Arshavin: Third place a success for Arsenal

Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin believes the Gunners will win nothing this season if he continues to be used as a centre-forward.

The club's title challenge has faltered dramatically following emphatic defeats to both Manchester United and Chelsea - leaving Arsene Wenger's side nine points off the league summit.

Despite the free-scoring nature of the Frenchman's team in 2009/10, the lack of a genuine striker up front has seen the Gunners struggle to seriously work goalkeepers in recent weeks.

Robin van Persie suffered a serious ankle injury on international duty with Holland in November and may not return this season, while both Eduardo and Nicklas Bendtner have also been sidelined.

As a result, diminutive playmaker Arshavin has often found himself in a central role up front - a position he says he is not designed to excel at.

And the 28-year-old believes Arsenal will fail to achieve success if Wenger persists in using him as a striker, and that third place in the league may be the best they can hope for.

"If Arsenal want to become champions, how can they select Arshavin as centre-forward?" he said in the Mail.

"I am 5ft 7in and next to the big centre halves of [Manchester] United it is very difficult to fight for the ball, especially in the air.

"'Van Persie is injured and unlikely to play again this season. Eduardo is injured too. We are in a difficult situation when it comes to recruiting players.

"Third place is where we stand today, and that is already a great success for Arsenal when you take into account the class of our 11 players."

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