Video: “Arsenal must end their reliance on Santi Cazorla”

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Arsenal struggled to cope without Santi Cazorla last season and there are suggestions he could miss a significant portion of the upcoming season with the same troublesome Achilles problem. It’s a very sad state of affairs.

In his latest Gunnervlog, James takes a look at the situation and what it means for Arsene Wenger’s transfer and tactical plans in the coming months.

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31 Comments on "Video: “Arsenal must end their reliance on Santi Cazorla”"

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Connoisseur

The question about the formation is one I have been asking myself as well. I have a feeling Arsene strongly favors playing with back 4, but the back 3 mitigated some of the issues for the time being. I would wager Arsenal will revert to back 4, if only episodically, and Arsene would be wise to make a purchase in that area. We have two competitions to play very different squads, after all, so the depth and variability will be much appreciated. And it’s not like we can rely on Jack, Ox etc much, can we?

locksley444

Shouldn’t we be chasing Goretzka? I know he’s had injuries, but he’s more of a ball carrier from deep midfield than Ramsey and seems like a good defender too. He’s only got a year left on his contract. Can he be more suited?

Arsensarmy

I think we should be chasing keita from Leipzig. He can pick the ball up deep, can push the ball upfield off the dribble or he can find a teammate with a variety of passes. His defensive skills are also rather stellar. And I believe he is only 21 or so. Definitely a long term and in my opinion a strong investment. Especially if Wenger wants to revert back to a back 4.

Gunnermite

Sad our Santi-Claus has to go through this. A very good player by all standard.

Rich

The player I would love is Rabiot, Seems to have everything.
Seri and Keita seem like the other big names floated about, but we can’t have too many current African internationals, particularly in the same position.
The two we currently have are also both midfielders.
I’d be surprised if we did anymore business now, unless we sell Ozil, Alexis or The Ox?
I like our new system, think it suits the players we have.
But Lacazette+Kolasniac won’t be enough to win us the title, hopefully we take the Europa league seriously as well as the domestic cups.

not so fed up

Shame we can’t clone him but I think the priority should be to find his successor this summer!!!

SB Still

If indeed he can be cloned, will that Santi-clone also have the same achilles tendon problem.

The Brain that Shawcross misses
The Brain that Shawcross misses

But if had we had the technology to clone somebody, then we’d probably have enough ability to change some genes.

Atom

I would love to keep him around almost like a player coach – his experience is just so valuable. That said we still need to buy a new CM.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Who will you sell ? We have Xhaka, Ramsey, El Neny, Coquelin and it is possible Iwobi ends there too. The Jeff should start playing games this year. Is him a confirmed winger or the boss will want him in the middle. Also one of Chambers and Bielik will end up as a defensive miedfielder.

Atom

The issue is Ramsey is always injured and almost never in form. Le coq is a late game sub to shore up the midfield while Elneny is an untrusted squad player. We need someone to compete with Ramsey – he can be more santi type or box to box but right now we only have 2 starter quality midfielders and if they’re out you can see how the midfield will fall apart again. And for as much as people love the ox he’s totally inexperienced there and has a tendency to lose the ball in really bad spots

Arsensarmy

I think xhaka is a starter. and as long as Ramsey doesn’t need to be the playmaker; if he can play to his strengths and make runs off the ball and find little pockets of space.he will excel once again. Ramsey looked like a different player in the 3 back system. I don’t think Ramsey will ever be able to fill the void left by santi. He is not that player. He can’t beat opposing players off the dribble and doesn’t have direct pace. His passing range is limited as well. A real like for like player for santi would be PSGs verratti. Santi 2.0 even. Possibly rabiot as well.

Adriano

I see what you’re saying with Veratti, and it’s a tempting comparison, but we need to remember who Santi is. It’s not like Veratti ever would’ve excelled at the No. 10 or on the wing. Santi can do so much more and is much more creative. Technically similar though and can boss the midfield.

Mpls

There are a few opportunities for upgrades there. Unless Wenger gets Iwobi working on his defending he belongs nowhere near CM. If anything he should be groomed as wide attacker in 3-4-3, and attacking mid for other formations.

I think Bielik and Chambers are to be ball playing CB’s. Wenger doesn’t seem the type to train players as defenders and then move them forward. He does the opposite.

Adriano

Agreed about Iwobi, that’s pretty clear. I think both Bielik and Chambers will remain CB. The club want CB’s that have that level of technical ability.
In midfield, I believe our future is Adelaide and Nwakali. Nwakali for sure, and I think Adelaide’s best position will be the No. 8 but we will have to see.
Nwakali can do everything,has the potential to be a world-class talent, and is progressing really well.

Paul

Unique and brilliant player so irreplaceable. We need a different system without him e.g. three at the back.

Connoisseur

I, for once, don’t believe Arsene will stick to the back three for the whole season. Surely he will be tempted to play four at the back at least sporadically and/or in tournaments other than EPL? And if he’s able to secure a player of a similar stature, I tend to believe a reverse switch to 4-2-3-1 will materialize swiftly.
I do say secure a player aka buy one as we can’t rely on Jack (form + fitness), the Ox (lack of trust from AW) and the likes of Maitland-Niles and the Jeff (lack of experience, molding into position). Elneny and Coquelin are different type of player altogether.
Question is, have Arsenal sounded like chasing one of those, despite being linked with a couple midfielders suitable for our style? Hopefully the club pursue some while offloading some spent guns.

Mein Bergkampf

Yep. Ok. Wow, the internet really can be an echo chamber…

Pedant

…the internet really can be an echo chamber…

Thierry Ennui

…amber…

gunnertron

I absolutely love Santi, perhaps my most favourite player of our current squad. But we have taken too long to find someone to share the same responsibility to the team. But what Santi does in this team is not what a footballer of his ‘type’ should be doing which makes Santi even more of a unique talent. He makes our better players better, Wilshere may have been the guy to replace him but he had his own ideas and so did his body, Mahrez is similar to Santi when Santi first arrived, so Mahrez may well develop into the Santi role and push come to shove so could the Ox if he stays. I hope we find the guy but Santi is too unique to find a like for like.

Clins
Ndubya5

We did end it, when we moved to a 343.

Alex

Sorry but Santi wasn’t at his best before his injury. I like him a lot as a man and as a player, but let’s stop these over the top praises and remember. Arsenal has built a team without him, it’s done (even if i’d love to see him again!), it’s just some fans who haven’t understood and accepted that their team can do very well without Santi. And then it’s an endless topic. Endless and useless.

JAL

The only players that is similar in my mind to Santi is Veratti at PSG and Cesc, but we’re never gonna get them.

d_lastgenius

On a different note, Freddie Woodman is Andy Woodman’s son.. Andy Woodman is our new u23 goal keeper coach.. Freddie just won the u21 tournament and saved a pen in the final.. Blimey.. Something brewing, no?

Back on topic..
Santi is what, 32-33, He may come out fine in 5 months, but honestly it’s going to be patch and go from there.. Sentiments aside if we want top honours, relying on patch and go is bollocks.. Face it, Santi’s sun is setting.. How braced we are for that is of utmost importance.. Ramsey is a hamstring customer, that’s about 3months lay-off spread thru the season.. Golovin would do nice, or get Lemar and convert him like santi..

That said he’s a nice xter to have around the dressing room.. i think the ox needs to leave, he’s looking like a walcott (forever prospect) without the goal return which makes him not as good..

Mein Bergkampf

I always imagine James’ house smells like newly washed clothes. That very clean, fresh smell. And I reckon he’s a good recycler, no plastics in his general rubbish. Even if it means, for example, sliding off the cardboard lid from its metal housing on a takeaway container, giving it a brief soak and then disposing of it correctly. I think he’s one of those people prepared to go the extra mile.

Mbaki

Santi ability to keep that ball for few seconds longer than every one else, takes pressure off the team and allows us to get back again into attack mode faster. Mahrez is a diff type player definitely can’t replace Santi, we just have to play a diff system with 3 in middle

Magneto

In my view, we already ended any so called reliance on Cazorla, and adapted & moved on whilst he has been out injured.

I think this was demonstrated both during our 19 game unbeaten run in the first half of the season, and then again during the last 10 or 11 games of the season, following the switch to a 3-4-3 formation.

The inconsistent results & performances in between these two spells had little or nothing to do with Cazorla’s absence, which I think is a red herring.

Nikki

Forget Mbappe, the money to bring him can actually be allocated to bring both Nainggolan and Naby Keita even though we only need one of them. Getting one of them as Santi heir and upgrading both our offense and defense would surely make this one of our best transfer windows yet.

determined culture

now, if we stick to 352 and we lose a game, hmm.. might be still bearable.. but oh boy I have a feeling if he reverts to a 451 at the start of the season and loses a game in August.. gulp.

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