Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka says it was nigh on impossible to stop Santi Cazorla conducting the pace of the game in our FA Cup victory over the Championship side.
Deployed in a deeper role alongside Mathieu Flamini, Wenger’s changed tactics meant that the game went through the Spaniard at all times – leaving the Boro midfield chasing shadows.
With Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez also floating in front of the little magician, one could imagine as to why the opposition were left without any obvious player to mark.
Asked by the legendary Ian Wright on if Karanka thought about placing a man closer to Cazorla, the Boro boss told BT Sport: “It’s impossible.”
“It’s impossible because it’s not only Santi, it’s Mesut and the rest. We were organised at Man City but we’re a team which likes to have the ball and when you don’t have the ball it becomes difficult.”
With Aaron Ramsey out for another two weeks and Jack Wilshere being gradually eased back into the squad, Cazorla may find himself in that deeper role for the next few games.
We have a week off before we visit Selhurst Park next Saturday, and a midfield partnership of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla should provide a solid base from which to build on.