Robin’s return too late to fire Gunners
Robin van Persie’s 25-minute cameo at White Hart Lane on Wednesday was enough to have Arsenal fans thinking what might have been.
The Dutch striker returned after five months on the sidelines with an ankle injury he picked up on international duty with Holland and looked like he had never been away.
He immediately lifted the Gunners after his second-half introduction and but for two fine saves from Heurelho Gomes he would have got on the scoresheet.
His display in the 2-1 defeat to Spurs, which included a sublime turn, a brilliant free-kick, and a well-executed swivelling volley, must have made fans realise what they have been missing.
How would Manchester United have managed without Wayne Rooney for half the season and how would Chelsea have done without Didier Drogba?
They are two key players for Arsenal’s title rivals and there can be no doubting van Persie is Arsenal’s attacking kingpin. Van Persie’s return will also be a boost for Holland, who are many people’s World Cup tips.
The sheer amount of goals that Rooney and Drogba have contributed to their respective teams highlights their importance and even a 15-goal haul from van Persie would surely have seen Arsenal to the top of the league.
Arsene Wenger’s men are now six points behind leaders Chelsea with just four games to play, while Manchester United are two points ahead and Arsenal’s hopes of title glory have all but evaporated.
Nicklas Bendtner has filled in admirably, but van Persie is world class and has been sorely missed at The Emirates and things would have been very different if the Dutchman had stayed fit.
For his part, Bentdtner will now be looking to help his national side spring a surprise, with Denmark’s World Cup betting standings making them outsiders for the tournament.