The sooner we invent teleportation the better.
Not because I hate flying itself, although I really, really do. And not because airports are the most soulless, tedious places on earth, although they really, really are. It’s mostly because every time you fly there’s somebody with the plague sitting close enough to give you all their germs and leave you smothering. Can’t these people go in the hold, or something, instead of coughing and spluttering and spreading their vile contagion?
One day a virus will mutate enough to bring humanity to its knees and the fault will lie entirely with Ryanair. Oh cheap travel is great until 99.6% of the population is wiped out and then how much is it going to cost to fly anywhere. They don’t think of that when they launch their witty ad campaigns, do they? Maybe I’m giving them another idea. When you book your flights in the future perhaps they could offer gas masks as an add-on you can pay a bit extra for. I know I would.
With a full week and a Saturday to go before we play again most of the focus remains on what happened on Saturday against Everton. After all the build-up to the game, the ceremonies and the occasion itself it really would have been disappointing if Everton had managed to frustrate us fully and cost us 2 points (I really didn’t see them scoring). In the presence of so many Arsenal greats Robin van Persie showed why he could become one of them – if he’s not already.
His scoring feat this season, on top of the brilliance he’s shown in the past which was sadly interrupted too often by injury, will go down in the annals for sure. But there’s the looming issue of his contract which, I guess, is going to play a part in how he’s remembered. Personally, and I know this is something which goes without saying, but I think he should stay. Few players have such a connection with a club and its fans and there’s no doubt that Robin really does love the club, is a proud captain and all the rest.
What we’ve always said is that it’ll be necessary for him to feel he can achieve his footballing ambitions with us. He arrived at a club which was used to winning trophies. 3 league titles in 6 seasons, an unbeaten season, doubles, and so on. Yet his only medal remains the one from the FA Cup final in 2005, a game which Arsenal won playing in the most un-Arsenal way. Certainly we’ve picked things up from the start of the season and while accusations of us being a one man team are lazy and specious he’s certainly been a driving force in our recuperation.
And I wonder, whether consciously or not, Robin’s footballing ambitions are tied to his Arsenal ones. Does he want to win things? I’m sure he does. Any footballer worth his salt wants to be able to look back and remember trophies and finals. Yet does Robin want to win things with Arsenal more than anything else? Is his current form built on a desire to be able to stay with this club? Is that what’s giving him that extra 2-3%, the bit that allows him to score a sensational goal against Everton on a day when he was otherwise struggling to make an impact?
I can’t answer those questions, I’m merely speculating, but it seems worthy of some thought to me. And it works in another way too. Are the rest of this Arsenal team aware that in order for them to be successful and to win things they need a player like Robin van Persie? I’m not suggesting that they’re playing just to keep him at the club and to ensure he signs a new deal. They’re professional and experienced enough to be motivated properly for every game, but if all ties in and adds just a little bit then sometimes that little bit can be the difference between 1 point and 3, a clean sheet or not, etc.
And look, when we talk about Robin’s goal, when you hear Arsene talk about him delivering something special, the one man team stuff becomes even more nonsensical. Because that something special was only possible because we had solid platform for it to happen. The group of Everton fans that were booting a ball around all the way to the stadium were more likely to score than their team. And even if they showed little or not attacking ambition this team is far more defensively solid than it was and that’s what allows goals like Robin’s to make the difference.
I think we’re still very much in one game at a time territory and with Sunday’s opponents likely to provide the toughest test yet for this rejuvenated team there’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to be done. Fingers crossed and we can focus on that test during the week.
In other news Marouane Chamakh has spoken about going to back to Bordeaux, but not till the summer. And it’s not difficult to understand why. He’ll be off to the ACN in January, along with Gervinho, and a striking signing in January wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Arsene says:
If there is an opportunity there with somewhere why not? We have Park also, now his adaptation period is over, we will see much more from him in the second half of the season.
I remain unconvinced about Park, naturally enough, if the manager doesn’t feel comfortable using him even as an option from the bench I think it says a lot. The adaptation thing is a bit of cover, I feel, but then again Arsene has surprised us before with players we’ve all doubted, so let’s see.
Finally for today – a good piece on the newly prolific Gingers4Limpar about use of the word ‘yid’ by Arsenal fans.
And finally, finally, the book will be going on sale online later on this afternoon. A new post with full details of how you can order etc will go up after lunch so keep your eyes peeled.