There seems to be a tendency in the English media to ignore Arsenal’s credentials and find all sorts of reasons to suggest that doom and despair is just around the corner. In a way I think it has helped the players and given them an extra incentive to prove people wrong, but it is nice to hear someone actually appreciate what the team is doing, especially when the praise comes from the likes of Barcelona star Andres Iniesta and England captain Steven Gerrard..
There is a lot of talk and speculation flying around at the minute about how to improve the England national side, and the latest proposal could be fantastic news for Arsenal Football Club. The idea being discussed is to bring English football more into line with Europe by allowing and encouraging the bigger clubs to have a formal arrangement with lower clubs in a `feeder` capacity.
Arsenal have two midfield stars for years to come by Stefan
I wrote a piece the other day on how Aaron Ramsey was getting back to his best for Arsenal and how he may be finally fulfilling his potential that was clear since the age of 18. Anybody who watched the Champions League play-off second leg against Fenerbache will have seen him. He scored both goals and was the best player on the pitch for the whole game.
Wilshere and Arsenal on the up by Stefan
This coming season will be a very exciting one in English football, and should be a good one for Arsenal. Manchester United have a new manager for the first time in nearly three decades, Manchester City have a new manager and are expected to spend big to retake the crown from their rivals and Chelsea have seen the return of “The Special One” with money and ambition to match his name.
Of all the players who have left Arsenal in recent years, Cesc Fabregas is maybe the only one that most Arsenal fans still think well of. We understood that he was a local boy who had come through the academy of FC Barcelona and still had the dream of pulling on their shirt. Every football fan can understand this, so although it hurt us and left a gaping hole at the heart of the Arsenal midfield, we appreciated why he left.
Santi Cazorla has had a fantastic start to his career at Arsenal, scoring 11 Premier League goals and providing eight assists. The Spanish international can play anywhere across the midfield and has an eye for goal. For Spain, he has played with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, David Silva and Fabregas, so when a player really impresses him you know they must be something special.
Jack Wilshere was not quite fit to play when Cazorla first arrived, and when he did return there was a period of adjustment for quite a few members of the Gunners while they got used to each other. Now they are getting more comfortable with each other, and Santi is now really appreciating the immense talent of Wilshere and what he brings to Arsenal.
Arsenal fans have had enough of Barcelona trying to poach players from the club, and the latest report will not make them feel any friendlier towards the Spanish giants. In typical Barca style, one of their players has been talking about a possible transfer of the midfield star Jack Wilshere, just as they did with Cesc Fabregas. It is disrespectful and borders on `tapping up` but that seems to be the way Barca operate and they think they have a right to do so.
Cesc Fabregas was happy during his years at Arsenal, and has said before that the club is close to his heart, but when he left in 2011, it was to go back to the club he had been at from the age of 10, and also the one he supported growing up in Catalunia. His first season back at FC Barcelona was not ideal, and he struggled to convince the fans that he was right for the club.
Arsenal were one of the clubs linked with Pep Guardiola before he decided to restart his football management career in the German Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. The former Barcelona boss was widely expected to come to the English Premier league, and had apparently spoken of his admiration for the Gunners and the way the club is run. Chelsea, or rather Roman Abramovich, was desperate to sign him and had even tried big money offers to lure him out of retirement. Manchester City were also in the frame as were some of the rich clubs around Europe, most notably Paris Saint-Germain.
Jack Wilshere spent 17 months on the sidelines with injury but has got his Arsenal career firmly back on track now. His performance last night against Swansea has drawn plaudits from lots of pundits and Arsene Wenger believes he is back to how he was before his injury problems. Wenger thought it might be around March before Wilshere got his full match sharpness back, so he is delighted at how the England international is doing.
Santi Cazorla won his 49th cap for Spain on Friday and for the latter part of the game he was playing alongside the man who he sees as the total footballer, Andres Iniesta. The Arsenal midfielder uses his international team mate as the standard to strive for.
It is astounding that Cazorla has picked up as many caps as he has, operating in the same position as the player who has won this year’s European Player of the Year, Euro 2012 Player of the Tournament and Man of the Match in the 2010 World Cup final, scoring the winning goal for good measure.
Santi Cazorla has been outstanding for Arsenal since moving from La Liga side Malaga in the summer. His name was unfamiliar to many people in this country and their is a common assumption that he is struggling to get a place in the Spanish national side. Cazorla may get a rare start this week as Spain travel to Belarus for the first of two World Cup qualifiers, the second being against France.
Spain are blessed with lots of talented midfielders, many of whom have similar playing styles, such as Iniesta, Fabregas, Silva and Xavi. Cazorla could get the nod, however, with his Arsenal performances drawing interest all over the world. Cazorla has already got 48 caps for Spain and two European championship winner’s medals.