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Andrew, what a nice conclusion of the season. Will you tell us about the game?
And why not? Today we had a good, decent game. As always, filled with “Emirates” waiting for us in the last match of the season a lot of heads at the gate “Stoke City”. I think that the goals Arsenal fans pleased. We got almost everything right, we played for fun ….
When the scoreline was 3-0, their goalkeeper asked to be taken off. Perhaps he picked up an injury. Injuries are always a bad thing. Today his departure from the field probably saved him from more serious moral emotions.
During the second half we continued to escalate.  We constantly kept the ball but could not make it to the last goal, but it was not so important, the team enjoyed the game, and the result allowed us to do so.

Andrei Arshavin enjoyed playing together with partners. A few striking episodes in your performance forced the stadium a few times for a standing applause and to chant your name. Did you hear it?
No, it is difficult to understand. Andrei Arshavin merges with Arsenal.

What moment in the game you like most?
My blow “through itself”. If I had scored that goal, it would have been a beautiful end to my first season in London.

So the season completed.
The first part of my overseas career is over. I want to say that all was not bad for me. Apart from the fact that Arsenal could not fight for the League. I hope that next year will be much better for the team and for me.

Let us suppose that we in the school. What would your conditional instructor Andrey Sergeyevich teach his student Arshavinu for the first season in England?
Solid four… However, in the everyday plan at the beginning of my London life there were the problems. Now they are practically solved. I hope that at the beginning the new season it will be completely solved.

Off to a meeting in London?
Yes, today until August we bid farewell to the club mascot – a sweet Dinosaur, I personally shook his hand, and tomorrow we will be in St. Petersburg, a city in which I am bored. I am pleased that there is a lot of time that I spend in will spend im my native St. Petersburg now.
I want to say a big thanks to the management of Zenit and the chief coach. They gave me the opportunity to train together with a Zenit prior to the collection of the national team of Russia.

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Andrew, congratulations on winning! 3:0 on the scoreboard. This means that Arsenal’s autumn starts in the Champions League. In the field at Fratton Park in the match against the current holders of the FA Cup,  you were the captain. Captain, who is traditionally the best player of the team.
Captain? Honestly, for me it was somewhat unexpected. It may be that in the merit of my age, I was the oldest in the composition. Perhaps, therefore, Arsene chose me.

Arshavin on the field Arsenal scores a lot of goals. Let us remember today’s goals. The first ball into the goal. Had you noticed Bendtner, or did it go to him unexpcetedly?
I wasn’t thinking whether it will come to Bendtner or not. I was just hoping that someone will get to it.
If we talk about the game in general, I think we move very quickly from defense to attack. While, on the other hand, and they had opportunities to change the account on the scoreboard. Remember Crouch’s strike.
But the first goal we scored. Again, Crouch had a chance to equalise. He did not make us of it. And then we continued to control the game.

In the game you were brought down twice in the penalty area, but you only won one penalty.
Yes, in the first episode, It was without doubt a penalty kick. Second? It is at the discretion of the referee. Nick scored, and we led 2-0.

Why did you not take the penalty?
Before the game, Arsene wrote a list of will take the penalties. Bendtner was first in that list.

After this goal the fans started to boo you.
They were not happy with the designated penalty kick and with my game!

Second half
At the beginning of the second half we had some problems in the game. This was connected with Kanu coming on. Their composition has two tall players. Crouch and Kanu began to win the upper duel. But our goalkeeper is irreplacapble! Well after that, shortly Vela scored a third goal. After that game was practically over and Arsene had the opportunity to bring on young guys.

Yellow card to you, and red on you.
I was fouled because the area was clear. Red? Insulting. It would have been better had he let me go one on one, I would have scored a goal.

Opponent. A few words about it.
I think that they did not have the motivation. They also did not have several leading players. It was hard to play against us. Yes, and Denilson, who played center midfield, in my opinion, was the master of all players. He selects all the balls right and reviews of all those who have not ran past him.

Portsmouth. Another city which you have visited in England. The city, which has a population of 190 000 people. The city with an interesting history…
Yes. The history of the city, really interesting. Today learned that the King Richard the Lionheart has paid particular attention to this town. I was told that at a place near Portsmouth Charles Dickens was born ….
What I saw? The sea, a lot of yachts. I did not see the city much, just noted when traveling by bus, a very beautiful coastline.

Andrey, congratulations on such a great achievement! Tell us about the game.
We arrived at Liverpool after Saturday’s loss at Wembley. Obviously we were not in the best of moods, having been knocked out of the FA Cup. Arsene told us that game was history and that we now must concentrate on our remaining Premier League and Champions’ League games. We are playing a few teams who are fighting for the Champions’ League spots and those games might allow us to get higher in the table.
The game? We did not start the game very well. Liverpool had the initiative, they were creating chances in front of our goal. In some episodes our defence came to the rescue, in others it was our goalkeeper. Eventually we got into the game, started putting some passes together, which resulted in a good attacking move that led to a goal.
The goal was beautiful and well worked.
All I had to do is put my foot in the right place and direct the ball goalwards. Summing up the first half performance I think the result did not reflect the game, Liverpool were pressing throughout the half but ended up a goal down.
In the second half our opponents, playing at home with incredible support from their fans, unleashed a barrage of attacks on our goal. They managed to score twice, it might have appeared that we were going to lose by a large margin.
Could have lost, were it not for Arsenal’s number 23. This brings us to the second goal…
The defender did not expect me to burst from behind him. Carragher had not anticipated this as well – he tried to get into position to start the attack and as a result Cesc and myself were left against a single defender. I was planning to pass the ball to Fabregas initially, but having noticed that defender was closing the space down, I decided to hit the ball, I managed to strike it quite well, the ball flew past the post and the score became 2-2.
Goal number three…
I managed to score the third one almost instantly after a poor clearance. All I had to do was hit the target.
This goal did not break the hosts’ resolve.
No, their team has great spirit, they carried on passing the ball around and attacking. Then they scored the third. Afterwards the game became even more open: both teams went for an all-out attack.
Which brings us to your final goal? How did you do it?
I saw Theo pick up the ball and realised that I needed to dart forward. I’m happy he passed the ball to me. I didn’t even look at the goalkeeper, I was just thinking about hitting the target. Unfortunately even four goals proved to be not enough for us, it was a blow to concede so late in the game. Overall I think the fans loved the show. This is the type of games hated by defenders and goalkeepers and loved by the strikers.
Andrey, do people love poker in England? (quad goals are called “poker” in Russia – translator)
I’ll gladly play it in every coming game.
Which goal was your favourite?
The first one, it got everything going.
Andrey, this is a huge success. Will you be able to keep your feet on the ground?
I have a wife who will quickly put me back in my box. 🙂
You were awarded a bottle of champagne as the man of the match. Did you to take the bottle home?
No, the bottle went to our training camp.
What about the matchball?
I was promised that I will get it tomorrow.
Andrey, the game was played in the city of…
Beatles? Yes, they are a legendary band, of course I listened to their songs. They’re great but I did not think about them on the pitch.
92 goals is a good achievement for someone playing in your position. Century edges ever closer.
Yes, but the final steps come at a very challenging time.
You exchanged shirts with Torres after the game, you do not normally do that.
My childhood coach – S. Gordeev is collecting number 9 shirts. I hope a friend from St. Petersburg who was staying over with us will deliver it to him. 🙂
What are your immediate plans?
Arsene gave us a couple of days off so I’m going to spend them with my family. We’ll probably go for a stroll, visit the Zoo…
Andrey, congratulations again! It was a fantastic result.
Thanks! My regards to St. Petersburg.

Andrei Arshavin was as obvious a disappointed man after the FA Cup semi final defeat at Wembley. The Russian was given just 15 minutes to win Arsenal the match which he was unable to. Now he and his team-mates have to switch focus to maintaining their 4th place in the Premier League and try to win the Champions League.

Arshavin took some time out after the match to share his views on the defeat:

“I think that today at Wembley there was a match between two very strong teams. I think that at first in the game, we had greater territorial advantage, but they conducted the game and they could drive in goal. Subsequently the game was equalized. After that goal the game narrowed. Chelsea slowly took possession over and due to that advantage they got a goal.

“If we, as a whole, evaluate the results of first half, then I think that it was quite even. But in the second half Chelsea had more possession. Most of the game took place in our half of the field, although we did carry out rapid counter-attacks. Unfortunately, we conceded a late goal. We were left with very little time to organize and make Cech work. They did not give us any chance to score. We are upset that one half of the stadium left Wembley utterly disappointed. This is football, sometimes there are defeats. Surely it is not possible to win every match. Now we have to switch our focus to the fight in Premier League and Champions League.”

Andrey, fans enjoyed the match against Hull. Tell us what you knew about your opponents.
Before the game I only knew that they won here in the beginning of the season. After the game I learned that our teams also played in the FA Cup semi-final in 1930.
In fact they played twice. The first game finished 2:2 and in the replay gunners came out on top, winning 1:0.
A.A.: It’s great that the tie was settled in one game. It was a bit of an unexpected start for us – we conceded a goal. Basically, we had the initiative and possession of the ball from the beginning and throughout the game. We should have scored first but it turned out otherwise.
Why weren’t you able to find the net for so long?
Our attacks were quite slow, which allowed Hull to close the spaces, in some cases they displayed real heroics. They benefited from using only 1 ball, that was pretty surprising for me. I’m used to having balls scattered around the pitch. Everytime the ball goes out, you have to wait for it. The attack loses momentum because of that, letting defenders get back and close the free spaces, it slows the game down. It gives an advantage to teams who play slower game. They were wasting time as well, I’m glad that the referee started booking them for time-wasting in the beginning of the second half, although he could have started in the first. We obviously needed to strengthen our game and bring on some fresh players that helped us see out our opponents.
What did Arsene Wenger tell you at the break?
He told us that while we were doing the right things, we needed to speed up a bit to get the result. He asked us to stay positive about the game till the final whistle.
Hull City have a tiger on their coat of arms, almost like Luch Vladivostok in Russia. The Tigers from the East Riding of Yorkshire were biting, but not much more than than. Was the result fue to Arsenal’s class?
Yes, our team’s class is higher than Hull’s. On the other hand, we didn’t win just because of that. Today we displayed skill and character. We didn’t have much time to win the game, I’m please that we made it. Any victory feels good, but those won on character are twice as sweet.
Ahead of the game, many newspapers reported that Arshavin might miss the Cup quarter final because of the injury, some reported that you missed yesterday’s training. Wenger later said that you were desperate to play. When did you learn that you will be on the pitch?
I was recommended to train separately from the team but I wanted to train with the guys, not on my own. And it’s always the manager’s decision regarding who’s going to play. When did I learn that I will be playing? 3 hours before the game.
How are you now?
Not worse than ahead of the game.
Van Persie’s goal from your assist was the turning point of the game. It was a nice touch, but tell us didn’t you want to score yourself?
Not really. It was a difficult position. To score from there, I needed to hit the top left corner, an easier option was the pass, which resulted in a goal.
You have the Cup semi-final ahead. It’s going to be another London derby, this time against Chelsea.
That game is long way away. We have several games before that, our thoughts are now on the next one. When it will be time to prepare for Chelsea, we will start thinking about them.
By the way, another of your managers – Guus Hiddink was in the stands as well, did you know about that?
No, I didn’t.
Did you manage to meet him in London?
No.
In Saint Petersburg, you were one of the most popular citizens. Everyone recognized you when you were in town. Your performances for the Gunners generate a lot of attention towards you in Great Britain as well. How do you find that?
In London people don’t really know me but I don’t have a problem with that at all.
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