Andrey Arshavin has described his move to Arsenal as a necessary step forward in his career despite the inconvenience of sacrificing his life in Russia for a new culture and lifestyle in England.
The Russian international, who joined the Gunners in the 2008 January transfer window, has been a cult hero at the Emirates ever since he muttered his memorable, “I am Gooner” message to the fans, although he also admits that he needs improve his performances.
Speaking to the Arsenal Player, the 29-year-old, who is in the last year of his contract in North London, spoke about the difficulties posed by quitting Zenit Saint Petersburg for the Gunners.
“It took a long time to make this transfer and some people had concerns about me moving. It was tough because I changed language, culture, my general life. I took children with me and my wife…everything was different, completely different. But I still think it was a necessary move for me.”
While most fans agree that his four goal performance against Liverpool at Anfield still represents the high point of his time in England, the Russian stresses that he’ll only reflect on the occasion in fifty years time, if the club release a book.
Perhaps he’s right not to look back. Given his somewhat tepid performances in the last eighteen months, the diminutive attacker has instead opted to look at how he can get back to his best, promising:
“They should expect more from me, of course. They should expect some more tricks, goals and unbelievable passes. To be honest I am still expecting more from me as well. But believe me, I do everything I can do.
“I just have to give everything I can at the moment, just on the pitch. I want to score more goals and bring my team to the title.”