Santi has goals in his sack

I loved Andrey Arshavin when he first joined. He was always prepared to try the outrageous and had the talent to pull it off. He scored by far the greatest goal I have seen at the Emirates when he stroked in that winner against Barca – and don’t underestimate the finish, it was top drawer and he was probably the only player in the side that would have put it away.

But sadly my little Russian friend has gone off the boil and doesn’t even make our bench these days … but being a fickle fan, he has been replaced in my affections by another 5 foot 6 inches of footballing genius.


Santi Cazorla is the type of footballer that we have become accustomed to under Arsène Wenger. He’s a pocket sized bundle of football trickery. He plays the game with a smile on his face and magic in his feet.

Like AA, Santi will see 3 defenders lining up against him as an opportunity not a dead end. His vision, range of passes and ability to use both feet to equal effect are key to his success – but it should also be acknowledged that his work rate is terrific and an example to all those who play around him.

But beyond all this, the point of this short post is to highlight the fact that he is improving as a goalscorer as each year passes. He has doubled his strike rate since joining Arsenal compared to his year at Malaga.

2003 – 2006, Villareal, 40 apps, 4 goals = 0.1 goals per game

2006 – 2007, Recreativo, 34 games, 5 goals = 0.15 gpg

2007 – 2011, Villareal, 127 games, 23 goals = 0.18 gpg

2011 – 2012, Malaga, 38 games, 9 goals = 0.23 gpg

2012, Arsenal, 17 games, 7 goals = 0.41 gpg

Arsenal’s future success lies in the hands of Santi, Jack and the Ox. If they can develop the understanding of each other’s movement, to instinctively know where the other will be without needing to look up, to expect the unexpected pass when weaving into the box, then the discussions about our best choice for CF will be redundant.

Arsène’s sides have always relied on creativity from the midfield. We have a new maestro, the orchestra are just fine tuning their instruments, we can play sweet music in 2013.

Hastily written by Rasp

58 Responses to Santi has goals in his sack

  1. haohaohaohtc says:

    first? Merry X’mas!

  2. Rasp says:

    Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too haohao. Hopefully the Boxing Day results will go our way and we will enter 2013 in 4th place.

  3. Santa Claus says:

    Ho, Ho, Haohaohtc, and a Merry Xmas to you!!

  4. Biny man says:

    Santi is best pleyers in the world b/c santi full potential & best skil than santi toppppp

  5. What’s the point of praising santi while wenger’ll sell him to barca, man shitty or manure.

  6. Rasp says:

    Abdir, he is 28 and has signed a long term deal. When his contract enters its last 2 years he will be over 30. The club will decide at that point whether to offer him an extension or to sell him. We won’t sell Santi before that time.

  7. VCC says:

    Nice quickie post Rasp……

    It’s such a shame Arshavin has gone off the boil, reasons nobody quite understands.

    Let’s hope our new pocket midfielder stays on top of his game for many seasons to come.

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi VCC, Merry Christmas to you and best wishes for a much improved 2013 – I understand you’ve been having a tough time lately.

    Yes, I still don’t quite understand what has happened to AA. He’s a luxury player but one who can (when on form) change a game and he is a great option to bring on from the bench.

  9. JM says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone,

    With the abundance in quality from our midfield, we could have an option to play with a 4-6-0 (no recognised wingers & forwards). This is our strength and even from our academy, midfielders have played their parts in the 1st team (Wilshere, Eisfeld, Gnabry, Frimpong, Yennaris, Meade etc)

    The 6 players in midfield (Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Rosicky, AoC & a 100%-fit Diaby / Ramsey / Coquelin).

    Cazorla has been the stand-out player for us in his 1st season in EPL. In his role @AMC, he is the top in EPL. In Europe, possibly Goetze and Kroos could be measured in the same wavelength and only Iniesta (the top AMC in Europe and perhaps the world currently) is slightly above them.

  10. chas says:

    Super stuff, Rasp.

    I presume his Reading hat trick was his first. Goal a game next season. 🙂

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi JM, I’m sure the notion of 4:6 has been in Arsene’s mind as it is a logical expression of total football – any of the 6 can interchange and defend as well as score. With the players you list we have the right personnel to potentially achieve that level playing with the ball on the ground.

  12. VCC says:

    Rasp…..if Arshavin stays, perhaps we can use him as an impact sub as you say.

    We have an abundance of mid fielders now so we need to fine tune the specialist positions, such as striker, LW and maybe left back.

    Many thanks for your well wishes. Let’s hope we have a successful 2013.

  13. JM says:

    On Arshavin, there have been rumours circulating that he could be off to Reading in the Jan 2013 transfer window.

    Push factors:
    (1) Arshavin is used sparingly at Arsenal this season so far. In fact, his contract had initially expired in June 2012 (I caught the previous data @, along with Fabianski’s (who had reportedly wanted out for more playing time). Apparently, they looked to have been given a 1-year extension till June 2013 to either rescue their form or wait for potential buyer(s) to make a bid (with an acceptable amount).
    Previously linked to be a return to Zenit St.Petersburg or a transfer to Fulham before new season started.

    (2) Reading has a Russian businessman owner – Anton Zingarevich. The club would have wanted to at least try their best to avoid relegation and getting players with EPL experience could be taken into consideration.

    (3) Reading is located in Berkshire, west of London. Arshavin and his family could remain in England and London and not to relocate.

    (4) Arshavin could link up with former club team-mate, Pavel Pogrebnyak.

  14. Rasp says:

    Thanks JM, what do you think AA’s value is in the transfer market? … or should that be transfer meerkat?

  15. JM says:

    December 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I will love to see our 6 midfielders’ movement with/without the movement in defense and offense, should we line up in that 4-6-0.
    I have a good feeling in that we shall be hard to beat.

    December 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    (The website states his value @£7.9m or at half the amount we bought him). Realistically, we would be looking between £4m to £5m (with no other bidders).

  16. Sheep Hagger says:

    Merry xmas all.
    Nice to see the swans getting a draw with manure pulls us a little closer.
    Alex ferg made me Laugh this morning buy saying’ he could have killed Rvp by kicking a ball against his head”.
    Wrong mr Alexget over dropping points .

  17. chas says:

    I don’t think Gilles thinks much of Tony’s coat.

    Jnr Gunners Christmas Party 2001.

  18. VCC says:

    Heres a nice song to sing this festive season guys.

    Last year
    We beat you 5-2
    But the very next game
    We did it again

    Next year
    To save you from tears
    Well play
    Squillaci and Chamkh.

  19. chas says:

    Here’s that Arteta pic for those that haven’t seen it.

    Mikel Arteta celebrates his goal

  20. spanishgooner says:

    Happy Christmas fellow gooners and good post for “a quickie” Rasp.
    Love the transfer meerkat !!
    Probably bad form talking about another blog on here but Arseblog said this morning that all the terrorist organizations in the world are now adding footballs to their armoury . Old red nose is really losing the plot . Bad form again but it couldn´t have happened to a better person in V$P.

  21. McAden A Goonerfan says:

    I would prefer arshavin to start inplace of santi…atleast santi would have a rest

  22. Rasp says:

    Thanks spanish ‘feliz navidad’ 🙂

    Hi McAden, I agree AA is an obvious repcement for Santi but I guess the evidence is that he’s off in January and probably to Reading as JM suggests

  23. JM says:

    A quick round-up of rumours going about (at present time) for the winter Jan 2013 transfer window (with respect to data from

    EPL (selected):

    Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace) – 35% (could be in summer 2013 if not earlier)
    Andrei Arshavin (Reading) – 30%

    Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) – 35% (more possible in summer 2013)

    John Guidetti (Aston Villa) – 40% (1/2 season loan)

    Wallace (Fluminense) – 100% (confirmed)
    Lazar Markovic (Partizan Belgrade) – 47% (more likely in summer 2013)
    Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon) – 40%
    Falcao (A.Madrid) – 40%
    Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) – 87% (done deal)
    Ashley Cole (PSG) – 60% (very likely in summer 2013)

    Michael Dawson (QPR) – 44%

    Vegard Forren (Molde FK) – 80% (almost done deal)
    Craig Gordon (Unemployed) – (on trial)

    Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea) – 87% (done deal)
    Thomas Ince (Blackpool) – 55% (in negotiation)

    Loic Remy (Marseille) – 60% (preliminary talks)
    Mathieu Debuchy (Lille) – 30%

    Elsewhere around Europe (selected):

    Real Madrid
    Kaka (LA Galaxy) – 40% (more likely in summer 2013, if ever)

    Falcao (Chelsea) – 40%

    Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua) – 34%
    Fernando Llorente (A.Bilbao) – 30%

    AC Milan
    Pato (Corinthians) – 40%

    Arkadiusz Milik (Gornik Zabrze) – 67% (almost done deal)

    Ashley Cole (Chelsea) – 60%
    David Beckham (LA Galaxy) – 50%
    Nene (Santos FC) – 50%

    Of course, most of the above are mainly “rumours” and we shall await official confirmation from the clubs involved. At the same time, there are likely to be future developments during the actual transfer window period.

  24. JM says:

    We have a competent backup in Rosicky (during the 2nd half of the season) for Cazorla, if both of them are not playing at the same time.

  25. kelsey says:

    What a morning I have had.

    Just back from hospital with mrs.kelsey.. One of the balls off the Christmas tree fell on her head. The consultant, Mr Ferguson says she could have been seriously injured but says she has got away with only mild concussion. I think the consultant has been on the sherry too much in my opinion. He was slurring his words and not making much sense.

  26. RockyLives says:

    Happy Christmas Eve everyone.

    Classic AA stuff this morning: the early brigade (Micky, VCC, Chas) are up chatting.

    Chas uploads a “nice big pair” clip of Barbara Windsor from her Carry On heyday.

    Then Rasp comes on to say he’s quickly knocked one out 🙂

  27. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey 🙂

  28. RockyLives says:

    And so to the subject of Rasp’s quick knock-out…

    The figures actually made me a little concerned: Santi has not really been much of a goalscorer throughout his career, so maybe his current achievements are just a blip?

    But on further reflection, it obviously is connected to the central role Santi is playing at Arsenal, which gives him many more opportunities to get into goal scoring positions (most of his career previously has been spent out wide).

  29. FcArsenal says:

    Cazorla is also very fit, him and Arteta are the only Arsrnal players to start sll 18 league games.

  30. kelsey says:

    Arsene Wenger: “I like Wilshere. After 25 minutes, you look at him and he’s dirty from top to bottom”, This is Passion…!!!

  31. Reddawn says:

    No Kelsey, this is being fouled a lot!
    Happy Christmas to all my fellow Gooners.

  32. RockyLives says:

    Happy Christmas Reddawn
    And a great comment: Wigan serially fouled Jack all game long and he got zero protection from a particularly weak ref (and to add insult to injury, got yellow carded for a fair tackle).

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Greetings from India, chums. Here’s wishing everyone on AA a lovely Christmas and the best New Year.

    And Rasp, love the post. The difference between Arshavin and Santi? To me at least part of it is that the Ruski was always played out of position, whereas our mini-Iberian is put in a position that perfectly exploits his talents. Some may slag Arshavin off, I’ll always like the little weirdo.

  34. RockyLives says:

    Best to you too 26.

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp thanks for the post….to be fair you could have put anything up and I would have read with a smile still laughing about the attempted murder yesterday.

    Anyway Santi…love him, AA23 loved him, then a little less, then got distracted by his lack of work.

    The problem with AA23 is his legs appeared to go two seasons in, and he never quite found them again. Santi hopefully has a few more years running in his.

    What is important this season is that not just Santi but everyone else contributes to the goals this season. I think they have goals in the team, we have good finishers and players with good technique to be good finishers, what we need more of us the players with the best technique and finishing getting imposition to score…..simple really.

  36. Gooner In Exile says:

    “RockyLives says:
    December 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm (Edit)

    But on further reflection, it obviously is connected to the central role Santi is playing at Arsenal, which gives him many more opportunities to get into goal scoring positions (most of his career previously has been spent out wide).”

    Surely not another player Wenger is sticking out of position!

    “He don’t *know what he’s doing,
    He don’t know what he’s doing”

    * Before pedants corner jump on that it doesn’t work with doesn’t.

  37. goonerjake says:

    If BSR had still being playing for us, he would of been branded a diver and a major overeacter, talksports would of dedicated a whole days broadcasting to castigating him followed the following day by taking the mick out of wenger if he had said “he could of died”.

    Makes me so angry.

    Man Utd get away with murder!

    Talking about murder, how many fouls did Maloney have to make before he got a booking?

    If things dont change ill change my tag to angryjake!

  38. Sheep Hagger says:

    Brb ball hit me on the head ,shame less

  39. Gooner In Exile says:

    Lol Jake…..surely you’ve been a Gooner long enough to know that we are weaklings in the refs eyes and so go down easy, and when we tackle someone and win possession it must be a foul.

    The refs performance on Saturday was straight out of the Phil Dowd/Lee Mason handbook. Shouldn’t be surprised as Moss is another Northern ref in the fold.

  40. Gooner In Exile says:

    1 of 16 elite referees is from the South.

    4 are from Lancashire & Gt Manchester
    2 Merseyside

    Last time I looked 7 of 20 PL teams are from London, 1 on border, 1 south of London, and 1 in East Anglia, yet not a single select ref from those regions?


  41. VCC says:

    GIE…fair? ….absolutely not. I’ve been banging this drum for many a year.

    It’s so obvious that if your from the north you are prone to want to support a northern team.

    Take a look at the X Factor or a phone in programme. There is a distinct admittance of area favouritism.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Very Happy Christmas
    Whoever and Wherever you are

  43. Shard says:

    Here’s wishing all you AAers a very merry Christmas.

    Oh and good post Rasp. Also loved the transfer meerkat line. 🙂

  44. Shard says:

    Greetings 26may (Another merry day) Whereabouts in India are you, and how long are you here for? If you’re in Delhi, give me a ho ho ho-ller..

  45. chas says:

    Merry Xmas all you lovely peeps.

  46. Gooner In Exile says:

    Merry Christmas to all who visit AA and make it the wonderful place it is.

    Chas ROLF

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

  48. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Merry Christmas Arsenal Arsenal. Hope you all have a fantastic festive season and the new year brings plenty of great memories, good health and 3 points every time we take the field.

  49. Santa Claus says:


  50. Red Arse says:

    ………………………. AND THAT GOES FOR ME TOO!!! 😀 😀 😀

  51. Red Arse says:


    I found your sexi vid, disturbingly, rather a turn on. Can’t wait for my Xmas prezzie!! 🙂

  52. kelsey says:

    Merry Xmas to you all

  53. goonermichael says:

    Merry Christmas everybody XX

  54. Gooner In Exile says:

  55. Sheep Hagger says:

    Nadolig llawen

    PS that’s says merry christmas in Welsh

  56. evonne says:

    bestest seasonal greetings to you all xxxx

  57. Rasp says:

    Merry Christmas everyone .. that is the simple message in today’s …..

    ….New post …….

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