Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finding Pavlyuchenko

So, here we are. A few months after EURO, and I'm being forced to eat my words. Which words, you may ask? Let me jog your memory.

From the article, published June 27, titled "Olé!!!"
Maybe after his performance today the Arshavin circus will quiet down. He seems to play really well in situations where his team are impressive around him, but he does not lift the rest of the team to play at a higher-level during the shitty times. In fact, he was quite the let-down yesterday, wasting a lot of potential chances with bad passes.

You see, now I look like an ass - because my club is chasing him (although apparently we haven't approached Zenit St. Petersburg yet...). Not only that, but they're chasing his buddy Pavlyuchenko too (try saying Pavlyuchenko 10x fast).

Here's my problem with trying to sign both of these guys. I don't know anything about them. And the smart money says, no one at Spurs, in the Premier League, in England, or in most of Europe outside Russia knew these names before EURO. Neither of them were blow-your-mind spectacular during the qualifiers (hell, Arshavin managed to get himself suspended for 3 matches during the qualifiers). But they were decent, not good, but decent during EURO, and everyone else's interest has calmed but ours. It's sad.

The thing is, as seen in my quote from above, Arshavin only plays well when his team plays well around him. Where Keane could singlehandedly turn a game, and put in a stunner when his team are miserable (Spurs 4-4 Chelsea), Arshavin goes with the flow. Or, at least, that's what he did in EURO. Because, like I said, I haven't got a clue how he plays for his club.

Personally, I think we'd be better upping our efforts to sign David Villa and Diego Milito, two strikers who have proved themselves time and again in league play, in Spain no less. Not two hope-dragging bozos who may or may not play well in the Russian league and had one decent tournament.

Hell, they'll cost the same anyways.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Arshavin was on Arsenal's radar at the beginning of last season, as he'd put in some good performances for Zenit over the summer and at the start of their winning UEFA Cup run. They won that cup before Euro 2008, but the name still didn't stick in conventional football circles who saw a Russian team winning the trophy as some kind of fluke. Knowing Arsene Wenger, he's probably been watching Arshavin for five or six years.

The real star of Zenit is Zyrianov, a deeper-lying playmaker who really allowed Arshavin to do his work. Having seen many of Arshavin's goals at Zenit, he often relies on his pace and a good through ball (from Zyrianov usually) to make an impact, rather than conjuring up magic of his own beyond a bit of dribbling here and there.

Problem is that Zyrianov is about 30, I think...but he's the real star of that side. Spurs need a deep-lying playmaker to finally replace Carrick as well as a real target man. Zyrianov and Pavlyuchenko fit the bill perfectly, but Arshavin is just another expensive attacking midfielder who won't make up for Keano's goals.