Two years on from his stunning Barcelona winner, does Andrei Arshavin have anything left to give?

Andrei Arshavin

Arsenal winger Andrei Arshavin is a forgotten man at the club with seemingly very little use. Is that how he saw his career at the club panning out? And is that how it will end?

Two years ago this week, Andrei Arshavin scored one of the most celebrated goals in recent Arsenal history. He hit a stunning winner over Barcelona to give the Gunners a 2-1 Champions League first leg win.

Ultimately Arsenal were unpicked by Barcelona in the second leg, but that moment in time, when Arshavin rattled in the late winner and sent the Emirates wild, remains crystalised as a glorious, if short-lived, happy memory.

Two years on, Arsenal are preparing for a similarly daunting tie when they face Bayern Munich in a week's time for the first leg of their Champions League match, which will also be held at the Emirates.

Arsenal need a result to go to Germany and cling onto, but Arshavin will simply have to pray he is somehow involved.

On form its doubtful. He certainly won't start. His only possible chance of involvement is if Arsene Wenger remembers the Russian has magic in his boots, and that the Gunners need matchwinners on the bench. He could throw him on in a moment of desperation and hand him the chance to salvage  his reputation if they need a late goal.

It's fanciful. It could happen, but on current form Arshavin won't even get a place on the bench as when he has had an opportunity he has not merited another.

He hasn't featured for Arsenal, since he came on against Chelsea in the 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge - when he played for 15 minutes and was particularly abject. He has featured on the bench since, but only in cup matches. In the league he can't even get a place among the substitutes.

It's a quite stunning fall from grace for the player, but he should look in the mirror if he wants to find an answer to where it has all gone wrong.

Arsene Wenger perhaps could have altered his system to get the best out of him and played him centrally rather than on the left, but Arshavin's reluctance to track back and help defensively has made him a too risky pick for the manager.

He could have gone out on loan again, if he really wanted it he could have forced a transfer. Clubs like Reading and QPR were linked, and you feel Arsenal would not have stood in his way had Arshavin and his agent held out the bait for the clubs to put in an offer.

Last season he was loaned out to Russia, and this remains a possibility still until February 26. Arsenal's first leg clash with Bayern takes place on the 19th. If he does not feature at all, he should take it as read that he has no part to play this season.

Considering he was signed for £15 million by the club four years ago, apart from flashes like the Barcelona winner, he hasn't repaid that fee. 

He surely can't be happy with his current predicament, but even more telling and perhaps indicative of his lacklustre on-pitch displays is his lack of willingness to do anything about it?

Who knows, he may yet have a say against Bayern, but we wouldn't recommend betting on it.

Watch Arshavin's winner against Barcelona below:

What do you think of Arshavin's situation? A wasted talent? Could he feature off the bench against Bayern?

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