Our new boys have been enjoying themselves recently – goals for Podolski and Cazorla against Liverpool, along with the latter scoring and assisting for Spain the other day. They’ve also been giving plenty of interviews as the media swamp Arsenal’s summer signings. If you have Arsenal Player, Giroud’s interview is worth taking a look at.
He says that Wenger has given him the freedom to do what he wants on the pitch. He indicated that Wenger’s philosophy is to control the game, and along with Cazorla’s desire to see lots of the ball, it makes sense to put him behind the striker. Arseblog have a great post showing how close the average positions of Giroud and Santi are during the Liverpool game, check it out here. In a way, Cazorla’s position is a lot less definite than a lot of Gooners thought. He’s not just at the top of our three man midfield – he floats around to support the striker and press high up the pitch. In the Liverpool game, Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain were dropping right back alongside Arteta and Diaby to form a bank of four when we defended. At long last, we seem to be playing a more fluid formation which could be a 4-4-1-1, 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or something inbetween.
Santi also mentioned that Arteta has been a great influence, and has taught him that English football is faster but actually less tactical than in Spain. We saw in the last match that the speed of Arsenal’s play completely bamboozled Liverpool, and if we can keep it up then the style of Arsenal’s football will be a lot more like it was several years ago, in the Fabregas/Hleb era.
On learning English, Cazorla told El Pais that he is attending the same classes as Cesc did. He said he is putting a lot of emphasis on learning the language because it will be important, and he will go to two classes a week, depending on where he is. I’m assuming he’ll miss a few classes in the coming weeks as we have a pretty busy schedule with 7 matches in about 3 weeks.
On the other hand, Giroud’s interview on FIFA’s official website is slightly less encouraging – he said he’s freezing up when he gets in front of the goal.
“I’ve been freezing up a little bit just when I’ve been about to pull trigger and that’s exactly what happened in my first few matches for France. I’m not too worried about it, because I’ve been scoring in training and I feel pretty comfortable being a part of this team.
“I just need to not think about things too much, so that I feel as relaxed as possible when the time comes to stick the ball in the net.
“I really want to improve my English and speak fluently, without having to think about what I’m about to say.
“Being at Arsenal will help me with my development, and with a manager like Arsene Wenger in charge, I’m definitely in good hands.”
Although that is a bit of a worry, Olivier is nowhere near the place Torres was in when he was struggling to score. It’s only been three games – it took even longer for the legendary Thierry Henry who, as has been heavily discussed by Gooners on Twitter, scored his first goal against Southampton (who we play in 4 days).
A few missed chances by Giroud isn’t really a worry for me. I’m more concerned by reports that Diaby could be injured, yet again. Deschamps has sent him back to Arsenal and said the following:
“Diaby took a bad shot and he has muscular discomfort. He is not free in his movements. Today he does not train.”