Anyone who watched the Arsenal v Liverpool and knew the next game was home to saints will understand why 95,000 people net transferred in Cazorla for this game week. As I was at the pub watching United eventually hammer Wigan my phone kept updating the score at the Emirates and everytime I looked expectantly at the phone for the name Cazorla.
It didn’t come until an assist for, I think, the final goal. With RVP on the bench and my captain there was still the possibilty as United went ahead that my vice captain could be upgraded to captain with the expected assist and goal haul. Neither came in the end and it was double disappointment. The question keep coming to me. How could someone who was miles ahead of every Arsenal midifieider in shots, chances created, game involvement passes etc produce 1 assist in a 6 goal mauling. Out of 10 opportunities to get points (2 OGs) he only was involved in 1, unbelievable!
So lets delve in to the stats to see what was different in game week 3 vs game week 4 which may uncover the problem. Looking at the game, firstly, the difference in lineups were Gervinho for Giroud and Coquelin for the injured Diaby. In the game against Liverpool Cazorla seemed continually high up the pitch receiving the ball in the gaps between Liverpools defence and midfield. This was greatly assisted as Sahin didnt seem to have a clue as a defensive midfielder in the Liverpool system and it was no surprise he was dropped for the Sunderland game. Looking at the Saints game he seemed to drop back in to midfield as the forward runs were dominated by Gervinho. However you would expect there to be some telling reasons in the stats why he was not as successful.
On the face of it in his performance there was no difference in a number of crucial areas . He received as many touches of the ball overall, got more passes in the final third and far more touches in the penalty area. He also created double the chances in this game but unfortunately they just weren’t converted. His average position was also slightly better in the Saints game vs the Liverpool game.
The main difference between the Liverpool game and the Saints game was the number of shots of 4 vs 1 . However in both cases there was only 1 in the box. In the Liverpool game he scored through a Reina mistake. That didst happen with the 1 penalty box shot in the Saints game. I can only surmise that the reason was that it seemed wasteful shooting outside the box in a game Arsenal dominated so much and that there were better options in setting up others . Therefore the increase in chances created.
This unfortunately leads me to Cazorlas main deficiency to scoring goals and the reason why really I should have never put him in my team. Although he has good fixtures long term its City and Chelsea next. He was a captain option in case RVP didn’t play. If you look at the 2 best goal scoring midfielders of Bale and Dempsey they both shoot inside the box by a far higher percentage even though Cazorla is far better in other stats.
So it should have come as no surprise to me that there was no Cazorla avalanche of goals. in my next piece I will look at a comparison between him and Hazard and how I should solve my game week 5 dilemma.