What’s the difference between Arshavin and Samir Nasri? The Creator and the Assassin – Data Analysis

Statistics cannot inform every conclusion when it comes to football. They are merely descriptors for physical, tangible actions which take place on the pitch over ninety minute periods. However, data can tell the tale of the role of an individual within a team, and assess their contribution in basic form.

This season has seen the rising form of Samir Nasri capture the imagination of the footballing world, and his importance to Arsenal even prompted the placing of the Frenchman on a par with Cesc Fabregas where team selection is concerned.

By contrast another key player, who often inhabits the opposite flank, Andrey Arshavin, has been the subject of criticism over his performances in 2010/11. This season a perception has prevailed in sections of the public, which sees Arshavin as playing very poorly this season. There are valid points to this, his passing has at times been inaccurate, and there is the old criticism that he just doesn’t run enough. There is still room for debate on the topic though.

Continue reading “What’s the difference between Arshavin and Samir Nasri? The Creator and the Assassin – Data Analysis”

The many sides of Andrey Arshavin: An all round performance at Villa in context

A torrid week for Arsenal ended with three points after a six goal clash at Villa Park. One aspect that caught my eye this week was the difference apparent in one Arsenal player, Andrey Arshavin, so much so that it required a little more in-depth investigation.

Image courtesy of Ronnie Macdonald

Arshavin’s poor form has been criticised of late, and not unjustly either. A goal drought extending from September, combined with poor passing, and a distinct lack of fitness has contributed to a poor season by his standards.

Continue reading “The many sides of Andrey Arshavin: An all round performance at Villa in context”

Arsenal Score Six: How they took Braga apart: Highlights of The Fab Four – Wilshere, Fabregas, Arshavin, Chamakh

As Marouane Chamakh left the field last night, his name reverberated around the stadium, and for good reason. The striker has been a breath of fresh air for an Arsenal side which has all too often struggled with injuries up front. Together with the passing of Wilshere and Fabregas, and the movement of Arshavin, Arsenal pulled a new Braga side apart last night, scoring six goals.

Technically Chamakh is gifted, but this is only one of his strong points. He has the ability to create space for others, in holding the ball up superbly with a mixture of balance, strength and exquisite control. His touch is good enough that he generally holds on to the ball, even in very difficult situations, and his aerial strength means he can win headers and make knock downs.

Continue reading “Arsenal Score Six: How they took Braga apart: Highlights of The Fab Four – Wilshere, Fabregas, Arshavin, Chamakh”

Is Arshavin the man to hand Arsenal European glory?

One of the most frustrating aspects of last season was Andrey Arshavin’s lack of involvement in the Champions League. Despite signing for Arsenal in January, the Russian was unable to take part in European games because of his involvement for Zenit St. Petersburg in the group stages of the Champions League.

This season though, Arshavin is available to help Arsenal’s European bid and Arsene Wenger believes this could be crucial to the team’s chances of success and just what they need to upset the odds. The Gunners boss says that the 28-year-old can ‘make the difference’ for Arsenal in Europe.

As we all know, Arshavin has been very impressive since joining the club with many predicting that the current campaign will be a hugely successful one for the former Zenit man. Can this conclude with Arshavin lifting the Champions League trophy though?

Well, much could be decided after tonight’s game with Celtic. Arshavin is set to start for Arsenal at Celtic Park in the first-leg of the Champions League qualifier, a game where many expect his quality to shine through.

Wenger himself admits that Arshavin ‘can turn up at any moment’ and make something significant happen. In fact, he could end up being one of the main differences between Arsenal and Celtic. The Scottish club don’t have anyone with Arshavin’s quality and Wenger knows it.

It seems as though Celtic manager Tony Mowbray knows it as well. The Bhoys boss describes Arshavin as a ‘typical Arsenal footballer’ who is ‘very gifted, bright and intelligent’. Mowbray went on to admit that he ‘sat in awe’ of the Russian while watching his four goals at Anfield last season.

Arsenal are by no means a one man team though and Wenger was keen to point this out. He finished by saying that the target is to ‘develop the team play and not focus too much on individuals’.

Regardless of this though, considering the views on both managers, it seems as though all eyes will be on Arshavin this evening as Arsenal head to Celtic Park.

By Thomas Rooney

Portsmouth 0 – 3 Arsenal Highlights: The second team gets a run out

Portsmouth 0 – 3 Arsenal: Bendtner 13, Bendtner 41 pen, Vela 56. Highlights from the Arsenalist

Comfortable is what you could call this result, and the 3 points have now secured 4th place in the league, and Champions League qualifiers next year. We are now unbeaten in 21 league games, and have equalled a club record scoring at least 3 goals in the last 5 away games.

Arsenal’s youngsters dominated for most of the game, although Portsmouth did have their chances to even the scores. Wenger rested most of the first team, including Almunia, opting for Djourou and Song in central defence – Vela and Ramsey also got starts, whilst Arshavin captained the side.

Wenger:

“We were sharp, composed and mobile with a great attitude.”

The changes were obviously made in order to give as many players as possible a rest before the crucial Champions League game on Tuesday. Walcott and Bendtner were both taken off in the second half – Sagna and Song were the only players from Wednesday’s team to play 90 minutes.

Randall, Bischoff and Merida got their chances in the second half as subs and the team looked impressive, by the end of the game we were in complete control.

Bendtner’s first goal was a header from Arshavin’s cross which David James dropped and let itno the back of the net. That will add more weight to the fans calling for Almunia to get his chance in the England squad.

Then Arshavin was brought down just before half time in the box, and a penalty was given although Arsh himself thought it was a clean tackle. Bendtner slotted home, and then in the second half Vela added another.

The only other event of note was Portsmouth’s red card – Arshavin was through on goal and Pamarot the last defender took him down. The resulting free kick came to nothing, but Pompey were down to 10 men with little chance of getting anything from this game.

The visiting Arsenal support was in high spirits, there is a little hope that we can beat Man Utd on Tuesday, and now that the league position is secured, the Champions League is what will make or break this season. It’s going to take a more composed performance than the first leg to go through, but we still have an outside chance of making it.

Arsenal Injuries ahead of Portsmouth and Man Utd

The Arsenal squad has been living under a plague of injuries this season and this week has been no exception.

Eduardo is out for the next three weeks with a groin problem, which means his season is basically over.

Silvestre, who I thought performed ok against Man Utd also has a groin injury as does Van Persie. Gael Clichy is still ruled out with a back problem too.

Central defence is now down to the bare bones – Toure and Djourou will have to start in central defence against Portsmouth, with Alex Song the next choice.

In midifled we are ok, but Wenger will rest some players ahead of the Man Utd game on Wednesday.

Fourth place is almost ours, and the Champions League is the biggest competition for us by far this season.

It is a huge challenge to go into this second leg 1-0 down. The strikeforce is also looking thin, although Arshavin can obviously play in the league.

Diaby can play against Portsmouth, but he shouldn’t play on Wednesday – he doesn’t contribute a great deal to the team, and until his attitude changes he will always be a liability in my eyes.

Expect changes this weekend, but I hope we have the quality to see off the Portsmouth team this weekend.

Liverpool 4 – 4 Arsenal Highlights from a mental night at Anfield

Liverpool 4 – 4 Arsenal: Arshavin 35, Torres 48, Benayoun 55, Arshavin 66, Arshavin 69, Torres 71, Arshavin 89, Benayoun 92. Highlights thanks to the Arsenalist.

Image courtesy of wonker

A scorcher of a game at Anfield produced eight goals, and four came from none other than Andrey Arshavin.The game was nearly ours when Arshavin scored his 4th in the 89th minute. Anfield must have been thinking it was 1989 all over again, but Benayoun grabbed a point for Liverpool in injury time.

Arsenal defended abysmally, and because of that we conceded easily – the left side got mauled – Liverpool were pounding away at us and we found it hard to pass the ball. Gibbs and Silvestre looked weak at times and that is to be expected, and Sagna was at fault for Liverpool’s first equaliser.

On the other hand we were clinical in attack – 4 shots on target and 4 goals.

Arshavin took his first goal, slotting in a Fabregas cross in the first half, after Nasri played him through. Benayoun then equalised early in the second half after Sagna cleared the ball across his own penalty area to Kuyt.

Torres made it 2 – 1 and it seemed that the game was lost! However, Arshavin then capitalised on slack Liverpool defending to make it 2-2, and then made it 3-2!

Torres made it three all after fooling Silvestre to gain more space. But in the 89th minute Walcott countered from a corner as Liverpool committed men forward. He took the ball forward and played Arshavin through on goal and he coolly took his 4th, making it 4-3.

When Arshavin made it 4-3 on the 89th minute I thought the game was ours, 1989 style. Up for Grabs now moment, Kenny Dalglish vacant stare moment. It wasn’t to be. I don’t know how the 4th assistant found 5 minutes added time, but it was inevitable the way Liverpool were pressing our shaky defence that they would get another goal.

Benayoun headed home after shambolic clearing from Arsenal allowed Liverpool to get a cross in injury time.

In any case it was a great game, highly entertaining, although I was disappointed that we never really got going. Arshavin more than made up for it with his performance – he really is a very, very special player.

This keeps the unbeaten run going. Wenger said that 3 points would have been better than one but in all fairness we were very lucky to come away with a point. It was the induvidual brilliance of Arshavin that got us the point.

The first time that 4 goals have been scored at Anfield in the league since the 1940s and who else could do it? What a rollercoaster of a game! How I’m wishing that Arshavin could play in the Champions League.

Get the Arshavin Wallpaper here

Watch all of Arshavin’s goals at Zenit here.

Interviews with Theo Walcott and the Arshavins

There are several interesting interviews in the press at the moment, Theo Walcott talks to both the Mail and the Guardian. In addition both Andrey Arshavin and Yulia Arshavin have been giving their impressions on settling in London, as well as Andrey’s relationship with Guus Hiddink.

In the Walcott interview with Daily Mail they go into a lot of detail. Firstly how Theo took Henry’s number 14 shirt without realising it – Nasri had already taken the number 8, and he wanted a lower number:

“I asked Vic what the options were. And he said I could have 23, 19 or 14. Without thinking I said I’d take the 14, because it was the lowest.”

How much he respected Thierry:

“Thierry was great with me and my family. He’d offer me advice, take an interest, but he’d also speak to my dad a lot as well. He was a real captain in that way, giving his time to the young lads coming through.”

The shoulder problem:

“The problem with my shoulders was something I inherited from my dad,’ he says. ‘The left one would pop out and then pop back in — absolute agony — during almost every game last season, so I had surgery to put it right last summer.”

“But in Berlin Scott Parker gave me a bit of a nudge, I slipped on the wet ground and the right one went. It popped out and popped back in like the left one always did. So I kept going. We were playing Germany the next day and I wanted to be involved.”

“Then, though, I went up for this ball and when I was spinning in the air the shoulder dislocated again. And this time it stayed out. The pain was unbelievable.”

He is now stronger and faster than ever – and his goal against Wigan should bring back some shooting confidence which Theo lacks at times.

Theo also gave an interview to the Guardian, where he comments on what it was like coming to Arsenal and his run at Anfield in the Champions League last year.

Andrey Arshavin was interviewed by the Telegraph. He talked about the upcoming games against Chelsea and his relationship with their manager Guus Hiddink:

“Hiddink gave me a lot in my life, not just in my football life,”

“If he had not taken over the Russian team I would not be here in England. He made us all believe we were strong, he gave us so much. I respect him and I wish him good luck – except in two games, the FA Cup and in the championship.”

This shows the professional side to Arshavin, he respects Hiddink – but when we play Chelsea his only ambition is to win, and I believe him.

On settling in England:

“Now I’m in a hotel. Next week I will move. I have to settle. Everything is difficult. For example, to get an agreement to rent a house. Everybody is speaking and telling me things but afterwards, when I see it on paper, it is not what I heard.

“I think the quality of life, especially for people with money, is better in Russia than here. Here there are lots of rules and laws. In Russia, if you have money, you can break the law.” 

“I’m happy to be here in English football – it is the best league in the world, I am happy with my professional life but I am unhappy in everyday life, it is very difficult for me. I don’t understand why people do things, or say things, it is a little bit strange. I am alone for the first time in my life, I never left St Petersburg before.”

We also hear Yulia Arshavin’s views on settling in England. Including denial of the negative comments she allegdly made about London:

“To get started, I actually did not speak anything bad about London. Moreover I liked the city especially after the Russian-speaking tour guide took us round”

She likes the match-day hospitality at Ashburton Grove and she enjoys the atmosphere:

“When Andrey takes the ball the whole stadium is already buzzing. There is a simultaneous cry and you feel a total emotional wave”

So the Arshavins are happy at Arsenal, although England is obviously a bit strange for them – they have always lived in St. Petersburg. I’m sure that they will be more settled. As long as Arshavin keeps playing the way he is at the moment I’m sure he will stay happy!

Wigan 1 – 4 Arsenal Highlights, Arshavin’s Magic!

Wigan Ath 1 – 4 Arsenal: Mido 18, Walcott 61, Silvestre 71, Arshavin 90, Song 90. Highlights at Arsenalist.com.

Arsenal came back from a goal down against Wigan to claim all three points in front of 22000 at the JJB Stadium.

Image courtesy of Paul Holloway

Mido’s early goal gave Wigan the lead, but Walcott equalised after 60 minutes, thanks to Arshavin’s skill in the box. Then Arshavin played a through ball to Fabregas who set up Silvestre to score on the edge of the 6 yard line. 2-1!

Arsenal countered for their 3rd goal – Arshavin picking up a poor clearance on the edge of the box to slot home, and Alex Song of all people dribbled past two Wigan players and into the box before shooting to make it four!

A fantastic result for us – just a pity that Man Utd and Chelsea both scraped wins against Sunderland and Bolton.

Injury Worries

We also lost Djourou to injury which worries me. We are already suffering after losing Gallas and Clichy. Today we ended up with Gibbs and Silvestre playing in defence – as long as we keep winning it isn’t a problem – but defensive instability was the reason we leaked so many goals earlier this season.

Champions League Qualification

Wenger said before the game that the league was the priority for the future, the Champions League and the FA Cup the immediate priority. This victory took us a step closer to Champions League qualification, as well as keeping us on the tails of the top three.

We will miss Arshavin on Wednesday, he showed today how much he has brought to the team, he creates chances and scores goals – but he can still help us in the league and the FA Cup.

Oh and also, Happy St. Totteringham’s Day to you all; Spurs can no longer finish above us in the League, haha.

Arsespeak Man of the Match: Andrey Arshavin

Lineup: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Djourou (Silvestre 35), Gibbs, Walcott (Adebayor 68), Denilson (Van Persie 63), Song , Arshavin, Fabregas, Bendtner.

Brand new Arshavin Wallpaper. Arsenal wallpapers for your desktop

Welcome to the latest exclusive Arsespeak wallpaper post.

Today’s wallpaper is of our new signing – Arshavin – scoring his first goal for the club against Blackburn.

Just click on the image below for full size and then set it as your desktop background!

Arshavin Arsenal Wallpaper
Kindly designed for us by Zickart.

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