January Round Up… Where will Arshavin play?

But we have signed a "superstar". A player would epitomises the Arsenal way. A player who's won titles and cups before. A player who can give us something that we're currently missing.

Arsene had a few words to say about the Russian:

“We are delighted to have signed Andrey Arshavin, he is a player I have admired for a long time. He is a versatile player with great experience, who will add real quality to our squad. Andrey is an exciting impact player with a huge amount of ability and has been an influential force with both Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national team in recent seasons.”

He has been very loyal to Zenit – I understand he was there for about 8 years. That’s pretty loyal. He’s also starred in Spain’s Euro 2008 run and Zenit’s Champions League adventure – both of which caught the eye of Arsene.

Arsene has been following the Russian since October 2007, and had seen him flourish in the Champions League. Arsene first tried to sign him before the Euro 2008 championships and negotiations with Zenit were first initiated during the summer transfer window.

At that point the quote for the player was 20 million euros, and it’s an extra ordinary piece of business that we have managed to sign him for as little at £12m (before additional extras). Andrei spoke on his feelings towards Arsenal.

“I moved because I like the Arsenal style, Wenger as a coach and I like some of their players. I followed each game and from the moment when I met Arsene Wenger. He told me every time I talked to him, he said: “I want you to come to Arsenal”. He had confidence in me.”

A nice bit of illegal approaching, but is it fair? We don’t really know the context, so hard to say of course.

Apparently, Martin O’Neill has been talking about the unfair advantage that the FA have ordained to Arsenal. Is that because we’re his challenge for the 4th spot? Of course it is. I would be a little concerned if another club had signed someone else 24 hours after the window - but the FA have confirmed that we got everything in order in time.

So, the question is where will he play… we’ll he’s perfect for the European 4-5-1 that we play – but unfortunately he’s unavailable this season due to his participation in the Champions League group stages.

So, let’s have a look at a few teams:

Almunia
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Clichy
Walcott – Denilson – Cesc – Nasri
Arshavin – Van Persie

Almunia
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Clichy
Denilson
Walcott – Cesc – Nasri – Arshavin
Van Persie

Almunia
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Clichy
Walcott – Nasri – Cesc – Arshavin
Edurdo – Van Persie

All of a sudden, we have a new found strength in depth – but one thing we have to remember is that a lot of those players are injured at the moment. Arshavin probably won’t feature in the game on Sunday, but from after that, until the injured players come back, this is probably our strongest line up:

Almunia
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Clichy
Nasri – Denilson – Song – Arshavin
Adebayor – Van Persie

That team could line up against Cardiff in the reply of the FA Cup, but with Diaby and Cesc injured, somehow we’ve found ourselves with Song back into the team. He’s not a “bad player” but when he is in the team it does show our lack of numbers in that position…

Okay, time to make food… speak later…]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I feel left out Dev. What about my favorite line-up :

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
    Nasri Cesc Rosicky
    VanPersie Eduardo Arshavin]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[In terms of loyalty though he's been publicly saying he wants to leave for nearly 18 months. If our best player was saying that, we'd all be angry.

    Aside from that though, I'm looking forward to his debut if only because it's something that might provide a much needed boost to the rest of the team. I'm still skeptical about how he'll fit in myself, but I'm at least looking forward to him scoring the winner against villa.]]>

  • Yemi

    < ![CDATA[one thing is certain about the signing of Arshavin. He is a player that will boost the attacking line up. I fancy him up-front pairing with adebayo, VP to the right. He is a player that can slot in those through balls for ade like eduardo/cesc/hleb used to do.
    Think of an attacking line up withade,Arshavin,eduardo and the incredible RVP upfront ! The can do what barca are doing at the moment (Etoo, Henry and mersi switching positions with ease)
    Just to think that the addition of a single player can bring in much more depth. with song/denilson and nasri behind them.
    My ideal team (based on the available resourses)
    Alumina
    sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
    Denilson Song
    RVP Nasri Arshavin
    Ade

    Nasri and Arshavin could swap positions easily, VP could lash on to balls from the left fromm either Arshavin or nasri. Ade's job will be to pick up loose balls or be a thorn in the flesh of the defense line of opponents (even if he doesnt score, he will be able to make space available for others)

    My views though]]>

  • Ric

    < ![CDATA[Yemi that is exactly the team i was thinking of. Song and Denilson protecting the defence (i know denilson isnt really a defensive player as such but hes done alright this season so he deserves to play)..

    And this formation would be great for Nasri, i think he would do really well in that position. And of course Arshavin's perfect position is the wide left of a 433/4231.

    I want to see this team as soon as possible!]]>

  • zohaib

    I don’t understand what Adebayor has to do to be dropped from the team. His performances over the past month have been rubbish. Why does he get a free ticket into the team ?! Not only does he not score enough, he doesn’t do anything really. He misses more chances than the rest of the squad combined and he doesn’t really link-up with anybody particularly well. He shifts into strange positions and likes to play as a midfielder. He’s too scared to hold the ball up in the final third. Always thinking about a challenge from behind which never comes. He absolutely never turns the defender. He’s just not quick enough to be a front man. Compared to his first season, he’s lost a bit of urgency and acceleration and change of direction. Even Bendtner’s been a better player than Ade in Jan.

  • harry

    < ![CDATA[Daniel Levy humiliated the best manager Spurs have had in over a decade, overseen a farcical approach to transfers, and has now put the club in the hands of a man who is out of his depth and blowing wads of money on the wrong players.

    What is the logic of spending almost thirty million pounds on two strikers? Don't let them hide behind the Defoe injury; 'Arry was making enquiries about more forwards before Defoe got injured, hence the interest in Craig Bellamy. What are Spurs going to do with five Premier League standard strikers who cannot play with each other?

    In the same month Redknapp has signed an odious full-back who didn't give a s*** about Spurs when they were decent and who wasn't good enough first time round, and a former goalkeeper to replace someone who, despite being as consistent as a shivering dog's dump, is still one of their better performers this season. Wilson Palacios might turn out to be the holding midfielder they need, but at £14 million he'd better be, and am I the only one who thinks Redknapp has taken a gamble on the back of one good performance? Despite another £40 million + splurge, the improvements to the squad are marginal: there's no left-sided midfielder, or anyone to adequately cover for the simian sicknote they call Gareth Bale. Is 'Arry going to try crap performances on the squad now he's blown all the cash so unwisely? Knowing him, undoubtedly, but it'll be an even less compelling argument.

    The last few, extravagant, years have been funded, at least in part, by the windfalls Spurs received for Berbatov, Carrick and Keane. Even with the profit they made on Keane, there is nothing in the Spurs squad (Modric might end up going for a lot, but he cost a lot in the first place) to suggest that there are any windfalls in the pipeline. In fact there are very few players that they can hope to make a profit on. Levy has overseen the squandering of a huge transfer fund, and Redknapp has been more than happy to help out.

    The league would be worse off without Tottenham. As an Arsenal fan I'd laugh, but the North London derby regularly produces classics (even if sometimes those classics make me want to bring intense and long-lasting harm to Devid Bentley's stupid face) and a club with their history and style belongs in the top tier. With the run of games they are facing and the squad as unbalanced as always the biggest hope of them staying up might be for three other teams (probably 'Boro, West Brom and Newcastle) to be even worse. But if it's not, we all know who to blame.]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[I don't agree with the loyalty claims, Dev. He was never really on anyones radar throughout those 8 years until late on. As soon as he caught sniff of the big clubs, he has been asking to leave ever since. He was given a pretty hefty bonus to sign his most recent contract and see it through, but didn't manage it. So i think your a little out to be honest. I'm not saying hes a disgusting man for what hes done, he is pretty much like the rest of us.

    At the end of the day, he will apparently give us some much needed penetration in the final third. So loyal or not, i just hope he can win us some games.

    This....

    Almunia
    Sagna - Toure - Djourou - Clichy
    Denilson
    Walcott - Cesc - Nasri - Arshavin
    Van Persie

    ... is a fantastic looking 11. A real solid all round team, and potentiall with Rosicky, Eduardo and Adebeyour on the bench. Will they ever all be fit?]]>

  • Ric

    That is a great team Dan but i do still think we need a solid defensive midfielder. Someone who can bully the opposition, because that midfield 5 must be the smallest i can think of.

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[While a top class defensive mifilder in place of Denilson would not go a miss, i don't think that 5 would have any troubles looking after themselves. Cesc gets stuck in whenever required. Denilson is of a descent build. Arshavin is supposed to be quite a bullish midfield player. Walcott tends to draw fouls rather than lose the ball. Nasri will give it some occasionally (Think back to Joey Barton).

    I know what you mean, they are not conventionally tough players, but given some team spirit and a kick up the ass, those 5 would not be bullied in a Premiership match.]]>

  • Yemi

    < ![CDATA[i agree with ric, Dan your team seem to be a little bit weak midfield. i dont see them going up against a Gerrard- alonzo-mascherano midfield or a lampard-ballack-mikel/essien midlfied head to head.
    Although i also agree that when it comes to skills and technical ability, they could stand the test. Are you thinking about arial balls too ? We have seen in the past that denilson, cesc and even nasri are not too impressive when it comes to winning balls in a tackle hence the large number of yellow cards to their names]]>

  • Ric

    < ![CDATA[I do think that Nasri, Denilson and Cesc handle themselves well for their size. But I want opposition players and fans to think.. 'oh no we're up against **** today'...

    But I can't think of anyone we could buy like that to be honest..]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[Yeah its a fair point that the midfield would never bully the opposition. Like i said, a top class defensive midfielder would certainly be a positive thing. It isn't entirely necessary though.

    Theres more than one way of skinning a cat. I do believe that midfield could strike fear into the opposition, not from brute force though. The same kind of fear that players have when up against Man Utd. I don't think they have a particularly brutal midfield to be honest. Ronaldo is feared, but not because of his raging tackles.

    I'm not saying i'm against signing a Senna or someone like that, I was desperate for that signing. I'm just putting the run into the end of the season in a more positive light.]]>

  • ny

    < ![CDATA[I can predict Wenger's choice.Now VanPersi is playing in middle.Still we lack creativity.Means he will move to right wing just as he plays for dutch team.

    --------------Almunia -----------------
    Sagna - Djouru - Gallas - Clichy
    VanPersi - Diaby - Cesc - Nasri
    ---------- Arshavin---------------
    ------ Adebayor -----------

    Walcott and Rosicky will cover VanPersi and Nasri]]>

  • Yemi

    Ny, as much as i agree with you, i prefer denilson to diaby. diaby holds on to the ball too long and his attacking flair is not too treathenening. i have not seen anyone mention ramsey or bischoff in this setup. Much has not been said about bendtnar too. for me this season, bendtnar has been much more of a danger when he plays than ade has been

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Nasri has developed a strong partnership with Clichy(with Nasri often looking to cut inside and Clichy providing a wide option whenever this happens), so i think that Nasri will keep his spot on the left.

    I think Arshavin will come in on the right wing, we have decent enough CMs and the one place we've really struggled is with Eboue not being a creative force on the wind.

    Wenger is unlikely to change the 442 formation to create a playmaking role for Arshavin (he didn't for Rosicky, Nasri or Cesc), and we have a tendancy to play goal scoring midfileders on the wings (Wiltord, Pires, Rosicky, Nasri).]]>

  • Ric

    < ![CDATA[Dan, I agree with your more ways of skinning a cat theory..

    Im sure when Cesc gets back and we have Walcott, Nasri, Cesc and Arshavin (if played together) in a team then the opposition would and should feel threatened.

    Just really looking forward to seeing Arshavin play. I love him already and all hes done is say hes a gunner and said he hates women drivers...!!!

    And what did he actually say about Pavlyuchenko.. Something about them not being friends??...

    Haha love the guy!]]>

  • Jimmy

    ACTUALLY HE CAN PLAY IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE because lass diarra is aswell, the rule is that a team can make three changes to their champions league squad but only on ecan have played in europe before.

  • Jimmy

    < ![CDATA[Almunia

    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Denilson Song

    Nasri

    Van Persie Arshavin

    Adebayor]]>

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[No, he can't play in the Champions league, he has played for Zenit in the CL and is cup tied.

    Diarra had played in the UEFA cup.]]>

  • hoih

    uhm; Arshavin is a right sided player… that’s where he started

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[What a difference just one extra player like Arshavin can make. It's quite exciting to think of the quard options we'll have once everyone is back fighting fit. Eduardo and Arshavin are just around the corner, a case of building match fitness. Walcotts' return is in about a month and Rosicky should be less than 2 months. We'll end up having a stronger squad at the end of the season than we did at the beginning. It's certainly encouraging. And seeing as Arshavin cant play Champions League for us this year, he'll most likely feature more prominantly in the Prem and FA Cup competitions, lightening the burden for some of the other players.

    The Premier League is probably a bit beyond us at this stage of the season, but realistically, with the players we have and players yet to return from injury, we stand a chance of winning either the FA and Champions League. Let's hope so.]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[What a difference just one extra player like Arshavin can make. It's quite exciting to think of the quad options we'll have once everyone is back fighting fit. Eduardo and Arshavin are just around the corner, a case of building match fitness. Walcotts' return is in about a month and Rosicky should be less than 2 months. We'll end up having a stronger squad at the end of the season than we did at the beginning. It's certainly encouraging. And seeing as Arshavin cant play Champions League for us this year, he'll most likely feature more prominantly in the Prem and FA Cup competitions, lightening the burden for some of the other players.

    The Premier League is probably a bit beyond us at this stage of the season, but realistically, with the players we have and players yet to return from injury, we stand a chance of winning either the FA and Champions League. Let's hope so.]]>

  • Pete

    Sorry for the double post

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[Almunia
    Clichy Gallas Djourou Sagna
    Toure
    Nasri Fabregas Arshavin
    Van Persie Adebayor

    Fabianski Song Eboue Denilson Rosicky Vela Eduardo]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[---------------------Almunia-----------------------
    Sagna------Djourou------Gallas------Clichy
    -----------------------Toure-------------------------
    ----Nasri------------Cesc----------Arshavin----
    --------------RvP--------------Ade------------------

    Fabianski Song Ramsey Denilson Eduardo Rosicky Walcott

    Then depending on match circumstances, Rosicky on for Toure to come on and play on the left wing when we need a goal...so Arshavin moves into a more central role...as a 3rd striker...more of a 4-3-3. And we have a fresh Theo if he comes on for a tired Nasri. And a fresh Eduardo as well!]]>

  • Fabrez

    Actually i’d have Bendtner on the bench instead of Song.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I don't imagine we'll ever get to see Toure play as DM. The closest we're going to come to finding a proper defensive partner for Cesc in the center is Diaby with, maybe one more season of football. He's definitely got talent, he just needs to fine-tune it. He's only had a run of games in the side this season, like VanPersie, after their previous two seasons were pretty much cut in half. With more games, I expect he'll cement his place ahead of Denilson. And if he doesn't want to play DM then hopefully Song, with more experience should be a decent DM. They're both a bit lethargic and that area needs a bit of work. But I don't expect Wenger to make any summer signings either. Except for maybe a few more youngsters. Although we've got quite a number of youngsters, I can't imagine us accommodating even more :

    arsenal.com/news/reserves-news/loan-table

    On another note, courtesy of our site, I've just realized that our fastest goal this season comes against Hull at the 30 min mark. Appalling ! It really pisses me off that we have to wait till the 70th minute to see some clear-cut chances and proper shots on goal, or goals.]]>

  • http://footballprofitsystems.info Eric S

    < ![CDATA[Wenger has said that Toure does not have enough stamina to play centre mid. So he will not play there.

    But the funny thing is that Wenger also pointed out Song does not have enough stamina to play many games at centre mid for a whole season - and now he plays Song at centre mid?

    Diaby is playing better now. He is starting to tackle like Viera. But I hope Dudu comes back fast to replace Ade. Ade's shooting is really woeful at the moment!

    My preferred team lineup:

    ———————Almunia———————–

    Sagna——Djourou——Gallas——Clichy

    Arshavin—Cesc—--------Diaby —-Nasri—-

    ————–RvP————–Dudu——————]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[

    ACTUALLY HE CAN PLAY IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE because lass diarra is aswell, the rule is that a team can make three changes to their champions league squad but only on ecan have played in europe before.
    ACTUALLY NO HE CANNOT.

    I think Diaby and Denilson and Song are great players, if you had just one or two of them beneath more experience. But when you can only pick from that clutch they look a bit thin. What I mean is that they’ll come good – I rate all three, if as you say Zohaib, they build consistancy.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[

    On another note, courtesy of our site, I’ve just realized that our fastest goal this season comes against Hull at the 30 min mark

    I think our first goal of the season in the PL, scored by Nasri against West Brom was after three minutes 44 seconds…]]>

  • Ric

    Was just thinking that, I was sure Nasri’s goal was quicker than that. I didn’t know the exact time like, but knew it was quicker! :)

  • zohaib

    That’s strange. I’m absolutely sure I saw an advertisement on the site saying something like ‘Ebel Fastest Goal Challenge’. Or maybe that was for January only. In that case, my bad.

  • Yemi

    Eric S, as much as i like your formation, i don’t fancy 2 left footed srikers up front at once.i don’t mind edu behind RVP and bendner or RVp and Simpson. If ade sits out on the bench for a couple of matches, he will know that his shirt is not guaranteed. If he continues to play at the current level, i dont see any club coming for him summer. even if they do, i dont see us trying to hold on to him like last summer !!!

  • Debs

    Hooray! Arshavin’s got his work permit now, so he could play! But then, he’s probably not match fit :( and apparently he went back to Russia and I don’t know if he’s back yet. But I would love it love it, if he makes his debut, even if off the bench! But it’s another must-win game, as usual!

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Thats good news, just an issue of whether he is fit enough. If he is back in the country I imagine Wenger will give him a run out, but probably only for 10 or 15mins.

    Apparently he spent a morning training with us before he went back to Russia, so Wenger will have an idea if he is ready.

    I'm just looking forward to seeing him towards the end of the season, having had a 2 month winter break the rest of the players in the Prem League won't have had.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Yeah…Andrey shud play the final 10-15 mins. It would be enough for me to see him playing for us. Can’t wait to see what he has to offer over the course of the season. Zokora of Spurs said he chose Spurs over Arsenal & is happy with that choice! Ha! The only way u can be happy with that choice is if u don’t think u r good enough to get in the Arsenal team or u want more money…so see u (& hopefully crush u) on Sunday Zokora! :D

  • Debs

    LOL but very true Fabrez! ;)

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Just read a few quotes from Wenger's press conference. Arshavin and Nasri can both play right midfield, left midfield or behind the strikers. So there we have it. The answer to the question, this article asks.

    In other news, Rosicky should be back in 6-7 weeks ! Woohoo ! He's trained with the ball for the first time in over a year. About time. Thank goodness. Can't wait to see our stars all fit.]]>