Santi Cazorla: Arsenal lack 'winning mentality' and must address their self-belief, says midfielder ahead of FA Cup semi-final against Wigan

Midfielder has been disappointed with Arsenal's fall down the Premier League table and admits he is determined to secure silverware whether it is with the Gunners or elsewhere

Arsenal’s lack of a winning mentality and self-belief is to blame for their recent slump in form, midfielder Santi Cazorla has admitted ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Wigan.

The Gunners have fallen out of the Premier League title race and are in serious danger of missing out on the top four altogether following the 3-0 defeat to fifth-placed Everton on the weekend. The FA Cup is now the only option the club have of ending their barren run that has seen them go nine years without a trophy, and Cazaorla has admitted in the build-up to the Wembley match that the side have shown a lack of a champions mentality in recent weeks which has cost them dear.

“We haven’t got a winning mentality and we have to believe in ourselves (more),” said Cazorla. “Sometimes you can get used to not fighting, but we can’t do that. Arsenal is and will always be a historic football club, we have to look forward.

“We’ve been unlucky in several games. We had a lot of chances to win against Manchester United and there was Ozil’s penalty (against Bayern). We couldn’t recover after going out against Bayern in the Champions League.

 

“And the defeat against Stoke finished us. You can’t lose against Stoke if you aspire to be the next champion.”

Worryingly for Gunners’ fans, Cazorla explained that he is determined to succeed in his hunt for silverware, and if that means leaving the club to boost his chances, then he is willing to make that decision.

The north London side have already seen their best players in recent years such as Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas leave the club after long spells without success, and Cazorla could also look elsewhere in the future – but only if he does not reach that goal with his current club.

Collapsing Arsenal face test of nerve at Wembley

“I want titles and that is why I came to Arsenal,” Cazorla explained. “Every football player wants to win titles. We’ve gone many years without winning one. And if not, what I’ll look for in my next destination is to have the chance to win.”

The midfielder agreed to extend his contract last month, tying his future down until 2016 when he will be 31, and Cazorla is refusing to rule out a return to Spain if he feels that is the best option available.

“I don’t want to close doors, but nowadays I’ve a contract with Arsenal for two more seasons,” Cazorla explained. “When I’m turning 31 I’ll evaluate myself and I’ll choose the best option. In which case, I would be delighted to come back [to Spain].”

The club’s dramatic fall from the top of the Premier League has coincided with the absence of a number of key players, with long-term injuries to Theo Walcott, Mesut Özil, Jack Wilshere and the recently returned Aaron Ramsey robbing the side of their pace in attack.

Wenger will not be sacked even if he fails this season

It was the £42.5m addition of Özil last summer that renewed Arsenal supporters’ hopes that they could challenge for a first Premier League title since 2003-04, and while their season got off to a good start, it has tailed off as injuries have taken their toll.

Cazorla feels that the big-spending approach is the right one to take if Arsenal are to compete in the years to come, and wants to see more additions of the talents akin to the German playmaker in the near-future.

“Arsenal has everything to win. History, infrastructure, an incredible stadium and great players,” he told website Sport360. “But we have to improve at crucial moments and sign the best football players because if you don’t do that, you may lag behind others.

“That is what makes it different at other clubs. You’ve a good example in Manchester City who signed Fernandiho, (Alvaro) Negredo... or even Manchester United with (Robin) van Persie and (Juan) Mata.

“Arsenal know what they need next season, but it’s almost impossible to win a title if we haven’t got these kind of things.”

He also took the time to back his midfield team-mate Özil after the 25-year-old was recently criticised for his own slump in form. Cazorla feels that if the fans show confidence in his abilities, then they will reap the rewards of an “extraordinary” player.

“He has come at a difficult time,” admitted Cazorla. “When he arrived in London, he did an extraordinary job and people demanded his best level every match. But when he decreased his performance, the team suffered.

“Besides, I read a lot of articles about Özil in Spain that affected him. We need to give him confidence and to show affection.”

Read More: Wigan backed to beat Arsenal by former manager Jewell
Ramsey challenges Arsenal to win all remaining games
Suggested Topics
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
News
i100
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
News
Bey can do it: Beyoncé re-enacts Rosie the Riveter's pose
newsRosie the Riveter started out as an American wartime poster girl and has become a feminist pin-up. With Beyoncé channeling her look, Gillian Orr tells her story
Life and Style
Donna and Paul Wheatley at their wedding
healthShould emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit