Born in the USSR in 1981, Arshavin started playing football at an early age with other aspiring young Communists. All the young boys were equal, but Arshavin was more equal than others, and aged 7 he was enrolled into the youth academy of the People’s club of Zenit Leningrad. In those days life was very happy for him and his fellow citizens, such as his mother and sister Tatiana, although they did have to sleep on the floor and once Andrey was unlucky to be run over by a filthy capitalist machine (car)…. Several years and a couple of Russian leaders later however and Arshavin was happy to accept a filthy capitalist paycheck to play for the now privately-owned club of Zenit St. Petersburg. With Zenit ‘Shava’, as he is known in Russia, won the Russian league in 2007, and the UEFA Cup in 2008 (he was man of the match in the final), before he was spotted by Arsene Wenger in the Euro 2008 championships.Mr. Wenger took an instant liking to the diminutive forward’s ruddy cheeks, fluffy haircut, funny accent – plus uncanny ability to rip defences apart – and (in the most prolonged transfer of all time), Arshavin defected to the West in the January window of the 2009/2010 season. Apart from putting four goals past Liverpool at the Kop and dicking over virtually every right back he played against, Andrei has endeared himself to Arsenal fans for his instant exploitation of the advantages of democracy… his call for separate roads for women drivers was surely 2008’s best use of the power of free speech.
What Arshavin brings to Arsenal
A pocket-sized dynamo, the fleet-footed Russian get can to the byeline and deliver a cross quicker than his average countryman can down a pint of vodka. His centre of gravity has been officially measured as 5cm off the ground, and he can comfortably sneak between lankier defenders’ legs. At 28 years old he is just the kind of dinosaur Arsenal need in their bid for silverware. Best of all Andrei finishes with the calm and ease of a KGB sniper picking off dissidents in a fascist line-up. His knowledge of the back pass rule is exemplary.
Andrei Arshavin Player Profile
Height: 5’4” – 5’7″ (depending what boots he’s wearing)
Grit: 5-9 (dependant on how irritated he is by female drivers on his way to the stadium)
Haircut: 7 (a marked improvement since leaving Russia)
Scoring from impossibly acute angles. Ability to form own opinions (however dubious).
Shorter than the average Leprechaun
More information on Arsenal’s Andrei Arshavin