Posted on April 30, 2017 by ADMIN

Would Arsenal have been up with Spurs and Chelsea with Cazorla?

There were quite a few interesting things for Arsenal fans to think about from the interview that the former Gunners and France midfield star Robert Pires gave to BWIN this week, especially as the Frenchman has a great insight to all things going on behind the scenes at Arsenal because of his coaching role at the club and his close relationship for many years with Arsene Wenger.

Pires commented on all sorts of things, including the future of Wenger as our manager (which he is fully behind), the impending FA cup final with Chelsea (which he thinks Arsenal will win), the new formation of three at the back, fan protests and more, but the one I want to talk about now is his belief that the loss of Santi Cazorla to injury for most of the current season is the main reason why Arsenal are not in the fight for the Premier League title with Chelsea and Tottenham right now.

He said,

“Santi Cazorla – his loss really affected this team and I’m sure if we’d have had Santi playing, we’d be much higher up. He’s such a difficult player to replace because technically, he’s one of the best players in the Premier League. I know Santi very well, and played with him at Villarreal, and I remember saying ‘who is this guy?!’

“He is an exceptionally talented footballer. He’s the metronome, he dictates play and can play with both feet, which keeps defenders honest. The most important thing is that he can control the ball and the tempo of the team and when you’re in a tough situation, he is calm and can keep the team playing.”

I cannot argue about the quality of our little Spanish magician and what he has added to the side since Wenger signed him from La Liga club Malaga a few years ago, whether in the number 10 role, on one of the flanks or his more recent central position.

But is he really that important to us and that much of a loss? Would Arsenal be up there fighting for the title if Cazorla had been fit all season? The stats do back up Pires, because Arsenal took 19 points from the eight EPL games before Cazorla’s injury in mid October and if we had carried on that number of points per game the Gunners would currently have 76 points, two more than Tottenham and two fewer than Chelsea but with an extra game to play.

Okay we can say that there are all sorts of factors over the course of a season and that those early games may not be representative, but they did include an easy win over the current league leaders as well as the first two games when injury and fitness problems ravaged the team and we only took one point from the two.

It is impossible to say for sure what effect Santi would have had but you have to think we would have done better with him than without him. How much better do you think Gooners?


9 thoughts on “Would Arsenal have been up with Spurs and Chelsea with Cazorla?

  1. bunga bunga

    No. Cazorla is just an convenient excuse. Let’s be honest here. As good as Cazorla is, he used to disappear for long period of time against a pressing team.

    It’s the coaching. Arsenal have good players. Frankly coaching doesn’t exist. Why would it? As long as the owner and the board are happy, Arsene doesn’t have to coach…he can do all his mad experiments.

    Arsene is NOT the main problem, it’s the Owner. Get Kronke out and Arsene will have to win something or he would be out.

  2. MJC

    Of course there’s always a keyboard warrior who is so sharp, so clever, that they are better informed about what’s going on at Arsenal that Robert Pires could ever be.
    Santi made this team work, because he could move the ball from defence to attack without any risk of him losing it, and causing a a secondary attack.
    We have missed him very much.

  3. Frank

    It is Wenger. He buys the players, picks the team and the formation. I still stand by what I said at the start of the season in that we needed to buy 5 quality players to win the league and they were Hummels, Payet, Lukaku, Kante and Wanyama and I would of cashed in on Ozil.
    Unfortunately I believe we probably need 8 quality players now because Wenger failed to improve the squad. Look at all of our midfielders, they all play the same way and none of them have that intimidating presence.
    Arsenal is in worse shape than what a lot of people realise and we need to up grade on a lot of positions. If Wenger is staying then he needs to make a statement of intent at the beginning of the transfer window. Isco, Lukaku, Mbappe, a world class CB, two strong defensive midfielders, fullbacks for each side and try and convince Sanchez to stay.

    1. Midkemma

      Let us see what Xhaka will be like after his 1st 12 months in England, some people adapt fast while others take a bit longer, if Xhaka can adapt and refind that international form then we have a gem on our hands.

      Some fans are too quick to give up on players, a few bad games and suddenly they are not good enough to wear the shirt anymore…

      Have you forgotten about how well we started, well once we signed Mustafi? How many games unbeaten did we go all together? How many clean sheets in that period.

      We need a CF, i agree on that.
      We need 2 top CM but I wouldn’t say they need to be def CM, we need someone who can hold onto the ball and wriggle out of a tight spot while keeping the ball while being able to disposes players as well.
      Instead of wasting money on a CB, get a top winger in to replace Theo. Our CB was good enough to help keep a clean sheet against Chelsea when we had a strong CM earlier in the season, don’t be a 5 min memory fan =.=

      Yes we need signings but try to keep in mind things that happened more than a few games ago…

      1. FRANK

        I think our position on the table and our performances against Munich back up what I say. We haven’t won the PL in 13 years. Sorry but there is no need to be sentimental with keeping certain players or the manager for that instance.

        Mert will be going so another world class CB would be needed. I would keep the rest of the defenders because I think that if they were coached properly then they are fit enough to wear the shirt. Monreal has been our best defender through that hard period so I don’t think his performances should be forgotten.

        Sell Ozil and buy Isco. Arsenal need to improve the squad and there is no point being held to ransom by someone that doesn’t defend and plays one nice ball a game.

        Arsenal are soft in the midfield, everyone in world football knows this. Keep Xhaka but buy a couple of players that will add some steel in the midfield for those games we get bullied in. If they can defend and show some heart then that will be a solid base for the players in front of them to get forward.

        Buying two world class strikers like Lukaku and Mbappe might be enough for Sanchez to sign another contract. Imagine that front 3 with Isco feeding them and pushing forward. That is what Arsenal need to compete with the best clubs in the world and try and win the PL.

        To be exact, this is who I would sell to improve the squad.
        I like Perez and Ospina but they will probably want to leave for first team football.

  4. Midkemma

    I would agree with Pires, Cazorla is one of thee best players in the EPL… scratch that, one of the best in the WORLD when fit. He is a magician.

    I also believe that Cazorla is one of the players who helps unlock Ozils greatness, Cazorla can find Ozil at the right time because he is intelligent when it comes to football, he has the experience as well… Such a shame injury hit him :'(

    I do believe our def would have done better with someone who can get out of tight pinches like Cazorla could and still keep the ball, it stopped the wave after wave type of offence which gave our defenders a bit of time to gather themselves.

    We still need a top CF and a top CM for the 1st team as Giroud is proving to be a super sub and Cazorla can’t play week in and week out without risk of injury.

    Cazorla helped Coquelin out massively as he was always finding space to be in where he could receive the ball from Coquelin, since we lost Cazorla we haven’t had a CM to do that alongside Coquelin and that is part of the reason why Coquelin is having a bad season compared to last year.

  5. JPS_AFC1

    The reason we are so far behind is because the Manager didn’t address the position in the summer or January transfer window . If he had bought Isco we would have been much better off. Also his coaching is out dated and most off the managers in the league know what to do to get a result against his team’s in the Premier league. Wenger needs to go. Santi has been injured for most off the last few seasons we should have bought a player that can play in his position as cover for him.

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