“He is an exceptional player and when you feed him in the box, he’s deadly.”
You see, we kind of knew all that. We realised that, against Blackburn, particularly a Blackburn reduced to ten men after half an hour, Van Persie had the tools to destroy them and deliver massive returns. The problem Mr Wenger, is that on Friday afternoon you uttered this…
“I will rotate a little bit because many players have given a lot…[With Van Persie] the temptation is there.”
That was news to us Fantasy managers. That put the frighteners on and, despite our attempt this morning to deconstruct that statement and put up arguments against the idea of resting Van Persie, some took action. Indeed, two of the top four ranked Fantasy Premier League managers opted to give the armband to Sergio Aguero – perhaps oblivious to Wenger’s threats, but more likely as a result of them.
The very idea of us, a site dedicated to passing information to Fantasy Football managers, ignoring the quotes from Wenger was never a viable option. We turned a blind eye to Friday’s Sun report, but when Wenger speaks, we had to report it. So, to counter that, in this morning’s Preamble, we stressed the need to keep faith with Van Persie and hope that Wenger resisted the gamble. Hopefully, that helped some in their decision to sit tight.
Is there a lesson to be learned? Certainly the fact that Van Persie remained on the pitch to provide an assist to Thierry Henry with the score at 6-1, indicates that the idea of resting Van Persie didn’t cross Wenger’s mind once the goals started flowing. Had Van Persie been tiring, had he been desperate for a break – why was he left on the pitch when the match was dead and buried?
Only Wenger has the answers, and it seems we’ll never quite work out his thinking when it comes to Van Persie. With the Champions League programme looming, we can surely expect more uncertainly, perhaps some smokescreens.
However, today surely confirmed that we can ill afford to take risks with Van Persie and the armband. There is no better Fantasy damage dealer and if there’s a chance that he will be on the pitch, particularly against abject opposition, we have to back him. That policy may cost us – there may well be occasions when Van Persie will be left fidgeting on the bench whilst sporting our armbands. The question is, will those who suffer that fate feel any worse that those who missed out on today’s incredible haul? Right now, in this Knee Jerk, it seems unlikely.