Wenger ponders Arshavin role
Arsene Wenger will make a decision on Saturday morning over whether to start Andrey Arshavin.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 20/02/09 3:47pm
Arsene Wenger will make a decision on Saturday morning over whether to start Andrey Arshavin against Sunderland.
Gunners boss Wenger has already confirmed that the Russian playmaker is poised to make his debut at Emirates Stadium this weekend.
However, the former Zenit St Petersburg attacker has not played competitive football since November and Wenger is unsure if he is ready to be involved from the off.
Should the French tactician opt against starting Arshavin, he could turn to either Emmanuel Eboue, who has served his recent one-match ban, or Carlos Vela, who impressed on Monday night.
Wenger said on Sky Sports News: "I will decide tomorrow morning (whether Arshavin will start), there is a possibility and he is in the squad.
"He is maybe a week short of being completely fit to play at his best. He has had two weeks preparation with us and one with Zenit, so that is three weeks and that is not too bad."
Wenger continued: "He can integrate well our combination game, he can move very well, he is very mobile so that is something we work on as well.
"He is a clever passer of the ball and that is something you need in every big team to open teams up.
"You have to give everybody who comes in time to adapt, to adjust/
"I know him quite well on his vision, his passing ability, his quick brain. That is something which is very important in the modern game.
"He has personality, he has a strong character. The handicap he has at the moment is that he is not completely fit physically, but all the rest should be quite quick.
"Anyway, we will take the needed time. We will not put him under pressure, if he needs a bit longer he takes a bit longer.
"At the moment we have many players in that area injured like (Cesc) Fabregas, like (Tomas) Rosicky, like (Theo) Walcott, so there is a position to take as a creative midfielder."