Santi Cazorla - Player of the Week
How did Arsenal play?
Santi Cazorla was man of the match as Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-0 to collect their first win at the Etihad since 2010. Arsenal played a defensively fantastic match and played a very different game from their normallly open, attacking style. Maybe thinking about their 6-3 defeat to City last season, Arsenal started the match very cautiously, with a lot of players behind the ball, and tried to hit City on the counter-attack. This tactic worked perfectly and City, including Sergio Aguero making his first full appearance for over a month, were limited to a few half-chances.
"Cazorla is fantastic because he gets outs of pressure in tight situations." Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager.
Who scored Arsenal's goals?
In the 24th minute, Nacho Monreal played a one-two with Olivier Giroud and Monreal was fouled by Vincent Kompany to concede a penalty. Cazorla stepped up and hit the ball hard and low to the goalkeeper's right, Joe Hart dived the right way but couldn't get a glove on Cazorla's perfectly placed penalty to give the Spaniard his fifth Premier League goal of the season. In the second-half, Cazorla put a free-kick into the box and Giroud was left unmarked to head home and clinch the win for the team from London. It was Arsenal's first win against either City, Manchester United or Chelsea in 17 matches!
"Cazorla? He's so good I don't know which is his better foot." Arsene Wenger
What do we know about Santi Cazorla?
Santiago "Santi" Cazorla Gonzalez was born in December 1984, and is from Llanera, which is a small town in the region of Asturias in the north of Spain. As a youth player, he played for his local team, Real Oviedo, but Real Oviedo had some financial problems and Cazorla signed for Villareal in the Valencia region of Spain. Cazorla progressed through the reserves with Villareal and made his full debut in 2003. He made more than 50 appearances over 3 seasons for Villareal before signing for Recreativo Huelva.
"I want titles and that is why I came to Arsenal." Santi Cazorla
In 2006/2007, Cazorla helped Huelva to their highest ever finish in the Spanish top division (8th) and, because of a clause in Cazorla's contract, Villareal were allowed to re-sign him. The following season, he helped Villareal to their highest ever finish (2nd) and had 3 more successful seaons with Villareal before signing for Malaga. He helped Malaga qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history, before signing for Arsenal in the summer of 2012.
What has Cazorla achieved at Arsenal?
In his first season with the club, Cazorla was named Arsenal's Player of the Season and was the only Arsenal player to play in every Premier League game of the 2012/13 season. He ended the season with 12 goals and 14 assists. In 2013/14, Cazorla helped Arsenal qualify for the Champions League for an amazing 15th consecutive season, which no other English club has achieved and only Real Madrid, in Spain, can beat. Cazorla was also one of the heroes when Arsenal won their first trophy for 9 years, after beating Hull City 3-2 after extra-time to win the FA Cup. Cazorla scored the first Arsenal goal in the Final as Arsenal came from 2-0 behind to win the trophy. Cazorla is also a regular in the Spanish squad, he won the European Championships in 2008 and 2012, but was injured when Spain won the World Cup in 2010.
"Arsenal has everything to win. History, infrastructure, an incredible stadium and great players." Santi Cazorla
Where does Cazorla play?
Cazorla is an attacking midfielder or winger, who likes to cut inside from his normal position on the left of the pitch. He is well-known for his accurate shooting and his creativity. Cazorla will be part of one of the most attacking midfields in the Premier League this season, with Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshire, Mesut Ozil and new record-signing Alexis Sanchez all in the Arsenal squad. Arsenal should have no problems creating opportunities with these players in the team, but do they have the goal scorers to take the chances that the midfield players create?
What did you understand?
Did you know......?
- Cazorla's teammates at Villareal called him 'Our Ronaldinho' because of his skill with the football.
- Cazorla, together with Man Utd's Juan Mata and Swansea City's Michu bought shares in hometown club 'Real Oviedo' to stop them going out of business.
- In 2012/13, Cazorla reached double figures in both goals and assists.
- Cazorla is the first Spanish player to score in an FA Cup Final.
- Arsenal have won the Community Shield 13 times! Only Manchester United have won it more often.
What do you think?
Is Santi Cazorla be the star midfielder for Arsenal this season?
Do Arsenal have the strongest midfield in the Premier League?
Can Cazorla get into the Spanish national team?
Where will Arsenal finish this season?
Leave a message in the comments section below :)