Even though Andrey Arshavin is just 31-years-old, most people have already written off the Russian’s career at the Emirates Stadium. Nevertheless, Arsene Wenger has maintained that he has the upmost respect for the former Zenit St Petersburg forward and is looking forward to seeing him in action in the League Cup clash against Coventry on Wednesday.
After joining the club in 2009 there were great hopes about his future in England. It would be fair to say that he made a huge impression on the Gunners’ first team in the opening few months as well, with his four goals in the 4-4 draw with Liverpool always remembered fondly by the Gunners faithful. However, even though Arshavin has scored thirty goals in the several years he has spent at the club, his performances have certainly deteriorated over time and this has meant that his opportunities in the first team have become severely limited. In fact, the thirteen minutes that he got off the bench against Sunderland several weeks ago is the only football he has to his name this term.
Still, Arsene Wenger has praised the playmaker and stated that he has remained a top professional through this rough period. While Wenger did say that the player was not currently happy at the club, he at least said he has plenty of respect for him. “He’s unhappy he doesn’t play because he deeply loves football and practises with 100% commitment,” said the Frenchman.
“I’m happy to give him some competition on Wednesday night. I have personally a great respect for Andrey because sometimes some wrong ideas circulated about him – that he doesn’t care, but it’s completely the opposite. He’s a 200% professional who works very hard every day in training. At the moment he’s a victim of the high level of competition that exists for places.”