Imagine this, I woke up this morning thinking that there would be nothing to write about! Robin van Persie’s ruptured ankle ligaments and Andrei Arshavin’s broken heart put the idea that we’d have nothing to talk about today to the knife.
The news for Robin van Persie is absolutely devastating: after doing the hokey-pokey with the placenta doctor, he’s now undergoing surgery to actually fix the ligament damage in his foot. I don’t think that the placenta “doctor” did any further damage to Robin’s leg, he explains that there weren’t any injections just a topical placental treatment.
I really feel bad for Robin, because as he expresses in the article above, he knows that 5 months is a huge blow for this Arsenal team, us Arsenal supporters, and for him personally.
As I was enjoying a fantastic period with Arsenal and the first official diagnosis from the doctors was that I would be out for six weeks, I wanted to bring that period back to three or four weeks. But the ligaments in my ankle were completely ruptured. That’s why the treatment in Serbia, we know now, never had the chance to be successful from the start.
I have never wanted to go for alternative medical help before. Normally I am too cool for that kind of thing. But because I wanted to grab every opportunity to get fit again and to be back on the pitch with Arsenal, I decided to have a go. If it does not help me, it won’t harm me either. That was my motto.
I had the treatment methods checked intensively before I went out there. I demanded to know if there was any way it could do any damage. It couldn’t. Which is why I went. A lot has been said and written about it. But the method of treatment in Serbia is not a bizarre thing. I did not have anything injected in my body. The treatment was solely on the surface.
It’s pretty clear he thought he was doing everything he could to get back in the team.
As for Arshavin, this will come as a shock to my regular reader, but I do feel sorry for him. By the time the next World Cup rolls around, he’ll be 33 years old and probably won’t be able to participate. This was their chance, they were seeded against Serbia and just needed the win, but they couldn’t get over the line. In fact, they basically imploded at the end. I’ve been in teams like that and losing like that is really hard to take.
But with van Persie out for 5 months the team need him to stop looking inward and start looking up. For the most part, he’s one of the experienced players on this team. Guys like Wilshere and Vela need someone who is ahead of them in the first team to show them what it means to be a professional: go out and do what you are paid to do, irregardless the fact that you might be feeling down about something else in your life.
Like Arsene Wenger, who must be absolutely beside himself at the moment. As I reported on Tuessday, Arsene was questioned about Theo Walcott’s inclusion in the England World Cup team and his frustration about the toll that internationals take on his team seemed to boil over:
You know, I don… I don’t, for f… I must stop you there. From us, for me, the big season is Arsenal, not the World Cup. We do not pay the players to go to the World Cup, we pay the players to do well for Arsenal Football Club. The first pride of a man is to do well for the guy who pays you in life, not to go to the World Cup.
He’s also been reported by various sources to have said
For fuck’s sake the World Cup is in June. Is he on holiday until June 11? You cannot be serious.
With what we know now about Arshavin’s depression, van Persie’s injury in a friendly, and the constant pestering by the English press about Theo Walcott’s inclusion in the national side it seems like his comment wasn’t just intended for the press. He was talking to his players.
And for the most part he’s right. The cynic would just point to tomorrow’s opponent to see the difference between the way the two teams players conduct themselves when it comes to internationals and especially pointless international friendlies. The FA set up a marquee meeting between England and Brazil in Doha, Qatar and as I have said many times it looked like Chelsea’s English contingent basically said it wasn’t worth their time by feigning injury. Lampard, Terry, and Ashley Cole have all made miraculous injury returns just in time for Sunday. Ballack claimed injury and didn’t play, Michael Essien didn’t even show up for his country’s call up, and of course we all know that Drogba was out with a rib injury.
The thing is, I don’t blame them. Rather, I wish Arsenal’s players would take the same approach, especially Robin van Persie, who it seems always gets injured in the most pointless of ways. The problem is that as he admits in the article linked above, and as I suspected, he was feeling invincible right before the game with Italy, “I was getting so strong, that I felt nobody could stop me anymore.”
We can all hope that 5 months on the sidelines will clarify a few things for him though I doubt it; 5 months means that he’ll get in a few games at the end of Arsenal’s season and be fully fit and ready for the World Cup.
You’re going to hear this a lot today but “now is the time for [Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Bendtner, Arshavin, Nasri, and Rosicky (fill in the name)] to step up and show whether the boss needs to dive into the January market or if we’ve got the requirements within the squad.
It’s a big blow today, and like Arsene Wenger, I’m starting to absolutely hate November.