Posts Tagged ‘Mikel Arteta’

Football

Arsenal update: is Cazorla more effective without Wilshere?

By Stefano on March 18th, 2013

Ok, so it is just a theory, but it seems to be one that more and more Arsenal fans are discussing and that is the possibility that Arsenal aren’t always at their best with both Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in the team.

And trying to accommodate them both might not be in the club’s best interests.

So here’s the theory. Cazorla is a wonderfully versatile player. This season Wenger has played him on the left wing, as a conventional central midfield player and in the hole behind the striker. He has also wandered on to the right wing from time to time.

In theory his versatility makes him a manager’s dream. However Cazorla seems to be at his most comfortable when playing in the middle of the park pushing forward, not stuck out on the wing. And that’s a position that suits Jack Wilshere’s game too.

The difference between the two is that Wilshere is excellent at making runs from deep positions carrying the ball with him past midfielders. With Cazorla, his bursts are shorter, but he is better than the Englishman at wiggling his way into goal scoring situations, and at the moment that is something that is sorely lacking in the Arsenal team.

Against Bayern Cazorla was pushed out left again to accommodate Rosicky and ended up having a quiet game. Against Swansea, with a more central position, he was able to make those trademark runs and get into stronger attacking positions.

What Cazorla is genius at is getting close to the box and then taking on defenders or threading balls through to other attackers. He did it many times in the game against Swansea and looked Arsenal’s best player by far.

Without Wilshere it gave Wenger the option of adding a more defensively minded midfielder to work with Arteta. On Saturday it was Diaby, who to be fair had a poor game. Ramsey has played in this position recently and looked very solid.

What potentially is an option for Arsenal going forward is to link Cazorla up to a more mobile striker – Jovetic being the current favourite, but it needs to be a striker with pace and great positional sense (which aren’t really Giroud’s strengths). The pair could be deadly for Arsenal next season.

I should add that Arsenal looked fairly strong until Wilshere’s return, although admittedly they had lost a couple of games just before he came back. Also on several occasions this season Wilshere has been the only Arsenal player worthy of wearing the shirt.

The big question remains though – where does Wilshere fit in? He is surely wasted as a defensive midfielder.

If Wenger can work out to get the best of them playing together Arsenal will boast an incredible midfield.

As for the short term I wonder how often we will see Wilshere again this season. So maybe Wenger needs to play Ramsey alongside Arteta (thereby also offering more protection for the defence) with Cazorla pushed right through the middle?

Who knows? Maybe that Champions League position is attainable after all.



Football

Arsenal will finish above Spurs like last year – so says Mikel Arteta

By Stefano on February 28th, 2013

In case you hadn’t noticed there is the small matter of the North London derby this weekend – a game with added piquancy seeing as the winner will not only have bragging rights but also the upper hand in the race for fourth place.

Spurs seem to be favourites at the moment given the form of Bale and their strong unbeaten run – however no one seems to have told Arsenal midfielder and vice captain Mikel Arteta

He has been talking about how he is sure that The Gunners will finish above their rivals

Arteta has been summing up the spirit of the team that finished ahead of Spurs last season. He told a press conference.

“What we’ve learned [from last season] is that you can never put your arms down because you never know what’s going to happen. You keep at it and they may lose points. That’s what happened last year.

“We kept at it, we had an unbelievable run and we ended up finishing third. We have to look at us first before looking at the rest, and that’s what we’re trying to do.

Arteta also spoke about the confidence the team has following their recent victory over Aston Villa.

“When things aren’t going in your direction, like the Blackburn game [where] you analyse the stats of the game, it’s absolutely amazing that we haven’t won the game. In the Bayern game, they had a spell of 25 minutes in the first half where they were much better. Apart from that, I don’t think the difference was that big.

“Saturday was very important for us. We couldn’t lose again at home. It’s four out of five [wins] now in the Premier League so we’re in a good run in this competition and it’s a massive game coming up on Sunday.

“I think we’re doing a lot of things right, but the things that we’re doing wrong are costing us too much in the games. [If] we are able to cut out those mistakes, I know we have the potential to win the games.”

So what do you think? Will Arsenal finish above Spurs this season?




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