The Curious Case of Andrei Arshavin.
If anyone told me on April 30, 2009 that a day would come when an Arsenal fan wouldn’t want to see Arshavin kick a ball for Arsenal, I’d have told them to have their brain checked!
30th April was the day after the magical night at Anfield, a game in which he single-handedly took the game to Liverpool, scoring 4 beautiful goals. Most fans (including myself) were probably thinking then that our messiah had arrived.
Arshavin’s transfer to Arsenal was as protracted as they come, but we managed to beat the deadline for his signature. He joined at a time we were struggling, we were outside the top 4 and then ran the risk of missing out on UCL football.
But his arrival was like a breath of fresh air, the unbridled enthusiasm that accompanied him was there for all to see.
He didn’t disappoint. From January to May he gave us good game after game and took us back into the top four. I think it’s fair to say we couldn’t have made it without him.
His next season was not as explosive, he could not replicate the form he showed the previous term. As time went on, he began to lose form and his performances began to drop. He complained about being played out of position but nothing changed.
Roll on 2011 and people were beginning to complain, his commitment was even questioned atimes. Many felt he didn’t care about playing for the club, a claim I think emanated from his demeanour on the field of play.
What do I think? Arshavin is a honest individual as evident in his comments and he criticizes himself more than anyone of us does.
My fear is he’s done this to the extent it has affected his confidence. This is probably why things rarely work out for him. The cloud of invincibility around him has evaporated, the belief is missing.
What happened yesterday is sad and unfortunate. A player steps on the pitch on his home ground, and he gets booed; even the man who is supposed to be his strike partner questions his introduction.
We can all think the boos were as a result of The Ox going off. Granted that was a tactical error, maybe Theo Walcott shoud have gone instead. However if we look at it critically, it works both ways. What kind of message are we sending to the player coming on?
The second goal was not his fault as he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Vermaelen was found wanting, Arshavin tried to help, he did, twice! But because he wasn’t successful, people blamed him for the goal. It just doesn’t make sense to me!
If his own fans and captain won’t give him a chance, how do we expect anything productive? For all our noise about Andrei, he got two assists against QPR and Swansea; two great passes I doubt any of our other forwards (apart from RVP) could have executed successfully. Moments like these are why Arsene persists with him and I understand.
Arshavin has not been in the best of form and he is always the first to admit he isn’t pulling his weight; even Wenger agrees. Fans pay for tickets so they are free to express themselves in whichever manner they deem fit.
However, the manner in which he was made a scapegoat in yesterday’s game is totally unfair and I just feel no player should be subjected to such treatment, at least not in a place he calls home.
Have a good day wherever this post meet you. Do share your thoughts with me in the comments.
Keep it goonerish!