Quite often when players are speaking through official club channels or to pesky journalists insistent on getting an ‘angle’ you get the feeling they’re holding back a bit and inclined to rely on platitudes in fear of putting their foot in it.
How do you get past this? In the case of Spanish AS you sit back and let the players do the work. Here’s Mikel Arteta interviewing Santi Cazorla for the Spanish publication as the pair compare notes on life at Arsenal. Try not to think too much about Guillem Balague holding the dictaphone…it’ll tarnish it a little.
One thing seems very clear, they’re both having a great time in London. Here’s a few snippets…
Arteta: Santi, how’s life going for you here?
Cazorla: Well, man, well, little by little I’m adapting. The move and other things have been a hassle, but well, I’m very happy and the team are happy.
A: You look very tired; you have dark circles beneath your eyes…
C: I have not got curtains! It’s terrible in the morning, dude! The sun rises so early.
A: When I got to Glasgow, nobody spoke Spanish, there were only a couple of Italians. I called my parents and said, “Mum, Dad, come here quick … I’m sinking.” And the whole family came. The truth is that it helped me a lot.
C: I have to learn English, this is a very good opportunity, Mikel. Everywhere you go you need a good English. And I’m getting very serious about the issue. So I’m enjoying it. You know what I thought after the first few games? Watching English football on TV is one thing but playing is another, there is a tremendous difference. I love this league, it’s spectacular but coming from Spain to the Premier is a huge leap.
A: …The [tiqui-TACA] philosophy of the coach helps a lot. We had bad moments last year, but he never changed his idea of how he wants to win and how he wants you to play.
C: It’s very similar to what I had at Villarreal, and also at Malaga under [Manuel] Pellegrini. Incidentally, Mikel, would you have liked to play more in Spain.
A: In life you make decisions at certain times and it is impossible not to retrospectively analyse them and think about what could have been if you’d gone in a different direction. But there is another way to look at it: I never thought I could play in four or five different countries.
Like you, Santi. Who’d have thought you’d end up at Arsenal? Ten years ago you would have thought, “London, Arsenal, where is that?” We are lucky that people who came before left a good impression here and that Spanish players are now highly valued.
C: I did not think about leaving Spain, but now I’ve taken the step I am very glad I did. London is a great city, and the experience is tremendous.
A: I was gonna say I’m envious of what you have accomplished with La Roja, but envy is not healthy, it’s bad.
C: Seriously, I wonder why you’ve never been with the national team. Look you’ve had some incredible seasons with Everton and now you’re the deputy captain of Arsenal. How strange that you’ve not yet had a chance. There are many players in that position, but I do wonder.
A: I won’t stop dreaming, I’ll keeping looking for that opportunity to enjoy winning with that group. The truth is that I’m envious and angry at not being able to participate in this historic streak. But I’m in a terrific moment in my career and hopefully will get the call from the coach.
C: Hopefully one day we’ll enjoy it together.
A: (Laughs) Pass on a good report for me.
C: I’ll try to, come with me sometime.
A: That would be great.
C: Here at Arsenal you’re a real leader. When I arrived, I was a little surprised at the level of respect that you have in the dressing-room. But when I saw you with the group and on the pitch it’s obvious that almost all consider you the Captain. You are a leader. I’m no good at that, nobody would listen to me! But when you talk they listen.
Check out the original here…your Spanish may be better than ours.