Fairclough was a super sub... Arshavin's a stupor sub
The art of substitutions has been put back into the spotlight this week.
It’s hard to think of a better supersub than David Fairclough who was coming to an end as I arrived at Liverpool.
But he was a fabulous player, sharp as a razor from the bench and always able to come up with a crucial goal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did similar for Manchester United.
The booing of Arsene Wenger taking off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put me in mind of a similar situation at Liverpool – albeit with different results.
One game, every player bar Craig Johnston and Bruce Grobbelaar had been on international duty. We all came back on a Friday absolutely shattered.
Johnston buzzed around the next day and looked terrific. But it was 0-0, 70 gone and Bob Paisley subbed him! It’s very rare Liverpool fans boo but they did that day. On went, I think it was David Johnson, and Liverpool won 1-0.
Afterwards Bob Paisley said: “Craig was good but the problem was that he was too quick for everyone else!”
But don’t blame Arsene Wenger for his substitution. If he can’t trust the captain of Russia to come on and do a job then he’s got a problem.
And the problem is Arshavin. He looks disinterested and as if he wants to be anywhere else but Arsenal.
Sadly, that comes across in all of his performances.
Interview: John Cross