Andrei Arshavin says he doesn’t know why he fell out of favour at Arsenal, but says moving to Zenit St Petersburg was necessary in order to keep his Euro 2012 dream alive.
It seemed an odd move in February, not long after the diminutive Russian had set up Thierry Henry’s late winner at the Stadium of Light, but Arsenal haven’t much missed him, winning 8 out of 10 games.
With a summer tournament on the horizon, Arshavin felt he was in danger of missing out on selection for the Russian squad, hence the loan deal.
Quoted in The Mirror, he says, “I left Arsenal in February to try and regain my level to play for Russia and after the last few months with Zenit I believe it was a successful choice.
“The offer from Zenit was good in every sense. If I had stayed in London then I am convinced that my chance to make the final squad for Russia would have passed.”
Without going into specifics, Arshavin admitted difficulties at Arsenal, but seems in the dark as to what Wenger’s reluctance to pick him was about (hint: it was because he was really quite lazy).
“I suffered different problems at Arsenal. I lost the confidence of the coach. I wasn’t sure why. But I wasn’t getting the chances to play. I’m now with Zenit – and again after the Euros.
“After the Euros, I will study my future, think about it. And I would like to talk to Wenger before I make any decision.”
It seems unlikely that any kind of return to Arsenal will take place, and with just one year left on his contract, he could be available at an attractive price to clubs across Europe.
The little scamp.