The news of the day centres around Arsenal’s injury problems in the leadup to our home tie against Birmingham, but given our opposition over the course of January, coupled by the quality of our stand-ins, Arsenal fans should not have to fret too much.
News broke out early this morning that Robin van Persie’s injury may not be as serious as first feared, but that a proper analysis cannot be made until he recovers from a flu he caught overnight. Seriously, could anyone make this up? Hopefully the Birmingham game is all he will miss, but at this stage, all he will be able to play as will be a substitute.
Many Arsenal fans are rightfully frustrated at his terrible tendency to get injured when we need him most, but it may pay to hold back some of the ire in the meantime. Currently, we have Adebayor, Eduardo, Bendtner and Walcott as striking options without van Persie for a start. Secondly, I am very sure that as van Persie gets older, his body will naturally toughen up and become more resistant to the injuries that are currently impeding his progress. We will be seeing him back in first-team action soon enough.
A quick note on the photograph used in the already linked Arsenal.com article: there are some guys with stubble, and then there are some guys with good stubble. In as heterosexual a way as can possibly be said – van Persie has damn cool stubble. Now while I dont want Third-Gen renamed to ‘Pink Arsenal’ or any such thing, I must point out that all fashionable and decent European managers have had damn good stubble over the last few years. A sign of things to come? You decide!
The other injury news surrounds the centrebacks, of course. Johann Djourou will definitely not be making the side tomorrow, though Senderos’ injury is still under scrutiny. Walcott’s twisted ankle may not be as bad as first feared, neither.
In more upbeat news, Gilberto Silva has taken the time to berate Spurs for capitulating yet again after taking the lead. Gilberto spoke about their spurned chances, and the implications for the second leg, saying:
“In the first half they created so many chances they could have killed the tie, but we escaped. They could have had two or three, but we didn’t give them so much space in the second half and we managed to get a goal. We are still in it, we are still alive. We know we have a difficult game at White Hart Lane, but we know what we have to do.
Maybe they are affected psychologically because they haven’t beaten us for so long. I think it is hard to beat a team when you haven’t done so for many years. It’s important that we got the draw. It wasn’t the result we wanted, but to get a draw after being 1-0 down was good.“
And spot on he is too. Yes, Spurs were the better side, but that will not always dictate the result in your favour. Mental toughness is something they have not had in literally decades, and is something this young side seems to gain after every match. Gilberto also speaks in another article about how he handles not being in the first team at the moment. An interesting read – you would have to think he would buck up his form at some point, though? He will certainly prove his usefulness in the weeks ahead.
Finally, we leave the sour crud until last. Lassana Diarra is reportedly unhappy with the proposed offers coming his way from Newcastle, and wants to join Spurs instead. Whatever blows your hair back, Lassana.
And that’s really all there is, today. There should be confirmations and such like things tomorrow when we preview the Birmingham game. Despite the injuries and international-commitments, we should be able to have enough about us to see off the Brum. More tomorrow, as and when it comes.