“Massive boost” For Arsenal in Build up to Barca
For every strength someone has, there is always a fault – a weakness. In football, there are many faults in players, and putting aside those misplaced passes, wild, ambitious shots, dangerous, lunging tackles, off the field troubles and terrible temperament that some have, a shared feature for any sportsman is the injury.
Robin van Persie is no stranger to the irritating pests that are injuries. The 27 year-old has only played 15 Premier League games this season because of them, and although not allowing them to destroy his contribution to the team (10 goals, 5 assists), injuries are still an ever present feature to his game.
In the process of scoring another wonderful goal against Birmingham in the Carling Cup final which, as you all know Arsenal were unsuccessful in winning, the Dutch striker injured himself whilst adjusting his knee to bend around the defender to make contact with the ball. There were major doubts as to whether he will be fit for the scond leg of Arsenal’s Champions League tie against Barcelona. Wenger said:
“Fabregas will have a final test (on Monday). It is 90% he will travel and be fit. It is vital for us because he is important in the transition between attacking and defending. He is also the leader of the team so we want him there.”
Arsenal’s former left back Nigel Winterburn summed the situation up nicely:
“A van Persie playing at the Camp Nou is going to be massive for Arsenal and it will give the other players a massive lift as well,”
“It’s a massive boost because it was looking like Robin van Persie was completely out for three or four weeks, so not only for the Champions League but for the Premier League as well.
“If he is fit and can play then, with the goalscoring form that he’s been in, it just gives Arsenal another added dimension that they lack a little bit when he doesn’t play.”
Of course, the situation must be considered as to what would happen if Wenger were to start van Persie only for him to suffer another injury – which seems unfortunately likely. Winterburn added:
“If he’s not 100 per cent fit I don’t see how they can risk him because they’ve also got the FA Cup and a fantastic chance now in the Premier League as well,”
“I’ve got to think that maybe the injury is not as serious as first thought and he’s healed a lot quicker. I just don’t see how they can take that chance.
“I possibly could see him being on the bench if he was sort of 75 per cent fit but not starting because there are two other big prizes to go for if they come up short in the Champions League.”
Van Persie’s fantastic ability to achieve the improbable was layed on a plate for all to see at the Emirates a cuple of weeks ago when he smashed the ball past a helpless Victor Valdes in the Barcelona oal from the tightest of angles. If Arsenal are to succeed at the Nou Camp, they are going to ned all te improbabiliy and skill they can get. Van Persie therefore, is vital.
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