Andrey Arshavin was once hailed as being the star player that could possibly bring success back to Arsenal and to the Emirates for the first time. But despite a fruitful start in which we saw his excellent Euro 2008 performances transpire over to English football with the Gunners, his time at the club came to a much quicker end than may have first been perceived.
Arshavin joined Arsenal back on January transfer deadline day of 2009 and in fact he didn’t actually official sign for the club until a few days later because of terrible weather conditions. His transfer however seemed like it was one that was well worth staying up for long into the night and we arguably weren’t wrong because in his first and second seasons with Arsenal he worked wonders, becoming a key player alongside the likes of Fabregas and Nasri.
However as he approached the judgmental 30 years old stage, Arshavin seemed to lose something and inevitably our then record signing was quickly dropped from the team, to the extent where he was loaned back to former club Zenit before finally being released on a free transfer this summer.
Arshavin has always been quick to criticise Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger since his departure from the club and he blames Arsenal for the decline in his career. But I think if he was only ever good enough to play in Russia, that shows that he really wasn’t as a good as a player that many made him out to be. Don’t get me wrong, Arshavin was fantastic when he first joined but after a few years he lost his pace, his stamina and ultimately his interest in playing football.
But then just as the little Russian had done upon his record move to Arsenal, new club record signing Mesut Ozil has worked wonders and Arshavin reckons it’s the German star who has given the Gunners the capabilities to seriously challenge for silverware this season.
Arshavin said: “Arsenal are playing much better than they have over the last two or three years. I was surprised that they won so comfortably against Liverpool, because they too are in excellent form right now. The signing of Ozil has brought stability to the side and now this season Arsenal have a real chance to finish in first place.”
I think Ozil has definitely made this club more capable of winning a trophy this year; however it isn’t all down to the German, because in fact we are in the position we are because we have played together as a strong unit and a communicative team. The new look Arsenal team shows quality, experience and depth, so although Arshavin may have badmouthed Arsenal in the past, if we go onto win something this season, maybe he will not only regret his words, but his actions as well.