Russia’s newest coach Fabio Capello’s first task at the helm would be to sit down with captain Andrei Arshavin over his fall out with fans after Russia’s group stage exit from Euro 2012, according to reports in the Russian media. The Arsenal forward featured in a video that appeared after the Euros where the Russian accused national fans of having unrealistic expectations from the team.
The 31 year-old first played for the national side in 2002 and has been the first-choice captain since 2009. The Russians crashed out from the easiest group in Euro 2012 after losing to Greece in their last match in Poland-Ukraine. The captain pinned the blame on the fans for the team’s inability to meet their expectations. The captain’s ruthless remarks have resulted in widespread calls for his removal from the national side. Capello also hinted that Arshavin’s attitude could cost him the captain’s armband.
Capello said on the issue, “I’m trying to work out what led to this dislike from the fans. I should get to know Arshavin, to understand how this situation arose between him and the fans and then talk about the captain’s armband. The fans are an important component, and we expect their support.”
Capello is set to fly out to Germany to meet the 31 year-old before Arsenal takes on FC Koln in a pre-season friendly on August 12. Although the former English boss appears keen on retaining the player in his squad, the Arsenal man is expected to be stripped of his captaincy after the meeting.
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