Arshavin accolade arrives as he ponders Arsenal departure

Here is one for you: Andrey Arshavin has become the athlete of the year for the fourth year in a row according to a body known as the all-Russian public opinion research center. No, I am not making this up (for once). It says so, here, in black and white on AA23’s very own website.

Now, I really want to like our little Russian. I do. Ever since he (eventually) came to the Emirates and uttered the immortal words: “I am Gooner” I took a shine to him.

That shine grew brigther the night I was at Anfield and he rattled in four goals. Incredible. And we still didn’t win (No Toon jokes, please). But since then? Not much, really. Odd cameo role. Odd wonder goal. Odd decent assist.

But overall his arse has grown bigger as, seemingly, has his opinion of himself. Athelete of the year? Really? Of late, he – how can I put this without attracting the attention of AK47-toting Russian mafia? – doesn’t appear to have the same desire he once had.

I can’t help but think, thanks to the platform that Arsenal have given him in the most-watched football league in the world, he feels as if he has made it and is waiting to head home to the frozen wastelands from whence he came. Zenit Somebodyorothersburg, apprently. At least AA23 will be pondering his Emirates future right now. The talk of him doing a bunk in the January window intensifies.

AW denies he is off. But then again AW denies most things.

Or at best he circumnavigates the truth. But that’s his prerogative in many repsects. To keep transfer targets and the clubs who want big spondoolies for their assets guessing. A by-product of that, of course, is that fans get frustrated at the lack of on-the-money news about potential newcomers.

AA23 leaving is all fine and dandy but with a depleted squad such as ours you feel AW must bring players in before allowing them to depart. Except Wayne Bridge and that Kalou fella.

Meanwhile, I see Villa at home in the FA Cup has been scheduled for Sunday, January 29 – which means we won’t play a game in the month on a Saturday. And it also means that Bolton away on the Tuesday is now under threat (much to the chagrin of @ColonolMerv who has meticulously planned his initerary to include a Strongbow-fuelled jolly in Blackpool and is in threat of seeing his plans go up in smoke).

Still, could be worse.

Could be an N17 fantasist. Dennis (God) knows there are an abundance of them around at the minute.

Up the Gunners, I say!

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