Four areas Cazorla struggled against France - Should Wenger be worried?

Santi Cazorla

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla struggled as Spain fell to a 1-0 defeat to France.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla struggled against France last night so much so that he had his worst game of the season in four areas.

Discounting the draw at Everton, where he only featured for 16 minutes, Cazorla’s stats against France dipped in four key areas compared to his performances for Arsenal already this season.

  MatchMatchdayTeamPosPassing Accuracy (%)TouchesWon ContestTotal PassMins
Santiago Cazorla Leicester vs Arsenal 03 Arsenal MF 91.04 90 3 67 77
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal vs Crystal Palace 01 Arsenal MF 88.46 107 5 78 90

Cazorla’s passing accuracy was 84% against the French which is lower than against Leicester City or Crystal Palace and the number of passes he played (57) was also down against his Premier League performances this season.

The number of passes he played last night was surprising considering what a possession based side the Spanish are under Vicente Del Bosque. It can be explained by the fact he was slightly wider.

That’s further supported by the fact the number of touches he had was significantly down on his Arsenal performances this season.

Cazorla is a player who thrives when he’s able to get involved in the play centrally, making himself open and available for possession before turning and looking for runs he can feed to create chances.

As he was forced into a slightly wider area, you could expect him to have taken on the French defence a little more however the effectiveness of his Arsenal teammate Mathieu Debuchy at right-back, forced him into central positions.

He attempted just two dribbles which is down on the number he managed against Leicester or Palace, although both of those sides have lower quality defences when compared with Spain.

Arsene Wenger won’t be too worried because it’s only the start of the season and the way Arsenal play compared with the way Spain ask Cazorla to play is slightly different.

The team around him are also different so it’s only natural to expect different stats.

The trick for Cazorla will be to make sure he maintains his effectiveness when he’s back in the Arsenal side following the international break and that he doesn’t allow his confidence to dip.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch