Friday, February 24, 2012

Letting Arshavin Leave Now Would be Lunacy

I'm not going to pretend that Arshavin has had the best of seasons in an Arsenal shirt this year, but I was still shocked to read this Tweet by The Evening Standard's Chief Football Correspondent, James Olley, earlier today:

Decision made. #Arsenal agree to loan out Arshavin until the end of the season. Zenit to pay wages & £1m fee. Race on now to sort paperwork

Now, I should be careful to not get into a rage too quickly. Earlier today, Arsene had denied these reports, stating that 'at the moment' a deal wasn't on the cards. But we know how quickly these things change, and it struck me as odd that Arshavin played no part in either of our last two matches at Milan or Sunderland, given that he produced that piece of magic against Sunderland in the league just a few days before.

And that is the crux of the matter for me. Arshavin is till a fantastically talented player. In a squad that lacks depth and quality, he is someone who can come off the bench and provide that one moment that changes a game.

He won us the home game against Swansea with a piece of impetuous brilliance; he provided excellent assists against QPR and Sunderland. He can still provide glimpses of the quality that moved us to spend 15m quid for him three years ago.

I don't want to get into full obituary mode for his Arsenal career yet - I'll wait until any deal is announced or denied before that happens.

What I will say is this - it's one thing not to strengthen in the transfer window when we desperately need attacking talent. I can sometimes excuse that in January due to the lack of talent available, and the eye-watering premiums that clubs sometimes demand  in the winter window. But to actively let players leave, when we can't replace them is surely a sign of chronic mismanagement going on at some level at the club - perhaps even an "emperor's new clothes" moment.

Anyway, more on this story as I hear it.


Unknown said...

You make perfect sense but money rules at Arsenal although I bet in any deal we are paying some of his wages to play for someone else! The timing is stupid and sometimes I wonder if Wenger has taken leave of his senses.He just earned us the win at Sunderland after coming on and it must make more sense to retain him but he wants regular football before the Euros.

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Anonymous said...

absoloutely true, its complete lunacy to let him leave at this stage. Considering it hasn't worked with Rosicky, Yossi and Ramsay in the 'Cesc' role...and Wilshere still a while away, why not try Arshavin in his favoured role and see if he can make a difference? Its obvious we're completely lacking in quality and thats one thing Arsh doesn't lack. He may be dissapointing in everyhing else, but he has quality. I don't understand whats going on at this club.