It is now exactly a month since Andrei Arshavin re-joined his boyhood club Zenit St Petersburg on a free transfer and yesterday he celebrated that milestone by doing what he does best for the Russian outfit; scoring goals.
When Arsenal signed the Russian for £16.9 million in January 2009 it was off the back of Arshavin starring at Euro 2008. He was a player wanted all over Europe after he almost single-handedly carried his national side to the brink of the Euro final; only to be outdone by the mighty Spanish side at the semi-final stage.
But his time at Arsenal was never truly successful. A mixed bag, he found himself scoring four past Liverpool and then being booed for his apparent idleness the next.
But one thing never in doubt was the player’s quite obvious natural talent.
Yesterday he demonstrated that by grabbing the opening goal for Zenit against Kuban Krasnodar in a Russian Premier League tie.
So far Arshavin has not really made an impact since returning to his old stomping ground. In fairness that is to be expected; I mean the poor bloke has spent the last year sitting on the bench and occasionally getting caught by the Daily Mail, drunk on vodka, instigating arguments with London bouncers.
So far he has only played 47 minutes of football for the club; both against teams from Krasnodar.
Ten days ago he came on as a sub against FK Krasnodar but last night was the first time he was in front of his home fans again since his return.
He entered the fray 55 minutes into the game and ten minutes later had grabbed his first goal since the return.
And he really busted a gut to get on the end of the ball across the face of the goal and tap home into an empty net.
Zenit fans will be hoping it is the first of many while Arsenal fans watching the video below will be wondering where that Arshavin and that smile have been for the past 24 months.
image: © wonker