It’s Not Quite As Bad As It Seems

By on November 17, 2009

Robin van Persie

While the injury to Robin van Persie was disturbing news this past weekend, let’s try not to go overboard. Posts on message boards and the like have been raging about how our season is over, etc., etc., etc…. That is hardly the case. Yes, he has been in the form of his life with 8 goals and 7 assists in 15 matches. And, yes, it is deeply frustrating to see Robin, once again, injured over an international break due to a crunching tackle. But we have options, and all is not hardly lost just yet.

Early prognostications had him being out for anywhere from 2 months to the rest of the season (wind-up from The Sun, anyone?). The reality is that he will be out for about six weeks. That would see him return just after the New Year. In which case, he will miss the Chelsea match, Liverpool away, two meaningless Champions League group fixtures, and league matches against Stoke, Hull, Burnley, Portsmouth, and ahome match with Villa. The first four are currently 9th, 10th, 17th, and 20th in the table. Not exactly an intimidating fixture list there. Chelsea have a few injury problems as well, while Liverpool… well, they just suck.


EduardoWhile it is frustrating to have more attacking firepower out injured than the bottom half of the table combined, we still have many options. For one thing, this is why we bought Eduardo 2 years ago. Questions about the player being able to “step in” seem to me to be ridiculous. Okay, he missed a couple of right chances against Spurs, but I have faith that a proper run of matches would see him repeat his form of January 2008, when we were faced with a similar situation. Also, Nicklas Bendtner will be back from his groin surgery by the second week of December (go easy, Baroness, go easy!). Theo Walcott will be returning to training next week and should be available by the end of the month.

In the side, we have Arshavin who could play up top if necessary and it would be ridiculous to forget Carlos Vela, whom the manager has named when asked about being shorthanded up top after the van Persie injury. Vela has been out for weeks but he is also near a return. So we have options. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are both questionable to be fit for the match at the Emirates and Drogba was pulled from the Ivory Coast’s starting XI this past week. The fact is that we should be able to win every one of those games with Eduardo, Arshavin, and Rosicky or Nasri as our front three. And by the middle of December we will have Bendtner, Walcott, and Vela fit.


The most frustrating part about it is that it was, of course, a ridiculous, meaningless friendly. It’s time that the federations are made to pay compensation for using the players and also for injuries which occur in non-competitive matches. The club, and the supporters, invest way too much money in footballers for the current system to remain the same. We have a club/country setup that is a remnant of the game’s pre-modern era. The rest of the game has changed and the way the club/country setup works must be brought up-to-date. Clubs are no longer sending players who they pay a minimum wage to and have to work in the off-season. Clubs now spend millions of pounds training young players or on transfer fees. These players are from a financial perspective, quite literally, investment properties. Robin van Persie 4

That a federation can come and borrow a player for a game which means nothing and send him back injured for six weeks ahead of a crucial match with not even so much as note of apology is ludicrous. The federations don’t care one bit about the clubs but then complain about how the clubs try to keep players from them. Well, why wouldn’t they? Federations have the sweetest deal of all… they have a team of stars on call that they didn’t have to pay anything to train or buy. Wenger’s analogy of the players going off on international duty is like someone borrowing your Ferrari for two weeks and then returning it in such a condition that it needs to be in the shop for six weeks is spot on. I’m not advocating an end to international football, but to have the player go away for the third international break of the season already for a meaningless friendly is reckless and it must stop.

Personally, I really feel for van Persie. Some like to say he’s made of glass, but, unlike Rosicky, who gets injured getting out of bed in the morning, his injuries are almost always caused by another player. He had his first true full season last year and led the club with 20 goals in all competitions. Free from major injuries, we began to see the real potential of van Persie. And in the first 3 months of this season, we began to see that potential realized. There is no more devastating trio of attacking players in the Premier League than Fabregas, Arshavin, and van Persie. The fact that he has 7 assists to go with his 8 goals means we not only lose a goalscorer but a provider as well.

Bumps in the road are inevitable over a long season and we need to show that we can deal with them. And, while the whole team isn’t riding on his back, we are counting on Eduardo to do exactly what we all know he can do and for the rest to pick up the slack, if necessary. Van Persie’s injury is frustrating but it’s not devastating. The club is more than deep enough to cope, especially when our minor injuries are all cleared up in a few weeks.


  1. spit yo game

    November 17, 2009 at 10:28 am

    no van persie equals end of season,it’s a s simple as that eduardo will not be the same player he was before the injury,we are royally screwed…..

    • ArsenalStation

      November 17, 2009 at 3:36 pm

      I just don’t see this. As AM Gooner pointed out, Eduardo has been fine since returning from his injury. I think his missed chances against Tottenham are responsible for this kind of talk. And how ridiculous is it to make a final judgment on Eduardo from one match. Not to forget that he still got himself in great positions to score at least 3 times. Eduardo will take those chances more often than not and I am fully confident that he, and the others, can hold down the fort until van Persie returns.

  2. Zakk

    November 17, 2009 at 10:44 am

    We are not ‘screwed’ – keep the faith we have a very good squad. Of course we will miss him but we can still do great things this year. GET BEHIND YOUR TEAM

  3. Anthony Flew

    November 17, 2009 at 11:29 am

    No, I don’t think we are royally screwed – it’s not like Liverpool losing Torres, Man Utd losing Rooney or Chelsea losing Drogba for six weeks. We will miss him. He is one of the first names on the team sheet. But we have a promising squad and this will test whether it really is good enough.

    • ArsenalStation

      November 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm

      Exactly… Pundits want to talk about how dependent we are on Cesc but last year when we lost him, we went on a 21 match unbeaten run. This team is not nearly as dependent on even two players as United was on Rooney and Ronaldo, as Chelsea is on Lampard and Drogba, and certainly not anything like Liverpool is on Gerrard and Torres. It’s also why I’ve been saying since the season started that Arsenal have the most depth in the Premier League. We have, and have had for a while, 7 first teamers out injured and you wouldn’t even know it from form or results.

  4. AM Gooner

    November 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Of course we are not royally screwed – what an idiotic thing to say when our squad is so full of such talent with so many players who can score goals aplenty. The players must keep believing, and so must the fans -so that and there is no reason for us to be knocked off course. As for the statement that “eduardo will not be the same player he was before the injury” – what a load of rot. He scored on his comeback, he has scored some fantastic goals showing extraordinary touch and finishing since his injury, and he has demonstrated afresh that instinct to be in the right place at the right time. In 6 starts (and a handful of substitute appearances) in the Prem and the CL, he has scored 3. That’s a marginally better ratio of goals to starts than RVP’s 8 in 15. And Eduardo continues to score and score for Croatia – for whom I suspect his average is better than RVP’s for Holland, although I don’t have the stats to hand. And he’s not even had the benefit of a consistent run in the team. Don’t be such a doom-monger ‘spit yo game’, this season is our time – KEEP THE FAITH!

  5. wambam

    November 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Eduardo and Nasri are BACK!

  6. Tazz

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Placenta it is! Whatever be the means, RvP getting back to full fitness, sooner than expected is what matters as of now. He has been brilliant thus far, but we have options aplenty in his absence. Most notably its the Craot who I feel will rise to the occasion and will put to rest all the ghosts of St Andrew’s once and for all. Amen to that.

    For more on the same, Read On:

  7. paul usman

    November 18, 2009 at 3:37 am

    we will definately miss RVP. But we still have many options to do the job. so keep the hope alive

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