A few weeks ago, Santi Cazorla revealed that Unai Emery had called to chat about how he could improve Arsenal.
Despite not knowing each other the two chatted about the state of play at London Colney with the 33-year-old, who’d just been released by the Gunners, giving his opinion on areas his compatriot might want to focus.
Understandably, Cazorla was coy on the details of the conversation, but in a new interview with the BBC’s Football Focus, he’s explained why everyone at the Emirates needs to be patient while the new head coach implements his ideas.
“I think it’s a club that can improve quite a few things,” the Villarreal midfielder said.
“I gave him [Emery] all the information I could to try and help him out during his period of settling in and I think he’s very happy and I think he’s a great manager for Arsenal.
“But everyone really does have to be patient, when you think you’ve had the same manager for 23 years, a manager who became a real symbol for the club on a worldwide scale and the fans have to show a little patience with Unai, and the team because there has been a lot of changes.
“I believe that if they do things in the right manner, Arsenal have everything required to be a massive club.
“I’m sure that in the coming seasons Arsenal will be making that step up in quality which will hopefully enable them to be on a level playing field and able to fight for the title and other big trophies.”
Santi also suggested that Arsenal lacked belief in the final years of Arsene Wenger’s time in charge and that, ultimately, played a role in their failure to challenge for the title. The good news, is that he firmly believes the new man can change that.
“We needed to have made that leap to try and battle it out for the title. There were seasons where you felt like we were in with a shout but then through various circumstances it wasn’t to be,” he said.
“But I think it’s all about having that self-belief, that right mentality. To say ‘We believe in this team, we know we have a great squad and we can go toe to toe with the big English clubs.’
“I believe that they will do that and for sure they will keep on improving in the future. They are going to have a great season, they have a great team and I wish them all the best.”
Always great to hear from Santi and amazing to see that he’s playing regularly back in Spain.