Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Robin 'The Man' Persie?

Robin Van Persie is going through a terrific run of form right now.

It’s lasted about a year.

And he looks like he’s finally fulfilling his obvious potential.

I just wonder whether Robin would be getting as many plaudits if he were playing for a better team?

Since Arsenal have started upon their downward spiral, any competition Robin may have had up front has dissipated.

He is the main man.

Largely due to his form in front of goal.

But you cannot ignore the fact the he has no other competition for places up front.

No player that Arsene Wenger can trust anyway.

This gives Robin centre stage every game.

Marouane Chamakh, Chu-Young Park, and Gervinho have made up the rest of Arsenal’s attack all season.

They have 5 goals between them.

In the past, Robin was part of an Arsenal attack that included players such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

Arsene could afford to rely on players of the same class as Robin and the responsibilities were shared.

But right now, not only does Robin start every game, he is also their main penalty kick taker.

Their main free-kick taker.

And every attack gets played through him.

Rarely does he find himself out wide with the ball trying to create opportunities for others.

His job is to stay central and convert the opportunities created for him.

A job he is doing extremely well.

But if we are to judge Robin as one of the worlds best, and ask if he is the best, then he needs to play on a bigger stage.

It’s one thing being the main man at club who currently lye in seventh place in the Premier League as we enter the home straight.

It’s another being one of the main men at a club challenging for the league.

Wayne Rooney gets ‘dropped’ for two games against weaker opposition over Christmas and Dimitar Berbatov scores 5 goals.

Edin Dzeko scores 4 goals against Tottenham and gets ‘dropped’ for the next game.

Man City can even afford to loan Emmanuel Adebayor out to a main rival, drop Carlos Tevez indefinitely and still have three strikers in the same calibre as Robin.

If any of these players were given the same focus by their teams as Robin is, they would surely be on the same goal tally.

Didier Drogba was the main man at Chelsea yet two of the last three seasons has finished behind Nicolas Anelka in the scoring charts.

Not because Nicolas was the better player, but Didier was ‘dropped’ against the weaker teams, where goals are plentiful, and saved for the big games.

Fernando Torres looked like one of the worlds top attackers when at Liverpool.

The team was based around him.

David Ngog was his only competition for places.

Yet now at Chelsea, they have too many good attackers to play everything through the now hapless looking Spaniard.

No longer the main man.

No longer considered amongst the world’s best.

Which is exactly where Robin finds himself now.

A world class attacker.

One of the best around.

But if he is to be mentioned in the top three instead of just the top ten, he’ll need Arsene to take Arsenal back to where they were.

Or maybe look for a brighter stage...

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, stating that Dzeko would "surely" be on the same tally should he find himself as central to a team's attacking strategy is a stretch. The guy chomps at the bit due to the incendiary competition at City, but above that I remain unconvinced.

    Similarly, the whole Torres affair is an unfair comparison as it's got more to do with confidence than ability. Everyone KNOWS that Torres (from his teenage days at Athletico right up to his Liverpool pomp) has the ability, which makes the current debacle so tragically comic.

    Look at the joke that was Van Der Saar in his final few seasons with Juve, and how that turned into a full circle renaissance during his twilight years at United.

    Andy Carroll might have been a better example of an ordinary player being painted extraordinary by a mediocre team.

    As for RVP, I admit he's basking in the spotlight firmly fixed on his boots this past while at Arsenal, but I wholeheartedly believe that he'd be just as prolific (if not MORE so) in a better team (where pre-pubescent wingers and part-time Soviet models-come-attacking-midfielders were replaced with support players of truly world pedigree).

    At the very least, he'd cement his place as a top-bracket player by continuing his fine, classy form.

    Henrik Larsson, anyone?