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Arshavin Speaks Of Frustration Of Life On The Bench

Former Arsenal striker Andrey Arshavin has finally spoken about his barren spell at the club during this past season, as the Russian was relieved at finally securing a return back to his boyhood club Zenit St. Petersburg after his contract with the Gunners expired.

Arsene Wenger was a big fan of the player when he was signed from Zenit in 2009, and was an exciting prospect for the Arsenal faithful. With his tenacity to create spaces and shooting accurately from long range, Arshavin posed a unique threat to the Barclays Premier League defenders, and never let his height be an advantage for the opposition. However, the latter stages of Arshavin’s career at the club saw new signings arrive without any improvement in his own form. His biggest flaw was lack of consistency, which saw him perform excellently off the bench, but not as a starter. Wenger cannot be held at fault for the striker’s dismal form, as the French manager gave him enough chances to prove his worth in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

The Russian played just seven Premier League matches this past season, and failed to open his goal account. It seemed highly unlikely that the Gunners would offer the player a new deal, considering his age at 31, and the club soon announced that he was part of a trio including Denilson and Sebastian Squillaci, who were not to be offered deals. Arshavin was the second-oldest player in the squad, a stat suggesting that if an older player does not perform, he is likely to be sold. This also synchronizes with Wenger’s youth policy, giving players like 19-year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a chance to improve.

Arshavin was a striking talent brought in from Russia in the winter window of the 2008/2009 season. He was signed due to his impact in the national side, and made a good start to his career in London, with a regular starting position for two seasons, before he was sent on loan back to Zenit for the second half of the 2011-12 season.

According to Metro, Arshavin confessed that his wishes to leave the country were known to all, but not being able to do anything about it, unsettled the Russian star.

Arshavin said, “The fact is I didn’t want to stay in England, this was clear since January,”

“I don’t regret anything, but I had to leave.”

“It was a punishment sat on the bench. To train even though you know you won’t play – it is psychologically difficult.”

“I nearly suffered depression, but I didn’t because I’m mentally strong. The monotony of life there was crushing me.”

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