Monday, July 23, 2018

Wenger defends Van Persie

Arsene Wenger has defended Robin van Persie, saying the Arsenal hitman’s dip in form for Netherlands is due to his international team-mates.

The 28-year-old could not stop the Dutch from exiting at the group stage from Euro 2012 after losing all three games, with the prolific forward not replicating his club form in Poland and Ukraine.

Amid growing criticism from the Dutch media, Wenger has jumped to his Gunners captain’s defence, and blamed his colleagues for not supplying the required ammunition throughout the campaign.

“Robin deserves more credit than he gets in Holland,” he told De Telegraaf.

“Robin van Persie was the best striker during the tournament. He’s much better than strikers from other countries and he’s also better than (Klaas-Jan) Huntelaar.

“You’ve got two types of strikers. You’ve got the ‘striker-striker’, who only plays in the box and waits for the ball. And you’ve got more footballing strikers, like van Persie, and in the even more extreme Karim Benzema at France.

“Van Persie makes sure that a team plays football all the time. I’ve analysed his performances during the group phase. If you watch really closely, you will see that he made some brilliant technical actions and runs.

“On crucial moments he didn’t get the ball. That he couldn’t score at a few moments had to do with tiredness. But still he’s the most perfect striker.

“If you want to reach a really high level as a team, you must line up van Persie. He’s an example for every striker. He’s an exceptional football player and more than just a striker.

“I understand that he wants to prove himself with the Oranje as he does at Arsenal. The Dutch fans ask me why he scores so much for Arsenal and not for Oranje. That has to do with everything around him.”


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