Andrey Arshavin says Arsenal must convert their chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages against Marseille tonight.
Victory against Didier Deschamps’ Ligue 1 outfit would guarantee the team’s passage through to the tournament’s last 16 after just four group matches.
Arshavin is pushing for a start in Arsène Wenger’s first team after featuring at the Stade Velodrome two weeks ago and says the team simply need to get the job done.
“We have to build on our result from two weeks ago,” Arshavin told the Official Matchday Programme. “We were disciplined in France and very solid defensively, which meant we could take our chance to win when it came.
“Now we top the group, and have a good opportunity to qualify for the knockout rounds today.
“I’m sure that Borussia Dortmund will beat Olympiacos at home, so if we win tonight we’ll be through - let’s take the opportunity we have.”
Arshavin is part of an Arsenal squad that has shown great character in recent weeks, winning eight of their last nine fixtures in all competitions. The Russian believes the Gunners can push on now the team’s new faces have had time to bed in.
“I’ve had much worse starts to be honest – at Zenit we once lost three or four games in a row right at the beginning,” he said. “But normally when my teams start badly we end up being happy with how things have ended up, so I’m hoping that pattern continues this time.
“Most of all I think we were missing players – in terms of new faces coming in and establishing a settled side.
“That was rectified within weeks as our signings have come in and spent time here, we’ve benefited – and we’ll see exactly how good our squad is at the end of the season.”
The full interview with Andrey is available in tonight’s Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.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 1 Nov 2011