RVP: Fatigue factor affecting Gunners

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Robin Van Persie admits fatigue could start to take its toll on Arsenal's players as the season progresses.

The Dutch international was rested for last night's League Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City, but a handful of teammates were not so fortunate as Arsene Wenger's side lost 1-0 at the Emirates.

It was the Gunners' fourth match in ten days, and whilst the north London side no longer have to worry about one particular competition, they are still fighting for a top four place in the Barclays Premier League as well as progressing further in the knockout stages of the Champions League. The FA Cup is also just around the corner.

"Saturday’s game was our third in seven days, and that’s a lot of football," the striker told the official Arsenal programme.

"We had a tough game at Norwich in which we had to fight until the very last minute, while four days later we had an intense game against a very fit Borussia Dortmund side that kept us occupied right until the end.

"Recovery time between Wednesday and Saturday was our shortest for a while; it’s not an excuse, but if you play Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday you do perhaps feel five or ten per cent different than you would if you had an extra 24 hours.

"We still had our chances to win against Fulham, but I think everyone sensed that there was a little bit of fatigue somewhere."

RVP was quick to pay tribute to the late Gary Speed, whose death over the weekend has left the football world in mourning.

Whilst the forward did not know Speed personally, he was well aware of his reputation within the English game, and also heard glowing reports from the Welsh camp after making teammate Aaron Ramsey captain at the age of 20.

"I was shocked to hear about Gary Speed’s death on Sunday. In my first couple of years here I played against him during his spell at Bolton; I remember him as a really fit, good player who could read the game very well and had done so much in the Premier League over a number of years," added Van Persie.

"I didn’t know him personally, but he really came to my attention again when he made Aaron captain of Wales – that’s when I started to find out a bit more about him.

"It shows you what kind of guy he was, and that he had some great ideas for the future of Welsh football."

Robin Van Persie
Premier League

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