Sunday 30 October 2011

Respondez van Persie

RSVP stands for 'respondez sil vous plait' but RVP means 'Respond Vhen-under Pressure'. Sorry. That was the best I could come up with!

After RVP's sensational performance against Chelsea, he deserves much more than that, but most of this was written right after the Stoke game, which I will discuss now.

Not starting RVP seemed tantamount to lunacy against a Potters team higher up the table. Robin should not mean 'rest' when it comes to the Dutchman. However, there's sense in doing it given his appalling injury record and Jack Wilshere's recent-ish high-intensity blow out and the risk of RVP's fragile body suffering a similar level of wear and tear.

Yet, while Jack's got Aaron Ramsey et al as cover, RVP's only got Marouane Chamakh and Ju Young Park lined up as possible replacements.

As for Chamakh, he is simply not cutting it nowadays. Of course, we're all desperate for that to change but there are few green shoots of recovery showing in the Moroccan despite pundit Stewart Houston's protestations to the contrary.

Park, meanwhile, is just finding his feet. His performance and goal against Bolton in the Carling Cup gives us reason to have some faith, but RVP will be a tough act to follow.

Like Park, RVP is not an out and out centre forward, but he certainly knows where the net is. His wicked hattrick against Chelsea was testimony for that. And you know what they say: 'No rest for the wicked'. So he has to play every game. Unless we can find a viable alternative. A lack of alternatives means we have to be reliant on Robin, cue glee amongst headline writers.

I've never been one to declare RVP as world class, but his recent form undoubtedly puts him in that category. His speed of thought for his first goal against Stoke was staggering. How he managed to make a perfect run in a congested box I will never know. Great anticipation and hats off to Gervinho for finding him. Some cruel people says it should be hats on for Gervinho to keep his dome in check, but what a game! Two assists and one goal.

Rambo proved his back in the groove during that Stoke game with one assist, but the best was yet to come for Arsenal as the winning run continued. Only just against Bolton, of course, where Andrey Arshavin stole the show with a great goal and an assist. Lucasz Fabianski got man-of-the-match in one paper, but I'm not sure how as he did his best impression of a blind man grasping at an extra-slippery soap when one shot was fired down his throat.

Park's goal edged him ahead of Chamakh in the pecking order for the Chelsea game, so the boy called 'Marouane' who's worrying me. As Johnny Cash might have sung: 'I tell ya life ain't easy for a boy named 'Marouane'. What's in a name anyway? Marion Mitchell Morrison did alright for himself when he began using the stage name 'John Wayne'. Although 'John Wayne Chamakh' has quite a ring to it, he's unlikely to be another 'Big Leggy'. I'd be happy with a 'Big Heady'!

Meanwhile, let's hope 'Big Chocolate Leggy van Persie' doesn't go the way of a chocolate tea pot or our revival may go down the drain. For now, I'm going to enjoy the moment. I just can't believe we've won at Chelsea. Scoring 5 goals to boot! Well done Arsenal, Arsene Wenger (yes, I had my doubts about your substitutions) and take a bow Sir Robin van Persie!

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