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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

'I can't get enough football' says van Persie

It's as well that Arsenal players are flexible in the roles they can play in the team. Maybe Lansbury's 30 minute stint last night between the sticks for England U21's in their match against Germany following the dismissal of substitute keeper Jason Steele was one of the more extreme examples though.

I wonder how adaptable Robin van Persie might need to be to get back into the Dutch national team after Huntelaar took the opportunity his absence to score 8 times in 4 games? Dutch coach van Marjwijk seems determined that Robin is included if he's fit enough saying earlier this week 'Robin can play different positions. On the right, inside left or in a two striker system. In all these positions he can perform at the highest level. He will not just be left behind.'

Using him as the lone striker at Arsenal for the early part of last season prior to his injury on international duty van Persie surprised some with the success he'd enjoyed in a role that many felt he was not best suited to. The team suffered in consequence in his absence as injuries at different times to Bendtner and Eduardo forced us to play with other forward permutations none of which proved quite as convincing as it had earlier in the season with Robin place. But just as Huntelaar seems to have more than successfully replaced Robin's role in the national team our recruitment of Chamakh this summer seems for the time being to have given us a central striker option that suits the team equally well.

Robin doesn't see himself necessarily limited to the central striker role though, telling Dutch reporters that he believes his career so far has shown that he is adaptable 'I am an attacker. I've played outside left, then behind the striker, under Van Basten on right, over the last year I've played as the striker. The challenges were there through all the stages of my career. I want to attack, let's keep it there'

Whether or where he`ll play van Marwijk has still to decide but Robin says that Wenger has overcome his initial concerns as to whether he should play at all against Turkey. 'He is afraid that something is happening, but it can happen anywhere.' The Dutch forward said 'Yet he is happy now that I'm here' later adding that Wenger was really only concerned when he felt it was too early to make a judgement 'But now I have two weeks full training. I have spoken with Wenger. He is convinced.'

For now he is happy to be back in training, so much so that he delayed the national teams departure from their training ground as he insisted on continuing after the session had ended, but he is desperate to play 'Training is great, four against four, five against five, as before on the square. I look forward to Wednesday's game' he told the Dutch press 'I was not bored,' adding "But I cannot get enough football.'

His injury record places doubt about the extent to which Arsenal can build their play around van Persie though he is such a rare and elaborately talented player that fellow countryman Marco van Basten in deciding how to include him once declared that he was simply too good a player to leave out. That maybe something of the dilemma that a fully fit van Persie will give Wenger. There have been times this season where the team has cried out for someone with the ability to create a chance for himself and Robin certainly has that quality in abundance.

Whether he can reprise the form he showed as a lone striker in the early part of last season or whether Chamakhs form allows him the opportunity remains to be seen. For now, with Bendtner also impatient to play a role, if Robin gets the opportunity to impress against Turkey, Wenger will either have the luxury of too many quality strikers to pick from, or with Chamakh and Bendtner also on national duty tonight, the more familiar problem in recent times of having to play whoever comes back uninjured.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 17 2010

Time: 10:22AM

Your Comments

I think RvP has Chamakh's qualities in terms of bringing others into play with his back to goal. He can be that focal point AND as you say, create chances for himself. He'd be ahead of Chamakh for me any day. The only concern from my point of view is how far we can build our team around him when he's injured so often. If you told me right now Chamakh and RvP would stay fit for the rest of the season, as well as Chamakh has done, it wouldn't be a choice I'd spend too long thinking over.
Little Dutch
Agreed LD - A fit van Persie is one of the best players around in my opinion. It's just a shame he's about as reliable as Ledley King in a three-legged race.
Rocky7
Its a good problem to have. Chamakh has done really well, so Wenger could give him a rest and play RvP. Wenger has a good headache, and it will be interesting if he decides to play a front 3 of RvP, Chamakh and Bendtner (who lined up on the right at the beginning of last season). That could work for me.
prits
Van Persie imo is highly over-rated. He's a good technical player but he lacks real pace and dominance in the air for someone his size (6' 2"). Then there's the injury record... I can see Chamakh eventually becoming an Arsenal great when he's had the chance to get his feet under the matt and unless, as the article suggests, he's able to play elsewhere in maybe a deeper or wider role, he could find find himself warming the bench...or worse.
KierzoSBC
Is 4-4-2 out of the question all together? I Wouldnt mind seeing RVP & Chamakh up front with Theo/Rossicky/Nasri/Arshavin on the wings & Fabregas & song/Wilshere in the middle. Not in all games obviously
paul_ownz
And to think we lost Emmanuel Adebayor I hear he maybe going to Italy for 12m (so cheap). Whats that about swings and roundabouts?
alwaysgunner
I don't know that the lack of aerial dominance was ever a factor in players like Henry or Bergkamp either. It's useful to have but a bit of a blunt instrument in our style of play. Even with Chamakh, despite his aerial capabilities, most of the benefit he has brought is with the ball on the ground. I don't think that RvP is over-rated at all. His principal defect is under availability. LD is right. A fit healthy RvP would be an automatic pick for most teams - with the other players made to fit in around him.
Amos.
Leaving Chamakh and Bendtner to one side for the moment, having RvP, Cesc, Nasri and Arshavin in the same line-up is something to drool about. That combination was doing very well early last season before the inevitable injuries kicked in. If we could keep these 4 fit for an extended period this season, along with Vermaelen, I think wed have a good a chance as any in both PL and CL. Course its not a big if, its a ginormous one!
Gooner_Vin
Yes 4-4-2 is out of the question. The more flexible 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation allows for more midfield and therefore possession dominance so as long as other sides are playing it don't expect to see Wenger give up on it any time soon. Robin would be my first choice all day, though I'm not sure he can't play on the left in place of Arshavin or on the right with Nasri moving to the middle.
Ozi Gooner
Kierzo - van Persie's style of play means he doesn't need pace or aerial ability to ensure he's a great player. That's be like saying Tony Adams wasn't a great because he could do ten step overs then blast one in the top corner. He doesn't needs those attributes.
Rocky7
van Persie isn't really slow anyways
Ozi Gooner
Chamakh is good but he hasn't got what Van Persie has got. Without the ball van Persie will play with his back to goal, but as soon as he's had 1 or 2 touches of the ball, whether it's just to control it or to lay it off, he's straight en route to goal with or without the ball. Chamakh on the other hand is a bit too content to sit back after laying it off to try and link the play again when he should be trying to get himself in on goal. His reluctance to try and turn towards goal after 1 or 2 touches like RVP is negating the speed/finishing of our wingers as well. He's a good player, but certainly not better than van Persie at this moment in time.
Arsenales F.C
outside view - Van Persie is arsenals best forward
rabit71
To tell the truth Arsenal don't actually play a set formation in any game - sometimes it is 4-5-1 which quickly morphs into a 4-3-3 formation when attacking so I see no reason why Van Persie cannot be incorporated into the team with Chamakh - the only question is whether Van Persie can sustain a run in the team without getting injured...
biscuit72
That comment by Arsenales FC is the best i have seen anyone talked about the negative part of Chamakh's game. After a touch or a pass, he stays on one spot and that annoys Arshavin so much and also Cesc is begining to understand he will not be available for a return pass. I see this and i crage
Arseniger
RVP all day. Remember the '' hes a mix btw Bergkamp and Henry'' description?
shady gunna
RVP has so much more going for him and it does surprise me that he can't get a regular slot.
SFC Forever
RVP has so much more going for him and it does surprise me that he can't get a regular slot.
SFC Forever
@SFC, RvP does have a regular slot; he only needs to be fit and its decision made. For me, a choice between both players is a no brainer. Due respect to Chamakh and what he has brought to the team so far, but with RvP fit, he has to accept he will have a place as a sub most games and be brought in for some variation or when more fire power is needed. If we could ask any team(s) who they'll rather NOT play against, it will be RvP, easily: his set play involvement, shooting, quick thinking/movement, dribbling skills, back-to-goal skills, etc. make him a handful for defenses. Problem is the team balance will be affected if both have to start a game and that's something we don't need at the moment.
Naijagunner
Amos, that article pic......isn't that our own Eduardo (in Dinamo Zagreb colours) trying to catch van Persie? Mmmmh.
Naijagunner
Does anyone know how RvP did tonight? Did he even play??
No 10
Van Persie was brought on at half time for the Oranje. From what I saw of the goal, he didn't play in the central position. Huntelaar still occupied that role. He should get more playing time after Chamakh gets a hattrick against the team that lives in our shadow.
gronedrone
@ Gooner_Vin - Cesc, Nasri, Arsh and RvP in the same team is a sexy combo, one that is unfortunately rarely seen but i think there was a couple of times last season and it's when we played our best football, best football that also resulted in goals.
FuiKaka
Chamakh adds a lot to our team in terms of heading ability, but aside from that VP is clearly better. Chamakh's most frustrating habit is his reluctance to take a shot when he has a decent chance, and in this sense he embodies a recurring problem with Arsenal. VP has no problem taking shots, but also brings others into play. It'd be great if we could find a way to fit them into the same formation, but the question is, who do we sacrifice?
krismon1
arsenales fc..spot on about Chamakh but lets leave it to him being new to our system. I don't think it is such a bad position to be in... consider for a second if RVP had been fit with C29 only getting the sub appearances. it would have taken a longer time for C29 to get the feel of the team and his teammates developing some form of chemistry with him. Both bring something different to the team and with the boss going for all 4 trophies this year, it would mean less chance of over reliance on either player and burn out either player.
GunnaBlazing
RvP if he is fit is an automatic starter for our side. He has an awesome first touch, a howitzer of a left foot, has developed his right foot into a weapon of late and gets stuck in almost all our games because he is a winner through and through. He knows the games of Fabregas and Nasri like no other forward and blends seamlessly with them. RvP anyday.
Deltaforce
 

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