Why Santi Cazorla matters


I find it quite tough maintaining high standards and originality on ‘1nildown2oneup’ on my own, so I am always delighted to add the occasional quality guest contribution to enhance my own work. Today I am delighted to welcome for the first time Sean Patrrick. Sean will be known to many on twitter and I have had many a late night debate with him @ArsenalAbroad. Sean was born in Australia, lives in America but has firm English Gooner roots.  I was delighted when Sean approached me, beacuse the article he has written acts as a perfect prelude to an idea I have myself for my next blog. That is however for another day and today is all about Sean and his own take on the pending arrival of one Santiago Cazorla and what it means for 2012/13. Over to Sean…….

This last week has created a new feeling around the Goonersphere.  Usually a pessimistic place where Arsenal fans expect the worst to happen – Twitter and blogs have been transformed with the news of Santi Cazorla’s arrival.  Even the most cynical of us can’t help but be excited about the tricky little Spaniard.  I’m not sure of the word.  I think it is called “optimism”?

I am going to touch briefly on what Cazorla offers on the pitch.  However, others will do so more impressively and eloquently than I can.  Instead, I want to focus on what his arrival means off the pitch.

Firstly though, what does Santi give our team?  In one word: class.  The miniature magician (his new official nickname) offers versatility and creativity – something that was missing too many times last season.  He has been compared to Cesc, and called his replacement.

However while I do think he will slot into the CAM role – although he can also play out wide, comparisons with Cesc are lazy and off-base.  They are completely different players in style.  Cesc was a playmaker in the purest sense of the word.  He scored goals, but his gift was unparalleled vision and the ability to make any pass he wanted.


 Cesc and Cazorla – But Santi not the same style.

Cazorla is very different.  If you wanted to make Spanish comparisons, he is much closer to Juan Mata or David Silva.  Cazorla is quick, moves into space exceptionally well, is tricky enough to glide past defenders, and has an eye for goal.  Don’t misunderstand me.  He will rack up assists – especially with his exceptional set-piece delivery.  But he is not a pure playmaker in the Cesc mould.  No mistaking, though, he is exactly what this team needs right now.

For me, though, Cazorla’s signing means so much more than just his on-the-field talents.

The early signings of Podolski and new female Gooner favorite Giroud had Arsenal fans excited.  This was going to be a different summer than last.  We weren’t going to be jerked around by unhappy stars that wanted out.  Then came Van Persie’s July 4th statement.  It seemed like a repeat of last summer – and the collective air was taken out of Gooner balloons everywhere.  A slap in the face to loyal fans everywhere, and the meltdown was palpable.

Fast-forward and Wenger and Arsenal have pulled off a transfer coup.  To bring in one of Europe’s most talented creative attacking midfielders, for such a low price, is fantastic business for the club. More importantly thoiugh, it signals a different kind of Arsenal.

We moved quickly. We have been proactive and added three quality signings BEFORE the season even starts.  Whether RVP stays or leaves now, Gooners can feel good.  Either way this team is far stronger than it was last season.

If signing Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla isn’t ambition to Van Persie – than I don’t know what will convince him.


Ambition in action

The important thing is: it has convinced Gooners.  We believe Wenger is making reinforcements and additions that will help the team.  This summer hasn’t been about replacements.  We aren’t in a holding pattern.  We are getting better.

This team is stronger.  Belief is collectively rising and for a Gooner fanbase, that at times has felt under-valued by it’s heroes and the  club in the  last few years – we should soak in this enjoyment for a few days.  There of course will  certainly bad days ahead.  A loss to Norwich or perhaps a draw with Southampton, but for the first time in a while, we can head into this season feeling 2012-2013 will be better than the last.  Change isn’t quick, and it often isn’t pretty.  This transfer window, however, signals a change in our policies – our approach.

Wenger earned his stripes last season by holding together an often fragile and incomplete squad – and earning an amazing 3rd place.  We aren’t satisfied, though.  Fans want more, and so do players.  We want trophies.  Success.

This summer, Arsenal’s moves have demonstrated ambition that finally matches ours.  It is just a shame that our Captain feels otherwise.

But for today, who cares.  Welcome Santi.  Can’t wait to see you in Red and White.

Thanks Sean a fabulous first blog my friend and I am sure millions will share your views and your optimism. In the meantime while we do wait a day of so for the official photos to see Santi in the the famous red and white please take a moment to enjoy a quick video montage entitled ‘Santi Cazorla -Welcome to Arsenal’ created by a young talented Gunner Hayden Morse. You can follow Hayden @Haydenmorse on twitter.

[youtube.com/watch?v=sAeQ4HzMj8g 100% 250]

Like what you read? Agree/disagree? Leave a comment  below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/goonerdave66



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  1. Great post Sean & Dave. I think this season will be great, Cazorla’s signing & everything in general fills all Gooners with hope plus the thought of us acquiring Sahin on loan is unexplainable. I also think we shouldn’t get carried away as Sean points out ‘..change takes time’.

    1. Thanks, Makuthy. I think there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful. Agree with you, Sahin would be a fantastic addition. These transfers are way above Gooner expectations heading into the summer.

  2. Hey,pal,am sure da young gunners wl pruv and do wonders,we da season begins,Va va voom,Gunners 4 lyf.CHEERIZ……

  3. Great post Sean.. The belief is back amongst Gooners all over, not just the belief of being a top 4 club but he belief of being true Title contenders !!! We have the quality now all we need is to be disciplined in defence !! Kudos to you both for such a nice positive article !! Keep up the good work Dave and Sean !!!

  4. Brilliant blog from both sean n’ dave. top class write up u’ve both got,u’re both incredible together.lets just hope we wil have a fabolous upcoming season…pls follow back on twitter @samDz_3 tanx

  5. Great blog you posted up there Sean and you have complimented my earlier and popular ascertion that 2012/2013 season is Arsenal’s season of return to glory. The prospects are on very high sides; trophies in the making. I can see Wenger dusting the shelves at the Emirate. Welcome Cazorla, match in Sahin, please your self RVP and the shelves are yawning for you trophies.

  6. indeed we have evolved for the better and i cant wait to see the first eleven at the stage where they know each others games. A mid of art, song and cazorla is a match for anyone even before they click. not to mention back up being coq/ram, jack and ox/diaby.
    what i especially like is not only the quality but the physicality/attitude. try and bully that mid, not gonna happen. then add in the verminator, bosscielny, the pod, sagna, santos and girooooo etc and this is a team who will stand up for the rickys’ of the team. im mucho excited anyway.

    for me this transfer has two things at opposing ends that make my ears prick up. both from an interview with sid lowe from the guardian.

    first the bad. maybe, i hope not. this was 2011 and he seems ok to this day and has recently passed a medical apparently.

    ” What would you put in Room 101? The back pain I had. It was hard at the time and it has left its mark for life. Luckily, it doesn’t stop me playing football but there are still some things I struggle with. It aggravates me quite a bit. I have to do special stretches. They told me that I have to look after it very carefully: if I don’t work on it a lot I might go backwards. So I do a lot of stretching, loads of abdominal work. ”

    and now the good 🙂

    ” But we have to be patient. We’ve made mistakes that cost us games – especially from set plays. At times we have lacked aggression. We have to know how to grit our teeth and defend, to suffer. We can’t always have the initiative and possession. We have to understand that there are times when we have to close up. “

    1. Glad you liked the post.

      Agree with you about improved attitude and physicality. Think Podolski brings a lot to the team regarding that. Loved seeing him get in the Squid’s face during last year’s preseason.

      Hadn’t seen that interview about Cazorla’s back injury. A bit worrying, but I hope it won’t be an issue. He is tiny, so i guess his frame could be a problem. Let’s hope not.

  7. Good one. Though I’ve been an ardent proponent of selling Mr. Persie to Celtic (a place where he’s sure of trophies) nothing I want more right now than seeing him eat his words, stripped of the captainship and refuse to offer him another contract till he begs for it while he comes of the bench in most of our home games. I know y’all be thinking I’m wicked. Nah! I’m just another proud gonna who hates to be taken for a ride. That said, I’d like to say ‘Welcome home’ to Santi, we’ve got nothing for you but love. I hope we bring in Sahin too. This is gonna be our season. I know it. Thank u Dave and Sean.

  8. Great post bud gives us something to get excited about! I’ve been saying for a while now (to those that’ll listen) that we need somewhat of a “big name” signing. I don’t agree with spending millions on a supposed superstar, but it lifts everybody associated with the club when we sign somebody that we’re familiar with. Sure Wenger has made “no-names” into stars and I love that. I just think that it really helps the cause when we bring in somebody that we know. It lifts the fans. I’m sure it’ll lift the players. And it lifts the club. I think we’ve done a great bit of business in Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla without breaking the bank. And in a way, we already know what we can expect from them.

  9. Thanks Dave and Sean, Nothing much to add though as a regular viewer of the site, wants to add my optimism going into the new season. I clearly think we are ambitious club, Robin!

  10. Put simply each new signing has made Arsenal less predictable in the attacking third. No longer is there one goalscorer and a supporting cast which lacks flair. There are now three more proven goalscorers and a playmaker that can provide unexpected moments of inspiration with either foot. Arsenal were accused of being predictable last season and in a sense that was true. That criticism is no longer true. Good post Sean.

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