Van Persie’s Performance In The Final Was Pure Class!

I understand many people might not have noticed Robin in the Final. He rarely got the ball, hardly got a chance to shoot, and wasn’t directly involved with most of threatening moments. Combined with his previous outings some might write this off as a bad tournament for our star striker.

In previous articles I wrote that Sneijder and Robben weren’t really creating much for Van Persie and his performances have been affected by the individualistic nature of the duo. Sneijder has scored five goals and Robben has had a couple of good moments so they are being regarded as the best Dutch players in the tournament, so much so that they were nominated for the Golden Ball. The facts tell a different story and one that will mostly go unnoticed.

Let’s look at the passing stats. Van Persie made 6 passes to Sneijder and he received 3 from the midfielder. He also made 4 passes to Robben and received 2. These numbers don’t include the completed passes so it’s quite likely that the number of times he received the ball from these two must be less than 5. And this is over 120 minutes of football! To put this in perspective, Villa received 10 passes from Xavi alone in 106 minutes and Xavi obviously completed most of his passes.

Interestingly, Sneijder had five shots on goal with only one on target while Robben had four with two on target. And the stats don’t have a column that says “missed sitters”. Van Persie had a Single shot that wasn’t on target. Clearly, his teammates were more interested in their own glory than finding a teammate in a better position.

From what I’ve said so far it’s probably sounding more like criticism of the two stars from the Champions League final. You might be wondering how does that make Van Persie’s performance a class act.

I say Robin was pure class because at the end of the day he ran close to 14 Km. More than anyone else in the Dutch side and  bettered only by Xavi and Iniesta. Some might scoff at that and feel that running on a football pitch doesn’t amount to a brilliant performance. But I feel if you observe the details of the game it really makes a big difference.

Firstly, most strikers would end up sulking and remonstrating on the pitch if they don’t get service. Van Persie didn’t do that.

Secondly, strikers aren’t renowned for their work rate. Normally it’s the central midfielders who do most of the running as we saw with Xavi and Iniesta. So the fact that Van Persie worked his socks off must be acknowledged and respected.

Finally, there is the importance of movement. As I’ve noted in earlier articles, the Dutch team retains possession at the back. Their keeper completed the most passes in the Final!! Robin received as many passes from Stekelenburg and Heitinga as he did from Sneijder! These are staggering facts.

Van Persie’s movement at the top allowed them to play the long balls that moved their play forward because their midfielders were focussed on kicking the opponents rather than the ball. Moreover Robben got through on goal a couple of times when he was playing down the middle. It was due to the movement by Van Persie and for the second chance it was also a direct result of a header won by the Arsenal striker.

I know these are minor details from a very big game. In itself hardly any of them would be considered significant. But when you put it all together the picture is clear. Van Persie was isolated by his glory hunting teammates but he maintained his focus and selflessly worked harder than the others to achieve a dream.

All facts being same, if Robben had converted one chance and if the Dutch had won, it is obvious that Sneijder and Robben would have been considered their star players despite their weaknesses and mistakes. Few would have noted that Sneijder’s goals had a generous dose of freak and Robben missed and messed up a lot more than he scored. Van Persie would have been considered a disappointment. Many probably think that even now.

I’m sure Van Persie knew this will be the case. Unless he scored the winning goal he wasn’t going to get much credit for his performances in this tournament. And since he wasn’t getting the ball in and around the box it was never going to happen for him. Even then he continued to run, played for his team,dropped deep, moved to the flanks, and gave his all till the last moment. I will always remember this game as the one where Van Persie played as well a striker can play football without the ball!


34 Responses to Van Persie’s Performance In The Final Was Pure Class!

  1. Arsenal would do well to have a couple of Dutchmen to support RVP

    No more Frogs please

  2. Paul N says:

    absolutely correct.

    His passing is not to be minized in no way either, so me of his touches were pure class. Robben and Sniejder are extremely selfish team mates. There is no telling what could have happened if they allowed more of the attack to flow through RVP.

    RVP was the classiest player to wear the ducth jersey.

  3. stonroy says:

    RVP linked up well with Van der wiell and Affellay. Robbin and sneider are little men with selfish egos.

  4. guy says:

    absolutely brilliant article. i dont often praise written work on these things, but stats are something i can get onboard with. ridiculous that his team didnt pass to him. but his movement provided robben to get his chances tht he missed straight down the middle.

  5. mario indian gooner says:

    super stuff bro…100 % agree wid u….i kept and eye on rvp the whole game last nite and the times when he recieved the ball he was so threatnin and makin an instant impact….the onli problem was that rvp was playin in ur words wid selfish glory hunters in robben and wesley who seem to want be more of strikers than assisting mids…robin has been an unsung hero in dis wc onli a true football fan can recognise rvps contribution….at times he has put his team ahead of his won glory only to get nothin in the bargain…..i fell for rvp i realli do…..i hope he cums back and scores 30 dis season…..rvp=legend….go rvp

  6. james says:

    Good stuff Desi, many short-sighted individuals have failed to give RVP any credit whatsoever in this world cup, no one’s saying he played as well as Forlan did- he couldn’t because he was played as a ‘system’ striker and the drawbacks of these are that defenders always crowd a player playing the role of a ‘point’-forward.

    RVP did wonderfully given his role, he touched the ball that time Sneijder scored a belter from outside the box in the group stages, he ‘luckily’ sent a dangerous cross over for the own goal, his workrate was phenomenal and thanks for mentioning how his header picked out Robben for that chance he should’ve buried.

    I just though the creative dutch players did exactly what you said- they failed to create for him and frankly speaking, Robben’s a selfish ass because he thinks his role is to score and not create because he scored a ton for Bayern this season: he’s a big reason why most of the Bayern strikers sucked and why RVP was frustrated a number of times- he simply knew Robben was never going to cross the ball or pass up a chance to cut it to his left foot.

  7. arsenal4ever says:

    finally someone saw RVP not that bad in this tournament!! well done mate!!

  8. al says:

    sorry but i think you were blind, i love rvp being a life long gooner and i watched him closley. what i saw was a very lazy player. he did no tracking back to defence, when spain had the ball spome 5m from him he didn’t even bother chasing down. he hardly ever got in a good position. when he did get the ball he was always looking for a foul. i was looking for him to make his mark but he had a poor couple of games, yes he passed a few balls but thats his job, he didn’t do the other half of it. if your not getting fead good balls then you need to put yourself in a position to recieve them.
    i hope he doesn’t come back to arsenal playing the same way!

    • golin says:

      i lolled. troll.

      • cameo says:

        van persie is a central striker, not a midfielder or a winger, what does he need tracking back for? do you even understand football and the roles?

      • al says:

        sorry pal you obviously don’t have any idea. everyone needs to track back to a point to stop the attack, how many times have you seen rooney do it, they both play the same role. you cant just sit there expecting the ball to your feet, the striker tracks back to midfield and the midfield help out the defence on the counter attack unless he’s a lone striker which he was not they had 2

    • Paul N says:

      Your comment obviously is not true based on this stat/fact and part of the article.

      “I say Robin was pure class because at the end of the day he ran close to 14 Km. More than anyone else in the Dutch side and bettered only by Xavi and Iniesta”

      Maybe you missed that?

  9. Yogesh says:

    Such a brilliant article. I could feel the helplessness of RvP in that field yesterday. I could feel his pain but i was so amazed that he did not let that pull him down and gave it all. RvP was my favorite player in this Arsenal team but yesterday’s performance improved it even more!

    And it was classy to see Cesc go and give him a hug after the game before celebrating. Cesc might go this season or next but he is a classy guy and that i proudly believe he learnt not only from his family but from the Arsenal Football Club because class is a word i wont be able to associate with any Barca player!

  10. Nischit says:

    Great article desi. Excellent research. RVP = LEGENDARY. I can’t believe I exchanged my van persie jersey a coupla yrs for a rosicky jersey. I’m glad the world cup is over so we can watch some real football. I really wanna see wilshere in an arsenal jersey this season

  11. Nischit says:

    Btw desi, What did you make of cesc’s comments? It warmed my heart to hear him speak about rvp. It shows how much cesc cared for his team mate and the spirit in the arsenal squad and the spirit the club plays the game in. In this day and age when players want to win at any cost, It was nice to see Cesc consoling his club mate and at least, appreciating the effort he put in.

  12. jaygooner says:

    RVP put in a full shift in every game with absolutely nil help or return from the greedy shits sneijder and robben. Thats the negative and I felt so sad for Robin, he was completely distraught at the end. Cesc was sensational, he changed the game and showed tippy tappy Barca players how ONE pass, not hundreds, could win a game. It is to his great credit that he sought out RVP at the final whistle. On the positive side, next season Cesc will be providing the service RVP was literally begging for at the finals, and Van Persie will deliver. Goals galore for The Mighty Arsenal and Cesc aint going anywhere anytime soon.

  13. 7masters says:

    Well done for seeing what I have been trying to tell everyone. Even Fabregas saw what his Arsenal brother endured, It not only selfish but jealousy and pure hate coming from former Chel shite and Real reject. I was so angry to see how they deliberately avoided passing to RVP. Their was one incident when Lil ugly hitler Sneijder hit ball on target but hit RVP who tried his best to get out of way but it hit. Sneijder rolled his eyes in pure hate fashion.

    Sneijder and Robben cost the Dutch the world cup, plus you cannot blame Bromwell or Nigel cause when you are playing Xavi, Iniesta you hands are full any way. It three players who should be passing the ball to RVP. Sneijder hates RVP while Robben is selfish git, Dirk Kuyt cannot pass the ball, Plus add comment in media By RVP on facts he thinks Kuyt is not good player made matter worse.

    RVP was almost on tear watching Spain celebrate when it should have been him.

  14. craig says:

    brilliant write up mate i completely agree with you, sneijder and robben were a right bunch of glory hunting wankers, all sneijder done was shot from the half way line, so fuckin selfish van persi looked 4 him all the time in this tournament its a shame the gesture was’nt returned by that greedy cunt, and robben is robben aint he, if he aint tryin 2 do it all on his own to get 2 get the wonder run and goal he aint happy, van persi showed a lot of class and if players were’nt so fucking greedy im sure he wud of been bangin them, van persi your the man an i fuking luv ya!

  15. Ray in SF says:

    I didn’t notice the lack of passes to RvP during the earlier games, but when somebody pointed it out I re-watched them and it was true…

    The sad part was that that was one of the things I was looking out for in the Final and it became so obvious that Robben would rather get surrounded by five Barca, oops sorry, five spanish players rather than give Robin a chance to score.

    Very sad the Dutch didn’t rise to their potential as a TEAM

  16. SomeRandomGunner says:

    I noticed this in the second game itself. But i wonder how Dutch coach could not find this as a problem, for whole tournament. I am very very satisfied with RVPs contribution in this world cup. He is in the same form as he was at the starting of last season. His passes were exquisite , even in the final he made a 5 yard pass inside the box which Robben shot on target was really good. If only Dutch had a Cesc instead of a Robben or sneijder…..
    On another note Cesc would surely improve Barca i do not really feel he is bench material. Cesc is miles better than Xavi as the most attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, whoever has seen the number of times he got into the box after he came on will surely accept it. I am sure Cesc is staying and Barca will get more desperate and will pay what we ask for to get Cesc.

  17. saddam says:

    very well said and wise word,sneidjer and robben were all overwelmed with the fame they were recieving from the media. van persie is one of the clinical finisher in the world who can score with eyes closed. It would have been a different story if he was in robben’s situation.

  18. Leo says:

    instead of explanning how good RvP was in the final over and over again, i can now send my frds this link

  19. Metalhead says:

    I totally agree. Sneijder and Robben are ball hogs. They either passed the ball to each other or went solo. Spain played more as a team and deserved to win. The sad part was Van der Vaart didn’t play as he is the only midfielder I’ve seen who creates chances for Van persie. I also heard that Sneijder and Van Persie don’t like each other.

  20. lee says:

    this blogg is pure class, just like RvP. who else thinks football players should be forced to high school properly. robben and schenider should have realzied early on that they were being wasteful. it was evident right from the first game. too selfish. they should be taught to think.
    that said, cesc is a good man. he only stated his wishes and i am sure most of us do that without being taken to the gallows for it. i want to work for a company that gives these perks etc… thats normal guys. if anything, arsenal as a club should be looking at how they can improve their side of the deal to make it sweet for both. we just want a world class player without being a wold class club ourselves! how does that work?
    the only player i respect at barca is messi, he only has good things to say about arsenal.maybe we should look at bring messi to play alongside cesc at the might emirates.

    finally, who else misses the red and white? who else wished the wc would just end and we go back to proper stuff? boy its been long.
    i cant wait
    enjoy gooners

  21. quote Metalhead

    “The sad part was Van der Vaart didn’t play as he is the only midfielder I’ve seen who creates chances for Van persie. I also heard that Sneijder and Van Persie don’t like each other.”

    All the more reason VDV should be at Arsenal. However that clown Wenger has no concept of players complmenting each other as a team

    • SomeRandomGunner says:

      Hmm , Cesc links with him much better than whatever name you can come up with. The problem with the dutch players were not willing to do what they were supposed to do , not that they were not extra ordinary.

  22. korede says:

    i thought i was the only one that sees it that way., but the facts in this article shows that people can still follow football games beyond the platform…. RVP I feel for you cos u deserved more if not 4 the selfish, glory seeking lads u’ have got in your ranks.

  23. […] Van Persie’s Performance In The Final Was Pure Class! I understand many people might not have noticed Robin in the Final. He rarely got the ball, hardly got a chance to […] […]

  24. dejong says:

    this article give us a clearly point of view about how van persie struggle to be lone striker and surrounded with the selfish big star. i absolutely agree with this article. i’m dutch fan but i really dissapointed about how the dutch team played their football. it’s hard to van persie to scored the goal if there’s no flowing ball from the midfield. sneijder and robben is individual player they just find their own glory, their own record. all of you can see how van persie so unselfish when he get the ball, he prefer to pass to other player whos had a better position than just got his own glory.
    at arsenal van persie got so many passes therefore he can get so many goal. as a striker van persie did a really great job and sneijder as a playmaker he did a really selfish job.

  25. dejong says:

    how about to exchange sneijder and robben to fabregas and messi, it’s gonna be a lethal forward. sneijder and robben is fucking selfish. if dutch playmaker is fabregas and the right flank is messi, netherlands will win the world cup.

  26. ADP says:

    LOL. Persie is the reason the Dutch lost the cup. Nothing else to say. He blows. Stop trying to talk up a guy who did absolutely nothing the entire world cup, and then played “alright” in the final… Legendary? Are you people honestly delusional? It just shows the lengths people will go to defend the players they like, despite the evidence to the contrary.

  27. […] that Huntelaar might get the nod. The Arsenal skipper didn’t have a great World Cup and his on-pitch relationship with Sneijder and Robben isn’t telepathic to say the […]

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