The little Russian Andrei Arshavin has been roundly criticized by Arsenal fans for the last year because of his lacklustre and lazy-looking performances when he is given the chance to play, but Arsene Wenger picked him to start against QPR on Saturday and the same fans voted him as the Man-Of-The-Match after a much improved performance which included the telling assist which led to Van Persie’s winning goal.
But that was Arshavin’s first start for the side for five weeks, and Wenger believes that can be even sharper in the future if he is given more playing time. Wenger said: “I knew he would suffer a bit physically, but Andrey has that quality that at any moment in the game he can give you a ball to score, and that’s what he did,”
“We know he can be sharper than he was on Saturday but that is linked to the fact I do not play him enough.”
So it’s a Catch22 situation with Arshavin. Can Wenger afford to watch him play loosely until he gets his match-fitness back, or does he just hope that he gets at least one thing right during every game?