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Monday, November 28, 2005

Van Persie's grooved technique is the reason why he won't stop scoring

The signs had been increasing in evidence since the start of last spring's sunshine (at Ewood to be exact) : RVP's ready to explode.

I previously wrote about the 'signs' and the imminent 'explosion', and now its fantastically happening before all our eyes!

RVP has seen the return of Henry and is trading goal for brilliant goal with him. His excellent run and shooting technique for the final goal in Saturday's solid 3-0 home win against Blackburn must be seen by all fans of pure football.

RVP's technique is picture perfect, and the results are similarly breath-taking: the curve, pace, and accuracy with which he is placing his left-shots is thrilling.... and what's more, it is repeatable.

The great thing about RVP is that his technique is so flawless, and seemingly grooved, that he is able to repeat fantastic finishes. Even his penalties against Man Utd in FA cup final and Sunderland in Carling Cup are a wonder to behold: technique that is pure poetry in motion followed by unstoppable shots into either top corner.

And RVP does not just have the most awesome-looking and effective technique. He has pace, he can glide round defenders (and goalies' a'la at Ewood which was fantastic to watch!), he has a physical size and strength that means he won't be eaten up by powerful centre-backs, and he has a feisty edge to his temperament that means he will not go missing when up against teams that look more interested in wrestling AFC than playing football. Last of all, he is still only 22 yrs old.

Wenger is the best coach in the world that RVP can play under. His coaching techniques are proven to maximise the talent in individual players: Henry being the number one example. And I am convinced that if RVP remains focused he will thrive under Wenger's coaching just as Henry has.

The RVP/Henry partnership is effectively only a month old. They didn't even start together on Saturday, but for the third successive game both got on the score-sheet, and the latent potential contained within it gives me the confidence that there is much more of this 'double-striking' to come. I have also noticed from Henry's reactions that he loves what he is seeing from RVP... and anything about AFC that keeps Henry happy keeps me happy.

This is the partnership that AFC in the champs league has been lacking under Wenger's reign. With Bergkamp never available away from home, Arsenal have always entered away legs with Henry having to effectively play up-front all alone. Now with an exploding RVP to shoulder the burden, it is probable that both Henry and AFC will thrive with the presence of the young Dutchman.

For me, RVP is the story of this season so far for AFC... long may he continue to explode!

P.S. The outstanding Pires through ball for Henry's goal is yet more evidence as to why AFC should give him the length of contract he is asking for.

P.P.S. Last year TH deserved to be World Player of the Year. However, Mark Hughes (who had a vote as the present Wales manager) didn't even consider him worthy of any of his top three picks (Nedved, Makaay and Larsson?!) .... so its only just that Henry did the business on Saturday. His Cruyff-control-touch in full stride followed by outside of the foot bending shot would have torn down Highbury if it found its way into the net! What was Hughes thinking when he cast his vote last year?!?


Anonymous Nturtle said...

Nice one T. I too feel VP is coming onto greatness, and most of all I like his ATTITUDE. He is content to wait, be benched, have only 5 minutes in a's been a while since we have had such an approach. We think these players are young...but in reality they are just boys! Now that is more impressive than scoring every match...uh..almost!

I hope Reyes also takes this kind of attitude...and is learning from VP. Be patient...don't get sucked into hard, don't give up. VP's goal against Blackburn came AFTER he was tripped by Savage on the edge of the box. Nine times out of ten...a strike would have gone down...but oh no..VP TAKES A SHOT! Magnificent!

In the words of Wenger "As a manager, you're thinking 'give the ball to someone in a better position' but then he goes and proves you wrong!"

Prove us wrong again tonight against Reading VP!!

11/29/2005 1:50 pm

Blogger T said...

Nice one too Nturtle!

I checked out the link and liked what I read- particularly the analytical point about taking advantage of tiring defenders when coming on as super-sub... indicating your point that he rightly sees the positive in situations.

He scored another technical masterclass goal yesterday, drilling the ball all along the ground into the corner from twenty yards- making it a fantastic 8 goals in 8 games.

Our Arsenal under 23's are looking so good and full of confidence. I wish I could have been at Highbury yesterday to scout the future of AFC.

Significantly, Wenger played Kerrea Gilbert. He is a young right back who was captain of the youth team last year and this season has been rapidly stepped up into the reserve team. Now Wenger has stepped him up again by playing him at left-back in the Gunners' Under 23's.... I wonder if Wenger is tempted to play him as a temporary left-back in the first team?

I have already mentioned on EFT that he is one to watch out for- keep progressing Kerrea!

11/30/2005 10:36 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....nice article 't', and it confirmed that just the presence of another beautifully balanced player can do for TH, and the whole team. It also confirms that AW, is a genious when developing forwards & midfielders, but I really wish he would use George Graham to drill our back fours of all ages. I liked what I saw in Gilbert, Lupoli,Quincy, and all the midfielders. One thing though that stood out to me , AGAIN, was the ease that Senderos makes of his job, in comparison to Cygan. Philipe must be tried at left back soon, or we will suffer with nerves until Clichy returns.

11/30/2005 11:14 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....sorry I forgot to mention my main point about the rise of VP. He has proved that our major moan of last season ie; " we did not shoot enough from outside the box" was absolutely correct. After losing many matches by one goal, when we should have won them, it did not take an Einstein to see we were trying to walk it in too often. VP, has changed all that, and hopefully, he will influence Reyes & Pires to restart their shooting boots. One final long will it be before Freddy is replaced ? He has done very little this year and most of last season. I know he is injury prone, but he is upsetting the flow of the team. My own preference would be to play Eboue on the right for a while and or Quincy. What do you think?

11/30/2005 11:22 am

Blogger Abdul said...

VP is certainly on fire at the moment. His goal against Blackburn was evidence of a man who has total confidence in his abilities. With VP in this kind of form - signing Torres may not be the necessity for Arsenal that some have been saying.

Gunner Pete re dropping Ljungberg - I havent seen enough of Eboue or Quincy but what I will say about Freddie is that he is the kind of player who will hit a purple patch sooner rather than later.

11/30/2005 12:55 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

VP is really exciting to watch. I don't agree with the view that he is like Dennis, they are different players. However, VP will be a solid replacement for Dennis.

11/30/2005 4:23 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Little for me to add to the comments, they reflect my own opinion on RVP more or less. It seems that it takes the manager to start him more often for the Dutchman to have more confidence. It's a hard balance, you as a manager feel a player isnt ready, the player feels they are ready. Remaining on the bench means you are unhappy because you want to start to get as much 1st team football as possible. But when the manager takes that plunge to start you more often, you should be grateful and aim to repay that trust. This is why Gooners have cried for RVP to start, Wenger wants RVP to have more hunger and with his moments of skill and vision, and Henry alongside him, the potential is tremendous. His height gives him strength and skill enables him to drift forward well. His left foot is more lethal than not, looking more an accomplished player than before.

Ljungberg is a troublemaker, in the football sense. Darting past players, his pace and size enables him to slightly drift out of sight and into spaces defenders fail to recognise, hence his positions for the side passes. Arsenal certainly enhanced Ljungberg, if they were to consider the Swede as surplus his football will dwindle, he isn't of equal value for Sweden. The national team haven't the pace of Arsenal and Ljungberg is found on occasions in desperate need of his compatriots keeping with him on attacks. GunnerPete, the remainder of this season could be telling on Ljungberg's Highbury, or soon to be Emirate Stadium's, future. Being injury-prone could render him a main product on the bench.


12/01/2005 9:21 am

Blogger T said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanx for your comments GunnerPete. I take the point about increasing the percentage of shots outside the box when playing a rare team like Chelsea who are so tough to penetrate- but overall the style of attacking passing until you are six yards out has made us top scorers in the league for season after season and has been a big factor behind our success under Wenger.

Long shots have a lower percentage success rate and I agree with the Wenger method that its better to precision pass and get closer to the goal than shoot and more often than not get nowhere at all.... then again if you have a technique like RVP's I have no problem with him taking range from outside the box!

Re Freddie: I like him a lot because he brings fighting qualities to the team, makes a lot of darting runs in the box to create danger, and for a midfielder has an excellent scoring record- particluarly scoring cruical first goals in matches.

It is also true to say that he does not have the dribbling and passing rhythm of a Pires or the pace of a Reyes, and can go missing in big matches - though not for the want of trying- like the Bayern double header last winter.

On the day Pat left in the summer I called on AW to use the money to go after SWP, and AW admitted he was closely monitoring his progress last year. This indicates that AW knows that his right hand side can be bolstered.

The sneaky men at Chelsea decided that they'd use their financial bulk to take away this option of improving our team, and stick him on their bench!

But overall I no way consider Freddie a weak link... indeeed in physical games like the one coming up at Bolton away I consider his presence a major asset. He may not have the flow of other Arsenal attackers', but for me this is compensated by his excellent tenacity and experience which will really be needed at the Reebok.

Re Quincy: he's predominantly a left winger so is not the player to replace Freddie. I get the feeling that he needs to bring discipline to his highly skilful and pacy game before he can supplant current first-teamers; and personally I'd tell him to use the progression of Luis Boa Morte as the example to follow. Eboue makes really good runs but in my opinion he is not the right candidate to remove Freddie, mainly because to me he is more a right-back than right-midfielder.

What do you think GunnerPete?

Thanks Abdul, Skipper and Redsman for your contributions. Redsman, you may be interested to know that Freddie v recently had his wisdom teeth removed in an effort to cure him of him injury niggles... and therefore keep him off the sidelines that you threateningly predict could be his fate!

12/01/2005 10:57 am

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Just back from a trip and catching up. Nice posts all!

RE: Gilbert...the official home page had this:

Wenger describes him as a fighter...and he played well apparently so that's great! Nice scouting T!!

I really think Reyes will also step up to the plate. No matter what we all can't be THAT bad being in the first team and playing for Arsenal...even if you haven't scored too many this season! HA! Reyes is in the Spanish World Cup team, is getting those passes and assists in...what more can you want?

Looking forward to Hleb being back though. He's an exciting one to develop...and hopefully he works hard defensively...I think that is his major weakness. If he can do it...him and Gilberto/ can't be too bad in the middle of the park. Otherwise HE is the one who challenges Lungjberg...and get's him back to his best!

12/01/2005 12:00 pm

Anonymous Nurtle said...

Forgot to share some video clips of Arsenal vs Reading...if you haven't seen it already!



12/01/2005 12:22 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says...'t' we will have to agree to disagree about Freddy. My main point was trying to emphasize how we (all supporters) live on past performances of our heros, and Freddy cetainly earns of affection. BUT, and its a BIG BUT, Freddy has been poor for some time now, and our team has depended more & more on our left hand side, even without Cole & Clichy. We need some one of pace & skill to draw defenders away from our front two (as Fred used to do), After watching our last 5/6 games it became obvious to me that Quincy on the left and Pires /Hleb on the right, would be the answer for at least 60 minutes. I for one love Eboue, and do not regard him as just a full back. In fact I do not regard Lauren as a fullback full stop. He has done us a great service filling in for Dixon, but in my opinion , he should have been given a run in his natural right midfield position asap. This will only happen if AW uses Toure as right back with the very talented Senderos beside Sol. BUT, as we all know Aw would rather play Cygan anytime ?? I will never understand that....sorry. So may team against the dirt of Bolton would be:-

Lehmann...Lauren, Senderos, Campbell, Toure.

Eboue/Quincy (for 45 mins) Silver, Fabrigas, Pires.

Van Persie, Henry.

Subs= Freddy, Reyes, Cygan, Almunia,Flamini

Its when you try to strengthen our defence on the right, that you realise how weak we are as a squad. Wonderful talent coming through up front, but a bit makeshift at the back.

12/02/2005 10:22 am

Blogger T said...

Thanks for your response GunnerPete. It definitely makes me ponder on a few things...

I'm really intrigued by your call for Eboue to play in right midfield. I must say that I don't think I've seen enough of him to fully conclude what is his best role for the team. But he is so different from the AW mould of winger that my intitial thoughts is that he would make a good strong attacking full back more than anything else. Do you see him in the same mould of Rocastle?

I love Quincy's skills and pace but personally for now I would keep him as a sub for the foresseable future, and when he does come off the bench i'd like to see him really link-up well with the strikers and CM's. If he plays fluently with his teammates I will definitely reconsider if he should start.

In the unbeaten season I really liked Toure when he played for a month or so at RB. But I also admire Lauren's tenacity, ball control, and excellent quick passing ability which launch attacks nice and quickly from defence. AFC would probably have a better all round defence with Toure at RB and Senderos/Campbell in the centre, and I am quite excited by the prospect of seeing it. But I have a soft-spot for Lauren's no-nonsense unflappability so for me it would be a shame to see him displaced.

GP, we definitely both agree on Cygan!

Thanx alot Nturtle for the links- the Gilbert 'fighter and winner' article was excellent to read and I can't wait to see Kerrea progress into an Arsenal star!

Your analysis on Hleb is spot on. Did you see his performance against Scotland (okay.. not the best team!)? It was stunning and I reckon the Scottish fans' were thinking that Arsenal have a real gem of a player! Once Arsenal's trainers complete their physical work on him like they did to Pires and Reyes, he maybe will be better equipped to add a defensive component to his game that could give AW the option to play him in CM. Definitely be good to see him back against Ajax next week!

12/02/2005 6:40 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....There is nothing worse than forecasting defeat of your own team as I did last week. Even worse, as a long suffering fan, i was able to forecast the players who would let us down....that makes me sick. So please tell me one thing? If I can smell this coming why cant a genious like ARSENE ? WHY ?? and why is Mr Dein, not intervening?

Arsenes Achillies Heel is now clear to all us hard core fans. He is blind to untalented defenders, and he thinks all defenders are necessary evils. The exact opposite to George Graham, who fashioned the finest defence for AFC since 1930+.

Sorry 'T' but my opinion is that if Arsene cannot see the moronic defending of Lauren / Cygan & Silver, and add to that the pansy antics of Freddy & Pires (in away games) then someone at the top should explain to him the basics. I for one would invite George & Don back for special coaching sessions through the club. I would also point out to AW that We have had an incredible lucky run that several times could have ended in humiliation, but was rescued by our front for of VP, Henry, Reyes, Fabrigas.

I hate to boast, especially about this game, but I forecasted a 3-1 defeat over two weeks ago. Why, because I did not watch muy beloved club through the rose tinted specs that AW uses. Apart from Cole & Clichy, we only Senderos & Toure good enough for a European Defence. Laurens run must end as a stop gap. Sol is now a slow lump. Cygan is nothing, not good enough for Div two. Silver is a fairweather Flower, Freddy is now a wimp, and Pires is Pires…great on hard pitches when the opposition are gentlemen players who admire pretty patterns……just look at the clubs we have lost to this season !!!!!!!

Boro….a bunch of hard nuts who try very hard. West Brom, tryers, but have a few coggers. Bolton….well, they are nothing but bully boys, carbon copies of their manager, who was a poor player but threw his weight about all his career. Chelsea…..poor football, and use their clogger upfront, and are experiencing the Refs favours all the time now.

As I watched the Bolton farce, knowing we were to lose. I decided not to watch our players much, but to watch theirs. I urge you to watch the moment jens lost it…..he was clearly elbowed by Diouf, and had no protection from his own team or the ref. Bolton will win most games at home but quality teams with a defence will beat them every time…Chelsea made them look what they are….well trained thugs.

A final rant is today I read that Arsene says, " I cannot see any reason to panic buy, and again I have faith in my squad"

Sorry Arsene, you have to accept other peoples opinions on this….YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO BUY DEFENDERS OR HOW TO MAKE THEM, SO GET SOMEONE WITH YOU NOW, WHO CAN PLEASE.

12/05/2005 11:08 am

Blogger T said...

GunnerPete, I certainly thought of your words after the Bolton defeat. I've written an article about Arsenal's midfield that I'll post some time tomorrow on the site and hope you can add some comments to it.

But on the comments you make about the defence I am only scathing about Cygan's inclusion. As Redsman points out in his summary of the weekends action, where was he when Gilberto was confined in the LB position and gave tha ball away in unfamiliar territory? Cygan spreads nervousness across the whole team and it was only a matter of time that the team were to suffer because of it. Against Wigan he was badly at fault for Bullard's goal and deep in the second half terribly allowed Roberts to get to the byline and I was sure it was going to be a Wigan equaliser.... which thankfully we got away with but surely the signs were yet again clear that Cygan was a total liability. I'm sure his inclusion is the main reason why Sol is looking shaky.

If Wenger perserveres with Cygan in the next match I'm going to have to have to dedicate a whole article asking Wenger why?? He is an excellent coach so I'm totally baffled why he sticks with him??

12/05/2005 12:38 pm


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