Van Persie back for Arsenal!

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The big news in the build-up to the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Tottenham is that Robin van Persie will be fit and available.

Van Persie has only played one match since injury his knee on international duty with Holland

The Dutch striker – who most supporters would consider to be the number one striker at the club – has been named in the squad to face Tottenham by Arsene Wenger after finally overcoming his long-term knee injury. The Arsenal manager revealed Van Persie will be welcomed back into the squad along with a host of other players who did not feature in the weekend FA Cup win over Burnley.

“Yes Robin van Persie is back in the squad. Lukasz Fabianski will play in goal again, Theo Walcott is available while Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos will play at the back. Basically it will be a young side maybe with one or two experienced players.”

I spoke yesterday about how well the other three strikers at the club have done in van Persie’s absence but I think most people would agree that having the Dutchman back is a big boost to Arsenal’s chances of winning some silverware this season. If you read more of Wenger’s comments from the article you’ll notice he mentions the fact that van Persie has been out for so long not because of his knee but because of a muscle injury he sustained while recovering from the initial problem. What that means is that the Dutchman has had ample time to get fully fit and hopefully that’s the last Arsenal supporters will have to hear about his pesky knee. Fingers crossed.

The other interesting point to note about Wenger’s starting team is the presence of recently returned Johan Djourou. This match could be an important one in deciding whether he takes the second centre-back position ahead of fellow countryman Philippe Senderos in the absence of Kolo Toure who is, of course, on his way to Ghana as we speak. Senderos has been nothing short of shaky most times he’s played this season and if Djourou has a positive game, which I’m sure he’s more than capable of, then I think he’ll rightly move ahead in the defensive pecking order. Either way, it’s certainly a battle worth keeping your eyes on tonight.

Newcastle are interested in DiarraIs Diarra stupid?

Lukasz Fabianski, who will play in goals tonight, has spoken of his excitement at playing in such a big game against Arsenal’s biggest rivals. Not only that, he’s spoken with teammate Manuel Almunia and has dreams of saving a penalty and growing a foot taller.

“He told me that if you save a penalty against Tottenham then you are the biggest man in the world.”

I’m not sure that’s entirely true but you get the point. It’s great to see that Almunia and Fabianski have a friendly relationship going on, especially considering old man Jens Lehmann has refused to speak with the Spaniard since being displaced as the number one goalkeeper. Hopefully the pair can keep their little friendship going and spur each other on to bigger and better things.

The only other news of the day is that Lassana Diarra is being monitored by both Newcastle and Lyon. Although he’s unhappy with a lack of first-team football at the moment I have a feeling that Diarra will remain an Arsenal player until at least the end of the season. He might be a bit of a hothead, Diarra, but I don’t think he would be stupid enough to believe his career is going to improve more as a starter under Sam Allardyce than as a fringe player under Arsene Wenger. And if he is stupid enough to go then maybe he’s not a player worth holding onto.

Oh and just for the record, I think it’s going to be a draw tonight. Don’t know why, but there you go.

What do you think?

Have your say on Tottenham, van Persie, Fabianski or Diarra by leaving a comment.


14 thoughts on “Van Persie back for Arsenal!

  1. you have to be kidding ed. RvP is the #1 striker, through and through.

    I’m keenly looking forward to tomorrow’s game, even if it does mean setting the alarm for 6am.
    a) RvP is back
    b) it’ll be good to see how djourou goes
    and c) it’s the spuds

  2. ed – Yeah sorry, much as I love Adebayor (he’s my favourite player after all!) I still think van Persie’s the number one.

    tom – Can’t wait mate. It’s going to be very nice. I’ll have to sneak it in before work but I’ll be very keenly looking forward to watching Djourou, Fabianski and van Persie.

  3. Ed i totally agree with you. SF as much as RVP seems n probably plays better than Adebayor in different aspects, wenger will always pick adebayor over RVP coz of his physical presence needed to keep defenders busy.. i bet it’ll be hard to find a game in which adebayor hits th bench with RVP starting up..

  4. My favourite strikers are 1. RVP, 2. Eduardo/Adebayor/Bendtner, 5. Walcot (he might be my 1st in 1-2 yrs, some minor stuff need to be sorted out). I think the insistence of AW to move Eduardo to the left almost too often even when we can play 4-4-2 and he is the only other striker in the squad is because AW wants him to acclimatize to playing wide(a-bit-left-of-center,if you will), so that he can have the option of a 3-pronged attack. With Ade’s pace and his ability to drift deep and come back up, it will be an undulating V type of a front-line with Adebayor mainly a constant thorn/nuisance to the defence with goal threat from Eduardo and Van-persie. This could work even better if Eduardo had the pace and Work ethics of Adebayor so that he could stay at the apex of the V with Ade moving slightly to the left, as we know how deadly Eduardo is from the middle. For this to happen, Eduardo has to improve on his one-on-ones with defenders(which he is able to, he just underestimated the size+commitment+pace combination of opponents in England) and we will have to sacrifice one of eboue,Rosicky and Hleb(not Hleb p’se). I don’t see AW going for a traditional winger unless he plan to utilize Bendtner more. Wingers = crosses, crosses = not passing, not passing = not Wenger, not passing/not Wenger = not Ars-enal.


  5. Good riddance Allardyce. Diarra is a bit of a fool. If he really believes he can play ahead of Fabregas and Flamini then he needs to get his head examined. First he need to knuckle down,keep quite, train hard and show the boss that he deserves to be picked. My assessment of him so far is that he lacks creativity and a that deadly pass. So far he is a squad player to fill in when needed nothing more. C.cup so far we are 0-1 down to the spuds. Denilson was a real disappointment made so many mistakes lost the ball in key areas and Walcott needs to wake up. Hopefully will see a better Arsenal in the second half

  6. arsenal done welll in my opinion…..they had 10 regulars out….tottenham had there full side…man they suck…

  7. Thats exactly what i thought.. tottenham’s first team cant even beat what is basically our second team. Even tho Senderos showed that he cannot play against top class strikers.

  8. Hey guys, apologies but there’s no blog for today/tonight. Some really important personal stuff has popped up and I’m unable to get anything meaningful done. Such an interesting day too; a great match, injuries, transfer speculation and Allardyce getting fired. Tomorrow should be a good one!! 🙂

  9. Sf- Nice new look for the blog. Quite neat. I like it.
    It would’ve been a crime to lose to the spuds at the Emirates. Thankfully it didn’t happen.
    It is nice to hear Our Legend Henry wanting to work for Arsenal this is what he said “I’m proud to have played for Arsenal and to be a fan of theirs,”. “Before I was not a fan of any club, but I have become an Arsenal fan and it’s difficult for me to not watch their matches”.
    “You always return to the place you belong to and so I hope one day to be able to work with that club. I have this club in my blood.” I really hope he can coach our strikers and show them how its done when he retires

  10. When everybody was saying how good Eduardo, ADE, RVp and Bendtner were, i was agreeing but I was the only person who said “Watch out for Walcott tonight, lets see what he can do” Sure Enough he got the equaliser. Tottenhams first 9 (they played Cerny instead of Robbo, O’Hara instead of Zokora) We played our 2 nd team bar RVP, Dudu Senderos and Sagna, however only onbe of the mplayed the full 90. Yh we plated poorly, yh we were lucky to draw, but we did draw ans Spurs may have mucked it all up again, just like last season. Their full sqaud cudnt beat our 2nd team.

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