Andrey Arshavin admits to underperforming for Arsenal

Andrey Arshavin has admitted Arsenal fans are right to demand more than he is currently producing.

The Russia forward has been heavily criticised after scoring just once in his last 18 games for the Gunners, with his performances falling well short of those during the early part of his career in England.

Arshavin, who joined Arsenal from Zenit St Petersburg almost three years ago, said of the club's supporters: "They should expect more from me, of course.

"They should expect some more tricks, goals and unbelievable passes.

"To be honest, I am still expecting more from me as well."

He added on Arsenal Player: "But, believe me, I do everything I can do.

"I just must give everything I can at the moment."

The 30-year-old's loss of form has co-incided with Arsenal's wretched start to the season, which sees them 15th in the Barclays Premier League after seven matches.

Despite this, under-fire manager Arsene Wenger believes he now has more leaders in his squad than when the Gunners were challenging on all four fronts less than a year ago.

The Frenchman, who drafted in Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Ju Young Park and Andre Santos in the final days of the transfer window, told the Official Arsenal Magazine: "Sometimes we are reproached for not having enough captains in our squad, now we have plenty.

"Overall, we have more experience and this could be important if we are in a strong position should we have interesting challenges in March or April. That could have a big part to play.

"We got criticised a lot last season for not getting over the line, but I believe that we were so close, so, so close that it was unbelievable to accept. But we have added more experience.

"Also, last year, we lost important players in March and April because we went for all the trophies, so hopefully we have the squad to do it and this time it will happen.

"In every position, you always have number one, two and three, knowing there is a not a lot between them.

"But basically I'm very happy with the signings we made and my challenge now is to prove that I made the right decisions.

"I have great belief in the players I bought in and I am convinced they will prove me right."

Meanwhile, Alisher Usmanov has written to select small shareholders in a fresh bid to take his stake in the club over the 30% threshold, with £14,000 per share on offer.

The Russian businessman's Red and White Holdings currently owns 29.35% of the Gunners and he is looking to purchase at least another 405 shares to take their stake to the mark that would usually force them to make a formal takeover bid.

However, 66.7% of Arsenal is held by rival investor Stan Kroenke - who became majority shareholder earlier this year - and there is an agreement in place which means Usmanov will not need to attempt a doomed takeover.

Usmanov, though, would then be subject to the Premier League's owners' and directors' test - their updated fit and proper persons' test.

PA

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