RVP Claims FWA Gong Too
Just two days after being named the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year, Arsenal FC captain Robin van Persie has snapped up the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year award too.
The FWA awards’ winners are selected through a voting procedure, in which nearly 400 journalists’ opinions are taken. A vast majority of them picked van Persie this year due to the Dutchman’s haul of 34 Premier League goals in the 2011/12 season.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was a distant second in the FWA race, while his teammate Paul Scholes came third, followed by Fulham’s American forward Clint Dempsey.
The FWA chairman Steve Bates said: “Robin was the overwhelming choice of our members this season and deservedly so after a magnificent campaign for Arsenal. The quality of his goals, attacking movement and consistency in a turbulent season for the Gunners has been eye-catching.
“The considerable size of his majority in the votes cast by our members reflected the general view that he has been the season’s most outstanding individual performer.”
Wilshere Still in Pearce’s Olympics Plans
Arsenal’s injured midfielder Jack Wilshere is still in Team Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce’s plans for this summer’s London Olympics.
Recent media reports suggested that Wilshere has decided to withdraw his name from the Olympics squad as per his club manager Arsene Wenger’s wishes, but Pearce has yet to erase the 20-year-old’s name from his 80-man pool yet.
Earlier today, Pearce confirmed that he hasn’t ruled Wilshere out yet and said: “He is on the shortlist. We will look at everyone individually and check their fitness and the medical people will speak with the clubs.
“We do have to be acutely aware that with an 18-man squad, and possibly six matches in 16 days, all the players are fully fit. You can’t be losing two or three to injury, otherwise you will be on the back foot.”
Szczesny In For the Long Haul
Arsenal FC goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has once again verbally pledged his future to the Gunners by saying that he wants to stay with them for a “long, long time.”
The young Pole wants to repay the faith of coach Arsene Wenger, who gave him the chance to establish himself as Arsenal’s number one goalie this season.
According to Goal.com’s website, Szczesny said: “It’s always satisfying to hear people praising you. But I’m at the beginning of my career with a long way to go. I’m looking forward to playing for this club for a long, long time.
“At this age, it’s very important for a player to play regularly and I’m very happy that I was given the chance. I’m just trying to do my best for the club.”
Vermaelen Confident Of Finishing Third
Arsenal centre-half Thomas Vermaelen has confessed that the Gunners have made it difficult for themselves to finish third on the Premiership table but is confident that they will still clinch the spot ahead of their rivals.
The North Londoners were the firm favourites to finish behind the two Manchester clubs up until a few weeks ago. But recent defeats to minnows such as Queens Park Rangers and Wigan Athletic and last weekend’s stalemate against Chelsea have seen their advantage over the chasing pack cut down significantly. They are now just three points ahead of the fourth-placed Newcastle United, who have a game in hand.
Vermaelen told Daily Mail: “We didn’t win the last two games, and they were really good chances to put ourselves into third place comfortably. At the moment we still have to fight for third place. It will be a big effort for everybody to get that third place.
“It is not going to be easy, but that is because you play in England and it is not an easy league. Everybody can beat everybody. There are a lot of teams involved, ourselves, Tottenham, Chelsea and Newcastle. It is going to be tight, but it is going to be interesting. It is going to be hard to keep third place, but I am confident that we will.”