OOOuuuuccccchhhhhhhhhh Santi Cazorla

By Walter Broeckx

I must say that I am not quickly to feel down about football. I am a rather optimistich Arsenal supporter. Things will only get better in the future for me. Even after a defeat I just look forward to the next match and hope we will win that one.

In fact I can give this as a good piece of advice to anyone who feels bad or feels like throwing things when we lose. Oh, I do feel angry and upset after a defeat but not really against the players. I always think and hope that they have done their best and the sun doesn’t shine every day so we have to accept it and hope for better.

To be honest I get more upset from the surrounding circumstances on such occasions than I get upset from a player making a big mistake. As I say: nobody makes a deliberate mistake. So why should I get angry at a player who will feel a bit down already?

But today since a few hours I do feel a bit sad about football. I first hoped it would be just another bit of fake news. I hoped that he would come out himself with a picture of him running on the field and playing with the ball…. But more and more newspapers come out with the news and now even papers in Belgium and Holland are saying the same: Santi will be out for the rest of the season.

Now I’m not going to start to cry. No, that thing you see in the corner of my eye is just because of the terrible wind that is blowing and making my eyes tear a bit. But I really feel sad about this news.

I think we all love Santi. How can you not love Santi? Such a small sized player but such a giant footballer. Is Santi the smallest player in the PL over the last years? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he is in fact. But he is in my eyes one of the best players we have had since he came over in 2012.

The way this little man is playing between so many players who are one head or two heads taller than him…it takes some doing and he just can glide past all those giants as if they aren’t there. The way he can kick a ball with both feet and let it end exactly where he wants is amazing to see. Both players will be able to do the same with the best leg but he just can do it with both.

Him being ambidextrous is really something I have never seen on top level from any player. Yes most players can kick a ball with both feet (are you reading Kieran?) but the way Santi does it is something from another planet.

And Santi does bring a lot to our Arsenal team. After being placed in a more central role with Coquelin Arsenal suddenly clicked a few years ago. That doesn’t mean we never lost a match again but the balance he brought to the team was amazing.

And with him playing a bit deeper we suddenly had a second playmaker in the team. He could start an attack with a short quick passing move or use the long ball with both his feet. With Santi behind him we saw the best Özil.

Because with the two of them on the field we had a double playmaker to stop. With only one of them the opposition has it much easier to stop us.

Last week I was looking at my calendar and noticed March was arriving. That should have been the month Santi was planned in to come back. And now today I get a bucket of ice water thrown over me telling me that Santi will not be back. Not in March. Not this season.

Now this is something that makes me sad. And this is something that makes me angry. Because the little man with that big smile on his face deserves better than sitting home injured.

I want to see his smile when he is playing. I want to see him glide past opponents. I want to see his free kicks. His penalties… I want to see him running around enjoying himself.

If course the usual lot will come out putting the blame on Wenger’s door. But the injuries Santi sustained this season and last season were all from bad kicks. Last season he got injured when his knee collided with a Norwich player. And this time he was kicked on his Achilles in the CL match against Ludogorets.

I don’t feel like throwing things when Arsenal lose a match. But I do feel like throwing things when I heard the news about Santi.

I think his contract runs till the end of next season if I’m not mistaken. So I my big hope is that Santi will be back in the summer at the start of the new season and will produce his best football for us next season.

I also would like to suggest to Arsenal that if Santi can no longer compete at the highest level they should give him a coaching job with the youth teams. I am sure that he would be great to teach the young Gunners to use both their feet.

And it might keep him in London and we might be able to get a new Cazorla in the team in some 15 years time. Because for those who were in the Emirates last season and have seen Enzo Cazorla dribbling over the field….My god that was something special. You could see the good genes from his father all over that kid. I’m just going to watch some clips of young Enzo to make me feel better again….


34 Replies to “OOOuuuuccccchhhhhhhhhh Santi Cazorla”

  1. ‘If course the usual lot will come out putting the blame on Wenger’s door.”

    I’ve not so far seen any blame attributed to Wenger for Santi’s injuries and doubt if there will be, but one or two blogs have brought up his optimistic assessments of when players are due back from injuries. Cazorla’s most recent one was estimated to be just “one or two games”.
    This is what Arsene so regularly gets blasted for.

  2. Oh my Cazorla! How I have always looked forward to his coming from injury as earlier scheduled.

    My opinionated fact: Arsenal always seem to play better against the top clubs whenever Cazorla is in the midfield.

  3. Leon
    “I’ve not so far seen any blame attributed to Wenger for Santi’s injuries and doubt if there will be”
    Have you not heard of Google?

    “Another of our best players out for a season – isnt it about time we had a decent medical team? Same old story every year! We need a new manager to shake up the club from top to bottom – most of the young players are not good enough and the older ones always seem to be injured for months, and as a result we are also-rans yet again…”

    Taken from Talkshite.

  4. Leon

    Dailymail WOB comments

    “If we had another manager he would have sacked this incompetent medical staff years ago. Complacency and stagnation has set in at Arsenal. EVERYONE is having a holiday there, Manager, Players, Staff. Need a complete change come May”

    “Arsene needs to grow a pair and find wtf is going on with the medical team. There’s too many cases like Santi’s and should’ve been investigated years ago. I can think of Henry, Rosicky, wilshere Ramsey etc. Plus, he should’ve thought ahead and signed a replacement in the summer as Santi was injured last season aswell. A player springs to mind is Joa Moutinio of AS Monaco, currently on Monaco’s bench and can’t buy a start. That wouldve been a good short term solution”

    “Another reason for Wenger to go if Arsenal fans needed one more, his training methods destroy players making them injury prone and his medical staff seem to not exist.”

  5. Santi is really our missing link in mid field. Hope this is just being careful to allow him full recovery.

  6. People say that we dont have leaders on our team. I would tell them to look at santi and how he leads the team by example. Patrick viera wasn’t very outspoken, most of his leadership came through his actions, not his words. Same with Santi. Plus if his interviews show anything, santi is a very nice, friendly guy with an evergreen smile on his face, and I cannot see how such a person’s words cannot affect you positively on and off the pitch. It took him less than a month to properly discipline the inexperienced coquelin and teach him the duties of a midfielder. If that is not what a leader is supposed to be, then I clearly don’t know anything about leaders

  7. Leon, many other sites have dorks saying the manager played Santi to exhaustion, as he’s no good at rotation etc …

  8. Gunz
    Perhaps I should have said “blame currently attributed”. We’ve had these stories in the past, but right now I don’t see any evidence, “Googled” or otherwise, but agree that there are people who love to dig out negative shite from just about any source, and for some reason Walter didn’t qualify his remark which appears to me to have been inserted for effect into an otherwise touching tribute to a player we’ve seen the best of, and who will now probably drift away back to Spain where he can get a few more years of top class football in.

  9. It is indeed a sad piece of news – and a sad way for me to come back to my editorial duties on Untold and take over from Walter as at this very moment I am about to do.

    Sorry Walter than your tour of duty as editor of Untold ends on such a sad note – but thank you a million times over for keeping the show on the road while I have been in Australia.

    And now, all I have to do is find a suitable Untold like piece to publish… at a time when it appears that we don’t have a match to play this weekend. Ah well, no Santi, no match – there must be something we can talk about….

  10. Gunz – thanks for that. All presented without evidence – because the evidence is that Arsenal’s injury level is below the average for teams in the Premier League this season – unless you take the evidence from the Independent which showed that Arsenal had Jenkinson out for 58 weeks last season.

  11. Talking of the younger players, at 13:30 UK time (just under an hour from now) our U23s play Chelsea. The game is being televised live on Arsenal TV. If you can manage a corner of your screen for a couple of hours whilst at work it will be well worth a look. Coverage starts 5 min before kickoff.

    Currently Chelsea are 4th and we are 5th in the table so it should be a close game.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Cohen Bramall at Left Back, Edie Nketiah has recovered from injury and hopefully will also start.

  12. It’s sad when players are out through injury and having read the reports as to what’s happened it’s doubly sad .
    I see that Arsenal understandably have activated the option for another year but the older a player gets the more difficult it is for them to recover the levels that they have attained in the past. Carzola has been a great player but you have to fear for him.
    As an aside the three smallest players in the PL are Brittany and Dyer at Swansea along with Lennon then you have Joe Allen and Carzola

  13. I put my hand up. I was wrong. There are trolls in the comments section of an article in the Mail (about Santi’s injuries etc and blasting Wenger for his assessments of return dates) who are critical of the club and Wenger re our after care medical treatment etc.
    Oh dear! A comments section! Ha! Ha!

  14. 35 minutes Malen makes it two nil. Holding with the assist after a driving run out of defence

  15. I too have seen lots of stories in the medja, but how can you trust any of them?

    There was a twit from Santi “yesterday”, in Spanish.

    > Es desesperante, tengo muchas ganas de volver a un campo de fútbol y jugar

    Asking Google translate for help:

    > It’s desperate, I really want to go back to a soccer field and play

    It doesn’t say he is gone for the season. So who knows?

    I wish him the best.

  16. Good first half performance from the young guns, Holding, Maitland-Niles the outstanding players so far. Cohen Bramall and Chris Willock combining well on the left hand side.

    Danny playing as CF not had much sight of goal and has been wrapped up, pulled and pushed every time he looked as though he was getting free.

  17. Watching the U23’s and enjoying it. My goodness that young Bramall is quick isn’t he. I bet he would give Bellerin a run for his money over 100 meters.

  18. 62 mins and Reiss Nelson makes it three with an audacious finish. You will need to watch the highlights to fully appreciate it!

  19. Chelsea pull one back. Initial shot form distance parried by Martinez Masonda for Chelsea first to the rebound.

    Bramall still struggling and being targeted.

  20. Penalty to Arsenal. Malen pulled down and Danny with a strong penalty to make it four.

  21. Yep watched it and have to say the Arsenal team far too experienced for us.
    Your midfield looked impressive but Wellbeck still seems a way away from being first team fit bearing in mind he was up against a 17 and an 18 year old he really didn’t impose himself enough
    Holding did well in phases and seems to have the ability to bring the ball out of defence but I can’t see Jenkinson anywhere near your first team anytime soon.
    For us Chabola jnr is coming on as is Mount and Sterling indeed the 7 starters from what is our FA youth cup team didn’t do too badly but the age and experience gap was clearly eveident

  22. Gord,

    Both were moving well again at the end so I think they will both be fine.

    Danny played for the full 90 minutes, good to see him playing a full match, mind you he looked pretty knackered at the end but essential for him as he looks to regain full fitness. I still think that it will be a little while longer before he is starting again for the first time.

    Bramall had an excellent first half, his speed is exceptional and his footballing ability is pretty damn good as well. Only 20 years old and with no top class experience until he joined Arsenal he is a terrific prospect. He may need another year before he is ready for first team action but I wouldn’t put money against him being one of next year’s breakout players.

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles put in a terrific performance covering every blade of grass in more than one direction. He was everywhere in both halves and will surely fill in as needed for the first team in the absence of our bigger name midfielders..

    In addition to Danny, fellow first teasers, Jenkinson, Holding and goalkeeper Martinez all played the full game and acquitted themselves well. I am more impressed with Holding every time I see him, he has a calmness about him which is very reassuring.

  23. @Walter,

    It is said to hear about Cazorla’s setback. To kind of lift your spirits, I believe the club did pick up Santi’s contract for next year also so you will likely see him right in the middle next season.

    For the future, I think 1 player that can potentially be groomed to play that role is Jack Wilshere if he’s willing to put in the work and rotate with Santi next year.

  24. I love him, he should not have played in that game, the gaffer should insist with the board, for I feel he has been lied to and has his legitimate concerns, but has acted a little late.

    Santi as a second pivot, is essential, you ave 3 in any world class team, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi or Pires, Bergkamp, Vieira and Henry, even Robben, Bastian, Lahm. It is more effective than three cut and thrust players, Suarez, Messi, Neymar, Bale, CR7 and Benzema, it allows you to shift the attacking plane quickly.

    Pjanic stats and nationality would make him a candidate indeed, but I am hoping for a resergence in the unknown maverick, we have been slow, Kante, Hazard, just to mention a few.

    I’d go out there, get my left in prime condition and play his role myself, either footed. Damn straight we’d have a lot more fight in midfield, vision and creativity, pace, and tactical nouse. But I’m like a month from fitness, so…… 😀

    Aaron, needs to rediscover his form, NOW, it’s about rythm and not rushing. Alex needs to stay tighter to his man and track back, which will give him opportunity to get forward, tackle you have the physical capacities.

    Mesut should take up number 8 and Rambo ahead, early engage with the opposition, reinterpretation of our system, Santi was playing Pirlo most effectively. Why we didn’t play gibbs ahead of Monreal against Bayern I cannot understand. More work, Chambo behind Alexis, and theo Wide right. Hmmm…… he has always missed something tactically, Jose and Fergie know it, and Poch is getting wise and Pep already knew from previous encounters. Occassionally suprise and an attacking eths can stifle the opposition threat. But I am not he, Henry with Arsene as Director, is formidable, bets down. But Dear Arsene, cull the people who have failed to develop, learn to be ruthess in assessment, it may tansmit to the team. Giroud cannot keep the pace of the play, but is one of the best in his class, no doubt. Napoli? Inter? AC Milan?

    Cavani would have been good, Suarez also, but Morata if not Eric, it’s interlinked. Stop saving him money, he doesn’t need it saved, we also boost revenues from winning things, fan base is there, but a disappointment away from stagnating and in business that is going backwards.

    Address Left back, Ghoulam is my preference, and Insigne I like a lot, a lot. It’s time to make the media work for us, ask them if they want to come, backwards presure. Draxler was overpriced, but the fact that only PSG went in was telling, considering he helped dismantle Barca weeks later.

    In Arsen I trust, I only ask for a mesured evolution, if you want the squad to turn a corner, you need also. revert to four four 1 1 dammit, back to basics. I havent seen us play well all season TBH.

    Harsh words, for the team I love and always will! 1 the magic number!

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