Van Persie Superb, Cesc Unused As Best Teams Reach The Final

As a neutral football fan I’m quite happy that Netherlands and Spain have made it to the finals. Considering the way the tournament has shaped up I believe these are indeed the two best teams in the tournament.

I wouldn’t say either has been scintillating but both have been well balanced and effective. They’ve the players who’ve come up with the goods when the situation asked for a moment of individual class.

It’s not a surprise that one finalist is by and large the same as the amazing Barcelona team while the other has the best player from both the Champions League finalists and the best striker in the Premier League.

Speaking of Van Persie, it was good to see him finally hit some form in the Semi-Final. The first half of that game was a slow, cautious affair but the Dutch team raised their game in the second half. Van Persie was involved with most of their threatening moments as his movement, touch, vision, and intelligent passing led to some good chances. I was also impressed by his work rate and concentration even in the dying moments as he came up with an important defensive block.

From a statistical point of view RvP just got an assist in that somewhat controversial second goal by Sneijder but I’m sure his team mates, manager, and fans must’ve seen how good he was in the second half. If Robben or Van der Vaart had finished better or if Kuyt had better delivery Van Persie would have had a much bigger contribution even in a statistical sense. Hopefully, he will get some of Sneijder’s luck in the Final.

I’m going to enjoy watching Van Persie against Spain who got past a hard working German side that finally paid the price for its inexperience.

For most parts this match looked like a Barcelona V Inter Milan kind of game with Germany sitting deep and Spain struggling to break them down.

In the end, the Germans didn’t have the quality Striker or Full Back that Inter had and that meant Spain were rarely under threat. Klose has a lot of goals at the World Cup finals but is nowhere near the class of some of the other players on that list. To be honest, I’m hoping Klose doesn’t end up as the top scorer or joint top scorer at the World Cup finals. That will be a real shame.

In defence, the Germans went to sleep on a corner – something Inter would never do – and that allowed the Spaniards to sneak a goal.

Another aspect worth noting was that Ozil struggled to make any sort of an impact on the game. As I’ve said before he is a very talented player but nowhere close to being a finished article. I can’t see him coming to the Premier League and making  a difference in the big games or against tight defences, at least not this year.

Del Bosque finally accepted the fact that he had to keep Torres out of the starting eleven and I thought Pedro was a good choice as he provided them some quality on the right. I’m not sure whether Cesc missed out due to a tactical issue or injury. I’m just hoping his injury doesn’t worsen. If he doesn’t play for Spain it’s not a problem, at least for Arsenal fans.

Our best players are both in the Final of the World Cup. It could be seen as something that can give them a massive confidence boost before the next season, it could be seen as something that will leave them tired and overworked, or in many other ways – positive or negative – depending on how you feel about it. I like to think that as long as neither of them picks up an injury it will have a positive effect on our performances next season.

Before all of that though, there is this small matter of the World Cup Final. I think Spain will win it and Germany will finish third.


26 Responses to Van Persie Superb, Cesc Unused As Best Teams Reach The Final

  1. Jay says:

    I respectfully disagree about Ozil. You’re giving way too much credit to the Premiere League to think he can’t make an impact there after starring against teams like Argentina, England, Ghana and Serbia. Do you think games in the Premiere League are more competitive or tighter than those in the World Cup? I think he could make John Terry or Nemanja Vidic look pedestrian like he did at times in this tournament. He made EPL star Gareth Barry look like he was standing still.

    Ozil has a certain flair about him and he’s done more than enough to prove he can play for Arsenal or any other team in England. He’s surely proven more than Van Persie or any of the disgraced French players (not to mention Walcott and Nasri having been left off their respective underperfoming national teams). Again, just think that you’re overestimating the Premiere League and underestimating Ozil.

    • desigunner says:

      You have a right to your opinion so I won’t tell you what to think. This is just my opinion and we can agree to disagree.

      Ozil was a passenger against Serbia just like in this game.

      Australia had a leaky defence in the first game, England had many problems especially with the formation, and Argentina were quite poor and unorganized at the back. None of these teams was anywhere close to the defensive organization that we see in the top sides in the Premier League.

      Plus Germany played much more as a team than the others and that covered his weaknesses to a large extent.

      I’m not saying he will be bad in the Premier League, just that he will be found out in the big games. And don’t forget no one kicked him repeatedly or elbowed his face all the time at the World Cup. Certainly not a ready made replacement for Cesc.

      • Jay says:

        Whatever you say about Ozil against Spain, he was involved in the penalty incident and made the key pass to Podolski that created the chance for Kroos. In big games, you need players who can create the one or two moments that can decide the match. Ozil has shown in this tournament that he is that type of player, and he is only 21. Plus his Turkish roots make him perfect for Arsenal, as he will have instant appeal to the large Turkish community in Islington and North London.

        Having lived ten minutes walk from the Emirates and gone to many Arsenal matches over the last three years, I would say again that I think you are overestimating the Premier League and underestimating Ozil.

      • desigunner says:

        Interesting that you mention the penalty incident. That shows we clearly view things differently.

        I saw that as a bad mistake by Ozil. He seemed ahead of the defender but his touch was poor and the ball was caught in his feet so he couldn’t accelerate. Add to this the three other one-on-ones he’s missed in the tournament and to me it’s clear he has quite a bit of room for improvement.

        I agree he is only 21 so he has a very bright future. No debate on that front. I just don’t agree that he is ready for a big team in a highly physical league. Perhaps in a year or two he will be. Only by then we will have Wilshere coming through.

  2. jamie m says:

    Ilove Robin but you are deluded if you think think that A) he is the best striker in the premier league and B) he has been superb in this world cup.I mean wtf are you watching, it pains me to say it but he has been even worse than torres in this tournament.He is being carried by the team and if you cant see that you are either blind or just completely out of touch with reality

    • desigunner says:

      I didn’t say he was superb in the world cup. Read my other articles about the other games – most of them say he had a bad day. Even this piece says nice to see him finally hit some form.Why are you generalizing without understanding what’s written?

      He was superb in the semi-final, especially in the second half.

      Holland’s creative players are very ndividual oriented and that’s the reason he has struggled. Read the other articles about their games, I’ve noted that even their keeper makes more passes then people like Sneijder, Van der Vaart and co. How is the striker supposed to excel in such a case? They’ve been playing a very defensive game with all the ball control by De Jong, Van Bommel, the defenders and the keeper.

      It’s silly to say the team has been carrying him when the fact is that the team has let him down.

      • j-rock says:

        What i have seen of the dutch team, the midfielders play for themselves..They dont pass to Van persie for some reason i dont understand …He positions himself in good positions but snider would prefer to pass to Ajen robin or kuyt.

        Its painful to watch…thats why when VAN DER VART came on, Van persie had some chemestry with him..he was more involved!!

      • desigunner says:

        Agree with that observation. Van der Vaart seems to find Van Persie more than Sneijder or Robben and definitely far more than Kuyt.

  3. Jay says:

    Agree jamie m. And van Persie’s outburst after being substituted threatened to cause a rift in the Dutch team similar to teams’ past. Luckily van Marwijk had managed him a Feyenoord and was able to settle things down. RVP is a fantastic player but one wouldn’t know that from this tournament which is why everyone is talking about Sneijder, Robben and even Kuyt and van Bommel but RVP isn’t even being mentioned.

  4. africangooner says:

    Just heard Arsene Wenger praised Ozil as one of his best two players in the tournament. He’s good enough for any league in the world.
    Concerning Klose, u don’t score 14 goals in the most prestigious soccer tournament and be described as a class act instead you are described as a legend.
    Couldn’t agree more about RVP’s contribution against Uruguay. I observed his game closely and felt like eating my words about him being disappointing in the tournament. I hope he hits the back of the net in the final.

    • desigunner says:

      You’ve a link to Wenger’s comment? I hope someone signs Ozil so we get to see. Otherwise it’s just opinion V opinion.

      I don’t form my opinion on stats alone so I wouldn’t say Klose is a legend just because he has 14 goals at the World Cup. Germany have, as a country, mastered the art of playing international football and that helps Klose. His performances at the club level have rarely been extraordinary.

  5. PeacefulWarrior says:

    APIDI: Any good players you have seen in the tournament?

    WENGER: Yes, Ozil (Germany) and Giovanni Dos Santos of Mexico.

    APIDI: That takes me to your home; Arsenal.

    WENGER: Ah yes, I was waiting for that all this time.

    APIDI: Are we likely to see the two (Ozil and Dos Santos) at Arsenal?

    WENGER: You can only field 11 players at a time, but we will wait and see.

  6. mike in africa says:

    can someone tell me why that EPL being the best league in the world, isn’t able to produce players that are able to compete at the top international level?

    the two best sides (germany and spain) in the tournament do not have any outstanding EPL representatives; even uruguay and netherlands don’t have any.

    are we being deluded by the media, being lied to about the actual quality of the premier league? or do they simply don’t have the heart to compete when representing their country? The germans and the spaniards all had a long and tiring season… what’s the excuse now?

    it’s simply disappointing for any premier league fan.

    • desigunner says:

      That’s a good point. I’ve never accepted the story that the Premier League is the best league in the world. It’s just the most talked about and thus perhaps the most hyped up league. I think that is because English is the most common language and many foreigners can’t follow other leagues as they don’t get proper coverage of other leagues in English.

      Will write a post on that in detail.

  7. mike in africa says:

    And to add insult to disappointment, the best player in arsenal, (one of the best, if not the best player) in the premier league, can hardly be a substitute player for spain… sigh…

    • desigunner says:

      I’d like to think that was because he was injured for a long period and could not play in the warm up games. So he wasn’t in sync with the others to that extent. I doubt Cesc has been left out simply because the others are considered better football players.

      We’ve seen how Torres struggled on his way back. Obviously, Spain don’t have that many strikers as they have midfielders so they had to try Torres. And then Cesc got injured in the last game again. Must’ve affected his semi-final chances.

  8. Gtr gooner says:

    I think Sneijder and Robben are really selfish. You must have noticed in latter stages of uruguay game,when on counter attack Robben tried to chip the ball into the net instead of passing it to unmarked van persie. And one more thing,van persie’s movement is really vital to dutch goals which many of the stupid pundits dont recognize. He is a very intelligent and unselfish player

  9. PeacefulWarrior says:

    I take back my previous posts.. Arsenal.com have confirmed that Wenger has given no interviews to kenyan papers. My bad desi gooner 🙂

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsene-wenger-interview-a-clarification

  10. supasam8 says:

    van persie has hardly had a good world cup, and i picked him out to be golden boot winner, sadly that’s 40$ plucked out of my pocket.

    in hindsight, i would say that was a dumb move, because he is a player that works for the team, he’s shown that. it’s also been shown the team doesn’t work as much for him.

    it’s not all down to those around him though, some of his dribbles and decisions have lacked RVP’s certain class at some points.

    i think the final will give us a robin in fine form.
    and i’m sure robin doesn’t listen to the pundits, the dutch surely must know how good robin is, and back home why would they care? sneijder could have one and RVP could have 5. the stories the same in holland! fuck the pundits, they have no clue in the first place!

    • desigunner says:

      RvP would have won the golden boot if he played for a team like Spain.

      Initially even I’d thought that he can be the top scorer but after a couple of games it was clear the Holland midfield wasn’t giving him much supply.

      Good point about his mistakes. I agree he missed a few chances that he’d normally take but I think that was because he was over eager due to the limited opportunities he was getting.

  11. Uk says:

    @21 he’s supposed to have room for improvement if he didn’t then he’d have a problem(the type players like walcott have) like it or not ozil has been one of the players of the tourney, &this won’t be the 1st time,remember the european under 20 championship last year? He was mvp of the tourney,remember they thrashed england 4-0 in the final? Walcott &gibbs were in the english team?
    he destroyed england, argentina etc if dez teams were so poor as u said they needn’t have waited till germany came to fall apart, &who says english clubs are much better? Also ozil had an outstanding club season, u definitely overrate the epl, u think player is good enough for the bundesliga but not for the epl? Well it’s d case with some players &the reverse for another
    Or maybe you’re scared he’s gonna bench wilshere, I’d say let wilshere worry about his game

    • Santori says:

      Game against Spain should not be an indictment on Ozil’s talent. Perhaps some inexperience played its part (The Germans I thought gave their opponents far too much respect) but he was nullified by a very well oiled and talented Iberian side.

      OTOH, the trick to nullifying the Spaniards seems to be to play like the Swiss! 😉

  12. Santori says:

    Apart from the Dutch dressing room politics, think RVP is having a hard time scoring because he isn’t an out and out striker/centre forward.

    I’ve always seen him more as a hybrid between a forward and a play maker (His lay offs during the semis were top money)

    RVP moves in and out of that box far too much for the Dutch to have an effective finisher to put the ball in. It’s not a criticism, it’s just his game and I think the other Dutch players have a bit of difficulty getting use to his movement.

    That said, with Chamakh in the squad now, I wonder if RVP is better place playing just behind him and given license to roam.

    Perhaps 4-2-3-1 (particularly for harder games) will suit us well with Nasri (R), RVP (C) and Arsharvin (L) being the attacking midfield trio (all in fluid positions with license to roam). Fab should sit a little deeper giving him that bit more time on the ball and more importantly compress the area around where Song operates. (Song is great positionally but he is a tad slow which is why 4-3-3 against Top opponents leaves us gaps)

    Back to RVP. I sincerely hope he knocks one in for the finals. He’s been trying terribly hard poor bloke. Oh well, there’s always the coming season Robin to knock ’em in 🙂

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