As I have stated in my previous posts, Robin van Persie really is our Arsenal Player of the Season 2008/2009. Congratulations Robin!
For people who insist he is too injury-prone in the top flight, this has got to be Robin’s best answer. It really isn’t fair to insist Robin is too weak to survive in the Premier League simply because he was out injured for most of ONE season. He came back strongly last season, with a good preparation in he pre-season, and was largely injury-free.
Goals against Chelsea and Liverpool does not happen to an average Premier League player. 20 goals in 44 appearances is not an average figure. To me, there is no one currently in the Premier League with a more talented left-foot (and that includes, with all due respect, Ryan Giggs). And to top it off, he has scored quite a few sweetly-taken goals with his so-called “chocolate foot”.
Him signing a new contract is the best news all summer so far. Although I hope we can see an experienced midfielder come in. I believe he has a genuine affection for the club and he shares the same vision as Cesc and Wenger. Now, the only thing left is to fulfil their ambitions and ours.
Onto other news, Gilberto Silver from Gunnerblog had a good piece on Blaise Matuidi. I just think at 22 years of age, 1.75m tall and playing for St Etienne, a team that avoided relegation from Ligue 1 on the last day of the season, Matuidi does not fit into the kind of top-class, experienced beast that Cesc needs as his partner. I admit I do not know much about Matuidi but from the looks of it, it seems that we already have someone similar, Francis Coquelin. He is younger but one can argue Matuidi hardly can claim superiorty over him in terms of top class experience. I remain unconvinced but at the same time, there really isn’t anyone who fits the bill and is available readily. Let’s hope Wenger work his magic again.
Meanwhile, Manuel Almunia again states he will be honoured to represent England. If you ask me, I think he is easily better than any other English keeper at present. I know there is this huge controversy about how it is inappropriate for a foreigner to represent England. But from where I come from, my national team is composed of quite a few foreign-born talent. Do I despise them? No, I get behind them as Singaporeans. Ditto the then world champions France, with foreign-born talents such as Vieira. I know I have no right to comment on this but I feel as a neutral party, there is nothing wrong in Almunia’s desire to represent England especially since he has little chance of playing for his native Spain. Besides, he hasn’t been called up so it’s a non-issue.
I guess I will leave my posts on players for each position in the first 16 for tomorrow onwards.