Santi Cazorla says he’s enjoying the freedom that English football offers him, and says the Arsenal dressing room is currently a happy place with lots of laughter.
The Spanish wizard is away with Spain this week as they continue their tour of the universe before defending their World Cup next summer, and speaking to El Pais he touched on the differences between English and Spanish football.
“It is more open,” he said. “The Spanish League is bipolar, the English is more fun. That does not mean that La Liga is not nice to play, not better or worse, is another thing entirely. Now I’m having fun and learning new things – that makes you grow.”
Quizzed on what’s changed at Arsenal, now sitting top of the Premier League instead of playing catch-up on the leaders, he said, “We have matured, I think.
“We had to be more consistent and we are, this is a defect that we have corrected. We are committing fewer errors. Last year, by forgetfulness or lack of concentration, we foolishly lost games and we’ve learned from that.
“But the Premier League is very open. Between us and United is just five points … and look at Man City, who lost to Sunderland or Tottenham who just lost at home. The Premier League is not easy, not like Spain, there is more equality.”
Santi also spoke about the signing of Mesut Ozil, describing him as a gift to the team, and that he brings, ” … something different, pure talent, he is magic.
“Sometimes it seems that he’s not there, and then he can change a game with a control, a pass. We were surprised he came to Arsenal, because we didn’t think he’d leave Madrid and then for him to choose our team! For us it is a gift.”
And on his own contribution, he said, “Joy, inside and out. I love to laugh, even in difficult times I’m trying to bring positive thoughts. They say I always laugh, but it is a way of seeing life. And I think my football is like that, happy.
“The important thing in any dressing room is to have respect, and Arsenal is like that. We have a mix of youth and experience and we laugh a lot.”
“I do not understand football without joy. I do not understand how you can play without joy.”
What a guy.