van Persie to Return Next Week?

You would swear by some of the emails I’ve received that Arsenal were on their way to the relegation zone (Tottenhamville). I’ve never once enjoyed that age-old past time of “Spot the Silver Lining, If You Can”.

Let’s spread some December joy instead with the news that Robin van Persie (remember him?) is set to commence full training beginning of next week. Arsene Wenger confirms on Arsenal.com that both van Persie and Abou Diaby will be back in first-team training by Monday, but asks for patience from the fans. Wenger says:

We have to see how he [Van Persie] responds to contact training. Don’t forget he has been out for seven or eight weeks and has had no contact until now so we might have to be a little bit patient.

Flamini is rated as the first to return out of the remaining absentees, but certainly not by the ‘Boro game. It would be very telling to be a fly on the wall in the Arsenal physio halls: Is Wenger covering up the injury extents to reveal all three of Cesc, Flamini and Hleb for the Chelsea match? I previously thought that Clichy and Hleb were nowhere near fit enough to play against Villa a week ago, but there they were, giving excellent performances for the team.

Then Hleb got injured again, of course. With Sam Allardyce going on about how Arsenal are a bunch of divers now that his job is somewhat secure, the club has chosen to focus on other aspects of the match instead, with Gilberto reiterating that the result was ‘a point gained‘, not two lost. The midfielder says:

It would be great if you could win all the games but it is not like that, it is not that simple. They played a good game at home with the crowd behind them, shouting all the time. I think in general we had a good game and came back with a good point.

A bit diplomatic to say we had a ‘good game’, especially from Gilberto, who was distinctly anonymous in large parts of the match. Gilberto, however, has said he will continue to fight for his place in this side – and I would not hold that against him at all. Sure, his performances have been hit and miss at times, but his service to the club over the years, added to his excellent covering as a makeshift centreback (his best performances have come in that position this season), will mean that I will always have time for the Brazilian captain.

With a full shift to centreback, Kolo Toure has praised the spirit in the side, saying it is this quality that gives them a chance of lifting the trophy at season’s end. He has, importantly, dismissed the notion that this team is the ‘New Invincibles’, emphasizing that they are mostly new players, working towards what needs to be done within their own abilities. Kolo Toure says:

Everybody was certain that we wouldn’t be top of the league, but I think we’ve proved a few people wrong. It’s good to be like that. Sometimes when people think a lot of you, then you can struggle to live up to that. But we just focus on our game and try to get as many points as we can.

Last and certainly least, Olivier Khan is imploring Jens Lehmann to quit Arsenal for the sake of his international chances; Claudio Pizzaro of Chelsea-fame goes on about how Chelsea will catch up to Arsenal, and Alex Ferguson – knowing full well that he would sign Cesc for millions if ever offered the slightest sniff – has decided to goad Goonerdom by saying ‘Anderson is better than Cesc’. Calls into question how good Sir Alex’s Cesc-life is at all, eh?

Eh? Eh? Ah, never mind. More news tomorrow, should it come my way. Until then, Adios.

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8 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, English Premier League

8 responses to “van Persie to Return Next Week?

  1. Kid Kle

    nice offering today, wayto spread a little holiday cheer. i for one am giddy at the prospect of turning chelsea over buoyed by the return of any (or all) of hleb, cesc, flam, and rvp. chelsea will be without drogba, hence no hoofing… whatever will they do.

  2. Aminda

    it might be true that wenger might be keeping his main players fit for the game against chelsea. Wenger said after robin was injured after international duty that he will be out for 3-4 weeks. How did hleb play against villa with a hamstring injury. no one can recover from that kind of injury for weeks. It’s ok if we rest them and win against chelsea which i believe we can win easily.
    we were humiliated with the 2nd half performence against villa without hleb. If we can play in the way we played against villa in the 1st half we are untouchable.

  3. van p

    U must return rvp for the game against chelsea. have some rest and be fully fit for that game. This is OUR year to prove our young side and we cannot do it without our main performers. We have more trophies than chelsea and they are just a failure in buying players to buy trophies. Once a gunner , always a gunner!!!!!!

  4. njoro

    Personally i think the away game at boro is far more important to our cause than even the chel$ki one, ant any fit first team player should be fielded. After the magpies grabbed a point from us you dont want other teams to get inspiration from that.We need to make another statement on sunday.

  5. Kid Kle

    quite right, any one of our starters able to start should. ive just been reading that no one is. also mid week game is at home to steau so no use risking any one there other than for a brief run out, so i figured cska london would be the first anyone could play. that being said, i have complete confidence the lineup on wedsday could do the job at riverside. maybe arsene will tweak it a tad but perhaps not… we shall see

  6. Lebenglese

    He needs to leave the formation as is with Bendtner coming in upfront for Eddie… he looked a lot sharper and his pass completion rate is fantastic i reckon Ade and Bendtner could do well together… Gilberto knows he needs to perform better to stand a chance of a sniff this season, and diarra does look smart and strong, just needs to release the ball a bit quicker… 2 games in a row for these fringe players could make the difference… i mean who would have thought Flamini could have had such a solid run. 1-3 Aliadiere with his 1 and only moment of glory!

  7. jammathon

    njoro – excellent (different) angle of looking at the Boro game. Boro will be a difficult game for the same reasons Newcastle was a difficult game – though Riverside really is in a quagmire this season.

    But after the second half drubbing (literally, one feels) against Newcastle, the squad players really must give a better showing against a side severely lacking in confidence and luck.

  8. Casicky

    i really think that the same side that played Newc can do a job against Boro.maybe a bit of tweaking or jus a word from Le Boss to people like Eboue and Berto,as well as Eduardo if he starts which um quite doubtful about him starting we need to two guys up to hold the ball because as much as Ade is great at holding the ball i seriously think he occasionally loses hois mind because some of the stuff he does is jus unexplainable the same with his partner in oblivion..Eboue.

    but i have faith in the line up and um sure they will produce because they let themselves down as well as the injured players who have worked hard to get us to where we are at the moment.

    jus that maybe subs could be introduced much earlier if necessary…