Andrey Arshavin, the name of this player makes Arsenal fans both happy and sad at the same time. This mixture of to opposite emotions sums up what the Russian was all about.
In one word, Andrey Arshavin was utter inconsistent. From his moments of magic to the wrathful due his lethargy, Arsenal fans have seen it all. An amazing talent that was regarded as a bright prospect now has been at the terminal end of a rather sad career that promised a much lot. He is now playing for FC Kairat. If you have never heard of them they are a club from Kazakhstan.
The Rise and the Peak:
Andrey Arshavin joined Arsenal in January 2009 after his scintillating performance for Russia in the EURO 2008. He was just the elite level of player Arsenal required at that time for an inspiration,and he provided so. He scored 6 goals and made 7 assists in 12 games in that season. Fans were in love with the little Russian and his four goals at Anfield wrote his name in all time Premier League fairy-tale.
He was at his peak at that time and in the subsequent season he also displayed his magic and managed to score 12 goals in that season.
The Underlying Problem:
Even at his peak times, the lethal negativity of his play was slowly getting exposed. The main problem of his was the lack of consistency and a certain problem in his attitude. The moments of brilliance became increasingly infrequent. Match fitness and work rate were persistent issues, while lethargic performances and a heedless attitude suggested his heart simply wasn’t in it.
Even at that time period, he scored a memorable winner as Arsenal beat Barcelona at The Emirates, but that solitary moment of brilliance could never be enough. It could have sparked him to a transformed player but sadly it never did. His lack of ambition was vivid and all those problems combined to initiate his downfall.
Off the field Controversy:
Arshavin was abysmal for Arsenal in the 2011-12 season. But his problems multiplied after the EURO 2012, following Russia’s early exit from the tournament. He made some unexpected comments that created an outrage among the Russian people. He disagreed to apologize for their dismal performance and blamed the Russian supporters for that. Arshavin also stated that it was supporters’ problem as they couldn’t meet their hopes.
This was disrespectful and according to Russian journalist Artur Petrosyan it ended his career big time. He told Sky Sports regarding that EURO 2012 incident, “Before that he was a real hero here and he was considered as probably the best Russian footballer in history, but after that it changed. He was never an easy person and there were always controversies around him, but he made up for it by playing good football. After that, though, everyone began pointing fingers at him.”
Arshavin joined Zenit in 2013 after spending most of the previous season as a spectator for The Gunners. But even in Russia he was unsuccessful. His inability was exposed and fans were not happy. Even if he wanted to do well, he couldn’t. His career seemed stagnant at a place after Zenit decided not to renew his contract.
Then he got another lifeline thanks to another Russian team Kuban Krasnodar. His move to Kuban was also a part of another agenda according to Petrosyan. He also stated that Kuban was sponsored by their local government and the governor needed publicity before elections and that’s why he had signed stars like Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko. But after elections government lost all their interest in the club and their bad times started. they ended up selling their players and Arshavin also left them after just making 9 appearances.
He joined Kairat of Kazakhstan in March this year and now playing for them. He has done pretty well for them so far with 10 goals in 31 appearances. But it mustn’t have been the place he had seen himself some years ago.
Sadly it has been a story of an immense underachiever. Arshavin promised a lot, he had all the aspects to be a top player in the biggest arena. He even reached there momentarily but couldn’t stay as long as he was expected. A damaging attitude and lack of ambition got the better of him and now he has been edging closer to an unceremonious end to his career. He promised a lot but it’s a shame that he delivered so less. The landscape of his career has been topsy-turvy that could have been such more illustrious. Arsenal fans still love him and respects the moments he has gifted them though he hasn’t left much of his legacy during his tenure. But overall, all we can say that it has been an extraordinary waste of a prodigious talent.
Photo by wonker