The Arsenal and Spain midfielder, speaking at the PUMA launch of the Gunners' new kits, believes his club and country will stay true to their attractive passing stylesEXCLUSIVE
By Paul Clennam
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla insists that tiki-taka is not dead and believes that the Gunners and Spain won't be swayed from their possession philosophy by the tactical advances of rivals.
The defending world and European champions were thrashed by Netherlands before defeat to Chile ended their World Cup at the group stage in Brazil. Barcelona, meanwhile, the club most associated with the tiki-taka short passing game, ended last season without a major trophy.
But, despite the emergence of a new breed of counterattacking teams, Cazorla expects his club and country to stick with the strategy that has served them well in previous years.
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"It's worked well for Spain and it's worked well for Arsenal and, if you stick to this philosophy and you are successful, why not continue with it?"
Cazorla is ready to put his World Cup disappointment behind him by returning to pre-season club training and hopes that the more successful tournament enjoyed by German team-mates Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker will boost morale at the Emirates Stadium.
"I've recovered a little bit - it was a big disappointment at the World Cup, of course, but I'm happy to be back at Arsenal and I'm ready to start training again," he added.
"I've been in touch with a lot of my team-mates, especially those who are still involved with Germany, wishing them luck and hoping to see them soon. It's a great bonus for them and, if they come back world champions, that will be great for them and a confidence boost that hopefully they can bring to Arsenal next season too."
Arsenal have signed Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez in a bid to win their first league title since 2004, but will face stern competition from rivals such as Chelsea, who have already bought two of Cazorla's compatriots, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
"Both of them are great players," said the attacking midfielder. "I've spoken to Cesc and he's very happy, it's football - great players move clubs."
Arsenal's new home and away replica kits and a full collection of fanwear are available for fans to purchase now online at www.puma.com and in many stores worldwide. The new cup kit will launch in-store and online on August 14.