By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger insists that no one is immune to self-doubt - not even Andrey Arshavin.
The 29-year-old has oozed self-belief for much of his career and no wonder. He is Russia’s talisman, led Zenit St. Petersburg to UEFA Cup glory and marked his arrival in the Premier League with four goals for Arsenal at Liverpool.
But this season has been tougher for Arshavin. After a solid start to the campaign his form dropped before a recent revival was capped with that supreme strike to beat Barcelona last Wednesday.
Wenger has stood by his Russian star through thick and thin and, while some may find it surprising to hear that Arshavin ever lost confidence, his manager knows that the playmaker’s ego is as fragile as anyone’s.
“He was for a while troubled by confidence problems, he is now back and that goal against Barcelona helped him,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“A top level player lives from success and when it doesn’t go for him for a while you question ‘what am I not doing right and why?’ Nobody is immune to that.
“I have seen so many big players - and believe me Andrey is one of them - and they all go through periods like that. It is part of being a human being as well.”
According to Wenger, the goal that Arshavin scored to beat Barcelona proved what he already knew – that the 29-year-old was back to his best.
“It’s fantastic,” said the manager. “I love Arshavin because he’s a player who can always give you hope that he can make the difference.
“But before Barcelona already you felt he was in good form again.”Copyright 2013 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 22 Feb 2011