Former Arsenal record signing subbed at half-time in shock defeat as poor form continues

Andrey Arshavin is again finding things tough with a poor November at Zenit St Petersburg.

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.

So this summer his former club Zenit St Petersburg were happy to take him back - and despite some early re-entry problems he seemed to be settling back in quite well.

Until this month that is.

Arshavin has not exactly had the best of Novembers - in particular the last three games for his beloved hometown club.

Friday night saw his team face FC Rostov in a game they would have expected to win comfortably - you can probably guess they didn’t.

They lost the game, at home, to the travelling side - and Arshavin was withdrawn at half-time for Viktor Faizulin such was the poor display he put in.

It is the second time in three Russian Premier League games that this fate has befell the former Arsenal star - who is starting to look like the playmaker who left The Gunners once again, and not the one who arrived.

Luciano Spaletti must now be assessing his options as Arshavin’s initial good form wanes and Zenit continue to drop points. The fact is they have not won a single game in any competition since beating FC Ural at the end of last month - five games ago.

And Arshavin’s poor performances have been a major factor in that drop-off.

Do not expect to see the former Arsenal star in the Zenit team against Atletico Madrid at this rate.

Watch Rostov finish off the game with their second goal below …

image: © Ronie Macdonald

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