Does Arshavin Still Have a Role To Play?
There are reports coming out at the moment saying that Arsenal are struggling to find buyers for Andrei Arshavin as it seems Zenith have decided not to sign the Russian on a permanent basis. Obviously this proves a massive obstacle for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal as he is one of the players who we are looking to clear.
For me it seems as though the problem with Andrei's below par performances are three fold. Firstly he is played as a left winger when he isn't one. Secondly he doesn't have the stamina to track back and help the full back when he plays as a left winger and finally we, the fans have to take some responsibility for getting on his back when he under performs and severely denting his confidence. However, by making a slight tweak in the way we play, I think he could still prove to be an important member of the team.
As I said, Arshavin has never and will never be a left winger. His best performances during his career have been playing in the roaming number 10 role, so the first thing would be to play him there. Watching the Carling Cup game against Bolton last season where he did play in his favoured position I thought he had a good game, far better than most of his appearances particularly in the second half with a well taken goal and an assist.
The only thing with this though was that he had Frimpong and Coquelin playing behind him, two tough tackling defensive midfielders. As our first choice pairing is Song and Arteta/Wilshere, none of those you would describe as being tough tackling defensive players. However should this matter? No I don't think so, as long as the two behind him to be a bit more disciplined I don't see there being a problem whatsoever.
As it is looking increasingly unlikely Van Persie will stay, we will lose not only goals but also assists too and by playing Arshavin in his favoured position we would at least be able to supplement the loss of the assists from our Captain as well as chip in with a few goals as we know he can finish. Surely a front four of Podolski, Giroud, Arshavin and Walcott will strike fear in to any opposition defence and who knows we might even bring back the player who we signed in January 2009 again.