Arsène Wenger backs Andrey Arshavin to rediscover his top form
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger believes Andrey Arshavin will return to form as long as he can rediscover some of his confidence
Arsène Wenger insists Andrey Arshavin is capable of recreating his best form for Arsenal – if the Russian forward can rediscover some of his lost confidence.
The 30-year-old sealed a £15m move to the Emirates in 2009 and initially impressed, with 16 goals in his first two seasons in the Premier League.
But Arshavin’s future has been hanging in the balance of late – he has made 24 appearances for the Gunners this season but has only started 11 games.
Wenger intends to keep Arshavin at the Emirates – and the Frenchman believes confidence is the only thing standing between the Russian and his best form.
“We know he has the talent,” said Wenger. “He’s been questioned many times but his attitude has always been spot on.
“In the last game, specifically, he showed that he needs to play and needs confidence. He needs to play with confidence and freedom, that is his strength. He is a creative player and you need that fraction of belief and confidence to play with freedom.”
The Gunners boss believes Arshavin’s passing statistics are affected by his tendency to play to the margins, always searching for an incisive pass.
“He has always been a player who plays on the borderline, if you look at the game against QPR,” he continued. “He is a big gambler, and at the end of the day he gave the ball to Robin van Persie to score in that game. So he is always efficient.
“If you look at his numbers you are always surprised at how good he is. Sometimes the visual impression you get from a game has been frustrating, but he is very efficient. We can all have a big responsibility but we need confidence for what we do.”