It’s pretty much a no brainer, having your best players available improves your chances of winning.
Arsenal fans will bemoan Robin Van Persie’s injury problems last season, we were hit horribly by defensive injuries last term, Liverpool missed Fernando Torres horribly last season and Chelsea fans are probably salivating at the thought of Frank Lampard and John Terry back fully fit in their team as in their absence, a team that were ready to be crowned champions just 2 months into the season are now standing on shaky legs.
Wayne Rooney’s return has been a positive for us and I genuinely feel that having him back has seen us play better as a team. I remember saying Rooney raises the game of his team mates and being dismissed by a fan who was still blind with fury during the whole contract saga but I feel in the 3 performances since he has been back we have looked a lot better than we have all season.
With Chelsea faltering he couldn’t have come back at a better time and there is and things are looking even better with another bit of news.
This season with everything that has gone on, the injury to Antonio Valencia has been overshadowed. One of our best players last season, Valencia’s injury in September was a massive blow. His role on the wing despite being so prominent is still massively under rated and I am still told be people he is just a standard winger and nothing special. Yet with Wayne Rooney singling him out for praise when asked about his good fortune in front of goal the importance of his role is given a bit more credibility to even the biggest doubter.
It was initially thought he would miss most of the season but his professionalism and desire to return from injury (instead of returning to Ecuador to rest and recuperate he chose to stay in Manchester and work on getting back sooner) meant that a date of February was touted now amazingly it is being said that he could be back as soon as January! having suffered a broken ankle and severely damaged ligaments this is astonishing but his speedy recovery is being put down to state of the art technology from NASA and a programme centred on the use of an underwater treadmill that replicates exercising in space for astronauts.
Of course with the injury he suffered we shouldn’t rush him back but having him back this season makes us that much more threatening and the fact that we may have him for 5 months season rather than the 3 or less that was initially reported will be a massive boost as we attempt to take wrestle the title away from Chelsea.
Ask Ashely Cole whether Valencia is important and I’m pretty sure you’ll get your answer. We’ve seen Park raise his game on a few occasions which helps fill the void, but honestly I have no doubt which player I’d chose if both were available.
Hopefully Nani is fine going back to the left and having wingers both on of that calibre will make is very dangerous. But yeah, I’d totally agree that we don’t rush and pull a Rooney – March, 2010 on him.