Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Predictable, Nasri about to be robbed
Robin Van Persie has been injured by a bad tackle while playing for Holland last night. Well, there's a shock. Van Persie had given Holland the lead against Hungary (a stormer of a game finished 5-3) before he was caught above the knee by a flying tackle. I don't know who the guy was that fouled him, but he doesn't get within about five yards of the ball. There was clearly no intention to play the ball whatsoever, merely to take RVP out of the game. Bert Van Maarwijk, Holland's boss, has said Van Persie could be fit for Saturday "with a bit of luck." What, exactly, makes him think that Arsenal will have any luck whatsoever when it comes to an injury to one of their star players? Last season Robin was out for five months following a tackle against Italy. It seems that just about every time he plays for his country, he comes back to Arsenal with some injury or other (he missed the start of the season, after the World Cup, remember).
Arsenal's striking options are already limited. Nicklas Bendtner got injured in training for Denmark last week and there has been no follow up news on that, so we are left with Marouane Chamakh and a, possibly, returning Theo Walcott to play up front on Saturday (unless there is some shock good news on RVP). Get down on your knees and pray that Robin is fit for Saturday.
The awards season is approaching in English football and it seems that Samir Nasri is going to miss out on what is rightfully his. You will remember how, in 2002, the PFA voted for Ruud Van Nistelrooy ahead of Robert Pires for their player of the year award. Thankfully Pires did win the "real" award from the Football Writers Association. There will be no such reward for Samir Nasri in 2011. Since Christmas there has been something of a media campaign, led by SkySports, to ensure Gareth Bale wins the awards. It seems that one performance on the big stage (and Spurs even lost that match) is enough to win annual awards these days (of course I'm being harsh on Bale, but Footballer of the Year?)
Samir Nasri has dominated Arsenal's season. In the past few weeks (and only the past few weeks) his impact has been limited thanks to the Manager forcing him to play out wide. Arsenal's best moments over the past two months have all occurred when Nasri has been moved, mid-game, in to the centre - the comeback at West Brom only began when he joined Jack Wilshere in the midfield.
Nasri will win most of the various player awards at Arsenal this season, but his just desserts would be to get reward from the other players, and the press. Arsenal are challenging for the Title thanks, largely, to Samir's contribution. Spurs, meanwhile, will finish in mid-table mediocrity once again (I still think Liverpool will finish ahead of them) so how can one of their players be considered for the major prizes? Having said that, I remember Ginola winning it in a season where the mugs finished in the bottom half of the Premier League - perhaps we should have realised then that the whole thing is an absolute joke.