Where Would Arsenal Be Without “Special” & “Exceptional” Van Persie?

By on October 17, 2011

It takes hours of practice and a great deal of quality to lift the ball majestically over the defending wall and curl it ruthlessly past the opposition goalkeeper from a set-piece. With players all too ready to get carried away and go for incredible power, it was refreshing to watch two perfectly executed free-kicks on Sunday – both in the very same game.

Robin van Persie and Sebastian Larsson both raised the crowd from their feet with a pair of free-kicks that a player considered a free-kick specialist such as David Beckham would be proud of. Both had the pace and accuracy required to send the ball spinning delightfully into the top corners of the net.

While Arsenal’s captain netted the winning strike, Arsene Wenger was very impressed by his former midfielder, Seb Larsson’s set piece. In fact, the Arsenal manager went so far as to say that the Swedish international is the best in the Premier League:

“I think Larsson is possibly the best free-kick taker in the Premier League and I think you saw evidence of that today. He really is exceptional at them and his equaliser could not have demonstrated that fact more clearly.”

He was equally impressed with Steve Bruce’s sides performance all round, especially considering that they were without a striker for the game, with on-loan striker Nicklas Bendtner unavailable for obvious reasons. Wenger continued:

“Sunderland were 100 per cent committed for the whole game. They played with four defenders and six midfielders and never yielded an inch. I think they deserve credit for the way they played against us. They made it into a very competitive game.”

However, despite the Sunderland performance and Larsson free-kick, it was yet another stunning Robin van Persie performance which grabbed the headlines. His future was to some extent confirmed thanks to his programme notes and post match interview which aimed to dispel rumours that he is not committed to the club, and his man of the match display surely backed that up.

You must wonder where Arsenal would be without the Dutch striker, and it isn’t a pleasant thought for Arsenal fans at the moment, with his two goals winning the game and adding an invaluable three points to Arsenal’s League tally. Wenger was keen to highlight this after the game which sees Arsenal take 10th spot in the table, praising Van Persie as “special” and “exceptional.” He said:

“Many people question his leadership qualities but I believe he is completely committed for the cause on a daily basis. What’s even more important is that he does the job on the football pitch. We are all here to see special football players and he is a special football player.”

“I think you have to analyse the game a little bit to see how important he is. The first goal was a good display of the team and the second chance he made the difference just because of his skill, which was exceptional.”

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