New boy Santi Cazorla says he feels the pressure of his big money move to Arsenal but that his deployment in the role just behind the striker is the one that suits him best.
The Spaniard has paid tribute to Arsene Wenger, and his teammates, in an interview with El Pais. Asked about the pressure of moving from Malaga to Arsenal and what Wenger said to him when he signed, Cazorla said, “They have paid an important amount of money for me and the role they’ve given me is the one I like.
“I love the style of the team. Wenger’s philosophy is to control the game and I like to be on the ball. Furthermore, the boss has put me in a position, second striker, with all the freedom I want to have.
“He told me to be at ease and that he’d play me where I could most help the team. It surprised me in pre-season when he put me as the second striker. I’ve come to play on the wings with the freedom to move inside, but Wenger has immediately put me in this position. With Arteta, Diaby, Rosicky and Wilshere, who is recovering from injury, we’re going to have a lot of the ball.”
When asked about what he has to do on the pitch in England differently to Spain, he explained, “Arteta has advised me a lot, he told me football is much faster and less tactical than Spain. It’s more give and go. Mikel has helped me to learn to see the game and said that if we play rapidly with the ball we’re going to create a lot of danger and we’ll beat most teams.”
And the praise for his fellow Spaniard didn’t stop there, with Cazorla confirming that the manager is now going to use Arteta as a defensive midfielder.
“Wenger wants him now as a defensive pivote and he’s doing if very well. He gives real balance and he can win the ball back and play it out because with the ball he’s spectacular.”
So, it’s so far so good for Cazorla who says learning English is very important and he’s having English lessons twice a week with the same tutor who taught Cesc.
After three games it’s perhaps too soon to say the money spent on him was a bargain, but when Arsene Wenger says ‘We’re lucky to have him’, when speaking about his quality, that tells you everything you need to know.