There ain’t gonna be no santi claws this year. Or at least that’s what the doctor feared for Señor Cazorla at one point with amputation considered.
The tribulations of the mercurial Spaniard are laid bare, along with the skin-grafted ankle, in Marca. The upshot of it is that Cazorla is expected to return after Christmas, in line with previous comments from Arsène. Is he the panacea, the cure to all our ills?
No, but a significant step in the right direction. Santi cannot shore up the defence, nor can he improve Granit Xhaka’s defensive performance. It’s a situation where not playing enhances your reputation.
On his next birthday, he will be 33 which is, by coincidence, the number of games he has played in the past 2½ seasons. Presumably his initial return will be in the Europa League side, assuming we qualify for the last sixteen. From there, the Premier League follows but like Jack Wilshere, a time on the bench will surely follow?
What impact this horrific spell of injuries has on his career will unfold over the course of the remainder of the season. Tomas Rosicky claimed that his time on the sidelines left his footballing age a couple of seasons behind his physical age; is the same true of Santi? Will we see 30-year-old wizard return or a shadow of that player?
Just seeing him return is enough for the moment.
Some Foxy Moves
Alexis Sanchez finds himself the focus of attention this weekend with Sunday’s trip to the Etihad a reminder of what might have been. Does the summer grate for him, knowing what might have been? It’s never discussed publicly; diplomacy is the order of the day when PR-speak kicks in. He wouldn’t be human without a wistful moment though.
Arsène claims the Chilean wasn’t close to leaving in the summer. Define the word ‘close’ is the answer. Were we close to signing David Silva in 2005 as is being claimed? Who knows and more to the point, does he even make the ‘nearly signed XI’? A squad player, I think. Certainly, the 19-year-old Silva is; the 31-year-old Silva walks into our starting line-up.
Wenger was right when he refused to doubt Alexis’ effort or motivation. That is one thing which is clear, despite the criticism he attracts for wearing his heart on his sleeve. How he fits into the City squad is interesting to see. Such is their array of attacking talent, it’s hard to believe his arrival isn’t the signal for a couple of departures.
Silva and Aguero are the most obvious two, if last summer’s gossip bears any semblance to the truth. Should Arsenal look at either? The former if Mesut Özil is also gone, possibly, but the latter? Is it a no-brainer? I think so but whether City would sell to us or if he would join is the issue. He and Lacazette as a strike force is certainly mouth-watering. Pie in the sky, but we can dream, can’t we?
Power to the People!
Which Alexis will we see tomorrow? Arsène will include him and I think Danny Welbeck’s injury saves Özil’s place. Otherwise a repeat of the performance at Chelsea is surely the order of the day. Can we go toe-to-toe? Last season’s FA Cup semi-final ought to inspire confidence but City’s form at the moment, is far better than April.
Ours is not dissimilar; winning but unconvincingly so. Do we have to win tomorrow? The answer is no; a point is a good result. In the grand scheme of things, it’s one more than we expect although fair play to the 65% of respondents to a survey on the club site who think we won’t lose. Mad, but keep the faith.
Finally, the Jimi Hendrix themed Jukebox Classics is on Dad’s Jukebox right now. Click here for an outstanding playlist.