Posted on Monday, 11th June 2012 by Tony Merakli
Former Gunner Ray Parlour has come to the conclusion that Arsene Wenger has been playing Andrey Arshavin in the wrong position at Arsenal, but also claims the Russian’s career at The Emirates is far from secure.
The forward playmaker pulled out a superb performance on Friday night for Russia, bagging two assists in their 4-1 victory over Czech Republic.
The 31-year-old has not had the best of times at Arsenal in recent seasons and spent the last six months of the last campaign on loan at his former club Zenit St. Petersburg after falling out-of-favour at The Emirates.
However, Parlour believes the Russian international should not be fully blamed for his fall from grace at Arsenal.
‘You could say that he was played in the wrong position at Arsenal. Arsene Wenger’s always played him on the left hand side and he’s more of a central player.
‘I’m sure Arsene will be watching and wondering why he couldn’t do that for Arsenal.
‘He never played like that which is frustrating for the fans, Arsene Wenger and the players.’
Due to his poor form over the past two seasons or so, Arshavin looked set to leave the Gunners this summer. However, following Arshavin’s successful loan, Parlour is unsure what Wenger will do with the Arsenal forward:
‘Let’s see what happens with him.
‘I’m not sure whether he’ll go back to Arsenal or they’ll try and sell him.’
I for one have never doubted Arshavin’s ability. I think he is a top player, but is one that plays when he is up for it. Unfortunately, most of the time, he isn’t.
Now I don’t know whether this is because he’s being played out of position by Wenger or not, but I don’t think it helps either. Saying that though, didn’t he play wide left on Friday night?
Perhaps it isn’t the position situation after all, maybe it’s the tactics and system that Wenger uses that Arshavin isn’t comfortable with. The Gunners love to pass the ball outside the opposition box, eventually go to the wings and whip in a cross, while Russia thrive on playing through the middle, creating opportunities at will.
Personally, I think Wenger should see how Andrey performs throughout the Euros before making a decision on the Russian’s future. If he performs well then we should give him another chance to prove his worth. If the opposite happens then it’s probably best that we cut our losses.
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