Is Santi Cazorla doing enough playing in the creative midfield role for Arsenal? by SE
Santi Cazorla was going to be one of the key personnel for Arsenal this season, as the North Londoners were without Mesut Ozil to start off with, and Alexis Sanchez was new to the club. Cazorla, who plays as an attacking midfielder and winger — positions that Ozil and Sanchez play, needed to fire for the Gunners to enjoy a slick start to their season. But as has been the case with Cazorla in the last couple of seasons, the Spaniard continues to disappoint with his performances when Arsenal desperately need somebody to take control of proceedings and deliver at the most critical of times. Looking back, how has the Spaniard fared for the North Londoners so far?
Cazorla has created a paltry 16 chances (registering only a single assist) in his 11 appearances for the North Londoners this season. Playing in the creative midfield role, ahead of Mikel Arteta or Mathieu Flamini, Cazorla needs to be doing a lot more than what he, going by the stats, has done so far. Because if Cazorla can play to his true potential, Arsenal have the right blend of Sanchez’s industry to go with the Spaniard’s creativity, which is what you want in the middle and final third of pitch. Arsenal is not a counterattacking side, which relies on lightning quick wingers and forwards, and it is precisely due to that reason Cazorla needs to deliver assists and a handful of goals for Arsenal.
Cazorla, like many Arsenal players this season, is short on confidence and has tried to overdo things rather than keeping them simple and uncomplicated. For instance, against Sunderland, the Spaniard had numerous chances to get his first goal of the season but, unlike his usual self, he dragged and over hit 3 of his 4 shots which, on another day, would have been taken nonchalantly.
With Ozil’s absence to contend with, Wenger needs Cazorla to fire playing in what is a ‘false 10’ position. Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, when fit, will start alongside each other and ahead of Cazorla, which could be positive for Arsenal given the Spaniard’s wretched performances this season. There is definite intent on the part of Cazorla to do well, and continue being an integral part of Wenger’s first choice XI; but, on the balance of his displays and the aura he exudes at the moment, Cazorla isn’t doing too much of good for himself, and neither for his team.