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Van Persie too late or just in time

According to Arsene Wenger Robin van Persie could be back by the middle of April though he is naturally cautious about firm predictions given the poor record of reliability of such forecasts for other injured players.

Taken literally this could mean our star striker is back by the 15th of April which with the current fixture list would fall between the PL games away to Tottenham and Wigan. If the Spuds get past Fulham in their FA Cup replay this would mean their fixture being rescheduled in which case there is a chance that RvP could feature in any re-arranged game. That would give a maximum of 5 PL games and if the footballing gods are with us possibly the opportunity to appear in the closing rounds of the CL.

That we are still in the hunt for both trophies given Robin`s importance is a testament to the depth of quality in the squad. So far none of the striking options to fill Robin`s place has managed to stake an unchallengeable claim as first choice though none have really let us down either. Fabregas has led the scoring lists in the period since his injury robbed us of our leading striker scoring 8 times in all competitions. In fact it is midfield that has borne the majority of the scoring burden with Denilson and Ramsey both topping the 3 goals collected by Arshavin and Eduardo whose figures were matched by Diaby and Vermaelen. Fourteen different scorers have made up our tally in all competitions since van Persie`s enforced absence. Former Arsenal favourite Henry has no doubt of the impact that Robin might have had on our title aspirations:

"In fact, you could say that if Van Persie had stayed in the side, we might even be top now." Thierry claimed at the weekend.

In reality the benefit of Robin`s return to the side would probably be more psychological than practical. There`s no doubt it would give the squad a boost with, potentially, as many as 5 PL games left to play but given the time it takes to reach matchfitness his contribution is likely to be restricted. Much depends on where we are in pursuit of our aspirations between now and the middle of April if that is when he is back. The critical period is now and the spirit and fight the team has shown in the 5 months van Persie has been out will need to sustain us for the 2 months that remain of this season.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 8 2010

Time: 1:13PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
He's taking the right p1ss that Van Persie, typical jonny foreigner attitude.
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08/03/2010 13:38:00

I seem to recall him coming back from injury away at Wigan two seasons ago when we were in the hunt, of course he was too late then to arrest our slide, but it could be a different proposition if we are on a good run and winning games. That said, I wuldn't play RvP on that disgraceful playing surface at the DW, Wigan should be docked points for that pitch. They'd soon get it right if that were the case. believe me.
Little Dutch
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08/03/2010 13:53:00

That was where we really lost it, up there. A rugby league game was played on not 2 days before i do believe, seeing that pitch close up was unbelievable, as was Adebayor missing a sitter right at the start - straight at Kirkland. Funnily enough they relaid the pitch just in time for United to win the league there that year, so many things like that that go unreported in the wider media just **** infuriates me.
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08/03/2010 13:55:00

Obviously, I just hope we don't rush him. I'm reminded of the Champions League tie against Liverpool at Anfield two seasons ago. RvP came on as a substitute with his leg wrapped in what seemed like an infinite amount of tape. He could barely move. It was quite embarrassing.
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08/03/2010 14:51:00

They are looking to re-lay the Wigan pitch in time for us to play this year so it should be a lot better. I like the way Thierry said that "WE might even be top".
Sir Henry
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08/03/2010 14:56:00

I think its been relayed already, the game tonight is the 1st on the new surface at the DW.
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08/03/2010 15:15:00

Yes there are potentially 4 or 5 games that Robin could be available for, but we are unlikely to see the best of him as he will need to get back into the swing of things after such a long time out. More infuriating though is that we are likely to see his return to form when he's playing for Holland!
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08/03/2010 15:57:00

With his woodwork record we should just roll him out when Soccer AM do the crossbar challenge.
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08/03/2010 16:04:00

Yeah I personally wouldn't risk him in any highly charged games. Maybe he should come on if we're in control with a few minutes left of a home game, just for a morale boost, but nothing more.
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08/03/2010 20:30:00

I think the most important thing is that we do what's right for the Dutch national team, they pay his wages after al......oh, that's right..............
Little Dutch
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08/03/2010 22:32:00

A lot of people are excited about his return, I don't really care to be frank. I feel that putting him back in the first team could ruin things as the team has built a somewhat togetherness since he has been away. They've been through a lot. I get the feeling that seeing him as a key part for the last set of games could upset our chances of winning the league rather than help.
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09/03/2010 03:08:00

Thats ********* 'Gunners' ...The whole team are a part of that 'togetherness' injured or not. We have so many players coming in and out due to injuries that disruption is something we live with week in week out and deal with escpetionally well. If RVP is fit, and i mean TRULY fit, play him.
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09/03/2010 06:45:00

Well said FuiKaka. To suggest RVP isn't part of the team just because he is injured is BS! I also say play him. He is head and shoulders above any striker we have and is naturally suited to our formation. Plus Arshavin plays better with him. If he is fit we would be stupid not to play him. So what if he gets injured again, poor ****ken Holland who can go **** themselves for all I care!
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09/03/2010 07:17:00

Also Gunners the fact is that our whole new system was based around RvP as the talisman up front and our improved form has come with others trying to replicate his form and getting to grips with the responsibillity at the tip of the front three. We owe a lot of our recent good form and forward play to Wenger and RvP for working on that pre-season and RvP - who made the formation would be able to slip back into in effortlessly (injury withstanding). Those glorious chances for Bendtner woudl have been dispatched by Rocky Robin.
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09/03/2010 08:32:00

Latest injury update on Gallas - out till the end of the month. Wenger claims "We were impatient with him, we pushed him and he wanted to get on as well; that is why, maybe, it has happened. But there is no obvious sign as to why it keeps coming back". Clueless. Irresponsible. With this kind of injury management, I wouldnt be surprised if RvP was only fit for the start of the next season!! Sorry to rain on this parade, but this is so frustrating. We are a top class club, and deserve a top quality medical team who can tell their nose from their arse!
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09/03/2010 08:41:00

Robin will no doubt be back to full math fitness just before the world cup starts.... then, knowing our luck, will be injured during Hollands last game in it leaving us with the medical bills for a start for next season
Report Abuse
09/03/2010 08:49:00

Gallas has the same mystery injury, that Wiltord, Edu, Flamini had when they werer available on a free at the end of the season and hadnt put pen to paper.
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09/03/2010 10:33:00

Or... Gallas has a back injury that he tried to play through for too long and that isn't a good idea at his age? I hope i am right because Gallas and Verm work very well together.
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09/03/2010 10:58:00

Personally I would not be apposed to seeing Gallas go at the end of the season. I don't see a legend in him and despite a pretty decent season (He first for us BTW) we still concede a lot of goals. Let him go so Wenger can replace him with younger, taller quality.
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09/03/2010 12:11:00

We have the younger in Verm, centreback combinations are best when you have an older wiser defender and a younger speedier defender (though Verm's defensive posistioning is wise beyond his years) ...also the whole left foot/right foot helps. We've conceeded a lot but thats more due to the fact that besides Song our defensive cover has been a little off form, Clichy and Sagna aren't having there best seasons and Denilson was good up until he got injured and has struggled to come back to what he was. I think Gallas has a couple of good seasons left in him and it will be good for Verm to learn from in before we bring in someone younger. My opinion but yours is respected :)
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09/03/2010 12:44:00

As far as I'm concerned Gallas really has to stay. It's not just his quality as a defender, but as a fighter which really makes him so important to this team. He gives us not only experience but drive from the back. Not to mention the fact that he's a world-class defender, probably the best in the league this season... Definately close.
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09/03/2010 15:05:00

If Gallas goes, we lose Senderos, Gallas, Toure, Sylvestre and Campbell who are all leaving or are out of contract at the end of the season leaving us only Djourou & Vermaelen. Gallas is definitely gone as this potential lack of depth would scare any team into acting and signing up whomever they wanted to keep, we haven't done that and I believe the writing's on the wall for Gallas.
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09/03/2010 16:26:00

I think Campbell will stay on for another season? I really wouldn't be phased about losing Sylvestre at all tbh. I am really yet to be convinced by Djourou, so if i was Wenger i'd be breaking my own rules to keep in Gallas aswell as looking at bringing someone in.
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10/03/2010 05:43:00

Sylvester and Gallas will move on, as will Senderos. Cambell I think will be given another year. Doesn't anyone find it a little surprising that we have kept more clean sheets in the few games Gallas has been injured than in the entire season he was playing? Wenger needs to sign a strong defender to compliment Verm and a goalkeeper. We have two very good centre halves coming through the ranks that can act as decent cover and Djourou is excellent, if he can stay fit.
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10/03/2010 08:49:00

Not only surpising that we have kept more clean sheets since Gallas was injured but also untrue. Gallas has played in 11 clean sheet games this season and we have kept 2 since he has been out. Much the same ratio in fact.
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10/03/2010 09:16:00

Amos, easy to only look at things from now but I meant the entire season. Agreed, an exageration on my part to illustarate a point that Gallas is not the answer to our defensive frailties. Yes Gallas has been involved in 11 clean sheets in 36 games, yet Mikael has had played his part in 8 clean sheets in just 14 games and sol weighs in with 3 since he came back. I'm sorry but Gallas brings nothing special.
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10/03/2010 12:21:00

Not sure where you are getting your numbers from. Gallas' played 34 games. Campbell has started only 1 game in which we have kept a clean sheet. He came on late in the 1st half of the Villa game in which we also kept a clean sheet. Silvestre has started 3 games in which we have kept clean sheets (one of which he played LB the another a CC game against weak opposition) - he also came on as a 2nd half sub against Liege and played just 2 minutes as a LB against Stoke. Whatever you think of Gallas you haven't been able to show that we have anyone as good as him.
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10/03/2010 12:59:00

Never said we did Amos. What I said was I would not be against him leaving the club so Wenger would be forced to bring in a replacement. Yes he is better than what we have, but!!!! We could have so much better. You can't seriously say we are better defensively with him in the long run??
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11/03/2010 06:26:00

Could we get a much better defender than Gallas? If we can that's great but I think it's a bit unrealistic to think that there are lots of better players available to us. If he goes we're more likely to play Song or Djourou alongside Vermalaen with Campbell/Silvestre as back up.
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11/03/2010 07:14:00

Well get used to it because the likely hood of Gallas signing now when he could have months ago is as close to 0 as it can be. Not a bad thing at all. And yes, there are good defenders out there that can do a better job than Gallas. It's up to Wenger to buy them. And I'm pretty sure Sylvest will leave too.
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11/03/2010 07:49:00

I have to say I really, genuinely struggle to think of a better defender out there than a Gallas at his peak. Even if money were no object, I would struggle to name many at all. Those that are in his league are probably about his age.
Little Dutch
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11/03/2010 09:33:00


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