Date:Monday February 9 2009
Speaking after the North London Derby Robin van Persie was in a reflective but positive mood.
"We are still creating the chances" he said "Even with 10 men we had a few chances. I am not really worried because we are still creating. If you look at the chances they had and we had, I think we can be happy."
But he is aware that the current run of 3 draws falls short of our needs. "It is six points missing - if we had those six points but this is if, if, if. It's not really working. What can I say? Sometimes it's me to blame or a player to blame. Sometimes we are unlucky."
There is some merit to be gleaned from the present unbeaten run. Some confidence can be taken from these games even if the points tally is disappointing. Getting the basics right can be a base for a stronger run and the Dutchman thinks we are working hard enough to be getting those basics right but just need to add that little extra to see some more rewarding payback
'We are working hard, but we know we are not there yet,' said Van Persie.
'We are not scoring enough goals, we are not playing well enough - but everyone stays positive and we are trying to help each other.
'The basics are there, it's just up to us to finish it off now.'
The shape of the team has been regularly altered by injury this season as Rosicky`s absence firstly compelled us in the early part of the season to seek to integrate Walcott into a midfield that was also having to accommodate changes wrought by the departures of Hleb and Flamini. Walcott being a very different player to those before him, sometimes it worked and other times it didn`t, perhaps inevitably with such wholesale changes. Since Walcotts injury and subsequently the injury to Cesc our midfield has taken on a more solid but less creative shape. We aren`t losing but equally we aren`t winning as many as we need to either.
Adebayor`s injury now obliges us to consider our forward shape for the next few matches and Robin thinks that the quality of the returning Eduardo plus that of Arshavin could bring that little bit extra we need to provide that 'finishing off` process. It could possibly bring a more familiar shape to midfield.
'Eduardo has been working really hard and everyone is just really happy that he is back. Hopefully he can play, the sooner the better,' said Van Persie.
'Arshavin has looked good in training - they both have - so there is more to come. I really believe in their qualities.'
Over the coming few weeks we should find out whether we have finally found that balance that has eluded us for much of this season.
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Date:Monday February 9 2009
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