Sport: World Cup Blog 1

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Whilst still at Arsenal, and during one of his many injury lay-offs Arsene Wenger quipped during a press conference that his often injured Dutch striker, Robin van Persie was almost as good, if not better than Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona. How we scoffed! Messi was on another footballing planet we thought. Wenger was most definitely on his own lonely planet to think such preposterousness.
The following season, van Persie went on an amazing injury-free, goal scoring season for the Arsenal, where he finished as the league’s top goal scorer. That was until that little boy inside him messed with his head, and he duly swapped the red of north London for that of Manchester. The goal scoring didn’t stop there, but continued throughout the following 2012-13 season.
In that amazing purple patch he had, he has overtaken current assistant coach, Patrick Kluivert as The Netherland’s record goal scorer. The match against world champions Spain at the 2014 World Cup is by no means the “end of an era” for Spain as some are already spewing; it is most definitely another evidence for those who claim that tiki-taka is losing its effectiveness, and also getting easy to defend against, especially when you consider the like-for-like comparison of the Dutch defenders to their Spanish counterparts.
Van Persie and his colleagues no doubt capitalised on the off-day of the La Roja, alongside Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, the Spaniard were made to look as ordinary as can be, and Louis van Gaal will only know too well, that caution must be exercised. France 98 and the Euros in 2004 are just some of the previous examples of Dutch self-implosion.

Written by Dipo Keshiro. You can follow him on twitter at @Deep_Oh image

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