Arsenal - Make this the one Robin!
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Make this the one Robin!

As we spend the summer salivating over one flavour of the transfer window player after another the one player of true world class who could make a difference to almost any teams season is due back in pre season training at Arsenal. Described by Wenger as a 'top, top, world class player` and Dutch coach Marco van Basten as 'too good not to play him` van Persie is the sort of mercurial talent that would fill the wish list of internet forums of most clubs if only he could stay fit enough for a sustained campaign.

In four seasons with the club he has started just 84 games. But those games and his 49 sub appearances have produced 43 goals. Many of them pieces of consummate skill and execution. The first of his brace against Blackburn in the 2005 FA Cup semifinal as he turned Lucas Neill and sashayed past Andy Todd was an early indicator of his sublime skill. Another goal against Blackburn much later in the league at Highbury as he cut inside two players from the right to unleash a left foot shot from a tight angle also comes to mind. And few could forget his airborne volley to score against Charlton.

As Henry left last summer most of us expected van Persie to assume the star striker mantle. He started well enough with good performances in the pre season Amsterdam tournament and Emirates Cup. In the latter producing a brilliantly executed goal against Inter. He also started the season well, scoring 7 times, until he stretched his medial ligament playing for Holland. How often that international curse seems to have stricken our players in the last few seasons. It came at a bad time for the club and for Robin "Everything was coming together before my injury - the week before I had been decisive in three games and you can`t really do much more than that"

The injury should have kept him out for not much more than 2 months. Having returned on schedule against Steaua in the Champions League in mid December all seemed well until overdoing it in extra training after the Chelsea game put him out for another month. In sheer frustration at missing so much of the season he has taken responsibility for pronouncing himself fit too early putting him out for another 7 weeks with a recurrence of the thigh strain. Following the broken metatarsal that ended the previous season prematurely Robin is, understandably perhaps, considered a little fragile by some supporters. However none of the problems he has had are related to a single physiological defect. They are all single-issue unrelated injuries. That at least holds out the prospect that he can remain fit and complete a normal season. His form in the European Championships was good enough, even though he wasn`t entirely match fit, to serve as a reminder of what we gain with him back in full action.

Gael Clichy is convinced of his worth to the team "..his return is going to be a big bonus for us - he`s such an important player" he says. Going on to tell us that Robin is a player who "...can change things from one free kick, one corner, one pass. That`s the kind of player you need and I hope he`ll be fully fit for the start of the season - it`ll be like having a new signing"

Various supporter forums list and analyse the merits of strikers from Villa, Huntelaar, Santa Cruz, Arshavin and others as gooners lust after them in the perennial summer game of transfer fantasy football that we indulge in until the real thing starts. Having seen not nearly enough of van Persie over the last two seasons, but more than enough to know that this is a very special player indeed, my fervent wish is to see what he can do going the full distance. Way beyond any interest or desire to see any of the current 'wish list` favourites in an Arsenal shirt. There is a truly special player there that surpasses the potential of anyone I have seen listed in these and other forums.

We have been down this road before of course. In some ways there seems something of a risk in raising expectations by highlighting what we will gain if Robin van Persie really puts in a full shift but he is such a special talent and the anticipation so exciting that for me at least it is worth contemplating. In any event as Robin himself says "When you`re positive - and this is a thing for life generally - positive things happen for you." Fingers crossed eh!

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 24 2008

Time: 11:01AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I think him and Eduardo getting back to full fitness and playing the best part of the season would be better than any signing we could make but I still feel we need one holding midfielder.
Ozi Gooner
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24/07/2008 11:18:00

RVP had better stay fit because he is in my fantasy football team!! lol!!! But yeah as he missed so much of last season his comeback will be just like a new signing for us as long as he stays fit for the majority of the season.
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24/07/2008 11:28:00

yep...we have down this road before concerning RVP..his goals are reminiscent of DB10's goals. As it stands, he owes Arsene and the fans massively this season. If he had been fit last season i don't think Adebayor would have been so pig-headed..he would definitely have been the main man.
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24/07/2008 11:30:00

I agree n14, if RVP and Eduardo had even had half a season each and shared the burden of goal scoring, then Ade would be a lot less full of his own self importance! If we can get all three fit and firing (not to mention Theo and big Nik) we'll stage a more serious challenge. Did I hear someone say what about Rosicky?
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24/07/2008 12:06:00

RVP is "the man" IMO, all the other strikers "complement" him, (ade included). if rvp is fit this season then as the title of the article says, "make this the one robin". rvp and cesc are by far, our most exciting players. if both play this season out to their full potential, and eduardo coming back to join in later in the season, we will have a massive season indeed. i'll be interested to know who wenger is targeting to get, although the team is complete enough now IMO. like i said in a previous post, cannot wait for the season proper to start, with the likes of the players we have, excitement will come by the bucket loads every game. just thinking of nasri, theo, rosicky, clichy, and sagna bombing down the field, to play in rvp, bentdner. this could be our fastest team ever!!!
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24/07/2008 12:22:00

RVP is obviously the key for you guys but i really feel that Walcott is gonna deliver the goods for you lot this season.I would much rather him than Lennon.
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24/07/2008 12:52:00

If RvP can last 2/3 of next season, Eduardo 1/2, Rosicky 1/2, we need no more signings other than a DM really. That's the math on paper at least.
Lou the Gunneress
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24/07/2008 12:52:00

I think Rosicky needs to have one on one therapy with Darren Anderton.LOL.
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24/07/2008 12:56:00

Robin is probably the best player we have in our team right now. But to really assume that mantle, he needs one top season, and i so hope it will be this one. But lads we are really forgetting Rosicky, he is as special as RVP. If any of you who have seen him play in the early part of his career in Prague and Dortmund, you'll know what i'm talking about. both these lads are due one injury free season, and i have a feeling this is going to be their season. it's all gonna fall in place my fellow gooners, it's gonna be us..
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24/07/2008 13:18:00

oops, i forgot to mention Dudu. we're only going to be champions. easy..
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24/07/2008 13:21:00

Yeah, agreed. Van Persie just needs a bit more luck and some match practice now. He has not looked so sharp in recent months, of course, which is to be expected after his injury. After Ade had such a good season and RVP such an unlucky, understated one, i just wonder weather a few defenders might be so worried facing Ade they'll forget how good RVP is... He really could become a bit of a legend if he would just stay fit!!!
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24/07/2008 14:01:00

No question, apart from Cesc, RVP is our genuine world class talent. I miss seeing him play regularly on our team. But I have to say that if he's out again for half the season this time, we have to sell him on. I gave up on him last season, frankly (and Rosicky too). I just can't see us depending on either one of them, tho I love them both. But no one would be happier than me to be proven wrong.
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24/07/2008 15:27:00

Rosicky??? who is that..oh the Check dude..hmm. some players owe Wenger a big debt this season. Gallas is one of those players. I'm sure he will retain his place as captain. All eyes will be on him this season to lift his team up too. There are interesting times ahead, this season is crucial for Arsenal...I dont think we can handle the strain of another trophyless season..with all the "superstars" Wenger has created and all the oversized egos...
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24/07/2008 16:18:00

Definitely tempting fate Amos! It seems like most of the people he has played with/for have made comments about his skill - "He can do things that others can't" and we've seen some deftness of touch from him to prove that. I thought last season was going to THE one and he would blossom into one of our legends. It didn't happen, and I have this feeling that he's not going to suddenly explode into consistent dynamite form until we least expect it... in a season and a half's time perhaps, when we've all but given up on him, he'll kick into gear and go on a 3-season-long Indian Summer to his career.
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24/07/2008 16:43:00

I had high hopes for Robin last season, but he really needs to have one injury-free season. His quality is not up for debate.
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24/07/2008 18:45:00

This cat is incredible, The best player in the world for me, if he is injury free. Not because I am an Arsenal fan, but he rediculously talented. I do believe this will be our year. When I look at the players we have, i get really confused when I read people saying we need to get world class players. If you look at our team, we have world class talent in every position(GK?). By the grace of God we will stay healthy and mash up the place this season. We have incredible wealth of talent! God Bless!
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24/07/2008 22:57:00


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