Cazorla Out?

Santi Cazorla was below par against the Cottagers on Saturday and also struggled to influence the home game against Everton.

It has raised the worrying question of whether the talented little Spaniard is starting to burn out after a spectacular first season in the English top flight.

There is no doubting his genius – as he has shown on numerous occasions during the campaign. Twelve Premier League goals and nine assists so far is an excellent return.


But just lately he has seemed somewhat diminished.

Some may point to the fact that he has been played on the right recently to accommodate either Wilshere or Rosicky in the central attacking midfield berth. He plays in a right sided position for the Spanish national side, but there is a strong case to be made that his most effective position for Arsenal has been in the middle, pulling the strings.

But even though I agree with that, I don’t necessarily see that as the reason for the slight dip in form he is experiencing.

Prior to joining the world’s greatest club, Santi had spent his career entirely in the Spanish league, at Villareal and Malaga.

The problem with the Spanish league is that it is as non-competitive a league as you’ll find outside of Scotland (or at least, Scotland before Rangers’ fall from grace).

The fact that Real Madrid and Barcelona are allowed to make their own TV rights deals means La Liga is the most financially rigged competition in world football. The other teams are there just to make up the numbers. Consequently many games are not contested as fiercely as they should be. It’s a huge contrast with England, where the TV money is shared more equally and every game has the potential to be a blood-and-thunder battle, regardless of how lowly the opponent.

Santi Cazorla has played 45 games for Arsenal in all competitions this season. Incredibly, 43 of those have been as a starter.

This leads me to believe that he is just running out of steam in this late stage of the league campaign.

There was a telling moment in Saturday’s game where Theo (I think it was Theo) made a great run into the Fulham box and Santi tried to slide the ball into his path for what would have been, surely, another Arsenal goal.

At most points this season that pass would have been completely routine for Santi, but against Fulham he overhit it by a yard and the chance went begging.

It was a pass made by a tired man with tired legs. And it makes me wonder whether he needs to be rested for the remainder of the run in. Not rested completely, of course, but dropped to the bench to be used as a super sub if we are chasing a game late on.

I know this will sound like heresy to many and I expect to be (politely) shouted down in the comments. But I think we should appreciate that Santi has never in his life played football of this intensity for this long and the only surprising thing is that he hasn’t flagged sooner.

Of course, the three games against Norwich, Everton and Fulham all came within the space of a week and there are now full-week breaks between all our remaining games, but I still feel Santi is a man in need of a summer break.

So if we take Santi out of the front line, how do we replace him? Well, we already have his central midfield replacements ready (Wilshere and Rosicky) and it allows us to play a more wing-minded attacker like Theo or Gervinho on the wide right.

Arsene Wenger has shown himself willing to take tough decisions already this year (dropping his captain; dropping Szczesney). Will he be tough enough to rest arguably the best player at the club?



137 Responses to Cazorla Out?

  1. Ben says:

    I completely agree-it has been a long time coming in my opinion!

  2. leovandegeer says:

    I think you got a good point. Then again. A week rest might just be enough. Only 4 more games. It’s gonna be so close!

  3. Mayowa says:

    Santi needs a long term rest but not @ dis crucial moment.

  4. bum fluff says:

    He can’t tackle. He’s not creative. He’s just another Arshavin.
    Good for the first 6 months and then what ?


  5. chas says:

    Cheers, Rocky.

    I didn’t see the Fulham game, but thought Santi was good against Everton, especially after Jack went off.
    It would be interesting to see his impact as a sub. Can’t see it happening though.

    Great excuse to watch a video of the Little Magician…..

  6. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, (Very early morning, that is, for you lay about Canadians), Your Supreme Writeness, Rocky Shores. 🙂

    An interesting Post, which is as expected from an eternal optimist and raconteur, such as you.

    Answering the question, in your ultimate sentence, first; there is no way Jose, that AW will ‘rest’ Santi Claws with just 4 matches left until we hit the finishing line.

    Santi Maria is too valuable an influence, and would diminish our attacking potential even further if he is grounded, now that Giroud will go ‘awol’ in the next three games for being a naughty French boy!

  7. chas says:

    I completely concur with big bum fluff of Chiangmai.

  8. LOVE THIS!!!…’Prior to joining the world’s greatest club’…lol!!!!

    I share in your sentiments…the little magician needs a breather..he’s been MAGNIFICENT 4 us but time we gave rozy a chance to drive our team

    ipod upfront for the weekend anyone???????

  9. Thanks for the post Mr Rock – but I think bum fluff has hit the nail on the head. Only by pre emptive action can we avoid the shameful sight of so called creative midfielders coasting their way to the end of their contract.

    Get rid !

  10. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Rocky, It’s a hard decision for Wenger, with the upcoming visit of the Manchester juggernaut we need to put out our best eleven, we need the three points, whether they are already Champions or not there is no way that Old Rednose will settle for less than a win.

    Santi may well be suffering from fatigue but with a week off surely he can be counted on to play his vital part in such a high profile game. Isn’t this what all professional players aspire to? Playing on the big stage?

    Wenger has been known to make mistakes over player’s fitness, Wilshire’s too early recall being a case in point.

    On this one I think Wenger must go for broke, pick Cazorla and risk losing him for the final three games.

  11. Manthan says:

    He should play in middle to be his best… Sometimes I don’t understand Arsene decision we have poldi on bench why don’t we play him on left and santi in AM position after all santi is player of the season..

  12. Manthan says:


    Sorry forgot to maintain very goood post Cheersss

  13. Double98 says:

    Eh, he had a dip before Christmas and he’s having one now.
    Maybe it’s not a dip, maybe he is inheriting poor form from a tired Giroud, or he might be missing Gervihno : who makes runs for him and creates space.
    But Who can play that role? Rosicky, maybe, wilshere, don’t think so. Sometimes you need to push through form, it’s easy to do when your winning.
    Do we really want to rest him ahead of Man U?

  14. onyekwere says:

    good one bro. I think santi a rest

  15. Adiiii83 says:

    Can’t rest him. In all honesty, we’re very average without him. Probably around 80% of our goals were plays that he was involved in. I actually think with Wilshere’s current fitness and form and Rosicky not being fully fit, we would struggle to win a single game till the end of the season without Santi.

  16. 3rd … ARSENAL … played 34 …points 63
    4th … CHELSEA … 33 …points 62
    5th … TOTTENHAM … 33 … points 61

    Remaining Fixtures … Big Al’s Predictions

    v Man Utd (H) – DRAW
    v QPR (A) – WIN
    v Wigan (H) – WIN
    v Newcastle (A) – WIN
    Win three, draw one = 10 points = 73 points

    v Swansea (H) – WIN
    v Man Utd (A) – LOSE
    v Tottenham (H) – WIN
    v Aston Villa (A) – WIN
    v Everton (H) – WIN
    Win four, lose one = 12 points = 74 points total

    v Wigan (A) – WIN
    v Southampton (H) – WIN
    v Chelsea (A) – LOSE
    v Stoke (A) Sun – WIN
    v Sunderland (H) – WIN
    Win four, lose one = 12 points = 73 points total

    Arsenal … 30
    Chelsea …31
    Spurs … 17

    Arsenal face ONE top-five opponent (home)
    Chelsea face TWO top-five opponents (away) (home)
    Spurs face ONE top-five opponent (away)

    If my predictions come true, Arsenal will finish 4th, by goal difference only.

  17. Akam James says:

    He truly needs to be rested, he has already played as the best in d club for now,despite the tough situation we are in now, atleast a chance into the second or third place by d end of this season will be appreciate we don’t have losing our best, sub at this moment will be advising. I love arsenal.. On podolki’s I wonder why wenger has decided to keep him on bench always when we know he can produce a good start to our matches.

  18. GoonerB says:

    Good post Rocky and I agree he needs a breather. Bearing in mind we could play our strongest line up next week and still lose to Utd I would take the opportunity to have Santi on the bench and bring him on if needed. I think we have to show faith in our other players anyway to give them that psychological boost that the manager believes they are good enough.

    I would be interested to see how Poldi fares as the number 9 with Theo and the Ox playing either side of him. My midfield 3 would be Arteta, Jack and Rosicky. Still not a bad line up with a mix of goalscorers, technical ability, pace, and endeavour. Santi and the swerve could be introduced if we need to change things.

  19. Sav from Australia says:

    Nice post Rocky!

    I cannot think who I would put into the team to replace Cazorla – but thats why I’m not the Boss lol. I am just hoping the squad gets through the next four games. Then a few more quality additions can be added for next season will hopefully allow players like Cazorla, Arteta and BFG to get a rest.

    I think Arsenal are only a few players away from an all conquering team/squad. Its coming, I can feel it in my bones!

  20. I think Santi Carzola performance of recent could be either change of position from middle to flank or side or fatique generaly.He has tried seriously and he has put in a massive performance since joining the club.

  21. Olly Garch says:

    There’s a far bigger concern than Cazorla’s dip in form right now.
    We don’t have a recognised striker now Giroud is suspended.
    That’s a more important issue for discussion.

    Maybe tomorrow’s post?

  22. Olly Garch – it’s all yours if you want to write it. Let me know if you do and send it through to

  23. Ha ha Oily, that’ll learn you !

  24. Red Arse says:

    That’s Mr Oily ‘Bum Fluff’ Al, to you CharyB! 🙂

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Haha. Olly. That’ll teach you 😀

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Are you my missing twin (with worse English)?

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. An interesting post.

    I am sure AW would love to give Santi a est but given the importance of the next 4 games I cannot see it.

    If we ever get to a comfortable position in a game (which we haven’t for ages), he could be subbed on 55 mins,

  28. Red Arse says:


    Are you saying CharyB don’t got no learnin’?

  29. Kennedy L. Mzumara says:

    Santi is the machine. Wenger seems not realise that. He has trusted the middle of the park to a childish player (Wishere). He has persistently used Santi in the wings and effectively paralysing the attack. Where Santi has played in the middle he has managed to unlock defences and Arsenal have ended up scoring goals. Irrespctive of this Wenger still uses him on the wings. Because of this mediocrity in decision making under Wenger Arsenal will never win anything. Surely any sound and good manager anywhere in the world cannot replace Santi in the middle of the park with any other player at Arsenal right now.

  30. It’s one of the phrases the yoof are using Big and Dandy

    Redders – no standng on ceremony for these fluffy types I say 🙂

  31. LB says:

    Hi Rocky

    Agree, against Fulham, the most talented player we have probably played his worst game “since joining the world’s greatest club”.

    Against Everton, Cazorla was shunted out to Arshavin’s grave yard but he came alive when he replaced Wilshere as the AM (lol) in fact I would go as far as to say that I thought he was probably the best player on the field for the last 15 minutes.

    He is definitely tired but without a game in the week I expect him to be back to his best for Sunday.

    Clever observation about the Spanish League, the Barça-Real duopoly is well known but the idea that Cazorla would never have experienced anything as intense as he has this season is probably spot on.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Forecast for this weekend;

    Mostly drunk with a good chance of a hangover.

  33. a week in football is a really long time, given the importance Gareth Bale gave Spurs in the game against Manchester City (only knowing he will be playing before the start of the match with his injury) Santi’s importance against Manchester United will be just as important. Arsenal are not involved in any mid week games as far as I am concerned, no need to rest him now. Arsenal play United this coming weekend and then have a full week off before facing QPR, then have ten days off before facing Wigan, and a further five days before facing Newcastle. Given the amount of games played by professional football players, that falls well enough to keep players fresh (unless someone injures himself)

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And if your drunken weekend includes a veggie curry, then expect strong winds from the south 🙂

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:


    This post is so relevant to the success of our season. Thanks.

    My view is that its down to Wenger. Unless he is going to play our best footballer central as the heartbeat of the team, then we are buggered. Lets not forge that Santi is our highest prem goalscorer.

    As for fatigue, sorry, a week off between games, he has to play.

    If AW plays him wide then I want him sacked. Simples really.

    Oh, and I am in a very good mood 🙂

  36. So we ARE appealling Giroud’s red card, I thought someone said Wenger decided he wasn’t going to ?

  37. RockyLives says:

    Good day everyone and thanks for the comments.

    I am a little bit worried about Santi, but like many have said, I don’t really expect AW to drop/rest him during the run-in.

    However, I would like to see him back in the CAM role where he has been most effective all season. As LB says, in the Everton game he came alive when he slotted back into the middle.

    I would also like Oxo to get more game time. He has rediscovered his touch and confidence and has the ability to beat players, but with more end product than Gerv.

  38. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, thanks for another ‘finger on the pulse’ article.

    Its a very good question. Like you, I doubt Santi will be rested therefore we should use him where he’s most effective and, more importantly, where he wont be wasting his energy chasing lost causes. Let him be the provider not the recipient! (no such word as providee 😕 )

  39. I watching the little magician video It makes me think imagine had all those shots NOT been saved or been near misses? Santi as a Attacking Midfielder would be close if not over 20 goals for the season. It is no Doubt Santi is a talented player But like many technical midfielders when things are not going exactly as planned sometimes they start to slow the play hold the ball too long and/or struggle to create. (Even kaka is accused of this) but that DOES NOT mean they are crap all of a sudden in fairness what a creative player can create in terms of assists has as much to do with what the players without the ball are doing as much as what the creative players is doing with it. A pass to open up a defense is just a poor pass if no one is making the right run. I have been very critical of Wilshere at times as well for not making enough of that final ball to open up teams but again he can’t make a killer pass to no one. So is the lack of assists for Wilshere his lack of quality in the final 3rd OR the poor movement by his team mates. OR a combination of the two. Of course Giroud receives plenty of chances, chances that a player of Bergkamp, RVP or Henry’s quality would have converted into goals. Even the half chances that require the spectacular to convert something from half the time where turned into goals by those men. THAT is the real problem NOT so much Santi is burned out but that he and Arsenal’s other midfielders can only do so much if you are given the ball in the box and your a striker you should score at least half the time and the great ones convert at close to 3/4 of the chances they get. And in some games you may only get ONE chance and you HAVE To convert. THAT is the making of a legend vs just another OK squad player And why we remember those players so favorably it is not that they NEVER missed as they did I can remember Henry putting one over the bar from 6 yards out dead center of a open goal it was harder to miss then score yet the great Henry missed. But what we remember most are the goals that we watch and think he had NO right scoring there and yet he did and made it look easy too boot. THAT is what Arsenal need and I Will put money if Arsenal can bring in one top quality forward the goal and Assist rate of the attacking mids will go up as well. Giroud Maybe just be adjusting to the EPL and playing at Arsenal as well as his teammates are at getting used to paying with him BUT I have yet to see in his game the sublime touch of a Henry or a Bergkamp SO I doubt it.

  40. RockyLives says:

    That’s a really, really good comment. As you say, if people are not making the right runs, no creative midfielder can shine.

    I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but long comments are much easier to read if broken up into shorter paragraphs with spaces in between. It’s just a bit easier on the eye.

    Anyway – thanks again for a well observed comment.

  41. RockyLives says:

    Kennedy L. Mzumara
    Thankyou for also making the point about Santi’s best position.

    And for having the most splendid name on AA for quite some time 🙂

  42. Red Arse says:

    Rock a Doodle,

    You got me into a fine pickle today.

    I was talking to an acquaintance, after being moved by your finely crafted Post, and remarking on how many wonderful people there were who blogged, on dedicated football sites, and the superb penmanship to be found there, and by inference, admitting that I too am a blogger.

    She opined that most bloggers were, reputedly, weirdos, or rather strange people, and all this while admitting she had never actually been on a blogsite herself. (otherwise she might have confirmed her own blog view, with herself as the prime example).

    I told her that I did not care what she thought of me, and I certainly never thought of her. Getting into my stride, I went further and told her that a tiger did not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.
    [OK, I admit, it was a lot cooler in my head!] 🙂

    So, you can see that as she did not evince even a morsel of feigned regret over her careless rebuttal of my expressed enjoyment of your essay, and perhaps because of a seemingly intentional besmirching of my aesthetic taste in Rockhampton Posts, I had to give her the elbow — and blame you for the deed!! 😀

    I trust that you will be in entire agreement with that conclusion?

  43. Red Arse says:


    Antonym for ‘provider’ — beneficiary, recipient? 🙂

    As you are the AA crossword champ, I think you tease – like the bees in the high Pyrenees! 😀

  44. RockyLives says:

    I do hope that said young lady was not an intended paramour…

  45. ogban says:

    Play him centrally to get the best out of him

  46. Red Arse says:

    Fear not, Rocky, paramours or parasols they are always up and down.

    I have two rules for success in love:

    1. I never reveal everything I know.

  47. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arsenal are to appeal the Giroud dismissal, “Giroud said to me that he slipped at the moment he went for the ball and it’s confirmed by the television,” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said after the match on Saturday.

    An FA regulatory commission will make a decision on Tuesday.

    Well I guess there’s not much to lose by appealing, Giroud is banned for three matches anyway, the ban could be extended by an extra game if the appeal is considered frivolous. The chance that the appeal will succeed is slight but worth the risk.

  48. Norfolk Gooner says:


    2. I never know what I reveal. 🙂

  49. Ray says:

    Wow! So much SHIT spoken on here!
    Cazorla is Arsenal’s player of the season.
    Against Everton when he switched to middle he was SENSATIONAL! What planet are you donkeys on?
    Seriously, give an idiot a blog and watch him talk shit! The epitaph of the web era!

  50. Red Arse says:


    I don’t know about an epitaph, which seems to be a non sequitur, but in fairness you have written yourself a wonderful epithet!

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ray My Dear,
    Just because life isn’t going too well for you at the moment doesn’t mean you should take it out on others.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thinking of new bloggers
    “Sign up Fournier” pronto, I say.

  53. Rasp says:

    Ray, you’ve managed to insult, denigrate and dismiss the opinion of a fellow supporter without even attempting to explain why you disagree with the post. Quite frankly you reek of the sort of ‘fan’ we deplore on here – always ready to criticise but never bold enough to stand up and offer a constructive counter argument.

    It seems you don’t know the difference between opinion (that is what the author is offering) and fact (often misunderstood by idiots like yourself for what happens to be your personal bigoted view)

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There’s my way, then there is your eloquent way of dealing with things
    Word them into submission 🙂

  55. Rasp says:

    Yes congratulations and thanks to Michael Fournier for demonstrating the opposite end of the evolutionary scale with his excellent comment @ 3:32. You sir are welcome back on the blog anytime 😛

  56. weedonald says:

    Mates…there are a few things to take into account about Cazorla:

    1) I believe LaLiga has a mid-winter break…the EPL doesn’t so he’s been 43 games without a real break
    2) Adjusting to a new team is always difficult but he has done exceedingly well
    3) The pitches in England are not up to snuff on occasion, those in Spain are less prone to weather-related damage (snow, freezing, heavy rain etc.)
    4) He is a small player and that makes on-field movement and pace very demanding
    5) With 43 starts this season out of 45 games, he has surely the right to have a dip in form on occasion?
    6) I believe he also played for Spain or at least was on the bench, all that traveling,training and time does take a toll
    7) With the lengthy injuries and changes in the side, Wenger has been obliged to play some of his best slightly out of position but that is true for most managers at this time of year
    8) Anyone who says we should sell him, either as a joke or being serious is an amateur, fickle pseudo-supporter…..

    There has been a lot of unnecessary hysteria over our recent performances and a lot of (as usual) negativity and whining about our terrible team and our hopeless situation, all of which has surely affected our players negatively. This can impact players’ self-confidence and assurance….its time we stopped moaning and cheered them on to a great finish!

  57. RockyLives says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly.
    But please do not direct your ire at humble foot soldiers like me. You have to realise that it’s the “officer corps” on the blog who are to blame.

    Ray, I am sure you are a student of military history so you will know that in the Crimean war the British troops were described as “sealions led by monkeys.” The phrase was again used during the First World War.

    Ordinary infantrymen like myself are just following orders. Now, I’m sure you are on the point of replying that the “only following orders” defence was used unsuccessfully by many Nazis after the second great world conflagration, many of whom were promptly hanged for their trouble.

    Point taken Ray, point taken. But – and I know you’re ahead of me here – doesn’t this then bring us on to the time-honoured debate about free will?

    I have to confess that when it comes to the old toss-up between determinism and free will, I am a bit of a Luther.

    I suspect that you, however, are a bit of a Kant.

  58. Rasp says:

    😆 Rocky

    Hi weedonald, I assure you all those (regulars) calling for Cazorla to be sold were being ironic in an attempt to illustrate the lunacy of such an idea and therefore don’t deserve the label pseudo-supporter

  59. chas says:

    Bit of a Kant. 🙂

  60. Red Arse says:


    Exquisite! 😀

    Ray did capture the essence of the blog, as per his last sentence; we do, in good faith, invite bloggers to the site, the vast majority of whom are welcome for their wit and wisdom, altho’, sadly, the odd misfit idiot will then come on and talk ……..

    It was very good of Ray to demonstrate his point so aptly!

  61. weedonald says:

    Thanks Rasp….it is difficult to pick up the irony when you aren’t following a blog all the time. Anyone who seriously criticizes Cazorla would be a serious non-supporter.:)

  62. Rasp says:

    No problem weedonald, I often struggle to follow a thread when popping in and out of a debate. I agree with your points 1 to 7, I it is clear that Cazorla is fatigued, so maybe playing him where he wastes the least energy but his talents are most effective is the answer … but then again Ramsey gets better every game … who’d be a manager?

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Me, Rasp 🙂
    And I’d be the dog’s swingers at it.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky ROLF at Kant

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a first. I hope Utd win tonight, then there’s no way they’ll subject Brave to abuse on Sunday.
    Damn, saying that makes me feel mucky.

  66. Red Arse says:


    I am envious of you and Ray the Kant!

    You see, while I understand that reason is the foundation of Kant’s moral philosophy, it is less clear to me what role reason plays in his theoretical philosophy.

    I am completely in agreement with Kant when he insists that metaphysics is utterly impossible, or at best a disorderly and bungling endeavour, if we do not separate the ideas of reason from the concepts of understanding.

    Do you see where I am coming from? My understanding of Kant’s belief is fatally undermined by being unable to separate out the reason for my understanding.

    Can you, or Ray help me out, please?

  67. Reddawn says:

    I think if Arsene Wenger signed Luis Suarez it might add a bit more bite to the Arsenal attack! Just what we have been calling for chaps.

  68. old duffer says:

    weedonald at 39 minutes past 5 in the afternoon.

    you said he is a small player and that makes on-field movement and pace very demanding.
    george armstrong was wee and he played 42 games more than some seasons.
    he ran up and down the line with his little legs non stop for years.
    what are you going on about.

  69. Red Arse says:

    A mucky Micky? 🙂

    How does that work then, Mucky? That is to say, erm, Micky. 🙂

  70. Red Arse says:

    Big Al, Bum Fluff, old duffer et al, can you explain why you are hiding by pseudonyms, and plain old aliases?

    Have your Thai birds given you the hump – so to speak?

  71. Sharper than your average “Bic” you are, Red Arse 🙂

  72. Here’s some more little ‘uns…

    Alan Ball, Billy Bremner, Nobby Stiles, Bobby Collins, Jimmy Johnstone, Sammy Lee, Dennis Wise, Garincha, Maradona, Roberto Carlos, Gianfranco Zola, Edgar Davids, Lionel Messi…

    …oh, and a bloke called Alex James…

  73. Red Arse says:


    Then there is James Cagney, Danny Devito, Tom Cruise, Gengis Khan, Bridget the Midget, and so many more …………. 😀

  74. RockyLives says:

    regarding your 6.32, I fear you are plumbing waters far deeper than my humble line can cope with.

    I will have to defer to the greater intellect of Ray to answer you directly.

    Over to you, Ray…

  75. RockyLives says:

    Hmmm… must be at his monthly Mensa meeting.

  76. weedonald says:

    Old Duffer……George Armstrong played 40 years ago, he played an average of 32 games per season, the pace and physicality of the game was different back then, …..he was tireless but played on the wing in the old WM formation under Mee. you are comparing apples and oranges but, since you are an old duffer, I’ll take that into account and try and explain my point:

    1) Being small means that he has to work much harder to travel the same distance a tall player like Diaby (at 6ft.4in.) would. this requires more energy output.
    2) He is a midfield player and research shows that the modern midfielder runs an average of 9.5 miles per game. A traditional winger would run about half that in a normal game.
    3) Cazorla’s pace is very high, this demands a significant disbursement of energy and strength to maintain that pace during physically brutal games in the EPL. After 42 games , he could easily burn out unless properly managed.
    4) Because of the above, Wenger monitors ALL his players and has a tracking system that tells him when a player is approaching his limits…..Wilshere is closely monitored since he tends to get too close to the limit.
    5) Cazorla is 28 years old and only 5 foot 6 inches, and when compared to our younger, more athletic players, his stamina and endurance will be marginally less and his ability to recover from the rigours of the EPL, more limited.

    Do you now understand that times have changed and even old duffers like us have to change with them?

  77. Merseforever says:

    our yoof vs Tottenham’s yoof at underhill right now. Will be a big scalp if we win. Tottenham by far the best team in the u21 league.

  78. evonne says:

    mensa meeting for Kants 🙂

    Great post Rocky. I noticed our Santi playing at half throttle on alternate games, which makes me think that he is getting tired. No surprise there, the little guy hit the ground running from the very start. I have never seen a player from outside the EPL to get to grips with the requirements as quickly as Cazorla. But that must have taken an awful lot of out of him. He simply needs a break, some paella and senoritas, and he will be as good as gold next season.

  79. Hi Weedonald
    I also know that kits, boots and balls are much lighter.
    And pitches aren’t the ‘quagmires’ of old.

    “A traditional winger would run about half that in a normal game.”
    And the other players listed that are not traditional wingers?

  80. RockyLives says:

    Well, for once I’m happy that ManUre are winning…

  81. chas says:

    Interesting theory about the littl’uns expending more energy to go the same distance. I always thought it was the big old units who had to use up more energy to get about the pitch.

    Santi must be 10 stone wet through. Even my old legs could shift that amount of weight.

  82. RockyLives says:

    And the air is more oxygen rich at lower altitudes, which must help their breathing.

    The BFG on the other hand is not really slow, as people say, it’s just that he is always playing ‘at altitude’. 🙂

  83. chas says:

    I’d be happy with 1-0 and a dislocated flange piece for bsr.

  84. chas says:

    Haha, the BFG could play in midfield and hardly use any energy at all getting from box to box. It’d take him a couple of minutes but his mpg would be fantastic.

  85. chas says:

    Rocky, your 8:11 comment reminded me of this at 1:32…..

  86. RockyLives says:

    Well, regardless of what I think of BSR, that second ManUre goal was quite brilliant – both the pass from Shrek and the finish from Judas.

  87. RockyLives says:

    Haha – nice vid Chas. He’s great, isn’t he?

    Good English, too.

  88. RockyLives says:

    If I new how to do clever things on Twitter I would post a picture tonight of Robin with his first trophy: 30 pieces of silver.

  89. chas says:

    That van pussy goal was rubbish

  90. chas says:

    Here you go, Rocky.
    Quite a good likeness, I reckon.

  91. chas says:

    The bottom line is that I want to win trophies with Arsenal, not with anybody else. I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many ways, but I want to do that in our way and in an Arsenal shirt.
    ‘I’m sure I could win things at another team in another country, but would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I’m not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that’s what I want. It’s my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have these dreams. I think other people know that about me; I’m just hungry to win with Arsenal and that’s it –
    Robin van Persie, February 2011

  92. RockyLives says:

    Hat trick for van Judas.

    Do you think he’s desperate to get the title wrapped up tonight so he doesn’t have to play at the weekend?

  93. chas says:

    On my only trip to the Turkish on Blackstock Road, 26May said he would write a positive piece about van persie before the home game against the mancs.

    I’m so looking forward to it. 🙂

  94. chas says:

    At least they can’t win it at ours…….

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. 5.42. Magnificent.

  96. weedonald says:

    Maybe in a motorized golf car Chas:)))

  97. weedonald says:

    Using the old WM formation with strict adherence to staying IN your position (ie: fullbacks staying back, midfielders staying in the midfield!!! and wingers staying on the wings so strikers also stayed up front….my educated guess is that they would run about 60-70% of the distance modern footballers do, but that may be off by quite a bit as there are other factors that come into play. They didn’t have substitutions permitted until the late 50’s if I remember correctly so that is an issue as well.

  98. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, see you got some new faces in again today Rocky with an interesting piece on Santi, he has looked a bit heavy legged occasionally but still manages to find a second wind and produce some magic that means he can’t be left out.

    Now on those questioning his role out on the wing I need to have a little head scratch, as from memory in those three/four games when Theo, Pod and Jack were out of the side he still played on the wing with TR7 having the middle and Gerv on the right, but with those two he seemed to be able still to pop up in other places on the pitch, middle, out right and on left.

    But in those games his defensive responsibilities were not on the left hand side, we pressured the ball when we lost it (as he has done all season) but he had support suddenly from Gerv and TR7 support he never got from Pod and Theo when he was playing centrally. And that is why in my opinion he has looked more tired, increased work rate going back as the whole team dropped deep, and also not being able to influence the game as the team becomes far too rigid formation wise with Theo in the side.

    As for Giroud red card appeal I’m for it, as soon as it happened I called the slip. There is no way he is jumping in, he plants his right foot and turns his left foot over the ball but the turf slides under his right boot and it looks bad….but totally unintentional.

    Was there a game of football tonight?

  99. Izuchukwu Okosi, Lagos, Nigeria says:

    That won’t happen! Santi will play the remaining games unless injured. There are week-long breaks till the end of the season, so that means longer breaks than the games, in-between few days

  100. RockyLives says:

    I think you’re probably right Izu – but I am worried that he is a bit burnt out.

  101. MK says:

    You got it all wrong this time fatigue or no fatigue it’s a fact that Santi is best playing as a CAM.The main problem is where to fit in Wilshere who seams to be indespanseble whether in form or out of form, in pain or without pain .It seams its a taboo not to play Wilshire that,s why Mr Wenger has to spent lots of time to explain whenever he drops Wilshere to the bench.Yet it’s a fact that the team has had the best run without Wilshere.And also Walcott has lost form the manager must leave him on the bench and let him fight for his position. Look at the way the defence is performing now because of the tough decision the manager has made to leave out drop the captain and the No 1 goal keeper. Wilshere, Walcott,Giroud must be on the bench ,period


    Hi Rocky

    Santi wont be left out, hes to good. I believe he will be instrumental in pushing us over the line.

    Hes the best two footed player since Glenda Hoddle, but unlike Glenda he dosnt wear womens underwear.

    He does look a bit knackered, but an eight day break should be sufficent to restore the batteries. I expect him to shoot down Utd on Sunday, hes too good for them.

  103. asuka says:

    2ru talk don’t over play santi so that he will not burnout in the likes wilshere last season there are other players in the likes of d ox-,rosicky,wilshere to take over 4rm him

  104. Gooner In Exile says:

    If Girouds ban doesn’t get overturned could we play a false 9?

    Normal back 4


  105. chas says:

    Looks a bit lightweight to me, GIE.

    Both Theo and The Swerve have played number 9 this season, haven’t they?
    Anyway, surely Die Fussballgott will be Oggie’s stand-in? (especially as Wenger has been working with him on his CF skills)

    Aren’t we meant to be discussing this after Olly Garch’s virgin post on the subject?

  106. Manthan says:

    MANU won 20th Title yesterday and 2nd goal by BSR was classic.. Its really very hurting to see him celebrating after match… Anyway Congo to him. . At least I think he deserved it.

  107. Gooner In Exile says:

    Congo? That’s not remote enough 😀

  108. Gooner In Exile says:

    Must have missed that instruction Chas.

    So who fancies sneaking into the Emirates and tampering with the sprinklers to flood the pitch so it is not us who has to give them a guard of honour.

    I don’t want us to boo them out because I think it will just be more media on to us and more chance of them playing better.

    Think RedAction should get that quote printed on a large banner though.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Heck GiE,

    Something has definitely happened at your end. You will not give up on these new woolly line ups of yours. Falsies here, liberos there, pass the dutchies everywhere.

    Have you gone completely Continental on us? 🙂

  110. Gooner In Exile says:

    No dutchies please 😉

  111. chas says:

    You missed it because it’s never been there.

    I got it from this yesterday morning….

    Don’t talk about GIE and falsies or I’ll get that image of him and the Gazza fake breasts back in my head. 🙂

  112. Manthan says:

    Congo = Congrats 😛

  113. Gooner In Exile says:

    But seriously I think we need to look at what was good in that little winning run we put together and the absence of Theo and Pod gave us more fluidity and variety and we won the ball back higher up the pitch.

    As someone else pointed out the other day we sometimes are guilty of moving the ball side to side without purpose, the idea of the tika taka is to create space to run into, when we are too rigid in formation we end up with an infinite loop of passing side to side and zero movement to exploit space created. It takes work rate, it means a player might make 5 runs and not once receive the pass.

    It is also geared to play against the deep defence, Santi and Ox will both shoot from distance, which should subsequently mean the defence press which should make space for runners.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You mean the work shy version 🙂

    I think about GiE most nights and its nothing to do with the sleazy image in your foul mind. My son has a plastic Gooner. 6″ high, in jeans and Arsenal top, holding scarf aloft. Press the button and he sways from side to side and launches into the full repertoire. “Good Ol Arsenal” and so on.

    He’s the spitting image of Norfolk Brother.

  115. chas says:

    Remarkable likeness…

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha ha, that’s him! 🙂
    I go up and say goodnight each evening, and last thing before I switch his light off, I push the little fellas button 🙂

  117. Gooner In Exile says:


  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It cannot be modelled on anyone else. Its you you and you.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Two essential Arsenal gadgets. That’s one, the other is a bottle opener Chas gave us, which when the metal cap makes the connection it launches into “Thomas charging through the midfield, it’s up for grabs now”

    Chas, vid of that?

  120. BarcaArse2006 says:

    He Just needs an ice bath, then he will be fresh as new.

  121. jollymike says:

    He needs a rest, but we can’t afford to do so at this stage of the league. What I don’t understand is why he isn’t taken off earlier in games like against Fulham. He did nothing right all game, and we only wanted to hold on. Should have brought on someone before. As well ad when we have won a game and are dominating. AW always take off the same players. Santi should have gotten breathers before!

  122. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    All that fuss about RvP’s goal. He did it for us on a regular basis, but his best was Charlton away

  123. Nizam says:

    Winning the epl will motivate RVP to score against the gunners. Although our french centre half expresses confiedence to deal with Judas,I will withhold judgement until the result.
    If the gunners play like thye did in the games in the cl and epl when Ronaldo was around,get ready for loss,if not draw.
    ToWenger possession is the key. But to me less possession doesn’t mean you can’t win. You have to be clinical.Sadly Arsenal aint in that category.
    If the worst were to happen ie the gunners finish 5th/6th ,I think Wenger’s time must be up.He is not willing to change his philosophy. That,I am afraid ,aint acceptable.
    You have to adapt and frankly speaking had he got a top quality quality defence coach preferably from Italy ,the gunners could have gone places.He has been given too much time and power and has not delivered.

  124. Big Raddy says:

    Nizam. You are right that sometimes possession doesn’t lead to a victory – just look at the Blackburn game or other games when the opposition has scored with just one or two shots on target.

    It must be infuriating for Wenger.

    I am afraid you have succumbed to the media spin that we have a hopeless defence. We are second in goals conceded to Man City. True, lapses are made but no defence is impregnable

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky’s post has attracted 20 times as many visitors as my Saturday pre-match.

    It is good to see that quality can still bring in the viewers 😀

  126. Morning all, hi Evonne, your 8.15am is a subject close to my heart as the threat of creeping sharia is something I have been aware of for a while and hopefully exposés like the Panorama programme will wake the free world up from it’s torpor in respect of the danger to liberty, realising human potential and freedom of thought that sharia poses. In the civilised world there should be one secular rule of law for all.

    If we ignore the danger then we prepare to go back to the dark ages.

    Anyway I’ve already said too much.

    Back to more pressing matters – the guard of honour for Fergiescums lot on Sunday, yuck, how painful is that going to be ?

    And how much longer should I avoid sports news for the mancfest to finish?

  127. evonne says:

    Chary – shocking stuff, that’s for sure.

  128. Morning all

    Just sorting todays post, be back in a bit.

  129. Sadly for us, Mr Olly Garch didn’t send in a post but luckily there are posts in the loading bay.

  130. chas says:

    Just back from the gym. Couldn’t find bottle opener video but found these two which I found amusing.

    From the Positively Arsenal blog
    “Liverpool next, which is always special and full of memories, like the time I almost got divorced over that bottle opener that came as a ‘gift’ in the season ticket pack a few years back. I am told that a woman can only take so much of, ‘…Thomas its up for grabs nowwww..Thomas..’, every time her worst half opens a bottle of beer, which happens quite often. Either way even now, after my bottle opener was found broken into four pieces in a fish pond four houses away, she goes into an uncontrollable rage at the mere mention of the name Michael Thomas and it has wrecked our relationship with close friends John and Tina Thomas and their son Patrick……..oh and their youngest son, Michael..”

    Longer version of the bottle opener audio.
    [audio src="" /]

  131. chas says:

    New Post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  132. William McGoonagal says:

    MOTD aka sperz mafiosi STILL haven’t apologised for falsely branding Santi a “cheat” after him clearly being fouled and getting a penalty V WBA before Christmas, sell him??? yeah right !to manyoo whydontcha?

  133. it’s too early for Cazorla out..
    Arsenal still need him next seasons….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: