By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has no intention of curbing Andrey Arshavin’s instinctive approach to football.
The Russian playmaker has been a big hit since moving to Emirates Stadium on transfer deadline day and recently scooped the O2/Arsenal.com Player of the Month award after scoring one goal and creating five more in March.
Arshavin’s rudimentary position is usually on the left but, as at Wigan on Saturday, he often moves inside to exert more influence. The tactic worked at the JJB Stadium – the 27-year-old conjured up another goal and assist – and Wenger is loathe to restrict Arshavin’s freedom of expression.
“Many times in the game Arshavin has his own ideas,” said the Frenchman.
“But we have no forbidden ways for our creative players as long as they respect when we lose the ball that they share the job well.
“We are a team who wants to play in a mobile game so you have to give them freedom to go where they feel they will be dangerous.”
Wenger would love to call upon Arshavin in the latter stages of the Champions League but the Russian is ineligible after representing his former club, Zenit St. Petersburg, in the group stages. However, the Arsenal manager knows he can turn that negative into a positive this coming weekend.
“If you ask me would I like Arshavin to be with us then I would say yes,” admitted Wenger. “But when I bought him I knew he would not be available, so I cannot complain about that.
“The advantage it has is that at least we'll have one fresh player for Saturday [against Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi-Final].”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 14 Apr 2009