Monday, 23 April 2012

Award winning RVP's brutal honesty -Wenger's target -Sicknotes for Diaby and Rosicky?

Morning Gooners.

I'll start with the news that Robin van Persie picked up the PFA Player of the Year award last night. It's a well deserved accolade for Robin who has been head and shoulders above the rest of his professionals this season. His performances have earned him the respect of his fellow professionals and I can imagine that is quite humbling for him. When it is your peers who have said you are the best of the best, receiving this award must be quite gratifying for him.

Speaking after he'd picked up the trophy, he said:
"If other people are saying it, it is special, but it is even more special if your opponents are saying it. 
"It is very special because you are playing against them week in week out and every single player does everything to win. In the end, if they make up their minds that I am the best player it is a big honour."
As well as picking up the PFA gong, he was also picked in the Team of the Year - the only Arsenal player to be selected.

I didn't mention it in yesterday's post but I loved reading Robin's programme notes about the pictures which were taken of him in the Barcelona team hotel. I love his honesty and the fact that he states the bleeding obvious - he wouldn't take part in "secret" transfer negotiations sat in an Arsenal tracksuit, in the window of a central London hotel, where it was known another team were staying. He was there to have dinner with his friend Ibrahim Afellay.

Robin also said his plans for discussing his future with Arsenal won't take place until after the end of the season - nothing has changed there. To me it's becoming more and more obvious that if we secure third place, RVP will put pen to paper on a new deal.

The manager has stated we need two wins from our final three games to - in his mind - ensure we get third place.

He said:
"We are still in the driving seat, no matter what happens.  
"It will depend on the results we make now. We have difficult games - we go to Stoke, to West Brom, not easy places, and we play Norwich at home. At least two of the next three we need to win."
We'll have to do that without Theo Walcott who limped off injured with a hamstring injury on Saturday. The manager expects it to keep him out of the team for the remainder of the season.  Thomas Vermaelen has said he is "confident" we can grab third place and I think it is vital we do so, especially with the outside chance Chelsea could go on  and win it.

At this time of the season when others legs are becoming tired, it is good that we've got two midfielders returning from injuries who are able to take some of the burden away from their tiring team mates. I think Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin have important roles to play between now and the end of the season. Diaby made his comeback on Saturday and looked impressive for a player who'd previously spent less than an hour on the pitch all season in his spell playing just behind RVP.

There is of course caution to be attached to anything we hope to hang on Diaby. We've had false dawns already this season, so must hope he's come through the Chelsea game without any problems.

We'll have to hope that Tomas Rosicky can over come his illness which saw his substitution on Saturday. He wasn't supposed to play the game but with no other option, the manager forced him - with Rosicky's agreement  - to face Chelsea. We''ll have to hope that he'll be back to full health for Saturday's trip to Stoke where his creativity will be invaluable.

The players will returning to training tomorrow with extra focus being put on defending set pieces and long throws. Oh the joys of playing Stoke!

Until tomorrow.





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