Arsenal: Watch Robin Van Persie Confound Pepe Reina with His Lightning Strikes

H AndelAnalyst IIIMarch 5, 2012

Robin van Persie single-handedly gored down Liverpool.
Robin van Persie single-handedly gored down Liverpool.Clive Mason/Getty Images

Robin van Persie is different from the world's two best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is in the same class.

His nose for goal currently is second to none, even compared to those two. His technique is sublime. Remember his near-side goal against Barcelona in the 2-1 victory at the Emirates last season, or his "Flying Dutchman" goal against Everton? These are two quick examples.

His quickness makes him deadly in the opponent's danger area, which is why he is so effective.

Pepe Reina didn't know what hit him. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images.

Arsene Wenger cannot hide his admiration when he describes Van Persie.

I think he has an exceptional technique, I mean really exceptional. I have seen many great players over 30 years but Robin van Persie's first touch is just exceptional. 

After that he has the qualities of left-footed players; they are very quick to finish, have great movement in the box and are very intelligent. 

When you look at great players, they are on the move and everybody else stands and watches the ball. That is the difference. They look like they attack the ball all the time but in fact it is because they anticipate a lot and they are a little bit ahead of the other players.

It is a bit like rebounds in basketball, it is always the same players who catch the ball. In football you always have the same players like that - Robert Pires, for example, was fantastic like that. When you analysed him he was always moving when others were standing and Robin has that quality too. 

It's not the way you finish, it's the way you move that gets you into the position.

Robin van Persie's technique is exceptional. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images.

Some great players, like Cristiano Ronaldo, work hard to become what they are. Some, like Lionel Messi, were born and are built to be great. Some, like Robin van Persie, achieve great things through precision and minimal effort.

They know what to do to achieve their goals. They don't flap, huff or puff like other players. Precision is their gift. It's what makes Van Persie special.

Why he hasn't been ranked on the same pedestal as Messi and Ronaldo is because of injuries. This season is the longest Van Persie has gone without injury. 

His gift has never been in doubt, but injuries have hampered him. Being fit at last allows the world to see just how good he is.

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He also has sufficient skill to play deeper as a playmaker. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images.


It is what gave Arsenal the victory at Liverpool, in a match in which Arsenal were very, very poor. The precision and the economy of effort I speak about were on display in this match.

See for yourself.

And if you still have doubt regarding how good he is, just remember his equalizing goal against Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby a week ago. That should convince you.

He is a gift. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images.