Santi Cazorla, in just eleven games has 3 goals and 2 assists for Arsenal since arriving in the summer. Cazorla has largely been flying under the radar in both Spain and the world as he is commonly known as “Spain’s best kept secret” according to The Guardian. His scoring touch has not been as lethal as it once was at Malaga, however he has assumed a newer role: provider. Cazorla’s vision has been impeccable for Arsenal as he has been linking up superbly with Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and been a threat alongside Mikel Arteta. However, he must focus on his goal scoring form in order to harness even more support and become more influential.
Cazorla has stated that he idolizes Andres Iniesta, and Arsene Wenger can only hope he turns out to be just like the current Spanish maestro. Iniesta’s scoring touch helped Spain win the World Cup 2010, and countless goals for Barcelona. Cazorla will look to replicate his idols success as Cazorla has never really found the ability to score more goals. In fact, Santi Cazorla’s never found himself in double digit scoring tallies in a single season.
Former Arsenal winger Robert Pires has given continued praise to Santi Cazorla since his arrival in London. Robert Pires told Zone Mixte “I noticed him immediately and saw him growing as a player in Villarreal; today I’m happy he is at Arsenal at last. He is a player who fits well into Arsenal’s style.” Robert Pires also speaks of how Cazorla is at the Emirates because of long discussions with manager, Arsene Wenger, and his persuasive nature for over two years now. Robert Pires may have a future in scouting with the success Cazorla has brought Arsenal just twelve games into the Barclays Premier League.
The Arsenal fans should remain patient with Santi Cazorla’s progress as Rome was not built in a day. When Thierry Henry arrived at the Emirates his scoring touch took awhile, just as Cazorla’s will. The Spaniard has transformed his game since arriving in England however. Playing for Malaga in La Liga is drastically different than playing for Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League because of its competition and the caliber of players. The Barclays Premier League features “upsets” all of the time with most recently Norwich City’s 1-0 triumph over Manchester United.
Week in and week out Santi Cazorla must face teams that all have the potential to take down Arsenal. Yet, Cazorla remains strong in his attempts on goal and despite being much shorter than his opposition, is always able to find pockets in defenses as he did against Tottenham in their 5-2 defeat, recording a goal of his own.
Santi Cazorla has already had success on the world stage with hoisting the Euro 2008 trophy and also earning Spanish Player of the Year in 2007 honors, another step towards Cazorla’s success. To earn this award, Cazorla beat the likes of Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Iker Casillas, Pedro, Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta and the list goes on and on.
Without a doubt, Cazorla took longer to become recognized as he is 27 years of age. Arsenal have become a great team, although poor performances have plagued the squad so far, with Cazorla’s presence because of his ability to possess the ball and range of passes are exceptional according to English standards. Cazorla is pivotal to the Gunners because Arsenal’s style of play matches that of Spain’s. Both teams pass others to death, control possession, and almost try to walk the ball into the net (sometimes detrimental however). His close control and his elusive nature provide one key word to describe Santi Cazorla: Fantastic.