Arsenal escaped Anfield on Sunday with a point, after Pepe Reina did his best to audition for the Arsenal number 1. Only time will tell if it was a good point gained or two lost. Judging by Liverpool’s play and organization, I’d lean towards the former. It’s hard to judge the individual performances of our players, considering some of them were coming off international friendlies. But there were some worrying signs, Andrei Arshavin looked very pedestrian to me, almost as if he was playing with cement boots on.
I know it’s the first game of the season and it’s hard to accurately judge some of the players, but i feel Arshavin has sometimes disappeared when we needed him the most. Yes he’s had the propensity to create something out of nothing, and it’s that propensity that saved him from being substituted on Sunday. The player himself has admitted that he’s not fit and is trying to regain his form. It was his lazy pass that led to Liverpool’s first goal, he also failed to track back allowing Dirk Kuyt and Johnson to constantly outnumber Gael Clichy.
Since the player has admitted to a loss of form, is it advisable to just bench him for now until he’s fully fit? The answer is a resounding yes. We have enough quality in our team to account for his absence. It’s time for Andrei to know that his position might be at risk. A lot of our youngsters are chomping at the bit for a chance. A little competition for Andrei might just be the tonic he needs.
If he’s lacking motivation, that’s an area the manager needs to address and soon in my opinion, because as “lazy” as Andrei appears, he can make something out of nothing when he’s up for it. The coaching staff needs to get him in the right frame of mind, because we are going to need his goals going forward.