One man dominates my thinking right now. He’s someone I trust implicitly. Someone who brought a smile to my face time after time when others failed me. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not infallible, he’s disappointed me, but rarely without redeeming himself spectacularly soon after. Now I’m about to put my emotions in his hands him again – it feels exciting and dangerous.
This is not fifty shades of grey. It’s all very black and white. Today you’re either backing Robin Van Persie or hoping he fails miserably and that “Torres” can be the safe word to save you from a beating.
United’s striker will shape the next 24-hours. For all the faith put in Swansea’s Michu, all the hype that Eden Hazard has built around himself with his sparkle so far. Everyone else will be forgotten, reduced to sums of Fantasy cash that perhaps could be transferred out in order to raise the funds to acquire Van Perise. If the Dutchman impresses – even hints that he’ll become the player who took our seasons by the scruff of the neck last term, then panic will likely ensue.
United face Fulham at Old Trafford today with Sir Alex Ferguson strongly hinting that his primary weapon will be loaded and tilted the way of Martin Jol’s defence. For Fantasy managers currently holding down the pause button on the idea of acquiring Van Persie, they’ll be hoping for a blank, for perhaps an hour of nice touches, smiles and the odd wayward shot with hands running through immaculately gelled hair in frustration.
Should the Roy of the Rovers script come into play with Van Persie finding the net once or twice, United’s looming fixtures against Southampton and Wigan will light up and surely force the hand of many. Or more likely, the wildcard.
Those clinging to the hope that they’ll get time, that Van Persie will be preserved and perhaps eased in at St Mary’s next weekend, to be rested over the international break, look set to be disappointed already. Today’s press are in no doubt that Van Persie starts.
Even the Independent, well known for striking out and opting for their own path, have Van Persie up with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck relegated to the bench. That view is shared by all today’s papers – and by our predicted lineups. Van Persie will surely start, a year on from the 8-2 defeat he suffered with Arsenal on the same pitch.
Elsewhere amongst the press boys, there’s a split on Emmanuel Adebayor’s chances of being installed in Andre Villas-Boas’ lineup against West Brom – the Independent keep faith with Jermain Defoe, the Guardian back them up. Meanwhile, The Times choose to omit Rickie Lambert from their Southampton lineup, predicting an unchanged side from Nigel Adkins despite Lambert’s impact at City.
That’s perhaps the nearest we get to a shock, on a day that finds the media nicely aligned when it comes to the likely teamsheets.
It’s almost as if they called a truce. Sat down and agreed with Premier League bosses that, on day that that will see us nervously monitoring the progress of Van Persie, we could do without the noise and fuzz from the rest of the lineups.
So now we sit and wait. Watch for every update from Old Trafford and, depending what camp we’re in, wish for Van Persie to be involved or stand idle as a spectator.
It’s got a ring of déjà vu to it. Twelve months ago I knew exactly what camp I was in – I’m just about to press the button to join up again. I’m feeling vulnerable and slightly giddy. Nobody will hear me if I end up screaming “Torres”.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“I am happy with the way I’ve started, but on the other hand, I should have scored four or five more, so that’s something for me to work on.”Robin Van Persie talks about his early form at United ahead of his first Manchester derby