Monday, 26 December 2011

Wenger to rest RVP? -Why January 1st is D-Day for Henry

Morning Gooners.

I'm sure most of you are feeling the same way as me this morning. Quite honestly I'm stuffed still from my Christmas Day meal, more than 12 hours after I ate it. I'm hazy from the wine I drunk, but feel warm inside. And I'm going to have to do it all over again this afternoon! Oh the joys of the Christmas period.

But the good thing about this time of year is that we get to see Arsenal lots. Three times in six days in fact. It's a schedule not assisted by the London Underground tube drivers strike which is taking place today and has forced the club to postpone the Wolves match by 24 hours.

It's a schedule that Arsene Wenger knows will be tough on his team. There is no way he'll be able to play the same 11 players in all three games, so he'll have to rotate. We saw only this time last year the consequences of that  After a stunning 3-1 victory over Chelsea at the Grove, two days later we travelled to Wigan where the manager retained just three players who started against the Blues and we dropped vital points after Sebestian Squillaci headed an own goal ten minutes from time to give the home team a share of the points.

A game we should have won at the DW meant we allowed Manchester United to increase their lead at the top of the table. In my opinion, the manager should have kept as many players in his starting line up for both the Chelsea and Wigan games because the momentum would have kept these players going. When you're winning, we're often told by ex-professionals, you don't feel tired.

Wenger will obviously look at his team after tomorrow's game before deciding who will play against QPR on Saturday. Robin van Persie is the one who concerns us all the most. He's been so lucky with injury and is two goals away from equaling Alan Shearer's 36-goal scoring record in a calendar year. The Dutchman has two games in which to equal or better the record and with every respect to Wolves and QPR, they're games we should be winning. And if we're taking all three points, you would think that our man of 2011 will be banging in the goals for us.

However the manager has said that he won't put RVP's personal glory above that of the team and if needed he will rotate the player.

Wenger said:
"The most important thing is that the team wins. The individual records are not vital for me — they are just a sign that the team scores.  
"I believe the great players know what is important. What is important on the pitch is to make the right decision for every situation you face. He does that very well."
I'm sure we'd all like to see Robin break the record. I think it would be a great achievement and shows the world that when you're talking about the best players in the world at this moment in time, van Persie is one of them. You can start an internet poll about who people think is the best player of 2011. If Robin isn't the winner, there is something wrong with the poll or the people who voted in it.

I think Robin will certainly start against Wolves and more than likely be in the starting 11 against QPR. But I'm worried about our game with Fulham. Beyond van Persie we don't have very many options. Marouane Chamakh who's not scored since September and Ju Young Park who's not played a minute of Premier League football since he signed in August.

Chamakh has said he wants to play. Perhaps at Fulham he will get his chance.

He said:
"I have the idea that I will finish the season at Arsenal. But in May and June, I will see things differently. 
"I cannot stay in this situation forever. I'm 27, I'm a competitor, I want to play, I accept many things here because it works.
"But I cannot live like this forever. I will make a decision this spring."
No player wants to be stuck on the bench for the whole season without really getting a sniff of first team action. After an excellent start to his Arsenal career, it appears the Moroccan has regressed. Maybe a good Africa Cup of Nations can put him back on track, but I'm sad to say I think his time at Arsenal might have come to the end.

Wenger certainly needs to bring in back up for van Persie especially when Chamakh is away next month.

I think back to what the manager said about re-signing Thierry Henry. He said January 1st was an important date. Is that because Wenger plans to have Henry in the team to play Fulham the following day? We'll have to wait and see.

Elsewhere Cesc Fabregas was interviewed on Sky Sports News and said he'd like to one day return to Arsenal if he ever left Barcelona again. Personally I think we all have to move on and I don't think I'd like to see him back at the club. Last summer has certainly tarnished his image with me and from what I heard was going on behind the scenes, I'd rather he left things as they were. He got what he wanted. We've moved on.

The players return to training today after having yesterday off. Hopefully they've not over done it and will all be ready to fight for three points tomorrow.

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