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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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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 22 2009

Time: 2:06PM

Your Comments

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.
HuddersfieldYiddo
I hope so!
navydave
I love his honesty.. Btw, what was that written in Russian?
Sajit
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).
TPowell
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).
jaelle
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.
jaelle
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
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.
Paulsito
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?)
tuscan3000
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.
ArsenalRob
After all that can I just point out that I am not anti-Arshavin. I'm just looking at things objectively. He does a great job in the side, and as said earlier, its best to just enjoy having him while he's here.
ArsenalRob
By the way - and I know this is COMPLETELY off topic - but I recently saw Abou Diaby tucking into a very big chocolatey milkshake with an outrageously large amount of cream. It's not the first time either. A couple of years ago I caught him and Lassana Diarra doing the same. Should I tell Arsene? With his dietry regimes I don't think he'd be very happy.
ArsenalRob
Anyone wanting a detailed summary of today's AGM, go here: http://premierleagueinsider.com/arsenal/blog/2009/10/22/arsenal-agm-%e2%80%93-wenger-says-trophies-this-seasonsilent-stan-stays-silent/comment-page-1/#comment-24216
jaelle
I find this criticism of Arshavin pretty rich. If he wasn't an Arsenal player, we would all say how much we needed a player like that. Besides, criticism of his defensive game is greatly overstated, his work off the ball is every bit as diligent as RVPs, Walcotts or Eduardos.
hughied
I like the bloke, refreshingly honest. He also admitted that he wouldnt have minded moving to Spurs last summer. He is only a professional player and behaves like one, and I have no problem with that as there is no hypocrisy atleast. Joining at 28, and less than a year after he joined, I dont expect him to have a deep love of the club just yet.
prits
He is simply a quality player and we need players like him to counter the more mediocre players that we currently have in the squad. I think in buying Arshavin that Wenger has realised that being an athlete and being able to run 100m in 11 seconds does not mean that you can necessarily play football!
ukgooner
I think AA gives us that something special and the fact that he is a little maverick gives the opposition plenty to think about. He is currently employed by Arsenal but he is not an Arsenal man, he belongs to Andrei Arshavin, the professional footballer. I’ve not got a problem with that because at 28 we are getting his best years and he might prove to be that “little bit extra” needed for success this season. He may also be too old for Barca next year but the tax problem is very real, not just for us but all EPL clubs. I tend to agree with his views regarding Barcelona, they are the team who play the beautiful game and have done for some time. As an Arsenal fan I can still clearly remember more pragmatic days for us when a win was a win and I’d be happy. Our footballing culture today is still a fairly recent incarnation and is not yet deeply ingrained into our reputation – but its coming.
Sir Henry
I don't expect him to have a deep love of the club either, but he doesn't need to be so honest as to openly invite a transfer saga with Barca - and, let's face it, Barca will leap at the invitation. I'm not saying he should lie and profess his love for all things Arsenal a la Adebayor, but it would be more constructive to just keep the focus in North London, rather than Cataluna, and just say that he's enjoying himself here. I know we all want to know everything that happens inside the club, but sometimes it is best to be diplomatic.
ArsenalRob
 

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