By Chris Harris
Andrey Arshavin has changed his game to survive the rigours of the Premier League, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Russian playmaker has not been at his dazzling best this season but, as his manager pointed out recently, he is still heavily involved in a significant number of Arsenal goals.
Arshavin is still hunting his first since the end of September but he was arguably one of the team's brightest players when he came off the bench against Newcastle on Sunday. Wenger is happy with the 29-year-old and believes he is better equipped than ever to thrive in English football.
"Certainly, I would say yes," Wenger told Arsenal.com. "He has adapted his style and is much more physical. He understands that to survive in the Premier League you have to be much more physical. I must say his attitude has been absolutely sensational since the start of the season.
"He has personality, Andrey. He is not scared of anybody or anywhere. He is of course a player who can make a decision but also a player who gives personality to the team. He is very direct and he goes at you straight away and you always [have] hope when he gets the ball.
"Recently he was a little bit less sharp when he came back from Russia but he should be back now. He has worked hard, he has a good attitude Andrey and he had a good impact so I think he will be involved tomorrow night [against Wolves]."
Arshavin burst onto the English scene with four goals in an incredible game at Liverpool shortly after signing for Arsenal in 2009 and he has developed a knack of scoring in big matches, netting at Anfield and Old Trafford last season.
Wenger confesses that the Russian's ability to conjure up a something from nothing makes him difficult to omit from his team.
"I had that problem sometimes with Thierry [Henry] when he had a bad day and all these players that have the potential to make a decision," said the manager.
"You wonder even on days when they are not on their best. Strikers especially with Van Persie, Bendtner and Chamakh when they are not at their best you know they can score goals and turn the game."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 9 Nov 2010