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]
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