Santi Cazorla feels the reason for the massive gap between themselves and Premier League Champions Manchester United has come down to consistency, but their form of late has proven they are capable of competing with England’s elite.
Robin van Persie left last summer, along with Alex Song, essentially Arsenal’s two best players for the 2011/12 season and despite some recruiting prior to the start of the campaign, the Gunners failed to fire.
The likes of Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla have taken time to gel, but now are settled in England and have helped Arsene Wenger’s side develop a eight game unbeaten run in all competitions, six of which have been wins.
The Spaniard feels next season they will compete on all levels for every cup and end their frustrating eight year trophy-less spell.
He told Arsenal Player:
What I’ve taken from this year is that as a team we weren’t very consistent for half of the season, which cost us in terms of reaching the higher positions in the league.
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Now we’re a lot more consistent and that’s the form we were lacking before – being consistent and getting the three points whenever we could. We’re a long way off the top because of this lack of form, even though it was only for half the season.
The aim is to win trophies.
This year we haven’t been able to, for various reasons. We got far in both the FA Cup and the League Cup but it wasn’t to be. I hope next year will be another story. We want to be fighting for the Premier League and all the tournaments we enter. We’re a great team and I’m sure we will.
Cazorla has enjoyed a fruitful first season in England after his summer move from Malaga last year, scoring twelve goals in the League. He has scored some stunner but has highlighted his first derby goal against rivals Spurs as his favourite moment of the season. He said:
There are so many [highlights], but if you put me on the spot I’d say my first derby at home against Tottenham.
The week leading up to the game I didn’t really know what the derby meant here but in the street and even at training all the people who work for the Club were saying ‘you have to beat Tottenham, it’s a massive rivalry, it’s huge!’
I didn’t realise it was such a big deal! Luckily, we won at home [5-2] in a great game for the fans. I was able to score in my first derby and I’ll always remember that day.
The 28-year-old has turned out to be a massive signing for Wenger’s side adapting well to a central role as well as on the left wing. His ambidexterity has been a source of some brilliant goals and assists, while his fitness levels have been brilliant -resulting in the little Spaniard has maintaining fitness for the majority of the season.
His experience and class will be essential for our quest for silverware, and coupled with some key signings this summer, next season looks a lot more promising.