The international break is finally over and now all we can do is wait.
First we wait for news on Robin van Persie’s injury. Almost immediately after the tackle that saw him removed from yesterday’s match with Hungary, the twitterverse exploded with people begging me and everyone else for information on how long he will be out.
My feeling is that Arsenal supporters are getting more than a bit tetchy over Robin van Persie and his apparent commitment to country over club. The facts back that tetchyness up too: since he was called up by Holland, RvP has played 33% of his available matches for his country which translates to just 97 games for Arsenal and an amazing 47 games for the Netherlands. I haven’t looked at every other player in the history of the game to get some “context” but I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that no other player has such a huge disparity of matches in favor of country.
What makes his consistent injuries for the Netherlands especially painful is that Robin is so crucial for Arsenal’s title chances and when he does get injured there is precious little we can do apart from complain. And those complaints fall on deaf ears.
I know that it sucks and I know that we are all nervous but we don’t know what happened and I can’t find any video of the incident (though his goal is readily available). So until we get an official announcement we also need to be a bit careful with quotes from van Marwijk who described the incident like this
It didn’t look very serious but it was too painful for him to carry on as he was hit by a knee just above his own knee. With luck he could play for Arsenal this weekend.
Now before you freak out about the “with luck” part, remember this is a translation and it’s a quote that every paper is now passing around. Their job is to sell papers and they will make whatever van Marwijk said sound more frightening than it actually is. Of course, van Marwijk has a vested interest in minimizing the incident and… well.. you really could spend all day playing the guessing game here.
So, we wait for the verdict from Arsenal. Which is in itself just as questionable as the Dutch medical assessment. Isn’t the Arsenal medical team responsible for the prognosis that Robin would be out for the rest of the season after the incident in the Carling Cup final (pictured above)?
We are also going to have to wait for Jens Lehmann. JL played in a reserves game yesterday and reports are mixed. If you ask him and the Arsenal dot com folks, it was a nearly flawless performance. But I was following YoungGuns on Twitter yesterday and excitedly retweeted several good things from Jens at the start of the match and then slowly backed down as Jens apparently started looking very rusty.
Some rust on a 41 year old who hasn’t played in 6 months is to be expected. So frankly, unless Almunia suffers a broken heart in training over the next few days, I fully expect him to be Arsenal number one against Blackburn at the weekend.
Again, we’ll have to wait on that verdict as well.
We’ll also be waiting on the coming “storm” over whether Arsenal will throw a strop over Jack Wilshere being selected for this Summer’s England U-21 tournament and the French national team tacking on two more friendlies this Summer.
Oh boy, I can’t wait to see how Mount Wesuvius blows his top over that controversy! Or how he doesn’t blow up and instead simply and calmly complains using logic and data before sending his players off to get injured for whatever national side wants them. Because in the end the “club versus country row” that every paper wishes would happen never materializes. Clubs and players are compelled, by the power of law, to release their players.
One thing I did think of though, is if Jack Wilshere was so important to the U-21 side, why didn’t Stuart Pearce insist that he play with the team during this break instead of playing with the big boys? Also, how do you think poor little Josh McEachran must feel right about now? Second fiddle, described by his manager as not being one of the best?
Maybe Psycho should be praising the team he’s got and you know, making them better through coaching instead of looking around for an instant solution by stealing players from the senior team. It’s called coaching for a reason.
We don’t have to wait to see that Jack Wilshere is a top quality man though. He made that apparent when he stood up for Fabio Capello yesterday.
Before the World Cup he couldn’t do wrong, and since the World Cup everyone has been getting onto his back. I think we need to give him a break. He is a great manager.He has proved it at clubs before and he has got a great record for England as well. He is one of the best managers I’ve ever worked with. People need to get off his back a little bit.
What a good kid! He’s young, talented, I suppose handsome, well spoken, respectful… he’s a PR manager’s dream! Maybe Arsenal could do with a bit of him speaking out in our favor?
Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long for that either.