Yesterday the news broke that the enigmatic Andrei Arshavin has left on loan to his former club Zenit St Petersburg for the remainder of the season. My question is this: what do Arsenal fans think of this move?
Personally, I think that the move is a negative one for Arsenal Football Club. While I realise that the Russian trickster has had several poor performances of late, I still think that he has flair and a creative edge which can tip a game in our favour. He is a gamble, as often he doesn’t perform, but there is no doubt that he can be a real game changer. This is the logic that led Wenger to bring him on against United. Furthermore, we have now lost one more quality player from our bench, making it look even thinner than before.
All of this said, I can see the reasons why we let him go out. The first is that he is obviously trapped in the vicious ‘form cycle’. By this I mean that he has hit poor form and so doesn’t get played often, leading to him not getting the regular game time needed to pull himself back into form. I reckon that the game time that he will get at Zenit might just send him back to us a renewed player, though his contract is up for renewal so we might actually decide to sell him to Zenit permanently.
Whatever your opinion, it must be realised that this was not Wenger’s decision. Wenger publicly came out and said that he didn’t want to sell Arshavin; I believe that the move was pushed through by the player himself to keep him in contention for the Euros in the summer. I fully understand his motives and wish him luck with his loan spell.
P.S: I would like to address the reason why Wenger plays Arshavin out of position (on the wing) as opposed to in the centre. The reason is his work rate. It is famously poor and it would have an even larger effect in the centre of the park, where work rate is essential. The centre midfielders are the engine room of the team, and this needs to be kept running to have any semblance of a decent team. I hope this clears things up.