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Jul 9, 2013

Mentality has changed, Cazorla says

Santi Cazorla has admitted that Arsenal had a "confidence" issue last season - but feels that their strong run-in as well as a good summer can finally consign such problems to past.

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Speaking in the latest issue of Arsenal: The Official Magazine, Cazorla acknowledged that the period between October and February had been hugely difficult for the club but said a subsequent 14-game unbeaten run had brought a change.

"Every team in the league has a complicated period at some point and their level drops," the Spaniard said. "When the team doesn't win and we don't get the results we want, the collective confidence does drop a little and that's natural. Now, we've put in a spectacular run-in and you can see the difference in mentality.

"We have great players. I'm sure next season we'll be a better team and we'll improve. There are young players. It's clear this squad has plenty of potential to improve. Next season, we hope we can be even better and win trophies and the supporters can enjoy it. That's what Arsenal really wants. I hope I can keep developing too."

Reflecting on his own debut season, in which he was named the club's player of the year, Cazorla highlighted his strike in the 5-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates as his favourite moment.

"I think the most beautiful goal was away to West Ham but the one that stays with me the most was against Tottenham at home," he said. "My first derby, a massive game and a match to remember for me.

"It's because of the feeling of it. I didn't realise there was that much of a rivalry before I came. To experience it for the first time, to win it in front of our fans and to score a goal, it stays with me.

"I'm very happy with my first season. It's been very positive, a great experience. The relationship with the crowd has, from the first minute, been spectacular. Every player wants that.

"I'm feeling very at home in the team. They've given me responsibility and hopefully that can continue and we get better."

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