When Andrei Arshavin takes the field against Chelsea, chances are that he will make lots of eye contact with Guus Hiddink, his national coach. After all it was under the Dutchman that Arshavin, late at 28 years and with hitherto unknown powers, became the hit of Euro 2008.
Clubs came clamouring and in the winter he made his move from Zenit St Petersburg to the Emirates. He has been a large part of Arsenal's revival. But this could have been an entirely different story if it was not for a couple of Dutch coaches who sought to change his
lackadaisical approach to the game, even as they saw brilliance on the field.
First, Dick Advocaat at Zenit St Petersburg and then Hiddink as the Russian team manager took it on themselves to teach him to play 90 minutes. As the Dutch in Euro 2008 found out to their detriment coming unglued against Arshavin's omnipresence on the field.
Arsenal's splurge on Arshavin would have never happened if these two managers had not imbued his talent with discipline. Hiddink will be grateful if the older version of Arshavin shows up tomorrow.