Thursday, January 20, 2011
What has happened to Andrei Arshavin?
By 1970’s Gooner
I was very excited when we finally signed Arshavin. We needed a player of his type. A winger who could run at defences at speed but with the experience and nous to out fox them and more importantly score the goals.
And he did not disappoint. He has until the start of this season been terrorizing defenders putting in some scintillating performances, notably against Liverpool.
But alas all this has somehow now filtered out. I noticed this decline in all the pre season games. He looked out of touch, out of pace and uninterested. And he has carried on almost like this in the league and Cup games.
The game at Leeds is the latest example. The Leeds grounds men are still trying to retrieve that ball he hit out of the ground…
I was wondering during the pre season. Is he loosing it? Is he getting too old? He is almost 30.
I am still wondering. But I have my doubts. Players these days go way beyond this age.
It is obvious that he is unsettled somehow. His wife may have decided that it is too cold in London….He may be longing to go back to Russia (his old club Zenit are showing interest) or even in Italy (Juventus have been mentioned). Who knows.
Wenger is stuck in two minds. He needs a fit and interested Arshavin even if Walcott has now improved greatly and starts games. You do after all need two players for each position and who else can play the role of a pure winger in Arsenal’s squad?
Rosicky? Bendtner? Vela? Eboue? No contest really when Arshavin is interested.
Yet to be given a chance to recover a large part of the large transfer fee (some say 17 m) splashed out a few years ago, for a player who is near 30, may be a temptingly sound financial transaction.
Wenger is sensibly opting for the first option hoping that when the January transfer window closes in 10 days or so Arshavin will realise that he is going nowhere until the summer.
And then he will revert to his scintillating best, released form the uncertainty of making a move now but more importantly to impress his future employers that he has still got it.
And Arsenal will get the best out of him in the run in for the title.