Midweek musings: RVP, Podolski, Andre Santos

Greetings, one and all.  I’ve been so busy of late that a midweek blog has become something of an unaffordable luxury.  However, with the horrors of Internationals upon us, I reckon it’s probably best that we huddle together and warm ourselves by a reassuring, Arsenal-flavoured fire.

I don’t know what percentage of the readers of this blog follow me on twitter.  If you don’t yet and are considering it, abandon that plan:  I will only stress you out, as I seem to have devolved in to the football fan equivalent of Chicken Licken.  In the last  48 hours I have stated, on separate occasions and with a worrying degree of certainty, that Robin van Persie and Mikel Arteta were both suspended for the game at Anfield, and that Van Persie had picked up an injury in training with Holland.  On each occasion, I was incorrect: the fact that Arteta and RVP have reached five yellow cards ceased to be relevant after December 31st, and the decision to let Van Persie sit out training with Holland last night was predominantly precautionary.  The sky, it seems, is not falling after all.  Apologies: I shall endeavour to be more thorough in the future.

Of course, we’ll still all be praying that RVP and others come through tonight’s internationals unscathed.  We have a massive game at Anfield on Saturday morning, and to be without the Dutchman in particular would be an enormous blow.  There’s rather a nice piece by Henry Winter here which makes clear his importance to the club.  Some papers have attempted to attach some drama to the fact that Van Persie will not enter in to discussions about a contract renewal until the end of the season.  To most Arsenal fans, however, it comes as no surprise.  Van Persie will want to know whether or not Arsenal will be competing in the Champions League, and in the interim one cannot question his absolute commitment to making that happen.  When those talks do happen, I don’t doubt that Arsene and Ivan will attempt to throw money at the problem by offering Robin a very competitive contract.  In some respects, they’d be better throwing it elsewhere: what’s most likely to keep him is a competitive Arsenal team.

Perhaps one of the summer recruits will be Lukasz Podolski.  German tabloid Bild claims the player has decided that his future lies with Arsenal – the sole obstacle is for the two clubs to agree a fee.  Knowing us, that remains rather a big obstacle, and the article itself seems speculative at best.  Let’s wait and see on this one.

A bit of good news to end with: Andre Santos has said on Twitter that he expects to be back playing in the next fortnight.  That’s a huge boost for us – prior to his injury, his form was outstanding.  Although Kieran Gibbs recovered from a shaky start to have a strong second half against Spurs, for me Santos is a superior player, and certainly provides a more experienced option at left-back.  When Santos returns, we’ll discover if Arsene sees it the same way – if, that is, Gibbs can stay fit long enough to make Arsene have to choose.

Right, that’s all from me. Enjoy your Wednesday.

Gunnerblog is the brainchild of childbrained football writer James McNicholas. Aside from Gunnerblog, James currently contributes to Bleacher Report, The Mirror and ESPN.