The Impact of Arshavin

Simply put, the impact of the arrival of Andrey Arshavin is big.  It’s big news on several fronts, and I’ll try to detail some of the key points here.

– For footballing reasons, his arrival was vital.  At the moment, van Persie and Nasri were carrying the team as the hubs of invention, but the truth is that we need more.  Our attacks have lost their verve, and we just do not punish teams enough with our counter attack.  We don’t have very many counter attack opportunities in the first place, so what’s hindering us is our players failing to choose the right options or having Adebayor finish off the created chances.  The bad options is down to the fact that our midfield has been torn apart by transfers and most importantly injuries.  Even before Cesc went down, our offense has been somewhat lacking.  Without Rosicky and Hleb, the spark had vanished.  We could still be great on our day, but not nearly in the same way.  It was mostly on the shoulders of Cesc or the pace of Walcott.  When both those options went down, our offensive game was always going to struggle.  

Arshavin will change that.  He’s quick, very strong for his frame, inventive, decisive, two-footed, and a winner.  I’ve only seen roughly 15-20 matches in full of Arshavin, but apart from the occasional off game, he is electric.  Let’s not kid ourselves here, we signed a world class player, one that can walk into almost any team (barring maybe FC Barcelona at the moment).  He finished 6th in the Ballon d’or voting.  And did I mention that in the end, he took a pay cut, took a private jet to London, gave back money, just to prove himself in the highest level of club football.  That should not be ignored.

Our defense has been savaged by the critics, but we’re failing to score the goals to win the games at times.  That cannot be discounted.  We’ve actually been fairly solid in the last couple of months.

– This team needed a psychological boost. The fans needed one too (not necessarily me, but this was very, very welcome). There were fans waiting in the snow, record-level snow, to see if the transfer would be completed. No, not for a press conference and the ability to see Arshavin. No, they were there just to be with other Gooners when the transfer was finally confirmed. Some Gooners are non-believers, and I don’t care for them really, but the fact remains that their support can actually help the club on the pitch. We are on a good run, but that run is marred by a distinct lack of goals. Any excitement generated can help our club. They may vocally support the team more (even though they should be doing that anyway). If we failed to sign Andrey, there would have been a dangerous negative reaction towards our team and Arsenal. Our players would have been strong enough to withstand that, but I’m glad that we didn’t have to deal with that.

– We played a game of brinksmanship with crazy jokesters, and we came out ahead.  Arsene looked Zenit in the eye and refused to blink.  For this reason, we got our man for half the price Zenit wanted (remember that SCUM offered 16 mil pounds in the summer, when the pound was worth more, and they were turned down).  We refused to cave on Xabi Alonso, and we got harsh criticism for that.  We now have won this battle, and we get smashed for that too.  You cannot win with the English media.  Even though if you compare transfer fees, we got a world class player for less than Craig Bellamy, Nigel de Jong, Tosic, and Robbie Keane (HAHAHAHAHAHA).

– We may be too far off the top to mount a title challenge this year, but let’s keep this in mind.  Next year, without a summer tournament to play, we will have a fit squad with Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin, Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Denilson.  The midfield will be loaded with creativity and will excel even more than the Spice Boys trio of Cesc, Hleb, and Tomas.

This is a good day.

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