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Premiership MPV – Rooney, Silva, Van der Vaart, Suarez Or Van Persie?

If you stopped the average football fan in the street and asked him who the best player in England has been this season, I expect he would say David Silva. Rafael Van Der Vaart might get a mention, as might Luis Suarez or Wayne Rooney. However in my opinion, one player stands head and shoulders above the rest – and that player is Robin Van Persie.

RVP has been, for nearly a year now, absolutely sensational. I’d like to point out at this stage that I am in no way an Arsenal fan, and might admit to some barely disguised glee when they lost first Cesc Fabregas and then Samir Nasri in the last transfer window, but I bow to no-one in my appreciation of quality players, and there is none better at the moment than The Gunners’ fabulous Dutchman.

Van Persie has it all: he creates chances as well as putting them away; he’s both a scorer of great goals and a great goal scorer; he is adept from both inside and outside the box, good in the air, and deadly from dead ball situations; he’s not afraid to mix it and can more than hold his own in the rough and tumble of The English League; and he’s an inspirational captain. Not only that, but Van Persie has been doing this game in, game out for season after season – he has a consistency that is conspicuous by its absence in the modern game. If it wasn’t for all those injuries he has suffered, who knows what he might have achieved, and who knows what he might still achieve if he can stay on the pitch and off the treatment table.

In my mind the most impressive thing about Van Persie is that he is playing in what is, quite frankly, a very mediocre team. I have long thought that most of Arsenal’s players – such as Arshavin, Walcott and Djourou – were vastly overrated, flattering to deceive and failing to come up with the goods when it matters most, and without RVP I genuinely believe The Gunners would be in very serious trouble indeed.

I would argue that whilst Arsenal have lost some key players this year, they have kept the most important one. Fabregas and Nasri may be very good players, great players even, but they could not have carried the team singlehandedly the way Van Persie has done. It is this ability to carry a poor side that lifts him, in my eyes, above Silva and Rooney in the list of The Premier League’s best players. In the same way that Pele was surrounded by great players for Brazil whilst Maradona was surrounded by average ones for Argentina, Van Persie has had to drag his side through games sometimes in the way Silva and Rooney never have.

A case in point is the weekend game at Stamford Bridge, which Arsenal would never have won without him. A Manchester United side without Rooney or a Manchester City side without David Silva would undoubtedly be weakened, but an Arsenal side without Van Persie would be lucky to finish in the top 8, or even the top 10. The only player comparable to Van Persie in having this knack of dragging his team through games is Cristiano Ronaldo, first for United and now for Real Madrid.

Mention of Ronaldo brings me on to where Van Persie lies in relation to the great players around the rest of Europe. He must surely be the most in form and complete out and out striker in Europe at the moment, and the massive gulf in the standards of opposition he faces week after week compared with that faced by Messi and Ronaldo et al must put him pretty close to those players in terms of effectiveness, if not jaw-dropping brilliance. I for one do not believe Messi would be scoring anywhere close to 50 goals a season were he playing in The Premier League, and especially playing in a side with such vulnerability and lack of cohesion as Van Persie’s Arsenal, I very much doubt he would shine anywhere near as brightly as he does in La Liga.

So, all in all, Van Persie has to be counted as the best out and out striker in Europe at the moment in terms of consistency and reliability; and if not the best player in The Premier League, he is certainly in the top three. In terms of importance to his club, he is in a class of his own. Only time will tell if RVP will stay fit for the rest of the season, and a fully fit Van Persie for 38 league games is a luxury Arsene Wenger has rarely if ever had before.

If he does stay fit, and if he does go on to leave at the end of the season, then I am convinced Arsenal fans will feel his loss even more keenly than those of Fabregas and Nasri at the beginning of this season. For me, at this moment, RVP is certainly The Premier League’s, if not Europe’s, MVP.



  1. Lawal l opeyemi

    November 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm


  2. Simon

    November 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Premiership MPV…..what’s that? Multi Person Vehicle???

  3. Alan Polonski

    November 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm


  4. Simon

    November 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I do agree that van Persie is a quality player but I have to say I think you have gotten slightly carried away with your analysis here. Firstly I hear what your saying about the team he plays in but in my opinion a quality striker will always score goals with arsenal as what they do best is create chances and rvp is a quality striker, but I have no doubt Rooney would do the same there aswell. It’s easy to assess who is the most important player for their team out of the above and yes it’s rvp, but simply because the other teams mentioned have many other quality players as well and would cope easier. A better comparison to make might have been between Suarez and rvp and who us more important, yes Suarez isn’t scoring as many goals but his influence to Liverpool is equal to that of rvp. So in my overall opinion I think rvp is easily one of the best in the league bur is definitely not on the same level of messi or Ronaldo

  5. Dan

    November 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    MVP you douche! Why cant you amateurs spell? From you, all the way down up to the tabloids making rookie errors! Is it that hard?

    Fan Dah Faart for me. Doh!

  6. Ross

    November 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Haha. This isn’t the first heading spelled wrongly or with a typo on this site. They’re pretty much going at a rate of one a day, it’s hilarious!

    On a serious note though: I guess it is pretty hard to use spell check, the two mouse-clicks required can be difficult even for the most experienced of journalists.

  7. dam

    November 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    your delusional. so basically your saying, because van persie plays for a worse team than silva does or rooney… then he is better?
    no, silva is the top dog

  8. David

    November 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    To be honest the spelling of the title is almost irrelevant. You understood the meaning and we are not all professionals so get over it.
    Anyway, whilst I think the article has merit, I agree with Simon and think you have got carried away.
    RVP is a greaty player, one that I would pay to watch at any time. Considering I’m a Spurs fan that shows how great he is to watch. However, I was thinking as a Spurs fan the other day, how many Arsenal players would currently get in the Spurs team?
    Goalie… pretty even.
    LB – BAE all the way
    CB – King or Mertesacker/Koscielny… not even going to talk any more about that.
    CB – Maybe Vermaelen but Kaboul is playing well
    RB – Walker all day over Sagna
    LM – Bale
    CM – Modders over Wilshere
    CM – Parker over Ramsey
    RW – Walcott or Lennon – case for both
    AM – VDV over Gervinho
    CF – Adebayor or RVP. Maybe he is the only one I would say absolutely too.
    But then he suits Arsenal and I’m not sure he would suit Spurs and the way RVP plays. Haven’t seen enough of them in the National team to argue but he would possibly get the nod over Adebayor.
    So my point is the reason RVP is such a great player and stands out is that he plays in a team which is not setting the world alight. VDV – Spurs are playing well. Silva – City are top. Rooney – Utd playing great.
    The Most valuable player to Arsenal is RVP but the most valuable in the league… well there’s a case for all that you mentione plus Ashley Young!

    • Millz

      November 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm


      Do you seriously believe that most Arsenal players wouldn’t get in your team?!

      Szczesney – Freidel – on form its a draw, on potential its Szczesney all the way

      Gibbs – BAE – BAE but only due to Gibbs always getting injured

      Kosceilney – King – Kos has been one of the best defenders in league so far this season, something echoed by many commentators and pundits so to compare him to a player who plays less than 50% of games each season is laughable

      Kaboul – Vermaelen – You really are in dreamland if you pick Kaboul over one of the best defenders in the league

      Walker – Sagna – Again, what ya been smoking. You’d pick Walker, a player who’s only just broke into the first team over Sagna, a player who was named in the team of the year last season and who is widely regarded as one of the best RB’s in the country.

      Bale – Gervinho/Arshavin – Spot on, I’d have Bale any day

      Parker – Ramsey – Yeah I’d pick Parker right now but by christmas Ramsey will be better and by the end of the season Ramsey will no doubt have shown people exactly why Wenger didn’t want Parker.

      Wilshire – Modric – Both about equal to be honest, maybe Modric JUST edges it on ability right now, but again, Wilshire being 19 swings it for me because again he’ll improve at a faster rate than Modric and be a much better player by the end of the season.

      Walcott – Lennon – You think these are on the same level? No chance. I like Lennon but as with Walcott he can be very frustrating, can drift in and out of games, and can be classed as a one trick pony at times. However, Walcott is a MUCH better goalscorer. Lennon gets a goal every 11 games, Theo gets one every 4.5. Case closed.

      VDV – Gervinho/Arshavin – VDV all the way, he’s a top top player and for me AW should have got him when he had the chance.

      RVP – Ade-barndoor – No contest

      So there ya go, I understand you’re a spud and all that, but still, next time you try to make such a statement try taking your rose tinted spectacles off for a second, that way you’ll talk more sense.

  9. My Protein Discount Code

    November 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Either Suarez or Silva for me. Love watching both of then play. Magical stuff.

  10. Millz

    November 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    On the record of the blog, I don’t quite know how RVP is classed as a Multi Purpose Vehicle? Maybe I’m missing the point!

  11. SSALI

    November 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    tho arsenal are on fire right now i think we miss a player like hulk, hazard andrea ayu. more like barcelonas young right back

  12. Wily Deadman

    November 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Suarez all the way, he’s the best. I love his mov’t, pace, tricky… Simply the best.


    November 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm


  14. Tim

    November 1, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I agree with some of the comments in your article about RvP, but I strongly disagree with the conclusions you drew about Messi. He is a much better player than RvP regardless of what league he plays in. And I especially love how everyone assumes that he wouldn’t perform well in the Premier League…it’s almost laughable!

    Who is currently sitting in 2nd on the top scorers list in the EPL? Sergio Aguero…an Argentine that transferred from…you guessed it…La Liga! A player who consistently scored 20+ goals for Atletico Madrid for the past few seasons before joining City.

    Who is playing the best football in the EPL? David Silva…a Spanish international that transferred from…you guessed it again…La Liga! Do you see the pattern that’s beginning to emerge? Transfers from La Liga can adjust to life in the EPL pretty easily. So why would you assume that the best player in La Liga couldn’t accomplish this same feat. Silva is nowhere near the most physical player in football, and he manages to carve up the opposition’s defense like Thanksgiving turkey!

    Put Messi on Man City or Man Utd, and he would do the exact same. He’s more durable than RvP, quicker than Sergio Aguero, and as crafty as Silva.

  15. shibs

    November 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm


  16. boss

    November 3, 2011 at 2:08 am

    RVP drags Arsenal through games that Rooney never has to for United? Do you even watch United play? Their players are terrible, Rooney has no service at all and has to be a playmaker and goal scorer in one.. and somehow does it, until United get shown up by better teams.

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