The Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has been a giant for Arsenal since arriving from Malaga in 2012, and although he is getting on a bit he was only a few votes behind Alexis Sanchez in the “Most Important Player” poll in JustArsenal recently, but for some reason he has hardly played for Spain during his time at the Emirates.
Most people will be surprised to find that the little genius actually has 77 caps for Spain, but the fact is that they have usually come from being a substitute. In the 2012 Euros, he played a grand total of 16 minutes over two matches, and in the 2014 he played only 14 minutes against Chile. He always seems to travel with his national team, but he rarely gets a start, and his compatriot Juan Mata believes that he doesn’t get the respect he deserves simply because he is not playing in La Liga.
Mata said: “I have thought about that sometimes and I have the feeling that maybe (Spain forget about the players who are playing abroad). When you do not play in Spain you are not on the daily radar of the newspapers. That importance we have in England sometimes does not reach us from Spain. Obviously, the national team manager and his staff watch our games.
“I do not think that (playing abroad) has an influence in the call-up (of the national team) but in the level of repercussion. The media do not talk too much about what happens here (in the Premier League),”
“Obviously it’s a fantastic League which deserves to be covered (by the media) but sometimes I think that (the Spanish media don’t do it). Santi Cazorla comes to my mind. He is a super important player, one of Arsenal captains and in Spain he is not so recognised.”
When you think about how important he is for the Gunners it would seem that Mata is right, but also one should remeber that Spain have a mountain of top class midfielders at their disposal, currently players like Busquets, Koke, Thiago, Silva, Iniesta, Fabregas and Mata himself, just to name a few. It is little surprise that managers have a hard time picking the midfield starters.
Do Arsenal fans think that Santi has been given a bum deal? Or just unlucky to have such top competition around in his generation?