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
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.