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Arsenal Man of the Match: Santi Cazorla

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Two goals will, a lot of the time, get you an award like this.

this is from the Tottenham game but I love it
this is from the Tottenham game but I love it
Clive Rose

Before Arsenal played Fulham over the weekend - the day of the game, and even earlier - there was a lot of grousing about Santi Cazorla's continued appearance in the starting lineup. I think that it was fair, to an extent. He's been a little off lately, and he hasn't had the greatest season. After suffering an ankle injury a couple of months ago he hasn't reached the form of last year, when he was one Arsenal's central figures.

It was getting weird, though. People were getting upset that one of our best players was playing. Like, really upset. But while the criticisms were, to an extent, sensible, Cazorla picked a pretty good time to have a 2012-13 Santi Cazorla game, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win.

One of the best and most infuriating things about Arsene Wenger is his faith in his players. It's great when it comes good, like with Aaron Ramsey this year, or (for example) Robin van Persie when he was at the height of his powers. He'll stick with a guy through injury and through struggle if he thinks the player has the quality to help the team. It's infuriating, though, when you're plodding through Aaron Ramsey playing right wing, or Cazorla's last few games. You see a guy fail to perform again and again and want to scream what are you doing Arsene, Podolski's right there! play him! and maybe you even do it.

And then he scores two goals. And you're not really proven wrong - for all we know, Poldi would have scored four. But you at least know that the faith wasn't misplaced. And that's a pretty great thing, really.