66 touches, 0 key passes: Arsenal's Santi Cazorla fails to grasp international opportunity

Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla was largely ineffective as Spain were defeated 2-0 in Holland.

Arsenal ace Santi Cazorla failed to impress Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque as the reigning European champions crashed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Holland.

The Spaniards went into the match with a much-changed first-team XI to the side that beat Ukraine 1-0 in the Euro 2016 qualifying group encounter last weekend.

For players such as Cazorla, it was an opportunity to stake his claim for a regular birth among a real surplus of attacking wealth and heavy competition in Spanish ranks.

However, two Dutch goals within the first 20 minutes of the encounter put Guus Hiddink’s men in complete control with the Gunners ace largely ineffective in his attempts to haul his side back in to the contest.

  ShotsKey PassesTake-onsTouchesPass Success %TacklesInterceptionsMins Played
Santiago Cazorla 1 0 1 66 91.5% 0 0 75

As per the table above, Cazorla saw plenty of the ball put failed to pose the opposition any meaningful problems when venturing into the attacking third.

The former Malaga favourite managed just one attempt on goal and failed to create any chances of note for his teammates via key passes, despite taking as many as 66 touches.

Alongside Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas and later Manchester City’s David Silva, Cazorla kept possession well for the visitors, maintaining a 91.5% pass success rate, but it was all far too slow and predictable.

From a defensive perspective, the 30-year-old offered little protection to his defence and appeared quite meek in the challenge, recording no completed tackles or interceptions.

With it being just a friendly, perhaps Cazorla was leaving some in the tank and didn’t want to overcommit due to the Gunners’ huge Premier League encounter with top four rivals Liverpool this weekend.

Nevertheless, it was a performance which he will want to forget and it was of little surprise that it was he rather than former Emirates favourite Cesc Fabregas who was replaced with 15 minutes remaining.

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