maybe I have not given enough weight to the fatique element. 🙂

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    ANd yes fully agreed on Jack in the hole: that is his position and sooner or later he will play there permanently (although I prefer Sanchez there right now).

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed Goonerdave 🙂

    TV would be a good option for DM as many here on BK have said…. but I reckon he will be off once we have found a good replacement

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Shrill, best way to see London is from and around the Thames. Walk or take a boat and look at all its glory! And if you are into modern art at all…. have a look at Tate Modern 🙂

  37. shrillex says:

    @G4L Debatable. Just look back to 2010/11 season,he was the one who carried our team and even won player of the season. His progress was only hindered by injuries and always make me wonder what might have been.

    Sure, I’m all for Santi staying with us proving me wrong too and being influential. But do you see Santi being happy being second choice? Also, if Santi leaves, it can help Wilshere continue his progress as a player. IMO, Wilshere is a ready made replacement for Santi.

  38. GoonerDave says:

    Yeah I think he’s going also, I can’t see who we could bring in that would be the same or an upgrade without spending big. It might be a case of him getting back in the team with mertesacker still out after the WC. Although , with wenger singling out Mert as one who prepares well , I imagine he will start the first game.
    I would like Khadira and no more casualties , then I think we are ready to win some serious silverware!
    COYG!

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Gunner4life,

    Jack has better vision and passing ability than Santi (he is also quicker in thinking and spotting an opportunity), on top of that he has acceleration and ability to go past his man which Santi does not really have (although he tried a few times towards the end of the season).

    With Jack it is now about staying fit and not getting injured and getting a run of games in the hole position. Whether Wenger will play him there remains doubtful, but sooner or later he’ll end up there, as he is a born conductor.

    But that is just my view and I accept that he has it all to prove still.

  40. Tester says:

    @TA Yes Sanchez there is great & that’s what makes him a really clever buy. He can play 4 positions (ST,LW,RW,2nd ST) & do it very well. But Ozil/Jack alternating as #10 means we can buy a proper DM type player & not have it hinder Jack’s development.

    And about TV5 as DM. Yes that sounds great but I think Vermalen has lost hope & AW doesn’t trust TV anymore. Playing DM is all about decision making & positioning both of which is really lacking in Vermalen’s game when he plays CF. There is no way Kos would’ve let Bony win that header & score from the edge of pen box in the Swansea home game. It’s best TV5 is sold & replaced.

    If we do sell Cazorla, I hope we make use of that cash & reinvest.

  41. shrillex says:

    Thanks Total! 🙂 Yeah, we already plan to walk around the Thames tmr. Switching hotels to somewhere around there. Maybe I’ll go to Tate Modern and have a look. I’m already beat from shopping (my sisters shopped while I just walked around)

  42. shrillex

    Don’t mention Camden Market to your sisters……. just a word of warning 🙂

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Tester, all agreed, but it is so hard to get a quality, ready to rock CB who is ALSO happy to sit on the bench! We need one at least as injury to Koz or BFG could cost us deerly very quickly. Getting this right is as important as the much needed powerhouse DM IMO… Murphy’s Law…

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Is your sister a Gooner too, Shrill?

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    The Tate modern has the Matisse cut outs exhibition at the moment, if that is your cup of tea.

  46. TA

    The Matisse cut-outs, what’s that, the canvasses that have been cut out of their frames when stolen? 🙂

    I love Matisse, one of my favorite ‘fauves’.

  47. Not that there were many ‘fauves’…..

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha NG 🙂

    As you know, they are fabulous in their simplicity and striking effects. It borders on the naive but that’s where it is so clever, and beautiful.

  49. shrillex says:

    @NB1969 my cousins are bring us there when we visit them 😦 Is it really that bad?

    @Total Sort of, they are neutrals but I force them to watch Arsenal with me 🙂

  50. shrillex says:

    Total, maybe I’ll go check it out if we have time

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s it Shrill, force feeding the Arsenal diet is the way to go. 🙂

    Malevich in TM as well… Wow! I will pay a visit on Tuesday when I am in London for work

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    It is just a suggestion, Shrill. More important is that you are rested to watch the boys! Is this your first live game?

  53. Where does ‘old’ Art end and Modern Art begin…. the French will say the impressionists, and you know why, because the majority of impressionists were French, but I would say Modern Art started with Turner. Because I’m English. 🙂

    Shrillex, if your sisters take you to Camden Market you’ll never escape and could even end up missing the game. But then again, if you find yourself trapped there, just find a pub and they’ll be loads of hippy new age girls…. yummy 🙂

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Modern Art started with Cruijff, NB! 🙂

  55. goonerpj82 says:

    I hope he stays. He is going to be very important to us at the start of the season, while Ozil gets up to speed. I think that he was used mostly used in the LW position last year because of injury. I would like to see Wenger rotate Ozil and Santi to avoid either of the players getting tired and fatigued. Both players will be important if we are to challenge for the league title. Also the fact that he can shoot from either foot is unique and can’t be defended to one side. Also with Sanchez and/or Walcott up front, teams will not be willing to play such a high line against us or press us further up the field, which will result in space for Santi or Ozil to weave some magic. Also if Wenger decides to change to a 442, santi would be great as the LM.

    I think the only reason he will leave is if he is homesick. I think Poldolski is most at risk to be transferred but only if a quality LW is bought to replace him. Now that we are in a position where we don’t need to sell players, I hope that a player only gets transferred when they are upgraded (eg. Jenkinson, who I think is a good player but not a top 4 player).

    A DM is still a priority atm…. a CD to replace Vermaelen if he leaves…. Squad is nice and competitive atm and rotation should be less of an issue.
    Prem Team: Szech–Debuchy,BFG,Kos,Gibbs–DM,Ramsey,Ozil–Walcott,Giroud,Sanchez
    Cham League: Szech–Debuchy,BFG,Kos,Gibbs–DM,Ramsey,Ozil,Rosicky/Ox,Santi–Sanchez
    Dom Cups: Ospina–Chambers,Kos/BFG,Verm/Replacement,Monreal–Arteta/Flamini, Wilshere,Santi–Rosicky/Ox,Campbell,Poldolski.

  56. I would have to disagree Totes

    1958 WC final was the beginning of ‘modern football’ because it was on the telly 🙂

    Hungary, in the early fifties…. that was the real start.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    But was it art hahaha, NB?! 🙂

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Catch you later today

  59. shrillex says:

    Total, I watched the M.City home game live before and a few others. Don’t worry. I will be fully rested by the time the game starts. 🙂

    NB, I’m just a tad bit underage unfortunately. 😉 And fortunately I’m going to Candem Market after the Emirates Cup

  60. shrillex

    Get your cousins to buy you a pint of Guiness, it’s not as strict in the UK as in the USA.

  61. H Bo says:

    TAyou have actually got a nice friendly debate going on and it seems quite even the for santi comments along with against but for years we have always ended up a player short people have questioned our depth including me at times albeit generally due to injury but even though we are mainly covering losses with Diaby and Campbell back from injury and loan respectively and the addition of Sanchez we have a nice full squad and with us just waiting on Theo’s return the squad looks massive but if you look at most champions around Europe in major leagues this is the case and the players understand this what you need for success healthy competition a lot like this discussion it helps reduce complacency so you get top performances week in week out look how we played with a full squad before Xmas even after until complacency set in.

  62. Wo H Bo

    I was waiting for that full-stop 🙂

  63. AFC says:

    I could see Santi and Podolski going at the end of next season.

    I think Wenger is only looking to add this TW (selling if he has to). He wants to win the BPL or CL this upcoming season and then when a lot of our players contracts expire, more top players become available, players decline then he will start a revolution next summer TW.

    For instance I could see Wenger selling Monreal (if his performances don’t improve) and signing a young LB who can be an understudy to Gibbs.

    I could then see Wenger either bringing back Jenks to compete with Debuchy for the RB spot if he has a successful loan spell at West Ham, selling him and promoting Bellerin or signing another CB and switching Chambers to RB full time.

    Arteta and Flamini could be let go and replaced with one DM like Bender.

    Reus for Podolski if Bayern don’t pick him off first. Remember his release clause which isn’t active yet. 😉

    Gnabry promoted to replace the retiring Rosicky and Santi replaced with another younger playmaker like Koke or Isco.

  64. AFC says:

    Mata had two very good seasons TA. They are similar but have some differences.

    Why have City still got the likes of Silva and Nasri? 😀

  65. H Bo says:

    @northbank1969 I was in the zone and my punctuation is awful and if it wasn’t for autocorrect/spellcheck I would probably keep my thoughts to myself

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    H Bo, thanks and good point about depth. 🙂

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Impressive, Shrill.

  68. Highbury Harmony says:

    All reports are signalling that we’re set to sign Quintero from Porto, which is kind of odd given our abundance of attacking players already. The only way this makes sense is if Santi or Podolski are out the door. However, given Santi’s comments recently, it seems that he wants to stay and is very happy at Arsenal.

    I think Santi is one of the most naturally talented players on our team and just lacks the speed and physical attributes to make him one of the world’s top players. You hear opposing players constantly praising Santi and how he’s the most talented player they’ve ever played against, which is a more valuable measuring stick than anything we visualize on television.

    In terms of importance to our squad, it’s quite easy to make the case that he doesn’t quite fit into the starting 11 since he lacks pace at LW and hasn’t really ever gelled with Ozil, but then again, with all the competitions we are in, we need depth and variety if we want to win multiple trophies. Santi is very important to our set-up imo and I think he should be kept. However, if the player secretly wants to leave and is yearning for a move back to home soil, then I would allow the transfer to go through IF we sign Quintero as a replacement. Still, I’d probably proceed with caution and keep Santi just to prove that we are no longer letting top players go.

    Just my two cents.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points, AFC. 🙂

  70. allezkev says:

    Interesting points Total

    From an economic viewpoint, selling Santi makes sense.

    But personally I would retain him, a couple of injuries in that dept and we are in shit street again….

    We are a big club, so I am reliably told, so maybe we should act like one and have a strong squad to go with it…

  71. Highbury Harmony says:

    It’s interesting how City and Chelsea manage to have as much depth as they do and still keep players season after season, unless they truly have no place in the squad. However, I’m not sure if this is a result of silverware, squad rotation or team culture…

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent points, HH and Allezkev!

    I did not know he was rated so highly by fellow players, HH. The extra depth argument is a good one of course, but with Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, new DM/Flamini/Diaby automatic starters, we need space for a lot of players and keeping Santi could hold back the development of the likes of Ox, Jack, Gnabry and a Theo… Do we even need to replace him, with also Pod, Rosicky and Arteta around?

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Or superior pay packages, HH. 🙂

  74. Highbury Harmony says:

    Good point TA, that certainly goes a long way in terms of player unwillingness or inability to leave!

  75. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I’m a bit torn on Santi staying or leaving. In terms of player development, I would prefer it if he left since we are likely blocking the path for players like Wilshere and Ox most directly. Santi is also not a natural winger, so we lose a bit on the left/right when he plays out wide. In terms of depth, talent and construction of a better team culture, I would prefer it if he stayed. We’ve seen so many of our top players leave over the years that I would almost keep him for the sake of it (not a good reason, but one that could impact the club’s image if that makes sense).

    As you can see, I’m a bit torn but could go either way, so long as more reinforcements are made. Still, it’s important to note that we are opening ourselves up to the issue of too much transition in the squad with new players. It takes players time to adjust, so we can’t be expecting massive things this coming season if we continue to change the squad. However, as of now, I only see 2-3 new starters depending on if we buy a DM or not, so perhaps that will allow us to not experience what the Spuds had last season.

    And yeah, if you watch interviews from players like Lallana, Mata, a few West Ham players (there are more) etc. they praise Cazorla as one of the most talented players they’ve played against/with.

  76. allezkev says:

    Total, for the past few seasons, the most often lament that I get from fellow Arsenal fans, is the lack of depth in our squad…

    Sagna and Fabianski have been replaced, like for like.
    Bendtner has gone, replaced by Sanchez and we have replaced Jenkinson with Chambers…

    All I want to see is a 25 man squad with 25 players that Arsene is confident of using…

    Not a 25 man squad with 18 who he will use and 7 reserves making up the numbers…

  77. allezkev says:

    We finally have a squad, that is beginning to look like it not only, but will, do the business.

    Why sell anyone we don’t need to?

  78. AFC says:

    Arsene Wenger says he expects the last two weeks of the summer transfer window to be busy and revealed he’s not yet finished shopping for new players.

    The boss has already secured the acquistion of four new faces this summer, however, with obvious gaps in the squad at centre-back and defensive midfield he’s expected to continue scouring the globe for further signings.

    Speaking to media ahead of the Emirates Cup, the Frenchman stated:

    “I’m very happy [with our business] and I’m still open to do more.

    I think August 15 to 30 will be busy again.

    ”One player who won’t be coming to the Emirates is Colombian international Juan Fernando Quintero. Spuriously linked with the Gunners in this morning’s press, Wenger was quick to nip the rumour in the bud.

    “That is wrong,” he said curtly when questioned about the 21-year-old midfielder.

    There’s good news for ‘like a new signing’ Joel Campbell who looks set to make his debut in the Emirates Cup, three years after signing on at the Emirates, ahead of the new season.

    “Yes, Joel Campbell is part of my plans,” confirmed Wenger.  “He might play tomorrow against Benfica.”

    Good news then?

  79. AFC says:

    “All I want to see is a 25 man squad with 25 players that Arsene is confident of using…”

    “Not a 25 man squad with 18 who he will use and 7 reserves making up the numbers…”

    Spot on Allezkev. 🙂

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Very good point about too much transition, HH. Maybe, just maybe, Arsene is doing a mini revolution right now to pave the way for the final three years of his contract….

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Allezkev, good point but too many players for just a few positions is surely contra productive…. It is about balance, baby…. But yeah let’s keep him and see how he does next season.

  82. AFC says:

    TA, I think he is but it will be complete next summer. He can only do so much now. Our GK area is sorted, defence will be complete next summer, same with the midfield and attack.

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AFC, let’s see what will happen during the latter part of the month. 🙂

  84. allezkev says:

    Yes, it’s about balance, babes 😉 but it also about numbers… 😀

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post and by a new writer – Steve from the Isle of White 🙂

  86. Funminiyi says:

    Nice post TA, I say the little magician, he’s the most experienced CAM/AM that we’ve got in that team after Sicky, that’s proved to be the difference between 1st and 4th position in the past(remember 08/09 season), he’s that type of player that can come in & change games from dour, dull & disappointing draw to a 2-1 or a 0-1 away at Brittania or Loftus Road. IMO, he’s still got 3-4 seasons in him. Why sell because of the quids on offer & not keep him for the exquisite brilliance that he can bring to the fore??

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair points, Fun. I am just not sure whether he will reach those heights again as I see him as quite a limited player who to a large extent has been found out.

  88. Funminiyi says:

    “lets keep the lil’ magician”

  89. In my view, Jack Wilshere is a complete disappointment. Thanks God, I have no English bias here! Little Jack simply never turns up in matches and his game continues not to inspire confidence. I wish that this could be his season. Aaron Ramsey surprised many for his excellent performances and he still looks like a great player even now. Damp shows by the likes of Jack, Vermalen, Arteta (and yes Santi) were responsible for bad Arsenal displays last season. Even then, I still rank Santi higher than most in the current squad.

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