Arshavin Explains His Lack Of Form

Against Ipswich, Arshavin picked up two assists. Here is what he said of his own performance,

It wasn’t a supermatch for me. But I’m satisfied with the result. I’m glad that I was useful to the squad.

I don’t think he could have said it any better even with the help of the best PR agents in the world. We all saw he didn’t have a great game. But he made a vital contribution. Both aspects are well covered with minimum words. That’s one of the things I love about Arshavin, his intelligence is not limited to on-field decision making.

More interestingly, I want to discuss this interview given by Arshavin. I couldn’t understand when, where, or to whom this interview was given but I liked the way he analysed his own game.

Speaking about his speed Arshavin said,

I do not have enough acceleration. From the very start of this season I felt that I’m fast enough only in short bursts.

I don’t know why. I still feel the same. Maybe I’m just getting old.

Furthermore he talks about his form and why it’s not working well for him,

When you are absolutely all right, you do not even think about what you are ­doing in certain situations. It all happens automatically.

But now when I get the ball, I begin to think, ‘Should I out-trick an opponent? Will I lose the ball?’ I am afraid of taking the initiative.

When such thoughts appear, your final decision as a rule turns out to be wrong and you waste a lot of opportunities.

I don’t have to explain those comments to anyone who has been following Arsenal’s games closely. And if you’ve played any sport, even at a decent amateur level, then you might have experienced this situation. I’ll be surprised if anyone can go years of playing without getting into this fix. You make one mistake, then while thinking about that you make another, soon the count rises, one loses belief, and mistrusts ones instincts. Once a doubt creeps in it can be a quick, self-propelling, negative spiral.

I guess this must have started when he missed some one-v-one opportunities in the earlier games. Over time it’s become a real form issue. Unfortunately, the fans haven’t really helped him get out of that rut.

Thankfully, Arshavin has been there and done that. He knows the way out.

I need to train and play. After a few good performances the courage and automatic decision-making are going to return.

Based on his last couple of performances we can be sure AA23 is trying hard.

I understand one complaint against Arshavin is that he is lazy or doesn’t work his socks off. That is an unfair and almost silly argument.

Different players have different physical levels and abilities. Song can run all day chasing players and making tackles. That’s his strength. He cannot score from an overhead scissors kick but the fans don’t boo him for that limitation, do they? Similarly, Theo can run at pace and terrorize defenders. That’s his skill. He cannot play keep ball when the team is under pressure. That’s not his game. We accept it.

Arshavin’s is not in the same League as Song or Sagna when it comes to fitness. That’s his weakness. Even when he was on top form he wasn’t a guy who chased back to help the full-back. But the fans accepted it because he delivered at the other end.

Now when he is having a rough time his weakness seems like a burden. In fact it is a burden. But it’s a burden that the team must, at times, carry. That’s the only way to get him back to the spectacular form that we know he is capable of.

Based on what I have seen on the pitch in the last two games the Russian has played and on those quotes above, I’m fairly certain Arshavin is trying his level best to perform. I’m also convinced that Arsene understands his situation. Le Boss must have seen all his top players go through such phases. He also knows Arshavin needs patience and support to get back to his best. We can see Wenger’s giving him that in an intelligent manner by keeping him out of the pressure games of the League and playing him against weaker teams.

I’m sure most fans who’ve been supporting the club for a long time have seen plenty of players go through such phases. Sadly, some fans tend to forget. It’s their weakness!

I think this process of getting back into form can be accelerated if the fans get behind the player. At the very least the supporters can do their part by avoiding the moans and groans. It’s up to the fans to decide whether they want a symbiotic or parasitic relationship. Arshavin is a huge talent and Arsenal will need him at his best very soon.


51 Responses to Arshavin Explains His Lack Of Form

  1. The BearMan says:

    The Bear will reserve his comments on Arshavin’s recent performance only add this, instead of AA hanging his head low after giving the ball away, then waste valuable minutes making faces to indicate your own poor form, why would he not chase after the ball and help his team mates win the ball back?

  2. Arindam@KOL says:

    great post.
    can’t agree more , desi.

  3. Arindam@KOL says:

    We need to support Arshavin in his rut , he’s one of our most potent matchwinners.

    A player of his class can’t lose it overnight.

  4. Fazizu says:

    arshavin has admitted several times he hates training when he was younger he’s natural atheletisism was slightly helping him along in that department, but I think as he got older it is starting to catch up with him.well that’s my theory anyway, because when I was younger I used to get A’s in school despite not working hard but as i got to grades 11 and 12 things got a bit difficult and I struggled to get myself into a habit of studying. I love all arsenal players but if he doesn’t get his form back by the end of the season it might be best for both him and th club to go their separate ways. He is 29 and we have a lot of exciting youngsters coming in/through in that position.

  5. High-tech says:

    Bearman i feel u’re way too harsh on AA23.U dont expect everyone to have the same fitness level. Maybe u forgot he’s played out of position.Let us develop a culture of supporting our players in their trial times.We called him Assasin when he was in form so why dont we back him until he rediscover his form again.

    • The BearMan says:

      You really want to see AA form make a drastic improvement? Let Barca put in a bid for him tomorrow! Suddenly he will remember how to hold the ball? How to make a simple pass? You will see him running the entire 90 minutes and not getting tired?

      When you get older, you do not necessary get faster, but wiser? The very least AA can do is keep hold of the ball? Go back to basics!!

  6. The BearMan says:

    Arshavin is beginning to sound like the Coalition Government, by blaming the weather instead of wrong policy. Is AA the only player in the UK to have a dip in form NO! But he is the master in playing for the sympathy vote and gets it from silly fans who buy into past hype. If AA is very serious in finding his form, and none of the trainers at Arsenal can help him – tell him to call for the Bear. But he better be ready for hard work!

  7. The BearMan says:

    Is AA the only player in the UK to have a dip in form NO! But he is the master in playing for the sympathy vote and gets it from silly fans who buy into past hype. If AA is very serious in finding his form, and none of the trainers at Arsenal can help him – tell him to call for the Bear. But he better be ready for hard work!

  8. Tony says:

    Good post.

  9. Yus says:

    I think i agree with bearman, droping ur head wen u loose d ball is irritating in dat u show fans how dip in form u r, bt if u raise ur head nd strugle for all balls, den its half solvd

    • Phil23 says:

      In the last few games Arshavin has had an improved work rate. I remember not long ago when he lost the ball high on the left and then proceeded to sprint back so far that he ended up making the tackle in Sagna’s position. This was of course conveniently ignored as it doesn’t fit in with your one size fits all ‘hes lazy’ comment. He bows his head because he is embarrassed, he is trying so hard in trainings (confirmed by Arsene) and working harder than ever on the pitch yet nothing is going right. Not to mention every time something goes wrong for him 10000 wankers sigh loudly or sometimes there are even some boos. Would you not hide your face? no of course not because you are sooooo mentally strong that you would just raise your head and the BANG! your in form again! Why aren’t you playing for Arsenal my friend? You’ve got all the mental discipline thats needed!

      • Zgunner says:

        Excellent response. Arshavin is class whether on or off the pitch. Anyone who’s ever booed him should be ashamed… anyone who boo’s should be ashamed and GROW UP.

  10. Fazizu says:

    plus, Song wasn’t a great passer now he makes defence splitting passes, van persie wasn’t a good header he has improved on that. I can go on and on. To suggest we simply ‘accept’ his laziness as a weakness is ludacris (NOT saying booing him is the answer but fans have a lot to be critical about). and finally no one is asking him to chase the ball like Song, denilson stuffs up all the time but he always works hard and is gradually improving arshavin Is too sensitive when he makes a mistake he simply crumbles (bit like senderos) and we are vulnerable enough!

  11. Femi Jacobs says:

    Arshavin will improve. Lets wait for Arsenal Vs Barca. You will see the best of Arshavin. We also need to be behind him. As someone rightly said, we should avoid booing him and Arshavin should follow to take the ball instead of bowing down his head in sobber reflection

  12. Messi's dad says:

    Good point Desi about fans getting behind players suffering a dip in form. this is a reason to me why boo-ing never helps.

    Bearman, my opinion differs from yours on this issue.
    i don’t think Arshavin was signed to put in a shift of hard work. he’s still delivering for me, as far as i am concerned – current bad patch notwithstanding, he “assisted” 2 out of 3 goals in the Ipswich match, and is currently leading Arsenal’s assist charts. if you add goals + assists numbers, you’ll find Arshavin’s total near the top. there’s prob far better/accurate ways to break this down, but for me, this shows he’s still one of Arsenal’s top goal-creators.

    he’s 29, and if was never a hard runner, he will not find his form back by running harder. once he gets past the current mental inhibitions, i’m sure he’ll explode again doing the things we signed him for!

  13. zaragooner says:

    I will take Shava’s explanation because i understand the nature of football player, always have up and down. I just hope that he will be bounce back soon..Shava has 14 assist in all the competitions compare to VDV, Bale or Modric, that was not bad..As a fan, please don’t abuse him, i’m sure he’s also not happy with his current form.. Come on Shava, prove them wrong!

  14. John says:

    I dont get angry when Arshivan looses the ball Cesc was not having a great first half but just kept plugging away and thankfully things started to go right for him.

    I really feel Arshivan has not been playing at his own top level for some time like well over a year now apart from the odd game here and there, this is not just a sudden lost of form. I believe this started after Russia didnt get to the WC.

    Yes he did make contributions and assits in the Ispwich game but one of those assits was an average corner that Kozzer got his head to after they went to sleep.. his other corners were not great lets be honest.

    I also feel the main reason why the fans have turned on him relates to his terrible workrate and we have seen other teams exploit Clichy knowing Arshivan wont track back, this simply is unacceptable everyone in the team must contribute to defending. An example would be Nasro amazing going forward and yet when we dont ahve the ball he is tracking back and putting pressure to win it back.

  15. Bootoomee says:

    If AW is being advised by BearMan, Faziu et al, the whole of our team would have been sold off and we’ll be in a perpetual buying and selling situation as a club.

    I’m amazed that they can post their drivels after reading Desi’s article…..or may be they never did!

  16. Bootoomee says:

    Patience, people, patience. AA may either regain his form or not but what is certain is that abusing/insulting/booing him will not help Arsenal. AA is not Eboue!

  17. kofi, ghana says:

    great post desi. i ve been following ur post and u r always spot. when is is contract ending. just imagining de age policy at arsenal and how arsahvin will fit.

  18. HeavyFeather says:

    TheBearMan’s really got it in for ol’ Arsh. I think there are some valid points there – If he feels he’s losing fitness because of his age (which would be extremely preature considering he’s barely 30), Arshavin only needs to look at other great sportsmen and how they adapted their games in the latter half of their career and reinvented themselves to be successful again.
    Tendulkar is one who comes to mind. Also Lara & Courtney Walsh. Sampras & Agassi were great right up to when they retired, and I think we will see something similar from Federer.
    Sometimes it’s not just as simple as hitting the gym and hoping for the best. Sometimes you may need to accept your ‘revised’ strengths and weaknesses and reinvent your game to be successful again.
    I think Arshavin needs to improve his consistency on passes and shots because he’s obviously not one for running harder and longer. There are just too many wasted shots that end up in the crowd and nowhere near the goal.

    • HeavyFeather says:

      meant to say “premature” there. 30 is no age for a world-class footballer to be losing his sharpness!

    • bang_maman ganteng says:

      maybe ryan gigs can be explain about getting old.. and his “healty life” with some yoga, etc.. nice post desi..

  19. mezelda says:

    Bootoomee u r right about bearman n his useless friends..if wenger had them beside him we would have sold van p,song,djorou,sagna all the players..I don’t have any problem with arshavin as far as he contributes.14 assists this season already..Let’s assume he plays well and yet doesn’t score or assist is that better..Get ur gear up and stop moaning about him,we’r still in all competition.

  20. shottagunna says:

    Good one Desi. Lots of reasons to support AA23 until he gets over this rough patch. Every sportsman/athlete goes through these phases; the most important thing is the patience to overcome and the support of your peers and fans. Wenger is handling this very well.

  21. Arun says:

    If u want to understand the weight for Arshavin’s comments then u have to take a look at Rooney at MU. Everyone including Rooney knows he is out of form. So just by deciding to get to form if u can get back in form then he should be firing in all cylinders and should be scoring loads of goals. But, it usually doesn’t work out that way, does it? It is not just the lack for form these guys are suffering. Its lack of self-belief. When you get rid of the doubts and questions in your mind when having ball at your feet, you are sure to go on and score.
    One good thing with Arsha is that he is working hard to get back his belief.
    But with unfair criticism we are not helping them.

  22. Woolwichstilhere says:

    Please everyone has his opinion on this matter. Don’t call anyone a fool. Personally i think he lacks the strong mentality for success. I knw wat it feels like to drop form myself, but i also knw that wen it happens, you show the commitment out on the pitch then the fans can excuse u. Bcos they know what u were before.

  23. Hadley says:

    Fans need to support Arshavin rather than groan every time he gives the ball away, which just makes the situation far worse. Clearly he cares about his form (and still has 11 assists and 4 goals) so give him a break

  24. a99 says:

    I would just add that if you watch the Liverpool 4-4 game (available on youtube IIRC) you will notice that AA’s workrate is much higher than anything he has displayed last season or this season. IMHO his workrate has only picked now since he realised that he doesn’t have an automatic spot in the team. Whatever the reason I do agree that all he needs in one goal to spark him.

  25. Viss says:

    I know Arshavin hasn’t been playing that well of late, and he has been giving the ball awa….BUT 2 assists against Ipswich, and he seems to be one of the players Cesc seems to trust with the ball.

    I’m sure he will come through this period, and compensate for his loss of a quick burst – just look at Giggs.

  26. Achilles says:

    If u’r arshavin’s height (like myself) and u play football, u must hv noticed that what it takes a taller player less energy to do, it’ll take u quite more energy to do thesame thing. So now he’s gettin older, and his fitness level is droppin. Such must b expected especially from someone who plays like AA (this wont seriously affect players like wilshere or luka modric as their games dont rely on speed and strength in beatin their man). So to get d maximum out of AA, he must work less on the pitch. Meanin, le boss hv to structure d team in such a way that either of song or wilshere will constantly cover 4 him when he’s deep in d opponent’s third. What he’s lackin now is confidience. As for fitness, i dnt think he’ll ever reach d levels he used to b. Not wt d way arsenal play. And his height. Cos any energy he spends on d pitch is about two times what someone like diaby wld hv spent doin exactly the same thing.

  27. Metalhead says:

    I said this earlier in one of your articles. I think he is working hard but not hard enough. I know for sure that Bacary Sagna stays back after training. I’m not too sure about Arshavin. Look at Sagna, from a guy who used to get criticized last season for not being able to cross the ball properly, he has become one of the best FB in Europe according to me. Also, Arshavin looks slightly on the heavier side to me. Nasri when he came to Arsenal had no acceleration whatsoever. This season I noticed he lost a lot of weight and now he has got amazing acceleration. Discipline off the field is also important. A good diet, a good workout regimen and things like that. I just feel for poor Andrey. I still think he is one of the finest players in the Arsenal team. If Arsenal are going win something he is going to play a huge part

  28. meerkat says:

    Perhaps the wallet stuffed in his underpants, may be weighing him down while playing!

  29. The BearMan says:

    The Bear is not in for Arshavin as some thinks, but having watched the last game, the kindest thing Mr. Wenger should have done was to bench him after the first ten minutes, he was that poor.

    I so miss the old system when a player’s form dips, he would be sent to the Reserves squad and someone else takes their place. Some people will say, well he made two assists. Well to be honest, the system Arsenal plays, even my grand mother would make the same contribution and she is 85+.

    • Finnish Hit says:

      @ the bare man: “Some people will say, well he made two assists. Well to be honest, the system Arsenal plays, even my grand mother would make the same contribution and she is 85+.”

      But she didn’t, and maybe even you couldn’t.

      That’s not my point, which is: Arshavin made two assists; without them we wouldn’t be in the final.

      You may also appreciate to find that the Reserves squad has been replaced by A and B. 😉

  30. Finnish Hit says:

    Bravo Desi, and Arun for making the Rooney equation.

    Also to the commentator who notioned that AA may have been on the down since the Russians didn’t make it to the World Cup. A shock result, by the way, the way Slovenia sneaked in (kudos to them).

    To make an effort of my own on this post: how would you guys feel if you were training every day with Samir and Theo and seeing what they can do?

    Anyway, Arshavin is a genious in his very own way (and this was a bit difficult to say as a Finn–but not as an Arsenal supporter) and he can create incredible special moments for us. Just like the Arsenal Way can be.

    On another note, rest assured that the AAA (Anti-Arsenal Arsenal) fans will always find someone to pick on. It must have been hurtful for them to see the Bentdner goal on Tuesday.

  31. Salvador Dali says:

    Some of the contributions here too dumb to even argue with, I am sorry…
    Honest Arshavin as always, does not spare himself an iota of self criticism, how many players c/would do that, and publicly??.
    Just looked again at some of Arsh highlights of couple of years back, Russia Zenith , Arse…these are not old glory days, the extraordinary player is still here, but needs the right system to shine. he needs ‘plays’ called for him. Arse half court slow building passing team is something a technical player like him can do but it is not his forte, and it bores him sick, he needs open spaces to run at and jink , watch him in a match, his runs are not picked often anymore!. I like very much what you say Desi about what makes for hard work for different talents and roles in a system ,I remeber couple of years ago vPersie explaining that being an up and down enthusiast chicken did not contribute neither to his game nor the team; same for Arsh; he was always been at his best as a very vertically direct counter attacking player,with perfectly timed bursts, in your face runner with guile and vision and with phenomenal out of nowhere shot; the moment he has a chance to do that EVEN NOW (when in “low form” like last game) he delivers something special. there was nothing wrong about his speed catching up with slow(er) Fab, receiving a pass ahead, and the syncopation of his change of speed and timing of delivery ( like a good jazz tune) of the reverse pass.., still a beauty little russian…And It still showed lack of confidence in a way since he could have gone himself for the spectacular, and didn’t.
    I love Arshavin, but he is a special rare bird, I think he may need to move to shine again, that is total shame for us, and for him since he is getting too old for new tricks

    speaking of which ,I love slow Fab but by god he is not a finisher and will never be one, even if he scores a few, he was hungry for a goal, and he showed his passionate commitment ( almost cried I thought after scoring!. great ‘capitan’, but we need him to dictate, not to finish. that is a worry I find..

    On another note, the Squil is back,hurray, and that is supposed to be great news… I don’t want to undermone anyone , he is decent guy but if there was any major component for our recent clean sheets it was not Szcesz for Fabian but the replace of the Squil and the emergence of JDKos.
    Arsene thinks he got away again with that smokescreen about the imminent addition of a CD in case Vermaelen is not returning ( and he isn’t!). the bulsh*t part of this is what so odious to me.., and we will pay for this in more than one way, no doubt about it…

  32. Phil23 says:

    Why aren’t people moaning about Messi’s work rate? Maybe the Barca fans should start moaning about his defensive contribution? Oh wait a minute… Barca fans actually CHEER their team on the whole match… I’m afraid the days of intelligent football fans at the Emirates are long gone. Replaced by rich tossers who could care less. More interested in their half time meal or getting out of the stadium early so they don’t have to wait in traffic. Thats if they can be bothered coming to the stadium at all… Maybe its partly Arsenals doing, the real fans can’t afford a ticket. Thats why Arsenal away fans are the only fans I would even associate with. If you go to Arsenal home games I am ashamed of you. I’ve heard people say “yeah but its hard to cheer when nobody else does” or “You get dirty looks from others to sit down” well thats where you turn around and berate them, because in that case YOU would be in the right. If everyone’s slaughtering Jews do you say oh well everyone else is doing it… Or do you stand up and grow some balls and cheer your team on with all your heart, so that the fans around the world who can’t be there are proud of you. For every wanker that tells you to sit down theres a thousand around the world who are immensely proud of you, wishing they were there to make as much noise as possible with you. Next time your at the stadium remember that. A few weeks of that and I’ll bet anything that others will follow your example. Be the leader that so many people slate arsenal for ‘not having’

  33. […] Arshavin Explains His Lack Of Form Against Ipswich, Arshavin picked up two assists. Here is what he said of his own performance, It wasn’t a supermatch […] […]

  34. desigooner says:

    Phil @ 9.49
    Spot on mate! I sit in the Club level with my son and there are occasions when it is just me and my son who are at it. And yes, we do get those dis-approving glances from our own fans (and stewards)as if is we are rabble rousers. I also go for occasional away games and it is sheer pleasure to watch the games with real fans. How I wish we had the same passion and support even if we are not playing at our best; because this is when our lads need our backing. And why do we not join in, stand up with our scarves held high when they play the ‘Wonder of you’? Admittedly, it is not the most stirring title like ‘You will never walk…, but this is our song. BTW, I never saw any Mancs booing Rooney.

    • Phil23 says:

      Nice to hear from one of the true fans at the Emirates! Good luck with your lonely cheering at the Emirates but don’t give up! Maybe after we win the Carling cup (touch wood)a few more will join you = )

  35. emblematic says:

    why bring in such nonsense comment about ‘Jews’here? i.e standing up when ‘slaughter of Jews’ and ‘having the balls’ to cheer up your team…, what kind of inane analogy is that?
    please don’t talk about serious things, just stay with futbol.

    ie Messi, his overall work rate is phenomenal, not just his, this entire Barca team DEFENSIVE work rate and stamina, of the front 5 hobbits ( Messi,Villa, Pedro, Iniesta, Xavi) rushing pressing sprinting in twos and threes all over the pitch relentlessly is phenomenal.
    Nothing absolutely nothing to compare to Arsenal which In this like in everything else is some years behind Barca. I may not like like it maybe even hate it but that is just a fact.

    • Phil23 says:

      Actually the Jews comment was (quite obviously) referring to when Hitler slaughtered 5 million jews. He himself did not do this but the sheep who followed him carried out his terrible acts. The connection was that had there been more leaders who stood up against Hitler earlier on he would have been stopped before even reaching Governement at all. Anyway… if you cant see the point I was proving you are retarded… Btw you are right about Messi, his work rate isn’t terrible although its nowhere near ‘phenomenal’, he is not in the team for his defensive work rate but to create attacking ‘moments of magic’ funny… that sounds a lot like a little Russian?

    • Zgunner says:

      “please don’t talk about serious things, just stay with futbol.”

      Football is a serious thing.

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