Do you rate Pavlyuchenko?
Pavlyuchenko apparently requires surgery for a groin injury. You'll have noticed he hasn't played a part in our recent games and the last thing I can remember from him (other than a missed penalty in a reserve match) was some quotes based around a complaint that he is struggling to learn English. This is largely thanks to his every day routine of hotel - breakfast - training - hotel - dinner - bed. Gruelling work schedule taking its toll there for Roman.
It's been pointed out that the club should be doing far more to make sure he develops his linguistic skills. The player still 'thinks' in Russian which means he has to attempt to translate what he wants to relay to his team-mates from Russian into English. Which, according to the player, is time consuming.
I'm miffed. Just call out the players name. You're not exactly gonna find the need to stand on the edge of the box and scream, 'Hey Aaron, Aaron, please strike the ball with the outside of your foot and lay it into my path. I'm going to sweetly strike it to the left of the goal'.
A simple yelp will suffice.
Pedanticisms aside, he is probably referring to the aftermath of a broken down attack when he needs to explain to the player who passed the ball to the right when he (Pav) was running to the left what space he intends to run into next time round. Again, arguably, all he has to do is point and wave his arms about and even speak his disgruntledness in Russian. The likelihood is his team-mate will understand the complaint far more clearly than anything coming out of Robbie Keanes mouth.
There's a lot that hasn't gone right for Pav since his move to the UK. Arguably, the guy is tired having playing several months of football in Russia in the snow before the Prem had kicked-off. He hasn't done too shabby considering the start of the season we've had (two points, eight games), but although he has scored himself into double figures - he hasn't scored that many in the league. He's a bit slow, and sometimes his first touch isn't great and his long shot efforts are poor - but he seems to find himself in the right place at the right time and unlike Darren Bent, he contributes far more and appears to be more adaptable to Harry's tactics. He's a decent goal-scorer. Maybe not one worth £14M on current showing, but we always pay far more than what the player is truly worth. Problem, arguably, is he doesn't quite excel in anything in particular and can't be defined in the same terms of importance in the same way Keane or Defoe can (with what they can offer on the pitch).
Is he over-rated? Guess we can't really judge him until 10 games into next season. Although even a 'tired' player should be showing us a little bit more in the way of ability. But at the minute, the tired excuse and the injury issue saves him from the knee-jerk 'Get rid of him!' brigade.
I like Pav. He's comes across as a bit daft (maybe something is lost in translation) in interviews, but he plays with a smile on his face. You just get this impression he's only playing at around the 60% mark.
Arshavin is fairly fluent in English, but then he's also probably fluent in Spanish, German and Italian as right up to the end of the transfer window he probably wasn't that sure where his final destination would be.
So, I guess it's down to what Harry thinks and what he plans to do with Keane, Defoe, Bent and Roman when the season draws to a close and the summer months transfer merry-go-round kicks off again.
Surely Spurs can keep him behind an hour or so after training every day for a lesson in the fine art of speaking the Queens English? Just lock him in a room and stick a Only Fools and Horses VHS in the video player, and he'll be fine as dandy in a month.
Based on what you've seen and in comparison to our other forwards - and taking into account we have 4 players who strive to be first-team players - should he stay or should he go? In your opinion, has he shown us enough?
If anyone happens to bump into him in the Waltham Abbey Tescos - say hello. And compliment him on his choice of Louis Vuitton manbag........in English. If he shrugs and mutters something in Russian spank his bottom and state 'NO! Bad £14M forward who hasn't settled in England yet'. Give him a stern look and shake your head, before slowly walking away with a despondent swagger.
That ought to tell him.