Thursday 23 November 2017

Cazorla rues costly mistakes for Gunners

Jim van Wijk

MIDFIELDER Santi Cazorla has urged his Arsenal team-mates to cut out the mistakes if they are to secure a positive end to a season of frustration.

The Gunners have no match this weekend after being dumped out of the FA Cup at home by npower Championship side Blackburn. Their scheduled Barclays Premier League clash against Everton was re-arranged due to the Toffees' continuing involvement in the cup.


The extra time off will at least give Arsene Wenger's beleaguered squad a bit of respite to recover from the disappointment of their 2-1 defeat at north-London rivals Tottenham, which left hopes of finishing in the top four hanging in the balance.


Arsenal's European ambitions also look all but over following a 3-1 home defeat by a rampant Bayern Munich, with the second leg at Allianz Arena on Wednesday night appearing little more than a formality.


Cazorla accepts if Arsenal are to salvage something from a campaign which has lurched from one crisis to another - including a shock Carling Cup exit on penalties at League Two Bradford - then avoiding basic errors such as those which saw them concede two goals in quick succession at Tottenham would be a good place to start.


"We have definitely had our ups and downs, there have been good times and bad times," Cazorla told Arsenal Player.


"The team has lacked a bit of consistency and sometimes we have made mistakes that have cost us dearly - removing these from our game will help us improve in the future."


Like at White Hart Lane, Arsenal were architects of their own downfall against a superior Bayern team a fortnight ago as the Germans capitalised on all-too-familiar poor defending to sweep into a 2-0 half-time lead.


However, there was a spell after Lukas Podolski's goal just before the hour mark when the Gunners did match the runaway Bundesliga leaders - and indeed but for some better finishing from Olivier Giroud in the six-yard box, Arsenal could well have levelled.


Mario Mandzukic's scrambled third away goal effectively ended the contest, although the Croatia marksman maintains Bayern must not let their guard drop.


Speaking to the official Bayern Munich club website,, Mandzukic said: "A lot of people think we're already through to the next round, but anything can happen in football.


"Provided we play the way we did in London we need have no worries, but if we concede an early goal, it could be dangerous."


Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna has missed the last two games because of a knee problem, which may also rule him out of the trip to Germany.


The France international's current deal expires in the summer of 2014 and it has been reported the 30-year-old could be on his way out of the club after talks over a possible extension broke down.


Last month, Wenger suggested there had been not been any "negative vibe" from the player's camp, and Press Association Sport understands negotiations will continue.


Sagna, though, is not a free agent this summer, meaning any move away - with Paris St Germain said to be ready to offer a £10million deal - would have to be sanctioned by the manager.


Wenger is keen to reinforce his squad, supplemented by offloading fringe players rather than those viewed as key to future plans.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport