Andrey Arshavin hasn’t played well on the pitch lately and as a result, the 29-year-old Russian star hasn’t been in Arsenal’s starting lineup, a move that he accepts in light of his recent playing.
Head coach Arsene Wenger has supported Arshavin, saying that he’ll return to form, while Gunners fans have expressed great frustration with the midfielder’s lackluster playing.
In an interview with The Sun, Arshavin expressed a great lack of confidence in his playing abilities.
“Now when I get the ball, I begin to think, ‘Should I try and trick an opponent? Or if I do, will I lose the ball? And what if I make a pass? Won’t they think that I am trying to get rid of the ball?'” he asked. “I am afraid of taking the initiative. When such thoughts appear, your final decision, as a rule, turns out to be wrong. And you waste a lot of opportunities. That was happening to me in recent matches.”
Arshavin thinks one problem has been plaguing him since the beginning of the season, but doesn’t quite know why.
“I do not have enough acceleration. From the very start of this season I felt I’m fast enough only in separate episodes,” he said. “The reason? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just getting old.”
Until Arshavin can return to his prime playing, he’ll have to accept other people playing in his former spot.
“Naturally, I’d like to be on the pitch in every game — but currently the boys who play in my position, Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott, look very good. They’re really in good shape and that’s why they’re playing.
“To get back my place in the starting 11, I need to regain my best form,” he added. “All I can do is work in training. There are no other recipes for building up your form.”
As for what he thinks he is doing wrong? Nothing.
“It is just a period I need to come through. I have nothing to reproach myself about. I do not do anything which would distract me from football and interfere with it.”
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