Posts Tagged ‘Robin Van Persie’

Football

Get over it! Why Arsenal should give Man United the guard of honour

By Stefano on April 24th, 2013

There are many things in life which are unfair, unpalatable and downright uncomfortable. and as a Gooner I am probably going to have to endure something that is all three on Sunday when my beloved Arsenal give Man United the Premiership Champions traditional guard of honour.

The club haven’t confirmed that the guard will take place beyond a hint that it will honour protocol, but already there has been a backlash on Twitter.

The Metro reports that many Arsenal fans may turn their back on the guard while Piers Morgan has tweeted.

‘A guard of honour, for the biggest traitor in Arsenal history. At our own ground. I think I’m going to be sick,’

Well, I do have some sympathy with those views in that the guard will be painful, especially because right at the centre of it will be the man who on Monday was cartwheeling round Old Trafford like a seven year old.

However, I won’t be turning my back. We just need to get it over with. The precarious situation that we are in is not down to Robin Van Persie, but the Muppets that oversaw his exit without properly replacing him.

For me the hardest part could be at the end of the game. If we don’t get at least a point, then we have not only been beaten by a team we once considered our deadliest rivals, but also lost ground in the battle for a Champions league slot.

So don’t turn your backs. It is just not classy. And besides anything that fires up the United side even more – on a day when in theory they could be taking it easy – simply isn’t clever.



Football

Should Man United fans be worried about RVP’s goal drought? 1 goal in 13 games…

By Stefano on April 12th, 2013

There is one certainty in football this season and that is that Robin Van Persie will score for Man United when they visit The Emirates on Sunday April 28th.

If his current form is any barometer too it will be the Dutchman’s second league goal in 15 games.

For after a blistering start to the season Van Persie has struggled at United. His overall play has been fine and in many ways he has been unlucky. But one goal in 13 games for the club tells its own story. Interestingly the man who (kind of) replaced him Olivier Giroud has scored seven goals in his last 13 games – and most Arsenal fans would argue that his first season for them has been at best mixed.

It is hard to work out if this mid-season dip is something that RVP suffered at Arsenal. This is largely because in all his years at the club the Gunners only really got two full seasons out of the player. Last year, for example, the longest he went without a goal was four games, in fact it was rarely more than two.

If RVP fails to score next match he will equal Torres’ longest run without a goal at Chelsea.

At the moment it arguably doesn’t matter a great deal. Van Persie’s goals from earlier in the season – and let’s not forget how prolific he was and how many games he won for the club – has propelled the team to the title.

But had it been a much closer race I wonder if Fergie, to say nothing of the United fans, been so forgiving?

There are also rumours of strikers heading to United from Falcao through to Lewandowski. But who are they going to replace – Rooney? Wellbeck?

I do wonder if RVP will be remembered by United fans as a player who excelled for half a season and then quietly slipped out of view.

So United fans – does RVP still have a big role to play at Old Trafford. Or are those injuries starting to catch up with him?



Football

RVP’s goal drought – now as bad as Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud

By Stefano on March 7th, 2013

The clamouring for Arsenal to sign a striker continues with fans desperate to see someone pull on a Gunners shirt who is clinical, predatory and consistent. Three words that can’t really describe the current incumbent Olivier Giourd.

Giroud has impressed in flashes this season, but for me he doesn’t get in enough goal scoring positions and never ever puts away any half chances. His record of shots to goals converted isn’t bad, but then the number of shots he has is quite low.

He is not a disaster but rather symptomatic of the way that Arsenal are this season – good in patches but lacking consistency.

Giroud then has scored three times in the last ten games he has played for Arsenal, which isn’t the most impressive of records.

Interestingly though there is another Premiership striker who has identical stats and it is not who you might think. Nope not Torres, but one RVP of Man United. The player has grabbed goals against Everton and Spurs in the last two months but it has been pretty slim pickings this year.

It did strike me in the game against Real that RVP was missing something from his game. Chances that you would have expected him to put away this season (and last) went begging. He also had a lot of bad luck – which if Karma does exist means he probably used it all up in the first half of the season.

It is hard to work out if this mid-season dip is something that RVP suffered at Arsenal. This is largely because in all his years at the club the Gunners only really got two full seasons out of the player. Last year, for example, the longest he went without a goal was four games, in fact it was rarely more than two.

In the same period last year (early Jan- early March) for example he scored ten goals in ten games.

Also, earlier in the season Van Persie pretty much kept United’s title challenge afloat

Remember this?

Martin Samuel in the Mail has worked out that had Arsenal kept Robin Van Persie for another season and his goal rate stayed the same then the situation would be reversed. Arsenal would be top of the Premiership and Man United would have been mid-table stragglers.

Martin’s theory runs like this.

United have gone behind to the first goal of the game in 10 Premier League matches and in seven have come back to win. Of those seven, five have featured crucial goals from Van Persie, including the equaliser against Fulham, a hat-trick against Southampton and the winner against Liverpool.

Now consider Arsenal with Van Persie’s 10 league goals this season added to their total. Supplement a single goal from Van Persie to the draws with Sunderland, Stoke City, Manchester City, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton; add an equaliser to the one-goal defeats by Chelsea, Norwich City and Manchester United. That is a difference of 15 points, or the current spread between Manchester United (top, 36 points) and Arsenal (10th, 21).

Fortunately for Sir Alex, Kagawa, Hernandez and ironically, Rooney have filed the breach recently, but there is clearly a question over the form of the ex-Arsenal man.

Van Persie is clearly Sir Alex’s golden boy at the moment. But if he goes a few more games without finding the net some of that glow might start to recede.

 

 



Football

Mancini tells BBC that Robin Van Persie could cost City the title

By Stefano on January 1st, 2013

A few weeks ago we ran a story about how had Arsenal kept Robin Van Persie for another season and his goal rate stayed the same they would be top of the Premiership and Man United would have been mid-table stragglers.

Now someone else is declaring that the Dutchman is the difference between the sides competing for the title.

Roberto Mancini told the BBC “Robin van Persie is a very important player for United. He has changed their situation. He is the difference between us.”

Mancini went on to add that he got very close to signing the striker. “We were very close. We were sure he was for us but this did not happen and now we can do nothing. We were very close three or four months before he joined United.”

Here’s the theory on Van Persie’s influence on United as initially outlined by the Mail’s Martin Samuels.

United have gone behind to the first goal of the game in 10 Premier League matches and in seven have come back to win. Of those seven, five have featured crucial goals from Van Persie, including the equaliser against Fulham, a hat-trick against Southampton and the winner against Liverpool.

Now consider Arsenal with Van Persie’s 10 league goals this season added to their total. Supplement a single goal from Van Persie to the draws with Sunderland, Stoke City, Manchester City, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton; add an equaliser to the one-goal defeats by Chelsea, Norwich City and Manchester United. That is a difference of 15 points, or the current spread between Manchester United (top, 36 points) and Arsenal (10th, 21).



Football

Are Abou Diaby’s Arsenal days over? And four other footballers whose injuries ended promising careers

By Stefano on December 11th, 2012

If Arsene Wenger is a religious man he must thank The Almighty every night for the current form of Jack Wilshere. After over a year on the sidelines the Arsenal midfielder has come slotted back in to the team perfectly and is looking stronger, keener and sharper after every game.

Wenger has also seen Aaron Ramsey return from a career-threatening injury at the feet of Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross, though Ramsey has arguably never been quite the player he was before that tackle. In fact Arsenal don’t seem to have too much luck as serious injuries also interrupted the development of both Robin Van Persie and Tomas Rosicky.

The player whose condition must be breaking Arsene’s heart at the moment though is Abou Diaby. The Frenchmen had an amazing start to the season and his Vieira like ability to tackle hard and charge forward with the ball seemingly glued to his foot, was a prime reason for the Gunners’ great early season form. Sadly the injuries that have blighted his career since 2006 seem to have finally taken their toll and according to a few of today’s papers Arsene Wenger has finally accepted that Diaby’s career at Arsenal is over.

Wenger said last month ‘He balances our team as he has stature and presence physically when he is there, but clearly his injury problems are a concern.’

That concern has now apparently lead the Arsenal manager into finding a replacement for Diaby with West Ham’s Mohamed Diame a clear front runner.

If Diaby’s Arsenal career is over he joins a rather sad list of players with enormous potential who never quite recovered from a bad injury.

Paul Lake – Man City’s Lake was a superb defensive midfielder or centre back who many pundits believed was likely to play a major role in England’s international team. Sadly, a seemingly minor knee injury sustained near the start of the 1990/91 season following a challenge with Tony Cascarino, was later diagnosed as a ruptured cruciate ligament, resulting in a two year absence. Fourteen operations and only a handful of games later Lake was forced to retire.

David Busst - Coventry’s Busst suffered what is arguably the most horrific injury of the Premiership era when he got stuck in a Denis Irwin and Brian McClair sandwich, resulting in extensive compound fractures to both the tibia and fibula of his right leg. There was a fear that he might actually lose his leg at one point. Fortunately Busst recovered, but his playing career was over.

Marco Van Basten - The greatest striker of his generation? Well we will never really know for the AC Milan/Holland genius never really got over what seemed at the time a basic ankle injury in 1993. He retired in 1995 with 277 goals to his name.

Eduardo - With a few months to the end of the 2007-8 season a buoyant Arsenal seemed dead certs to win the Premiership title. Then came the away game against Birmingham City where the striker Eduardo suffered a broken left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle following a tackle by Martin Taylor. The injury was so nasty it traumatised the Arsenal players who let their lead slip and ended up drawing the game. Some pundits believe that the game not only finished Arsenal as serious tile challengers, but also was a defining moment in the career of Arsene Wenger. Eduardo has arguably never been the same player since.

Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves, Robbie Fowler… Who else was never the same after injuries?

Pics from PA




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