How good is it to have three wonderful new categories on the blog. Future Stars (Dilrosun, Danjuma, Frenkie, Rosario), Current Stars (Van Dijk, Wijnaldum) and Past Stars (Robben, Sneijder, Van der Vaart)… I feared a year ago we had to make do with only the past stars…
Still, Arjen Robben – recently retired and the topic of many a post – deserves another headline.
When he made his way to the Dutch top, the experts (incl Johan Cruyff) doubted his effectiveness due to the fact he only used his left foot and was “easy to defend” as a result… When he made his way to the European top (Chelsea, Real Madrid), he was doubted for his weak physique and called the Man of Glass. Today, in the autumn or even winter of his career, we’ll have to concede to the fact that Robben is and was unparalleled in his effectiveness. This guy totally deserves to be mentioned in the same list as Cruyff, Van Hanegem, Neeskens, Van Basten, Gullit and Bergkamp. A true Dutch Master.
Last week, Robben declared he will stop playing for Bayern next season. And he might even quit football altogether. Time to look at his stats and time be completely overawed.
And despite his chronic injuries, we do need to establish that Robben is part of that elite of world class players. Deserving to be named in the same vein as Messi, C Ronaldo and Neymar. His last CL match is a good example. Bayern is in crisis this season. And it has been whispered that Robben, Ribery, Boateng and Muller might well be told to find another club next season. But its the right winger who dampens the slumbering crisis in Bavaria against Benfica when he solos through three Benfica players, with a little cut back with the right foot and a blistering shot with his left into the top corner. A move for which he deserves the copyright.
Looking at the stats, it should be forbidden from this day forward to call Robben an egotistical player. Since his debut at Bayern in 2009, Robben created 2,5 chances per 90 minutes of football. That is more than Messi, C Ronaldo, Zlatan, Suarez or Gareth Bale. In 198 matches, Robben had 53 assists!
During his tenure in Munich, Robben excels in 5 categories: goals, assists, attempts on goal, created chances and successful dribbles. Until very recently, no other player could get near him in these 5 categories. Only in the last two seasons, Robben’s age is starting to play a role, as his dribbles begin to lose power.
Arjen Robben dribbles per 90 minutes:
The fact that Robben can’t use his explosive speed as much only makes it more impressive that is his effectiveness is so high. And even with Bayern’s weak form this seaon, the left footer from Bedum scores a goal once every 120 minutes. And if we take his goals and assist of his whole German period, it shows how incredible he is. He is involved in a goal every 92 minutes. That is more often than any other player in the Bundesliga during Robben’s tenure.
Most often involved at Bundesliga goals since Robben’s debut in 2009
|Player||Matches||Goals||Assists||Minutes per goal or assist|
Even when we take the other top leagues into consideration, Robben’s results are astonishing. Only the yield of players like Messi, C Ronaldo, Mbappe, Zlatan, Suarez and Neymar are better than Robben’s.
It’s also remarkable to see that Robin van Persie is in the top 10, which shows how Holland produced two of the best forwards in the last decade.
Most involved in goal in top competition since 2009
|Player||Matches||Goals||Assists||Minutes per goal or assist|
|9||Robin van Persie||165||105||37||93|
Even if Robben is successful as assist provider, his reputation is mostly about scoring goals. Every 142 minutes, Robben scores. He finishes just behind Roy Makaay. Das Phantoom needed 139 minutes per goal, but Robben was just ahead of him, until 2016. Ten super strikers are ahead of Robben, but the emphasis is on “striker”. Robben is no. 11 in the list, but Arjen is a winger, which makes this even more incredible. Being able to compete with typical #9 stats as a winger is quite something.
|Player||Matches||Goals||Minutes per goal|
On top of this, if we look at players who played 119 matches or more in the Bundesliga, Robben is the player with the highest win % of matches. Bayern won 76% of the matches which had Robben on the team sheet. Should we take 100 matches as the cut off, Thiago and Javi Martinez are above Robben in the lists.
Bayern with or without Arjen Robben
|Robben playing||Robben Absent|
|2.7||Average goals per match||2.2|
|0.8||Average goals against per match||0.7|
|2.4||Points per match||2.2|
So, it is not that Robben’s stats are good because he plays for the strongest team in the Bundesliga. It’s the other way around: Bayern is the strongest team in Germany partly thanks to Robben! Bayerns has more odds to win with Robben than without.
It’s important to enjoy Robben while we can. It might well take another 15 years before we will see another Dutch player with this extraordinary set of skills…
I guess that miss in the WC will always overshadow all his achievements.for sure he would have gone to become a global icon and the ballon d’or would have been in his bag also.
his stint at bayern
seven Bundesliga titles
four DFB Pokals
five German Super Cups
a Champions League crown
a UEFA Super Cup
a FIFA Club World Cup for the team
2009/10 Bayern Player of the Year
2010 Bayern Footballer of the Year
2009/10 Bundesliga Player of the Year
2010 Germany Footballer of the Year
Of course the difference being Rensenbrink’s possible goal would have been miraculous considering Krol’s long pass, whereas Robben’s from Sneijder’s should have been expected. Just like against Argentina in the 2014 Semi-Final in 2014, Robben took one touch too many and we are still waiting for our first Cup.
I think he should have buried it in 2010 then in 2014 considering it was a final. I dont think they would have stand a chance vs germany in 2014 eitherway.the question is this, will he be called a dutch legened in years to come.if the answer is yes Why?
I mean you look at Dennis Bergkamp. he is a legend and he will always be remembered for argentina 98
I think he will always be remembered for that miss if given the legened status.
Brett, I was thinking along the same lines. However Rensebrink’s would have led to a 100% championship as it happened in the last minute of the game.
About Robben I am split about his greatness. On one hand he has been the most entertaining player in many years for NT, a player of extreme talent and capabilities BUT who has choked in critical moments including the 2010 finale and 2014 semifinal against Arg where he should have easily scored. On the other hand it was his talent and efforts that played a major role to taking us so far in both tournaments. He would have definitely made it to greatness if NT won in 2014 or 2018. Yes he was a phenomenon but just a little short off greatness. He will be missed for a very long time. A rare footballer. I will never forget the run to score the 3rd (or 4th) goal against Spain.
To be honest I still cant make out as to why this guy never got a decent shot at NT when he was so ferocious.
We had Bergkamp kluivert
Then overmars zendan ( makaay also?)
Today , I wish we
Had another hasselbank
The potency of combination of Overmars -kluivert-bergkamp was so huge…it was absent when hasielblaink or Makkay played…but still haiselblaink got chances compared to Roy makkay.then RVN step in …Neither Floyed or Maccay had the quality and efficacy to stand against RVN,kluivert and Bergkamp and Overmars.
but when it came to next Generation kuyt was favored over Vaart,that cost us 2006 and 2010..injury of RVP,Roben in 2008 shows that with evidence..
Im pessimistic about the way thing are unfolding for dutch talents especially in terms of their development. Even though the dutch are enjoying a resurregence it has to be noted other teams are improving and if the dutch team keeps relying on few key players, they will be caught soon, unless more young talents hit the big stage.
I was looking at the bayern and Ajax game and the defense for bayern was medicore and same is in store for the german team. I think with sane and Gnabry in their ranks, the moment they sought out their defense problem, they will be back in business and the dutch most probably will become stagnant.you compare the two legs of the NT vs germany nations league.the second leg turned out to be competitive especially with sane and Gnabry who came in the 2 leg.this is where NT will find it going hard if more players dont find their feet quickly.I more talking about the players whom have high expectation riding on them.
Italy too are building and very soon they will claw their way back. Matteo Politano, this guy has some qualities of Robben and he will become a top winger at inter.there are so many other talents that are coming up in serie A but this is just some of my observation from Champions league. The roma contigent as well. They are currently on and off but when these young players start hitting form, they will be in the top four. Schick, zaniolo, pellegrini,under, kluivert etc.the thing with young talents in Serie A is that the big teams are consistently snuffing and scouting for future talents and when they do they grab them fast and in no time they hit big.there is this kid in serie B for Brescia.his name is sandro tonali. A whole lot of top clubs have started lining up to signature his move. This is how it rolling for them.unfortunately the same cant be said for the dutch.
Lastly another Brazilian, pedrinho has popped out of nowhere and set to take the centre stage attracting the biggest club in europe and you just have to wonder whether they will end up suffociating or will they actually will be able to play together.
No ….there is huge differnce in quality of players the quality of Sane and Gnabry lifetd Germany vs us in second match,with cillessen negligence…
Lots will be depend on coach …koeman is miles ahead of low and Italian coach…that will say the final word for us..Good thing is that unlike other coaches he does not think that Deligt,Memphis,Dejong is teh only hope we have..He looks in different diamenions inclusion of Ruud vormer,De roon and co was evident for that..
Look at wilmots how clueless he was with top quality belgians…like our Danny and Hiddink…
we have better coach Koeman and thats our edge…
What did the coach do in the second leg? Do you think van dijk will score everytime he is deployed upfront?
Second leg was different as they gave chance to Gnabry,sane from start and we lost Berjwin and Dumfires was difference..when u build a building u need strong blocks,if you dont have ur building will collapse..coach is the mason who understands the strength of the blocks.we lost some fine players and they upgraded their quality and threat..with a cillessen mistake we were in need of luck..Luckily we got this time…I am glad that Koeman has instructed Virgil to charge over…this never happend with Blind or Hiddink..koeman uses unorthodox style …when things and odds are against you ,you must try unorthodox style,koeman has plenty in his pocket..i love him for that..
Just feel that I should reply concerning the part about Italy, since I’m italian and got to watch the guys you are mentioning closely, even at the stadium. Pellegrini’s ceiling is Donny Van De Beek like, even if Donny is better at getting into scoring positions. Zaniolo is a gritty player, just as Cutrone, but he’s played little up to now and in my opinion has done nothing special. His debut against Real Madrid was very bad (but that can be said for the entire team) and the only match where he was good was against Inter, a draw. Today he’s playing false striker. Tonali has a little bit of Frenkie’s characteristics when carrying the ball forward, but is much less composed and elegant and has a strange posture. He can be a very good player, but I am not sure he’s better than an Eiting, just to name one. I think Italy is also back on the rise, but not as much as the Netherlands.
Thanks albertoj.but you have to agree the top clubs in Serie A are always tracking and feeding on the potential rising talents when the opportunity arises and this fast tracks their development compared to what we are seeing in eredivisie.A very good example is matteo politano at inter.he barely came to spot light last season if im not wrong at Sassuolo. Inter comes sniffing around and scoops him up on loan.he is marking good strides now at inter and his development surely looks to reach its peak with the way its going for him.this is some thing you wanna see when it comes to development of players. Them talking the next step.Fedrico Chesia is another one at Fiorentina who has also established himself as a top prospect and is already knocking the door of the top clubs in Serie A. One of this days he also will be scooped up like politano and again it will become a stepping stone for him as well.you dont see this happening in eredivisie.Ajax just confirmed they bid to sign argentine defender Lisandro Magallan has being accepted by Boca Juniors.before this it was tagliafico.so basically they are looking at other markets and this might just kill of the homegrown talents who could have used the ladder to step their way up.
Then you have to look at both frenkie and De ligt who are the only ones making the headlines. Their next step will be very crucial as it will either make them or break them.as much as you wanna believe that they have established themselves at both club and international level,there is a certain degree of uncertainty that the transition could go eitherway. This is strictly looking from the trend from the recent past where players like clasie, van ginkel, maher and Depay were destined for big future but fell short.
Apart from this two, kluivert also looks like is in for a long ride at Roma, potential wise,yes he has it , but playing time with rotation and competition could become a critical factor in his development.
Groenenveld would be the only one at this time I would project to be going in right direction.I have always rated this guy highly and his transition from eerste divisie to belgian top flight to CL and for NT has been immense and again as I have mentioned above this is what you wanna see when it comes to development of players. Them taking the next step.has being injured for sometime now but maybe another season or so he will be on the radar of top clubs.