Arsenal, having sold Adebayor, started the season with only 3 real first-team strikers. Van Persie and Eduardo we all knew to be injury-prone. Question marks remained over Bendtner's ability. A characteristically stubborn Wenger insisted on naming Vela and Walcott as options, when both have only really played upfront in League cup games. And he even mentioned Arshavin, who is clearly a link player. I always thought that the lopsided nature of the squad would lead to trouble at some point. We have so many attacking midfielders/ wingers/ half-forwards, whatever you want to call it, and very little cover in other areas. As mentioned, two of the three players we would realistically be wanting to spearhead the current 4-3-3 are terribly prone to injury- in fact maybe all three now, as Bendtner is facing a longish spell out aswell. There's not enough cover there. And that's not to mention goalkeeper, centre-half, defensive midfield. All potential problem positions if we pick up injuries or suspensions.
Wenger may complain that RVP's been crocked while playing a meaningless friendly. But worrying about Van Persie getting injured is like wondering if the sun is gonna come up. The manager should have ensured that the squad was ready for this. It's not.
Of the players who can now play in the centre-forward position, Eduardo is the most obvious option. While he's been in and out since his return from the leg break, we can hope that those were just the inevitable niggles one suffers upon returning from such rehabilitation, and that he can now put together a run in the side. We all know he's an adept finisher, but it remains to be seen if he can master the role the way Van Persie seemed to be doing lately. I've always thought Eduardo's team play was underrated- he's far from an invisible poacher like Inzaghi, say- but at the same time Van Persie always had the ability to play in team mates and it's not such a natural part of Eduardo's game.
And what if he gets injured? There's no sign of possible emergency options, Walcott and Vela, of late. Maybe Diaby would finally find his true home upfront????
Or we could just try to finish the job that Wenger seems to be moving towards, a free-scoring team with no real focal point in attack, just five total footballers going wherever they choose?
The truth is, coming at a time when he was reaching the best form of his career, Van Persie's injury is a sickening blow.