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Arshavin: Arsenal fans like me more than my wife!

Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin admits playing in the Premier League has been more difficult than he imagined. The Russian international has now become a firm fans' favourite with a return of 12 goals in 27 league games, but he admits things in England have been tougher than expected.

"I expected before I moved to England, if you are a good player if you play for a big team it is easier," Arshavin told Sky Sports News.

"But even if you play against Burnley or Wolverhampton, it is not easy - you don't have time to turn or do any dribbling, if you get two touches you're lucky."

Arshavin is hopeful Arsenal will mount a serious title challenge in the New Year but admits they cannot afford to drop many more points.

"We have had some chances to be very close to the top but we have not taken them so I am a little disappointed," he said.

"But now if we win games in hand we are still in the race but at the same time we cannot lose more points."

Arshavin is full of praise for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

"He gave me freedom, he requires of me to play as I see on the pitch," he said.

He also paid tribute to the Gunners faithful, adding: "I am happy, I sometimes think they like me more than my wife."

 Click here for more Arsenal news and comment from Arsene Wenger

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