Robin van Persie

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Sceptical about Van Persie Transfer

It has just been announced that Manchester United have agreed a £22 million transfer deal with Arsenal for Robin Van Persie.  RVP will receive a staggering £200,000 per week for his services!

A lot of United fans are hailing this as a fantastic signing, but personally I’m not so sure…I can see another Berbertov on the horizon.

Van Persie is a great striker there is no denying that; winning the Premier League golden boot with an impressive 30 goals last season, however this is a player with some “baggage” attached.

Firstly he is extremely injury prone, since joining Arsenal in 2004 he has been injury an incredible 27 times, and has meant an average of only 26 starts per season.  Based on his history, and the fact that he is already 29, I can’t see him even making it to Christmas before he picks up his first injury at United.  See a complete list of Van Persie’s Arsenal injury list at the bottom of this article.

Secondly he has a bad attitude, he has shown with both the Dutch national team and with Arsenal that he likes to stir up dressing room discontent, play the blame game when the chips are down, and give unauthorized interviews airing the teams dirty laundry.  He will quickly find that at Manchester United this kind of attitude is not tolerated at which point he will either change, which seems unlikely, or follow Berbertov on the fast-track to no where.

Hopefully Van Persie will prove me wrong by staying injury free and continuing to bang in 30 odd goals a year; but I think it’s more likely that he will be continually injured until he slowly fades into the history books.

Robin Van Persie Injury Record List

Groin Strain 2012 February 29th
Ankle/Foot Injury 2011 August 7th
Knee Injury 2011 February 28th
Hamstring Injury 2011 February 22nd
Flu 2011 February 8th
Ankle/Foot Injury 2010 August 28th
Ankle/Foot Injury 2010 June 1st
Sprained Ankle 2009 November 14th
Knee Injury 2009 September 13th
Groin Strain 2009 April 18th
Groin Strain 2009 March 30th
Hamstring Injury 2008 October 6th
Ankle/Foot Injury 2008 August 31st
Thigh Muscle Strain 2008 May 2nd
Thigh Muscle Strain 2008 April 4th
Thigh Muscle Strain 2008 January 11th
Thigh Muscle Strain 2007 December 24th
Knee Injury 2007 October 18th
Metatarsal Fracture 2007 January 22nd
Ankle/Foot Injury 2006 November 19th
Hip/Thigh Injury 2006 September 14th
Ankle/Foot Injury 2006 February 10th
Ankle/Foot Injury 2005 December 22nd
Knee Injury 2005 October 17th
Ankle/Foot Injury 2005 February 5th
Sprained Ankle 2004 November 26th
Sprained Ankle 2004 August 27th

Arsenal’s Summer Transfers Suggest Possible Formation Change

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is usually cautious and slow during the summer transfer period.  He rarely makes big splashes in the market and prefers to recruit small name youngsters with big time potential.  This summer he seems to be singing a different tune and has already made two big buys in forwards Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.  This influx of strikers suggests to me that Wenger is prepared to divert from the current 4-3-3 formation in order to best use his new toys.

The 4-3-3 houses a lone striker with two supporting wingers on the flanks.  Clearly captain Robin van Persie is first choice for that role, but the club has suffered recently as he is depended upon too greatly for goals.  I think that the future of this Arsenal side may see the classic 4-4-2 makeup which gives Van Persie more support up top.

Both Podolski and Giroud could thrive as supporting strikers.  Additionally, Arsenal could ask Theo Walcott to join the foray up top.  Walcott has often times struggled on the wing since his delivery on crosses tends to be rather poor.  In a more advanced role, he could utilize his speed to make quick runs and get more looks at goal. Also he would have more opportunities to make smaller passes forward inside rather than big crosses from outside.

Arsenal has suffered from mistakes at the back and the 4-4-2 formation would also add more support for thwarting counter attacks.  With an extra body in midfield, more emphasis would be placed on defense and would strengthen the side.

Arsenal could better utilize their midfield players here too.  Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, and even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could well thrive in outside midfielder roles where they could be better placed to help the attack from ventures forward while knowing their compatriots are behind for support.

Jack Wilshire and Alex Song could well hold down the center and distribute from within while slowing down the opposition.  The 4-3-3 was a smart option when Cesc Fabregas was pulling the strings in midfield, but he is gone now and the formation needs to adjust.

I feel the general problem with Arsenal recently has been that the two wingers are often stranded and rarely make a difference in matches.  We have all seen the woes of Andrey Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner, and Marouane Chamakh as evidence.

With their impending departures and the arrival of both Podolski and Giroud, I sense that Wenger is looking for a striking duo up top.  These players would have more of a physical presence in front of the goal and would take some of the weight off of Robin van Persie.  Both players are coming off of prolific years in Germany and France, and will be looking for ways to get on the field and score goals.  If they are left out wide, I fear they will be under-utilized.  Perhaps Arsene Wenger is set to alter Arsenal’s look to a 4-4-2 for the upcoming season.