Anfield

Next Game

Liverpool v Arsenal

Sunday, 21 December 2014, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 4 - 1 Newcastle

Saturday, 13 December 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Santi's festive treat

Ray Parlour praised hat-trick hero Santi Cazorla's 'amazing' performance in Arsenal's 5-2 win over Reading.

Last Updated: 27/12/12 at 09:36 Post Comment

Cazorla: Congratulated by Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain

Cazorla: Congratulated by Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Spain midfielder has been one of the Gunners' stand-out performers this season and his treble, along with strikes from Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott fired Arsenal to fifth in the Premier League.

And Parlour reckons with Cazorla - a summer signing from Malaga - Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere in their side, Arsenal have one of the best midfields in the top flight.

"Cazorla was amazing last night," Parlour, a former Arsenal midfielder himself, told Sky Sports News.

"This season Cazorla has been different class. You never know when players come from different countries how they're going to settle into the Premier League but some of his movement and his passing was superb against Reading. It was a joy to watch.

"You always expect something to happen when Cazorla gets on the ball. He was fantastic on Monday night - let's hope that continues for the rest of the season.

"Cazorla, Wilshere and Arteta - I can't see a better three in the league this year; they've been outstanding. I know Manchester United and Manchester City have got great midfields as well but this three will continue to improve."

The win was a welcome boost for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has come in for criticism following a poor run of form, but Parlour was keen to credit the performance as well, describing their play in the first half as their best of the season.

He also hopes the win can spark a spell to rejuvenate the London side's season.

"The next four games are all winnable for Arsenal, which is very important," said Parlour, referring to the Gunners' trip to Wigan, back-to-back home matches with West Ham and Newcastle and their New Year's Day clash at Swansea.

"Arsenal will take a lot out of last night, scoring five goals away from home. You can say Reading have been shipping goals all season but you've still got to go there and do that.

"They did it with lots of confidence and passed the ball so well in first half - the best I've seen them play in the opening 45 minutes.

"Reading weren't very good but Arsenal can only do what they can. Wenger will be very pleased with that first half performance. In the second half they dropped off the pace a little bit, although they still looked dangerous on the break."

British boys

Parlour was also encouraged by the performance of Walcott, playing as centre forward. Walcott - whose contract runs out in the summer - has been eager to take on and Parlour believes the former Southampton ace, along with several other up-and-coming British talents, can provide a bright future for the club.

"Theo Walcott has wanted to play there all season, got his chance, scored his goal and his movement off the ball was very good as well," said Parlour.

"He's scored plenty of goals this season, had plenty of assists and I hope he gets a run of games now at centre forward.

"If it was down to Wenger [Walcott's new contract] would be done straight away. January 1 isn't far away now and then Walcott will have six months left on his contract and he can start talking to other clubs. I'm hoping it can be done very quickly.

"They've got great players coming through the ranks - Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs... They are a good base of British players who can really push this club along and with the likes of Arteta, who have the experience, around them, that could really help."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

A

s for City, can't believe you omitted Sergio. He's both dreamy and lovable rolled into one humble genius. Kolarov, we've all played with a mad cap left back who simply loves two things, shooting and tackling. To leave out Martin Demichellis, shame on you.

chumps league
Who Has Got The Likeability Factor?

Footer 365

Manchester united: Marouane Fellaini was made scapegoat

Marouane Fellaini claims he was the scapegoat for Man United's poor 2013/14 season because he was David Moyes' signing.

FIFA unanimously agree to publish Michael Garcia's report

FIFA's executive committee has agreed unanimously to publish Michael Garcia's report into World Cup bidding - where legally possible.

Arsene Wenger: Alexis Sanchez chose Arsenal for our style and Champions League conistency

Arsene Wenger says it was Arsenal's consistency and style of play that convinced Alexis Sanchez to choose London over Liverpool.

Mail Box

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday...

There are an awful lot of folk claiming to share their birthdays with Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, while we have an Arsenal fan who doesn't want to be liked and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property