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Dec 22, 2012

Cazorla: England needs winter break

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has called on English football chiefs to introduce a winter break and follow the rest of Europe by not playing over the Christmas period.

• Blog: Bayern a fantastic test

The Premier League takes centre-stage as the only major football league to play over the festive season, with the hectic schedule of games in the English top division set to draw huge television audiences around the world in the coming days.

However, Cazorla suggests the quality of the Premier League product will take a hit as teams try to squeeze in a quartet of the games over the next few days, with the Spaniard's first Christmas in English football coming as something of a culture shock.

"I do think a winter break is beneficial because you are able to disconnect mentally, psychologically," he told the Arsenal website. "There are times when you become saturated with games, you are unclear about things. The winter break, that happens in Spain and it makes you feel more relaxed mentally.

"I think that the Premier League overall is already tough with regards to the number of matches that you have to play in a row, so I do not think the month of December is very different from the rest of the months."

Cazorla has been spared a traditional Premier League footballer's Christmas as Arsenal's game against West Ham has been postponed for safety reasons due to a transport strike in London, so the former Malaga star is planning to make the most of his unexpected break.

"I will celebrate with my family, we don't do huge parties," he said. "Spaniards are very family oriented. We like to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home with the family, having dinner, and spend the night with your family talking and enjoy being in their company."

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed the revolution he sparked at the club will serve as his lasting legacy when his historic reign as manager comes to an end.

Wenger has come under fire from a variety of sources as he has failed to end Arsenal's seven-year wait for a trophy, but he believes the finest achievements of his time at the north London club are not just about success on the field.

"When I arrived, the club was at Highbury with no training ground and only 80 employees," he said. "Today we have nearly 500 employees, play in a great stadium and have a big training centre and we are a club known throughout the world.

"Our legacy will be our style of play, a way to see football, a way to see the development of the game and overall a happy attitude towards the game. This club has grown since I arrived and when you compare where the club is today from then, you can see that."

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