Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Cazorla talks full-backs. Vieira haunted by Mellor

Santi Cazorla believes Arsenal’s lack of natural wingers means forward incursions by the club’s full-backs are vital to the club’s attacking philosophy.

Speaking to Arsenal Player in an interview recorded before such forays freed space for Borussia Dortmund to break, score and win on Tuesday, the midfielder touched on how creating space on the flanks for the likes of Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna adds an element of surprise to the Gunners game.

“I believe that full backs have a pivotal role in our team. We don’t have pure wingers.

“Perhaps Theo Walcott is the most natural winger in the squad. He likes to be on the wing to make use of his speed, but apart from him we don’t have natural wingers.

“Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky or myself are not sticking strictly to the touchline. Therefore we open up spaces so our full backs have a corridor where they can go up and down.

“Our ball possessions are long but they can break through by surprise. That’s why full backs are really important for our team. You can see that every game.”

In other ‘news’ (it’s quiet, indulge us) Patrick Vieira has spoken of his best and worst moment in English football selecting the 97/98 Double as his greatest memory and Neil Mellor’s last-gasp strike for Liverpool in November 2004 as the one that gives him nightmares.

“[My greatest time] was the ‘98 double with Arsenal,” he told the FA.com.

“I remember the atmosphere at the stadium at every single game we went to, and the way the home and away fans responded.

“The stadiums were packed. The response from the fans was unbelievable and that is why I enjoy every single game I have played in this country.

1998 was really special, we had of course a fantastic team and that was the first time for me to be at a really high level and winning things. This is the time when I really fell in love with the English game.”

Reflecting on Mellor’s famous strike, which came a month after the end of the Invincibles 49-game unbeaten run and condemned the Gunners to their second defeat of the 04/05 season, Vieira continued.

“I remember in 2001 [he means 2004] we lost 2-1 and we conceded in the last kick of the game.

“Mellor just took the ball on his chest, let it bounce once and just took it.

“Obviously David Seaman [he means Jens Lehmann] couldn’t do anything. We conceded the goal and then the fans started to sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.”

“I was completely out of the game. It was a bad time because we lost the game. On the other hand you look at the fans passion and the expression on their face and that was the time when you realised what the win means to them.”

For the last nine years Arseblog News has hated Neil Mellor with a passion, then we Googled him (mostly hoping to find out he was playing for a pub team) and found out he had to retire last year at the age of 29 due to a bad knee injury. That’s pretty sh*t in anyone’s books. Sorry about that Neil…still at least you made your mark on Paddy.

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But atleast he can remember the atmosphere in every game…. but cant remember when or who was there

the only sam is nelson

a bit like the merse, then. who knew?


Mellor’s goal still haunts me too 🙁 but then I think of that Walcott run against them a few years later and all becomes well 🙂

…until I think of what happened after that run 🙁


I still remember that Walcott run and Ade goal like it was yesterday. I was watching the match in a pub filled with Liverpool fans, and being the only gunner (donning an Adebayor Shirt which I had won from a BBC competition for African Football fans), it was like hell when they were leading 1 nill. When Walcott did that famous run and pass which Ade slotted home, I couldn’t contain myself: I was shouting like crazy, running around the pub, and out of a sudden, everybody in the pub joined me in the celebration and you needed to see… Read more »

Silent Stanley

It did not only haunt him, it also haunted part of his memory.

Naija Gunner

Is he trying to let the boss know of what type of player they are lacking and needed?!


I think Neil Buchanan was left back that night and an allegory of David Hillier’s pet goose was an unused sub.


perhaps it is time for a step up in work load for gnabry and ryo, ok, so we will have less experience, but we can double up our effectiveness on the wings in compensation, which being a big change from our current style is a useful trick we can employ, but never ever do i want to see ramsey or wilshere on the flanks again, so much better in the middle.


Wow! I thought I remembered all the results and goals since 1997. Apparently not. Dont remember that game at all. Maybe I blocked it

Petit's Handbag

In 2001 we also lost to Liverpool 2-1, a game we completely outplayed them in but in the last minute Michael Owen scored to make it 2-1…..quite possible he’s actually talking about that.
Losing an FA Cup final like that sure hurt me a hell of a lot more than a league game


My thoughts too.


Said it before and I’ll say it again, the team lacks dynamic fullbacks and that’s an area we could definitely improve upon. As much as I love Sagna and as loyal a servant he’s been, can you imagine how much an Alves or a Lahm would add to our attacking play? Lost count of the amount of times Sagna would get himself in a good position on Tuesday to then either squander the ball by being too hesitant or attempting a cross that either 1. failed to beat the first man or 2. went into no-man’s land. Defensively he’s solid… Read more »

Dan Gunn

apart from the ball he put in for our only goal…

I think we ask too much of Sagna. Even Ozil was letting Bac do the work that he could have done better in the when both were in the right attacking postion.

And lets not forget that Ozil should have tracked Lewandowski when Sagna was caught further up the pitch for Dortmund’s winner.

HoHoHo Green Gooner

You would rather have 2 fullbacks who are arguably in the top 5 in the world currently in the team? Great insight.

The Pass Master EE

tend to agree here, me and my mate were moaning about his carbon copy crossing until we scored from one!

if one only we could of cloned Bac’s defending with Eboue’s dribbling – that would of been a hell of a player!


The ball he put in for our only goal should have been claimed EASILY by the keeper but he made a complete hash of it. Massive LOL at someone using that as an excuse to defend Bac’s woeful crossing…

Pertinent point about Ozil. Definitely needs to be more switched on defensively but I think that’s something that will develop over time

But back to bac’, he needs to work on his crossing and decision-making, there’s not much more to it.


I definitely stand with Sean here, As much as it hurts we must admit that our fullbacks sucks when it comes to final 3rd deliveries. We would easily have won that game had we have fullbacks who could actually make pinpoint and accurate passes/crosses. They never struggle to get into good positions,its their deliveries that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I think after solving our centreforward problem its an area Arsene will look to improve! As for Dortmund’s winning goal,it was the team that should be blamed not a particular individual. Like Wenger said they were naive,if i… Read more »


that goal was like a punch to the balls with brass knuckles on :-/ still pains when u think about it

mr arsenal

I still cant believe we didnt offer him a role at our club. Him at man city just aint right.


How do you know we didnt?


There’s more to him being at Man City. I think it had something to do with him being in contract still and needing to free up space in their squad. So they fabricated a role for him. *I could be wrong, but I’ve seen it written somewhere.


He signed a playing contract with them for 3 years before retiring and accepting a coaching role


This was the official line, yes.

Silverstre for the Ballon d'OR

My worst memory as a gooner has got to be the 3-2 defeat to Spurs at our place, then the 4-4 at Newcastle, then the 8-2. All of them made me depressed (I mean really depressed ) for a few days.

What is YOUR worst memory as a gooner?


Eduardo’s leg break vs Birmingham


Oh yeah. And Gallas just sitting there… *shudders*…

Arsene's Wrinkles

Champions League final. The only time I shed real tears for the Arsenal


This summer wasn’t great. No football and the Spuds buying everyone in sight. There was a happy ending though….

The fool of a Took

It´s got to be the game we lost prior to go 49 games unbeaten. It was my first visit to Highbury when we lost to Leeds , which meant that Man. Utd won the title.

I did enjoy the Highbury experience, watching Berkamp, Henry, Pires and other legends play in front of my eyes, but the feelings after.. *shudders’


Nayim/2001 Cup final are up there

The Ghost of Peter Storey

The day that Trevor Ross signed for Everton (1977). That was the day when I finally realised that footballers didn’t love the club as much as the fans.


The 50th game, that was shattering.

Also the day we signed Silvestre.


Vivas makes a mistake and Hasselbaink scores… That’s my worst one.
Also defeat to Galatasaray in UEFA cup final, Eduardo injury ad day we sold Fabregas. Would definitely be loss to Liverpool in the FA Cup, but I could not watch the game and therefore did not experience it.






my worst moment as a goner fan was the defeat to bacelona. i wasnt able to sleep all through that night

Arsenal-induced Heart Attack Survivor

Spurs manager says a tough run of fixtures mean life is about to get much harder for the Premier League leaders

I remember one of his recent predictions, and that ended quite well for us, didn’t it? 😀


To be fair to Vieira, he does say “in 2004” in the video interview; he is just transcribed incorrectly on the FA website.

He does get it wrong with “David Seaman”, though.

steve webster

Worst moments? Swindon, Leeds (x2), Valencia,York, Wrexham, Zaragoza, galatasary and Barcelona. Luckily plenty of good ones too!

steve webster

I forgot Ipswich and Luton!!!

Charleston Gooner

One of my worst memories (not the worst though) was the defeat to Birmingham in the league cup final. Horrible way to lose any game and completely derailed out entire season to follow..

Gooner til the end

Neil Mellor was reporting for Sky Soccer Saturday from one of the lower league grounds, around 2 weeks ago

Gooner til the end

Any defeat to Chelsea hurts the most. I hate that scum passionately


steve – dont forget walsall 83….

vieira's jumbled memory

Whatever paddy is smoking up there. What with his legendary memory loss?

Petit's Handbag

My worst memory is seeing my ex girlfriend walk in with only an Arsenal jersey on trying to get me into bed with her, than riding her from behind….sounds ok, but all I could see was “KANU 25”.
Could never look at the big guy the same way


Losing fabregas 🙁

Dial square

Bergkamp missing a penalty, then Giggs scoring after dribbling past our whole defence a minute later at Villa park, only ten feet in front of me – ouch!!!! Seemed like only a minute, probably longer though.


My worst memory is turning down a ticket to THAT Liverpool game in the unbeaten season cos I was trying to be “sensible” with my money!

eboue's father

Gallas’s hair, every time i see it…..rank!!!


The baca game in paris was the most painful to me cuz it was on my birthday and i refused to take any gift from anyone cuz i wanted Arsenal to hand me the best birthday gift ever. No thanks to the ref, Almunia & Belleti for guving the worst birthday ever. I cried n lost appetite for couple of days. The Manure game ending the invicible and the Bayern game at higbury where TH14 had given us a goal & we need one more to qualify, we played Bayern like we were playing some randomly picked 11 lads from… Read more »


The loss to Birmingham in the League Cup Final. I was dejected, demented, demoralized; infact any ‘d’ word you could find for me. I couldn’t eat well ‘cuz it made our wait for a silverware in many years continue.;->


I was at that game sitting in the Kop with a Liverpool friend. Try sitting there with everyone going mental around you and staring at you wondering why your head is in your hands. I share Paddy’s pain.


The biggest shock is that he still remembers mell or. I would have thought he might think of giggs 99 fa cup


i’ve got a couple.

1) vs manure to end the unbeaten run. My friends in uni wanted to burn my jersey.

2) carling cup final vs birmingham. Thought we are finally ending d drought. was so dejected i lost my wallet on my way to the office after d match.

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