Sanchez Bringing The Best Out Of Santi Cazorla?


Santi Cazorla’s has been one of the biggest and best revelations for Arsenal in the Premier League this year, alongside the wonderful performances of Alexis Sanchez after his summer move from Barcelona. Obviously Santi Cazorla was still putting in decent performances for Arsenal the season before Alexis arrived, I mean who can forget his wonderful strike from a freekick to get Arsenal back in the game against Hull in Arsenal’s FA Cup win, but he was beginning to be lost amongst the swathe of attacking midfielders at Wenger’s disposal. I think Alexis has brought the best out of Cazorla, putting him above Ozil in the pecking order.

Whilst some people may be doubting the true extent of the new Arsenal player’s skills there’s no doubting the workrate that he puts in from the start to finish of every single game, and I think Cazorla is the player using his team mate’s work rate to his advantage.

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Firstly, according to squawka, Cazorla is Arsenal’s best player. Yes, above Alexis. No, they’re not insane. And yes I’ve checked it. The statistics tell their story, and I think that with the pressure to perform for Arsenal on the Chilean dynamo the unassuming Spaniard is revelling.

Lets look at the stats comparing the two halves of 2014.

In his last 21 games last season, Cazorla racked up a performance score of 781; compared to 847 in the first 21 games of this season. But the efficiency of Cazorla this season has been his great improvement. 158 of those first performance points came in one game last season, but this season he has been far more consistent, and there are stats to prove it.

Cazorla managed 3 EPL goals in the last 21 matches he played in last season, and he is on 5 already this year; which considering he is playing behind 2 or 3 players in an attacking sense rather than being the immediate player behind the striker.

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The increasing defensive nature of his role does seem to be suiting him as well, lowering his average pass distance ever so slightly but making more passes as well. He has picked up more cards after being forced to take a step back in the team, but he is actually making fewer defensive errors whilst making more contributions to the defensive side of the match in each game.

Squawka has named Cazorla man of the match for Arsenal 6 times in this seasons 21 games, doubling that of last season which already shows his worth. Remember that this is despite Arsenal purchasing probably the best player we have had in the last 5 or 6 years in Alexis , and this player has also been playing well.

Cazorla has been forced to accommodate the impressive wing play of Sanchez, and in recent games he has been taking up a more defensive position than Ramsey. As such he seems to have found more freedom to move the ball, run with it when necessary and also help the defence when he is needed. Without Sanchez however, I don’t think Cazorla would have matured into the player we have this season.

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Next: Aguero vs. Alexis