I was bemused when I read the news that Robin van Persie has been called up to the Dutch national squad. I’m not even sure he is in full training yet and can’t see the reason for this inclusion.
It seems Holland manager Bert van Marwijk has done a Jekyll and Hyde act here. I really liked the fact that De Jong has not been called up, in some ways it’s an extension of the ban voluntarily imposed on him by his national manager. It could be that De Jong has had a disagreement with Van Marwijk but I back the manager in this instance and appreciate his decision.
On the flip side the Dutch coach’s decision to include RvP in his squad seems inexplicable. Is he fighting a personal battle here because of the way Arsene blamed the Dutch for Van Persie’s injury last year? Why else would he want to call up someone who has been out of action for such a long time and that too for a completely inconsequential game?
I’d really like to know if he has been in touch with RvP about his fitness and recuperation. It will be disappointing if it turns out that the Dutchman told his manager that he was fit or will get fit by that time.
Given the number of injuries Van Persie has had in the last few seasons I actually think he should take a break from the international game. He should follow the lead of Essien and make himself unavailable for selection for a short while. The Ghanaian has had similar misfortune with injuries over the last two seasons and has done the right thing by taking a temporary break from internationals.
As far as I know after this ill-advised and awfully scheduled friendly in the middle of November, the next international fixture is anyway in March. Van Persie should see if he can remain fit for Arsenal till that period before going away for an international. I’d actually prefer if he excused himself till the end of the season.
I understand such a decision could lead to some friction with Van Marwijk but only if the national manager is extremely petty-minded. Surely he can see his player has been suffering from crazy injuries and needs to play consistently for his club before he can be considered ready for internationals.
Ultimately I guess this is something that boils down to the player himself. Depending on his stage of recovery Van Persie will have to decided whether he wants to risk himself in a meaningless international or not. But I guess it won’t hurt if someone at the club reminded him of Essien’s decision.