Andrey Arshavin On The Irish Game

Hal LaRoux
By Hal LaRoux
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Some great stuff over at in the regular post match interview with Andrey. Some completely off the wall stuff about Mosquitos and the red setter in the following intro though.

October 8, 2010. European 2012 Qualifiers Russia vs Ireland 2-3. Ireland is an interesting country, with character, famous for its inimitable music, lively dances, paintings and most of all literature. It is here that the world's best brewers created “Guinness". Ireland is a green island, where there are no snakes or mosquitoes: they simply don’t exist here. This country raised a great breed of dog - the Irish setter. By the way, if you want to go hunting, it’s the best assistant you can find. But our national team doesn’t bring up associations with the fowl in any way.

Our guys are the eagles... Therefore, the Irish setter, today, was left without the game! It couldn’t be otherwise.
It’s difficult to imagine how much negativity our national team has endured lately. Only a lazy one didn’t curse the team and each player in particular. Nevertheless, our guys took the criticism professionally and today’s game proved it. And when the squad is criticized, the first who is always to blame is the coach and the captain. Today, each of them proved that they can do a great job. As promised by the President of the Russian Football Union, we didn’t lose today. Dick Advocaat has made all the right decision regarding the line-up. Alexander Kerzhakov and Alan Dzagoev scored a goal each. Andrey Arshavin has coped magnificently with his role as a captain. It was he who created two assists. The captain of the Russian team was splendidly managing his efficient team...

The game evolved in such a way that at first we outscored by a big margin due to Alexander Anyukov. 3- 0. A big victory? No. One should know the character of the Irish guys who went on to play football. And even though the referee awarded a penalty and even though we missed another goal, but we stood up to them. Besides, the Russian players could have won with a bigger scoreline. Remember, when Igor Semshov played using his hand after Andrey Arshavin’s pass? But that is O.K., we won anyway! It’s a great day and a good weekend is ahead! Andrey, the Russians are having a good time today! Do you know what the most popular drink is tonight?

AA: It’s great that the fans are happy today. Drink? Ireland means Guinness, right? Right to the point. There is a festive mood in the Irish pubs in Saint-Petersburg, people are asking for a “Victory Day” song. Tell us a few words about the game?

AA: I think we dominated most of the time on the pitch. Maybe it was the best game of the Russian team in the modern history of our squad. We did not allow our opponent to do anything, controlling every single inch of the pitch. I think that our goals were beautiful. Unfortunately, at the end of the match, there was a short period of time after that penalty when the Irish started to press on. But we stood up to them. That’s a fact. Maybe those two missed goals will be of use in the long run, they’ll teach us be on the lookout. The game in Macedonia is ahead and we have to do the same we have done today with the Irish – we have to win. Only it’s better to do it without much ado. And the victory in Skopje is no less important than today’s. Because there are 3 points for every win. Was it hard to come out to play in Dublin after the defeat in Moscow?

AA: Neither I nor the team felt any nervousness. Everybody understood that we had to get on the pitch, play for 2 halves, try to win and start thinking about the forthcoming clash with the Macedonians. Weren’t you surprised that Giovanni Trapatonni announced the starting lineup of his team one day before the game?

A.A.: No. This is a normal international practice. The same applies to the English league?

AA: Yes. In the modern football the players watch each other and know who and what position is going to play. Therefore, the decision of their coach to announce the line-up didn’t surprise me. It didn’t come as a surprise for us. Those eleven players, who were in the preferred set, came out to play. They are the best players. But we try to pay more attention to the way we are going to play. And the rival’s line-up is secondary. Is it difficult to play with such a support from the Dubliners? What were they shouting to the Russian team from the stands?

AA I wasn’t listening. They were probably shouting something but the sounds merged into one hum. As for the game at this stadium, I think that one can get only pleasant emotions from such football conditions that were created for the players. Such a pitch, the atmosphere and the heat of the game can bring only joy. What’s their strongest point?

AA: They are physically strong. They have powerful players. It is evident that they work on the set pieces. Well, of course, their power is in the support of their fans. They simply drove them forward. What’s our strongest point?

AA: Our spirit, the character and the high skills of our players. After our victory and the Slovaks’ defeat, the team probably feels relaxed and there is a chance to get a star fever…

AA: A star fever? I have already said that the two missed goals gave us something to think about …. The guys in our national team are real professionals; they have long lived through this. They have been in football for a long time; they’ve seen a lot and understand everything. The guys now want to show good football in Macedonia, we are going there to win. The Slovaks conceded to the Armenians. In one of your interviews, you’ve mentioned that the Slovaks will have a tough time in Armenia.

AA: Yeah. And their defeat today is not a surprise for me. I saw the second half of their match. The Slovaks didn’t have any chances. This team can play only when they are leading the score. If they are losing, they do not know what to do. Did your former Zenit teammate Sargis Hovsepyan take part in that match?

AA: Sarkis was kept busy today. Do you want to give him your regards?

AA: We will do it in person when we come to Yerevan :)



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