Arsene Wenger admits that the intensity and regularity of games in England has taken its toll on the performances of both Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski in recent weeks.
The duo, who have been virtual ever-presents in the Arsenal starting line-up since arriving in North London in the summer, garnered plaudits in the opening weeks of the season but have struggled to maintain their high standards with games coming thick and fast.
Speaking to Arsenal Player about the Spaniard and German, Wenger made clear that he was still pleased with his new acquisitions:
“Cazorla played 17 games since the start of the season and 17 games of complete intensity and therefore of course he’s a little bit less fresh at the moment.
“Podolski works very hard in a position he’s not completely used to, as he has said himself. Maybe they are a little bit less fresh, but overall I believe that they will do very well.
The boss also reflected on the contribution of Olivier Giroud who has started to find the net after a slow start to life in England.
“Giroud is starting to show now that he can score goals. The three buys we made are positive.”
Given the manner in which injuries have accumulated in recent weeks it’s pretty obvious the boss has had no choice but to keep playing both Cazorla and Podolski when he might have been tempted to give one or other of them a rest.
There’s no mention of either player reaching the fabled ‘red zone’ just yet, but, as a sign of the hectic schedule they’re facing Wenger highlighted that Cazorla has to play for Spain in Panama (Panama, what the fucking fuck?) on Wednesday before travelling back in time for the early kick-off against Spurs on the 17th.
After the Spuds game, there’s just another 11 before the end of the year…anybody seen Abou? (We found Rosicky)