Robin van Persie, the balsa wood boy, is back.
This is good news for us. As the season draws on players get tired. Adebayor has worked like a trojan this season, playing up front on his own many times, and the man has done a fantastic job. It does get harder to keep up those energy levels though. To have someone of the quality of Robin van Persie to come back in with fresh legs and the sheer desire to get back playing and making a contribution to the team is great. Especially when Eduardo is out, Theo prone to niggly injuries and Bendtner looking more effective as a substitute than a starter.
Arsene Wenger is sure he can make a difference. Even in the short spell he was on the pitch in the Wigan game you can see what a good footballer he is. He was rusty but the class is obvious. Robin himself is desperate to get back into the swing of things, saying:
I started the season with very big ideas, my ambition was very high and it still is. I have missed many games – but I am thinking positive at the moment and I want to end this season good with the team. I am happy to be back and am quite positive that we can win the league and the Champions League.
Well, you could never accuse him of lacking confidence. What we do have to hope though is that he can come through the final games of the season without picking up any more injuries. In all the time he’s been at Arsenal he’s never gone through a season without some kind of significant injury. I don’t know if it’s fair to say he’s injury prone. He’s not like Messi or Owen who have the same kind of recurring injury. We’ve had a broken metatarsal, damaged knee, groin, thigh – I suspect he’s even injured his bread basket and had butterflies in his stomach. Perhaps he’s just been really unlucky. Or perhaps he is a bit brittle.
For his sake and ours I hope can stay fit. What he brings to the team is a certain unpredictability that none of the others can. He can score a goal out of nothing, he offers a threat from free kicks (something we’ve missed all season really) and the most important thing is that having not played very much football he won’t be fatigued. I suspect Arsene Wenger will be looking at the fact he’s been called up to the Dutch squad for a friendly at the end of the month with some trepidation. Leaving aside the sheer stupidity of scheduling a friendly round at this stage of the season it might not be a bad thing for Robin to get some playing time under his belt and get a bit sharper. Of course we’ll be worrying about injuries but he might just as easily get injured in training or playing for us.
So light your candles, say your prayers and sacrifice your goats to ensure that Robin stays fit and scores 37 goals between now and May.
Stuart Pearce talks about Theo Walcott. Really just more of the same kind of stuff we’ve heard before. Very talented, needs time, blah blah blah. But go read if you really want.
Robert Pires says Thierry Henry is unhappy at Barcelona. I watched the game the other evening and it struck me as slightly ironic that Henry was hauled off after about an hour to be replaced by a 17 year old. To be fair to Rijkaard the former Arsenal man was completely rubbish against Villarreal but that must sting his pride somewhat. Especially when he complained last season that the Arsenal team he was leaving was too young. Not that any of it has anything to do with us really, I just thought it was interesting.
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Weeks with no midweek games tend to be a quiet in terms of news, and so it is. So I shall make my way off into the bright morning and talk to you all tomorrow.