Belfast Telegraph

Cazorla makes case for the defence

Arsenal must tighten up their defence if they are to mount a serious challenge for the Barclays Premier League title, according to Santi Cazorla.

The Gunners were one of the form teams in 2015, securing automatic qualification for the Champions League by finishing third and then retaining the FA Cup after beating Aston Villa at Wembley.

There is no doubt Arsene Wenger's squad have the firepower to challenge the best, with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Spanish midfielder Cazorla feeding a formidable frontline of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott.

However Cazorla, who revelled in a number 10 role towards the end of the campaign, believes Arsenal's title hopes in 2016 will rest on a solid rearguard action.

"One of the key areas we have to focus on next season is being a very strong defensive team," he said. "If we have got those things under control our offence is already good enough.

"We need to make sure that the positioning of our backline is strong and always stays that way.

"Last season we lost so many points against small teams at home, and if we want to win the league we can't lose those points."

Arsenal have been linked with a summer move for Chelsea's veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Porto forward Jackson Martinez, rated at around £25million, is another reported target.

Despite having confidence in the current firepower at their disposal, Cazorla would welcome some more.

"It is a tough decision and down to Mr Wenger to make these decisions. My only hope is that whoever is chosen will be somebody who can pump up the level of the team," the Spaniard said, quoted in the London Evening Standard.

"When it comes to a position or who in particular we might need, somebody in Theo Walcott's area. He is not necessarily a true, true striker so we might need somebody in his area."


From Belfast Telegraph