It’s a Grand Slam Sunday this weekend and everyone is getting quite carried away with it. Articles are being splashed all across the media circus and everyone has some thing or the other to remark on the way the two matches will turn out. And so has the Arsenal striker Robin van Persie.
The 24—year old Dutch international, hailed in the summer as the next Henry by his club manager Arsene Wenger, is one player who says that although the Double Bill thriller on Sunday would be important in the long run as far as this season’s Premiership title race is concerned, their Sunday’s opponents Chelsea wouldn’t be the one they would have to fear as the season progresses.
Van Persie says that Arsenal’s biggest threat to this season’s Premiership title is the reigning English champions Manchester United who play Liverpool at Anfield. The Dutchman believes that Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are strong overall and in very department and with the star players and consistency that they sustain, Manchester United would be the one to compete with them till the end of the season.
This is what Robin van Persie states about the situation:
I just think our biggest rivals at the end of the season are United, because of the quality. That is why I think it will be a battle between Arsenal and them. [Manchester] United have lots of quality players up there who can win games for the team. Even when they are playing poorly, they have Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and lots of good strikers who can win games.
Van Persie came back to football action only this midweek when he starred in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Steaua Bucharest in the UEFA Champions League after being forced out to the sidelines and is expected to start and be one of the main players for Arsenal as they look to extend their lead over Chelsea on Sunday. Should the Gunners beat Chelsea (and Liverpool beat United), then they will go 4 points clear at the top and will be gain slightly more breathing space. For van Persie, winning the match against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium is certainly the first priority but the Dutch player makes it clear that at the end of the season, he fears Man United and not their London rivals.
Van Persie is eligible to think what he likes but anyone with sense would tell you that Chelsea will compete for the Premiership title as the last weeks of the season rush towards us (now that of course months away). Maybe van Persie’s statement that Chelsea are not strong enough to sustain their run in the championship is just one method to gain a psychological edge and nothing more.
Editor’s Note: How come no one talks about Liverpool as legitimate title contenders? I mean, I know Carrick’s said a few words but he’s probably taking the piss and laughing it off right now…