RVP on his way back

Take that! Another win against West Ham and with every victory over the pie’n-mash eaters the dreadful memory of Wembley 1980 fades a little more. I know, I should move on. My shrink says the same. But, hey, what does our former bit-part player Danny O’Shea know, since he re-trained as a psychologist?
On to this morning’s papers anyway to get the lowdown on the 2-0 win over the Hammers at the Emirates thanks to a Denilson strike and a penalty scored by super Cesc Fabregas
AW has his say on TV5’s sending off in the game in the News of the World. “I felt it was very harsh,” said AW, who will lose Vermaelen for the trip to Birmingham. “We have seen this situation so many times in the game without it being punished at all.
“I believe we had an outstanding game,” AW added. We played with class and spirit and we kept our nerve when the situation became difficult, so overall we have shown a good attitude, good maturity, and in the important moments in any department we were decisive.
“Everybody adapted very well to the situation and technically I believe we were outstanding today. We have a good chance to do it this year. It will be exciting, tight and the response we gave today in the second half was very important in future games.”
The Mail’s correspondent saw the incident like this: Diamanti sent a high, hopeful ball forward for Franco to chase and Vermaelen appeared to claw him back. That was certainly the verdict of referee Martin Atkinson, who immediately pointed to the penalty spot and showed the Belgian the red card.
Almunia dived to his left to beat away Diamanti’s kick and preserve our lead but AW was still left fuming and waited by the touchline for Atkinson as the half ended to remonstrate with him. AW moved Alex Song into the back four for the second half — a move he is likely to repeat next Saturday with Vermaelen now suspended and William Gallas still injured — and we coped comfortably enough, thanks to West Ham’s inability to move the ball quickly enough to drag the 10 men around.
The Telegraph points out that fittingly, Sol Campbell, our one remaining link to the ‘Invincibles’, enjoyed one of his best matches in recent memory, putting in the type of tireless shift to belie his 35 years. The paper adds that we are likely to appeal against the ban, which could have an appreciable effect on their title chances if Vermaelen is out for three games, given the continuing absence of Gallas with a calf injury.
The Mirror claims Robin van Persie is set to give our title charge a huge fitness boost. The rag adds that RVP will return to training this week and AW says he could be back in a month.
AW said: “He is looking sharp. But he is still a month away. He should be back with us this week. Our fitness man has seen him in Holland and here.”
Van Persie went to Serbia for treatment straight after the injury but has since had rehabilitation work at Arsenal and in his native Holland.
Writing in the Bugle, Henry Norris says: “I’m not one to castigate shite referees…until now. So I have organised ShiteRef Expo 2010 at the o2 in honour of Martin Atkinson, all welcome.”
I’m coming Henry, old boy!

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