By Richard Popple
Robin Van Persie has his chance tonight to further highlight Holland’s chances in Euro 2008. It will be fantastic to see Van Persie start tonight, given his injury problems over the past couple of years. I’m just praying that he won’t get injured again.
Marco Van Basten was delighted that he could call on Arjen Robben and Van Persie from the bench to take the game away from France on Friday and now, both men will have the opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the quarter final line up.
Van Persie is without doubt a wonderful player, who as an Arsenal fan; I am frustrated that I have never seen the best of. Obviously this has plenty to do with his horrific injury history which is most depressing. He along with Cesc Fabregas are Arsenal’s only representatives in the quarter finals at present (France may not yet qualify), which means I am routing for the Dutch or the Spanish.
It would undoubtedly help Arsenal and Wenger if one of his best players tasted glory this summer and would hopefully instil some ‘winning’ confidence into the Gunners dressing room. The lack of players at Arsenal who have actually won honours dwindles every year so a Spanish or Dutch victory might just help Arsenal’s younger players.
Having watched both Spain and Holland in this tournament, there is a very distinct possibility that either RVP or Cesc could get their hands on the trophy. Holland have taken two ageing superpowers apart, whilst Spain have shown a deadly side in the shape of their front pair. They also have a terrific midfield which if on form, will counter any doubts over their defence.
Van Persie, who will continue contract talks with Arsenal after the championships is clearly desperate to do well for Holland and prove to himself that he can stay fit and strong. Talk of him going to Inter Milan is way off the mark. I doubt if Wenger will ever do business with Mourinho again after some of the Portuguese manager’s comments. Van Persie, like Fabregas is one of the most important players in Arsene Wenger’s squad, who has made it clear that Van Persie will be rewarded once he returns from Switzerland. Wenger however, wants consistency from Van Persie, who like Rosicky will hope for a clean bill of health this coming season.
But as for tonight, Van Persie can concentrate on his own game, safe in the knowledge that Holland have already qualified as group winners. They will be favourites tonight, but as shown against Italy and France, Romania are no push over’s. I’m going for a Dutch victory though, 2-1 with Van Persie on target again!