After a sensational performance from Santi Cazorla sitting deeper in midfield on the weekend it’s fair to say he looked quite accomplished in that role and not for the first time this season; Galatasaray at home springs to mind. With Mesut Ozil best utilised in the No. 10 role there really could be a great use for Santi Cazorla in a more withdrawn role.
Whether it’s a long term solution I’m unsure because I think Arteta is our most trustworthy option there, I’m curious to see the skipper play there with a proper DM like Coquelin for instance, I believe he could dictate our game well for us. Let’s not forget our talented British duo of Wilshere & Ramsey, our best in that role but with the amount of injuries we gain per season I’m sure all these players will always get a fair crack in that role at some point during the campaign.
The growing amount of options hopefully now means we don’t have to see the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain have to fill the role for example. As Santi is now in his 30’s I think bringing him back could be a wise solution for all parties concerned.
The attributes that allow him to be efficient in this position is his blatant ability to wriggle out of tight situations under pressure in a role where a player faces an awful amount of it, his tremendous capabilities on both feet that allow him to work constructively in whichever direction he’s facing, his passing range (how he loves to switch play!) and of course his all-round intelligence. With Mesut just ahead of him it brings great fluency to our game in the middle of the park.
It’s not necessarily an option for every game of course as some games we’d require a more disciplined showing and our anchor midfield options being Coquelin and Flamini means we’re not particularly blessed with much height in the middle but with Wilshere easing his way back, Ramsey, Arteta and Diaby out we may require Santi’s services in that role over the coming month or more knowing us.
It’s obvious to all of us that his best position remains the No. 10 role but his form has dipped over the last month and I think it’s relative to Mesut Ozil’s return to the team as they both occupy similar spaces on the field. As beautiful as it is to have all our creative geniuses on the pitch together sometimes it can hinder their performances as they all get in each other’s way and all want to come to the ball which doesn’t help them express the vision they’re blessed with.
Can Santi Cazorla play deep? Is it a long term option for us as well as for the player himself?