Archive for September 29th, 2009

Olympiacos Preview: Denilson to miss two months with a back injury

44 comments September 29th, 2009

It’s a bad break, quite literally, for Denilson, who has a fracture in his back that will keep him out for around two months.

A mixed reaction to Denilson's injury...

I believe it’s similar to the injury which ended Gael Clichy’s season last term.  Whilst it’s a blow to the Brazilian, who had started the season in decent form, it also leaves us looking very light in that familiar position: holding midfield.  If Alex Song were to pick up an injury, who would we entrust with being the base of our midfield three?  Some will suggest the irresponsible and unpredictable Abou Diaby – I will suggest they seek some kind of treatment.

Nicklas Bendtner is lucky he isn’t similarly broken after an ugly looking car crash.  Bendtner, like some sort of poorly-coordinated action hero, walked away from the smash with just cuts and bruises, but will sit out tonight’s game with Olympiacos.  Theo Walcott, too, has been deemed not ready for first-team action.

In Bendtner’s absence, Robin van Persie will continue upfront in the central striking role.  In recent weeks, many have wondered why Arsene persists with RVP when the bigger, stronger Bendtner is available.  A couple of weeks ago I heard an anecdotal encounter of when some established French journalists met Arsene for a drink after one of our early games.  They asked him the same question.  Arsene responded saying being big and strong isn’t half as important as having the touch to control a ball that comes at you at any speed/height/trajectory.  Van Persie’s first touch, Arsene believes, is superior to anything in the division.  Yesterday, Le Boss confirmed as much to the national media:

“He has such a short technique that he can bring other players in.  We play with plenty of offensive players, so it is important you have somebody up front who can make a short control or a short pass.  There is no better player than Robin at that.”

Van Persie’s goal at the weekend was yet another demonstration of how good his touch can be.  Let’s hope he can get another one tonight and start to build some momentum.

With Almunia still out, I expect the only change to the side to be someone coming in for Bendtner, with Eduardo, Eboue and Rosicky the main contenders.  Olympiacos have some decent players (Olof Mellberg, Enzo Maresca, and Brazil international Dudu stand out) and will provide stiffer competition than many anticipate.  That said, winning our home games is essential, so hopefully we’ll get the right result tonight.

Still composing my thoughts on the financial situation.  Can’t find it in myself to talk about it when there’s actually a game on.

Come On You Reds.

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