Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger praised Santi Cazorla, saying the Spaniard was in the form of his life.
Santi Cazorla was the chief architect for Arsenal’s win against Manchester City, and he received all round praise for his efforts both in attack and in defence.
“He is a very talented football player,” Wenger told the press conference before the FA Cup game against Brighton. “Since he has played centrally he has taken [his game to] another dimension, because on the flank he was a bit more exposed to things where he was not at his best.
“In the middle of the park, he gets you out of situations where you are under pressure. He is always technically perfect and in our recent games he has certainly been in the best form of his career.”
“Santi is happy to play, every day he is happy to be with the ball and to go out there. He is the perfect example for every young player to follow.”
Santi Cazorla was also looking forward to defending the FA Cup once again. He said, “It’s a big, big trophy for all the teams here, and in Spain the Copa del Rey is the same. I have very good memories [of last season’s final] and it was a very good moment for me and for the team. It was my first trophy with the club and I want to get another one this year.
“I think [the free-kick against Hull] was very important because we were losing 2-0 and I could help the team. At half-time it’s different when you get a goal back.”
“I don’t think [there is more pressure this year],” he continued. “We want to win this competition again and this is a very good opportunity for us. We need to play against Brighton away and we can repeat this year with another trophy for the fans and the club.”
That free kick was the start of a great comeback and Santi talked about what Wenger told him before the match.
“Of course I can still remember the free- kick. Before the match, the boss had told us that their goalkeeper always took a step towards the wall when facing free-kicks, so we’d have a good chance of scoring on the other side. So when I got the free-kick, I saw that side was open and figured I’d trust in the boss! Luckily, their goalkeeper did take a step to the side, so when he reacted he didn’t have time to save it.”