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Andrey Arshavin Couldn’t Hit a Barn Door; Thierry Henry Shows Him How

It’s only fitting that in a game where Arsenal monopolized the number of shots taken against Leeds United in Monday’s FA Cup match that late substitute Thierry Henry would stride on to the pitch and show his fellow teammates how to slot the ball into the back of the net.

Specifically I’m looking at you, Andrey Arshavin. The diminutive Russian player played the entire 90 minutes and had chance after chance in front of goal, but his lack of calmness and precision in front of goal were dreadful. It was so bad that Arshavin could have played another 90 minutes and still probably wouldn’t have scored. Or, as the above photo illustrates, he couldn’t have hit a barn door given his poor accuracy on the pitch.

How Arshavin still finds a place on this Arsenal team, I do not know.

Henry, meanwhile, has the striker’s instinct. Rather than running around the box like a chicken with his head cut off (a la Arshavin), Henry knows where to pop up and make his run, and when he receives the ball (albeit in a offside position against Leeds), how to remain calm under pressure and focus on knocking the ball into the back of the net. Henry makes it look so easy. Arshavin makes it look like brain surgery.


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  1. TaylorD

    January 12, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Jeez I regard a arshavin as a hero, due to his 4 goal vs Liverpool, the barca game, and many other good games during his first months at arsenal, but please remember arshavin isn’t a finisher by name( I’m not sure where you guys got that from).. His stats that have been stated above are great for a player on the wrong side of 30. He has lost almost all his finishing due to his lack of confidence, but he still provides the quality final balls that gervinho nor Walcott can provide—– I think all he needs is a stern talking to by arsene or a other coach and make him work his ass off to get better and dominate like he used to.

    • MG

      January 12, 2012 at 3:07 am

      Exactly exactly exactly. Well said.

  2. Efrain

    January 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Theres always hope…. I guess. Arshavin really showed some spunk against Leeds. He put in 110% for that match. But like everyone else stated, he cannot finish. He seems to have the capability, it just seems more of a mental thing as he really has not scored.

    And how about Ramsey…. he had some awesome moves last night!

  3. scrumper

    January 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Great strikers always manage to score goals. Are you watching Andy Carroll?

  4. hoosiergunner

    January 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    How great is it to have Henry back… and what I way to announce your return! I enjoyed the celebration nearly as much as the goal, what an expression of total and complete joy (You can definitely tell why he plays the game). As far as Arshavin, I too was very excited about his signing… but now his appearance only raises a groan.

  5. Barry

    January 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Arshavin only plays well against Liverpool. Maybe they should just use him when Arsenal plays Liverpool. 🙂

    Judging from his body language he wants out. The problem is that very few clubs will want to take him given his poor performance and attitude at the moment. Arsenal will also have to sell at a huge loss because I don’t see anyone paying over 6-8 million for him right now. Who knows maybe Henry can light a fire under him.

  6. tim

    January 10, 2012 at 1:10 am

    I wonder if there’s any way Arsenal can work with NYRB to extend his loan stay with Arsenal till the end of May? I mean it’s not like the Red Bulls are going to miss him. They have a play-off system in the league anyways, so it’s not like if they slip up they’re out of the picture, since the league table matters. He’ll be more than match-fit when he comes back to the Red Bulls. We at Arsenal need him for the end of the season because after what I saw against Leeds United, a Championship side, no disrespect to them or their wonderful history, I’m not convinced of the majority of the Arsenal players. Theo Walcott hasn’t progressed the way the supporters would have liked. Neither has Rosicky, Choo Young Park. Chamakh and Arshavin are past their sell dates. Arshavin is no longer the player that caught everyone’s attention after Euro 2008. He’s far far removed from that and it’s just sad to see his descent into abyss. Wenger needs to do some business this month and sort out a lot of positions on the team.

    • YankRed7

      January 10, 2012 at 1:29 am

      No chance. NYRB wont be inclined to letting him stay. It is of no benefit to them and yes the Red Bulls would miss him.

  7. Mike Perez

    January 10, 2012 at 12:42 am

    i havent seen Thierry Henry that happy in years when he scored that goal Red Bulls fans are kicking themselves right now nice to have Henry back in premier league and also Arshavin has done nothing this year

  8. Jack Tomczuk

    January 10, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Chamakh was not even creating opportunities to get a shot off, at least Arshavin created a little space for several shots. Arshavin still gets time on the pitch because there is no depth, besides players from the youth team of course. Rosicky is more of a midfielder. Benayoun probably would have done a better job, but that’s it.

    Arshavin probably won’t leave unless a big-spending club like Anzhi come in for him. As an Arsenal player, his wages are higher than most Russian clubs would give him, and he has said in the past that money is the most important factor.

    • Todd

      January 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      I agree with the Arshavin assessment. I felt he started off his normal poor self, then started making better decisions and plays early into the 2nd half. He was quite unlucky to get a goal himself.

  9. tim

    January 10, 2012 at 12:20 am

    did you notice how Henry just looked at Chamakh with disdain and disgust as the former was coming on as a substitute for the latter, as if to say, “How can someone like you be playing for Arsenal? You’re so rubbish”. lol. When Chamakh patted Henry on the head, Henry just brushed it aside, as if he was insulted that an inferior player to him would dare touch him. Henry is a legend. Chamakh is a footnote.

  10. kc

    January 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Chamakh and Chamberlain were invisible their entire time on the pitch and you choose to take pot shots at the guy who was actually trying to make things happen. Agree that his finishing has been lacking, probably needs more playing time to get it going. Gervinho’s percentage is exactly turning heads either, he just gets more opportunities. Whether you like it or not we are about to see a lot more of the Russian while Gervinho’s gone. I was very happy with Andrey’s effort today.

  11. jtm371

    January 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    just wondering is Henry just going to spell RVP or will they feature together? i am not sure about his return but i have to give him his moment today.BRAVO!

  12. Earl Reed

    January 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    None of the Russians in the Premier League have done a particularly stout job of performing. Between Arshavin, Bilyaletdinov, Pavlyuchenko, and Zhirkov, not much success. Nice to see Henry get a decisive goal for Arsenal.

  13. NP

    January 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    This should be a message for more than just arshavin….Chamakh, Theo, etc. Chamakh’s first instinct is to hold the ball up and try to pass to someone else rather than trying to score a goal. Issue with Arshavin this year has been he hasn’t looked interested and even accounting for the lack to playing time his effort when he comes on has been poor. Today, Arshavin was much better (everything other than final shot or pass). He was at least interested in playing today and was driving at the defense. I hope theo learns from Henry in training….he needs to be more clinical.
    This team has been crying out for a finisher for a long time. With the chances arsenal creates a decent finisher could score lots of goals. Wenger needs to spend money and get a quality striker for the long term (Henry is only there for 6 weeks) because I don’t think Chamakh can make it at arsenal and Park was prob bought for commercial reasons seeing as how we have barely seen him on the pitch.

    Henry won’t (can’t) beat 5 players and race free and score anymore but put him in a good goal scoring position and he will finish it. Playing him in the next round of the cup and against lesser teams to give Van Persie a rest should work well but players like theo will have to step up because henry doesn’t cover enough ground. Even if he doesn’t score again in the next 6 weeks he has already made the loan a success.

  14. J

    January 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I think this should be more directed at that pathetic excuse for a striker that goes by the name Chamakh

  15. arshavinator

    January 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    This is the first game he played for full 90 minutes in 2012, he needs to play regularly to increase his momentum, He worked hard today,just not clinical enough. When Henry playing on the flanks, he can slot in at his favored position as Attacking Midfielder just like in Russia National Team. He will be back surely.

    • The Gaffer

      January 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      He gets plenty of playing time as a substitute, but isn’t good enough to start games. So far this season, Arshavin has played 640 minutes in the Premier League and has scored only one goal (a gift from my team Swansea). That was four months ago.

      Meanwhile, Henry comes on as a sub and scores a goal within 10 minutes of coming on.

      The Gaffer

  16. MG

    January 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Gaffer, Henry was completely onside… Completely. Watch the video again.

    • MG

      January 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Sorry, didn’t see your response.

      Though to Arshavin’s credit, regardless of his lack of clinical finishing, played with more heart in this match than he has in recent games. Yes, he was utterly conflicted and made bad decision after bad decision, but his confidence is just brutally low. I feel he just needs to make a difference and/or feel like he’s contributing to get him back in a rhythm again…

      But yes.. on the other hand, a club like Arsenal doesn’t and probably should have the patience for that kind of ambivalence and ineffectiveness.

      • The Gaffer

        January 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm

        Arshavin has been at Arsenal for three years now. When he joined the club in the January transfer window of 2009, I was really excited. But no matter how hard he tries (and he did play with heart today), he simply isn’t good enough. He’s shown in Euro 2008 that he could be good enough, but he doesn’t have the confidence and Arsenal should have run out of patience by now.

        The Gaffer

        • NP

          January 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

          He certainly hasn’t set the league alight but has received harsh criticism the last 2 seasons. His style of play is a lazy one so it appears bad but his stats before this season are ok (not world class but not as bad as some say he has been).

          2008/9 (half season): 6 goals, 9 assists
          2009/10: 12 goals, 7 assists
          2010/11: 10 goals, 17 assists
          2011/12 (current): 2 goals, 2 assists

  17. Sean

    January 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    He is clearly onside as the defender on the other side of the box is keeping him onside…

    • The Gaffer

      January 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      I stand corrected. Good call.

      The Gaffer

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