Tag Archives: Robin van Persie

Manchester City and Arsenal test one another’s resolve

By Ryan Fleming

It’s an understatement to say that this weekend’s prime meeting between Arsenal and Manchester City means a lot. This is the type of game that can define a season, turn things around, or solidify a team’s standing. Both teams, starting the season on two different paths, now cross at a time when both teams are surging, much like how they both kicked off the season, on different roads.

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Arsenal: van Persie Signature required, Vermaelen returns

Robin van Persie has been the glowing light this season for Arsenal fans, and they hope he will continue to score goals at Emirates for years to come. (Courtesy wikistadiums.com)

 By Ryan Fleming

Few are more important to their team than Robin van Persie is for Arsenal. The Dutch striker is leading the surge for an Arsenal team that started the year off 2-1-4, capped by an 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United and a 2-1 loss at cross-town rival, Tottenham.

Since then, the Gunners are undefeated, trouncing opponents and playing with a certain sense of flair, grit and outlying passion the team lacked for the first handful of games this season. The turn-around has the team at 7-1-4, good for seventh in the league table, and tied on points (19) with Liverpool. And Van Persie is getting much of the acclaim for the difference in play that has supporters and plaudits praising manager Arsene Wenger as a common hero rather than a goat.

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Arshavin and Arsenal stun Barcelona at the Emirates in round one

Arsenal shocked Barcelona at the Emirates stadium (Arsneal's home) with a late winner from Andrei Arshavin. The win was the first for Arsenal over Barcelona. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

By Jonathan Gold

This, ladies and gentlemen, was a triumph. This was a season-definer, one of Arsenal’s biggest wins in years. A comeback victory over probably the greatest professional soccer team ever assembled. It was truly astonishing.

And yet, it was also a demonstration that Arsenal really is its own worst enemy.

It looked to be going precisely how I and everyone else in the sane world predicted when David Villa took advantage of a mistake by Clichy to beat the offside trap and finish with his usual precision before the half-hour mark. I’d been mildly encouraged by the early pressure from Arsenal, but I’ve seen them flounder time and again after getting my hopes up in big games. All too often, the Gunners come out blazing and fade down the stretch.

This close to the game, I’m not able to describe the tactics used to you with any sort of precision, because my brain is not functioning correctly. But soccer’s collective punditry has apparently decided that Wenger’s genius had a lot to do with the team’s unbelievable fightback against what still must be described as superior opposition.

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Bent move makes sense now and Arsenal setting up title challenge

Darren Bent's exspensive move to Aston Villa was highly criticized, but it proved to be the right move last weekend. Bent's goal sealed an important win for Villa over Manchester City. (Courtesy Bad English Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

It makes you think that maybe, just maybe these managers know what they are doing. A week after acquiring £24 million man Darren Bent from Sunderland, Aston Villa not only played with Manchester City, but beat them thanks to Bent’s first-half strike, not to mention impeccable keeping from American international Brad Friedel.

Personally, I have a soft spot for Sunderland, so after seeing him go, and the way it all happened, I was rather disgusted to see that outcome, but it got me thinking.

Perhaps Gerard Houllier does know what he is doing and maybe Steve Bruce, despite losing his No. 1 scoring threat can still get things done. Aston Villa had to dig deep, but they picked up Bent to assure that the club would remain above the relegation zone. My initial thoughts were skeptical. How could one player ensure that a club doesn’t go off the deep end and begin next season in the Championship? At least for now, the ex-Liverpool manager is looking pretty smart.

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No more excuses Robin van Persie

Arsenal fans have seen Robin van Persie find himself recieving treatment too often during his careers. The Dutch international striker has yet to register a goal this season. (Courtesy Platform3/Ed W)

By Joe Meloni

He wasn’t entirely invisible on Monday night. He dressed for the game, and I’m pretty sure he touched the ball once or twice. He must have – he played 76 minutes.

If you missed Robin van Persie in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Chelsea, don’t worry about it. You weren’t the only one.

In the day-old afterglow of Arsenal’s improbable three points, Arsenal fans refuse to discuss anything even remotely negative. They’re not wrong to savor the Kool-aid as long as they can. Big wins haven’t come easy for Arsenal in recent years – especially those against Chelsea and Manchester United. No one really cares which player scored the clinching goal or made the decisive defensive play. Arsenal has three more points than it did when the game started. Moving on.

Still, one of Arsenal’s talismans, van Persie, faded into the background, while the new guys, Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott, led the Arsenal offense.

For years, Arsenal fans and their beloved boss, Arsene Wenger, spoke of van Persie’s health like a mythical creature. No one’s ever seen it for any extended period of time, and we go years without sightings. When we see it, though, it’s pretty amazing.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading– Sept. 21, 2010

The Guardian — Tom Hicks fails in latest attempt to secure Liverpool private equity — by Owen Gibson

Liverpool fans have been begging and pleading for the club’s American owners to finally move on and sell the club that they bought in 2007 with so much promise. Tom Hicks and his partner George Gillett have struggled to pay off the enormous loans they took on when buying the club in 2007. Now, the debt has become too much for the American owners to keep delaying the big payoff and wait for a new buyer. The Royal Bank of Scotland has already started the process to take over the club and sell it if Hicks and Gillett can’t. Hicks was hoping to seal a new loan deal to buyout Gillett and try and find a suitable buyer. Doesn’t look like its happening.

The Independent — Messi was ‘hunted’ by Atletico says Pique

It looked like a break when the replay was shown, but Barcelona got some good news when the team found out that Lionel Messis injury wasn’t as bad as first thought. Messi was carted off the field after an ugly challenge from Tomas Ujfalusi left the player wilted on the field. Ujfalusi received a two match ban after the review board of La Liga looked over the tackle by the Atletico Madrid player.

Sky Sports — Cesc out for three weeks

Arsenal blew a goal lead to Sunderland on Saturday. And the team lost a lot more than three points, the team lost its captain Cesc Fabregas for three weeks. Fabregas injured his hamstring while scoring Arsenal’s goal on Saturday. Arsenal’s captain  joins Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner on the shelf. Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s captain, could be seeing his English Premier League title hopes fading as his team suffers one injury after another.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 8, 2010

Theo Walcott becomes the latest Gunner toadd himself to the injury list. Arsene Wenger is surely tired of international breaks during the Premier League season. Courtesy khanh_coltech

The Telegraph — Parents of prostitute linked to Wayne Rooney apologise to Coleen

It’s not the apology that Wayne Rooney’s wife, Colleen is waiting for, but it’s a start. In the last week the rumors of Rooney’s affairs have pooped up all over the Internet and in ink across England, but the England striker has yet to acknowledge them and his wife has been left reeling. The high-school sweethearts have been the darlings of the English press because they were different than the rest of the soccer players and the WAGS, guess somethings never change. How does it compare to some of his England teammates affairs?

New York Times — FIFA Begins Tour of Sites in U.S. Bid — by Jeff Z. Klein

Americans bought more tickets to the World Cup this year than any other country, and the single largest television contract for this year’s World Cup in South Africa was in the United States. Impressive stats from a country not known for its love of the beautiful game. With those stats the U.S. hopes to win a bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup in the states. The U.S. has the infrastructure to hold the games, but does the country show the desire that say England, the Netherlands or Australia and Japan have? The officials in charge are trying their best to show FIFA the U.S. has soccer fever and deserves one of the two bids.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — August 31, 2010

Manchester City broke the transfer record fee in England when they signed Brazilian forward Robinho from Real Madrid just two seasons ago. But the little playmaker has been a flop in the Premier League and had to be loaned out last summer to his boyhood club Santos for the season. Could he be on his way out of Manchester for good today?

The Washington Post – Bob Bradley to remain with U.S. National Team – Steven Goff

After leading the United States Men’s National Soccer Team to the Round of 16 in this summer’s World Cup, Bob Bradley has signed a four-year extension that will likely make him the leader of the USMNT for another World Cup. Bradley, who took over following Bruce Arena’s dreadful performance as manager in the 2006 World Cup, had been connected with the job atop England Premier League club Aston Villa, but he agreed to terms with U.S. Soccer on Saturday night. German national Jurgen Klinnsman, who has lived in California for years, was rumored as Bradley’s replacement.

The Guardian – van Persie likely out of a month – David Hynter

Arsenal fans worried that Saturday’s match at Blackburn was going to be more of the same – a loss or a draw instead of what should have been an easy three points. While the Gunners defeated Blackburn, 2-1, Arsenal fans did see a familiar sight, as van Persie left with an ankle injury. It is likely the Dutch international will miss at least one month due to the injury, which rules him out of European Championship qualifiers for the Netherlands and Champions League matches with Arsenal.

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Grow up Robin, Your Country (and I) Need You

Courtesy Florian K

By Joe Meloni

(Before I get into the body of this piece, I must fully disclose that I am an Arsenal fan. I have a vested interest in Robin van Persie being happy and healthy and productive – even though I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a state worthy of those three adjectives simultaneously.)

The scoreboard said 2-0. His country was celebrating, while he and his teammates finished off an easy win over Slovakia and sealed their place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. No, there really wasn’t anything for Robin van Persie to be angry about on that chilly South African evening. So as Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk beckoned to Robin van Persie to exit the game, he probably expected the Arsenal striker to trot off the field with grace as he saluted his Oranje-clad countrymen clamoring in the crowd. Not so surprisingly, van Persie opted, instead, to throw a fit – disrespecting his manager and disgracing himself in the process.

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Who Will Win The World Cup?

Courtesy alexloth.com Picasa

By Kevin Koczwara and Ryan Fleming

Ryan and I talked about a lot of stories we could write about who could and who would win the World Cup over the last few months. I have rattled my brain over and over again trying to make arguments for players and teams I like, but only one team stood out from the rest for me — it was almost the new look Brazil team lead by Dunga. Ryan thought about who could win the World Cup, especially on style points — so not the new look Brazil. He kept coming back to a certain color, a certain team that has had bundles of talent, but only one major trophy. Our picks are similar in this way. We each picked a team that has never won a World Cup, but has certainly had the talent to do so. We both picked teams that are about attacking their opponents, not sitting back and waiting. We picked teams that as Americans turn us on to the beautiful game.

Let’s take a look…

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