Arsenal take on West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates, on Saturday in a fixture, from which the Gunners will hope to earn the full quota of points, After their disappointments on dropping two points against a resilient Sunderland, Arsene Wenger decided to play a relatively strong team, which won against Spurs, who ironically fielded a very young team.
Arsenal have the momentum going for them, and it is important for them to carry that into the upcoming important fixtures against West Brom,Partizan and Chelsea. But for the game against West Brom, Arsenal are without a number of key players including Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Thomas Vermaelen, apart from Nicklas Bendtner and Aaron Ramsey, who have not taken any part in the season so far.
In the absence of key players, it is imperative for Arsenal that a petite Russian, who plays on the flanks, steps up the heat. Andrei Arshavin has had an inconsistent season, so far, providing flashes of brilliance, but not able to produce it consistently for Arsenal. He was quite frankly, woeful against Liverpool and Sunderland, but can be an outstanding player on another day like his performance in the 4-4 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, two seasons ago.
Arshavin can prove to be the difference in a lot of games, and is a game changer. He scored a wonderfully struck goal, which just couldn't be saved by Pepe Reina, which gave Arsenal the lead and proved to be the winner, last season. The goal came at a time when the Gunners needed it the most and proved to be inspirational for the Gunners. Another example of his abilities is his strike at Old Trafford, last year to give Arsenal the lead, though it couldn't help Arsenal earn points on their away trip.
His performances has come under scrutiny, and many people have labelled him lazy for his anonymity in the games against Sunderland and Liverpool. But, this is a guy, who could change the season on his own, and also provides vital experience to the young Gunners and therefore, needs the backing of Arsene Wenger, his team mates and the supporters, in this period, which is not such a good patch for him.
Cesc Fabregas has shown the right path, once again, labelling Arshavin as the game changer against Tottenham. Arshavin was good after he came on, but didn't produce an exceptional performance or for that matter, anything close to it. But Fabregas was quick to point out that it was his two passes, that led to penalties for the Gunners, and he himself scored a well struck unstoppable shot for the fourth goal.
In scoring the fourth goal against Spurs, Arshavin would have, surely, gained confidence, and Arsenal supporters will hope that this is the spark that is required to ignite Arshavin's form. Fabregas' comments will only do good for his spirits and it is important that he remains in good spirits throughout the season. Fabregas is a true leader for Arsenal, and even when he is injured, he can inspire the Gunners, by saying the right things and inculcating the right attitude in which they should approach the game.
There was many Arsenal supporters, who believed that Fabregas should be stripped of his captaincy, after his flirtations with FC Barcelona, and that the armband should be handed to a more loyal player like Robin van Persie or Tomas Rosicky. But, Wenger believed in Fabregas' commitment to the club, and he has again been proved right by the Spaniard's attitude on and off the pitch.
Fabregas gives his full effort, when he is on the pitch, and being a winner, his mind is set upon how to achieve a victory against the opposition. Even after the horrific tackle on Aaron Ramsey, Fabregas showed great composure to slot home the penalty, and rallied his troops after a long and weary battle. It is his fighting spirit and commitment, that every Arsenal player takes inspiration from, and he is rightfully, Arsenal's leader.
Unlike Arsenal's previous captain William Gallas, who blurted out his unnecessary opinions to the media, Fabregas has shown remarkable calmness in handling the media, and has always shown faith in his team mates, and backs them to the hilt. His recent comments, supporting and recognising Arshavin's contribution is another classic example of his good captaincy and the trust he has in his team mates.
This will only boost Arshavin's confidence and in the absence of key players for the next couple of fixtures, it is all the more important that Arshavin strikes a rich vein of form. Cesc Fabregas has tried to instill confidence in Arshavin and the team, even though he is injured, and this is precisely the reason Wenger still retained Cesc Fabregas as the Arsenal Captain for this season