ANDREI ARSHAVIN: ARSENAL IS A CONSERVATIVE CLUB

Former Arsenal striker, Andrey Arshavin says the English team are a ‘conservative club’ who missed out on a big chance to win the Premier League title this season, especially as other usual top contenders had lots of other issues to deal with.


The 34-year old striker played for the Gunners when he moved for £15 million from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009. He was sent on loan back to Zenit in the 2011/2012 season before eventually moving there on a free transfer in 2013.

Arshavin believes little has changed at the north London club since he left almost three years ago. The Russian international said:

“It’s a conservative club.

“Over the last few years Arsenal have bought two world-class players in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, while the goalkeeper Petr Cech has also joined. Apart from that there have not been any major changes.”

On the team’s manager Arsene Wenger who has been at the club for 20 years, the current Kairat Almaty forward said:

“Arsenal have had the same head coach for a long time and he has his ideas.

“The whole team depends on the viewpoint of Arsene Wenger and his views towards football. I don’t know if this conservatism is a hindrance.

“This season Arsenal had every chance to become champions given the squad they have.

Alessandro del Piero is regarded as one of the finest players in Italian football

Alessandro del Piero is regarded as one of the finest players in Italian football.

The Juventus legend amassed a number of trophies including six Italian Serie A titles and one Champions League medal. Apart from the honours at the club level, he has also won the World Cup to establish himself as one of the greatest players of his generation. Even though he has won numerous individual accolades, del Piero was never named as the world Player of the Year. This remains a major absentee from his trophy cabinet. Hence, it is not surprising that every top player wants to be crowned as the best player in the world at least once in their careers.

Even though the Italian was not given this honour, he reckons that Barcelona superstar Neymar will not face the same fate. Neymar could be crowded out at Barcelona due to the performances of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. The latter is the most successful player when it comes to the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards after having won the title five times. Suarez came close to winning the title just like Neymar but it was not be. Del Piero says that a title will not be beyond the clutches of Neymar if he continues to show the same kind of improvement in the coming years.

Zenit SaintPetersburg is in search of a new manager

The Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas stated back in September of 2015 that this season would be his last one as the head coach of Zenit Petersburg. The 38 year old manager wants to return to his homeland in Portugal and spend time with his family, which is why he turned down a contract extension from Zenit Saint Petersburg and now the Russian outfit has to begin their search for someone who can replace him.

Andre Villas-Boas wanted to cut his ties with Zenit Saint Petersburg even sooner but the management team of the Russian club did not let Villas-Boas leave, he will be able to leave at the end of the current season but not any sooner than that.

So far, Villas-Boas has had a superb time in charge of Zenit Saint Petersburg as he managed to win the Russian Premier League title during his first season as the head coach of the team which is an impressive accomplishment to reach for any coach that managed to take charge of a club and in his first season already manage to lift big pieces of silverware.

This is the 2nd season of Villas-Boas as the coach of the Russian outfit and things aren’t going as smoothly as before. The Portuguese manager was suspended for 6 matches after physically hitting a match official and Zenit are sitting in the outside zone of the top 5, they still have a chance of defending their title but they cant afford to drop points.

Andrei Arshavin looks set to finish his career in Russian football

Andrei Arshavin looks set to finish his career in Russian football after having secured a move to Kuban Krasnodar.

The Russian Premier League team have signed the former Arsenal forward, who has been in steady decline over the last five years. Arshavin was once a £ 16 million signing for Arsenal, which was a club record fee at that time. Since the departure from the gunners, he has been with Zenit St Petersburg. One of the top teams in Russia, Zenit St Petersburg are now managed by former Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas.

The club are aware that Arshavin was coming to the end of this contract. However, the club decided not to extend this deal, which could the future of the 34-year-old in major doubt. There was speculation that he would announce his retirement even at this relatively early age. However, he appears to have been convinced to carry on playing by joining Kuban Krasnodar. Last season, the team struggled for form and finished in the 10th spot. There are a number of financial difficulties at this new outfit, but Arshavin could be one of the important players going forward. Backed by the regional government, it may not be long before the financial situation turns around.

Fabio Capello will lose his job if he does not guide the Russia National Football team

Fabio Capello will lose his job if he does not guide the Russia National Football team to the Round of 4 in next World Cup that is going to take place in the country itself.

The top brass of the association of Football there in Russia has conveyed to Capello that with the idea of the home conditions and the backing of the crowd, the team should make it to the semis; otherwise, it would be considered a failure.

Capello had been held responsible for the early knockout that Russia suffered in Brazil last year and a large faction in the association was not in favour of him being retained at his post, but, because of the stubbornness of the president, the Italian was awarded a new deal and to be fair to him, he has been able to do a good job post the World Cup.

Russia has lost just one out of the five Euro qualifying games that they have played so far and a couple of good performances would see the team through to the main tournament.

Arsenal made a splash in the winter transfer window of 2009

Arsenal made a splash in the winter transfer window of 2009 as they offloaded €15 million in signing Andrei Arshavin. Expectations were high for the Russian player as he had gone through a terrific 2008 after winning the UEFA Super Cup with ZenitSt.Petersburg as well as winning the Russian Super Cup.Arshavin was even named as the Man of the Match of the UEFA Cup Finals match.

Arshavin ultimately disappointed as he failed to live up to his €15 million price tag after only scoring 23 goals in over 100 appearances and the Russian player simply could not replicate the performances that he used to make when he was wearing the jersey of ZenitSt.Petersburg.

It certainly wasn’t one of the most memorable transfers that Arsene Wenger has made in his managerial career.

According to the agent Jon Smith, this was a deal that was completed only 30 seconds before the transfer market was about to close. Jon Smith revealed details concerning this transfer as he said:

‘’I was involved with Andrei Arshavin. That deal started in the second week in January. ‘It got to the very last day and we were about £1.2million apart with about an hour to go. And it was literally who blinked, and I sat in the middle of it as the agent. In the end, I offered the Russians the extra money. And I said to Arsenal I’ve done this. And we had 30 seconds to go.’’

Arsenal was knocked out from the UEFA Champions League

Arsenal was knocked out from the UEFA Champions League on March 17 as they faced off with As.Monaco and even though the Premier League team finished the match with a final scoreboard of 2-0, it still wasn’t enough as the aggregate scoreboard was 3-3 with As.Monaco having the lead on away goals and advancing into the next rounds of the European competition.

This defeat has not settled well with Arsene Wenger as the French manager is now stating that the away goal rule should be changed as it’s outdated.

“Two teams have gone out on away goals, which I think should be questioned because it’s a rule that is outdated now and has to be changed. I’ve fought for that for a long time. It should count maybe after extra time because this current rule was created in the sixties to encourage teams to attack away from home. Since then football has changed. The weight of the away goal is too big today.I think maybe you can count away goals after extra-time like in the League Cup in England.”

PSG and Chelsea also competed in a Champions League match which concluded in an aggregate scoreboard of 3-3 but it was the French team which managed to survive thanks to away goals but Arsene Wenger believes that this rule should be changed as it has too much of a weight in a game and can make a big difference in any match but it shouldn’t be as important as it currently is.