Arshavin: Heavy-handedness has helped my game

Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin says his stunningly quick adaptation to English football is the result of the physical nature of the Premier League. The £15-million signing from Zenit St Petersburg has exploded on to the English scene since arriving at the beginning of February, netting six goals in nine league games including four against Liverpool at Anfield. And the diminutive playmaker believes that the rough-and-ready treatment of many Premier League defenders has meant him having to adapt his style of play. "I didn't expect it to be easy to adapt to English football," he told the Evening Standard. "In Russia, I never had to face such physical battles. If I jumped for the ball and a defender pushed me in Russia, the whistle would blow every time. Here it never does. "But it's up to me to change what I do on the pitch, better movement, quicker decision-making. "I'm not afraid to be in a battle but if it's a Micah Richards or a Robert Huth I'm up against, I'm only half their size! "When the defenders are that big, you can't fight them. You have to use your brain against them." However, the Russian international was quick to praise the ability of his Gunners team-mates, who have also aided his development. "The real difference is that the average ability of the players at Arsenal is higher," he said. "They're harder to play against in training!" ARSENAL FANS! Check’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas Q&A Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas One on One Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Ian Wright Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Armand Traore Perfect XI Ian Wright What Happened Next? Gus Caesar, Peter Marinello And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate Arsenal players (and others) on Talentspotter