Arsene Wenger full of praise for Andrey Arshavin, wary of Olympiacos threat
Written by Jeffrey on September 28, 2011 16:52
As it was the case last season, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has again defended midfielder Andrey Arshavin as he hinted at the possibility of utilising the Russian in tonight’s game.
Speaking ahead of the Champions League game against Olympiacos, the Frenchman explained that the experienced midfielder enjoyed a good start to the season adding that the 30-year is a very “conscientious hard-worker” in training and a 100% professional football player, contrary to what many may believe.
On tonight’s game, the Arsenal boss declared that there are no easy games in football as he confessed that the Greek side did well in their first game of the Group against Marseille despite suffering a 0-1 home defeat two weeks ago.
Wenger concluded by praising the attitude and the quality of his players as he explained that they are also mentally strong and that he was positive even before last Saturday’s 3-0 win against Bolton Wanderers.
Ahead of tonight’s game, the manager said:
I think [Andrey Arshavin] had a good start to the season. Gervinho was a little bit in front and he did very well, and he [Arshavin] is a bit in and out. Maybe you will see him tomorrow.
I rotate more the strikers than anybody else and Andrey, you cannot fault. There is a difference between the image that Andrey has and who he is really is. He is a very conscientious hard-worker in training.
Sometimes he has an image a little bit of a non-caring person and that is not at all [the case]. He is 100 per cent a professional player.
I think what he needs more is confidence. He had a difficult end of season last year and I believe since a few weeks now, he is in very good form.
[Today's game?] For me, it is difficult to beat anybody. We have a lot of respect for Olympiacos.
I have seen their game against Marseille and they played well. You never win easy in the Champions League – when you give absolutely everything, you have a chance to win.
If we have not learned that from 14 consecutive years in the Champions League, then we are really stupid. If you do not prepare properly, then you have no chance.
Any victory will help us. I have always been optimistic because I feel that the players are mentally strong and focused.
I am impressed by the quality of all the players we brought in, not only on the football pitch – that I knew, but also their mental attitude is absolutely fantastic.
That’s why even before the Bolton game I was very positive about our future. But that is what’s at stake for us – to show we can deliver week-in week-out.