By Chris Harris
Andrey Arshavin is still an efficient player for Arsenal, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Russian star put in a solid shift against Leeds United in the FA Cup on Monday night, despite failing to get on the scoresheet.
Wenger believes that Arshavin's natural tendency to try and find the killer ball can affect his passing statistics but he insists that the 30-year-old is still delivering.
"He has always been a player who plays on the borderline, if you look at the game against QPR," said Wenger. "He is a big gambler, and at the end of the day he gave the ball to Robin van Persie to score in that game. So he is always efficient.
"If you look at his numbers you are always surprised at how good he is. Sometimes the visual impression you get from a game has been frustrating, but he is very efficient. We can all have a big responsibility but we need confidence for what we do."
Wenger intends to keep Arshavin at Emirates Stadium and he thinks confidence is the only thing standing between the Russian and his best form.
"We know he has the talent," said the manager. "He’s been questioned many times but his attitude has always been spot on.
"In the last game, specifically, he showed that he needs to play and needs confidence. He needs to play with confidence and freedom, that is his strength. He is a creative player and you need that fraction of belief and confidence to play with freedom."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 13 Jan 2012