By Rob Kelly

Strikers take longer to settle into a new team because of the relative lack of time they have on the ball, according to Arsène Wenger.

Santi Cazorla earned a host of plaudits on his Premier League debut against Sunderland last Saturday after delivering an eye-catching performance from midfield.

While Wenger was delighted with the Spaniard, he says midfielders will naturally have more possession than forwards and this helps them to adapt quicker.

“I believe [Cazorla] convinced everybody that he is an Arsenal player from the first game on,” he told Arsenal Player.

“It is bit easier in midfield because you touch the ball more and maybe coordination with the other players is less important than when you play up front, because the players in midfield need to know your runs.

“But I believe a team goes through its strong point and we have seen that straight away with Cazorla - he is a strong point in our team.”

Wenger was disappointed not to beat Sunderland on the opening day, and admits his side were not at their physical peak for the match.

“We were a bit below on all the speed work, on our change of pace work,” he said. “That's normal with the European Championship [during the summer], it takes you just a fraction longer than a normal six weeks of preparation.

“We were serious, we defended well and we gave the impression that we are a team. We lacked a little bit of sharpness that could have allowed us to make the difference.

“On chances created I still think that's the kind of game we want to win 1-0. Having said that, even when you're sharp, Sunderland and the way they play would be a problem for anybody.

“They defend so well, they defend so deep and they are a difficult team to play against.”

Watch the full interview with the boss on Arsenal Player.

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24 Aug 2012