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Not so easy for Arshavin

Not so easy for Arshavin

Andrey Arshavin has admitted to finding life tough going in England claiming that while he loves it here he has some difficulties in adjusting. "They say that a foreigner only adapts to London after living there for a year, so I still have three months left!" the diminutive Russian told reporters.

Domestically he says things aren`t as easy as they are in Spain and that he finds himself having to pay through the nose for everything here. "Sometimes I have to shell out to breathe!" he said. That may be partly to do with the impending hike in UK tax rates while foreign players joining a Spanish club can enjoy a five year tax rate of 23% - less than half of what he will have to pay HM Revenue & Customs from next April.

He hasn`t masked his disappointment at missing out on a move to Barcelona the summer before last and still sees the Spanish side as footballs leading entertainers.

"When the transfer collapsed, of course I was upset, but then I took it as fact. It was fate." As he continued "I think my current club are the second most entertaining in modern football. It was well worth it."

Apart from adapting to life in England Arshavin also has to meet the demands of football here telling the Telegraph this month that "I`m lazy. I don`t like training a lot."

Wenger harboured doubts about Andrey`s ability to cope with the demands of the Premier League when interviewed during the 2008 Euro tournament.

"That Arshavin is a top-level talent is beyond doubt. The only issue is related to the fact that the leading leagues in the world mean you must be at the highest level of physical readiness throughout the season.

"Can he show his full potential every three days that happens every season the same in England and Spain?

"In the semi-final meeting with the Spaniards, in which Arshavin looked to be exhausted, has forced me to ask this question."

Those are doubts Arsene had managed to overcome 6 months later when Arshavin signed for the club in January of this year. It took another month though for Arshavin to reach a level of fitness that would enable him to make his debut at the end of February.

It sometimes seems that he always appears to look exhausted, even a few minutes into the game, but he manages to pace himself well through the game and often does his best work late on. His 5 goals and 2 assists in 8 starts this season following 6 goals and 9 assists in 14 starts last season show that tired or not he can still be productive.

Arshavin can improve aspects of his overall game but he will be 29 by the end of this season so it`s probably not realistic to expect him to be very different from the player that he is now. In many ways it`s his very independence of mind and thought that gives his undoubted talent the same sort of unconventional unpredictability that Charlie George successfully brought to the team 4 decades earlier. Such talents have to be valued for what they are - and enjoyed while they can. Supporters will find themselves having to adapt to Arshavin as much as Arshavin is having to adapt to life here.

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Date:Thursday October 22 2009
Time: 2:06PM


Hes top class, but hes very hit and miss. The only player ive ever seen score 4 goals and look a bad player in the process. You just know that hes gonna be "hit" against us in the NLD though, dont you. Sigh.
22/10/2009 14:16:00
I hope so!
22/10/2009 14:33:00
I love his honesty.. Btw, what was that written in Russian?
22/10/2009 14:38:00
I don't seem to worry about him as much as other gooners. He doesn't have the stamina of our other players, but he's a master of conserving his energy... at the end of games he's fully capable of sprinting all the way down the pitch at full speed (see the 'pool match).
22/10/2009 14:38:00
Amos, that's a great closing sentence. Exactly, we're just going to have to adapt to his quirkyness, it's just the way he is and at 29 I don't expect he'll change very much. I well remember Arsene's comments during the 2008 Euros about him, which is why I was so surprised when it became clear that AW was going after him in January. Arshavin's just one of the players who can be invisible for 80 minutes and then pop up with a brilliant move that wins the game. We're just going to have to accept that. I don't know how long he'll be with us, his complaints about England's high taxes are clearly a problem for him. If Barca show real interest in him next summer, I don't think we can keep him. (Have to say that it's amazing how these people feel so aggrieved because they live on £175,000/week instead of £225,000/wk).
22/10/2009 14:39:00
Oh, and I too find his honesty refreshing. I'd rather he say what he feels than having to listen to all the hypocritical professions of commitment to Arsenal from a certain Togonese. TP, re your point about him conserving his energy -- I'm still amazed how he was able to keep up with Theo at Anfield so late in that game, and not get caught out by any defenders.
22/10/2009 14:43:00
In many ways, Arshavin is a lot like Bergkamp, who could often wander through games looking lost before popping up and winning you the match. A team of our calibre can probably take one "luxury" player so long as he is as good as Arshavin is. However, I still worry about how exposed Clichy is with AA not tracking back. Despite his obvious class, Wenger started to use Pires as a substitute more and more towards the end of his time at Arsenal for tough away games and I think AA might well be deployed similarly. That he was caught offside so cheaply on Tuesday was frustrating, but there again, you'd expect our defence to be able to deal with a pretty simple free kick in the 93rd minute much better than they did.
Little Dutch
22/10/2009 14:57:00
I just dont like to see a player commenting all the time. I worry about this guy. From what I have reading (if its true) he is saying we need two more players and that Barca are better!? For me, just play your best. The last player who commented like this about other teams was all about the money.
22/10/2009 15:52:00
I think Barca will be weighing up a move for Robinho this summer - but if Man City play hardball over the price (which lets face it, they can afford to) Barca might see Arshavin as a cheaper alternative. Although its hard to imagine being given £175k per week to do anything, I can imagine the rage of being given £225k a week and then having a foreign government take £50k off you for little to no reason (when was the last time a premier league footballer got on a bus or used the NHS?)
22/10/2009 16:13:00
Hi guys, I haven't left any comments for a while now, but I thought I'd just spread some unease while the topic's up. I worry about Arshavin. He's undoubtedly an incredibly talented player, but he does strike me as being lazy sometimes, not just exhausted. As mentioned, his ability to win a game with a flash of brilliance having been anonymous for 89 minutes relieves him from criticism somewhat, but I personally think that there are several instances inwhich he hinders the 'Arsenal Way' of playing the game. Of course, the 'Arsenal Way' isn't perfect, and so sometimes this can be a huge positive of having Arsh in our side, such as his trait of ignoring his team-mates to forge a bit of space and find the net - I don't think many of our other players would have dared go for goal as Arsh did vs Birmingham for his goal as they would feel it wouldn't match the clubs philosophy. Most of our players would have held the ball and waited for support. However, this trait also has negative connotations. There are times in games where he doesn't pull his moves off and his team-mates seem to me to feel as though they can't voice their frustration - such is AA's growing reputation within the club. The fans let him get away with it because when these moves work they are very entertaining. So long as they continue keep working and he can earn the trust from his team-mates to do them all will be well, but if not a bit of a tension could grow on the field. Also the noises he makes in the press and the way in which he strolls around on the pitch makes me wonder whether he really appreciates the culture of the club. I think that, to him, Arsenal is just a vehicle on which he can achieve European success than anything else to be honest. And if we don't find this success, I'd expect to see him in a Barca shirt sooner rather than later.
22/10/2009 17:52:00
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