Woe is Arsene


Ryan Pikna

Despite his stoic demeanor, Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger must be shaking with fear of what is to come without his talisman striker Robin van Persie. If Arsenal is going to make a serious title run in this year’s Barclays Premier League then Arsène is going to have to hope and pray that the Serbian doctor planning to apply horse placental tissue to van Persie’s ankle is a miracle worker. In truth I admire Robin for going to, albeit insane, extremes to recover from injury. He believes in his Arsenal compatriots and wants to be part of the side pushing towards winning the title. Without van Persie in the side it seems farfetched that Arsenal will keep pace with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

Arsène Wenger believes that Eduardo, Bendtner, and Vela are suitable replacements then he is only lying to himself. Honestly, Nicklas Bendtner has a tough time hitting an open net let alone one with a reasonably sound goalkeeper between the posts. Over the past two seasons van Persie has truly become a great striker. He not only scores goals, but as of late unselfishly setting up teammates to score goals. I can only see the loss of Robin van Persie, for even a time as short as six weeks, being detrimental to Arsenal’s title hopes. This brings me to my next point, which is what to do when important players are injured on international duty?

While the option most tossed around is the idea of compensation it just doesn’t really seem to solve the problem. How does a fist full of dollars thrown at a club really replace one of their stars? The simple answer is it doesn’t fix anything. Granted, money does ease the blow of losing a player worth upwards of 20 goals a season, it doesn’t miraculously fix their injury. How does a manager cope with the loss of a player to injury while on international duty? For the big clubs they hope they have the depth to deal with the loss, but what about the clubs that only have one or two players away on international duty? These smaller clubs simply don’t have the depth. My solution is one that involves monetary compensation, but also one that involves the excitement of an open transfer market. Now I don’t claim the entire market should be open to a team that has lost a player to an injury while on international duty. I think only a small part of the market should be made available. The club team a player returns to after injury while playing for their country should be allowed to bring a player in from the football association with which the club is registered, the football association the player plays for internationally, and the football association that said player was playing against while injured. Personally, I think this would make life a lot easier for the smaller clubs that are fighting relegation as well as the clubs that are mounting serious title challenges. With the compensation received these clubs could then go out and attempt to replace their lost player.


  1. I’m so sick of hearing about clubs getting mad at federations after their star players get injured in a match. It’s not like these guys are out playing pick up games in the street, they are representing their countries at the highest level, and injuries are part of the game. Deal with it!

  2. Interesting theory but I still don’t think it would solve Arsenal’s loss. Let’s face it, Van Persie is irreplacable, so is Ronaldo. The fact that they got hurt while playing for their country sucks for their clubs but is something that uniquely happens in soccer. The opposite is interesting too, when players get hurt playing for their clubs and miss important matches for their countries.

    What I do like about your system is that it gives incentive to clubs/countries to play their best players and not have to worry about resting guys.

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