It would be wrong to ignore his sublime finish in the recent game against Barcelona, but seeing the diminutive forward on the Arsenal team sheet no longer appeals to me like it once did.
The press today bring us quotes from the Russian that suggest his time at the Emirates may be running out, and even when I discovered that he had racked up a fair few assists this season, I still feel maybe it might be time for a fresh start.
Arshavin adapted to life in England quickly and that night at Anfield soon after his arrival when he scored all 4 Arsenal goals in that thrilling game made us all pay attention, it is however fair to say that since then he has never hit those heights again. These days he appears lack-lustre and although he is enjoying his best season yet assist wise he doesn’t appear the same threat that he once did, whether it is that defenders are just working out his game and he has become predictable or just that something isn’t clicking for him, he simply doesn’t seem at ease.
He has recently taken a bit of a swipe at Arsene Wenger, in an interview with the the Daily Express he has said:
“I do not know why I wasn’t in the starting line-up for the match in Barcelona, you should ask the manager about it….From my point of view only one team was playing football at the Nou Camp – and it was Barca.”
Quite why Arshavin would criticise the management and the team when he himself is hardly in the form of his life seems strange to me. Despite scoring against Barcelona in the first leg, I see no reason why the Russian should have been in the team for the return leg, but clearly the forward would disagree. In the same interview he talks of his frustration during the Carling Cup final, another game in which his performance was criticised by numerous parties and where he again was substituted before the end, he said the following:
“I was substituted in the second half so after the game was over, I went straight to the dressing room, oblivious to ceremonies”.
Normally when players shoot right down the tunnel after a difficult defeat it is understandable, but to not remain to collect the losers medal does strike me as pretty strange, the rest of this team were present for the ceremony.
Either way it would appear that Arshavin is not entirely happy at the Emirates and with numerous reports in recent weeks linking him with Inter Milan as well as former club Zenit St Petersburg, I would suggest his future at the Gunners might be drawing to a close and I am not sure how much they will really miss him.
Now Arsene Wenger just needs to get rid of Rosicky as well and he can think about building a half decent midfield again!
For more of my thoughts and stories, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe!
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