By Avenell Dave
It’s funny how fickle football fans can be.
There was a time when we were lauding Andrey Arshavin for his mesmerising skills and ability to win matches with moments of magic.
Yet the sheen wore thin when the diminutive Russian started to look as interested in getting stuck in as Ad*b*y*r in his last season at the club.
Then there’s Nicklas Bendtner, the arrogant Dane who believes he can be one of the best strikers in the world but often looks as if he couldn’t trap a bag of cement, let alone find the way to goal.
He’s worked hard on the right of the attacking trident even though, of the three positions open to him, it’s probably the least effective when you see how well he does when he cuts in, as he did last night.
Finally, let’s look at Denilson. One of the only Brazilians not to have been capped at senior level while playing for a top team, his obsession with sideways passing, a lack of tackling guile and slowness of pace also single him out for frustration.
We can look back over the years and there were plenty of players who fell into a similar bracket: Ray Parlour, Lee Dixon when he first arrived, Niall Quinn, Steve Williams, Brian Talbot and others and yet the common denominator is that in one way or another, all of them helped us win trophies.
I have to admit that all three of the above frustrate me at times.
I wonder what Arsene Wenger sees in them and why he doesn’t choose to replace them with more reliable players.
I can certainly see Arshavin leaving in the summer if his form does not improve – with Eden Hazard coming in to replace him, and the rumours of Bendtner moving on may be fuelled by his own people as much as the media.
But when they go out on the field, their job is to win us matches, and whatever they do, we have to back them.
Can you imagine going about your daily job with people criticising you for every little thing you do? It starts to become self-fulfilling.
Arshavin, to give him his credit, had a woeful first hour of the game but kept plugging away, eventually coming out with another two assists, and perhaps having a player of his luxury is no bad thing. (Thanks to RT @Orbinho for sharing this nugget with us via Twitter: AA23 now has 14 assists in all competitions, @cesc4official has 11, @Jack_Wilshere 8, @Persie_Official & Theo Walcott 4 each.)
Bendtner’s goal, reminiscent of that he scored against Citeh earlier in the season, shows what he can do –and it’s up to him to do it more consistently.
Do I want these three to stay next season? It’s not up to me nor should it be to any of us fans.
The fact remains that whoever puts on the red and white of The Arsenal deserves the support and backing of our fans.
So let’s focus the barracking on the opposition and do anything we can to help the club lift silverware for years to come.