Robin Van Persie believes Arsenal will be better prepared to cope with the rigours of a long, arduous Premier League campaign....because their players haven’t had to contest a major international summer tournament.
Due to Holland and Spain reaching the World Cup final last year, Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas missed the majority of Arsenal’s pre-season. This resulted in both the captain and vice-captain struggling to find full fitness for the start of the campaign.
Arsenal infamously collapsed towards the end of last season after their shock defeat to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final at Wembley, with a run that saw them win only two league games from 11 as the North London club eventually slipped to a disappointing fourth.
A close look at the facts gives a clear indication as to why things started to go so wrong for Arsene Wenger's side, with Van Persie and Fabregas starting just 19 and 22 Barclays Premier League games respectively.
The benefits of an elongated summer break were clear to see with the form of Samir Nasri last term. The Frenchman enjoyed a lengthy rast after he was left out of Raymond Domenech’s France squad for the World Cup, and the striker is hoping that everyone can follow suit after a full pre-season with the club.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said: “Almost everyone has had a good break of at least a month. It's very important. We didn't have a World Cup or European Championships so we will have good preparation.
“We will have more than a month, I think five or six weeks, before the start of the season so we can prepare well. We can do our running sessions and our exercises, which is good.
“You could see that last year with Samir Nasri, who had a really good break before the season and was on fire. He was physically fresh, mentally fresh, could make his runs and was looking very strong.
"Hopefully a good pre-season can give us a good start because we need a good start.”