Arsenal Euro watch: Van Persie and Podolski

By Phil Gregory

Robin Van Persie‘s Holland took a beating from Germany last night to leave their Euro2012 hopes sorely weakened after two defeats in the group stages. Holland look to me like a team who are struggling with finding a role for certain players, and the lack of balance that brings. His performances for Arsenal show that Robin Van Persie thrives as a long front man, dropping off deep yet he finds Sneijder operating in those areas. The midfield features Van Bommel and De Jong, two midfield destroyers who aren’t the best on the ball so they are overly reliant on their -admittedly ludicrously talented – forward line to create, which makes them somewhat predictable.

For Arsenal then, a Dutch exit would be disappointing for an effervescent Robin Van Persie, but a bit of extra rest for our talisman would certainly be welcome. The number of games he has played in the last eighteen months for Arsenal are virtually unprecedented; my concern is that this will lead to a fatigue-based injury problem somewhere down the line, fingers crossed I’m wrong.

Clearly, I’m writing on the presumption that Van Persie stays with us, and the contract situation is clearly still up in the air. Despite Wenger’s desire for it to be tied up before he jetted off for the Euros, this was never a realistic proposition, given the apparent lack of negotiations during the season. While frustrating for us fans, leaving negotiations to the end of the season does make sense. With so many crunch games, we really couldn’t afford a distracted Robin. An early Dutch exit may be beneficial if it results in a resolution of his contract situation sooner.

The Holland-Germany game also featured Arsenal new boy Lukas Podolski, but really there wasn’t much to remember from the German in this game. Germany were an efficient game: they were direct but without playing hoof ball, instead moving the ball well but with purpose. Their searching passes out wide in behind the Dutch fullbacks were particularly dangerous. I don’t think this is too big a deal – Podolski was up against an excellent fullback in Van Der Wiel, but I do look forward to seeing more of him in this tournament. Germany look very, very good and could well give Spain a run for their money in this tournament.

Niklas Bendtner was also on the score sheet twice in a game that the Danes lost. He is a player who I have always felt isn’t given the credit he deserves from the average football fan, but gives himself too much credit – he still is a young striker with plenty to prove if he has ambitions of being a top drawer player. It does appear his Arsenal career is drawing to an end and he’ll be off this summer for first team football. It’s a shame, as with a little patience he could well have been a valuable squad member for us, but a one striker system leaves little chance for rotation, especially when the main man is an on-fire Van Persie. Realistically though, some of his antics whilst on loan have burned bridges for him in my view, and he’ll be off.

As Tony has pointed out, France’s Olivier Giroud looks likely to sign for the Arsenal, which surely means Chamakh will be leaving this summer, probably back to France and maybe even as part of the Giroud transfer (though his Bordeaux loyalty may get in the way of that possibility).

I’ll probably leave this article there, here’s to a bit of Chamberlain tomorrow versus Sweden!

21 Replies to “Arsenal Euro watch: Van Persie and Podolski”

  1. i dont understand why everyone hates bendtner he led us to 4th in the epl wen van persie kept letting us down and getting injured nd he led us through champions league group stages and he opened the scoring against barca in the 18th minute he scored 15 that season hat trick against napoli swell imagine f Rvp was fit swell who knows what would of happened

  2. I don’t have any problem with Bendtner. He wasn’t ideal for the Fabergas fast passing Arsenal but he would be much better suited to more direct game that we play now. The only question I would have now is if he wants to be here as a squad player. Some people are happy doing that. Nasri comes to mind, although we didn’t know it when he was here that he enjoyed watching the match from the bench.

    Bendtner has to decide what he wants, small fish, big pond or big fish, small pond.

  3. Podolski looked to be very hard working and quite aggressive in both matches and RVP looks really out of place with the current Dutch squad, particularly Robben. I think there are some serious issues (a la French squad WC2010)in the Netherlands dressing room and some seriously big egos weighing them down.
    Bendtner has always been his own worst enemy but the door is closed at the Emirates for him,unless AW pulls another move nobody expected….anything is possible!

  4. With regards to egos that is my worry at arsenal. the more money footballers get the bigger their egos become. i just dont want our club turning into a team where some players think their shit dont stink.

  5. Esho – I let your link through, not least because of the huge number of Nigerian fans who wrote when I did my piece on the History blog about Arsenal and Nigeria – but normally I don’t just do links.

    So it was just for you. And Nigeria

  6. Yeah…its such a pity! On paper I think the Dutch have a team better than most others…who else has two league toppers as their striking options? But somehow looking at their body language…Robben wants to score all the goals himself…some of the positions that he gets into would be sure shot kills for RvP if the ball is played onto RvP (like when Arsenal play) but he doesn’t get that.

    It was my pick of the lot but I somehow feel that so much talent has imploded them…people who go gaga about Afellay should take a look, this guy had the most selfish game. Sneider looks a little lost as well…

  7. @Tony, thanks a lot for allowing the link. With love from the Niger-area!!!.

  8. I don’t think the Dutch defence is too fantastic either, at least not when compared to their attacking options or the calibre of defenders Spain and Germany have. I bet Holland would kill for some of the Belgian Ajax lads like Vermaelen and Vertonghen!

  9. Phil,

    I have said it before if it wouldn’t have been for the disaster year 1830 where Belgium has separated from The Netherlands, the combined teams would have been world and European champions on many occasions.

    The Belgium national team has always been great (that is why I dislike them) in defending. We always had great defenders but up front it was nothing really impressing. (Cattenacio and a rare counter attack style.. yuk..)
    The Dutch have always been great in attacking but their defending was their weak point.

    Put those together in one team and you have the perfect mix.

  10. But then maybe I had to colour my house orange…
    and put an orange wig on my head… LOL
    and wear orange clogs.. (I like that word in fact as it really is the sound of a clog on a cobblestone a bit)

    But I could support Robin and Thomas in one team… 🙂

    ah well, history happened so it isn’t to be anyway..

  11. @Walter
    tanks for allowing d Nigerian link through..
    Arsenal do ve committed fans who truely love the club over here(trophies or not)

    Thanks once again@ Tony and Walter… Untold is top of the list of those few blogs that constantly dish out most scintillating articles…
    u guys make loving Arsenal worthwhile nd less painfull(xpecially through the dark times.)
    I may not have an agelong knowledge of football(wasn’t born in 82) but wit Untold, I feel like I was born when Woolwich Arsenal was birthed in Irsinglton(did I spell that correctly?) kudos nd keep em coming….

  12. I really wanna get rid of that crazy
    spud chelshit manure manshitty like avatar that always pops up when I commit.
    It looks like John Terry.
    Nyway I can?

  13. Bendtner has always been rated by me. A very strong player who uses brute force score. I think his attitude was what let him down at Arsenal – Wenger won’t get confrontational, instead he just ignores players when it comes to team selection.

    If we were rumoured at this time to be interested in buying Van Persie, who would be jumping up and down with joy after seeing him at the Euros? The number of scoring chances he has missed is the reason Holland is staring at an exit.

    Podolski impressed me before we bought him. He’s a Bendtner sort of player who uses brute force, only he doesn’t complain about being wide. The Pole needs to be liked though if he’s going to play 100%. Any booing at him and it will be like having 10 men on the pitch afterwards. Podolski has come to England to be a superstar and he’s going to be one at Arsenal.

  14. is it me or is the english coverage slightly obsessed with arsenal?

    this van persie missing stuff is really starting to grate. its easy for shearer to say he’s already banged in two similar so whats his problem. to me they were similar in that they were lofted passes but the pl ones to me seemed to come in slower from more of an angle allowing him to anticipate and prepare better. where as the euro one had a lot more pace on it and coupled with the more direct angle didnt give him enough time to adjust as he was simply just trying to get on the end of the chance. i dont remember him stretching for the ones in the pl.
    then they make a big deal out of the half chances totally ignoring the slow mo replay on one where his standing leg quite clearly slipped, whilst throughout the game you could see a few other players slipping also.

    i think its down to the ego’s and past feuds. cant remember where i read it or if it true but the dutch apparently have a culture of being critically outspoken which cant help. they all apart from rob of course want the lime light and it was a bit sickening to watch let alone play in a team like that.

    podolski will defo add balance to our left and ive been impressed so far. still waiting for a screamer.

    with giroo coming in alongside pol and rob it feels like that afc fear factor is coming back.

  15. I am hopeful that Podolski will turn out to be an above average attacker for us but what makes me happy with his acquisition is his willingness to track back. Rosicky does that for us and while it would be nice if he would score more often,a player that protects his back 4 allows them to come forward and attack, too.

  16. @JayJay
    Plenty of methods to create your own avatar….(Incidentally likening your existing avatar to Terry, is very insulting to it! 😮 )…try one of these links

    Just remember the avatar follows you over all web sites (well I think it does, I’ve never been able to switch mine off as and when I want) so don’t write anything you wouldn’t like others to write about you! G’luck

  17. Holland have been disappointing. Moreso, Arjen Robben and Wesley Snieder. Their games are too selfish. I don’t also think Van Persie had the same freedom to roam and to pop up anywhere and at anytime as he has in Arsenal.
    With most Arsenal stars, Wenger’s anables them to thrive more than they often do either in their national team or in another team. Personally, I think the unfavourable structure of the Holland national team to Van Persie’s game and his poor game therein, should give him cause to pause in respect of going to another team at this phase in his footballing career.
    Whichever team he joins and his new teammates therein will not necessarily be rushing to play a system that suits him or reconform their game for his benefit.

  18. For me is good news that Holland are going out – as you say, it will give RVP deserved rest.

    Also, I detest van Bommel – he is one of those hugely gifted players who delights in cheating.

    For two national groups who have done so much for beer you deserve the success that you crave. Maybe you need to invade them to make it happen? 😉

  19. (off-topic)
    Just watching the England v Sweden game on the BBC and saw an option for ‘Moyle’s commentary’. Thinking David Moyles I hurredly pressed the button to get away from usual BBC rubbish commentary.

    Not David Moyles (football manager and intelligent guy) but Chris Moyles – ugh!

  20. @Arsenal1Again: I don’t believe Bendtner could be compared to Podolski technique-wise. Their games are different, too. Podolski plays more like RVP.

    I love Nicklas and his ambitions, and I love him much more than a specific Togolese striker who has played for us for a while and who plays similar to him. But I agree that he will leave us soon, with Podolski arrival (and maybe Giroud).

    By the way Nicklas is a Dane, not a Pole 😉

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