Great start Andrey - but the fate of our season is on your shoulders

Well it’s fair to say that Andrey Arshavin had a pretty impressive debut given that he hadn’t played for two months and this was his first taste of English football.

There were jokes about confusing him with the mascot where I was sitting but it’s important to remember that other wingers, such as Marc Overmars and Freddie Ljungberg were hardly giants.

Arshavin seemed to be pacing himself, his passing tidy (take not, Manu Eboue) and not afraid to shoot.

Whether he deserved a goal or not, his ability to wing in decent crosses (take note, Sagna and Clichy!) and willingness to have a shot bodes well for the future. An early effort flew just wide and he later forced a fine save out of the Sunderland goalkeeper.

I was impressed with his ability with both feet - there was no needing to check back to steady himself on his better foot.

Aarmingly, he also showed that when top class footballers come in, you need players of equal ability to make the most of him. A couple of times, the likes of Nic Bendtner let the side down by not thinking, not anticipating what a world class player would do.

It was a stark reminder of the average standard of some of our players.

He’s going to have to learn to track back and tackle but it took Bobby Pires a while to get used to that as well and look how well he did!

I feared he may have been crocked when he was injured in the first half – and whether it was a minor knock or something that may need so nursing is something that we may find out in due course.

The problem for Arsenal is that we cannot afford to ease him in slowly.

Victory becomes even more urgent with every passing game and Saturday’s failure to beat a Sunderland side who showed no ambition underlines how difficult the situation is for us right now.

The fact that he has a week longer to train and get his fitness up without the distraction of a game can only be a benefit.

As a big money signing, there is always going to be pressure on Arshavin and he didn’t seem intimidated by the expectation.

Arshavin's job is to get us back into the top four before the end of the season and keep us there. Champions League football is crucial. Do that and he has justified his fee and the misery of his drawn-out transfer will have been worth it.

The problem for us Gooners is that Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky, not to mention Eduardo, are going to take a while to be entirely match fit (wouldn’t it be a luxury if they were all fit at the same time?) and by the time even two of them return, it may be too late.