Posts Tagged ‘Robin Van Persie’

Everyone regained their breath? What a Super Sunday that was, with arguably the best game of the day being saved till last. Manchester City narrowly edged out a valiant Arsenal attempt to take at least a point away from the Etihad Stadium, but what did we learn from that enthralling ninety minutes?

Arsenal are involved in the best games of the season – They’ve lost 8-2, won 5-3 at Stamford Bridge and lost 2-1 in a very entertaining North London derby. The Gunners inability to defend but ability to attack have allowed neutrals to enjoy some of the best Premier League games ever and this campaign isn’t even half a season old.

Wenger never ceases to amaze – In the Frenchman’s post match interview he concluded that “We are now out of the title race” Err sorry Arsene, but were you ever in it?

RVP’s record affected his game – No one even knew such a record existed but a few weeks ago the media went crazy as the Dutchman closed in on Alan Shearer’s 36 Premier League goals in a calender year. Yesterday for the first time, I saw Van Persie seem fixated on this possible achievement and several occasions take the selfish option instead of sliding in one of his team mates much to the frustration of them and no doubt, the fans.

Micah Richards is a shocking defender – *and jump * Sorry, that was me getting off the ‘Micah Richards for England’ bandwagon. The Manchester City right back was terrible yesterday, I mean we’ve always known he was clumsy (probably should have been a penalty against Ramsey) but the Englishman took his inability to defend to all new levels. If Arsenal had utilised the left wing at all they would have found copious amounts of space for Gervinho, Walcott and Arshavin, on so many occasions Richards was tucked inside Vincent Kompany or Kolo Toure highlighting his lack of positioning and tactical understanding. This performance comes after a terrific attacking and defending performance from Glen Johnson earlier in the afternoon.

The Arsenal Utopia is over – For many years Arsene Wenger’s side have been deemed the second greatest passing team on the planet behind Barcelona, however at the Etihad yesterday that myth died. The Gunners passing was far from slick and in the opening twenty minutes it was nothing short of suicidal far from the crisp passing days of Pires, Bergkamp and even more recent such as Hleb and Fabregas, if anything City played the ‘Arsenal way’.

Mancini can’t help but revert to type – This season the Man City manager seemed to cave in and gave the media and the fans what they wanted, free flowing attacking football with all of their striking superstars on the pitch at once. However yesterday the ice cool Mancini went back to his old stereotypical Italian ways; with the score at 1-0 and the game far from won the Italian took off Mario Balotelli and replaced him the versatile but defensive James Milner. The substitution surprised many but worked as Mancini’s side grounded at an Italian scoreline of 1-0.

Gary Neville is a terrible pundit – Oh wait we already knew that.

 

Advertisements

In recent weeks, Arsenal have been described as ‘a one man team’ and of course this refers to goal machine and captain Robin Van Persie’s influence; so the signs were ominous when Wenger decided to leave the Dutchman on the bench for the weekend’s game against Stoke City. Admittedly, the Gunners didn’t replace the goal scoring threat the former Feyenoord striker brings however, have they have found a ‘Captain Fantastic’ replacement should the obvious happen and RVP and vice captain Thomas Vermaelen get injured?

A very proud Alex Song deputised in the absence of Van Persie and The Verminator. Song described the chance to lead out ‘Arsene Wenger’s red and white army’ as a great way to “show the boss that I am one of the leaders in the team”. Despite an assured performance from the combative midfielder, is Song really the leader Arsenal have lacked since the days of Patrick Vieira?

Like all great arguments there are two sides but drawing up a list of ‘pro’s’ and ‘con’s, well lets face it, is just boring. How about I put Song in different scenarios and see if he is captain material?

If Arsenal (god forbid) suffered the same fate as Chelsea on Sunday and were down to nine men by half time would Song have picked up a deflated side and dominated the second half like Chelsea did? It’s hard to see it. For all his power and steely determination, Song like the majority of the current crop of players, let their heads drop when the team falls behind and don’t dig deep.

Next situation. Cast your minds back to the now infamous ‘Gallas meltdown’ against Birmingham. Ok, it’s not hard to be a better captain then the Frenchman was on that day, but when Arsenal’s season was at a pivotal moment after Gael Clichy conceded a penalty, would Song have composed the team? Can anyone really compose ten ‘headless chickens’?

Although such scenarios make or break captain’s, a real captain will be there for his teammates for the duration of a season. At the moment we don’t have that in Van Persie, let alone Song. However, despite what I’ve said, I’ve always beaten the drum for Song for captain and if the Cameroonian sorts out his lack of discipline with regards to formation as well as cards, then who knows Wenger may just start singing a new song.