Wenger defends Arshavin’s lacking display
The Russian showed up in rusty form in Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool as the Gunners had substitute Tomas Rosicky to thank for setting up a late equalizer.
Arshavin, previously prolific at Anfield, failed to make any vital contribution throughout the match and played a part in the concession of Ngog’s goal as he decided to pass to Wilshere who lost possession to Mashcerano in danger area.
Even so, Wenger refused to withdraw the below-par Russian as Arsenal chased the game, and Eboue, Wilshere and Diaby were instead sacrificed.
Of course, Arshavin can give his case of defense in why he failed to click at Anfield since his past exploits on that ground meant one of Roy Hodgson’s strategies for yesterday’s game was to simply stop the Arsenal forward.
Sunday though, was not the first time the habitually unenthusiastic 29-year-old had gone missing in a match during his time in England but Wenger claims it was down to the Russian star’s fitness and the efforts of his marker Glen Johnson.
“I felt he worked hard but he was a bit tired from the [international] game in midweek. He travelled to Russia and came back on Thursday. He tried to push himself today. Glen Johnson played well against him and he is the kind of player who can always create something special. But it was a difficult game for him.”