Some good news today with the revelation that Robin van Persie’s ankle injury will only keep him out 4-6 weeks and not the 2-3 months that I suggested yesterday. The statement comes from the man himself and it means the Dutchman, who only partially tore ligaments in his ankle, may well make it back to provide us with a very welcome Christmas present.
It will be interesting to witness the impact of van Persie’s injury on the team over the next month or so.
On one hand it could be suggested he will be badly missed: there’s no denying that he has been superb so far this season, making the central forward position his own and hitting the back of the net with increasing regularity. But on the other we have an extremely classy player who will be dying to prove himself in Eduardo and a system that relies less on one player to get the goals and more on the collective functioning of the front five to create chances. So all things considered, I think we’ll be just fine.
Aside from Eduardo who will undoubtedly feature prominently in van Persie’s absence, there is a decent window of opportunity for Nicklas Bendtner to ask more questions of the manager when he returns a couple of weeks earlier than the Dutchman. There is a strong chance that the manager will shift Eduardo wide once Bendtner returns to the side and given his recent proclamations about wanting to be the best striker in the Premier League within five seasons, it will certainly be an opportunity to impress.
Another player who I would hope to see step up in van Persie’s absence is Andrey Arshavin. As far as experienced players go he’s just about top of the pile when it comes to attackers and this is just the sort of moment for a player of his undoubted quality to take a potentially awkward situation by the scruff of the neck. Arshavin has always been a big game player and with Bendtner and van Persie both unavailable for the match against Chelsea on the 29th we will need a quality performance out of the Russian.
Anyway aside from van Persie’s injury there’s not too much to talk about. The second legs of the European World Cup playoffs are taking place on Wednesday night (let’s hope Arshavin and the Frenchies come back alive and victorious) while Egypt play against Algeria in a one-off game to see who will make it to South Africa. I’ve written about just how spectacular an event that will be on my Football Nomad blog so check it out if you’re into that sort of thing.
That’s it for today. Have a lovely start to the week.
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