Arsenal playmaker Andrey Arshavin has made an immediate impact on English football, as his four goals against Liverpool last week will testify.
The player’s agent has revealed to Russian media, though, that perhaps all is not sweetness and light behind the scenes at the Emirates. He has hinted that the club is dominated negatively by French speakers, and that many of the more established players at the club are jealous of Arshavin’s growing status as a hero to the Emirates faithful and within English football as a whole.
English newspaper Metro reports his agent, Dennis Lachter, as telling a Russian newspaper, “To tell the truth the players of Arsenal are not easy to deal with. The squad consists almost entirely of foreigners. The French diaspora rules there.
“Also there are guys – like [Robin] van Persie and [Cesc] Fabregas – who are rather jealous about Andrey’s fast growing popularity in England.
“But such situation can only add motivation for him to work harder and improve his football skills.”
Lachter went on to hint that Arshavin had been the butt of some mockery from the team, and also that other clubs, one of whom is alleged to be Barcelona, were still hovering with a lingering intention of prising him away from the Emirates, should the opportunity arise, largely because the Russian was unhappy with playing on the left.
”He was a target of jokes. Not very smart jokes, I must admit. But that’s a football team for you. Such jokes are the same everywhere – in Russia or England,” the agent explained.
“To put it mildly he doesn’t like playing on the left. But at the moment Wenger has a problem in that zone. So until they buy a good left-winger, Andrey is going to play there.
“It’s not only Barcelona [after Arshavin]. After the game at Liverpool where Andrey scored four goals several teams told me they were interested in him.
“But currently he is an Arsenal player. Taking into consideration the amount of money which was paid for him and important role he’s already acquired at the club, my client is not going to leave.”
Zack Wilson, Goal.com