Archive for October 17th, 2011

5 things we learnt from the Sunderland game

239 comments October 17th, 2011

Robin van Persie celebrates the winning goal

Match Report | Highlights | Arsene’s reaction

Arsenal are more reliant on Robin van Persie than ever…
There are two reasons we have relied quite as much on one Robin van Persie.  The first is that it hasn’t been possible, simply because he hasn’t been fit.  The second is that it hasn’t been necessary, because we’ve had a more even distribution of talent.  At the moment, especially with Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna injured, he is the sole world class performer in our team.  He’d grace any team in the world, and finds himself as the talisman of a struggling side.  Fortunately, he is seizing responsibility with relish, as his match-winning display yesterday demonstrated.  This Robin is, unlike his comic-book name-same, no ‘boy wonder’: he’s all grown-up.  And we desperately, desperately need him.

Robin is swiftly becoming too good for this side…
The sad truth is that as Robin’s shooting star is looking lonely in a darkening Arsenal constellation.   He has less than two years to run on his current deal, and Arsene didn’t exactly sound confident of him signing an extension any time soon:

“The ideal situation is that he extends his contract but if he doesn’t you have to respect that. You know what is important is that he plays like he plays because we are all here to see special football players and he is a special football player.”

In other words: enjoy it while you can.  As I said above, Van Persie would not look out of place at Real Madrid or Barcelona.  If he keeps playing like this, he’ll have his pick.  Perhaps his future will depend on our Champions League status.

Carl Jenkinson has one oustanding quality…
There may be question marks over his defensive positioning, but you can’t argue with the fact that he is quite possibly the finest crosser of the ball at Arsenal Football Club.  For anyone who has spent years watching our corners hit the first man that won’t be a huge surprise, but yesterday Jenkinson’s delivery of the ball was consistently excellent.  It was a solid performance from the young lad, and hopefully he’ll grow in confidence and stature as the games go by.

Andrey Arshavin can be a great impact sub…
Yesterday he was introduced for the patchy Gervinho, and made a real impact, drifting infield and showing a willingness to run at defenders and try to make things happen.  I know I have a reputation as something of an ‘Arshavin apologist’, but when you witness cameos like he produced yesterday it’s easy to see why I can be seduced by his talent before being appalled by his attitude.

Arsene does not trust Park…
Had Van Persie not spared our blushes with that sumptuous free-kick, surely questions would have been asked of his Arsene’s continued unwillingness to make use of his new striker.  Against both Spurs and Sunderland, Arsene chose to introduce Yossi Benayoun ahead of our number nine.  Perhaps it comes from an unwillingness to change our shape, but with only two years in which to make his mark at Arsenal, Park will surely be conscious of the early lack of opportunities.

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