He may be a shadow of the player we thought we’d signed back in 2009, but Andrey Arshavin can still count on a glowing reference from Arsene Wenger when his contract at the Emirates expires next summer.
Slamming suggestions that the Russian has been anything other than professional during his slump in form, the boss made clear that he still believes the midfielder is a ‘classy player’ capable of game-changing moments.
Directing attention towards Arshavin’s cross against QPR, which led to Mikel Arteta’s late winner, Wenger made clear he was still admirer of the 31-year-old.
“Andrey comes in every day and practices well, he is focused and wants to do well,” he told Arsenal.com.
“I insist on this, because it was questioned and it is completely unjustified. In this case perception is not reality.
“I say that because [his attitude] has been questioned. I don’t tolerate that. If that was the case I would not speak about it.
“He is a classy player and a top professional with a great attitude. You could see that when he came on [against QPR], his brightness and his intelligence with the final ball is fantastic.”
Arshavin will play this evening against Reading in the Capital One Cup as Wenger leads his mish-mash team to the Majedski Stadium. After a terrible first half against Coventry City in the last round the former Zenit St Petersburg star earned plaudits for his goal and assists in the second 45 minutes as the Gunners ran out comfortable 6-1 winners.
More of the same wouldn’t go amiss this evening…
(Apologies to Arsene for making him sound like Sssssccchhhteve McClaren in the title)