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Arshavin talks to Martin Samuel: Outspoken Arsenal star on 'scary' Wenger, the United 'machines' and
Published : 16 May 2009 13:12:32
What we are dealing with here is a clash of cultures. Andrey Arshavin has just been given an opportunity to retract, or at leastclarify, some pretty incendiary views on women drivers and has choseninstead to stand by every word and add a few more. Katya, our charming interpreter, who has translated all thiswithout a blink of her blue eyes, then attempts to place the man, andhis opinions, in context. 'Russia can be a very chauvinistic society,'she says. 'There is a saying: "A chicken is not a bird, and a woman isnot a person".' Noticing my look of horror, she quickly adds: 'No, no,we do not mind. If you said that to a Russian woman, she would laugh.' And Arshavin is unreconstructed Russian in as much as he speaks his mind. Ask about the future of Arsenal, the best footballer in the world or his hopes for the Champions League final and a straight answer is returned. 'We must buy in the summer. Not more potential, but players who are ready to do it now, players like me'He speaks some English, understands more, replies through Katya only when a question requires explanation and arrives bearing the look of a man who has just had someone reverse into his car. Probably a woman. Initial exchanges are not promising. A gentle question about how he is finding life in the Premier League. 'To start with, it was extremely difficult, because the game was very fast compared to the Russian style. I had to think on my feet, think a lot quicker, but as the time goes by I find it easier, increasingly.'