RVP gets 20 points out of 10

This post was produced a week ago already but due to crash of blog site, is only published now. Apologies…

Robin van Persie is seen as the reason why Man United won the 20est title in the EPL. Mancini said it months ago already, the Man City coach stating that if RVP would have picked the noisy neighbours, they would have run away with the title.

Scoring a hattrick in style with that blistering volley resulted in the local Manchester newspaper to award Van Persie with 20 out 10 (see pic).

A beautiful tribute to the man who came to Old Trafford with only one aim: to win silverware.

Sir Alex: “We had high expectations of Robin as he is clearly one of the world’s best but that he would be this good and would adapt so smoothly and quickly was a surprise to us all…”

The 29 year old is probably the most exciting striker (not counting Messi as a striker) on the planet today. And it didn’t look like this would happen, when RVP started his career in Rotterdam.

The son of an artist couple was always known to be “unadapted”. He spent most of his days playing football in the streets of Rotterdam, with lads like Luigi Bruins (ex-Feyenoord), El Hamdaoui (ex-Ajax and ex-Spurs) and Said Bouhatar ( ex-Feyenoord). Cocky, arrogant and oozing of talent.

He moved from his first club Excelsior to Feyenoord when 14 years old, as a result of a ‘situation’ between his youth coach and his mom. At Feyenoord, the youngster developed into a successful playmaker, only to allow Raf van der Vaart to eclips him in the pecking order in the Oranje youth teams.

His name went round in Rotterdam, amongst Feyenoord fans and I saw him make his debut in the first team at 17 years old, as a winger. He was fast, full of trickery and with a beautiful left foot. Lanky, gutsy and very confident. The problem with RVP in those days, was that everyone around him saw him as the biggest talent Feyenoord ever developed and told him so, day and night. His parents didn’t “get” football and were not able to ground him.

This resulted in that infamous row with Pierre van Hooijdonk on the pitch. It was against RKC. Feyenoord was 1-0 down. RVP came on in the second half.

Van Hooijdonk: “The hierarchy was crystal clear. I was the set piece man. Whenever I didn’t feel it was my angle or distance, I could appoint another player. When Robin took the ball and repositioned it a bit, I thought he was trying to confuse the wall. And I expected him to take the run and step over the ball. To my horror, he hit the ball. I was furious. I couldn’t repeat here what I said to him. Van Marwijk was flabbergasted!”

The Feyenoord coach was never able to control the youngster. Another low in their relationship was the Super Cup game between Feyenoord – UEFA Cup winners – and Real Madrid (CL winners). This was clearly a game RVP relished but Bert used this game to punish Van Persie for his lacklustre performances and excluded the winger from the squad.

Something broke and RVP knew his future would not be in Rotterdam, as he was not “valued” as he should have been. In those days, there were not takers though. Most clubs seemed to think he was poison. Guus Hiddink and PSV and Wenger and Arsenal informed in the winter of 2004 but it wouldn’t be until the spring of 2004 that Arsenal decided to sign him. Wenger knew of Van Persie’s talents and was adamant to have his “assistants” (Henry, Bergkamp, Adams) to educate the youngster.

Van Persie knew he has to adapt. He was no longer the protected lad in a club he knew well. He was now a no-name in a big football nation in a club with players that would eat him for breakfast.

He changed. He worked hard. He listened and he learned.

And when his mentors Bergkamp and Henry left and other top talents like Nasri and Fabregas departed, Robin took the leadership role. With responsibility, his egotistical personality changed into the personality of a leader, a role model…a guy delivering the goods.

Funnily enough, his injury proneness also changed. In his first years, he wasn’t able to stay fit for longer than a couple of months, over the last years he has been fit like Superman.

Robin will probably have 3 more great seasons in him. And once age starts to hit him, he is a player that can play one line back without a problem. Maybe Ryan Giggs will inspire him to play for another 10 years in a playmaker role from the back?

Sir Alex names Robin in the same sentence as David Beckham, Eric Cantona and Ruud van Nistelrooy. ManU Legends. A wonderful honour, when you take into account his first season hasn’t even ended yet.

What does tickle the mind of the Dutch National Team fan is, how can we make sure he performs at this level in the orange jersey??

His Oranje career was a bit stop and start? Was it Bert van Marwijk’s influence? Was it the fact that wasn’t always used as a striker? Was it the dreaded hierarchy again (Raf and Wes vs Robin)?

Fact is, he never shone as he does and did with Arsenal/Man U.

Under San Marco, he has a good two games at the WC2006. An assist on Robben and a scorching goal from a free kick.

In 2008, coming back from injury, he scored and was important, but still in the shadow of Sneijder, Van Nistelrooy, Van der Sar and Kuyt.

In 2010, he scored one goal. As a striker. In a campaign that took us to the finals. The main roles were for Sneijder and Robben. The most memorable image of Van Persie of that tournament was his complaining and whinging with Van Marwijk for being subbed…

Did Robben and Van der Vaart cramp his space when playing as wingers? Did Sneijder ignore Van Persie and only try to find Robben? Was it the Bert van Marwijk connection?

In 2012, the main image is that of Van Persie missing the ball completely against Denmark. Holland had at least 20 chances and the top forwards of Arsenal and Bayern Munich were not able to score.

RVP did score a great goal with his right against Germany and had a good chance to score a second even…. But other than that ( and other than an ok game as shadow striker vs Portugal behind Klaas Jan), the 2012 campaign was a disaster.

So, with Wenger and Sir Alex getting the best out of him and Bert van Marwijk not being able to do so (twice), it might be that our new coach Van Gaal is capable of making RVP important.

Making him the first name on the team sheet. With Sneijder not at his best and with Robben instructed to keep the playing field wide, we might see a different Van Persie.

His connection with Raf on the playmaker spot was quite good in recent matches (the two highly respect one another) and we saw some good interplay between Robben and Robin and RVP and Maher in recent games too.

Lets hope Van Gaal knows how to “touch” RVP like Wenger and Sir Alex have clearly done. And with a more dynamic player behind RVP (sorry Wes), we might see the interplay Robin so desperately needs. With Maher and Van der Vaart, we seem to have those players and I have personally not given up yet on Afellay either.

Lets hope that RVP20 is capable of working his magic even when he’s 30 years old.

And lets hope he will win us the World Cup title (with the other 22 players of course) next summer.

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  1. Thank you for discussing a good point. “Lets hope Van Gaal knows how to “touch” RVP like Wenger and Sir Alex have clearly done…And lets hope he will win us the World Cup title (with the other 22 players of course) next summer”. Well said!

  2. Great article Jan, a lot of people on this site want to drag RVP down, but its plain to see that he really is a superstar of the sport, regardless of his NT performances. Lets hope Van Gaal can unleash the beast for the next 2 years and get Holland a great result at the WC 2014!

  3. “””Lets hope Van Gaal knows how to “touch” RVP like Wenger and Sir Alex have clearly done. And with a more dynamic player behind RVP (sorry Wes), we might see the interplay Robin so desperately needs. With Maher and Van der Vaart, we seem to have those players and I have personally not given up yet on Afellay either.””””
    Most liked lines….
    I saw yesterday match of hamburg, infact i was watching Vaart only,most impressive player of hamburg was Marcel janson.Vaart had some brilliant momenets in game,his intelligence was awesome,but he was slow and work rate was poor.At times i though, he doesnt have quality players arround him in HSV,but overall i had a feeling that he doesnt have the stamina to fight for a WC.Personally I really wish Afellay doesnt get back in to national team .NT is doing well with out Afellay, so lets stick on Roben,Ola,Lenz.
    Bale got young player of the year award,so he is less likely to get player of the year award.if RVP keeps scoring he would get it ,i hav a feeling like that no matter how good suarez,mata and carrik was..

    1. how can you only watch vdV? there was Huntelaar! 😀

      agreed though, apart from few good passes (and few long ones), he’s not as bright as usual. I must agree with the argument about his stamina, he’ll never able to start a game that reaches extra time. 90 minutes is max.
      as for his speed and work rate, he’s always like that. it’s his style. and such style has won him many fans (like me, I always a lazy player when playing football, but I know where to stand. hahaha.)

      point is, he’ll have a role in next WC, but perhaps not too central.

      I wish Afellay can change his game, though, Tiju. He has the ability. It’s just his attitude. He took a step too far when he left PSV for Barcelona, during the important ages for a player’s development.

      oh, about Bale… I’m sure this wasn’t about nationalities. Player with high-speed style is always favourable for any awards. They’re just so breathtaking to watch. Wenger agreed too that Bale deserved it, because during the voting time, RvP’s form was a bit off (goal drought, you know…). That’s bit unlucky. But if you rechecked Bale from his performances, I think you can change your opinion. Most of you might not agree with me, but here’s a source:


  4. RVP was a failure under BVM,but i fel that he sacrificed for team,personally still i doubt RVP in preesure/tight games.RVP was superb under SAN MARK,WENGER AND SAF…i remmber his goals in WCQ 2006/WC2006/ECQ2008 and EC2008.after that he disappeared under BVM,Then he came back under LVG 5 goals for WCG2014….thats says a lot.

  5. Oops sorry Bale got both,,poor RVP,if it was messi then they would have given to them and probaly would say,Bale didnt win anytrophy and Messi won a trophy and scored more goals..He won it it coz he was brittish..

  6. Why cant they award pva for second time?
    Its obvious RVP involve more in winning games and title.

    RVP Statistics
    Barclays Premier League 2012/13
    Appearances: 35
    Goals: 25
    Assists: 13

    Bale’s Statistics
    Barclays Premier League 2012/13
    Appearances: 29
    Goals: 19
    Assists: 7

  7. RVP needs brilliant/ and harworking talents arround him with a unslefish heart.Vaart is best senior player who is really able to play with persie,Roben can do same but if he wants to.if want see lots of movemnets then we must go back to young lads like Ginkel,Maher and clasie…
    will form a competenet and effective team..But still our defense will have issues
    finding the bench is the issue
    —————-Ricky wolf—————
    Van annholt——————–Van Rhijn

  8. it is obvious why RvP suffered under BvM – he needs a dynamic #10 behind him like Rooney or Wingers that will feed him the ball such as Gervinho or Walcott. In BvM he got neither. With LvG, service was resumed as he shifted Robben left and brought in right legged wingers to the right.

    If Wes can regain 90 minute box-to-box top fitness, he starts – otherwise, I think I really liked what I saw in Maher. VDV’s problem is that you almost never know who will show up and that he can never produce after 60 minutes, which makes your tactical changes predictable.

  9. If we follow the rumours (and dream a little), this could be 2014-2015 Ajax:


    Maher—-Boccara—Van Ginkel

    Blind—Denswil—Gouweleeuw–Van Rijh

  10. Excellent article, Jan. Thank you. Still remember the UEFA Cup final. Everyone remembers Van Hooji’s hat trick, but RVP just tormented Dortmund from the left wing in the first half (When Feyenoord built the 3-0 lead).

    @Eduardo. That would be an interesting Ajax squad. I’d hope that they pick up those new players (Maher, Van Ginkel, Gouw), and I;d like to finally see Kishna and more of Denswil.

    1. Totally agree with Andrew about this ajax squad . I hope it comes true .
      Gouweleeuw has been always considered as a big defensive talent . FDB can turn him into a great defender .

  11. I personally think he’ll be able to make magic well into his thirties. I often thought that the main thing he was lacking may have been maturity. He is clearly much more of a leader now than he was capable of as a younger man. Despite his individual brilliance, he now more frequently talks of doing what it takes for the team to win. That, combined with his new ‘champion’ status, are good things for Oranje.

    Besides all of that, his movement off the ball is amazing, so fluid and creative. I’d love to see some tracking of his movements for an entire game. Anybody know of any video clips that show this kind of thing?

  12. Happy Queen’s Day, friends! Can’t believe it’s the last one. 🙁

    Here’s hoping King Willem hosts a World Champions parade in Amsterdam! 🙂

  13. From Goal.com: Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes has ruled out the possibility of adopting a ‘park-the-bus’ approach for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona.
    “We should defend with a high line and try to impose our playing style on them,” he told the club’s official website. We need to try and score a goal or two, and it’s a possibility. They’ll press the ball from the start and try to put us under pressure.”
    My response: Score! Robben! Score!

  14. ARTICLE ON URBY……..LVG Please give him a shot in NT.this hardworking,willing player with better brain than many overhyped players in orange….
    Emmanuelson’s greatest asset is his speed, which he can often inject to power away from defenders like a nitro-boost in a video game. He also has great stamina, and dribbling ability. More surprisingly for a small build of only 5ft 7”, Emmanuelson is also very good at tackling, and is not afraid to track back and perform defensive duties- even outmuscling the much bigger Per Mertesacker against Arsenal.

    Although possessing a lethal shot, Emmanuelson is often let down by his passing ability, often lazily conceding possession – and using his pace to beat players before slamming a cross over everyone’s heads. Also, despite playing on the right-wing, he also is very left-footed, suffering the reverse of Ashley Young syndrome.

    But what separates the Amsterdam-born player from past Fulham internationals, is his determination. Emmanuelson’s desire to prove himself could help correct his problems, and prove a left-sided force for Fulham as he begins to get game time.
    No Afellay,No elia ,No babel,No Schaken,No kuyt…..

  15. Well I agree about no Elia and no Babel…but Afellay has a lot of potential, Kuyt is not my favorite player but he gives maturity to our team and Schaken needs to be tested more because as far as I know he hasn’t done too bad for the NT.

    I like Emanuelson although I haven’t been able to watch him lately.

    1. @miguel all forementioned players has given enough chances.now kuyt plays as striker as per LVG system,so kuyt is not there anymore.Babel has faded,Elia too.i know Afellay score goals at times.but when looking to team balance and porductivity/effectivness at right time he is no where near to Germain lenz/wesly/vaart/roben etc.He takes so much time to make a decision in final third,and he is very much interested in dribbling.look at stat of Lenz and Afalley for PPSV and NT.that might reveal us the truth.Shacken has not done bad with NT.I really like schaken for his attitude and his team game.but i doubt him against Quality opponents in pressure matches.
      So lets try Urby

  16. Last night it was a good game between Real and Dortmund.

    Actually Dortmund could’ve killed the game but they didn’t score and Real almost advanced to the final.

    Mourinho is not my favorite coach but Real’s supporters have to admit that Mourinho got them to believe again in their team. He will end up going to Chelsea with Robben maybe as one of his signings (I’d love that).

    1. Mourinho said Robben is not a winner before last year’s semi-final clash between Bayern and Real Madrid. Needless to say, Robben shut him up with his penalty.

  17. “Cruyff started everything (in Barcelona) and was one of the club’s most influential people,” he said. “We all have the capacity to get things done, but if someone comes and says you have to something with nothing, let me say I would not have been able to construct something like that from the beginning. At the end, after being with him as a coach, I learned a lot. I can’t imagine the current Barcelona without what he did 20 years ago. Those who followed him pu their touches on it, but to him I am eternally grateful.”

    Guardiola Speaking at a conference. From ESPN’s soccernet.com.

    1. Lets see what happens in the next 3 – 5 years at Ajax.

      If Ajax develops like Barcelona did and reaches a similar level then they will have to award Cruijff “Footballer of the 21st Century” to go with his “Footballer of the 20th Century Award”.

      – It will be fun to watch…


    1. @Faraz – honestly, I think Robben was being polite when talking about Mourinho. Robben is not your Balotelli or Ribery where he goes and shits on other people or teams. He won’t give any other person or team a public reason to hate him.

  18. Barca without Messi is nothing. Villa and Fabregas have no clue. On tv they said Xavi and Iniesta were subbed to rest them, I think it was more ’cause they were embarrassing to watch: Iniesta was like a ghost, and Xavi kept slowing the game with back passes. Never seen Barca with so many imprecisions. Weird.

    That being said, our Robben was good. I like the way he was also defending in both games.

    Even if they are Germans, those two teams are fun to watch. We’ll have a nice final for once.

  19. I would like to see Robben exercising his demon by winning CL after 2 failed attempt (RVP has finally won EPL with a better team/support).
    This is from a Barca’s fan posting on TSN. It has a sense of humour so I copy it here:
    roge .
    20 mins ago
    Congratulations to Bayern for winning today. Here are the list of excuses (I mean reasons) why my Barca lost. 1) Messi wasn’t playing 2) the 2 goals in the first game should not have counted 3) It was very cold in the Camp Nou today. 4) Xavi and Iniesta could not play without Messi 5) The ref made at least 5 or 6 bad calls in both games 6) Victor Valdez was not well rested 7) Gerrard Pique scored in the wrong net 8) Barca needs a player like Francesco Totti 9) My Barca finally got a reality check because they are so use to winning in the 2 team weak league we know today called La Liga 10) La Liga needs to be more competitive like Serie A

  20. I don’t want to seem like a massive pessimist or be a wet blanket but it is demoralizing how Germany has much better talent compared to us at the moment
    their young players are playing consistently well at the highest level whereas our decent talents have had a hard time adapting -ldj
    or just are playing in a small pond eg Maher / ginkel and so need to catchup vs the German talents
    Don’t get me wrong I still wouldn’t swap any of our players for any Germans not even mathijsen but socks really need to be pulled up

    1. Once you factor out Robben’s goals and assists the stats look quite different.

      — so yes “ze zjermans” are good but lets see what happens when we play them. Oranje has plenty of talent and potential too. The fact that our players are less well known and (not yet) on top teams is both a problem and positive.

      “Elk nadeel heeft zijn vordeel”


  21. I hope that Arjen will win CL trophy with Bayern. Not only that, I hope he will score the winning goal with style, just like RVP did for MU in the EPL.

  22. Robben voted as MOTM, wonderful goal.
    However he has actually wasted many good chances:
    – 1st one on one with GK, he waited way too long to decide what to do the ball, before finally pique made a fine tackle.
    – he made SOME wrong decision makings in front of the goal before he finally scored
    – after scoring, again he made bad decision of a good cross in front of the goal, he chosed to volley pass than to shoot to the goal, which his teammate could not take that pass.

    IMO, if those chances were crucial moments leading to bayern defeat, he could easily got blamed from bayern’s fans and team mates.

    So I would say that there is still no improvement in that regard, robben has not fully escaped from big games flop since CL final 3 years ago.

    The different between Bayern now and 3 years ago is, Robben took big responsibility as a saviour while now as his team mates have become better players, he is given a supporting role, as a provider than decider.

    I think robben plays better when he is relieved from that pressure for club and NT.

    I hope he win CL this year as we never know where he will play next season. And for next season RVP will win treble, incl CL14 & WC14.

  23. Barca look a spent force: Some of the better players now look old. Bayern was just bigger, stronger, more athletic–and had a strong desire.

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