Monthly Archives: January 2018

The story of Santi Cazorla is One that is Tinged with Sadness in Every Regard.

Image result for cazorla injury

It is hard to see a player fall time and time again into the depressing cycle of injury, rehabilitation, depression and injury once again. For 32 year old Spanish international, Santi Cazorla, the year 2017 would be one he will never want to remember as it was the beginning of potentially, the end of his footballing career.

The former Malaga man has been out injured since October 2016 as he has suffered a series of nasty injuries. Cazorla is a player that is much loved at the club and even fans if other clubs as his ability, cheerful nature and overall commitment to the cause of the Arsenal project.

News emerged that the player has undergone his 10th surgery on his ankle, that may probably mean he will also miss the whole of this year due to injury. On his day, Cazorla is one of the best central midfielders in the world as his skill set of vision, creativity, passing and finishing are up there with the very best. He has had to graft skin from his arm to add to his feet, as he lost 8cm due to a gangrene infection, but his spirit is what is keeping hope alive that one day, we would still see this brilliant footballer play the football in the way only he can do.

The ambidextrous footballer is one of the players that makes Arsenal tick, as he offers balance to the middle of the park that has been missing since his absence. While the club has since moved on in his absence, what he brings to the pitch is one that the club can still benefit from as his leadership, experience and ability are needed to lead the current crop of players to a new era.

The player was emotional in an interview he had last year, as he spoke of the torment of not playing, the agony of rehabilitation and the feeling that everything he does to get back to the pitch will still end up on the treatment table. Arsenal have not been overly blessed with the avoidance of these kind of scenarios which has led to questions about the club’s medical department.

The likes of Wilshere and Abou Diaby at one point or the other have always struggled to maintain permanent fitness, which fans hope don’t happen to Cazorla. Arsenal fans have taken to the player who joined in the summer of 2012, as his displays were unexpected of a player that was not on the radar of the big clubs.

His contract at Arsenal expires this summer, but one can’t begrudge the Arsenal hierarchy if they don’t want to offer him new terms. Afterall, the club have paid his wages despite not playing for about 15 months, which in itself is a commendable fact in this world of impatient club owners and administrators. If he leaves Arsenal, he will leave as a player that gave so much, but was betrayed by his own body.

If his latest return doesn’t happen and he suffers a setback, he should be thinking of retirement. He will be missed, but as a wise man once said, “The best things in life are on the other side of fear”. It would be sad to see him go out like that.

Guest post by Mark Weasley from Retro Football News


Arsenal Delegation in Germany to Sign Aubameyang

So the news dominating the rounds yesterday was that Arsenal’s Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis, new Head of Recruitment, Sven Mislintat and new transfer negotiator, Huss Fahmy, were seen in Dortmund airport, ahead of what we believe is to secure the services of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. As you’d expect from any team with a player on the verge of an imminent departure, the BVB gaffer left Aubameyang out of the team that drew with Hertha Berlin. The Gabonese forward has been criticized in certain corners with Jupp Heynckes advising the Gunners to think twice before signing Auba.

I don’t see what the fuss is all about though. Players move from clubs to clubs all the time. It’s as normal as England losing on penalty shootouts. Aubameyang isn’t the first bloke to submit a transfer request to leave his club and he certainly wouldn’t be the last. Dortmund should be grateful for the insane amount of goals he gave them, and this time, they are not losing their main striker for cheap, like how they lost Robert Lewandoswki to Bayern. A fee of around 60 million Euros has been reported as the potential transfer fee and they can certainly use it to find a suitable replacement.

Besides, Arsenal can do with a player with such a prolific goalscoring record like Aubameyang. Losing a talismanic player like Alexis Sanchez is no mean feat, especially with the Gunners still in contention to challenge for the Carabao Cup and Europa League, but getting Aubameyang will go a long way to soften that blow. If he can pick up where he left off at Dortmund, it will be beneficial to everyone associated with the club.

The Gabonese forward is set to leave Dortmund after scoring 141 goals in 212 appearances over four-and-a-half years. He had already banged in 21 goals in 23 games for the club, which is such an amazing scoring record. Prior to this campaign, he scored 40 goals last season and 39 goals the season before that.

Let’s just hope he emulates this form in his new club


Bonus Reading: Why Do Arsenal want Aubameyang, What can he offer and how risky is it?

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Monreal on Fire as Arsenal Blitz Crystal Palace

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference (via

Before yesterday’s game, the back pages were filled with updates on the transfer saga involving Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s swap deal and there was the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bit, as Dortmund left him out of their squad that drew 1-1 with Hertha Berlin before confirming that the Gunners had made a formal enquiry for their player.

However, there was the business of football to take care of with Roy Hodgson’s side coming to the Emirates on the back of just one defeat in 12 games, unlike their hosts, that had looked out of sorts in recent weeks. Many also wondered whether it was going to be a back three or back four, but a shake up was needed from that sorry outing at Bournemouth and the boss responded with fielding a 4-2-3-1 setup with some injury returnees like Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil breathing some new life into the team. Aaron Ramsey was ill so it was a first start since November for Mohamed Elneny, a player that has been on the fringes for the most part of his Arsenal career. Danny Welbeck had some sort of injury but nobody complained.

With the Gunners failing to record a victory in their last three league games, an early goal would have gone a long way to settle the nerves and it arrived when Monreal reacted the quickest to a corner to put the home side ahead. That was his third goal in his many games for the club and it’s really nice knowing that he can chip in with the goals when needed. Monreal turned from scorer to provider when he was at the end of a good team move before squaring play for Alex Iwobi that side-footed the ball home. Iwobi has been in very poor form in recent weeks so it was good seeing him get one for himself and the team.

Two goals quickly became three when Monreal…, yes, Monreal provided another cut back that was bundled into the goal by the returning captain, Koscielny, but the Gunners saved the best for last when Jack Wilshere and Ozil combined brilliantly and mesmerized the Palace defense before Ozil found Alexandre Lacazette with a neat back heeled threaded pass that allowed the Frenchman end his nine game goal drought to make it four.

In 22 minutes, the Gunners ran riot past Crystal Palace and it was great to see how the lads controlled the game with ease. In the second 45, the home side took their foot off the pedal but Iwobi spurned a chance to make it five when a square pass to an unmarked Lacazette would have been the better option. Petr Cech’s search for his 200th Premier League clean sheet had to move to the next game as Luka Milivojevic fired the ball into the net after some defensive lapses but at 4-1 it was a very comprehensive victory for the side.

The only downside to the game was seeing Monreal substituted for what we believe was a ‘tight hamstring’ and with Chelsea coming to town on Wednesday, one can only hope that he will be fit enough for the duel. There was also one for the stats boys, as Lacazette’s goal was the 500th scored by a Frenchman for the Gunners. To think about half of it was scored by Thierry Henry. What a legend.

The feel good mood is back and the papers are reporting that Mkhitaryan is set for his medicals to complete the move to North London. I can only hope that him and Aubameyang will be available for selection against Chelsea in mid-week.


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