Arsene Wenger has lashed out at Robin Van Persie’s critics claiming the Dutch striker was ‘the best striker in the Euro Championships’.
The 28 year old had a memorable last season at Arsenal where he ended the season as the Premier League’s top scorer and almost single handedly guiding the Gunners to a top four finish. He went into the Euros with a lot of expectations from fans and critics alike but failed to make a mark in the tournament as the Dutch bowed out in the group stages itself. But according to Wenger, Van Persie is still the best striker in the world.
The Frenchman said: “Robin van Persie deserves more credit in Holland than he gets. I think he was still the best striker at the European Championships.
“I watched all his games. If you look at the runs he made, his passing, everything really, was very good.
“He did not take some of his chances but that was down to tiredness. Robin is a class above other strikers. A class above (Klaas-Jan) Huntelaar.”
He added, “Robin is not just a great striker or a great player, he is an exceptional player.
“He did not have to prove himself here. I can understand he wanted to prove he can score goals for Holland. That is an obvious ambition because he is so intense, he loves the game so much.”
The Gunner manager had just a few days back cleared the air over Van Persie’s future and was extremely vocal about the amount of pressure the top players have to deal with these days.
“This is caused by the society we are living in. The speed of mass media, social media and internet creates a situation where incidents or things are spread within five minutes to millions. And it leads to opinions from millions of people.
“Players and coaches are under so much more pressure. The emotion has taken over analysis,” said Wenger.
“Players are fighting for their place in the team under this pressure and they care more about themselves than about the team.
“Twenty years ago there was a ‘we’ culture, now there is the ‘me’ culture.”
Nobody knows what games Wenger was watching, but the reality is that Robin Van Persie missed a bunch of top chances. His goal was amazing, but he did miss way too much for a striker with his class.