Monreal eyes Arsenal minutes to fulfil Brazil dream

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Nacho Monreal believes playing for a team of Arsenal’s stature should, on paper, help him get selected for Spain’s World Cup squad although the left-back admits he’s not playing as much as he’d like at the Emirates.

Moving from Malaga in January, the 27-year-old made a commendable ten starts for the Gunners last term only to start this season as back-up to Kieran Gibbs after commitments at the Confederations Cup meant he missed Arsenal’s pre-season preparations.

Predominantly deployed by Arsene Wenger as an auxiliary left winger to tighten up games off the bench, Monreal stressed that he’ll continue working hard in the hope of representing his country in Brazil.

“I think so,” he told Marca when asked if being in the Premier League presented more opportunities to play for Spain.

“At Malaga I improved a lot as a player in a year and a half. The move to the Premier League represented a step up in quality and I jumped at it. I think being part of a team like Arsenal helps.

“I am aware that it will not be easy [to get selected by Vicente del Bosque], partly because I’m not getting the minutes I want at Arsenal. I’ll continue fighting and working though because I really want to go to the World Cup.”

Monreal is joined in the Spanish squad during the interlull by Santi Cazorla as the reigning world champions take on South Africa and, somewhat controversially, Equatorial Guinea.

Looking forward to the chance to play in Brazil, midfielder Cazorla admitted that he was driven by a desire to put right his absence from the squad which secured the World Cup in 2010.

“World Cup 2014 has an extra meaning for me,” he told Arsenal Player.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t play in 2010 due to a back injury.

“Spain ended up lifting the trophy and not being part of that is still at the back of my mind. There’s nothing like playing in the World Cup and representing your country. I hope I can experience that and I hope the Spanish national team can bring a bit of happiness to the country.

“Spain is going through a difficult period and football is way of escape for many Spaniards. I hope we can bring home the trophy.”

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heroldgoon

I hope Monreal goes to Brazil. its basically what makes any sense about internationals. And as far as Arsenal is concerned he will definetly get his chances and i wont have my heart in my mouth then because he is just as capable as gibbo is.

Jagger

I do hope that Wenger gives him more starts. The man deserves to go to the world cup.

HitsMan

Monreal – Gibbs is a fantastic LB axis. Just remember when Andre Santos was in the side. Panic stations everywhere.

Kanonnier

kind of like when Jenks comes on as RB?

Double98

Poor old santos… 20 odd caps FOR BRAZIL…
I mean come on … how bad could he be?

and i know i know id almost have Piers Morgan playing at left back ahead of him but how the fuck did he get 20 odd caps for brazil? was he goalie or something?

Harsh

i think the style that arsenal play require a lot of work rate from the full backs. santos used to get forward very well and had a nice productivity in the attacking third, but sometimes used to get caught high up the pitch when the opposition counter-attacked. i thoight he was a very good defender, but perhaps just not cut out for the premier league, especially for a team like arsenal.

Pombi

Agreed we ask ALOT of our fullbacks and they do the job silently and brilliantly with exception of Jenkinson who is still young and working on getting there. Santos’ conditioning just didn’t cut it for what was asked of him. He got unfairly villified but as a fan who wants to see Arsenal do well I’m glad we’ve let him go. Its like Gervinho – somewhere in there was a good player, as we are seeing now with him in Italy – he just didn’t click at Arsenal. It happens.

vigoshu

Its been many years and now I am again hearing some quality arsenal players speaking about not getting enough time due to competition

Over some years our team has been characterized by a small quality squad with a lot of injuries and Wenger not having a choice but compulsion in choosing the starting 11 , but I see the times changing

Our time is now…..

van Jordan

Hope he gets playing time. I like him much because he is one of the few Arsenal players who actually tries dribble at opponents head on. It may not always work, but it does always give something extra for opponents to think about when he comes on.

Larry

Hope he gets his wish. Nacho is a very solid left-back, and does a good job in front of Gibbs late in matches. Having two players of such quality competing for a place is exactly what we need. We’re just one centre-back and a striker away from having that in every position. Hope we can keep up the great form and get them in come Januray.

The Artist formerly known as DangerMouse

The Interlull. Where time stops completely.

I've got Ö in my alphabet

I hate WC years because It always makes the January transfer window a nail-biter when you’re afraid that everyone who hasn’t played 90% of our minutes is going to want out “to get a chance to be selected”. I don’t know about the people who get paid for picking out obvious talents and putting them together but if I were coach for the Spanish nationals, I would rather want my (backup) LB to play for a top side like Arsenal, where he can improve under a great manager and coaches and train everyday with top-top-class players, than having him out… Read more »

The Artist formerly known as DangerMouse

During the Interlull I imagine poor old Arseblog and ArseblogNewsHound sitting half asleep by their phones that never ring , clocks ticking quietly in the background, nothing happening, cobwebs forming on their laptops, Every now and then one will ring the other and ask ‘ Any news your end? ‘ ‘eh , no, no , nothing to report’ comes the sad reply. ‘oh right, just thought I’d ring on the off chance’ … And back they go to sit quietly waiting ,waiting , waiting on something to happen………….Or maybe they just go on the piss for the week, thats possible… Read more »

Erwan

Monreal is class, and Gibbs is class. This is the type of cover we should have at Arsenal. And it seems as though for the first time in a long time, we’re headed in a direction where most if not all positions will have this sort of luxury. COYG.

And Monreal will make it to the World Cup – players of his quality don’t get left out. Even if they play for Spain.

vito

Err,Arteta will have a word for you.

Aaron Ramsey

We should start an Arteta Movement where all the Arsenal fans on the planet pressurise VDB to give Arteta an International Cap.

Erwan

Ha fair point I think Arteta not even being handed a cap or two over the years is a travesty. But if you look at how stacked Spain is in Arteta’s position (vs Monreal’s lets say) it becomes clearer as to why Mikel has been sidelined, as massive as he is for us. Kind of like how Gibbs should have a fair amount more of England caps under his belt given his talent were it not for Cole and Baines ahead of him. Though that will change quickly with Cole getting on in years, as we’re seeing now.

Paul

Playing for your country is nice but I have a feeling players don’t really love it that much too, just like us (club-football fans). More of a duty I guess. Except maybe playing in the tournament itself. …I would be like, “can you just select me even if Gibbs starts most of the games here? I’m still good, it’s just that the boss can’t keep rotating & rotating us for ‘those’ minutes.”

Fatgooner

I can’t wait for next weekend, when the REAL football starts up again.
Let’s hope we bounce back with a big win against Southampton

HitsMan

Oh my. This is the first comment I’ve read from you that hasn’t ended with a crude remark at Arsene Wenger being incompetent. Kudos, my friend.

arsepedant

Hope??? Southampton won’t know what hit them. We’ll score more goals on them in this one match than they’ve let in the rest of the season put together.

The Artist formerly known as DangerMouse

Fatgooner youre a lot more positive these days in fairness to you and its nice to see. Shows you appreciate the good start we made and dont complain just for the sake of it. Maybe you could have a word with ‘Peach’ who only posts after we lose. Never a sign of him/her after we win.

TGSTEL

You’ll get yours, nacho man

Arsenal Induced Heart Attack Survivor

Now, Arsependant, let’s not make the same mistake in consecutive games of underestimating mid-table teams, good sir.

arsesicky

Lets not underestimate Southampton, they’ve got an excellent defensive record and their position in the league is no joke. They look rather solid to be honest

Shahi Gooner

This is what happens when you have good competition in one position. A quality player like Nacho can’t get his games because Gibbs is so determined to keep his place. Gibbs knows a run of bad games and Nacho is back in, and visa versa.

Danny

It’s going to be tough for Monreal with Jordi Alba and the emerging Alberto Moreno competing with him.