Arshavin unveiled at Arsenal: interview + Wenger, Gazidis thoughts

It brings me great pleasure to begin today’s post by stating that Andrei Arshavin is now officially an Arsenal player.

The announcement was made around 4.30pm yesterday UK Time, literally minutes after I – down in Australia – went to bed. I had hoped to break the official news of his signing as soon as it happened but it all got a bit ridiculous sitting up at 2am in the morning doing nothing but refreshing the website. Alas, it happened and that’s all that really matters now.

It’s hard to know exactly what we paid for Arshavin but general reports are that it was a club record. However, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I think it will be money well-spent on a player of immense quality. Incidentally he will wear the #23 shirt.

The official Arsenal site is littered with all sorts of bits and bobs about Arshavin which I’d encourage you to check out. By far the best thing is Arshavin’s first interview as an Arsenal player. Normally you would need to be a subscriber of Arsenal TV to view it but some clever monkey has uploaded it to YouTube and an even cleverer monkey (regular reader ‘Swift’) posted the link. I’ve included it below (for those reading via email or RSS, click this link to view).

He seems quite a decent chap, doesn’t he? I think the attempt to speak in English – and fairly fluent English at that – is a good sign that he will be able to fit nicely into the Arsenal camp.

Understandably I’m not the only one who has spoken out about the impact that Arshavin might make as a player. Arsene Wenger as well as Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis – who played a huge role in the Russian’s tranfer – have both commented on the signing, insisting that he will add the quality and experience necessary to help the current squad succeed.

First up, Wenger:

“We are delighted to have signed Andrey Arshavin, he is a player I have admired for a long time. He is a versatile player with great experience, who will add real quality to our squad. Andrey is an exciting impact player with a huge amount of ability and has been an influential force with both Zenit St Petersburg and the Russian national team in recent seasons.”

And Gazidis:

“Andrey was identified by Arsène as a quality creative player that would add something special to this youthful but talented squad. The Board has always backed the manager with his transfer targets and we are delighted to welcome Andrey to the Club where he will help us to challenge for honours this season.”

It’s hard to argue with anything that the manager or Gazidis have said. I’m strongly of the opinion that Arshavin is a special player who will have a decent impact on the club from day one.

In his interview the Russian suggests that he may not be sharp enough yet to play against Tottenham on the weekend but I’ve just got the feeling that Wenger could put him on the bench and give him a run-out. What a baptism of fire that would be too, a debut in the North London derby at White Hart Lane. Imagine if he scored? It would be incredible.

Above everything else football-related that Arshavin will bring to the club, I get the feeling that his signing will restore hope not only in the fans but an Arsenal squad that have scrapped their way through the opening half of the season. His arrival as well as the eventual return from injury of guys like Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Eduardo and Tomas Rosicky means the attacking side of our game should be restored in some force. All of a sudden it’s exciting to be an Arsenal fan again.

Welcome Andrey and on behalf of the readers of this blog I wish you all the best. Slam one past Carlo Cudicini for us on Sunday, will you?

Have your say on the signing of Andrey Arshavin by leaving a comment.



  1. he’s a decent chap from the way he speaks but there r of course language barrier that prevented him from using better words to express himself…but overall he meant well. “trust in me & trust in arsenal”!!!

  2. Poor SF, dont you just wish that Island/Continent you live could float a few thousand miles to the West? I really cant imagine what you are going through.

    Anyway, knowing Arsene, Arshavin wont even be on the bench against the Yids. Our midfield would probably stand like this:
    I really dont mind it, its a pretty good midfield. We’ll definately see Arshavin in the game against Cardiff though, it should be a warm welcome for him at the Emirates.

  3. I am exhilarated at the news of Andrei finally joining us. I itch to see him play a part on Sunday. Andrei, you’re highly welcome.

  4. about time but welcome to the Emirates,could also have focused on a central defender,he can score goals, something we are lacking of late, but we also need to stop em.

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  6. quick message from england total transfer fee is 16.9 mil this includes 2.5 mil in add ons and bonuses !! money well spent i think . and this is the only player we needed to bring in this window teams will now spend even more time defending aggainst
    us (immpossible as that might seem) giving our defence some space!

  7. @ johnno – It’s a good price I think, particularly with guys like Palacios and Keane going for 15. Just a question though, what’s your source? Because Arsenal are going to remain tight-lipped about this throughout…

  8. Arshavin inclusion in my own opinion is a money well spent considerin d fact dt teams now goes defensive playin us.

  9. i think by now everyone can guess what kind of influence arshavin can give to the way arsenal play. but what more interesting to me is what sort of influence he will give to younger players at arsenal. its been a while since arsenal signed a “superstar” status player. i hope his presence will give more confidence to arsenal squad as well as him helping younger players to grow up. if things goes well, he deliver on the pitch as well as have positive influence off the field, advocaat was right when he said arsenal got a real gem of talent in form arshavin.

  10. I n reply to Gibbs comments on “Yids” there is no call for anti semitism in your hatred of Spurs.

  11. Finally the saga is over. I arrived at work at 6 this morning, checked online and was instantly in a good mood.

    “All of a sudden it’s exciting to be an Arsenal fan again” – so true.

    I hope he gets 10 minutes in the game on Sunday and smashes in a late winner against the Spuds.

  12. @ Barry
    Im not anti-semetic. Spurs fans call themselves Yids, just like we call ourselves Gooners. Race has nothing to do with it.

  13. Erm, Arshavin is quick, has great dribbling skills, a lethal shot and he’ll be giving Terry, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Bosingwa, Riera and Carragher sleepless nights!

  14. we’l soon b blazing on all fronts.imagine theo comin bak plus dudu,cesc n rosicky.i say we win champs league+fa cup n mayb the league if the mancs slump cz theaz no way4livafools

  15. Chelsea fans claiming Quaresma is a better signing lol… This man was 10th in World Player rankings… Expect big things fellas… I dreaming of him playing on Sunday vs Spurs. Especially with Pavlyuchenko there- just adds more flavor to the rivalry haha

  16. And a new song (better than those I’ve seen on other blogs today).

    We love you ARSHAAAAANIN









  17. I am so happy that this absolutely talented player has joined us, now we are only destined for success.

    RVP ( c ) Eddie

    Nasri Arshavin (Fab or Diaby) Rosicky

    Gallas Silvestre Toure Sagna


    Benchers: Theo, Djourou, Fabianski, Adebayor, Bendtner, Clichy

    And a new song (better than those I’ve seen on other blogs today).

    We love you ARSHAAAAANIN









  18. Despite some people’s concerns about AA and Arsenal. He is dynamite and i think he will be a massive star in N1. It will also give the squad a moral boost. £15M will prove to be a bargain. Now the only thing to do is think up a dynamite song. I think it should be to the Russian national anthem. COME ON ARSENAL

  19. Has any of you heard that Aston Villa have said that if Arsenal were to pip them at the post for a champions league spot then they would suit us and the FA over the fact that we aparently bought Arshavin past the dead line, if that comes to pass then we could end up in a situation similar to that of west ham.

  20. @ chee martin, dont you think the FA wouldve disalowed the transfer if it was illegal? Whats your source anyway?

  21. So we have got him at last!

    Wenger says he can play in a number of positions!

    What’s the betting Wenger will start him on the left wing and then convert him into a goal-keeper after a spell as centre-back.

  22. @ Gibbs- I don’t think it’s illegal myself and it was a friend who happens to be an Orient supporter he said he heard it on the radio, besides i don’t think it will happen anyway, just thought i would make you guys aware of it.

  23. Congratulations!!=) I’m really happy that Andrey has joined my favourite club!!! Locally (I live in Moscow) I support Spartak Moscow. The club where Arshavin is transfered from is Zenit – on of Spartak rivals, so I’ve been on several clashes with Spartak and Zenit and I can say that AA is a very talented and strong player. What I like in him – it’s his confidence, because in todays Arsenal squad there are lots of very young players – sometimes they need an experienced player (I hoped Gallas would be such a player for Ars youngsters, but he’s a little bit strange person himself, so I’m not sure he managed to be a real lider). And what I liked in him (of course not when he scored against Spartak) is his goal-celebration with his finger-to-the-lips running=) And another good point is that he already played against Vidic, Pavlyuchenko, Kovac (ex-Spartak players) and played in the same team (so he know weak-points) with Martin Skrtel=) So, I hope, he’ll score loads of goals=))
    I’m really happy that AA has joined Arsenal, because Arsenal attack suffer some problems now – and I’m sure he’ll help.
    PS. Guys, if you need some info on Russian premier-league and it’s players – feel free to ask me. And good day to you, my Gunnerfriends=)

  24. @ staslohness
    Is the Russian league as tough and competitive as the English league? How long will it take for Arshavin to settle in? Skrtel settled in pretty fast at Liverpool and Pavlyuchenko is still finding his feet at White Hart Lane. So i dont know what to think.

  25. @ chee martin
    Fair enough mate. If Villa want to take us on then let them, chances are we’ll beat them anyway.

  26. my eyes are misty….imagine this line up in midfield: a 4-5-1 nasri to the left arshavin next to cesc van persie slightly a head on old theo to the right!!!!!!!!!!!my heart skips a beat at the anticipation of the slaughter to come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111

  27. @ Gibbs
    Russian league is not so tough and competitive as English one, it’s on the same level with German league (if we speak on players level, but infrastructure totally suxx – only UEFA Champions League Final which I’ve visited was well organized, but it’s not Russian League=)) Before the crisis Russian League clubs were spending a lot of money (for example salary of AA in Arsenal will be less than it was in Zenit and 3 times less than the contract he was offered by Zenit after Euro – 7 mln.euro per year!), very few clubs were trying to make real profit (among them Spartak and it’s rivals cska Moscow), but now the clubs are cutting salaries of the players, try to sell players (not to buy them) and very strict limit on foreign players will be set since the begining of the season in March – not more 5 foreign players on the pitch, so not so many transfers this season. But still as you can see, level of Russian PL is growing (UEFA European Cup wins by Zenit and cskam, UEFA supercup win by Zenit, bronze of EURO). The point is that we also have something like “big-four” – Spartak, Zenit, cska, Lokomotiv – another clubs can be on top for not so long.
    As for Arshavin, I think it will be easy for him to settle in, because his style of play and his brains are 100% Arsenal-one. The problem is in his new partners – such a player need a ball hardly, so they should trust him and pass to him. But I think Arsene will manage with that. When we compare him to Pavlyuchenko – it’s totally another story. Roman came to Spurs after half of Russian PL season and after EURO, so he had no rest at all, and Andrey had a good Christmas and New Year holidays, has trained with Zenit on physical conditions in Dubai and is rather fresh now (comparing to other English PL players). And more of that we (Spartak Moscow fans) always called Pavlyuchenko “buratino” (Russian Pinnochio-analog), because his ability not to score from 200% positions, and always liked Arshavin (despite the fact that he played for one of our rivals). So, if fans and partners believe in him, everything will be ok=) As he told in interview: “Trust in me, trust in Arsenal!”=) Probably this transfer saga will have a good effect on his easy settle in, because he likes to be spoken-about – for example he has written the book on himself which had a huge resonance in his hometown and in Russia. And what I like in him more than his goal-celebration-procedure is that he always speaks what he thinks – because I’m also such a person.
    Hope my story was interesting to you.

  28. Finally, i was hoping on him for the start of the season.. but at last, he’s here and Arsenal needs him now more than ever. and i can’t wait to see him play for us. yey!

  29. BTW. If you guys don’t know Arshavin can’t play in Champions League this season, because he played in UEFA European Cup alreasy..

  30. Mates, just a quick one,plz does anyone know what price Quincy Owusu-Abeyie was transfered from Arsenal?

  31. Lol Ice Baba, the fear factor is back indeed. Im happy with that, lets hope all our rivals are now threatened by us again.

    Quincy’s fee was “undisclosed” the last time i checked.

  32. this will be our last year in our four year long “rebuilding”. with the likes of rosicky and eduardo returning form long term injuries and the introduction of AA we are going to be a force to be reckoned with. This years goal is obviously to just qualify for champions league. once that is done we can look forward to many great things coming out of the next few seasons. Ahhh to be a gunner!

  33. Glad we signed Arshavin but now we need to focus on working on RVP and Theo’s contracts. Hate to see anything happen with that. Esp. given RVP’s dedication and skill this month!

  34. I have a dream. The score rests at a paltry 3-0 to Arsenal at the lane and on the 85th minute, Arshavin comes off the bench, picks up the ball in his own box and embarks on a Maradona-esque run around the entire Spurs squad (stopping to beat Bentley not once, but three times in a row), before he flicks the ball up and bicycle kicks it into the top right hand corner of Cudicini’s net from 12 yards.

    I’d pay 15million out of my own pocket for that!

  35. @ enemyairships
    That would be the greatest debut of all time wouldnt it? Humiliating the Spuds at home? Lets hope he does get some gametime on Sunday, cant wait.

    BTW, just bookmarked your blog mate, im loving your posts. Keep it up the good work fella!

  36. @Staslohness
    Thanks 4 the update on Quincy.
    @Gibbs, just cant wait 4 sunday, its like 2 months waiting.

  37. @ staslohness – That is wonderful information mate, most appreciated. Are you born and bred in Russia or did you move over there? Your English is fantastic, much like Mr Arshavin. 🙂

  38. Does people know that Arshavin designs ladys clothes, he have a fashion line exclusive for girls in Russia??

    Maybe he have a secret clausule in his contract to start to desgine the clothes of Arsenal WAG´s

  39. HAHA… But seriously if Arshavin doesnt play against spurs I would be a little apprehensive. We all know this is their biggest game every year (they usually arent in any competitions…) so they will no doubt be motivated. And the additions of Keane and Palacios both have something to prove. We could surely use him on Saturday… On the other hand our squad better be up for this game after what happened last time… I would start Vela in the case Arshavin isnt ready and I would be tempted to play Toure somewhere…

    Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy
    Vela, Song, Denilson, Nasri
    Adebayor, RVP

  40. Firstly, is Arshavin in the country as I thought I read that he had to return to Russia to sort out his visa. Also the game is on Sunday 1.30pm UK time, 3.30 pm in Turkey and the game clashes with Konyaspor v Başiktaş but I have managed to organise a place to watch ıt with my spuds mate.
    It would be amazing to see AA on the pitch and score the winning goal but there again it will be amazing to watch any Arsenal player score the winning goal.
    My team for Sunday.
    Almunia (I think we need a goalie)
    Sagna, Gallas/Toure, Djourou, Clichy
    Vela/Arshavin, Song, Denilson, Nasri
    Adebayor, RVP

  41. @ Spanish Fry
    Thanks=)I was born and bred in Moscow, I’m Spartak Moscow supporter and have traveled a lot with the team on away clashes. I’m interested in football and Spartak since 1998 and I support Arsenal since 2002=). And the most important – both my favourite clubs are red and white=) I’ve visited Arsenal games in Moscow twice – when Arsenal played with Lokomotiv (0-0) and cska (0-1). One of the games I couldn’t manage to visit – with Spartak (when Arsenal lost 1-4).
    As for English of AA – for a Russian football player he has good language=))) BTW during the interview I’ve figured out that he understands everything, but doesn’t speak well. I think he will learn fast=) But the fact is that probably he should learn French, not English – as he told in interview to Russian channel – in Arsenal locker room everybody was speaking French=)))))
    PS. To brighten up the expectation of Sunday’s derby – two goals of Spartak by Artem Dzyuba to spurs last December (it’s a pity that we played a draw 2-2 after 2-0 lead=((

  42. BTW is there anybody from States and San Francisco here? I will go to study there since July.

  43. @ MoMONEY
    Hey, thanks!Added to favourites=)I’m thinking about making kinda Arsenal supporters club there to watch the games together – we can speak with the owner if we have 10-15 ppl to watch Arsenal – and he will always reserve the place for us and will show all the Ars games live. We have such a practice in Moscow – the guys from ManUtd supporters club watch all the MU games live and it’s overcrowded all the time! The only problem is time difference. Most PL games starts in the morning (7-9 am), but it’s even advantage – in that time there are no people at any bar, so it will be profitable to the owner to come to agreement with us. Will you participate in this idea? If yes – can u give me your e-mail?

  44. I don’t think Arshavin is match fit to play in the Spurs game He did not play in any of Zenit 3 preseason friendly games.

    We need to be careful of Spurs this time round as we much more injuries woes now: Diaby and Eboue. Oh no, Song is probably going to start the game. Do you think he is better than Palacios? But I think we will nick it 2-1 with both goals from Van Persie.

    We will outgun Aston Villa to get fourth as we have much more strength in depth. Educardo, Walcott, Roasicky are coming back. And of course, our Captain Fabregas.

    This is the first eleven that I preferred if everyone is match-fit:


    Sagna Djourou Gallas Clichy

    Arshavin Diaby Fab Nasri

    Educardo Van Persie

    Sub: Walcott, Toure, Ade, Denilson and Fabianski

    Now this full Squad looks really strong and can definitely compete with Man U, Chelsea or the Pools.

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