Andrey Arshavin has spoken out about his treatment by Arsenal last season. The Russian was a regular on the bench throughout the 2012/13 campaign, but when he wasn’t among the substitutes, he wasn’t in the squad at all.
The 32-year-old made only 11 appearances, scoring 1 goal and making 5 assists in a very disappointing season. He was only selected in the Capital One Cup and lower ranked games while not even appearing on the bench for the crucial games.
Arshavin’s impact in his first season was promising as he scored all four goals in a memorable 4-4 draw at Anfield but his form dipped drastically. He was on top again when he scored the winner against Barcelona after trailing 1-0 but faded away after that. He was loaned back to former club Zenit St. Petersburg for the second half of the 2011/12 season before making his comeback permanent this week.
“It was a punishment. Real football hard labour. I would train, knowing that I would not be playing. Psychologically, it was exetremely hard.” Arshavin said. The club’s record signing at £15 million earned £90,000-a-week but still almost fell in to depression.
“In order to prevent this from happening, you have to be mentally strong. I was helped by my relatives and friends, by mostly by my mother. I myself tried to lead a normal life and drive away all evil thoughts. My mood was not the best, but I tried not to let it affect others.”
He went on to say how bad last season was at the Emirates. “I do not know how to describe it to someone else who has never experienced such feelings, but I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy.”
Rumours emerged towards the end of last season that Arshavin was considering retiring from football after his ‘ordeal’ but these were later confirmed as untrue with the player sealing a switch back to his former club where he will look to claim back his place in the Russian national squad. Arshavin has not played for Russia since EURO 2012.
Do you think Arshavin has been badly treated by Arsenal?